Some new varieties to try


 If you've ever scanned a vegetable seed catalog, surely you know the giddy feeling we get every winter of new possibilities--and I admit, a little fear, as well.  ("But groundhogs ate all our cantaloupes last year.  Can we get it right this time?")

Pushing our hesitancy aside, here's a few things we're trying in 2018:

  • Did you know Anne Arundel County has its own melon variety?  The Anne Arundel muskmelon should be orange and green on the inside, similar to the Arava melon that we've grown successfully in some past years.  Varieties bred for our region are a rare treat, and with luck, this one will be well-adapted to the soil types, plant diseases and pests common to our area (think downy mildew, powdery mildew and cucumber beetles).  It's true that cantaloupes are the all-time favorite of groundhogs, which have a thriving population here at Clagett Farm.  But we have improved our skills in fencing and trapping, and we think this is our year.  Too bad we don't have a Prince George's County melon!
  • For over a decade, we couldn't size up a single beet on this farm, but we're getting better.  We think the biggest improvement was fertilizing with a little Boron (the same stuff sold as Borax in the laundry aisle of your grocery store).  Boron, Nitrogen and Sulfur are all negatively-charged ions in the soil, and are prone to leach deep into the soil and out of reach of our crops when it rains. Over the years, our Boron supply has dwindled to almost nothing, so we're slowly adding it back, little by little, and catching it with organic matter to hold it in place.  So this is the year we go a little crazy and try this new variety of striped chioggia beet to test our chops.  
  • And that last picture is of Christmas lima beans.  Normally we prefer bush beans over pole beans, because they are easier to manage and give us a big harvest quickly.  But this year we're trying out a few varieties of pole beans, including this beautiful lima.  Pole beans are said to taste better, and should produce beans over a longer period of time.  U-pick, anyone?

Wish us luck!  And better yet, invest in our new season by becoming a 2018 CSA member!  We need 250 full-paying CSA members to make this business work.  And that means you!  Who's going to eat all these lovely vegetables if you don't sign up?  



It's a good time to be a mama cow at Clagett Farm

IMG_3869bWe're up to ten calves, including a pair of twins!  And there's at least a dozen more to come.  Then in April, the new baby lambs will be born.  

The cows don't let you get close enough to pet them, but a patient visitor (human--not canine) can get to within a few yards.  So it may be chilly out, but it's still a good time to visit.

Cows serve an important purpose in the ecosystem of our farm.  They eat the grass and return those nutrients right back to the soil where it came from.  Much of this property is far too hilly to plant vegetables.  The vegetables we grow are annual plants that don't compete well with weeds.  We have to till the soil bare in order to get the vegetables established, and on these hillsides, rain would carry our precious soil into our streams, turning it from an asset into pollution.  We're constantly experimenting with growing organic vegetables with reduced tillage, but none of those techniques work well enough yet to allow us to plant on a steep slope.  Cows allow us to create a marketable product from these nutrient-poor slopes, while holding our soil in place.  That perennial grass they're eating is also constantly adding carbon into the soil, pulling it out of the atmosphere.  Thank you, cows! 

Winter brings new life to our high tunnel


One of your farmers, Jared Planz, captured this photo of a storm moving in over our high tunnel.  A high tunnel is a greenhouse where we grow plants directly in the ground (as opposed to the greenhouse where we grow seedlings that get transplanted into fields elsewhere).  We've been getting the beds and frame ready so we can put on a new cover.  Pretty soon, this high tunnel will be home to an early planting of tomatoes.  Winter is still a busy time on the farm! 

We've been doing a lot of planning in spreadsheets, as well.  Did you know, over the course of this season, we'll plant 600,000 seeds in the ground, of 175 different varieties?  And before you've eaten your last leaf of salad in November, we'll get help in the fields from over 1000 people.  Getting excited yet?

(Pst!  That's your hint to sign up for a 2018 Clagett Farm CSA share.)


We need to hear your thoughts about the CSA

Remember those sweet peppers--the ones you roasted, and you realized you'd never appreciated how delicious peppers are?  What about that bouquet of flowers that brightened your kitchen?  We tried a few new things this year--colanders filled with herbs, lettuce and kale; and little trays of microgreens that pack a punch of nutrition and flavor and make a classy garnish.  Did they work for you or did you wish we would stick with the basics?  This is your moment to register your opinion

We've had 52 responses so far (and if one of them was you, THANK YOU), and we had 220 members. Please, to all 168 of you that we haven't heard from yet--complete our survey!  It's quick!  It's painless!  We appreciate you!


