NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 11/6/2019 11:42am by Amy Philson.

Fall has descended on us in a big way.  Your farmers are all scurrying to get things tidied up before winter, cleaning out beds and greenhouses, and planting cover crops.  But we are also still planting and tending certain crops that will be ready to harvest in the cold winter months.  Some farmers take a "vacation" from vegetable farming in the winter while others try to extend the season as much as they can using greenhouses and storage crops.  The farmers who keep animals never get to enjoy much down time, and their work is even more difficult in the winter because of water freezing and the dangers that extreme temperatures pose to their animals.  

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

Wow was last night's storm wicked!  (This was written last Friday.) We went to sleep on a warm and rainy evening with the wind howling eerily, tree branches snapping, leaves whipping through the sky looking like flocks of birds, and the power flickering.  An appropriately spooky Halloween night!  We woke up to giant snowflakes and a small puddle of slush accumulated on the car's windshield.  The world looked different at dawn, a lot more like winter, with most of the trees bare and piles of leaves blanketing the grass.

Most of this week's activities have involved getting ready for winter.  We've had trouble with our water line freezing ever since we built our chicken processing room and the area was not back-filled properly.  This week Shawn placed two dump truck loads of topsoil to bury our water line deeply enough to keep it from freezing.  An added benefit is that I just gained a huge new flower bed on the full sun side of the house!

Bushel and a Peck Farm

We are busy setting up our pop-up store at Grove City Outlets.  Philson & Friends Artisanal Wares is filled with locally-made products from around the area.  We rent a store for two months to sell our maple products for the holidays, and we collect other locally-made products to help fill our store.  Opening day is this Friday, so we're all in a flurry getting everything in place and properly tagged.  We have a wide range of products, including food, jewelry, sports items, decor, and lots more.  If you want to come find us, we are store #140, the same place we were last year.  My family and a few friends take turns staffing the store seven days a week.  You can almost always find me there on Sundays and usually a couple of other days each week.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 lb. red potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 8 oz. spinach from Byler Farm
  • 1 pie pumpkin from Detweiler Farm
  • 8 oz. baby kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 red pac choi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 microgreens from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Small Share

  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 pie pumpkin from Detweiler Farm
  • 8 oz. Siberian kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 red pac choi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 microgreens from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 pie pumpkin from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 red pac choi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Byler Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Some of the pie pumpkins were smaller, so some shares have two pumpkins.

I wasn't planning on radishes in the Mini Shares, but we ended up with enough extras today to give Mini Shares a bonus!  That's why they weren't on the pickup list.

Microgreens are full of concentrated goodness, so a little goes a long way.  Add a few to your sandwich or sprinkle them on eggs, veggies, or salads to boost nutrition.  Yum!

To help you identify an item in the Choice boxes that you might not be familiar with:  black Spanish radishes are good for storage, so you will often find them in the colder months.  They can be eaten raw or cooked.  I recommend roasting with other veggies or slicing and sauteeing.  

How to make fresh pumpkin puree.  Sometimes I don't even seed my pumpkins and squash.  After it's cooked I throw the whole thing in my Vitamix, seeds and skin included.  It adds more nutrition and makes my puree thicker.  But sometimes I like to roast the seeds for snacking.  Double yum!

The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever! This is my go-to pumpkin pie recipe, whether I'm using pureed pumpkin or butternut squash.  Made with real cream, not evaporated milk, but I have also made it with nut milk.

If you don't want to make pie crust, this one's for you:  Impossible Pumpkin Pie

And if you want to make dinner instead of dessert:  Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Garlic Bok Choi Stir Fry

Immunity-Boosting Bok Choi Mushroom Barley Soup

Ground Beef Kale Casserole (you could use most any green in this)

Kale, Olive, and Chickpea Salad

Sauteed Kale with Caramelized Onions

Warm Spinach Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Spinach Falafel

We have only two more weeks of CSA 2019!  Winter CSA begins four weeks from today.  

 

 

Posted 10/30/2019 5:15pm by Amy Philson.

We've just added pickups in Pittsburgh (Bellevue) and Cranberry Township on Wednesday evenings for Winter CSA.  We are cooperating with another farmer who makes deliveries there so we don't add more to our carbon footprint.

And if you are in our other delivery areas, now is the time to sign up!  Winter CSA beings in 5 weeks.

Check out all the details here.  To go straight to the registration page, click here.

Questions?  Just reply to this email and we will do our best to give you answers.

