The Orchard is Blooming
Crop Talk: April 28, 2014
The Newsletter of Great Country Farms
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U-Pick, U-Play, U-Grow
Word From Your Farmer
A New Tool Arrives                   
compost turner on a flatbed.

At dawn on Saturday, before firing up the pancake griddle for the Members' Open House, Mark took delivery of a machine that promises to dramatically accelerate a process that's crucial to sustainable farming: controlled aerobic decomposition. Also known as composting. Finished compost is one of the best soil amendments available, and since the quality of our produce depends in part on the quality of our soil, making compost is an important part of our work -- so important that we've devoted six acres to the composting process. Because air-borne microbes do a lot of the decomposing, compost piles have to be turned regularly so microbes can reach organic material below the surface. With the new compost turner, a process which used to take a year will reach completion in 60 to 90 days.

For a quick composting lesson, visit the University of Florida's Online Composting Center.

New Potatoes
Last week Mark and Scott planted five varieties of potatoes in ten acres on the north side of Foggy Bottom Road. The plants come in bundles of 100 from a grower in Pennsylvania who specializes in jump-starting the tubers for farms like ours. Look for potatoes in your CSA boxes later in the season in September and sweet potatoes in October. Meanwhile, the spring weather has filled our orchards with flowers. Cherries, apricots, peaches, and plums have all burst into bloom, and this week marks the beginning of the 87th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in nearby Winchester. A full list of events celebrating the history of orchard-keeping in the Shenandoah Valley is on the Festival's website.

Farm News
Upcoming Events
May 4
42920 Broadlands Blvd, Broadlands VA

May 10 & 11
Asparagus Mother's Day at Great Country Farms

Learn How Your Business can Earn Points for Loudoun's Healthy Business Challenge!
The Healthy Business Challenge was created to recognize and honor businesses that have implemented innovative programs and policies to promote the wellness and productivity of their employees. Click Here to learn more about the challenge.

You can earn 3 points by having your business host a CSA group site! Contact us today to learn more about it.
Contact Us
Great Country Farms
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd.,
Bluemont, VA 20135
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Main Event: Celebrating Mothers
Great Country Farms and Bluemont Vineyards will offer a number of ways to show your mom how much you love her on Mother's Day. The farm will be celebrating Asparagus Mother's Day Weekend on May 10 and 11, with fresh asparagus bouquets and strawberry sundaes. 
Across the road, Bluemont Vineyard will welcome mothers to spend part of their special day in the beautiful Bluemont Vineyard Tasting Room. Seated tastings with a souvenir glass and full food and wine service will be available, along with live music by Joey and the Waitresses. If you're looking for something a bit more formal, why not reserve a table at The Stable? Your $75 reservation fee buys picnic privileges, a table with linens, a seated tasting of four wines by a knowledgeable wine professional for five adults, a souvenir glass, and live music by Nathaniel Davis. Bring your own brunch to this location.

Enjoy the terrace and the view at Bluemont Vineyard.

Earthday Loudoun is May 4
This celebration of sustainable living is described thus by the organization's website:

"Founded in 2009 for annual celebration of Broadlands becoming the 25th "Certified Community Wildlife Habitat´┐Ż" by National Wildlife Federation in May 2008, this event's mission is also to promote environmentally, economically and socially sustainable living among county residents and businesses.


Our goal is to educate, engage and inspire the entire community through workshops, activities, and exhibits, especially the next generation of environmental stewards. The event also creates an opportunity for local environmental organization(s) and green businesses to connect with our community at large."

Be sure to like our facebook and follow us on  Twitter  @TheFarmerSay and @ElmerThePig for the lastest news of the farm.  We appreciate it when you share our link on your page showing your friends how you support local. It helps keep our CSA running strong.

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