Clagett Farm CSA Update

7-8-1

 

This photo is a public service reminder of what can happen when you leave your zucchini plants unattended for a week.  They go on a binge diet, get fat and multiply.  There were a lot of zucchini to carry around on a hot day yesterday!  Fortunately, as we write this, Kenny and Charles are picking up the thousands of pounds of squash that we left like shipwreck survivors on the sides of the field, and will bring them to the SHABACH food pantry to give away.  You, my dears, will each get one modest, young zucchini and one overgrown zucchini--we didn't want to deprive you of the opportunity to make chocolate zucchini cake or stuffed zucchini boats (recipes below), but we also didn't want to overwhelm you.  Hopefully, we struck the right balance for most of you.   
 

Announcements

  • We got 7 inches of rain on Monday night!  Yikes!  No one washed away, thank goodness, and the fields are still in good shape.  
  • Speaking of water, the map experts at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation created this amazing app where you can find your nearest body of water, and we thought you might get a kick out of checking it out.  If you're looking for a fun outing with a kid, find your nearest wetland and start turning over rocks.  
  • We’re hiring! The educators have been busy creating virtual outdoor experiences for students and teachers so they have to step back a bit from helping on the farm (sad for us but good for the Chesapeake Bay). We’re hiring one person for 40 hours/week through November 20th, $11.50/hour. Here’s the job announcement with instructions to apply.
  • As promised, we accomplished a lot this past week.  We transplanted 6000 sweet potato plants, pounded hundreds of stakes into the tomato fields so they can get tied up, and weeded your okra and next year's strawberries. 
  • Picking up in Annapolis?  Want to take home oysters next Thursday?  This time, the oysters are from Harris Creek Oyster Company.  To order, email alex@harriscreekoyster.com.  The deadline to order is Tuesday July 14 (for pick up Thursday 7/16, at the same time and location as our CSA pick-up). Look here for more details.
    • $1/oyster for less than 50
    • $0.85/oyster for 50-99
    • $0.75/oyster for 100 or more
  • 7-8-2
      Have you ever seen yellow, corrugated plastic signs on the side of the road on little metal legs? They usually advertise something dubious like fast cash or quick home sales.  We cover them with a sticky goo and set them out in our squash, cucumber and melon fields to trap cucumber beetles.  It's quick, not toxic, and works like a charm.  If you happen to come across any signs that need a new home, bring them to us!  They must be YELLOW (think of the color of a squash blossom).  
  • We picked our first melons this week.  They are quirky varieties that mature quickly, which is why you're getting them in early July and not mid-August.  One variety is a very small, round watermelon.  The other is a yellow, Korean melon.  They are both crisp and refreshing and only mildly sweet, so set your expectations in the right place and you will be as delighted as we are.  Melons can be a little hard to read from the outside, so if you get one that isn't ripe, let us know--we can put a replacement in your share next week.
 

This week's share

  • 1 small melon
  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bunch small red onions (these are bulb onions, just like you'd see at the store, but they still have their green leaves on top, and are petite, like beautiful, ruby-colored tree ornaments)
  • carrots (these store better without their leaves, so rip off the leaves when you get home and consider adding them to your pesto or garnish your dinner plates to impress your family)
  • beets (most of these are an exciting variety called Chioggia which look ordinary on the outside but have concentric red and white rings on the inside)
  • 1 bunch kale or collards 
  • cucumbers (about 2 pounds, which like the squash, might be one very large cucumber)
  • 2 zucchinis (or some of you might get one yellow squash and one zucchini)
  • 2 turnips
  • Either chard or beans  
 

Recipes

  • Stuffed Zucchini:  There's a lot of versions to try.  Here's a classic Middle Eastern version (it calls for fresh tomatoes, but you can sub with canned tomatoes for now).  Here's a vegetarian version (if you prefer not to eat bread, you can sub with rice or textured vegetable protein).  And here's one that includes a lot of spinach, which can be easily substituted with chard.     
  • If we were not in a pandemic, I would be trying to have a zucchini taste test event with heavy representation of chocolate zucchini cakes.  Here's one version from Epicurious.  I do not have the patience for making their cute full moon stencil these days, so instead I would top with a crumble of equal parts chopped nuts, brown sugar and chocolate chips, sprinkled onto the batter before baking.  
  • How about a classic zucchini bread?  Here's one from James Beard.  And you can even try a zucchini cornbread.  
  • Fritters are another classic way to use zucchini.  Here's one version from Bon Appetit.  
  • Pickled Beans and Cucumbers 
    • Green Beans trimmed
    • Cucumbers sliced 1/8"
    • 1/2 Red Onion sliced 1/8"
    • 3 Garlic Cloves Crushed and left whole
    • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 Cups Filtered Water
    • 1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
    • 1/4 Cup Pickling Spice Blend or herbs of your choice
Place cucumber and red onion slices, garlic, and herbs (if using) in individual jars or a large container.
Bring Water, Vinegar, Salt, and spices (if using) to a soft boil.
Carefully add green beans to the pan of boiling liquid.
Simmer for 5 minutes
Remove from heat.
Using tongs, carefully remove beans from liquid and place in jars/container with onions/cucs
Carefully ladle pickling liquid into jars/container of beans/cucs.
Allow to cool uncovered for an hour.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator.
Recipe and photo by Brandy Shannon