Posted 10/30/2019 11:30am by Amy Philson.

We have been hearing and reading lately about more and more farm closures.  It has been happening for a long time, with the mega-farms overcoming and swallowing up the little guy.  With ever-increasing consolidation of our food supply, the small family farm just can't compete in the current market.  The oldest certified organic farm in western PA, Kretschmann Farm near Zelienople, is going out of business.  The farm has continued to be profitable enough for the Kretschmanns, but they are ready to retire and there are no buyers for their established organic farm and CSA operation.  Another farm in the Butler area that ran a farm market and large greenhouse is closing down and auctioning their equipment. And these are just the latest casualties after a long string of dairies that have liquidated their herds because they couldn't sell their milk.

Like NWPA Growers, other cooperatives have been watching their membership decrease the last few years.  The largest co-op in the Pittsburgh area has decided not to run a Winter CSA this year while they reassess their business model.  Thankfully, we at NWPAGC run a lean ship and don't have much overhead.  Several of the farmers volunteer a couple of hours every Wednesday to pack your shares for you.  We try to return as much value to you, our CSA members, as we possibly can in farm products and allow our farmers to earn a mediocre wage for their time and expense of producing this food.  None of us draws a living wage solely from our farms, but we love farming and endeavor to bring you the best food that we can.  While we lament the consolidation of our food systems and all the food that is shipped thousands of miles when it could be purchased locally, we are encouraged by increasing interest in and commitment to the local food movement.  Shop local, not just for your food but for as many items as you can.  Many of our pickup locations are local business that would love your support, too.

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

This week has been very calm around the farm with the meat chickens gone for the year.  I’m surprised at how much more soundly I am sleeping and how much less I am worrying about bad weather, without the many possibilities for disaster lurking in the back of my mind.  I even made a new soup recipe - you must try this one (Curried Butternut Squash Soup in the recipe section below).  Instead of vegetable broth, I used chicken  bone broth, using the fat skimmed from the top to saute the onion and garlic.

Last Saturday’s chicken processing got done, but not without some equipment troubles.  Shawn spent quite a while trying to get the scalder to light and stay lit, ultimately bypassing the control module and piping the gas directly to the burner.  He had to shut it off when the temperature got too hot, then relight as the water cooled.  A little later, our plucker made a bad noise and shut off, although it started again and we were able to finish the chickens.  We will make repairs, but we are also considering selling these items and purchasing larger models to increase our capacity for next year.

Glacial Till Farm

On Saturday we planted 1,800 garlic cloves! Garlic stays in the ground all winter and sprouts in the spring.  It is usually harvested in July.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 2 peppers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. ground cherries from Detweiler Farm
  • 8 oz. kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 red pac choi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lettuce OR kale OR Swiss chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Miller Farm

Small Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1/2 lb. ground cherries from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 red pac choi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lettuce OR kale OR Swiss chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Miller Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1/2 lb. ground cherries from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce OR kale OR Swiss chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Glacial Till Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Miller Farm

Recipes

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

Butternut Squash, Kale and Sausage

Ground Cherry Muffins

Spiced Ground Cherry Compote

Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary and Lemon

Spicy Potato Kale Bowls with Mustard Tahini Dressing.  Adjust the hot pepper to your taste (or leave out altogether!)

Ginger Sweet Tofu with Pac Choi

Bok Choy Fried Rice

Don't forget to sign up for Winter CSA!  We may cancel delivery to some locations if we don't have enough members, so better sooner than later.  Stay warm and eat good food.

Amy

Posted 10/23/2019 10:41am by Amy Philson.

This is Week 20 of our CSA season.  Only four more weeks left!  Our season ends the week before Thanksgiving, on November 20.  We always have one or two members who need a vacation day on the final week, so if that is the case then you can get your double share the week before, on Nov. 13.

While we were packing this morning, the farmers were discussing people's outdoor hobbies, like sports or boating or four-wheeling.  The consensus among our farmers was that our hobby is farming.  Derek from Glacial Till Farm works full-time on his family's large farm and in his spare time raises organic produce in is market garden.  Herb from Hazy Hollow Farm squirrel hunts in his spare time...and figures out how to protect his hens from the fox that he saw while hunting.  One farmer said that if he wins the lottery, he will just keep on farming until the money is gone.  While that could be a joke, it is all too true of modern farming.  It is difficult to make a living from our little farms unless we have another source of income.  One thing that would help us is to expand the CSA just a little bit next year.  So if you love your CSA, please tell others about it.  So many new members tell us that they had no idea that such a thing existed.  While we could spend a bunch of money on advertising to get the word out, we have found that the best advertisement is word of mouth.

