Amagansett, NY

Amagansett Farmers Market/Amber Waves Farm

photo: Mallory Samson

Project Type

Farms for the Future

Acreage

9.3

Things to do

Visit a Farmstand

Access

Public

Address
367 Main St, Amagansett, NY 11930

About

In 2008, the Peconic Land Trust worked with Maggie de Cuevas, owner Pat Struk, and the Town of East Hampton to conserve the Amagansett Farmers Market and the adjacent farmland, a total of 9.33 acres. Ms. de Cuevas purchased the property, and from 2008 through 2016 the Peconic Land Trust managed the leasing of both the market and the farmland under a management contract with Ms. de Cuevas.

Simultaneous to the purchase of the property by Ms. De Cuevas, the Town of East Hampton purchased the development rights on 7.56 acres.  

The conservation of the Amagansett Farmers Market and attendant farmland had been under discussion for several years. At the time, Trust President John v.H. Halsey said: “Conservation transactions are complex, and it is not unusual for these transactions to take years before they reach fruition. We are very grateful to Pat Struk for working with us to conserve the Market and cannot express fully our gratitude to Maggie de Cuevas for her on-going support of the Trust’s conservation work as exemplified by this important acquisition.”

In addition to de Cuevas and Struk, Halsey noted the critical role that the Town of East Hampton played through the purchase of the development rights on the 7.56 acres of farmland included in the market property. “This transaction shows the power of public and private partnerships.  It is a wonderful day for the Trust, the Town, and the Amagansett community.  We look forward to a vibrant market in Amagansett that highlights the importance of our regional agricultural economy,” Halsey added.

In 2009, the Trust -- which was retained by Ms. de Cuevas to manage the property -- entered into a lease agreement with Katie Baldwin and Amanda Merrow of Amber Waves Farm.

In December 2016, Ms. de Cuevas sold the market and the farmland to Amber Waves Farm -- and donated a conservation easement on the land to the Peconic Land Trust, including Affirmative and Affordable Farming Covenants and Resale Restrictions to the Peconic Land Trust on 6.15 acres of the farmland which includes a provision that 80 percent of the farmland be restricted to growing food.

“Security through land ownership is critical to the long-term sustainability of any farming enterprise. We are ecstatic to reach this milestone and are honored to become a permanent a part of the fabric of the Amagansett community. We are grateful for years of immeasurable support from our farm’s board of directors, members, donors, and neighbors, as well as the de Cuevas family, Peconic Land Trust, and nearby Quail HillFarm and Balsam Farms,” said Amanda Merrow, Amber Waves Farm.

“All of us at the Trust will be forever grateful to Maggie de Cuevas for her strong conservation ethic.  In this case, she stepped up and acquired the Amagansett Farmers Market in 2008 to prevent the property from being developed.  Now, she has turned the property over to young farmers and ensured a future of fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, herbs and more on this fertile land. Her gift of additional restrictions on protected farmland is the first of its kind in East Hampton Town.  We are very pleased with this outcome, and wish Amber Waves tremendous success as they move forward with their innovative farm operation,” said John v.H. Halsey, Peconic Land Trust.

Katie and Amanda began Amber Waves Farm on this land. Meeting as apprentices at Quail Hill Farm in 2008, Katie and Amanda built a business plan for Amber Waves Farm with a focus on education, a passion and interest born out of their experience as Quail Hill Farm apprentices. The three pillars of the farm include a CSA program with shareholders; The Amagansett Wheat Project (the reintroduction of wheat production on  the East End); and educational programming with local schools.

“We consider ourselves and our farm a product of the land trust. The apprentice program was our first real farm experience, and we spent the summer thinking of what type of farm operation we could run,” said Katie.

“The idea of Amber Waves was grown from all the field trips that came to visit Quail Hill and our getting to know the local teachers and kids. We saw that food education -– whether through schools, a CSA or our wheat project — could fit together well; and those three pillars have become the foundation for the farm,” added Amanda.

Looking ahead, Amber Waves Farm will continue its commitment to the East End community through food education and land stewardship. The farm is also eager to lead the operation of the adjacent Amagansett Farmers Market for the first time.  

“Security through land ownership is critical to the long-term sustainability of any farming enterprise. We are ecstatic to reach this milestone and are honored to become a permanent a part of the fabric of the Amagansett community.”

Amanda Merrow

Affirmative & Affordable Farming Covenants and Resale Restrictions  

In recent years, sales of protected farmland on Long Island’s South Fork to non‐farmers have been as high as $300,000/acre, raising the average value of protected farmland to over $100,000/acre—values well beyond the reach of the vast majority of farmers who grow food.  However, through the use Affirmative & Affordable Farming Covenants and Resale Restrictions, the value of the protected farmland can be lowered to its “true agricultural value” for food production.  The Amagansett Farmers Market farmland parcels include the following restrictions:  

  • 80 percent of the farmland must be used for the production of food;
  • equestrian use of the property is prohibited;   
  • vineyard use of the property is prohibited;
  • horticultural products that result in the removal of soil from the property are prohibited;  
  • if the farmland is fallow for one year, it must be kept available for agricultural use and managed subject to a Natural Resource Conservation Plan;
  • if the farmland is fallow for 2 years, the Trust has the right to lease it to another farmer to ensure that it remains in agricultural production.
  • future sales of the additionally restricted farmland are limited to its value at the time the Affirmative & Affordable Farming Covenants were donated to the Trust (about $25,000/acre) plus the value of any agricultural improvements added to the property by the farmer. The land’s appreciation is limited to the lower of either the Area Median Income (AMI) or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) not to exceed 3.5% annually;
  • the Trust reviews and approves all future sales to ensure that the restricted farmland is purchased by a qualified farmer;
  • the Trust will be the purchaser of last resort if the owner is unable to find a farmer to purchase the restricted farmland in the future. When purchased under these circumstances, the protected farmland would be offered for sale to qualified farmers through a transparent selection process including a “request for proposals” and lottery, if necessary. 
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Amagansett Farmers Market/Amber Waves Farm

367 Main St, Amagansett, NY 11930

Things To Do

Visit a Farmstand