 

Coming soon

  • Peppers!  The plants look fantastic.  Your first green bell pepper (next week, we hope) will be a harbinger of many wonderful peppers to come this summer.
  • There are lots of big green tomatoes taunting us from the field.  When will they ripen and make it into your share?  Our best guess is week 10.  As with peppers, the plants look like they are ready to go gangbusters any minute.  Get your sauce jars ready.  
  • Those long, green, slicing-style cucumbers are about to peter out, but the smaller, pickling-style cucumbers are still going strong. Don't be fooled--both styles can be pickled or sliced.    
  • This summer's melon supply is looking paltry.  The main season crop of watermelons and cantaloupes did not germinate well, even after we reseeded them.  
  • Eggplant are coming soon, but this will be a modest year.  They were hit hard by beetles and their recovery has slowed them down.  But really, a modest amount of eggplant is not such a bad thing.  We love them, but don't want to swim in them.  
  • You'll get a few weeks of red onions and then it's time for shallots.  Exciting!
  • A number of crops are fading out in the heat and will return (hopefully) in the fall.  This week ends the beets and turnips.  This week or next will be your last kale and collards.  We might possibly eek one more week of small carrots.  And my crystal ball says week 11 will be your last week of chard.  
  • Potatoes!  Back in May I thought they were doomed.  But June proved me wrong, wrong, wrong.  We have a hearty crop of potatoes sizing up right now, and we'll start giving you a few new babies next week, most likely.  Don't you love it when nature gives you a happy surprise?
  • We expect to have a lull in squash next week, and then a modest supply from our second succession of squash beginning week 10 (no more of the zucchini debauchery you're witnessing now).  
  • Green beans should continue nicely for another month.  I know some of you would like more, but please have mercy on my dear back--picking is no easy chore.  
  • Will we have corn?  The plants look lovely, but it's the final week before harvest when they face the groundhog/racoon/caterpillar gauntlet.  Who will prevail?  Only time will tell.  


As the heat and humidity settles on our region like a volcanic ooze, send us your cool, popsicle-filled thoughts!
Carrie and the Clagett Farm Team


Oysters in Annapolis next Thursday

Get yourself fresh, local Chesapeake Bay oysters with you CSA pick-up next week to enjoy with the family!
The order deadline is coming up quickly Tuesday, July 14th at 12midnight, so act fast.  

 

Check out this video from Chesapeake Bay Magazine about this Annapolis Oyster Pop-up Event

and the work CBF is doing to support the oyster farming industry!

Annapolis, MD – Harris Creek Oyster Farm Pop Up

Important – Order Deadline:

*Orders must be placed by Tuesday, July 14th by 12midnight

Annapolis

Pop-up Date:  Thursday, July 16th from 4pm-6:30pm
Location: CBF Phillip Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403

How to Order:

  • Orders must be placed by Tuesday, July 14th by 12midnight
  • Pricing: 
    • Fewer than 50 oysters  price is $1/oyster
    • 50+ oysters price is $0.85/oyster
    • 100+ oysters price is $0.75/oyster

About Harris Creek Oyster Farm:

We are 100% family owned, funded and operated oyster farm located between St. Michaels and Tilghman Island, Maryland. We're building on nearly 13 generations of family history farming and fishing on Maryland's Eastern Shore. We’re here to produce a beautiful oyster.

Any questions? Please email Farmer Alex at alex@harriscreekoyster.com

 

 

 

For Pick-Up:

  • You must pre-order your oysters by the order deadline!
  • Please bring a cooler with gel packs (preferable) or ice!
  • We are using contact-less curbside procedures: wear a mask, you will be asked to open your trunk and cooler (with ice!) and oyster farm staff will drop your oysters in your cooler.

How to Care for Your Oysters:

  • How to properly store oysters: place immediately in fridge and cover with a damp towel. Do not allow to sit in standing water. Avoid rough handling prior to shucking. They’ll stay optimally fresh for raw consumption for 7-10 days from harvest and up to two weeks for cooked consumption.
  • How to properly shuck oysters: use a knife to shuck from the hinge or the bill. There are plenty of video tutorials online or just ask your handy neighbor! You can also use heat (oven, grill, microwave even) to get them to pop open and then cut the meat free.
  • How to properly enjoy oysters: any way you want! Raw, grilled, baked, fried. Naked, hot sauce, lemon & horseradish…the possibilities are endless! This is a chance to get creative with nature’s perfect food.

Why You Should Be Eating Aquaculture Oysters!