Your farmer, 


Clagett Farm CSA shares for 2018 are available now! 



Clagett Farm CSA shares are available now!  New and returning members can purchase a share beginning now.

Ever thought of giving a farm membership as a holiday gift?  You can!  It’s a great way to give something HEALTHY to someone you love.    

Are you a returning member but not ready to buy a CSA share yet?  Don’t worry, we’ll guarantee a slot in the upcoming season for you and all of our other 2017 CSA members until March 1st.  And as always, we give you a $50 discount to thank you for being a loyal, returning member. 

New this year, we are offering a 13-week share.  This is a good option for those of you who can’t make it most weeks, but still want to come a few times per year.  Instead of the full 26 shares, you get half as many over the same period of time (May 9th – November 10th).  You can collect the shares whichever weeks you want, but a maximum of only one at a time.  And you can only you-pick on the weeks when you pick up a share.  We’re only offering a limited number of 13-week shares, and only for pick-up at Clagett Farm.  So if this is the option you want, don’t wait until March to sign up. 

Most of you will want to purchase a full season share because it is the cheapest option per week, because you get all the wonderful, organic vegetables you love, and because it’s the best way to support this farm.  You still get all the same flexibility we gave you last year—you can pick up the shares any week, 2 shares maximum per day.  And you can pick up at the farm on Wednesdays or Saturdays. 

If you sign up for farm pick-up, you can pick up at Dupont up to 6 shares total for the season.  If you sign up for Dupont pick-up, you can pick up at the farm as often as you’d like. 

I bet you have friends who would like to sign up for a CSA share at Clagett Farm.  Tell them to register!  Otherwise, when they’re tasting the wonderful, ripe tomatoes you bring home this summer, they’ll wonder why you didn’t tell them about it sooner. 

Let me know if you have a questions, or if you have ideas for how we should spread the word. 

Your farmer,


Last Chance to Reserve Your Holiday Wreaths

For our 2017 Wreath Drive, long-time Clagett friend and farm-hand Jenn is selling wreaths made from flowers and grasses grown organically at the farm, and in her DC garden space. 
Each wreath is hand-crafted to order and exquisitely designed—ensuring that everyone has the most beautiful holiday on record! Wreaths are $50 each, with delivery and gift-wrap options available for additional charges. For Clagett CSA members and friends, two wreath pick-up dates are available: One in Dupont Circle, DC on November 29th, and one at Clagett Farm, MD on December 2nd. There may be extra wreaths available for sale at these pick-ups, but it’s always best to reserve in advance.
Order your own wreaths by filling out this form. We have a limited supply of local flowers and foliage, so please order as soon as you can! And, most importantly: Happy Holidays from your farm team!

It's Time for the Gleaning: Here's Everything You Need to Know

Every year after the end of the official share season, we give CSA members the opportunity to come harvest whatever produce is still available on the farm. 

This year's gleaning will take place this weekend, Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 19. During this time, CSA members can come out to the farm any time of day to pick whatever produce is left.

And what produce is left, you ask? Great question! We've got:

  • white lady turnips
  • kale
  • watermelon radishes
  • tiny beets
  • tiny fennel
  • purple top turnips
  • spicy mix
  • Tokyo bekana
  • spinach
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • sage
  • dill
  • parsley
  • sorrel
  • lemongrass
  • garlic
  • cloves
  • mint

As we've cautioned in the past, gleaning is not for everyone.  You'll be picking it yourself, and because the pickings are sometimes slim, it will take a long time to get a significant amount of anything.

If you plan to come we suggest that you:

  • Bring a knife to make cutting the salad greens easier
  • Bring bags for the vegetables
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Be prepared to walk about a quarter mile to get from your car to the field.  

Thanks, everyone! Happy gleaning!

~The Clagett Team

The Final Share of 2017: Garlic, Peppers, Greens and More

Clagett gleaning
Autumn on Clagett Farm, as captured by Instagrammer paxmac. Thanks for posting, paxmac!



Well, Clagetteers, to everything, there is a season. And this season of Clagett Farm has drawn to a close. We've had some great food this year, but all good things must come to an end. And that means this is the final pick-up of the entire season.



  • Save the date for Gleaning 2017: Nov. 17-19. Each year, after the end of the official season, we give CSA members the opportunity to come harvest whatever produce is still available on the farm. Stay tuned for more information about this year's gleaning.

