NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 9/11/2019 11:58am by Amy Philson.

Today is CSA Week 14 and Week 9 of Peak of the Season.  After today, we have 10 more weeks in our season, but POS Shares have only three more weeks.  If you have a POS Share and would like to extend your Share for the rest of the season, just let me know.

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

Although it is only the beginning of September, the angle and intensity of the sunlight, especially at dawn and dusk, has been announcing the coming of fall these last few days.  Our rabbits are really enjoying the cooler temperatures and the chickens are loving the dry spell.  And we are especially liking working outside without ending up soaked in sweat! 

We’ve had some close encounters this week with this guy.  He even let me pick him up and groom his fur the other day. 

We named him Dude, because when he hops over to see what we’re up to, we say “Hey Dude, what’s going on?”  A neighbor used to keep rabbits, and when he decided he didn’t want to anymore, he opened the hutch doors, set them free and his two rabbits migrated over to our place.  There was a female who we haven’t seen since last year.  Likely she didn’t survive the winter.  In the spring, this handsome guy started hanging around.  I really enjoy observing what a domesticated rabbit would do, if given the choice to live his life as he wishes.  His days revolve around visiting each of our rabbits, running circles around the rabbit tractors, while our rabbits chase him from the inside.  He finds his own food, munching his favorite plants from the lawn as well as cleaning up spilled feed from underneath the hutches.  He also enjoys lounging in the grass in the shade and occasionally chasing wild rabbits, who run much faster than he does.    

Hazy Hollow Farm

Belle seems to think the turkeys need supervision, which is true.  

I have 8x10 foot coops with wire bottoms that I can move with my old Ranger truck or a tractor.  But because of foxes and coyotes during the day, I have panels made of sheep fence and furring strips with screw eyes on the ends and held in place with 3/8 inch steel fence posts.  The wire is attached to the wood with staples.   I can fence in a hexagonal yard with six of them which is 166.28 square feet, according to Google.  If you have a lot of birds, you add more panels. The coops are 8 feet high and there are roosts and nest boxes inside.   Of course, I have to shut the birds in at night, or the Great Horned Owls get them.   The whole system is very mobile.  It takes about ten minutes to change locations.  I've used these with chickens and turkeys for years, and although it is more expensive initially than most wire chicken tractors, it really gives the birds a great deal more room.   

CSA Shares

I forgot to husk a couple of ears of corn this morning when we were packing to check them out.  Sweet corn that is harvested later in the season tends to be more susceptible to worms than early corn.  As you know, we don't use pesticides on our crops.  So if you encounter any worm damage on your sweet corn, please just cut that portion out and move on.  I know that some people are squeamish about worms, and I apologize if you find any.

The braising greens can be used in salad or can be lightly sauteed or added to soup or stir fry.  They are very versatile.  They are the same greens that you have found in your salad mixes minus the lettuce.  Because of the cooler weather lately, the lettuce has been slow to catch up to the greens in growth.

Full Share

  • 1 watermelon from Detweiler Farm
  • 6 sweet corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Byler Farm
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 2 bell peppers from Byler Farm or Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 garlic from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. braising greens from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 1 watermelon from Detweiler Farm
  • 4 sweet corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bell pepper from Byler Farm or Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 garlic from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. braising greens from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 cantaloupe from Byler Farm
  • 2 sweet corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Miller Farm
  • 1 bell peppers from Byler Farm or Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Recipes

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Corn Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

15 Drool-Worthy Stuffed Pepper Recipes:  Lots of variety, including vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, and with meat.  Something for everyone, unless you don't eat peppers :)

Moroccan Carrots:  Serve cold or at room temperature. 

Braised Greens Tacos:  A change of pace from tacos filled with meat or beans, but with lots of flavor.

Sicilian Braised Greens with Toasted Pine Nuts

Parmesan Roasted Delicata Squash

Delicata with Maple and Thyme

Three Ingredient Beet Salad

And again, because I know some people hate beets, here is my favorite dessert that uses beets, disguised by chocolate:  Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Sour Cream Ganache.  Now you have no excuse to let your beets languish in your refrigerator.

We welcome feedback on our CSA Shares.  Let us know how we're doing, good and bad!  While some things we just can't help because we're at the mercy of weather and bugs, we want you to be happy with your CSA Share.  Tell us how we can improve, and what we're doing right.

Have a great week, and enjoy 2nd summer!

Amy

Posted 9/4/2019 11:00am by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 13 of our CSA season, and Week 8 of Peak of the Season.

