Field Notes - V18N8 - August 20 & 23

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upcoming events

field notes

Walk in the Park Series: Mushrooms and Ecology Saturday, September 14, 2013 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Join biologist Tovi Lehman as we explore the fascinating world of fungi! In this twopart workshop, Tovi will introduce participants to mushroom life cycles and habitats, as well as the important role fungi play in the natural world. Tovi will discuss the basics of mushroom identification, and participants will take a guided trail walk to hunt for fungi.

Volume 18 | Number 8 | August 20 & 23, 2013

Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek www.accokeekfoundation.org

Gardening with Dan

Monday, September 16, 2013 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Join Farm and Garden Coordinator, Dan Michaelson, for this seasonal tour through the Museum Garden and learn about perennial and rotational agriculture, botany, and food history. This is a great way to get ideas for your own garden and get a taste for what is possible in our region! Each class will have time for a Q&A session. For details on any event, please visit www.accokeekfoundation.org.

Hello CSA community! In the market, peach season comes in voluptuously and sweetly. Here on the farm, the end of summer is marked by figs. Their sudden ripening and subsequent picking is a delight for us, scaling the trees with our precarious harvest box, relishing all of the bird-sampled fruits. The figs and the large watermelon harvest of last week speak of the culmination of summer, and it is a sugary affair. Enjoy! love and pickled beans, Farmer Becky

Ecosystem Farm Manager Rebecca Cecere Seward Farm Apprentices Alex Binck, Holli Elliott Farm and Garden Coordinator Daniel Michaelson Volunteers Rosemary Zechman, Amanda Truett, Tom Ellwanger, Mary Lynn Davis, Yvonne Brown, Terrance Murphy, Ethan Carton, Cairna Bode

cool morning anxious August suffering veggies? healthy plants relief

3 0 1 - 2 8 3 - 2 1 1 3


Squash, Anyone? By Daniel Michaelson The word squash comes from the Narragansett word askutashquash, meaning "a green thing eaten raw." This Algonquian language was spoken in Rhode Island and other Algonquian groups had similar words for squash. As you well know, not all squash is little and green and eaten raw. I’m sure by now you have enjoyed the yellow, green, long, and fat squash coming out of the Ecosystem Farm. When we use the word squash today, it may refer to three species of the genus Cucuribita. These include C. maxima (Hubbard, buttercup, and some varieties of giant pumpkins), C. moschata (Butternut squash, cheese pumpkins), and C. pepo (most pumpkins, acorn squash, summer squash, and zucchini). Winter squash are almost without exception C. maxima or C. moschata. Summer squash, which develop quickly and get eaten immature, are C. pepo. Most pumpkins are also C. pepo, but large, late, smooth, symmetrical forms of C. maxima and C. moschata are also referred to as pumpkins. The best commercially canned pumpkin is actually C. maxima of the variety Delicious, Boston Marrow, or something similar. The flesh of this squash is supposedly richer and more nutritious than that of C. pepo pumpkins.

C. maxima apparently originated in northern Argentina near the Andes, as it was found by the Spanish at the time of first contact, but it has never since been documented growing wildly. This species had not crossed into Central or North America at the time of the New World’s discovery by Europeans. C. moschata is a long-vining plant native to Mexico and Central America. C. pepo is native to the same region. Both C. moschata and C. pepo had been carried all over North America by the time of first contact. So next time you have summer squash with friends, you can impress them by asking them to pass the askutashquash and telling them that you are about to eat C. pepo. Happy Summer, Dan


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