Twilight Tales Postponed

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Due to inclement weather, the Twilight Tales event scheduled for Saturday, October 29 has been postponed. Please check back for updates.

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Colleen Walter, Site Interpreter

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In her role at the National Colonial Farm, Colleen seeks to reconnect people with the history of the lands where they live.  A native of Baltimore, she earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Studies (2009) and Master of Arts in Historical Studies (2011) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Colleen is active in local history, serving on the Foundation for Maryland Conservation History through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and by working at other local museums as well.  A very recent transplant to the area, she is eager to explore her new home through biking and hiking the local trails.

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Field Notes: Volume 16, Number 24

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This Week’s Harvest

  • Garlic
  • Dill
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Scallions
  • Carrots
  • Radishes

By Courtney Buchholtz

This is the weather we have been waiting for—crisp, cool mornings, that are just cold enough to make your hands a little numb but still mobile enough to harvest without losing a finger. We pile on the layers and head out to the fields, waiting with anticipation for the sun to crawl over the trees and warm us with her rays. I always pause, smile, and enjoy the moment when I take a breath and realize that the coolness in the air has given way to gentle warmth that fills my nose and delights my lungs. These moments are what we look forward to as each season passes. What moments in life do you look forward to? Has life gotten so busy that we forget to stop and appreciate the moments?

Another of these moments came yesterday as I was mulling about in the rain, to the sound of tree frogs, happy tree frogs. I couldn’t help but smile and thank them for lifting my mood. Every time the rains fall my Worry Meter tips toward “full” at the thought of trying to get the garlic planted. Unless we get some unseasonably warm weather to start November off, we are at least a few weeks yet from being able to work the ground in preparation for planting the garlic. We have a few alternatives to the main field but we’d rather not have to exercise those options if we can help it. So we wait and watch, and gently encourage what remains in the garden to keep growing, while giving thanks congruently to the bounty that we have been provided with so far.

Our original plan included one more box beyond this week and I am happy to say that we are on track to do just that. We have a few crops remaining in the fields that we will delight you with next week to wrap up the season. And despite the possible snow (yes, snow) and cold temperatures forecast for this weekend, what remains in the fields should fare just fine, with a little human intervention to reassure ourselves that we will have a bountiful last box. I know you all are thinking how crazy it would be to have snow here in October, but given the year we have had should we really be surprised? This forecast makes me think of October 2009 in Minnesota. We had snow every Friday, which happened to coincide with our picking day. The snow didn’t hang around too long, but it certainly brought added efforts to get our produce from the fields to the market. But, as always, we adapted, put on extra warm clothes, and took plenty of tea breaks to stay warm! We are not ones to shy away from a little cold weather.

The last of the stakes came out of the ground yesterday, and we brought in the remaining irrigation tape and lines this week. We also removed the irrigation system from the river, the one we never got to use, thanks to Hurricane Irene and the deluge that followed. But we had the great experience of rebuilding the pump and partaking in the installation, so when we someday have the opportunity to use something similar we will be well-prepared. At heart, I am a hands-on learner, so the actual doing is what sinks in the most, and I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had this summer to do just that. We have a few projects remaining to wrap up the year, and then we will hunker down for the winter. Let’s hope it’s a pleasant one!

In gratitude,

—Your Farmers

Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.

Recipe: Skillet Eggs with Kale and Chorizo

Ingredients:

1/4 pound Spanish-style chorizo (or other spicy, hard sausage), diced

1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

lemon juice

pepper

4 to 6 eggs

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced sausage and cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add kale and cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle lemon juice and pepper over the mixture and toss well, then push mixture to outer edges of pan. Reduce heat to medium and crack eggs, one at a time, into center of pan. Briefly cook uncovered, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over kale and eggs, cover, and cook until eggs are set, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve immediately, right from pan.

Hint: To lighten the dish, substitute turkey or soy sausage for chorizo, and add beaten egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Stir egg whites or egg substitute while cooking to scramble.

