The Huntington Farmers Market has developed a reputation for offering great fresh local produce and other goods and has a community of regulars who come to shop there every Sunday morning.
Located in the municipal parking lot off Route 25A next to Central Presbyterian Church, the market operates from 7 a.m. to noon on Sundays through Nov. 20, the Sunday before Thanksgving. It is one of 11 markets run by the Long Island Growers Market, with market locations from Riverhead and Port Jeff to Rockville Centre and Garden City.
It is organized by Ethel Terry of Terry's Farm in Orient. Vendors set up small pop-up tents, and the town allows use of the municipal parking lot, which is closed to traffic as shoppers wander from stall to stall. Later in the summer when flowers come into season, an open area in the center will host flower vendors.
Regulars know to come early for the best selection, although on a recent hot Sunday business was steady throughout the morning.
Shoppers have their favorite stands. Regina Boccard and Nicole Chiavarini bought produce and honey and headed for the fresh pasta stand just before leaving so they could get their refrigerated goods home quickly. Papa Pasquale Ravoli Co. from Brooklyn, a Zagat-rated pasta store working from old family recipes, is a one of their regular stops, where they get sauce, mozzarella cheese and ravoli.
“We get some doggie treats, too, and pickles. And I get a lot of fresh honey so I have enough to get me through the winter,” Boccard said. “This is a place where a lot of people walk since it’s so close. They bring their dogs and they come every week to see what’s fresh.”
Danielle McRoy was buying fresh sea bass from the Seatuck Fish stand from Eastport, her last stop before heading home. Chris Williams said her husband, Rob, catches most of the stand’s offerings in Moriches Inlet and Shinnecock Inlet, and offers tuna and swordfish caught from off Montauk. “This is the last sea bass we’ll have for a bit since the season ends for a while on July 28, and then will start later. You have to give it a rest for sustainability,” she explained. “We bring what is fresh and in season.”
With fresh, seasonal items, it’s easy for local residents to buy goods that fit the idea of eating and cooking using mostly local ingredients, notes Sue Harley, who was working at the Terry's Farm booth on Sunday.
Terry's Farm, with close to 400 years behind it, is one of the oldest continually operating farms in New York, Terry said. Those who run stands at the market must make, bake, catch or grow what they sell, she said, although a certain amount of outside goods are allowed. "Farmers feed America," Terry said. "It's good to know that you're getting your food locally. We count on the support of local residents."
Stay tuned for No. 73 next week, same time same place, as Huntington Patch explores the places and activities in town.