Last week was the beginning of a new semester at Tompkins Cortland Community College and what a week it was. To my colleagues at the college, take a big exhale because we made it. the TC3 Farm welcomed 4 new interns and I was lucky enough to be able to meet with them in person twice before the college went to remote instruction. The food preservation class I co-teach went remote and it was an interesting first class to say the least. But I totally appreciate the caution the college is taking during these unprecedented times, aka, the new normal. With so much uncertainty, the plan the college has put in place is one that is taking our students, staff, faculty and community into consideration and I applaud that.
Let’s go back to the farming internship. I’m lucky enough to be meeting face to face with my students and the ones I have this semester seem up for the work that lies ahead, even though it’s a smaller group than usual. Having a new group of students in the fall has always been a challenge because I’m going full steam ahead and I have to come to a screeching halt to bring folks up to speed with where we are at in the season. So what do I do? I throw them in the thick of it. After giving an overview of what the semester was hopefully going to look like, we started harvesting for the week’s CSA shares. We started off easy with the beefsteak and cherry tomatoes and when they returned on Wednesday, there was an overview of our CSA model and then they got into boxing, sorting and bagging for that afternoon’s pickup. They did a great job their first times out to the farm for the semester and it looks like this is going to be a real good group.
As for the CSA this week, we are finally seeing the return of greens. The cooler weather and moisture has really helped those crops that have been holding on for weeks. All the greens available this week are perfect for sautees. I love the broccoli raab added to a summer type pasta salad. If you’re into homemade pizza, my wife loves adding it as a topping for a pie. There are more greens on the horizon, as well. Oh, and the sweet peppers this week are amazing. When I looked at them on Friday, I saw that there was going to be enough for 1 pepper per person. Well, they really took off over the weekend and when I went to harvest them on Monday, I was pleasantly surprised. There’s a mix of red and yellow bells, red and orange Italians and some of you are even going to get some mini red and yellow bells. Perfect little snackers.
Have a great week!