  • We’re proud to help support fellow Chesapeake Oyster Alliance partners through these Oyster Pop-ups! Learn more about our goal to add 10 billion oysters to the Bay by 2025: http://www.chesapeakeoysteralliance.org/

Can't make the pop-up pick-up times or interested in getting oysters delivered to your home? See our list of local oyster farms providing direct-to-customer services


Week 7: Big share before our July 4th break

IMG_7041b

This is Jared Planz, the Assistant Vegetable Production Manager.  (Fortunately, no masks are necessary when we're working far apart from each other, which makes for better photos.)  He's picking zucchini in this photo, wearing the 4-pouch harvesting harness, which is about 80 pounds when full of squash.  None of the rest of us carry as much weight as he does while picking, which is a good analogy for his farming skills overall.  When he's not planting, weeding, harvesting, pounding stakes, spreading mulch or managing workers, he's designing our web sales platform, taking professional-quality photographs, camping, and parenting his almost-2-year-old son with Elissa.  Phew!  

Announcements

  • NEXT WEEK THERE IS NO CSA SHARE.  We have noticed over the years that the vegetable harvest wanes a bit in that period when the hot weather makes greens bitter, and the tomatoes haven't ripened yet.  It also coincides with our own exhaustion--we're up to our eyeballs in harvesting garlic, mulching & twining tomatoes, planting sweet potatoes, and weeding.  So we take the first week of July off from picking and throw all our energy into field work, and a much-needed day off.  We account for this missing week from the get-go--you'll still get 26 weeks of vegetables by the middle of November without including this one.  To reiterate--we do have veggies for you this week, but there will be no vegetables for you on July 1st, 2nd or 4th. 
  • U-pick is not open at the moment, but it will be soon for herbs and flowers.  We'll send you a note as soon as it's available.  
  • Let's all shout out a giant thanks for this wonderful, vegetable-growing weather.  Your crops are growing great.  You'll remember we had that surprise frost in mid-May that set back our planting schedule a bit.  For that, we'll have to wait a little longer than normal for our first tomatoes and peppers.  But they'll come in due time.  The Colorado potato beetles and flea beetles did a number on your eggplant before we had a chance to come to their rescue, so they'll be particularly delayed. July is so suspenseful!  We're excited to see how it all comes out.   

This week's share

  • 1 head FRESH garlic.  You'll notice that they're super-easy to peel when they're fresh.  But treat it the same as the dried ones.  Sitting on your counter, it will dry on its own within a week.
  • 1 bunch green onions (also known as scallions, spring onions and bunching onions)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch chard or collards (not yet determined)
  • 1 pound cucumbers
  • Several zucchini
  • A combo of purple-top turnips and a small kohlrabi
  • Basil
  • Choose: beans, arugula or fennel (this is your only shot at fennel until fall)

Coming soon

Remember, after this week (June 24, 25 &27), your next share will be July 8, 9 and 11.  Don't come next week!  When you get back we'll have some goodies waiting for you:

  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Green cabbage
  • Red onions
  • Continued: beans (more), cucumbers (more), squash (fewer), garlic, kale & collards (ending soon), chard, basil

Recipes

  • Jessica LaGarde shared this frittata recipe on our Facebook Group that looks like a delicious way to use zucchini.  Thanks Jessica!
  • You've been getting a lot of green onions and zucchini.  Can't use them all?  Both of those are good candidates for freezing or drying.  To freeze green onions, chop them up, lay them out on a baking sheet for an hour or so to dry so they stay separate instead of freezing into a big glob, and then pour them into a ziploc bag.  I recommend storing the green parts separately from the white and light green parts, since they cook a little differently.  They can be used this winter for cooking, but don't expect to use them as a fresh garnish, since they'll be mushy (but flavorful!) when they thaw.  Freezing zucchini (or any squash) is the same.  I slice them into rounds, freeze them on a tray and then bag them up.  To dehydrate the onions and squash, I use a dehydrator, and the process is almost identical to freezing (put it on a tray, turn on the dehydrator).  If you don't have a dehydrator, put them in your oven at the lowest setting (you're aiming for about 125 deg. F).  
  • Have you ever tried grilling or roasting whole green onions?  Or using them (chopped) as a pizza topping?  The results are surprisingly fancy, and nothing makes a kitchen smell fantastic like cooking onions.
  • Here's a simple recipe for a quinoa salad with scallions.  I would replace the snap peas with lightly-steamed green beans, and replace the radishes with turnips and/or kohlrabi, since they're in your share this week.  If you don't have gobs of mint growing somewhere near you, then (A) you're not trying very hard, and (B) you can substitute with basil, which will be different but also delicious.  (Mint grows well with lots of water, so plant it under your nearest leaky faucet.  Don't have a plant?  Rip one out from a friend who has too much--trust me, you have one of those friends.)
  • Let us know what recipe ideas you need!  We're here to help.  Reply to this e-mail or, better yet, post a question on the facebook group--your fellow CSA members are a great resource.  


