Armed to Farm Workshop in Central NY

The Cornell Small Farms Program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will conduct a week-long Armed to Farm workshop at the White Eagle Lodge in Hamilton, New York this summer from August 8th through August 12th.  The program is available to military veterans in New York State who are interested in starting a … Read more

Harvesting Wild Ramps on the Farm

Harvesting Wild Ramps on the Farm – Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Student Post By Josh

A Handful of RampsWild ramps are one of many natural delicacies that exist here in upstate New York. Their species name is Allium tricoccum and they are in the same family as onions, garlic, and leeks. They usually have two or three leaves and a white stalk that goes only an inch or so into the ground. Their root system is not very extensive and they can be harvested quite easily with a shovel or a knife.

Harvesting

There are a few different ways to harvest wild ramps. One is to uproot the whole patch and replant some back scattered about. The other is to cut down at the base of the white stalk or “bulb” as you might call it (though it is not technically a bulb) just under the ground. It is important to harvest ramps in a way that is responsible and thoughtful because the plants are very easily overharvested. It takes a very long time for them to regenerate themselves. Usually it takes about six years to totally repopulate a patch that you harvest from. A common rule of thumb for harvest is to not take more than 10% of the ramps that are growing in an area in a given year.

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Planting Kohlrabi, Picking Rocks, Plant Sale, and More

Planting Kohlrabi, Picking Rocks, Plant Sale, and More – TC3 Farm Field Journal for the Week of May 9th, 2016 – Student Post by Hailey

Kohlrabi Flats
Kohlrabi Flats

T​his is the last week of classes before finals! Today we will be transplanting! This is my favorite activity because we get to physically see the changes both in the plants and the landscape. We plant thousands of little baby plants and watch as they grow and we help to nourish them when necessary. We watch them develop into mature plants and then literally get to harvest the fruits of our labor. I don’t think there is a feeling that quite matches that one.

Planting kohlrabi. Today we planted a lot of kohlrabi seedlings. We planted two varieties of kohlrabi, I don’t remember the names of the varieties but one was green and one was purple. We placed the strings that guide the rows we made and we placed the measuring tape to guide us while planting. We planted three rows per bed and two entire beds. In the two outer rows we planted the kohlrabi transplants every six inches at the six and twelve marks. We had to stagger the middle row, planting the seedlings at the three and nine inch marks. Before planting we lay out the little transplants and what is called their root ball, which is just the mass of roots and seed starting soil attached to the little plants. As we lay them out we either plant them right away or we have another person walk behind us and plant them as we lay them.

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Getting Started Raising Chickens

Getting Started Raising Chickens – Student Post by Kevin

Chickens are becoming more expensive to keep with higher grain and building material costs, but still pay off in terms of  benefits to the land and adjoining systems of vegetable production or human food waste disposal. This is to say that chickens fill many niches in at least these two steps in the food supply chain, and with city ordinances in many places being modified to permit small flocks, even city dwellers can find a chicken situation to fits their needs. While these ordinances might limit flock size to a half dozen, prohibit roosters, and outlaw home slaughter, there is still room within them for production at a scale that far surpasses the needs of an individual family. Joel Salatin, a well known farmer and founder of Polyface Farm has said that chickens are even great role models for our kids – they get up early and always stay busy.

getting started raising chickens
A Frame Chicken Coop and Chicken Run 

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Dine Across America Food and Wine at Coltivare

Dine Across America Event at Coltivare Restaurant in Downtown Ithaca – Thursday May 19th, 2016

Experience Finger Lakes food and wine at its finest. This is a five course meal featuring signature American comfort foods prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Each course will be perfectly paired with a Finger Lakes wine by the Wine Marketing students of Tompkins Cortland Community College.

Menu features: West Coast Salad, New England Fish Chowder, Midwestern Ribs and Corn Bread, Southern Fried Chicken and Greens, and All American Apple Pie.

Dine Across America

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Strawberry Production on the TC3 Farm

Strawberry Production – This Week on the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Indigo

Strawberry ProductionFor me, nothing brings back Summer memories quite like fresh, sweet strawberries. Strawberries remind me of that sweet spot in the early Summer where nature is buzzing with vibrancy and warm nights go on seemingly endlessly. Before the strawberry eating beings, some work in the field needs to be done!

Last Fall we transplanted the strawberry plants into their beds and covered them to protect against the cold during the Winter months to come. Now as we enter late Spring, we go out to the field to uncover the plants. I’m happy to find that they survived and are well on their way to producing juicy fruits in the near Summer season. Last semester in the Fall, after planting, we trimmed back the extending vines, or runners, that extend from the “mother plant”, and produce new growth which eventually becomes established in the Earth. Some farms, like the one here at TC3, prefer cutting off these runner plants, as they take up more energy to grow. When runners are cut, the mother plant can focus its energy on producing berries, making them bigger and tastier, rather than making baby plants. Our farm is specifically looking to focus on the quality, not quantity of our strawberries.

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