Grateful Life Farm

This week’s cold and rain have felt like an early taste of winter compared to the previous week’s sun and warmth.  Leaves are changing fast now and color is near its peak.  We’ve had several frosty mornings and we even broke down and lit our woodstove for the first time this season!  I’m a bit sad to say goodbye to my frost-tender summer flowers and vegetables, but it helps to daydream about next year as I plant spring bulbs, a few more fruit trees, perennials, and garlic. 

With the cold and wet weather, I’ve been very concerned about our last batch of broiler chickens, still in the pasture.  But they’ve done just fine with the extra plastic covering we added over their pen for more shelter from wind and rain.  Each evening when we arrive to move the chickens to fresh grass, a mama deer and her two young look up from enjoying the new pasture growth, rich from the manure the chickens added this year.  They watch us for a while before bounding away into the woods. We have harvested these last chickens of the season, to allow us to provide you with chicken all through the winter months. We still have turkeys to harvest right before Thanksgiving.  Here I am enjoying some quality time with the birds.

Glacial Till Farm

Our beds are winding down for the year.  Sadly, the bed of braising greens that were slated to be ready for next week's CSA have been consumed by a groundhog.  I am making a plan to keep groundhogs out of the garden next season, but it will take some work over the winter.  The deer fence that we constructed has helped immensely, but it doesn't keep the groundhogs out.  We don't yet have any greenhouses, so we are very limited in what we can grow in the winter.  A greenhouse is in the long-range plan, but it will have to wait until funds allow.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 garlic from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 garlic from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Byler Farm

Recipes

Caramelized Onion and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash Egg in a Hole

Roasted Acorn Squash with Chile Vinaigrette

22 Acorn Squash Recipes

Spicy Potato Kale Bowls with Mustard Dressing

Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Kale Crumble

Kale, Potato and White Bean Soup

Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Succulent Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Apple Salad

This morning as I drove through the countryside, I was so enjoying the vivid colors of some of the maple trees.  While I don't enjoy the cold and snow of winter, I would so miss the beauty of the maple trees in the fall and the maple syrup that we make from them in the spring.  From the Great Lakes to New England, this is a unique area of the world that boasts the vibrant colors of fall and maple syrup.  I don't think anywhere else would ever be home to me.

Eat well and live well, my friends.

Posted 10/16/2019 1:35pm by Amy Philson.

This is Week 18 of our CSA season.  Only six more weeks, and then we transition to our Winter CSA.  Have you signed up yet?  If you travel in the winter, we can work around your schedule with vacation days.  

Farm News

Glacial Till Farm is features in Lancaster Farming this week!  Check out the in-depth article and more photos of their farm here.

Hazy Hollow Farm has a new border collie puppy. Hopefully Star will grow up to herd sheep and cattle as well as their older dog.

 

Grateful Life Farm

What a splendid fall week.  Sunny blue sky days with that special fall intensity to the light, crisp nights, leaves starting to change color and drift to the ground, and soup season has begun!  Lately I have a crock pot on the counter with bone broth simmering away more often than not.  I use it as a base for chicken noodle soup, silky pureed butternut squash soup, spicy chili, and beefy mushroom barley soup, extra special with foraged wild mushrooms.  Perhaps it's fanciful, but I swear I can taste and sense the nourishing, healing qualities of this broth.  At the end of the day, sitting outside by the fire, watching the moon rise with a bowl of steaming soup in my lap is truly a balm for my soul.

With shorter days and winter on the way, we've been hurrying to clear out tender vegetables from the garden preparing for frost.  As I worked yesterday evening pulling out the last of the onions, Shawn told me the turkeys had flown over the fence and were in the garden.  I looked up to see them coming around the corner and straight up the empty onion bed towards me, looking to see if I had unearthed any tasty bugs or seeds I suppose.  What goofballs they are!  After a few minutes they headed back through the kale to their shelter for the night. 

The rabbits are more comfortable and more active as the weather cools and the babies are everywhere.  They’re very hard to photograph because they’re never still!  You’ll have to enjoy an action shot.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bag arugula from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 green peppers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Byler Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Byler Farm, and Miller Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. baby kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Byler Farm, and Miller Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 5 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Byler Farm, and Miller Farm

Recipes

Crispy Roasted Radishes

Salmon, Avocado and Radish Salad

Don't throw those radish greens away.  Make Radish Greens Pesto!