Have some fun this week--you deserve it!
Carrie and the entire Clagett Farm Team


Week 6: June vegetables--quirky but fabulous

Announcements


  • The photo above is of Kenneth Johnson and Charles Price.  Remember when I told you last week about the 2000 pounds of vegetables we've donated so far this season?  Well some very fine, dedicated people have to pick up those pounds (another 1000 pounds last week!) and see that they make it into the hands of people who need them.  They work for SHABACH! Ministries, which is part of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.  Thank you both for being so generous and flexible!
  • A big thanks to the entire vegetable crew for filling in while Carrie was quarantined last week.  Carrie had a cough (just an allergy). Just to be sure, she had a quick covid test and is all clear.  Jared wins MVP for managing without skipping a beat. He worked long, back-to-back days harvesting, delivering to Dupont and spreading mulch on fields, so 3 cheers for Jared!  
  • What's with June vegetables?  There's a good chance that one of the things in your bag this week is not your normal purchase from the grocery store--Napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage), garlic scapes or kohlrabi, for example.  But this is one of the reasons why it's fun to have a CSA share--we keep your diet exciting!  Another reason why you love being a CSA member is that it encourages you to eat more vegetables.  Remember, vegetables should be 80% of what's on your plate.  So don't let this nice, heavy share this week go to waste.  Read on for recipe ideas and have fun!
  • We created the CBF's Clagett Farm Facebook Group so you can send us your recipe ideas, ask us your gardening questions, and let your fellow CSA members know about tips and events they might not have heard.  If you're not a Facebook person, we understand! You can still send us emails, tag us (#clagettfarm) on Instagram, pass us notes, and so on.  We love those too! 
  • We're due for some bunching onion recipes and more squash ideas, so send them our way.
  • If you want to order oysters (a dozen or 100-count) for pick up this Saturday, the deadline is TODAY at NOON!  Farmed oysters are the Bay-friendliest food you can find!
  • The week of July 1st, 2nd and 4th, we will not be giving out shares.  We're taking a break, so don't show up to pick up vegetables on any of those dates.
 

This week's share


  • A cucumber
  • A bunch of green onions
  • A handful of garlic scapes
  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • A yellow squash
  • Medley of hakurei turnips and small kohlrabies
  • Choose a bag (about a half pound): arugula, spicy mix, collards or tat soi
  • Choose one: a head of Napa cabbage (average 2.5 pounds), a bag of bok choi (~1/2 lb), a bunch of chard (~1/2 lb) or a small bag of green beans (~1/4 lb)
 

Recipes


  • Never eaten a kohlrabi?  It tastes just like the stem of broccoli.  First, be sure to peel it.
    • You can chop it easily into a salad for a crunch with a hint of sweetness. 
    • Snack on it with hummus or dip. 
    • Roast it. 
    • Shred it into cole slaw.  (Think you don't like cole slaw because it's full of mayonnaise? You're due for a vinegar cole slaw revolution!)        
  • One of Carrie's favorite Thai dishes is the green papaya salad.  Did you know you can replace the papaya with ribbons of zucchini?  (If you have a spiralizer, time to get it out.)  There's a few ingredients in this salad that you might not have on hand, but don't let that stop you--it's a forgiving dish that's delicious even if you replace the tomatoes with cucumbers, for example.  
  • Baked Squash
    • Ingredients

      • 2 medium zucchini and or yellow squash  sliced into 1/2" rounds
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning or your choice of herbs 
      • salt & pepper to taste
      • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese divided
    • Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
      • Toss zucchini slices with olive oil, seasoning, salt & pepper and about 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese.
      • Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes.
      • Turn oven to broil, place pan near the top and broil 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is tender crisp.
  • Roasted Turnips and Kohlrabi
    • Ingredients

      • 2 pounds turnips and kohlrabi
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • Fine or coarse sea salt 
      • 1 tablespoon of your choice of herbs
      • 1/4 cup chopped garlic scapes
    • Instructions 

      • Preheat an oven to 400 F.
      • While the oven heats, scrub and trim turnips, and peel the kohlrabi. Leave baby turnips whole; cut larger turnips and kohlrabi into large-ish bite-size pieces.
      • Put the prepared turnips and kohlrabi in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with the olive oil. Use your hands or two large spoons to toss them around a bit to coat them thoroughly with the oil. Sprinkle them with salt.
      • Roast until they're tender and browned; start checking on them after about 30 minutes. 
      • When you take them out of the oven, toss the turnips and kohlrabi with herbs and chopped garlic scapes. (If raw scapes are too strong for your taste, add them to the pan 5 minutes or more before you take it out of the oven.)
 

Coming Soon


  • Purple kohlrabi and purple-top turnips next week
  • Garlic bulbs next week
  • Green beans (we'll keep picking small quantities so everyone will have them over the weeks to come)
  • Continuing: kale, collards, squash, bunching onions, chard, cucumbers
  • Carrots next week or the week after
  • We have our eyes on some Korean melons that should be ready soon!

Remember when I told you last week about the 2000 pounds of vegetables we've donated so far this season?  Well some very fine, dedicated people have to pick up those pounds (another 1000 pounds last week!) and see that they make it into the hands of people who need them.  Meet Kenneth Johnson (left) and Charles Price (right).  They work for SHABACH! Ministries, which is part of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.  Thank you both for being so generous and flexible!


Have a great week!
The Clagett Farm Team

(Photo by Carrie Vaughn)


Week 5: Zucchini and Napa Cabbage bonanza!

