Two new farmers markets have opened on the East End this season—the latest expansion in what has led to no fewer than seven markets created in just the last few years.
The Greenport market, which is held in the parking lot across the street from the IGA on First Street, opened Memorial Day weekend. The market operates 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday mornings, rain or shine, through October 15. Vendors include
Sacred Sweets (a Greenport bakery), Blossom Meadow Honey, Phillip A. Schmitt and Son Farm (vegetables, and also bringing Briermere fruit), Invincible Summer Farm, Browder’s Birds (chickens), Garden of Eve (organic vegetables), the Apotheca, Lavender by the Bay (lavender products), Catapano Dairy (goat cheese), Garden Fusion, KK’s the Farm, Goodale Farms, Taste of the North Fork, North Fork Potato Chips and Coffee Pot Cellars.
Greenport has hosted farmers markets before, but none have had staying power. The organizer of this market, Lara McNeil, says it all started with an e-mail she sent on Valentine’s Day of this year. Soon a Web site was up, approval was granted by the village, and farmers and artisans started showing up. Each week a local winery and nonprofit are featured at the market.
Also, says McNeil, the market was chosen to receive supplemental “Fresh Checks” through a grant provided by the Wholesome Wave Foundation. Fresh Checks are vouchers for shoppers using an EBT card. For each $5 they spend on the card they will be credited $2 to buy fruits and veggies.
The Shelter Island Farmers Market will open June 25 and run through October 8 on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Shoppers can find the market on the grounds of the James Havens Homestead, a 1743 building that now houses the Shelter Island Historical Society. The market is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Bri and Dan Fokine, who got approval from Shelter Island Town Board in March and have been working to line up vendors ever since.
While the goal of the market is to help Shelter Islanders become more reliant on on-island produce, farmers and artisans from both forks will be featured. As of Memorial Day, vendors include: Sylvester Manor (produce), KK Haspel’s Farm (produce and flowers), Pete’s Endless Summer (salsa and spice mix), the Apotheca (herbal salves), Le Poème (baked goods), Gerry Siller (general store), Sawyer and Kim Clark (seafood), Pindar and Duckwalk (wine), Al and Rachel Brigham (honey and eggs), Craig and Carrie Wood (herbs, flowers and wool) and the Taste of the North Fork (jams and jellies).
The Fokines have also challenged island residents to expand their home gardens and bring their harvest for sale. “We want to create a sense of place,” says Bri. “And let people know who they were and who they are and what they can become. And the best way to do that is through food and getting your hands dirty. It’s really exciting.”