04/15/18 11:00am
COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

Suffolk County’s visionary Farmland Preservation Program has just achieved a triumph.The state’s Appellate Division last month rejected a ruling by a state Supreme Court justice in 2016 that hamstrung the program.

Conceived by County Executive John V. N. Klein, the program, begun in 1974, is based on the brilliant and then novel idea of purchasing development rights. Farmers are paid the difference between the value of their land in agriculture and what they could get for it if they sold it to a developer. In return, the land is kept in agriculture in perpetuity. (more…)

11/25/17 3:00pm
PETER REICH PHOTO A water-colored dawn.

PETER REICH PHOTO A water-colored dawn.

Suffolk County government has, at long last, embraced the “advanced” wastewater treatment systems that remove substantial amounts of nitrogen that leach from traditional cesspools. (more…)

07/23/17 8:00am
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Farmers at work at Sylvester Manor. Executive Director Cara Loriz addressed the Irrigation Committee on the Manor farm's methods.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Farmers at work at Sylvester Manor.

“America has been losing over 40 acres of farmland every hour to development,” said the letter I recently received from the American Farmland Trust. “This land — the most fertile soil in the world — is irreplaceable and urgently needed to grow food. It’s a national disgrace on a catastrophic scale.”

With the letter was an American Farmland Trust bumper sticker: “No Farms No Food.” (more…)

Featured Story
12/19/16 10:00am
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO A farm field being irrigated  in Jamesport the summer of 2015.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO A farm field being irrigated in Jamesport the summer of 2015.

Local growers and farmers say climate change is creating new challenges, with extreme weather conditions, sudden storms, rising temperatures and drought making it even more difficult to cope with a perennially unpredictable Mother Nature. (more…)

Featured Story
02/09/16 4:30pm

 

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Mike Osinski at his home in Greenport.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Mike Osinski at his home in Greenport.

“Greenport, like towns on Staten Island, prospered from the oyster.”

So wrote John Kochiss, author of “Oystering from New York to Boston,” in 1973, pointing back to the oyster’s heyday on eastern Long Island in the early part of the 20th century.

Fast-forward 100 years or so, and things have certainly changed. (more…)