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March 2010

PG County residents: Come to the Clean Energy town hall meeting

Chesapeake Climate Action Network is organizing a town hall meeting about creating a clean energy plan for Maryland.  Come help convince Commitee Chairman Davis and our other local delegates to do their part.  Or just come to learn more! 

Where: Prince George's Community College, Rennie Forum, 301 Largo Road, Largo Maryland, 20774
When: Tuesday, February 23rd, 6:30 to 8:00PM
To RSVP online please click on
Free to all.

Featured speakers will discuss how to implement energy efficiency measures in your home, what the state is doing now to promote efficiency and what still needs to be done.

Snow as fertilizer

Michael Heller quotes often that "snow is the poor man's manure". It holds Nitrogen and Sulphur, which are low in our soils.  It also releases moisture slowly into the soil, especially, if the ground is not frozen.  That adds to our aquifers, which is good for the long term.  The snow is even hiding the strawberry plants from the deer that had recently learned to paw through the floating row cover that was protecting them.   So we're quite pleased with the snow.

If this cool, wet weather continues through the spring, we could be looking at the opposite effect.  Too much rain pulls those highly-soluble nutrients down out of the root zone, or laterally into the creeks.  It keeps our cover crop from growing well and reduces the Nitrogen fixed by their companion soil bacteria.  And the wet soil keeps us from getting into the field with the tractor so our planting is late, and seeds rot.   

So right now is the best time for cold, wet weather.  Three cheers, and lets hope it doesn't overstay its welcome.   


Mon 2-8-2010 Snow at the Farm 015c

Volunteer and Employment Opportunities at Clagett

Now that it’s February, work is becoming a little more interesting on the farm, and once the snow is clear from the roads, we would like to invite all of you to join us in whatever way suits your style--in the greenhouse, field, our office, or even your office.

We have opportunities for you to work for the joy of working (volunteering), to work for money (paid farm crew) and to work for food (worksharing).  If you would like to join us for any of these, send us an email (clagettfarm at cbf dot org), or call us (301-627-4662).  Usually we ask volunteers and worksharers to call the cell phone we have dedicated for that purpose (301-537-3038), but we won’t be carrying it until March.  

1.    Volunteering – See the jobs list below.  They include greenhouse and office work right now, field work beginning in March, and distribution beginning in May.  Right now we’re working most weekdays and Saturdays, and the times of day are flexible. 
2.    Paid Farm Crew – We will be hiring several people, full or part-time, for positions beginning between February and May and ending in October or November.  Starting pay is $9/hour, plus one CSA share.  We cannot offer housing.
3.    Worksharing – Beginning in April, you may exchange 4 hours of your work for one week’s CSA share.  We don’t start harvesting until mid-May, so until then you can “bank” your hours, to be redeemed anytime during the season.  We ask that you do not redeem more than one banked share per week.  To join us for fieldwork, you do not need to commit in advance.  Just call us the week you want to come.  Once the harvest season starts, if you want to work on a Saturday, please call us the Thursday or Friday prior to sign up. 

Here are some of the jobs we need help with right now:

  • Processing share orders.  This is a great job for someone familiar with Outlook email, or could learn quickly.  We need someone who can commit to working at least 2 hours per week until May. 
  • Responding to emails and phone calls.  You can do this from home!  We need someone who can commit to at least 2 hours/week until November (obviously vacations are fine).  We would prefer if it's someone who already has some relationship with us as a customer or volunteer.
  • Are you web-savvy?  Do you like using Facebook or bulletin boards?  We're trying to update our communications with our members, and could use the time and wisdom of someone who knows what works well and how to get it done. 
  • We'll be starting greenhouse work next week.  Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are best.  Come when you can.  Mostly we'll be in a warm-ish greenhouse, but dress in lots of layers since sometimes we have to do things outside. 

In April, Rob will need help potting trees.  These are native trees that are later planted by volunteers as buffers along streams all around Maryland to prevent erosion.

Jobs we'll need help with once the harvest starts in mid-May:

  • We will need someone who would like to help us every Saturday afternoon (noon-4:30pm) at the CSA pick-up on the farm.  It's a very sociable job that requires some heavy lifting.
  • It's possible we might need to deliver a dozen or so shares weekly to a social service agency, probably on Tuesday late afternoons or Wednesday mornings.  We'll have details later.
  • We always need help harvesting on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. 
  • Wednesdays through Fridays, anytime between 8am - 4pm, we will need help doing fieldwork of all kinds.  Weeding, trellising, mulching, planting, etc, etc.  

Hope to see you soon!
-Carrie, Gail, Rob and Michael

New member sign-up page

New information for people hoping to become members in our CSA this year:  the web site you should click on at 10:00am on March 9, 2010 is 

Past CSA members and low-income households can sign up now, so please do not wait until that date if you fit in one of those categories. 


Be a certified Bay steward! 2 opportunities--1 class series, 1 internship

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation would like to offer you two opportunites--one is a paid internship and the other is a series of classes called VoiCeS which helps you become an effective defender of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Spring Watershed Restoration Internship
Find details at  Note that this is different from the part-time and full-time field crew we will be hiring later this month for Clagett Farm.

VoiCeS Course (Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards)
They are offered every year, but not always as nearby as Annapolis, so take this opportunity while it's here.  Classes are filling up quickly.

Thursdays, Feb. 18 – April 17, 2009
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Annapolis, MD
Saturdays, Feb. 20 – April 17, 2009
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Easton, MD

VoiCeS (Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards), CBF's adult education volunteer training program, is starting soon.  Come learn about the complex history, issues, and relationships that make the Bay the national treasure it is! VoiCeS, which began in 2004, creates a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. This professionally-taught, two-part program, meets each week (for eight weeks) and includes field trips and participant-led community projects. You'll learn about the Bay’s biology, the issues we face, and how you and your community can help its restoration.

The program is divided into two parts: An eight-week course of study, with one 3-hour class each week, and a service requirement of 40 hours over the next year on a Bay-related project or projects. At least two Saturday Bay field trips are included in the program. Successful graduates receive CBF’s designation as Chesapeake Stewards.

There is a $25 materials fee but no registration fee. Space is limited. For more information on the course and to download the application form, visit For the Annapolis course, please contact Marcy Damon, Grassroots Restoration Coordinator, at, or 443-482-2156. For the Easton course, please contact Margaret Enloe, Grassroots Coordinator at or 410/543.1999 x502.