News and blog
Hi everyone! When I got home tonight after helping Eric deliver all the shares today (one of our daughters or another farmer usually helps him, but our daughters have colds and we didn't want them to infect your food, and Jesse is on vacation), I went to turn on my computer to check email and send this weekly email. But one of my children had been playing near the desk and knocked my laptop onto the floor, damaging it. So I can't turn it on, and I can't remember how to check my work email since I have it programmed to download directly to my computer. I can't contact our website company until they open in the morning, and at that time I will be packing boxes for our Thursday deliveries. So...as long as my husband lets me use his laptop tomorrow, if you have sent me an email I will respond sometime tomorrow. If it's urgent, like concerning Thursday's delivery, you can call me. What a wonderful day this has been (insert sarcasm)...but with everything that has gone wrong in our day today (you don't want to know), we got all of the orders delivered on time and no one is hurt :-).
Sorry for rambling. My job is usually enjoyable (at least most parts), but we all have those days once in a while, right?
For those of you wondering, our son's wedding was simple and lovely. They wanted a very small, simple wedding, and that's what they had.
Here's what should be in your shares this week:
Here are a few new recipes for your shares:
Curried Eggplant (small shares will probably get eggplant next week)
Reminder: Don't throw away those lovely beet greens! You have two vegetables in one! Saute the greens in a little oil and season for a quick side dish, or add them to soups or casseroles or omelettes.
Reminder #2: You can search for other recipes on our website by entering an ingredient in the search box.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the bounty of summer!
This weather is definitely NOT end of July weather! Our farmers have been battling rain all season, and we're just not getting any relief. All the rain has ruined some crops and delayed many others. By this time, we should have plenty of tomatoes and peppers, but they just aren't getting ripe very quickly because of the lack of sun. We should have much more variety in our shares, but some veggies got flooded out and had to be replanted. Others just aren't producing like they should. But that's a risk that you take when you join a CSA. You agree to take the risk along with the farmers, not knowing what the growing season will be like. Our farmers are working hard while fighting the weather, and they're getting a little discouraged. But they will keep plodding along to bring you the best that they can produce.
On top of this, virtually all of the peach crop was decimated this spring. The blossoms didn't freeze, but a huge fluctuation in temperature from one day to the next caused the trees to all drop their blossoms. So we will have no peaches for you this year.
Blueberries aren't as flush as in years past, so it looks like one time is all you will get them in your shares. We will try to have a few more in the Webstore, but I know we can't get enough for shares.
So all that being said, we are trying our hardest to bring you satisfying CSA shares. If you're getting tired of something or would like to see more of something, you're welcome to give me some feedback. I would love to put a fruit in the shares each week, but it just isn't possible this year.
Here's what should be in your shares this week:
Plus Full Shares received Green Beans, Kale and Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
Not sure what in the world to do with squash blossoms? You can slice them and add them to a salad. Or you can make Stuffed Squash Blossoms. The website in the recipe tells you all about how to prep your blossoms.
And for your cabbage, how about trying World's Best Braised Green Cabbage?
Roasted Green Beans with Onions and Walnuts looks delicious, too.
Not sure how to dry your herbs that you can't use right away? Here are some great instructions.
If you're ever looking for a recipe (or other info) that's tied to whole food or health and don't want to wade through a bunch of recipes with packaged ingredients, here's a great search portal that I use: http://grannysvitalvittles.com/real-food-sites-google-search-portal/. You can search by ingredient or topic, and it searches through real food-related blogs to find matches. I just though I would share that, since I used it to find some of the recipes for this week.
It's Week 7 of the CSA! We finally have another local fruit available this week (yeah!) Here's what you should have in your box this week:
Plus Full Shares received beets, tomatoes, and yellow zucchini.
Here are some recipes to try this week:
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Garlic Green Bean Salad
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
Lemon Zucchini Bread
Zuchini Summer Squash Skillet
Japanese Cucumber Salad to go in Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
All of these recipes are available on our website. Click here to go to the recipe page.
Or try Blueberry Zucchini Bread from a past season. You can search for other recipes by ingredient on our website to see some great recipes from past CSA seasons.
I hope you have a great week!
Our family garden is just beginning to produce beyond all the perennial herbs. I picked my first zucchini today (I planted them late). And it's almost time to harvest garlic for the year.
In this week's shares, you should have received:
Fresh Candy Onion
Pickling Cucumbers or a big Cuke
2 Choice (those choice boxes are filled with yummy goodies...how do you choose?)
Plus Full Shares received Rhubarb and Green Beans.
If you're not in the habit of using fresh herbs, you can let your herbs dry in a basket and then put them in a jar to use dried. Or many herbs can be frozen in oil or water in ice cube trays and then stored in bags in the freezer.
New recipes this week include
Another great thing you can do with your cabbage is make naturally fermented sauerkraut. It's full of probiotics and really good for you!
We're having cabbage roll casserole for dinner tonight...like cabbage rolls but without all the effort to stuff the leaves. Yum!
Have a great week.
I guess this is the Summer of Storms! Yesterday afternoon, a tornado touched down in the woods behind our house, then skipped over a few miles and tore up a section of the nearest town. I think today was the first day this season that it hasn't rained when we were packing CSA shares. Rain makes things grow, but it has also flooded some crops.
At my house, we butchered more chickens and our turkeys this week. I've been cooking all the chickens, deboning them to freeze the meat (sooo convenient for soups, casseroles, salads, etc.), and cooking all the bones for broth. So far, I have 35 lb. of chicken frozen and 55 qt. of broth canned with another 20 or so quarts cooking now.
