NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 9/20/2017 2:19pm by Amy Philson.

Well, after the last couple of weeks, we didn't expect such hot summer weather in the middle of September.  I love fall...the warmish days and cool nights, apples, pumpkins and squash, colorful leaves, sweaters in the morning, cleaning out the gardens.  But sometimes fall just gives me a teaser and then lets summer crowd it out for a little bit longer.  I can wait...as long as fall gets its fair share of days and winter doesn't rush in.

Silver Wheel Farm

Silver Wheel Farm

You are welcome, whoever you are! Now that we (Silver Wheel Farm) no longer sell at Farmers Markets we miss the personal interactions with customers. It was so gratifying to find this little note taped onto a returned flower bouquet container. All of the farmers that are part of our cooperative work very hard to send our members the very best produce, meats, cheeses and more, and it is nice to know that we are appreciated. 

Grateful Life Farm

On Saturday, our rabbit doe Brandi had a litter of seven!  She and the babies are doing well.  Unfortunately, our Silver Fox doe Coco, who was also scheduled to kindle that day, turned out to not be pregnant.  I kept checking the nest box obsessively through the weekend and into Monday, but finally accepted reality, removed her nest box, and took her back to the buck's hutch last evening for a few hours.  That pair has successfully produced a litter earlier this season, so I suspect the buck may have been temporarily sterile from the summer heat and humidity.   

On Sunday, we processed our fifth batch of broiler chickens.  Our daily chores are diminished substantially now that we have only the laying hens, the rabbits, the turkeys, and one last batch of broiler chickens to care for.  This is good because we are losing daylight rapidly and the time between evening chores and dark is shrinking fast.  Despite this, I've managed to clean out some garden beds and plant out several flats of spinach transplants in time for the rain Wednesday night to water them in well.  With more inside time, I've also been able to put a batch of tomatoes through the canner and cook a couple of simple but delicious chicken meals I'll share with you. 

I think we often feel that cooking requires recipes, special ingredients, trips to the store, and more effort than we can muster after a long workday.  While that can be a fun way to cook, we can often nourish our bodies without much effort from our garden, farmer's market, or CSA box and the seasonings in our cupboards.  One night, I placed parchment paper on a baking sheet, preheated the oven to 425 F, and spread out assorted legs, drumsticks, and wings.  I seasoned them heavily with salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika and roasted them for 25 minutes.  I also roasted cherry tomatoes and cut up eggplant, onions, and zucchini tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a side dish.  Another night, I marinated boneless skinless breasts in coconut aminos (a gluten-free soy sauce substitute) with a dash of fish sauce and maple syrup, while I baked a few buttery Yukon gold potatoes.  I grilled the breasts on high heat for 5 minutes per side.  Shawn always complains that boneless, skinless breasts are dry, but he loved these and gobbled them up!  

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1/2 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch beets from NuWay Farm
  • 6 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 spaghetti squash from Mullett Farm
  • 1 bunch parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 4 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Save those beet greens!  Citrus Sautéed Beets and Greens

Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots

Carrot Apple Bread

How to Cook Beets

Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad

Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

Turkey, Mushroom and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash (Cut the recipe in half with one acorn squash)

Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

3-Ingredient Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash (you could sub arugula for the spinach)

Enjoy this warm "fall" weather!

Posted 9/13/2017 1:54pm by Amy Philson.

I have good news to share about David Yoder's son, Willie.  He is healing slowly, and has begun responding to commands and answering some questions with a nod of his head.  They removed one of the pain medications, so he is not as groggy.  The doctors are hoping to move him to a rehab facility at the end of the week!  That is wonderful news for his family and friends, when just a couple of weeks ago we didn't know if he would even survive.  Again, thank you for your prayers and thoughts toward this family as you think of them.

This Saturday, Howard from Mickley Farm will be at Penn Pantry in Harmony.  They will have samples of Howard's meat, as well as meat for sale, a new item at their store.  They are offering samples from other local food vendors as well.  https://www.pennpantry.com/

This Sunday, plan to come see us at Munnell Run Farm Day in Mercer.  It's a free family event that highlights our agricultural heritage.  Tour the farm, shop from local artisans, learn about local organizations, and grab lunch.  We will have some produce for sale at our booth, along with information about our CSA, and we will also be selling salads in the lunch area made with our farmers' produce.  My husband will also have a booth with our maple products.  Find out more here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/712993075565764/

We are also at farmers markets in Hermitage on Friday and Robinson Twp on Monday.

Here is our weekly update from Grateful Life Farm:

This week has truly been a joy just to be outdoors with cool, misty mornings, periods of brilliant sunshine and gentle rain while we're sleeping to make the vegetables and grass grow.  Many mornings, we pull up to the back pasture at dawn and catch a glimpse of deer and wild turkeys. 

