CSA Registration Begins Monday

190228 Construction and Greehouse - 9-39 AM (2)It's a new season!

We’ve got some important information below, including:

Here’s our plan for rolling out CSA registration for 2021:

  • This Monday, January 25th, RETURNING MEMBERS: On Monday, we’ll send an e-mail to all of the people who purchased shares in Clagett Farm’s CSA in 2020.  The e-mail will include a link and a password, which gives you access to sign up for our CSA share.  You will have 3 weeks to sign up.  ALERT!:  Everyone who has ever been a CSA member of our farm is eligible for the $50 returning member discount, and may sign up at this early date.  But not all of you will receive the e-mail.  If you are a returning member and do not receive the e-mail this Monday by 5:00pm, then please reach out to us before February 15th.   Please do not share this link and password with people who are not returning members.  We will have to refund their purchase and it will be frustrating for all of us. 
  • February 15th, 9:00am, WAITING LIST: Assuming we still have slots open in our CSA (and I would place bets that we will), we will send an e-mail with a link and password to people who have signed up to be notified when CSA shares open for 2021.  We are expecting to send the e-mail to everyone who is on this waiting list, but if there are very few slots open, we will send it to the people who signed up first.  . 
  • February 22nd, GENERAL PUBLIC: We will remove the password protection from the registration pages and anyone may sign up for any shares that remain. 
  • May 12th, 13th and 15th HARVEST: We’ll start giving you vegetables!  

New Year, New Prices

26-week share:

Returning members

New members

Farm pick-up

$649

$699

Dupont & Annapolis pick-up

$709

$759

13-week share:

Returning members

New members

Farm pick-up

$383

$412

Dupont & Annapolis pick-up

$418

$448

We are increasing the prices 10% from last year.  (If you pay in 4 monthly installments, your increase is actually much less, since the processing fee is now 2%, which is lower than last year.)  This is not just because we create a quality product that’s an important service to our community.  It’s also because we have new expenses due to Covid, we’ve lost an important source of financial support for our donations to food pantries, and we haven’t increased prices since 2015.  We know this is a time when many of you are facing financial stress.  Below you can see if you qualify for a half price CSA share.  And if that doesn’t work, there are a few directories of local sustainable farms that might lead you to a farm that’s a better fit: Local Harvest, Buy Fresh Buy Local Chesapeake, Future Harvest.   

Think you might qualify for a half price share?

We want to make this process as quick and easy for you as possible.  If you qualify based on the list below, submit this form right away, even if you are not a returning member.  This will hold your slot while we take a minute to get your documents of eligibility and then your payment. 

You qualify if any of the following is true:

  • You receive SSI Disability, WIC or SNAP
  • Your household falls below the income threshold listed below. Household is defined as the persons living with you with whom you share your food budget. 

Number of people in your household

Household income

1

$23,606

2

$31,894

3

$40,182

4

$48,470

5

$56,758

6

$65,046

7

$73,334

Not sure if you’re a returning member?

  • Did someone in your household pay our farm for a CSA share (26 or 13 weeks) any year in our 29-year history?
  • Did you pay hundreds of dollars to someone so that you could split a Clagett Farm CSA share with them in any year in our farm’s history?

If you can answer yes to either of those questions, you get priority registration and a discounted CSA share.  Once you’re part of our community, you’re always part of our community. 

When and Where you will pick up your veggies:

It’s all the same as last year except for small shifts in the times at Dupont and Annapolis.

  • Clagett Farm

11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772

Wednesdays 3:00pm - 7:00pm

Saturdays 1:00pm - 4:00pm

  • Dupont Circle neighborhood

1737 Fraser Ct, NW, Washington DC 20009

Between 19th & 20th Streets in an alley off S St, behind Dupont Circle Physicians Group

Wednesdays 5:00pm - 7:00pm

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Phillip Merrill Center

6 Herndon Ave, Annapolis MD 21403

Thursdays 4:00pm - 6:00pm

 

Let us know if you have any questions.

We’re excited to bring you back in the fold! 

The Clagett Farm staff

301-627-4662

clagettfarm@cbf.org


2020 - your thoughts about the farm season and ours

For all that has been going wrong in the world, we are grateful that in 2020 our farm season went remarkably well.  In mid-March we wondered how we could get everything planted without interacting with each other in the field, and how we would give you your vegetables if you weren’t allowed to pick them up.  How would we keep the farm running if we all got sick at once?   

We switched our distribution to pre-bagging your shares, which was a lot of extra labor for us and less choice for you, but as far as we know, no one on the farm contracted Covid-19!  What a blessing.  And we made up for the lack of volunteers and seasonal hires with help from a dozen Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff who never thought their job descriptions would include farming. Phew!  Our yield was about average (62,475 pounds), which is pretty fantastic, all things considered.  It certainly helped that the weather through 2020 was wonderful.   

We have reviewed your survey responses and met together as staff.  As always, we are happy for you to read the complete survey results.  Here’s a few of the questions and comments that came up, and our responses.   

Overall 

Your satisfaction with your CSA share was 8.9 out of 10, and 97% of you would recommend our CSA, which we take as a big vote of confidence.  We received many, many messages of thanks and encouragement, and our hearts are full!  Thank YOU!   

To bag or not to bag  

If Covid were not an issue, most of you would prefer to weigh your own vegetables in order to have more control over the what ends up in your bag.  But if Covid remains at the current threat level, most of you would prefer to get your share pre-bagged and brought to your car.  The problem is, pre-bagging shares takes too much of our time, and it keeps us from getting other field work done.  In 2019, our work week was 2 days harvesting & distributing + 3 days field work.  In 2020, it was 2 days harvesting, 2 days packing & distributing, and 1 day field work.  There’s no way we can continue that in 2021.   