We have some good news coming from our farmers.  First of all, we had cantaloupe in most of the shares today.  Next week we should finally have sweet corn in all shares and watermelon in at least some of the shares.  Even though our farmers start their melons in the greenhouse and transplant them, the melons usually aren't ripe until late August and September.  When you see melons in grocery stores beginning in June, you can be sure that they were not grown locally.  As I have shared before, this has been a very difficult year to grow sweet corn, so we're happy to finally have some.

Grateful Life Farm

Last weekend's chicken butchering went very well.  Although we had talked about it for a while, this was the first batch that we raised to 7 weeks of age, rather than 8, to have smaller birds that will be more manageable for our customers.  We were very pleased with the results as the whole chickens averaged 4-5 lbs.  This time we also had the pleasure of hosting a lovely couple from Pittsburgh, who camped out and spent the weekend working with us and learning to process chickens.  They brought amazing cold brew and homemade kimchi and getting to know them made the hard work feel lighter. Once the pasture pens were empty, we worked to move them into position, get the grass ready, and bring out the next batch of birds. 

Glacial Till Farm

I am so encouraged by the response we are receiving with our salad mix. It’s selling out fast! I am continually working to improve my growing systems. I have reduced my allowable harvest window on the greens blend that goes into our mixes. This results in new beds being planted every seven days. I have three beds currently in the garden and they represent your salad mix greens for the next three weeks! I am doing this to provide a more consistent size of leaf in the mix, a tender baby leaf each week. Yum

Toscano kale my favorite in soup:

Aubergine (eggplant) curry. Using our eggplant, tomato, garlic, and onion. Autumn ground the spices with mortar and pestle for extra fresh. 

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 8 oz. kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 cantaloupe from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatillos from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 hot peppers from Glacial Till Farm or Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 choice from Miller Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Small Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 cantaloupe from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatillos from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 hot peppers from Glacial Till Farm or Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Miller Farm
  • 2 choice from Miller Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatillos from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 hot peppers from Glacial Till Farm or Miller Farm
  • 1 choice from Miller Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

The hot peppers in your shares may be jalapeno, Hungarian wax, cherry bomb, or finger hot.  Also, one Small Share has kale instead of onions.

Recipes

Kimberly shared a recipe for Fermented Salsa Verde that she has been making.  She says it's delicious and easy, and it adds probiotics to your diet!

Creamy Salsa Verde Skillet Chicken

Tuscan Kale Salad with Smoky Roasted Chickpeas.  One of my daughters has been enamored with roasted chickpeas lately, so I'm sure she will try this recipe out.

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Stew.  You can sub your acorn squash for the butternut called for.

30 Acorn Squash Recipes.  Surely you can find a great recipe in this list!

Balsamic Roasted Beets

Beet, Lentil and Ginger Meatballs.  If you're looking for a new vegan meatball recipe, give this one a try.  My family doesn't usually like my attempts at meatless meatballs or burgers, so I haven't tried this one yet.  If you have a great recipe without soy and tomatoes, please share it.

Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Sour Cream Ganache.  For those of you who hate beets, you can eat them instead of letting them languish in your fridge until they are unusable.  The chocolate totally masks the flavor of the beets, according to my daughter who hates most veggies.  Yes, I hide veggies in muffins and desserts every chance I get.

I didn't look up recipes for your cantaloupe, because I assume most of you will just cut it and serve it.  But if you want to do something creative with it, a simple search will give you some ideas.

Have a great week, and enjoy the cooler weather that is promised.

Amy

Posted 8/28/2019 1:00pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 12 of our full-season CSA.  Even though summer is practically over, we're just halfway through the season.  Peak of the Season Shares are at Week 7, so you're more than halfway through.  Our tomatoes are waning quickly because of the wet summer, and squash is just around the corner.

You may have noticed that there are some items that are in the Webstore that you don't see in CSA Shares.  That is because the farmers have a very limited amount of those products, so there isn't enough to offer for CSA Shares.  Sometimes they will show up in Choice boxes, but most often they are offered in the Webstore.  Examples this year include eggplant, leeks, and jalapenos.

Speaking of jalapenos, Glacial Till Farm contributed some to the Choice boxes this week.  Curious about the brown lines on the peppers, Derek shared this info with us:

Have you ever seen a Jalapeno with little brown or white lines in it? Whether you are growing your own or picking some up at a local market, the answer is probably yes. Is there something wrong with that pepper? Absolutely not!
Plain and simple, corking is when the inside of the pepper is growing faster than the outside, creating a cracked, cork-like texture on the skin. It is also referred to as cracking, checking, scaring, or even stretch marks.

