Workshare at Clagett Farm, MD

01Aug10

This weekend, after several prior unsuccessful attempts, I finally completed my first workshare at Clagett Farm in Maryland. Although hard work, it was extremely rewarding and fun- all around a great experience.

A worksharer is person who works a certain number of hours on a farm in exchange for a share of the farm’s produce. Clagett Farm, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Maryland, has a program whereby they allow people to work in the field, harvesting, planting, weeding, and performing other small tasks, for 4 hours and take home a share of the fruits, vegetables and herbs they helped pick. Workshares are great because small farms typically produce too much food for the limited number of staff they are able to hire. With workshares, community members can join in and help the farm out and also reap a benefit. Clagett Farm also distributes a substantial portion of their fruits and vegetables to low-income houses in the area.

During my workshare at Clagett, we spent most of the time harvesting, weighing, and cleaning vegetables to prepare them for the 1pm CSA pick-up. Among the vegetables we picked were:

  • Okra
  • Lipstick peppers (small, sweet red pepper)
  • Purple Beauty peppers (dark purple bell peppers)
  • 8 Ball zucchini (dark green round zucchini)
  • Green Eclipse zucchini (standard dark green oblong zucchini)
  • Gentry squash (a yellow crookneck squash)
  • Zephyr squash (a straighneck summer squash with yellow stem and pale green bottom)
  • Patty Pan squash (white scalloped “flying saucer” squash)
  • Marketmore cucumbers (a slicing cucumber)
  • Ballerina cucumbers (a pickling cucumber)
  • Tomatoes: Abe Lincoln, Jet Star, Black Prince, Valley Girl, and Prudens Purple

Here are some photos I was able to snap (sorry for the poor quality, they were taken with my phone) while working in the field.

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