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Summer bounty continues

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These are some wonderful students (and very hard-working, patient parents) from Key School and Broadneck High School, picking okra for the Saturday share and for donation to SHABACH.  They have been helping us harvest each Friday since early July, sometimes bringing helpers from Broadneck High School.  We're especially appreciative of their work because they come every week, and work independently without a great deal of instruction.  Thank you!  Photo by V. Robbins.

 

This week's share

Garlic - 1 head
Onions - 1/4 pound
Sweet Peppers - several each of green, red and orange
Eggplants - 2-3
Squash - 1-2
Tomatoes - about 4 pounds

Optional:  a small bag each of hot chili peppers and okra, for those of you who like them.

  Next week we will be starting to offer garlic for sale in bulk
Only $5 per pound for CSA members
*Cash only and we ask for everyone purchasing to use exact change.  We will provide a dropbox for contactless payment*

 

U-pick 

Continue to sign up for u-picking through the link below 

U-PICK SIGN UP!!!

Everything is the same except we've removed chili peppers from u-pick--due to popularity the plants have asked for a break in order to keep growing peppers!

Tomatoes (field F) - all of the tomato varieties, IMPORTANT- these are not all tied up so be very careful where you step so as to not break plants or crush any good tomatoes!
Going down the field varieties include:
      Sun golds, orange cherry tomatoes 
      Sunrise bumble bee, larger striped cherry tomatoes 
     Garden peach, small, yellow, fuzzy with blushes of pink when ripe  
     Green Zebra, yellow/green with green stripes 
      Verona, red plum
      Roma, red oblong  
      New Girl, red slicing tomato

  •  Okra (field B2)- this field is way out there, and you will need to walk a long way on foot to reach it.  When you enter the farm you will keep right to go towards main office.  You may park near the garage/shed beside the other vehicles, and from here continue on foot up the road that leads behind garage.  As you are going up the hill you will be turning left once you see a covered firewood pile. The gate you come to is for the field B4 but B2 will be the small field connected to it in the far left corner. (Okra is an itchy plant wear long sleeves and gloves, and bring pruners!)
  • Any Flowers you see on the farm, but in particular, the Sunflowers are blooming nicely ( those are located next to the large parking lot on the same side of the driveway as the washing station). Some Zinnias could probably still be found (in the large field that is passed on your right on the way into the farm across from the 3 barns, in field "D")  
  •  Herbs (which for the most part are located behind the washing station, if you desire more "Regular" Basil it will be located down in field D near the zinnias)

    Basils (Genovese "Regular", Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon)
    Cutting Celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
    Garlic Chives (now with edible flowers)
    Lemon Balm
    Lemon Verbena
    Marjoram
    Onion Chives
    Oregano

    Sage
    Shiso
    Sorrel
    Spearmint
    Summer Savory
    Thyme

     

Recipes 

Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
Good way to use up eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes!

Yield: About 6 servings
 

Ingredients:
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds  potatoes
2 large peppers
vegetable oil
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
3 large garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
2 large onions, peeled and cut into eighths
1 pound eggplant, cut into long strips
2-3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can, rinsed)

Procedure:

  • Preheat the broiler. Bring 6 cups water to boil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Slice the potatoes lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick, boil them for 5 mintues, and drain. Halve the peppers lenthwise, press to flatten them, then brush with vegetable oil. Broil, cut side down, on a baking sheet until blistered but not charred. Stack them on top of one another and set aside to steam. When cool, remove the skins and cut the pieces in half. Set the oven temperature at 350 F.
  • Coarsely chop the basil, cilantro, and garlic, then puree in a small food processor with the olive oil, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Toss all the vegetables with 1 teaspoon salt, some freshly ground pepper, and the herb mixture. Using your hands, rub the herb mixture into the vegetables, especially the eggplant, then add the chickpeas and toss once more. Transfer everything to an earthenware gratin dish or a casserole dish . Rinse out the herb container with 1/2 cup water and pour it over all. Cover the gratin dish tightly with foil and bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, brush the exposed vegetables with the juices, and bake for 20 minutes more. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread bread in a single layer and bake until dry and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, and oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add toasted bread and basil, toss to combine. Let sit 20 - 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up liquid. Top with dollops of ricotta and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
     

Fried or Baked Okra 

Still weary of slimy okra? If you haven't tried them breaded and fried/baked then you should definitely give this a try as it is a delicious side dish!
 