Our laying hens are starting to molt, getting ready for winter by shedding their old feathers and growing new ones.  It can be alarming to open up their shelter in the morning and see the ground beneath their roosts completely carpeted in shed feathers.  Several of them are looking really scruffy and our rooster is especially sad without any of his normally showy tail feathers.  Hens do not lay many eggs while they put their energy into feather regrowth, but we have not seen much of a decline, probably because we have hens of different ages and not all are molting at the same time. 

When we build new pens and shelters, we always tweak our previous designs to address problems we've experienced, but sometimes we inadvertently create new problems.  Our new pasture pen has several inches more ground clearance with the wheels raised to make the daily pen moves easier.  The greater clearance unfortunately also allows small birds in their first week or two on pasture to duck out rather than walking with the pen.  This is never too much of a problem with the Cornish Cross broilers; we sometimes have one or two escapees.  But with the Robust White broilers, once one gets out, they all want out.  It can be frustrating to move the pen to fresh grass only to see a dozen little birds sprinting away to the fence line.  We then have to herd them back towards their pen, many with grasshoppers they've found clutched in their beaks, and catch each one.  They are fast at this age and I'll be happy when they've grown too big to get out.

We put in nest boxes for our rabbit does Brandi and Coco, who are scheduled to give birth tomorrow!  This weekend we will also be processing another batch of broiler chickens.  Our standard cuts are wholes, halves, leg quarters, wings, and boneless, skinless breasts.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lb. roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 garlic from Silver Wheel Farm
  • 2 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Miller Farm Products
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. yellow beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bag roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Delicata squash is my favorite squash.  It's very sweet and mild.  When it's fresh, the skin is tender and can be eaten, so you don't have to peel it.

Roasted Wax Beans with Herbs and Feta (you can use green or yellow beans)

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Delicata Squash (Sumac has a lemony flavor.  If you don't have sumac, you can just leave it out or add a little lemon zest or lemon juice.)

Thai Green Curry

Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash

Green Bean, Tomato, Onion and Basil Salad (cut up your heirloom tomato instead of the cherry tomatoes)

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Mozzarella 

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

I love fall foods, with apples, squash, sweet potatoes, and maple!  I made a delicata squash curry with added quinoa a few days ago.  I put sautéed apples and maple syrup on my oatmeal this morning. Do you eat seasonally?  That's one thing that CSA teaches us, how to eat with the changing seasons that we have in Pennsylvania.

Happy fall!

Amy

Posted 9/6/2017 12:59pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this fall day!  The weather certainly has changed into fall, even though the calendar doesn't say so.  This weather makes me crave soup, pumpkin, and casseroles.  I can't wait until our squash harvest begins! 

Farm Updates

David Yoder's son, Willie, is beginning his recovery.  Until last Saturday, it was touch-and-go, and the doctors and family did not know whether he would survive.  However, he began to show signs of improvement.  He has had surgery to insert a tracheal tube and a feeding tube, allowing them to remove all the tubes going into his head.  The doctors have reduced his sedatives, allowing him to wake from his coma.  He is responding to the voices of his family.  He still has a long recovery ahead, but the family is so thankful for your prayers and thoughts.

Silver Wheel Farm

This week we turned our attention fully to Fall chores, maintenance and planting. Time to brush hog the far field. Time to mow and clear the cross country ski paths in our woods. Time to do final prep work on the 3 x 125 ft beds where we will plant shallots, walking onions and garlic for next year. Time to enjoy the dahlias in full bloom, knowing that we will soon harvest crates of tubers to store in the cellar for spring 2018 planting.

As I wrote about a while back, the potato crop is simply magnificent this year. Now we are digging the variety 'Elba', and hoo-boy, there are some spectacular Elba 'lunkers' hiding out in the potato rows. Reliably 8 - 12 potatoes per hill! We get our seed potatoes (not actually 'seeds', but rather whole potatoes to plant) from Fedco Seeds in Maine. I highly recommend the Carola, Satina, Purple Viking and Elba varieties for our area. If you have never grown potatoes before, I especially recommend Carola and Elba. Fedco carries Certified Organic and Naturally Grown (as well as conventional) seed potatoes. We have never been disappointed in the 19 years that we have ordered seeds, plants and trees from this cooperatively-structured company.

In the photo you can see the straw mulch pushed back to reveal the potato hill. We have found that not skimping on straw yields the best results.  Pile it on.

In the other photo the kale addicts--er, I mean chickens-- are racing to snatch a fresh kale leaf.  May The Best Chicken Win.

