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March 2020
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Week 3: Warm Sun + Gentle Rain = Great Food!

It's a great week to be alive, friends.  We have sweet, sweet strawberries and lots of delicious greens.  While the weather is still cool but the soil is warming, the lettuce, arugula, tat soi and spicy mix are at their peak.  Later, when the weather gets hotter, they will turn tough and bitter and we'll be craving tomatoes and peppers, so enjoy it while it lasts! 

This week's photo is of Elissa Planz.  This is Elissa's 5th year at Clagett Farm.  She's managing 3 of our 4 pick-ups, her artwork graces many of the signs on the farm, and she is responsible for the herb and flower beds looking as lovely as they do.  Thank you for your hard work, Elissa! 
  

Announcements


  • Storing your produce:  When you bring your bag of produce home, it will be worth your trouble to take a few moments to store them so they'll stay fresh as long as possible.  The ideal for most of your vegetables is to keep them in a humid environment in the refrigerator (such as the vegetable drawer or a plastic bag) but not wet. 
    • Loose salad greens should be washed, spun dry, and stored so they keep some loft and don't get crushed.  A big clear plastic clamshell or tupperware is good for this purpose.   
    • Scrub the roots, such as radishes and turnips, and remove the leaves you don't plan to eat.  They transpire more with leaves on, so the roots will stay crisper without leaves.  
    • Good luck trying to store the strawberries.  Who can resist eating them all right away?   
  • Reminder: you can pick up when you like. You don't need to call or e-mail to let us know when you plan to take your shares.  
    • 26-week members may pick up 1 or 2 shares any week for a total of 26 shares by the end of the season (mid-November).  You don't need to let us know in advance which weeks you're coming.  We'll have enough for everyone plus extra to donate to food pantries, so if you don't show up one week, there's more to give away.  And when you take 2, we donate a little less.  It's that easy.  
    • 13-week members, you may pick up your shares whichever 13 weeks you choose, without prior notice.  You do not need to alternate weeks--you can take shares two weeks in a row and then miss an entire month.  It's up to you.    

 

This week's share


  • 1 pint strawberries
  • cucumber (Have you noticed how thin-skinned and sweet they are?  Don't bother peeling!)
  • 1 bunch garlic scallions (Your last bunch of the year!  Don't forget if you're looking for recipes, these are also commonly known as green garlics.)
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 1 bag bok choi (Wednesday & Thursday) or tat soi (Saturday) 
  • Purple top turnips and French breakfast radishes
  • CHOOSE:  a bag of small lettuce heads, spicy mix, tender red kale or collards (your pick-up site will probably only have 2 of these choices)

(This is the Red Russian kale.)

Recipe: Carrie's Double Garlic Scallion Pasta


I realized one perk of quarantine and face masks--you can eat a super-garlicky meal and the only people who will know are the people who ate it with you!  So last night my daughter and I ate garlic scallions two ways in one dish, just to see how we liked it best.  This meal happens to be vegan.  I didn't pay much attention to quantities, so what I've listed here is approximate.

  • Set up a large pot of salted water to boil.
  • To a blender or food processor add the following, and blend to a smooth paste:
    • 1-2 scallions, roughly chopped, both the green and white parts--everything but the roots
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt (add more if needed once you taste the finished paste)
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
    • lots of olive oil (1/4 cup or so--enough so it blends to a smooth paste)
  • Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.
  • Finely chop a couple more garlic scallions (go ahead--use up the rest of the bunch).  Toss them into the pan with a dried chili that you happen to have leftover from our bumper crop of chilies last year (or about 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes).
  • Is your pot boiling yet?  If so, add pasta (3/4 pound?  A pound?  As you wish).  And pour a 1/4 cup or so of that boiling water into the pan with the scallions and chili.  
  • Cook the scallions until they're soft.  The water should have cooked away.  
  • When the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain it and add enough of the garlic scallion pesto you made earlier so that it's coated to your liking (you might have some leftover), then add in the cooked scallions from the pan.  Add salt if needed. 
  • Serve the hot pasta on a bed of arugula or spicy mix, torn into small pieces.   