Baby Kale Salad with Cherries, Marinated Lentils, and Goat Cheese.  I'm sure this would taste just as good with other fruits or dried fruits.

Baby Kale and Mozzarella Quesadillas with Dipping Sauce.  You could sub any green (including arugula) in these.

Warm Kale and Caramelized Mushroom Salad

Warm White Bean Arugula Salad

Delicata Squash Salad with Warm Pickled Onion Dressing.  This calls for cabbage as part of the salad, or you could sub a hearty green, or even salad mix if you serve it immediately before the lettuce wilts.

Kale Salad with Roasted Delicata Squash.  Again, you can sub other greens in this.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash Rings.  Simple.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I don't know about you, but I love these cool fall days with the leaves changing color.  We are making applesauce at my house today, a perfect rainy day project.  We didn't get any made last year, and we sure do miss it.  I don't usually buy applesauce, because the flavor can't compare to the home-canned stuff.  It smells heavenly, and I'm sure we will serve a big bowl of it with dinner tonight.

Amy

Posted 10/13/2019 12:21pm by Amy Philson.

Happy fall!!  As the seasons progress, local farmers are looking toward the slower-paced winter season.  However, just because most growth slows or stops for the cold months, that doesn't mean that local farmers have no crops.  Our farmers plan for the slow months by planting storage crops and winter-hardy greens so you can still enjoy local food.  Other farmers keep plenty of pastured meat in our freezers to nourish us throughout the year.

You can continue to eat locally-produced food all year with our Winter CSASpring CSA and Winter Market Webstore.  Deliveries are twice/month with larger quantities and breaks around the holidays.  For returning members who don't need to read all the details, you can go directly to our sign-up page.

We know that it's easier and sometimes less expensive to purchase your food from the local supermarket.  However, you support local farmers and your local economy when you purchase from NWPA Growers rather than a megafarm on the other side of the country or even world.  Studies have shown that locally-grown food has a higher nutrient value than food that is often picked long before ripeness and then shipped hundreds or thousands of miles before it reaches you.  With so many small farms stopping operations because they can't make ends meet, your support of our local farms is invaluable.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me.  Just hit the reply button on this email.  Thank you for supporting local farms and local food.

Amy Philson

NWPA Growers Co-op

Posted 10/10/2019 9:09am by Amy Philson.

Many kudos to the team for packing and delivery yesterday in my absence.  They did a great job making sure everything was packed and delivered to the correct locations.  And they even took some photos of the packing process that I never remember to do.

For some reason, most of the photos are getting turned when I insert them in this email.  They are the correct direction in the gallery of our Website, but they are getting turned when I insert them here.  So you will just have to cock your head sideways to see them correctly.  :)

Here are CSA Share contents all lined up.  We use an assembly line with 2-3 people filling boxes as they are slid down the tables.  The heaviest items go at the beginning of the line, and all the greens are in the brown boxed at the close end.  Herb, Monty, and Howard usually pack CSA boxes.

After everything is lined up on the tables, boxes are reassembled and stacked to be ready to fill.  Again, this photo is sideways.

For CSA shares, the farmers pack like items in each box for our assembly-line packing.  But for Webstore, each farmer sends 1-2 boxes with miscellaneous items that were ordered.  This table contains all of the Webstore orders for this week, except cold items which are in coolers and fridge nearby.  The farmer initials on Webstore items makes it easy for us to tell which items are ordered from which farmers.  I pack Webstore, but Kimberly stood in for me this week.

The Choice boxes are sorted the same way as Webstore.  A table is filled with boxes from each farmer, and we put a variety in each box from which you can choose.  Derek usually packs Choice boxes.

The van is being loaded.  CSA Shares are stacked by type, and boxes for each location are stacked behind them.  Cooler bags are packed in a cooler to keep the items cold.  Each week I prepare a paper with a grid of how many of each size share goes to each location, which changes with vacations and make-up shares.  Then we count up other boxes and coolers as we are loading to make sure everything gets to the correct spot.  All of this usually takes us about two hours on Wednesday morning.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 spaghetti squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 bunch beets from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. baby kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Small Share

  • 1 spaghetti squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes from Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 8 oz. kale from Glacial Till Farm OR rainbow chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bell pepper from Byler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 spaghetti squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bell pepper from Byler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Miller Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

The Best Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Garlic & Herb Spaghetti Squash

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spicy Sweet Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry  Instant Pot or stovetop

Kale and Sweet Potato Saute

Beet and Apple Salad:  Sub kale, chard, or lettuce for the arugula.

