A Visit to Main Street Farms – Tompkins Cortland Community College Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Student Post by Justin
In the week of June 27th through July 5th we took a trip to Main Street Farms in Cortland and in Homer. We got a tour through the main farm site and the owner Allen told us about how they started in 2011 selling to various farmers markets to how they became a large scale provider from many restaurants, schools, grocery stores etc. Allen took us through his fields and told us certain ways he does different things and how small details can make a big difference in farming such as making sure your rows are straight so it is easier to weed around the crops with a tractor. He also showed us all of his equipment and told us about each tool and what it does. He told us about how older equipment is very difficult to have because it needs to be maintained because it always breaking so you need to know how to fix things or you will have some issues.
We also went to the Cortland site where they have multiple hoop houses and a greenhouse that contains their aquaponics operation which is a tank with fish in it that supplies nutrients to growing plants (microgreens) that are floated on the top of the water. I thought this was very interesting because I had never before heard or seen anything like it. The rest of the week on our farm we fertilized and suckered tomatoes in our hoop houses, we also tied them up so they would grow upwards. We also transplanted basil and peppers in our greenhouses and fertilized them. We had to go out in the field with buckets filled with water and hand water each plant because it hasn’t rained much at all in the last few weeks so everything is very very dry. This week was a very interesting and productive week, we got a lot done and saw a lot, it was very good.