Lavender by the Bay Expands to Calverton

Lavender by the Bay Expands to Calverton 

My home and business headquarters of Calverton has many great sites for visitors and locals alike. Lavender by the Bay in East Marion is visited by hundreds of people in mid-May and June to see the 17 acres of over 80,000 lavender plants in bloom. Visitors wall through the fields of purple, take a break in a shaded pavilion and can visit a farm shop for handcrafted gifts. The farm has been rated by Country Living as one of the top six lavender farms to visit in the United States. 

When the lavender is in bloom, visitors can pick their own bunches in the fields or enjoy freshly cut bunches in the shop. The largest French bloom of the season typically takes place in the first two weeks of July. The smaller English plants bloom in mid-June and again in mid-September. The farm is open seven days a week from June to September. 

The traffic congestion in the tiny hamlet on every weekend in the summer has caused complaints from local residents. These complaints did not fall on deaf ears, and the owners are now expanding to Calverton. They hope the second location can help prevent such traffic congestion in East Marion.  

Lavender by the Bay is a family-run farm, and the owners developed an interest in a Calverton property last fall. The property is opposite Splish Splash, and they have already begun to plant on 15 acres. The blooms will take at least two seasons to mature.  

More than 15 varieties of lavender are grown on the farm in East Marion, and the owners want to have the same amount of variety on the land in Calverton. They grow English, and French lavender and some of the varieties include Purple Bouquet, Grosso, Hidcote Giant, and Melissa.    

The priority at present is to get the plants growing, and the owners will go through all the necessary channels if they decide to open a store in Calverton. They are optimistic that Riverhead Town officials will respond positively although they have not yet spoken to them.



Summer Rosé and Bubbly Fest Near Baiting Hollow

Summer Rosé and Bubbly Fest Near Baiting Hollow 

On July 28th, 2018, the Summer Rosé and Bubbly Fest will take place at Palmer Vineyards, near to my home and workplace in Baiting Hollow. Palmer Vineyards is an estate winery. This means that the grapes are grown, harvest, crushed and bottled by themselves.  

This wonderful celebration of the season will be held at the beautiful winery. The guests will be protected from the elements because tents will be set up. They can get creative with a dress code of summer chic and pink.  

In 1983 Robert Palmer purchased farmland on the North Fork of Long Island and began cultivating a vineyard. Today, Palmer Vineyards is not only one of the original but one of the most well respected Long Island estate wineries.

Over the years, the wines have received a number of accolades. Miguel Martin, the winemaker, has over 20 years of winemaking experience and has worked for some of the world’s most famous wine producers.  

At the summer event to be held in July, guests can taste dozens of sparkling wines and refreshing rosé’s. The wines to taste include those from a number of different wineries – a good opportunity to taste them all in one location. Guests can learn more about the history of these wines, tasting notes and other details.  

Guests can also sample craft foods from local makers, locally made cheeses, and charcuterie. Gourmet cheese platters will consist of seedless grapes, assorted crackers and a variety of cheeses, including Roquefort Bleu and Smoked Gouda. Charcuterie will include Chorizo, Salami, Bresaola, Prosciutto and hot and sweet Sopressata. Pita breads, homemade Tortilla Chips, homemade Guacamole, roasted red pepper Hummus and fresh figs will also be available.   

The general admission ticket includes face-to-face interaction with winemakers, a complimentary glass and three hours of sampling elegant wines and eating delicious light foods. One session will be held from 12pm to 3pm and another from 4pm to 7pm. Celebrate the season in style at this glorious summer event.

Photocredit: unknown

A Visit to Roanoke Vineyard near Baiting Hollow

A Visit to Roanoke Vineyard near Baiting Hollow

Roanoke Vineyard is a quaint, unpretentious little winery not far from Baiting Hollow. From the main road, you will see what looks like a small cabin but don’t be fooled by its unassuming look. Once you are inside the wood panels, tables, benches, and countertops bring warmth and character to the place.

Once you have placed your order, you have the option of sitting indoors or outdoors on the lawn facing the beautiful vineyard. On a beautiful day, lounging outdoors on Adirondack chairs gives you amazing views while sipping your drinks. The chairs and tables are positioned all over the lawn, and it doesn’t feel too crowded or noisy.

Roanoke’s principal winemaker, Roman Roth, has delivered great wines since the first Roanoke vintage in 200.  This is one of the only vineyards on Long Island that produces an exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon.

