Previous month:
June 2020
Next month:
August 2020

Week 11: Tomatoes are here!

 

Clagett291

Week 13: Tomatoes!

These little gems, above, are sun gold cherry tomatoes.  They are the sweetest tomatoes we grow, and we can't imagine summer without them.  

Announcements

  • We are opening the flower and herb beds to u-pick!  You'll sign up in advance, but there's plenty of slots and you can sign up multiple times.  Details are below.
  • Summer brings with it that sound of lawn equipment with loud, two-stroke engines--leaf blowers, chain saws, weed whackers and hedge trimmers.  I was surprised to hear from some professional landscapers that the electric, rechargeable versions of these hand tools are rugged, lightweight and effective--years ago they needed long cords or they didn't have enough power for professional use.  Technology has advanced!  They come with battery packs that are interchangeable between tools.  If you rely on a landscaping service, this is a good time to nudge them to change their equipment.  And if you rely on yourself for that work, maybe it's time for an upgrade!

This week's share

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2+ pounds tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 squash and/or 1 cucumber (depending on size)
  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes
  • 1 pound yellow onions
  • 1 shishito and 1 jalapeno chili pepper
  • Each pick-up will have 2-3 options of the following, and you will select one:  1 eggplant, 1 Korean melon or 1 pint okra 

U-Pick!

The rules:

  • Before you u-pick, please sign up here.  If you need to make changes to the slots you signed up for, just log back into that SignupGenius page and make the changes directly--no need to send us an email or call to alert us.
  • During the CSA pick-up times (Wednesdays 3-7pm and Saturdays 1-4pm), we kept the u-pick slot to only 30 minutes, because the parking space is precious and we want as many of you to enjoy the u-pick opportunity as possible.  Outside of CSA pick-up hours, you can stay a full hour, you can park where you'd like, and you can sign up for multiple slots to stay longer if you'd like.  
  • U-pick is open to CSA members only.  When you sign up, please use the name of the person who purchased the share, even if it's different from the person who will actually be picking.    

Here's what's available to u-pick:

  • Behind the washing station in the herb garden:
    • Basils (Genovese, Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon)
    • Lemon Verbena
    • Lemon Balm
    • Spearmint
    • Thyme
    • Oregano
    • Cutting celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
    • Sage
    • Parsley
    • Sorrel
    • Summer Savory
    • Shiso
    • Garlic Chives
    • Onion Chives
    • Marjoram
    • Behind the herbs there are lots of flowers.  It's a little jungle-y back there, but you can help yourselves.
  • In the "D" field, which is in front of the barns, on your right side as you drive into the farm:
    • Zinnias and other flowers
    • Green Beans - these beans are getting tough so we don't think it's worth picking them for your shares, but if you'd like them, you may pick them.  There's plenty.
    • Chard - The chard is about finished for the season.  It's got bug holes and we don't think it's worth picking for the shares, so you can glean what remains if you'd like.  
  • In the "G2" field, which is just past the washing station on your right side.  If you pick up your share here on the farm, you park between the washing station and field G2.  
    • Sunflowers have just begun to bloom

Recipes

  • First, an apology--I tried out that vegan version of the baked green tomatoes from last week's email and it was not delicious.  I still hold to the opinion that the classic fried green tomato is worth enjoying if you've never given yourself the opportunity.  Fortunately for me, the share this week is full of vegetables that you probably already have good ideas for how to prepare and eat, so the pressure is low.  
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes, from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen by Peter Berley.
    • Ingredients:
      • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
      • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
      • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
      • coarse sea salt 
      • 5 tablespoons olive oil
      • freshly milled black pepper
    • In a large pot over high heat, combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, rosemary and 1 teaspoon salt.  Simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Remove and discard the rosemary.
    • Mash the potatoes well.  Slowly add the oil and beat in with a stiff wire whisk or wooden spoon until fluffy and creamy.  Adjust the consistency with a bit of the reserved water, if necessary.  
    • Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
  • I'm a big fan of Madhur Jaffrey.  Here's a potato and tomato recipe of hers.  Don't worry about what is classified as a "boiling potato".  Both the red ones from last week or the yellow ones from this week will work well here.  And if you don't have a dry chili from leftover from last year, you can easily substitute one of the jalapenos from this week.  Consider adding a bell pepper, some chunks of squash, eggplant or okra to this dish.  It works well with whatever vegetables you have around. 


