Saturday, May 15, 2010

Updates from Local Farms in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes

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At Daring Drake Farm in Interlaken, NY the Hungarian cherries, pears, and apples, including Egremont Russet, St. Edmund’s Russet and Ashmead’s Kernel and the currants and the gooseberries are going strong. And, they recently planted 50 peach trees.

Liz and Matthew at Muddy Fingers Farm in Hector, NY have been marveling at the crazy spring weather, ranging from hail storms to 40 mph winds. On their blog, they also say "This is a busy week, we are glad to be hosting two high school groups and to be speaking at a middle school career day all through the career development council. It is really gratifying to have farming be considered a career that we may want to introduce our youngsters to. With the average age of farmer’s today being well in the 50s, we will be glad to have young people entering farming in the future."

At Quinn's Irish Hill Farm, Tom and his crew will be raising Freedom Ranger chicks. He says, "These taller more rangy birds are a little less huge in the breast and legs and are great foragers and have a unique taste that has earned them the 'Label Rouge' classification in France, the highest quality award. The sample group we raised last year were well received and the folks that bought them asked for more." And, Tom will soon be offering chickens and other goods in the parking lot at “The Bulk Food Store” on Rt. 13 in Dryden, from 2pm until 6pm on Thursdays starting in June.

At Blue Heron Farm, Robin says "Spring is bursting with potential! Our four greenhouses are filling up with young plants, as well as edible crops. At the Ithaca Farmers' Market, we'll be starting out the season with lots of greens, plus storage items like onions, carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Every week will bring new goodies, from scallions to watercress to purple asparagus. Strawberries will bridge the gap between spring and summer, right in time for the solstice." And, she maintains a long list of locally proven vegetable, herb and flower transplants, many grown from organic seed.

High Point Farms announced that they have 6 calves with 7 more on the way. Tina says they've been building a "portable egg mobile" for their 200 laying hens and trying to deter hawks and weasels from helping themselves to the flock. For a great chicken stampede video, check out their Facebook page. And, if you're wondering what to do with High Point Farms stew beef during the hot summer, Tina suggests marinating the cubes overnight and then grilling them as kebabs.

Evangaline at Sweetland Farm says she and the crew have been "direct seeding peas, parsnips, carrots, beets, spinach, hakurei turnips, pac choi, and radishes, as well as transplanting onion sets, onions plugs, and a whole field of cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, kohlrabi, kale, and chard." And, "The first generation of u-pick peas are up, as are the first generations of beets, spinach, turnips, pac choi, and carrots." CSA shares are still available, so feel free to sign up.

The folks at Stick and Stone Farm have been busy too, according to the Full Plate Farm Collective Newsletter: "they have finished the new loading dock and settled in the cold storage trailers which are for squash, roots and greens for the winter CSA share, there is a new irrigation pond near the hoop houses, newly graded farm roads....and much more! The greenhouses are filling with seed trays that are blushing green with inch-tall kale, collards, swiss chard, parsley, flowers and more. They have been plowing and prepping the ground in the fields dry enough to work. They are planning on making a few changes in the lay out of the U-pick garden."

And, Cayuga Pure Organics is gearing up to launch an online store.

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