Out at the Farm

The specialsMost of the Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) efforts in the area started their disbursements of crops this weeks, and we headed out to Bluemont, VA to Great Country Farms to pick strawberries and get our farm share. The drive out to Bluemont is not for the totally-city-mouse, as once you get past Leesburg and out past the last of the exurbs, you’re into deep farm country, with narrow roads and large farm vehicles looming over the cars. Don’t let that discourage you, though, as what’s at the end of the hour’s drive is the farm, and fresh produce.

We were not deterred by the intense heat advisory that all the news channels have been on about since the weather advisory hit the wires on Friday. We got to the farm around 12:30 or so, and checked in with the office in the main building of the farm. Thankfully, their AC was working well, and they hooked us up with the “You Pick” implements so that we could go out into the fields and pick our strawberries.

Our full share gave us the opportunity to ride out into the fields and pick 6 more pints of strawberries. Farmer Ray was running the tractor shuttle, a hefty tractor hooked up to three large carts, each able to hold a dozen or more people. We climbed up into the cart, and headed off to the fields. The ride it self was 5 or 6 bumpy minutes along a farm road back into the fields of strawberries. Great Country had set up a water station at the drop-off, which was much appreciated in the heat. Farmer Ray gave us a few tips to finding the best strawberries, and we headed out into the fields to grab our share.

The fields for picking today were about a quarter mile wide by a third of a mile long, and about a dozen or so of us were wandering the aisles looking for the tastiest and ripest berries. It took us about 20 minutes to fill our 6 baskets with big, ripe red strawberries. Of course, we did stop to eat a few of the sun-hot berries. Their insides were brilliant crimson, sweet and juicy.

After some more water, Farmer Ray ferried us back to the main part of the farm, but not before showing us where the edamame and blackberries and tomatoes would be coming up before long. The pumpkin patch is currently fallow, but planting will start on that before long. We headed in to claim our two share boxes and get something to drink. The two boxes are each about a peck, and this week’s share was kale, and spring onions, strawberries and asparagus.

On the way back, we hit Java Jones in Ashburn for Dole Whip and ice cream, and then Wegman’s for some supplements to our produce bin. In the world of high grocery prices, it’s nice to know that every week a big ol’ box of fresh veg awaits us at the farm. I’ve got a few pictures below of our adventure, and look forward to posting more.

The Winery The Tractor Farmer Ray The specials

The Silo Farm Parking Great Country Farm

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