I asked for your smiling, post-berry-picking faces, and you obliged!  Thank you, I think we all need some positive community vibes right now.  This lovely face belongs to Caryl Henry Alexander.  You can find more u-pick photos in a debut post of our new CBF's Clagett Farm Facebook Group.  If you sent me one, you can tag yourselves, and if you want to add your own, you can do that too!  

Announcements


  • The Dupont CSA pick-up is back to it's normal time slot--5:30pm to 7:30pm.  Jared is Carrie's last-minute substitute this evening, though, so be patient and flexible with him since he hasn't been to that alley and might be in a slightly different location.    
  • It's a big share this week!  Get your chef's hat on, it's going to be fun!
  • Strawberry u-pick has ended.  We're glad that every CSA member who wanted to sign up was able to get a slot, and we had ripe strawberries all the way to the end.  If you feel like you missed out, let us know.  
  • In the past month, we've donated 1,978 pounds of vegetables to two nearby food pantries--SHABACH in Landover MD, and Behold I Come Quickly in Clinton MD.  That's a whopping 47% of our total harvest!  In addition to that, we have 18 CSA members who are getting their shares at half price because they have very limited incomes, and 1 former volunteer who is ill and in a nursing home, and we deliver his share to him for free.  Phew!   
  • Want to know some interesting facts about plant and animal families? You have come to the right place! Here is a link for a fun trivia game about plant and animal families made by Amelia Vaughn. (The game is free but the web site will ask you to create an account, so feel free to use a junk email address.) 

 

This week's share


  • 1 bag lettuce
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 head Napa cabbage (aka Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes 
  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 2-3 hakurei turnips
  • Choose a bag of either kale or collards

 

Coming soon


  • Kohlrabi next week 
  • More cucumbers soon
  • Garlic scapes one more week, then garlic bulbs every week after that 
  • We have our eyes on a bed of carrots that should be ready soon
  • Continuing next week: kale, collards and zucchini

 

Recipes


  • Here's a recipe for Black Pepper Tofu with Chinese Cabbage (we made some adjustments from someone else's recipe and left out all the photos and ads that are so irritating when you're trying to read the instructions).  
  • Napa cabbage is big and can sometimes feel intimidating in your fridge.  If that's happening to you, take a moment to wash it, chop it up and put it in a container.  Suddenly it looks more like a salad ingredient or an easy veggie to toss in a stir fry.  
  • This is a great week to practice your stir fry skills.  You can toss in the cabbage, greens, scapes, scallions, zucchini, turnips, and anything else you've got crammed in your vegetable drawer.  Here's a beginner's guide to stir fry, in case that's helpful.  The most important hints are to chop the heavy things (zucchini and turnips) into small, uniform pieces so they cook more quickly, and add them first before the lighter ingredients (cabbage, scallions, scapes).  There's lots of great ideas for stir fry sauces out there, so if you get stuck in a rut, try changing your sauce.  
  • Speaking of new flavors for your stir fry, here's one from Epicurious.com--Cabbage Stir Fry with Coconut and Lemon
  • We're going to save our ideas for zucchini for another week.  In the meantime, use up all the ones you can think of now, and send us your favorites.  Time to get out the grill, and turn those stir fry sauces into marinades!  


Thanks for being your wonderful selves, and have a great week,
The Clagett Farm Team


Recipe: Black Pepper Tofu with Napa Cabbage

This recipe is based on this one from Feastingathome.com

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 812 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (you can substitute beef, chicken or shrimp, but do not use soft or silken tofu)
  • corn starch for dredging (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons wok oil (high heat oil like peanut, coconut or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
  • 1 green onion, sliced (green and white parts)
  • 4 garlic scapes, rough chopped
  • ~10 ounces Napa cabbage, chopped roughly

Black Pepper Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing Rice Wine or Mirin) or sub dry white wine, pale sherry, or rice wine.
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or sub palm sugar, coconut sugar or agave)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon any kind of chili paste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the black pepper sauce in a small jar, and shake until most of the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Prep the green onions, garlic scapes and cabbage.
  3. Dredge the tofu in a light coating of cornstarch (cornstarch is optional, but provides a crispier texture).
  4. Heat oil in a wok or heavy skillet until the entire pan is very hot and the oil shimmers.  Add the crushed peppercorns to the oil, swirling it around until fragrant, about one minute.
  5. Add the tofu to the seasoned oil, and sear on all sides until golden and crispy, turning the heat down if need be. Be patient and take your time, it will take about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Set the crispy tofu aside on a paper towel-lined plate, and wipe the pan out.
  7. Heat another teaspoon or two of oil over medium heat, and add green onions, garlic scapes and cabbage. Stir continuously until cabbage begins to wilt, about 3-4 minutes. It will smell amazing.  Add the black pepper sauce to the pan, careful to get all the sugar that may have settled in the jar.
  8. Simmer for a couple of minutes, or until cabbage is just tender.
  9. Toss the tofu back into the pan with the cabbage and sauce.  Taste for salt and heat, adjusting to your preference.
  10. Serve immediately, dividing between two bowls.

