September Concord Grape & Cider Season
Crop Talk: September 1, 2014 
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow

Week 14 CSA Shares
Apple Gala / Cider Festival Begins 

The first box of September includes:

  Honey Crisp or Candy Crisp apples, sweet corn, nectarines, a melon, eggplant and various end-of-summer items which may include peaches and peppers.


Upick Bonus this week is 6 apples and a bag of Concord Grapes.  Here is a link to a step by step recipe for Homemade Grape Juice from Simply Recipes BLOG.  Enjoy this anti-oxidant rich drink the whole family will love.




We're picking several apple varieties as our month-long cider festival begins including the following: 

Candy Crisp apples are probably descended from the Red Delicious variety. They have golden skin with a pink plush and a mild sweet flavor with a lot of juice and a long shelf life.

Jonagold apples are a cross between Jonathan apples and Golden Delicious. The high level of both sugar and acid make for a complex yet well-balanced flavor.


Ruby Jon, a variety of the Jonathan Apple, originated in New York in 1862. It's known for its deep maroon skin color and its crisp, juicy flesh, which makes an excellent sauce.


(Thanks to Indian Ladder Farms for some of this information.)

Patrick and Gina Neely's Apple Crisp



5 tart apples, peeled, cored, chopped small

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350. Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl, and then transfer them to a shallow baking dish.



3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans


Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Blend the butter into the mixture until it forms pea size lumps. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.


About Tomatoes


The cold, wet spring weather took a toll on out first planting of tomatoes, so the harvest was light. We should start picking tomatoes from our second planting soon, but the cool nights out here on the Blue Ridge might reduce the harvest from this group of plants as well. We'll hope for the best and keep you posted.


Our Corn Maze Opens September 4
Honoring Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors


Fund Raising Pumpkin Drop for Boulder Crest Retreat


This year our Apple Gala & Fall Harvest Season take on a special meaning.  We will kick off on September 4, 2014 with the Grand Opening of the Corn Maze and celebration of Boulder Crest's one year anniversary and will culminate with our annual Pumpkin Chunkin' Weekend November 1-4, 2014.  We are hosting a unique fund raising effort for Boulder Crest  as part of this smashing extravaganza.  We are selling duckies all Harvest season at the farm for $5 each of which all proceeds go to Boulder Crest Retreat.  The duckies are numbered at the point of sale and will  be placed in a swimming pool for a giant pumpkin drop at 2pm on Sunday, November 2, 2014.    The pumpkin will splash the duckies out of the pool and onto our "Prize Spots" which will feature prizes from businesses such as a weekend ski package to Massanutten Resort, Wine Experience packages from Northgate, Bluemont, Fabbioli and 868 Vineyards, an adventure package from Harper's Ferry Adventure Center and more!


Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness is a rural sanctuary that provides free accommodations, recreational and therapeutic activities and programs to help our nation's military and veteran personnel and their families recover and reconnect during their long journey of healing from physical and invisible wounds of war. The 37-acre retreat is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Virginia, just 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. The retreat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is entirely funded through private donations from individuals, foundations and corporations.  We are proud to have Boulder Crest here in Bluemont, VA and support their mission.  



Farming News 
From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition




Note: This post originally appeared on National Farm to School Network's website.


     This week, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) launched a pioneering and highly anticipated new resource, Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School.

     In less than a decade, farm to school has expanded from a handful of programs to a full-fledged, thriving, grassroots-led movement in all 50 states and D.C.  To date, however, no evaluation framework existed to guide practice, ground research and enable policy development for the growing field.

     Evaluation for Transformation is a first step toward bridging that gap - not only does it define outcomes farm to school can achieve across multiple sectors, it offers common language, guidelines and metrics to help users understand and articulate those outcomes.  The framework is organized around four key sectors: public health, community economic development, education and environmental quality.  Beyond the four sectors, the framework is also structured around three levels of action: program, research and policy. (Read more here.)

Farm News
Cider September
Apple Gala and Cider Festival every weekend in September

Antique Cider Press demonstration with Farmer Jake this Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 1pm  and 3pm.  Jake has been making some test cider batches and will be glad to share his experiences.

Tastings: apple wine, hard cider & fresh Rinkers cider.

Wounded Warrior Corn Maze
Grand Opening September 4

Join us to celebrate the first anniversary of Boulder Crest retreat for wounded warriors in Bluemont with the opening of our annual Corn Maze.  
In The Market This Week

Candy Crisp apples $1.29/lb
Cucumbers $1 each
Sweet Corn $5.99/dz or $.69/ear
Cherry Tomatoes $1.99/lb
Summer Squash $1.29/lb
Potatoes $.89/lb
Green peppers $2.79/lb


CSA  Bonus
September 2-8
6 apples
bag of Concord Grapes
5lbs potatoes
CSA Bonus Ticker
Week 14: $12.54  
Year to Date: $90.90
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