Michelle Fink has faced a familiar question recently from customers inquiring about the plot of land currently being cleared on Wading River Manor Road. Many people say they’ve heard it’s going to be housing, she said.
Ms. Fink, who co-owns Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River with her husband, David, said the 20 acres being cleared of trees will instead be used to plant more crops.
“This year, I think maybe [we’ll plant] corn,” Ms. Fink said, adding that only 12 of the 20 acres have been cleared. “It depends. We might even just put rye in to let it rest. We have soil samples coming back, so we will see.”
The Finks received approval for the project from the Town of Riverhead in March and began clearing trees around Memorial Day. Ms. Fink said there’s a little more work still to be done before her husband can begin planting.
She added that this isn’t the first time the family has planted along Wading River Manor Road. About 30 years ago, she said, her husband’s parents planted strawberries on the property, but after her father-in-law died it became difficult for her mother-in-law to keep up with both the Route 25A stand and the strawberry field.
This is the second time the farm has expanded its planting fields this year.
In August, in order to meet increased demand, the couple cleared an area adjacent to their Route 25 location.
Nearly 10 months later, the number of shoppers is still growing, she said, which led the Finks to turn what was just an idea last summer into a reality.
“We’re just trying to make space for everything that we need,” she said. “We buy some produce [to sell] from local growers right now, so to be able to produce more of our own is more cost-effective.”
Ms. Fink said the extra land, both the parcel cleared last summer and the Wading River Manor Road property, will be planted with larger amounts of produce than the farm already grows. The Finks are now beginning to plant last year’s cleared property for the first time, and Ms. Fink believes her husband is going to put in either pumpkins or flowers there.
“I’m looking forward to being able to give back to the community,” she said. “And I just love to plant.”
Photo: Cleared land on Wading River Manor Road. (Credit: Nicole Smith)