The planting season is finally upon us. If you’re CSA-averse or just prefer to plant your own edible goodies, here are the best places to source your seasonal edibles.
Green Thumb starts their plants in greenhouses when the weather is still cold. The farm has been practicing organic and biodynamic since the 1970s, which means you can expect healthy and healthful plants. They also grow a diverse number of crops—eager planters will find heirloom tomatoes, herbs, peppers, berries, beans, eggplants, and more. The sheer number of interesting edibles you find at this farm stand will astound you.
Green Thumb Organic Farm, 829 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, opens for the season on May 3.
This organic, Riverhead farm sells both annuals and perennials for your fruit and vegetable garden. The farm, which also operates a CSA and market, sells tomato plants, seed potatoes, raspberry and blueberry bushes, and plenty more. There’s also a farm café, offering hot meal service Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (the menu includes egg and cheese sandwiches, a tuna melt, and a grass-fed burger, in addition to other items and a grab-n-go deli case). The farm is an experience in and of itself, so give yourself plenty of time to shop and enjoy while you’re there—kids can enjoy hayrides and play time with farm animals.
Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market, 4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This is pretty much the Home Depot of organic herb and vegetable plants, selling over 300 varieties, all of which are grown on-site. Garden Fusion’s massive complex includes 40,000 square feet of greenhouses. The store features all kinds of heirloom varieties, including fruit (look for vibrant melons and strawberries as the season progresses). They also compose a blog, filled with gardening tips and recipes for the seasonal harvest. Owners Chris and Angela, East Marion natives, have decades of experience growing and selling organic harvest—prior to opening Garden Fusion, the pair supplied organic produce to local purveyors and to Whole Foods stores on Long Island. It’s one-stop shopping for organic plant lovers. The store also offers shipping on some of their plants.
The Garden Fusion, 540 Rocky Point Road, East Marion, opens for the season on April 27.
Formerly the beloved Lynch’s, this Southampton garden center changed hands after last season. But the new version is just as comprehensive as the old, with everything the fruit and vegetable farmer might want (right down to the soil). They also have a full range of fruit trees, including apple, cherry, peach, pear, and fig, for those looking to create a makeshift orchard in the backyard. Helpful staff will assist in loading your car, should you find yourself overburdened by the tomato plants you’ve picked out.
Fowler’s Garden Center, 175 North Sea Road, Southampton, open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This inspired, North Fork gem does more than just CSAs and delicious prepared foods. They also sell vegetable plants, tomato cages, ceramic planters, organic compost, and potting soil, offer garden consultations, and conduct workshops for nascent green thumbs. The farm offers numerous varieties of herb (three mints, just as a warm-up), as well as 14 types of heirloom tomato. Still not awestruck? Sang Lee also carries zucchini plants, cucumber plants, melon plants, four different types of eggplant, six types of pepper, and a staggering array of non-GMO seeds. It’s essentially a foolproof master class in creating your own diverse garden of delicious plant-based treats. Plus, a visit to Sang Lee gives you the opportunity to browse the farm store, where you can find, in addition to fresh produce, canned and pickled vegetables, soups, salads, baked goods, and a range of Long Island local goods (like Catapano goat cheese, for one).
Sang Lee Farms, 25180 County Road 48, Peconic, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.