Coming Soon

  • Lots more tomatoes!
  • Sweet, ripe peppers, probably by week 13
  • More eggplant in the weeks to come
  • The okra field is growing quite well, so if you are an okra fan, get ready.  
  • Red onions are finished, but beginning next week you'll get red shallots.
  • Continuing: garlic, yellow onions, red and yellow potatoes
  • Squash, cucumbers and melons are petering out or finished for a while
  • More chili varieties will continue phasing in
  • Asian pears soon!
  • We are still battling with deer, raccoons, groundhogs and caterpillars to find out who will get the largest corn harvest, but we think we're going to win this one.  Week 13?  Stay tuned...

We've had some nice rains but the heat is even stronger, and soil moisture is dreadfully low.  We'd appreciate a nice, slow, rain.

You guys are wonderful!
Your farmer, Carrie, and the Clagett Farm Team


week 10: green tomatoes, shishitos and more

Zcl1

These are shishito peppers.  Most of them are not spicy at all, but every so often you get one with some heat.  We put them in a little wax bag in your shares so you'd know they are different.  The other peppers in your bag are large, green, bell peppers.  We don't think you'll confuse them.  If you're hesitant to eat spicy peppers, this is a great entry-level chili to give your dish a little of the flavor without much heat.  The classic way you'd see them served in a bar is fried on a hot pan with some salt and oil.  The patrons who get a spicy one will order another beer.  
 

Announcements

  • It's hot outside.  Really hot.  And your plants have rebelled.  The beans and squash we were counting on have quit producing, and the tomatoes aren't quite ready.  But never fear!  We have promising weeks ahead.  Instead, you'll notice your share is a little heavier this week with some of the items that will keep well for many weeks to come--potatoes, onions and garlic.  
  • If any of you have kids that will be doing a little fishing this summer, you should check out the Fish Adaptation video from one of our educators, Leigh Auth (who has also been helping us in the farm fields!).  She explains how you can learn a lot about where a fish lives and what it eats based on the shape of its body.  
  • We were surprised and honored to be featured by Food & Wine as one of the best farms in Maryland!

This week's share

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 3 pounds potatoes
  • 1 pound red and yellow onions
  • 2 green (unripe) tomatoes (these will ripen if you wait long enough, but if you haven't tried fried green tomatoes yet, now's your chance!)
  • 1-3 cucumbers, depending on size
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 shishito chili peppers (they vary from mild to no heat at all)
  • a couple other additions to your bag

Recipes

  • Fried Green Tomatoes: 
  • If you don't like fried green tomatoes, remember that green tomatoes are tart and crunchy, and you can eat them raw or cooked.  Here's a green tomato and melon salad recipe. It calls for honeydew melon, but consider swapping the honeydew for the yellow Korean melon that you might have in your share this week.  

Zcl2

Coming Soon

  • Tomatoes are looking great.  Everyone will get some by next week.  
  • A few more weeks and you'll be getting sweet, ripe, orange and red peppers.  In the meantime, enjoy the green bells.
  • Within 2 weeks, we think we'll have enough eggplants for everyone.  
  • A little okra beginning next week, and then more in the weeks following.  The plants look good.  They're recovering well from some groundhog damage.
  • Potatoes, onions and garlic will continue.  Once we've given out all the red onions, we'll switch to shallots.  Yum!
  • Hot chili peppers are just getting their start with the shishitos this week.  Next up will probably be jalapenos.

Let's hope for a soaking rain and some cooler nights!

Thanks so much for being our members,
Carrie and the rest of the Clagett Farm team


Week 9: potatoes carrots onions beans

 

Clagett7-15-2020 1

Photo by Jared Planz

Announcements

  • If you ordered oysters for pick-up in Annapolis, don't forget to bring your ice chest this Thursday.
  • Do you have a pressure washer in good condition that you no longer use?  Ours broke and we're looking for a replacement. 
  • One of our members asked where they could buy a snazzy CBF hat.  The answer is, here!  We have all kinds of fun Chesapeake Bay merch for sale.  
  • A number of you have been confused by the sun jewel melons.  They are not squash!  The skin is yellow with white stripes, and the flesh is crisp, white and mildly sweet.  The skin and seeds are edible. 
  • Clagett7-15-2020 2

This week's share

  • 3-5 potatoes
  • A green bell pepper
  • 12 oz red and yellow onions
  • Half pound carrots
  • Some kale or collards (our last until fall)
  • 1-3 cucumbers (depends on size)
  • A yellow squash or zucchini
  • A head of garlic
  • Half pound beans
  • A choice of a flower bouquet or a bag of basil
  • We have a few items in short supply, so we're not sure which you'll get in your share--a couple small ears of corn?  an eggplant?  a pint of cherry tomatoes?  A small melon? Wait and see!

