Farmventures, Week Two

Picking in the Fields Yesterday morning, the three of us who split a full share at Great Country Farms in Bluemont hopped in the car and headed for the farm to do some picking, and to retrieve our CSA boxes. Last week’s trip had been in the middle of the pre-summer heat wave that had the mercury pegged in most folks’ thermometers, and had us sweating a ton as we picked strawberries. This week’s trip turned out to be a more pleasant pastoral affair.

We hit the fields at about 10:30 in the morning, when it was only just in the mid-70s and the breeze made it mighty pleasant. We ended up with about 8 pints of strawberries between us, plus our farm boxes which had asparagus, lettuce, more strawberries, spring onions and a small cilantro plant. Farmer Ray showed us where the peach orchard was, as well, and showed us the fruit that was setting in the branches already. He says about three weeks ’til the peaches are ready. Judging by the heavy-laden blackberry vines, we’ll be in blackberries next week or the week after. After that, it was off on an adventure.

After the farm, we headed to Middleburg for a quick lunch before taking our friend Lisa to pick up her dairy share. Middleburg’s a town I’m really excited to go back and explore, as it seems to be something of an oasis in the middle of rolling hills and ever-onward stacked-stone fences. We had lunch at the Red Horse Tavern, and enjoyed sandwiches and the sunshine on their front patio. It was pretty impressive, the number of motorcycles that came down John Mosby Highway while we were enjoying our lunch. It seemed to be the road of choice for bikers out for a Sunday ride. After lunch, we wandered into Market Salamander, where we could smell the chicken curry with walnuts and currants. A loaf of bread (for BLTs) and some Old Bay peanuts (for snacks this week) later, we headed off to The Plains to visit Lisa’s cow share at Over the Grass Farm

It’s against the law to buy or sell raw milk in the State of Virginia. Everything you buy from a farm or buy from a store has to at least be pasteurized. However, if you own a share in the cow itself, you can get raw milk. Which is how we came to be at Over the Grass, grabbing a gallon or so of raw, creamy milk, as well as farm-fresh eggs and a pint of cream to make some strawberry ice cream. There’s a lot of debate out there about raw milk, but I suspect that there’s a lot more hype than there is real issue with the process. All I know is that it’s the best milk has ever tasted.

Picking in the FieldsGreat Country FarmsTractorHayride

Red Horse TavernMarket SalamanderBikes of MiddleburgPoppies?

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