Ingredients 

10 pods okra, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup vegetable oil ( if frying ons stove top)

Procedure:
For breading I typically toss the okra into the dry mix of cornmeal plus seasonings, then dip into eggwash, then back into cornmeal mixture. Once they are breaded you have the choice to fry them up in oil on the stove top or Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread bread in a single layer and bake until dry and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Also heard they were pretty tasty air fried too....

Meanwhile,if you want to spruce them up, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar, and an extra drizzle of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add toasted bread and basil, toss to combine. Let sit 20 - 30 minutes to allow bread to soak up liquid. Top with dollops of ricotta and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.



Let us know if you give them try and if you are doing anything exciting with your summer bounty so far this year! 



Thanks so much for being our members,
The Clagett Farm Team


Week 14: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

 

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This week's Share

Garlic, 1 head
Onions, ~ 1/2 pound
Shallots, ~ 1/2 pound
Eggplant, 1.5 pounds
Sweet Peppers, 4 mix of ripe (red & orange) and unripe (green)
Tomatoes, so many!
Squash, 1
Choose: 1.5 lbs okra or 0.5 lb hot chili peppers
 

U-Pick 

Continue to sign up for a slot through link below! 

                            U-Pick SIGN UP!!!!                             


Newly added!!! 

  • Tomatoes (field F) - all of the larger tomato varieties below the cherries are up for grabs, IMPORTANT- these are not tied up so be very careful where you step so as to not break plants or crush any good tomatoes!! 
    Going down the field varieties include:
                      Garden peach, small, yellow, fuzzy with blushes of pnk when ripe
                      Verona,red roma/plum
                      Roma, red larger plum shaped  
                      New Girl, red slicing tomato
  • Chili Peppers (field F)- much easier to find as they are in same field as the cherry tomatoes across from wash station/ pick up location, they will be closer to the greenhouse. VERY IMPORTANT- Please Please Please use pruners to harvest these as they are very fragile plants!!! 

     
  • Okra (field B2)- this field is way out there, and  you will need to walk a long way on foot to reach it.  When you enter farm you will stay straight to go towards main office.  You may park near the garage/ shed area as to not block driveway, and from here continue on foot up the road that leads behind garage/shed. 
           As you are going up the hill you will be turning left once you see a covered firewood pile. The gate you come to is for the field B4 but B2 will be the small field connected to it in the far left corner. (Okra is an itchy plant wear long sleeves and gloves, and bring pruners!)


U-Pick Items Continuing on....

  • Cherry Tomatoes and a few of the Sunrise Bumblebee ( Located in the fenced in field across from washing station in field "F" in the first 2 rows - Again be careful in areas not tied up!!
  • Any Flowers you see on the farm , but in particular, the Sunflowers are blooming nicely ( those are located next to the large parking lot used for u-picking that is in field "G2") Some Zinnias could probably still be found ( in the large field that is passed on your right on the way into the farm across from the 3 barns, in field "D")  
  •  Herbs ( which for the most part are located behind the washing station, if you desire more "Regular" Basil it will be located down in field D nearby the zinnias)

    Basils (Genovese "Regular", Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon"Fancy")
    Cutting Celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
    Garlic Chives
    Lemon Balm
    Lemon Verbena
    Marjoram
    Onion Chives
    Oregano
    Parsley 
    (these are starting to flower and aren't producing many leaves)
    Sage
    Shiso
    Sorrel
    Spearmint
    Summer Savory
    Thyme


  

Announcements 

  • Too much rain dancing!!!! As much as the weather as been our friend this year, we are finally starting to deal with TOO MUCH rain. Plants generally thrive in periods of moderate dry and wet. The past couple of weeks have left us in quite a period of wet. 

    This weather causes some trouble for tomatoes and winter squash as they do not like having wet leaves. Sadly that's the way of farming, but let's enjoy what mother nature has already given us this harvest season so far!!! 

