2024 CSA Newsletter #1

We've made it to the start of another season, folks! Thank you for choosing to support the TC3 Farm this season. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and the farm. For new members, I am Todd McLane, aka Farmer Todd, and I'm the TC3 Farm Director. In addition to my duties at the farm, I am an Adjunct Associate Professor teaching multiple courses for students primarily enrolled in the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems and Culinary Arts degree programs at Tompkins Cortland. Both of these programs are part of TC3's Farm to Bistro initiative. The TC3 Farm directly supports students in the College's Sustainable Farming program by providing students with a living laboratory and internship opportunity. Students spend a full growing season working alongside me at the TC3 Farm. They are highly involved with all aspects of the farm's operation, starting with our crop plan and variety selections in late January to greenhouse seeding, transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, washing, and many more tasks throughout the growing season. Students gain critical hands-on experience on a small-scale vegetable farm and experience in an integral part of their local food system. 

A little bit about the TC3 Farm. We are a small-scale diversified vegetable farm that grows 20-30 different types of crops and upwards of 150 varieties annually. We are not certified organic but adhere to all USDA and NOP organic standards. We use an ecologically based approach to our farming practices and try to work closely with nature to benefit our crops. Instead of using organically approved pesticides and fungicides, we try to attract beneficial insects, both as predators and pollinators. We rely on crop rotation, season extension, cover cropping, and variety selection. Human health is as important to us as planet health. In addition to supporting students in the Sustainable Farming program, the farm also hosts many different classes from Tompkins Cortland, other area colleges, K-12 schools, and area groups throughout the season.

This space will be used weekly to share updates about the farm, the work that we are doing with students and the community, and what is going to be in the CSA share, with some recipe ideas. If you have a favorite recipe for something, please feel free to share it with me. It's a way to keep you connected to the farm you are supporting this season.

So, without further ado, I am going to talk about this week's share. It's been a heck of a start to our season, and I like to remind folks that a growing season is a journey, not a sprint. There are so many things that happen throughout the season that are beyond our control, but we do our best to ride the waves and get us all to November. To start off the 2024 season, there will be cooking greens of both kale and rainbow chard. I know it's beyond hot at the moment, but it looks like the weather is going to break over the weekend. You can also think outside the box and use either of the greens in different smoothies. You can find lots of options with a quick internet search. You can also count on salads this week because there will be a lettuce mix, carrots, and Hakurei turnips available. The carrots are as fresh as they get since they were harvested this morning. They were planted in our greenhouse way back in February. If you are unfamiliar with Hakurei turnips, they are a Japanese salad turnip with a very mild, slightly sweet radish flavor. In addition to being eaten raw, they are great pickled. There will also be garlic scapes and a variety of fresh herbs to choose from. The scapes should be stored in your fridge and can be used just as you would garlic. They can be pickled, made into pesto, or one of my favorites, tossed in olive oil and coarse salt, and grilled until tender. There will also be four-packs of basil, parsley, and sage available for kitchen herb gardens. I will also have some extra vegetable seedlings (mostly eggplant, hot peppers, and cucumbers) for you if you are interested. 

Have a great week!