Howdy folks! So, here we are, the start of the fall semester. We’re about halfway through the CSA season and that means the Fall Only shares begin this week. Welcome to all who will begin their pickups. I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer. You’ve had the chance to follow all the farm happenings and now you get to reap the benefits of your investment into the TC3 Farm. These next couple of months are some of my favorite on the farm. Even though the days are beginning to shorten, we still get the chance to enjoy yummy summer vegetables and the fall crops are right around the corner.
It’s been a busy week on the farm with the start of the new semester. We got the chance to meet our new “crop” of Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students. It’s always a great time. On a small-scale farm, diversity is key and that holds true with the students that come through our program. We have a great mix of students with various backgrounds, experiences and goals for their futures in the Food System. I think I’m going to learn as much from them as I hope that they learn from their time on the farm. A new energy has been brought to the farm but I had a small epiphany today. And that is, the model that we are doing is a little crazy. I say that jokingly but there is some truth to that. You see, the season is in full swing and I’m going at a speed that’s fairly nutso (just ask my wife!). It’s just part of farming but with the new semester, that comes to a screeching halt. With folks out on the farm for the first time, they need to be caught up with what and why we are doing the things we are doing. I actually think that it makes me a better farmer and teacher but when I take a step back and think about it, I have to shake my head a little.
For the first week of class, there wasn’t too much “work” done on the farm. I took this opportunity to give an in-depth farm walk with our new students and the few students that we have returning. It was also great for me to slow down for a moment and take in the big picture. We’ve had some ideal growing conditions over the last few weeks and our crops continue to flourish.
Things are looking very bright for the fall. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather continues to cooperate.
In the share this week, tomatoes are still the feature item. We almost can’t keep up with them. Some of our cherry tomato plants are close to 15 feet tall!! The heirlooms may have peaked but will continue to be in the share for the foreseeable future. There will be more new potatoes, beets, beans, summer squash, cucumbers, basil and lettuce this week, as well as the return of Swiss chard and garlic. The garlic has been curing for the last month in the barn and is now ready to go. There also may be some more hot peppers. The new item for this week will be eggplant. I’m afraid that this may be the only week for eggplant. It really struggled this summer with the drought and didn’t rebound when we started to get rain. In the coming weeks there will be kale, both green and red peppers, parsley and fennel.
Have a great week!!