This Week's Share (Week 2): Strawberries, Squash, Lettuce and More

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This photo is from Amelia Vaughn, who likes to pick Clagett strawberries for every meal, including salad.  Want to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic -- from the farm, from your CSA share itself, or even a recipe you make with your Clagett produce -- and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!   

Welcome to the second week of the 2019 season!  Need any reminders of how the share pickups work? Here's everything you need to know.

SHARES ARE STILL AVAILABLE! It's crazy, right?  There are gobs of sweet, aromatic, strawberry gems waiting to be u-picked, and where else are you going to find organic strawberries to u-pick this close to DC?  Nowhere.  Yet we have not yet sold out for the 2019 season.  You should tell all the people you really like to come on over and buy a share. Everything they need to now is available online.  

THIS WEEK'S SHARE

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1.25 lbs squash
  • 1/2 pound lettuce
  • 1 pound tat soi +bok choi
  • 1/2 pound carrots
  • 1/4 pound baby turnips
  • 2 seedlings for you to plant
  • 3/4 pound garlic scallions

 

NOTES

  • Not sure what to do with those garlic scallions? One of your farmers, Jared Planz, posted this great recipe for quiche on our Facebook page.  It works with tat soi, which you've been getting a lot of!

 

ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • STRAWBERRIES!  There are so many.  CSA members, now is your chance to put up some strawberry jam or make that strawberry shortcake recipe you've always thought about.  And if you don't want all that work, you can toss them whole in a plastic bag in the freezer.  They are easy pickings right now.  But if you want to come Saturday, wait until after 1:00pm.  Otherwise, all the other days you can pick when you want, all you want.
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • chamomile
  • sage (with edible flowers)
  • onion chives (with edible flowers)
  • calendula (edible flowers)
  • thyme
  • garlic chives
  • mint
  • oregano

A PREVIEW OF WHAT'S AHEAD:

  • We expect to have strawberries for at least one more week (probably more).
  • Garlic scapes are likely for next week
  • Green onions are likely for next week
  • More squash and lettuce

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


New and Returning CSA Members: Here's What to Expect

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Hi there!

If you're a new CSA share member this year, you may have some questions about what to expect. (And even returning members may want a reminder!) So here are some CSA FAQs. And if you've got other questions, let us know! You can always email Clay Dunn, who manages communications for the CSA, at claytdunn@gmail.com. (You can also simply reply to the emails you receive from us.) 

The season starts next week! That means the first pick-ups will be Wed., May 15 in Dupont Circle or at the farm; Thurs., May 16 in Annapolis; and Sat., May 18 on the farm.

 

PICK-UP DAYS/TIMES
  • Dupont Pick-up: Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the alley behind Dupont Circle Physicians Group (1737 Fraser Ct, NW, Washington DC 20009). To get to the alley, look on the south side of S Street, NW, between 19th and 20th. A table will be set up in two parking spaces, beside our white, unmarked cargo van. Here is map of the location.
  • Annapolis pick-up: Thursdays, 4:00-6:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Phillip Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis. The van will be parked on the right side of the building.
    • Dupont Circle and Annapolis folks may choose to pick up at the farm instead on Saturdays or Wednesdays any week without giving us advanced notice.
  • Clagett Farm Pick-up: Wednesdays, 3:00-7:00 p.m. or Saturdays, 1:00-4:00 p.m., at Clagett Farm, 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro.

    • Members who sign up for farm pick-up may go to the Annapolis or Dupont pick-ups for up to six shares over the course of the season.

