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July 2005
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September 2005

Papalo anyone?

<p><a href=""><img title="Papalo_cfn_2_2" height="212" alt="Papalo_cfn_2_2" src="" width="165" border="0" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 5px 5px" /></a> Intrigued by the description of <strong>papalo</strong> in a seed catalog, I ordered a packet. Papalo is native to the warmer regions of the Americas. Although we don't have many of them the plants are doing rather well now. I like its strong unique taste (the younger leaves are much better), but as I found out I'm the only one in my family who does. Reports from adventurous u-pickers are rather mixed. Some like it, others don't. We have a well-traveled bunch of shareholders, so if you have any papalo stories, or tips on how to use it, or even a recipe or two, please add a comment to this post.</p> <p>For some very basic information on papalo, go <a href="">here</a>. One of the main things to keep in mind is that papalo is not cooked. Its leaves are used fresh or added to cooked meals right at the end. </p> <p>We will be bringing samples of it to shareholders. Whether or not we will grow it next year depends on the feedback we get from you. </p>

Anise hyssop

<p><a href=""><img title="Anise_hyssop_and_swallowtail" height="335" alt="Anise_hyssop_and_swallowtail" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>Judging from this tiger swallowtail, our species is not the only one that enjoys anise hyssop. Although <strong>anise hyssop--</strong>also known as <strong>licorice mint--</strong>belongs to the mint family, as its names indicate it tastes more like anise or licorice. Among other uses, its leaves and flowers are used in salads and refreshing drinks and when dried both of them can be used for tea as well as in cookies and coffee cakes. </p>

Cultivating, hoeing and spraying

<p>Most of last Friday was dedicated to taking care of our fall brassicas field. The plants in that field (broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage and cauliflower) are still small and somewhat defenseless, so we cultivated with the tractor (clearing weeds growing in between the rows), hoed the weeds growing inside the rows, and sprayed the plants with a concoction that should give the plants a boost. We all rotated the different tasks, something we try to do whenever possible. </p> <p><a href=""><img title="26_aug_kenji_cultivating_cfn" height="262" alt="26_aug_kenji_cultivating_cfn" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>Kenji cultivating the brassica field, escorted by the faithful Cassie.</p> <p><a href=""><img title="26_aug_suzanne_spraying_cfn" height="313" alt="26_aug_suzanne_spraying_cfn" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>Suzanne spraying the tiny plants.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>We have another (smaller) batch of fall brassicas ready to be transplanted, which we are planning to do this week as long as the weather permits it. </p>

Harvesting potatoes

<p>We harvested a sizeable portion of our potatoes last week, and we want to thank the American University students who came to our farm and played a major role in the harvest. The AU students were enthusiastic and inquisitive, a fun group of volunteers.&nbsp; </p> <p>Some of the potatoes were dug out the old-fashioned way, with digging forks and muscle power (the way we harvested our new potatoes earlier in the season), but the bulk of them was dug out using our small (and old) tractor-powered potato digger. Muscle power was still essential, though. As you can see below, we had a group of students clearing most of the mulch in front of the tractor as it made its way up the row, and other students were behind the tractor filling up the bins with the just dug out potatoes.</p> <p><a href=""></a><a href=""><img title="25_aug_harvesting_potatoes_cfn_1" height="313" alt="25_aug_harvesting_potatoes_cfn_1" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a>&nbsp; <a href=""></a>&nbsp; </p> <p>While working on the potato field, the AU students rescued a young corn snake that was uncovered while clearing the mulch. After admiring it for a couple of minutes, the snake was released to where it belongs. </p> <p><a href=""></a><a href=""><img title="Aug_25_au_snake_rescuer" height="398" alt="Aug_25_au_snake_rescuer" src="" width="220" border="0" /></a> </p>

Saturday's help

<p>Well, Roshani's sunflower pictures had an effect. Among the dozen or so worksharers we got this Saturday, four of them were newcomers and at least two of them mentioned the sunflower photos as an inspiration for their visit. They were welcomed to the farm by a lot of work, high humidity and oppressive heat. We were very grateful for all their help and good cheer. There was plenty to harvest: tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, beans, eggplant, and so on. Alas, it seems that we came to the end of our corn. We expected to have more of it, but as we discovered this Saturday the corn field that was planted last turned out to be a disappointment. It was a good run while it lasted and there are plenty of other crops to harvest and enjoy.&nbsp; </p> <p><a href=""><img title="Aug_13_will_cfn" height="321" alt="Aug_13_will_cfn" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p>The photo above shows two Saturday worksharers getting their well deserved veggies. Incidentally, with the new additions, <a href="">Clagett Farm Photos: 2005</a> now has 58 pictures--including Roshani's sunflower series.</p>

Sunflower Series

<p>Hello everyone. The sunflowers were amazing this past weekend! The butterflies, bees and other insects were definitely enjoying them. Enjoy! -- Roshani</p> <p><a href=""></a><a href=""><img title="Sunflowers_6" height="262" alt="Sunflowers_6" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p><a href=""></a><a href=""><img title="Sunflowers_4" height="262" alt="Sunflowers_4" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p><a href=""></a><a href=""><img title="Sunflowers_1_1" height="262" alt="Sunflowers_1_1" src="" width="350" border="0" /></a> </p> <p><strong>NOTE: </strong>To view the whole series of Roshani's stunning sunflower photos, go to our 2005 photo album starting from <a href="">here</a> and click on NEXT when you want to move on. There are nine pictures in the series and the album presents them in a larger format. </p>


<p>It's turning out to be a hot summer and the heat makes a hard job even harder. In the previous two summers we were fortunate not to have any days with temperatures over 100 degrees. Not so this summer. Our Wash Station thermometer already registered at least three (probably four, I didn't check today) days with maximums over 100 degrees in the shade.</p> <p>Yesterday I came back to the farm from the Anacostia Farmers Market sometime after eight o'clock in the evening. I checked the thermometer and saw that the high just reached over 100 degrees. As I was unloading the van I felt tired. Then I saw Michael Heller and Rob Vaughn pulling out in tractors with wagons full of bailed hay. They looked dirty, sweaty and tired. There was no comparison. I had it really easy.</p> <p>And despite all this, we still get volunteers and worksharers who brave the heat and come to the farm to help us with the harvest. Understandably, not as many as when the weather was cooler, but they still come. Thanks!</p>

August means tomatoes

<p><img title="Tomatoes_cfn_1" alt="Tomatoes_cfn_1" src="" border="0" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 5px 5px" />Among other summer goodies, the first weekly share of August includes 5 pounds of tomatoes and 10 ears of corn. Judging from how loaded the plants are, it looks like it's going to be a good tomato month! And if you want even more tomatoes, do not hesitate: come to the farm and pick your own. </p> <p>And our corn has been getting rave reviews. If you are new to freshly picked organic corn, do not be put off by the occasional caterpillar. Just lop off the damaged area and eat the rest. It's delicious. </p>