Grateful Life Farm

September 1st!  The noticeably shorter days and this cool weather make it feel like fall is coming very soon.  The rabbits and turkeys really love the cooler weather and are much more active.  Our final batch of chicks for the season, the experimental Robust Whites (a cross between Cornish Cross and Freedom Ranger,) went out to the back pasture pen on Tuesday.  Although their appearance is only slightly different from the Cornish Cross, with some birds having a bit of very light reddish feathering, their behavior difference is striking.  They are extremely energetic, racing to the other side of the pen like a tiny stampede, and avid in their foraging.  I had some concerns about the cold nights we've been having, but they seem unfazed.  It will be interesting to see if they stay so strong and healthy as they grow bigger.  So far, this experiment has been encouraging and has led us to consider trying some Freedom Rangers next year.

This week we've also continued to seed and transplant lettuce, green onions, radishes, turnips, and spinach for fall, which should be complete in the next few days.  Some of the summer items we struggled with earlier in the year are finally coming in.  We've harvested our first ripe tomatoes, beautiful and delicious Berkeley Pink Tie Dye, and the sunflowers are coming on strong.  Our mustard greens and lettuce, transplanted several weeks ago, are looking good as well.

We've had a few pieces of sad news that affected us deeply this week.  Early Wednesday morning we learned the terrible news that two men Shawn had worked with were killed the night before at Bruce Mansfield Power Plant when they inhaled and were overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas.  Having both spent our careers in these types of facilities and experienced fires and explosions, we were reminded yet again that the stress and hardships of transitioning to making our living as farmers are worth the struggle.  We also learned that some close friends have decided to get out of farming, after two deaths in their family.  They had learned so much and made so much progress in their skills and abilities and their infrastructure that it is really sad to see them giving up.  We are carefully considering if we will purchase one of their sows and begin producing forest-raised pork next year.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Southern Fried Cabbage

Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad

Tomato Bacon Carbonara

Tomato Chickpea Salad

3-Ingredient Roasted Dijon Potatoes

Fried Cabbage and Potatoes with Bacon

Cabbage Lasagna

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

I'm sure that many of you have transitioned from your summer schedule back to school schedules.  I hope that our recipe suggestions help you get a healthy dinner on the table each night rather than running through the drive-thru.  With a little planning, you can still have a healthy dinner on the table in about 30 minutes on your busiest days.

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 8/30/2017 8:09pm by Amy Philson.

We are in Week 13, just beginning the second half of our CSA season.  Our field tomatoes are just beginning to peak, peppers have several weeks left of growth, and our fall crops are still to come.

David Yoder's son Willie is still in critical condition.  His biggest challenge at the moment is brain swelling and blood pressure fluctuations.  They continue to keep him sedated to allow his body to heal.  David is recording regular updates on his progress.  If you're interested in following, you may call 712-432-8557.  Some days there are multiple updates.  Your continued prayers for the Yoder family are most appreciated.

An update from Grateful Life Farm:

During the hottest part of each summer, there always comes a period where we hit a wall.  We keep moving, taking care of the animals each morning and evening and harvesting vegetables and attending market each week.  But we are physically and mentally drained, grumpy with each other, easily frustrated.  Everywhere I look is another aggravating reminder of something that should have been taken care of but wasn't: tall weeds going to seed in the garden, electric fence lines unmowed, piles of grass we were going to rake, half-built projects, a chainsaw and weed eater that don't run, and on and on.  The neighbors' perfectly manicured lawn, tidy garden and flower beds, and laundry gently blowing in the breeze on the clothesline mock me from just beyond the chicken coop. 

I've come to see that, similar to running a marathon, it is not a question of whether we will hit this wall, but only when, and how quickly we can pull through and bounce back.  This year I've tried to set some boundaries and I believe it has helped to shorten this mid-summer slump.  We've gone to bed shortly after dark most evenings.  I've been making dinner after chores and before starting the evening's tasks, rather than eating at 10 PM.  We've taken some time to walk in our woods hunting wild mushrooms.  I'm happy to say that we seem to be over the hump as this week has been very productive.

We processed our fourth batch of chickens on Sunday, only two more to go!  Monday, we cleared weeds and grass from a portion of the garden and planted out a bed of lettuce transplants.  We also completed another rabbit tractor, in record time using a pneumatic staple gun.  (Where was this amazing tool all our lives?)  All of our grower rabbits are now out on grass, and the mamas are back in their hutches to regain their body condition prior to their next litters, which will arrive around September 9th.  Shawn even replaced the carburetor in the weed eater and tidied up around the rabbit hutches and the brooder, making chores more pleasant. 

CSA Shares

The heirloom tomatoes that you have in your shares are picked a little before they are ripe.  Most heirloom tomatoes have thin skins that are highly susceptible to damage.  Therefore, we have to pick them before they are fully ripe.  You should let them ripen for a couple of days on your counter.  They are a pink tomato, so they won't turn bright red.  They may also retain some green blush on the top.  That is another characteristic of many heirloom tomatoes.  Just trim off the green part before using.  But aren't they gorgeous tomatoes?  And delicious, too!