Most likely we’ll ask you to collect your vegetables in a staff-assisted buffet line of sorts, where we handle the vegetables and your bag is packed while you watch.  But a lot can change between now and May, so we won’t know for sure until harvest time is upon us.   

Note that only 4% of you liked the idea of limiting the pick-up window to 30 minutes to avoid waiting in line, so 96% of you will be glad to hear we’ve taken that option off the table.   

U-Pick 

More of you prefer to sign up in advance for u-pick than to come at will and risk a crowded field.  But we agree with the multiple comments that the on-line sign up was cumbersome.  We’ll be looking for a platform that we like better.  If you have one you like that’s cheap, let us know.     

E-mails 

We made an extra effort this year to boost the information in the weekly e-mails, since we wouldn’t have as many face-to-face interactions.  We heard that you appreciated the recipes and hearing about the farm.  Many of you who picked up on Wednesdays wished the emails were earlier and more accurate.  Unfortunately, if they are earlier, they will be less accurate.  It’s a perennial problem.  We’ll do our best.   

Crops you love and hate 

The big favorite crop this year was TOMATOES by a comfortable lead.  Also favored were strawberries, kale/collards, and garlic (in all its forms).  Honorable mentions are peppers (sweets and green bells), winter squash, spicy salad mix and summer squash.   

Your least favorite crops were okra and turnips.  Other frequent dislikes were eggplant, radishes and kohlrabi.   

Your comments 

Here’s just a taste of the comments we received, since there were too many to list them all… 

I was over the moon satisfied with my share this year and plan on buying a full one next year.” 

This was an awesome experience as a first time CSA member. I hope I can get to know the community more next time! 

Having fresh organic, sustainably grown produce from the farm was a bright light in this awful year of covid. You all literally kept me alive. Thank you! 

Other years, to avoid wasting food I only get what I know I'll eat. With prepackaged shares I ended up composting produce I don't like. I hope next year we have better customization for our shares so I can leave things I don't eat for others. 

“I missed regular u pick so much this year!  Of course, I understand your thinking, but I felt COMPLETELY safe the times I signed up to come out, and for those of us who live in city apartments, especially now, being at the farm is just wonderful.  Thank you for whatever you can do to allow visits next year.” 

“Our household doesn't like eggplant. We've prepared it many different ways (and I used to be a vegan) and no matter what we do we do not enjoy it. It would be nice to be able to have the option to sub sometimes.” 

“After a few years of melons and corn, my opinion is they are not very good. Melons aren’t sweet and corn is often buggy. I’d prefer you grow something else that tastes better. Would love to see more mushrooms, asparagus if possible. Overall, I am still very happy with my shares, and congratulate you on managing to distribute shares so well and so cheerfully this year.” 

“Paper bags may be eco-friendly, but are not compatible with wet or damp produce.  You all did a fantastic job coping with extraordinary conditions!” 

“The road maybe needs to be 1-way.  It was very challenging to exit onto Ritchie-Marlboro and meet incoming cars!” 

“I did think it was odd to receive to small turnips or radishes.  Not much you can do with something like that.  Not even a serving for one.” 

“If you have to operate the same way in 2021 with Covid (your employees have to pre-bag our veggies), I continue to be concerned at how much extra work that is for your employees. Therefore, I think you need to increase the cost of the Share.” 

“Thank you so much for all of your hard work!!  No one complained at all when I asked to remove items from my share.  What a terrific group of volunteers.  The produce was beautiful and tasted so fresh.  See you next year!” 

Conclusion 

This year was a wild ride.  During all of the turbulence of 2020, the one thing that stood out to us most was the importance of community. We learned that in difficult times the most important resource that we have is each other. We learned how to adapt together throughout this crisis to continue something that we feel is truly vital, getting healthy food into your homes. Each and every one of us had to make sacrifices and changes throughout the year, yet together we made it.  

As we continue into 2021, we strive to remember these lessons.  We know that whatever the future brings we will face these challenges together and we will become stronger and more resilient than ever.  


Last Week of Vegetables!

We have questions for you...
 

Announcements


  • It's survey time!  This survey is for CSA members only (plus our few regular volunteers this year).  We want your general impressions of the CSA share this year, and we also have a few specific questions about how to distribute your veggies going forward in the event that Covid is still a threat in the 2021 season.  All your thoughts are welcome and the survey is anonymous.  The deadline to complete the survey is November 30th, after which we'll send you the results.  
  • We're now taking wreath orders!  Again this year, we'll be handmaking holiday wreaths for your door, your family's doors, friends, colleagues, doctor's office... It's a great gift!  There are two pick-up days:  December 5th at the farm and December 10th in Annapolis.  The deadline to order will be 2 days before the pick-up day (or sooner if we sell out).  
  • Dupont members: it's forecast to rain all evening, so we're pre-bagging your shares and limiting the vegetable options to keep the pick-up moving as quickly as possible.  We don't want people standing in line in the rain.  We have a tent and lights.  We recommend bringing an umbrella.  
  • This is the last week of our harvest season.  We'll miss you!  In a few weeks we'll be sending you an invitation to purchase a CSA share for 2021.  We expect the shares to sell out early this year, so we're opening sales to returning members first.  Make sure you sign up in that early window.  We'll be charging a $50 non-refundable deposit to sign up, and you'll have until March 30 to make the rest of the purchase.  When we send you the sign-up information, we'll also fill you in on any changes we plan to make to the pick-ups.  Your survey responses will help guide those decisions.    

