Little Dog, Big Hopes

On offer now are a variety of fruits and vegetables, specialty olive oils, Sweet ’tauk lemonade from Montauk, and Tate’s cookies
Marsha LaTessa with her pooch, Flora Durell Godfrey

   John Domanic and Marsha LaTessa don’t have too many years of farming experience under their belts, but by starting small with a farm stand and leased farmland on Pantigo Road just west of East Hampton Town Hall, they think they’ve got a pretty good shot at it.
    Their Little Dog Farm stand opened a week ago and is doing well so far, Ms. LaTessa said. On offer now are a variety of fruits and vegetables, specialty olive oils, Sweet ’tauk lemonade from Montauk, and Tate’s cookies. And be sure to say hello to the couple’s small dog, Flora, if you stop by the stand. By the end of the summer, they plan to sell mostly produce they’ve grown themselves organically, but as of now it is too early in the season to be providing vegetables like tomatoes.
    The two, who call themselves growers, not farmers, come from very different backgrounds. Mr. Domanic is a diehard fisherman from Baja, and Ms. LaTessa worked in real estate in New York City. “I’ve lived in New York City most of my life, but I left three years ago. That’s when I started growing. I was done with Manhattan and I needed to be in the dirt,” said Ms. LaTessa.
    When asked how she got into growing so quickly, she said, “I’m pretty nerdy and I’m a good researcher. I read a lot of books over the winter and then by the time spring came I knew a lot about growing.”
    While the couple may be new to farming, it’s sort of in the family genes. Mr. Domanic’s grandfather was a competitive tomato grower and used to grow beefsteak tomatoes as big as four pounds.