A special sweet potato & carrot hash recipe for this week’s CSA share

Bunches of roots (radish, carrot, turnip, spring onion) will be featured this week as we try to juggle harvesting in between rains! I’m especially excited about the carrots we’ve been harvesting since they were wintered over, meaning we planted them last fall, weeded them meticulously (thank you Mia and Laura!) and then covered them in a thick layer of mulch that made a nice barrier between the carrot tops and the snow. It’s great to see how we can extend our season in this climate without the use of plastic.

Lauren Nixon created a delicious, healthy and absolutely gorgeous recipe using the carrot and sweet potatoes. Feel free to share and check out laurennixon.com for more info about Lauren’s work. I especially recommend following Lauren on instagram!


start your garden right- with native washingtonian seedlings (raised in petworth!)

It’s Time to Plant the Garden!
We are totally in that critical month when everything in the garden can be planted. If you can’t make it out to the Petworth farmer’s market on saturdays, check out our locally grown seedlings at Annie’s Ace Hardware in Petworth or Brookland.

Petworth Farmers Market Starts this Saturday May 7th!

Find Three Part Harmony Farm and our Community Farming Alliance co-op members at the Petworth Farmers market starting this Saturday, May 7th at Georgia and Upshur streets NW from 9 – 1.

Alternative Economies on a path towards equitable development

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at the 3rd Annual Equitable Development Conference hosted by ONEDC and the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

After an incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking opening interview between Eugene Puryear and Bill Fletcher, Jr. our panel was tasked with answering the question: Black Lives Matter: Moment or Movement (and what does that have to do with equitable development?) Umm… are we here all day or just one hour?

I am not the kind of person who stands on a podium and presents a comprehensive plan to change our cities’ economic landscape, let alone the nation or the world! However, obviously farmers and especially Black farmers have a lot of experience when it comes to creating alternative economies that exist outside the framework of the transitional capitalist model. If anyone understands how devastating it can be to have a loan officer not call you back on time and otherwise ignore your needs to borrow money to pay for seeds during the proper planting window, it’s Black farmers. Without an on-time loan from my “bank” I too would be a farmer without a crop.

I didn’t invent the CSA (community supported agriculture) model, but I sure as heck do use it to replace that old model where reliance on lenders and institutionalized systems are rife with racism. It is not the only way that people can support our farm as well as the other farms in our co-op, but it is an essential one (financially speaking) to get us started each season.

Our first harvest of the season is this Thursday, April 7th but we won’t really get into the main harvest until May. However, by the end of March I’ve already bought 85% of the seeds, plants, and supplies I need plus brought on board the three part-time folks I need with me in the fields making sure we can deliver vegetables by April 7th. The customers who come tomorrow to pick up their first share have given our farm an interest free loan, and for that I’m grateful. But it is just a loan- you’ll get that back and more in vegetables through the end of the season! It’s a serious commitment on both sides; certainly more than a transaction. You’ve “joined”, so now we are part of the same community, you might even say part of the same family. None of us is changing the world, but we made a ripple.

A post script: a lot of folks have mentioned to me that you want to join our CSA but you are low income. I say: welcome to the club! Farmers are all low-income so I know what you are talking about. My suggestion- pool money with friends. Share your share, and the meals you’ll make too. That’s what we do in my household. Also, for anyone who wants to use your federal and state issued checks, cards or produce plus dollars, check us out at the petworth farmers market on Saturdays starting May 7th.



Sign up for the 2016 CSA

It’s time to think about joining a CSA this year, whether ours or another farm’s.

The CSA (community supported agriculture) program asks members of the community to make a financial investment in your neighborhood farm to support what we do. That basically means you pay in advance for seasonal, farm fresh goodies that you receive directly from the farmers on a regular basis. It is an incredibly important way to support the local food movement.

Pick the right CSA for you!