Full Shares

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 bag parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 6 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. green tomatoes from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 bag parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 4 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

 

Mini Shares

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

 

Recipes

Heirloom Tomato/Avocado Toast with Balsamic Drizzle

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Chevre

Kohlrabi, Apple and Walnut Salad

Green Tomato Casserole

Baked Falafel -- something different to make with your parsley!

Israeli Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley (you will have to find cucumbers elsewhere.  Sadly, our farmers are out of cukes.)

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Summer Corn Chowder

Oven Baked Fried Green Tomatoes

 

Until next time...

Amy

Posted 8/24/2017 9:05am by Amy Philson.

We are halfway through our CSA season:  Week 12 for full-season CSA, and Week 6 for Peak-of-the-Season CSA.  If you are a POS member and would like to extend your share to the end of the season, just let me know.

We would like to ask for your prayers and kind thoughts for two of our farm families.  David Yoder of NuWay Farm and his family are currently at the hospital in Youngstown.  Their oldest son Willie was the victim of a freak logging accident yesterday.  Most of the bones in his face were broken, and he has already undergone two surgeries.  They do not yet know what his prognosis will be.  Willie's wife is currently expecting their first child.  Also, our driver Heather lost her niece this week after a long battle with leukemia.  Thank you for your prayers for these families.

An update from Silver Wheel Farm:

A small produce farm must, by necessity, run on well-established principles and practices of efficiency which include space- and labor-saving design as well as practical crop selection (crops offering the best Return On Investment). However, somewhere along the way many years ago, I fell in love with raising flowers and have always found a way to grow as many as possible: sometimes in dedicated beds, sometimes squeezing them in any spare foot or two of space. I loved creating bouquets on Friday midnights before Saturday markets—the relaxing last task before catching a few hours of sleep. I had a small flower CSA for a couple of summers ‘way back in the early 2000s and still sell occasional bouquets in the NWPAGC webstore.  

Procut Plum Sunflowers

Now my biggest flower challenge is upon me: designing and arranging the flowers for my daughter’s wedding next week.  Oh my.  Our Border Collie mix, Maddie, and I roam fields, forest and hedgerows every evening searching for vines, branches, and, well, weeds to fill in and complement the more domesticated blooms I have lovingly raised for this celebration. Pokeberry?  Yes!  Elderberry?  Absolutely!   Hops and wild grapevine for garlands!   And what is that beautiful vine with the delicate white flowers—oops...it's Poison Ivy-NO.   Apple mint, chicory and thai basil are great ‘fillers’; sprays of millet grass look pretty fancy nodding above the dahlias, roses, and oriental lilies in the wedding bouquets. It is important that we nourish our bodies with the best local foods. But beauty is important, too. I cannot imagine a farm without flowers.

Harmony Grove Farm grows their hydroponic lettuce in greenhouses.  To guard against aphid infestation, they periodically release multitudes of ladybugs.  The ladybugs feast on aphids, thus eliminating the need for chemical inputs to control them.

Ladybugs love aphids!

Grateful Life Farm has been battling pests, too:

This week we have been working to address the pest pressure we are seeing in our garden.  This season seems worse than usual with flea beetles damaging greens early on, then the wave of Japanese beetles eating pretty much everything, and now we are seeing cabbage worms on our brassicas.  As I harvested Tuesday evening, I noticed half eaten cherry tomatoes and green beans with the lower half bitten off.  I believe this damage is from voles, which I have started to see darting around the garden into clumps of weeds and under landscape fabric when they hear me approaching.  Although there are many products on the market that are approved for organic growing to deal with all of these issues, we try to use them sparingly.  Though we are not certified organic, we use organic standards as our guide, and one of the principles of organic pest management is to try excluding or deterring pests before you resort to killing them.  Even natural insecticides such as spinosad, a substance made by soil bacterium, can potentially harm beneficial insects as well as those you want to eliminate. 

For Japanese beetles, we hang traps, and we have also treated our fruit trees with a product called Surround.  It is made of Kaolin clay and you mix it with water and spray on a coating which hardens and forms a barrier that prevents insects from getting to the leaves.  This product can also be used for vegetables, but that did not seem practical for our operation because crops such as kale and basil, which are not normally washed, would have to be washed, adding labor and reducing shelf life.  Another drawback is that Surround needs to be reapplied after each few rains as it washes away and loses effectiveness.  For voles, we are sprinkling a repellant crystal called Plantskydd, with an active ingredient of dried blood.  It helped a lot last year with the nibbled tops damage we were seeing to beets and carrots.  We've also sparingly used a spinosad product called Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew.  For my fall crops, I've ordered a large role of floating row cover and am covering all my newly planted mustard greens and spinach, as well as my existing kale, collards, and basil beds.

