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field notes

upcoming events Skills, Scale, and Sustainability

Volume 17 | Number 21 | October 19 & 23, 2012

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.

Tractor Operation and Maintenance: 2-Day Workshop Saturday-Sunday, December 1-2, 2012 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $145 members; $160 non-members

This two-day, hands-on workshop demystifies tractors and empowers their users to operate and maintain their machines more safely and with greater skill and confidence. Pre-registration required for events. For details on any event, please visit www.accokeekfoundation.org or call 301-283-2113.

Farm Manager Becky Seward

Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek www.accokeekfoundation.org

Hello CSA Community, The mild-fall weather has kept us in the business of tomatoes, at the same time that we admire the flavor and sweetness of the greens that have been through their first frost. I feel as if, during this time of year, I walk around in a haze of amber and ochre, for these are the colors of the world around me as I walk the fields. There is the verdant of the thriving green, and the warm flaming of the fall colors, as they intensify daily. This is the time of year to pay attention to plants, for the rate of their change is rapid, and we can miss the majesty of their color season if we don’t look. I have even noticed that the poison ivy on our fenceline has turned a lovely bright orange. May you and yours enjoy this week’s produce and the fireworks of fall!

Apprentice Farmers Susan Cook, Sky Harman Farm Intern Crystal Proctor Farm Assistant Blain Snipstal

Love and persimmons, Farmer Becky

3-Season Pick List

colors holding fast vision tinted with soft red Autumn continues

Arugula Kale Hot Peppers Green Peppers Radishes

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes Beets Basil Yukina Savoy Crowns Cucumbers

Boundaries By Blain Snipstal

1. We all take things for granted. 2. We all have assumptions about the way the ‘world’ works and the ways we work within that ‘world’. Lately, I’ve been considering two thoughts. These are often times intertwined and in conversation with each other. And for me, this week, they are walking together, in living color. Here’s my premise: I had the assumption that, because I’m a farmer, I live lightly on the earth, with little waste and reduced consumption patterns. My assumption was fueled by the fact that I took for granted the role that the trash can plays in our everyday lives. So, last Sunday, I decided to carry my trash around with me for an entire week. I wanted to directly confront the notion of waste. We have, in this society, the privilege of a relatively functional waste management system; garbage comes once a week, recycle twice a month, and, if you’re lucky, there are even pick-ups for your yard waste. This waste, in whatever form you deem it to be, is then carted away, to never be seen again. As a result, there can be a huge disconnect for people between what they consume and its impact upon the environment.

It’s because there are many things that happen in this waste disposal process: 1) We - those who throw things in a trashcan - instantly forget about what we just wasted or used as soon as it leaves our hands, 2) If we are recycling, we, on top of number 1, receive a feeling that can be associated with the feeling when someone pats you on the back, all just because we recycled, 3) We never have to think about what trash looks like outside of the trashcan or trash-bag, 4) We never get to appreciate how much waste we so unconsciously contributed to the world, and 5) We never get to experience one of the other sides to our consumption habits - the local dump. For me, being mindful of these things didn’t help; I had to see my waste. Even though the bag on my back is small, I’m finding that there are large implications. It takes 24 acres to sustain the average American, and this figure doesn’t include oil. If you take all the people in the planet and divide the amount of land on earth by that number, you will get about 2-3 acres per person. But we are consuming well beyond our fair share with our 24 acres per person. If you head to any local dump in the U.S., you can see that we’re wasting beyond our own capacity. We can make choices that are part of the solution or part of the contribution. Each day, we’re blessed with the opportunity to continue anew, and rethink the ways that we consume products and create waste. So for me, it all starts with a bag and a choice.


Field Notes 10-19-12