Apple Festival Continues
Crop Talk: September 15, 2014 
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow

Week 16 CSA Shares
New This Week: Spaghetti Squash 
This week boxes include a spaghetti squash, peaches and cream sweet corn, Gala apples, Asian pears, potatoes, and  peppers.


You-pick Bonus this week is 6 apples. Note: if you plan to enjoy the farm's other attractions after picking your you-pick share, please bring a cooler for those items so they don't spoil in your car.


Roasted Spaghetti Squash



1 large spaghetti squash (about 5 pounds)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving



   Heat the oven to 400�F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 50 minutes.

   Remove the squash from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh with a fork to make long strands; set aside.

   Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

   Add the reserved squash, toss with tongs to coat thoroughly, and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cheese a handful at a time while tossing the squash to evenly coat. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and extra cheese.


Cider Festival Performances Continue
September 20 Tony M 
September 21 Short Hill Mountain Boys

Tony Martirano is an elementary school teacher who uses music to promote goodness in the world. His performances encourage young listeners to make music themselves and to make the world a better place. Tony will perform at Great Country on Saturday, September 20, from noon to 3:00.


Fly Me to The Moon cover by Tony M. Music
Fly Me to The Moon cover by Tony M. Music


The Short Hill Mountain Boys, John Bestwick and Sam Kroiz, will perform on Sunday, September 21, from noon to 3:00. Their music is described as a "blend of bluegrass, old-time, cajun, classic country, and folk music with a rare passion. Their harmony vocals, fiddling, and guitar picking are tight and practiced like the suit-and-cowboy-hat bluegrass acts, but imbued with the authenticity, spontaneity, and infectious good time of old time mountain music, in which they are well steeped."


Shorthill mountain boys play Doukenie winery. Loudoun count
Short Hill mountain boys play Doukenie winery. 


Bluemont Fair September 20 & 21


The annual Bluemont Fair will fill the historic village with artisans, craftspeople, musicians, collectors, animal keepers, vintners, brewers, and food vendors this weekend.


The event draws thousands of people from all over the Washington Metro area, and it limts traffic on Snickersville Turnpike to one direction -- south -- between Clayton Hall Road and Foggy Bottom Road, so budget extra travel time, or take Yellow Schoolhouse Road off Route 7 and turn right on Snickersville Turnpike to reach the farm. Or plan to visit the fair before or after your visit with us!

Farming News
From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Millions Allotted for Agricultural Easements

   On Monday, September 8, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $328 million in funding for 380 conservation easement projects as part of the Natural Resource Conservation Service's (NRCS) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  The projects will protect and restore 129,000 acres of farmland, grasslands, and wetlands across all 50 states.

   The 2014 Farm Bill created ACEP by combining three former programs - the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), and Farm and Ranch land Program (FRPP).  ACEP is divided into two components: a wetland easement component, which largely mirrors the former WRP, and an agricultural land easement component, which is intended to retain the purposes and functionality of GRP and FRPP.

   Wetlands and grasslands are some of our most threatened national land resources across the country due to cropland expansion pressure.  Similarly, productive farmland is vulnerable to conversion for housing and commercial development.  Thanks to ACEP, private landowners, land trusts, and other entities are able to obtain federal support in order to preserve working farms and ranches and restore, protect, and enhance wetlands and grasslands through long-term easements.

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. Because this cider is not paturized, we cannot offer tastes of it, but we do have freshly pressed Rinkers Cider Tastings in the Roosteraunt from 11am-3pm on weekends.

Tastings: apple wine and hard cider tastings are also available on September weekends 11am-3pm, with Northgate and Corcoran Vineyards. There is a nominal .50/taste charge for these tastes as required by VA ABC.

Wounded Warrior Corn Maze
Now Open

Join us to celebrate the first anniversary of Boulder Crest retreat for wounded warriors in Bluemont with  our annual Corn Maze.  
About Corn...

A number of people have asked whether our corn comes from genetically modified seed. The answer is no; neither is our corn treated with pesticide or fungicide, which means it's as close to nature-made as possible. It also means it's more vulnerable to worms and mold than engineered corn or sprayed corn. That damage is usually confined to the tips of the ears, which can be broken off.

In The Market This Week

Candy Crisp apples $1.29/lb
Cucumbers $1 each
Sweet Corn $5/dz or
$6/ 2 dz
Cherry Tomatoes $1.99/lb
Summer Squash $1.29/lb
Potatoes $.89/lb
Green peppers $2.79/lb


CSA  Bonus
September 16-21
6 apples
CSA Bonus Ticker
Week 15: $2.20 
Year to Date: $93.10
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