CSA Shares

This week we had to do some last-minute shuffling in our shares.  Our farmers try to predict how much of each item will be ready to harvest up to a week before it's needed, and sometimes their predictions are wrong.  We had planned for sweet corn in all the shares this week, but we only have enough for Wednesday shares.  Thursday shares will have a substitute, and then they will have sweet corn next week.  I had also planned on Swiss chard in all the shares, but there wasn't enough ready for all of that farmer's orders, so you get carrots instead.  Now we have to wait for the next patch of chard to grow more before harvesting.

Full Shares

  • 2 lb. paste tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. leeks from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. paste tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 2 leeks from NuWay Farm
  • 2 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 leek from NuWay Farm
  • 1 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Slow Cooker Roasted Tomato Soup

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Italian Herb Tomato Bread  (a quick bread rather than a yeast bread...mix and bake)

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Summer Corn Chowder

Roasted Leeks and Potatoes

How to Clean Leeks

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Chicken Breasts

Enjoy the tastes of summer!

Amy

 

 

Posted 8/16/2017 11:03am by Amy Philson.

It's Week 11 of our 24-week CSA season.  It's the middle of August, and many people think that produce season is winding down.  However, field tomatoes and green peppers are just starting to ripen, and we still have all of our fall crops to come.  You can look forward to varieties of squash, beets, melons, more green beans and potatoes, and more!  Our fields and gardens will be going strong for another two months, and then start winding down.

Again, our farmers have been so busy in their fields that Grateful Life Farm is the only farm that sent us an update this week. 

This week we cut the grass, moved our pen and fence, and transferred another batch of chicks from the brooder to the pasture pen.  The brooder is cleaned out and ready for our very last batch of chicks for this season, arriving today!  The hatchery we use has developed a new broiler strain called the Robust White, and they have offered us a free batch of chicks to try.  It is a cross between the white broilers we raise and the heartier red broiler.  Many pasture-based chicken producers prefer the red broilers because they seem to retain more chicken instincts, perform better in an outdoor system, and have a flavor more similar to heritage chicken.  However, they take another four weeks to finish so we have never tried them.  The hatchery tells me that the Robust White cross will finish in the same 8 weeks as our conventional broilers, but perform better on pasture.  I'm also excited to see if there will be any flavor differences.
     
We played a bit of musical chairs with the rabbits this week, moving our Silver Fox doe Coco and her litter to one of our pasture rabbit tractors, and shifting another young doe to a hutch.  The young rabbits especially love the pasture pens!  They race around, hop, play, and chow down on grass and clover.  The does visited the bucks on Wednesday night, which should result in more babies on September 9th.  We purchased materials to build another rabbit tractor for our New Zealand doe Brandi, and her litter.  Hopefully, they can move in on Sunday.  For the next tractor, we are thinking about some design changes to provide the rabbits with more shade in the outdoor area, and to make the hutches easier to clean.        

I'm still not done with my fall crop seeding, but have made good progress.  Romaine lettuce has been seeded and has germinated nicely, spinach has been seeded, and the mustard greens are outside hardening off in preparation for planting.  11 more flats of lettuce and 9 more spinach to go! 

One of our members shared an article with me entitled "Care Where Food Comes From."  Here is a short excerpt:

It’s only in the past few generations that we’ve become accustomed to eating food grown, raised, or produced by total strangers so far away, and by methods so mechanized and industrialized that we often can’t even tell precisely (or even generally) what our food contains.
In the process, we lost track of where our food comes from — not just geographically but elementally. We lost our consciousness of the nature of food, of the places where our meats and plant foods originate, of how they are raised, and of the eco-systems on which they depend.

Read the entire article here.

CSA Shares

 

Full Shares

  • 1 lb. tomatillos from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. tomatillos from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 onion from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Fairy tale eggplant is a smaller eggplant with a light purple skin.  Since it is smaller than the black eggplant that you're used to, adjust the recipes accordingly.

Tomatillos have an outer husk that must be removed before cooking.  If you're not familiar with them, they look like a small green tomato.

The hot peppers in the Choice boxes include hot Hungarian (mildly hot), Inferno (larger than the Hungarian but similar shape and color; a little hotter), and Jalapenos (small and dark green, the hottest of the three).  We included the hot peppers because most people make salsa verde with their tomatillos, but we wanted to let you choose the amount of spice.

Super Easy Salsa Verde

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie

Roasted Tomatillo Chickpea Curry

Roasted Spicy Garlic Eggplant Slices

Grandma's Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Cheesy Stuffed Banana Peppers (You can use any of the peppers for this recipe...depends on your affinity for heat)

Chili Pepper Salt (Again, any hot pepper is appropriate here)

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Enjoy your week!

Amy

Posted 8/10/2017 12:01pm by Amy Philson.

My newsletter will be a bit shorter than normal today.  My mom is visiting from New Mexico this week, and I am trying to shorten my work load for the week in order to spend more time with her, since I usually only get to see her once a year.

