The North Fork is home to many vineyards, farms and nurseries. Farm stands are replete with flowers and vegetables and you’ll rarely be at a loss for a seasonal addition to dinner. A side dish of asparagus or mushrooms or some flowers for your table like Forsythia, Irises or fresh mint for your Mojito are abound.
You can observe many gardens on your bike route but one of my favorites is heading east on route 48, past Sep’s, The Coffey House, Garden Fusion as you cross the causeway with the bay on one side and the sound on the other, then past the lavender gardens of Lavender by the Bay and into the village of Orient where you can also buy wild flowers from a community garden.
While visiting these gardens and farmstands you never know who you will run into, whether fellow cyclers or gardeners as well as any of the talented chefs of the North Fork like the lovely Chef Lia Fallon of Jedadiah Hawkins who I ran into on this trip.
I was on a special visit because Chris Giapa of the Garden Fusion family was kind enough to donate a medley of herbs for a dish. We served herb-cured Gravlax on buckwheat blini for the Greenport Farmers’ Market cocktail fundraiser. At Garden Fusion, they have an amazing selection of exotic organic herbs from Pineapple sage to cinnamon thyme and spicy oregano. This place is a chef’s dream and will inspire any home cook or gardener. Even if you don’t cook, a mixture of these herbs in a salad with some fresh dressing is all you’ll need to accompany what ever you’re grilling tonight!