Where would the East End be without its farmers? This is a question I, like many Long Island natives, ponder often—aware as I am of the ever-increasing cost of land and labor on the narrow island I call home.
But still, no matter how many times I recall this question, a farmer-less future is impossible for me to imagine.
It is not just our region’s agricultural legacy that would be lost (though that, in and of itself, would be a tragedy); but lost, too, would be our access to the local produce, dairy, and meat that we rely on to nourish us and keep us healthy.
Luckily, many individuals and organizations alike are working together to ensure that Long Island will never have to endure whatever this dystopian agriculture-free future would look like.
One organization at the forefront of this fight is the Peconic Land Trust, and in addition to the important land preservation work they do all year, they are hosting a film screening and panel presentation on Friday, February 16 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center to raise awareness among locals and visitors alike.
The evening will begin with the Michael Halsband-directed film Growing Farmers, which won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival. Afterwards, Edible’s own editor, Meghan Harlow, will moderate a panel with Halsband, Dan Heston (Senior Manager of Agricultural Programs for the Trust), and farmers Fred Lee of Sang Lee Farms, Greg Kessler of The Hoppy Acre, and Jennifer Halsey-Dupree of The Milk Pail.
The conversation will focus on the future of farming on the East End and the Peconic Land Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative.
The event is free, though space is limited. Reservations are requested, and you can make yours on the Southampton Arts Center’s website.
The Peconic Land Trust’s screening of Growing Farmers and Panel Presentation will take place on Friday, February 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center (25 Jobs Lane in Southampton). The event is free, but space is limited. Reserve your seat here.