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.
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.
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:
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.
“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
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!
In 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
Photo by Practice Of Creation Studios
What an incredible season!
I know life is really cyclical and not linear. But it still surprises me to realize that while this month marks the end of the farm season, this moment is very much the beginning.
It was really the blessing at our Farm Fall Festival that got me thinking about this moment as the beginning instead of the end. We broke ground in Brookland in 2012, but last month was the first time we had ever done a ritual ceremony grounding us in place.
It makes sense: it took this long to nurture the soil back to a healthy condition so that it is ALIVE. Next season will be the first really productive one we’ll have. With the imminent passage of the Urban Farm and Food Security Act, we are also at the edge of a new era in terms of our lease agreement. Just like the Washington Post article said, we have a “Plot to Plant”!
Another beginning is just around the corner, and it gets birthed from the rich, composted remains of last year’s growth.
The 2nd annual garlic planting and Fall Farm Festival was way beyond what I thought could be possible. The food lovingly prepared by Tambra Raye Stevenson of NativSol Kitchen was out of this world! She nourished our bodies and souls. It was an honor to have music by Violet Marley. And the blessing led by Dele and Shango set the tone.
We finished a 27-week harvest season just in time for the below freezing temps! I’m overjoyed at how great the season was and I give many many thanks to all of the Friends of the Farm for your financial contributions. It was a great partnership! Thanks for sharing the journey. Many thanks to FICA DC for being such gracious hosts. Special thanks to Jake, Nico, Emil and Fabio! [you know what you did]
Our Food Day collaboration with Pansaari was a huge success! Owner Rano Singh adjusted her Indian recipes and substituted in-season, local vegetables. The flexibility to use what’s fresh and best instead of what the recipe calls for makes her a true locavore! Thank you for supporting local farmers Rano!
Join us in September to push for the passage of this historic piece of legislation
When DC City Council Member David Grosso introduced the DC Food Security Act of 2014, it built upon the legacy of the urban farming act of 1986 and the DC Healthy Schools Act of 2010.This bill takes it a step further by opening up more public and private land to grow healthy food. Its passage is extremely significant to the future success of Three Part Harmony Farm. We’ve been building the soil and productivity on our city plots for the last 3 years but we need these policy changes to take the next step to really grow (in so many different ways!)
Please get involved in this brief grassroots effort to make sure the City Council knows how important this issue is to us.
Contact the Chairman and folks on the Finance and Revenue Committee. They are currently in the mark up phase of the bill.
Please feel free to use these points as a guide:
“Hi, My Name is:
I live in Ward:
I’m calling/ emailing to let you know that the D.C. Urban Agriculture and Food Security Act of 2014 is an important piece of legislation for our city and that I hope it will get passed soon.
• The Act encourages private, District landowners to lease their land for agricultural purposes and encourages urban farming on unused city owned land in response to problems of blighted property.
• The Act responds to the District’s continued struggle to address chronic hunger amongst residents with a local solution: encouraging urban farmers to donate a portion of their produce to District-based food banks and shelters.
• The Act enables urban farmers to sell their produce both on and off the leased land, bringing easy, fresh food access to neighborhoods across the city, including those currently identified as food deserts.
Thank Grosso and Cheh for their leadership, and the other supporters of the bill as well:
Join Three Part Harmony farm and Zenful Bites Thursday, May 15 from 6-9pm at Impact Hub DC (419 7th St NW) as we celebrate Ahri Burton, as he prepares to attend a plant-based culinary school in order to gather the tools and resources necessary to bring healing and justice to his community’s food system.
ACCESS 23 is named in recognition of the 23.5 million people in the US living in food deserts, lacking access to healthy foods within their community.
Food will be provided by several local eco-companies including Zenful Bites and Livity Drink Co. Produce for the event has been generously donated by Three Part Harmony Farm.
To purchase tickets, please visit here.
To read Ahri’s story and see his fundraising page, see here: http://www.gofundme.com/A-Healthy-Investment
From our backyard to yours: the tomato, basil, and every kind of herb and vegetable seedlings are now ready to plant. Please fill out this application to receive a weekly email about what’s available. Don’t wait: our limited supply of heirloom tomatoes will only be available through the first week of June, or until supplies last.