NWPA Growers Co-op

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News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 12/17/2014 1:03pm by Amy Philson.

I hope you like the goodies in your CSA share today.  Yes, there are a lot of repeat veggies in winter shares because a good portion is made of storage crops.  But we like to eat seasonally as much as we can, and in the winter our diets tend to be based on a lot of root veggies and squash. 

We have good things planned for January shares!  With the winter solstice coming up soon, daylight will be slowly increasing making it possible to grow more green things in heated greenhouses.  When the daylight steadily decreases in the fall, plants are dormant and it's difficult to coax them to grow. 

Here's what is in today's shares:

1 maple syrup

1 jar pickles

1 butternut squash

1 acorn squash

2 lb. potatoes

2 lb. sweet potatoes

1 lb. beets

1 lb. onions

1 red or savoy cabbage

¾ lb. sunchokes

1 bunch radish

1 bunch kale

1 head lettuce


The pickles are Sweet Garlic Dill Pickles from Sunny Meadow Farm.  They're available in the Webstore if you find you love them as much as we do!

The knobby roots are called sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.  They're the roots of a member of the sunflower family.  We have two different varieties, red and white, so many of you have both varieties in your bags.  Here's a better explanation:  "On the outside, they look like hunks of ginger, with knobs and twists. Also known as Jerusalem artichokes (though they are neither from Jerusalem nor artichokes) sunchokes are the tubers of the sunflower plant, and are, in fact, native to North America. When cooked, they fall apart and their texture resembles that of potatoes."  You can cook them any way you would potatoes...mashed, fried, baked, roasted, in soups, etc.  They're sweeter than potatoes, but they don't have the starch content that potatoes do.

I have a healthy lunch (or dinner) idea for you if you're feeling overwhelmed by squash: squash pizzas.  Peel your butternut squash and slice it into about 1/4" slices.  I only use the top part that are rounds and use the bottom part with seeds for something else.  Place the rounds on a greased baking pan and brush with oil.  Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  Top each round with pizza sauce and desired pizza toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes or so.  All (except the one pickiest) of my children love these. 

Have you ever made your own sauerkraut?  Lacto-fermented sauerkraut is very easy to make and it's soooo good for you, providing natural probiotics.  Try Fermented Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut.

A recipe for the sunchokes is Sunchoke and Cashew Stir-Fry, which is more like a fried rice than a stir-fry.  Add or substitute other veggies to your heart's desire!

Have you ever tried beet kvass?  It's a naturally-fermented drink that, again, is chock-full of probiotics.  It's easy to make your own, too! 

Cookies for breakfast?  Your family will love you!  Try grain-free Sweet Potato Breakfast CookiesI'm sure you could substitute squash puree for the sweet potato if you have some left from the squash pizzas above.

Another thing you can make with your sweet potatoes is Pizza Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  This looks yummy!  I love sweet and savory together.

Colcannon looks like a hearty breakfast, or you could use it as a side dish if you leave out the meat and eggs.  It's a traditional Irish dish made from potatoes and kale or cabbage.  Substitute any breakfast meat or leave it out entirely and I'm sure it would still be delicious!


Remember that there are LOTS of recipes on our website, where you can search by ingredient if you're looking for something to do with your CSA veggies.  All the recipes from the past few years of CSA are on there, so I'm sure you can find something to do with all your veggies.  If you don't like beets, there is even a chocolate cake recipe using them!


I hope you all have wonderful holidays in the next few weeks.  Remember that we have a 3-week break this time and the next pickup is January 7.


Posted 11/19/2014 8:28pm by Amy Philson.

Good evening!  We've made it to our last week of CSA for this season!  While I enjoy my job immensely because I love to help people eat healthy food and I like to interact with all of you, I am really looking forward to this winter (but not the cold and snow)!  I have a whole bunch of projects I hope to accomplish this winter.  First off is to deep-clean our house and weed out things that are just taking up space.  I want to repaint our living/dining room because with 9 of us living in this house over the past few years we have a few scratches and chips in the paint.  And I have several sewing and knitting projects to make.  All that along with spending more time with my family, doing a bunch of reading and studying, and helping my children with their homeschooling.  Two CSA deliveries per month are looking much better than two per week right now!


