Fall 2005

Black and Blue

eter Dankowski considers himself the last farmer in East Hampton. His grandfather, Henry, came from Poland
and first started farming in Queens, NY, before moving to East Hampton around 1932. Peter followed his grandfather and father, Henry Jr., into the fields. He rattles off today’s working acreage: “250 acres of potatoes, 250 acres of field corn, which is used to feed cows, and 25 to 30 acres of assorted vegetables which we wholesale to local farm stands, grocery stores and restaurants.”

Harbes Family Farm

It all started with a pumpkin patch. In 1990, hoping to attract Halloween shoppers, Ed Harbes planted the field adjacent to his small roadside farmstand with pumpkins. By October, he had piled a cart high with the most uniformly orange and rounded fruits—sure eye candy for Jack O’Lantern carving hopefuls.

Waste Not, Want Not

As Labor Day becomes memory, if you haven’t yet planted your vegetable garden, then it’s sort of like you got to the party too late. Come to grips with the fact that you will not pull any potato plants dangling with meaty tubers from your own ground and that the only Jack O’Lanterns you will pick will be at several dollars a pound. As your neighbors watch their tomatoes turn from green to ripe, it’s best to be polite and congratulate them, and hope you are better prepared next year.

Macari: Grapes Without Pesticides

In July, when Long Island’s weather turned muggy and most vineyards drenched their vines with fungicides to ward off mildews and molds, Joe Macari misted his family vineyard in Mattituck with a cocktail of compost tea and pulverized silica.

Not Your Average Dirt

The East End is home to some of the best dirt on the planet. But more and more Bridgehampton loam—a unique combination of fine silt and clay that will grow almost anything—sits under asphalt, partly because growing houses is more profitable than growing potatoes.