What’s happening on the farm..

What’s Happening on the farm…?

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This weekend the farm has been busy entertaining goers of the 23rd annual Piedmont Farm Tour. The tour started Saturday and runs through today: Sunday April 29th (You still have time to come by and see us. 2-6pm!!) $10 per car per farm

To be a farmer is time consuming and as much as farmers want to open their farms and allow people to immerse themselves sometimes it takes away time that the farmer could be farming. From my experience though, as much time as a farmer may lose from sitting down and talking to someone about their farm they would never turn away someone interested in farming. The farm tour sets aside that time and allows farmers to open their farms up for all the questions and visitors for a specified time.

CCCC’s student farm, known in the past as the Land Lab allows student farmers the space to apply what they are learning in the classroom. For example: classes such as crop production and advanced crop production give students the ability to understand the growing process from seeds to harvest, greenhouse design students work on high tunnel maintenance and the propagation house, and the agricultural marketing class does the blogs, and marketing for the Student Farm/ CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that supports 30 families. By the end of the program you have done everything it takes to operate a farm.

The student farm also operates on student interest. If you come in wanting to learn more about a specific technique they give you the opportunity to use the student farm as a place to “experiment” on. Eric Knight, first year student took an interest in orchards and has spent the past semester helping in the student Orchid (you should go see it, it’s a work in progress) Blueberries were planted with the Special Topics class in the Fall!

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James, the Student Farm manager and former student will be around the farm to answer any questions you have. He is a walking book of information about all things farm related.

 

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Top photo: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Farm Tour Booklet 2018
Middle photo: Organic strawberries on black plastic. Planted last Fall (Fun Fact- The Student Farm is Organic)
Last Photo: Cover crop: Crimson Clover, located in front of Hoop House South. The clover naturally helps elevate nitrogen levels

**All photos taken by me… Victoria Edwards-Cotten, 1st year student farmer

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What’s going on at the farm? 4/22

The past two weeks we have been putting the last of the spring transplants in the ground- lettuce, pac choi, kohlrabi, kale, and direct-seeded radishes. Spring has just begun and in the world of agriculture that means that it is time to focus on summer. Tomatoes, peppers, and flowers are over-taking the greenhouse. Bean and corn seeds are practically jumping out of their packets awaiting to be buried in the soil. It has been an odd April- 80 degrees one day and 28 degrees the next. Summer crops are especially sensitive to colder temperatures so we’ve continued to hold them in the greenhouse until we know that the frost days are over… and I think we finally see the light (and feel the warmth). So this week, if all goes as planned, we can take our tomatoes, beans, peppers, and corn out of the nursery and take them out to their first day of kinderGARDEN where they can flourish and then nourish.

Spring is here. The farm seems to have woken up. As we’re prepping beds bees are pollinating brassica flowers, birds are searching for mates, pollen dusts the butterflies’ antennae, and big Carolina rain drops cut through rays of sunshine.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke

 

By: Jennifer Greenlee, second-year Sustainable Agriculture student

Whats in the box? The CCCC Student Farm CSA Newsletter 4/13/18

 

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Greetings veggie fanatics! Things are starting to really pick up on the farm. The days never seem long enough to get all the weeding, planting and harvesting done. This week we harvested some of our last overwintered vegetables, including the brassicas – Collards, Kale and Swiss Chard that had been growing in Hoop House C. Next week our spring baby brassicas should be ready for their first harvest.

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(Beet Greens and Collards)

Here is a rundown of what you will find in your CSA box, lots of yummy things!

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  • Salad Mix – A custom mix of lettuces, chenopods, pea shoots, baby Pac Choi – Yum!
  • Radishes(mixed variety)
  • Beet Greens or Collards
  • Kale or Chard
  • Green Garlic
  • Spinach

Coming soon – Snap Peas, Strawberries

 

By: Eric Knight, CCCC Student Farmer Spring 2018

What’s going on at the farm?

As we roll through April, the CCCC student farm is kicking into high gear. There is lots to do and thankfully the weather is starting to cooperate more. The last of the spring vegetables have gone in and within a blink of an eye it will be summer. If your getting a CSA share than you know about all the delicious greens and yummy treats that are being harvested. As always, weeds seem to be as happy as our vegetables so indeed the hoes are always warm. If you were to ask any student I’m sure they would say that a scuffle hoe could be the single greatest tool for weeding. If you’re reading this And don’t know what a scuffle hoe is, go get yourself one it’s a lifesaver. Next to that, it seems that things are running smoothly and everyone is so excited to be be ahead instead of running to catch up! Thanks for reading and as always keep on growing.

What’s in the Box? 3/28

This week the CSA box was packed a day early due to spring break. The Advanced Crop Production class helped to facilitate the earlier pack time by participating in the harvesting and packing process.

In your share this week you find:

salad mix

  • Salad mix (comprised of Lettuce, Arugula, Pac Choi, and a “Chenopod mix” of Mustards, Baby Beet Greens, Spinach, Claytonia, and Mache)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Either  Kale + Collards or 2 bunches of Baby Pac Choi
  • Dried HOT Peppers (combination of cayenne, red shishito, red jalapeno, and chili peppers)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Garlic

Special notes about box items

Green Garlic: Green Garlic can be used much in the way that you would use green onions or garlic– the flavor of green garlic is more intense than green onions, but not as strong as a garlic clove.

Baby Pac Choi (Bok Choi*): Baby Pac Choi is excellent in a simple broth/soup, or stir fry. If you received a box with baby pac choi, an easy way to prepare is to stem the pac choi heads whole in a pan with oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Add soy sauce for additional flavor.

