CBF’s Clagett Farm CSA
program shares a bounty of
produce with a side of
Enjoying themselves after a rain storm, Fiona and Lilly picked
flowers while volunteering for CBF’s Clagett Farm’s CSA.
Sharing on the Farm
Fiona and Lilly picked flowers at CBF’s
Clagett Farm during a summer shower.
They loved it, the warm rain running down
their faces, their cotton shirts and shorts
soaked with water.
CBF has operated a Community Supported
Agriculture (CSA) program at Clagett for
more than 20 years. CSAs allow consumers
to buy products directly from a farmer and
also help farmers get cash in the spring
when they need it for planting.
And while the yearly yield of Clagett’s CSA
is thousands of pounds of gorgeous produce, herbs, and flowers, many of the benefits of the program are intangible.
“The kids just love playing on the farm,”
says John Leavitt, Fiona’s stay-at-home dad
who drives 25 minutes from his home in
Washington, D.C., each Wednesday to pick
up his share of fresh-from-the-farm vegetables. He usually brings his three children.
Fiona is one of his. Today, her friend Lilly
has come along.
CSA member J.B. McCain, an elementary
school teacher, has been coming for 14
years. She drives 40 minutes from Mount
Ranier, Maryland. She rotates with five of
her friends to pick up their shares. It is her
turn this rainy day, and she shelters herself
with a stack of cardboard boxes on her
head, looking like a sherpa.
“This is my holy place,” McCain says.
McCain likes several aspects of Clagett. She
can get food where it’s grown, either from the
pick-up station, or if she feels like it, from
the U-pick fields. She also likes the commitment of Clagett and CBF to sustainable farming and a restored Chesapeake Bay. And, she
appreciates the partnership of Clagett with
the Capital Area Food Bank—the farm provides about 25,000 pounds of free produce a
year to soup kitchens and food pantries in
the District. Before she leaves, she shows her
appreciation to the staff, giving a big hug to
Carrie Vaughn, the CSA Manager for CBF.
“Carrie is a miracle worker. She is what
makes this place so special,” McCain says.
CSA members can pick up on Wednesday or
Saturday from mid-May to mid-November.
They dribble in over a several hour pick-up
window. They check the chalk bulletin board
to see what is available that week. The same
information is also available through the
CSA’s weekly blog. Mid-summer, the options
are plentiful: cucumber, summer squash,
Clagett also allows people to work for a
share of vegetables. Steven German of
Temple Hills is a chef. For him, the few
hours of farm work is worth it for the
chance to harvest and use “the luscious
vegetables, the real herbs.” He holds a sprig
of dill between his fingers, under his nose,
marveling at the “real aroma.”
uFor more information on CBF’s CSA program
at Clagett Farm visit cbf.org/ClagettFarm or fol-
low our blog at cbf.typepad.com/clagett_farm.