 

This week's share


  • Garlic, 6 ounces loose cloves
  • Butternut (some pick-ups will also have the option of sweet potatoes or a small cabbage head)
  • Bok choi or tat soi (some pick-ups might instead be able to choose a turnip)
  • Greens, a 6-ounce bag of spicy mix, collards or kale
  • 3-4 Peppers
  • 2 French breakfast radishes
  • Optional: a bag of hot chilies (jalapeno, serrano and cayenne)

  

2020 has been a wild ride, my friends.  We're so, so grateful to serve such a supportive community of wonderful people.  We have high hopes for the future--for a food system that makes healthy vegetables available to everyone, that builds healthy soils, sequesters carbon, keeps our waterways clean, and pays the laborers a living wage.  We think we've found a pretty marvelous way to put those values into action, and this year made that clearer than ever.  Have a wonderful, wonderful winter, and you'll hear from us again soon!

The entire Clagett Farm Team,
Michael Heller, Clagett Farm Manager
Carrie Vaughn, Vegetable Production Manager
Jared Planz, Asistant Vegetable Production Manager
Dave Vernon, Assistant to the Farm Manager
Elissa Planz, Clagett Farm and Annapolis Pick-Up Manager,
Alex Outten, Matt Pombuena, David Tana, a dozen CBF educators, a dozen regular volunteers, and all the staff at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that support us behind the scenes.


Week 25 of 26: Almost to the finish line

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This week's share

  • garlic cloves, a tight handful 
  • sweet potatoes, 1 anxious, sleepless pound and 6 ounces 
  • eggplant, half pound--can't seem to unite with the other half
  • peppers, half pound--ripe & sweet?  green?  stay tuned...
  • cabbage, one small head with a furrowed brow and clenched teeth
  • lettuce, a few small heads, one green, one red (or maybe its purple, or maybe 2 green)
  • you can make this decision all on your own: purple top turnip or head of bok choi 
  • optional bag of chilies: we said they would burn, but does anyone care?


Announcements

  • Next week is our last week of shares! You can take a maximum of 2 shares at one time to make up for missed shares.  Next week will have loose garlic cloves, a butternut, peppers, tat soi, collards, and either kale or mixed salad greens.  
  • One thing you can eat that is unequivocally good for the environment: Chesapeake Bay farmed OYSTERS.  Order them now for pick up at the farm on Saturday November 14th.  There will be another opportunity in Annapolis on November 24th, details to come.    
  • Ever seen bulldozers clearing a large, mature forest for a development no one wants, and yet your sound and fury signify nothing because the decision is already made?  You should attend this webinar tomorrow: Before the Bulldozers.  Learn how to make your voice heard early enough to have an impact.  
  • Garlic is sold out


Wishing we grew chocolate,
Carrie About-to-have-an-Aneurism Vaughn


Week 24 of 26: Sweet potatoes make an appearance

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Have you noticed the tall plants with yellow flowers in some of our fields?  It's called sunn hemp, and we grow it along with sudan grass for a thick, carbon-rich cover crop to feed our soil.  Sunn hemp isn't related to cannabis.  It gets that name because of its strong, fibrous stalks.  It's actually related to peas and beans, and like them, has bacteria on its roots that gather nitrogen from the air and make it usable to plants. This is how we grow our own fertilizer.  

Announcements

  • U-picking is still going on for herbs and any flowers you can find around farm (all by wash station, and some extra striped marigolds over by the where the sunflowers were in G2).  We have a nice amount of parsley and cilantro, in addition to many of the other herbs we have mentioned in the past.  We might have a frost this weekend, so if you're planning to pick any basil, this might be your last chance. 
  • The deadline to order fresh, Bay-friendly oysters has passed for the Annapolis pick up on October 29th, but you can order oysters now for pick up at the farm on November 14th! There will also be another chance to pick up oysters in Annapolis--just before Thanksgiving on 11/24.  Details coming soon.  
  • We're still selling garlic!
    For CSA members, the prices are $8/lb or a discounted $6/lb for purchases of at least 10 pounds. 
    Non-members pay $12/pound or $8/pound for 10 pounds or more. 
    If you're purchasing more than 10 pounds for pick up at Dupont or Annapolis, please give us at least one day advanced notice so we can be sure to get it in the van for you. 
    All the options are available for on-line purchase now.  We do not ship or deliver, except to our CSA pick-ups.  
  • It is Week 24 which means after this week, we only have 2 more weeks of shares! Your final week of shares is November 11, 12 and 14. 
  • Don't forget that you cannot take more than 2 shares at a time.  We can tell you at the pick-up how many you have remaining to use up.  
  • We can still use extra help in the fields with harvesting and other field work, any day, Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Call 301-627-4662 to sign up. 

This week's share

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1.25 pounds sweet potatoes (some of them look pretty funny but they're still delicious!)
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 1 purple-top turnip
  • 1 large head bok choi
  • 1/2 pound eggplant
  • 1.5 pounds peppers (mostly green)
  • Choose 6 ounces of greens from a selection of options (including spicy mix and collards)
  • Optional: 8 ounces of a mild or hot blend of chilies

Note that sweet potatoes store best with their dirt on.  If you don't find the dust a nuisance, wait until you're ready to cook them before you wash them.

