Youngs Farm

When I was a child, my father would take me driving along the Gold Coast of Long Island to gather leaves on many a crisp, fall afternoon. We’d get out of the car at random leaf clusters along the road in Roslyn, Glen Cove, the Brookvilles, and picked the brightest colors in full form. He had one of those self-adhesive scrapbooks. We lined their pages, year after year, with foliage in yellows, oranges, reds, auburns, even the occasional tint of blue.

Once we were finished, he’d make a turn off Northern Boulevard, drive down Hegemans Lane, and pull into Youngs Farm. It was customary to have a treat. A slice of pie or some fudge were my favorites. These memories made up my childhood and stood out because, out of all the places he could have taken me, he took me to this small farm stand.

The Youngs family has been on Long Island since the founding days and the farm itself began long before the Village of Old Brookville was incorporated in 1929. The story begins in 1893 when John Youngs married Ida Hegeman, thus Youngs Farm on Hegemans Lane. It is now five generations running.

Tim Dooley, a manager at Youngs Farm, has been involved for eight years. He runs the business with his wife, Remsen, and mother-in-law, Paula Youngs Weir, owner of the farm. Originally, the farm only sold local milk. Now, it sells around 50 different crops across 10 acres, with five acres being seasonal cover crops.

“I think the common thread between generations is the pride that each person takes in the quality of the products we are selling and also the pride of thriving on this land in this location. Each generation seems very different and no one has been required to be a part of it. However, I think there is an intrinsic reward from making something that brings people some joy and comfort while also making a living,” Dooley said.

Some of the most productive crops are berries, carrots, beets, lettuces, string beans, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, summer and fall squash, flowers, and herbs. Tomatoes are the farm’s best seller, with an increase in lettuce sales every year. Each crop is sustainably farmed, a signature the family signs on the NOFA-NY Farmer’s Pledge each season. In essence, the family promises to farm organic without going through any certification process.

The fields are rotated each season, there’s an on-site compost, and the farm opts for using a spader instead of plow, which reduces tillage depth. Each technique improves soil quality and contributes to environmentally conscious behavior.

The small building stands amid lush greenery, with the iconic Gold Coast mansions in the distance. It has a commercial kitchen and bakery on-site, putting out soups, quiches, pot pies, cookies, breads, muffins, biscuits, scones, pies, and cakes.

Beyond its own goods and produce, Youngs Farm supports other local farms; eggs from Armstrong Dairy in Lattingtown; produce from Orkestai Farm in Upper Brookville, Schmitt’s Farm in Riverhead, Fox Hollow Farm in Calverton, Wells Homestead Acres in Aquebogue, Briermere Farms in Riverhead, Wickham Fruit Farms in Cutchogue, and Densieski Farm in East Quogue.

“We would like to offer customers even more than we grow ourselves. We will also continue to strive to increase the quality and consistency of all the products we hope helps us grow through word of mouth,” Dooley concluded. Beyond edible delights, Youngs offers gifts and housewares.

The future of Youngs Farm looks fruitful, with aims to expand vegetable production into year-round offerings and increase varieties of current produce.

Youngs Farm is located at 91 Hegemans Lane in Old Brookville.

This article originally appeared in The Independent Newspaper.

The Float Place

Floatation therapy, or sensory deprivation tanks, have taken off in popularity since I first wrote about my experience in 2018. The concept began in the 1950s when two Drs, Dr. Jay Shurley and Dr. John Lilly, were at the National Institute of Mental Health. They became curious how the human mind would react to the presence of nothing, and thus REST began (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy).

Given the myriad of benefits, it only makes sense that this form of therapy has grown into a cultural phenomenon; softened skin, lower blood pressure, reduce hyperactivity and heart problems, flushing toxins, forming proteins needed in joints and brain tissue. It aids in stress management, sleep, muscle soreness, and reduces pain and swelling.

Since my initial experience I have undergone treatment six times. What began as a hyperactive mind and cynical viewpoint has quickly transformed to a state of acceptance and sense of self. The Float Place, in the Village of Patchogue, contributed to my positive mindset.


I immersed myself in the tank with a time crunch of only an hour, compared to the typical 90-minute sessions I’ve grown fond of. However, for the first time, this experience I went completely dark– no sound and no [night] light. It sounds starling because it is, but that’s the point. How many of us can so easily shut off, not the outside world but, our own minds? Before I knew it I awakened refreshed as the music played, cueing the end of my session.