Farm News

Sweet Corn

Some of you are wondering about corn.  We are still hoping for some from Detweiler Farm, but we're not sure how much we will get.  Early rain prevented them from planting, so their corn is later than hoped.  They are watching it closely, waiting for the ears to fill out.  Byler Farm planted sweet corn three times.  Two plantings rotted because of the rain.  The third planting, they picked enough for their family dinner one night, and then raccoons invaded and stripped the rest.  

Glacial Till Farm

Last week, we experienced one of our most challenging weeks of farming.  Besides the hot, still weather that practically baked our greens and turned our lettuce bitter, we have been battling a groundhog.  It's discouraging when you plant and tend beds of plants, and then overnight a groundhog nibbles the tops of all your plants, making them unsellable.  All you can do is till them in and start over. 

But in the midst of discouragement, we get to eat and share the products of our labor.  Look at this gorgeous picture from Glacial Till Farm when they were prepping for CSA:

Grateful Life Farm

It's getting noticeably later in the season as dawn comes later, dark comes earlier, and the weather has been a little cooler.  The spots are fading on the fawns that stop by our mineral lick in the mornings.  The wild turkey poults that we've observed since we found their mother sitting on a nest in a patch of tall grass in the back pasture are now big enough to fly into the trees when we startle them.  Sunday morning I heard a buck snorting nearby as I fed the rabbits.  It is poignant to sense the fleeting nature of the seasons with the only constant being change.

Last week we processed a large group of rabbits, making room to clean out hutches and put the next generation in their pasture tractors.  We also had our third chicken harvest of this season .  When the chicken tractors are empty, another group of chicks, just babies a few weeks ago, are ready to move in.

Hazy Hollow Farm

After 15 years or so of trying to keep my round bales protected from the rain and snow, I may have hit on something.  Because of the configuration of my barn, posts and dividers for the haymows, round bales are difficult to put in and get out.  In the past, I bought a 100x40 greenhouse frame and covered it with tarps.  It worked great until we got heavy snows, and then it collapsed, leaving me with twisted pipes and hay that was almost impossible to remove to feed the cows.  

For several years I just covered the bales with tarps, but even with piling tires on top of the tarps and tying them down, the wind and snow usually blew the tarps off.   Most people wrap their round bales with plastic netting or sheets of plastic.  O.K., but all that plastic?  Not an environmentally positive option.  

This year my old New Holland 853 chain baler was giving me some trouble, and I had to create some rather small bales.  It occurred to me that I could put those small bales on top of the tarps and tie down the edges of the tarps.     If the wind blows off those small bales, we have bigger problems.  I'll let you know how this worked out in the spring.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 bunch beets from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. barese chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 qt. pickling cukes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 green peppers from Byler Farm
  • 3 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 8 oz. arugula from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head cabbage from Miller Farm and Byler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 pickling cukes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Byler Farm

Recipes

How to Eat Beets from Root to Leaf including a bunch of recipes for beets, beet stems, and beet greens

Using Beet Greens (more ideas!)

BLTA Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Mediterranean Salad with Yogurt Dressing

How to use Barese Swiss Chard (and what it is!)

Swiss Chard Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Mozzarella Filled Cherry Tomatoes with Balsamic Glaze

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet and Spicy Cucumber Salad

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers (low carb)

Instant Pot Unstuffed Peppers (You can make these on the stovetop, too.  Some of the comments said it needed more spice, so adjust to your tastes.)

Chickpea Pesto Salad with Arugula

Simple Lemon Arugula Spicy Penne (I would use more arugula than the recipe calls for to get more greens.)

Arugula Pecan Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Stir Fried Cabbage with Glass Noodles

Spicy Roasted Cabbage Wedges

My husband just brought me a peach from our trees.  We planted them several years ago, and this is the first year that we have gotten a harvest from them.  I am so excited to have our own peaches that aren't sprayed and are tree ripened!  They aren't perfect, because bees love sweet fruit, but the blemishes don't bother me.  We may have a few to share in Webstore next week, but first I will be canning and freezing them for my family.

Amy

 

Posted 8/21/2019 2:33pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 11 of our CSA Season and Week 6 of Peak of the Season.  I don't have a lot of farm news today.  Our farmers are still struggling to get their hay in amidst rain.  It has been drier than earlier in the summer, but we haven't had enough dry days in a row to do much hay.  Some crops are doing fabulous in this heat and humidity, while others are a challenge.  Leafy veggies tend to want to go to seed when it's this hot, so trying to keep them cool is a challenge.  Some greenhouses are registering above 100 degrees by around 10 a.m., so early morning and late evening work is a must.  

