Crop Talk
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
June 22, 2015: CSA Week 5 -- Stone fruits

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A Word from the Farmer

   Last week's rains came at a good time for plums and apricots, the first of our stone fruits. They drank up a lot of that water, and now they're ripening quickly in the warm sun. Our plumcots are thriving, too. Those unusual fruits are first-generation descendants of a 50-50 cross between plums and apricots, and they tend to be a little sweeter than either of their forebears. 
   The month of July will bring some of summer's meatier vegetables as well: beets, squash, beans, corn, and eggplant. It won't be long before we start to pick tomatoes!
CSA Week 5 
Shares this week include: 
  • apricots   
  • plumcots
  • yellow plums
  • beets
  • red spring onions
  • summer squash
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • lettuce
 I wasn't a beet enthusiast until I started finding them in salads a couple of years ago, usually with walnuts or pecans and crumbled bleu cheese. Beets are delicious in that context, but you have to plan a salad like that a couple of days in advance, which I rarely have the foresight to do. And the beets were always roasted, and then peeled, and then cooled or even chilled -- more trouble than I can manage. Last summer I gave up all that beet fuss and just started braising them -- roots, stalks, leaves all together in one pan with onion and a little garlic. You don't even have to peel them. Just wash them thoroughly, cut off the taproot, and slice the ball into thin medallions, which should go in after the onion has softened. Turn them after five or six minutes, then add the chopped stalks, a little salt, and some white wine -- just enough to make steam. Cover all that for three or four minutes and throw in the leaves at the end. I eat that three or four times a week these days. It's good food!

Please protect your share from the heat. Fifteen minutes on a sunny front porch will ruin fragile items like berries and lettuce. If you won't be home when your delivery arrives, please consider providing a cooler with icepacks to keep your food fresh until you return. Be sure the inner dimensions of your cooler will accommodate a box that measures 19 x 10 x 9 inches.

U-pick bonus for June 30 - July 6: 1 pint black raspberries and 1 pint blueberries.
Note that bonuses run from Tuesday through the following Monday each week.

   Wagons will run at least every hour on the hour, from 9:15 until 5:00 -- more Frequently if we are busy. Please allow enough time to check in before the wagon departs. And please bring back your empty berry containers to use again.

Remember that there's no CSA pick-up or delivery on Mondays. 

Also available in the market:
watermelon,  cantaloupe,  tomatoes,  cucumbers,  sweet corn, yellow squash, zucchini, tart cherries, garlic scapes, snow peas

GCF at the Purcellville Community Farmers Market
Henceforth we'll be coming to town on Saturdays with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including some items that are too fragile or too scarce to pack in CSA boxes. Come and visit us on Main Street in the parking lot of Loco Joe's between 9:00 and 1:00.
Dirt Farm Brewing Grand Opening Event

Our sister establishment will celebrate its grand opening on July 10 from noon to 4:00 with music by the Short Hill Mountain Boys, door prizes, and great craft beer. This weekend the brewery is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6:00, with special fireworks hours until 9:00 on July 4. From our terrace you can watch as many as a dozen municipalities celebrate the nation's birthday at one time. Have a beer and a brat and a bowl of boiled peanuts while you enjoy the unrivaled vista.
Spring House Farm Dinner

Spring House Farm, our meat CSA partner, is hosting a farm table dinner on July 5, beginning with a butchery demonstration by Marc Pauvert at 3:00 and cocktails featuring Whistle Pig rye whiskey at 4:00. Tickets are available through the Spring House Farm website.

Bluemont Fair 10K Race Registration Now Open

Sign up to run one of Northern Virginia's most beautiful 10k courses on September 19.

World Police Games Continue through July 5

The Games are taking place at 53 different venues throughout the National Capital Region from June 26 to July 5, including a cycling venue right here in Bluemont. The event is expected to draw more than 10,000 athletes from police, fire and other public safety agencies representing 70 different countries to compete in 1,600 medal events across 62 sports. The World Police and Fire Games are the second largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympic Games. 

We are celebrating the Games at GCF by offering a complimentary admission to All First Responders from June 26-July 5th.  Just show your Fire & Rescue or Police ID. 
In This Issue

Light and Fresh


 "Sweet beets, peppery arugula and toasted pecans are blended together in this dairy-free, healthy pesto recipe. Try it spread on crostini or spooned over grilled chicken or pork."


Read more here.




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. 


Week 5 CSA 

1 pint black rasp $8.00

1 pint blueberries


Year to date


The Roosteraunt is Now Open Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 10am-3pm


With the arrival of summer, we have added Fridays to the Roosteraunt schedule so guests may enjoy hand-dipped ice cream and lunch for Friday visits.