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March 2013

Wanted: water heater

The water heater in our greenhouse broke, and we're looking for a replacement.  It should be about 40-50 gallons, powered by liquid propane (LP).  If you know somone who is looking to donate or sell a used one, let us know.  



[3/5/13 Update: We bought a water heater and it's up and running today.  Just in time for the snow storm!]

Returning? Tell us now! New? Sign up March 6th

Just a little schedule reminder: 

RENEWING MEMBERS: you should have received 5 e-mails (a few sent today) with the link to the registration form.  We want to get you on board now so we don't give your slot away to a new member.  If you haven't gotten an e-mail from us, something is terribly awry and we'd like to fix it.   We don't normally go quite so far overboard with e-mails, but some people kept telling us they weren't receiving them, so we tried every trick in the book to get them to you.  

Would you like to become a NEW MEMBER?  Your chance will come at 5:00pm on Wednesday March 6th.  At that time we will activate a form on the site:  We will offer shares to people who submit their information on a first-come, first-served basis.  You will not be asked to pay until we have offered you a slot. 

Our first tentative little plants are in the greenhouse.  Feel like lending a hand with the seeding?  We'd be delighted!  You can e-mail us, or reach us a little quicker by calling the office line:  301-627-4662.

Your farmer,


Renewals sent; split a share?

We've sent out the renewal notices to everyone who has been a member in years past.  If you didn't get your e-mail, let us know.  We will be happy to get you the link to the sign-up form.  

If you don't think you will need a full share every week, we know someone who would like to split a Dupont share.  Send us an e-mail and we'll connect you.


Tweaking the farm's relationship with the Capital Area Food Bank and Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Remember how you used to write your checks to the Capital Area Food Bank?  We've changed!  Now you'll be paying the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  It's more of an accounting difference than anything substantial.  Clagett Farm is still a property of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  We still work closely with the Capital Area Food Bank.  We still donate at least 40% of our harvest to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other agencies that serve people in need.  We still offer half-price share to low-income households.  The only thing that changed is how we shift the money around.   

So here's what's new for you:

  • When it's time for returning members to renew for 2013 (beginning Monday), we'll send you an e-mail with a link to a Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) web page. 
  • Now that you are paying through CBF, we get the same amount of money whether you pay by check or credit.  So we encourage you to pay by credit card, since that will probably be simpler for you and us.    
  • After you sign up, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will ask you (by e-mail) if you would like to be more involved in CBF.  Maybe you live on the water and you'd like to raise oysters, or maybe you'd like to volunteer to plant trees, or donate money, or come to an event.  I'm a pretty enthusiastic supporter of the work that CBF does, so I hope you all check out those opportunities.  But above all else, we want you to be happy customers.  CBF is very serious about wanting to send you ONLY the communications (by email, mail or phone) that you want.  So you will always have the opportunity to log in to their web site and make specific choices. 
  • Don't forget we've changed the pick-up from Tuesday to WEDNESDAY.  I know I've mentioned this before, but I'll keep reminding you just to be sure.  Also, the time for Dupont pick-up has shifted a half hour earlier (5:30-7:30pm). 

Sorry it's taken me so long to invite you to renew your CSA shares.  It's taken a bit of time to work out some of the logistics of this move.  There's bound to be some hiccups--we had to move your contact information from one system to another, and we've had to create some new sign-up arrangements.  I hope you'll bear with us as we do the best with the systems we have.  Thanks!



 [In case you feel like getting into the weeds, read below for the details of our transition:]


  • You paid the Capital Area Food Bank for your CSA shares, and gave them donations.
  • I paid for seed, tools, vehicle fuel, etc., and the Capital Area Food Bank reimbursed me.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Foundation paid the staff, both permanent and seasonal.
  • Since CBF was paying the bulk of our expenses (labor), and taking none of the income, the Capital Area Food Bank paid CBF several big checks every year so their income and expenses were equal.
  • The Capital Area Food Bank (with help from a Church of the Brethren Volunteer) collected applications from social service agencies, decided which ones could best use our produce, made a schedule for the agencies, gave recipe and storage advice, and acted as the farm's liason with those agencies. 


  • The Chesapeake Bay Foundation takes the income, employs the staff, and pays for supplies.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Foundation charges  the Capital Area Food Bank (a mere 20% of full price) for food that is donated to social service agencies.  
  • The Capital Area Food Bank still organizes our donations.

This new system is a bit more efficient, and everyone gets about the same amount of money in the end, so we all seem pretty happy about the change.