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August 2004
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October 2004

Basil and Arugula

<p><a href=""><img title="Basil_field" height="477" alt="Basil_field" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a></p> <p>As you can see from the photo above, it has been a great basil year at Clagett Farm. We've had so much that we simply could not keep up with it and that's why we urged shareholders to &quot;you pick&quot; as much basil as they could. Well, by now most of the basil has flowered. After flowering basil leaves become more bitter. Yesterday evening, though, two worksharers told me they made good pesto from basil they had harvested earlier in the day. There's plenty left if you want to experiment.</p> <p>Our fall arugula looks promising. A couple of plantings already matured and a couple of others will be ready later in October. While basil is very frost sensitive, arugula is fairly frost tolerant. So unless a really bad frost hits us (always a possibility) we will probably be harvesting arugula until the end of the season (mid-November.)</p> <p>Below is a picture of a small thirty-day-old arugula bed. It was direct seeded on August 23 and was already harvestable a month later. Incidentally, because of the shorter days and cooler weather, arugula direct seeded in late September would take somewhat longer than thirty days to reach the same level of maturity. </p> <p><a href=""><img title="Arugula_one_month" height="382" alt="Arugula_one_month" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a></p>

The sweet potatoes are coming!

This week we harvested sweet potatoes for the first time this season. They look good! When will shareholders start getting them? Maybe as soon as this coming Tuesday, September 28. After harvesting, sweet potatoes need to be cured for a few days. We will decide this Tuesday whether this first batch has had enough curing time. Do not worry, though, all shareholders will get plenty of them.

We at Clagett Farm want to extend a special thank you to shareholders Cindy Agard, Pat Burke and Chris Weule for the crucial help they gave four months ago. On May 25, one of the hottest days this year, they helped us transplant sweet potato slips. On that day the results of their hard work probably didn't look very promising: small and pitiful looking plants flopped over in a hot and barren field. A couple of months later, the field was thickly carpeted with sweet potato vines. And now we've started to dig out a good looking crop.

This is how our largest sweet potato field looked on May 25 right after transplanting (with Kathleen, Rana and Joe):

<a href=""><img alt="Sweet_potatoes_field_right_after_trasnpl_4" title="Sweet_potatoes_field_right_after_trasnpl_4" src="" width="350" height="477" border="0" /></a>

The same field on September 23. Sweet potato vines on the left (unharvested portion) and already harvested rows on the right:

<a href=""><img alt="Sweet_potatoes_field_right_after_partial_3" title="Sweet_potatoes_field_right_after_partial_3" src="" width="350" height="466" border="0" /></a>

And here is a recently dug up trio:

<a href=""><img alt="Three_sweet_potatoes" title="Three_sweet_potatoes" src="" width="350" height="292" border="0" /></a>

Fall Festival!

With some encouragement from our members and co-workers, we've decided to schedule a fall festival. Mark your calendars for <strong>Saturday October 23, 2004</strong>. For those of you who cannot make it on Saturday, we will also offer a hayride the following Tuesday afternoon.

The first half of the day will follow our regular schedule. We'll harvest from 7:30am to 1:00pm, and we always welcome volunteers and work shares!
The pick-up for shareholders will run from 1:00-4:00pm, same as ever.
Bring lunch! We'll have a pot-luck meal at 1pm, and while you're eating, we'll entertain you with a pie auction. Not restricted to pies, we'll auction off just about anything you have to offer.
At 2:30pm we'll have a <strong>hayride</strong>.
We'll also have some games (a scavenger hunt? apple bobbing?).
Let us know if you have any other ideas for activities, or something you would like to share with our group.
Everyone is invited. Bring your friends!


Be prepared, there is <strong>watermelon</strong> in this week's share. Shareholders who pick up at the farm or Anacostia should have no problems. It may be somewhat more problematic if you are a Dupont Circle shareholder, since most of you either walk or bike to the pick-up site. Because of the short notice and to make it easier to the Dupont members, most of the watermelons I'll bring this week will be small. Next week there will be more regular-sized watermelons in the Dupont drop-off site.