Recipe

  • This Lentil, Vegetable, Quinoa Salad is a good catch-all for whatever is haunting your fridge.  In these hot months you might want something fresh and light but still filling.    

Coming soon

  • Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are just getting started.  Expect a trickle next week (week 10), and then we're forecasting a good amount by week 11.  
  • Several more weeks of potatoes, green beans and red and yellow onions.
  • Our main crop of corn should be ready around week 12, assuming we can keep the pests at bay.
  • Another little melon next week, we think.
  • Cucumbers and squash are on the decline.  A little more next week and then we're not sure.
  • Carrots are finished until fall.
  • Our first okra pods should start around week 11.  

Have a wonderful week!
The Clagett Farm Team


Lentil, Vegetable, Quinoa Salad

by Carrie Vaughn

I make this dish a lot in the summer because it's quick, easy, healthy, it can accommodate whatever I have on hand, and I can happily eat leftovers for days without heating up my kitchen.  I don't bother measuring the ingredients--it's easier to just assemble it and then adjust to taste.  Just about every ingredient is optional, so don't get hung up if you're missing something.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup french lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or bouillon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • black pepper
  • a few cucumbers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup parsley, chopped (mint and basil also work well alone or in combination)
  • 3/4 cup olives (I usually use green olives), plus 2 tablespoons of the brine
  • green onion, chopped
  • about a cup of your choice of other vegetables, such as chopped tomatoes, 1" pieces of steamed green beans, frozen or fresh peas, lightly sautéed chunks of squash and carrots, fresh or frozen corn kernels, or chopped sweet peppers

Preparation:

  • Put the lentils in a small, covered saucepan with 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape (about 30 minutes).  While they're cooking, continue the recipe.  When they are finished cooking, pour them into another container or onto a plate to allow them to cool to room temperature (or at least cool enough that they don't cook your parsley and cucumbers).  You can make them a day ahead.
  • Put the quinoa in a small, covered saucepan with 1.5 cups water and the salt or bouillon.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the quinoa is tender but still al dente (about 10 minutes).  Just like the lentils, you'll want to cool it down before assembling the salad, if you can.  
  • If any of the vegetables need a flash of cooking, do that now (such as the green beans, squash or carrots).  Let them cool.  If any of them need to be thawed, set them on the stove near your boiling pots so they warm up a bit.  
  • In a small jar, add the lemon juice, a splash of liquid from a jar of olives (you'll be using the olives later in the recipe), paprika, garlic, olive oil and black pepper.  Close the jar and shake it until the dressing is well blended.
  • Assemble all the ingredients once they are warm or room temperature, pouring half the dressing over the top.  Now taste the ensemble and adjust for your preferences.  Perhaps you want to use the rest of the dressing.  Needs to be a bit sweeter? Add more tomatoes or corn.  Needs more zing?  Add more lemon or vinegar.  Too heavy?  Add parsley.  Needs more salt?  Add more olives or olive brine.  Have fun!

Clagett Farm CSA Update

7-8-1

 

This photo is a public service reminder of what can happen when you leave your zucchini plants unattended for a week.  They go on a binge diet, get fat and multiply.  There were a lot of zucchini to carry around on a hot day yesterday!  Fortunately, as we write this, Kenny and Charles are picking up the thousands of pounds of squash that we left like shipwreck survivors on the sides of the field, and will bring them to the SHABACH food pantry to give away.  You, my dears, will each get one modest, young zucchini and one overgrown zucchini--we didn't want to deprive you of the opportunity to make chocolate zucchini cake or stuffed zucchini boats (recipes below), but we also didn't want to overwhelm you.  Hopefully, we struck the right balance for most of you.   
 

