I’m not exactly sure what happened to June but here we are. Things are rocking and rolling on the farm; transplanting, weeding and harvesting. This past week, we started planting our fall brassicas. It never ceases to amaze me that we plant our fall broccoli and cabbage before we start harvesting our spring plantings. We continued our weekly maintenance of our hoophouse and greenhouse tomatoes. The signs of summer are here because fruits are starting to form on the plants.
Tomato Time – Student Post By Cody – Week of July 26th, 2017
Hey all! It is that time a year again to get excited about all the delicious varieties of tomatoes being sown at the TC3 Farm. With over two dozen heirloom, cherry and hybrid tomato varieties on the Farm, it is a mighty challenge to tame those taste buds as all the young seedlings are transplanted. The TC3 Farm grows both field and greenhouse/ hoop house tomatoes. Crop rotation best practices are followed in determining where the tomatoes will be grown both in the field and indoors. This week the farm team transplanted a variety of tomatoes in the greenhouse and hoop house. In this post, I will describe the techniques in preparing and setting up a greenhouse for tomato cultivation and some tips for having a successful and healthy growing season.
At this point you may be wondering why the TC3 Farm grows so many different varieties of tomatoes. I believe the unequivocal answer is that crop diversity is a key attribute to a successful and healthy farm operation. One might also be asking if there is an advantage to growing tomatoes in a greenhouse. I believe there are many advantages for the use of a greenhouse, especially in a relatively short northeast growing season. The first advantage is that a greenhouse can extend the growing season, and this is especially important for tomatoes which are a high value crop. Secondly, a greenhouse provides for temperature, precipitation and air flow control. This is crucial for tomatoes as it reduces the chances for fungal and oomycete diseases such as early blight and late blight which can devastate plants in the nightshade family. Proper crop rotation planning can reduce blight and pest problems during the growing season.
Edible Acres Permaculture Farm Field Trip – Student Post by Juliet
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/)
“What’s Left on the Cutting Board: Culinary Students as a Lever for Improving the Food System”
Monday April 24th at 10:30 – Sprole Conference Room at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden.
Sustainability issues are at the fore in our industry but too often it is up to accomplished chefs to have an informed opinion on these matters. Learn what is being done to inculcate sustainability and health-promotion practices among our student body and sample some hands-on solutions that are hitting the market, balancing taste, nutrition and improving the food system.
Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., is Professor of Culinary Arts and Food Science at Drexel University. Before moving to Drexel, Deutsch built the culinary arts program at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York (CUNY) and the Ph.D. concentration in food studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. At Drexel, he oversees the Drexel Food Lab, a student-driven product development and food innovation lab focused on solving real world problems for industry and good food projects. He is the author or editor of six books including Barbecue: A Global History (with Megan Elias), Culinary Improvisation, and Gastropolis: Food and Culture in New York City(with Annie Hauck-Lawson) and numerous articles in journals of food studies, public health and hospitality education. He earned his Ph.D. in Food Studies and Food Management from New York University (2004), his culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America (AOS, Culinary Arts, 1997), and is an alumnus of Drexel University (BS, Hospitality Management, 1999). A classically trained chef, Deutsch worked in a variety of settings including product development, small luxury inns and restaurants. When not in the kitchen, he can be found behind his tuba.
Studying Food Insecurity and Volunteering at the Brooktondale Food Pantry – Capstone Project for Sustainable Farming and Food Systems – by Candice
I decided to do my Capstone project on food insecurity and how it related to families living in poverty. For this project, I researched how easy it is to sink into poverty and how hard it is to get back to a stable financial life. I have also been volunteering my time at a local food pantry located right in Brooktondale. You may think that a normal food pantry just gives out food to families in need, but this one does a lot more than just giving out food. The Brooktondale Food Pantry has a full kitchen where it gives kids a chance to learn how to cook, and they have a full garden out back where they grow all of their vegetables for the kitchen and to give away at the food pantry.
One of the tasks that is included in volunteering at the Brooktondale Food Pantry is unloading vegetables and meats from the Southern Tier food truck that comes to Brooktondale and drops off donations. We have to sort everything out – all the meats go together, all the cereals go together, veggies go together and so on. Then we must inspect everything, this includes writing the date on our inventory sheet that it came to pantry and the date that it will be put out for families to take. We also have to check the expiration date and check to see if the product is damaged in any way. If it is damaged or out of date it gets put back on the truck. This is a food safety precaution that we have to follow. Some of the donations such as local fruits and vegetables are given to us from local farmers from Dryden, Cortland, Brooktondale and even Ithaca. We also have been receiving a truck full of different kinds of breads from the Ithaca Bakery.