We arrived at the TerpFarm around 9:00am on a windy, 28°F morning.
We met with Lily, a TerpFarm apprentice who gave us a tour and taught us about the importance of soil. Since it’s winter, the field has cover crops on it, which are used to protect and manage soil fertility and soil quality. We took refuge from the wind in two greenhouses, where we saw a variety of lettuce, as well as rosemary, lavender, and parsley.
In one of the greenhouses, there were cells of various plants being grown. We saw Napa Cabbage, Swiss Chard, and a variety of different lettuce. We also saw the beginnings of what will be flowers. Lily plans to grow the flowers and sell them at the Farmers Market, which opens April 5th. It was fun to see different stages of plants, from small seedlings to mature produce such as the parsley.
There aren’t too many crops currently at the TerpFarm, but there were harvested green onions which were being sent to the Campus Pantry. The original plan was to clean green onions using the GAP (good agricultural practices) method, which are practices aimed to prevent fruit and vegetable contamination. Due to the low temperatures freezing the water supply in the packing barn, we had to resort to plan B– simply rinsing the green onions with a water shower in one of the greenhouses. This was okay because we weren’t selling the green onions, but rather providing the Campus Pantry with a fresh produce option. Although this procedure was much less intensive, it gave us more time to talk about the farm and get any questions out of the way.
We loved learning about the history of the Terp Farm and what its plans for the future are. The farm is an awesome step towards sustainability and we hope to see it continue to grow and develop.
Written by: Paula Karamihas and Ysabel Montemayor, Dietetic Interns