While the weather has been beautiful this week with the cooler temperatures, it has delayed ripening of our field tomatoes and peppers.  The tomatoes that have been in the shares so far have been grown in the ground in a greenhouse at Detweiler Farm.  Cherry tomatoes that are in the field ripen more quickly than the larger tomatoes.  So you will have to wait patiently for the delicious field-ripened heirloom tomatoes.  Sweet corn is coming soon, too.

We have an update from Grateful Life Farm:

On Monday, we processed our third batch of chickens, marking the halfway point of our broiler chicken season.  Nine more weeks and three more butcher dates to go!  Each time seems to go faster and better as we settle into routines in our new space.  We've been planning to purchase another freezer, but so far our inventory has not exceeded our storage and we should be able to wait a few more weeks.  This time we're getting an upright freezer with shelves.  I've been lusting after one ever since visiting a friend's farm and seeing her pork storage area, each cut neatly organized and labeled on the outside freezer doors.
 
We've had several nights this week of being woken by the eerie sound of howling coyotes.  They sound so loud and near and the noise seems to swell to surround us on all sides as every coyote in the neighborhood calls to one another and answers back.  One night we even got out of bed and jumped in the side-by-side to check the chickens.  Fortunately, the coyotes have not bothered them, yet, but I would love to know if the fence is working to repel predators or simply has not yet been challenged.  We received the game camera I ordered this week.  It is capable of sending real time pictures to our cell phones or e-mail, but I'm still working on setting it up as electronics are not my forte!  Hopefully this weekend we can have it operational and be able to see what is going on back there while we're sleeping.  

The fall crops we seeded, including mustard greens, lettuce, and green onions have germinated nicely with the air conditioner running to keep the grow room temperature down.  We ran out of lettuce seed, but received another shipment this week.  I hope to finish my seeding work this weekend to be ready to fill up the garden again through the second half of August. 

I was not very familiar with the endive that is in your shares this week, so I had to do a little research.  I thought you might be interested in reading some of the info:

Endive, commonly known as escarole, is a green leafy vegetable with a hint of bitter flavor. Nevertheless, this popular salad plant is much more than just a leafy green; it packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A, etc.
 
Botanically, this perennial herbaceous leafy plant belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family, in the genus, Cichorium, and is closely related to chicory, radicchio, and Belgian endive (witloof). Scientific name: Cichorium endivia.
 
Endive is native to Asia Minor region. This cool-season crop requires well-drained fertile soil to flourish. There exist two main cultivar varieties of endive: curly-endive (Frisée, Cichorium endivia, var crispum) with narrow curly leaves, and Escarole or scarole (Cichorium endivia, var latifolia) with broad leaves. Escarole leaves have serrated, dentate margins (like in dandelion or lettuce) with thick stalks. Its leaves feature, however, less pungency than small, curly, intensely bitter taste of "frisée" (curly-endive).
Belgian endive or witloof is a popular winter season vegetable in Europe. It features smooth cream-colored leaves, compressed into a compact (bud-like) 10 to 12 cm long heads.

Health benefits of Endive

  • Endive is one of the very low-calorie leafy vegetables. 100 g fresh leaves carry just 17 calories; however, it contributes about 8% of daily-required intake (DRI) of fiber.

  • Current research studies suggest that high inulin and fiber content in escarole help reduce glucose and LDL-cholesterol levels in diabetes and obese patients.

  • Endive composes good amount Vitamin-A and ß-carotene. Both these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the human body. Furthermore, vitamin-A required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Also, it is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Consumption of natural vegetables/greens rich in vitamin-A helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Further, it contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them through external sources to replenish. They take part as cofacors in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.

  • Additionally, escarole is a good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron, and potassium. Manganese used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.

    (from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/endive.html)

CSA Shares

Full Shares

2 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 qt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products

1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

1 endive from NuWay Farm

2 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

1 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

1 endive from NuWay Farm

1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Mini Shares

1 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 onion from Miller Farm Products

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

(Endive is also called escarole)

Charred Escarole Salad

Wilted Escarole with Feta, Walnuts and Honey

Italian Beans and Greens

Marinated Cherry Tomato and Herb Salad (my family loved this when I made it last week)

Quick Spiralized Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Creamy Basil Dressing

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 8/2/2017 9:08pm by Amy Philson.

It has been a beautiful week, but it's getting to the point where your farmers are hoping for a little rain.  Some farms received a little bit yesterday, and some received only a drop or two.  The warm, dry weather is great for tomatoes and peppers; lettuce and beans would like a drink.  Some of our fields are watered with drip irrigation hoses, while others are left to the whims of Mother Nature.  However, a good soaking rain is always preferred to irrigation because there are other substances in rainwater that are not found in well water, plus the energy savings of running the pump. 

