This Week's Share: Garlic scapes arrived

Becca flowers

You can always stop by the farm and pick the flowers growing in the beds near the wash station. CSA member Becca sent us this photo of a gorgeous arrangement she made using Clagett flowers. Beautiful!

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!  

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

We'd still love to have you join us at the farm for a workshare or volunteer shift! Here's more info on how to get involved.

Have you been enjoying rhubarb in the shares this spring? So has CSA member Catherine, who baked up this delicious-looking Banana-Rhubarb Bread over last weekend:

Banana rhubarb bread

Here's the recipe she used. Thanks for sharing that with us, Catherine!

THIS WEEK'S SHARE 

  • 1/2 pound total combination rhubarb + radishes 
  • 1/2 pound garlic scapes (They pack a punch!  Chop them up, and you can use them as you would garlic cloves.)
  • 1/2 pound total combination collards + kale OR 1/4 pound total combination lettuce + spicy mix

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Strawberries are still here!  The rain made them a little less yummy, but there are still plenty to pick, and you still get hit with some delicious ones as you're eating.
  • We have seedlings leftover from your last two weeks' shares and also from some recent planting we've done in the field.  Some seedlings are in individual pots, and some you must pot up yourself while you're here.  First-come, first-served until they're gone.  
  • There's lots of herbs and even a few flowers in the garden behind the washing station.  This is an especially good time to get cilantro, garlic chives and celery leaf.  
  • Mulberries are ripe!  There's a few trees near the washing station that you can sample from if  you don't know what they are.  We have mulberry trees growing wild all around the farm.  Most ripen black, but some ripen white.  The ripe ones fall from the tree when you shake it.  The mulberry-lovers among you should bring a sheet to shake the berries onto, or ask for one when you get here.  Casual eaters will find plenty lying around on the ground.  
  • Stinging nettle is mineral-rich, good for your circulatory system, and is delicious as a tea or soup.  But it's a pain to handle.  Cover your legs, feet, hands and arms, and you'll be rewarded.  It grows along the fence behind the strawberry field in G1.     

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


Pickup This Week! Here's What You Need to Know

As you know, our CSA season officially starts this week (!), with pickups at the Dupont Circle site and the farm.

One quick heads up: It's already U-pick time for strawberries! Starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, come to the farm anytime you want and pick as many strawberries as you'd like. (CSA members only, please. And if you want to pick strawberries on Saturday, please wait until after 1 p.m. so we have a chance to pick what we need for the weekly shares that day.)

And now here are some reminders about how the regular share pickups work.  We'll send out another email tomorrow detailing what exactly is in this week's share.

Happy spring!

Pickup options:

  • Wednesday, May 10
    • Dupont Circle: 6-7:30 p.m., 1737 Fraser Court NW; it's an alleyway off S between 19th and 20th. Look for the white van!
    • At the farm: 3-7 p.m., Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • Saturday, May 13
    • At the farm: 1-4 p.m., Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

 

A reminder of the "rules":

  • Your purchase of a CSA membership gives you 26 "shares".  A share is the portion of food we have allotted for our CSA members for that week.  The CSA is 26 weeks long (mid-May through mid-November with one week off in July), so for most of you, you will continue to take one share per week for 26 weeks.  
  • You may take those 26 shares any weeks you want, and you may take a maximum of 2 shares per week.    
  • Some weeks you might choose to skip, and some weeks you might choose to double your share.  As long as it all adds up to no more than 26 shares by mid-November, we're all happy.    
  • This new system makes it a little harder for us to anticipate how many shares our members will pick up in a given week.  We consider it a top priority to make sure you have the same WEIGHT and QUALITY of vegetables from the beginning to the end of the pick-up period.  However, the people coming in the last 30 minutes to the pick-up might not have the same number of items to choose from.  In other words, we will not save all the bruised tomatoes for the end, nor substitute turnips where the early-comers got carrots.  But if the people who show up at the beginning get to choose either strawberries or mushrooms, the people at the end might choose between strawberries and sugarsnap peas--same amount, quality and desirability, but not exactly the same choices.   

What remains unchanged:

  • You do not need to tell us in advance if you plan to skip or double your share that week.  
  • You may send anyone you'd like to pick up your share.  The person should simply tell us that they are picking up for you, and we'll take it from there.  We know you're not trying to fool us.  It just simplifies our check-off list if the entire family and friend network is not included on the list for each member.  
  • You may U-pick any day, any time during those 6 months. (Watch the weekly email and check the white board to see what's available on U-pick that week.) It does not matter if you've taken a CSA share that week..
  • Every week we donate nearly half of what we harvest to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries, and other social service agencies in our area that serve people in need.  Any vegetables that you don't take will be part of that donation.  
  • We will list the items in your share on a dry erase board at the pick-up site.  So that you may select the items that you like the most, we ask you to weigh out your own share.  We do not pre-bag it for you.  

