Customers have been coming up to Michelle Fink, co-owner of Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River, curious as to what’s happening on the large space of land to the left of the farm that was recently cleared of trees.
According to Ms. Fink, people have speculated that the land on Route 25 would be used for many different reasons, such as building homes, but that’s not the case.
The land was actually cleared so the family farm can grow additional crops.
“Demand has increased, so we’re trying to keep up with it,” Ms. Fink said.
Area farmers markets, which Fink’s started participating in five years ago, have brought more people to the farm stand.
“First we didn’t want to do it. We were apprehensive, saying ‘It’s gonna take away from people coming to the farm stand.’ But it’s had just the complete opposite effect,” she said.
The Finks plan on growing larger quantities of products they already grow on the nearly five acres of cleared land. In total the farm sits on 32 acres, although not all of it is farmable, Ms. Fink said.
“We have huge pumpkin picking, corn maze, agritainment and all of that, and we do Christmas trees and stuff too, so it will be nice because [the additional land] will help us with our planting of that too,” she said.
Ms. Fink and her husband, David, eventually plan on selling grass-fed beef, something she called a long-term goal for the farm. The addition of the recently cleared land would allow them more room for pastures, she said.
Another part of the appeal of the additional land is that it allows for further rotation of crops, something that is necessary in order to get the soil acclimated, Ms. Fink said.
However, customers shouldn’t expect to see these changes anytime soon.
“This year we have to throw ryegrass down to get the field acclimated, so next year we’ll be able to plant on it,” she said.
In order to clear the land, the Finks had to get approval from the Town of Riverhead, which they received early this spring. According to Mr. Fink, the removal process took about three weeks.
The couple kept some of the older trees, which date back to the 1800s, upright. Ms. Fink added that they corded some of the trees in order to determine their age.
According to Mr. Fink, the property has been farmed on for about 300 years. He said now that the additional space is cleared, he’s looking forward to further expanding the family business, which has been within the Fink family for over 50 years and four generations.
“I’m just excited for the growth,” Ms. Fink added. “I’m excited to keep growing, I’m excited to add more to the community and give more to the community and the people.”
Caption: Land to the left of the farm stand at Fink’s County Farm has been cleared to make room for future planting. (Credit: Nicole Smith)