Wanna Fete the Harvest Season? Head East This Weekend

Beyond producing food, Amber Waves in Amagansett focuses on food literacy, just like the Green School in Sagaponack.

Coming off of Sylvester Manor’s Plant and Sing on Shelter Island and Amber Waves Oktoberfest in Amagansett (with excellent beer from upstart homebrewer Joe Sullivan), it’s hard to imagine that harvest festivals are just rolling out across the Forks.

This weekend might be your last chance to pick up a carving pumpkin, and perhaps a few others for baking. (Long Island Cheese, anyone?) The Massoud family invites you to Paumanok’s annual Harvest Party on Sunday at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, the Ross School in East Hampton, fresh from its scrumptious Harvest party, is launching a sort of mashup of Eat Drink Local and a typical community tennis round-robin. At the Sunday Local Weekend Round Up, 4-6 p.m., players enter a round robin of singles and doubles matches, and they can leave their Dannon Activia at home, since a local food and drink reception will follow. Featured food and spirits will also be on sale. $40 for drop in, or $300 for a 10-pack. Limit of 18 players. Register at 631.907.5162 or www.ross.org/tennis.

A farmer-in-training at the Green School. Photo courtesy of The Green School.

And, finally, for the kids, there’s this to consider. The Green School in Sagaponack–which gets its power from rooftop solar and whose 2 and 3 year old students spend their days making seasonally-appropriate apple muffins and pumpkin soup, and taking care of the resident farm animals—is offering extracurricular ed for those wee weekend warriors. In addition to riding lessons ($75 for a 30 minute lesson, $100 for 1 hour lesson; ages 3 years to adult) and a Saturday morning petting farm (9:30 a.m.-Noon, R.S.V.P. appreciated to 631.875.4890; $25 includes petting zoo and pony ride), families can adopt an animal and help feed and care for it as part of the Part Time Farmer offerings. Available animals include a pony, a horse, a donkey, pigs, bunnies, guinea pigs, hens and roosters. (Annual shares start at $35 and go up to $300. Learn more here or call 631.537.1634.)

At Tots on the Farm, now in its second season at The Green School, pre-nursery and nursery aged children enter the classroom through barn doors, and eat snacks often supplemented from the school’s garden. The teachers and students compost the remains or feed them to the farm animals on site. The chickens provide eggs for baking. The school’s NYC sister is called The Art Farm School, is across the way from Eli Zabar’s Vinegar Factory.

According to school founder Mari Linnman, it’s this sort of environment–“an idyllic setting filled with farm animals, gardens, and ponds”–that helps young children adjust to the separation anxiety that’s sometimes part of school. She credits the model partly to her own childhood on a dairy farm. “We have a clear message of exposing children to all that nature has to offer and how to preserve it for all those who inhabit great and small,” she says, noting that care for farm animals teaches, among other things, responsibility, compassion and patience.

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Brian is the editor in chief of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.