Week 4: The days are dark, but your vegetables are green, green, green

It's been tough this week for the staff to keep working when we want to be shouting and yelling and marching the streets. Remarkably, the betrayal of humanity has not (yet) made the plants stop growing.  The least we can do is bring food to the rest of you, hoping that you're marching in our place or resisting in your own way, and hope these vegetables are a balm for our dear community.  I certainly felt that relief on Sunday, watching so many of you enjoying the strawberries and beautiful weather with one another.  
 

Announcements


  • We're shifting our delivery to Dupont an hour earlier today so that you can get your vegetables and return home before the curfew.  We'll be there from 4:30pm-6:30pm.  If you need us to stay later, send me a text.  The other pick-ups will remain the same.   
  • In our last e-mail to you, we announced that we were finally able to offer u-pick strawberries.  It was a mammoth job getting that organized so quickly and keeping everyone coming at a steady pace.  It went well, and I was glad that everyone seemed to leave with smiles and plenty of berries.  If you have photos of those smiles and berries, send them to us!  As of this morning, the fields have been picked pretty clean.  My hope is that we'll have enough on Thursday and this weekend to accommodate any of the CSA members who have not yet had a chance to u-pick.  U-pickers MUST sign up.  The link to do so along with the rules are in our last e-mail.  The supply is tight so make sure you check your phone before you come in case we need to adjust your reservation.   We are NOT yet permitting members to u-pick a second time, but we'll alert you if we do.
  • One of our volunteers, Daniel Carson, died last week.  Daniel and his wife, Connie, volunteered with us a few hours each Wednesday helping wash and prep your shares (last year, when we were able to take volunteers).  Connie inspired us with her patience and devotion to her husband--Daniel had dementia and required a great deal of attention, but she did not allow anyone to deny his continued integrity as a whole human being that deserved respect and care.  And Daniel inspired us with his constant positive attitude and good humor.  We are sad to lose such a kind soul, and I'm sorry I didn't catch a photo of that smile of his so I could show you.  

 

This week's share


  • 1 hearty handful garlic scapes 
  • 1 bunch onion scallions (also known as green onions or bunching onions)
  • 1 cucumber or zucchini
  • Root medley: turnps, radishes and beets
  • A bag of lettuce heads (about a quarter pound, mostly green romaine)
  • Choose: a bag of tat soi or spicy mix (this week's spicy mix is SPICY--most of the leaves are mild but a few have a knockout wasabi flavor)
  • Choose: a bag of kale or collards

 

What are garlic scapes and how do you use them?


  • Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the garlic plant.  We remove them to encourage the plants to put more energy into making large garlic bulbs.  We pass them to you because they're delicious!
  • Chop them roughly and add to stir fry.
  • Chop them roughly, put them in a blender or food processor with olive oil, salt, parmesan and toasted pine nuts or walnuts to make a pesto that's so good you'll forget why you used to use basil.
  • Need garlic in a recipe?  Use finely-chopped scapes!  The flavor mellows significantly when cooked, so you might wish to use more than you would have if they were garlic cloves.
  • Find your favorite green goddess dressing recipe (or any dressing) and add garlic scapes.
  • Grill them.
  • Pizza topping, of course!

 

Recipe: Grits and Greens


Use whichever greens happen to come home in your bag.  The recipe was a little long to include in the e-mail, so I'm linking to it here.


Stay strong friends--we need you!

Carrie Vaughn and the rest of the Clagett Farm Team


Week 3: Warm Sun + Gentle Rain = Great Food!

It's a great week to be alive, friends.  We have sweet, sweet strawberries and lots of delicious greens.  While the weather is still cool but the soil is warming, the lettuce, arugula, tat soi and spicy mix are at their peak.  Later, when the weather gets hotter, they will turn tough and bitter and we'll be craving tomatoes and peppers, so enjoy it while it lasts! 

This week's photo is of Elissa Planz.  This is Elissa's 5th year at Clagett Farm.  She's managing 3 of our 4 pick-ups, her artwork graces many of the signs on the farm, and she is responsible for the herb and flower beds looking as lovely as they do.  Thank you for your hard work, Elissa! 
  

Announcements


  • Storing your produce:  When you bring your bag of produce home, it will be worth your trouble to take a few moments to store them so they'll stay fresh as long as possible.  The ideal for most of your vegetables is to keep them in a humid environment in the refrigerator (such as the vegetable drawer or a plastic bag) but not wet. 
    • Loose salad greens should be washed, spun dry, and stored so they keep some loft and don't get crushed.  A big clear plastic clamshell or tupperware is good for this purpose.   
    • Scrub the roots, such as radishes and turnips, and remove the leaves you don't plan to eat.  They transpire more with leaves on, so the roots will stay crisper without leaves.  
    • Good luck trying to store the strawberries.  Who can resist eating them all right away?   
  • Reminder: you can pick up when you like. You don't need to call or e-mail to let us know when you plan to take your shares.  
    • 26-week members may pick up 1 or 2 shares any week for a total of 26 shares by the end of the season (mid-November).  You don't need to let us know in advance which weeks you're coming.  We'll have enough for everyone plus extra to donate to food pantries, so if you don't show up one week, there's more to give away.  And when you take 2, we donate a little less.  It's that easy.  
    • 13-week members, you may pick up your shares whichever 13 weeks you choose, without prior notice.  You do not need to alternate weeks--you can take shares two weeks in a row and then miss an entire month.  It's up to you.    

