This morning a photographer from the Ithaca Times and a journalist from the Ithaca Journal visited the farm. Keep an eye out for this press coverage! When they came, we were in full swing with our morning weeding duties and having a little more fun with it than usual. There was a lot of cross-communication between rows and two people even had a weed-filled wheel-barrel race towards the compost pile. I think everyone is really starting to come together as a group.
After break, we got a lot of planting done. What went in were watermelon, diakon radishes, pickling cucumbers, napa, watefield, and red cabbage. Those who weren't planting were either weeding within the leek bed or trellacing another row of tomato plants.
Because we will be low on staff during the next week due to both Dan and Ann going on vacations, we are asking that volunteers from the community join us Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week from 9-1 and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday of next week from 9-1 as well. Thanks!
With the clouds patchy in the sky, some threatening to pour rain and some that looked happy and fluffy, the farm crew worked wonders once again.
In the morning, we started off with a word game and then split up into new groups per the request that was made on Friday. In the morning, one of the groups used scuttle hoes to clean up some of the smaller weeds in the U-pick section of the farm so that we can lay down some straw there soon. Another group weeded around the summer squash. The final group continued trellacing the tomatoes.
After break, the work continued with one group planting beets, cilantro, and a field mix of lettuce. Another group continued the much-needed weeding. The other group planted six 100 ft rows of fingerlings potatoes! Although it’s a little late to plant tomatoes, we’re hoping they do well anyway.
It finally got a little cooler today! It was in the 80’s instead of 90-100. This made the work go a lot faster and we accomplished more because we weren’t stopping for water as much. We started off with our usual introductions and then got to work in the three groups. Morning is the best time to weed so we got started with that first. We weeded on either side of the carrot bed so that we could plant carrots later on in the day. Sure enough, we finished the weeding we started on before break!
After eating some homemade pickles and sharing some laughs during break, we headed back out on the field. One group took on cutting wood and putting up more pole bean teepees, another group readied one of the beds for carrots and started planting carrots. The last group cleaned up in the parking lot and then planted leeks and dragon lingerie, which is a bean. I think we all felt pretty accomplished by the end of the day, and time seemed to fly!
For the second day at the farm we played some name games and I’m pretty sure we all know each others’ names already!
Today, we started off with weeding and got a couple more rows done. After break, team leaders were assigned and three groups were formed. One group was assigned the task of planting leeks, another group pounded posts in one of the tomato beds, and the last group made tepee pole bean structures. This was nice for two reasons: one, we weren’t weeding, and two, each group had a smaller, more manageable task so they were able to work together as a team.
Today was another scorcher, probably reaching into the high 90’s, and yet we got almost all that we needed to done. With about one hour left in the day, one of the groups began to harvest food for the Congo Square Market. We harvested a few heads of lettuce, some kale, collard greens, zucchini, parsley, and basil. It turned out that an hour wasn’t really enough to harvest all that we wanted to, but we can adjust that next week.
Today was the last Sunday work day (next week is July 4th). The four-day-a-week schedule will start on Wednesday, July 7th.
Most of the plants are in the ground now, so workers have moved on to the next stage: weeding. Today's crew did plant beans and radish seeds in a few rows, but they spent most of the morning weeding out the thistles and grasses that are sprouting in the beds.
The bad news is that the water pump that is supposed to run the drip tape irrigation system is broken. Replacing it will be costly, but fixing this problem is of utmost importance to the plants so it will be taken care of one way or another ASAP.
On the other hand, the good news is that things are growing wonderfully! The U-pick flower garden is getting to be very colorful, and tomatoes are ripening on the vines. The electric fencing is completely set up as well.
A sizable work force showed up at the farm this morning. A light, misty rain from nine to ten made for a very muddy work day, but we persevered. More tomatoes, basil, and leeks were planted in the U-Pick garden, but we also planted lots and lots of peppers in the LACS section! Work continued on and in the hoop house as well.
The work force this week included an enthusiastic student from Ithaca High School who "can't wait to go back!" and expressed a wish that IHS had a local food/farming movement. The usual LACS localvore crew was there as well. As an interesting note, LACSers are apparently barefInterestingly, all of the LACSers discarded their muddy shoes at some point during the morning.
One final note: the Youth Farm Project was officially approved for a grant from the Park Foundation! Now that we have an assurance of funds for the summer, the project can really take off.
Yesterday morning, a group of serious farmers ignored the Ithaca Festival and the approaching storm and showed up at the farm. They braved the torrential downpour to plant more flowers and basil. Now, that's dedication!
In an effort to get students working on the farm, Dan spread the word about an emergency planting session. It was a success! More than twenty LACSers showed up to plant flowers for the U-pick, many with friends and family in tow. We planted two rows of zinnias, snapdragons, chrysanthemums, and more, and a half row of tomatoes.
LACS students have been planting trays during Localvore committee meetings (and sometimes during class). Here's what we've planted so far:
- 550 seeds of Big Jim chilies
- 200 Revolution Peppers
- 150 Cosmonaut Volkov Tomatoes
- 150 Mariana Paste Tomatoes
- 400 Brussel Sprouts
- 100 Prickly Cucumbers
- 50 Regalia Cucumbers
- 50 Yellow Crookneck Squash
- 50 seeds from a mystery summer squash mix (the "surprise squash")
- 144 Broccoli
- 150 Watermelons
- 50 more Regalia Cucumbers
- 72 Green Cabbage
- 100 Amish Paste Tomatoes
- 72 Red Cabbage
- 72 Collards
- 72 Kale
- 144 Lettuce