My email is a bit late today because I chose to take my children to the library this afternoon rather than write this.  And then I filled in as site coordinator at one of our pickup locations this evening.  So I'm a bit behind tonight.


The snow this week put a damper on our plans for the last week of CSA!  We had slated spinach in all the shares and Swiss chard in the full shares, but the snow and cold prevented their harvest.  So we're hoping that the blanket of snow insulated them enough from this cold that we can have them in the Winter Shares in a couple of weeks.


Here's what is in the shares this week:


Buttercup squash

Sweet dumpling or acorn squash

Red or savoy cabbage



Sweet peppers



Plus Full Shares have Turnips and Broccoli


By the way, the gnarly root vegetable in some of the choice boxes is Sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.  Cook them any way you would cook a potato.


I've added several recipes to the website this week.  They can all be found at http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe.  And remember you can search for other recipes here as well.


Sautéed Red Cabbage with Onions and Apples

Broccoli Turnip Rice Casserole

Quick Pickled Beets

Tempting Turnip Salad

Toshi Left (Pickled Turnips)

Roasted Squash with Italian Seasoning (simple, but I've never thought of putting Italian seasoning on my squash)

Easy Curry Stew

Plus some turkey-related recipes:  Brining a Turkey, Basic Bone Broth Recipe, and Estimated Times for Cooking a Pastured Turkey.  I encourage you all to save the turkey carcass next week and make broth with it, even if it's not your turkey!  Don't let anyone throw it away!  Simmer it long for delightful broth to add to soups and casseroles.  Sooo good for you!  I just finished canning 66 quarts of chicken broth from the chickens we butchered this week.

I love those Sweet Dumpling squash (and acorn too).  We make a stuffing with ground lamb, apples, mushrooms, onions, celery and sage and fill the squash and bake it.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add some butter or olive oil to keep it from drying out.  Delicious!  You could also use quinoa or another meat in place of the lamb for the protein.


I want to thank all of you for a delightful CSA season.  I truly hope you've enjoyed the fresh, local product that you've received.  Our farmers are all grateful that you trust them to feed your family.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving.  I hope to "see" many of you in a couple of weeks for Winter CSA, and if not then next summer.


Posted 11/13/2014 9:02am by Amy Philson.

Fall (or should I say winter) greetings!

NWPA Growers' Co-op's Summer CSA is coming to an end next week, and we're gearing up for our Winter CSA.  If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time! 

We will have definite pickups in Grove City, Hermitage and Slippery Rock. 

Butler, Franklin and New Castle will be cancelled if we don't have more members sign up in the next few days.  So if you're considering the Winter CSA but haven't signed up yet, don't hesitate.

Pickup is only twice per month in the winter, with larger than normal shares for the two weeks.  Webstore is also available twice per month.

Click here to find out more about the Winter CSA and to sign up.  For Webstore info, go to this page.

If you have any questions, just reply to this email and ask.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Co-op




Posted 11/12/2014 11:09am by Amy Philson.

We have one more week left in this year's CSA.  Some of you have vacation weeks for this week and/or next week, so you're already finished with CSA.  If you haven't taken both of your vacation weeks for this year and want to purchase the last week ($17.00 for Small Shares or $24.50 for Full Shares), let me know by the end of this week.


If you haven't signed up for Winter CSA or Winter Market Webstore, time is running out.  Winter CSA and Webstore are only two times per month since we can't grow much during the cold months.  But we have lots of local goodies in store for you this winter!  You can still eat locally and seasonally even in winter!


This week's CSA contains:


Pie Pumpkin

Red Cabbage







Plus Full Shares have Carrots and Spinach


We've been saving the pie pumpkins to give out closer to Thanksgiving.  You just have to make The BEST Pumpkin Pie.  It really is the best I've ever tasted!

Or you can make Baked Pasta with Winter Squash and Caramelized Onions with your pumpkin, or any of the other myriad recipes we have posted for pumpkin or winter squash.


For your red cabbage, try Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing or Tangy Red Cabbage


Arugula would be delicious on a pizza (add it at the end of baking or right after it comes out of the oven, or under other toppings and cheese to keep it from getting crispy), or in Fruit, Nut & Arugula Salad, for Spring or Fall or Toasted Turkey Cranberry Arugula Sandwich


Full Shares have spinach this week, and it would be great in Chicken (or Chana) Saag.  To make it vegan, replace the chicken with chickpeas (to make it chana saag) and the yogurt with a dairy-free alternative.  Or you could try Apple Peanut Spinach Salad for a refreshing side dish or lunch option.