Recipe: Carrot and Orzo Salad with Fresh Dill

Ingredients;

3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces

5 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 pound orzo pasta (or other grain of choice)

zest and juice of 2 lemons

4 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped

1/2 cup loosely-packed fresh dill, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, toss carrots and garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until carrots are browned and tender. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Squeeze out pulp from garlic cloves into small bowl and discard skins. Mash pulp with the back side of a spoon until it resembles a paste.
  3. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain in a colander (do not rinse), then transfer to a large bowl. Toss with remaining olive oil; add carrots.
  4. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, zest, scallions, and garlic paste. Mix in dill, then pour over orzo mixture and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Upcoming Events

Twilight Tales: Saturday, October 29, 2011, 6 to 9 p.m., Accokeek Foundation Visitor Center: When night descends on the Potomac River, this historic site comes alive with spirits from Maryland’s past. From 6 to 7 p.m., visitors can enjoy scary stories and songs performed as the sun sets across the river. From 7 to 9 p.m., brave able-bodied souls may venture out to explore the haunted farm house. Then, follow a mysterious guide by lantern light through the fields to the Tobacco House and meet criminals and other lost souls from Colonial Maryland. This scary journey is appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Sustainable Table Potluck: Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Education Center: It’s one thing to purchase produce that’s in season, and quite another to cook it. Sustainable Table is a monthly cooking course that demonstrates how to use in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create healthful, wholesome, and delicious meals. To celebrate the end of the season, we invite our guests to join us for a potluck. Guests are encouraged to use seasonal ingredients—this month, think sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, greens, and more—to make a soup, side, salad, or dessert to share. Please RSVP by clicking the link available here.

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Field Notes: Volume 16, Number 23

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This Week’s Harvest

  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Arugula
  • Mizuna
  • Scallions
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

By Courtney Buchholtz

Another week has passed and here I sit again staring at the blank screen of the computer, coaxing the words to fill the page in front of me. Why do I find writing so hard at times, most times? Perhaps it’s the expectations I place upon myself to write something that is beyond extraordinary, something that will capture you, take you out of your world and into ours. Or at least write something that makes you stop and think for a moment about your place in all this. For there are many days when I hardly see another soul and I feel rather detached from the rest of the world. So how do we give you a glimpse of the beauty that surrounds us daily? Words are one of the few options we have, so it’s words we choose.

The light rains this week brought a noticeable cooling of the air. And the winds took many of the leaves that had yet to change color from the trees, robbing us of the color we had only begun to start seeing. Not that the colors were going to be spectacular; drought followed by heavy rains doesn’t often make for wonderful fall colors. The grass dried out enough to mow and the fall clean-up has begun, which I like to think of as putting the garden to bed. Cover crops have been planted in the New Field and with Wednesday’s rains will hopefully start to germinate over the weekend. Though it’s later than we would normally plant cover crops—there is less daylight than we would like, and geese that come in and eat the young, fresh shoots—we opted to try anyway, knowing that the ground prefers to be covered versus bare and exposed. Our newest adaptation at the farm this week is our method of cultivation. With the ground too wet to use any traditional forms of cultivation, I have taken to using the weed whip as my primary choice in knocking back any weeds that threaten to go to seed. While the noise and vibration are less than ideal, I have at least succeeded in my intentions.

What remains of the crops are hanging on, and according to the weather, it appears as though there is little chance for rain over the next week and a half. But that is always subject to change, despite the weatherman’s best intentions. The sunrise on Tuesday morning was magnificent. Various shades of pink swirled about the sky and greeted me warmly as I stood at the kitchen window preparing for the day. These are the moments that remind me how lucky I am to be here, and to take the time to stop and just observe, to enjoy such wonder that is never the same from day to day. We anticipate having boxes for two more weeks following this one, and will keep you posted should anything change.

Since many of you have been asking, lately, about the greens in the boxes, I thought I would take some time to tell you a little more about mizuna and arugula (my personal favorite). Mizuna, also known by the names Xiu Cai, Kyona, Japanese Mustard, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Greens, California Peppergrass, and Spider Mustard, has a piquant, mild peppery flavor and is slightly spicy, but less so than arugula. Thought to have originated in China, mizuna is highly resistant to cold weather and produces an abundance of leaves that can be continually harvested over the course of many months. Often used in soups, stir fries, and other vegetable dishes, mizuna also makes a wonderful salad with great flavor and texture.

Arugula, also known as rocket, is a native to the Mediterranean, hailing from the region encompassing Morocco, Portugal, Lebanon, and Turkey. It has a rich, peppery taste, and an exceptionally strong flavor for a leafy green. High in potassium and vitamin C, it is generally used in salads, and often mixed with other greens in a mesclun mix. It is also cooked as a vegetable or used raw with pasta or meats in northern Italy and in western Slovenia (especially in the Slovenian Istria). In Italy, rocket is often used in pizzas, added just before the baking period ends or immediately afterward so that it will not wilt in the heat. In the Slovenian Littoral, it is often combined with boiled potatoes or used to make a soup. On the island Ischia in the Gulf of Naples, a digestive alcohol called rucolino is made from the plant, a drink often enjoyed in small quantities following a meal. The liquor is a local specialty enjoyed in the same way as a limoncello or grappa and has a sweet peppery taste that washes down easily. In Brazil, arugula is eaten raw in salads with dressing. A popular combination is arugula mixed with Mozzarella cheese (often made out of buffalo dairy) and sun-dried tomato, and maybe a splash of olives if you’d like!

