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

 


New Updates! Gleaning + Local Holiday Trees & Wreaths

 

 

The CSA season may be over but we're still busy at the farm. Here's what you need to know about the Holiday Trees & Wreaths, as well as our Gleaning days. 

Clagett Holiday Wreaths

 

Local Christmas Trees and Handmade Wreaths!
Available for Members and Non-Members 

 

Wreaths and trees will be for sale in front of the barns (Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Clagett Farm, 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772) from 10am - 2pm on the 4 weekends after Thanksgiving:

Nov. 28 - 29, December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, or by appointment (301-627-4662) any other day.

About the Holiday Trees

  • Locally grown, minutes outside D.C.
  • Just $40 for any size!
  • All sizes available
  • Pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer-free (you won't find that from any other tree dealer near you)
  • A fun outing for the whole family.
  • We can help cut the tree and strap it to your car.

U-Pick trees are Scotch Pine and White Pine, which grow best in our region. Firs are also available as pre-cut trees.

Why Holiday trees?  Clagett Farm is a hilly place--not the right spot for a lot of plowing.  The hills have been heavily eroded from the years of tobacco farming before our time, which makes them a poor spot for most crops.  Holiday trees are a way of keeping the hills covered in vegetation, providing insect and animal habitat, and still making some money.

About Holiday Wreaths

You can now browse our assortment of beautiful, handmade wreaths.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Supplies are limited so order ahead, and we will prepare the wreath fresh before you arrive at the pick up date you select
  • Please order no later than 9am on the Thursday before your selected pick up date
  • Pick up your wreath during Christmas Tree sale weekends
  • CSA members have the option of farm or Dupont pick up (please see the message in your email)
  • Pay at pick up with cash or check made out to Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • After you place your order you will receive a receipt in your email
  • Check this blog for notifications about availability as the sale goes on

More info and more about the wreaths is available at http://goo.gl/forms/IYTGlJbM8a

 

GLEANING AVAILABLE 
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 19 THROUGH SUNDAY NOVEMBER 22
Available for CSA members only

Gleaning is available Friday November 20 through Sunday November 22 during daylight hours. When you arrive at the farm, go to the Wash Station. There on the board you’ll find directions to the individual crops.

Here’s what’s available:

  • Greens: Spicy Mix, Arugula, Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, Tokyo Bekana, Ruby Streaks, Mizuna, Tat Soi, Collards, Swiss Chard.
  • Turnips
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
  • Herbs (or in the Herb Garden): Cardoon, Garlic/Onion Chives, Stevia, Parsley, Marjoram, Thyme, Mint, Sorrel, Lavender, Oregano, Dill, Sage, Nasturtium. Plus there’s garlic and lemongrass available on the bench at the wash station.

Happy gleaning!


This Week's Share: Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash & More


This week's photo is from CSA member Fred, of peppers from last season. Don't worry -- this year's will be just as pretty! Get your photo featured here by emailing it to us or by using the hashtag #ClagettFarm if you share your photos on Instagram!

 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 4 pounds tomatoes 

  • 3/4 pound total combination tomatillos + onions + Swiss chard

  • 3/4 pound total combination cucumbers okra + peppers (all kinds--sweet peppers, unripe bells and hot chiles)

  • 1.75 pounds squash

  • 1 head garlic

 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Tomatoes!  This week and next will be the best weeks for tomato picking.  There are two fields available to pick from, but neither is especially easy to get to.  Plan to walk up a hill or bring a sturdy, high-clearance vehicle.  Also, please remember to close the gate when you leave.  We need to keep the deer out of your sweet potatoes and winter squash.  
  • Culinary Herbs: Sorrel, sage, onion chives, garlic chives, summer savory (lots!), thyme, dill seed, oregano, anise hyssop, mint, parsley, stevia (lots!), nasturtium, marjoram, and five types of basil (Thai, spice globe, opal, cinnamon, holy and lime basil) + Genovese basil in the high tunnel. 
  • Flowers:  Check out our 2015 flower guide if you're wondering what you're picking!
  • Medicinal Herbs: holy basil, echinacea, alfalfa, calendula, wormwood, and skullcap
  • Ground cherries. They are starting to peter out.  Get them while you can!

 

Next week, we expect to have:

  • More tomatoes, garlic, squash, peppers, chiles, okra and a few cucumbers and eggplant. Onions, beans, tomatillos and chard will make appearances over the next few weeks.  

 

If you plan to can or freeze tomatoes, you should do it this week or next for maximum variety and flavor.  Enjoy! And have a great week! 


This Week's Share: Tomatoes in Full Swing!


This week's photo is from Instagram user mamacotey, who snapped this photo of her share at home.

Get your photo featured here by emailing it to us or by using the hashtag #ClagettFarm if you share your photos on Instagram!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Canning Workshops Are Full. Reservations for Susan's workshops filled up fast!  Thank you Susan! 

Check Out Our New Flower Guide. For the first time ever, we're offering a new 2015 Clagett Farm Flower Guide, so that you know what flowers are growing at the farm. 
 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 7.5 pounds total combination tomatoes + squash

  • 1.5 pounds total combination okra + eggplant + peppers + chiles + leeks + cucumbers + ground cherries + tomatillos

  • 1 head garlic

 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Culinary Herbs: Sorrel, sage, onion chives, garlic chives, summer savory, thyme, dill seed, oregano, anise hyssop, mint, parsley, stevia, nasturtium, marjoram, and six types of basil (Thai, spice globe, opal, cinnamon, holy and lime basil) + Genovese basil in the high tunnel.
  • Flowers: Plenty in bloom all over the place
  • Medicinal Herbs: holy basil, echinacea, alfalfa, calendula, wormwood, and skullcap
  • Ground cherries. Try them! They're delicious!
  • Tomatoes.  This is just the beginning of u-pick tomatoes, so don't feel like you need to jump on them this week.  Right now the u-pick tomatoes are in a distant field (A3).  Unless you have a rugged, high-clearance vehicle, you will need to park at the office and then walk a quarter mile to the field.

 Next week, we expect to have:

  • More tomatoes, more eggplant. Onions.  Peppers, Garlic, Squash, Cucumbers, Chiles and Okra will continue. We might be able to add tomatillos to the u-pick list this week.

 Enjoy! And have a great week!


Sign Up Now for Canning Workshops

The bitten word canning tomatoes photos

Each summer we offer a unique opportunity to our CSA members: get some hands-on canning experience. If you've ever been interested in learning about canning, now's your chance. 

The classes are offered by CSA member Susan Sanders, who teaches the courses in her home near Dupont Circle. Over the course of a few hours, you'll learn the basics about canning tomatoes, making jams, relishes and how to deal with high acid foods. 

If you've ever had an interest in canning, now's your chance to try it out. Space is limited, so sign up ASAP!

When:  Sunday, August 16 or Sunday, August 30 (choose one), 2-5pm.  

Where:  Susan lives 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. 

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! 

If you have any questions about the workshops, please let us know.

 

[photo above via TheBittenWord.com]