This Week at the TC3 Farm – Hatfield Transplanter, Weeding in the Rain, and Picking Rocks – Student Post by Sean
This week on the TC3 Farm the class did various tasks like weeding in the rain, picking rocks, and planting several different types of plants. I am learning a lot from the TC3 farm as a Culinary Arts student. For me, I’m not trying to be a farmer, so this whole thing was a new experience. Weeding in the rain and being unprepared for it was a definite challenge for me. You definitely need a raincoat or some kind of water protection because if you don’t have it you’re out of luck. I was wearing a jacket and less than two hours in the rain I was soaked like a piece of like bread. On top of that it was windy and cold, so now I know to get a raincoat.
The next day was fun. We planted about 1,800 plants including several varieties of cabbage, kale, and broccoli. Cabbage varieties included ‘Red Express’, and broccoli varieties included Belstar and De Cicco. Most the time I talk to my food while it’s cooking, but I have never talked to it while I’m planting, so this is a first for me. It was a whole new experience for me to plant. I never knew how hard it was for farmers to pick rocks I thought it was easy. Boy I was wrong they are very heavy and I had to move fast.
The Hatfield Transplanter was a very interesting tool to use. This is a tool that is used to move down the row and place transplant seedlings into the soil without bending over and planting them. One person pushes the transplanter into the soil and opens the chute, the other person drops in a seedling, an then a third person just comes along and snugs the plants into the soil, once the transplanter moves on to the next spot. It’s challenging to use because when you want it open you have to close it, and when you want it closed you have to open it. That became very confusing at first but repetition makes it easier. Another useful tip with this tool is to use your body weight to push it down into the soil. There’s a plate on the base of it that stops the tool once it gets to the right depth. You want the transplant to go all the way into the soil and enough of the soil to cover it up to help build a strong stem on it.