Week 7 of the TC3 Farm CSA is here! That means we’re about 1/3 of the way through the season. I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone but I can’t believe that it’s almost August. And guess what? It rained a bunch again. I’ve been able to sneak in some tractor work here and there to prep some fields but we still have a field that we haven’t been able to get in all season because of how wet it’s been. And even though the weeds are growing at an epic pace, this wet weather makes them easy to pull. We slowly but surely continue to make our way through the fields. Last week we made it through our potatoes and were able to “hill” them. “Hilling” potatoes is when we mound soil around the base of the potato plants. This allows them to grow more potatoes per foot and protect them from sun exposure. After our potatoes, we started our field peppers. Hopefully, we’ll get through them this week.
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.
Well, the rain drops are falling once again as I type this. As dry as last season was, the theme this year seems to be wet, wet, wet! A couple of bright spots with all this rain is that for the most part the rain has been happening in the evenings and over the weekend, right after we transplant and there have been some killer rainbows.
Last week we were busy getting about 4000 transplants in the ground. We got in a second planting of fennel, the first planting of basil, another round of lettuce, rutabagas, the first of the fall broccoli, another round of cucumbers and summer squash, the watermelons and cantaloupes, pumpkins and all of our winter squash. It was a busy few days around harvesting and field trips!
Vegetable Production on the TC3 Farm – Student Post by Jasmine – Week of June 5th, 2017
Summertime is almost officially here and vegetable production is in full swing at the Tompkins Cortland Farm. The CSA has begun, restaurant orders form Coltivare are being placed, and the Farm Stand on campus has been going well. During the week of June 5th-9th, the students were engaged in a variety of different tasks including planting transplants like lettuce, beets, sorrel, dandelion, and a variety of peppers and tomatoes out in the field. We also weeded in the strawberry patch, and harvested spring crops such as Hakurei turnips, strawberries, and garlic greens, Garlic greens are simply young garlic harvested before the bulb has a chance to develop. They can be sautéed just like traditional garlic and are a nice addition to salads or soups.
TC3 Farm’s PSA: Don’t forget to vote!!
Ok folks, we did it! The 22nd and final week of the 2016 TC3 Farm CSA season. What a rollercoaster of a ride. First off, I want to say thank you to all of you. It’s been an honor and absolute pleasure to grow for you your food. I truly hope you enjoyed as much eating it as the TC3 Farm enjoyed growing it. I know the farm can be and will be better, but we’ve come a long way since our first season in 2014. I can probably go on and on about that but I really just want to focus on this season.
So, October had a little bit of an identity crisis last week. We had some incredibly gorgeous weather early in the week to cold and rainy at the end. We removed our rain gauge from the field sometime in September but from what I’m hearing from others in the area, we got more rain in 3 days then we did the entire summer. Kinda crazy to think about. We had standing water in some spots in our field today! All this rain isn’t going to do too much for our remaining crops but it will definitely help to raise the water table. We are at such a deficit right now that we can use as much as we can get. So, even though cold rainy days in the fall aren’t the best to work in, they are definitely a welcome sight. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed for a snowy winter to help with next year.