For those of you with Chicken Shares, next week is chicken week!
Here's what you received in your Week 5 CSA Share:
Choice (2 for Full)
Plus Full Shares received Green Beans and Radishes
If you ever get tired of kale, a great thing to do with it is to make Kale Chips. Even most kids gobble them up, so it's a great way to get those veggies into them. When I make them, I have to hide them if I want any because my kids eat them all!
Have a great week! As always, send me an email if you have an issue with your share or need to contact me about anything.
Summer's abundance is beginning to show! We're all complaining about this hot, humid weather, but it sure makes the plants grow! So be thankful for the heat...at least a little.
Here's what is in your shares this week:
Zucchini (green and yellow)
Cucumber or pickling cucumbers
Plus Full Shares received sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, and kale.
Small Shares received tomatoes.
I have a slew of recipes to share with you today!
Those curly things in Full Shares (and a few in Choice) are called garlic scapes, if you're not familiar with them. You can use them in place of garlic in any dish. One of my favorite ways to use them is in omelette. Or you can make Garlic Scape Pesto.
My family has been enjoying Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad lately. It's very colorful, and you can substitute whatever you have on hand. But I do recommend buying the avocado and mango for it. I even substitute some things in the dressing with what I have, and it's still delicious!
Have a wonderful holiday this weekend!
Some of you are still uncertain about how to take your vacation weeks. Simply send me an email and tell me when you would like to take a vacation week. I need to know by Sunday night of the week you want your vacation, because I report the week's orders to our farmers first thing Monday morning.
Our produce is finally catching up to our demand. We have much more variety in our shares this week, especially in the choice items! Here's what is in your shares this week:
Baby beets with greens
Choice (2 for Full)
Plus Full shares received Swiss chard or spinach and tomatoes.
Yeah for early cucumbers and tomatoes!!
New recipes for this week include a gluten free Rhubarb Coffee Cake that my kids made a few days ago, and it was delicious! Or try Strawberry Rhubarb Cottage Pudding, Rhubarb Granita or Raw Berry Pie with your fruits.
If you don't know what to do with beets, you can make Beet Chocolate Cake (the original red velvet cake without toxic food coloring). And don't throw out those beet greens! Make Beet Greens with Carmelized Onions. And for you chard, how about Creamed Swiss Chard.
We have lots of other recipes from past years on our website. You can search by ingredient, or you can scroll down through the entire list.
Have a great week!
Wow...what a storm we had at my house tonight! Rain was coming down in sheets, and the winds were swirling in circles. One of the big maple trees in our front yard broke in half over the road. I had our younger kids in the basement while older ones were watching out the windows. Thankfully, the tree was the worst damage at our house.
It's Week 2 of CSA! Here's what is in your shares this week:
Zucchini (Yeah...early zucchini!)
I've had some complaints about people not receiving their Webstore orders. After you place your order, on the very last page you have to confirm the order. If you don't confirm it, the order won't go through. I made the message on that page larger to remind you.
Vacation Days: When you would like to schedule your two vacation weeks for your CSA share, just send me an email with the date you will be gone. You will still receive pickup reminders that week, but as long as I have acknowledged your email scheduling your vacation just ignore those reminders. If you don't want to use your vacation weeks all season, you can purchase additional weeks, but we will deal with that in the fall.
There are lots of other yummy recipes on our website to use with your CSA veggies, too!
Have a great week!
Our first day of 2014 CSA is over! We delivered to half of our locations today, and tomorrow will be the other half. The shares looked small to me when we had them all boxed up. But that often happens the first week, especially when we have a cold, wet spring like this year. We will soon be flush with produce and have almost overflowing boxes.
Here's what you should receive in your share this week:
Plus Full shares received asparagus
Each week, I will send an email listing what was in your shares along with recipe ideas for you. So if you're ever not sure what that unfamiliar veggie is or what in the world you can do with it, look for my note.
A note about boxes: We really appreciate that you transfer your shares to your own bags or boxes. The wax boxes that we use cost about $1.50 each, so we try to reuse them as long as they are in good condition. If we purchased new boxes each week, either the cost of your share would be higher or you would receive less produce. So thank you for helping us give you the best value we can, as well as saving the environment from excess waste.
Are you wondering what to do with all that rhubarb? If you can't use it all right away, you can cut it in pieces, throw it in a bag and put it in the freezer to use later. If you want to use it now, I've added some rhubarb recipes to our website: Rhubarb Crunch, Chicken with Baked Rhubarb, and Farmers at Firehouse Rhubarb Rumble with a few different rhubarb recipes from our friends at the popular Pittsburgh market. One of my personal favorites is rhubarb sauce plain or over ice cream.
We also have a recipes for Maple Ginger Vinaigrette and 4 Ideas for Asparagus.
Have a great week!
Good news! Our main egg producer has recently refigured his costs using pesticide-free, non-GMO feed, and he has lowered his price for egg shares. Instead of $132, egg shares will be $110 for the season.
If you've been procrastinating about purchasing a CSA share for this summer, it's not too late. The first week of CSA is June 11/12...right around the corner. Find out more about our CSA shares here.
If you would like to add an egg share to your CSA share, just email me. This guarantees 1 dozen eggs per week. Sometimes, eggs sell out in the Webstore, so there's no guarantee that they will be available.
If you have already purchased and paid for an egg share, I will be contacting you to make the adjustment, whether you would like a $22 refund or a Webstore credit.
Looking forward to a bountiful CSA season beginning soon!
Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative