Well, we made it through another successful summer semester at the TC3 Farm. This crop of students have been outstanding in the field. It’s been a pleasure to nurture these Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students and watch them grow during their time here at Tompkins Cortland Community College. They have truly blossomed…..
Okay, I’ll stop now. But seriously, we have had an amazing group this summer who absolutely busted their tails each and every time they were out at the farm. If you didn’t know, students enrolled in our summer course spend close to 190 hours with us over the course of the 10 week semester. We ask a lot of them and our hope is that they get a lot out of the course. I know you got to meet some of them at the CSA pickup or on Campus at the farm stand but if you see any of them on campus this Fall, say hello and thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever had a particularly easy season in all my years farming but I’ve always made do. This Summer was definitely a challenging one and if it was your first ever summer on a farm, you might question whether it’s worth it or not. But they all have gotten the chance to see the fruits of their labor (sorry, just had to squeeze one more in there), from the greenhouse work they started this past Spring to harvesting tomatoes in the hoophouse the last couple of weeks.
In this last week of classes, we had the opportunity to go visit Moore Family Farms in Lansing. They are a small diversified farm whose main focus is being an Organic Dairy. They milk about 40 cows and are part of the Organic Valley Coop. But they also grow all their own feed, grains for Farmer Ground Flour and seed garlic.
After the trip last Monday, we kept busy with farm work the rest of the week. There was a lot of cultivation and hand weeding, as well as some more transplanting. The crops have just been kind of sitting there waiting patiently for their turn in the water rotation. Well, with the rain we got last weekend, things really took off, including some weeds.
Oh, the other big farm news is that we got some new workers last week.
We have 4 guinea hogs working a new area that was overgrown and we had cleared this past Spring. Since our farm hasn’t been actively farmed in years, we are trying to take a cautious approach at building soil health and fertility. We are going to be rotating the hogs through different pastures over the next few months hoping that their low impact tilling, rooting and fertilizing will have long term benefits. They are happy little fellows. Enjoying some spent grain from our friends at Bacchus Brewery and old veggies from our farm and Main St Farm.
In this week’s share, there will be more of our mini cabbage heads, summer squash, swiss chard, lettuce, cucumbers, scapes, the very first beets of the season, basil and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. The maters are starting to kick it in high gear and you my friends, are going to be the recipients. My amazing wife made this awesome pasta salad over the weekend. She used the spirally kind (I think that they’re cavatappi), sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced summer squash, fresh basil, oregano and mozzarella and tossed it in a little olive oil. There was also some grilled chicken breast on the side to add to the pasta salad. It was perfect, easy and super tasty.
Until next time!