Have a great week and try to keep warm!  I think I'll go make a cup of chai tea!


Posted 10/29/2014 2:41pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings!  This is Week 21 of our CSA season.  The last week is Nov. 19/20, which is 3 more weeks.  Some of you have elected to use the last two weeks of the CSA season as vacation weeks, which would make next week your last pickup week.  If you haven't used both of your vacation weeks and haven't contacted me about when you want to take them or to purchase additional weeks, then I will be sending an email out soon informing you of your last pickup day.


Here is what is in this week's shares:



Sweet potatoes



Italian (sweet) peppers



Plus Full Shares have Carrots and Mixed Greens.


Recipe ideas this week include Braised Red Radishes  or Radish Top Soup (don't throw the beautiful tops away!). If you don't have shallots on hand, any onion can be substituted. 

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes look like a delicious side dish. 

Broccoli Cheese Soup is an all-time favorite.  Sometimes I make a big batch and freeze some for easy lunches.

For a main dish, try Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry.  It calls for spinach, but you could substitute any braising green that you have on hand.


Enjoy your week!


Posted 10/1/2014 5:34pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings everyone!


I've had several people ask me when the CSA will be finished this fall.  Well, after today we have 7 more weeks, until Nov. 19 or 20, depending on your pickup day.  That's almost 1/3 of the season, so we're not by any means finished yet!


Some of you have not taken your vacation weeks that were built into the CSA this year.  Our season is 24 weeks long, but everyone paid for 22 weeks so you could have 2 weeks of vacation anytime throughout the season.  If you are sure you will not use them, you can either end your CSA share two weeks early, or you can purchase the additional two weeks, $17 per week for small shares or $24.50 per week for full shares.  Just let me know which you prefer.


Here's what's in shares this week:

Watermelon (either crimson sweet or sugar baby--the dark green one)

Sweet Dumpling Squash (a variety of Delicata)


Sweet Potatoes

Onions (Full Shares)


Green Pepper or Sweet Banana Peppers

Cherry Belle Radishes




Cabbage...what to do with it?  You could make naturally fermented sauerkraut, which is full of probiotics if you don't heat it.  It's as simple as cabbage, salt and water in mason jars.  Or you could try Carmelized Cabbage Soup or Braised Cabbage with Garden Veggies.  If none of these strike your fancy, you can do a search on our recipe page for cabbage and come up with a whole page of options.


Want to spice up your sweet potatoes?  Try Chile Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Add as much spice as you like!


Here's a new take on winter squash:  Baked Delicata Squash with Cream and Parmigiano.  We're having some delicate tonight for dinner, stuffed with ground lamb, apples, onions, celery, arugula and mushrooms.  Yum!


Enjoy your veggies this week!  And get outside before it turns colder this weekend!






Posted 9/29/2014 3:37pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall weather!  However, it is bound to come to an end soon.  And we are looking toward the end of our Summer CSA season in November and the beginning of our Winter CSA season.  We invite you to eat seasonally with us and at the same time support local farmers.


We will again be delivering CSA Shares and Winter Market Webstore orders to several communities around Northwestern Pennsylvania from December through March.  They will contain a lot of storage crops like squash, potatoes, onions and beets, as well as fresh greens, lettuce and broccoli as long as the weather cooperates.  There will also be some farm-produced products in the shares such as jams and relishes.  All of our produce is grown without pesticides and GMOs, and our animals are raised humanely without antibiotics and GMO feed.


There will be one medium-sized share offered this winter, rather than our traditional Full and Small Shares.  It will actually be quite large to accommodate the twice per month pickup instead of weekly.


A change this year will be that we will only have twice per month pickup for our Webstore orders as well.  We have traditionally offered weekly pickup only in Slippery Rock, but as our member base has spread out we have found that it's not as practical.


Pickups are being planned in Butler, Erie, Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, New Castle, and Slippery Rock.  However, we reserve the right to cancel a location if we don't have enough members.


To learn more about our Winter CSA, click here.  To read about our Winter Market Webstore, click here.  Remember that CSA Members receive FREE access to our Webstore, so there is no need to join both.