*Bok Choi and Pac Choi are the same plant, the translations differ in different territories. 

claytonia

Claytonia: An interesting green included in the salad mix is something known as Claytonia (aka Miner’s Lettuce). This is a cool season green that can be grown as a as a ‘cut and come again’ crop (meaning that it can be harvested continuously after regrowth). There are different spacing requirements depending on the harvest method (cut once/many times), being 4-6″ and 2-3″, respectively.

resource: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene483b.html

This week’s Recipe:

Sweet Potatoes with Swiss Chard https://www.plantbasedcooking.com/recipe/sweet-potatoes-with-swiss-chard/

What’s in the box?

This week we have a nice variety of spring vegetables for you to enjoy. The students and volunteers at the student farm have spent the last week harvesting the fixing for a great salad and some greens that are not only good but good for you.

Your salad will consist of fresh salad mix, arugula, pea shoots and even some carrots and radishes. The greens we will be providing for you are collards, dino kale, swiss chard, vitamin greens, spinach, and baby pac choi. We also included some sweet potatoes and popcorn for you to enjoy.

A lot of southerners know what collards and kale are but are not as familiar with swiss chard. One of the reasons for this is that is used to be a vegetable grown mostly in the north. Most southerners probably don’t know how to prepare it; I have a solution for that. I am including some basic instructions on how I prep it for cooking and a recipe for you to try.

Until I can prepare it, I keep it cool in my fridge, but you don’t want to keep it too long or it will start to lose some of its nutrients and quality.

This leafy green was identified by a Swiss botanist and is a variety of Beta vulgaris. Today, Swiss chard is most popular in Mediterranean countries. Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse — an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as a good source of magnesiumpotassium, iron, and dietary fiber. One cup of chopped Swiss chard has just 35 calories and provides more than 300% of the daily value for vitamin K. But skip this veggie if you’re prone to kidney stones; it contains oxalates, which decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and can lead to kidney stones.

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/swiss-chard-9-healthy-facts#1

Prepare Swiss chard by rinsing the crisp leaves several times in warm water. Leaves and stalks can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. Here are a couple of recipes you can try.

Swiss Chard Potato Frittata: Ingredients- Makes 4 servings

Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups diced potatoes (about 1/2 pound or use frozen hash browns)

1 large onion, chopped

4 cups (about 6 ounces) coarsely chopped Swiss chard (stems and center ribs removed)

4 large eggs

4 large egg whites

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese

Directions

1. Heat an 8- to 10-inch ovenproof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Preheat broiler.

2. Sauté onions until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes; set aside. In the same skillet, sauté potatoes until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes; set aside. Add Swiss chard to skillet over medium heat, and cook about 6 to 8 minutes. Add cooking spray as needed.

3. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, egg whites, salt, and pepper until frothy. Mix in onions, potatoes, and Swiss chard.

4. Heat skillet with cooking spray over medium-high heat and pour egg mixture into pan. Cook covered 3 to 5 minutes or until set.

5. Spread cheese on the frittata. Broil 3 to 5 minutes until browned.

Per serving: 218 calories, 17 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 221 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 445 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

My simple recipe:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Swiss chard

1/2 lb. Bacon with grease

salt and pepper

Fry the bacon and reserve for later. Chop the swiss chard and add to the grease in the pan and cook until wilted down completely. Crumble the bacon on top, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

My husband loves it this way. Hope you enjoy your veggies this week and hope you try the recipes.

P.S Would love to have shown you some beautiful pictures of your veggies, but my computer wouldn’t cooperate, lol.

Posted by Sherry Carroll

Hey Sustainable Agriculture Community! Payton Roper here giving you an update to what’s been going on at the student farm this week. On Monday, it was rainy and pretty miserable outside so achieving any outside work seemed almost impossible. Water really began building up around blocks three and four and the decision was made to syffen the water down the hill to the bottom/back of the student farm so when it’s time to move the row cover there won’t be water flooding the isles. The pump was run by the tractor since other options weren’t available. The asparagus bed is very weedy and needs to be mulched soon. Even though there are not many sprouts coming up yet it should still be something to keep in mind in the next few days! Our handy dandy cold frame was finished and is now on its way to being painted as soon as the water warms up. So, for the time being we may have a cold frame that isn’t painted (which isn’t favored by Organic certification considering its treated wood), but will work until the weather warms up so painting can be a success. In class on Thursday we harvested a ton of greens such as carrots, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, and mustard greens! Also, started bedding our sweet potatoes varieties that have already started sprouting! James gave a great demonstration and explained the three steps of sprouting, bedding, and planting sweet potatoes. Once their ready to be planted we will till in our cover crop and building tall raised beds! An interesting sustainable topic that was brought to my attention by Cheryl was using comfrey on your farm. Researchers in British Columbia analyzed the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio of comfrey leaves by air-drying them and analyzing the powdered leaf tissues. They found that the leaves have an impressive proportion of 1.8-0.5-5.3. To compare, kelp meal has an NPK ratio of 1.0-0.5-2.5, and homemade compost ranges from 0.5-0.5-0.5 to 4-4-4 (depending on what ingredients you use). Comfrey is also rich in calcium and many other valuable plant nutrients it mines from deep in the subsoil! Another super cool fact about comfrey is making comfrey tea for pest control. Scientists at Moscow State University in Russia observed that powdery mildew spores that landed on wheat seedlings sprayed with comfrey tea did not germinate, and the wheat seedlings did not become infected. The researchers concluded that the comfrey tea sprays had activated natural defense mechanisms in the wheat seedlings, making them more resistant to disease. This summer, researchers at the Rodale Institute, near Kutztown, Pennsylvania, are conducting controlled experiments testing comfrey tea as a preventive for powdery mildew on sage grown in the greenhouse. How cool! Well I hope everyone is having a lovely week and enjoys their weekend. Sincerely, Payton Roper