For those of you who ordered cantaloupe from the Webstore this week, I apologize for its absence.  My guess is that I missed it when I reported orders to Byler Farm on Monday, and I didn't realize it until we were packing this morning.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 lb. white potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 3 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Small Share

  • 1 lb. white potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 2 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Full Share

  • 1 lb. white potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Byler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Greek Potato Salad

Aloo Gobi Tray Bake:  A vegan one-dish meal featuring potatoes and other veggies.

Spicy Potato Kale Bowls with Mustard Tahini Dressing:  If you don't have kale or another hearty green, you can serve it with lettuce instead.

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

Greek Chopped Salad

Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

Skillet Green Beans:  With a bunch of flavor variations!

Green Beans Asian Style

 

 Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the cooler weather coming.  I know I will!

Posted 8/7/2019 1:21pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 9 of our CSA Season, and Week 4 of Peak of the Season CSA.  This week has been interesting on our farms.  Some of us have received only a passing rain shower, while others have experienced periods of flooding rains again.  The surface soil was beginning to get a little dry, so the rain is welcome in our vegetable fields.  

Farm News

Hazy Hollow Farm

This is my herd bull, MacHugh, and a Scots crossbreed cow taking a break in the shade.  I try to reduce the herd in the fall, and sold a young bull to a breeder from Ohio on Thursday.  When I checked on the rest of the herd I discovered that my oldest cow, whom I  thought would never calve again, had a new baby.   So much for reducing the herd, as the cow in this picture should calve in a couple of months.  

Grateful Life Farm

We are feeling refreshed after a weekend away, but our work was still waiting for us when we came home!  This week our third batch of chickens needed to be moved to the pasture pens and we had our work cut out for us.  Most of the pasture grass has never been cut this season because the neighbor was going to make hay, but the rain kept him away, the grass became past its prime and the weeds grew.  And then we had waist high grass to cut down to make room for the chickens.  To become more efficient, we recently purchased a small used tractor.  Here is Farmer Shawn on his new tractor!

Unfortunately the brush hog attachment needs some work, so it was the BCS and the sickle bar for us this (hopefully last) time.  After several hours of raking and fence moving, we were ready for the peeps!  Here they are, enjoying the extra space and the much larger feeder.  

Glacial Till Farm

The buckwheat attracts so many diverse insects. It’s fun to just watch them work.

What a delightful near perfect bed of greens!  We keep breathable row cover on our greens to minimize insect damage.  The row cover is easy to pull aside to work in the bed.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 8 oz. seasonal salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. stir fry mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. green tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 bag pickling cukes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 candy onion from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Small Share

  • 8 oz. stir fry mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Byler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 candy onion from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 candy onion from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Some of our farmers grow the same items, and we try to use veggies from all of them as they are available.  Some crops grow better on one farm, some are more flavorful, some have better pest control, etc.  I list which farms supply the produce in your CSA Shares, so if you find a certain farmer's veggies consistently better than another's, you might want to remember that and seek them out for your Webstore orders.  I will list the farm names and their abbreviations in this Friday morning's email in case you aren't familiar with them.

Recipes

Classic Leaf Salad with French Vinaigrette

Chili and Garlic Stir-Fried Asian Greens. Just sub your bag of mixed Asian greens for the specific greens called for in the recipe.  Serve it as a side dish or add protein of your choice to make a main dish.

Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes

Garlic and Herb Smashed Red Potatoes

Lemon Dill Roasted Red Potatoes

Greek Chopped Chickpea Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette.  Salad greens, cucumber, tomatoes.  Yum!

Easy Dill Pickles (no canning!)

Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Mom's Classic Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Sweet Green Tomato Pie

Savory Green Tomato Muffins

26-Calorie Fried Green Tomatoes

My second batch of green beans in my garden were full of blossoms a few days ago.  As I walked by last night, I noticed that something is feasting on my plants!  Almost half the row is eaten clear down to the stems.  The other half is as healthy as can be.  I doubt if it's rabbits because that garden is right next to the house and our cats and dogs usually keep most rabbits away.  So now I have to do some investigating.  After the rain stops.  The third batch is just sprouting, so hopefully we will still have some fall beans.

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 7/31/2019 1:42pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 8 of CSA.  Can you believe that we still have 16 more weeks in this season?  Some people think of our growing season as June-August.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Some of our farms harvest year-round, but all of us harvest at least through October.  

