Starting Seeds and Direct Seeding at the TC3 Farm

While the weather outside may still be brisk, Spring has emphatically arrived at the TC3 Farm. We are excited to be starting our first full growing season with greenhouse seedlings and hoophouse crop production. Our students have been keeping busy seeding and planting, and we now have production started in all of our houses. This photo essay will give you an idea of what we have been up to, and for those of you that are CSA members, a preview of what you can expect in the first few pickups this year.

Starting Seeds in the Greenhouse

The greenhouse at the TC3 Farm has 6 benches – each 12 feet x 6 feet. The benches are strung with thin rubber tubing that runs heated water under the plants, providing seeds with a little bit of warmth to get them started. Above you can see 10 flats of onion seeds sitting on one of these benches.

In the past couple of weeks Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students have helped us plant over 5500 seedlings of onions, leeks, basil, parsley, and cumin  into plug trays.

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New York Organic Action Plan Meeting in Ithaca

New York Organic Action Plan – Meetings April 7th in Ithaca, NY

Join NOFA-NY to Create a New York Organic Action Plan on April 7, 2016 NOFA-NY will hold two gatherings, back-to-back, April 7, 2016. The first is from 3 pm to 6 pm. There will then be a light dinner. The second gathering is from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. The gatherings and dinner will be held in the Community Space, Green Star, Ithaca. Come for either session and get a bite to eat before or after, free of charge.

Organic Action Plan NOFA NYPlease join NOFA-NY for this brainstorming session in Ithaca and help create NOFA’s New York Organic Action Plan. It is a chance to work together for the future we want.

National Policy Consultant Liana Hoodes and Board member and farmer Elizabeth Henderson will facilitate. Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project has been asked to speak briefly.

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Learn About Farming 101 and Other Local Events

Learn about Farming 101
March 19, 2016, 9am3pm. TC3 Farm, 100 Cortland Road, Dryden, NY

 

CCE Tompkins CountyLearn the basics of operating a farm! This program is designed for anyone who is exploring the possibility of farming, including landowners and those without land of their own. We will cover some business basics but the main focus will be on soils, land prep, and production of livestock or horticultural crops. The program will involve extension educators and farmers as presenters. Register with Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County by visiting http://db.ccetompkins.org/programs/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=613, calling 607-272-2292 or emailing mr55@cornell.edu.
To learn about other local events click READ MORE

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Vets Growing Berries Workshop for Farmer Veterans

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County Presents: Vets Growing Berries Saturday, April 23rd, 9am-2pm Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905 Calling All Veterans:  Do you have an interest in growing strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or other small fruits? Maybe you’d like to start a U-pick, or sell at your … Read more

Tompkins County Food Insecurity – Capstone Project

Assessing Food Insecurity in Tompkins County – Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Capstone – Sarah 

After researching food insecurity in Tompkins County for three months, I know so much more than I did when I started out, but I feel like I’ve still only breached the tip of the iceberg. There is so much complexity that goes into the way that people receive help in this area. Even the ways that the words “poverty” and “food insecurity” are defined are complicated.

Loaves and FishesSo here’s a summary of what I found out:

The groups of people who have the highest instance of poverty in this area are families with children under five, specifically female led households, and people of color. In the city of Ithaca, 100% of female led households with children under five live at or below the poverty line according to the Tompkins Community Health Analysis.

The biggest sources of help to impoverished individuals in Tompkins County are the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and the programs mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The former supports soup kitchens and food pantries across 6 counties and distributes over one million pound of food each year. The latter provides funding for things like school and summer lunch programs, and for WIC (the special supplemental program for Women, Infants, and Children).

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Growing Gourmet Mushrooms Indoors Using Arduino

Growing Gourmet Mushrooms Indoors: The Arduino Grow Chamber – Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Capstone – Aiden

Arduino Picture
This is the Arduino

My project was an exploration into the world of fungus cultivation, specifically indoor production. I worked with a partner and mentor, Jordan E_____, in designing a system that could monitor itself, perform crucial actions automatically, and ultimately provide the fungus growing inside of it with the most ideal conditions for it to thrive. This was achieved with the help of a little microcontroller called Arduino. For those that are unfamiliar with microcontrollers, they can be thought of as a miniature computer that can be programmed to perform a wide variety of tasks. In this case, it interprets input from a temperature and humidity sensor and reacts accordingly, either turning on the heat mat underneath the chamber or turning on the humidifier. Fresh air exchange is achieved through the use of an air pump.

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