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October 2004
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December 2004

Last photos of 2004

<p>We just added twenty-two photos to our 2004 photo album. Some of these pictures were previously published in the weblog, but many were not. Take a look, if you want. With these additions, the 2004 album now has fifty-two photos. If you want to view them, start <a href="">here</a> with picture 31, and then click on NEXT when you are ready to move ahead. To start on the main page of the entire photo album for this year, go to <a href="">Clagett Farm Photos: 2004</a>. If you have not seen our 2003 pictures, check them out at <a href="">Clagett Farm Photos: 2003</a>. And remember that you can always visit our photo albums by clicking on the corresponding links on the right sidebar of this weblog.</p>

Thank you, gleaners!

<p>Because of all the gleaners that came to the farm this past Friday and Saturday, November 19 and 20, our 2004 season came to a happy end. It's good to know that as the season closed our fields are thoroughly picked and our veggies put to good use. This year we had many more gleaners than in the previous two years. A visitor to the farm during these two gleaning days may not have gotten that impression since at any given time there were only a handful of gleaners at the farm. But it was the steady trickle of gleaners that made the difference. At the end it added up to a significant number. We were also fortunate that on Friday when a van from <a href="">Christ House</a>, a medical facility for the homeless in DC, came to pick up veggies, three shareholders that were gleaning for their own households cheerfully jumped into the act and helped harvest several binfuls of nutritious greens for Christ House's kitchen. Thanks!</p> <p><img title="Garlic_swags_iii_1" height="145" alt="Garlic_swags_iii_1" src="" width="190" border="0" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 5px 5px" /></p> <p>Gleaners who stopped at the washing station saw (and several of them bought) the swags that Carrie made with Clagett Farm's German Porcelain garlic, popcorn cobs, boxwood, holly and pine. Kathleen Davis also made a couple of wreaths that sold quickly. If you bought one of those swags or wreaths, remember that the garlic is of excellent eating quality, so once you are ready to put away your holiday decorations use that garlic in your kitchen.&nbsp; &nbsp; </p>

Mulching for 2005

<p>No more shares to distribute in 2004, but that does not mean that there is no work left at the farm. One of the last field activities as this season ends has direct bearing on the 2005 season. We are mulching the strawberry and garlic fields. Actually, there isn't much mulching left. We are already done with our first strawberry field and yesterday we finished mulching the garlic field. It took 78 straw bales to mulch the entire garlic field. What's left for next week is to mulch the new (and larger) strawberry field, which will be harvested next spring for the first time. The mulch protects the strawberry plants and the recently planted garlic cloves by moderating soil conditions.</p> <p>We used to mulch these fields by hand, a process that used to take days. Not anymore. Well, it still takes a few days, but instead of several workers involved in hard physical labor, it's a job that can be done by a team of only two people. All that thanks to a used bale chopper acquired by Clagett Farm this summer. Mulching now is a quicker and more labor efficient process. Alas, it's also noisier.</p> <p>A few strawberry mulching scenes follow. The photo below shows the mulcher (bale chopper) on the wagon which also carries the bales of straw. Once an area has been covered with enough mulch the tractor pulls the wagon forward to cover the next spot.</p> <p><a href=""><img title="Mulcher_general_view" height="244" alt="Mulcher_general_view" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>A closer view. Carrie is feeding straw into the mulcher while Rob is handling the hose from which the mulch blows.</p> <p><a href=""><img title="Mulching_strawberries_carrie_and_rob" height="254" alt="Mulching_strawberries_carrie_and_rob" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>Carrie getting ready to grab a bale. Notice that the wagon is almost empty. Once there are no bales left, the tractor is driven to one of the barns and loaded with about 40 bales of straw.</p> <p><a href=""><img title="Mulching_carrie" height="495" alt="Mulching_carrie" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>Rob in action. It was his idea to get the bale chopper. Some of us (this writer included) were skeptical, but he proved us wrong. </p> <p><a href=""><img title="Mulching_rob" height="262" alt="Mulching_rob" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p></p>

What's available to glean?

<p>Gleaning begins tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, from 9am-noon and 3-5pm both days.&nbsp; Remember, this is when YOU do the harvesting.&nbsp; The crops listed below are scattered in fields all around the farm.&nbsp; We'll be headquartered in the washing station, delighted to direct you.&nbsp; With a few exceptions, these greens and roots are not plentiful--a gleaner's job is to find what little remains of the things you want before they're covered in snow or dissolved in ice.&nbsp; This is not a task for the hurried or impatient (or those with impatient children in tow).</p> <p>Available in varying quantities...</p> <p><strong>Sweet potatoes</strong>, <strong>popcorn</strong> (LOTS), <strong>hakurei turnips</strong> (very small), <strong>broccoli leaves</strong> (delicious), <strong>broccoli florets</strong> (few), <strong>mustard greens</strong>, <strong>cabbages</strong>, <strong>red kale</strong>, <strong>collards</strong>, <strong>mint</strong>, <strong>oregano</strong>, <strong>parsley</strong>, <strong>cilantro</strong>, <strong>dill</strong> (a wee bit), <strong>spinach</strong> (a little), <strong>lettuce</strong> (even less), <strong>tat soi</strong>, <strong>turnip greens</strong> (plenty--they volunteered like crazy this year), <strong>watermelon radishes</strong>, <strong>arugula </strong>(lots), <strong>dandelion greens</strong>, <strong>hon tsai tai</strong> (a young, purple-veined salad green), <strong>beets</strong> (many, but very small).</p> <p>Also, we're experimenting with making Christmas wreaths with some garlic bulbs we didn't use for seed.&nbsp; We may try to sell you some.&nbsp; Or if you'd rather, you can help us try to make them.&nbsp; Or help us mulch the garlic field before it rains on Friday.&nbsp; Fun for all!&nbsp; See you there.</p> <p></p>


<p>Two days short of a year ago, Carrie wrote about what to do with the <strong>popcorn</strong> shareholders got in their share. If you want to read her informative post, click <a href="">here</a>.</p>

Musings of a worksharer

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><em>By Tina Shane</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong><br />The City energizes me with its frenetic activity:</strong></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Careening sirens &quot;rushing&quot; through rush hour traffic</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Trumpeting car horns singing duets with caroling car alarms</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Hands shouting in animated gesticulations</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Schools of people entering and exiting the earth, striding sidewalks and streets</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Buses and subway cars stuffed with sardines</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Conveyer belts of jets rumbling through the sky with bellies full of people</p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><strong>But it is Clagget Farm that nourishes, restores, and soothes my soul:</strong></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Friendly greetings of &quot;Hey! H'ya doin'?&quot; smiles</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Soft murmur and gentle rhythm of volunteers harvesting the bounty</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Canada Geese honking in V-formation overhead</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Birds chattering in top-secret meetings in the trees</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Praying mantis, lady bugs, spiders:&nbsp;all safely hidden in the dark embrace of foliage</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Rain-sound of leaves letting go their docking stations and tumbling through the trees</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Soft breeze cooling the brow</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Pitter patter of rain on raincoats</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Fall sun coaxing brilliant colors from the foliage</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;">- Bowl of sky outlined with soft undulations</p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p>