After that brutal Monday morning last week, we had a pretty good frost Tuesday morning. There was definitely some collateral damage but all in all, the veggies were ok.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier weeks, a couple of frosts actually help to sweeten up some of our fall crops. I’m glad I was able to harvest the last of the field peppers but that third planting of beans definitely were lost and the chard didn’t make it through (a huge sigh of relief for some of you).
Holy smokes, we made it through last week without any rain until Friday night. What a relief! That meant lots of busy work on the tractor. We were able to get a field mowed that has had standing water for most of the season. The next step is to get it plowed so we can … Read more
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/)
Hallelujah! It’s rained and I mean, a real live soak into the ground and saturate things rain. This is a much needed relief. Not only for the plants but for all us crop savior’s who take turns watering for hours each day, every week. The plants are surely going to like it and I’m excited … Read more
So, guess what folks? The US Drought Monitor has upgraded our area to “severe” drought. I’m not sure that designation brought any relief to our students or plants but I guess it’s nice to have some validation. We’ve gotten a little rain in the last week but again we need some soakers. I’m not too … Read more
TC3 Sustainable Growers Gardening Club – Cornell Plantations Botanical Field Trip – Student Post by Indigo
A monk by the name of St. Bernard of Clairvaux once claimed, “You will find more in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.”. I couldn’t agree more with this, the idea of nature providing more wisdom and knowledge than any human ever could. If focused in the present and observe what is, one can find an unparalleled education that is objective in the most extreme, provided by mother nature herself. That is exactly why the TC3 Sustainable Growers Gardening Club decided to take a Friday afternoon to go on a private tour at the Cornell Plantations Botanical Garden by Cornell’s Adult Educator & Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Moss.
On April 15th, we all meet up at the Botanical Gardens mid-afternoon. We really lucked out on the weather, while it was rather cold and grey all week, our tour day is nothing but clear blue skies and sunshine! Although it is fair weather, most plants have yet to bloom and pop with colors, but no matter – there is still plenty to be observed. We meet Kevin in front of the parking lot sidewalk, where a map of the gardens stands. Once acquainted, he begins to tell us about the intentional design of the U-sloped ditch in front of the lot. Various shrubs and plants just short of budding are arranged along the inside of the ditch, which he explains is carefully designed to drain rainwater on a slowly on an angle, in order to prevent erosion and the loss of soil nutrients. Even the parking lot was designed in coordination, so the water can drain from there mindfully as well.