2021 CSA Newsletter #1

Well, we've made it. The start of the 2021 CSA is here and the Pandemic seems to be mostly in our rearview. Whether you are a returning member or a new member this season, thank you for supporting the TC3 Farm. I'm not going to dwell too much on 2020, but I will say that I'm not sad that it's over. If you're new to the TC3 Farm CSA, this weekly newsletter will serve as a connection to the farm with updates on farm happenings and as a preview to what is in your share weekly.

This past spring semester, I had a great group of interns on the farm. We spent a good portion of the semester going over the planning for the upcoming season. If you're unfamiliar, the TC3 Farm directly supports the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree at the College. Students spend 3 semesters on farm participating in all aspects of a diversified, small farm operation. It's a unique experience that isn't offered at many 2 year schools across the country. Students get hands-on experience on a working farm and have a direct impact on their local food system. As the spring progressed, we moved away from planning (and listening to me lecture), onto the hands-on aspect. The interns worked weekly in the greenhouse starting seedlings for the farm and for sale. They prepped both our greenhouse and hoophouses for spring plantings and had the opportunity to transplant and direct seed early crops. Oh, and they weeded.... a lot. This was a far cry from 2020, when it was just me on the farm after March. Oops, I wasn't supposed to dwell on 2020 too much but I truly appreciated all the hard work this group of interns did in the spring. Plus, it was nice to have conversations with other folks, rather than just talking to myself. The summer semester just started last week and it's a smaller group of interns than the spring but their dedication and passion for sustainable agriculture and food systems work is invigorating. 

When their summer starts, it's go time. And this group didn't skip a beat. They've jumped right into the work, battled some extremely hot days and have impressed me immensely. Our model is a bit challenging because right as the season gets going, students get a bit of a break between semesters. But in this past week, the interns have put in maximum effort in the work they've done. We've been busy transplanting crops, preparing beds and different areas for transplanting, harvesting, seeding and potting on crops. I'm excited to see the season unfold with this group, as most of them will also be here in the fall, as well. You will get a chance to meet them at pickup as the summer progresses.

Okay, so what's going to be in the first share. This week, there will be different greens to choose from, spinach, lettuce mix and a bok choy/tat soi mix. If you're unfamiliar with bok choy/tat soi, they are Asian greens that are great in lightly stir fried. There will also be some black radishes and carrots that were planted in both the greenhouse and one of our hoophouses. We will also have bunches of sage and thyme available. Additionally, there will be garlic greens. If you've never had garlic greens before, they are a great early season crop. We plant our garlic in the previous fall. We end up with a lot of cloves that come from either small heads of garlic or ones that may have had some damage to the head. Since garlic cloves are a replication of the heads they come from, we maximize the less desirable ones and plant them really close together. The entire plant is usable at this stage in the season, including the leaves. You can use them just as you would garlic but if you're a garlic lover like myself, garlic green pesto is the way to go. Lastly, there will be seedlings available. I know that a lot of folks garden in addition to joining a CSA or shopping at a Farmer's Market. There will be lots of herbs to choose from for a kitchen garden, as well as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and more. I will be available to guide you through the different varieties.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.


Farmer Todd