I hope that you are all enjoying this beautiful start to fall. If 2020 has given us a positive, it’s the beautiful colors that surround our landscape.
Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak to folks over at the Latin Living Center at Cornell for their “Cafe con Leche” series by CSA member Angelica. The topic was food insecurity here in Tompkins County. We had a great conversation about what we do here at the TC3 Farm and the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program and programs that are tackling the problem locally. Since I live this work daily, it was nice to take a step back and reflect a bit more. The conversation resonated with me throughout the weekend and had me thinking how we as a community can do more. The lens that I like to look at this issue through is not how do we help folks be less food insecure but how do we help folks with food sovereignty. We all have the right to healthy and culturally appropriate food. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that our food supply chain is broken. There are a lot of great programs both nationally and locally that have been operating for years but we weren’t prepared for this. If we have the means, we should be contributing.
Locally, there are many great organizations that are making a difference. The TC3 Farm provides CSA shares through Healthy Food For All. COVID has affected the number of events that support the program but the organization is always accepting donations. Here at Tompkins Cortland, the Panther Pantry is helping our students. Something that makes me warm and fuzzy is how the community has stepped up and persevered during these uncertain times. The Tompkins Food Task Force has emerged to help both farmers and the community. Also, in both Cortland and Tompkins counties, Mutual Aid groups have popped up to help the community. I was unfamiliar with Mutual Aid before COVID-19, but I approve. Food sharing cabinets have been placed throughout both counties. This has been a great resource to our neighbors who might be struggling at the moment. If you are willing and able, it would be great to help out. This type of service goes a long way.
Thanks for letting me share. Now onto this week’s CSA share. The greens have rebounded and are ready for your bellies. The chard, broccoli raab and stir-fry mix are all perfect for simple sautees. We had a simple side of sauteed broccoli raab with crushed garlic with dinner tonight. I thought that the arugula would be a lot bigger this week but it is still perfectly fine for salads. Carrots return this week, as well. They are beautiful and sweet. Carrots are one of the crops we grow that benefit from some frost. The cold temperatures trigger the sugars and they sweeten up really nice. Cherry tomatoes are back, too. They needed some time to rebound from the frost and topping. All the tomatoes have slowed down since the weather has changed but they are still producing. Same thing with the peppers in the hoophouse.
Have a great week!