NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 7/19/2017 10:58am by Amy Philson.

Welcome to our Peak of the Season CSA members!  Each week you will receive this email, which I send to all of our Farm Share members.  In it you will find reports from some of our member farms, a list of what is in your CSA box, and recipe suggestions for your Share.  Of course, the share contents won't be pertinent for Select Share members, but the rest is.  If you want to read past newsletters, you can view the most recent ones here.

With the (finally!) dry weather this week, many farmers are rushing to put up hay.  We usually do our first cutting in mid-June, but we haven't had any streaks of dry weather to do so.  This means we will only get two cuts this year, rather than the three that is always hoped for.

David Yoder from NuWay Farm writes about Horse Power versus Horsepower:

I have been surrounded by horses all of my life.  I was still quite young when I became the owner of a little grey pony that I named Silver.  I rode Silver everywhere bareback; I never had a saddle.  Silver was not like other ponies, kind of pokey, but at a gallop he fairly flew.  There were not many things he and I liked better than when, after school, I would spring upon his back and go pounding up and over our fields all the way to the woods and back.  It was great stimulation for us both.
 
The relationship between people and the horse is a special one.  It is claimed that it takes three to make a team--that is two horses and a driver.  It also has been proven that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a human.  That is why horses are used more and more in therapy for special needs children.
 
In recent decades in the USA, indeed over the whole world, farmers are trading the rumble of the diesel for the clinking of chains, tires for steel shoes, and fuel for hay and grain.  In our country of dwindling farmers it has been claimed that the very large operator and the small horse farmers are our farmers of the future.
 
Certainly the heavy draft horse was designed to work.  Their bones are heavier than standard sized horses, making them durable enough to withstand the rigors of farm life.  They also tend to have a gentle demeanor, which makes them highly sought after in the field.
 
Comparing tractors with horses is a favorite topic of mine.  I love to debate their differences.  Several questions I usually ask are, "Have you ever stepped into your barn in a morning and discovered a baby tractor nursing at your adult tractor?" and "Can your tractor, while working in the field or woods, sense danger lurking around the next corner and stop on its own?"
 
With a little help from man, horses reproduce themselves and fit well into the agro-ecosystem.  They can be sustained with food grown on the farm and they can contribute their manure for soil fertility.
 
Horses do their part to give back to the soil with their natural amendments.  Everything it takes to make and sustain a horse comes from the earth.  And even when they die, their carcasses can safely be broken down by the forces of nature to nurture the earth one more time.  Hence, horses take from the earth and give back to it.  In the meantime, they provide the power needed to care for and farm the earth.

Leah Wilson from Grateful Life Farm shares an update from their farm last week:

Another batch of chickens went in the freezer on Sunday and we are now 4 days from our deadline for moving our pen and fencing to our back field.  The neighbor mowed the field on Saturday, but rain has slowed our progress since then.  Luckily, the weekend weather is looking favorable for us to hit it hard on Sunday.  Sadly, we have lost a couple of the rabbit kits that were born almost two weeks ago.  In each litter, the ones that were noticeably smaller than their litter mates didn't make it.  However, all 11 remaining babies are growing fast and seem strong and healthy.  Their eyes are starting to open and their fur is coming in quickly. 

Wednesday night we harvested our first bed of garlic, tied bundles with twine, and hung them from the shed rafters to cure for a few weeks.  This year we grew one softneck variety and two hardnecks.  The hardnecks will not be harvested for a few more weeks, but the Inchelium Red softneck was ready and we were just waiting for a dry day.  I especially enjoy growing and harvesting crops like garlic and potatoes for the surprise factor.  You don't really know what you will find until you dig them up!  As we dug, lifted bulbs, and oohed and aahed over their beauty, size, and aroma, Shawn asked me the name of the variety and how it got that name.  Inchelium Red is an heirloom garlic that is said to be the oldest strain grown in North America, cultivated before the arrival of Europeans.  It was found on the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, Washington and is on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste.  We are planning a taste test with a head of roasted garlic drizzled in olive oil and some crusty bread.  If you try this recipe, beware!  Back in high school, my girlfriends and I would go out for this appetizer and when I got home, my mother would tell me she could smell the garlic coming out my pores!  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-garlic-102291 

Share Contents

Full Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. yellow wax beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berry Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Small Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berry Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice item from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Mini Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. yellow wax beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice item from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm

Recipes

Garlic Herb Potato Salad (You will have to reduce the size to accommodate your potatoes.  Use your choice of herbs.)

The Yummiest Buttery Parsley Potatoes

Easy Zucchini Carrot Pancakes (maybe not for breakfast...but then again, why not?)

Summer Veggie Stew (carrots, zucchini, tomatoes...yum!  I would switch out real cream for the evaporated milk)

Roasted Wax Beans with Arugula and Lemon (Skip the arugula at the end, or use a different green.)

String Beans and Summer Squash (Green or yellow...makes no difference)

Garden Fresh Bruschetta

Parmesan Tomato Zucchini Bake

After looking at these recipes, some of you might be wishing you had a Small Share instead of Mini, or a Full Share instead of Small!  If you find that your share isn't large enough, you can increase it.  Or you can just order extras from the Webstore, too!  If you're in the area, we are at Hermitage Farmer's Market on Fridays and Robinson Twp (Pgh) Farmer's Market on Mondays.

We welcome your comments about our farms, the share contents, and anything else you want to tell us.  Feel free to share recipes and photos on our Facebook page.

Happy eating!

Amy

Posted 7/13/2017 9:48am by Amy Philson.

This week, we have updates from three of our farms.

Hazy Hollow Farm

I think our farm is an example of sustainable agriculture.  It has been under cultivation since about 1800 when the McCoy family acquired it as a part of a Revolutionary War grant, so the legend goes.  The main barn that we still use was built in 1820 from timber cut on the farm.
My father and grandfather bought the farm in 1947, and it became Hazy Hollow Farm, one of the Country Belle Cooperative dairy farms. 
 
My father maintained the dairy herd until 1964 when he moved to beef cattle and Merino sheep – I was 25% owner of the flock – at age 10.
In the late 1970s my father kept a small beef and pig operation going.  In the mid 1980s my wife, two sons and I returned to the farm and established a Christmas tree nursery.  By the 1990s we were wholesaling trees and selling eggs and honey at the Slippery Rock Farmers’ Market.   We also established a Boer/Alpine cross meat goat herd, and began raising Bobwhite quail.
 
