Week of October 23rd – CSA Newsletter

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.

Frosty kale!

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).

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Week of June 12th – CSA Newsletter

Greetings everyone! The start of the 2017 CSA at the TC3 Farm is here. Welcome to our new members and thanks to our returning members for taking this journey with us once again. For new folks to the TC3 Farm CSA, this weekly post is meant to keep you abreast of farm happenings and an idea of what’s going to be in the share each week.

It’s been a very busy Spring on the farm, even with all the rain (I will definitely be coming back to this topic). Before the semester ended the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students worked very hard on this year’s crop rotation, getting plants started in the greenhouse for both on farm use and for sale, and transplanting early crops. For most of them, this was their first time with these experiences and I have been impressed over and over again with their willingness to step outside of their comfort zones to try new things, work as a team to make decisions or to just get a job done. 

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Week of June 27th – CSA Newsletter

Greeting folks! Well, here we are, another week without any significant rainfall. It’s usually late July or early August before I start mentioning how dry it is out there but it’s been pretty brutal out there. And that little bit of rain that we got today, yeah, that didn’t really do too much. Dryden usually … Read more

Week of June 13th – CSA Newsletter

Well folks, we made it. The start to another CSA season! As the TC3 Farm embarks on its third season, I find myself thinking a lot about the farm (I’m sure all farmers are constantly thinking about their farms). I think about where we started and how far that we’ve come in such a short … Read more

Composting and Strawberries at the Farm

Composting, Growing Strawberries, and Potting On Tomatoes – This Week at the TC3 Farm – Student Post By Candice

TC3 Farm Compost
TC3 Farm Compost Pile

This week at the TC3 farm we learned about composting. Composting is a natural process of recycling organic material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into rich soil humus. There are many benefits of composting food and other matter. Compost energizes the soil food web, which is made up of microscopic bacteria and fungi, along with earthworms, crickets and many other life forms. Compost enhances the ability of tomatoes and other vegetables to stand up to diseases and may improve their flavor and nutrition. Compost also helps the soil retain as much moisture as possible. You can get compost from a number of different commercial suppliers, but the best compost is homemade! The TC3 farm gets the raw material for making compost from the leftover food served at Coltivare Restaurant, in Ithaca, NY.

Uncovering Strawberries
Uncovering Strawberries

We also uncovered the strawberry patch which was under several layers of row cover for the winter, in order to let the sun get to them to enhance their nutrients. Although rained hard we were still able to get the whole patch weeded, mulched with wood chips, and we even replanted some of the plants we grew from runners in the greenhouse over the winter. Strawberry plants are known to have runners – which are stolons that the plants use to vegetatively propagate themselves. Most students offered to take the runners home and replant them last fall, while the rest were planted in the greenhouse to fill in gaps in the strawberry patch at the farm. Clipping the runners from the mother plant allows the mother plant to focus on fruit production rather than multiplying. The runners are doing great, they have blossomed and are now ready for this year’s season!

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Farm to Hospital Presentation by TC3 Food Systems Instructor

Bobby J. Smith, who teaches Food Systems Seminars at Tompkins Cortland Community College, recently presented on his research about Farm to Hospital programs at TEDxCortland. In this talk he explores the supply chain relationship of locally produced fresh foods between hospitals or healthcare facilities and farms. This includes food that is incorporated into food service and patient meals as well as on site farmers markets. Smith’s research involves over 100 hospitals across the United States, as well as key informants from the programs operating at hospitals in Burlington Vermont, New Milford Connecticut and the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca. In his TED talk, he stresses not only the benefits of Farm to Hospital programs for local food systems, but also the challenges of implementing such programs. The talk also focuses on the importance of Farm to Hospital programs for the economic development of the communities in which they reside. He is a great teacher, and we expect to have him back in the Fall to teach Food Systems Seminar I: Introduction to the U.S. Food System (ENVS 110).

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