All of our farmers must be very busy these days.  I only have an update from Grateful Life Farm this week:

This week we turned our attention back to the garden, where we are working to get ready for planting our fall crops.  We harvested the rest of our garlic, the German Red variety, and hung it in the shed to cure.  The garlic beds can now be replanted with successions of beans and radishes.  For our fall transplants, we seeded flats of lettuce, green onions, and mustard greens in our indoor grow room.  Because the grow lamps make a lot of heat, we've installed a window air conditioner to keep the temperature low enough for our seeds to germinate.  So far it is working as we have seen excellent germination rates. 

The chickens in the back pasture are doing very well and we are enjoying having so much room to move the pen each day, unlike our other spaces, where every inch counts and we are constantly squaring up the pen to make sure we were not losing any precious ground.  I've been obsessively checking the electric fence to make sure it is hot enough to hold off predators.  A charge of at least 2500 volts is recommended.  In the afternoons on nice days, the fence is very hot, as high as 5200 volts, but after the sun goes down and dew starts to form, the charge drops off quickly.  In the mornings, I have tested as low as 1400 volts.  I spoke with the fence manufacturer this week and was told that it doesn't take as much voltage to deliver a shock to a predator when the ground and their paws are wet from dew, but he also gave me some pointers on improving the charge.  

Yesterday afternoon when we arrived to move the pen, we saw a section of fence had been knocked partially down.  It seemed odd that it had happened during the day, but there was no evidence of any digging around the pen, so we believe it was a deer running out of the woods, or perhaps a neighbor had hit the fence with a side-by-side.  We are planning to set up a game camera shortly so we can see what's going on back there when we're not around.

On Monday, we will process our third batch of chickens.  We package them as wholes, halves, boneless skinless breasts, leg quarters, and wings, and soup bones, livers, hearts, gizzards, and feet are also available. 

CSA Shares

Last week we had a couple of complaints about the peaches being too ripe when you received them.  Sometimes fruits are difficult to put in CSA boxes.  We can not pick them at the peak of ripeness or they will be past their prime at delivery.  We don't put certain items in plastic bags because they do not breathe.  However, brown paper bags speed up the ripening process of certain fruits, including peaches, because a gas that is released is trapped inside.  If we just put loose peaches in your box, they will be damaged.  So this week we tried putting them in paper bags and leaving them open so the gas is not trapped.  Let me know if it works better.  There is nothing worse than expecting delicious, non-sprayed peaches and finding them inedible!

Full Share

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Recipes

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Sautéed Cabbage

Marinated Tomatoes

Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes

Green Bean, Mushroom and Chicken Skillet in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

There are also lots more recipe ideas on our other Pinterest boards, as well as in the Recipes  section of our Website.

As always, if you receive inferior produce that you would like replaced, please let me know.  Have a great week!

Amy

 

Posted 8/2/2017 9:07pm by Amy Philson.

It has been a beautiful week, but it's getting to the point where your farmers are hoping for a little rain.  Some farms received a little bit yesterday, and some received only a drop or two.  The warm, dry weather is great for tomatoes and peppers; lettuce and beans would like a drink.  Some of our fields are watered with drip irrigation hoses, while others are left to the whims of Mother Nature.  However, a good soaking rain is always preferred to irrigation because there are other substances in rainwater that are not found in well water, plus the energy savings of running the pump. 

All of our farmers must be very busy these days.  I only have an update from Grateful Life Farm this week:

This week we turned our attention back to the garden, where we are working to get ready for planting our fall crops.  We harvested the rest of our garlic, the German Red variety, and hung it in the shed to cure.  The garlic beds can now be replanted with successions of beans and radishes.  For our fall transplants, we seeded flats of lettuce, green onions, and mustard greens in our indoor grow room.  Because the grow lamps make a lot of heat, we've installed a window air conditioner to keep the temperature low enough for our seeds to germinate.  So far it is working as we have seen excellent germination rates. 

The chickens in the back pasture are doing very well and we are enjoying having so much room to move the pen each day, unlike our other spaces, where every inch counts and we are constantly squaring up the pen to make sure we were not losing any precious ground.  I've been obsessively checking the electric fence to make sure it is hot enough to hold off predators.  A charge of at least 2500 volts is recommended.  In the afternoons on nice days, the fence is very hot, as high as 5200 volts, but after the sun goes down and dew starts to form, the charge drops off quickly.  In the mornings, I have tested as low as 1400 volts.  I spoke with the fence manufacturer this week and was told that it doesn't take as much voltage to deliver a shock to a predator when the ground and their paws are wet from dew, but he also gave me some pointers on improving the charge.  

Yesterday afternoon when we arrived to move the pen, we saw a section of fence had been knocked partially down.  It seemed odd that it had happened during the day, but there was no evidence of any digging around the pen, so we believe it was a deer running out of the woods, or perhaps a neighbor had hit the fence with a side-by-side.  We are planning to set up a game camera shortly so we can see what's going on back there when we're not around.

On Monday, we will process our third batch of chickens.  We package them as wholes, halves, boneless skinless breasts, leg quarters, and wings, and soup bones, livers, hearts, gizzards, and feet are also available. 