The site-specific Cabernet Sauvignon is grown without herbicides in the Sound Avenue vineyard, macerated in stainless steel, and aged for 21 months in French oak. The wine has layers of complexity, starting with a red berry and blackcurrant foundation.

Prime Number is another wine that is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in almost equal quantities. The Merlot provides a soft contrast to the Cabernet’s berry structure.

We opted for the ‘Roundtrip Flight’ for $10 and received two samples of red and white wine. The Sommelier was very knowledgeable, explaining the nuances and profiles of the wines we selected. A small platter of cheese and bread accompanied our wine. This is a great place to start if you’re trying out the many wineries in the North Fork area. It is located at 165 Love Lane, in Mattituck.

Taste a selection of wines and stock your cellar. Tastings can be scheduled for small groups online, or by calling the vineyard office at 631 727 4161. You are also able to join as a member. Membership is capped in accordance with annual production, but the roster is updated quarterly.

I live in and love my home area of baiting Hollow. Various events are held at Roanoke Vineyard during the year, and it is essential to book early as they sell out very quickly. Reservations can be made at the online wine shop.


Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow

Baiting Hollow Spirits 

The rural hamlet of Baiting Hollow is surrounded by more than 30 wineries. When Rich Stabile launched Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow more than ten years ago, a distillery for producing vodka may have seemed like rather an incongruous addition to Long Island wine country.

Rich Stabile grew up in the area and watched as potato farms became wineries. As a native Long Islander, he wanted to work with local agricultural produce to express the flavors of Long Island. He decided to use the Long Island potato to make vodka, and when he started his distillery, it was the first one on Long Island since the 1800s.  

The trend towards eating locally produced foods has seeped into the alcohol industry, and small batch and craft distilleries have proliferated nationally. When he started his farm-to-bottle handcraft distiller operation, this was not yet the case. Now, craft distilleries are spotted all over.

On their 10th anniversary, Long Island Spirits produced a handcrafted, gluten-free vodka to celebrate the occasion. This artisan vodka is distilled in old world style and is a bright, clear vodka with citrus notes.

Rich Stabile has found that whiskey has now become a large percentage of his business. Speaking on BBC World News, he talked about American whiskey taking on a whole renaissance with different dynamics, different grains, and a variety of skill types and barrels.

Stabile has used the last decade to launch several brands that reflect the spirit of Long Island. His Rough Rider whiskey is aged in charred New American Oak, and after at least four years, it is matured a second time in casks from local wineries. He sources corn, barley, rye and oats for his whiskeys from farms close to his distillery. His ‘sorbetto’ liqueurs also make use of fruit grown on farms in Calverton and Baiting Hollow.

The Pine Barrels Reserve Botanical Dry Gin includes 28 local and exotic botanicals and has the zesty flavors of tangerine, nutmeg, caramel and lemon meringue. The Pine Barrens cherrywood smoked malt is a single malt whiskey with a sweet, smoky aroma that is double distilled in copper pot stills. The name of these products is a tribute to the Suffolk County pine and wetland area that still atop the island’s aquifer.  

Drinking one of the products of Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow gives you a true taste of Long Island. 

The Flags Fly at Calverton National Cemetery

Calverton cemetery this past memorial day was very moving.

Memorial Day at the Calverton Cemetery

Many volunteer groups were called upon to place flags on graves on Saturday, May 26th. At Calverton National Cemetery there are about 220,000 gravesides that need decorating in this way for Memorial Day. Volunteers from the area, including those from Baiting Hollow and Calverton, place small American flags at gravesides in the time-honored ‘Flags In’ ceremony.

Every year volunteers gather at pre-assigned areas and participants this year received a Special 2018 Patch. Scout troops usually volunteer on this occasion, and the volunteers are instructed how to handle the flags, to watch where they walk and to respect the place they are in and the men and women who are buried there.

It becomes an educational experience for the young people taking part. It gives them more of an understanding of the fact that these soldiers served their country honorably and made sacrifices for them. 

Every year some of those who take part find that the occasion is made special for them in some way. One year, the girl scouts saw a man watching them as they placed a flag at a certain graveside. When they were finished, he came and told them he was the son of the man who was buried there and gave them a special coin.

You will always see the United States flag flying at national cemeteries, but there is only one day when small flags fly at individual gravesites. They are placed on the Saturday before Memorial Day and removed on the Saturday after the holiday. At no other time do you see the flags fluttering at the gravesides. 

