NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 5/5/2014 4:17pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings!  As we near the end of our sign-up time for our 2014 CSA season, I wanted to send an update.  Our farmers are busy planting...and hoping for warmer weather so our crops can grow!  It's looking like many things could be 2-3 weeks behind because of the cooler than normal spring.

We have just added a new Sausage Share as another option to our CSA choices.  When you choose this share type, you will receive 1 lb. of pork sausage each week for 22 weeks.  Just like the other shares, you choose any two weeks for vacation weeks (the season spans 24 weeks).  We will rotate among ground pork, bulk breakfast sausage, bulk sweet Italian sausage and bulk hot sausage.  If you've already signed up for the season, this sausage share can be added.  If you have already signed up for CSA and would like to add this, just email me.  Or click here to sign up for 2014 CSA.

I'm also looking for Site Coordinators for many of our pickup locations.  If you're interested in volunteering for this position (or just finding out more about it), please contact me.  We offer discounts toward your share in return for your time, with potential of a free share, depending on how many people come to your pickup location.  If it sounds like too big of a commitment, we have had two members share the responsibility, each one taking care of half the season and sharing the benefits.  As a non-profit farmer-owned cooperative, we rely on our members to help us with word of mouth advertising and site coordinator positions. 

Animal Feed:  If you have your own flock of chickens or purchase animal feed, NWPAGC is now a distributor for Hiland Naturals feed.  We know how difficult it can be to find natural feed, so we're making it available to you.  Right now, we have limited availability, but we will be placing an order within a couple of weeks, so if you know approximately how much feed you would use in a month, we can order it for you.  And we can even deliver it to our pickup locations when CSA begins (or to our present pickup locations now).  For more information, go to our website or email me.

Thank you for your interest in local food and your support of our local farming economy.  Thank you for supporting local farmers with your limited food dollars.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative




Posted 4/28/2014 3:20pm by Amy Philson.

The time has come again for our annual flurry of sign-ups for the 2014 CSA growing season. Please take time to have a look at our website at www.nwpagrowers.com and sign up for this season’s CSA and Webstore. If you have not signed up yet for the CSA season, there are still 5 weeks left until the start date. If you have already signed up, thank you for supporting local agriculture with your food dollars.

As spring comes into full swing, our growers are busily preparing their fields for the coming CSA season. This year, the NWPAGC has also added some new farms to our collective of natural growers and we’re positioned to expand. We are in a new phase of growth and have added new drop sites throughout the region for a total of fifteen.

NWPAGC is now recognized officially as a regional food hub. This is based on our increased range and volume of distribution in the Northwest PA region.   Credit for this honor belongs to the vast support of our CSA and webstore community supporters. We are greatly appreciative of your continued involvement and trust in our providing the region with nutrient-rich, naturally-grown foods.

This growth has put us in a unique position to accomplish something that, with the cooperation of our buying members, will benefit everyone.  As you may be aware, one of the main food staples that has been lacking in the local food movement is local production of natural grains for use in human consumption as well as livestock feeds. There simply has not been enough local demand of natural grains for farmers to justify the extra resources needed to grow those grains. We believe it is achievable for a few farmers to begin doing this. But we need your help to prove it.

This year, we’ve made the decision that our production of eggs and pork should better reflect our mission by bringing in feeds that are certified chemical- and GMO-free from a source in Ohio.  They are expensive. Transportation costs also add to that expense. In the short term, this means higher egg and pork prices than what our consuming partners have previously experienced. But in the long term, we think it will mean better local food at lower prices. So our request is that you will join with us in making a short-term commitment to this cause by accepting a higher cost to some products now so that they can be better and more affordable in the future. We feel sure that area farmers will see the benefit of providing grains locally as well. If we provide the demand for local natural grains, area farmers will respond with supply. With your support and help, we’ve made a way to provide our region with highly nutritious naturally grown foods. With your continued help, we’ll complete the job.

We count it as a high privilege to be able to do what we love doing and to be a valued part of the community as a result of doing it. We thank you for all your past support and friendship and are glad to be bringing into motion another season of continued community participation.


Eric Philson President,


Posted 3/14/2014 6:02am by Amy Philson.

The Winter Market Webstore will be open now until Monday at 9 a.m.

Pickup will ONLY be in SLIPPERY ROCK this week.


Normand Homestead has restocked their goat milk soaps.

Harmony Grove Farm is on a roll with their Bibb lettuce from their greenhouse.

We have an abundance of fresh eggs.  Think hard boiled, quiche, egg salad, on a green salad....


There are two events coming up that some of you might be interested in attending.  On Wednesday, March 26 at 6 p.m., Sustainable Slippery Rock and NWPA Growers is sponsoring "Green 14:  Building a Local Food System in the Slippery Rock Area."  There will be a panel of speakers, group discussion, networking, and local snacks centered around our local foodshed.  More information is available at http://sustainablesr.org/.

The second event is a seed exchange for open pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds on Sunday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. at Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building (across from North Country Brewing).

Log into the Webstore here to go shopping!


Posted 2/20/2014 9:51am by Amy Philson.

THANK YOU to all of you for helping to make our Winter CSA a success!  Our farmers are grateful that you entrust us with your family's food.  We look forward to providing more healthy food for you all!

CSA is over until June, but our Webstore runs all year.  We have decided to continue deliveries to Franklin, Grove City and Hermitage every two weeks (as long as there is enough product to deliver and we have enough orders) through May.  Slippery Rock will continue to have weekly pickup through the spring.  Watch your email for notice of when we will be delivering to your area.  Or you are welcome to order any week and travel to Slippery Rock for pickup.