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

Last week we the storms were not kind to us.  It began to rain halfway through my end of the night animal check and I decided to go in the house to wait it out because surely the torrential downpour would pass quickly.  An hour later I was ready to go to bed and decided I would just put on my raincoat and finish up.  I was horrified to find our entire yard under running water and around 18” rushing through our new lean-to, soaking some of the rabbits.  I raced around, lifting pens to move them to better shelter and higher ground and bed the rabbits with plenty of hay to get warm and dry.  Fortunately the rabbits were none the worse for their wild night.  Here is one of the new babies sampling blackberry leaves.

Miller Farm

A neighbor has an old house that has been empty for years.  Its roof collapsed, and it needs torn down.  Instead of burning it, he offered the wood to me if I will tear it down.  It's a big job in my already-busy schedule, but in return for some labor I get to keep all the wood.  Old wood is very strong and durable, so I hate to see it go to waste.  I am going to build another chicken coop with the wood so all my chickens can be in the same area instead of two houses far away from each other.

This is a photo of Miller Farm's chicken coop, with one of their horses in the foreground.

Glacial Till Farm

Our buckwheat cover crop is in full bloom right now.  The honeybees and many other pollinators love buckwheat.  Because I work on our family's farm, I get to go home for lunch every day.  I find myself late getting back to work because I am enjoying watching the bees on the buckwheat.

Because we are trying to be more environmentally friendly, we purchased some Biobags for our produce.  While it's a great concept, they don't work for all applications.  Some produce does fine in the Biobags, like carrots and beets, so we will continue to use them.  However, the bags breathe too much for any type of greens.  Salad mix that stays fresh for over a week in traditional plastic wilted within two days in the Biobags.  So unfortunately you will continue to see plastic bags from our farm.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 candy onion from Miller Farm
  • 1 small cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. green or yellow beans from Byler Farm (a couple of you received zucchini instead)
  • 1 quart pickling cucumbers from Byler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 2 tomatoes from Byler Farm
  • 2 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Small Share

  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 candy onion from Miller Farm
  • 1 small cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. green or yellow beans from Byler Farm or Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 head Salanova lettuce from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 small cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Byler Farm
  • 1 Choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Miller Farm

Recipes

The Ultimate Tomato Sandwich with homemade herb mayo.  The recipe says to whisk the mayo ingredients by hand, but I always use my blender or a stick blender.  The key is to pour the oil in slowly as you're blending it.  Homemade mayo is the bomb!

Marinated Tomatoes:  These would be fabulous with your favorite cheese and some crusty bread!

Amish Refrigerator Pickles:  The recipe calls for regular cukes, but pickling cukes make crisper pickles.  Use more than the number called for since they're smaller.

Quick Refrigerator Pickles and Onions:  Same advice as above.

Green Bean, Tomato, and Onion Salad:  Sub chopped tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes.

Greek Yogurt Red Potato Salad:  Obviously, sub your fresh potatoes for the frozen packaged ones.

No-Mayo Potato Salad with Herbs

Lemon Garlic Sauteed Cabbage:  Since you only have a small cabbage, reduce the other ingredients accordingly.  Most people probably don't want 8 servings of this, anyway.

Super Healthy Cabbage Salad

Can you tell I'm in a salad mood today?  The summer heat and farm-fresh veggies call for lots of raw or lightly cooked dishes.  Enjoy summer's bounty!

Amy

 

 

 

Posted 7/25/2019 9:05am by Amy Philson.

This has been a frustrating week.  I hadn't realized how much we depend on internet access at our farm.  We run multiple businesses from our home, and today's home-based businesses are heavily reliant on the internet.  We had a storm roll through overnight Friday, causing a power outage for a few hours.  Because our farm is close to a State Police barracks, we rarely lose power for more than a few minutes.  However, this storm knocked out our internet, and it still isn't back.  They keep changing the time when they promise to have it fixed.  I have been using data from my cell phone for limited internet access, but we only have so much data for the month.  So I apologize for delays in response to some emails.

Because of the lack of wifi, I am going to make this newsletter shorter than normal.  Finding recipes takes lots of time and web page loading, so I am going to skip the recipe sharing this week.  If you need recipe ideas, you can search our Pinterest page or our Website.

Farm News

Hazy Hollow Farm

This is why my grandfather named this Hazy Hollow Farm.  On the right is one of my hayfields.  I haven't baled any hay on the farm yet because the fields are too wet to run equipment on, and we got another 1 1/4 inches of rain yesterday.  I guess that gives me some more time to fix broken mowers and balers.