  
Coming Next Week


  • Garlic Scapes
  • Strawberries 
  • Salad greens, kale and collards 
  • Onion scallions
  • Hakurei turnips (the little white ones)
  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers 
  • Zucchinis might start to trickle in.  Expect everyone to get some by week 6


Here's a photo of the zucchini plants on their way to conjuring their first fruits.  Between the plastic-covered rows is an aisle thick with dwarf white clover.  We're lucky the zucchini survived that late, May frost!  The cucumbers and melons beside them were not so lucky (you're enjoying cucumbers from the greenhouse this week, which were better protected).   

Have a wonderful week!
Your Clagett Farm Team


Week 2: Strawberries continue to be small but spectacular


Meet Kris Belessis, pictured here harvesting your arugula.  She's another educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation who's pinch-hitting for us until we can take volunteers and worksharers.  Before working for CBF, she was a First Lieutenant in the Marines as an engineer.  Thanks, Kris!!  
 

Announcements


Now that we've tried out our new pick-up system, we have a few reminders and changes, as well as a few general notes.

  • Please use the FRONT ENTRANCE of the farm on Old Marlboro Pike:  Some of you picking up at the farm noticed that GPS sent you to the back entrance of the farm on Ritchie Marlboro Road.  It would be better if you ignore that suggestion, pass that back entrance, and turn right onto Old Marlboro Pike.  Your app will redirect you to the front entrance of the farm on Old Marlboro Pike, which will be on your right.  Entering this way means you will approach the washing station from the correct direction without having to turn around awkwardly to get in line.  Thanks!
  • Sorry, we can't swap: Last week I mentioned that we can keep items in your share that you don't want to take home.  Be sure to mention it BEFORE you take the bag.  Once it's in your hands, we can't take it back.  Also, we cannot exchange items.  If you ask us to keep something so we can donate it, we can't give you something else in exchange.  
  • Emergency messaging coming soon: We had a little trouble at the Dupont pick-up when we arrived to find a work crew tearing up the entrance to the alley where we expected to meet you.  Thanks to some quick help from our volunteer, Deborah, and our co-worker, Danielle Hodgkin, we were able to contact everyone quickly by text or email.  But it highlighted that we need a messaging service to contact everyone in case of last minute emergency change to your CSA pick-up.  So stay tuned...we're looking into our options, and once we figure that out we'll give you an option to opt in or out.  And thanks so much to the Dupont folks who were so flexible!
  • Fishy produce bags:  We noticed that the green-colored, Biobag-brand produce bags we were using to pack the leafy greens last Wednesday and Thursday had an off-putting smell.  The company representative assured us there is nothing to worry about, but we've decided to stop using them anyway. 
  • E-mails: Unlike last week, this is the only e-mail we sent this week. We try to give you as much notice as we can about what's coming in your share, but this was a busy week in the field for planting (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons and corn!) so we didn't get a chance.  At the end of this note you'll see a detailed list of what we're expecting in the coming weeks, which should help.
  • Got a recipe you want to share?  E-mail it to us!

 

This week's share


It's another small share this week, and the weather is in a grey, chilly holding pattern.  But don't worry, all the crops are looking good and growing well.  We'll get big shares eventually!

  • Heaping half-pint of strawberries 
  • Bunch of garlic scallions (if you haven't used all of last week's yet, don't worry, they last a long time in your fridge)
  • Root medley (a beet, a purple-top turnip, and some baby hakurei turnips and radishes)
  • Salad blend (a crunchy, vibrant combination of baby mustard greens, tat soi, vitamin greens and pea shoots--you'll be instagramming your salads this week.  Tag us #clagettfarm!)
  • CHOICE: Again this week we have a little of a lot of things so we're not sure which choices will end up where. Most will have an option of 1/4 pound lettuce or arugula, 1 pound of tender, young collards or possibly a cucumber. (There's lots more cucumbers coming soon so hang tight if it doesn't make it to you this week).  
  • CHOICE of herbs: sage or onion chives with flowers 
  • If you would like more seedlings, you can take up to two of whatever remains.  Right now we have a bunch of basil, kale, collards, and a motley collection of tomatoes.
  

