Ask a Farmer

A panel of hand picked Long Island farmers are available to answer questions about Long Island agriculture. Send your questions to


Please include your FIRST NAME and CITY. Thank you.  Please know that we read every email! Answers will be emailed as well as posted here for all to see.

Ask A Farmer

Ask A Farmer

Each month we will highlight a different Long Island farmer and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. Send your questions to


Pindar Damianos
Pindar Damianos
Director of Vineyard Management / Owner Pindar Vineyards



Pindar Damianos has an A.S. degree in Crop Production and Soil Science from SUNY Cobleskill and a B.S. degree in Plant Science Viticulture from California State University, Fresno. He oversees every aspect of production at Pindar Vineyards, caring for hundreds of acres and transforming 17 varieties of high-quality wine grapes into delicious wine.


Pindar Vineyards encompasses more than 500 scenic acres. They grow 17 varieties of grapes, crafting them into some 23 varietals and proprietary blends. They produce 70,000 cases of wine a year, making them the largest vineyard on Long Island. But at heart they are still a family with a personal touch in every aspect of their business.


"I enjoy my job because I have a great team of people with me. Managing a vineyard of this scale is challenging but very exciting. I know the hard work and dedication is worth it when people enjoy the wines we produce."


Send your questions to Please include your FIRST NAME and CITY. Thank you. Questions are recieved in high quantity and are picked at random. Please know that we read every email! 


If you would like to volunteer as a Long Island farmer and highlight your business here, please contact Natasha Beccaria (631) 727-3777 or email




When do you prune your grape vines? We prune ours in the early spring,
before bud growth. Should we also be pruning them in the summer since
they seem to grow too long and end up growing on the ground.
thanks Bob Howe
Mt. Sinai, NY

Thank you for your question on vine pruning. At Pindar Vineyards, we start pruning on or about December 1st of each year. We typically start with the variety that is picked first (Cayuga and Seyval). The reason for this is that we want the vines to have ample time to harden off and go completely dormant. The last group to be pruned is the Cabernet Sauvignon, and that typically happens in late February.
Pruining your grape vines in early Spring is fine. This is even better for the vines because by early spring you will see which shoots have survived the winter and which have died off. When you are finished pruning, make sure you rake and remove any of the dead leaves and fruit below the vines. Many vine diseases such as Powdery Mildew will stay over the winter on dead leaf matter.
Feel free to trim the vines back during the summer. We trim the top growth off in late June. A vine is a vine and it will keep wanting to grow and climb up the trellis. Just give the vine a light trimming and this can be done during June and July. This will allow the vine to put more energy into sizing and maturing the fruit.
Pindar Damianos, Pindar Vineyard


I have been trying to find out what types of garden vegetables are native to Long Island? I have tried looking through the Cornell Cooperative website, but have had no success. Thank you.



West Islip, NY



My understanding of the earliest LI crops were:  corn, beans, lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary, and pumpkins.  I remember my Grandfather maintaining a first settlers garden as part of our 200 year celebration on the farm.   All those things were in it.  Tobacco was added by the first settlers almost immediately as well so he planted some of that as well.  I hope that helps.


Prudence Heston Wickham



I bought a bunch of carrots with their tops on that looked good.  The store waters them, and sometimes I may not notice their true condition.  But the tops certainly looked healthy.
When I got them home and wiped them dry, I saw LOTS of "hairs" or strings.  Normally, I see some, but these were extremely hairy. What causes the  "hairs"?  What causes an excessive amount?  I wonder if they were old and I should have passed them by?


ANSWER:  In plants root hairs firms the plant in the soil firmly.  It gives it strength and a source of minerals and water through osmosis.  Was it a large carrot ?  If so, it probably had more time to grow more root hairs.  Just peel the carrot and enjoy!

Debbie Schmitt, Schmitts Farmstand on Sound, Riverhead




I am employed at  ------  located in Hauppaugue, NY. We have launched an employee wellness program this year and are interested in brining local fruits and vegetables into the workplace. It is late in the season to become a farmer's market location, but I was wondering if we would be able to get a local farm to setup a stand once a week at our location.


ANSWER: While we represent farmers and their businesses and we promote "grown on Long Island", we do not carry out business transactions pertaining to produce or grow produce. So if you are interested in having a farm or a farm market at your location of business or in your town, you best opportunity is to call farmers directly. You can find a list of farmstands on our website under FIND A FARMSTAND in the menu above.




New York Farm Bureau

Long Island Farm Bureau is a county Farm Bureau in New York State, and is affiliated by agreement with New York Farm Bureau.  Long Island Farm Bureau programs and services are available only to Farm Bureau members within Long Island. The political views expressed in these pages represent the Long Island Farm Bureau's position on various issues as they relate to Long Island.
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