—Your Farmers

Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.

This Week’s Recipe: Arugula and Baby Greens with Sausage and Fennel

Ingredients:

4 sweet or spicy Italian sausages

4 cups baby arugula leaves

4 cups mixed baby greens

1 medium fennel bulb, tops trimmed, bulbs cored and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese shavings

Directions:

  1. Saute sausage in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until well-browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Slice sausage on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Combine arugula, mixed greens, fennel, and chives in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl until blended and slightly thickened; season generously with salt and pepper. Toss arugula and greens with dressing. Top salad with Parmesan shavings and sausage and serve.

Hint: Don’t discard the tops trimmed from the fennel bulb! Roughly chop the bright green, aromatic fronds and add them to salads or wilted greens.

Upcoming Events

Twilight Tales: Saturday, October 29, 2011, 6 to 9 p.m., Accokeek Foundation Visitor Center: When night descends on the Potomac River, this historic site comes alive with spirits from Maryland’s past. From 6 to 7 p.m., visitors can enjoy scary stories and songs performed as the sun sets across the river. From 7 to 9 p.m., brave able-bodied souls may venture out to explore the haunted farm house. Then, follow a mysterious guide by lantern light through the fields to the Tobacco House and meet criminals and other lost souls from Colonial Maryland. This scary journey is appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Sustainable Table Potluck: Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Education Center: It’s one thing to purchase produce that’s in season, and quite another to cook it. Sustainable Table is a monthly cooking course that demonstrates how to use in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs to create healthful, wholesome, and delicious meals. To celebrate the end of the season, we invite our guests to join us for a potluck. Guests are encouraged to use seasonal ingredients—this month, think sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, greens, and more—to make a soup, side, salad, or dessert to share. Please RSVP by clicking the link available here.

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Cows on Capitol Hill!

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As a feature of our blog, our livestock manager, Polly Festa will be providing updates from the barnyard once a month. This month, she talks about taking some of the animals to the big city.

by Polly Festa, Livestock Manager

The week of October 3 through 7 was the D.C. Farm to School Week, which kicked off the first National Farm to School Month. During this week, I took some of our heritage livestock to two schools in the DC area to teach kids about farm animals.

On Monday, October 3, I went to Garfield Elementary with two of our Buckeye hens. I had planned to take the calves but the weather was too unpredictable. Once we arrived, I visited eight classes ranging from preschool to second grade.  The students had many questions about the hens and farming.  I really enjoyed the contrast between the grades.  Most of the kids had never been that close to a chicken before so, needless to say they were all very curious. The kids asked many questions about the animals and farming in general. They were so excited to pet the hens and learn all about their purpose on the farm. The hens acted like they were about to lay all day but they never did produce that egg.

The second school we visited was Watkins Elementary.  At this school, our friends Lorelei and Jujubee took the show.  I spoke with five classes of second graders with my helpers, Accokeek Foundation farmer, Jose and my mother, Mary Lynn.  We set up on the sidewalk in front of the school so the kids could come to us. Boy, were we a spectacle to those driving by! Some cars circled the block two or three times just to be sure of what they were seeing – Cows on Capitol Hill!  All the kids had good questions; each class had different things they were interested in from chickens to horses and everything in between.  But the highlight of the day was when the classes formed two lines in order to pet the calves.  Some kids got in line more than once to pet the calves while others were so excited they hugged Lorelei and Jujubee. It was great to see kids get so excited about seeing farm animals.

I am glad that there are programs like this to help the students that are so removed from agriculture learn more about it. Every school should get the chance to learn about farms and how they work. I hope that there will continue to be programs like this, not just in the DC area but all over the country.

