|A Typical CSA Weekly Box!|
This week, I interviewed Jacyln Jenkins, who runs the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Great Country Farm, voted “Best of Loudoun: CSA Program” this year in a poll by Leesburg Today! Great Country Farms also has a whole lot more to offer than just produce; it is a fun, educational, utopia for children and adults alike; Great Country Farm demonstrates healthy eating and sustainable farming through dozens of exciting and fun attractions, including pick-your-own produce, interactive exhibits, farm animals, wagon rides, a school field trip program, and more playgrounds, rides, and slides than your children could dream of! Watch for the Potomac Falls Mama’s upcoming article on GCF’s childrens attractions and birthday parties, coming in June, or read about why they were featured in my “Best Educational and Family Friendly Activities in Loudoun” post.
Now, on to the fruits and veggies! Yum!
The “Great” Great Country Farm CSA Program!
|Berry Seedlings in the Greenhouse!|
Sustainable and Conscientious. Each season, 1500 local families choose Great Country Farms CSA program for their families produce. Although the farm is not certified organic, it is pretty close, as they use sustainable methods and minimal chemicals. It is also a conciountious program; all unsold produce is donated to Loudoun Interfaith Relief, which serves thousands of local families in need.
|Local Meats, Dairy, and Eggs!|
Experience and Variety. The GCF CSA program is now entering its 21st season, and offers over 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including, okra, eggplant, collard greens, apples, peaches, pumpkins, blackberries, and a whole lot more, 100% of which is grown by GCF. They also sell local meats, eggs, dairy products and honey in our farm market that are from other farms including: Ayrshire Farms, Mountain View Farm, Oakland Beef, Goot Essa Cheeses, and (my personal favorite), 7-4 Peace Gluten Free Flour!
Support Health, Community, and Local Farmers. Signing up for a CSA program doesn’t just help your family eat healthier, it also helps the community, the environment, and most of all, the farmers, who rely on the passionate CSA members who want to support their community!
Equal in price to tired, old grocery store produce! The price of the CSA program is comparable with standard grocery store costs (*delivery memberships do have additional fees), with the added benefit of it being a local program, not to mention all of this awesome stuff!:
Additional Benefits of Membership
- Each familiy receives a membership card granting them free admission to Great Country Farm, including all Events & Festivals (!!!), for the entire season! (April 5- November 25).
**This benefit alone is a tremendous value; GCF was also voted best in “Agritourism” and is a fabulous, fun, and educational experience for the whole family! Attractions include pick-your-own produce, a cow train, fossil and gemstone digging, several high quality custom built playgrounds, for all ages, slides, a giant 2200 sq ft bouncing pillow, a “corn bin,” farm animials and petting zoo, 18 hole Cow Pie Putt-Putt, 100′ slides, mazes, tractors to climb on, pedal carts, swings, catch & release fishing, and of course, the “Roosteraunt,” serving delicious local food, including my personal favorite: “Apple Cider Donuts” (which I believe is my all time favorite food, ever.) (Roosteraunt open weekends)
- A weekly u-pick bonus at no additional charge
- 2 free one-time passes for visiting family or friends
- 10% off additional u-pick and in store produce
- 10% off parties. *watch for my upcoming post on awesome GCF birthday parties!
- Vacation make-up options so you don’t miss a week due to traveling!
- Free, exclusive wine tasting at Bluemont Vineyard after a visit to the farm
- Crop Talk weekly e-newsletter with u-pick bonus amounts, recipes, fun on the farm activities, growing news & more!
- Pick Up. (most popular): Members come to the farm to pick up their CSA box. You can pack your own Box at a value of $419*, or have it packed for you at $449* The prices are comparable to a full season of buying your produce at the grocery store, but members get the added benefit of fresh, local produce, and several other fabulous benefits! (See below).
- Delivery: Don’t live close by? GCF can delivery CSA to your door for an additional $150 with a total of $599*- They deliver all the way to Crystal City in Alexandria!
- Group Delivery. To save money, a group site delivery is a fabulous option; you can save $50-$100 this way, depending on how many members are in the group. Small groups (2-4) save $50, but if you join a group with 5 or more boxes, you save $100!
Ask the farmer
Why would you recommend CSA to local families?
|The Beautiful Fields of GCF|
Jaclyn. Today, we all care more about the foods we eat, how they are grown sustainably and how it supports the communities in which we live. CSA members receive 20 weeks of seasonal fruits and vegetables varying from week to week providing diverse and healthy eating options. By committing to a CSA program, you create a partnership with the farmer accepting the risks and rewards that come throughout the season. CSA also provides the opportunity for member’s to reduce their carbon footprint, and expand their knowledge of how to harvest and preserve their harvest. If you are looking for fresh, local, seasonal produce and regular on farm adventures, then CSA membership is for you! We pick, pack and deliver produce weekly from June to October to your home or office or offer pick up at our Farm Market. So get the kids off the couch this summer and outside picking and playing on the farm.
Is there anything else you think people would like to know about the GCF CSA program?
Jaclyn. Know that your produce is grown with minimal chemicals, or none at all using sustainable growing practices. We are NOT a certified organic farm, but feed our own family daily from the farm so we care very much how our produce is grown. We grow our CSA garden without adding any synthetic, chemical fertilizers or herbicides, and we use extensive composting and worm cultivation for enriching our soils. We are constantly researching and implementing steps to use only sustainable growing practices to care for the land with which we have been blessed to farm.
CSA FAQ page
|GCF; offering much more than produce!|
In addition to produce, Great Country Farm has a large market which carries many local and hand-made items, including farm-made furniture! They also offer tons of educational toys, gifts, and jams, jellies, sauces, and their famous kettle corn… nom nom nom!
About your CSA Program Manager!
Jaclyn. I grew up here in Loudoun County and have 2 young children. I have been here at Great Country Farms for 4 years Community Supported Agriculture “CSA” program by assisting members with questions about having healthy, local produce be delivered right to your door.
For our School Field Trip Program, I have developed new educational material for tours, trained staff and spent hours teaching students about the importance of farming. I help book birthday parties to create a fun filled day, as well as coordinated corporate parties and weddings. I have planned Annual Festivals each weekend bringing new ideas and adventures to the farm and received Visit Loudoun’s “Event of the Year” in 2013 for the Bluemont BBQ Bash. Now I am focusing on our e-newsletters, social media posts and updating the website to inform our followers with current news on the farm.
Sign up for the Great Country Farm CSA Program before space runs out this season!
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Tags: Loudoun, Ashburn, Sterling, Leesburg, Reston, CSA, local, sustainable agriculture, community supported agriculture, farm, kid-friendly, pick-your-own, produce