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16th Share: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash and Eggplant

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Photo via Krossbow on Flickr.

Labor Day approaches!

Here's what you'll find in this week's share.

1 head garlic

1 pound tomatoes + cucumbers

4 pounds squash + eggplant

1 1/2 pounds peppers + okra + beans

On U-Pick This Week

  • Tomatoes are still on U-pick but they are not abundant. 
  • Cucumbers and Squash are available in field A3. 
  • Beans - there are tons!
  • Cherry tomatoes (includes sungold, black cherry, red cherry and juliet tomatoes great for drying)
  • Chiles
  • Okra - the new variety we have is called millionaire! it's the row closest to the basil
  • There's tons of basil - the mammoth basil in the field looks short from the end of this 365 foot row, but there is a lot out there so don't be shy! Please use scissors.
  • We also have husk cherries in the herb bed. They're sweet and similar to a tomato.
  • In addition to other herbs, we also have ample lemon balm and stevia.

A Preview of Next Week

  • There will be more potatoes starting next week.
  • Pumpkins are coming in the next few weeks!

Have any questions about this week's share? Recipes you plan to make this week? Let us know in the comments!


15th Share: Waning Days of Summer

Squash
Photo via Kolaleh Eskandanian over on our Facebook page.

Happy Tuesday!

Here's what you'll find in this week's share.

1 head garlic

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes

3 pounds squash and eggplant

1 1/2 pounds peppers

1 1/2 pounds beans, okra, potatoes and cucumbers

As much basil as you can take

On U-Pick This Week

  • Sweet corn remains on U-pick, though its quality decreases as days pass.
  • Tomatoes are also still on U-pick! 
  • Cucumbers and Squash are available in field A3. 
  • Beans - there are tons!
  • Cherry tomatoes (includes sungold, black cherry, red cherry and juliet tomatoes great for drying)
  • Chiles
  • okra - the new variety we have is called millionaire! it's the row closest to the basil
  • Garlic chives are flowering
  • There's tons of basil - the mammoth basil in the field looks short from the end of this 365 foot row, but there is a lot out there so don't be shy! Please use scissors.
  • We also have husk cherries in the herb bed. They're sweet and similar to a tomato.
  • In addition to other herbs, we also have ample lemon balm and stevia.

A Preview of Next Week

  • There are more cucumbers to come. One field is waning while another is on its way.
  • We may harvest more green tomatoes next week and make those available in the share before the fields spoil.
  • There will be more potatoes in future weeks. The decreased amount this week is because the fields are very, very muddy. 

Have any questions about this week's share? Recipes you plan to make this week? Let us know in the comments!


14th Share: Potatoes! Plus Corn and Tomatoes on U-Pick

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Photo via Krossbow on Flickr.

Happy Tuesday!

Here's what you'll find in this week's share.

1 head garlic

2 pounds squash

2 1/2 pounds eggplant + cucumber

2 pounds tomatoes**

1/2 pound beans

2 pounds peppers + okra + corn

1 watermelon

2 pounds of potatoes

** Please note that the Saturday share may be different or lesser amounts on some items because we were able to give more tomatoes at the farm pick-up last Saturday.

On U-Pick This Week

  • Sweet corn!  The corn is Silver Queen but not particularly sweet but is good for cooking. If you're going to come and pick it, we recommend doing so before Saturday.
  • Tomatoes! Details can be found here.
  • Beans - now from 2 fields!
  • Cherry tomatoes (includes sungold, black cherry, red cherry and juliet tomatoes great for drying)
  • Chiles
  • Cucumbers - one field goes on you pick this week, please be careful not to trample on the vining plants
  • Summer Squash - next to the cucumbers, also tiptoe lightly (patty pan, 8-ball, zephyr, zucchini, yellow squash)
  • okra - the new variety we have is called millionaire! it's the row closest to the basil
  • basil - the mammoth basil in the field looks short from the end of this 365 foot row, but there is a lot out there so don't be shy! Please use scissors.
  • We also have husk cherries in the herb bed. They're sweet and similar to a tomato.
  • In addition to other herbs, we also have ample lemon balm and stevia.

A Preview of Next Week

  • Similar to this week, though not as many melons.

Have any questions about this week's share? Recipes you plan to make this week? Let us know in the comments!


You-pick tomatoes: Last gasp

For a limited time on you-pick: big tomatoes and cantaloupes

We regretted having to take the big tomato field off of the you-pick list last week.  We know some of you were intending to pick after your Tuesday pick-up.  So we're opening our main tomato field to you-pick beginning tomorrow morning, Tuesday 8/16/10.  We're not sure when we'll take it off the list again, but probably before Saturday. 