Recipes

  • Sweet Potato Oven Fries
    • Ingredients:
      Sweet Potatoes
      Olive Oil
      Coconut oil (optional)

      Salt
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice up however many sweet potatoes you want about a 1/4" wide, for them to be similar thickness, for even cooking. Toss in a bowl, with enough olive oil to coat, and a little salt.
      If you have coconut oil, I like to put a tablespoon or two on a baking sheet and set it in the oven for a minute to melt. Then spread the oil around the pan for a good coating. You could oil the pan with another high heat oil. I think the oil on the bottom gets them to brown better.
      Spread the sweet potatoes across the pan so none are piled on top of each other, and each has good contact with the pan. Cover the pan with tin foil. Put in the oven and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, about a 1/2 hr.
      Then remove the foil, and put the pan back in the oven to brown. Don’t stir, as this will mess up the browning. Scope the fries out periodically as they bake until you get the level of browning you want
  • Baked Tofu with Peanut Sauce and Bok Choi from the Washington Post
  • Bok Choi Salad
    • Dressing ingredients:
      • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2/3 cup combination olive oil and toasted sesame oil, to your preference
      • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
      • a minced chili
      • If you have a flavor packet with your package of ramen (below), you can use it in place of some of the seasoning in this dressing).
    • Salad ingredients:
      • 1 head bok choi, chopped
      • 1 bunch green onions or chives, chopped (we have chives in the herb garden for u-pick)
      • 1 package ramen noodles
      • 4-8 oz slivered or sliced almonds
      • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Instructions:
      • Mix dressing ingredients and set aside (using a blender will thicken the dressing). 
      • Chop bok choi and chives or green onions. Mix with dressing.
      • Crush ramen noodles.  Mix with almonds and butter and brown in skillet.  Use as a garnish on top of the salad.
      • Serve immediately.


Coming Soon

The forecast for this coming weekend is for a possible frost, so we're busy picking all the remaining peppers and eggplant.  We think we'll have more sweet potatoes, but they will be smaller and skinnier, like fat fingers.  This is the last week for daikon radishes.  We have one more butternut to give everyone, which we're saving for next week.  And we should have bok choi, salad greens, kale, collards, purple top turnips and garlic through to the last week.  


By this time next week election day will have passed!  May we all breathe a sigh of relief when it is over.  
The Clagett Farm Team


Week 23: Coming back to our roots. Big ones.

Sheep loving this fall weather, maybe even more than we are....maybe.

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Announcements

  • U-picking is still going on for herbs and any flowers you can find around farm (all by wash station, and some extra striped marigolds over by the where the sunflowers were in G2)
  • Dupont members, many of you didn't get garlic in your share last week.  Remind Carrie at your next pick up and we'll give you the missed garlic.  Sorry!
  • Don't forget about the oyster pop-up in Annapolis on October 29th.  The deadline for ordering is Monday (10/26).  And we'll have one on the farm on November 14th (details for that location coming later).  
  • We're still selling garlic!!! 
    For CSA members, the prices are $8/lb or a discounted $6/lb for purchases of at least 10 pounds. 
    Non-members pay $12/pound or $8/pound for 10 pounds or more. 
    If you're purchasing more than 10 pounds for pick up at Dupont or Annapolis, please give us at least one day advanced notice so we can be sure to get it in the van for you. 
    All the options are available for on-line purchase now.  We do not ship or deliver, except to our CSA pick-ups.  
  • It is Week 23 which means after this week, we only have 3 more weeks of shares! The season is coming to a close and we hope to leave you with your fill of greens, winter squash, radishes and turnips.  We are planning on digging up those small sweet potatoes soon as well for possibly Week 25.
  • Concerned about how to store your winter squash?  Here's the trick: do absolutely nothing.  That's right, you can use it as a door stop or bookend or festive table display.  And then 3 months from now, when you're thinking about how great it was to have a farm that grew vegetables for you, you can cook it and eat it.  So easy!  
  • Your final week of shares is November 11, 12 and 14.  Don't forget that you cannot take more than 2 shares at a time.  We can tell you at the pick-up how many you have remaining to use up.  
  • We can still use extra help in the fields with harvesting and other field work, any day, Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Call 301-627-4662 to sign up. 
       
        
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This week's share


  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 winter squash (butternut)
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 1 large head bok choi
  • 1-3 eggplants (about a pound)
  • 3/4 pounds peppers
  • a few small French breakfast radishes
  • Choose 6 ounces of greens from a selection of options (including spicy mix and collards)
  • Optional: 6 ounces of a mild or hot blend of chilies

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Above, Elissa is gracefully displaying the rather extravagant size of one of our daikon radishes.  Be prepared for some big radishes in your bag today!  Note that the radish greens are quite delicious, so taste a little and decide if you'd like to cook with it or include some chopped leaves in your salad.  
 

Recipes


Aigo Bouido
Our volunteer, Vince Renard, likes to use our garlic to make this classic, French soup.
 
Creamy Winter Squash soup with ginger
TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES (not including roasting time); SERVES: 6+
This soup can be made with almost any type of winter squash.  I prefer to use Kabocha because of its starchy, chestnut-like texture and flavor, but Butternut does wonders as well. 
*Go with a high-powered blender or food processor, rather than an immersion blender, for the silkiest texture.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium-large winter squash; roasted, flesh scooped out & reserved (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil or ghee/butter
  • 1 large yellow or white onion (or 1 - 2 leeks), chopped
  • 1 - 3 carrots (opt.), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • Water, vegetable broth, or chicken stock (amount depends on desired consistency)
  • 1, 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • ~1/4 tsp. each coriander, ground turmeric, & Ceylon cinnamon
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 - 1 lime (depending on size; to taste)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Greek yogurt or crème fraîche


METHOD

  • Heat coconut oil or ghee/butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions,celery, carrots, garlic, ginger, & spices. Cook until browned & fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk and roasted winter squash. Add enough water or stock to barely cover. (You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to cook the soup down once it’s too thin without adding more squash.)
  • Cover and simmer on low until soft and thoroughly cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir often to avoid sticking.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer carefully in batches to the blender or food processor and purée until creamy.
  • Adjust seasonings: add the lime, optional fish sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and yogurt or crème fraîche.

