This Week's Share: Melons, Tomatoes and more!

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CSA member Suzanne snapped this photo of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on a tiger lily (so many tigers!) at the farm a couple weeks ago. Thanks for sending it, Suzanne! Send us your photos or post them to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!



Happy 13th Week of the CSA season, everyone!  This is the half-way week of the harvest season, and it's a good one.  

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS 

Canning Classes:  One class had to be postponed to August 28th, 2-5pm, and we have some open slots for that class.  

  • Where:  In Susan's kitchen near Dupont Circle in DC.  We'll give you more details when you sign up. 
  • Sign up by sending an email to Susan with your preferred date.  Classes are limited to 6 participants each. 
  • What You'll Learn: The basics about canning tomatoes, making jams, relishes and how to deal with high acid foods. 
  • Cost:  Susan only charges a $5 fee for supplies, which includes some photocopies and a jar of something you've made.  Keep in mind that no one is licensed, insured, or paid for this activity. Susan offers this class to you because many of our members have asked over the years, and she is willing to do it.  Thank you Susan! 

Save the Date: Burgers and Brews is Sunday, September 25th. Last year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation hosted this fun, ticketed event at the farm. More details to come, but mark your calendars!

Send us your photos! Each week, we aim to feature a CSA member's photo in our updates. It can be a photo you snap of the vegetables you receive, a photo of a dish you make with the share (like the one below), or photos from a visit to the farm. There are two ways to get them to us: email us your own photos or post them to Instagram with hashtag #ClagettFarm. We'll feature them here!
 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • We're doing it a little different this week because the melons are widely varying in size.  Your share is 10 pounds total.  You should choose your items and make sure all the items listed below (including melons and tomatoes) add up to a combined total of 10 pounds.  
    • Cucumbers
    • Squash 
    • Peppers
    • Chiles
    • Okra
    • Melon (1 fruit maximum)
    • Tomatoes (3 pounds maximum)
    • Garlic (1 bulb maximum)


WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Herbs (Parsley, sorrel, sage, chives, tarragon, oregano, thyme, mint, lavender, various kinds of basil, savory, leaf celery, anise hyssop, and more.)  The BASILhas been especially great this summer, but it won't be forever.  If you're planning to freeze some pesto, do it NOW.  
  • Flowers There are lots! Come help yourself!
  • The following are in a field surrounded by an electric fence.  We must leave the fence on to keep the deer out.  If you can't shimmy in without touching the fence, step on it.  The electric current will not pass through the soles of your shoes. 
    • New this week! Sun gold tomatoes!  These are the sweetest tomatoes ever.  Please note that the other tomatoes in this field are NOT on the u-pick list yet.
    • Cucumbers! 
    • Tomatillos:  Look for fruits with dried, papery husks.  The fruits should be large enough to split open the husk.
    • Okra:  We pick okra on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, so you'll find the most if you harvest on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Be careful not to confuse the flower buds (inedible) with the small okra pods (delicious).  If you are an inexperienced picker, we recommend using pruners so you don't accidentally snap off the top of the plant.  We also recommend wearing gloves, long sleeves and long plants because the foliage can irritate your skin.
    • Ground cherries:   The fruits fall to the ground when they are ripe.  Select the ones with brown, dry husks.  Inside, the fruit should be orange-yellow.  These are also known as golden berries, physalis, cape gooseberry and husk cherry.

 

That's week 13! Let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: Week 12

Clagett image 8-3-16

This photo of pickles-in-process comes from paxmac, who has been putting away some of those delicious cucumbers from the farm. Send us your photos or post them to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!



Happy 12th Week of the CSA season, everyone!

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS 

Save the Date: Burgers and Brews is Sunday, September 25th. Last year the Chesapeake Bay Foundation hosted this fun, ticketed event at the farm. More details to come, but mark your calendars!