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Wilton Corkern Receives Accokeek Foundation’s National Conservation Leadership Award

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Jim Rees presents Wilton with a gift from Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Accokeek, MD–On October 9, 2011, the Accokeek Foundation honored Dr. Wilton C. Corkern, Jr., with its National Conservation Leadership Award, in recognition of more than two decades of service to advance stewardship and conservation, especially land preservation and sustainable agriculture. The award was presented at the Foundation’s annual Leadership Salute, a lovely outdoor event in Piscataway Park which raised nearly $55,000 for the Accokeek Foundation’s programs, including a $20,000 grant awarded by the Wallace Genetic Foundation in honor of Corkern.

Corkern, who recently retired from the Accokeek Foundation, became President and CEO in 1990. He established the Foundation’s modern organic Ecosystem Farm with its innovative new farmer training program. He also helped to organize and launch the Friends of the Potomac and to secure designation of the Potomac as one of the first “American Heritage Rivers.” Under his leadership, the Foundation reinvigorated its land conservation program, constructed a “green” Education Center, developed stewardship demonstration areas, and launched the Foundation’s Piscataway Cultural Landscape Initiative, an effort to transform the concept of “indigenous cultural landscape” into a concrete interpretive experience of Piscataway culture and history.

Corkern was recognized for his accomplishments and receivedcongratulatory proclamations from many, including:

  • Assistant Secretary of the Interior Robert G. Stanton brought greetings from Steny Hoyer, Minority Whip of the U. S. House of Representatives; Ken Salazar, U. S. Secretary of the Interior; and Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service
  • Delegate James Proctor presented the Governor’s Citation from Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
  • Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., presented a resolution from the Senate of Maryland
  • Delegate Joseph Vallario presented a resolution from the Maryland House of Delegates
  • Senator Miller and Delegates Proctor and Vallario presented a Maryland State Flag that flew over the State House in Annapolis
  • Accokeek Foundation Trustee Eugene Roberts presented a Certificate of Recognition from Rushern Baker, Prince George’s County Executive
  • Elizabeth Hewlett, Chairman of the Prince George’s Planning Board, presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the Prince George’s Planning Board
  • Alexcy Romero, Superintendent of National Capital Parks–East, presented three “Centennial Challenge” medallions from the National Park Service: The Frederick Douglass Medallion for Excellence in Leadership; the Carter G. Woodson Medallion for Making a Difference; the Willow Oak Medallion for Excellence in Resource Management
  • James Rees, President of Mount Vernon, brought greetings from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

Corkern previously worked at the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the George Washington University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has served on numerous boards and commissions, and currently serves as chair of the steering committee of the Washington AIDS Partnership, as a board member of  the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, and as a trustee of the Corina Higginson Trust, a Washington, DC, philanthropy. He was recently appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail Advisory Council. He is a member of the Cosmos Club. Corkern received his PhD in American Civilization from the George Washington University.

The event was sponsored by generous donors, including Susan Gage Caterers, B.K. Miller Company, Alexander and Cleaver, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Prince Charitable Trusts, SMECO, Cultural Resources Management Group, Delegate Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Leadership Salute contributions help to ensure high-quality, affordable educational and recreational opportunities for the local community.

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About the Accokeek Foundation and the National Conservation Leadership Award

The Accokeek Foundation, which was established in 1957 to protect the Mount Vernon viewshed, stewards 200 acres of Piscataway National Park along the Potomac River in Prince George’s and Charles Counties, Maryland. Its programs include the National Colonial Farm, a living history museum that preserves heirloom plants, heritage breeds of livestock, and historic buildings of the Chesapeake Tidewater; the Ecosystem Farm, a demonstration of sustainable agriculture; and training programs in organic farming, museum theatre, and other related fields.

The Accokeek Foundation established the National Conservation Leadership Award in 2001 to recognize contributions in the conservation of natural, cultural, and historic resources. Former recipients of award include Robert G. Stanton, former Director of the National Park Service; John M. Derrick, former chairman and CEO of Pepco Holdings; Steny H. Hoyer, Democratic Whip, U.S. House of Representatives; Gilbert Gude, former Member of Congress; the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union; Willem Polak, President of the Potomac Riverboat Company; Glenn Eugster, retired Assistant Regional Director for Partnerships, National Park Service National Capital Region; and Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, President of the Senate of Maryland. Peter Gilsey, Chair and CEO of Ariba Asset Management, Inc., was selected as the 2010 recipient and was honored posthumously in December 2010.

