Crop Talk, April 3, 2017  

Come On Out

   Our 2017 season officially kicked off last weekend with two great days of egg hunting and marshmallow harvesting. It was a little chilly on Saturday, but Sunday was warm enough to roll up your sleeves.

   For the next few weeks, we'll be open every day from 10:00 to 5:00, except April 16, when we'll be closed for Easter. Wagon rides will run at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 every day, with the cow train going out at 12:24 and 2:45. 

   Roosteraunt schedule: 11:00 to 3:00 every day except Monday.

   Remember that membership cards will be waiting for you in the market on your first visit.

Field Notes

   The green house is going gang-busters: tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, chard, okra, leeks, kale, and marigolds, which we're interspersing with vegetables this year to repel troublesome insects. We're moving lettuce and broccoli out of the greenhouse into the field today, and we finished new sections of red raspberries and blackberries last week. The kale and spinach in the field are coming on strong, so check the market for greens when you come to visit. 

   The peaches are blooming, the apples are starting to swell, and the cherries should begin to flower next week. It all begins again.

Baby Chicks!

   The stars of our chick program show up this week -- all 400 of them. They'll be in the market for a few days before going home with their adoptive families, and they like being looked at, so come on out.

   If your family has adopted chicks this year, they will be available from April 7 through April 15. Please come for them between 10:00 and 4:00.

   Information about chick-keeping is available on our website.

A Conversation with Food Tank’s Danielle Nierenberg

By Brian Barth on March 28, 2017, from Modern Farmer
   
Danielle Nierenberg’s experience with agriculture goes all the way back to her roots in the rural Midwest. Though she admits that back then, “I didn’t want to have anything to do with farming.” To say that she has now changed her tune would be an understatement.

The feisty founder of Food Tank—as the name implies, it’s a think tank for the food system—always seems to be in three places at once, whether holding court in a farmer’s field, penning op-eds for major newspapers, or onstage, microphone in hand, smiling at a group of esteemed panelists assembled to discuss some obscure but important topic like the agroforestry systems of Afghanistan, while grilling them about their assumptions and the scientific validity of their work. (Full disclosure: Nierenberg is on the  Modern Farmer  Advisory Board, too.)

This month, the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture released  Letters to a Young Farmer , a collection of essays by 36 leading thinkers in the food world which addresses a certain white elephant: the average age of American farmers is 58.3. Thus there are now more farmers over the age of 75 than between the ages of 35 and 44, which says something about the appeal of the profession in contemporary society. Nierenberg, who contributed an essay to the anthology (along with the likes of Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan), recently sat down with Modern Farmer to share her thoughts on this, and other, essential subjects facing the future of our food system.

Read more here.

Dining out in Loudoun Gets a Healthy Makeover
   
    (Long-time GCF group site host Jen Pantall eats our food whenever she can, but sometimes a girl just has to go out for dinner. In this article from Posh Seven magazine, Jen profiles a few delicious, healthy restaurant choices in Loudoun County.)

   As a personal trainer, health and nutrition coach, and busy mom, I know eating well is the key to staying healthy. For adults, the right foods are critical for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and body composition, providing energy to get through your day, and supporting your immune system. For kids, the same factors apply, plus we’re helping our kids establish the eating habits they’ll have for life. We want to set them up for health by modeling good choices and helping them choose the best foods for their growing bodies.
  
   The best foods are what I call “first generation,” or foods that come either straight from the ground or from an animal that ate from the ground—like fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, unprocessed meats, dairy, and eggs. These are your best choices when eating at home or choosing from a restaurant menu. We all know that traditional dive-thru fast food is far from a nutritional meal, but is the food at restaurants much better? Follow these guidelines to make the best choice for you and your family when eating and drinking out.    

   Read more here.

Great Country Farms | 540-554-2073 | CSA@GreatCountryFarms.com | www.GreatCountryFarms.com