In 2006 I purchased a Scots Highland bull, registered him as Hazy Hollow Hugh, and began a Scots Highland beef herd.  I chose the Scots because they are considered a heritage breed and are extremely “thrifty” which means they utilize nutrients well, calve easily, and are generally hardy.  At the time my pastures were marginal, and the animals have prospered.
   
I market my animals as hanging halves and through the CSA.  None of the beef animals that I market have ever eaten grain of any kind,  although some of the brood cows I purchased early on were grain supplemented, that was years ago and that ended when they arrived at Hazy Hollow.  I have experimented with crossbreeding with Hereford and Angus/Hereford brood cows, but am currently returning to a completely Scots operation of about 30 head combined cows, calves and yearlings.
 
We also keep a small number of pasture raised pigs, which we market as we do the beef, and free range chickens for our own use.  Of course, there are rabbits, alpacas and donkeys for the grandchildren. Hazy Hollow Farm currently consists of 130 acres of pasture, hay and forest land. We use no herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  Besides my wife and I, our two sons and their wives and six children live on the property – the fifth generation of Thompsons on the farm.  I think that speaks to sustainability.
 
Our Ground Beef Shares feature meat from Hazy Hollow Farm.  Their beef, pork, and honey are available in the Webstore.

Silver Wheel Farm

Rain rain rain. Farmers love rain, especially in July. We plan on pulling our garlic crop on July 18 - 20, so we hope it dries up a bit before then, but in the meantime the rains are waking up new plantings of beans, sunflowers and lettuce. And the best time to cultivate the soil in the growing beds is after a rain, when the soil is a dark brown chocolate color, but not too ‘wet’.    
 
It has been an outstanding season for us so far; the kale and chard have never been bigger or more beautiful. We cover all of our greens beds with Agribon row cover to prevent the insects from chewing holes in the leaves. Works like a charm. The ‘Zephyr’ summer squash is going gangbusters already.  Parsley plants resemble big bouquets of green.  High tunnel basil looks just like the pictures in the seed catalogs. 
 
Potatoes are standing tall in straw-mulched hills, we dug (and already ate with the help of family and friends)  10 lbs of ‘Carola’ potatoes over the weekend.  Delicious with home-grown shallots and parsley.  I think one of the most strikingly noticeable flavor differences is that between store-bought potatoes (which have been sprayed with a wide variety of toxic chemicals, and have been sitting in a warehouse for who knows how long…usually months…) and freshly-dug, naturally-raised potatoes.  Really!  You can detect  a sweet earthiness. Try different kinds--each has a distinct flavor, much like fine wine.   Don’t forget the shallots and parsley!
 
Look for Silver Wheel Farm's products in the Choice box next week, and some of their herbs in the Webstore.
 
Grateful Life Farm
 
Baby bunnies arrived this week!  Friday evening when I opened the hutch to put in the first nest box, our doe Brandi had already had two kits.  I scooped them up and put them in the nest box, covering them with the fur she had pulled from beneath her chin.  She has never had such a small litter before and there was no afterbirth, so I started to worry.  I kept checking her every few hours and early Saturday afternoon the rest of the litter came, five more almost 24 hours later.  That night, our other doe Coco gave birth to a litter of eight, which were all doing well the next morning.  Their fur is just starting to come in now at four and five days old.
 
On Wednesday we let our turkeys out on pasture after a week of getting used to their new shelter.  This year we cut the feathers short on the right wing of each bird prior to letting them out to limit their flying abilities.  Although the feathers grow back, the birds will have gotten used to being a bit off balance and they don't seem to try to fly so high.  Their roost is around four feet off the ground and they will have no trouble reaching that, but we are hoping to eliminate the phone calls from our neighbor, informing us that our turkeys got out and are on the roof of our house!

Last Sunday we processed our second batch of chickens, giving us nine days to break down our new pen into halves and move it, and the fence, to a large field near the back of our property.  One of the frustrations of this growth stage of our farm is that we always seem to be in crisis mode and this project is no exception.  Almost two months ago, we ordered a brush cutting attachment for our BCS, two-wheeled tractor, to cut the grass in this field.  The attachment was supposed to arrive in one week, but took five weeks, and the tractor and the attachment are now at the dealer service department and the grass in the field is knee high.  Shawn spent some time with the weed eater, which didn't get him far on grass cutting.  However, the noise drew the attention of the neighbor, who told him he's an idiot and agreed to bring his tractor and brush hog the field in exchange for six gallons of diesel fuel.  Now we'll only need to build a bridge over a small stream to access the field, rake off all the grass, and set everything up.  Will we make it? 
 
Grateful Life Farm supplies our Chicken Shares and Rabbit Shares, as well as some produce for CSA Shares.  Their products are also available in the Webstore.
 
CSA Shares
Full Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 6 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berries
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres
 
Small Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard from NuWay Farm
  • 3 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berries
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres
Mini Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumber from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
 
Recipes
 
 
Lemon Zucchini Bread  I will cut the sugar in half and sub applesauce for part of the oil, plus use a gluten-free flour.
 
35 Zucchini Recipes Surely you can find something here!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
25 Healthy Lunches (or dinners) for people who hate salad  Most of these recipes don't match this week's CSA share, but there are some great ideas here to save for later.
 
I love this time of year when we have more choices of fresh produce!  Were you the lucky one who snatched the cherry tomatoes from the choice box at your location?  We had 4 available today, to spread over all of our pickups.
 
Have a great week!
Amy
 
 
Posted 7/6/2017 10:44am by Amy Philson.

I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day celebration.  It's very rare when farmers take the day off.  Most worked part of the day and then squeezed in some time for relaxation with friends and family. 

Here is an update from Grateful Life Farm that was written last Friday:

Although busy, this week was happily uneventful with no major storms or power outages!  On Sunday, we moved our turkey shelter, mowed around it, and set up another section of fence to transition the turkey poults to pasture.  We ran an extension cord and hung a heat lamp above the roost for a bit of extra warmth at night.  The first two evenings at dusk, I had to pick up each turkey and place them on the roost, but by the third night they were flying up on their own.  We also transitioned our third batch of broiler chickens from their brooder to pasture and received another shipment of day old chicks on Wednesday morning.  This was also the final week of gestation for our two rabbit does, who are expected to give birth this weekend!  Tonight I will place a nest box filled with bedding in each of their hutches in anticipation.