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Field Notes: Volume 16, Number 22

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This Week’s Harvest

  • Fennel Frond
  • Scallions
  • Arugula or Mizuna
  • Green Cabbage

By Colette Buchholtz

Each week, we seem to hem and haw over what information will get distributed to SHAREholders about the state of the farm, and how best to convey those thoughts and ideas. We don’t have speechwriters, though we did have a blog writer for awhile and were grateful for the assistance. But those posts lacked our voice, and the voice of the farm itself. So here we are, now writing these words ourselves and wondering what in the world to write about (though not from lack of options). We want to share with you the news of the week, the crop report (as Midwest farm radio refers to it), the weather outlook, what’s buzzing about.

To say we enjoyed the sunshine the last couple of weeks would be an understatement. We floated about the farm on a sunshine high, as giddy and enlightened as the migrating monarchs. And things felt quiet and peaceful. The last of the standing water finally dissipated, and we felt firmer ground beneath our feet. We got some weeding done—enough to give the remaining fall crops a fighting chance. We did some organizing and cleaning up. And we got some rest.

And then we blinked, came to, and realized that it’s the middle of October and the garden is in a sad state of affairs. The sunshine wasn’t enough—too little, too late, as they say. Quite honestly, I stopped mentally adding up the rain gauge contents when we topped 20 inches, so I don’t know what the final damage was for what seemed like a long, long spell of rain. We took a hit with Irene, but it was downhill from there. Sure, what can one do about a so-called 500-year rain event? And all the inches that followed?

To answer that today, in the here and now, there is nothing we could have done to change what happened. But if we’re not always looking for better ways, innovative thinking, bright ideas, we wouldn’t be good farmers. And so we don’t just walk away from events like this downtrodden and despairing (though admittedly we are disappointed, because this isn’t just a job). We’re already analyzing, questioning, researching. Because sustainable farming isn’t just about not using chemicals or working with nature, it’s also about moving agriculture forward in a time of great change. It’s about working together to solve the tough issues facing us. It’s about keeping risk low and return high, utilizing every drop of energy we give to its fullest potential. We need everyone at the table when it comes to the future of food. We need you at the table when it comes to the future of food at the Ecosystem Farm.

Please enjoy the remaining few weeks. The box contents are no longer predictable. But maybe you won’t notice that. For some, just opening the box is excitement enough. And that makes us smile. Farming is first about food. But second, it’s about a way of life, about family, about community, about art, about honoring life. Your pick. We’ll supply what food we can, you give it heart. And don’t forget to bring back the box.

—Your Farmers

Below, photos from this week on the Ecosystem Farm. Click images to enlarge, or view them on Flickr.

This Week’s Recipe: Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

4 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 pound crumbled ground pork

1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded

1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn

10 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/4 cup Szechwan sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Pour chicken stock into a large pot. Stir the crumbled ground pork into the stock, and simmer over medium heat until the pork is cooked through and no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, corn, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, Szechwan sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper, and cook 5 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Upcoming Events

Monthly Foodways: Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham: Saturday, October 15, 2011, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., National Colonial Farm: 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 for everything from peas and pottage to food traditions for which Maryland is known. This month’s menu will include Maryland stuffed ham – a true Southern Maryland holiday tradition!

Sprouts: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Education Center: It’s never too early to get out and garden! Sprouts is a garden-themed educational program geared toward preschoolers. This one-hour, once-a-month program will spotlight fruit, vegetables, and other parts of a backyard garden, and will feature fun activities for parents and children to do together, from singing songs and reading stories to making crafts and playing games. We will spend time outside when weather permits. This month, we will learn about autumn leaves.

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Hog Blog: Blue Ribbon Calves in Charles County

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by Lorelei and Jujubee

Hi, my name is Lorelei. I am 9 months old. In human years that’s like being 9 years old. I was the Best of Show Dairy Female at the Charles County Fair.

Hey, Blog Hog, What about me! I am Jujubee, and I am 10 months old. I was the first place Fall Calf at the Charles County Fair. My sister, Lorelei, and I won the best two head any age class too.

Ladies, it is not nice to call each other names. – Sally

Sorry, Sally

Sorry, Sally

At the Fair we saw many interesting things. Like all the exhibit buildings. My favorite building was the 4-H building, because Polly told me that the Human Calves made or grew everything in the Building.

My Favorite building was the animal Barns, because of all the cute boys. My least favorite was “Lenny’s Ethnic Sausage.”  They had every type of sausage going, Polly told me not to worry about it, but it made me sad. So Polly bought us ice cream at Antietam Ice Cream. It was good, even if it was made with Jersey, not Devon, milk.

Poor Baby, I’m glad Polly was there to comfort you. – Sally

I liked when the Chick-Fil-A Cow came over for a visit. I was getting clipped (my hair done) and my horns polished for the show when she came up. Polly offered to clip her, too, and polish her horns.  I think Polly did a beautiful job getting us ready for the show.