Wild Rice and Roasted Beet Salad

Kale Chickpea Soup in a Hurry

Have a great week!  There are only six more weeks of CSA.

Amy

 

Posted 9/25/2019 1:08pm by Amy Philson.

The weather is always a subject of discussion among farmers.  This month has been the warmest September on record, and the rainfall has been almost perfect for our fall crops and harvesting.  Our fields are finally beginning to dry out after the heavy rains earlier in the season.  Even though the calendar says it's officially autumn, it looks like our summer isn't over with record highs predicted for early next week.  

Farm News

Glacial Till Farm

Autumn is here and we are excited for the cool nights. We have had exceptional growing weather with much less rain and dryer air! We will have an abundance of greens this fall.

Grateful Life Farm

So many baby rabbits were born last weekend!  37 to be exact.  It is interesting to watch the different does, as their mothering instincts lead them all to do something a little different.  Silver Fox mothers always seem to pull out mountains of fur to make their nests.  Sometimes I borrow fur from them for the nests of the New Zealand does, who are a bit stingy with their fur.  Most of the does had litters of 5-7, with one having 12!  I fostered some of her kits with other mamas to make sure everyone would get enough to eat.

These kits are from the two English Spot rabbits.  They look like they will mostly be white, with a few having the brown and white spots of their parents.

Miller Farm

This Saturday we will welcome neighbors to our farm to help put up a new chicken coop.  We set the corner posts yesterday, and we will pick up the lumber on Friday from the local sawmill.  The building will be all framed in on Saturday, and then we will finish it in the coming days, adding roosts and nesting boxes.

Bushel and a Peck Farm

Our farm is a flurry of activity as we are getting ready for our fall festivals.  We have four festivals during the next three weekends, so there is a lot of prep work to do.  To save space, when we make syrup in the late winter/early spring, it goes into 5-30 gallon containers.  We then pump the syrup out as needed to bottle or make our maple products.  When a sealed container is opened, it needs to be heated and bottled within a few days or it will begin to ferment (since we can't fit 30 gallons of syrup in our refrigerator). 

Last week we made six batches of Maple Mustard (three batches take eight hours!) and Sweet and Hot Maple Wing Sauce.  On Monday we started infusing 5 gallons of Cinnamon Roll Maple Syrup (it will be ready to bottle next week) and bottled 20 gallons of syrup into various sizes of jugs.  Yesterday we bottled more syrup and made Raspberry Maple Syrup and maple sugar.  Today we have several batches of Maple Wing Sauce in progress.  Later we will fill a bourbon barrel with Maple Syrup to age and hopefully start a batch of Maple Cream to finish in the morning.  And there's still more to do, including labelling all of the products.

Raspberry Maple Syrup:

We will be at McConnell's Mill Heritage Festival this weekend.  Next weekend brings Applefest in Franklin and Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion.  And the following week we will be in Zelienople at the Country Fall Festival.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 quart cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch hakurei salad turnips from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Byler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 8 oz. lacinto kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 3 oz. Japanese garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Small Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 quart cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. green beans from Byler Farm, Detweiler Farm, or Miller Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm
  • 3 oz. Japanese garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 8 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 acorn squash from Byler Farm
  • 2 cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. green beans from Byler Farm
  • 5 oz. salad mix from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Miller Farm, and Byler Farm

Recipes

Because of the heat that is coming, I tried to choose cooler recipes this week.

Cucumber Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

Korean Cucumber Salad

Garlic Butternut Squash Steaks

Healthy and Easy Butternut Squash Bowls.  I would sub quinoa for the couscous in this, but you can use any grain that you prefer.

Grilled Honey Acorn Squash

How to Roast Acorn Squash Seeds (or ANY squash seeds!)  One of my favorite parts of squash is roasted seeds to snack on.

Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad.  With chickpeas for plant-based protein.

Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese

Lacinto Kale Salad with Roasted Squash

Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad

Roasted Turnips with Buttered Greens

Hakurei Turnip Salad and Pickles.  Two recipes in this blog post.

I am off to the races again, getting our farm ready to go to fall festivals.  Have a wonderful week!

