Week of September 25th – CSA Newsletter

Ok, so it’s September 25th. Fall is officially here and we just had our best stretch of weather all season by a long shot. These are strange times, my friends. I am definitely not complaining but we sure could have used some of these dry, warm days back in July. Aah, the life of a farmer. Loves being outside but never truly content with the weather.

Last week was a big week of visitors to the TC3 Farm. There were 3 different classes from Tompkins Cortland (2 English and 1 Environmental Science) and a group from New Roots High School. All in all, it was around 50 students out for a visit. It’s always great to have folks out for a visit and expose them to what we do at the TC3 Farm and all the hard work that the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems do during their internship. In the very least, I hope that we get folks thinking about where their food comes from and how their food choices can impact the local food system.

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Pollinators on the TC3 Farm

Pollinators on the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Kateri

Bees at Dyce Laboratory
Honey bees in a managed hive buzz as the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students observe them during a field trip to Dyce Laboratory

Hi all! It is the time of year on the TC3 Farm when flowers are appearing all around us! Tomato plants are flowering and fruiting, wildflowers are filling up the wild areas around our worked fields with color, and the squash plants need their white row covers to be pulled so that pollinating insects can visit their beautiful yellow flowers. All of these things make this a good time to share with our readers about these important friends of ours, the pollinators.

No doubt you have been hearing about bees in the news lately-and with good reason! The populations of these superior pollinators are on the decline-even in Upstate New York. But what do pollinators do for farms? Farmers rely on pollinators like bees to fertilize their flowering crops. Fertilization, occurs by way of the transfer of pollen (male gametes)-found in the plant’s flower and produced by the male part of the plant found there- to the ovule, the female part of the plant also found in the flower. This process must take place in order for the farmer to obtain the fruits of his labor (pun intended!). It is important to clarify that bees are not nature’s only pollinators. Butterflies, moths, and other insects also enable the fertilization of crops by spreading pollen, though not as much as bees. The incredibly designed hairs that cover the bodies of bees and easily pick up pollen as they buzz in flowers, make bees pollinators of extreme importance, and not just to farmers, but to anyone who eats most edible plants!

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Week of July 3rd – CSA Newsletter

Monarch caterpillar snacking on some milkweed

Happy 4th of July!

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.

Heirloom tomatoes beginning to form!

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Scholarship for Students Studying Agriculture

Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship for Students Studying Agriculture in New York

Scholarships for Students Studying Agriculture in New YorkThe application is now available for the Paul and Maria Morra Scholarship Trust which is administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. All Columbia and Greene County, NY residents are eligible to apply. The purpose of this scholarship trust is to honor the lives of Paul and Maria Morra (trust benefactors) and their commitment to preserving the natural resources of our region. Applicants must be pursuing further education in the field of horticulture, agriculture, forestry or natural resources.

Complete application packet must be received by April 1, 2017. Scholarship selection is not based solely on academic standing but greater emphasis is placed on the interest and motivation of the student to excel in their chosen field of study. Applicants should ensure their application packet responds very directly to the goals of the benefactors.

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Week of October 3rd – CSA Newsletter

Greetings folks,

So, what exactly happened to September? I swear it was just Labor Day. But here we are at the beginning of October. The season is moving right along as the impending cold weather seems to be approaching quickly. Even with the harvest continuing to come in, we are still progressing with getting the farm ready for the winter months. Our early cover crop of peas and oats is beautifully established.

Oats and peas cover crop in October
Oats and peas cover crop in October

I’m really looking forward to the benefits of this green manure. This past week, we continued to prepare the ground where next year’s garlic is going to be planted and got more cover crops in. This time we planted a deep-rooted tillage radish that will help to aerate the soil and add nitrogen. The hoophouse areas are ready for their winter plantings, which will happen in the next week or so. Having the hoophouses planted in the winter will allow us to continue our farm stand later in the season and have some produce to sell to Coltivare and other area restaurants.

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Week of August 29th – CSA Newsletter

Howdy folks! So, here we are, the start of the fall semester. We’re about halfway through the CSA season and that means the Fall Only shares begin this week. Welcome to all who will begin their pickups. I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer. You’ve had the chance to follow all the farm happenings and … Read more