Throwback Thursday: (Organic) Strawberry Fields Forever

strawberries in cartons

Let me take you down, East Enders, ’cause this Thursday we’re going to Strawberry Fields—the ones you’ll find in-person at Green Thumb Organic Farm in Water Mill and profiled here, online, in E.L. Wyves’s “Strawberry Politics” from the Spring 2006 edition of Edible East End, to be exact. And what a perfect time to revisit them: strawberry season is (almost) here at last!

It’s one of those rare events worthy of all the surrounding fanfare. And it is fanfare Wyves (like any East Ender) knows well. “On Highway 27,” she writes, “giant inflatable strawberries beacon road-weary commuters. In kitchens, the strange and seductive red fruit with the seed-riddled flesh is showing up in pies, smoothies, and margaritas. At pick-your-own’s from Southampton to Orient Point, children with encrimsoned lips struggle with the age-old dilemma: can you pick faster than you can eat?”

It is a good problem to have, especially when the strawberries in question are from the Halsey family’s Green Thumb Organic Farm, where the berries are—you guessed it!—all organic.

“’In ’68, I got a little dose of spray poisoning,’ said Ray Halsey, the farm’s patriarch. He was forced to take six months off of work. ‘I was pretty damn sick.’ His sons Billy and Larry returned from college and decided the farm needed to stop spraying completely, which Ray thought was ‘impossible.'”

That was a few decades ago. Green Thumb has been a biodynamic farm ever since. Take a bite of one of their strawberries and you’ll know it.

That’s because, as Wyves explains, “The Green Thumb’s berries have a shelf life of roughly two weeks . . . and wouldn’t tolerate the trip across the country. But they would triumph in the flavor category.”

And isn’t that the most important category of all?

So what are you waiting for? Take a virtual taste for yourself and read the rest of Wyves’s article here.