 

This week's share


  • 1 pint strawberries
  • cucumber (Have you noticed how thin-skinned and sweet they are?  Don't bother peeling!)
  • 1 bunch garlic scallions (Your last bunch of the year!  Don't forget if you're looking for recipes, these are also commonly known as green garlics.)
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 1 bag bok choi (Wednesday & Thursday) or tat soi (Saturday) 
  • Purple top turnips and French breakfast radishes
  • CHOOSE:  a bag of small lettuce heads, spicy mix, tender red kale or collards (your pick-up site will probably only have 2 of these choices)

(This is the Red Russian kale.)

Recipe: Carrie's Double Garlic Scallion Pasta


I realized one perk of quarantine and face masks--you can eat a super-garlicky meal and the only people who will know are the people who ate it with you!  So last night my daughter and I ate garlic scallions two ways in one dish, just to see how we liked it best.  This meal happens to be vegan.  I didn't pay much attention to quantities, so what I've listed here is approximate.

  • Set up a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • To a blender or food processor add the following, and blend to a smooth paste:
    • 1-2 scallions, roughly chopped, both the green and white parts--everything but the roots
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt (add more if needed once you taste the finished paste)
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
    • lots of olive oil (1/4 cup or so--enough so it blends to a smooth paste)
  • Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.
  • Finely chop a couple more garlic scallions (go ahead--use up the rest of the bunch).  Toss them into the pan with a dried chili that you happen to have leftover from our bumper crop of chilies last year (or about 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes).
  • Is your pot boiling yet?  If so, add pasta (3/4 pound?  A pound?  As you wish).  And pour a 1/4 cup or so of that boiling water into the pan with the scallions and chili.  
  • Cook the scallions until they're soft.  The water should have cooked away.  
  • When the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain it and add enough of the garlic scallion pesto you made earlier so that it's coated to your liking (you might have some leftover), then add in the cooked scallions from the pan.  Add salt if needed. 
  • Serve the hot pasta on a bed of arugula or spicy mix, torn into small pieces.   

  
Coming Next Week


  • Garlic Scapes
  • Strawberries 
  • Salad greens, kale and collards 
  • Onion scallions
  • Hakurei turnips (the little white ones)
  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers 
  • Zucchinis might start to trickle in.  Expect everyone to get some by week 6


Here's a photo of the zucchini plants on their way to conjuring their first fruits.  Between the plastic-covered rows is an aisle thick with dwarf white clover.  We're lucky the zucchini survived that late, May frost!  The cucumbers and melons beside them were not so lucky (you're enjoying cucumbers from the greenhouse this week, which were better protected).   

Have a wonderful week!
Your Clagett Farm Team


Week 2: Strawberries continue to be small but spectacular


Meet Kris Belessis, pictured here harvesting your arugula.  She's another educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation who's pinch-hitting for us until we can take volunteers and worksharers.  Before working for CBF, she was a First Lieutenant in the Marines as an engineer.  Thanks, Kris!!  
 

Announcements


Now that we've tried out our new pick-up system, we have a few reminders and changes, as well as a few general notes.

  • Please use the FRONT ENTRANCE of the farm on Old Marlboro Pike:  Some of you picking up at the farm noticed that GPS sent you to the back entrance of the farm on Ritchie Marlboro Road.  It would be better if you ignore that suggestion, pass that back entrance, and turn right onto Old Marlboro Pike.  Your app will redirect you to the front entrance of the farm on Old Marlboro Pike, which will be on your right.  Entering this way means you will approach the washing station from the correct direction without having to turn around awkwardly to get in line.  Thanks!
  • Sorry, we can't swap: Last week I mentioned that we can keep items in your share that you don't want to take home.  Be sure to mention it BEFORE you take the bag.  Once it's in your hands, we can't take it back.  Also, we cannot exchange items.  If you ask us to keep something so we can donate it, we can't give you something else in exchange.  
  • Emergency messaging coming soon: We had a little trouble at the Dupont pick-up when we arrived to find a work crew tearing up the entrance to the alley where we expected to meet you.  Thanks to some quick help from our volunteer, Deborah, and our co-worker, Danielle Hodgkin, we were able to contact everyone quickly by text or email.  But it highlighted that we need a messaging service to contact everyone in case of last minute emergency change to your CSA pick-up.  So stay tuned...we're looking into our options, and once we figure that out we'll give you an option to opt in or out.  And thanks so much to the Dupont folks who were so flexible!
  • Fishy produce bags:  We noticed that the green-colored, Biobag-brand produce bags we were using to pack the leafy greens last Wednesday and Thursday had an off-putting smell.  The company representative assured us there is nothing to worry about, but we've decided to stop using them anyway. 
  • E-mails: Unlike last week, this is the only e-mail we sent this week. We try to give you as much notice as we can about what's coming in your share, but this was a busy week in the field for planting (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons and corn!) so we didn't get a chance.  At the end of this note you'll see a detailed list of what we're expecting in the coming weeks, which should help.
  • Got a recipe you want to share?  E-mail it to us!

