TC3 Farm Solar Project Now Up and Running

The TC3 Farm solar project is now up and running. This is the last of our many major infrastructure projects over the past couple of years. Sustainability has always been a central part of the farm vision, and the TC3 Farm solar project is another important step in that direction. Below you can see the picture of our arrays behind the barn and greenhouses.

TC3 Farm Solar Project

The TC3 Farm solar project consists of a total of 231 panels on 4 arrays. It sits directly behind the barn, greenhouses and hoophouse at 100 Cortland Rd. in Dryden, NY. The panels provide power to offset energy used in the farmhouse, in the greenhouses, and in the barn. The TC3 Farm solar project is a compliment to the 10 acre, 8,676 solar panel project on Tc3’s main campus, which was completed in 2015. The main campus array is expected to offset over 90% of the institution’s energy needs.

Read more

Long Term Storage Value Added Foods Capstone

SUSTAINABLE FARMING AND FOOD SYSTEMS CAPSTONE PROJECT – JAMES

Long Term Storage Methods:  The Production of Value-Added Foods

Have you ever had an occasion where you watched your mother or grandmother using long term storage methods to store food from the garden, but never learned how to do it for yourself? 

Puree  Apple Sauce
Puree apple sauce until it is almost smooth

Maybe you already use Long term storage methods for foods and have recipes that were childhood favorites, or were enjoyed by others, and wondered what it would take to make those recipes into a value-added food that could be sold at market?

What is Value-added you ask? Simply it is the process of taking a raw commodity and changing its form to produce a high quality end product.

Food preservation is one of the oldest sciences used by human beings the methods include: drying, smoking, fermentation, pickling, jams and jellies, canning and freezing to name the most common methods. Food preservation has been part of every culture at nearly every stage, and has lent itself to a vast number foods that we consume today.  For many years now, food preservation was becoming a lost art. But do not fret, home food preservation is making a comeback!

Read more

TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Candice

This is the final entry in our series of TC3 Farming Student Perspectives. Students who took Introduction to Soil Science (ENVS 115) in the Fall of 2015 were asked to write a short piece about their experience, and these are the results.

You can read other student perspectives HERE:  HAILEYMARIACEDRICJUSTIN – INDIGO – HANNAH

TC3 Sustainable Farming Students

TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Candice

When I first started this program it was a complete shot in the dark, I didn’t really know much about farming for food.  I am used to farming hay, corn, soybeans and things.  At first when I didn’t really have an answer as if I liked my program or not.  I kind of just tossed myself into TC3 and was going to go for liberal arts and had thoughts about the farm but also had thoughts about transferring to another college for a Vet Tech.  Looking back now I am glad that I chose to stay with this program at the farm and learn what I learned this semester.

After the first month being on the farm I knew this was my path, this is what I wanted to do.  I wanted to learn where my food comes from, and how it grows from seed to an actual food on my plate.  I was interested in learning more about how the food gets to the grocery store and the Wegmans class trip did that for me.  Being on the farm twice a week with my class-mates really brought me close to them, working with them twice a week is really fun as well.  You get to know them pretty well and you get to be connected with them.  Some of the things that were my favorite things to do on the farm was to plant garlic.  The day we planted garlic it was an all-girls day and we had many laughs and shared many stories while working. I also loved picking the carrots and harvesting the potatoes.

Read more

From Recipe to Market Workshop – Broome County

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County Presents: From Recipe to Market Thursday February 18th  2016,  9am-4pm At Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County  On Thursday February 18th Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, in partnership with the Food Venture Center of NY and TasteNY, is offering a From Recipe to Market workshop from 9am-4pm. Is … Read more

Sustainable Indoor Mushroom Cultivation – Capstone

Exploring Sustainable Indoor Mushroom Cultivation

By Noah

What was the goal?Grain Spawn Mushroom Production Jars

My primary objective was simply to become well acquainted with the nuances of indoor mushroom cultivation. Although the subject always struck me as fascinating in past semesters, I shied away from research knowing full well the wide range of technical knowledge needed to attain a comprehensive understanding of each aspect of production. The Sustainable Farming and Food Systems capstone course provided me with the necessary motivation to delve head-on into the field. After feeling sufficiently knowledgeable and ambitious, I wanted to trial a low-tech, low-budget indoor oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) production model using locally-sourced substrate and plastic containers (reusable, as opposed to the more standard polyethylene bags) while further developing the TC3 Farm’s extant mushroom cultures, with the ideal outcome being useful data/cultures/strains.

Why oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are uniquely hardy, thus ideal for beginners. They are capable of colonizing a plethora of substrates, including worn-out blue jeans! It should be no surprise that they populate nearly every continent. They routinely prey on nematodes detrimental to more common commercial mushroom varieties and are capable of inhibiting pathogenic bacterial growth. The strain I selected is capable of fruiting at 4.5 °C.

Read more

TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Hannah

This is the latest entry in our series of posts on the TC3 Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Program from the student perspective. TC3 Sustainable Farming students were asked to write about their first semester in the program as a class assignment, and these are the results.

You can see previous posts here: HAILEYMARIACEDRICJUSTIN – INDIGO

TC3 Farm Students Planting Garlic

TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Hannah

This semester in ENVS 115 [Introduction to Soil Science] we as students learned a variety of things. Not just academically or in field work but about ourselves, and how each one of us fits in the agriculture world in some way. On the farm, in and out of the classroom, we learned that everything is a delicate balance between too much and too little and farming is a less than a perfect science.

I came into this class with a farming background thinking I knew a lot, and was not at all surprised to discover that learning never stops and there was so much more to learn. The professors were enthusiastic and optimistic about teaching a new group of students, some with farming backgrounds, others with none. The small class made learning easier, more open and fun. The student group is small enough that we have formed close knit friendships and come to know each other well and yet big enough that we are able to accomplish sizeable tasks and get a lot a work done in the several hours a week that we meet. Perhaps best of all about the envs 115 class is that because it is so small we all have enough respect for each other to pull our own weight and often as one of us finishes our tasks we help the others with their unfinished work.

Read more