Happy New Year!
Thank you for your patience – we are ready to begin signing up 2023 CSA members.
January – February 2023: return member sign ups. Please fill out this google form. Details regarding this season are below, so you know what to expect.
The 2023 main season will go from May – November.
The season is divided between spring, summer and fall sessions.
SPRING session is from May 6/ 9 – June 24/ 27 (8 wks = $255)
**break between spring and summer: we skip July 1 (Saturday members) and July 4 (Tuesday members)**
SUMMER session is from July 8/ 11 – Aug 26/ Aug 29 (8 wks = $255)
**break between summer and fall: we skip Sept 2 (Saturday members) and Sept 5 (Tuesday members)**
FALL session is Sept 9/ 12 – Nov 11/ 14 (10 wks = $315)
Shares average 9 items per week. An item is often measured by the bunch, i.e. 1 bunch of kale, 1 bunch of radishes, etc. Salad greens are usually in 4 – 6 ounce bags for example lettuce mix, arugula or spinach. Summer vegetables are often weighed by the pound. See below for sample shares.
The half share is the same number of items but picked up on alternating weeks. Note: because we skip the week of July 4 and the week of Labor day, your half share will not be on an every other week for the entire season, only in each session. Dates for your Group A or Group B pick ups are at the bottom of each weekly email.
Returning CSA members (from 2022) may sign up using this google form through February 28. Any open slots will be offered to anyone on the waiting list on March 1.
What is the difference between the Tuesday porch pick up and the Saturday Market Style share?
Tuesday is the true “Farmer’s Choice” of CSA boxes. It’s a pretty common format: Everyone receives the same box on Tuesdays. You receive an email every Tuesday morning to remind you to pick up the share but also to let you know what will be in the box. At the bottom of the email, I try to predict what will be in your box the next week so you can plan a little.
The box is picked up on the porch of a very lovely family in DC. There is a very strict 3-hour window to pick it up. The host does not have any responsibility for answering questions or for hanging on to your box if you are running late. Please do not ring the doorbell or interrupt their dinner. It is important that anyone who will share in the responsibility of picking up your Tuesday evening box knows where to go and what to do. If there are ever any issues, Gail’s cell phone number is in the weekly member newsletter so you can text her in an emergency.
The Saturday morning pick up in the parking lot of Annie’s Ace Hardware (in Brookland) is called a market style pick up. I post the standard share on the dry erase board and we offer that as a quick grab and go option. However, you have the option to pack your own share and there is some choice in the 9 items you take. Since we staff this pick up I can allow members to skip 2 (half share full season) or 4 (full share full season) Saturdays if you let us know in advance (no later than Wednesday 10 pm the week before. We can accommodate reasonable emergencies, but the idea is that you share some responsibility with us in taking your commitment seriously to come every week and pick up the produce we lovingly grew for you.
At the Saturday pick up I sell seedlings and flowers when we have extra. This season I anticipate we will be able to sell extra eggs. New this year: a meat add-on (chicken) will be available for all members 3 – 4 times in the season.
What is a CSA Share?
“Community Supported Agriculture” is the phrase farmers use to describe the method of selling our vegetables to you, the consumer, in a way that asks customers to make a major financial commitment to support just one single farm over a growing season. That doesn’t mean you can’t go to the farmer’s market to buy an extra pint of berries or basket of heirloom tomatoes, it just means you commit to financially investing in one farm’s season, which is very important for our growth and planning.
You’ll hear farmers use the acronym “CSA” for short.
We call the customers “members” because the financial transaction invites you to become like a member of a club more than just an occasional shopper.
The member’s weekly harvested box or bag is called a “share” because we’re setting aside a specific number of items and creating a tasty, nutritious share of mostly vegetables but also herbs, fruit, and sometimes flowers for you and your family or housemates.
Three Part Harmony Farm relies almost exclusively on member support to make plans, purchases, and commitment to the workers at the beginning of each season. Despite a renewed demand surge for local produce, it can still be challenging for small, minority owned farms to access secure, financially stable markets.
In exchange, members receive:
- a steady supply of fresh, high quality, nutritious in-season vegetables from our farm plus produce from partner farms
- weekly emails with updates about the farm plus recipes (members will learn about how their food is grown and finish out the year having a better understanding of what it means to care for a diversified vegetable operation in a changing climate)
- the chance to replace some of their diet with produce grown in DC at a farm using organic methods, owned by a Black woman (the grocery store doesn’t give you many choices to opt out of a supply chain that uses planes, trains, ships and trucks carrying goods from a short list of consolidated food conglomerates – buying directly from a local farmer is a great way to opt out of that system and invest at least some of your food budget into the local economy)
What to expect from your CSA Share
We grow produce that thrives in this region, and that is suitable for intensive growing on a small scale.
That means in the spring and fall we grow a lot of greens and roots. A typical spring share is half greens. Other spring veggies include radishes, salad turnips, carrots, peas, garlic scallions and garlic scapes, and fruit from Kuhn orchard. By the end of June (still in the spring shares) there may be early summer veggies such as beans and squash, as well as beets and garlic. Sometimes we dig a row of potatoes early to change up the steady supply of greens in the spring.
Summer vegetables include beans, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Eggplant, okra, melons, corn, onions, and carrots will also be in the rotation this year.
Fall is a repeat of spring but in addition to that we have winter squash and sweet potatoes.
Fruit, mainly apples, pears, peaches and nectarines from Kuhn Orchard in Pennsylvania will be in most shares. Fresh herbs and flowers from our farm round out your box. Eggs will be available in 2023.