Announcements

  • We got 7 inches of rain on Monday night!  Yikes!  No one washed away, thank goodness, and the fields are still in good shape.  
  • Speaking of water, the map experts at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation created this amazing app where you can find your nearest body of water, and we thought you might get a kick out of checking it out.  If you're looking for a fun outing with a kid, find your nearest wetland and start turning over rocks.  
  • We’re hiring! The educators have been busy creating virtual outdoor experiences for students and teachers so they have to step back a bit from helping on the farm (sad for us but good for the Chesapeake Bay). We’re hiring one person for 40 hours/week through November 20th, $11.50/hour. Here’s the job announcement with instructions to apply.
  • As promised, we accomplished a lot this past week.  We transplanted 6000 sweet potato plants, pounded hundreds of stakes into the tomato fields so they can get tied up, and weeded your okra and next year's strawberries. 
  • Picking up in Annapolis?  Want to take home oysters next Thursday?  This time, the oysters are from Harris Creek Oyster Company.  To order, email alex@harriscreekoyster.com.  The deadline to order is Tuesday July 14 (for pick up Thursday 7/16, at the same time and location as our CSA pick-up). Look here for more details.
    • $1/oyster for less than 50
    • $0.85/oyster for 50-99
    • $0.75/oyster for 100 or more
  • 7-8-2
      Have you ever seen yellow, corrugated plastic signs on the side of the road on little metal legs? They usually advertise something dubious like fast cash or quick home sales.  We cover them with a sticky goo and set them out in our squash, cucumber and melon fields to trap cucumber beetles.  It's quick, not toxic, and works like a charm.  If you happen to come across any signs that need a new home, bring them to us!  They must be YELLOW (think of the color of a squash blossom).  
  • We picked our first melons this week.  They are quirky varieties that mature quickly, which is why you're getting them in early July and not mid-August.  One variety is a very small, round watermelon.  The other is a yellow, Korean melon.  They are both crisp and refreshing and only mildly sweet, so set your expectations in the right place and you will be as delighted as we are.  Melons can be a little hard to read from the outside, so if you get one that isn't ripe, let us know--we can put a replacement in your share next week.
 

This week's share

  • 1 small melon
  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bunch small red onions (these are bulb onions, just like you'd see at the store, but they still have their green leaves on top, and are petite, like beautiful, ruby-colored tree ornaments)
  • carrots (these store better without their leaves, so rip off the leaves when you get home and consider adding them to your pesto or garnish your dinner plates to impress your family)
  • beets (most of these are an exciting variety called Chioggia which look ordinary on the outside but have concentric red and white rings on the inside)
  • 1 bunch kale or collards 
  • cucumbers (about 2 pounds, which like the squash, might be one very large cucumber)
  • 2 zucchinis (or some of you might get one yellow squash and one zucchini)
  • 2 turnips
  • Either chard or beans  
 

Recipes

  • Stuffed Zucchini:  There's a lot of versions to try.  Here's a classic Middle Eastern version (it calls for fresh tomatoes, but you can sub with canned tomatoes for now).  Here's a vegetarian version (if you prefer not to eat bread, you can sub with rice or textured vegetable protein).  And here's one that includes a lot of spinach, which can be easily substituted with chard.     
  • If we were not in a pandemic, I would be trying to have a zucchini taste test event with heavy representation of chocolate zucchini cakes.  Here's one version from Epicurious.  I do not have the patience for making their cute full moon stencil these days, so instead I would top with a crumble of equal parts chopped nuts, brown sugar and chocolate chips, sprinkled onto the batter before baking.  
  • How about a classic zucchini bread?  Here's one from James Beard.  And you can even try a zucchini cornbread.  
  • Fritters are another classic way to use zucchini.  Here's one version from Bon Appetit.  
  • Pickled Beans and Cucumbers 
    • Green Beans trimmed
    • Cucumbers sliced 1/8"
    • 1/2 Red Onion sliced 1/8"
    • 3 Garlic Cloves Crushed and left whole
    • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 Cups Filtered Water
    • 1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
    • 1/4 Cup Pickling Spice Blend or herbs of your choice
Place cucumber and red onion slices, garlic, and herbs (if using) in individual jars or a large container.
Bring Water, Vinegar, Salt, and spices (if using) to a soft boil.
Carefully add green beans to the pan of boiling liquid.
Simmer for 5 minutes
Remove from heat.
Using tongs, carefully remove beans from liquid and place in jars/container with onions/cucs
Carefully ladle pickling liquid into jars/container of beans/cucs.
Allow to cool uncovered for an hour.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator.
Recipe and photo by Brandy Shannon

 

