VEGGIE BOXES ARE READY TO GO!!
Photography by LeRoy Halftown
FARMER MICHAEL GRILLONE PRODUCES GOOD CROPS FOR 2017!
Photography- LeRoy Halftown
Gakwiyo (Cayuga for “good food”) Garden is the Cayuga Nation’s agricultural division. The Gakwiyo “home farm”, located in Seneca Falls, is a 100-acre tract, with a 3,000 square foot greenhouse, which is in its seventh year of operation. Over 35 types of fruits and vegetables are grown which are used for weekly distribution to over 100 member households in Western New York. Produce is also grown to be sold at the Nation’s farmstand – Cayuga Corner. The Garden’s bounty is also preserved – through drying and canning – and sent to the Nation’s membership, nationwide, at season’s end. Last season, over 5,000 items were shipped to Nation households. Gakwiyo Garden also plants soybeans on acres of Nation land, which are sold at Cayuga Corner rt. 89.
This week is the first of the Nation Member veggie box deliveries for the 2017 season. Each week on Wednesday the team at Gakwiyo Garden prepares and delivers boxes with fresh produce grown on Nation Land. Products vary to tomatoes to zucchini and cabbage. They are grown, picked and packaged by hand. The farm is ran by Michael Grillone, who has produced a fresh crop growing system for the Cayuga Nation.
"This is the first year this whole farm has been utilized" said Grillone, who also says this is a "daily process". Each day, Michael and his workers get there hands dirty by checking each plant row looking for anything wrong or strange about the crops. Grillone described it as a balance of food and water. "The plants eat and drink like we do. They need the correct amount of water as they would nutrients from the soil in order to grow correctly." As they look, they also are looking for any bugs or insects that might be feeding off the plants. This is a process that Michael and his crew do everyday to make sure the farm is clean and producing the best crops. By observing the rows everyday, it gives Michael some time to fix anything if needed. His resources and knowledge gives him the tools he needs as he's out in the field. This year, Gakwiyo and its crew has grown vegetables, flowers, corn and also soy beans. Grillone says "this has been a great year for the crops. I see a lot of good growth throughout the farm and I expect that for the upcoming years". His plan is to keep the garden fertile so each year has a excellent harvest.
Gakwiyo Garden - (315) 568-0711