What to expect in the coming weeks


  • Strawberries should continue for a few weeks
  • Garlic scallions will continue for one more week and then we switch to garlic scapes
  • Onion scallions should start week 4
  • One more week of beets, week 3
  • Two more weeks of turnips, probably weeks 3 & 4
  • A few more weeks of radishes
  • Lettuce heads for a few weeks (probably weeks 3-5)
  • Baby bok choi next week
  • Chinese cabbage soon, probably week 4 or 5
  • Arugula & spicy mix probably through week 5
  • Collards continue and more kale soon
  • Cucumbers from the high tunnel these first weeks and then squash from the field beginning week 5

Let's hope for a soaking rain followed by a nice stretch of sun! 

The Clagett Farm Team


It's Week One!  (We're excited)  

This masked man holding the strawberries is Ben Carver.  He normally works as a captain teaching students about the Chesapeake Bay.  Until kids are allowed to go on field trips, he's helping us in the fields.  Thanks for your for your hard work, Ben!  By the way, if you have school-age kids at home, Ben and many of our educating co-workers have posted some great videos to help your kids learn about nature from home, which you can check out HERE
 

Pick-up Times and Reminders


  • Clagett Farm on Wednesdays:  3:00pm-7:00pm; 11904 Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro MD 20772; please enter from Old Marlboro Pike (not Ritchie Marlboro Road)
  • Dupont on Wednesdays: 5:30-7:30pm; drive into Fraser Court from S Street, at the corner with Chateau Thierry, 1920 S St NW.
  • Annapolis on Thursdays:  4:00pm-6:30pm; 6 Herndon Ave; follow the driveway to the right side of the building.
  • Clagett Farm on Saturdays: 1:00pm-4:00pm; see instructions above
  • You can find reminders about where to drive and what to do when you get to your pick-up HERE
  • Dupont and Annapolis members, you can pick up at any of the pick-up sites any week.
  • If you signed up for pick-up at Clagett Farm, you may pick up a maximum of 6 shares at Dupont or Annapolis over the course of the season. 

 

This week's share


  • 1 heaping half-pint strawberries
  • 1 bunch garlic scallions (also known as green garlic)
  • 2 heads tat soi
  • 1 bunch hakurei turnips 
  • 1 beet 
  • We have small amounts of a variety of salad greens and a few other things.  We'll give you a choice between two items--probably arugula and baby collards.
  • Your choice of oregano, thyme, onion chives with edible flowers, or edible rutabaga flowers
  • 3 seedlings

 

Announcements


  • Worried that you're not getting much food?  Returning members know that it takes a little time for the Earth to unfold her bounty.  The first few shares are small but fresh and delicious.  
  • Be sure to wash your produce.  The strawberries, especially, are still dusty, but they'll make it to your fridge in better shape if we don't wash them first.  
  • We need a few items.  If one also happens to be an item your household wants to discard, let us know!  We'll come pick it up.  
    • a regular-sized kitchen refrigerator to store our seeds
    • stainless steel sinks
  • This pandemic might find you driving to us from home instead of your former workplace, and this might not be as convenient as it once was.  One of our members lives in Montgomery County and picks up at Dupont.  If you'd like them to bring your share to MoCo for you, send us an email and we'll pass along the word.

 

A Recipe Idea for your First Share


Spring Salad with Green Garlic Dressing by Brandy Shannon

Salad Mix

  • 1 head tat soi, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3-4 hakurei turnips, sliced thin
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 beet (either grate it and add it raw, or boil it and coarsely chop)

——Mix all together in large mixing bowl.

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic scallion, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

——Put all ingredients in blender and blend until foamy, and garlic is in tiny pieces. Pour 1/4 cup over prepared salad and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Dish into bowls and top each salad individually with flowers and nuts/seeds.

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup edible flowers
  • 1/4 cup nuts and/or seeds


Thanks so much for embarking on this adventure with us!  Happy 1st harvest!

The Clagett Farm Team


Looking Ahead to Week 1

The first week of the CSA is next week! 

Next week, May 13th, 14th and 16th, we'll start giving out vegetables (and strawberries!).  Are you planning to pick up a share next week?  We'd like you to let us know HERE, and while you're at it, you can select your seedlings.  This will help us get the right plants to the right pick-up sites, and make sure you get the ones you want quickly when you show up.    

Your first share is on the light side.  Spring is all about vegetables you can eat raw or with just a little cooking--vibrant flowers, bright green leaves and crunchy roots. You'll be getting larger amounts of produce as the crops soak up the sun and grow some more.  April was cold and dreary!