New and improved guidelines about picking up your share

13703163_1732788883653792_1480620014_n(1)
We thought you, our dear CSA members, deserved a few changes that would simplify the CSA pick-up and add some convenience for you in 2017.  We've removed the 8-day rule, and now you can skip and double as you'd like, all season.  Don't know what the 8-day rule was?  Don't worry.  Here's the new rules:

  • Your purchase of a CSA membership gives you 26 "shares".  A share is the portion of food we have allotted for our CSA members for that week.  The CSA is 26 weeks long (mid-May through mid-November with one week off in July), so for most of you, you will continue to take one share per week for 26 weeks.  
  • You may take those 26 shares any weeks you want, and you may take a maximum of 2 shares per week.    
  • Some weeks you might choose to skip, and some weeks you might choose to double your share.  As long as it all adds up to no more than 26 shares by mid-November, we're all happy.    
  • This new system makes it a little harder for us to anticipate how many shares our members will pick up in a given week.  We consider it a top priority to make sure you have the same WEIGHT and QUALITY of vegetables from the beginning to the end of the pick-up period.  However, the people coming in the last 30 minutes to the pick-up might not have the same number of items to choose from.  In other words, we will not save all the bruised tomatoes for the end, nor substitute turnips where the early-comers got carrots.  But if the people who show up at the beginning get to choose either strawberries or mushrooms, the people at the end might choose between strawberries and sugarsnap peas--same amount, quality and desirability, but not exactly the same choices.   

What remains unchanged:

  • You do not need to tell us in advance if you plan to skip or double your share that week.  
  • You may send anyone you'd like to pick up your share.  The person should simply tell us that they are picking up for you, and we'll take it from there.  We know you're not trying to fool us.  It just simplifies our check-off list if the entire family and friend network is not included on the list for each member.  
  • You may U-pick any day, any time during those 6 months. (Watch the weekly email and check the white board to see what's available on U-pick that week.) It does not matter if you've taken a CSA share that week..
  • Every week we donate nearly half of what we harvest to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantries, and other social service agencies in our area that serve people in need.  Any vegetables that you don't take will be part of that donation.  
  • We will list the items in your share on a dry erase board at the pick-up site.  So that you may select the items that you like the most, we ask you to weigh out your own share.  We do not pre-bag it for you.  

How do we calculate the amount of food in a share each week?

It's tricky!  First, we add the number of CSA members we expect to show up that week (90% of 270 paying members = 243) to the number of worksharers we anticipate (usually about 20).  Then, if we know we want to donate a mimimum of 40% of our harvest to social service agencies, then we divide the total I just gave you (263) by 60%, which gives us 438 as the number of shares.  (It's worth noting that we do not weigh out 175 individual shares for donation.  Rather, we donate a total weight that, by the end of the season, is at least 40% of what we have harvested.  So we do not try to make sure the selection of food in our donation matches precisely what was in the CSA shares.  The agencies might get more squash and fewer sugarsnap peas, for example.) 

Once we've weighed all of our harvest on a Wednesday (usually around 1:00pm), we calculate how many pounds total of each item we expect to harvest the following Saturday.  This can be tricky!  What if it's cloudy for the next 3 days?  What if it rains?  Are the tomatoes at their peak or are they on a decline?  At any rate, we take our best guess, and we've gotten pretty good at guessing over the years.  For each item we harvested, we divide the total pounds for the week by the total shares, and that gives us the weight of each item that our members should take.  (For example, if we expect to pick 876 pounds of squash, then we can put 2 pounds of squash in the share that week.)

But we're not done!  We also consider how many pounds we could put in the share if we only offer it to paying CSA members, and do not donate it.  Are beets in high demand?  Maybe we choose to offer extra beets in the share and donate more turnips, instead.  We also consider what we can group together as choices.  If we have Easter Egg radishes and Hakurei turnips, maybe we can offer 1/2 pound total of those two items.  It would be easier for us to make the choice for you, but not as nice for you.  (Some of you have strong preferences!  I, for one, love Hakurei, but can't be bothered with tiny radishes.  But little kids love those colorful radishes.)    So whenever possible, we put items together in groups, so you can choose the things you like.  But we have to choose wisely.  If we do it wrong, you're left with awkward amounts (one ear of corn, for example, is not half as useful as two),  or we run out of the favorite items before the pick-up ends.  