DIRECTIONS to Clagett Farm, 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772

  • FROM 395 OR 295 IN D.C.: From 395 North, follow signs onto 295 South. Take exit 3A onto Suitland Parkway. After 9 miles, turn right onto Route 4 South (Pennsylvania Ave). Continue 5 miles.  Take the exit on your left Ritchie Marlboro Rd. At the stop sign turn left, and then at your first stop light, turn left onto Old Marlboro Pike. The farm is one mile down the road on your right. Look for the sign "Clagett Farm; Chesapeake Bay Foundation." 
  • FROM 495: Take exit 11A, Route 4 South (which is Pennsylvania Ave. running out of SE DC) and continue 5.7 miles. (DO NOT take the Old Marlboro Pike exit from Route 4).  Take the exit on your left Ritchie Marlboro Rd. At the stop sign turn left, and then at your first stop light, turn left onto Old Marlboro Pike. The farm is one mile down the road on your right. Look for the sign "Clagett Farm; Chesapeake Bay Foundation."
  • FROM BALTIMORE AND POINTS NORTH AND EAST: Take Route 301 south and then Rte. 4 north (towards Washington) for 2 miles. Take the Ritchie Marlboro Road exit.  At your first stop light, turn left onto Old Marlboro Pike. The farm is one mile down the road on your right. Look for the sign "Clagett Farm; Chesapeake Bay Foundation."
  • ONCE ON THE FARM: Follow the drive around to the first fork and turn left. Pass the barns on your right and park at the top of the hill; a shed will be on your left and a large field with a greenhouse frame will be in front of your parked car. Please turn around and walk to the washing station directly behind you (opposite direction of the field) to pick up your share.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHAT'S IN THE WEEKLY SHARE
  • Here on the blog: This blog is the go-to place to find what exactly will be in the weekly share.  As soon as the harvest is finished on Wednesdays, we will post the details on the site. In addition to the share details, we will also be sharing recipes and other farm news here.  
  • Via email: If you join our email list in the top left corner of this blog, the latest posting will be delivered in your inbox the same day it is published, usually around 2-3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.  
WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR SHARE EACH WEEK
  • We created a chart of what was in the CSA share each week in 2018. Every year is different, but this might give you an idea of what a typical season looks like. You will see that our harvest shifts dramatically with the changes in season and rainfall.
If you have missed a week, or know you will miss one in the future:
  • Members who purchase a full, 26-week season may double their share any Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday to make up for any weeks missed—or even come twice in one week—without giving us advanced notice. As long as you don’t pick up more than 26 shares in a season, or pick up more than two shares at a time, we're happy. Members who purchase a 13-week season are expected to skip half of the 26 weeks. In this case, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to pick up two shares on one day, but you are welcome to ask when you arrive. The pick-up staff will accommodate the request if there is enough produce on hand. 

    No food will be wasted from shares that you miss. We donate all food remaining at the end of the pick-up times to one soup kitchens and food pantries.

If you're going to miss several consecutive weeks:  

  • If you will be gone for a few weeks, you might consider allowing a friend to pick up your share. Ask your friend to tell us your name when you come to the pick-up, and we will tell them how to pick up your share.
  • No food will be wasted from shares that you miss. We will donate all food remaining at the end of the pick-up to one of the soup kitchens or food pantries that takes our donations.   
Things to bring when you pick up your share:
  • Bags and containers to carry your vegetables. We do usually have some plastic bags on site, but it's always better to re-use your own. Some members bring a combination of plastic and reusable canvas bags. Large plastic clamshells (the kind that hold baby spinach in the grocery store) are also useful for carrying tomatoes, which bruise easily, and salad greens.

  • A jar or vase for you-pick flowers. The vase life of your flowers will be much longer if you can put them in some water as soon as you pick them.

Other things you can bring that we would love for the farm: 

  • Kitchen scraps for our compost pile. Any plant matter is great, as well as egg shells and coffee grounds. Please don't bring any compostable plates or utensils (they take too long to break down), and remove any twist ties, rubber bands, plastic bags, or other trash.

  • Rubber bands. We use them to bunch herbs. 

  • Scissors, pruners, garden tools, garden hoses, work gloves, dry erase markers, permanent markers, pens, pencils, office paper with one blank side, old sheets, and old towels. 
What to do when you get to your pick-up:
  • Dupont pick-up: Your food will be set out on tables beside our van. 

