Around the TC3 Farm Update – A Student Post by Steve
Well howdy there folks, just wanted to give you a little update on some things that are going on around the TC3 Farm lately. The tomatoes in the green house have pretty much run their course and we are now clearing out the plants to get the houses cleaned up and ready for winter plantings. Mostly thanks to our new Meadow Creature broadfork, we greatly increased our tomato yield this year compared to last, and we are still harvesting green tomatoes for the CSA and for the farm stand on campus. We also make sure we take the old plants away from the greenhouse to decay simply because we don’t want them around any other plants in case they have some sort of disease on them, playing it safe.
This week we also potted on strawberry plants that we took from the field. The plants we are potting on into three inch containers are called runners. They come from the mother plant in the field and make really nice transplants. These plants will stay in the greenhouse all winter long, once they root in a little bit into their containers, we will clip the foliage back. They will then go dormant for most the winter and reappear come early spring. We wanted to pot on 200 plants and I think we ended up with 225, if they all live. And a big thank you to Greentree Garden Supply, on Route 13 in Ithaca for the awesome soil to transplant these strawberries into.
We also have been busy transplanting spinach and Swiss Chard for winter harvesting. These plants are very cold hardy and we planted them in the open hoop house area. Once the tomatoes are done and cleared out of hoop house, we can move the whole hoop house over top of the spinach and swiss chard for the upcoming cold season. These will be accompanied by lettuce in the big greenhouse, and greens and turnips in the other movable hoophouse, so that we can provide produce to Coltivare Restaurant in downtown Ithaca through the winter season. It is really nice to have a heated greenhouse through the winter and to be able to move hoop houses over plants. We call this season extension.
Soon it will be time to start thinking about counting seeds that we have left over from planting this year and getting a plan together for ordering seeds for the upcoming planting season in the early spring. Also we will be going over crop rotations and where we want certain crops to go, what did good where, and what we don’t want to plant again. Even with the nasty drought conditions this year, we had a great harvest pretty much all the way through and even had 18 items at one time for the CSA members to chose from. Looking forward to the upcoming 2017 season and all of the produce it will bring.