In the garden, our spring crops are looking a little ragged, with some of the spinach and lettuce going to seed after the hot spell, but the summer crops coming on strong.  The green beans, basil, and tomatoes and growing well, and I noticed the first flowers on tomatoes yesterday.  This weekend we will stake the tomatoes and prune off suckers.  The next succession of radishes will be ready in a week or two and the kale and collards look full and strong.  We harvested the scapes from our hardneck garlic, which means the heads will be ready in about a month.  Scapes have a delicious garlic flavor and make an intense pesto.   https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015301-garlic-scape-pesto
 
We also pulled a few test heads from the Inchelium Red softneck variety we planted and they looked much larger than we expected and very nice.  I even managed to get several more flats of lettuce transplanted yesterday just before the rain came.  It was a beautiful evening with a strong breeze to cut the humidity and hundreds of fireflies flashing as night fell.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 qt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. mixed lettuce from Grateful Life Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from NuWay Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Allegheny River Farm
  • 1 herb from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Springfield Acres

Small Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 qt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Allegheny River Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 pt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

Recipes

31 things to do with CSA Veggies  Some of these recipes look fabulous!

Blueberry Chicken Chopped Salad

Blueberry Feta Salad

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Pint Blueberry Jam  Did you know that you can make blueberry jam with only 1 pint of berries?  It's honey-sweetened, too!

Lemon Grilled Zucchini  I made this to go with our burgers and dogs last night.  We love this recipe from Against All Grain.  Feel free to substitute whatever herbs you have on hand.

Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Easy Thai Carrot Soup

Meaty Zucchini Casserole

Baked Kohlrabi Fries with Greek Tzatziki

I love to make a simple coleslaw with kohlrabi and carrots.  Dress it with a creamy dressing or a vinegar/oil dressing.  Just be sure to peel your kohlrabi before you shred it, or your jaw will get a good workout.

Thank you again for supporting local farms.  We welcome your feedback on the share contents.  Do you like herbs in the shares, or would you rather do without?  Too much lettuce?  Not enough lettuce?  Of course, we can't please everyone, and in the early weeks we have lots of greens, but we still want to know what you think so we can improve.  Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes are coming soon!

Amy

 

 

 

 

Posted 6/29/2017 9:10am by Amy Philson.

Another week has already passed since I wrote the last weekly newsletter.  Sometimes my days go by in a blur during the summer.  Here is an update from my family's Bushel and a Peck Farm:

We are currently attending three farmer's markets in the Pittsburgh area, on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.  We also take products from fellow NWPA Growers farmers to two markets, and only our maple products to the third.  What most people don't realize is that for a three-hour market, we spend about 8 hours packing, driving setting up, market time, tearing down, and unpacking.  That doesn't include any time spent making and bottling maple syrup and other products or harvesting produce.  It makes for a long day.
 
Late last week, we had a new colt delivered.  We use draft horses for some of our farming activities.  All of our horses are mares, so we purchased a male colt for breeding purposes in the future.  Zed was born in September, so he's in the awkward teenage stage:  long and lanky.  He's quickly learning the pecking order in our barn from the queen mare Bella.  She makes sure that everyone knows that she's the boss.
 
On Sunday, our friends from Ohio brought us seven lambs to add to our flock, two males and five females.  We needed some new genetics in our flock. It's important that we change our male breeders every few years to guard against inbreeding.  Our sheep are a hair sheep, which means that they don't have the heavy wool coat that is characteristic of some sheep.  They are more suited for meat and do not need to be sheared every spring.  We are currently out of lamb in our freezer but hope to butcher in the next few weeks.  First we have to determine which ones we want to keep and which to send to freezer camp.
 
We have also been busy bottling this year's maple syrup.  When we make the syrup, we seal it in larger, reusable containers between 5 and 30 gallons.  Throughout the year, we open those containers and reheat the syrup to fill syrup jugs and to use in making value-added maple products like our maple mustard, Bourbon Barrel Aged maple syrup, and lots more.  So even though maple season is only a couple of months, we are continuously doing more with it throughout the year.

And another update from Grateful Life Farm:

After over a year of planning and construction, we processed our first batch of chickens last Sunday in our new state inspected facility!  We saved a lot of time setting up because our equipment was already in its place and we didn't need to string a tarp for shelter or run water hoses everywhere.  Shawn's kill area stayed shaded and breezy and my indoor room was cool and comfortable with lots of space to work.  It was truly a night and day difference from past years and a pleasure to use this workspace.  Unfortunately, all the time we saved in processing was lost in packaging when storms knocked the power out for several hours.  We scrambled to fire the welder and the generator and find all our extension cords to get the freezer running again and get our brooder lights back on our young birds.

We processed a few extra birds this time, as we had made the difficult decision to cull the older and less productive hens from our laying flock this year.  We got these hens back in June of 2014, not long after we moved to Rockland to start the farm.  One Saturday morning we set out in a rented minivan, the back seats folded down to accommodate chicken crates, for a road trip to the Meyer Hatchery in Ohio.  We had ordered 20 barred rock started pullets, approximately 18 weeks old and ready to lay eggs any day.  Our farm dream was new (and perhaps a bit naive) back then and our spirits were high with excitement to expand our flock.  We listened to Ringo Starr's It Don't Come Easy on the radio, changing the words to "You gotta pay your dues if you wanna be a chicken farmer, and you know it don't come easy."  Pickup day was bustling as the hatchery staff loaded panicked birds into customers' crates.  One of ours nearly got away, flying way up in the air before being caught.  The smell inside the van was atrocious on the drive back and we were glad to settle them into their new home, an A-frame shelter we had built them.  Although they were not pets, caring for them each morning and evening has become part of the rhythm of my life, and my heart was heavy to see them go, feeling as though a chapter had come to a close.

The rest of the week was busy delivering chicken orders, harvesting and packaging produce and getting ready to put our turkey poults on pasture.  They are more than ready to leave the brooder and have more space, knocking over their feed and water constantly.  We've cut the grass and fence lines and only need to position their shelter and run an extension cord so they can still have some heat at night if needed.  Our third batch of chickens will also go into their pasture pen this weekend to make room for the next batch, arriving Wednesday.  

