Last Week of CSA Delivery
Crop Talk: October 13, 2014 
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow
Week 20 ~ Final CSA Shares ~ Please Take our CSA Survey!
 It's hard to believe that the end of the CSA season is already upon us, but here it is. We hope our weekly deliveries have nourished you in body and spirit, and we hope for the chance to serve you again next season. To that end, we'd be grateful if you'll fill out this CSA 2014 Survey to help us improve our program. We wish you bounty and blessings in the up-coming holiday season.
New This Week: Pie Pumpkins 
The last delivery of the CSA season includes a pie pumpkin,  butternut squash, broccoli, Cameo apples, a bag of greens, and a bag of potatoes.

Treat yourself to a real-pumpkin pumpkin pie this fall:


From-Scratch Pumpkin Pie
From-Scratch Pumpkin Pie

Easy Pie Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces



1 medium pie pumpkin

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs



   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

   Remove the stem from the pumpkin and scrape out the insides, discarding the seeds. Cut the pumpkin in half and lay the pieces cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Rub canola oil all over the skin and bake until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Let cool.

   For the easy pie crust: While the pumpkin is cooking, make the crust. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add in the butter and work into the dough with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in just enough cold water (4 to 5 tablespoons) with a fork just until the flour is moistened. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap one ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another use.

   Roll out the remaining dough ball on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold the overhangs under and crimp decoratively. Pierce the dough all over with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

   Line the crust with foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake until the sides are set, about 12 minutes. Remove the foil and beans. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

   For the filling: Scoop out the pulp from the roasted pumpkin and puree in a food processor until smooth (you should have about 4 cups). Add the condensed milk, cream, cornstarch, molasses, canola oil, cinnamon, ginger, salt and eggs and combine thoroughly.

   Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the filling is set in the center, about 1 hour. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Read more here


Or try this savory alternative:
Pumpkin soup with Bacon

1/2 pound of bacon

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 # of squash or pumpkin flesh, seeded, peeled and cubed

5 C of water

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 T fresh thyme leaves 

2 thick slices good bread, torn into small, rough pieces


   Fry up the bacon in a soup pot. When it's done, remove the bacon and drain. Pour off one tablespoon of the fat into a medium-sized frying pan, leaving the rest in the pot (unless it seems like too much, in which case you can spoon off some more and save it for another use.) You should have enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

   Fry up the onions in the bacon fat until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook gently for about 2 minutes or until it is fragrant. Add a few pinches of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Add the squash and water, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is very soft, about 20-30 minutes. Puree the soup until very smooth. I recommend using a stick blender. Otherwise do it in batches in the blender, being careful not to splatter the hot soup.

   While the soup is simmering, saut´┐Ż the bread in the bacon fat, crumbling in the reserved bacon until the bread begins to color and crisp. If the mixture seems too dry, add a splash of olive oil. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper.

   To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle on about 2 tablespoons of the bread/bacon mixture in each bowl. Garnish with the thyme leaves.





Fall Harvest Festival Continues

Duck Swinesty Pig Races run at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00, and performances by P-Rex, the pumpkin-eating dinosaur, devours pumpkins at 12:00 and 2:00. 


The other white meat rounds the last turn and digs for home.

pumpkin-picking, apple-picking, cider doughnuts, pulled pork barbecue, hamburgers, apple-walnut salads, and the Boulder Crest corn maze.

Corn Maze at the Great Country Farms

Farming News
From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Farm-to-School in Action in DC


   Savory, steaming collard greens dished on a lunch plate.  Hefty sweet potatoes being plucked from the ground.  The pungent aromas of bright green herbs as they're crushed in a mortar.  These were just some of the Farm to School experiences children attending Walker Jones Education Campus and CentroNia Learning Community experienced near the nation's capital last Thursday.  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) staff visited these educational centers to learn first-hand about Farm to School through a tour organized by the National Farm to School Network and the DC Farm to School Network State Lead Organization, DC Greens.

   The visit, which occurred on the second day (October 2) of National Farm to School Month, highlighted how Farm to School not only engages children in a multi-sensory learning experience but how it engages and links schools, non-profit organizations, and federal and local governments to benefit farmers, children, and communities.


Lunchtime begins at Walker Jones. Photo credit: Eugene Kim

   The visit also reinforced that strong policies, whether at the local level, such as the D.C. Healthy Schools Act, or at the federal level, such as the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and its Farm to School grant program, are critical to developing new and existing farm to school programs.

   The visit began with a warm welcome from Helen Dombalis, Policy and Strategic Partnerships Director at the National Farm to School Network, and Karissa McCarthy, Farm to School Director for D.C. Greens, the D.C. Farm to School Lead.  The first stop, to enjoy a cooked-from-scratch lunch with second and third graders at Walker Jones Education Campus, located in a predominately African American neighborhood in Northeast Washington, D.C., provided lessons in successfully integrating different farm to school components and in running a successful school meal program.

   Running from August to June, Walker Jones Education Campus is a Pre-K through 8th grade D.C. public school with 460 students that provides breakfast, lunch, and supper to its students and has not only locally sourced items incorporated into its school meal program but also has taste tests and school garden activities incorporated into its learning opportunities for students.

Read more here.
Farm News
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.  

For these last two weeks of the season, your shares will come in bags instead of boxes. Please check your storage areas for any left over boxes that may have been left behind in previous weeks and put them out for us to collect. 

In The Market This Week
 Apples $1.29/lb
Potatoes $.89/lb
Variety of winter squash $.89/lb
Green peppers $2.79/lb
Asian pears $1.29/lb


Weekly Bonus:
Peanuts 4-plants
Come pull up a few peanut plants and learn how to make boiled peanuts.
Fall Harvest Seasonal Bonus 
Come pick a pumpkin of any size and take home corn stalks to decorate your home.  This seasonal bonus may be picked one time between Sept 27th and October 31st.

1 Bundle of Corn Stalks 
1 Jack o Lantern Pumpkin
CSA Bonus Ticker
Week 20: 13.59
Year to Date: $118.59
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