09/04/15 4:37pm
09/04/2015 4:37 PM

Apples on the North Fork are ripe for the picking (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

While the beach and backyard barbecue will be on many people’s mind’s this Labor Day weekend, apple picking season has begun.

That’s right, at least three farms have either already started apple picking or will kick it off this weekend,  including Harbes Family Orchard. READ

07/06/15 9:00am
07/06/2015 9:00 AM

Six-year-old Summer Realander loves coming to the River and Roots Community Garden with her mother, Kristen. (Credit: Chris Lisinski)

“Mom! Mom! I love this garden!”

That’s what six-year-old Summer Realander shouts to her mother, Kristen Realander, across the River and Roots Community Garden on a sunny Wednesday morning. (more…)

06/02/15 12:00pm
06/02/2015 12:00 PM
Rainfall on Monday and Tuesday came as a welcome change of pace for local crops. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Rainfall on Monday and Tuesday came as a welcome change of pace for local crops. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

It might seem like a distant memory now, but last month proved to be the driest May on record, according to the National Weather Service, making the steady rainfall of June 1 and June 2 a relief to some farmers in the area.

The meteorological agency reported that a scant 0.42 inches fell throughout the month, as measured in Islip — the official NWS station on Long Island.

That’s the least rainfall ever recorded in May since records started being kept in 1984. (more…)

05/04/15 7:59am
05/04/2015 7:59 AM

Trees attacked by southern pine beetles go through three stages before the beetles move on:

R0430_beetle_side1_C.jpgFresh attacks: Females initiate the attack on the tree, releasing pheremones once a suitable host is found. Pine trees release extra resin as a defense mechanism against the beetles, though male and female beetles work together to clear away the resin and enter the bark — usually through the crevices. After southern pine beetles bore into the trees, reddish-white dust can be found on and around the tree.


Faders: S-shaped galleries are formed inside the tree, where more beetles later hatch and create new tubes. The beetle also transmits a fungus that stops water from circulating within the tree. Foliage starts to fade in color.


R0430_beetle_side3_C.jpgVacated: Beetles born inside the tree create exit holes, allowing a mass emergence from the tree. The browning of foliage continues and bark becomes loose and peels away easily. Abundant white sawdust from the entrance and exit holes often accumulates at the base of vacated trees.

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation