Apple Pie, Pumpkins, Sunflowers…what identifies the American Farmer? Hard work, hard times, difficult conditions, and sacrifices!
Tucked far into the eastern most parts of the Unites States, on the way to what’s called “The End”, Eastern Long Island hosts some of the most fertile farm fields. This area is home to a long list of legacy farmers we find in America, one of which is the Halsey Family in Watermill, NY.
The Milk Pail Fresh Market began more than 30 years ago. John Halsey learned about farming while growing up on his father’s Mecox potato farm, and Evelyn, his wife, got her first taste for apple growing from her parents’ apple orchard in Vermont. In 1969 they opened a tiny retail store, to market their vegetables and sell the milk produced by their cows. They named the store The Milk Pail, since milk was their main product at the time. The following spring they planted their apple orchard and have been perfecting and adding award-winning varieties ever since. Farmers such as the Halsey family preserve the foundation of our America, all that is home grown and part of the land we so love.
Today both Amy and Jennifer, their daughters, continue their family farm tradition. Amy grows unique, unusual, and old-favorite plants available in mid-May through August, beautiful hardy mums throughout the fall, and amaryllis for the winter holidays. Amy also helps design gardens and custom designs planters. Jennifer grows juicy peaches from her own 1200 peach trees planted at the family farm. Harvest begins in mid-July through September.
Those who live in the Hamptons bring their family and friends to enjoy a day on the Halsey farm, picking apples and pumpkins, choosing from twenty apple varieties throughout the months of September and October. The dwarf apple trees are the perfect height for all ages. The Halseys are also known for their giant pumpkin patch filled with home grown goodies, which come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Pumpkins can get to over 150 pounds plus, and there are over 60 different varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds, all grown on site.
For more information and photos on the Halseys’ Family Farm, check them out at http://www.milk-pail.com
All this talk about farming is making us hungry… try out this delicious warm apple cobbler that can be a great family recipe for years to come!
Warm Apple Cobbler*
Apples – 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch-thick slices (about 5 ½ cups)
3 large Fuji apples, peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Vanilla ice cream for topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Toss first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Add sugar, flour, and cinnamon; toss to combine. Transfer to baking dish.
Whisk butter and eggs in medium bowl until smooth. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger in large bowl. Form well in center of flour mixture and add butter mixture. Using rubber spatula, toss until large clumps form.
Using fingertips, break up streusel clumps into smaller pieces and sprinkle streusel topping over apples. Bake until apple mixture is bubbling and streusel is golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve cobbler slightly warm topped with vanilla ice cream. Yum!
*Recipe reprinted from: http://www.bonappetit.com