Amber Waves Farm, Amagansett

When two young women, Kate Baldwin and Amanda Merrow, win a bid from the Peconic Land Trust to begin a farm, you know that change is taking place.  The next generation of farmers are not only interested in growing local produce, they are interested in becoming a piece of the community where they can educate locals on why eating tomatoes in January is not very good for the environment.  The carbon mile for each tomato to get to each mouth on the East End of Long Island is not like creating a salad with local squash at that time of the year.  That is their mission as well as growing beautiful products that are sold to local restaurants and residents.  They have also begun to grow wheat which is something that has not grown out here in almost 50 years when it used to be grown in abundance.  I got a jar of wheat flour last night which I plan on using soon.  Very impressive farmers. 

The dinner last night was to hopefully get people interested in their mission.  Butting against their 7.5 acres is a huge building sitting on 2 acres with 94 parking spaces.  They are interested in turning that into a place where people can take cooking classes, students can come and learn about local products and carbon miles, a cafe where their wares can be sold, etc.  Think of the success of Dan Barber with Stone Barn/Blue Hill Farms and then replicate that idea on the East End.  Super smart. 

It is always refreshing and energizing meeting young people who are trying to change the world.  Doesn't matter what the content is.  In this particular case the content is farming but that type of energy and entrepreneurial drive is really what makes this country continue to change and move forward. 

Amber Wave Farms is located behind the Amagansett Market.  I am going to go over there today and load up on their wares.  Tomatoes galore.  Above is a picture of their husk cherries.  Small husks filled with tiny golden tomatoes that taste like nothing I have ever had before. 

This was the table where we had dinner.  Nothing like sitting in the middle of beautiful greenery.

The food was delicious.  The tomatoes could not be beat.

Even the cheese's we started with from Lucy's Whey, a local cheesemonger.  Lucy has actually expanded her reach into the Chelsea Market.  A tiny shop in the back. 

Dessert, which was made by Carissa Waechter, who is part of Amber Farms and is a pastry chef by training who worked in some of the top restaurants in NYC, was outstanding.  The cups she served this in were made of corn oil so they are completely biodegradable.  The small croutons on top were made from donuts. 

Really glad I was invited to this event.  They need to raise a significant amount of cash to buy the property/building next door.  They are a registered non-for-profit business but just starting out and it does take time to cultivate foundations or even Government money.  The building is a once in a lifetime event.  Not sure how Government in Long Island works but whoever oversees the City Council of this particular area of the world should be writing these women a big fat check.  This is the type of new local thinking that we should all be supporting. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. David Goodman

    I wish i was invited to this event — looks awesome!!!!

  2. Banet

    It’s good to see them approaching their farm with a new take on things. As someone who volunteers on an organic vegetable farm in the Catskills for a week every summer, I can attest to how incredibly hard it is for a small and caring farm to eke out an existence today.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s so great you do work with a local farm

  3. Germain

    EECO Farms and Balsam Farms (both also in East Hampton/Amagansett) are similarly promoting organic community gardens (EECO) ( and large scale mostly organic chemical free approaches to farming (Balsam)( They too are short on cash (although Balsam has a successful farm stand and sales to stores model that seems to be working). It has always seemed to me too bad that good ideas that occupy the same or similar space (in this case organic farming and land preservation) have to compete for the same not for profit dollars and supporters – wish they could combine forces rather than have to compete. On the other side of the country there are some interesting projects of note – an interesting one is Tryon Farm in Portland Or which is preserving land and is focused on achieving economic sustainability on a non petroleum based economic model – but its most interesting aspect – it is an “urban” farm – a 650 acre site located entirely within the city limits of Portland (possibly the most “green” municipality in the US).( And there is the amazing family run Chase Farm in Freedom, Maine that is everyone’s fantasy that the Chase family made into reality ( and see for a terrific video of the family in action.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks for this. I am en route to the Balsam farm stand right now. The best cherry tomatoes I do believe there are some connections among the farmers although not sure about the financial connections.Similar to any non-profit world. Many people changing lives and vying for the same dollars. Combing forces sounds good and makes sense but the reality of those changes are difficult to make happen.

  4. rebeccastees

    I like the The Apple Farm in Philo,CA

    1. Gotham Gal

      So beautiful. I love that you can stay there in a sweet little cottage andtake cooking classes for a few days.