Crop Talk
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
November 2, 2015: Two for One

18780 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
Two for One
November 3 -- November 8

Our annual shelf-clearing event starts today: jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, butters, and more are two for the price of one, while they last. Discounts on other items as well!

And member bonuses continue: broccoli, winter squash, potatoes, and apples, while supplies last.

We're open 10:00 to 5:00 daily through November 24.
Which Broccoli Is Better: Raw or Cooked?
By Fiona Kenny
   Broccoli frequently earns a top spot on "superfoods" lists. This is partly because it delivers a healthy dose of sulforaphane, a compound thought to thwart cancer by helping to stimulate the body's detoxifying enzymes. According to recent research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw broccoli provides significantly more of this beneficial nutrient than cooked. (Cooking locks sulforaphane in, making it unavailable to your body.) In the small study, men were given about 1 cup of broccoli, raw or cooked. Those who ate the raw broccoli absorbed sulforaphane faster and in higher amounts compared to those who ate it cooked. The findings add to growing evidence that links diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower, to lower rates of cancer.

Read more here.
Giant Pumpkin Meets Farm Pond 

Dateline: Great Country Farms, November 1, 2015 

     An august Atlantic Giant was laid to rest here Sunday, or maybe we should say that it was dropped to rest -- from a crane. The behemoth had recently completed an arduous journey from its home field in Pennsylvania to the Nalls Farm Market in Clarke County, and it was slated to travel over the mountain ceremoniously, in a wagon pulled by a dozen oxen, but the oxen found a field of Brussels sprouts at the Holy Cross Monastery, and they refused to leave it until all the cabbage-like nuggets were gone, so the orange monstrosity came through Snickers Gap on a flatbed trailer behind a GMC. Weighing in at 1,058 pounds, which is almost as much as your average SmartCar, the pumpkin hit the water with the aplomb of, well, a giant pumpkin hitting water. The impact created a splash crater of spray and plastic duckies that reached almost to the Roosteraunt. (Not really.) 

     The pumpkin drop was the culmination of a seasonal fund-raising effort in support of the Boulder Crest Retreat, a renewal center for military veterans and their families. With prize donations from several local businesses and generous contributions from many area residents, we were able to present Boulder Crest with a check for $4,500. That's the real news! Our thanks to everyone who participated in this event, and our best wishes to Boulder Crest for continued success in its important work.

How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin
By Brian Barth
Photo by Mingz Chong.

   Every fall, thousands of backyard gardeners haul an enormous harvest to county and state fairs around the country. Forklifts and small cranes are required to lift the largest pumpkins onto the scales. Blue ribbon winners weigh as much as a compact car.
   The bar gets higher almost every year-the 1,000-pound mark was first breached around the turn of the millennium; the current world-record pumpkin weighed in at 2,323.7 pounds, grown by a German gardener in 2014.    

Read more here
The Great Tuber Debate:
Sweet Potatoes versus White Potatoes
Experts at Precise Nutrition weigh in.

   "They're both called 'potatoes.'  They're both ancient, honored foods whose cultivation stretches back thousands of years.  They both originated in Central and South America and have since spread throughout the world.  They both taste great and make a fine side dish.

   Yet, botanically, potatoes and sweet potatoes are completely unrelated.
   Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are in the Solanaceae Family, related to tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant along with deadly nightshade. Plants in this family produce solanine, which is poisonous. So don't eat the leaves or stems of any plant in this group, or potatoes that have gone green. 
   Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are in the Convolvulaceae Family, along with flowering morning glory vines. You can eat the leaves of sweet potatoes, which are very nutritious."

Read more here.
Sunflower Logo
In This Crop Talk:
Featured Recipes

   "Combining chickpeas with steamed broccoli makes for a quick and delicious dish that's rich in fiber and protein and can be served as a main or a side. As it can be made up to two days in advance, it's a nice salad for a desk lunch -- though we like it plenty for a fast weeknight meal over a bed of greens or in a toasted pita."

Read more here.

   Contrasting flavors and textures make this surprising salad taste as good as it looks.

Read more here.

  "Everything about this recipe has my name on it! I never thought apples and broccoli would pair up but they are fabulous together!"
Read more here.
 Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup 
   "I make this soup every Halloween -- it's the signal to the family that the cool weather has arrived. I've been making it for 15 years now, and out of all the soups I make, it's still everyone's favorite. Enjoy!" 
Read more here.

   "This is absolutely amazing! My husband and vegetarian daughter asked for it not once but twice this week. My daughter, who is very picky, declared that the flavors were a "symphony." She also told me that this was the best thing she had ever eaten. My away-from-home daughter asked for the recipe as soon as I told her about it. Now she can't wait to try it. A Home-Run!"

Read more here.
This Week in the Farm Market
Sweet Potatoes
Buttercup Squash
Carnival Squash
Delicata Squash
Acorn Squash

2015 Bonus Ticker
What is this?  Each week we offer a bonus u-pick item for members visiting the farm and this ticker  tracks the dollar value of the bonuses. Many members find that month picking adds a nice extra value to their CSA share. 

This year's U-pick bonuses added $187.94 
in extra value to each share.That's nearly half the cost of a farm pick-up membership!