We love visiting our farmers to learn more about the exceptional crops they grow. So when Jeff Rottkamp of Fox Hollow Farms invited us to drop by his Long Island homestead recently, we jumped at the chance. Even better—our trip fell bang in the middle of pumpkin-growing season! Read more about our adventures on Fox Hollow Farm after the jump.
Nestled quietly in the North Fork of Long Island, Fox Hollow Farm stretches over 250 acres of serene countryside. The land here has been farmed since the mid-1800s, and the rich and fertile soil produces some of the best-tasting vegetables we’ve ever encountered. The farm was bought by Jeff’s father, Jacob, in 1966, and the master farmer taught his son everything he knew about growing great produce, which was a lot, because the family has been in agriculture ever since Jeff’s ancestors migrated from Germany in the early 1800s. Today Jeff runs the farm with his wife Judy, mother Lolly, and sons Jeffrey and Jason.
Fox Hollow’s bounty of year-round crops include asparagus, squash, rhubarb, strawberries, French string beans, sunflowers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, but they are perhaps best known for their corn, which is so sweetly delicious—and in such high demand—that none of it even ever makes it off Long Island (except of course until we deliver it to our customers). But the best part—or the fresh part, if you will—is that we deliver Fox Hollow crops to your door within 24 hours of them being picked!
However, our visit today was concerned chiefly with pumpkins. After saying our hellos, Jeff led us through the family’s old-timey roadside farm stand out to the yard, where a small fleet of trucks were being loaded with crates of pumpkins of various shades and sizes. Jeff estimates his pumpkin harvest yields around half a million pumpkins every year, and he grows many different varieties: Jack-Be-Littles (the Halloween classic), Blues (which really are blue!), Cheeses (a baker’s favorite), and Baby Bears (a scaled down version of a Jack), to name but a few.
Jeff takes great pride in the pumpkins he grows, so before we left I asked him how much the biggest he’d ever grown weighed. “220 pounds,” he said in his charmingly modest manner. “That was a Big Mac a few years back, and was a whopper even for a Big Mac.”
Check out all our great Fox Hollow pumpkins here.