Apples in August 
Crop Talk: August 18, 2014 
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow

Week 12 CSA Shares include:

Honeycrisp apples!

Plus: sweet corn, green beans, green peppers, and potatoes, and a variety of summer produce.


   Honeycrisp apples were developed by horticulturalists at the University of Minnesota who crossbred Macoun apples with Honeygolds and Keepsakes to create a variety with cells that are twice the size of cells in normal apples. That's why they burst with juice when you bite them: because big cells hold more juice than small ones do. This variety hit the market in 1991, but it has become popular only since the patent on the cultivar expired in 2008, after netting more than $10 million for its inventors and the university.


   "Honeycrisps seem to inspire a devotion bordering on obsession from eaters who prize their sweet taste and distinct juiciness and snap," writes Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn in the food blog Eat Like a Man. "It's what fruit folk call a great hand apple: phenomenal for biting into raw. This explosive crunchiness isn't simply a product of better freshness or farming practices - it's an actual genetic variation.


   [The high] cost of Honeycrisps today is essentially a straight-up supply and demand story. After almost two decades of slow, steady growth, interest in Honeycrisps has skyrocketed in the past few years as consumers began to discover the apple in droves. But production can't just turn on the dime. From the time an apple tree is planted, it takes at least five to six years for it to produce fruit in commercial quantities. As demand has peaked in recent years, supply has lagged behind, sending prices up."



Our potato fields are more productive this year than ever, which means you'll get plenty of then to use now and to store for later in the year.Health Magazine offers 26 reasons to love potatoes, including:


--they fight colds because they're high in vitamins A and C

--they lower your blood pressure because they're high in potassium

--they flip all the switches that make you feel full

--you can live on them for extended periods if you have to


 We're offering tomatillos as a bonus in the market this week, and because this cousin of the gooseberry isn't as familiar to many of us as its more common relative, the tomato, we've included a suggestion for use. Note that ripe tomatillos will keep in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Remove the husks before eating or storing.

Central American Tocos

5 large potatoes, cubed

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

4 tomatillos, quartered

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

3 avocados, halved 

10 (6 inch) corn tortillas


   Boil potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

   Brown beef for a few minutes before adding onion.

   Drain excess grease, and gently stir in the potatoes. 

   Season with salt and pepper to taste.

   Place the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro into a blender. Squeeze avocados out of their skins into the blender. Process until smooth.

   Heat tortillas in a skillet until warm and flexible. Spoon on some of the meat mixture, and top with the sauce. Roll up, and enjoy.


Reminder: As the school year begins and schedules start shifting, if you need to change your pick-up day, just let us know.

Farming News 
From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

White House and USDA Honor Beginning Farmer "Champions of Change" 


On Tuesday, July 29, the White House honored 15 Champions of Change working to build a strong foundation for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.  The champions were also recognized at the U.S. Department of Agriculture  (USDA) on Monday, July 28.  The White House Champions of Change programs honor everyday Americans doing extraordinary things in their communities, this week recognizing those who are working to address the pressing need to cultivate the next generations of farmers and ranchers.


Waters of the US


There has been a lot of attention lately on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it engages with the farming community on the proposed rule to define "Waters of the U.S."  The so-called WOTUS rule would define which bodies of water fall under EPA's Clean Water Act jurisdiction.  In this post and the related Q&A, NSAC provides an update on where things stand with the proposed rule and the accompanying interpretive rule, and explores some of the confusions, myths, and facts surrounding both rules.

Vacation Requests Welcome!!
With vacation season in full swing, don't forget to take advantage of our CSA Vacation Request benefit so that you enjoy the full value of your share.  Just login .to your account via our website to add a vacation date and request the week you would like to receive a make up share.  Many members choose to take their make up shares when they are expecting company or in September and October when many items have a longer shelf-life, such as apples, potatoes and fall squashes.  If a double share is just too much produce, we also offer the option to donate your share to Loudoun Interfaith Relief, our local food pantry.  The farm donates 4 shares each week, and we are glad to take vacation shares to help those in need in our community
Farm News
In The Farm Market August 18 - August 24
Canteloupe  $3.99 each
Cucumbers $1 each
GCF Peaches  $1.99/lb
Watermelon $5.99 each
Sweet Corn $5.99/dz or $.69/ear
Tomatoes $1.99/lb
Summer Squash $1.29/lb
Plums $2.89/lb
Potatoes $.89/lb
Beets $2.99/lb
Green peppers $2.79/lb
Cayene peppers $2.79/lb

CSA U-pick Bonus
August 19-- August 24
4 apples
1 cabbage
small bag of grapes
hot peppers
CSA Bonus Ticker
Week 12: TBD as it keeps changing throughout the week.
Year to Date: $70.97
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