Certified organic famer Jeri Woodhouse, founder of A Taste of the North Fork (atasteofthenorthfork.com), dishes about the bounty of products from Long Island’s East End, and the North Fork in particular, and about the challenges of canning, packaging and gifting that bounty to the masses 12 months per year.
How and when did A Taste of the North Fork begin?
A Taste of the North Fork started 14 years ago to produce specialty food items from the wonderful fresh produce, fruit, and herbs grown on the North Fork. We appreciated living in such a rich agricultural area and wanted very much to help preserve and protect farmland and work with farms to expand economic opportunities to help keep farmers farming
What are the biggest challenges with working with such a wide range of growers, producers and vendors?
The biggest challenges for us – to keep all of the growers, producers and vendors happy – satisfying their specific needs for quality products in a timely manner.
You feature a wide assortment of products on the website. If you had to pick three of your favorites, what would they be?
Three of our favorite products: lavender honey (and in season, lavender limeade), French tarragon mustard and B&B pickles.
Traditionally, what have been the most popular products sold through A Taste of the North Fork?
Traditionally the most popular products sold through A Taste of the North Fork have been our brandied peaches, canned plum tomatoes, olive-merlot tapenade and all of the pickled products ranging from pickled asparagus to pumpkin and peppers.
All of the products change with the season – if something is in season we make jams, jellies, pestos, tapenade, and can whatever we can. The three products I would recommend this fall would be plum tomatoes with basil and garlic, chocolate wine sauce and apple chutney.