Post-shower, I sat in the relaxation room before bolting out the door. A water station, hot Yogi tea, books, even color energy glasses. I put on a violet shades to incite creativity and inspiration as I sipped a detox tea. Two other female entrepreneurs were resting, one was a frequent visitor and the other endured her first trial.

“I don’t think I’ll get used to it,” one said to me. “I have an overactive mind.”

“Neither did I,” I replied. As I informed her of my initial struggle to accept REST, someone came in to inform me, rather comically, that I was so deep in my sleep that it took two rounds of music to wake me up. I turned to the other woman, “I guess I’ve gone from rookie to regular.”

The Float Place isn’t a high-end establishment that feels like a luxury spa, nor is it trying to transform you to an exotic location. With a personality all of its own, it feels like your quirky neighbors living room, inviting you to relax over tea and light conversation.

Before I left I contributed to the Affirmation Tree, a place where visitors write on paper ‘leaves’ their wishes and hopes for others. I’d tell you what I wrote but I encourage you to experience The Float Place for yourself– then try and find my little note.


sitting in front of the affirmation tree


The Float Place has two locations, in Patchogue and Deer Park. Visit them at

28 Days of Food & Drinks

Get ready for 28 new flavors to add to your foodie bucket list!

The number 28 was originally inspired by a blog documenting my Golden Birthday Adventure. This number transitioned into an entire series on how to live life to the fullest. After Springing to Action comes a more concise post about my true passion- FOOD! They say don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, so I’ll advise the same warning: Do not read the below on an empty stomach.


Strollo’s Lighthouse is a soft serve Italian ice spot with several locations in New Jersey. As with any experience, I went to ‘the original’ in Long Branch. All the flavors were tempting but I went for the Strawberry, Pistachio & Peanut Butter combo!

Myself & friend at Strollo's
Myself & Friend at Strollo’s


American Whiskey is a whiskey aficionado’s dream! A New York Sour or Old Fashioned done right, there’s no messing around here- you’ll be tempted to drink yourself back to college days. To [slightly] sober up eat their classic burger or butcher steak. Simple in design, memorable in flavor.

Vauxhall, in Huntington, had the largest warm pretzel I had ever seen. With Ale Mustard Cheddar Dip and Espelette House Mustard (just enough spice!) the entire thing was gone in minutes. I paired that with their original Vauxhall Stout (GUINNESS, VANILLA VODKA, SAIL AWAY COLD BREW), a sure fire way to ensure a returning customer!

Verde Kitchen in Bayshore’s town is great for some quality T&T- taco’s and tequila! Pulpo taco and Pomegranate Margarita were the top favorites (so many options, so short a lunch break).

The Lake House, also in Bay Shore but on the water, provided a Roasted Berkshire Pork Chop worth salivating over. Green Apple, Yam, Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Gratin, Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette, Cranberry Mostarda- it’s fall freshness in your mouth (though, technically I had it in summer).

Bay Kitchen, in East Hampton, though closed until May 2018, had a $1 oyster happy hour. Right on the water, the shells were ripe for the picking.

Serafina’s location in East Hampton was a popular spot for a Saturday night. I’d been to the locations in NYC but this was a first. The ALLA NORCINA & 4 STAGIONI personalized size pizza pies were perfecto!

Caliente, an inaugural Hamptons event to benefit Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank and OLA of Eastern Long Island, was an evening of delectables!

Montauk Yacht Club’s Coast Kitchen served up a seaworthy cioppino! For the full review of my entire meal read here.

Cioppino at Montauk Yacht Club


Estias Sag Harbor is a quaint local spot right off the Bridge-Sag Turnpike. Freshness you almost wouldn’t believe (if you haven’t been yet). You’ll likely see the owner Colin Ambrose around as well- who can take the best Instagram food photo?

Estia’s Cole Combo


SagTown Coffee reopened this summer 2017 after months of renovation. The newly inventive draft latte made with cold brew espresso is nothing short of a caffeinated miracle. Read more about the reopening, along with other caffeine spots, here.

SagTown Coffee with owner Shane Dyckman


Cowfish in Hampton Bay’s has a great outdoor bar aside from a lofty inside. The iron skillet cookie is every bit of sugary sweetness one could ask for.

Isola  is a fresh take on an old space in the Historic District of Shelter Island. Every dish tied into the next in a distinctive flow of flavors. Read my full review here.

