Howdy folks! Welcome to September! I hope you are all enjoying your Labor Day weekend and for my TC3 colleagues, you survived the first week of the semester relatively unscathed! I decided to only labor for part of the day today, so you will hopefully be reading this at a reasonable time :).
Last week was a busy week on the farm, trying to get all of our Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students up to speed and continue to get all the things done that the farm needs completed. Our list is always longer than we have time for but I look at that as a good thing. We’re spending a lot of our time harvesting this time of the year. We’re getting food together for you, our CSA members, and then getting veggies harvested for our farm stand and restaurant orders later in the week. Besides our farm stand on campus (which is now on Thursday afternoons), I am going to try something new this fall. I’m going to be setting up a small farm stand up at the Tompkins Cortland Community College dorms on Friday afternoons and hopefully capture a new audience. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes but for those of you who know folks in the dorms, please spread the word. Our restaurant sales always increase this time of the year too. We are currently selling food to Coltivare, The Culinary Arts classes at Coltivare, American Dining Creations at Tompkins Cortland Community College, Grubbi Groks in Dryden, The Rook, Bandwagon Brewpub and Just a Taste all in Ithaca. Even though I don’t know everyone personally that is eating our food, it feels really good to know that literally hundreds of folks are eating food grown from the TC3 Farm weekly!
In addition to all the harvesting we are doing, we continue to get work done in the field. Last week we uncovered most of our fall brassicas. And even though there are a lot of weeds and some plants didn’t make it because they were planted in the middle of the drought, they are looking great. Especially our fall kale ;)!
I’m hopeful that since we displaced a large percentage of the woodchucks at the farm and now there is actually other vegetation for them to eat, that the pressure will be minimal this fall. The other big project that we worked on this past week was “the great carrot liberation of 2016”.
Since carrots are a slow growing direct seeded crop, the weeds are in direct competition with them. We got most of two beds done but have 4 more to go. If anyone needs any weeding therapy, just let me know!
In community news this week, Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is holding their annual fundraiser on Saturday September 10th at Hopshire Brewery. The event is family friendly and takes place from 3-7pm. In addition to food and beer, there will be a Silent Auction with lots of great items to bid on.
In the share this week, there will be the first of the green peppers from the field. We also have peppers in one of our hoophouses but we are waiting for them to turn red before distributing them. There will be cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce mix, basil (I think from the field, so it may not be as “nice” as the greenhouse basil), beets, cherry, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes, beans, Swiss chard, new potatoes and a bok choi/tat soi mix. If you’re unfamiliar with bok choi and tat soi, they are Asian greens that are great in stir fry’s. They are at the perfect size where you can cook both the stems and leaves together, so they take minimal preparation. We like to season some chicken breast and cook that in the cast iron and have the greens on the side. For my vegetarian friends, adding tofu kan to the Asian mix makes a great dish. As always, there are u-pick herbs available near the barn.
Also, if there are any canners/sauce makers out there, the farm has lots of beefsteaks available for a discounted CSA member price. Just let me know if you’re interested.
Until next time!