Amy

 

Posted 9/18/2019 11:58am by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 15/POS Week 10 of our CSA season.  Peak of the Season members have only two more weeks!  If you would like to extend your season, the cost is $175.00 for Full Shares, $122.50 for Small Shares, and $70 for Mini Shares.  Our season ends on November 20.

This morning, packing was hectic.  I missed telling Derek from Glacial Till Farm that we needed 35 items for Choice boxes from him.  But we didn't realize that until he had already sorted and packed half the Choice boxes.  Fortunately, we pack in a building near his farm, so he left to harvest a bunch of salad mix.  Then it had to be cleaned, weighed, and bagged.  And then resort the Choice boxes to include the salad mix. This made him late for work and our van late leaving for deliveries.  We were also missing a couple of items in Webstore orders, so that added to the craziness.  But at least you know that the salad mix is fresh!

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

I allowed the new rabbits who came to our farm in June to acclimate for a few months, bred them a month ago, and now we are waiting for babies to arrive this weekend!  All five does look quite large and are building nests in the boxes we placed in their pens last night.  Although we have become more knowledgeable and experienced over several years of breeding rabbits, I still feel nervous and excited when rabbits are getting ready to give birth.  I am still moved each time by how birth can be simultaneously beautiful and miraculous, and also messy, bloody, and gross, and sometimes heartbreaking because the outcome of a litter of perfectly formed, healthy babies is not guaranteed.  Wish us luck for lots of healthy babies!

This week our turkeys have started to fly out of the fence, letting us know it is time to give them another section of fence to expand their ranging area.  Last evening as I was filling a bucket with water, I looked up to see the entire flock had made their way over the fence and into an area of freshly cut grass to peck and sort through the clippings.  

Dude the stray rabbit is ready to welcome visitors to the farm.

We are now taking deposits for Thanksgiving turkeys from Grateful Life Farm.  Let me know if you are interested in one.   

Glacial Till Farm

Our salad mix is a mixture of lettuces and various greens.  We use seed mixes to plant separate beds, and then we mix them in the tank when we wash the greens.

Lettuce beds:

Greens beds:

A delicious and nutritious blend of a dozen baby greens and leaf lettuce, salad mix is a great quick way to get the nutritious greens in our diets. I add apple cider vinegar and a splash of olive oil with goat cheese, and the flavor of the mix rounds out the taste. No boring iceberg lettuce that you drench in ranch dressing folks. 

Detweiler Farm

Our spaghetti squash is coming along nicely.  This week we are cleaning the strawberry beds and replanting runners to prepare them for next spring.  Our broccoli is growing very slowly this year.  I am not sure if it will be ready in time to have it in CSA, but maybe in the winter shares.

Miller Farm

We will be harvesting our butternut squash soon and then curing it in the sun so it lasts longer in storage.  We are trying a new chicken feed because some of our hens are laying eggs with soft shells that are not good to sell.  Our local feed mill is mixing a custom feed for us with non-GMO ingredients to help fix this problem.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Miller Farm or Byler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Byler Farm
  • 3 green peppers from Byler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes from Glacial Till Farm
  • 8 oz. arugula from Glacial Till Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Miller Farm

Small Share

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

Full Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. green beans from Miller Farm or Byler Farm
  • 1 onion from Miller Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Byler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, and Detweiler Farm
  • 5 oz. arugula from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm, Glacial Till Farm, Byler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Miller Farm

Recipes

Thai Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower and Delicata Squash

Delicata Salad with Creamy Maple Dressing

Roasted Delicata with Maple Syrup and Thyme

Garlic Asian Green Beans (add red peppers and onions for even more color and flavor!)

Slow Cooked Winter Squash with Sage and Thyme (This recipe calls for either acorn or delicata squash, but you could use most any winter squash.)

Vegetarian Stuffed Green Peppers (adjust the quantity for your needs)

Roasted Green Beans with Red Bell Pepper, Garlic, and Ginger

Caramelized Onion Bacon Pizza with arugula  (A sweet and savory blend)

Arugula Pasta with Sausage (You could sub other meats or make it meatless and adjust the seasonings to make up for the spiciness of the sausage.)

Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate, and Arugula Salad

I wish days like this would last all year.  I love the cool nights and days that are warm and sunny but not too hot.  This is my kind of weather!  However, without the changing seasons, maple syrup would be impossible.  So I just enjoy this while it lasts.

Amy

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