Leah usually writes her farm updates during the weekend, so their new chicks arrived yesterday.  Shawn delivered their products to our packing facility and left quickly to pick up the day-old chicks at the post office.

Farm Share Contents

Full Share

  • 4 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 quart new red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from Detweiler Farm, NuWay Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 herb from Springfield Acres, Bushel and a Peck Farm, and Silver Wheel Farm

Small Shares

  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 quart new red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from Detweiler Farm, NuWay Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Silver Wheel Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pint new red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Save your carrot tops!  They're nutritious, too.  Separate them from the carrots before you put them in the fridge.  Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Goat Cheese or Carrot Top Pesto

Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Herbs (Use whatever milk you prefer.  The recipe calls for Almond Breeze.)

Fresh Dill and Red Potato Salad with Feta

Easiest Potato Salad Ever

10 Garlic Scape Recipes

Butter Steamed New Potatoes

Lasagna Zucchini Boats (These will be on my family's menu this week.  My kids love them, even the pickiest.)

Amazing Parmesan Zucchini

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

Honey Balsamic Carrots (Fresh carrots never last very long at my house.  They're super sweet, and we always eat them fresh.)

More recipes are available on our Pinterest page or our Website.

 

Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations this weekend and next week.  Let Freedom Ring.

Amy

 

Posted 6/22/2017 10:37am by Amy Philson.

What a beautiful week!  After the oppressive heat and humidity, and then a virtual deluge in some areas over the weekend, we are loving this mild weather for the official start of summer.  We have more farmer news to share with you:

From Grateful Life Farm

     This week we had a visit from the state bee inspector.  We assumed that this person would be a wealth of knowledge and we were not disappointed.  Shawn spent three hours with him, opening our hive, inspecting the comb, and asking questions.  The purpose of the inspection was to check the colony for American Foulbrood, a destructive disease that is easily spread from colony to colony through spores in the brood and honey and can remain viable for up to 40 years!  Fortunately no sign was found in our colony.  The inspector also had some constructive thoughts about our choice of a top bar style bee hive rather than a traditional Langstroth hive.  We have been thinking of trying a hybrid approach in the future called a Warre hive, a vertical design like the Langstroth, but allowing bees to build their own comb, like the top bar.
     This week we have continued to turn in finished crops, lay down landscape fabric for weed control, and plant new successions.  Spinach, radishes, green beans, and sunflowers went in this week.  I also filled in the partial kale bed, where my Tuscan kale was killed by a freeze, with more Tuscan kale.  Only two of approximately 50 plants survived and are flourishing and I was considering saving their seeds for next year to increase cold hardiness.
     Our 4½ week old broilers are doing well in their new pen.  We are enjoying the ease of daily moves with the larger tires, but the increased clearance from the ground has caused a little trouble with escapees.  Chickens that don't care to walk to the new patch of grass can just sit down and the pen goes right over their heads.  They are still small enough that a few even shoved themselves through the openings in the electric net fence.  Fortunately they soon realize they are separated from their group and far from the feeder and head back towards the pen.  
     We will be processing our first batch of broiler chickens this Sunday, June 18th.  [This was written at the end of last week.]  I am really excited to try out our new processing room!  I believe it will save us hours of time in set up, tear down, and packaging and I can use some of that time to make more cut ups.  Our standard cuts are whole, half, boneless, skinless breasts, wings, and leg quarters.  We also offer backs and feet for making stock or broth as well as hearts, livers, and gizzards. 

From Harmony Grove Farm

Hello Friends! We had a sizzling hot summer day earlier this week – it went up almost 110 degrees in our greenhouse! Then we had great amount of gushing water from the sky yesterday!! Fortunately, all our greens survived through this week!

From NuWay Farm

     A few years back and Amish farmer from Lancaster, PA, stopped at our 20-acre produce farm for a visit.  He and I traded secrets and experiences on the farm.  A question he asked me was, "What is your greatest challenge farming in this area?"  Without hesitation, I gave him the answer:  "The weather is our greatest challenge."
     In our 15-plus years of farming, we have learned that it is indeed the weather that determines the farmer's bottom line at the end of the year.  Hoping to meet his budget, the weather can become to the farmer like a monster out to het him.  If it doesn't try to ruin him with frequent heavy downpours, it'll try to roast him out with hot, dry conditions.  We have learned also that in a diversity of crops, no matter the weather it will be good for something.
     Some weeks during May this past spring we had very cold and very warm temperatures all the same week.  Several times we had all of that in one day even!
     The day we chose to set out the leeks was one of those days.  It was cold and blustery that morning.  The two special operators sitting at the back of the transplanter wore thick coats and scarves.  When we got to the end of a row, the farthest from our buildings, it started to sprinkle big heavy ice-cold drops of rain.  I shifted my team of horses into second gear and made a right hand turn and started on a fast trot down the farm lane toward our buildings.  When that rain started coming in sheets I arched my back against its chill and urged the team into third gear. 
     The team of horses was going at a good gallop now, throwing dirt clods from their hooves back toward the operators for a change.  The silence of those operators concerned me a bit; however a quick glance revealed them clinging to their seats, each wearing a grim look.  We skidded to a halt in front of the packing shed, and the operators released their death grips and ran for cover.  I guided the horses into the barn and waited out the rain shower. 
     After lunch that same day the sun came out and smiled brightly.  We all went to the field to again plant leeks.  Whew!  We got so warm that we threw off our coats and hats and gloves and wished for a cold drink.  But hey...that's life on the farm.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 2 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Grateul Life Farm
  • 2 Choice

Small Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. collard greens from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice

Mini Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm (a couple of you got carrots instead because we ran short)
  • 1/4 lb. snow peas or sugar snap peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.  See the link below if you're not familiar with this veggie.

My favorite way to eat snow peas is when I peel the stem and string off and just pop them in my mouth.  Sweet and crunchy!

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Cranberry Almond Lettuce Salad

Warm Collard Quinoa Salad

Collard Greens Chicken Burritos

Asian Beef with Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Garlic Snow Peas Stir-Fry

How to Cut Up Kohlrabi

Raw Kohlrabi and Apple Salad

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

As you can see from the Choice box, summer produce is slowly coming.  We should have more variety in your shares next week besides lettuce and greens.  It looks like carrots and zucchini will be ready.  Yay!!!  Strawberries are finished this week, but blueberries will come in a couple of weeks.