What you can expect in your first share (a rough guess)

  


  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 2 heads of tat soi (these are great in salad or cooked lightly--the flavor is mild and the dark green leaves are extra nutritious) 
  • Baby hakurei turnips (our favorite sweet, crunchy variety)
  • A modest amount of arugula, baby collards or other greens
  • A small container of microgreens (These are the first leaves of plants in the mustard family.  Cut the tiny sprouts off with scissors just above the soil and garnish your salad or entrée.  Before you use them, keep them in the sun as you would any live plant, and water as needed to keep the soil moist.  Once you've eaten the sprouts, you can toss the soil into the compost.)

  

  • Fresh herbs & edible flowers (choose one):
    • Oregano 
    • Flowering onion chives (break apart the purple flowers and toss them into salad or on you dish; the leaves and flowers have strong onion flavor and the garnish makes your meal feel fancy)
    • Rutabaga flowers (these don't keep well so use them quickly; mild flavor and delightful color) 
  • Garlic scallions (use these young garlics plants as you would garlic cloves; their flavor is a little more mild than the cloves so you can eat them raw or cooked very lightly)
  • Seedlings (choose your 3 now; you can choose 3 different types or multiple of the same type of plant) 
  • Is there something on this list you don't want?  When you pick up your share, you can ask us to pull that item out of your bag, and we'll donate it to a grateful, nearby food pantry.

   

Announcements


  • Our fellow Upper Marlboro farmer, Bahiyyah Parks, is selling flower bouquets, and you can order one for pick up at the Clagett Farm or Dupont pick-ups.  It's a tough time to be a flower farmer, and we need sustainable farms like Bahiyyah's Ecoblossoms Farm to thrive.  Her specialty is peonies.  You can order a single bouquet of peonies or sign up for a subscription of weekly flowers through the end of June.
 
  • Did you miss our last email about how to pick up your share in the coronavirus era?  You can read it HERE
  • We have made a few changes since we sent that email.  We are concerned that members dropping off compost or using the restroom will stop their cars in a bottleneck area of the farm.  To keep things moving, please don't bring compost and please avoid using our restroom.  We'll reassess once we have a few weeks behind us.  

 

In weeks to come


  • We can expect to have at least 3 weeks of strawberries and probably more.  Delicious!
  • We'll have seedlings in week 2, as well, but there will be fewer choices.
  • We'll have garlic scallions in week 2 and possibly week 3.  Then we switch to garlic scapes.  We love growing garlic, so you get some version of it every week, all year long.
  • We'll have more salad greens soon, including lettuce, spicy mix and spinach.
  • Cooking greens coming along include kale, bok choi, vitamin greens and more collards and tat soi.
  • We have a small amount of beets and cucumbers in our high tunnel.  You might get a choice of one of those soon.
  • You'll continue to see turnips and soon, radishes.  

 

See you soon (smiling behind a mask)!
The Clagett Farm Team


Clagett Farm's Social Distancing Plan for the Start of the 2020 Season

Just like all of you, we’ve spent time negotiating how the pandemic will change the way we work.  We’ve made some decisions about how we will be distributing your produce this year.  First, we'll lay out the most important points, and then we’ll go into some detail for each of the pick-up sites. 

KEY POINTS


  • The first week of shares will be May 13, 14 & 16.
  • The growing season has gotten off to a great start, all the farm staff have stayed well so far and the plants look great.  We’re looking forward to some great produce this year and we’re so glad you joined!  Full steam ahead! 

  • The pick-up sites and times will stay the same. 

  • We will pre-bag your CSA share into paper grocery bags and bring them to your car (or your person, if you are on foot or on your bike).  You will have some options, but not as many as you had in years past when you packed your own share.   

  • We’re taking ample precautions behind the scenes—wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing containers, and staying home when unwell.   

  • For the near future, we will not have a u-pick option.  (I know!  It stinks for us as much as it does for you.)  Unfortunately, the farm is not currently open for visits or walking around.  

  • Except for our fabulous volunteer, Deborah, who is helping us from behind a computer screen, we will not be accepting workshares. 

  • Just like everything in your life right now, we expect this situation to change during the course of the season.  Everything in this email might have shifted by Week 2.  It’s OK.  We’ll take it as it comes and keep you informed.  The important thing is, we’ll get you your vegetables.    

