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August 2009
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October 2009

Our produce makes local, fresh food a new habit for underprivileged recipients

Hi folks.  This is Anika with an update on the Capital Area Food Bank's From the Ground Up Food Grant at Clagett Farm.  My co-worker, Emily, and I have been visiting the 9 agencies who receive and distribute fresh produce from the farm to their underprivileged clients.

It seems like agencies that serve underprivileged people are always stretched to their limits.  So they're always excited about getting free food, but they don't always have the time and energy to make the systematic changes that we hope will accompany the FGU Food Grant.  Sure, step one is always getting food to the people.  But a big premise of the Food Bank is that we must also offer education that leads people toward self-sustainability.

Now the FGU Food Grant is one step removed from the people it serves.  We don't take food directly to clients, but rather to agencies that serve clients.  So our challenge is to educate not only clients, but agencies as well.  At the beginning of each season, we bring 3 staff from each of the participating FGU Food Grant agencies to Clagett Farm.  Farmer Michael takes us on a hayride tour of the farm and tells us about their sustainable practices and the benefits to both humans and the land.  We also do a cooking demo with "less common" veggies like spicy mix and kohlrabi.  We encourage agencies to try new things and to nudge their clients to try new things too.

Some agencies are a little hesitant at first, but they get the hang of it in no time.  After two years of participating in the FGU Food Grant, Martha's Table has gone all out!  This summer they built raised, movable garden beds in an underutilized parking lot by their trash bins.  This will be a learning tool for the kids on-site. (A lot of the Clagett produce goes to feed the children in Martha's Table's onsite program.)  Growing in the beds are wax beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, kale, celery, morning glories, and lots of herbs.  Martha’s Table appreciated the tomato seedlings they got from Clagett – all of their tomatoes came from you!  They even built a trashcan compost which can be easily rolled for aeration.  Check out their blog post about their garden at: and see the pictures below for a sneak peak:

Herbs Blocking Trash Bins

Aromatic herbs help deter the smell from the trash bins behind them.

Peppers & Tomatoes in MT Garden

Peppers & tomatoes in cute containers.

Onions in foreground

Can you believe they did all this in a matter of weeks?

As more proof of what they've learned from being involved in the FGU Food Grant, I witnessed firsthand the storage of tomatoes OUTSIDE the refrigerator.  Martha's Table - you get a star of approval from us!

Tomatoes Stored on the Counter


Win a share for next season! Raffle tickets on sale now

Buy a $10 raffle ticket to win a share for next season. Tickets are on sale at all pick up locations. You may also buy tickets at the Fall Festival on Saturday, October 3 from 1 - 4. The drawing will take place at 4 pm, and you do not need to be present to win.

Tell your friends! Considering how many people have been added to the waiting list for shares next year, they may have better chances at winning a raffle than signing up on-line to become a new member!

All proceeds from the raffle and silent auction, and all other donations made to Clagett farm go to support our food grant program. This allows us to continue to distribute between 40-50% of our harvest to low income individuals and families int he DC metro area, mainly through Capital Area Food Bank member agencies who receive free produce for up to 2 years through the grant program.

Details: There will be one winner of the drawing. The individual or family may choose any pick up location and any pick up day (either Tuesday or Saturday at the farm or Tuesdays at Dupont Circle.) Our season will start either the first or second week of May and goes through the second to last week before Thanksgiving.

Fall Festival October 3rd--donate items for silent auction

Our annual Fall Festival at Clagett Farm is next month.  Here are the details:

  • Rain or Shine!
  • Free and open to everyone
  • 1-4pm, Saturday October 3, 2009
  • Hayrides across the farm to visit the cows throughout the afternoon
  • Potluck snacks (2:30pm)
  • Silent Auction (final bids by 3:00pm)
  • Raffle drawing for CSA membership in 2010 (4:00pm)
  • Chrysanthemums sold by Melwood, which has a nursery that employs the developmentally disabled

Do you have items you would like to donate for our silent auction?  Consider baked goods, services, handmade toys, gifts and accessories, tickets to events, and other items that would appeal to our CSA community.  We can accept donated items anytime this month, and up until 1:30pm on the day of the Festival.

Clagett Farm, 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772, 301-627-4662, clagettfarm at cbf dot org,