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field notes

Farming for Seed

Saturday, October 20, 2012 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. $40 non-members, $30 members

Volume 17 | Number 19 | October 5 & 9, 2012

Join Accokeek Foundation Ecosystem Farm staff, Becky Cecere Seward, and Molly Meehan for this exciting exploration of the ins and outs of growing for seed, seed saving, and the historic and cultural context of heirloom vegetable varieties grown at the Ecosystem Farm.

Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek

Skills, Scale, and Sustainability

Hello CSA Community,

Friday-Sunday, November 2-4, 2012 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $225 non-members; $220 members

Join Shane J. LaBrake for a 3-day intensive workshop that blends philosophy and pragmatic advice with hands-on training and real-life problem solving as you develop your small-scale agricultural endeavors. Pre-registration required for events. For details on any event, please visit www.accokeekfoundation.org or call 301-283-2113.

Farm Manager Becky Seward Apprentice Farmers Susan Cook, Sky Harman

green has been renewed tender growth rises from earth puddles on display

Farm Intern Crystal Proctor Farm Assistant Blain Snipstal

www.accokeekfoundation.org

After our week off, we welcome this week’s bounty as a lovely fusion of our summer and fall crops, perfect for hearty fall salads. The fall crops continue to grow and flourish after a healthy dose of rain, which has also kept our summer plants holding on just a bit longer. I gauge our progression towards the colder season by the length of the shadows at dusk, the crisp feeling of the morning, and the steady growth of our broccoli plants as I anticipate their delectable bud stage. We have featured some ideas for holding onto summer just a bit longer in our recipe section this week, a divergence from our normal recipes. I hope you are able to enjoy this winding down season. Love and tractor tires, Farmer Becky

3-Season Pick list Basil Patty Pan Squash Zucchini Heirloom Tomato Mix Cherry Tomatoes

Radishes Arugula Salad Mix Parsley Sweet Peppers


Preserving the Season By Sky Harman Last time I wrote, I spoke of looking forward to the future and what meaning is gleaned from the act. As the cool weather truly sets in, as the Indian summer makes one last effort in shedding the long sleeves and sweaters from our shoulders, I must begin to look back and think of what has been and to do what I can to keep some of what we have done at the farm close in my cupboard and close in my heart.

Although all of the food that you all have eaten has passed through our hands, and I must admit that we have eaten well from the fields, we have little laid by to keep us through the colder months. In the height of the summer it is difficult to think of those times, when tomatoes will not be ever-present in our fields, when basil will not be in endless bounty, when cucumbers can only be purchased by the jar, but now as I look upon fields of tender leafy greens I think to those times, with the urgency of knowing that an end to the season is imminent. Time is growing short for the tomato. We will do our best to keep the fruits ripening in our fields as long as we can, but tomatoes always die. I think now of the days of winter, when a hearty soup will surely do me well and know that now is that time, that I might be able to put away a jar or two. The same goes for all of the fruits of the summer season. Maybe all of you with greyer hair and those longer in the tooth are way ahead of me, but if not I must be the bearer of the season’s tidings. Lay by what you can! Let not tomatoes go bad on your counter, nor basil black on the stem! Don’t allow the cukes to go soft, or the pepper to mush! Alas, salad cannot be preserved, but the fruits of summer can be, and they should! Put aside your tomatoes. They can stand the test of time, if only we make the effort to preserve them. With that act, with the preservation of food, we might hold a bit closer to our hearts the time that has passed and forever passes us. On that winter’s day, we might bring in a feeling of the warmth of August (or at least the early days of October) into our kitchen and into hearts.


Field Notes Week 19 (Three Seasons)