  • Farm pick-up: You will find your produce on benches at the washing station. 

  • Annapolis pick-up: Your food will be set out on tables in front of the Merrill Center front doors.

  • A staff person or volunteer will be waiting there for you with our check-off list. Tell that person your name, and the primary name (if it is different) that you gave us when you purchased the share (for convenience, we only put one person's name on the check-off list). If you do not see someone to check you off, you may get started picking up your share and ask to be checked off once a staff person or volunteer appears.

  • We will list on a dry-erase board what produce you can take. We will often ask you to weigh out a certain amount of produce on one of the scales nearby. Please weigh carefully, as we often have just enough for everyone. We prefer to let you bag your own share because it saves us time (so we can spend more time growing your food), and it allows us to offer you choices about which produce you want to take. 

  • If you don't recognize something or don't know how to cook it, we can give you general advice about how we prepare it. We also recommend finding recipes online here at the blog, where we have recipes sorted by vegetable. If you know you don't like something or can't use it, don't feel obliged to take it. We will donate anything you don't take. 

  • If we are running low on something, we might have more in the van or cooler.  Please let us know.  We might also have something different to bring out to replace it. 

  • You will see a bin somewhere on the ground near the pick-up area for compost. If you brought something for our compost pile, you can empty your bag into that bin. If you're at the farm, you can also take your compost straight to the pile (we can direct you to it).  
If you come late:
  • Harvest days are VERY long days for the staff, and we are not eager to stay late. At the D.C. and Annapolis pick-ups, once the van leaves you are out of luck for that day. Take your missed share another day. If you have come to the farm late and there is no one at the washing station, you can look around the corner in the walk-in cooler. We will stow our leftovers in that cooler until an agency comes to pick them up. You can look on the board at the share, bring a scale to the cooler door, and take your share from the bins in the cooler. Garlic and tomatoes are not refrigerated, so you will find them elsewhere in the washing station. If you will be at the washing station alone after dark, bring a flashlight.
U-pick:
  • On the same dry-erase board that lists your share, we will list the items that are available for U-pick at that time.  CSA members can U-pick any day of the week, any time of day. We will leave some notes at the washing station about where to find the item in the field, but if you are not sure where it is, it's best to ask us during the share pick-up. We have scissors and pruners at the washing station which we encourage you to use. Many items are difficult to pick without tools, and we don't want you to accidentally uproot the plants. 

  • There are always herbs around the washing station for CSA members to pick, and you may take any flowers that you see anywhere on the farm. You can also help yourself to anything that is growing wild, such as the wild black raspberries, mulberries, stinging nettle, lambsquarters, and other edible weeds. 

  • Enjoy your farm.  Bring a picnic!  Go for a hike! We have chickens, sheep, and cows that are fun for kids to see. And dogs can run freely in the pastures. Keep your eyes open for poison ivy—it tends to grow at the edge of the woods, and other spots that the mower does not regularly hit. Also, be sure to drive only where it's paved or you see well-worn tire tracks. Never drive in the vegetable fields or pastures.

  • Bathrooms: We have a pair of composting toilets across the driveway from the washing station. The building is painted red, so you can't miss it.

This Week's Share: Tomatoes, Squash and more

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This week's photo is from Amanda on Instagram, showing a recent rainy day at the farm. Thanks Amanda! 

Want to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!

WHAT'S IN THIS WEEK'S SHARE?

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1.5 pounds tomatoes
  • 3.75 pounds squash
  • 1/2 pound combined: peppers + beans
  • 1/2 pound combined: onions + chiles

ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Malabar spinach:  Malabar isn't a true spinach, but it acts as a great substitute in the heat of the summer, when spinach does not grow well.

