April update from the Farm

This weather is just one big April Fool’s joke

I had already started planting outside before the weather forecast showed dangerously low temps on the horizon. And I know I wasn’t alone. Last week I got a chance to try out my fancy footwork, the kind of flexility and dexterity that I practice in yoga class every day and unfortunately get to use in real life in the greenhouse at least once a year when the spring plants and the summer plants fight for space.

When it is too cold to send cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, collards and spring herbs outside for hardening off and then planting, then I have no choice but to delay the rest of the seeding because the greenhouse is too small to do double duty like that.

Beyond a crowded greenhouse, we were fighting very high wind gusts that repeatedly blew the row cover away despite quadrupling the number of sand bags. At long last I gave up.

Wind: 1
Farmers: 0

Before breaking down completely, I did have to count my blessings and remember how resilient Three Part Harmony Farm is in the face of any kind of extreme weather occurrence. I’m grateful that I had enough floorspace to pretty much get every single tray back in the heated GH. And I’m reminded at how nice it is to be so small that delaying the tomato, pepper, etc. planting by one week won’t make that much of a difference for us. We are small enough to catch up, and our intensely planted beds will be producing bounty soon.

Climate Change: 1
Small-scale, agro-ecological urban farm: 1.5

In case anyone is keeping score, somehow the radishes that I seeded last week are coming up just fine. I guess that’s why we farmers love radishes so much!

This is the monthly newsletter: welcome to the many new subscribers! I’m taking this opportunity (see below) to highlight the farm and what we do (and don’t do.)

Our CSA program

photo: Tyler Grigsby photography

Three Part Harmony Farm distributes 100 CSA shares from May – November. The vegetables, herbs and flowers are almost all grown by 3PH, and the fruit is provided by Kuhn Orchard in PA. We don’t use any chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers) although we are not certified by the USDA.

We are grateful to the individuals and families who place their faith in us each year. We take the commitment to you very seriously.

When choosing a CSA share, do ask questions about where the produce comes from. If you join the CSA of a working farm, it is likely that we are growing almost everything in your box, and we will tell you if we ever put anyone else’s product in your share. If you are buying from a re-packer, don’t be shy about asking who they buy from and why.


photo: Tyler Grigsby photography

The Farm
Three Part Harmony Farm has been growing soil and sustenance in the Edgewood neighborhood of DC since 2012.

The DC plot is on 2 acres owned by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. There is 1/2 acre of vegetables, 1/8 of an acre of cut flowers, and an asphalt former basketball court that has a greenhouse, a storage shed, a walk in cooler, and a pavilion.

There are no permanent structures nor housing on the property. The current lease is set to expire at the end of this year, when we hope to renew it again.

Despite being on what is now a very busy road, we are a very quiet and private group. There is no farm pick up for retail customers, no open hours, no school field trips, no educational opportunities, and no visitors without an appointment.

photo: Tyler Grigsby photography

The People
Gail Taylor (above) is the owner/ operator. She got her start in farming as a volunteer in 2005 and still thinks that is a great way for others to learn.

The work at the farm is done by a dedicated and mighty group of workshares. Our return crew this year includes Ben, D’Real, Jill, Kiki, and Vincent.

All of the harvesting and some field work is done by a small team of seasonal part-time staff. Since hiring is still in process, that will be announced next newsletter. p.s. it’s not too late to apply!

Our in-house professional photographer is Tyler Grigsby. If you copy photos from the farm website please give credit, as most are his.

Farming, as they say, isn’t a job it’s a lifestyle. As we enter into the time of year when work happens 7 days of the week, please note that email response might be slow.