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One Of New York’s First Community Supported Agriculture Farms Turns 30

Nicole Barylski

Quail Hill Farm is turning 30. (Photo: Michael Halsband)

Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, one of the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in New York State, is turning 30.

Founded in 1990 on land donated to the Peconic Land Trust by Deborah Ann Light, Quail Hill follows an unusual model - where farm members do the harvesting themselves - offering a personal connection to their bounty. The 35-acre Farm is also committed to educating the public regarding issues like soil health, seed supply, food security, and sustainable, organic farming practices.

"Quail Hill has been inspiring eaters, gardeners, naturalists and apprentice farmers for a generation," Acting Director, Layton Guenther noted. "When we connect folks to their food through the practice of sustainable agriculture, we make our community stronger and more resilient."

Each year more than two hundred "summer share" families visit the Farm to harvest from the fields. From early June through October, the farm members take to the field twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, to tend to the over 500 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers. Quail Hill also offers a box share and a winter share that begins the week before Thanksgiving and continues through February.

Quail Hill Farm bounty is also showcased at the Sag Harbor Farmers Market, which takes place on Saturdays, starting Memorial Day weekend. They also deliver fresh food to local restaurants and food pantries.

Quail Hill offers several public events. This year's programming will include Transplanting Seedlings into the Fields - a hand's on day that will take seedlings from the greenhouses at the farm and plant them in the fields (Saturday, May 18), a visit from the scientists and educators from the Lost Ladybug Project who will return to the fields of Quail Hill Farm in search of the elusive 9-spotted ladybug, which was thought to be no longer living in New York State prior to discovering it at Quail Hill Farm in the summer of 2011 (Tuesday, July 16), a field walk and flower arranging class led by Farmer Kat Siladi (Tuesday, August 6), Quail Hill Farm's beekeeper - Mary Woltz of Bee's Needs - will share her love of these important pollinators (Tuesday, August 13), and more.

Throughout its 30 years, 120 farm apprentices have been trained at the Farm, many of whom remain in the farming industry. The Farm also champions budding gardeners by welcoming school groups and children of all ages to teach them about everything from seeding to transplanting to harvesting.

"I couldn't be more proud of this farm and the community that supports us, and I'm honored to help usher in the next generation of land stewards here in Amagansett," Guenther added.

Quail Hill Farm is located at 660 Old Stone Highway in Amagansett. For more information, visit peconiclandtrust.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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