Farewell, Corn Maze
Crop Talk: November 24, 2014 
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow
Corn Maze becomes Corn Maize

Eleven weeks after its inauguration as a fund-raising navigational challenge, our Boulder Crest-inspired corn maze has fallen to the combine. The corn that confused so many intrepid puzzle-solvers will keep our animals well-fed this winter. Note that like everything else we grow at Great Country Farms, this is natural corn, not GMO, so no strange genes will show up in the eggs laid by the chickens who will eat this corn all winter.
Maize from the maze: non-GMO
Still Picking

It's almost December, and the nights are cold out on the Blue Ridge now. The polar vortex that brought seven feet of snow to Buffalo NY last week dropped our temperatures almost to the teens. But, believe it or not, we're still picking spinach and kale. So come out on Monday or Tuesday for one last trip into the field. Fresh greens for Thanksgiving -- what a blessing!
Hardy GCF kale, unfazed by temperatures in the low 20s
Here's a recipe for kale and some of the potatoes that came in your boxes this year. Our thanks to member Petra Schmidt for sharing it with us.

Drunken Potato and Kale Soup



�         1 teaspoon Olive Oil

�         1 Yellow Onion, diced

�         3 large Carrots, sliced

�         1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

�         10 small Yukon Potatoes, diced

�         4 packets sodium free Bouillon (or cubes)

�         1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

�         1 (12oz) bottle Beer

�         2 cups Kale, chopped

�         4 cups Water




In large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots and garlic until onions become translucent. Add potatoes, bouillon, and salt. Saut� vegetables until softened, adding beer to pot in batches to keep soup from sticking.


Stir in kale and saut� for 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add water to stock pot and bring soup to a boil over high heat. Serve hot with crusty baguette if desired.


Nutritional Information:


Serves: 8 | Serving Size: approx. 1 cup

Per serving: Calories: 191; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 152mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 3g; Protein 5g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 893mg; Iron: 1%; Vitamin A: 4%; Vitamin C: 11%; Calcium: 1%


Farming News
from Corn & Soybean Digest

Farmer Educates Consumers About GMOs

By Susan Winsor


   Setting the record straight, from a farmer's perspective, is all in a day's work for Claremont, MN, farmer Mike Petefish.

   When a group of anti-GMO activists confronted some corn farmers at a convention, he calmly approached them to present the scientific facts on GMOs. It comes naturally to him, given his personality and education. With degrees in plant genetics and agronomy, "I have science on my side," he says. But Petefish was surprised that day how ill informed some of his fellow farmers were. Several farmers asked the activists, "What is a GMO?" and upon hearing their reply said, "Well, that doesn't sound too safe."


"I just talk to people about the truth of the matter, from my perspective."  
Photo: Susan Winsor


   "Food safety and GMOs are one of the biggest issues facing our industry, so I see this as a good investment of time when someone bashes my occupation and my lifestyle," Petefish says.

   The 29-year-old farmer has an undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Biology and a Master's in Agronomy. "I just talk to people about the truth of the matter, from my perspective," he says.

   It's uncommon for a young person to step forward that eagerly, says Petefish's neighbor, farmer/volunteer Bruce Schmoll, who described a similar, exchange that he observed: "At a recent volunteer food-shelf event in Minneapolis, a volunteer said that the food shelf shouldn't include GMO-containing foods. Her feet were pretty dug in on the issue. Mike explained that he's a fifth-generation farmer, and cited examples of beneficial GMO-related materials like insulin and organic farmers' approved use of Bt as a biopesticide."


Read more here. For the other side of the coin, take a look at this post in Barn Talk.



Farming News
from the office of Governor Terry McAuliffe

On November 20, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order establishing the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide. The council's purpose is to help solve childhood hunger in Virginia, promote state's agricultural economy, and support local programs related to community nutrition, food access, and health strategies. 


The second of the Council's three major objectives reads thus:


"To promote Virginia's leading industry - agriculture - and increase access to affordable, healthy, and local foods:

 -- Improve food distribution systems to better serve a diversifying Virginia agricultural economy

 -- Improve accessibility to farmers' markets

�-- Increase acceptance of SNAP/Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and WIC/EBT at farmers' markets

 -- Encourage the development of innovative and sustainable retail models to provide access to healthy foods in areas classified as food deserts

 -- Increase farm-to-school and other farm-to-institution programs"


The Order will remain in effect until January 12, 2018.


Farm News
Bonuses Continue Monday and Tuesday!

In The Market This Week
 Apples $1.29/lb
Potatoes $.89/lb
Variety of winter squash $.89/lb
Neck pumpkins $.59/lb


Weekly CSA Bonus:
2 pie pumpkins
 1 large bag of spinach
1 large bag of kale
1 bag of potatoes

Last chance to you-pick! Wagon rides Monday and Tuesday every hour on the hour from 11:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.

CSA Bonus Ticker
This Week 16.00
Year to Date: $172.59
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