As always, if you have any comments about your CSA Share, your pickup location, etc., please email me.

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 6/21/2017 8:14pm by Amy Philson.

What a beautiful week!  After the oppressive heat and humidity, and then a virtual deluge in some areas over the weekend, we are loving this mild weather for the official start of summer.  We have more farmer news to share with you:

From Grateful Life Farm

     This week we had a visit from the state bee inspector.  We assumed that this person would be a wealth of knowledge and we were not disappointed.  Shawn spent three hours with him, opening our hive, inspecting the comb, and asking questions.  The purpose of the inspection was to check the colony for American Foulbrood, a destructive disease that is easily spread from colony to colony through spores in the brood and honey and can remain viable for up to 40 years!  Fortunately no sign was found in our colony.  The inspector also had some constructive thoughts about our choice of a top bar style bee hive rather than a traditional Langstroth hive.  We have been thinking of trying a hybrid approach in the future called a Warre hive, a vertical design like the Langstroth, but allowing bees to build their own comb, like the top bar.
     This week we have continued to turn in finished crops, lay down landscape fabric for weed control, and plant new successions.  Spinach, radishes, green beans, and sunflowers went in this week.  I also filled in the partial kale bed, where my Tuscan kale was killed by a freeze, with more Tuscan kale.  Only two of approximately 50 plants survived and are flourishing and I was considering saving their seeds for next year to increase cold hardiness.
     Our 4½ week old broilers are doing well in their new pen.  We are enjoying the ease of daily moves with the larger tires, but the increased clearance from the ground has caused a little trouble with escapees.  Chickens that don't care to walk to the new patch of grass can just sit down and the pen goes right over their heads.  They are still small enough that a few even shoved themselves through the openings in the electric net fence.  Fortunately they soon realize they are separated from their group and far from the feeder and head back towards the pen.  
     We will be processing our first batch of broiler chickens this Sunday, June 18th.  [This was written at the end of last week.]  I am really excited to try out our new processing room!  I believe it will save us hours of time in set up, tear down, and packaging and I can use some of that time to make more cut ups.  Our standard cuts are whole, half, boneless, skinless breasts, wings, and leg quarters.  We also offer backs and feet for making stock or broth as well as hearts, livers, and gizzards. 

From Harmony Grove Farm

Hello Friends! We had a sizzling hot summer day earlier this week – it went up almost 110 degrees in our greenhouse! Then we had great amount of gushing water from the sky yesterday!! Fortunately, all our greens survived through this week!

From NuWay Farm

     A few years back and Amish farmer from Lancaster, PA, stopped at our 20-acre produce farm for a visit.  He and I traded secrets and experiences on the farm.  A question he asked me was, "What is your greatest challenge farming in this area?"  Without hesitation, I gave him the answer:  "The weather is our greatest challenge."
     In our 15-plus years of farming, we have learned that it is indeed the weather that determines the farmer's bottom line at the end of the year.  Hoping to meet his budget, the weather can become to the farmer like a monster out to het him.  If it doesn't try to ruin him with frequent heavy downpours, it'll try to roast him out with hot, dry conditions.  We have learned also that in a diversity of crops, no matter the weather it will be good for something.
     Some weeks during May this past spring we had very cold and very warm temperatures all the same week.  Several times we had all of that in one day even!
     The day we chose to set out the leeks was one of those days.  It was cold and blustery that morning.  The two special operators sitting at the back of the transplanter wore thick coats and scarves.  When we got to the end of a row, the farthest from our buildings, it started to sprinkle big heavy ice-cold drops of rain.  I shifted my team of horses into second gear and made a right hand turn and started on a fast trot down the farm lane toward our buildings.  When that rain started coming in sheets I arched my back against its chill and urged the team into third gear. 
     The team of horses was going at a good gallop now, throwing dirt clods from their hooves back toward the operators for a change.  The silence of those operators concerned me a bit; however a quick glance revealed them clinging to their seats, each wearing a grim look.  We skidded to a halt in front of the packing shed, and the operators released their death grips and ran for cover.  I guided the horses into the barn and waited out the rain shower. 
     After lunch that same day the sun came out and smiled brightly.  We all went to the field to again plant leeks.  Whew!  We got so warm that we threw off our coats and hats and gloves and wished for a cold drink.  But hey...that's life on the farm.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Grateul Life Farm
  • 2 Choice

Small Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. collard greens from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice

Mini Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/4 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.  See the link below if you're not familiar with this veggie.

My favorite way to eat snow peas is when I peel the stem and string off and just pop them in my mouth.  Sweet and crunchy!

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Cranberry Almond Lettuce Salad

Warm Collard Quinoa Salad

Collard Greens Chicken Burritos

Asian Beef with Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Garlic Snow Peas Stir-Fry

How to Cut Up Kohlrabi

Raw Kohlrabi and Apple Salad

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

As you can see from the Choice box, summer produce is slowly coming.  We should have more variety in your shares next week besides lettuce and greens.  It looks like carrots and zucchini will be ready.  Yay!!!  Strawberries are finished this week, but blueberries will come in a couple of weeks.

As always, if you have any comments about your CSA Share, your pickup location, etc., please email me.

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 6/21/2017 8:14pm by Amy Philson.

What a beautiful week!  After the oppressive heat and humidity, and then a virtual deluge in some areas over the weekend, we are loving this mild weather for the official start of summer.  We have more farmer news to share with you:

From Grateful Life Farm

     This week we had a visit from the state bee inspector.  We assumed that this person would be a wealth of knowledge and we were not disappointed.  Shawn spent three hours with him, opening our hive, inspecting the comb, and asking questions.  The purpose of the inspection was to check the colony for American Foulbrood, a destructive disease that is easily spread from colony to colony through spores in the brood and honey and can remain viable for up to 40 years!  Fortunately no sign was found in our colony.  The inspector also had some constructive thoughts about our choice of a top bar style bee hive rather than a traditional Langstroth hive.  We have been thinking of trying a hybrid approach in the future called a Warre hive, a vertical design like the Langstroth, but allowing bees to build their own comb, like the top bar.
     This week we have continued to turn in finished crops, lay down landscape fabric for weed control, and plant new successions.  Spinach, radishes, green beans, and sunflowers went in this week.  I also filled in the partial kale bed, where my Tuscan kale was killed by a freeze, with more Tuscan kale.  Only two of approximately 50 plants survived and are flourishing and I was considering saving their seeds for next year to increase cold hardiness.
     Our 4½ week old broilers are doing well in their new pen.  We are enjoying the ease of daily moves with the larger tires, but the increased clearance from the ground has caused a little trouble with escapees.  Chickens that don't care to walk to the new patch of grass can just sit down and the pen goes right over their heads.  They are still small enough that a few even shoved themselves through the openings in the electric net fence.  Fortunately they soon realize they are separated from their group and far from the feeder and head back towards the pen.  
     We will be processing our first batch of broiler chickens this Sunday, June 18th.  [This was written at the end of last week.]  I am really excited to try out our new processing room!  I believe it will save us hours of time in set up, tear down, and packaging and I can use some of that time to make more cut ups.  Our standard cuts are whole, half, boneless, skinless breasts, wings, and leg quarters.  We also offer backs and feet for making stock or broth as well as hearts, livers, and gizzards. 

From Harmony Grove Farm

Hello Friends! We had a sizzling hot summer day earlier this week – it went up almost 110 degrees in our greenhouse! Then we had great amount of gushing water from the sky yesterday!! Fortunately, all our greens survived through this week!

From NuWay Farm

     A few years back and Amish farmer from Lancaster, PA, stopped at our 20-acre produce farm for a visit.  He and I traded secrets and experiences on the farm.  A question he asked me was, "What is your greatest challenge farming in this area?"  Without hesitation, I gave him the answer:  "The weather is our greatest challenge."
     In our 15-plus years of farming, we have learned that it is indeed the weather that determines the farmer's bottom line at the end of the year.  Hoping to meet his budget, the weather can become to the farmer like a monster out to het him.  If it doesn't try to ruin him with frequent heavy downpours, it'll try to roast him out with hot, dry conditions.  We have learned also that in a diversity of crops, no matter the weather it will be good for something.
     Some weeks during May this past spring we had very cold and very warm temperatures all the same week.  Several times we had all of that in one day even!
     The day we chose to set out the leeks was one of those days.  It was cold and blustery that morning.  The two special operators sitting at the back of the transplanter wore thick coats and scarves.  When we got to the end of a row, the farthest from our buildings, it started to sprinkle big heavy ice-cold drops of rain.  I shifted my team of horses into second gear and made a right hand turn and started on a fast trot down the farm lane toward our buildings.  When that rain started coming in sheets I arched my back against its chill and urged the team into third gear. 
     The team of horses was going at a good gallop now, throwing dirt clods from their hooves back toward the operators for a change.  The silence of those operators concerned me a bit; however a quick glance revealed them clinging to their seats, each wearing a grim look.  We skidded to a halt in front of the packing shed, and the operators released their death grips and ran for cover.  I guided the horses into the barn and waited out the rain shower. 
     After lunch that same day the sun came out and smiled brightly.  We all went to the field to again plant leeks.  Whew!  We got so warm that we threw off our coats and hats and gloves and wished for a cold drink.  But hey...that's life on the farm.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Grateul Life Farm
  • 2 Choice

Small Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. collard greens from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice

Mini Shares

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/4 lb. snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.  See the link below if you're not familiar with this veggie.

My favorite way to eat snow peas is when I peel the stem and string off and just pop them in my mouth.  Sweet and crunchy!

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

Cranberry Almond Lettuce Salad

Warm Collard Quinoa Salad

Collard Greens Chicken Burritos

Asian Beef with Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Garlic Snow Peas Stir-Fry

How to Cut Up Kohlrabi

Raw Kohlrabi and Apple Salad

Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime

As you can see from the Choice box, summer produce is slowly coming.  We should have more variety in your shares next week besides lettuce and greens.  It looks like carrots and zucchini will be ready.  Yay!!!  Strawberries are finished this week, but blueberries will come in a couple of weeks.

As always, if you have any comments about your CSA Share, your pickup location, etc., please email me.

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 6/14/2017 8:30pm by Amy Philson.

This hot weather should bring a great appreciation of your farmers.  Even when it's sweltering outside, we are still out in the fields planting, weeding, and harvesting.  If possible, we get up early to beat the heat, and then work again in the evening.  But sometimes we just have to stay hydrated and keep on going when temperatures soar, like when we're cutting hay.  Most crops stay fresh longer when we pick them early in the day, before the sun heats them up.  Greens are quick-chilled in cold water, and then weighed and packaged under a roof. 

We have a new installment from David Yoder of NuWay Farm:

Ahh, yes, the beautiful Mistress Summertime cometh.  She brings corn on the cob, big red round tomatoes, juicy chin-dripping watermelons.  And let's not forget family cookouts.  Family is important.
 
In our 15-plus years of farming, we have tried many tomato varieties.  The green ones, yellow ones, orange ones, black ones, big ones, little ones.  Mostly we are interested in the heirloom kinds.  We finally settled on three that we like best.
 
This first one we have planted for three years now.  It is not an heirloom but a hybrid.  It's a paste tomato called Health Kick. There's nothing spectacular about it; it's just a paste tomato for canning.
The next one I want to tell you about is not an heirloom either.  It is a yellow cherry tomato called Sunsugar.  We plant this one year after year because of its high yields and very good low-acid sweet taste.  Picking one directly from the vine, popping it into your mouth, exploding it between the teeth, starts a person on a feeding frenzy that won't end until filled or you run out of tomatoes.
 
This last tomato that we grow is, well, really spectacular I think.  It's definitely an heirloom.  It's a large pink low-acid tomato with the least amount of seed pockets I have ever seen in a tomato.  It's kind of sweet; a bit solid yet not crunchy, large enough to cover anyone's homemade wheat bread slices.  An elderly Amish farmer gave me several seeds seven years ago and advised me to try this tomato.  He had been saving the seeds for 30 years, he said.  He had gotten the seed from an elderly lady 30 years ago who had brought the seed with her from Germany.  This delicious tomato did not have a name--so we named it.  At the beginning the boys and I identified the tomato by saying, "that tomato-we-got-from-John-Henry."  Eventually we shortened it to the "John Henry" tomato.  That is how it got its name.  We believe that by saving seeds from only the hardiest plants the tomato may adapt to our regioun and also build disease resistance.  Watch your share box about mid-summer if everything goes well.  You're sure to find some JH tomatoes with your produce.

