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The Peconic Land Trust’s Ninth Annual ’Through Farms And Fields’ Benefit: A Tasty Delight In The Hamptons

Originally Posted: August 09, 2011


Annette Lauer, Matt Lauer and Trisha Burke enjoy "Through Farms and Fields" benefit at the Ninth Annual Peconic Land Trust (PLT) gathering on Sunday at Ocean View Farm in Bridgehampton. (Eileen Casey)

Rebecca Chapman, Vice President of PLT with Assemblyman Fred Thiele. (Eileen Casey)

Bridgehampton - The Peconic Land Trust's Ninth Annual "Through Farms and Fields" benefit, a spectacular Country Supper, was held at the Ocean View Farm property of Raymond and Lynn Wesnofske, in Bridgehampton on August 7, 2011.

According to Peconic Land Trust (PLT), "Ocean View Farm sits on land that has been farmed for more than 325 years." This farm, with its historic dairy barn provided the perfect backdrop for an evening in celebration of friends, conservation, and our local bounty.

"Standing on the groomed hillside of Ocean View Farm today, one can see swaths of Long Island farmland, mixed with tree farms, horse farms and vineyards and sprinkled with the dwellings of locals and weekenders, drawn to a place where land meets sea so perfectly," wrote Fred R. Smith, a longstanding member of the event committee, in his profile for the event program.

"Through Farms and Fields" celebrated the local bounty of the East End - from the delicious salad greens and vegetables, to the fresh seafood and meats, to the wonderful wines of local vineyards, and most importantly, this evening celebrated and acknowledged local farmers, fishermen, and winemakers.

Ted and Carole Beinecke, Fred R. Smith and President of Peconic Land Trust (PLT) John v.H. Halsey enjoy the evening. (Eileen Casey)


"We are thrilled to be returning once again to Ray and Lynn's farm, Ocean View, to celebrate the work we have been able to accomplish with the support of our donors, as well as local landowners, government officials, and partner organizations," said John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust. "The view from Ocean View, combined with the dramatic impact of the barn and farm fields, makes this location for 'Through Farms and Fields' very special to all of us at the Trust and conveys the Trust's story in a very compelling way."

Harry Barrish and Barbara Horowitz. (Eileen Casey)

With dinner prepared by Chef Peter Ambrose of Food for Forks, and wines from McCall Wines in Cutchogue, the cocktail hour also offered the opportunity to bid on silent auction items, as well as view the works of Plein Air Peconic artists which hung in the barn. Although the temperature in the barn kept guests retreating to the outdoors, the works on view were beautiful and thought-provoking, allowing guests to appreciate and honor local land and scenic views. Artists included Casey Chalem Anderson, who, as tradition dictates, was the artist who awarded the hosts with an original work; Susan D'Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, Gail Kern, Michele Margit, Gordon Matheson, Joanne Rosko, Eileen Dawn Skretch, Kathryn Szoka, Ellen Watson, and Tom Steele.

The event co-chairs included Nancy Gilbert (who is also co-chair of the Peconic Land Trust Board of Directors) and Hilary Leff. Following the scrumptous dinner featuring lobster rolls, fried chicken, corn salad, tomato salad, grilled potatoes, corn bread and other culinary treats, dessert was offered in the barn as live music was heard provided by The Lone Sharks.

Generous support for the event included The Corcoran Group, Tate's Bake Shop (Land Trustees); BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Hamptons International Film Festival (Land Stewards); Bridgehampton National Bank (Land Benefactor); Artisan Mortgage Company, Herrick's Hardware, The Bridgehampton Equity Group, Susan Gullia (Land Patrons); and GreenLogic Energy LLC, and Hampton Jitney (Land Friends).

Mariah and Blake Davis. (Eileen Casey)

The live auction featured auctioneer Lloyd Gerard who kept the auction moving briskly with items including trips sponsored by land trusts in Napa Valley, CA and Thousand Islands, NY with deluxe accommodations and visits to local protected preserves, dinners at local restaurants, and tours of local preserves and lands. Other items included a Costa Rica eco-resort stay, wines from two dozen protected East End vineyards, golf membership, NYC experiences, including a tour of the "Today Show," tickets to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, tickets to "The Book of Mormon" and tickets and a meet and greet with singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, among other items. Gerard was joined by James Lipton who urged guests to bid on two tickets to "Inside the Actor's Studio." Matt Lauer and his wife were in attendance as well to show their support.

Event Committee members included Paige Campbell, Tracey Carey, Emma Clurman, Susan D'Alessio, Harriet Dresher, Barbara Frerichs, Ronnie Grill, Melissa Pearsall-Hirsch, Shira Kalish, Linda Lacchia, Matt and Annette Lauer, Pingree Louchheim, C. Edward Marr, Patty Orben, Christina Lowris-Panos, Cristina Peffer, Lisa Rose, Bob Schaeffer, Eileen Dawn Skretch, Fred Smith, Rand Stoll, Liza Tremblay, Richard Udice, Sally Van Erk, and Paula Yount.

This was a fabulous evening where friends gathered and supporters gathered for a collective endeavor to keep East End farms and lands preserved through conservation for generations to come.

About The Peconic Land Trust
The Peconic Land Trust was established in 1983 to conserve Long Island's working farms and natural lands. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, donors, local government, partner organizations, and communities to conserve over 10,000 acres of land on Long Island. The Trust's professional staff carries out the necessary research and planning to identify and implement alternatives to outright development. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust is also protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region. The Trust has Stewardship Centers in Cutchogue and Amagansett and its Main Office is in Southampton. A common misperception, however, is that the Peconic Land Trust is the recipient of the monies raised through the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund (also referred to as the two percent land transfer tax or the Peconic Land Tax). This is not the case. The CPF tax is collected by Suffolk County and then redistributed to the five East End towns, the distribution of which is based on the location of the property from which the tax is acquired.

Plein Air Peconic artists: Michele Margit, Gail Kern, Gordon Matheson, Casey Chalem Anderson, Susan D'Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, and Eileen Dawn Skretch exhibiting in the barn at Ocean View Farm. (Eileen Casey)


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Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.


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