In an area where some farm families measure their lineage in centuries, new North Fork agricultural operations are launching all the time.
From Wading River to Orient, a handful of startup farms and nurseries plant or sell their first crops each year.
They start off with a business plan and a dream, hoping to carve out their niche in the agricultural legacy of the North Fork.
Since 2012, the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium has been saving thousands of local and international heirloom vegetable seeds, as well as some flowers, with an eye toward preserving a sustainable food culture. But those seeds need a secure home where they can be safely stored, organized and distributed to be grown by generations to come. READ
At age 8, Nick Krupski began helping out on his family’s farm — picking, planting and playing in the soil, as well as learning to drive in a five-speed pickup. READ
Jonathan Wickham remembers that at age 14, maybe younger, he was involved in planning for the estate tax on his family’s 300-acre fruit farm — something the average teen might never have to think about. READ
Many farmers across the East End of Long Island are hoping their congressman will push for immigration reform in order to stabilize the local agricultural industry’s workforce and allow them to hire enough workers.
More than a dozen farmers, most from the East End, spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Hauppauge in support of a proposed Suffolk County law that would sidestep a New York State Supreme Court ruling that deems development on protected farmland illegal.
Jeff Rottkamp, owner of Fox Hollow Farm in Baiting Hollow, had been preparing to join Suffolk County’s farmland preservation program. But those plans changed in September, when a New York State Supreme Court judge deemed development on protected farmland illegal.
Local growers and farmers say climate change is creating new challenges, with extreme weather conditions, sudden storms, rising temperatures and drought making it even more difficult to cope with a perennially unpredictable Mother Nature.
Suffolk County lawmakers and farmers are supporting the county’s decision to appeal a recent New York State Supreme Court ruling that deems development on preserved farmland illegal.
Special permits and so-called hardship exceptions, which allowed farmers to develop preserved farmland, have been deemed illegal, according to a New York State Supreme Court ruling. READ