  • Lots of herbs: garlic chives, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, onion chives, garlic chives, cilantro, dill, basil, celery leaf, parsley, lemongrass, 

  • Basil: Genovese, Tulsi, Thai, Mrs. Burns Lemon, Round Midnight, Fino Verde.  There's a field by the wash station with lots of extra basil and flowers. 

  • Flowers: As always, any flowers on the farm can be picked. 


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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: Will You Choose Leeks or Peppers?

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This week's photo is from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Instagram, encouraging volunteering at the farm: "The first day of #sharkweek2018 is the perfect time to sign up for fun, safe things you can do on land: VOLUNTEER! Workshare your time away with us at Clagett Farm (MD). Help us harvest vegetables for our community programs, and walk away with your own bountiful harvest for a few hours of work! Register today: http://ow.ly/oOwy30l31rE  Photo by Lauren Schnabel, CBF intern who eats her veggies." Thanks CBF!

The volunteer pictured here, Carole Grunberg, is competing in the World Masters Squash Championship today.  Good luck, Carole!  You're already our champion!

Want to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm! 


WHAT'S IN THIS WEEK'S SHARE?

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes from Owl's Nest Farm (one of our neighbors)
  • 2.5 pounds squash
  • 1/2 pound onions
  • 1/2 pound total: leeks + peppers + chard + chiles

ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Malabar spinach:  Malabar isn't a true spinach, but it acts as a great substitute in the heat of the summer, when spinach does not grow well.

  • Lots of herbs: garlic chives, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, onion chives, cilantro, dill, basil, celery leaf, parsley, borage (edible flowers), lemongrass

  • Basil: Genovese, Tulsi, Thai, Mrs. Burns Lemon, Round Midnight, Fino Verde.  

  • Flowers: As always, any flowers on the farm can be picked. 

Thanks for your patience, everyone.  The weather has been especially trying this year, and we've never had our summer crops delayed by a whole month before.  


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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: Cucumbers, Squash & More

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This week's photo of bunching onions comes from @ZachandClay. Want to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!   

Here's what you need to know this week!

NEWS

The spring Clagett Farm Grass-fed Beef sale is still going on! Here's all the details -- including information on pricing and cuts.

Additionally, 1-lb. packages of Clagett ground beef are for sale now at the farm, for $10/lb. We should continue having beef for sale by the piece during the weekly pick-ups throughout the season.


WHAT'S IN THIS WEEK'S SHARE?

  • 2 heads garlic

  • 1 head cabbage

  • 1/2 pound total combination bunching onions + fennel

  • 1/4 pound total combination kale + chard + collards

  • 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers

  • 1 3/4 pounds squash
     

ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Lots of herbs: garlic chives, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, onion chives, cilantro, dill, basil, celery leaf

  • Basil: Genovese, Tulsi, Thai, Mrs. Burns Lemon, Round Midnight, Fino Verde

  • Mulberries

RECIPE INSPIRATION

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CSA member Rhonda shared the above photo: "I’ve never had garlic scapes before now I’m afraid to run out! This week was my first share and I made a quinoa salad with fresh grilled garlic scapes, kale, and cilantro." Thanks Rhonda! 

And CSA member Kathleen wrote in with recipes for Zucchini Cheese Pancakes and Pickled Garlic Scapes

 

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


This Week's Share: May 23, 2018

This Week's Share



This week's photo montage of pretty produce comes from Clagett volunteer dweiums on Instagram.

Love seeing this spring bounty from the farm! Want to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic -- from the farm, from your CSA share itself, or even a recipe you make with your Clagett produce -- and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!   

Hope you're having a great week and enjoying a little sunshine (finally!).  The rain has slowed down the growth of your produce a little, but we'll bounce back quickly.

Now, on to the vegetables you'll be getting this week.

WHAT'S IN THIS WEEK'S SHARE?

