Meat and Eggs from Nearby Farms
Crop Talk: April 7, 2014
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow

We are thrilled to welcome Mark Dewing to our Farmhand Team this season. Mark and his wife Janet have been neighbors and friends for years and even hosted their wedding reception here at the farm. Mark is a teacher and journalist some of you may recall from the editorial team at The Blue Ridge Leader.  He will be applying his writing talents to our Crop Talk Newsletters and blogs on The Farm, Farm Brewing, which we hope to be doing by fall and The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard, our wedding venue. Kate Zurschmeide has been writing/editing Crop Talk for 20 years so Mark's fresh perspective and gift of storytelling will enliven the newsletter for us all!  Welcome, Mark!

Word From Your Farmer
Local meats and eggs are always in season 

The principles that make our produce so nourishing in so many different ways apply just as well to meat and milk as they do to asparagus and spinach. The difference between a cow that eats grass and a cow that eats grain is like the difference between a person who eats apples and a person who eats only apple fritters. Grass-fed animals produce a healthier mix of omega fatty acids and higher doses of protein, vitamin E, and other nutrients, and they leave a smaller carbon footprint. The next time you're in the Farm Market, check our coolers for meat and dairy products from these local partners:

Ayrshire Farms
Mountain View Farm
Oakland Beef 
Goot Essa Cheeses
7-4 Peace Gluten Free Flour

Offerings include beef, pork, chicken, Amish cheeses, and gluten-free flour. We also have a steady supply of eggs from our own chickens, which are good for your brain, for your eyes, and for your HDL cholesterol level.

 

Queen Kale
One day years ago, before the Pumpkin Pillow, before the Roosteraunt, Kate asked me if I liked kale. "Sure," I said, though I wasn't sure I had ever eaten any.

"Well, then you should go pick as much as you can use," she said. "We have more than we know what to do with."

I wasn't sure that I'd know what to do with it -- big crinkly leaves with veins like what you see on body-builders. But my wife knew: she braised it and she served it with pintos. "Beans and greens," she said. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.

Now kale is everywhere -- in soups, in smoothies, at juice bars, beside your hamburger where French fries used to be. Why is that?

Because it's better for you than a visit to the doctor. Nutritionist Allison Lewis calls it "the new beef." The George Mateljan Foundation recommends steaming kale to boost its cholesterol-reducing properties, but it's invigorating raw as well.  Farmer Mark planted our kale on April 3, and it should show up in  CSA boxes three or four times during the season, starting in June.

Like the 'queen of greens' herself, recipes for kale are everywhere these days. Here's what we've been doing with it lately:

Gail's Kale Salad

Wash, devein, and chop a lot of fresh kale into very small strips. Chop half a shallot and wisk it with Dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. Pour that mix over the kale and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Add a couple handfuls of candied pecans and toss well before serving.

Peep Pick-up Tips
Young peeps throng their feeder.
Our thanks to all you eager new chick owners. 

You can pick up your chicks between 10:00 and 4:30, from Saturday, April 12 through Saturday, April 19. Our wagon ride driver will assist you, but please keep in mind he will be unavailable for 30 minute blocks beginning at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00. And remember that we're closed on Easter Sunday.

Please print out our Farmer Bob's Chick Guide and Activity Packet to learn how to love and care of your little balls of fluff. We will provide you a small temporary box and a three-week supply of food. We recommend you get a larger box, bin, or cage so your chicks can grow. If you did not purchase your other supplies through us, we recommend you purchase the following in advance as chicks need to be under a heat lamp immediately:
  • 8 Hole Round Feeder
  • Mason Jar Poultry Water-er
  • Heat Lamp w/ 6' cord & 100W Bulb (We recommend a 250W Bulb if your chicks will be outside or in the garage)

You can find these items at Southern States or Tractor Supply Shops.

 

If you're not allowed to keep grown-up chickens in your backyard... NO WORRIES! Great Country Farms can take your peeps back and give them a good home after they are all grown up. Bring them back any time during regular farm hours in a card board box that we can keep in the market so we can release them with their buddies after hours.

 

Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing you for Spring Break before Easter!

Farm News
Upcoming Events
April 12 through 19
Come and spend Spring Break with us!

April 20
Easter Sunday
Closed

April 25
Paradise Springs Wine Dinner at Open Kitchen in Falls Church 

April 26
Members' Open House Pancake Breakfast at Great Country Farms

April 27
Spanish cooking class at Open Kitchen in Falls Church 

Learn How Your Business can Earn Points for Loudoun's Healthy Business Challenge!
The Healthy Business Challenge was created to recognize and honor businesses that have implemented innovative programs and policies to promote the wellness and productivity of their employees. Click Here to learn more about the challenge.

You can earn 3 points by having your business host a CSA group site! Contact us today to learn more about it.
Contact Us
Great Country Farms
540-554-2073
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.,
Bluemont, VA 20135
csa@greatcountryfarms.com
www.greatcountryfarms.com
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