Coming soon

  • Peppers!  The plants look fantastic.  Your first green bell pepper (next week, we hope) will be a harbinger of many wonderful peppers to come this summer.
  • There are lots of big green tomatoes taunting us from the field.  When will they ripen and make it into your share?  Our best guess is week 10.  As with peppers, the plants look like they are ready to go gangbusters any minute.  Get your sauce jars ready.  
  • Those long, green, slicing-style cucumbers are about to peter out, but the smaller, pickling-style cucumbers are still going strong. Don't be fooled--both styles can be pickled or sliced.    
  • This summer's melon supply is looking paltry.  The main season crop of watermelons and cantaloupes did not germinate well, even after we reseeded them.  
  • Eggplant are coming soon, but this will be a modest year.  They were hit hard by beetles and their recovery has slowed them down.  But really, a modest amount of eggplant is not such a bad thing.  We love them, but don't want to swim in them.  
  • You'll get a few weeks of red onions and then it's time for shallots.  Exciting!
  • A number of crops are fading out in the heat and will return (hopefully) in the fall.  This week ends the beets and turnips.  This week or next will be your last kale and collards.  We might possibly eek one more week of small carrots.  And my crystal ball says week 11 will be your last week of chard.  
  • Potatoes!  Back in May I thought they were doomed.  But June proved me wrong, wrong, wrong.  We have a hearty crop of potatoes sizing up right now, and we'll start giving you a few new babies next week, most likely.  Don't you love it when nature gives you a happy surprise?
  • We expect to have a lull in squash next week, and then a modest supply from our second succession of squash beginning week 10 (no more of the zucchini debauchery you're witnessing now).  
  • Green beans should continue nicely for another month.  I know some of you would like more, but please have mercy on my dear back--picking is no easy chore.  
  • Will we have corn?  The plants look lovely, but it's the final week before harvest when they face the groundhog/racoon/caterpillar gauntlet.  Who will prevail?  Only time will tell.  


As the heat and humidity settles on our region like a volcanic ooze, send us your cool, popsicle-filled thoughts!
Carrie and the Clagett Farm Team


Oysters in Annapolis next Thursday

Get yourself fresh, local Chesapeake Bay oysters with you CSA pick-up next week to enjoy with the family!
The order deadline is coming up quickly Tuesday, July 14th at 12midnight, so act fast.  

 

Check out this video from Chesapeake Bay Magazine about this Annapolis Oyster Pop-up Event

and the work CBF is doing to support the oyster farming industry!

Annapolis, MD – Harris Creek Oyster Farm Pop Up

Important – Order Deadline:

*Orders must be placed by Tuesday, July 14th by 12midnight

Annapolis

Pop-up Date:  Thursday, July 16th from 4pm-6:30pm
Location: CBF Phillip Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403

How to Order:

  • Orders must be placed by Tuesday, July 14th by 12midnight
  • Pricing: 
    • Fewer than 50 oysters  price is $1/oyster
    • 50+ oysters price is $0.85/oyster
    • 100+ oysters price is $0.75/oyster

About Harris Creek Oyster Farm:

We are 100% family owned, funded and operated oyster farm located between St. Michaels and Tilghman Island, Maryland. We're building on nearly 13 generations of family history farming and fishing on Maryland's Eastern Shore. We’re here to produce a beautiful oyster.

Any questions? Please email Farmer Alex at alex@harriscreekoyster.com

 

 

 

For Pick-Up:

  • You must pre-order your oysters by the order deadline!
  • Please bring a cooler with gel packs (preferable) or ice!
  • We are using contact-less curbside procedures: wear a mask, you will be asked to open your trunk and cooler (with ice!) and oyster farm staff will drop your oysters in your cooler.

How to Care for Your Oysters:

  • How to properly store oysters: place immediately in fridge and cover with a damp towel. Do not allow to sit in standing water. Avoid rough handling prior to shucking. They’ll stay optimally fresh for raw consumption for 7-10 days from harvest and up to two weeks for cooked consumption.
  • How to properly shuck oysters: use a knife to shuck from the hinge or the bill. There are plenty of video tutorials online or just ask your handy neighbor! You can also use heat (oven, grill, microwave even) to get them to pop open and then cut the meat free.
  • How to properly enjoy oysters: any way you want! Raw, grilled, baked, fried. Naked, hot sauce, lemon & horseradish…the possibilities are endless! This is a chance to get creative with nature’s perfect food.

Why You Should Be Eating Aquaculture Oysters!

  • We’re proud to help support fellow Chesapeake Oyster Alliance partners through these Oyster Pop-ups! Learn more about our goal to add 10 billion oysters to the Bay by 2025: http://www.chesapeakeoysteralliance.org/

Can't make the pop-up pick-up times or interested in getting oysters delivered to your home? See our list of local oyster farms providing direct-to-customer services