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April 2005


<p>Now you don't need to worry about forgetting to check our weblog for CSA and farm updates. If you look to the upper <strong>left</strong> corner, right below the picture, you will see that you can now easily subscribe to our <strong>Updates Notifier</strong> to receive notice within 24 hours whenever we add a post to <strong>Clagett Farm Notes</strong>. For those who regularly use RSS readers an alternative is to subscribe to our syndicated feed. The link for this is also on the left, right below the<strong> Updates Notifier</strong> subscribe button.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>

2005 Update and Order Form

<p>Greetings again, dear members!</p> <p>At last, we have the brand new 2005 order form. Please note, space for former members is guaranteed until April 1, 2005.</p> <p>Click here:<a href="">Download 2005 CSA Order Form</a> </p> <p>Here are some updates...</p> <p><strong>Same prices, sites, new flexibility</strong> </p> <p>Again this year we are offering shares at $385 at the farm and Anacostia, and $425 at Dupont Circle. As ever, the premium for shares at Dupont covers the extra cost of delivering those shares. We will also be keeping the number of full-paying shares at 215. One change this year, is that you can pick up your share at any site without prior notice. For example, you can pick up your share on the farm on Saturday instead of at Dupont that previous Tuesday without telling us in advance. Just make sure that you sign up for the day and location where you will pick up your vegetables at least 80% of the time. And if you can tell us in advance that you won’t be at your regular pick-up, that is still helpful and appreciated.</p> <p> <strong>Good news about our financial stability</strong></p> <p> Did you know that 2004 was the first year that the income from full-priced shares, which was 60% of our harvest, covered more than 60% of our expenses? That means that if this were a private farm selling all shares at full price, we could pay our farmers a decent wage, invest a little into new equipment, be good stewards of our land, and still make a profit. Not only that, but the work environment has been so rewarding, that for the first year, everyone in our paid farm crew will be people who are returning from years past. There’s plenty of room for improvement of course, but we’re glad to be moving in the right direction. Congratulations to our members, volunteers and work sharers for supporting such a great endeavor. Hooray for successful, local, sustainable farms!</p> <p><strong>More vegetables to low-income families</strong></p> <p> Last year, in effort to reduce (but not eliminate) our reliance on the Capital Area Food Bank and Chesapeake Bay Foundation for extra income, we lowered the percentage of reduced-price and donated vegetables from 50% of our total harvest to 40%. Fortunately, since our total pounds of production was so much higher, the actual pounds we distributed to low-income families was still greater than in years past. This year, if we can increase production again, we are hoping to return that percentage closer to the 50%. So who gets these veggies? Some of our recipients are in summer camps for at-risk kids who visit the farm and go home with a bag-full of vegetables. Some will be elderly folks who come to the Anacostia Farmers’ Market with their senior center. Some have been patients at an HIV/AIDS clinic that offers alternative therapy and nutritional classes in addition to free produce from our farm. Some are families on disability who come to us directly for help, or individuals with weakened immune systems who work for their vegetables when they can. One agency that regularly picks up vegetables from the farm serves homeless men who are too sick to survive on the street. Any time you donate money to us above the cost of a share, or lend an extra hand to harvest or twine tomatoes, it helps us increase this outreach. And if you ever forget to pick up your share, we can donate a few extra pounds in your honor. Thank you!</p> <p> <strong>Volunteers welcome</strong></p> <p> Speaking of lending a hand, help now and help often! We’ll be updating this weblog when we have particular needs, and we’re keeping an email list of people who would like to work for free or for food, so we can send those people special requests if we’re particularly desperate, or invite them to events in honor of our workers. We can use weekly help in the office (Tuesdays 1-5pm is ideal during the summer), endless help in the field Monday through Saturday until early evening, groups of volunteers can make arrangements any day or time, and we love it when people give us copies of good recipes to give our members. If anyone is willing and able to help us improve our website, this is a great time!</p> <p> <strong>Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Capital Area Food Bank</strong></p> <p>Last, we would like to remind you of the special help that we get from the Capital Area Food Bank and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. In 2004 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation took 37,000 students on educational field trips, lobbied legislators to reach significant targets to reduce pollution in the Bay, planted thousands of trees as stream buffers and started oyster and underwater grass nurseries to improve the stability of the Bay’s ecosystem. Last year the Capital Area Food Bank distributed 20 million pounds of food to agencies serving the hungry in our area and picked up the slack when D.C.’s children lost their free school lunch for the summer. With all these tremendous efforts, both organizations still spend the extra time and money to support this little project that combines both missions—they remember that we must be stewards of our environment AND our community, all at once. They pay From the Ground Up’s expenses that are not covered by income from shares and donations. There are small ways you can help them, as well—by volunteering to sort food in the <a href="">Capital Area Food Bank</a><a href="">’s</a> warehouse, or by joining the <a href="">Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s</a> e-mail action network. And if the spirit moves you, perhaps you could send them a note telling them how important the farm is in your life—lest they forget about the farm amidst their other various needs. Thanks for making our jobs a meaningful, rewarding, joyful experience! </p>