  • Don’t hesitate to call (301-627-4662) or email (clagettfarm@cbf.org) if anything about the new situation is giving you trouble.  We want to help. 

IF YOU’RE PICKING UP AT THE FARM


Here’s the step-by-step plan for picking up your share.  We might adjust it in future weeks once we see it in action, so keep us informed if you experience any problems.   

  1. Drive your car into the farm from the 11904 Old Marlboro Pike entrance (NOT from Ritchie Marlboro Road).   

  2. You will stop your car at a designated point in front of the washing station.  If there is a line, you will wait in line in your car.  We’ll try to keep it moving so you won’t have to wait long. 

  3. At that stopping point, you will see a sign that indicates what choices we will ask you to make for your share.  For example, we might ask if you want arugula, spicy mix, or a head of lettuce.   

  4. We’ll approach the passenger side of your car and talk to you through the window.  We’ll check you in and ask your preferences.   

  5. We’ll ask you to pull into a specific parking spot to wait for us.   

  6. Once you park, open your car trunk.  Please wait in your car or by your drivers' side door.

  7. At the washing station, we’ll take a mostly pre-packed bag and add your preferred items.   

  8. We’ll bring your bag to your car and set it in your trunk.   

  9. You’ll close your trunk and head out.       

  10. You can exit from either the Old Marlboro Pike or Ritchie Marlboro Road sides of the farm—your choice. 

 

IF YOU’RE PICKING UP IN THE DISTRICT


Last year we moved our Dupont Circle pick-up site out onto the sidewalk of S Street to get some interest from passersby.  This year, we are retreating back into Fraser Court to avoid contact with passersby.  The alley is U-shaped, so if you drive into Fraser Court from S Street (at the corner with Chateau Thierry, 1920 S St NW), you can pull straight through and left to exit farther down the block on S Street.     

  1. You may drive, walk, bicycle or scooter to the pick-up. 

  2. People on foot will wait in a line, 6 feet from one another.  Drivers will wait inside their vehicles.  

  3. We will have a sign posted indicating what choices you have for your share that week. 

  4. We will check you in and ask your preferences for the items where you make a selection. 

  5. We will have a pre-bagged share for you, to which we will add your selections.  While you wait, if you are in your car, you will open your trunk.  Please wait in your car or beside your drivers' side door.

  6. We will set the bag on a table for pedestrians and cyclists.  We will set the bag in the trunk of people in vehicles.  Drivers will close their trunk and pull through the alley to exit. 

 

IF YOU’RE PICKING UP IN ANNAPOLIS


You will drive to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation headquarters building (the Phillip Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Ave).  This year we’ll locate our tables in the parking garage so that we won’t have to move in case of heavy wind or rain.   

  1. Follow the driveway toward the right side of the building. You will pass the building and enter where it says Buses Only.  If there is a line, please stay in your car as you wait in the driveway. 

  1. There is a gravel loop where you will turn around and stop at our marked spot.  There will be a sign posted indicating what choices you have for your share that week.  We will have our tables under the cover of the garage.  

  1. We will approach your vehicle window, check you in, and ask for your selection.   

  1. While we pack your share, please open your trunk and wait in your car or beside your drivers' side door.     

  1. We’ll place your share in the trunk, you’ll close the trunk, and then you’ll drive away to return home and enjoy your week.   

COMMUNITY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! 


We’ve had a lot of sympathy for our fellow local farmers.  The ones that relied on restaurant sales are scrambling to set up direct sales to customers.  The ones that sold at farmers markets are having their markets canceled at the last minute based on changing regulations.  And we’ve been reading in the news about large farms around the country that are plowing their vegetables back into the soil because their institutional buyers have stopped buying.  Thank goodness for Community Supported Agriculture!   

Our direct connection to you means that we can keep you as a customer and you can continue getting healthy, delicious vegetables, even when other, longer chains in our food system are breaking apart.  If there’s a food shortage afoot, we’ve got you covered.   

We appreciate all of your wonderful support. This is a great moment to be part of the local food economy and your purchase will allow us to produce more safe and healthy food for the times to come. We have noticed that more families are cooking together and are excited for our food to be part of the fun.