Other Info 

  • Remember NOW is the time to request your absentee ballot if you are a Maryland resident!
  • We continue to place bruised, misshapen and damaged but usable vegetables on a cart near our compost pile.  Help yourselves!  You may also add your own compost to that nearby pile.
  • We've just past the halfway point of your CSA season.  If you are a 26-week member and have missed shares, consider doubling them now while we have plenty.  
  • Need another easy way to use those 6 pounds of tomatoes before they go bad?  Wash them, cut out the stems, and drop them into a crockpot on low.  Leave them to simmer for a long, long time (overnight works).  Now that it's sauce, zip it with an immersion blender to break up the skins (or feed it through a food mill to remove the skins).  Then put the sauce in jars or bags and, once they're cooled, put them in the freezer.  Easy!  

Hoping for sunnier days ahead!! 

Thanks so much for being our members,

The Clagett Farm Team
 


Week 13: Our sweet peppers are ripe and the Asian pears are ready!!

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This week's share

Garlic, 1 head
Onions, a few
Shallots, a few
Asian Pears, 2 small 
Eggplant, 1-2

Sweet Peppers, 4 including green (unripe) and red & orange (sweet ripe)

Tomatoes, so so many
Choose: 1.5 lbs okra or 6 oz hot chili peppers

Announcements

U-Picking Shall Continue!! 
WE DO want you to continue signing up to u-pick.  Please still come as much as you would like. There's 10 spots open per hour, so we have yet to fill up at any point--you can u-pick any daylight hour, all week. Just sign up through the link below

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080c4badaf2ca7fd0-upick


Whats on U-Pick! 

  • Cherry Tomatoes and a few of the Sunrise Bumblebee ( Located in the fenced in field across from washing station in field "F" in the first 2 rows -Please try to stay in the tomatoes only.  Chilies are not on u-pick yet.)
  • Any Flowers you see on the farm , but in particular, the Sunflowers are blooming nicely ( those are located next to the large parking lot used for u-picking that is in field "G2") Some Zinnias could probably still be found ( in the large field that is passed on your right on the way into the farm across from the 3 barns, in field "D")
  •  Herbs ( which for the most part are located behind the washing station, if you desire more "Regular" Basil it will be located down in field D nearby the zinnias)

    Basils (Genovese "Regular", Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon"Fancy")
    Cutting Celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
    Garlic Chives
    Lemon Balm
    Lemon Verbena
    Marjoram
    Onion Chives
    Oregano
    Parsley
    (these are starting to flower and won’t last much longer)
    Sage
    Shiso
    Sorrel
    Spearmint
    Summer Savory
    Thyme


     
  • We are accepting volunteers again but only for field work where it is easy to keep people socially distanced. Please let us know if you or someone you know may be interested. We do offer a work exchange program             ( 5 hours of work = 1 CSA share). 

     
  • Again, We are trying to use biodegradable and inexpensive packaging whenever possible, and when we add vegetables with condensation from the cooler or moisture from washing, the paper products don't always hold up as well as we'd like. The whole team is also are learning new things each week as it comes to packaging and will keep improving how items (particularly the tomatoes) are packed. Thank you for your patience everyone! It will still be handy to have an extra tote bag for extra support when carrying tomatoes home! 
  • And, please welcome Matt Pombuena ( photographed above harvesting the asian pears!) to the farm team. He just completed his first two weeks and already has been a tremendous help getting all these vegetables harvested!!!!

Recipes

With all the tomatoes from your shares and the additional ones from the cull bins we have available now is the time of year to make all that salsa and tomato sauce. Here is a recipe that can help utilize as many of those plentiful veggies in your shares!                                  
Salsa (spicy optional) - Quick and easy recipe! 
Makes about 4 pints  
3 pounds of tomatoes
3-4 onions depends on size
1 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of Lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 table spoon of salt 
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 Chili of desired heat level jalapeno or serrano are popular ( optional)