Send us your photos! Each week, we aim to feature a CSA member's photo in our updates. It can be a photo you snap of the vegetables you receive, a photo of a dish you make with the share (like the one below), or photos from a visit to the farm. There are two ways to get them to us: email us your own photos or post them to Instagram with hashtag #ClagettFarm. We'll feature them here!
 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 1 head of garlic
     
  • 1 pint sun gold tomatoes (voted best tomato by a landslide in our tomato taste test a few years ago)  
     
  • 5.5 pounds total combination: squash + cucumbers
     
  • 1.25 pounds total combination: tomatoes + peppers + eggplant 
     
  • 1 pound total combination: potatoes + okra + chiles + tomatillos


WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Herbs (Parsley, sorrel, sage, chives, tarragon, dill, oregano, thyme, mint, lavender, various kinds of basil, savory, cutting celery/leaf celery, anise hyssop, and more.)
     
  • Flowers There are lots! Come help yourself!
     
  • New this week!  Each of these items requires a little know-how to pick them.  If you haven't picked them before, consider looking on-line for photos and a little guidance.  Also, they are in a field surrounded by an electric fence.  We must leave the fence on to keep the deer out.  If you can't shimmy in without touching the fence, step on it.  The electric current will not pass through the soles of your shoes. 
    • Tomatillos:  Look for fruits with dried, papery husks.  The fruits should be large enough to split open the husk.
    • Okra:  We pick okra on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, so you'll find the most if you harvest on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Be careful not to confuse the flower buds (inedible) with the small okra pods (delicious).  If you are an inexperienced picker, we recommend using pruners so you don't accidentally snap off the top of the plant.  We also recommend wearing gloves, long sleeves and long plants because the foliage can irritate your skin.
    • Ground cherries:   The fruits fall to the ground when they are ripe.  Select the ones with brown, dry husks.  Inside, the fruit should be orange-yellow.  These are also known as golden berries, physalis, cape gooseberry and husk cherry.

 

That's week 12! Let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: Strawberries, Greens and More

Clagett 5-18

Happy 2nd Week of this year's share! (Thanks to Instagram user chrissychrislove for this beautiful group of photos from the farm!)
 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS 

Don't Forget Your Bags: Just a reminder to be sure to bring bags with you to the pick-up. We have some but a low supply!

Allergy Alert: One of our members has notified us that they have a severe allergic reaction to arugula, so we'd ask you to please make an extra effort to keep the arugula and spicy mix separate from the other greens as you're picking up your share.

Send us your photos! Each week, we aim to feature a CSA member's photo in our updates. You'll see a few in this week's update. It can be a photo you snap of the vegetables you receive, a photo of a dish you make with the share (like the one below), or photos from a visit to the farm. There are two ways to get them to us: email us your own photos or post them to Instagram with hashtag #ClagettFarm. We'll feature them here!

Skip-and-Double option: As a reminder, you're always welcome to skip a pick-up one week and double up the following week (or vice versa), as long as you do it within a month. No need to email -- just let them know when you sign-in at your pick-up site.

DCist Interviews Farmer Carrie: In a piece about how the cooler spring weather is affecting crops in the DC area, the blog DCist features quotes from our very own Farmer Carrie. Check it out!

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

1/2 pound total combination of:

  • Greens (spinach, kale, stinging nettles, etc)
  • Strawberries (Just barely starting: Look for more next week!)
  • Asparagus 

3/4 pound garlic scallions

1/2 pound total combination of:

  • radishes
  • hakurei turnips

2 seedling plants. Options (while supplies last) include:

  • Swiss chard
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • parlsey
  • oregano
  • chiles
  • kale
  • collards

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Herbs (oregano, thyme, mint, sage, sorrel, parsley)

RECIPE SUGGESTION

Robert Nettle delight

CSA members Robert and Lainie braved the stinging nettles this past week, and used them as a substitution for spinach in this Rice and Quinoa dish from The Washington Post. They highly recommend it (and wearing gloves to handle the nettles!). 

 

That's week 2! Let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: The First Share of the 2016 Season!

Sage farmer carrie

Happy first day of the 2016 CSA Season. It's raining, but we're harvesting, and are excited to see you this week! 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS 

When's the pick-up? What should I know?  If you have any questions at all about the timing of the pick-ups, where to go, what to bring, etc. there are two good places online that you can refer to:

Top Tip For Week 1: Don't forget to bring bags to the pick-up! 