My donkeys love ragweed and goldenrod.  There is plenty of white clover and other grass available, but they start every morning on the weeds.  Take that Monsanto!

Glacial Till Farm

Mackenna likes raw cabbage for a snack. She likes the center cut out “like a piece of cake” in her words. Then she sprinkles salt on it and eats the entire thing telling me how delicious it is over and over.

Grateful Life Farm

This week was a bit dark for me, as we sent our pigs to the butcher on Wednesday.  I feel very comfortable with our decision to raise livestock in the best way we know how.  Each animal that we can raise this way is one more that lives his or her life outdoors, able to express species-appropriate behaviors and each has a regenerative impact on our small patch of the earth.  We support the endeavors of other sustainable farmers in our region with our enterprise, provide nourishing foods for our customers, and we enjoy the daily work of caring for these personable and funny creatures.  However, we feel better when we participate in the entire life cycle here on our farm, as we do with the chickens and rabbits.  In the case of pigs, the law requires them to be slaughtered under USDA inspection, and it feels somehow cowardly and like a betrayal to gently and patiently coax them to climb aboard a livestock trailer for someone else to do our dirty work. 

Life will not be stopped from forward progress and this week more rabbits were born, as the two week old kits opened their eyes for the first time and hopped out of their nest boxes to explore.  The turkeys are finally big enough, and their immune systems strong enough, to be out on pasture.  As soon as we opened the door to their shelter they were on the move, their heads down scanning for tasty morsels.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head red romaine lettuce from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 Choice from Byler Farm, Miller Farm, and Detweiler Farm

Small Share

  • 2 tomatoes from Byler Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb yellow beans from Byler Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Byler Farm
  • 1 Choice from Byler Farm, Miller Farm, and Detweiler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 tomato from Byler Farm
  • 5 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Miller Farm
  • 1/2 lb green beans from Miller Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Byler Farm
  • 1 Choice from Byler Farm, Miller Farm, and Detweiler Farm

Have a great week!  Hopefully my internet will be up and running soon!

Posted 7/17/2019 2:37pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 6 of our CSA Season and Week 1 of Peak-of-the-Season Shares.

This morning while we were packing, the main topic of conversation was the best places to buy farm equipment and related products and where to have service done.  The farmers who were there have well over 100 years of combined farming experience, so each one had tips to share with the others on this and that relating to local businesses.  After the "young" guy left for his day job, one old-timer commented on how good it is to see young farmers raising sustainable products for the local market.

Farm News

Glacial Till Farm

Take a look at the reaction one taster had after eating our fresh carrots! Since we are a small farm we have several advantages over larger farms. One being I can grow sweet tender varieties of carrots that would not easily hold up to mechanical harvesting. Our operation uses no riding tractors, only hand tools and walking tractors. It’s a lot of work but the flavor makes it all worthwhile.

Have you tried our Seasonal Salad Mix?  Every week the mix is a little different based on what’s available in season. This week has delicious blend of 10 different baby greens and 6 types of lettuce. (My note:  Because this mix is so fresh, it keeps in your fridge much longer than the spring mix from the grocery store.)

We harvested two cart loads of garlic this week.  It is drying and will be ready for CSA Shares soon.

Grateful Life Farm

This week our third batch of baby chicks arrived at the farm.  We were grateful that the hot and humid weather during shipping did not cause them any problems, and they all arrived alive and well.  With the drier weather, we also got some much needed grass cutting done and our fence lines are looking much better and the fences hotter. Last weekend we harvested our second batch of chickens for this season. Just in time, because we were almost out of inventory, and we have updated the Webstore for this weekend.

Mickley Farm

We started a new batch of chicks last week.  When they are young, we house them in an old school bus that we converted into a chicken brooder.  The bus keeps the chicks safe from predators as long as the windows and doors are closed at night.  We can open them in the day for fresh air, and also leave windows open a crack at night for ventilation.  You can see heat lamps hanging from the ceiling because young chicks have trouble regulating their body temperature.  They can gather under the lights when they are cold.  The long troughs hold their feed, and the large pan offers grit (tiny stones), which chickens need to digest their food.  The white and red containers hold fresh water for the chickens to drink without drowning in an open container.  Because chicks tend to crowd into corners and smother each other, we put arched dividers on each end of the area to soften the corners and keep the chicks safer.  After the chicks lost their soft down and grow regular feathers, they will be moved onto pasture in open pens.  They will mature in about 6 months and will begin laying eggs.  Our hens are fed organic, non-soy feed.