In 1974, Long Island National Cemetery was reaching maximum capacity, and a new regional cemetery had to be constructed to serve New York and its surrounding areas. A tract of land in Calverton was transferred to the Veterans Administration for this purpose.

Calverton National Cemetery is currently not only the largest but one of the most active national cemeteries with more than 7,000 burials conducted there every year. When all the flags are flying on Memorial Day, it’s a sight to remember. 

This photo I found on the internet is just so touching to me. I take no credit for this photo.

Gardner’s Hidden Gem Paradise on Long Island

Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton – a hidden gem

Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton is the place to visit if you want a peaceful and relaxing day out. This gardener’s paradise is located on 14 scenic riverfront acres on the eastern end of Long Island.

Greenhouses and outdoor displays are filled with fragrant plants. As well as herbs, there are plants native to Long Island, unusual small trees and shrubs, gourmet and heirloom vegetable varieties and cutting flowers.

In the garden shop called ‘Outside In’ you’ll find planters and pottery, organic herbs, seeds and garden tools. In this beautiful two storey barn, you can also browse around amongst a treasure trove of vintage décor items.

Strolling around the lovely grounds, you discover pockets of surprises. A passion for horticulture is evident everywhere. It’s a good place to meet friends for a picnic at the riverside where you can eat at little picnic tables. The owner welcomes artists or groups to utilize the riverfront gardens, glass greenhouse and large patio and lawn areas for workshops, classes or inspiration.

At 11am on a Sunday, visitors can take a free 45-minute tour of the grounds to find out what’s new and what’s in bloom. The walking tours begin the first Sunday of each month from May to October.

Various summer garden workshops are also held at the farm. You can schedule one for a group such as ‘Seasonal cooking with herbs and spices’ or ‘Sensational Succulents.’ All you need to do is get together a group of a minimum of ten people, decide on a date and call to arrange it.

After a visit to Peconic River Herb Farm, you will probably come home with plenty of plants to enjoy, more unusual than the ones you may find elsewhere. The owner loves to discover new plants and introduce them to gardeners.  You will probably have picked up plenty of ideas for your garden too.

Peconic River Herb Farm is hosting a complimentary tea with refreshments and live music on Mother’s Day, Sunday 14th May.  This is a popular annual event. Take your mom for a treat and enjoy the music, tea, coffee and baked goodies.

You can find more information here on their website.

Vineyard in Calverton Long Island

A vineyard right in Long Island. Visit the Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard in Calverton.

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard in Calverton

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard is on Sound Avenue when you visit wine country along the North Fork. You can visit this vineyard all year round for wine tasting.

As you drive up to the farmhouse tasting room, you walk through what feels like a festival outside with lots of seating, live music, and an outdoor wine tasting area.

In 2007 the old farmhouse was renovated to become the present Tasting House. This consists of a large room, a small bar area and plenty of seating. You purchase a ticket for a wine tasting, so you have the option of tasting only one and then buying a full glass.  You can also arrange for group private tastings of wine.

The wines are a result of the early vision of Sam Rubin who acquired the land in the 1980s. Organic compost, good French vines, a suitable climate and his hard work, came together to create some great tastes.  One of the wines they sell is called Sam’s Legacy Merlot. Other wines available to taste are a crisp dry house blend called White Satin and a Cheval Bleu which is rather like a port. Last year they added a dry rosé called Pink Satin.

In the live music area, there is plenty of seating in the sun and the shade. Ricky Roche is a musician who plays on a regular basis. He can be counted on to sing whatever anyone wants to hear, from Beyoncé to Beatles songs.

Many people seem to enjoy the Merlot Meatballs and other hot foods being sold in the outdoor area. You may like to try a Wine-A-Rita which is a frozen drink made from White Merlot.

Apart from the wines, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard gives a second chance to horses whose lives were at risk. They find sanctuary on the farm, and horse lovers can take a tour of the paddocks.

A selection of the wines produced at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard is dedicated to horse rescue. One of these is a Cabernet Sauvignon named after a rescue horse, Savannah. Savannah Rosé has raspberry, rhubarb-vanilla and strawberry flavors and aromas.

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard can become very crowded on summer days. You are also likely to see many bachelorette groups, wedding parties and people celebrating birthdays. If you enjoy an atmosphere with lots of people having fun, eating, drinking and listening to music, this is a venue you will enjoy.

You can find more information here on their website.