Articles, Blog

An Inside Look at Long Island Agriculture

August 22, 2019

Hello, everybody. My name is Joel
Panagakos and I work for J. King’s food service here in Long Island and
it’s been my pleasure today to host a group of people from Stony Brook
University to get a real feel for what it’s like here in the farming community
in Long Island. We were fortunate enough to visit two farms and through the
course of the day the people I was with they all learned an awful lot from these
farmers and how important it is to support our local agriculture here. They
do a great job they raise a wonderful product and they should be noticed in
that scheme of things. My name is Jeff Rottkamp and we’re in baiting hollow Long Island we’ve been farming in this area for 52 years. I have my wife now and
my two sons part of our farming operation. We grow asparagus and
strawberries and sweet corn, tomatoes, melons, green squash, yellow squash
cucumbers, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes and you know everything is picked fresh each
day because people want fresh local produce. We try and put up a you know a
good product that tastes good and looks nice and we’re doing our best to stay
sustainable and all the vegetables that we sell are always picked fresh. Hopefully
people will appreciate that. Hi, I’m Phil Schmidt I operate
Philip A. Schmitt and Son farms incorporated here in Riverhead, New York. The home farm
here is about a hundred and sixty-five acres and we rent some additional and
also the grow cabbage and a lot of leafy greens kale collard greens lettuce herbs
such as cilantro parsley dill basil red beets gold beets carrots right behind us
here is a field of horseradish sweet corn is one of our major crops so we’re…quite diversified. Everything everything we plant here is
pretty labor-intensive most of the crops are fairly fairly quick growing and you
know it’s not like we plant in the spring and harvest in the fall we’re
constantly planting and constantly harvesting so it’s very very intensive
and we have a quite a quite a hectic schedule it’s been in the family for many years
it’s something that’s in my heart and I you know I love to do it I like to be
outside it’s been pretty challenging the last few years but you know we’re still
at it. The trip is really great. I’ve never really been to any farms on Long Island
even though I’ve been born and raised here my whole life I really love just
going around to the different farms seeing like all the stuff growing seeing
everyone working together to try to keep this industry, I guess you could say, alive. You
know, they have the stand with pies there at the pie was amazing the corn that
they’ve just pulled off the stock and let us try that was really like
probably the best corn I’ve ever had. Supporting them in any way possible it’s
not only just good for them but also good for community in general. You know
we’re all from the same place why not help each other out?

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