  • Interested in a beautiful holiday wreath handcrafted from organic greenery and dried flowers grown on Clagett Farm and other local Maryland farms? Check out The Dirt Society's 2017 Wreath Drive. They'll even deliver them right to you, or you can have them gift-wrapped and shipped anywhere in the country!

  • Clagett's fall beef sale has begun. Buy local, responsibly raised, grass-fed beef while supporting efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay! Here are some details:
    • Meat is frozen in individual cuts and vacuum sealed in clear packages (which helps retain cold, prevents freezer burn, and greatly prolongs storage life).
    • Our butcher is Mount Airy Meat Shop, a family run, well respected, and USDA certified shop. 
    • The meat is dry-aged, which means that it is hung at the meat shop for a little over two weeks to provide maximum tenderness.
    • A "lateral quarter" is sold @ $8.50/lb. The weights will vary based upon the individual cows’ but will range from 65-90lbs/quarter.  You can request to have a smaller quarter or a larger quarter, depending on your needs.
    • Meat must be picked up on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Clagett Farm between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. A reminder email will be sent out to all who place an order.
    • To place an order or find out more information, click here.

  • Finally, here's a reminder of some tips for prolonging produce shelf life over the next weeks and months:
    • Store sweet potatoes in a cool place (but not as cold as a refrigerator). They'll last for weeks.
    • Garlic will store from now until February outside of the fridge, and even longer in the fridge.
    • For root vegetables like radishes and turnips, rip the tops off and store the vegetables in your refrigerator's crisper drawer; they'll last a month.
    • Peppers freeze very well. If you trim them and slice them before you throw them in a Ziploc in the freezer, you can then take out and cook just the amount you want to use. (They also freeze especially well once roasted in the oven.)


  • 4 heads garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds total combination peppers + chiles
  • 1 1/2 pounds total combination turnips + radishes 
  • 1/2 pound greens
  • 1/2 pound other assorted veggies that we have in smaller amounts 

Okay, that's it for the final week of the season! Stay tuned for more info about gleaning!

~The Clagett Team

This Week's Share: Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Cardoons (!) and More

Clagett crew

Farmer Carrie posted this great photo of the Clagett crew taking a breather on a recent harvest day. 

Want to see one of your photos featured in a future email? Send it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!   



  • As a reminder, this is the penultimate share of the season. In other words, next week is the final week
  • Also, you may be ending the season with some produce you want to store during the winter. Here are some tips on that:
    • Store sweet potatoes in a cool place (but not as cold as a refrigerator). They'll last for weeks.
    • Garlic will store from now until February outside of the fridge, and even longer in the fridge.
    • For root vegetables like radishes and turnips, rip the tops off and store the vegetables in your refrigerator's crisper drawer; they'll last a month.
    • Peppers freeze very well. If you trim them and slice them before you throw them in a Ziploc in the freezer, you can then take out and cook just the amount you want to use. (They also freeze especially well once roasted in the oven.)


  • 2 heads garlic
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds peppers
  • 1 3/4 pounds total combination turnips + radishes + cardoons*
  • 1/2 pounds total combination eggplant + beets + chiles
  • 1/2 pound total combination greens + carrots + fennel
  • 1 plant, such as lettuce or an herb


*"What the heck is a cardoon??" you're wondering. Great question, you!  Cardoons are long, spiny stalks that look a little like celery and taste a little like artichokes. They're dense and tough, so most recipes call for slow-braising them, or first blanching or steaming them before you do something else, like saute or fry them. Here are a few good-looking cardoon recipes:



  • Chiles
  • Basil (Genovese, Holy, Opel, Thai, Lime, Cinnamon)
  • Sage
  • Garlic Chives
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Sorrel
  • Cilantro
  • Lemongrass
  • Stevia
  • Flowers (any flowers you see at the farm are fair game)

 That's it for this week! Enjoy the share! 

Season Update: The End is (Almost) Nigh

The end
(Flickr Creative Commons/Jeff Turner)

It's hard to believe, Clagetteers, but it's nearly November.

And that means it's almost the end of our produce season. In fact, there are only two shares left this year: this week and next.

We just wanted to make sure you're aware of that, especially if you've skipped a week in the past and haven't yet claimed your double share. Now is the time! Gather ye rosebuds -- er, sweet potatoes -- while ye may.

We'll be back on Wednesday with our usual weekly update about what to expect in the share.

Happy eating!

--Clagett Farm