Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Visit to Historic Kerber’s Farm

If you’re a Long Island resident, you may realize that your home likely sits on property that was once farmland. When first settled, some three centuries ago, Long Island was a farming community. But today, split-level homes, strip malls, pharmacies and fast food restaurants have overtaken much of that fertile land. 

Kerber’s Farm is one of the last remaining, original farm stands in the heart of suburban Long Island and it has a new lease on life. I’m fortunate that through my association with Edible Long Island, I continue to make new discoveries about the area I call home. 
I first learned of Kerber’s Farm through a story by Meredith Shanley in the Summer 2014 issue of Edible Long Island.  
Established as a family farm in 1941, Kerber’s sold eggs, produce and pies on West Pulaski Road in Huntington for decades before falling on hard times.  The property was slated for development but was purchased last year by Nick Voulgaris III who had grown up in Huntington and had visited the farm as a child. Voulgaris completely renovated the building and reopened Kerber’s Farm in the autumn of 2013.  

Just moments from the busy main strip in Huntington Village, a visit to Kerber’s is like an escape in time to Long Island’s agricultural past. We make a Saturday excursion for a leisurely lunch and a touch of romantic rural nostalgia. 

We enter the screen door and marvel at the luscious jams and pastries in the bakeshop, and the vintage photos of an earlier era at Kerber’s.  The mellow sounds of Frank Sinatra fill the room.  
At the lunch counter, we place an order for two fresh lobster rolls and explore the vintage items on sale, which Kerber’s describes as “found objects.”  
There are weathered birdcages, rustic oars, a battered saddle and an oversized antique bread bowl amidst the summer vegetables.   

With nowhere particular to go, we sit for some time in the back garden, enjoying the shade of towering old pine trees, the silky lobster rolls and the bucolic summer afternoon.
Chickens frolic in a coop not far away. 

What better way to finish the meal, than with a Salted Caramel ice cream cone?
It’s enough just to watch the purple hydrangeas sway in the summer breeze. Kerber’s Farm has served us up a perfect July afternoon, and we’ve not strayed far at all from home to find it.
“In summer the song sings itself.”

-- William Carlos Williams

©2014 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great farm stand, complete with a screen door. I can hear it closing from here. Thank goodness this land did not fall into the hands of developers. I wish my kitchen was large enough to accommodate that gorgeous wooden breadboard. But I know I have room for a lobster roll or two :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Ha! I really coveted the wooden bread bowl too, Sam! I knew I didn't have the space for it, so I had to settle for a space-saving virtual photo!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I would have been in the running for that bread bowl, too!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi T.W!
Many times as I drive down the winding roads here in PA passing by the rows and rows of corn, I think to myself how wonderful it was living on Long Island before so many of the farms were buried in construction. It truly was a glorious time in Long Island history.

Kerber's reminds me a little of the General Store in St. James. Of course they don't sell produce the last time I check but it too is filled with nostalgia and the coziness of Long Island past.

I know everyone would love that bread board. I see them quite often for sale at auctions here in PA but since I don't do bread, lol...I really never thought about buying one:) I do however love that cupboard glistening with jams.

It sounds like Kerber's is up to bringing back the past. It doesn't seem to be missing a thing!

Thank you so much for sharing, T.W...

P.S. I know you were by my blog this AM but if you get a chance, I'd love for you to see the Chiffon Cake I baked:)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Louise, I wondered if you might have known "the original" Kerber's given your travels on Long Island. It was completely new to me, but has gone right to the top of my new-old favorites! Looking forward to a taste of that Chiffon Cake …. :-)

Gloria Baker said...

I love old farms like these with all the vintage things and the vegetables, all look good and I love this salted caramel Ice cream cone! Delicious!!

Deana Sidney said...

What a great thing to save an old farm and keep it alive and kicking. Great styling and the food looks great as well... like the whole place has been there, just like that, forever. Do they grow all the produce there or bring it in???

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., Long Island has certainly changed. There were so many farm stands and now they are few and far between.
I will have to visit Kerber's and give a lobster roll a try. The ice-cream looks real good too.
Blessings, Catherine

Anonymous said...

Ooh my friend! This farm looks fantastic to have nearby!

They well wonderful produce & I like what I see! So pretty from the outside too,...lucky you!!

Have a great Summer! :) xxx