Fall CSA Shares Available!

Do you know someone who wants to try out a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share without the full season commitment? We’re signing up folks for the fall session (10 weeks) of vegetables. The fall season costs $300 for a family size ($30/ week) and $162.50 for a single share ($16.25/ week). We still have 13 weeks left in the season, so if folks start this week or next they still get the same flexibility of skipping a few weeks without “losing” any shares. We can add as many as 5 for the fall session. Contact Gail@threepartharmonyfarm.org if you are interested.

We provide a healthy ecosystem for our community, and our future

“No pollinators, no raspberries!” Both native bees and domestic bee populations are declining, affected by habitat loss, disease and contact with pesticides. Three Part Harmony Farm is taking action to protect pollinators by providing food and habitat for native insects/animals. Pollinators will, in turn, provide the pollination needed to protect our plant diversity and food sources. Three Part Harmony Farm is certified through the Pollinator Partnership as “Bee Friendly Farm” and provides a healthy ecosystem for our community and our future.

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agribusiness in El Salvador

Excerpts from an interview with Miguel Ramirez, National Coordinator of the Organic Agriculture Movement of El Salvador

By Beverly Bell, Other Worlds

Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agribusiness in El Salvador. Miguel Ramirez training family farmers on seed bank management. (Photo courtesy of MAOES)

Miguel Ramirez training family farmers on seed bank management. (Photo courtesy of MAOES)

We say that every square meter of land that is worked with agro-ecology is a liberated square meter. We see it as a tool to transform farmers’ social and economic conditions. We see it as a tool of liberation from the unsustainable capitalist agricultural model that oppresses farmers.

We in the Organic Agriculture Movement see the soil as Mother Earth, a living organism, which gives birth to all kinds of life. Mother Earth is agonizing, and needs to be rescued. Even a new small plot of land under organic management is part of the effort to revive her.

We now have around 3,700 small local producers who are educated and working on organic agriculture in El Salvador. We’re just about one percent of all small producers, but 15 or 20 years ago we had no organic agriculture. Continue reading

Plan, Act, Reflect, Dream: Our Farm’s Journey

Many of you know that Three Part Harmony Farm was designed and planned out during a series of workshops that were prepared for me and a small group of friends that made up a dream accountability project over the course of several months in 2011. The first assignment I was given was to draw a picture of the farm in the year 2015. The second assignment was to journal on a series of questions, including “What are the things you see?” “What do you smell?” “Who is with you at the farm?” “What does the farm look like?” I then carried out the plan backwards, from the end to the beginning and set about arriving at the goal by following the dream.

Our before and after photos in Brookland show how closely we’ve been sticking to that plan. They also show a spiritual, healing space, a vibrant ecosystem that is far beyond my wildest dreams.

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May 2012: the first tilling revealed a kind of desert wasteland! There were no worms. We couldn’t afford to put compost in the whole field so we made wide aisles and only improved the soil where the vegetables were planted. oh the dust!

In two years we improved the soils enough to grow year round. This white russian kale grown from seed we saved in 2013 was harvested in March and April for our first spring CSA this year.

In two years we improved the soils enough to grow year round. This white russian kale grown from seed we saved in 2013 was harvested in March and April for our first spring CSA this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month, as we planted rows of blueberries and lilacs in between the vegetable beds, I commented that the plan was coming to fruition- the design is exactly the same one I drew in that first workshop. Thank you AW and all of the poddies! Your love and support continues to bear fruit (and flowers, and vegetables, and herbs, and even peaceful quietude among the butterflies.)

This Week’s Share

nettles

luscious nettles! from little red bird botanicals

People often ask me to describe a CSA share. It’s a little bit difficult, my answer is always, “a fabulous assortment of farm fresh items that make 2 – 4 meals a week.” Better yet, check out some of the photos from our spring CSA. Our members also receive a weekly email with information about what will be in the share, along with recipe tips when I include something new or not often encountered. This week, in addition to getting mushrooms, eggs, kale, parsnips, seedlings, flowers, and fresh herbs, everyone will get a chance to try stinging nettles, an incredibly nutritious edible weed.

We’re still signing up folks for the summer CSA. Don’t miss a chance to take a culinary journey with us this season!

I’ve included in this post the sample email for this week’s CSA members: April is a perfect time to snag a quick lunch from your backyard (please- only if no one is spraying chemicals on the lawn.) Harvest dandelion greens, wild onions, and anything green in your garden that’s just begun to come up in the spring time.