  • 1/4 pound total combination: LETTUCE + SPINACH + SPICY MIX
  • 1/2 pound total combination: KALE + COLLARDS + TURNIPS + RADISHES
  • 1/4 pound GARLIC SCALLIONS
 

TIPS

 

ON U-PICK THIS WEEK:

  • Lots of herbs: garlic chives, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, onion chives, cilantro, dill.
  • Pea shoots
  • Stinging nettle (be sure to wear gloves, sleeves, pants and closed-toed shoes!) 

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

~ The Clagett Farm Team


It's Week 1 of the CSA Share Season! Here's a Preview of What You'll Be Getting.


Here's one of our new farm staff members, Garrett, potting up tomato plants for this week's share.

Would you like to see your photos featured in this weekly email? Just snap a pic -- from the farm, from your CSA share itself, or even a recipe you make with your Clagett produce -- and either email it to us or post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ClagettFarm!   


Hello, 2018 CSA Members! 

It's time for the first shares of the season, which will take place this Wednesday, May 9th & Saturday, May 12th.

Here are some things you need to know: 

WE'RE LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER FOR THE DUPONT PICK-UP
We have a new manager for the Dupont pick-up: Garrett. We are looking for someone to help Garrett every Wednesday from 5:00-8:00 pm. The volunteer will receive one free CSA share in exchange for helping Garrett unload the van, set up the share, keep bins filled, interact with our members and pack up when it’s over.  In case you're not familiar, the address for the Dupont pick-up is 1737 Fraser Ct, NW, and the CSA season runs May 9 through November 7.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM US EACH WEEK
Ever Wednesday afternoon we send an email that tells you the contents of the share, along with the amounts of each vegetable. We send this as soon as the harvest and calculation are done -- they're not exact but they're very close. Wednesday's email also serves as the preview for Saturday.

FIRST SHARE PREVIEW
For this first week , here's our best guess on the share: 

  • one bunch of garlic scallions, a.k.a. green garlic 
  • a choice of salad mix, including lettuce, spinach, spicy mix and tat soi. We'll go heavier on lettuce and spinach because they are available fewer weeks: They don’t like the heat.
  • Some seedlings, including basil, tomatoes, lettuce, oregano, kale and flowers
  • And we’ll pick a few bags of stinging nettles for the people who want it

On U-Pick this week: In addition to the vegetables we harvest and deliver for the CSA shares, each week we'll let you know the items that are available for you to pick in unlimited quantities out at the farm. This week that includes garlic chives, thyme, oregano, sage, sorrel, onion chives (edible flowers), stinging nettle (Be sure to wear gloves, sleeves, pants and closed-toed shoes!). 

Coming soon: radishes, turnips, kale, collards, and basil. We expect cilantro to be added to U-Pick next week. 


MORE DETAILS, LOGISTICS & SUCH

We have the pick-up locations and times published on the blog. And there's a handy FAQ there, too. 


STILL WANT TO JOIN THE CSA? 

Haven't purchased or know someone who wants to be a member this season? We still have several slots left. Sign up now!

As always, let us know if you have any questions! 

~ The Clagett Farm Team 


Some new varieties to try

 

 If you've ever scanned a vegetable seed catalog, surely you know the giddy feeling we get every winter of new possibilities--and I admit, a little fear, as well.  ("But groundhogs ate all our cantaloupes last year.  Can we get it right this time?")

Pushing our hesitancy aside, here's a few things we're trying in 2018:

