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October 2008
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January 2009

Computer wanted

We've been struggling all year with our slow and dysfunctional computer, and we've finally decided we've had enough. If any of you happen to know of a good computer looking for a new home, please let us know. We currently have a Dell Dimension 4500S, and I know it must be at least 6 years old because we have a picture of it from my wedding day! (I was pretending to do office work as a joke.) Bride at computer In fact I think we bought it in 2000.

Thanks for your help!


Pick all you want, now through Thanksgiving


It's time to glean our fields!  CSA members and worksharers are welcome to pick as much as they want of what remains (with a few small exceptions).  I have just drawn a map of the few fields that still have crops available, and I've posted signs in all of the fields to help you find what you're looking for.  Start out at the washing station to check out the map, and go from there.  My phone number is posted in case you need help.

Here's a list of what we have:

  • watermelon radishes
  • easter egg radishes
  • hakurei turnips
  • purple-top turnips
  • collards
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • rhubarb (I'm not sure how good it is this time of year.)
  • spicy mix (a little)
  • arugula (a little)
  • broccoli raab
  • tat soi (a little)
  • yokatta-na (a little)
  • turnip greens (lots!)
  • spinach
  • broccoli and cauliflower leaves
  • cabbage leaves
  • peppers and chiles (They have frozen so they are mushy, but salvagable for cooking if you act fast.  I ate some in my dinner last night.)

and lots of herbs...

  • cilantro
  • dill
  • rosemary
  • cutting celery
  • onion chives
  • lavender (not flowering)
  • mint
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • sage
  • sorrel
  • winter savory
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • lemon balm

We'll also have a few items for sale:

  • Shiitake mushrooms ($4/pint, supply very limited)
  • Eggs ($4/doz, supply very limited)
  • Strawberry plants ($5 each)
  • Cookbooks ($15 each)
  • Garlic, large cleaned ($7/lb)
  • Garlic, small uncleaned ($5/lb)

We'll leave the signs up until Thanksgiving, and you can come any time.  I'm looking outside right now at 5:15pm, and it's already dark, so be sure to come before sunset. Most of the items listed were picked pretty heavily, so you'll have to look down the row a ways to find the patches with greens or roots that are worth your trouble.  That's what gleaning is all about--if it were easy and obvious, we would have gotten it already.  Nonetheless, there's plenty here for anyone who is willing to spend a little time and effort.  You could easily put away a lot in your fridge and freezer for the next few cold months. 

We should note that the radishes and turnips will keep a miraculously long time in your refrigerator if you take the green tops off and store them in your crisper drawer or in a bag.  Refrigerators are dehydrating, and loss of moisture makes the roots rubbery.  But if you can keep them in a cold and humid environment, they will last for months.

The high tunnel and one field (C2) have some greens that we would like to sell to restaurants this winter to bring in a bit of off-season income.  Please don't harvest unless you see a sign indicating it's available.


Catch Clagett Farm on the Emeril Green show

In September, Clagett Farm staff, volunteers and shareholders participated as guests on the Emeril Green show, a new cooking show on channel Planet Green. Each show ties in local food and green eating themes in some way and are shot on location at a Whole Foods in Northern Virginia. Clagett's participation brings in the importance of eating local but we also emphasize the importance of farms serving double duty: a growing philosophy that focuses on environmental sustainability (such as our use of cover crops instead of chemical-based fertilizers and alternatives to herbicides and pesticides) to keep pollutants out of the Chesapeake Bay as well as a community focus in making sure that fresh, healthy produce is available to families of all income levels through our food grant program organized by the Capital Area Food Bank. You can check the tv schedule to see times for Episode 77 "A Local Thanksgiving" featuring Clagett shareholder and editor of the Edible Chesapeake magazine Renee Brooks-Catacalos (, as well as Tommy Leggett, CBFs oyster and fisheries scientist in Virginia. For example, you can catch this one-hour special on November 11 at 8 and 11 pm, as well as several times on November 12! Also on November 12 at 8 pm is the premiere of "Bounty of the Harvest," a show with a theme inspired by Clagett farm shareholders and staff who wonder what to do every summer with the abundance of in-season produce that seems to always coincide with busy schedules. Chef Emeril Lagasse will help me figure out what to do with my excessive amounts of tomatoes and eggplant, and thankfully garlic is a key ingredient in every dish! Local food activist, chef, and creative designer Rita Calvert (founder of Chesapeake Region Buy Fresh Buy Local community also teaches me how to smoke tomatoes inside my kitchen! See photos below. This is our last week of shares. We'll still send out an end of the year note and a reminder about filling out the surveys. But just briefly I want to say thanks to all of our 280 shareholders who financially supported us from the beginning of the season and picked up vegetables throughout the growing season. We think the direct relationship we build with us as your farmers and you as our customers is an extremely valuable one which models a way of the future in which everyone goes back to knowing where their food comes from, and feels secure in the knowledge that it was grown in a way that is good for the health of our families, our communities, and our earth. Every shareholder, through your participation, supports our broader goal of providing between 40-50% of our harvest to organizations and individuals who cannot pay full price. The bulk of the vegetables are given for free in a food grant that Capital Area Food Bank member agencies can apply for every year. At this time of year as you consider making a tax deductible donation to your favorite non-profit organizations, we ask you to remember the increased need that food banks will see in the coming year. If you would like to support Clagett Farm's From the Ground Up Initiative and food grant program, please make a check payable to "Capital Area Food Bank" and mail it to: Clagett Farm 11904 Old Marlboro Pike Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 If you are able to watch the show (s) we hope you enjoy them! Gail DSC01335 DSC01334 DSC01346

Raffle Winner is Lisa Thomas

After we finished weeding the high tunnel today, we shook up the raffle tickets in a big box, and one of our worksharers, Aaron, chose the winner.  It was Lisa Thomas, with ticket number 182799.  She's our first member of the 2009 CSA season.  Congratulations Lisa! 
We also chose 8 runners-up who won tote bags and aprons:
Elaine Magdinec (182801)
Kathy Kilduff (182706)
Walter Haenn (182887)
Alexandra Resch (182724)
Cathleen Cooney (182752)
Nicole Donnelly (182786)
Lucy Hunt (182738)
and Rebecca Hoop (182746).
Thanks to all of you who bought a total of 177 tickets, which gives us $1270 toward low-income shares.  Great!