Harmony Grove Farm

We grow our lettuce and other greens in greenhouses, which allows us to better control the climate and produce high-quality greens year-round.  We regularly release beneficial insects like ladybugs to help control pests such as aphids.  However, once every year or two the aphids get the upper hand.  Recently we had to pull most of our plants and clean out our beds to knock down the aphid counts.  While we strive to provide lettuce for CSA Shares most weeks, this week we needed to clean the greenhouses to ensure future health of our plants.  On a better note, our hay for the year was delivered yesterday and today, and it is in the barn.  This will feed our small herd of cattle in the winter and early spring when there is no grass.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 cucumber from Byler Farm
  • 1 bunch onions from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. yellow beans from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bag garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Small Share

  • 2 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bunch onions from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Byler Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bag garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. yellow beans from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Mediterranean Squash and Pasta Salad (sub all zucchini for the yellow squash)

Cucumber Cream Cheese Dip (sub garlic chives for the green onions)

Yellow Wax Beans with Toasted Almonds

Greek Green Bean Salad (or sub yellow beans)

French Bistro Salad with beans and radishes

Best Ever Grilled Zucchini

Did you know that radish greens are even healthier than the root?  How to Cook Radish Greens

Aunt Rocky's Onion and Garlic Fried Radishes

Rustic Italian Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Sauteed Swiss Chard and Summer Squash

Rich and Creamy Swiss Chard Chicken

Pasta with Swiss Chard and Parmesan

Swiss Chard Tahini Dip

Garlic Chive Kimchi

Did you know that healthy mayonnaise is simple to make?  Try out this Garlic Chive Mayo recipe.

For more recipes from past weeks, check out our Pinterest boards.

Just like we make eating food a centerpiece of our lives, make food preparation an event for family and friends.  Be creative, have fun, and share your creations with others!  

 

Posted 7/10/2019 11:42am by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 5 of our Summer CSA.  The weather has been great lately for growing most of our produce...except leafy greens.  They tend to get bitter and go to seed when the temperature is too high.  But the tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and other veggies are growing by leaps and bounds.  So we are seeing a transition from tons of spring greens into early summer veggies.  We will continue to have lettuce and greens, but you will be seeing fewer of them.

Hazy Hollow Farm

Here on Hazy Hollow farm we embrace diversity.  On the right is my Scots Highland herd bull, MacHugh, and in the left background are his two newest girlfriends, Texas Longhorns, White Lightning and Texas Red.  I am hoping to get calves that are taller than the Scots and meatier than the Longhorns.  If nothing else, I will enjoy the accent. . . a Scots brogue combined with a Southern drawl.   Moooch, y'all!

Glacial Till Farm

Buckwheat cover crop after only one week!  After it matures, the buckwheat will be tilled into the soil for green compost and then something else will be planted in this bed.

Many seeds can be planted in long rows using a walk-behind wheel planter.  This digs a small furrow and drops seeds in even spaces, and then a chain or piece of metal drags behind to cover the seeds.  Here we are planting bush beans.

Grateful Life Farm

This week has been hot and steamy and our flowers are loving it.  However, keeping our livestock cool can be challenging.  The pigs cool themselves by lounging in mud wallows.  I am constantly impressed by their engineering and earth moving abilities, as they dam up choice areas to catch rainfall from our frequent thunderstorms.  The chickens and turkeys hold their wings away from their bodies for air flow and drink more water than usual.  The turkeys are big enough now and their immune system developed enough to leave their brooder and we are transitioning them to pasture.

The rabbits are the most challenging as they are much more comfortable in cold weather, and can really suffer when the temperatures exceed 80 F and the humidity is high.  We make more frequent rounds to replenish their water, make sure they are in the shade, and have the best air flow possible. Four new litters were born this week, including two very large and two very small ones.  I've never done it before, but this time I decided to remove some of the smaller kits from the large litters and place them with the smaller litters to make sure everyone gets enough to eat.  So far, the mama rabbits seem to be accepting the extra babies and nursing them along with their own.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bunch French radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. new potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes or pint cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bag lettuce mix or romaine lettuce from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch French radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Byler Farm
  • 1 romaine lettuce from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm and Byler Farm

Recipes

Mediterranean Style Grilled Zucchini Salad

Keto Zucchini Tots

Lime Pickled Radishes

Miso Butter Roasted Radishes

Baked Kohlrabi Chips with Yogurt Sauce

Baked Kohlrabi Schnitzel with Sour Cream Cucumbers

We finally have fresh tomatoes for your salads!  If you were fortunate to get green or yellow beans from the Choice box, you can make a Green Bean Tomato Salad.  If you don't have cherry tomatoes, just cut your other tomatoes in chunks.