Yeah, me too! I thought the wood carvers were cool. They are building a merry-go-round. They even let the little human calves help. I think Polly liked the tractor exhibits best.

The Fair was fun. I hope Polly takes us next year.

Yeah, I had fun too. I heard Polly saying that she was taking us next year. Below are some photos that Polly took for us to add to our album. More photos can be seen by clicking here.

 

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The Greenhorns Film and Young Farmers Highlight Food Day Event

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DC Metro Area Food and Farming Leaders to Converge on Accokeek Farm

Accokeek, MD –  The Greenhorns, a national grassroots nonprofit organization of young farmers, will premiere their much-anticipated documentary film, “The Greenhorns,” to DC Metro Area audiences at the Accokeek Foundation on Saturday, October 22. The screening is part of a full day and night of programming for area young and beginning farmers, as well as food leaders, being organized by the Accokeek Foundation, The Greenhorns, Chesapeake Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT), and Alice Ferguson Foundation nonprofit organizations. Beginning with workshops, speaker presentations (including the Rural Coalition), and a potluck, a farm campout will extend this social event into the next morning. This is an official national Food Day event and is FREE and open to everyone. Families are welcome and encouraged to join in the activities.

“The Greenhorns” film documents the decisive reemergence on our national landscape of a key cultural and economic force, the young American farmer. These new men and women in agriculture operate and thrive despite a longstanding trend of farmer attrition and aging, and the continued rapid loss of farmland to development.  The average age of a farmer in America is 57, and USDA subsidies to huge agribusinesses dominate Farm Bill spending. But many communities are experiencing a resurgence of activity among young, new and aspiring farmers. In the DC Area alone, we find numerous new farms and farming initiatives, both urban and rural, with young farmers at the helm.

“The Greenhorns” shows how a new generation of young agrarians who farm with their brains as well as their bodies exert a promising and necessary impact against these prevailing crises. These greenhorns are working to reverse negative trends in favor of healthy food, local and regional foodsheds, and the revitalization of rural economies, one farm at a time. Official mandates calling for the increase and successful resettlement of young farmers stir hope while farmland remains abundant, if difficult to access for most new entrants. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s recent call for 100,000 new farmers is an encouraging sign. Now we need policies to back up that goal. With over 400 million acres of farmland poised to change hands over the next twenty years, the time for action is NOW. The 2012 Farm Bill package of legislation is already in the pipeline. The documentary sets this context, shows the issues, and introduces the viewer to a savvy, purposeful posse of young farmers getting into the business of fixing America. One farmer at a time.

Directed by farmer/activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming, produced in dozens of states over three years, “The Greenhorns” runs a fast 50 minutes. Click here for more information and to make reservations to attend the event.

Contact:

Molly Meehan, Accokeek Foundation
Patrick Kiley, The Greenhorns

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Hog Blog: Road Trippin’ Cows

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by Sally

Well, I never. Cows on a road trip? That’s what happened here on the farm last week. Two of the Milking Devon heifers, Lorelei and Jujubee, went on a road trip to the Charles County Fair.  At least that’s what my good friend, Mercy, told me, so I went to investigate. I went over to the barnyard to ask Lady what she knows.

“Lady, what do you know about these gallivanting calves?” I asked.

“Well, my dear Sally, I heard that my darling Polly took the calves to the fair. Though, I am not sure what to make of these photos I found lying next to the tack room door.” Lady replied.

“Hey!  What are you two doing with our fair pictures?” shouted Jujubee.

“Yeah! Those are ours! We are going to use them in our blog post,” claimed Lorelei.

“Blog Post!?” Lady and I declared with shock.

Polly, who had been in the tack room, getting out Lady’s saddle, came out of the saying, “Yes, ladies, I asked the girls to write a blog about going to the Fair. I even lent them my camera when we walked around the fair grounds to see what else was going on. Sally, maybe you can help the girls with their blog. They are just babies.”

“POOOLLLLYYY!!! We’re BIG girls now!” Jujubee and Lorelei cried out.

“Of course I can, Polly. It would be my pleasure to help. Someone must teach the younger generation how to captivate the hearts of the public,” I replied compassionately.

“Thanks Sally. Come on, Lady, we have fence line to check.  Girls, be good and listen to Sally,” Polly said on her way out the door with Lady.

So if you come back later, you will see what my young pupils blog about the fair.

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