It's been around for ages, a fixture on Village Lane in Orient. Eons ago, when we were teens in the 60s, which was when our family first started coming to the North Fork of Long Island, we would sometimes come to Orient from Southold, where our Blue Cottage on the Sound was, and walk the Lane, Village Lane. Usually that meant stopping at the Country Store for turkey sandwiches on rye, with a little lettuce and a little salt, and Orangina and a package of Hostess Cupcakes. These we would take down to the cement dock at the foot of Poquatuck Park, and have a little picnic
After our picnic, we walked back up Village Lane and passed the Old Orchard Farm Store. At that time it was a mysterious little establishment selling herbs, and jams and various farmy style things. I really cannot recall exactly what, because we did not go in so very often.
Then for years, the store lay dormant, neglected by someone, who? It was a mystery to me. I had my usual fantasies about it. The most recent one being that I would open a flower shop called Les Fleurs and sell bouquets from my own flower garden which would be anything but les fleurs ordinaires like the dahlias and zinnias sold at Latham's Farm Stand up on the North Road.
In some ways, having the store be revived with antiques and art is emblematic of other changes in Orient, like the Four and Twenty Pie Shop with pies imported from Brooklyn, and the Dutch bicycles painted in luscious colors like aqua and cream and parked outside the Country Store.
The Old Orchard Farm Store today.
Mystery solved. The owners were away for 30 years
in Pennsylvania, working and raising a family.
Leslie and Bob Black have revived the
moribund store and
filled it with charming objects
redolent of the sea and farm.
A featured artist is Alan Bull, who paints
the local scene with poetic delicacy.
An Alan Bull beach scape.
This diminutive oil reminds me
of something I might have done as a teen
Selfie in Lola sun bonnet
with pink ribbon.
A neighbor of the store watering
her garden. She is 95.
She finds joy in tending her garden.