Farmer Ira Haspel was up to his eyeballs with a rich bounty of tomatoes at KK’s The Farm in Southold this week.
He has planted more than 2,000 tomato plants featuring 25 different varieties in the fields and greenhouses at the biodynamic farm.
When you step into his barn nearly ever surface is covered with the ripe orbs. A pair of customers stopped in Thursday afternoon first inquiring about his arugula greens, which they just had for lunch in a Greenport restaurant, and then peppered him with questions about the best tomato to serve for a caprese mozzarella salad (composed to look like the colors of the Italian flag). He explained the the acid content of each variety.
KK’s The Farm was started by Ira and his late wife KK in 1999. They really weren’t looking for a farm but simply a place to get away from their busy architect/construction practice on the weekends. They found the small five-acre property with a home and barn.
Ira said KK had a vision of first planting wildflowers and she later added sunflowers and zinnias. He said she then started thinking about growing healthy food for their grandchildren, Georgina and William, who are now 12 and 11.
Ira summed up the farm’s biodynamic philosophy as “the more we learned about agriculture in this country, both KK and I set out to educate people about using less toxic chemicals to grow food without poisoning the soil.”
Today, Ira only cultivates two acres, but he is able to grow all year long in the four greenhouses, which stay warm using the heat from decomposting compost.
He also grows 2,000 pepper plants, greens, garlic, green beans, leeks, herbs, blueberries, blackberries, apples, peaches, plums, Asian pears and gooseberries, to name a few.
The farm’s CSA program has between 80 and 100 members. It is run differently from other programs with no money paid up front. Instead, a weekly email is sent out about what will be harvested and the customers email back what they want that week, which they pay for when they pick up. He says this way nothing is wasted. Pick up days are Thursday through Sunday. He refers to the farm’s program as “the gourmet CSA trying to please our customers.”