Most CSA programs are similar but they have minor differences including location, day and time of the week. I think it is very important to choose a farm that offers a CSA that fits your busy schedule, and offers you the chance to be involved in supporting a farm you care deeply about.

Our season goes from the beginning of April through the middle of November. The pick up is from 5 – 8 pm on Thursdays at a community center near Howard University.

Please fill out this form to sign up for our Thursday 5 – 8 pm pick up. Returning members will get priority. This year we are offering an installment plan to make it more affordable. If you are low income and find the price is getting in your way of joining but you really want to, please contact me so we can work with you.

What’s in a share?

We put 4 – 5 items in the single share and 8 – 10 items in the family sized share. You should be able to make 2 – 4 meals each week. Members report that they are often able to make a few dinners each week and have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Seasonal produce plus other farm items such as local eggs, mushrooms, honey, medicinal herbs, and flowers are put on a table. Members receive seedlings in the spring and fall for their home gardens.

Customize your own share

Each week everything is set up on two or three tables, and we write on a dry erase board how many items to take from each table. It is incredibly interactive and you get the maximum choice rather than picking up a pre-boxed share that is uniform, where everyone is getting the same thing. You are encouraged to try new things, but we don’t make you take vegetables you know you don’t like. We want you to enjoy everything you choose- including this experience!

Welcome to the 2016 Season

Happy New Year!

People have been asking me what happens at the farm when there is snow on the ground. I think the snow covered fields are peaceful, almost blissful. After a major storm I count my blessings if nothing collapsed or blew away.

thanks Sonal for checking in on the farm!

thanks Sonal for checking in on the farm!

Also, this is the time of year to make plans for what to do when the snow melts.

First: I’m taking applications for the 2016 season to work with us.

Next: I’ve also opened up the CSA registration for our 2016 season which will go from early April to mid November.

I leave today for my second farm conference – headed to Southern SAWG in Kentucky. Earlier this month I spoke on a panel at Future Harvest/ CASA in College Park, MD. And save the date: rooting DC is coming up on February 27th. The winter is time to learn new tricks to try out!

Making plans for the season involves working out the logistics and checking the calendar to pick the 33 harvest dates of the year. It means buying supplies, cleaning and sharpening tools, updating spreadsheets, improving budgets, networking with other farmers, and finally on February 15th getting the first seedlings in the germination chamber.

What’s new this year?

We’ll have a spring event this year, in addition to the annual fall festival. Tea time with tulips will take place on a saturday afternoon in late april- date TBD. This fall we planted 1100 tulip bulbs along the 4th street fence, so I figured it would be a good reason to open our gates this spring and invite folks to see the blooms up close.

Tours: I’ve been getting a lot of requests for tours of the farm. I’m going to try to figure out how we can offer tours during some of our work days this year. We’ll have tickets available in advance so that we can keep the number manageable, but keep a few tickets available for passersby in the neighborhood who want to visit their closest farm. If you have a group that wants to volunteer and get a tour as part of that experience, we already do that 6 times a year.

Winter CSA: December, January and February

bok choi and tat soi perfect for stir fry

The warm weather and abundance of sunny days has done wonders at our farm and now we’d like to share the bounty with you this winter. This is our first winter CSA! A lot of you have asked me when will we have a winter CSA: well, this year’s extended season has made it possible for sure.

Jerusalem artichokes make a tasty soup!

The pick ups will be monthly with the first one on December 16th. Our first month will contain a box of fresh produce from our fields: greens such as kale, collards, spinach, arugula, swiss chard and bok choi; roots such as turnips, radishes and sunchokes for roasting; plus fresh herbs, a pot of fragrant paperwhites, and bunches of beets and hakurei turnips with their edible greens attached.

Daikon radishes- great for pickling!

The single ($25) and family ($50) sized shares will be pre boxed and available for pick up at Pansaari in Dupont Circle. You can add in a farm tote bag for an additional $10 if you want a carry option that fits in your bike basket.

