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December 2012

Last chance to buy a raffle ticket!

Raffle tickets
We've sold 115 raffle tickets.  Is one of them yours?  

Your donation helps us grow more food to donate to people in need.  And you get a chance to win a free CSA share!  That could save you $515 to $625 (depending on where you pick it up and if you've been a member before).  

Click HERE to buy a ticket.  Just $10 each.  The deadline to buy a ticket is this Saturday, and we'll draw the winner on Monday. 



Thanks MOMs!

Roshani 2006 garlic

Last fall we took a chance and planted twice as much garlic as we normally do.  We're pretty happy with the garlic we grow, it keeps well in the barn til we need it, and we thought we might get a decent price for it if we could sell it wholesale.  Fortunately for us, MOM's Organic Market has been a great store to work with.  Their produce manager, Soren Huber, came to the farm to meet with us and help us clean a bit of garlic.  And she's agreed to buy whatever we can sell, which should be about 1000 pounds this year.  Hooray!


Every purchaser does not fit well with every farm.  For example, some of the larger chain groceries like Whole Foods or Wegman's, have a time-consuming set up process and it can be difficult to commicate with their regional produce buyers.  So it hasn't been worth the trouble for our small, spur-of-the-moment sales.   

MOM's, on the other hand, has been happy to buy from us, even when we just have a little that we deliver to our nearest store.  Glut Food Co-op, in Mt. Rainier, and the Maryland Food Collective, in College Park, have also been easy to work with over the years, but this time we have more garlic than they can use.

Another critical factor is that MOM's offered us a good price.  They are trying to source local produce when possible, and they're willing to pay a little extra to do it.  Some of the wholesale distributors (such as the sole supplier of Yes! Market) could only offer us the price they were getting from California, which is too low for us. 

We would be happy to sell to restaurants, but most chefs use pre-peeled garlic from a jar.   If any of you know some chefs, or have a favorite restaurant that uses whole, organic garlic, encourage them to buy garlic from us next year! 

We don't want to make wholesale a big part of our farm's marketing.  We have plenty of great CSA customers now, and we've commited to donating everything we can.  But these few sales, mostly at the end of the season, are a great little boost to our bottom line, with a crop that doesn't take too much extra work from us.  Thank you MOM's! 


Christmas Trees and Wreaths for Sale


Christmas Trees straight from the farm!

Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Clagett Farm

11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772

10am - 2pm on the 4 weekends after Thanksgiving

Nov. 24 & 25, December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16

or by appointment (301-627-4662) any other day.

  • Locally grown, minutes outside D.C.
  • Just $40 for any size!
  • All sizes available
  • Pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer-free (you won't find that from any other tree dealer near you)
  • Served as a nesting and hiding place for birds and critters.
  • A fun outing for the whole family.
  • We can help cut the tree and strap it to your car. P1000787
  • Boxwood wreaths for sale, as well

Trees are Scotch Pine and White Pine, which are the best type for our region.

Why Christmas trees?  Clagett Farm is a hilly place--not the right spot for a lot of plowing.  The hills have been heavily eroded from the years of tobacco farming before our time, which makes them a poor spot for most crops.  Christmas trees are a way of keeping the hills covered in vegetation, providing insect and animal habitat, and still making some money. 

As it happens, they also make a great spot for wandering around outside in the sunshine on a wintery day with your family and friends.  Bring a picnic, your dog, and enjoy the fresh air. 

Consider measuring your ceiling height before you come.  A tree that looks small under the big, open sky suddenly looks larger inside your house!

Gleaning starts today!

Photo from CSA Member Krossbow on Flickr.
And no, cows are not available for gleaning. 


At the end of each CSA season, we offer for members to come and glean, taking what is left of certain crops. That gleaning starts today and runs through Sunday

As we've cautioned in the past, gleaning is not for everyone.  You'll be picking it yourself, and because the pickings are sometimes slim, it will take a long time to get a significant amount of anything. If you plan to come we suggest that you:

  • Bring a knife to make cutting the salad greens easier
  • Bring bags for the vegetables
  • Wear sturdy shoes
  • Be prepared to walk about a quarter mile to get from your car to the field.  

With those disclaimers out of the way, we'll say that the weather has been unseasonably cold recently! Luckily, we have some tasty cold-hardy crops still in the fields and available for gleaning between today and Sunday. They are:


Cabbages in field A4. There are 4 varieties, including:

  • Alcoss, a round green cabbage with wrinkly leaves
  • Farao, a round green cabbage with smoother leaves
  • Red express, a round red cabbage with smoother leaves
  • Rubikon, an oblong green Napa/Chinese cabbage


Greens in field A5, including: 

  • Arugula
  • Spicy mix (mustards)
  • Mizuna (mustard)
  • Tat soi (mustard)
  • Southern giant (mustard)

The mustard greens have especially sharp flavors at this point in the season. The sharpness will mellow a bit with cooking.

Daikon radishes in field F, between the high tunnel and the woods. The daikon are plentiful and great for pickling, in coleslaws and salads, roasting, and when combined with mashed potatoes.

Swiss Chard in field G2, adjacent to the washing station. There are two kinds:

  • The fordhook giant variety has white stems
  • The rainbow variety has multi-colored stems

And there are still plentiful herbs in the herb beds that you're welcome to pick: oregano, sorrel, parsley, onion chives, anise hyssop, thyme, lemon balm, sage, garlic chives, and mint.

Members who come for gleaning will find a list of what’s available and directions to the fields written on the dry-erase board at the washing station. You will also see a list of items that we ask you not to glean (broccoli and cauliflower are among those items not available for gleaning). On Friday, folks can find staff members at the farm. On Saturday, no CSA staff members are working so you'll be on your own.

Enjoy the gleaning! 



