More about what we're doing on the farm
Here at Morningsong Community Service Farm, we produce farm fresh, nutritious food for donation to community members in need through local food pantries and meal programs here in Tompkins County, and we serve as a resource to support people in producing their own food and moving toward greater self-reliance.
By producing food expressly for donation to local food pantries and meal programs, we can provide specific types of foods according to what is most needed. One of our main focuses is egg production, because eggs are not regularly donated by grocery stores and other local farms (they have a very long shelf life, so they are usually sold before they could become an item for donation), and eggs are an outstanding source of nutrition. We aim to produce and donate at least thirty dozen eggs a week. This means expanding our flock of laying hens to a hundred or more, and we are presently working on this expansion. Adding to our three existing chicken coops, we are building a new mobile coop on an old flatbed trailer, and a large new stationary coop. With these additions, we’ll be able to house all the chickens and provide them with fresh pasture on an ongoing basis. You can watch our progress on these projects on our blog page.
Along with producing lots of farm fresh eggs to donate, we also plan to help people start and grow their own flocks by offering hens and roosters free of charge. The heritage breeds we raise are “dual purpose” birds, meaning people can take these chickens and raise flocks that can provide both eggs and meat, with good productivity. We’ll be hatching and raising many new chicks every year, to rejuvenate our own laying flock and to have birds to give away. People receiving chickens from us can also learn about raising them here on the farm. Come on out and we’ll teach you all you need to know – or teach us some things from your own experience. We can all learn from each other. See below for more about our plans for opportunities to learn on the farm.
In addition to expanding our laying flock, we are also expanding our vegetable production. We plan to donate tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, onions, garlic, and more. The potential is here for growing significant quantities of many other types of produce as well, including fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and tree fruits. We already have some of these on our homestead; producing enough to donate in quantity will depend in large part on the funding our supporters are able provide and on volunteer support. If you would like to help, you can make a real difference!
Motivated volunteers who really want to roll up their sleeves and have a big impact could take on their own projects here at the farm. A large strawberry patch, for example, or a crop of a particular vegetable, or even some beehives for honey production, are a few ideas for projects that could be initiated and managed by dedicated volunteers. The possibilities are endless! If this sounds like the kind of thing you’d like to make happen for the benefit of the community, please get in touch!
If you live near us, you can also make a great contribution by donating your own surplus produce. Friendship Donations Network has a wonderful program called Neighborhood Food Hubs to make this easy, and Morningsong Community Service Farm is a hub for the east Danby area. If you are a gardener, a homesteader, a CSA member, or anyone who sometimes has an excess of vegetables or other produce, you can drop off your surplus once a week at our Neighborhood Food Hub (or another near you) and it will be delivered to the Danby Food Pantry or otherwise distributed by Friendship Donations Network. The weekly drop-off day for our hub is Wednesdays, 8 AM – 8 PM, beginning July 18 and running through October 10, 2018. Look for the Neighborhood Food Hub sign and a large cooler at the corner of Hornbrook and Marsh Roads in Danby. Thank you!