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upcoming events National Colonial Farm presents: The Way of Food Saturday, November 16, 2013 12 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The National Colonial Farm presents “The Way of Food”- a journey through Maryland’s food traditions. Join us for a kitchen table conversation as we introduce you to the epicurean delights of colonial Marylanders. Learn how our tastes and the food itself have changed over 300 years as we explore the “receipts” (recipes) and meal preparation. This month’s theme is “Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham.” Winter’s Eve and Green Crafter Fair at the National Colonial Farm Saturday, December 7, 2013 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.

Come experience the holidays, 18th century farm style! Kick off winter with a special evening tour of the seasonally-decorated National Colonial Farm featuring self-guided tours of the farm (lit by luminaries), caroling by the fire, costumed interpreters, warm treats, refreshments and fun for the whole family. This year, we’re adding a new element to our annual Winter’s Eve program: a Green Crafter Fair, showcasing unique, hand-crafted gifts made by local artists and artisans. We’re inviting artists who work with sustainable, recycled, or locally-sourced materials to participate as vendors, for a vendor fee of $15. Space is limited and reservations for a vendor table are first-come, first-served. If you or someone you know are interested in participating in the Green Crafter Fair as a vendor, please contact

field notes

Volume 18 | Number 18 | November 12 & 15, 2013

Ecosystem Farm at Accokeek | 301-283-2113 |

Hello CSA Community, Garlic has been planted, cover crops are seeded, and the greens are getting tastier as every cold day goes by. These cold windy days also lessen the delightful mosaic of autumn leaves that line the edge of the farm fields, leaving bare branches to bend in the wind. The late winter crops leaf out further everyday in the greenhouse as we prepare for the season of diminished sunlight. We watch the sunlight lower everyday in its shadowy brilliance. Enjoy your food and each other! love and straw mulch, Farmer Becky

For details on any event, please visit

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

dropping leaves crunch underfoot losing light

Enlightening Consumers by Becky Cecere Seward You are all enlightened eaters. You may not realize this, or consider the contribution you make as CSA members anything earth-shattering, but you are one of the comparatively few Americans supporting local organic agriculture. According to the Organic Consumers’ Association, only two percent of the food industry is organic, and, of that, small organic farms make up a much smaller percentage. While the trend is increasing: organic food is the fastest growing segment of the food industry according the OCA, organic eaters are in the minority. Training farmers to fill this increasing demand is at the core of the current mission of the Ecosystem Farm, but over the last year we have been steadily increasing the consumer education element of our mission. Whether visitors come to the on-farm market, volunteer with us for one of our volunteer days, or come to us as schoolchildren for a tour, we have been spreading the good word about organic farming and eating. Increasing this audience is on the menu for next year’s programs around the Ecosystem Farm, with a targeted plan in the works currently, and below are some of the reasons why…

Food is a great unifier. We all have memories, stories, emotions around food. And yet how many times do we eat junk food or food low in nutrients because we need to “fill up.” As if we are putting gasoline in our engines! Food is so much more than something to just shovel in, and if we continue to demonstrate the “behind the scenes” value of food through growing vegetables, maybe we can show people the work and intention at the heart of good food. Getting dirty is good for us. It seems that the American legacy is to get further and further from outdoor work. I personally am a bit in awe of my friends who can work on the computer all day, as I get antsy in an office for too long. Balancing our indoor and outdoor lives can be easily done with a good day on the farm, volunteering to get dirty doing farmwork! Being in a place through its seasonal changes increases our connection to that place, which is good for our hearts. Increasing people’s awareness and familiarity of organic food creates a market for future farmers. While we have done some good and important work towards educating our future sustainable growers, by continuing to demonstrate on the farm we can provide them with a customer base!

Field Notes - V18N18 - November 12 & 15  
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