The warm weather is upon us and farms across the Mid-Atlantic region are getting ready for bountiful seasons filled with the great variety of produce that grows in this area. For Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the early arrival of the warm weather this year has resulted in masses of delicious early spring vegetables like kale, radishes, and many varieties of lettuces. These vegetables have already started being distributed to nine of our partner organizations through the Healthy Eating Department’s From the Ground Up Fresh Produce Grant. In addition to operating like a traditional farm by selling slightly more than half of its yield to customers in the Washington metro area, Clagett Farm donates the other half of its yield to the Capital Area Food Bank through the Fresh Produce Grant.
On May 9, representatives from the nine partner organizations who will be benefiting from the program this year met at Clagett Farm for a half-day orientation. This event served as the symbolic “kickoff” of the Fresh Produce Grant. The orientation meeting introduced recipient organizations to each other, to Clagett Farm, and to the Fresh Produce Grant program itself. Among the topics discussed were the importance of sustainable agriculture in our food system, the challenges of working with large amounts of fresh produce, and the specific procedures of the program that are carried out at the farm. The culmination of this fun-filled day at the farm was a hayride tour of a small section of the almost 300 acres that comprise this beautiful natural treasure, which is located just 20 miles from the United States Capitol building!
Orientation participant Gwen Pope of SHABACH! Ministries, Inc., a site that will be receiving Clagett Farm Produce this year, shared her thoughts on the meeting:
For more information about the farm and to learn about how to volunteer, click here.