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upcoming events

field notes

Introduction to Biodynamics Monday, September 17, 2012 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. $15 non-members, $10 members

Volume 17 | Number 17 | September 14 & 18, 2012

In this introductory lecture we will take a look at the essentials of biodynamic agriculture, particularly from a home scale, gardening perspective.

A Fungi Foray

Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek

Hello CSA Community,

Saturday, October 6, 2012 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation

Join biologist Tovi Lehmann for a foray into the fascinating world of fungi. In this two-part workshop, Tovi will introduce participants to mushroom life cycles and habitats, as well as the important role that fungi play in the natural world. Tovi will also discuss the basics of mushroom identification. Participants will take a guided trail walk to hunt for fungi. Pre-registration required for events, for details on any event, please visit or call 301-283-2113.

cold mornings come quick hardy leaves take their new place the sun holds the stage Farm Manager Becky Seward Apprentice Farmers Susan Cook, Sky Harman

Autumn is almost upon us, and in this bittersweet mind we have enjoyed the shift in energy at the farm. The pace is quickened as the weather cools and slows, the tasks more pleasant, the body more covered and relaxed. It is also the season where we begin taking down the old and making way for the new leaves and roots that flourish in this delightful fall weather. It has become clearer to me the need to put the EcoFarm under for the winter, to give it the cover crop tonic and watch as it maintains and relaxes throughout the winter. We have planted our New Field with most of the cool season greens, and will continue to build the longevity and health of this field as best we can. Please enjoy the next few weeks of summer eating as we wind down, eating it all warm if it feels well in these chilly mornings and cool evenings. Love and long sleeves, Becky

Farm Intern Crystal Proctor Farm Assistant Blain Snipstal

3-Season Pick list Cherry tomatoes Zucchini Sweet red peppers Heirloom watermelon

Potatoes Okra Herb bouquets Hot peppers

A Change is Going to Come By Sky Harman Tonight a chill is in the air. For a week or so now, the chilled nights, the cold mornings require long sleeves and rubber boots to keep the heavy dew from our socks. It may pass, the heat may yet still return, as some of us at the farm predict, but Fall is certainly in the air. For me, Fall is a melancholy time. It means many things, but it alludes to a passing of the season and the eventual return to the short days of winter. Already the days have grown shorter. No longer do we have the hours in the day to work until weariness overcomes us and yet still have the light to take care of the chores at home, not to mention a moment of respite and a long view of the setting sun. For many days now, I have rolled home with my headlights ablaze, and my chickens have had to skip their second meal of the day. All of this aside, I am a bit excited by the change, even if it may be coming too soon. Fall weather means ripe apples, root crops coming to maturity, and my new favorite thing: salad. The leafy greens are not quite ready for harvest, but one of the few fringe benefits of the farming life is being the first one to taste the harvest. I have eaten the spicy mustard leaves, succulent with moisture, almost tender enough to make me spare them from the imminent demise that they find in my mouth, but I am not so pardonable. The gift of their being is welcomed with thanks and praise. Lettuces aside, Fall means other things as well. The end of my apprenticeship is fast approaching, even though it feels like just a week and a day removed that it began. This time of year means for every farmer, a long look towards a future even if it may not come. For me it is thinking of my own practice in farming and how I will make this dream a reality.

Farmers are a pragmatic lot, and even with my misplaced hope and quirky skew on reality, I consider myself among that lot of people. It is the hows rather than the whys which most concern me, and so I have set my mind to addressing those things. It would be a daunting task for anyone to dream so big, yet so concretely, as I am doing. It is almost overwhelming but I must because I dream and because I believe that farming is not so much a livelihood, as a calling. I am called. I am called to feeding people so that they may sit around a dinner table, that I have not seen, to enjoy what I poured my soul into. I am called to care for the tender seedlings and they make their way from pot to earth. I am called by the tobacco hornworm, that I must crush on the tomato vine. I am called by the roosters crowing before the dawn outside my bedroom window. I am called by the cloudless sky. I am called by the weeds that always encroach the fields. I am called by the heat and the cold and I look forward today to another changing of the season when we again will plant anew.

Field Notes: Week 17  

for CSA members of the Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek Foundation