 
Daikon Radish Pickles
TIME: 15 MINUTES (plus overnight marinating); SERVES: 2 CUPS
This quick-pickle “brine” can be used for a variety of different veggies: radish, cucumber, kohlrabi, celery, etc.. You can make more or less brine depending on the amount of veggies you wish to pickle.  This is not a fermented pickle, like kimchi, so it's a good choice for people who don't want that strong fermented taste.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups daikon radish (or a mix of veggies), sliced into bite-size lengths, but thin enough to soak in the marinade (I like a long, rectangular shape, or half moon)
  • ~1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • ~1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tamari, Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. mirin or Chinese Shaoxing wine (opt.)
  • A few dashes fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. gochugaru or crushed red pepper flakes


METHOD

  • Place the sliced daikon radish in a large ziplock bag or a shallow pan/bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Combine half of the water plus all ingredients for the marinade in a separate bowl. Pour over the daikon. You want the majority of the radish to be touching the marinade. If you need more liquid, add the other 1/2 cup of water.
  • Let sit overnight in the fridge. Mix every few hours to incorporate the marinade on all sides. Pickles will keep for a couple weeks.


Enjoy this magnificent weather! 
The Clagett Farm Team


week 22 of 26 weeks: crunchy vegetables

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We have some new items in your bag this week, so these photos might help you identify them.  Above, from left to right: watermelon radish, hakurei turnip, purple top turnip, sora radish and French breakfast radish.  You won't get all of these items this week, but it helps to see them all together for comparison. 

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Bok choi and sunchokes (also known as Jarusalem artichokes)
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These winter squash might look funny but they have knock-out flavor.  Clockwise from center: Thai kang kob, seminole and kubocha.  Don't expect to get many of these unique varieties, since they were experiments for us, but you might see one this week.  

Announcements

  • If you want a chance to get outside and do something great for the world, plant trees this Saturday!  And if you can't do it this weekend, there will be another tree planting November 14th.  Here are the details, registration is required.  All summer these trees have been growing in our nursery, and these two plantings on farms in northern Maryland will keep excess fertilizer out of the streams, carbon out of the atmosphere, and a host of other wonderful benefits.  
  • As we mentioned last week, we can use your help in the fields with harvesting and other field work, any day, Tuesdays through Saturdays.  Call 301-627-4662 to sign up.   
  • We'll host an oyster pop-up in Annapolis on October 29th.  And we'll have one on the farm on November 14th (details for that location coming later).  
  • We're still selling garlic!  For CSA members, the prices are $8/lb or a discounted $6/lb for purchases of at least 10 pounds.  Non-members pay $12/pound or $8/pound for 10 pounds or more.  If you're purchasing more than 10 pounds for pick up at Dupont or Annapolis, please give us at least one day advanced notice so we can be sure to get it in the van for you.  All the options are available for on-line purchase now.  We do not ship or deliver, except to our CSA pick-ups.
  • We have one more month.  Your final week of shares is November 11, 12 and 14.  Don't forget that you can't take more than 2 shares at a time.  We can tell you at the pick-up how many you have remaining to use up.  

This week's share

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 winter squash
  • 1 pound radish and turnip medley
  • 2 heads bok choi
  • 1-3 eggplants
  • 3/4 pounds peppers
  • 1/4 pound sunchokes (this week only)
  • Choose 6 ounces of greens from a selection of options
  • Optional: 6 ounces of a mild or hot blend of chilies

Recipes

  • Sometimes a basic stir fry recipe is in order. This one focuses simply on the bok choi.  Consider adding chunks of winter squash, turnips and sunchokes.
    • Ingredients:
    • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 shallot, chopped
    • 1 pound bok choi, rinsed and cut into bite-sized pieces (if you received a baby head, you can quarter the heads length-wise with the core intact)
    • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
    • Preparation:
    • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add bok choi, soy sauce and 2 Tablespoons water, and cover immediately.  Cook 1 minute.  Uncover and toss, then cover and cook until bok choi is tender at the core, about 3 more minutes. 
  • As you might expect us to say, you can add the radishes, turnips, sunchokes, and all the new varieties of squash to the list of vegetables that roast well.  Here's some hints for this week:
    • If you're in a hurry, cut your pieces smaller.  The winter squash can take an hour to roast if you leave it whole or cut in half.  But if you slice it thinly and coat each piece with a little oil, it could take as few as 15 minutes.  
    • If you get a bumpy variety of squash, don't feel obliged to peel it.  Thai kang kob and kubocha have thin, edible skins.  The seminole has a tough skin, so you might try scooping it out of it's skin, once cooked, which is a little easier than peeling.  The tough skin, by the way, is one of its assets--seminoles can store on your shelf for a year!  
    • Sunchokes taste best if they are roasted until they are very soft through the middle, like potatoes.
  • Soups are a perfect way to accomodate most winter vegetables, and sunchokes are no different.  I'm going to give you the French style, with lots of butter and cream.  Substitute for your dietary needs accordingly.  I'm leaving amounts vague to encourage you to make it to your tastes.  
    • Scrub the sunchokes and slice thinly.  Attentive chefs (not me) will recommend peeling them and after slicing, putting them in ice water to retain their white color. Slice turnips and squash if you wish to use them.  Note that squash with a green skin will change the color of the soup, so you might wish to peel it or leave it out for a different dish.  Do you have carrots you'd like to use up?  Slice them up, too.  Don't be too concerned about the width of your slices, just be aware that fatter slices take longer to cook.    
    • Choose a nice, heavy-bottomed dutch oven.  Melt butter (think about 2 Tablespoons butter for every pound of vegetables in the soup).  Add thinly sliced garlic and shallot to the butter until it is soft but not browned. Celery is also a nice addition at this point.   
    • Add the sunchokes and other vegetables to the pan, then pour in stock (at least enough to cover the vegetables), and simmer until the vegetables are very soft.  
    • Blend your soup.  Now is the time to add salt, pepper and cream to your liking, but don't skimp--those ingredients are important.  I like to use an immersion blender so I don't have to pour hot soup into a blender and back again.
    • Return to the heat until it's piping hot but not boiling.  
  • You might not need help coming up with salad recipes, but here's an interesting one from Farmer John's Cookbook (John Peterson is famous in farmer circles from Angelic Organics Farm in Illinois): Young Turnip and Apricot Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Creamy Greens Dressing.  You could very easily include radishes with the turnips in this salad.  