When you join sooner rather than later, you can spread your payments out over the course of the next two months if you need to.


Happy Fall!

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative



Posted 9/24/2014 4:57pm by Amy Philson.

Hello, everyone!  I sure am enjoying this weather!  Warm, sunny days and cool nights.  I thought we would have an early frost the way it was looking a couple of weeks ago, but it's staying away for a while yet.  So that means the summer veggies keep producing in limited quantities.  Yeah!


Here's what is in CSA shares this week:


Buttercup squash


Sweet corn


Green peppers




Plus Full Shares get delicata squash and arugula.


Enjoy those pears!  It has been a difficult year for growing fruit.  The peach crop totally failed, and there are very few apples around.  Melons didn't do so well this year, either.  So we're thankful for the pears!


Here are some recipes to try this week:

Wilted Arugula and Pear Salad

Balsamic Glazed Buttercup Squash

Baked Brown Rice with Carrots

And a simple how-to:  How to Roast Winter Squash


I hope you have a wonderful week!  There are 8 more weeks to go in this season's CSA.



Posted 9/4/2014 1:26pm by Amy Philson.

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry for the delay in sending this weekly email.  I usually send it on Wednesday evening so the Wednesday pickup people have the recipes for their shares.  But it just didn't get done yesterday.  After packing boxes, making a huge pot of spaghetti sauce to can, putting out a whole bunch of fires for CSA and at home, we were eating dinner and Eric announces that we have to catch a bunch of lambs to take to the butcher last night.  Our ewes are relatively friendly, but the rams avoid people.  So I didn't get this email finished.


Anyway, here's what should be in your share this week:

Full Shares:

2 acorn squash

6 sweet corn

1 lb. beets

1 lb. onions

1 lb. green tomatoes

1 lb. tomatoes

1 green pepper

1 lb. ground cherries

1 head lettuce

2 choice items

1 herb


Small Shares:

1 acorn squash

4 sweet corn

1 lb. beets

1 lb. onions

3/4 lb. tomatoes

1 lb. ground cherries

1 head lettuce

1 choice item

1 herb


Those little tomatillo-like fruits with paper husks are ground cherries.  Here are a couple of recipes to try with them:  http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe/ground-cherries-recipes


My favorite way to eat green tomatoes is Fried Green Tomatoes


A different twist on an old favorite way of cooking beets:  Rosemary Roasted Beets.


And we have Acorn Squash in the shares this week!  Yeah!  Try Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash.


That's it for now.  Have a great weekend!




Posted 8/27/2014 6:12pm by Amy Philson.

Hi everyone!  It has been a tiring week at my house.  Last weekend, we had a wedding reception for our son and his new wife.  They were married a few weeks ago, but they wanted a very small, simple wedding with the reception later.  So we had family here from Michigan for a few days in the midst of all of our regular stuff.  I'm still not caught up, but I'm getting there slowly.


Today when we delivered to Grove City, we discovered that the YMCA is closed for the week for maintenance and the driveway blocked for repaving.  Thank you, Grove City members, who had to deal with finding an alternate route in and then find us at a different spot at the Y. 


And thanks, too, to Slippery Rock and Butler members who had to wait for the delivery truck, since Eric was running late due to the problems in Grove City.


Hopefully our Thursday route will go more smoothly.


Here's what's in the shares this week:


Sweet corn

Red onions (some of you may have some yellow in there, too)

Heirloom tomatoes

Inferno peppers (hot)

Green pepper

Baby arugula (I love arugula in my salads and in my omelets.  I think it smells earthy like mushrooms)

2 choice


Plus full shares received eggplant and a cantaloupe.


You have everything you need to make a yummy salsa with corn, onions, hot pepper, tomatoes...except the black beans.  Even better if you got cilantro as your herb choice!


Other ideas for your share this week: 

August in a Bowl

Tomato, Swiss Chard and Ricotta Calzones (these would be really good with the arugula)

Roasted Fairy-Tale Eggplant

Green Onion Sweet Corn Fritters (you could sub any onion in these)

Arugula Pesto


I hope some of these sound appealing to you!  Remember, you can search our website for other recipes to use with your share contents.


Enjoy the heat this weekend!  We may just have to turn our air conditioner on at our house!