A crucial pit stop on the road to Montauk has returned! For the rest of the summer season, residents and visitors can look forward to a convenient source of fresh and local produce, because the Amagansett Farmers Market is back. After a brief closure resulting from the expiration of the previous tenant’s lease, The Amagansett Food Institute (AFI) reopened the Market on Saturday, August 1.
Kathleen Masters, the Executive Director of AFI, says, “We are thrilled to be able to showcase the best of East End produce and food products, and look forward to working with the community to bring more awareness of local food and food-related issues.”
AFI is a nonprofit organization of farmers, food producers and food consumers on the East End of Long Island. Their twin missions are to ensure that consumers enjoy healthy, local food, and that local producers are supported in a thriving regional food system. AFI’s current programming includes a farm-to-pantry program, South Fork Kitchens—a commercial incubator kitchen and café on the Stony Brook Southampton campus, East End CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training), and policy advocacy work.
AFI now holds a three-year lease with the Peconic Land Trust for the property at 367 Main Street (Route 27) in Amagansett to operate the Farmers Market. The Peconic Land Trust manages the Amagansett Farmers Market property, which includes several acres of farmland, on behalf of the owner.
Founded in 1983, the Peconic Land Trust conserves Long Island’s working farms, natural lands and heritage. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, communities, municipalities, partner organizations and donors to conserve over 11,000 acres on Long Island by carrying out the necessary research and planning to identify and implement alternatives to outright development. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust has also been protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region.
Pam Greene, Vice President of the Peconic Land Trust, says, “We’re really pleased to have the Food Institute in the market. We certainly have common goals of supporting our agricultural community. The common goals of our two organizations are perfect for the market.”
AFI plans to operate the Farmers Market as a retail food destination, community hub and gathering place to showcase local produce and other products made by East End and New York State food producers. In keeping with AFI’s and the Trust’s shared goals to support, promote, and advocate for the farmers, vintners, fishers and other food producers and providers on the East End, AFI’s offerings in the Market will predominantly feature local produce and locally prepared foods, including much from AFI member farms and their commercial incubator kitchen.
Greene continues, “We look forward to working with Kathy and her team at the Amagansett Food Institute, as we continue to support our local farming community through diverse programming.”
Beyond simply offering the products of our local food providers, AFI plans to support local farming and food production by bringing food-based education to the East End’s community and visitors through the Amagansett Farmers Market by integrating educational programming, events, and materials throughout the Market. The programming will be tailored to introduce visitors to seasonality and to a more traditional relationship with food, while addressing issues such as food waste, food insecurity, health and nutrition, and sustainability. The AFI educational center at the market will also operate as an information resource center where visitors can learn more about East End agricultural practices and operations.
For more information on the Amagansett Farmers Market, visit amagansettfoodinstitute.org.