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May 23, 2017 10:00 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

What's In, And What's Coming Soon, At South Fork Farm Stands At The End Of May

Ray Wellen shows off rhubarb at The Green Thumb.  ALEXANDRA TALTY
May 24, 2017 4:07 PM

The Green Thumb, one of the oldest farms in the state, sells the only certified organic home-grown plants in the Town of Southampton. Twelfth-generation farmer Ray Wellen recommends picking their tomato, cucumber, pepper and squash varieties if you’re planning a home garden this summer.

As for edible goods, its spring crops of asparagus and rhubarb will continue for the next few weeks, as well as “over-wintered” kale varieties like Red Bor and White Russian. The stand also has Kale Raab, which Mr. Wellen says can spice up any dish.

In the next few weeks, the Water Mill farm stand will be welcoming strawberries and peas, as well as peonies.

At 829 Montauk Highway, the Green Thumb is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Its second location, a seasonal pop-up at 1616 Montauk Highway, will open in mid-June.

Look out for asparagus and rhubarb in the next few weeks at MariLee’s Farmstand in Sagaponack, as well as culinary herbs like chives, oregano, mint and thyme and sage.

“Early greens like arugula and some lettuces are coming in” the next few weeks, Marilee Foster said. “Even though that doesn’t sound exciting, if you spend the winter eating that packaged lettuce, it will taste really good. You get complacent … when you get the fresh stuff again, it’s exciting.”

In early June, she said fava beans, sugar snaps and shell peas will be fresh out of the fields.

Tucked next to her family’s potato farm turned vodka distillery on 729 Sagg Main Street, MariLee’s Farmstand is open Thursday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. until produce is sold out. A self-serve operation, it will be closed on Monday, Memorial Day.

Farmer Charlie Niggles of Round Swamp Farm in East Hampton recommends stopping by the stands for extra spicy arugula, which will be available throughout the season. He said, “Our arugula is our specialty. We have that coming out of the fields right now.”

They also have fresh basil, and heirloom and cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse. Look for field tomatoes by mid-June.

Next week, the green and red buttercrunch lettuce will be coming in, as oak leaf lettuce wanes. This old-fashioned type is specific to the East End and is great in salads.

Located in both East Hampton at 184 Three Mile Harbor Road and in Bridgehampton at 97 School Street, the stands will be open six days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

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