2018, September

Farm update – 9/23/2018

This is the time of year when the farm’s namesake is in its full glory. And for the many questions I get about where the name of the farm comes from and what it means, I’ve somehow never yet written about it.

Georgia calamint (aka Calamintha georgiana or Clinopodium georgianum if you really want to get technical and up-to-date with your botanical nomenclature) is a small-statured shrub that can be found from eastern Louisiana to southern North Carolina. It is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and has a wonderful minty aroma when you touch or brush up against the leaves. Though not especially photogenic, as I recently found out, its profusion of light lavender flowers make it especially attractive in late summer. It likes to grow on sandy soil along rivers or creeks, and there is an abundance of it here where the farm runs up to Ichawaynochaway Creek. We chose to use calamint as the farm name as a way to honor and represent the land that makes this all possible.

Georgia calamint

Even as the calendar welcomed us into fall, our patience with the September warmth finally ran out. Although soil temperatures have yet to dip into the 70s, which is what we use as a cue to begin planting, we went ahead and got some seedlings into the ground this weekend. Broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and green onions were the few veggies we felt comfortable planting now, with another week of 90-degree temps in store. Next weekend we should be able to get many more of our fall veggies planted!

First fall planting
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2 thoughts on “Farm update – 9/23/2018”

  1. Calamint appealed to me before I knew its name or anything about it. I noticed that it bloomed in September and October and that bumblebees, genus ‘Bombus’ were particularly attracted to the flowers. There are 17 species of bumblebees known in Georgia, and they are important native pollinators (see http://native-bees-of-georgia.ggc.edu/). I suspect that Calamint is an important late season resource for them. Right now in late September, long tailed skippers, Urbanus proteus, seem to be attracted to Calamint as well. Their larvae feed on a variety of legumes but the adults are general nectar feeders. I think the dense beds of Calamint are really beautiful along the sandy shaded bluffs near streams where I work. I also have some growing in shaded areas in my yard and it is an attractive and low maintenance native plant.

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