Week of June 26th – CSA Newsletter

A covered field of summer squash, cucumbers, melons and winter squash

Well, the rain drops are falling once again as I type this. As dry as last season was, the theme this year seems to be wet, wet, wet! A couple of bright spots with all this rain is that for the most part the rain has been happening in the evenings and over the weekend, right after we transplant and there have been some killer rainbows.

Last week we were busy getting about 4000 transplants in the ground. We got in a second planting of fennel, the first planting of basil, another round of lettuce, rutabagas, the first of the fall broccoli, another round of cucumbers and summer squash, the watermelons and cantaloupes, pumpkins and all of our winter squash. It was a busy few days around harvesting and field trips! 

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Edible Acres Permaculture Farm Field Trip

Edible Acres Permaculture Farm Field Trip – Student Post by Juliet

Edible Acres Permaculture Garden
Permaculture Garden at Edible Acres

The summer Integrated Pest Management class had the opportunity to take a field trip on Monday June 19th, 2017 to see Sean Dembrosky’s homestead farm, Edible Acres.  Edible Acres is a permaculture farm business and nursery where he plants, cultivates, cares for, harvests, and sells both perennial and annual plants like chestnut trees, currants, wild onions, and cacti.  He farms several plots of land throughout the Ithaca area, owned by several different people.  This flexibility allows him the opportunity to continually expand his business and experiment with different practices since he is not tied down by the cost of land ownership.

It was a gray, drizzly day on Monday, and the sky threatened to crack and cause a downpour.  The  weather this spring has been a complete reversal from what we had experienced at this same time last year.  In any case, this was farming, and rain or no rain, we were all excited to head out on this field trip.  And so, we quickly bundled up into our raincoats and jumped in the van to make the short drive to Sean’s homestead.

When we arrived at Edible acres, Sean eagerly greeted us in the front of his yard.  Our class had worked with him previously, because he helped us to create a small nursery and permaculture minded growing space at the farm where we planted our gooseberry, elderberry, and currant bushes.  It was during this past workshop that  we learned about the true meaning behind the term ‘permaculture’.  Coined by its founder, Bill Mollison, permaculture is actually a combination of two words- permanent and agriculture.  According to Mollison, Permaculture is an ethically based design system for human habitation that is in harmony with the natural world.   Mollison himself states that, “It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing for their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.”   For example, pumpkins planted in between hop plants, the ‘Three Sisters’ (corn, beans, and squash) system of planting, or peas trailing up a nut tree would all be examples of permaculture practices. (http://library.open.oregonstate.edu/permaculture/chapter/what-is-permaculture/)

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Week of June 19th – CSA Newsletter

Howdy everyone! I hope that the first CSA pickup went well for folks and that you enjoyed your share.

The past week on the farm was busy as always and we powered through a lot of planting. We are almost all caught up to where we need to be. I like to think if we’re only a week or so behind, then we are in good shape. The rest of the field peppers along with our potatoes finally got in the ground. I was also able to squeeze in enough field prep in between the rain to set us up nicely for our fall plantings. This week will be another big push to get plants in the ground. In addition to all of the planting we’ve been doing, we’ve been spending time staying on top of the crops that have been already planted. An important part of our crop mix are the plants that are in our hoophouses. For the summer we like to plant heat loving crops, so we have eggplant, peppers and heirloom tomatoes in those spots. They have been doubling in size each week.

Heirloom tomatoes planted on 5/30
Heirloom tomatoes on 6/19

This season we are growing 14! different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and I am very excited about them! As a small-scale vegetable farm, I like to say the one thing that we specialize is diversity. This season we are growing about 150 different varieties of vegetables!

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Harvesting Wild Plants at the TC3 Farm

TC3 Farm Update and Harvesting Wild Plants at the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Jacob – Week of June 12th, 2017

Tomato and Pepper Transplants
Tomato and Pepper Transplants on the TC3 Farm

Howdy folks. My name is Jacob and I am giving you all a quick update on what has recently been happening on the TC3 Farm. We have been hustling to get a lot of transplanting done and over the past week we got a lot of our nightshades planted including, field peppers, field tomatoes, and field eggplants.

We also had the owners of Thalli Foods, a food business based on harvesting wild plants as well as invasive species visit us during lecture. The owners: Edward and Avery, gave us a tour of their farm website which has a ton of different plants that are available to harvest in this region for all seasons. They are foragers and have many years of experience harvesting wild edible plants in Kent, England, Their mission is to bring the ancient knowledge of harvesting wild edibles to the public and to encourage biodiversity and nutritional diversity. As the human population continues to grow, our need for food will increase. Being able to harvest or potentially incorporate these wild plants into our diets will vastly increase humanity’s food supply. These wild foods are very flavorful and add a unique option to any chef’s menu.

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Week of June 12th – CSA Newsletter

Greetings everyone! The start of the 2017 CSA at the TC3 Farm is here. Welcome to our new members and thanks to our returning members for taking this journey with us once again. For new folks to the TC3 Farm CSA, this weekly post is meant to keep you abreast of farm happenings and an idea of what’s going to be in the share each week.

It’s been a very busy Spring on the farm, even with all the rain (I will definitely be coming back to this topic). Before the semester ended the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students worked very hard on this year’s crop rotation, getting plants started in the greenhouse for both on farm use and for sale, and transplanting early crops. For most of them, this was their first time with these experiences and I have been impressed over and over again with their willingness to step outside of their comfort zones to try new things, work as a team to make decisions or to just get a job done. 

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Vegetable Production on the Farm – Student Post

Garlic Greens Harvest
Garlic Greens Harvest

Vegetable Production on the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Jasmine – Week of June 5th, 2017

Summertime is almost officially here and vegetable production is in full swing at the Tompkins Cortland Farm. The CSA has begun, restaurant orders form Coltivare are being placed, and the Farm Stand on campus has been going well. During the week of June 5th-9th, the students were engaged in a variety of different tasks including planting transplants like lettuce, beets, sorrel, dandelion, and a variety of peppers and tomatoes out in the field. We also weeded in the strawberry patch, and harvested spring crops such as Hakurei turnips, strawberries, and garlic greens, Garlic greens are simply young garlic harvested before the bulb has a chance to develop. They can be sautéed just like traditional garlic and are a nice addition to salads or soups.

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