I love introducing our members to new, nourishing foods especially ones they’ve never tried. For the last two weeks, we had dandelion greens at their peak. Now it’s time for stinging nettles. They pack a punch! Be very careful when handling them, in fact wear plastic gloves and/ or use tongs. It’s worth the risk of getting “stung” though, these early spring greens are incredibly good for you. The sting cooks out, I promise. But if you can’t bring yourself to eat them fresh, spread out your share of nettles on a paper bag or dish towel in a dry place in your house. After about a week you should be able to stuff the dried leaves into a glass jar and enjoy stinging nettle tea. I like to throw in a few dried leaves into any soup I am making to nourish sick loved ones.

I read the Washington Post “Food” section pretty religiously. Last week someone posted a question in the Q&A section inquiring about where to find nettles so that she could make a nettle risotto recipe that she’s tried before and loved. It’s true that you can’t really find nettles at the grocery store. Join a CSA is what I say! These past couple of weeks, our CSA members have been enjoying a plethora of wild and foraged items, even weeds. I personally haven’t made nettle risotto but I did find some great recipes on the internet. A quick search pulled up half a dozen.

Yes! We’re taking sign ups for the 2015 CSA

photo by Anu Yadav

photo by Anu Yadav

Join us for the 2015 season!

There are a variety of ways to sign up to receive produce, flowers, seedlings, and other fresh, local farm items from Three Part Harmony Farm and Community Farming Alliance, the producer co-op we belong to.

Please fill out the application to sign up with Three Part Harmony Farm, sign up directly with Little Red Bird Botanicals for a medicinal herb CSA, or click here to buy our multi-farm CSA package.

Contact us with questions!

For more information about CSAs click here.

Vegetable CSA: what to expect.

Community Farming Alliance is a cooperative of farmers of color and women farmers in the DC area. Here are our members:

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A Farm Grows in Brookland

written by Kimberly Burge | published in the March 2015 issue of Sojourners

ON A TWO-ACRE parcel of land in Washington, D.C., tucked behind the provincial house of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Gail Taylor offers a visitor dragon’s lingerie.

Photo by Rick Reinhard

Photo by Rick Reinhard

“It kind of looks like fishnet stockings—that’s how it got the name,” Taylor says, holding up the heirloom snap bean, its pale yellow-green hull mottled with purple.

Across the aisle, Jack Be Little miniature pumpkins hide under leafy canopies. There are tomatoes and mustard greens, eggplant and legumes, lettuce and squash. “We’re doing a lot of intercropping and companion planting now,” Taylor says. So asparagus lies next to parsley, both behind a bed of raspberry bushes. Flowers also abound, with bursts of hot pink blossoms and purple clover that beautify the landscape while attracting pollinators.

For nearly 100 years this area, owned by the Oblates, a Catholic religious order, was only a grass field, a place where the priests would sometimes play soccer. In 2011, Taylor approached an Oblate priest and requested use of the land. “They were amenable and excited,” Taylor says. “They’re ecologically forward thinking, and they lead the Catholics in creation care.”

The space has become a location for Three Part Harmony Farm, the urban agricultural project Taylor established in D.C. She hopes it will become the first commercial farm in the District of Columbia since 1939, producing locally grown food to be sold in stores and farmers’ markets. First, there are some hurdles that the 36-year-old farmer must clear. Continue reading

DC has a Farm Bill (not very many cities can say that about themselves)!

Drumrolll please… it’s official! We now live in a city with a comprehensive and progressive farm bill. That means no less than 25 city owned lots will become farms, private land owners can apply for a 90% property tax abatement when they lease their vacant lot to farmers, and those of us who already generously donate healthy, fresh produce to district food pantries and soup kitchens can now apply for a tax credit. We went from following in the footsteps to paving a new path- kudos and gratitude to everyone on the city council!

Community Farming Alliance (CFA) at the DC Solidarity Economy Summit

DC Solidarity Economy SummitIn DC and around the world, seeds are being planted for a new kind of economy — one that is rooted in the values of democracy, justice, cooperation, self-determination, and sustainability. At its core, this movement is about democratizing the ownership of the means of production, so more people have control over their lives and communities. In December 2014, members of the Community Farming Alliance (CFA); vegetable farmer Gail Taylor of Three Part Harmony Farm, Zachari Curtis of Good Sense Farm & Apiary, and herbalist Holly Poole-Kavana of Little Red Bird Botanicals, joined the DC Solidarity Economy Summit at the Impact Hub DC, to learn about solidarity economy models from around the world, the role of emergence and power in our movements, and to explore what we can do together to transform our economy in DC.

Three Part Harmony Farm participated in the DC Solidarity Economy Summit. For more photos, visit Flickr.com/photos/threepartharmonyfarm/

To view a video of the Community Farming Alliance introduction at the summit, visit Vimeo.com/114382486