This Week's Share: Final Share of the Season

Clagett sunrise
(Image via krossbow on Flickr)

Thanks to everyone who attended the picnic last Saturday. About 70 of you came out to the farm for some food and fun. Carrie says the event was "low-key but great!" We raised about $800, which will help the farm grow more produce to donate next year.

And if you hadn't heard, the farm fared just fine during Hurricane Sandy. There weren't any ill-effects at all. None of the produce was lost or damaged -- the farm didn't even lose power. 

Believe it or not, this week is the final share of the season! Thank you for you support and comments and good questions this year. Later this winter, Carrie will be sending out a survey to get your thoughts on the season. Stay tuned for that. 

Also, as a reminder, we're raffling off a free share for the 2013 CSA. Details on how to enter the raffle are available on the blog. Income from the raffle will help us donate more produce to low-income families, and your purchase is tax-deductible. This is open to non-members as well, so if you have a friend who's interested in signing up for a share next year, this could be a great chance to win it for free!

Since we did not have shares last Tuesday, those of you who missed a share and were not already ahead will be able to double this week. And with that, here are the details for Week 26 -- the final week! -- of the CSA:

4 pound total combination of any of the following, barring the exceptions noted below:

  • arugula
  • mustard
  • tat soi
  • mizuna
  • daikon
  • garlic
  • sunchokes
  • eggplant
  • habanero chiles
  • Depending on where and when you pick up, you may also see:
    • sweet potatoes
    • cabbage
    • carrots (1/2 lb. max)
    • kale (1/2 lb. max)
    • winecap mushrooms (which look similar to shiitakes)


On U-Pick this week:

If you want to come and u-pick, you can find a map of the fields and locations at the Wash Station when you arrive at the farm, denoting where to find the fields listed below. Here's what's on offer this week. 

Greens, daikon, celery, herbs (oregano, sorrel, parsley, onion chives, cilantro, stevia, lemongrass, anise hyssop, thyme, lemon balm, sage, garlic chives, mint), flowers (a few left)


  • Garlic for Sale: We'll have surplus garlic available for purchase at the pick-up site.
  • Beef for Sale: It's the time of the year when the farm is making some beef available for sale. If this is of interest to you, you can get all the details at  Sorry! The beef sale has ended for this year, but we are accepting sign-ups for next spring.
  • Christmas Tree Sales are Coming: Later this month we'll be sharing information about how you can purchase a Christmas tree from Clagett Farm. Stay tuned for that. 
Enjoy this week's share, and thanks again for a great season!


-- Clay


Win a share in next year's CSA. Raffle tickets just $10

Basket with share 2005
Think you might buy a share in our CSA next year?  Think you might donate some money so we can give more food away to people in need?  You should buy a raffle ticket!  Or 10 raffle tickets! 

The winner of our raffle gets one share next year (value: $515-$625, depending on pick-up site and if it is a new or returning member).  You can keep it for yourself or give it to a friend.

You can buy your tickets in person with cash or check (made out to the Capital Area Food Bank).  Or you can go to this fancy web site we just set up and buy tickets on-line!  The one issue we've noticed with this web site is it gives you the choice of a one-time donation, or a recurring one (weekly, monthly or annually).  While we love recurring donations, only the money you pay before December 1 will count toward raffle tickets.  And be sure to donate in $10 increments, since we can't issue half tickets. 

Income from the raffle will help us donate more produce, and your purchase is tax-deductible.

Please note that we are planning to change our pick-up day from Tuesdays to WEDNESDAYS next year.  If you win a share, you can choose any of the three options:

  • Clagett Farm Saturdays, 1-4pm
  • Clagett Farm WEDNESDAYS, 3-7pm
  • near Dupont Circle WEDNESDAYS, 5-7pm

(Shifting the harvest day from Tuesday to Wednesday will allow a little more growing time between the Saturday and Wednesday harvest, which helps because we divide that harvest among more shares.  It also allows us to shift the Dupont pick-up back to our original 5-7pm time slot.)

If you know anyone who wants to buy a share for the first time next year for pick-up at Dupont, this is a great way for them to increase their chances of getting one of those shares, since they sell out so fast.  Tell your friends to buy raffle tickets!

On-line purchases can be made until December 1, 2012, and we'll draw the winner on Monday December 3rd.  We'll post the name of the winner here on the blog ( and we'll also contact the winner directly by e-mail. 

By the way, if you are a current member, and you want to buy a share for next year the regular old way, don't worry.  We'll email you in January and ask you to sign up again.  Just make sure the e-mail address we have for you (which you gave us this past winter) is still accurate. 

Good luck, everyone, and thanks!!


Picnic this Saturday

We're so relieved the storm passed us by without affecting us much at all.  In fact we could have harvested for you on Tuesday, but I'd already told all the staff and volunteers to stay home.  Yes, I do feel a little guilty, but not too guilty. 

So let's make up for lost time.  Come on over on Saturday to pick up your missed share.  We'll have a little picnic to celebrate a great season and Sandy's departure.  Meet us at the Education Barn--not at the washing station (we'll have signs to direct you).

You could take a double share on Tuesday (11/6) instead, but you'll be voting, and if voting day is anything like early voting has been, the lines will be LONG.

When you come on Saturday, don't forget to bring:

  • Warm clothes!  Stay bundled up so you'll have fun.
  • A little cash
  • Picnic blanket, plates, cups, bowls, spoons, forks, drinks, food (all optional)
  • Musical instrument, if you want to join the pick-up band
  • Something to donate that we can sell (did you knit a warm pair of mittens, bake brownies, make some cards with fun farm photos?)

You can find more info about Saturday's Fall Picnic in our previous post here.

To recap, there are 3 harvest days left in the season:  this Saturday, this Tuesday, and next Saturday (11/10).  See you then!