Hopefully, by 2:00pm, we hemmed and hawed and made a decision about what's in the share, which items we put out first, and which we hold for later, which items we send to Dupont this week versus leaving at the farm.  And then we send the list to our marvelous volunteers, Clay and Zach, who post the week's share on our blog (as well as photos, recipes and announcements), and send it out to you as an email.  There's even a careful consideration about which items we mention to you in the e-mail.  If we only have enough peas for half the members this week, and the other half next week, do we mention it, or just leave it as a happy surprise?

It's a complicated system, as you can see.  We're always trying to adapt to make the most positive experience possible for our CSA members.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Haven't purchased your CSA share yet, or know someone who wants to buy one? Sign up now!

Mark your calendars:

  • Saturday April 29, 2017, 12:00-4:00pm - Spring Open House.  All are welcome for this free opportunity to meet the farmers, take a hayride tour to visit the cows and sheep, and check out the place where you'll be picking up your share this season.  Know anyone who might like to join the CSA?  Bring them along!  
  • Wednesday May 10th & Saturday May 13th:  Your first CSA pick-ups (tentative).  We'll confirm as the date is closer, so we make sure we give you the vegetables as soon as they are ready to be picked.
  • Sunday May 14:  Our medicinal herbalist, Holly Poole-Kavana is planning medicinal herb garden party.  This is a new idea for us, so stay tuned...

We're planting our first seeds and transplants outside this week.  We're excited!

Your farmer,

Carrie 

FHCASA field day Lindsay Smith

[Photos by Diane Williams (top) and Lindsay Smith.] 

 

 


Have you purchased your CSA share yet?

11333658_1409837599343148_1532166028_n
This is your chance to get the finest, nutrient-dense, organic vegetables from your local farm at reasonable prices, all while contributing to a healthy Chesapeake Bay and to under-served neighbors suffering from hunger and poor food access.  We do it all! Join NOW!  We still have memberships available for both new and returning members at both pick-up sites.

  • Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Wednesdays 3-7pm or Saturdays 1-4pm
  • 1737 Fraser Ct, NW, Washington DC 20009 (Dupont Circle neighborhood); Wednesdays 6-7:30pm

We will share our harvest with you for six months--mid-May through mid-November.  The week's selection will change with the weather, but if you'd like to see what we gave out last year, check out this chart.  

Did you know...

 Don't wait too long!  Join Clagett Farm's CSA now!  And be sure to pass this to anyone who you think might be interested.

[Photos by Haley Baron]

 


New Year's Resolution?

Resolved to eat more vegetables in 2017?
Clagett Farm CSA can help!!

Join now for 26 weeks of organic, freshly picked vegetables.
Season runs from May to November 2017

Also get access to a beautiful farm for walking, you-picking and exploring.

More information and order form can be found at:
http://www.cbf.org/join…/more-things-you-can-do/clagett-farm

and you can purchase your share here: https://www.cbf.org/clagettsignup

DSAlettuce2

Photo by Deborah Starobin Armstrong


This Week's Share: Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Greens and More

Clagett image 10-12
This gorgeous shot of winter squash was snapped by Fred Delventhal.  

You can always email us your own photos or post them to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm, and we'll feature them here! 

 

Welcome to Week 22 for this year's season!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS 

About Last Week...: Sincere apologies about the mix-up last week at the Dupont pickup site. We found out at the last minute that, thanks to construction, the alley we normally use was unavailable. Jenn set up the van at the opposite end of the same alley (near R St.) and tried to find as many wayward CSA members as she could. But we know there are some of you who showed up to get your veggies and never could find the van. Sorry -- we know that must have been frustrating!

The good news is that, of course, you can pick up a double share if you missed last week. And FYI, we're back our regular Dupont pickup site this week. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Have a place for rent? Some of your responsible, friendly farmers are looking for housing in the Upper Marlboro/Bowie area. If you have a place to rent or need a housesitter, let us know! 

How much do YOU pollute? Use the Footprint Calculator and Find Out!  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has partnered with the University of Virginia to create the Bay Footprint Calculator: a simple, fun tool that will help you and your family find new ways to reduce pollution and help Save the Bay. Find out how well you're doing to prevent harmful pollution from getting into our waters. Fill out the calculator now and get your score!

 


THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 7 pounds total combination sweet potatoes + winter squash + bok choi + radishes + turnips + cabbage (1 head maximum)
  • 3/4 pounds total combination kale + collards + spicy mix + Tokyo bekana + arugula + peppers + eggplant + tomatoes 

 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Herbs 
  • Flowers. As always, any flowers on the farm are fair game. 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN COMING WEEKS

In case you missed this announcement last week: The final shares of the 2016 season will be distributed on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 12.

 

That's it for week 22! Enjoy the share! Let us know if you have any questions!

~ The Clagett Farm Team

 


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

Clagett image 8-10-16

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