MATTITUCK, New York -- Farming is second nature for Ed Harbes - and for many Long Island families, it's second nature to head to his family farm when the weather warms up.
The Harbes family has been farming on Long Island for generations, and the Mattituck business is still thriving.
Their farming roots trace back to Europe, with the family continuing the tradition in the Hempstead area in the 1920s before moving out to the North Fork in 1968.
Even though his father did not push him into the family business, Harbes wanted to give farming a try anyway after marrying the love of his life, Monica.
The appeal of Harbes Family Farm lies in the escape it offers from the fast pace of life, explained Monica Harbes, and farms like the one she runs are increasingly rare.
"Let's face it, there are not too many farms in our country anymore," she said.
Their 200-acre farm features something to do for kids of all ages, and that's part of what attracted visitor Trudi Ishmael.
"We needed a break from homeschooling and working from home, from being stuck in the house," Ishmael said. "For many years, we've been coming out here, and we figured it would be a great time to come out now, now that the season just started. Just to give children a break. They have fun here."
Visitors can go for a hayride, feed the barnyard animals, and cheer on the pig races on the weekend. The farm also sells vegetables that are in season.
"There's something magical about seeing kids' faces light up with excitement," Monica Harbes said. "It's contagious, really."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone