Some kale grows in Riverhead: North Fork Sunday Scene

Farmer Chris Kaplan-Walbrecht tasting the baby curly leafed kale in the high tunnel plastic greenhouse this week. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farmer Chris Kaplan-Walbrecht tasting the baby curly leafed kale in the high tunnel plastic greenhouse this week. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch Photos)

In Spring 2014, farmers Chris and Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht installed two high tunnel plastic greenhouses at their farm, Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market in Riverhead. The greenhouses, purchased from Amish company Zimmerman’s Welding in Missouri,  are each 150 feet long, 30 feet wide and 14 feet high.

Naturally vented with drop down sides, the tunnels help them get a jumpstart on the growing season. When it was 34 degrees last week it was 65 degrees inside the greenhouses.

“I wish I had ten of these. It is great to have nice green stuff when the farm stand opens,” Mr. Kaplan-Walbrecht said. “The hardest part is controlling the mice and rat pests. The rats will actually eat the greens.”

The Kaplan-Walbrechts have planted three varieties of kale seeds in November — curly leaf, red russian and toscano (or dinosaur) — and now have a large crop to harvest when the farm stand opens April 1st. The also planted spinach, arugula, scallions and bok choy. Mr. Kaplan-Walbrecht said he is going to experiment with growing cucumbers in the greenhouses too.

Last summer they planted 700 to 800 heirloom tomatoes in the greenhouse to avoid blight and the use of anti-fungal agents.

The farm stand will reopen for the season on April 1.

Scallions ready to harvest

Scallions ready to harvest

Red Russian kale

Red Russian kale

Toscano kale, also know as dinosaur kale or black kale, with a protective cover.

Toscano kale, also know as dinosaur kale or black kale, with a protective cover.

Even with the ground covered in snow and temperatures below freezing the greenhouse temperature will be in the sixties.

Even with the ground covered in snow and temperatures below freezing the greenhouse temperature will be in the sixties.

The market and café opens April 1st.

The market and café opens April 1st.

Previous Sunday Scenes:

The year of the goat

Pekin ducks on patrol

Iron Pier has frozen over

Busy hens at 1760 Homestead

Snow day at Kujawski and Son Farm

The sun sets in New Suffolk

A break from winter

The North Fork Growing Season begins anew