Field Notes: Volume 16, Number 3
This Week’s Harvest
Head Lettuce or Pak Choi
While we strive for consistency at the Ecosystem Farm, we ask that our SHAREholders please keep in mind that Friday and Tuesday harvests will not always be the same.
For your convenience, an exact harvest list will be posted in the packing shed.
As the season quickens, the atmosphere of the Ecosystem Farm has experienced a positive shift. The garlic have sent up scapes, flower stalks that will soon make their way into our harvests. The summer squash have grown in size, as the staff hand-pollinates the greenhouse-dwelling plants that are screened off from predators and pollinators alike, calling for human hands to do the work of bees and butterflies. And a pair of Prothonotary Warblers have been found nesting in the packing shed, so be on the look-out for the bright yellow birds when you come to the site to pick up your SHAREs (but don’t confuse them with the House Sparrows that are nesting nearby).
Even the farm staff has developed a more positive outlook on the season that lies ahead. This week, the staff met with former manager Shane LaBrake, ever-knowledgeable and helpful in acclimating these three new-to-Accokeek farmers with the place that he helped to build. Shane was the first manager of the Ecosystem Farm, and has returned to the site to help the staff get things in order, offering his perspective on the land’s past and present and encouraging them to come to an understanding rather than an impasse. A well-known quote from Theodore Roosevelt has inspired both Shane and the staff: We must do what we can, with what we have, where we are.
As the four farmers opened up a new channel of communication, the call of the yellow-billed cuckoo rang out. The common but quite elusive bird (its call is heard more often than the creature is seen) is often considered to signal a turn of fate. Whether it is a good turn or a bad turn, we suppose it is up to the staff to decide. And they, of course, are ever the optimists.
Up Close With Cilantro