Week of July 11th – CSA Newsletter

Here we are folks, entering the 5th week of the CSA, and you guessed it, still no rain. There were some nice steady downpours throughout the day on Sunday but when I went out to the fields that night, there wasn’t much that had penetrated down into the soil. But we’ll take whatever we can … Read more

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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TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Candice

This is the final entry in our series of TC3 Farming Student Perspectives. Students who took Introduction to Soil Science (ENVS 115) in the Fall of 2015 were asked to write a short piece about their experience, and these are the results.

You can read other student perspectives HERE:  HAILEYMARIACEDRICJUSTIN – INDIGO – HANNAH

TC3 Sustainable Farming Students

TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Candice

When I first started this program it was a complete shot in the dark, I didn’t really know much about farming for food.  I am used to farming hay, corn, soybeans and things.  At first when I didn’t really have an answer as if I liked my program or not.  I kind of just tossed myself into TC3 and was going to go for liberal arts and had thoughts about the farm but also had thoughts about transferring to another college for a Vet Tech.  Looking back now I am glad that I chose to stay with this program at the farm and learn what I learned this semester.

After the first month being on the farm I knew this was my path, this is what I wanted to do.  I wanted to learn where my food comes from, and how it grows from seed to an actual food on my plate.  I was interested in learning more about how the food gets to the grocery store and the Wegmans class trip did that for me.  Being on the farm twice a week with my class-mates really brought me close to them, working with them twice a week is really fun as well.  You get to know them pretty well and you get to be connected with them.  Some of the things that were my favorite things to do on the farm was to plant garlic.  The day we planted garlic it was an all-girls day and we had many laughs and shared many stories while working. I also loved picking the carrots and harvesting the potatoes.

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Sustainable Indoor Mushroom Cultivation – Capstone

Exploring Sustainable Indoor Mushroom Cultivation

By Noah

What was the goal?Grain Spawn Mushroom Production Jars

My primary objective was simply to become well acquainted with the nuances of indoor mushroom cultivation. Although the subject always struck me as fascinating in past semesters, I shied away from research knowing full well the wide range of technical knowledge needed to attain a comprehensive understanding of each aspect of production. The Sustainable Farming and Food Systems capstone course provided me with the necessary motivation to delve head-on into the field. After feeling sufficiently knowledgeable and ambitious, I wanted to trial a low-tech, low-budget indoor oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) production model using locally-sourced substrate and plastic containers (reusable, as opposed to the more standard polyethylene bags) while further developing the TC3 Farm’s extant mushroom cultures, with the ideal outcome being useful data/cultures/strains.

Why oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are uniquely hardy, thus ideal for beginners. They are capable of colonizing a plethora of substrates, including worn-out blue jeans! It should be no surprise that they populate nearly every continent. They routinely prey on nematodes detrimental to more common commercial mushroom varieties and are capable of inhibiting pathogenic bacterial growth. The strain I selected is capable of fruiting at 4.5 °C.

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