This will probably be your last chance to you-pick the larger tomatoes.  You might remember from last year that lots of rain encourages various plant diseases in tomatoes.  They are about to wipe out our main tomato field. 

Your cherry tomato field remains on the you-pick list and still looks healthy and productive.  We have another back-up tomato field that has been unbelievably slow to ripen.  It's possible it will die of some kind of blight before it every really gets going, but it's too early to say.  So far it doesn't look as healthy as your cherry tomatoes, but better than the main field. 

As for cantaloupes, one section of the field has finished producing.  Most of the cantaloupes left in the field are bad, but some are still good.  It wouldn't be worth our time to try to pick out the good ones, but you are welcome to do so.  Bring a knife and a sturdy, clean bag, since there's a good chance you'll want to cut a few open in the field.  Also, be sure to follow the signs and stay out of the watermelons.  We are still harvesting from that section of the field, and if you walk on the vines, you will kill them before they have a chance to finish making your watermelons. 

Have fun!

Your farmer, Carrie


Save Some Veggies for the Winter

Can't eat all of the "unlimited summer squash" this week? Learn how to save some for the colder months this Saturday at the washstation. Mary Dallavalle will be leading a

Food Storage Workshop - Saturday Aug 14th @ 3:30pm!

Get answers to your small batch preservation questions. Workshop starts at 3:30, so arrive a bit before to collect your share, U-pick some flowers, and enjoy the Saturday afternoon at the farm. For more details, see the previous blog post August Activities: Canning, Food Storage, and Herb Walk.


Meet Your Farmers: Gail

Here's the latest in our ongoing series featuring interviews with Clagett staff and volunteers.

Meet Gail, part of the vegetable crew at Clagett. Gail has been part of the team since 2005. She moved to DC from upstate New York in 1999, though she's originally from the Midwest.

Gail

What's your role on the Clagett team?
I work on the vegetable production as part of the seasonal crew.

How did you come to work with Clagett?
A few years ago while I was unemployed I started doing a workshare each week to take home vegetables for my house. I carpooled with the staff at the time and really enjoyed the experience. Over the winter I was offered a job for the next season and realized my job search was over!

What do you do when you're not working with Clagett?
I manage a yoga studio in Dupont Circle. I also do a work-exchange apprenticeship at an orchard near Frederick. A lot of my time is currently devoted to repairing and establishing a group house I just bought with several others in Petworth. We are trying to set up a limited equity co-op that will eventually be a land trust.

What foods are you most excited about at the farm this year?
I'm most excited about the dried beans we're growing (black turtle and calypso.) I hope to be part of a collectively owned and operated farm someday and would like to see a full range of plant-based nutrition (including protein) be available to my customers.

Any favorite recipes or preparations using Clagett produce?
My favorite meal to make is what I call "share in a pot." I tend not to use recipes that often. I thumb through cookbooks and look online for inspiration, but when it comes down to cooking I just use what I have and put it all together in a pot with some herbs and serve it with a grain (rice, quinoa, cous cous, etc.) Every meal starts with garlic and onions in the bottom of the pot which thankfully are plentiful this year!

Any particular vegetables you can't stand?
It's not a vegetable but I don't like cilantro. It gives me a headache.

What's the best part of working with a CSA?
I love being part of a way of farming that is perfectly suited to supporting both the farm and the community. I feel equally strong about the fact that a CSA is a great way for people to get nutritious, fresh food and also that a CSA is the perfect way for a farm to maintain a consistent income no matter what problems that are out of our control might come up.

What have you learned by working with Clagett that you think others would be surprised to know?
I think most people might be surprised to weed with us in a field one morning and hear what we talk about. I think many people don't expect farmers to have the kind of education, awareness, and political opinions that we do.


13th Share: Beans and Unlimited Squash!

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Photo via Krossbow on Flickr.

Happy Tuesday!

Here's what you'll find in this week's share.

1 head garlic

1 1/2 pounds cucumbers at the farm; 2 1/2 pounds cucumbers at Dupont due to last week's snafu

1 1/4 pounds tomatoes

Melons: Dupont will receive 1 watermelon AND 1 cantaloupe or Korean melon.  Farm pick-up will receive 2 watermelons.

