I started to have flashbacks to last season with the weather we were having in the early part of last week. 3 plus inches of rain in 3 days was a lot to handle, especially with the heavy downpour we experienced on Wednesday. I was starting to stress that we weren’t going to be able to get back into the field to finish this season’s plantings. But that stress subsided when the rain stopped and the sun came out on Thursday and Friday to dry out the fields and get us back on our way. Things definitely slowed down with the amount of field work we were able to get done but we managed clear out the last of the early carrots that were planted and the rest of the garlic. So, all the garlic is now hanging in the upstairs of the barn curing away. Garlic won’t be in the CSA share again until the end of August, at the earliest. After it’s done drying, we will sort out the largest, most uniform bulbs to replant for next year.
For last week’s field trip, the students and I headed down to Binghamton, to visit the VINES urban farm and learn about all the wonderful programming and food that they provide for their community. It was a great experience to step away from the rural landscape that we are constantly immersed in to head to the “big city” and see food growing in an urban environment. VINES is doing some great things that you should check out. Now, I would normally talk about the field trip that we went on today in next week’s newsletter, but I just can’t wait. We went out to visit Hillberry Farm, a certified organic blueberry farm, in the beautiful hills of Berkshire. It’s a great family run operation that is mainly u-pick but also sells to all 3 Greenstar locations in Ithaca and at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Sundays. Did I mention that they were u-pick and certified organic and that the berries are just $2 pound? After getting a wonderful little tour and history of the operation, we unleashed ourselves to the blueberry field and started picking away. If you love (or even like) blueberries, I can’t recommend Karin and her family high enough. And the picking is real good right now.
This week also is the end of an era at the TC3 Farm and for the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree. Taylor, who has chaired the degree program, taught most of its core courses and been on the farm during the busy season since 2015, is heading to the Culinary Institute of America for a full-time faculty position. The work he has done to shape the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree at Tompkins Cortland to what it is today, has been invaluable. We wish him the best of luck and he will surely be missed.
Let’s talk about some veggies, shall we? In this week’s CSA share there will be a choice of carrots, kohlrabi, hakurei turnips, beets, basil, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, the return of salad mix. Lettuce is always a challenge to grow in the heat of the summer and the last few plantings have bolted before we got the chance to harvest them. There will be more cherry tomatoes. They are starting to hit their stride, so prepare yourselves. We will also have spinach for the first time this year. Spinach is something that we always struggle with but we should have some throughout the next few weeks into the fall. There will also be…. drumroll, please….. big tomatoes for the first time.
Next week, there should be some beans and eggplant in the share.
Have a great week!