Enjoy the flavors of early summer.  More tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and cucumbers to come!

Posted 7/3/2019 11:54am by Amy Philson.

Happy Independence Day tomorrow!  Some of you may have already begun your celebrations, while others will celebrate through the weekend.  Your farmers will squeeze in some time with family and friends, but many of us will still work a partial day on the farm.  Animals still need cared for, and if the weather cooperates we will spend a little time weeding or planting.  But fireworks, cookouts, and even fishing are on the agenda for many of us.

Farm News

Detweiler Farm

This has been a challenging spring on our farm.  The produce that we planted early did not grow very well, so we have had to cultivate those rows and replant.  We planted winter squash yesterday and will be planting more today.  We usually grow a large portion of the winter squash that comes in your CSA Shares in the fall and winter.

Miller Farm

The wet weather has affected our laying hens along with our crops.  The chickens need to take dust baths to keep mites and fleas off, but it has been so wet that this has been a bit of a challenge.  The bugs are worse this year than in most years.  We are dusting the hens with diatomaceous earth and treating their roosts with natural soap to prevent more eggs from hatching.  We hope this treatment will help our chickens be healthier and happier.

Glacial Till Farm

We continue to add more garden plots to expand our production.  We use cover crops that we till in, along with composted manure, to enrich the soil.

Check out this carrot cuteness!  To see more of the carrot harvest visit 

Glacial Till's Facebook page.  

Grateful Life Farm

This week we worked very hard to get our new rabbits settled into their permanent home.  When they arrived, we sheltered them in various places, in the yard, the garage, wherever we could find room for their cages.  It was stressful because I felt like I would accidentally forget some of them due to the disorganized scatter of rabbit pens. 

In our system, each breeding adult has his or her own stationary hutch or wire cage.  The females will share their hutch with their young until the babies are around 4-6 weeks old, at which point we transfer them to portable pasture pens, similar to our chicken tractors, with wire bottoms allowing access to grass and forage.  The mothers are bred again and are moved back to their permanent homes a week or two before giving birth and the young finish in the pasture tractors.  So we needed more of both kinds of infrastructure – stationary / permanent and portable pasture pens. 

I had a vision of a shaded, but open and airy space, with all the rabbit pens lined up along an aisle, creating an orderly work flow of feeding, watering, and observing each animal at morning and evening chore time.  We’re getting there.  Shawn had the idea of building a lean-to structure off the side of our existing shed, a location that, one week ago, was home to our scrap metal pile, some old tires, lawn mower parts, and a lot of brush and weeds. 

 

We created a 10’ x 20’ footprint on the east side, where dappled morning sunlight filters through the trees and full shade keeps them cool in the hottest part of the day. 

We are still working on benches to elevate all the wire pens to the same height, then we will move on to building more pasture pens. 

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 8 oz. stir fry mix from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bunch red scallions from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. baby kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 2 Choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm,, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 2 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 4 oz. stir fry mix from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. baby kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 2 Choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm,, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 zucchini from Byler Farm
  • 4 oz. stir fry mix from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from Glacial Till Farm
  • 5 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 Choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm,, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Recipes

Panda Express Mushroom Chicken.  I've been eagerly awaiting fresh zucchini for this recipe.  It's on the menu at my house this week.

Marinated Zucchini.  A great make-ahead side dish for your holiday cookout...or any time!

Sauteed Carrots and Zucchini

Low Carb Green Veggie Stir Fry.  Switch out veggies that you have on hand.  This would be great with lots of different variations, but is perfect for your stir fry mix.  Add a protein to make a one-dish meal.

Baby Kale and Avocado Salad

Baby Kale and Cherry Salad with Grilled Halloumi.  I have never tried halloumi cheese, but it sounds delicious!  If you can't find it, you could sub a different cheese that can hold up to grilling, or skip the grilling altogether.  Or to make it vegan, you could use tofu, seitan, or a bean.  I will probably leave out the corn when I make this.  It's cherry season, ya know!

Poached Egg and Avocado Breakfast Salad.  Or lunch.  Or dinner.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Independence Day this week.  Enjoy the fireworks, the family and friends, and especially the local food!

Amy

 

 


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