 

This week's share


It's another small share this week, and the weather is in a grey, chilly holding pattern.  But don't worry, all the crops are looking good and growing well.  We'll get big shares eventually!

  • Heaping half-pint of strawberries 
  • Bunch of garlic scallions (if you haven't used all of last week's yet, don't worry, they last a long time in your fridge)
  • Root medley (a beet, a purple-top turnip, and some baby hakurei turnips and radishes)
  • Salad blend (a crunchy, vibrant combination of baby mustard greens, tat soi, vitamin greens and pea shoots--you'll be instagramming your salads this week.  Tag us #clagettfarm!)
  • CHOICE: Again this week we have a little of a lot of things so we're not sure which choices will end up where. Most will have an option of 1/4 pound lettuce or arugula, 1 pound of tender, young collards or possibly a cucumber. (There's lots more cucumbers coming soon so hang tight if it doesn't make it to you this week).  
  • CHOICE of herbs: sage or onion chives with flowers 
  • If you would like more seedlings, you can take up to two of whatever remains.  Right now we have a bunch of basil, kale, collards, and a motley collection of tomatoes.
  

What to expect in the coming weeks


  • Strawberries should continue for a few weeks
  • Garlic scallions will continue for one more week and then we switch to garlic scapes
  • Onion scallions should start week 4
  • One more week of beets, week 3
  • Two more weeks of turnips, probably weeks 3 & 4
  • A few more weeks of radishes
  • Lettuce heads for a few weeks (probably weeks 3-5)
  • Baby bok choi next week
  • Chinese cabbage soon, probably week 4 or 5
  • Arugula & spicy mix probably through week 5
  • Collards continue and more kale soon
  • Cucumbers from the high tunnel these first weeks and then squash from the field beginning week 5

Let's hope for a soaking rain followed by a nice stretch of sun! 

The Clagett Farm Team


It's Week One!  (We're excited)  

This masked man holding the strawberries is Ben Carver.  He normally works as a captain teaching students about the Chesapeake Bay.  Until kids are allowed to go on field trips, he's helping us in the fields.  Thanks for your for your hard work, Ben!  By the way, if you have school-age kids at home, Ben and many of our educating co-workers have posted some great videos to help your kids learn about nature from home, which you can check out HERE
 

Pick-up Times and Reminders


  • Clagett Farm on Wednesdays:  3:00pm-7:00pm; 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772; please enter from Old Marlboro Pike (not Ritchie Marlboro Road)
  • Dupont on Wednesdays: 5:30-7:30pm; drive into Fraser Court from S Street, at the corner with Chateau Thierry, 1920 S St NW.
  • Annapolis on Thursdays:  4:00pm-6:30pm; 6 Herndon Ave; follow the driveway to the right side of the building.
  • Clagett Farm on Saturdays: 1:00pm-4:00pm; see instructions above
  • You can find reminders about where to drive and what to do when you get to your pick-up HERE
  • Dupont and Annapolis members, you can pick up at any of the pick-up sites any week.
  • If you signed up for pick-up at Clagett Farm, you may pick up a maximum of 6 shares at Dupont or Annapolis over the course of the season. 

 

This week's share


  • 1 heaping half-pint strawberries
  • 1 bunch garlic scallions (also known as green garlic)
  • 2 heads tat soi
  • 1 bunch hakurei turnips 
  • 1 beet 
  • We have small amounts of a variety of salad greens and a few other things.  We'll give you a choice between two items--probably arugula and baby collards.
  • Your choice of oregano, thyme, onion chives with edible flowers, or edible rutabaga flowers
  • 3 seedlings

 

Announcements


  • Worried that you're not getting much food?  Returning members know that it takes a little time for the Earth to unfold her bounty.  The first few shares are small but fresh and delicious.  
  • Be sure to wash your produce.  The strawberries, especially, are still dusty, but they'll make it to your fridge in better shape if we don't wash them first.  
  • We need a few items.  If one also happens to be an item your household wants to discard, let us know!  We'll come pick it up.  
    • a regular-sized kitchen refrigerator to store our seeds
    • stainless steel sinks
  • This pandemic might find you driving to us from home instead of your former workplace, and this might not be as convenient as it once was.  One of our members lives in Montgomery County and picks up at Dupont.  If you'd like them to bring your share to MoCo for you, send us an email and we'll pass along the word.

 

A Recipe Idea for your First Share


Spring Salad with Green Garlic Dressing by Brandy Shannon

Salad Mix

  • 1 head tat soi, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 hakurei turnips, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 beet (either grate it and add it raw, or boil it and coarsely chop)

——Mix all together in large mixing bowl.

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic scallion, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

——Put all ingredients in blender and blend until foamy, and garlic is in tiny pieces. Pour 1/4 cup over prepared salad and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Dish into bowls and top each salad individually with flowers and nuts/seeds.

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup edible flowers
  • 1/4 cup nuts and/or seeds


Thanks so much for embarking on this adventure with us!  Happy 1st harvest!

The Clagett Farm Team