Week of August 5th – CSA Newsletter #9

Well, I’m not sure what happened to July but here we are at the beginning of August. Last week marked the end of the summer semester for the student interns. It was a great summer with these students. I think that they got a good taste of the realities of farming. I’m sure that they all have a new found appreciation of all the work that goes into operating a small farm. For most of them, it was their third and final semester of Farming Internships as part of their Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree at Tompkins Cortland. They were a great group and I truly appreciate the effort that they made and work that they contributed over the parts of the last two seasons (most students start in the fall semester). The next crop of students don’t start until the end of the month, so it will be a little quiet here for the next couple of weeks. But if anyone needs some “farming therapy” and wants to come on out, you’re more than welcome, wink, wink.

We kept up with our normal schedule last week of harvesting, transplanting and tomato management in the greenhouse and hoophouse. I was able to get one last big push of transplants in the ground with the students, so that felt really good. Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that the rest of summer is cooperative and that we have a nice and warm fall. We were able to end the semester with one last field trip, as well. Last week we visited Underhill Farm right here in Dryden. They were very different from any of the other visits we took this summer or in previous ones. Agri-tourism is at the forefront of their mission. In addition to the u-pick blueberries that they have, they also have folks stay on their land through AirBnB and Hipcamp, raise both sheep and chickens and have hiking trails on their property. I was totally impressed with what they have going on and I think that the students were too.

Speaking of Agri-tourism. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County is hosting their yearly Open Farm Days on Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th. On Saturday, select farms on the east side of Cayuga Lake will be open for tours from noon to 4. Same time on Sunday, except that it will be farms on the west side of Cayuga Lake. There are a lot of great farms to visit, so if you are looking for something to do this weekend, here ya go. I wish I could see some of the farms on Saturday, but guess what? The TC3 Farm is one of the stops. Sooo, shameless plug here, if you want to come on out and see more than just the barn, I will be showing folks our greenhouse and hoophouse crops and talking more about our Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree here at Tompkins Cortland.

Ok, let’s get to this week’s CSA share. The super tasty summer crops are just starting to come in. The cherry tomatoes have really taken a jump in production over the last week, so there will be beautiful boxes to choose from. Also, the very first heirlooms and beefsteak tomatoes are ready, as well as the first eggplant. I’m not sure how much there will be yet until tomorrow, but there’s a good chance that all 3 of those will be together in a choice. The basil is in peak form right now and we’ll get as much of it harvested as we can for tomorrow. There will also be some more carrots, black radishes, garlic and hot peppers. As well as cucumbers and summer squash. Both of their production has slowed down, especially the squash, so they may be grouped together. Green cabbage will be making its season debut tomorrow, also. We grow these small tender heads. Perfect for a fresh cabbage salad or slaw. There will be also a special guest crop in tomorrow’s (and possibly next week) share. There will be certified organic blueberries from our friends over at Hillberry Farm in Berkshire. If you like them, you can find their berries at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, Greenstar Co-op or head out to the farm for u-pick.

Have a great week!

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