And an update from Grateful Life Farm:

This week we finished building generation two of our bottomless, moveable broiler pens.  Although our first pen is still in service in its fourth season, it has needed repeated repairs and we also identified some improvements we wanted to make.  Our ultimate goal is to use this pen in pastures much further from our house, so we wanted to build it like Fort Knox for chickens.  The new pen is the same footprint as the original, 10 x 12, but it is built in two halves with a bolted flange down the center which will allow us to take it apart and move it to different pastures later in the season.  We used heavier lumber for key pieces that we have repaired several times on the first pen and we used ½" x 1" welded wire rather than the mix of chicken wire and hardware cloth from the first pen to make it more predator proof.  We also used larger tires which give us more ground clearance when we are moving the pen each day. 
Grateful Life Farm's chicken tractor
 
Tuesday evening we set up a new section of electric net fence and put the second batch of broiler chicks in the new pen.  It has been working very well, heavier than the original design, but easier to move.  We were just in time to clean out the brooder and pick up batch three from the post office on Wednesday morning.  All arrived healthy and are doing well.  We will be processing our first batch of broiler chickens Sunday, June 18th.
 
With the chicken pen completed, we turned our attention toward the vegetables.  We removed crop residues from our first spinach and radish planting, and prepared the beds for the next crops, spinach and basil.  The basil transplants went in on Wednesday evening and are looking well.  Although heavily mulched last fall with leaves and grass clippings, the garlic needed a little weeding, which we breezed through pretty quickly.  It is looking strong and we are excited for scapes soon!  Next, we will be planting successions of lettuce, radishes and spinach, and also green beans and sunflowers.   

For those of you with Chicken Shares, your first chicken will come next week.  Biweekly shares will receive chickens two weeks in a row, and then biweekly for the rest of the season.  When we start chickens too early in the spring, we have found that they are more susceptible to illness and death because of the cold, so we delayed the start of Chicken Shares by one week.  If you don't have a Chicken Share, some of Grateful Life's chicken will be available in the Webstore soon.

Share Contents

Full Shares

  • 1 quart strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. collard greens from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Red Dog Farm
  • 2 Choice items

Small Shares

  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice item

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce Grateful Life Farm
  • 1/3 lb. collard greens from NuWay Farm

Recipes

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

Simple Spaghetti with Kale, Lemon and Garlic

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad

One Pot Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

Easy Swiss Chard

Roasted Salt & Pepper Radish Chips

Radish & Herb Cashew Ricotta Crostini -- Sub regular ricotta or goat cheese if you eat dairy and don't want to make cashew cheese.

Cuban-Inspired Black Beans and Rice with Collard Greens and Pan-Fried Plantains -- If you're not familiar with plantains, they are a relative of bananas.

Blanched Collard Greens for Wraps

Garlic Ginger Collard Greens + Eggs & Feta

If one of these recipes looks yummy but you didn't receive that particular green in your Share, I have found that I can substitute other greens in recipes.  Kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, etc. can be swapped out in many (not all) recipes.

Have a great week and try to stay cool!  Enjoy some new recipes, try different foods, and have fun with fresh local food!

Amy

Posted 6/7/2017 11:12am by Amy Philson.

Welcome to our first week of Summer Farm Shares!  Each week you will receive this email with farm news, a list of your share contents, and recipe ideas.  If you are on vacation, you will still receive the email so you can drool over what you're missing that week.

News from Leah from Grateful Life Farm last week:

We weathered a pretty intense storm on Sunday night with thankfully no significant damage.  I had just finished planting spinach and tomato transplants, moved the laying hens’ fence and started mowing grass when the first burst of rain hit.  I was initially happy to have my transplants watered in and went in the house to get cleaned up for a trip to the store to buy materials for another chicken pen.  Soon Shawn came in to tell me to hurry up and get out of the shower because the thunder and lightning were getting really close.  We never left the property, but instead spent the rest of the afternoon and evening alternately staring helplessly out the window as heavy downpours, including hail, pelted our vegetables, and running outside during the breaks in the storms to check on the animals.

Hearing stories on the news, I could never picture in my mind how people and cars could be swept away by flash floods, how water could rise so fast, but I could imagine it that night.  The tiny trickle of a stream dividing our property and the neighbor’s, nearly dry in the summer, roared with racing water, overcame the drainage pipe at the bottom of our driveway and partially submerged the road, dumping into an angrily churning Shull Run.  The ground was already so wet and saturated that the additional water just ran across our yard and field, inches deep in places. We had moved the broiler chickens in their pasture pen to the highest ground we have earlier in the day, but by dark their area was getting really soggy and I was sick at heart, feeling like there was nothing more I could do for them.  After my final tour around 10:30 PM, I went to bed feeling depressed and helpless and slept poorly, dreaming of finding all the animals dead and all the lettuce and collards and kale flattened in the morning.

The morning dawned pleasantly sunny and I forced myself out the door for morning chores, dreading the carnage I expected to find.  Instead, I was reminded how resilient plants and animals can be.  There was no damage to our crops and only a handful of wet and cold broiler chickens who were transferred back to the brooder for a few hours of warming.  The hail had broken a hole in the plastic sheeting roof above the brooders, but the hole was on the eave and had not allowed rain on the baby chickens and turkeys.  We are so grateful that all of our season’s hard work was not destroyed that night, but also wistful for the time before we farmed when a bad storm was no more than a beautiful light show.

We also have a new installment from David Yoder of NuWay Farm.  If you have missed his previous journals this spring, you can read them at http://www.nwpagrowers.com/blog

Tonight I'm happy and proud of everyone who helps on our farm.  Today we were able to set out all the tomato and tomatillo plants.  We used a transplanter drawn by two horses.  There are two seats in the back part for the two special operators.  I am the owner and CEO of this 20-acre produce farm; thus, I get to drive the horses and direct the planting that goes on at the back of the unit.
Just in case you think me selfish for grabbing the easy job of driving the team, let me explain one thing:  Those two young Amish girls operating the planter may seem very polite or even bashful at times to you, an outsider.  But to me they are anything but bashful and sometimes not polite.  They must not understand that I'm the farm's CEO!
Because the transplanter dare not go too fast nor too slow, the driver (me, the CEO) is subject to all kinds of abuse.  Mostly verbal.  Sometimes even ducking dirt clods.
"Hey you!  Not so fast," sings out a youthful feminine voice.  So yes, of course, I obediently tighten up the lines a little and talk softly to myself and to my horses.  They slow down gratefully.  After creeping along a while I hear that voice again.  "Hey mister!  What are you doing?  Are you racing with a snail?  Speed up!"  I watch for flying dirt clods, talk to myself, and slack up the lines.  Now the team steps right along.
"Yeow!  Not so fast here, no sense in going fifty miles and hour!"  That voice sounds a bit agitated now.  I check for flying dirt clods and talk to myself.
Whew!  I'm not sure being a CEO is all it's cracked up to be.  I must say though that those girls do a great job of planting in spite of everything.  I wouldn't want to do without 'em really.  I think CEOs just need a thicker skin, that's all.

