This Week's Share: Chard, Garlic Scapes and Spring Lettuce

Crew in the field

Farmer Carrie took this photo of the Clagett crew picking Swiss chard this afternoon. 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!  

 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 3/4 pound garlic scapes
  • 3/4 pound total combination chard + kale + turnips
  • 1/2 pound total combination lettuce + spicy mix + bok choi + collards + radishes 

 

NOTES

  • Our lettuce is especially good right now! Enjoy it while it lasts -- the hotter weather will start to make it bitter.

 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • herbs
  • strawberries (There are still a few out there. Not enough to accumulate much but enough to entertain the kids Easter egg-style)
  • a few flowers
  • mulberries

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


Now On Sale: Clagett Farm's Pasture-Raised Beef

Chesapeake Grass-fed Beef
Your purchasing choices can help ‘Save the Bay’!

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Spring 2017 Beef Sale   -    Order Now
Experience some of the Chesapeake region’s finest beef!

Good pastures lead to great cows and healthy, nutritious meat; and are good for protecting the water quality of the Bay.  Our Red Angus and Red Devon cows are raised 100% on pastures and hay without any hormones or antibiotics.

What You Need to Know About Purchasing the Grass-Fed Beef

High Quality Beef Processing

  • 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 75-95lbs/quarter.  You can request to have a smaller quarter or a larger quarter, depending on your needs.

Pick up:
Meat must be picked up at Clagett Farm on Saturday, June 17th, between 10 a.m. – 1p.m.  An email reminder will be sent out to all who order.

 

TO ORDER  (and for more information on meat cuts)

Go to the CBF Clagett Farm website and click on ‘grass-fed beef’ (http://www.cbf.org/about-us/office-operations/clagett-farm/grass-fed-beef ).  If you have questions (or difficulties with the website) feel free to email mheller@cbf.org


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


This Week's Share: Seedlings, Scallions and Salad Greens

Colander
Seedlings in a colander! Thanks to Farmer Carrie for this cool snapshot. 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're a little under-staffed at the farm right now, so we'd welcome anyone who wants to workshare or volunteer! Here's more info on how to get involved.

 

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 1 colander or 3 little pots of seedlings 
  • 1 half-pint container of microgreens (These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; cut them off at the roots just before eating)
  • 3/4 pound garlic scallions (here are some good  garlic scallion recipes)
  • 1/2 pound onion scallions (great in salads!)
  • 1/2 pound total combination lettuce heads + collards + kale + radishes + rhubarb

NOTES

  • The head lettuce is from Three Part Harmony Farm in Washington, D.C. The farmer there, Gail Taylor, used to work here at Clagett!
  • The onions come from two different sources: Jug Bay Market Garden, which is another organic CSA in Upper Marlboro, and from Genevieve Fulco, who used to work at Clagett and is now starting a farm in Silver Spring, Md. 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Strawberries are still here! And they're getting even tastier. See the white board in the washing station for details.

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: Scallions, Microgreens and Strawberries

Microgreens

Thanks to Farmer Carrie for this beautiful photo of tender spring microgreens. 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!  

Welcome to the first week of the 2017 season!  (Need any reminders of how the share pickups work? Here you go!)

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 3/4 pounds garlic scallions
  • Microgreens -- 2 half-pint containers, still rooted
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 2 seedling plants (inculding tomato plants and a few other options this week; culinary herb plants will be in next week's share)
  • A small amount of additional other items, including salad greens, radishes, stinging nettles, kale and rhubarb

NOTES

  • Not sure what to do with those garlic scallions? Here are some good recipes
  • For the microgreens, store them as-is, in a bag in the refrigerator. Use them within a few days; cut them off at the roots just before eating. They're a great addition to a spring salad -- they pack a lot of zing!

 

WHAT'S ON U-PICK:

  • Strawberries! Come any day you want (although 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). See the white board in the washing station for details.

 

That's it for week 1! 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.  

This Saturday: Emergency Strawberry Rehab

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We have a strawberry field that has recently been overcome by a plant called hairy vetch.  It's a lovely plant with purple flowers that adds helpful Nitrogen to the soil, but it's growing over top of the strawberry plants and keeping them from the photosynthesis they need to make sugars for their berries.  Yikes!  If you feel like joining us, pulling weeds is a job that's made much easier by more hands.  Come on over!  You're welcome any time this Saturday between 8:00am and 2:00pm.  Call ahead to let us know we should expect you (301-627-4662).  

And while you're considering lending us a hand, note that this Saturday is certainly not your only opportunity--we are happy for help every day of the week except Sundays.  You can find more information at www.cbf.org/csa-volunteer.  

 


Spring Open House, Saturday April 29th

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Would you (or someone you know) like to learn more about the organic vegetables we grow here at Clagett Farm?  Know anyone who wants a free hay ride tour?  Would you like to pet some adorable baby sheep?  Come to the Spring Open House!  Everyone is welcome.  Saturday April 29th, noon to 4:00pm.    

We still have memberships open in our 26-week organic vegetable CSA, so we would love it if you could invite people in the area who might be interested in purchasing our produce.

 All of the activities are free.  


New and improved guidelines about picking up your share

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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.]