CSA Shares

Last week we had a couple of complaints about the peaches being too ripe when you received them.  Sometimes fruits are difficult to put in CSA boxes.  We can not pick them at the peak of ripeness or they will be past their prime at delivery.  We don't put certain items in plastic bags because they do not breathe.  However, brown paper bags speed up the ripening process of certain fruits, including peaches, because a gas that is released is trapped inside.  If we just put loose peaches in your box, they will be damaged.  So this week we tried putting them in paper bags and leaving them open so the gas is not trapped.  Let me know if it works better.  There is nothing worse than expecting delicious, non-sprayed peaches and finding them inedible!

Full Share

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Recipes

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Sautéed Cabbage

Marinated Tomatoes

Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes

Green Bean, Mushroom and Chicken Skillet in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

There are also lots more recipe ideas on our other Pinterest boards, as well as in the Recipes  section of our Website.

As always, if you receive inferior produce that you would like replaced, please let me know.  Have a great week!

Amy

 

Posted 7/27/2017 8:45pm by Amy Philson.

I am loving the weather this week!  Cool at night and not too hot during the day.  It makes working on the farm and going to farmer's markets so much more enjoyable.  We are currently attending two farmer's markets:  Monday afternoon in Robinson Twp. outside of Pittsburgh and Friday afternoon in Hermitage.  Some of our farmers also have a presence at Bellevue market on Wednesday, Grove City market on Thursday, and Lawrenceville market on Saturday.  Sometimes at market I hear complaints about how expensive our food is.  What they don't realize is that I spend 8-9 hours for a 3-4 hour market, plus the hours that our farmers spend harvesting and preparing their products for the market.  Thank you for your commitment to local farms this season with your prepurchased CSA Share!

My family was discussing whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable.  Of course, there was a difference of opinion.  So I asked Google.  Evidently, it depends on what classification system you are using.  If you're looking at the question as a botanist would, the tomato is definitely a fruit, as are cucumbers, pumpkins, beans, and a host of other "vegetables."  But in the everyday world, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable because that is how it is generally eaten.  So we still haven't resolved our argument.

Here is an update from Grateful Life Farm:

We made it!  Our fourth batch of broiler chicks went out of the brooder and into the pasture pen in our large back pasture on schedule on Tuesday evening.  Sunday was a very busy day, processing rabbits in the morning, then moving to the back pasture to cut grass and put up portable electric net fence in the afternoon.  We didn't finish the grass, but only cut what we would need for the first week or so, because of how long it was taking.  Finally, we disassembled the chicken pen, hauled each half up the path, then reassembled it inside the fence line.  The next day, we got some great news: our sickle bar mower was ready to be picked up!  That evening, we made quick work of the rest of the grass, cutting more area in an hour than we had in 3 hours on Sunday.  Check out our Facebook page for a video of this powerful mower.   https://www.facebook.com/GratefulLifeFarm/

Tuesday, Shawn set up the feeder and waterer, we crated the chicks, and they arrived at their new home just in time to clean out the brooder and welcome another batch of day old chicks in the morning.  Although we have two layers of protection in the pen and the electric fence, we still worry about predation so far from the house and I didn't sleep well, having nightmares about our birds being eaten by bears.  In the morning, I drove back at dawn to find them all well and safe.  If you would like to see lots of pictures of the whole process, check out my latest blog post on our website.  http://gratefullifefarm.com/this-week-on-the-farm/taking-back-our-field

This week in the garden we are working to get the rest of our garlic harvested.  Yesterday we pulled our Deerfield Purple hardneck garlic.  Rather than coming from purchased seedstock, this garlic was saved from our own harvest last year, selecting the largest, nicest heads to replant.  It is bundled and hanging in the shed and we only have our German Red left to harvest.  Summer crops are coming along well with basil really taking off, flowers on the green beans, and green fruits on the tomatoes.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 4 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head garlic from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1/8 lb. basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bag basil from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Easy Peach and Basil Flatbread (I wasn't going to give you any recipes for peaches, because I imagine some of you will eat them by the end of the day because...fresh peaches!, but this one caught my eye since it uses basil too and is very simple)

Fresh Basil Garlic Bread

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

How to Freeze Fresh Basil

Spicy Zucchini Soup

Amazing Zucchini Brownies (If you don't have the stevia blend, you can use regular sugar in the larger amount)

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta (for those of you with veggie spiralizers, or you can julienne the zucchini)

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Greek Salad

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts

Grilled Balsamic Zucchini

Parmesan Tomato Zucchini Bake

Avocado/Tomato/Mozzarella Salad

I always end up with more recipes than I mean to share.  When I'm searching for recipes, so many look good and I want to share them.

Have a great week!  Check out our Facebook page in the coming days for posts from a book I've been reading.

Amy