Coming Soon

  • We've finally flattened the okra crop in order to get a good cover crop established.  The cover crop (a combination of rye, vetch and crimson clover) will fertilize and protect the soil until May 2021, when we'll plant your peppers in that field.  The okra plants measured in at 14 feet and 3 inches!  It was our tallest okra crop ever.
  • This is the last week of watermelon radishes, sora radishes and hakurei turnips.  We'll continue to see purple top turnips and French breakfast radishes, and next week we'll add some daikon radishes to the share, which are quite large!  Kimchi lovers, now is your time to shine!  Kimchi, as well as other types of vegetables fermented in salt or whey, are magnificently healthy for your digestive system, and the pasteurized versions of pickles at the store don't have that same benefit.  But not everyone loves the flavor.  If you're new to the idea, check out anything written by Sandor Katz.  Fermenting is incredibly easy, it doesn't require fancy equipment, and despite your fears, you won't mess up and make yourself sick.  
  • The eggplant and pepper fields were under-seeded with cover crop.  Under-seeding allows the eggplant and peppers to continue growing, but the cover crop doesn't establish quite as well.  Fortunately, we won't need their fields again until fall 2021, so we can grow a summer cover crop after this one to double our impact.  
  • The greens in your shares should remain about the same for the next several weeks, including bok choi.

Have a wonderful week, and thank you!
The Clagett Farm Team


Week 21: Crooknecks!

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These are Pennsylvania Dutch Crooknecks.  They are an heirloom winter squash renowned for their great flavor and for the ratio of squash that is seed-free, making it a little easier to prepare.  Don't be intimidated by their size.  You can chop off the part you want to use immediately and keep the rest in your fridge for weeks.  Or you can roast the entire thing and freeze a bunch of it for some future use (soup is my favorite).  Or maybe you don't want to use any of it just yet? All of our winter squashes will keep for months, unrefrigerated, as long as they haven't been cut or nicked.  If you don't have plans for your crookneck, butternuts or acorns right away, tuck them on a shelf until you feel inspired--some wintery holiday when you can amaze your family with your fantastic pumpkin pie (crooknecks make a better pie than orange pumpkins anyway).   
 

Announcements

  • Garlic - new wholesale prices
    You can now purchase 10 pounds or more for $6/pound ($8/pound for non-members)  
    For fewer than 10 pounds, the price remains $8/pound for CSA members and $12/pound for non-members.  Pay with cash or check (made out to CBF), or purchase on-line HERE. (For now, this link is for the $8/lb price only.  We'll adjust for the new wholesale option shortly.) 
  • We're now welcoming volunteers on Saturdays!  Our friends from the education department have gone back to their normal, educating duties, so we're hoping to get some help with harvests (Tuesdays and Fridays) and field work (Thursdays and Saturdays).  We can take up to 10 people at a time, and adults can take one CSA share in exchange for 5 hours of work.  Call the farm line to sign up: 301-627-4662.   
  • Do you have a lawn?  As a steward of your land, the choices you make can either help clean the Bay or pollute it.  You can sequester carbon or release it.  TONIGHT the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Glenstone Museum are holding a webinar with experts ready to give you ideas, and none to soon--fall is the perfect time to establish new plants in your yard.  
  • Has this year inspired you to wonder why our food system is so fragile?  Do you have ideas about how to make it more resilient?  Future Harvest would like to hear your ideas!  Let's use this crisis to create  system that will stand up to our next crisis more successfully.  
  • If you're thinking of owning a farm business someday, a great place to start is with the Future Harvest Beginner Farmer Training Program.  They are accepting applications now for 2021, and the deadline is soon--October 16.   

This week's share

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Peppers 
  • 1 Watermelon Radish
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger

    Choose one 
  • Spicy Mix (this week's blend is heavy with tokyo bekana, so it is quite mild)
  • Arugula
  • Tatsoi
  • Collards 

    You may also add on 
  • Okra -  6 oz
  • Chilies, mild or hot -  6 oz

Recipes

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Wondering what to do with a watermelon radish? Here are some great links for some ideas:

The Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck can be used the same way you would butternut squash.  The world abounds with excellent squash soup recipes, but if you haven't found one you like yet, here's a place to start: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/squash-soup-recipe2-1956330.  Don't add the honey until you've tasted the roasted squash--it might be sweet enough that you don't want it.  The cream and butter can be easily substituted with soymilk and olive oil.  Sometimes I add pearl barley to soups to make it a more filling meal.  And some other additions that I find delicious are blue cheese, harissa (or some smoky hot sauce of your choice) and a topping of roasted squash seeds.  Also, I sometimes use apples or apple cider as a sweetener instead of honey.  