1 lb beans

1 lb combination peppers, okra or corn

Unlimited summer squash

On U-Pick This Week

  • Beans- now from 2 fields!
  • Cherry tomatoes (includes sungold, black cherry, red cherry and juliet tomatoes great for drying)
  • Chiles
  • Cucumbers - one field goes on you pick this week, please be careful not to trample on the vining plants
  • Summer Squash - next to the cucumbers, also tiptoe lightly (patty pan, 8-ball, zephyr, zucchini, yellow squash)
  • okra - the new variety we have is called millionaire! it's the row closest to the basil
  • basil - the mammoth basil in the field looks short from the end of this 365 foot row, but there is a lot out there so don't be shy! Please use scissors.
  • We also have husk cherries in the herb bed. They're sweet and similar to a tomato.
  • In addition to other herbs, we also have ample lemon balm and stevia.

A Preview of Next Week

  • Similar to this week, though not as many melons.
  • We hope to start offering potatoes in the next few weeks.

Have any questions about this week's share? Recipes you plan to make this week? Let us know in the comments!


Main tomato field gets a break from you-pick but beans come out of our ears

Thanks for helping us get caught up in the main tomato field but it needs a break from picking! We'll let you know when it goes back on the you-pick list. In the meantime, cherry tomatoes and chiles near the wash station remain on the list.

I've also taken eggplant off the list for now because they need a little time to grow. The chard will remain a little bitter until the weather cools, so I recommend taking a break from that as well.

We are delighted by how many people are excited about the okra! Remember that it needs to be harvested every day but if you leave any they'll grow to become too tough to eat. So we try to harvest heavily on Tuesdays and Saturdays. As the plants are still in their early phase it might seem like there is not as much out there as you'd hope for. I recommend coming on Wednesdays or Thursdays if you can, but also just keep picking because as the weeks go on production will just get heavier and none of us will be able to keep up. Again, a gentle reminder to use pruners or knives and be careful not to slice flowers and especially not the crown on the top so that the okra plants will indeed increase exponentially in production over the next weeks and months!

We expect to harvest literally hundreds of pounds of beans on Tuesday and we know we won't have time to get them all, plus there is another field coming in! So with beans coming out of our ears we hope you will enjoy the addition of this and other fields to the you-pick list.

You-Pick highlights, Week 13

  • Beans- now from 2 fields!
  • Cherry tomatoes (includes sungold, black cherry, red cherry and juliet tomatoes great for drying)
  • Chiles
  • Cucumbers - one field goes on you pick this week, please be careful not to trample on the vining plants
  • Summer Squash - next to the cucumbers, also tiptoe lightly (patty pan, 8-ball, zephyr, zucchini, yellow squash)
  • okra - the new variety we have is called millionaire! it's the row closest to the basil
  • basil - the mammoth basil in the field looks short from the end of this 365 foot row, but there is a lot out there so don't be shy! Please use scissors.

U-pick tomatoes; Cucumber apologies; other U-pick notes

What do you do when it's 2pm on Tuesday and you're barely half-way through the harvest?  Well, apparently, you forget to put cucumbers in the van for Dupont members, among other minor disasters.  I apologize personally to all of our Dupont members for our error.  We'll be sure to send you extra cucumbers next week. 

I love having an overabundance of produce, so I'm certainly not going to complain--it's great problem to have.  But this week caught us with many fewer volunteers and worksharers than normal, and a surprising number of corn, squash, cucumber and melon varieties suddenly came to maturity. 

To celebrate, we've added beans and full-size tomatoes to our you-pick list.  We didn't have time to pick many of the ripe tomatoes yesterday, and it would be a terrible shame if they spoiled on the plant before we pick again on Saturday.   Come if you can!

We're hoping to add cucumbers and squash to the you-pick list next week as soon as we're sure Dupont members have gotten their fair share.  As mentioned, our you-pick list also includes basil, eggplant, okra, chiles, sunflowers, and lots of other herbs.  Get out your freezer bags and canning jars, my friends, it is time to stock up for winter. 

Some under-used you-pick items:  Thai basil and Sun Gold tomatoes.

Did I mention we're short help these days?  You'll notice some of the tomato plants are falling over.  We'll fix that as soon as we finish picking melons and planting your fall greens and broccoli.  In the meantime, you'll have to crawl to reach the best Sun Golds. 

Interested in helping?  Call 301-537-3038 to sign up as a volunteer or to work four hours in exchange for a week's share. 

Okra you-pickers:  We recommend picking on Mondays or Fridays, since we pick the field clean on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Please be careful not to pick the flower buds, which are easily confused with small okra pods. [Below, you'll see the okra pod on the bottom left, and a caterpillar wrapped around a flower bud on the right.]  Wear gloves and long sleeves, since the plants are itchy.  3 Okra - Roshani Kothari 1005
Photos by Roshani Kothari 

Post by Carrie Vaughn, Vegetable Production Manager