We love your photos! Each week, we aim to feature a CSA member's photo in our updates. This week's is from Farmer Carrie (you can follow her on Instagram). It can be a photo you snap of the vegetables you receive, a photo of a dish you make with the share, or photos from a visit to the farm. There are two ways to get them to us: email us your own photos or post them to Instagram with hashtag #ClagettFarm. We'll feature them here!

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

1/2 pound total combination of:

  • Greens (spinach, kale, stinging nettles, etc)
  • Herbs (oregano, thyme, mint, sage, sorrel, parsley)
  • Asparagus (we have only small quantities this week - we expect to be able to offer it the next 2 weeks. Our aim is to be able to offer asparagus to every member at least once.)

1/2 pound garlic scallions

1/2 pound total combination of:

  • rhubarb
  • hakurei turnips

2 seedling plants. Options (while supplies last) include:

  • Swiss chard
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • parlsey
  • oregano
  • chiles
  • kale
  • collards

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Herbs (oregano, thyme, mint, sage, sorrel, parsley)

 

SPECIAL NOTE: HOW TO USE STINGING NETTLES

We encourage you to be brave and try the stinging nettles that we've harvested this week. They have a scary name, and it's true that they do sting, but they're very healthy and delicious when cooked (plus, they don't sting once you cook them). Here's a resource with 8 recipes for stinging nettles. A simple one to start with is a nettle pesto

 

That's week 1. Let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Clagett Farm Team


The 2016 CSA Season Kicks Off Tomorrow (5/11)

Clagett red lettuce

 

Helloooooo CSA members!

This is just a heads up note to remind you that the CSA season kicks off tomorrow with our first share. Tomorrow (and every Wednesday of the season) you will receive a note detailing the contents of the share. For this first week, we're giving you a preview so that you know what to expect. 

First, two handy links for you: 

Second, a preview of what to expect in Week 1. This is, of course, subject to change based on tomorrow's harvest:

  • spinach
  • kale
  • rhubarb
  • hakurei turnips
  • seedlings
  • garlic scallions

Third, a note on the weather, from Farmer Carrie, for those of you who are curious:

All I ever ask for is MODERATE weather. Is that really too much? April felt as dry and warm as June, and now May feels cold and wet like February. So everything is growing pretty slowly at the moment. No sun = no photosynthesis. Had the sun come out for a few days, you might have gotten spicy mix and spinach. Instead, the spicy mix and arugula will be next week. Just spinach for your salad this week.

A few of the summer crops that we planted early have taken a hard hit--half the cucumbers died from dreariness and the basil all turned yellow. And a few crops we haven't dared to plant yet, like beans and peppers.

But there's plenty out there that are tough enough to wait another week for some sun--tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, strawberries, zucchini, peas, chard and kohlrabi, to name a few. Spring is always a little crazy in Maryland, but we'll carry on just fine.


We're excited to see you this week! Look for an another update tomorrow in the early afternoon.

 

~~ The Clagett Farm Team

 

 


Spring Open House at the Farm and More Updates

Farmer carrie swiss chard
This image of Swiss chard is from Farmer Carrie on Instagram
 

Join us on Saturday, April 30, from 1 to 4 pm, for a spring open house at Clagett Farm. That day we invite our members and the general public to join us at the farm for tours and hayrides, and you can meet our new baby lambs! The event is free and open to the public. Feel free to bring your friends! We hope to be able to send members home that day with some greens. 

Here are a few more updates for you:

Know someone looking for a CSA? Speaking of friends, we still have a few slots available in this year's CSA. Know someone who might want them? Send them our way!

Curious about what the weather means for this year's CSA season? Over the weekend Farmer Carrie shared on the blog some thoughts about our recent cold weather and what it means for our crops. Check it out!

2016 Chesapeake Foodshed Feast is April 21. Future Harvest is hosting their Chesapeake Foodshed Feast in a few weeks. Get all the details on the blog

First Share: May 11 + 14. We expect to kick off this year's CSA season on May 11 and May 14 with our first shares of the season. More on that as we get closer!

Other questions or comments? Let us know!

