• Accokeek Foundation

What’s Growing on the Ecosystem Farm?

The farm crew preps the fields for planting by laying plastic which helps to maintain soil moisture and temperature, while aiding in weed control.

The mild spring afforded the Ecosystem Farm comfortable days to work, beautiful weather for growing, and a little bit of extra water to remind us of our connection to the swampy environ around us (ha!). The crops have flourished in the moist regular-spring conditions: tomatoes fruiting on big deep green plants, the squash big and ready to flower, vining sweet potatoes beginning to jungle. At the pinnacle of the long-day summer solstice, it is marvelous to see the rapid growth of vegetables, pasture, forests and lawn sparkling with a dewy green.

Here are some happenings on the Ecosystem Farm this early season:

Volunteer farm days and potlucks held throughout the season are a great way to see the Ecosystem Farm up close and personal.

On June 8, we held a “Small Fruits Workday” and potluck. We had about a dozen volunteers who worked hard to help us weed and feed our blueberries, transplant our struggling strawberries, liberate our weedy blackberries, and clear out our fig orchard. It was a lot of fun and incredibly helpful, not to mention delicious. Volunteers rock! Our CSA program kicks off for 2013 in July. We are continually trying to improve this program and have introduced the “farmers-market option” to experiment with different styles of community supported agriculture. We are also featuring several workshare positions this season, to try to widen our little farming collective and assist the farm in the places it needs help. It’s very exciting to think of the harvest ahead and the sharing it will bring!

In addition to the CSA this year, beginning July 6, we will also hold an On-farm Market at the Ecosystem Farm every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. This is completely open to the public, and we hope it will bring more people out to our beautiful farm. Farm staff and volunteers will be available to provide tours of the eight-acre farm, to show how sustainable agricultural practices are used to help improve the environment, nourishing nutrient-depleted soil, while producing lush, delicious food. We will have organic produce for sale at this time.

Alex joins the farm through the Beginning Farmer Training program which teaches a new generation of farmers about sustainable agriculture and farm business management.

Come see us! The newest farmer growing at the Ecosystem Farm is Alex Binck, our second apprentice for the season. Alex is from Kensington, Maryland, and a graduate of Colorado College with a degree in biology. He has a passion for plants and natural systems, and can be found foraging barefoot when not farming. We are excited to have Alex’s good nature, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn on the farm this season!

Check out the Ecosystem Farm on Facebook for regular updates about farm goings-on!

–written by Becky Seward, Ecosystem Farm Manager

#produce #onfarmmarket #csa #organic #FarmerTraining #volunteering #farming #EcosystemFarm

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3400 Bryan Point Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607, USA

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