might have set back growth and harvest of crops such as corn, zucchini, string beans and lima beans on the North Fork, but pumpkins and gourds are filling up the shelves of local farm stands, peppering the landscape with orange and making us feel like fall.
And the raid on pumpkins started, as it usually does, this past Labor Day weekend, said Peconic farmer Al Krupski, Sr.
"By the end of August, people always get all riled up and upset that it's the end of summer," he said from his stand at on Thursday.
Krupski said that some corn and zucchini was damaged by wind and colder temperatures during Irene but tomatoes are plentiful and will be though October.
Farther west at Northville Farms on Sound Avenue, farmer Gwen Gajeski also has a stock of small pumpkins on display — and tons of all types of tomatoes. She said she lost about 25 percent of her normal vegetable crop during Irene.
"The corn lay down, and we lost zucchini, beans, cauliflower — everything was twisted this way and that," she said. "But I feel sorry for the guys upstate more — one farmer told me that he lost $400,000 worth of onions after Irene. That's really horrible."
Gajeski added that damaged crops like lima beans should bounce back in a couple of weeks and that fall broccoli and McIntosh apples are coming in nicely.
Greenport Village farm stand location is currently stocked with new crops such as broccoli and cabbage and still offers lots of fresh fruit, basil, rainbow carrots and eggplant. Employee Ray Gonzalez said that cauliflower should be arriving from the Orient farm by the end of the month, and that business has been slowing down daily since this past weekend.
"After Labor Day it always slows down here in the village," he said.