Directions 

  1. Finely chop tomatoes, onions, and cilantro
    2.  Add in Garlic , Lemon juice, Vinegar, and all dry seasonings (Cumin, salt, and oregano)
  2. Gently mix the bowl together and from there you can choose to add in a chili or not 
    4. ENJOY!
        You may get a little more complicated and take time to peel tomatoes and also cook down the salsa on the stove top in order to prep for canning  (read below)       
       1. In a Dutch oven or something similar, bring 1 quarts water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes, a few at a time, in boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove each tomato and immediately plunge into ice water. Drain and pat dry. Peel and finely chop tomatoes to measure about 5 cups; place in a stockpot.
      2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes
    3. Ladle hot mixture into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
    4. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
                        
  • Your fellow member, Dale Rubenstein, shared a recipe also of a cold soup they made with some of the stuff made from previous shares that we wanted to pass along in case you have any of this still hanging around. 
    All it takes is a blender:
    Korean melon
    Cucumber
    Yogurt or pick non-dairy milk
    Scallion or shallot
    Salt/Pepper
    Mince herb when serve (we have basil)


More Info 

Until now, your weekly emails have been authored by Carrie Vaughn.  You've seen Carrie's face every week if you pick up your share in DC.  This week is the first from another member of the team, Elissa Planz.  You've met Elissa if you pick up at the farm or in Annapolis.  

Thanks so much for being our members,
Elissa and the rest of the Clagett Farm Team


Week 12: Summer bounty!

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Dave Vernon snapped this photo just a few hours ago of Carole and Vince (the volunteers in hats) and Jared and Elissa picking up tomatoes.  We don't always have piles of vegetables at the ends of the fields--just these moments of overwhelming abundance.  A good problem to have!    
And speaking of overabundance, we got 4.5 inches of rain yesterday.  That's quite a storm--enough to get our truck stuck in the mud while we were trying to harvest your eggplant yesterday.  While I don't normally want so much rain at once, we're glad for the soak.  We needed it! And this was the first time I harvested in a bathing suit and rain boots.  
 

Announcements

  • Reject Vegetables and Compost:  With ripe tomatoes come bruised tomatoes.  And sweet peppers with bug holes.  And eggplants with soft spots.  And overgrown okra.  In years past we have had a bin (and sometimes many bins) of reject vegetables available as a bonus to your share.  Lately, we've been tossing those rejects in the compost.  This week we're going to experiment with leaving the rejects near the compost pile.  Which means two things: (1) We are now giving you permission to add your compost to our compost pile.  And (2) you may now pause (briefly!) on your way out of the farm to take any rejects you might like from the area we have designated near the pile.  The quicker you can act the better--if we have a traffic jam near the compost pile this experiment will meet a speedy end.  The compost pile is behind the garage that sits opposite the washing station.  Please only add plant products to the compost pile.  We do not want your biodegradable bags and plates and so forth--they quickly become litter.  Also, RIGHT NOW, while you're thinking of it, put a container in your car for those bruised tomatoes.  Also, please wear masks when you're on the farm outside your vehicle around the food.  This includes dropping compost, picking up reject vegetables, and u-picking.  Thanks!
  • This is a good time to revisit the idea of putting up vegetables for the winter.  Think about the things you'll be missing in December, and how you can put up any extras you have now.  Tomatoes can be frozen whole (seriously--just put the whole tomato in a bag in the freezer), or frozen as sauce or soup.  Or they can be dehydrated, or canned.  You can chop up peppers and freeze them.  Last year I was impressed by all the ways people put up their chilies!  Let this be the summer you learn how to give your winter self the gift of this summer's bounty.  It's a lot quicker and easier than your think.    
  • A few of you have noticed that the paper bags that hold your CSA shares are not always strong enough to carry the CSA share without ripping.  We are trying to use biodegradable and inexpensive packaging whenever possible, and when we add vegetables with condensation from the cooler or moisture from washing, the paper products don't always hold up as well as we'd like.  Please keep a tote bag or cardboard box handy for carrying your CSA share once it leaves our hands.  Thanks so much!  