Pick up location is Pansaari: 1603 17th Street NW (in the basement at 17th & Q in the old Chaos space)

Pick up dates: December 16; January 22; February 19.
Pansaari is open from 9am – 9pm Tuesday through Friday. Please ask for your box at the chai bar and the staff will be happy to assist you. In December, they are hosting cooking demonstrations and tastings on Wednesdays so you can coordinate your CSA pick up with this lovely class if you like. To register for the class click here.

The order deadline to join this month is Sunday, December 13th at 5 pm. Please email Gail at gail@threepartharmonyfarm.org with the size share you would like (single or family) and the month(s) you will be picking up or fill out this form to secure your spot.


3PH reusable jute tote bag to carry your share home, do grocery shopping, go to the beach, library, etc!

Join Three Part Harmony Farm Winter CSA!
copy and paste your answers into an email to gail@threepartharmonyfarm.org or fill out this form:

your name(s):

your email address(s):

____ single _____ family

___ december, ___ january, ___ february (or all three)

add on: ___ tote bag ($10 for CSA members)

payment preference choose one, we will invoice you:

___ check (made payable to Three Part Harmony Farm and mailed to our po box) or
___ pay by credit card (add $2.50)

vegetable photos by Tyler Grigsby Photography

What’s in the december single share:

Baby beets with greens

GREENS (three)
1 bunch swiss chard, kale or collards
1 (3/4 pound) bag bok choi or baby tat soi
1 (.5 pound) bag spinach or arugula salad mix

1 quart ROOTS w/out greens
for roasting: purple top turnips, Münchner bier radish, sunchokes, or watermelon radish
or for salads or pickling: daikon radish, watermelon radish, muncher bier radish, or sunchokes

1 bunch ROOTS w/ greens
beets or hakurei turnips

1 bunch HERBS
flat leaf parsley, sage, chocolate mint, greek oregano

Paperwhite “ziva”

1 pot paperwhites (narcissus)
Ziva- an early blooming, fragrant classic paperwhite. These bulbs have been planted in soil and we’ve aimed to have them bloom for Christmas or New Year’s, depending on which one you pick.

the family share will be roughly double (i.e. 2 pots of paperwhites, 2 bunches of herbs, plus beets **and** hakurei turnips, etc.)

Video: this community puts me in the mood to be thankful!

We’ve worked hard, now it’s time to enjoy.

The end of November is the time of year when the plants, animals, insects and people of our farm all get a break! The downtime usually prompts me to get misty-eyed and remember everything that went into making the season a success.

I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone who supported the farm over the last few years. This year has been successful really because of the cumulative effect of all of the work that has gone into building the farm since 2012.

Our 2015 fall festival showcased this idea, when so many amazing folks came out to create the first farm art project, a mural designed and coordinated by Caryl Henry Alexander. Click here to watch the video!

So thanks! To all of you. And congratulations, to all of us.

Can’t wait till next year!

I hope you all enjoy time with friends and family this week.


P.S. Please share the video with your friends and post it on facebook and twitter to introduce others to Three Part Harmony Farm. Thank you!



Fall is Fabulous!

watermelon radishes

Watermelon Radishes – Photo by Shango Meru Kani

How can we complain when it is still sunny and beautiful? Supposedly we’re counting down the days to our first frost but don’t tell that to the sunflowers I picked yesterday.

At the farm there are 5 different kinds of radishes right now (including the watermelon radish photographed by Shango above) and 2 different kinds of turnips. I am already thinking about hoarding these roots in my vegetable bin so that I can roast them when the cold weather comes, and remember the feeling of the soil between my fingers.

We just passed Dia de los Muertos, also known as All Saints’ Day for some. I spent a lot of time this past weekend in reflection, remembering the ancestors who have come before. I recommend spending some time outdoors with your face turned up to the sun, eyes closed, listening to the sounds of nature and recalling all of the beautiful lessons and memories we carry with us, keeping those spirits alive. If you can, plant something in  their honor.

