This Week on the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Candice
This week at the TC3 Farm we had a wonderful experience of learning the operations of Northland Sheep Dairy, located in Marathon, New York. Northland Organic Sheep Dairy farm is a sustainable farm that raises on average of 30 100% grass-fed seasonal sheep. The farm is powered by draft horses and mules, and also the hardworking owners, Donn Hewes and Maryrose Livingston. Maryrose is the shepherd of the sheep and also is the cheesemaker on the farm as well. Donn works the farm with his team of draft horses and mules and also teaches his summer student how to farm in a sustainable way. Maryrose produces handmade unpasteurized sheep cheese right from her farm, using only her own raw sheep milk from 100% grass fed animals. She produces two different kinds of cheese, one hard and one soft, aged in her own cheese cave which is located right on her farm as well. During the tour we got to see the cheese house, the cheese cave, got to talk with Donn a lot about working with draft animals, and saw a demonstration of hooking up equipment and raking hay with horses.
Besides visiting Donn and Maryrose, the TC3 Farm students needed to begin preparing for the upcoming Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pickup as well as the TC3 Farm stand, which is located right on the main campus in Dryden on Friday afternoons. The students have planted over 1500 nightshade family plants in the ground as well as suckering and trellising hundreds of tomato plants and planting over 100 pepper plants in the hoophouses. Some students learned the importance of suckering the tomato plants so the plant can expand and grow stronger, producing more fruits. Other students learned the importance of fertilizing the pepper plants with an organic fish emulsion. Although the fish emulsion stench is pretty strong, It is a good source of nutrients and a good source of proteins, amino acids and oils for your plants.