This week's share

  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 1 pound yellow onions + red shallots
  • 7 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1-3 eggplants (depending on size)
  • Choose one (your pick-up might not have all 4 of these options):
    • 1 pound okra, or
    • 1 pint green chilies (probably shishitos, or possibly jalapenos, cayenne or serranos), or
    • 1 pint tomatillos, or
    • 1 pint roma tomatoes 

U-Pick

  • Cherry tomatoes - We Sun Golds (orange) and a few Sunrise Bumblebee (orange-yellow with red stripes) in a couple rows at the top of "F" field, which is inside the deer fence across the driveway from the washing station
  • Flowers - Any flowers you see on the farm are open to u-pick.  We have flowers behind the washing station, sunflowers in field "G2" which is beside the parking area on the same side of the driveway as the washing station, and zinnias in field "D", which is in front of the barns on your right side as you're driving in.
  • Herbs - mostly in the herb gardens behind the washing station, as well as some basil and parsley in field D: 
    • Basils (Genovese, Thai, Kapoor Tulsi, Aromatto, Round Midnight, Greek, Lemon)
    • Cutting Celery (this is a celery grown for its leaves rather than stems)
    • Garlic Chives
    • Lemon Balm
    • Lemon Verbena
    • Marjoram
    • Onion Chives
    • Oregano
    • Parsley (these are starting to flower and won’t last much longer)
    • Sage
    • Shiso
    • Sorrel
    • Spearmint
    • Summer Savory
    • Thyme

Recipe

Vegetable Hash with Eggs, by Brandy Shannon

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 1/4 Pound Potatoes, scrubbed and diced 1/2" 
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Chopped Onion
  • 1 Chopped Green Pepper 
  • 3 Minced Garlic Clove
  • 1 Minced Chili - If you like it spicy, mince whole. If you like it mild, remove seeds and white membrane before mincing.
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoon Crumbled Goat Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro or other green herb of your choice

Directions
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat Olive Oil over med-high in 12" Ovenproof Skillet
Add Potatoes in a single, even layer to the skillet, season with salt and pepper.
Cook, tossing occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan until browned, about 10 minutes.
Lower heat to medium, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. If the pan is dry, add a bit more olive oil to prevent too much sticking.
Add to the skillet: Garlic, Bell Pepper,Chili and a 1/2 Teaspoon of salt and pepper.
Cook, tossing occasionally until pepper and potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from heat and scrape any stuck bits off the bottom of the pan. You can use a tablespoon of lemon juice, stock, or water to deglaze the pan if desired.

Use a spoon to make 4 small craters in the hash.
Crack an egg into each crater.
Season the eggs with salt and pepper
Bake for 5-7 minutes until egg whites are set and remove skillet from the oven.

Sprinkle goat cheese and cilantro over top of the hash and eggs.
Serve hot. 

Great topping options: lemon wedges, salt, pepper, hot sauce, more goat cheese, more cilantro
 


Coming Soon

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  • Many people do not realize that the green bell peppers at the supermarket are unripe.  Had they been left to ripen on the plant, they would become the sweeter, yellow, orange and red bell peppers that cost a little more money.  So far we've been giving you green bell peppers from 2 of our 5 varieties, and letting the rest ripen to their full sweet glory.  The plants are LOADED and you're going to see a lot of sweet, ripe peppers soon.  We have 5 varieties of peppers this year that you can generally classify as sweet (not hot) peppers.  The first two are the ones that we pick green, since they size up quickly.  The other 3 are smaller, which means they ripen quickly, which is why we use them as our sweeter, ripe peppers.  Don't be confused by their pointy shape--none of these peppers is spicy:   
    • Flavorburst - bell shape, starts green-yellow and ripens to orange
    • Jupiter - bell shape, dark green and ripens to red
    • Glow - ranges from elongated bell shape to pointy, dark green and ripens to orange 
    • Cornito Rosso - pointed shape, green ripens to red
    • Oranos - pointed shape, green ripens to orange
  • Tomatoes, eggplant, chilies and okra also continue to increase in abundance
  • Asian pears next week
  • This is the last week of potatoes
  • We will have several more weeks of onions and shallots.  And of course, garlic every week through November.  
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday members will get the same amount of corn in total over the next two weeks, but my guess is that Wednesday and Thursday members will get a little corn this week and next while Saturday members will get all of their ears this week.  This will probably be the last corn of the season.  
  • Squash will come back in about 2 weeks

Can you feel the days getting shorter already?  Enjoy this summer sun while it lasts--it will be gone before you know it!


Thanks so much for being our members,
Carrie Vaughn and rest of the Clagett farmers