GreenTree's farm customers are one-of-a-kind in many ways, growing different plant varieties, using varying growing practices and dealing with a range of topography. We work to support all of our agricultural customers, catering to their needs and eliminating the time consuming process of making soil themselves. Visiting with GreenTree’s farmers this season helped us learn how we can continue to be a great partner, while also hearing the unique stories that accompany every farm.
Bob Tuori, a chemistry teacher at Ithaca High School, spends his spare time planting in every nook and cranny of his 3-acre farm. Bob always wanted to be a farmer, despite growing up in the nearby city of Syracuse. “It’s been a process,” he said, “looking for land and figuring out how I would do it.” Now, he’s living out his childhood dreams; 2015 is his 8th season on the farm.
The small farm, appropriately named Nook & Cranny, produces an incredible amount of produce, enough for a weekly CSA, Brookton’s Market and the weekday Ithaca Farmers’ Markets. Bob’s farm is carefully planned, with diagrams and incredibly strategic cover crops. He says, “My personal style is small, and using all the space. I’ve always just managed to squeeze more in.”
Potatoes, peas, lettuce and carrots were just a few of the plants in the ground when we visited Nook & Cranny in June. Bob starts his produce in GreenTree Ag Blend™ and we saw fall brassicas, beans, beet greens and multiple varieties of cucurbits just sprouting in the greenhouse. We asked him why he trusts GreenTree with his precious plants, and he replied, "It works well and it's a local company, and those are two good reasons."
A small team of full-time interns does the majority of the farming at Nook & Cranny. A handful of community members exchange labor for their CSA shares each week. Nook & Cranny’s resident felines, Sebastian and Other, as well as a brood of chickens, put in their share of work as well.
Bob’s desire to farm and contribute to the local food system runs deep. He says supplying and eating local produce just “feels good; it feels right.” Nook & Cranny’s produce is available through its CSA, with Sunday pickup at the farm; at Brookton’s Market; and at the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Ithaca Farmers’ Markets.
Next year, Bob will be sharing his love and knowledge of local agriculture with students at Ithaca High School with an elective course. The class will focus on planting and growing, as well as some of the science behind our local food cycle. GreenTree might even make an appearance with some soil science experiments and Soil Matters gear!
Owner and master planner Bob chats with GreenTree’s Jim during our visit to Nook & Cranny.
For more information, visit the farm’s website at http://www.nookandcrannyfarm.com/ and like them on Facebook. You can also check out the profile Ithaca Farmers’ Market wrote about Bob and Nook & Cranny here.