I met Steve Eaton after a performance he gave at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork’s meetinghouse in Bridgehampton last Sunday. Eaton has been a guest musician there for the past three years. He sings and plays the piano or guitar or hand drums during services. He also plays the harmonium and drums for a number of area yoga classes.
Hailing from Port Jefferson, Eaton moved to Springs 10 years ago. This cut way down on his commute time to surfing. When I asked Eaton to share his favorite East End spot to surf, he turned quite serious and said, “I don’t know if I can do that.” But we were able to agree that surfing and his newer endeavor, farming, have a great deal in common. In Eaton’s words, surfing and farming share “the most amazing balance of earth and water, earth and body, everything complements each other.”
A few years ago, Eaton began to hone his farming skills at The Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, as a volunteer. Last June he started to work a piece of land in Springs that has since become Fireplace Farm. What’s hot these days at Fireplace Farm? Spinach, Mizuna, Pok Choi (not Bok Choi), Broccoli Rabe, Arugula, Cress, Kale and—coming into season right this minute—Peas!
That’s a lot of green. Nowadays you can catch up with Farmer Eaton every Saturday at the Springs Farmers Market in Ashawagh Hall, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. He’s there selling his freshly-picked greens. He also sells directly from the field as he works it. You might spot his blond hair out there and stop by for some greens and a good word. He’d love to share a song with you.
Eaton didn’t have any upcoming musical performances he could tell me about just now—but he often plays house concerts, sometimes teaming with musicians from Sylvester Manor Farm on Shelter Island. He hopes to release a compact disc soon, to include some of his chanting music. The peas love it, they’re very sweet.
Check out all the freshest food and food ideas on the East End at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on July 16. Feature story on page 40, www.danstasteoftwoforks.com. [/expand]