Visiting farm stands can be a seriously exciting endeavor. It is so invigorating to set your eyes on freshly grown produce. It gives you an inspiration to make nourishing dishes for the kids, industriously bustle about in the kitchen, stick it to Big Ag, that kind of stuff. Also, the whole point of staying in North Fork is to indulge in spaghetti squash during the fall, tomato and sweet corn during the summer, and asparagus during the spring–alongside the beaches, seafood, and vineyards.
Of course, you will always want to buy too much farm produce because of how fresh it is. When you are at KK’s The Farm, foraging at the farm stand, exploring your options for making ratatouille, radishes, homemade pesto, it seems as if you have infinite possibilities. The farm produce is so fresh and you just want to have a little bit of everything. It never seems too much until you try to fit it in the fridge. This is when reality starts to kick in, and you have to actually follow through with the preparing and eating part, which is okay but can be a bit challenging.
Southold has a well established reputation when it comes to agricultural industries, including vineyards, sod and potato farms, and apple orchards. There are many multi-generation agricultural properties that remain in operation throughout the thirty-mile long peninsula and boast the region’s largest tourist attraction. In Southold, farm stands are still required to be structures with three sides under a specified square footage and are only allowed to sell a small proportion of outsourced products. This is the true embodiment of a farm stand. However, the farm stands in Southold vary significantly. There are traditional farm stands owned by old families with a farming tradition, new farm stands by farmers who are the first in their family to practice agriculture, and a new crop of small roadside entrants every year. The farm stands all have their own individual specialties and strengths.
KK’s The Farm is a fantastic, family-owned organic and biodynamic farm that pickles, sauces, and jars their produce to ensure that they taste farm-fresh beyond the summer picks of heirloom plants, flowers, and produce. The farm is owned by Ira Haspel who has planted over two thousand tomato plants including twenty-five different species in the greenhouses and fields at the biodynamic farm.
KK’s The Farm was founded in 1999 by KK and Ira Haspel. Interestingly, when they acquired the farm, their objective was not to venture into agriculture. Instead, they were looking for an escape from their busy and sometimes exhausting construction/architect practice during the weekends. When they landed their eyes on a beautiful five-acre piece of land with a barn and a home, they immediately acquired it. This property would later become KK’s The Farm.
KK initially had the vision to plant wildflowers, and she subsequently added zinnias and sunflowers to that list. Not very long after that KK was inspired to grow healthy produce for their grandchildren William and Georgina. The more KK and Ira Haspel learned about farming in the United States, the more they got inspired to educate others to grow food using less-toxic chemicals that do not poison the soil. Presently, Ira Haspel cultivates less than half of the land but is able to maintain all 4 greenhouses all year long, which are kept warm by the decomposing manure. Ira Haspel also cultivates two thousand pepper plants, gooseberries, Asian Pears, plums, peaches, apples, blackberries, blueberries, herbs, leeks, green beans, garlic, greens, and much more.