Hi, my name is Leah. I’m an Ithacan going to college in Philadelphia and have come home for the summer to intern with the Youth Farm Project.
It’s hard to believe that a month has passed already since my first day here. The buckwheat that Ann, Joseph, and I planted on my second day on the farm now grows several inches tall with big round leaves that give the field a shimmery appearance when they flutter in the wind. This crop will hold one of our fields until we plant fall crops there in mid July. While the buckwheat uses the energy of the sun to grow, our small group of staff and volunteers has been working hard along side it: The garlic is now weeded and mulched and the garlic scapes have been harvested as well as the peas. Our vegetable fields are filling up more with each day’s transplanting and the CSA u-pick garden is completely planted! I have been learning a lot here and this work comes as a welcome change from book studying, for sure. Working in the soil under the hot sun or carefully seeding flats in the barn on rainy days is humbling work but extremely gratifying. It shows me the limits of my labor and also the incredible potential in a day’s work. I’m looking forward to seeing how the pace of things changes here on the farm when the youth arrive on July 5!
The peas are ready for picking! Ben, Simon, Joseph, Cait, Leah and Ann harvested Sugar Snap peas and Snow peas today and Ann took them down to the Congo Square Market.
Also, tomatoes are appearing on the plants in the field!
Today was potato day! Farmer Andy from Candor came to help us with his potato planting implement that's made in Italy. They sure know what they're doing in Italy because this potato planter works really well and we planted nearly a half acre of potatoes in just a couple of hours! It was great, too, to hear Andy talk about different varieties of potatoes, their different dormancy times and characteristics- he can identify potato varieties by name just from seeing their shape and color.
Leah and Anna planting potatoes: Each potato piece gets placed into a section of the rotating disk that drops it down a chute into the groove where it gets hilled up with soil.
Another great element of the day was having the South Hill Elementary after school group join us in the potato field. The kids really liked seeing how the implement worked and they helped pick up some of the bigger rocks that might have jammed the planter. Having younger folks in the field made the day even more fun and exciting!