 


Wintry weather? No problem

This weekend looked a bit more like winter than spring, however we at Clagett Farm were ready. This spring has been a bit drier than we would like and the rain & snow will help get the land ready for our crops.

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Many of the plants are still in the greenhouse and we spent yesterday making sure they are safe and warm. The Swiss chard, spinach, kale and onions we planned to plant have been brought back into the greenhouse. Those plants plus the lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and parsley are tucked under extra layers of plastic to keep in the warmth. We also increased our heating system. We use a system of warm water piped along the floor of the greenhouse to keep the seedlings warm from below. Our greenhouse is a good place to be on this chilly day.

There are some plants out in the fields and we’ve made sure they will be OK. The all-important strawberry plants are fine. They may lose a bloom or two but will get those back when the warmer weather returns. Our garlic grows happily during the winter so it is growing away without a worry. We recently planted Chinese cabbages, and we covered them with floating row cover--sort of like adding a blanket. We are ready for this colder weather and looking forward to the true coming of spring. Can’t wait to get the vegetables planted and ready for the first share of the 2016 Season – coming in May.

(The photo above is of "Rainbow" chard, ready to be transplanted when it warms up this week.)

 


Renewers' last chance, 5:00pm tomorrow new members sign up

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Last year's members, tomorrow we cease holding your slot and offer any remaining openings to new members.  If you still want to renew, do it HERE.  Remember, you're getting a $50 discount!

(If you've already renewed, don't worry, we're sending this to everyone.)  

If you, or someone you know, would like to purchase a CSA share as a new member, click HERE beginning tomorrow (2/24/16) at 5:00pm.

And by the way, we still have one person left on our list of people who are looking to split a CSA share with someone.  If you do not want a full share and would like to alternate weeks with someone, let us know and we'll connect you.   

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Tomato display

Front barn blue sky


Time to Renew Your CSA Share

 

Are you ready to renew your share?

I’ve just poured through seed catalogs to find some especially delicious varieties to try this year.  How about a watermelon with yellow skin and sweet, orange flesh called “Golden Midget”?  A stout, sweet variety of carrots called “Nectar”?  A new dinosaur kale called “Black Magic”?  And of course we’ll be growing a lot of our old favorites. 

Who knows what 2016 will bring, but I can promise that some of it will be magnificent, and we want you to enjoy it! 

Here’s the registration page for this year.  It’s the same as last year--it isn’t elegant, but fortunately, that’s not what you’re paying us for.  If you have any trouble paying on-line, please feel free to call, and we’ll help (301-627-4662). 

The prices are the same, and the pick-up sites and times are the same.  The deadline is February 23rd.

A few notes about the registration:

  • We prefer that you pay the entire fee in one installment. If you wish to pay in two installments, complete the registration using the option to pay by CHECK. Then send us one check for half the amount, dated today's date, and a second check for half the amount, dated August 1, 2016. We will remind you by e-mail in July that we will be cashing your second check.
  • To find out if you qualify for a reduced-price share, visit our website, under the heading "Reduced Price Shares." If you qualify, send us an e-mail indicating how you qualify (e.g., WIC, EBT, disability, or income level), and we'll send you special instructions for signing up.  
  • If you will be splitting your share with another household, choose "Yes" when asked. (We'll e-mail you later to get their names and contact information). You should split your share with someone picking up at the same location and day.
  • If you are paying by check, the price will say $0.00. Ignore that. It means your credit card is not being charged. We WILL expect you to send us a check promptly.

Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Your farmer,

Carrie


Take the Clagett Farm 2015 Member Survey!

Cabbage 
Photo from CSA member Rob, who snapped a photo of this beautiful cabbage he gleaned at the farm! Thanks Rob!

 

It's survey time! 

Here at the end of the 2015 CSA season, we'd like to ask you for a bit of feedback, to help inform our planning for 2016. 

Will you take a few minutes to complete our short, 10 question survey? It only takes a few minutes, and will provide great value to our team as we continue to improve your CSA experience. The deadline to complete the survey is December 31, 2015. 

Thanks in advance for providing us your feedback! Have an excellent December. 

~ The Clagett Farm Team