  • Did you know Anne Arundel County has its own melon variety?  The Anne Arundel muskmelon should be orange and green on the inside, similar to the Arava melon that we've grown successfully in some past years.  Varieties bred for our region are a rare treat, and with luck, this one will be well-adapted to the soil types, plant diseases and pests common to our area (think downy mildew, powdery mildew and cucumber beetles).  It's true that cantaloupes are the all-time favorite of groundhogs, which have a thriving population here at Clagett Farm.  But we have improved our skills in fencing and trapping, and we think this is our year.  Too bad we don't have a Prince George's County melon!
  • For over a decade, we couldn't size up a single beet on this farm, but we're getting better.  We think the biggest improvement was fertilizing with a little Boron (the same stuff sold as Borax in the laundry aisle of your grocery store).  Boron, Nitrogen and Sulfur are all negatively-charged ions in the soil, and are prone to leach deep into the soil and out of reach of our crops when it rains. Over the years, our Boron supply has dwindled to almost nothing, so we're slowly adding it back, little by little, and catching it with organic matter to hold it in place.  So this is the year we go a little crazy and try this new variety of striped chioggia beet to test our chops.  
  • And that last picture is of Christmas lima beans.  Normally we prefer bush beans over pole beans, because they are easier to manage and give us a big harvest quickly.  But this year we're trying out a few varieties of pole beans, including this beautiful lima.  Pole beans are said to taste better, and should produce beans over a longer period of time.  U-pick, anyone?

Wish us luck!  And better yet, invest in our new season by becoming a 2018 CSA member!  We need 250 full-paying CSA members to make this business work.  And that means you!  Who's going to eat all these lovely vegetables if you don't sign up?  

 

 


Winter brings new life to our high tunnel

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One of your farmers, Jared Planz, captured this photo of a storm moving in over our high tunnel.  A high tunnel is a greenhouse where we grow plants directly in the ground (as opposed to the greenhouse where we grow seedlings that get transplanted into fields elsewhere).  We've been getting the beds and frame ready so we can put on a new cover.  Pretty soon, this high tunnel will be home to an early planting of tomatoes.  Winter is still a busy time on the farm! 

We've been doing a lot of planning in spreadsheets, as well.  Did you know, over the course of this season, we'll plant 600,000 seeds in the ground, of 175 different varieties?  And before you've eaten your last leaf of salad in November, we'll get help in the fields from over 1000 people.  Getting excited yet?

(Pst!  That's your hint to sign up for a 2018 Clagett Farm CSA share.)

 


Clagett Farm CSA shares for 2018 are available now! 

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Clagett Farm CSA shares are available now!  New and returning members can purchase a share beginning now. 

www.cbf.org/clagettsignup

Ever thought of giving a farm membership as a holiday gift?  You can!  It’s a great way to give something HEALTHY to someone you love.    

Are you a returning member but not ready to buy a CSA share yet?  Don’t worry, we’ll guarantee a slot in the upcoming season for you and all of our other 2017 CSA members until March 1st.  And as always, we give you a $50 discount to thank you for being a loyal, returning member. 

New this year, we are offering a 13-week share.  This is a good option for those of you who can’t make it most weeks, but still want to come a few times per year.  Instead of the full 26 shares, you get half as many over the same period of time (May 9th – November 10th).  You can collect the shares whichever weeks you want, but a maximum of only one at a time.  And you can only you-pick on the weeks when you pick up a share.  We’re only offering a limited number of 13-week shares, and only for pick-up at Clagett Farm.  So if this is the option you want, don’t wait until March to sign up. 

Most of you will want to purchase a full season share because it is the cheapest option per week, because you get all the wonderful, organic vegetables you love, and because it’s the best way to support this farm.  You still get all the same flexibility we gave you last year—you can pick up the shares any week, 2 shares maximum per day.  And you can pick up at the farm on Wednesdays or Saturdays. 

If you sign up for farm pick-up, you can pick up at Dupont up to 6 shares total for the season.  If you sign up for Dupont pick-up, you can pick up at the farm as often as you’d like. 

I bet you have friends who would like to sign up for a CSA share at Clagett Farm.  Tell them to register!  Otherwise, when they’re tasting the wonderful, ripe tomatoes you bring home this summer, they’ll wonder why you didn’t tell them about it sooner. 

Let me know if you have a questions, or if you have ideas for how we should spread the word. 

Your farmer,

Carrie