Farm Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. rhubarb from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Novotny Farm
  • 1/2 lb. spinach from NuWay Farm
  • 1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm or Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 2 choice

Small Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. rhubarb from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. spinach from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice

Mini Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. strawberries from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm

Recipes

If you are new or have been away from our CSA for the winter and spring, we are now using Pinterest to share recipes.  Follow us at https://www.pinterest.com/nwpagrowers/pins/.  Besides the recipes that I share each week, you can find additional recipes from previous weeks.  The old recipes are still available at http://www.nwpagrowers.com/recipe if you want to search for an old favorite or look for additional ideas.

For salads that call for red onion, you may substitute your green onions.  And if you want to make a larger spinach salad, mix in some lettuce.

Strawberry, Feta, and Spinach Salad

Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken

Creamy Garlic Scapes Salad Dressing

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Savory Radish and Goat Cheese Muffins

8 Ways to Eat Radishes and Radish Greens

Double Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake

It's the season of green with a splash of red from the fields.  My family is beginning to tire of salads (not me!  I love them), but that's what is fresh right now.  So they will have to deal with it.  More variety will come soon.

I always welcome your feedback about your Farm Share.  Please let me know what you like or don't like, what you wish for in your share, or how we can make the CSA better.

Amy

 

 

Posted 5/24/2017 12:47pm by Amy Philson.

This is the final day of our Spring Share, full of fresh spring greens!  Summer season begins in just two weeks.  It seems impossible that June is almost upon us, yet the seasons don't wait for us to be ready.  Your farmers are planting seeds and seedlings, mulching and weeding, planting new perennials, tending to baby animals, managing pasture and fence for older animals, and more.  Soon it will be time to cut hay for winter feed.

David Yoder of NuWay Farm shares another installment from his life on the farm:

     I awoke quickly.  I knew it was morning, for I felt well-rested.  Yet, I could tell it was early, somewhere between 4 and 5 o'clock.  I lay on my back for a while staring into the darkness, thinking of the day ahead.  The soil was dry, the weather warm--just right for planting.  Today we hoped to be able to sow more beets, cilantro, arugula, and possibly broccoli rabe.  Actually, I will be preparing the soil with a team of horses and cultimulcher while my son Josiah follows with the planter.
     I got dressed and stepped outside the door of our farmhouse.  From the looks of the eastern sky, the sun was struggling its way to the horizon, evidence of a beautiful day ahead of us.  As I entered the barn, the horses greeted me enthusiastically.  Now I don't believe for one minute that they were overly happy to see me; I think it's mainly that they had been impatiently waiting for their portion of grain.
     With the horses now munching oats, I walked slowly to the woodlot behind our house.  Wow!  Those birds were glad for spring and a warmer climate, too.  Several cardinals were talking to each other at the same time.  How in the world they can communicate that way is beyond me.  A hairy woodpecker drummed on a dead tree somewhere, warning others to keep back.  The trail I was walking on led me past our sugarhouse.  It is a 10x20 building only two years old, a great place to spend an early spring night boiling maple syrup.  I continued my walk, robins, rufous-sided towhees, crows trying to outshout each other, and all the wild creatures entertaining me with music of the woodlands.
Sugar shack at NuWay Farm
     The trail took me past a patch of ramps that we have been coaxing and nurturing to spread throughout our woodlot.  Well, they seem okay.  And would you believe it before I knew it my early morning hike took me somehow to my own kitchen door.  Ahh, the smell of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and warm maple syrup caught my nostrils.  Man!  Was I ever hungry.  After my nature walk and a hearty breakfast, I felt well-equipped to begin my day on the farm.

Farm Shares

Today's farm shares include:

  • Pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Rhubarb (2 lb.) from NuWay Farm
  • Broccoli Rabe from NuWay Farm
  • Spinach from Grateful Life Farm
  • Green onions from NuWay Farm
  • Watercress from Miller Farm Products
  • Mixed lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • Lettuce from Grateful Life Farm
  • Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Herb from Springfield Acres or Bushel and a Peck Farm

The Broccoli Rabe was a nice surprise.  We didn't think it would be ready yet, but we were surprised.  So we substituted that for mizuna that we had planned.  If you're not familiar with it, it is a member of the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, etc.).  It forms a small broccoli-like floret on top of a tender stalk with leaves.  Some say its flavor is reminiscent of arugula.  My family ate some with dinner last night.  When I boiled it in salt water for a few minutes, most of the bitter, spicy flavor was subdued.  I then sautéed onions and added the drained rabe and seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Delicious!

Recipes

You will be eating lots of salad in the coming days!

Need Salad Recipes? Chart with Topping Combinations

8 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

Avocado, Strawberry, and Spinach Salad

Spring Onion and Pea Tendril Flatbread (this one is a little more involved, unless you take shortcuts and use a purchased flatbread and pesto...but it looks delicious!)

Pea Shoot Salad

Asparagus and Pea Shoot Salad

Spicy Spinach Quesadillas

Simple Crustless Spinach Quiche

Easy Whole30 Lettuce Wraps

Grilled Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Rhubarb Butter

Rhubarb Bars

Classic Rhubarb Crisp

Watercress Namul

Watercress Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Watercress and Pistachio Pesto

Lemony White Beans with Broccoli Rabe

Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe

Hmmm...I think I went a little overboard with pinning recipes today.  You should not be lacking for ideas for your veggies, and you have no excuse if you forget them in your fridge. 

We all wish you a festive Memorial Day weekend filled with family and friends.  Take time to remember those who have died in service of our country. 

Amy