With Isola Owner Brad Kitkowski & Chef Seth Nathan

Over to Jackson Wyoming….

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is the quintessential bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Technically, I didn’t eat here and drinking at that elevation (6,200FT) with acute altitude sickness was ill-advised. However, I’m adding it to the list because it’s an absolute must-see in town!

Cowboy Coffee, a few steps away and sticking to the theme, has a list of food items with suitable names to lure in tourists (it worked for me). Try the Cow Puncher of turkey, cheddar cheese, red peppers, banana peppers, lettuce and mayo on their outside deck as you people watch. Don’t forget a cup of coffee!

The Outside of Cowboy Coffee


Picnic and Persephone are two individualized coffeehouses I wanted to group together because of their unique personalities. Picnic is more of a locals spot whereas Persephone is in the main town. Grab some coffee, a pastry or a light lunch and take in what the area has to offer. Picnic also serves alcohol, best of both worlds.

Coffee & Breakfast Bread from Picnic


Bin22 is a tapas bar in the back of what appears to be just a wine store. After you’ve navigated through the endless bottles, sit outdoors and try the housepulled mozzarella or grilled snake river wagyu steak- you will thank me. I’m hungry just remembering it!

The Housepulled Mozzarella at Bin22


Chicken Fry benefiting the Wilson Fire Department. It’s an entire fundraiser [hosted by the fire fighters themselves] revolved around frying chicken in the woods. Tin garbage cans filled with the stuff. Dozens of them. Add in some ‘sloshies’ to the mix (a heavily infused alcoholic slushie that apparently I never knew about here on the East Coast) and you’ve got a good ol’ country time!

Buckets of Fried Chicken at the Chicken Fry


Back home to the North Fork….

Little Creek Oysters paired with Greenport Harbor Brewery, a delicious combination. I shucked my first oyster at this little establishment on the docks, hidden in the back with Bait & Tackle written above. Every week they feature an original Greenport Brew (O.G.). My personal favorite (after visiting the 2nd brewery location in Peconic) was the Black Duck Porter beer. For a full review on the pairing read here.

Oysters and Brews at Little Creek


Claudio’s in Greenport holds title as the oldest single-family run restaurant in the United States. Go for the lobster, anything else seems uncharacteristic. Thirsty? Try the Sangria or Prohibition Lemonade.

My Father With His Lobster at Claudios


Bruce & Son is situated for ideal people watching in town. Sad to say, the deliciousness I consumed no longer seems to be on the menu- Duck Hash- duck leg confit, potato, shallot, frisée, chive blossom, citrus, fried duck egg & toast. Hopefully it makes a reappearance!

Duck Hash at Bruce & Sons


Noah’s is a culinary masterpiece on the North Fork. Its farm to table restaurant boasts unique savories such as Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Bottoms and Crescent Farm Duck BBQ (the polenta cheese, mmmmmm). Keep an eye out for Noah’s on the Go- a food truck with its own dishes (loaded steak fries, just say yes).

Loaded Fries From Noahs On The Road Chef Justin Schwartz

Luncharitos for some East End T&T! Shrimp taco’s, strawberry margaritas. Enough said.

Taco’s from Luncharitos


Industry Standard switches up the menu constantly, so it’s hard to make a suggestion if it’s not on the menu a week later. That in mind, go for the atmosphere, the revolving flavors and a bartender that mentally transports you to the East Village.

The Giving Room is both yoga studio and health center in Southold. Their juices are guaranteed to give you the immunity boost you need- plus they’re delicious! Check out more here.

The Giving Room Juices With Owner Paula DiDonato


North Fork Roasting Company gives another kind of boost- caffeine- and only steps away from The Giving Room. While all of their drinks prove better than any Starbucks, their breakfast Waffle Egg Sammy is a home run hit. And make sure to say hello to the resident dog, Sinatra, who’s on most of the NoFoRoCo gear.

Iced Chai & Waffle Sammy from NoFoRoCo


Love Lane Kitchen on Love Lane in Mattituck is the perfect breakfast nook (but they serve lunch & dinner too). For people watching, for a local feel and for filling plates. I’d recommend a meal but let’s go with the generic ‘gotta try them all.’


That’s the roundup of my Summer of Food. May your bellies be full and your taste buds satisfied.

Until next time [check back for 28 Reasons to FALL]- In Omnia Paratus!