KK’s the Farm in Southold is our Sunday Scene

Farmer Ira Haspel with customers Debbie Quinn (left) and Donna Ciampa of Cutchoque Thursday afternoon in The Farm’s barn talks about the acidity levels in the different varieties of tomatoes. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farmer Ira Haspel with customers Debbie Quinn (left) and Donna Ciampa of Cutchoque Thursday afternoon in The Farm’s barn. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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.

Sone of the farm's heirloom tomatoes. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Sone of the farm’s heirloom tomatoes. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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.” 

Farm volunteer and event coordinator Sonomi Obinata harvesting blackberries. She was a friend of KK and says, "I feel her presence and I ask her if it is time to pick and she always answers." (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farm volunteer and event coordinator Sonomi Obinata harvesting blackberries. She was a friend of KK and says, “I feel her presence and I ask her if it is time to pick and she always answers.” (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Ira picking Chadwick Cherry tomatoes in one of the greenhouses. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Ira picking Chadwick Cherry tomatoes in one of the greenhouses. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farmer Ira stands in a patch of Sunrich Gold sunflowers, one of his wife KK’s favorites. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farmer Ira stands in a patch of Sunrich Gold sunflowers, one of his wife KK’s favorites. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Purple sweet bell peppers are heat resistant. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Purple sweet bell peppers are heat resistant. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Sonoma Obinata harvesting blackberries Thursday afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Sonoma Obinata harvesting blackberries Thursday afternoon. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farm volunteer and event coordinator Sonomi Obinata harvesting blackberries. She was a friend of KK and says, "I feel her presence and I ask her if it is time to pick and she always answers." (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Farm volunteer and event coordinator Sonomi Obinata harvesting blackberries. She was a friend of KK and says, “I feel her presence and I ask her if it is time to pick and she always answers.” (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)