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 get a cover crop planted for next season. That’s one of the crazy things about a farm season. You’ve got the pedal to the metal planting, harvesting, cultivating and marketing for the current season and then you’ve got to start thinking about putting the farm to bed and start thinking about next season.
Last week also was the end of our Summer Internship for students enrolled in the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program here at Tompkins Cortland Community College. We had an incredible group of students who worked their tails off all summer. And most of the time it was less than ideal conditions. My hope is that they got a good a good taste of what life is like on a small-scale vegetable farm. They worked incredibly well as a team and they will be missed. For most of them, it was their last semester on the TC3 Farm. So, if you’re around campus and see any of them, please give them a big thank you.
In addition to all of their farm work, we continued to take them on field trips to different farms and food businesses in Tompkins and Cortland counties. We had the opportunity to go to Twin Oaks Dairy and Food and Ferments in Truxton. It was great to see an organic dairy that has an awesome new barn and milking house. Food and Ferments is a great value-added business that uses local veggies to make fermented krauts and pickles, kombucha and more. Keep your eyes peeled for their products. We also visited Northland Sheep Dairy in Freetown. That was an amazing experience. Northland is the oldest sheep dairy in the country and their sheep are 100% grass-fed and they use draft horses and mules to work their land. The last trip we did with our students was to visit the Youth Farm Project in Danby. The Youth Farm is a local nonprofit that has a summer program for youth to get their hands in the dirt. They have a mission around farm-based agricultural and social justice education. It’s a great program that I can see feeding into the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree at Tompkins Cortland.
Alrighty, on to this week’s CSA share. This week, the very first of the tomatoes will be in the share. They really enjoyed last week’s sunshine but aren’t cranking yet. We picked some heirlooms and a small amount of cherries today but not as many as I hoped. We’ll check again before tomorrow’s pickup but the tomatoes will most likely be part of a choice with green peppers (both bell and fryers). There will also be the return of green cabbage, more eggplant, fennel, cucumbers, summer squash, garlic, lettuce mix, kale, swiss chard, garlic scapes, parsley, sorrel and dandelion greens. I was at an epic 3 day barbecue over the weekend celebrating a good friend’s bachelor party and Seedstock and it was all about featuring seasonal veggies on the grill and in salads. We sliced eggplant, squash, garlic scapes and fennel and had them marinated and tossed on the grill. There was cole slaw, pasta salad with seasonal veggies and tomato and cucumber salad. This is what I love about this time of the year. Lots of good things to put in your bellies, eating outside and not turning on the oven!
Have a great week!!