We only have 2 more weeks left in our regular harvest season. As we wind down the field work, it opens up space for us to make connections with farmers from other countries and think about the bigger picture aspects of organizing a farmer co-op.


Nov.10: Oscar Gutiérrez to Address Struggles of Colombian Farmers

“It’s Our Turn Now”: Colombia’s Agricultural Movement Is The Biggest in the Country's History

“It’s Our Turn Now”: Colombia’s Agricultural Movement Is The Biggest in the Country’s History

Join us for a presentation about Colombia’s Peace Process: Proposals and Concerns of Colombian Farmers with Mr. Gutiérrez on Tuesday, November 10 from: 6-8pm at 3166 Mt. Pleasant St. N.W., Washington, DC (La Casa).

The first agreement reached at the negotiating table in Havana between the Colombian government and the largest insurgent group to end the 50-year armed conflict focuses on the need for an extensive agrarian reform. Even so, Colombia’s farmers continue to struggle for economic and social justice, since “free trade” policies and the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement have undercut the ability of small farmers, indigenous communities, and other agricultural producers to make a decent living, and has reduced Colombia’s ability to feed itself by more than 30% since 1990.

In this context, the Colombia Human Rights Network is organizing a tour to bring the voice of Oscar Gutiérrez, representative of Dignidad Agropecuaria, to the United States in November of this year. Oscar Gutiérrez has a long history of political activism supporting the struggles of miners, farmers, and others in the department of Caldas, where he is from. In recent years he has been a leader of agrarian strikes involving coffee growers and other rural producers, particularly in 2013 and 2014.

Mr. Gutiérrez will talk about the detrimental impact of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement on agriculture in Colombia; promoting the economic and social rights of farming, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian communities; and the importance of improving conditions in rural areas in order for an eventual peace agreement to be able to achieve the goals of creating a society in which all social sectors are represented and can live with dignity.

He is looking forward to meeting with policymakers, persons involved in sustainable and organic agriculture who are struggling for economic justice, universities, and media, as well as members of the Colombian community in the United States, to discuss these issues and possible ways forward. Mr. Gutiérrez will be in Washington, DC from November 9 to 11 and New York from November 12 to 15. The Colombia Human Rights Committee, Trabajadores Unidos, and Three Part Harmony Farm are sponsoring a presentation about Colombia’s Peace Process: Proposals and Concerns of Colombian Farmers with Mr. Gutiérrez on Tuesday, November 10 from: 6-8pm at 3166 Mt. Pleasant St. N.W., Washington, DC (La Casa). Please contact the Colombia Human Rights Committee of Washington DC (colhrc@igc.org, 202 997-1358) or the Movement for Peace in Colombia of New York (MPC@mfpic.org, 917 207-6206), if you or your faith community, university or student group, or community organization would like to participate.

Click here to read an interview with Oscar Gutiérrez Reyes on agricultural sovereignty as a challenge to the neoliberal model. 

$15/Hour Minimum Wage: Disaster or Opportunity for Family-scale Farms?

By Elizabeth Henderson

The growing momentum of the campaign to raise the minimum wage presents those of us who are farming with a serious challenge.  How are we going to respond?

If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, the $1.60 of 1968 would be $10.96 today, so workers’ demands for raises are getting serious consideration. The fast food workers’ Fight for $15 has pushed the NY Labor Board to back a plan to phase in this new minimum over the next 6 years.

If we want to make real progress towards a more resilient and sustainable food system, we have to do a much better job of linking justice for farm workers and justice for farmers.

To many organic farmers, $15 an hour looks good – as a wage for us farmers, though as employers it puts a lot of strain on our businesses.  The question farmers need to ask is – how do we turn this into an opportunity? Can we inspire a campaign to raise prices for farm products so that we can act in solidarity with other food workers instead of joining the Farm Bureau litany – “this will wreck farming in NYS”? Continue reading