Have you been roasting squash seeds?  Don't throw them out until you've tried it!  When you scoop the seeds out of your raw winter squash, pull them away from the stringy orange bits (no need to be picky--a little bit adds to the flavor), and put them on a baking sheet.  Pour a generous amount of olive oil on top and sprinkle some salt (smoky paprika and cayenne are also good additions, but keep it simple your first try).  Mix around the seeds so they all have a coating of oil, and spread them out on the pan.  Then roast them in a hot oven (400F is good) or even toasting in your toaster oven works.  Cook them until they're brown.  You'll often hear them start to pop when they're about done.  It helps to mix around the seeds midway, but is not necessary.   

That little piece of ginger in your share this week is a tiny nugget of gold.  It is packed with strong ginger flavor but without the fibers.  There's no need to peel it.  You can makea healthy, energizing tea with your ginger, toss bits of it in your smoothies, or use it as you would regular ginger in any recipe.  If you can't bring yourself to use it this week, you should freeze it to keep the strong flavor.  

Coming Soon

  • Next week we're planning to harvest the bok choi, and it's beautiful. 
  • Once we've finished the watermelon radishes (next week?  week 23?) we'll start giving out some daikon radishes.
  • Next week we might offer a choice of some other unique squash varieties.
  • The rest of the share next week should be about the same as this one.  The peppers, eggplant and okra are slowing down, so those weights are getting lighter each week.

We'd like to end with this little gem.  We've been seeing tree frogs in our okra field.  Of the seven classes of vertebrate animals, amphibians (including frogs) are suffering the greatest rates of extinction, and they are particularly vulnerable to pesticides because they breath through their skin.  You can feel reassured that your organic farm is a refuge for these beautiful little creatures.  
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Photo by David Tana.

Have a wonderful week, everyone,
The Clagett Farm Team


Another beautiful bag of vegetables

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Lacinato Kale and Cabbage are freshly weeded and coming along nicely

Announcements

  • Week 20 of 26!  Just a month and a half left of fresh-from-the-farm salads.
  • Garlic is still for sale in bulk!
    Only $8 per pound for CSA members ($12/lb for non-members)  
    Pay with cash or check (made out to CBF), or purchase on-line HERE. This link is for CSA members only. 
  • We have some bad news.  The sweet potatoes are not sizing up the way they normally do.  We've never seen a sweet potato crop that looks so healthy and (relatively) weed-free but isn't growing potatoes.  Our best guess is that much of the growing season was overcast, and the 2 fields they are in are shaded part of the day by tall trees.  Thank goodness we had such a surprising abundance of winter squash!  They substitute for each other nicely. We will wait as long as we can to dig the potatoes.  You can expect to see a few in the last or penultimate share (week 25 or 26).  

This week's share

  • Garlic (2 heads)
  • Acorn squash (2)
  • Eggplant (1.5 pounds)
  • Sweet Peppers (3/4 pound)
  • White turnips & red radishes (a few)
  • Green Tomatoes (a few)
  • Choose one 6-ounce bag of greens: spicy mix (this week's mix is heavy on arugula), tokyo bekana (a mustard that looks and tastes like lettuce), red russian kale or collards
  • Wednesday and Thursday get a small bag of green, yellow and purple beans.  Saturday members got their beans last week.
  • Optional: 1/4 pound okra
  • Optional: 1/2 pound mixed chilies

Recipes

Winter Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic, top third cut off
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing
  • 1 pound baking potatoes
  • One 2-pound butternut squash (or other winter squash)—peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 10 sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, for serving 

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat the oven to 375º. Place racks in the lower and middle thirds of the oven. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it tightly in foil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 50 minutes. Lightly rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick them all over with a fork and bake on the lower rack for 45 minutes, until fork-tender. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Add the squash and rub with olive oil. Bake on the upper rack for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until soft.


Step 2    

Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl and mash to a paste. Peel the hot potatoes and pass them through a ricer into a large bowl. Add the hot squash to the ricer and pass it into the bowl with the potatoes. Let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks, ricotta, parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the mashed roasted garlic (reserve any extra for another use). Stir until combined. Sprinkle on the 1 1/4 cups of flour and gently stir it in. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth but still slightly sticky.


Step 3    

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Cut the gnocchi dough into 5 pieces and roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet.


Step 4    

Lightly oil another baking sheet. In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook half of the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer them for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.


Step 5    

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 20 seconds. Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, tossing gently. Season with salt and serve, passing the cheese shavings at the table.

 Make Ahead

The gnocchi can be prepared through Step 3 and frozen on the baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

A few more recipes for winter squash that we liked:

  • Black Lentil and Harissa-Roasted Veggie Bowl - I don't usually cook with black lentils, and found these delightful.  If you can't find black lentils, try substituting with french lentils, which also stay relatively firm.  I used a butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes and it worked beautifully. Also, I didn't have any fresh ripe tomatoes, so I threw some dried tomatoes into the lentils and that seemed like a good substitute. This recipe is vegan and grain-free.
  • Creamy Squash Risotto with Toasted Pepitas - This recipe takes a little while.  I made the squash puree on one day and then the risotto on another, so it didn't seem like such a bear.  I don't normally keep white miso paste around but it was definitely worth having for this dish--it gives the squash a complex, umami flavor.  And don't leave out the pepitas with smoked paprika--they do a lot to boost the excitement of this dish.   