Our goal is to give you enough produce to eat dinner at home 3 – 5 nights a week, depending on how many vegetables you use in each meal and depending on how many people you cook for each time (and whether or not you make extra for lunch the next day.) A CSA share is not good for folks who travel a lot unless you plan to share with someone else. You’ll get the most value out of your weekly box if you are good at cooking vegetable-heavy meals most nights of the week, if you share with others (either the produce or meal exchange), if you are good at batch cooking and freezing some for later, and/ or you get good at meal prepping. Learning how to strategically clean, chop, and store produce that has a wide range of shelf life in your kitchen will make the experience much less stressful. It doesn’t have to be one or the other: I find take out options depressingly paltry in their vegetable options so I often add a quickly stir-fried baby bok choi to a bowl of ramen take out, or slice my own radishes to go with the taco order. Make a nice salad to go with a frozen pizza. Again – you don’t have to be making elaborate home cooked meals every single day of the week to be able to add some vegetable pizazz to your weeknight meals. Just getting into the habit of adding in your CSA veggies wherever and whenever you can is a lifestyle change that helps you eat healthier no matter how late your work meeting goes.
Remember: the artificial abundance of shiny produce available every day of the year from locations all across the globe is a new thing. Getting back into the natural rhythm of knowing when zucchini and kale are available where we live adds an entirely different meaning to you cooking enjoyment.
Here are some sample shares:
May: collard greens, yokatta na, hakurei turnips, cilantro, arugula, garlic scallions, lettuce, asian pears, rush apples
June: apples, beets, kale, radishes, carrots, sunflowers, lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers
July and August: potatoes, beans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, garlic, peaches (sometimes eggplant, okra, basil, cabbage, melon)
September: kale, bok choi, sweet potato greens, potatoes, onions, fruit, herbs, radishes, winter squash
October, November: collard greens, kale, tat soi, radishes, turnips, fruit, winter squash, spinach, arugula, lettuce
Click here for reminders about the pick up instructions.
PICKING UP YOUR SHARE EACH WEEK
You signed up for a specific location and that cannot change from week to week. Members are allowed to make a permanent switch to one of the other locations, just email Gail.
The options are:
Tuesday 5 – 8 pm in Petworth or Brookland
Saturdays 9 – 1 at the Annie’s Ace Hardware in Brookland
If you are signed up for a porch pick up, check back to your inbox for the message from me where I sent you the address. I don’t post the hosts’ addresses on the internet 🙂
Saturday CSA members can choose share items at the pick up to create a semi-customizable option. If you are in a hurry, we can choose for you.
Masks are highly encouraged for the pick up.
Important pick up reminders:
- The window is unfortunately not flexible.
Tuesday pick ups are between 5 – 8
Saturday pick up is between 9 – 1
If you find yourself running 3 – 5 min late it is probably not a big deal. But more than that and we have already begun to clean up for the day.
2. Missed shares are donated. The left over boxes do not go back to the farm so I can’t let you pick it up there on a different day. Our lease agreement does not allow us to do CSA pick ups at the farm otherwise we would do that instead of loading a vehicle twice a week and going somewhere else.
What happens if you:
- go out of town?
- get stuck late at work?
- forgot that it was CSA pick up day?
You can rest easily that night knowing that your box was given to someone who needs it and couldn’t buy one themselves. Thanks to the generous volunteer work of our pick up hosts and the Ward 8 Mutual Aid group, no veggies end up in the compost pile!
If you don’t want to donate it, you can always send someone else.
3. What to do with your boxes, bags, rubber bands, pots, compost
For the Tuesday members, you MUST TAKE THE BOX WITH YOU no exceptions. I will pick up the boxes on the last Tuesday of the month.
You can re-use your own bags on Saturdays. Bring back rubberbands and we will use them for the flowers.
I will take back pots but only if they came from me OR they are the same size. Sorry but storing 8,000 pots over winter became unruly when they were not the same size so I had to cut down on my up cycling.
Compost is collected on Saturdays at the Annie’s Ace Hardware pick up. I will have a bucket and take it back to the farm with me after the pick up. If you pick up your share on Wednesdays but want to bring your compost to us, that is fine. Do know that many farmer’s markets have free compost collection though and I imagine that it is more convenient for you to go to Columbia Heights or Mt Pleasant.
Compost rules – no meat, dairy, bread, oil, processed or cooked food. No plastic, no labels, no rubber bands or twist ties. Please put it in the freezer if it is more than 1 week old. Examples: Yes to uneaten salad if it is undressed. No to corn cobs if you put butter on them.
The season is divided between:
- spring 8 wks (May and June)
- summer 8 wks (July and August)
- fall 10 wks (Sept – middle of Nov)
WHAT TO EXPECT
Each week your share will have an average of 8 – 9 items.
The spring CSA starts out with a lot of greens, the most cold hardy of our vegetables. Apples, pears, fresh herbs and seedlings round out the greens plus radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, scallions, garlic scapes, bok choi, and tat soi.
The summer (July and August) veggies are potatoes, beans, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, okra, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet potato greens, and garlic. We will also have peaches in the summer.
Fall brings back greens from spring plus a wider variety root crops, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
Harvest plan for 2023 (note – fruit comes from Kuhn Orchard, eggs come from Moonstone Farmstead)
Apples, arugula, asian pears, beans (yellow, purple, green and dragon lingerie), beets, bok choi, broccolini, cabbage, carrots, collard greens, cucumbers, flowers, fresh herbs, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, melons, okra, peas, pea shoots, peaches, potatoes, salad radishes, scallions, spicy mix, seedlings, spinach, storage radishes (fall only), sweet potato greens, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tat soi, turnips, winter squash, yokatta na, zucchini.