Located exactly one mile away from the entrance to Sagg Main Beach, situated on the right-hand side between a long line of old farmhouses and newly constructed mansions in Sagaponack is Marilee’s Farmstand. Helmed by sixth-generation farmer Marilee Foster, it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” situation. For the better part of 25 years, Foster, along with farm director Suzannah Wainhouse and a small team of about five or six core employees, they’ve sold their beautiful bounty harvested from 30 acres of vegetables and over 200 acres of potatoes and grains. And best believe, the quality of their product is second to none.
Open since mid-April, this little-farmstand-that-could offers a plethora of produce sure to soup-up your suppertime (or any time, for that matter) table spread. Right now, they’re open Thursdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will shift to Fridays only starting in November. The farmstand stays open until the end of December, which is when they close their Community Supported Agriculture subscriptions. To learn more about how their CSA subscriptions work, click here.
Presently, the farmstand offers mounds of tightly packed garlic cloves, bushels of fennel, tri-colored baby carrots, and red and gold beets, and brown bags stuffed with luscious leafy lettuces arranged on the amply stocked shelves in the center of the stand. Baskets bursting with fingerling new potatoes, foot-long ears of corn, and shallots the size of baseballs round out the flank. Towards the front of the tiny gravel lot the farmstand sits upon are tables set with a dozen or so muskmelons and watermelons, baskets of jewel-toned peppers, bright, violet eggplants, and cucumbers of all shapes and sizes ranging from forest to faded lime greens. To the right of those center shelves are displays of pre-packaged jars of Monte’s tomato sauce, gourmet chocolate bars, L’Isolina pasta, house-made pickles, salsa from the Hoppy Acre, bags or tortilla chips and a couple other desirable pantry items. Although small, it’s one of those places you need to walk through twice because you’ll undoubtedly notice something else that you want that second go-around. It’s a one-stop veggie shop of sorts, and you won’t want to miss a thing.
Possibly most impressive is the corner section on the south side of the stand that’s dedicated to about a dozen or so different varietals of heirloom tomatoes that Foster is especially known for.
“We love tomatoes and specialize in heirlooms,” says Wainhouse. “This year we have about 35 varieties of heirlooms in the ground. They generally start ripening the beginning of August.”
Up on top of the display are baskets of Roma tomatoes, perfect for that Sunday gravy situation, neatly arranged in a row. Below on large serving plates are two rows dedicated to a ton of other tomato varieties labeled with names like Mr. Stripey, Green Zebra, and Purple Cherokee. Some are perfectly symmetrical, round little morsels you could just pop into your mouth no problem, while others are well past the size of grapefruits and could easily feed a family of six twice over. As one employee exits to the right, gets into a truck and pulls away to go pick more tomatoes in the field just behind the stand, another employee rolls up to the left to replenish the plates. It’s almost never-ending and trust us, these ain’t your momma’s tomatoes.
“Our favorites are black Krim Cherokee, purple, and Mr. Stripey,” Wainhouse says. “
According to the farm director these heirloom beauties will be available until the end of October, as long as the weather stays warm.
Those familiar with the ways of the South Fork know summer doesn’t truly end when Labor Day rolls around. “We’ll go strong with heirlooms until October when we usually get our first frost,” assures Wainhouse. “We are leaning into our shoulder season,” she adds, “which will bring us winter squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli.”
Ya see! The possibilities are truly endless. Definitely get there, and be sure to check out their site and their Instagram for seasonal updates.
Marilee’s Farmstand is located at 698 Sagg Main Rd. in Sagaponack.