Coming Soon

  • Still crossing our fingers for the first frost to hold off for as long as possible! For eggplant, peppers and okra, a hard frost will be their doom!  Be sure to get your fill while they are still around.
     
  • While the cool weather slows down some crops, it gives a boost to the greens, turnips and radishes.  Watermelon radishes, bok choi and tat soi are all coming in the next few weeks.   



Thanks so much for all your smiling faces.  It's certainly a relief to be part of a warm and inclusive community.  Robust health to you and all the people you love!
The Clagett Farm Team


Butternuts are the best

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We sure do love this fall weather.  Can you believe this wagon-load of winter squash?  And there's more still to pick from the field!  Photos by Elissa Planz.   
 

Announcements

  • CBF is hosting a Tuesday evening series of classes about the Chesapeake Bay and how to help.  We're especially welcoming residents of Prince George's County and Montgomery County to this fall's series.  Now is a great time to get involved.  Learn more HERE.
  • Your last week of CSA shares is November 11, 12 and 14.  We are currently in week 19 of 26. 

This week's share

  • Garlic, 2 heads
  • Winter Squash, 2 butternuts!
  • Sweet peppers, 5-7
  • Eggplant, 1 pound
  • Green Tomatoes, 1-2
  • Choose: quarter pound salad mix or half pound collards
  • Choose: half pound chilies or okra

Recipes

  • I love roasting vegetables.  It's so easy!  Give yourself time to heat up the oven to about 400 degrees F, roll your big chunks of veggies in oil and salt, lay them in a single layer on a pan, and about 25 minutes later (depends on size and vegetable) you have transformed your share to something even picky eaters can't resist.  It's like magic.  Be sure to include garlic and chunks of onion because they make the whole house smell fabulous.  
  • Epicurious posted a great guide to roasting vegetables.  We pulled out a few of the relevant ones below:
    • Eggplant: You’ll notice that a lot of recipes for cooking eggplant begin by instructing you to dice or slice, then salt the pieces and set them aside to draw out the moisture. That’s great for sautéing, where the cooking is usually quick, but it isn’t really necessary for roasting eggplant.
      What is necessary: high heat and plenty of room. Crank the oven to 450°F, then toss eggplant with oil and salt, lay in a single layer on a sheet pan, and roast for 20–25 minutes, checking early if your pieces are small.
    • Peppers: What we tend to call roasted peppers aren’t technically roasted—usually. Instead, they’re blistered on a grill, under a broiler, or right on the eye of a gas stove until the skin is blackened. Then they’re placed in a covered bowl to steam, and finally the blackened skin is rubbed away with the help of a kitchen towel to reveal the tender pepper flesh. From there you can marinate them if you like.
      However, peppers can be roasted the traditional way too. Cut bell peppers in half to make boats that can be stuffed, then pull out the seeds and white pithy ribs by hand. Toss with oil and salt and roast cup side down at 375°F for 35–45 minutes. If you like, stuff with cooked rice or tomatoes and cheese and return to the oven to warm through or melt.
    • Winter Squash: Here we go with the pumpkin, the butternut, the acorn, the spaghetti, the kabocha, and all the many, many varieties of autumn and winter squash that abound throughout the year’s coldest days.
      Whether or not you choose to peel the squash is entirely up to you. I find that, generally, squash skin tastes great and peeling it only results in slippery, hard-to-handle veg. (Watch your fingers!) And for the squash skin that’s a little too tough to eat: The flesh scrapes away easily after it’s cooked.
      Squash roasts best when the flesh makes contact with the pan, but if slicing into a large, firm squash sounds like Dangertown to you, go ahead and prick it a few times to let the steam escape, then roast it whole (425°F for about 30 minutes), or prick and then toss it in the microwave to soften for about 8 minutes on high. Then halve or cut into slices, wedges, or chunks, discard the seeds, drizzle with oil and season with salt, and roast for another 20 minutes. 
      If you’re roasting squash that hasn’t been precooked, turn the heat down to about 400°F and cook for 40–50 minutes, tossing once or twice, until browned.

U-Pick

  • Not much has changed on the u-pick list this week, except that flower pickings are slim (the zinnias bit the dust) and the okra is super tall!  To pick the okra, you have to gently bend the plant down toward the ground to reach the small pods about a foot below the tip of the plant.  
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If you can believe it, this was taken 3 weeks ago, and now the okra is over 12 feet! This photo of our normal-sized co-worker, Kellie Fiala, was taken by David Tana.
 

Coming Soon

  • This is probably the last week of green tomatoes.  Have you tried tossing chunks of one into your stir fry or salad?  Or you can treat it like a tomatillo and make the last fresh salsa picante of the season.
  • You'll start seeing a few sweet turnips soon to go with your salad greens.  
  • Hopefully the photos make it clear that you have lots more winter squash for the weeks to come, particularly acorn and butternut.  
  • Sweet potatoes still have a lot of sizing up to do.  Let's hope we don't get an early frost.  
  • Peppers, eggplant and okra are hanging in there but have slowed way down.  They'll die with the first frost. We're taking bets on how tall the okra will be before it finally dies (over 12 feet at press time!).

If you need to keep your spirits up these days, take a deep breath and enjoy this perfect weather.  There's all kinds of reasons to take to the streets these days.

Thanks so much for being our members,
The Clagett Farm Team