Here is what was in the CSA shares this week:

maple syrup

red potatoes

sweet potatoes






plus Full shares received kohlrabi.


New recipes to use with your share:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

Mashed Parsnips and Carrots

Check out these recipes and lots more on our website.


Again, thank you for being such a great group of people to work with!


Posted 1/17/2014 1:36pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all having a wonderful winter!  In the midst of this cold, some of our customers are still enjoying local produce in the form of storage crops and winter lettuce from our growers and other farmers in the region through our Winter CSA.

But as we all know, summer and fall are the times when our produce is most plentiful.  So it's time to think about summer CSA already!  

We've made some improvements for this year.

Longer Season:  We are extending the CSA season another 4 weeks until November 19.  There will be a total of 22 pickups for each member.

Vacation Weeks:  You will get two vacation weeks any time throughout the CSA season.  So when you go on vacation, you won't have to forfeit your share that week.  You choose the weeks...just give me a week's notice so we don't send your share when you're gone.

Online payment is now an option.  If you would rather pay when you sign up rather than mailing a check, you can pay through Dwolla, an e-check service that electronically debits your checking or savings account. 

More Pickup Locations:  We are expanding again!  We are planning 15 pickup locations around northwestern PA and two pickup days.  You can see where pickup will be and what day it will be on here

Early Payment Discount:  If you sign up and pay in full by March 1, you get a $20 discount.  Look for the coupon code during sign-up online.  Or if you print your membership application to send in with a check, just deduct $20 if paying by March 1.

To check everything out, go to our website:  www.nwpagrowers.com.  Links to all the info are on the main page as well as in the drop down menu titled CSA.

If you're interested in helping us out as a site coordinator, either all season or part of it, please let me know. 

If you have questions after reading the info online, just shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer any questions.

Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative    
Posted 1/8/2014 6:09pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all staying warm in this frigid weather!  The good news is that it's supposed to warm into the 40s this weekend...or maybe not good as it will make mud everywhere again.

Here's what was in your CSA shares today:

Butternut squash (full shares only)
Red cabbage
Red potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Kohlrabi (the large green ball)
Purple top turnips
Herb (Thyme, rosemary, lemon thyme, lavendar or oregano)
Cremini mushrooms

Aren't you thrilled that Harmony Grove Farm has been diligently heating their greenhouse through this cold to grow fresh lettuce?  What a treat!

So...what in the world is kohlrabi?  It's a member of the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, kale) that gets sweeter after the weather turns cold.  My favorite way to eat kohlrabi is to peel and slice it and eat it raw.  Click here for some more ideas and recipes for kohlrabi.

For butternut squash recipes, click here.

For red cabbage recipes, click here.

For Sweet potato recipes, click here.

For turnip recipes, click here.

For carrot recipes, click here.

If you want to try a new recipes, here are the ones that I added to the Website today:

Thyme Roasted Carrots
Sweet Potato Latkes
Farm Quiche with Grated Potato Crust
Spicy-Sweet Turnips
Hide a Vegetable Soup
Braised Turnips with Mustard Cream Sauce
Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Caraway

Click here to see the new recipes.

I hope you enjoy eating these winter veggies!
Posted 12/18/2013 6:55pm by Amy Philson.

In today's share, you should have received:
Butternut squash
Acorn squash
Red potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Red onions
Green Beans
Mushrooms (either white or crimini) 

Plus Full shares received either beets, red cabbage or extra acorn squash.

Some of you have been waiting for winter parsnips...while others have never tried them before.  I think they are DELICIOUS!! 

The oranges are a treat from an organic grove in Florida.  While not local, they are a treat one time this year.

If you can't keep up with all the winter squash, you can bake it, puree it, and freeze it to use later.  I like to keep some in the refrigerator or freezer to use in baked goods or to add to soups, baked goods or smoothies to get extra veggies into my family.      

New recipes that I've added to the Website include:

Roasted Balsamic Acorn Squash
Cinnamon Parsnips
Roasted Parsnips
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Honey and Thyme Roasted Squash

To see all these recipes, plus lots of other to use with your Share veggies, click here.

Remember, there will be no CSA pickup or Winter Market until January 8.  I will "see" you all next year!


Posted 11/20/2013 7:02pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all enjoying the bounty of your Winter CSA shares and/or the farm-fresh food you order from the Winter Market Webstore!  A CSA gives you fresh produce, plus it forces you to try new foods!

Here's what you should have received in your CSA share today:

Butternut squash
Sweet Dumpling squash
Red cabbage
White potatoes
Beets (they're not radishes)

We would have given you pie pumpkins this week, but none of our farmers have them available this fall!  But that's okay, because you can use butternut squash the same way.  And here's a recipe for the absolute best pumpkin pie!  I used to prefer apple pie over pumpkin, but since I found this recipe I love them both!

Are you wondering what to do with all these root vegetables?  My favorite way to use them is to roast them.  Just cut veggies in chunks (potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, beets, squash (peeled and seeded), garlic...whatever you want...and coat them with olive or coconut oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like and spread them in a shallow pan.  Roast at 400-450 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes.

Have you tried your Sweet Dumpling squash from your box two weeks ago?  They are the most delicious squash I have ever tasted!  When our grower said he had more, I had to put them in your box again before they were gone.  Just cut them in half and scoop out seeds.  Put them in a pan and add butter, maple syrup or honey, salt, pepper, apple, raisins, cinnamon...whatever you like.  Bake at 350 until tender when poked with a fork.  Mmmmm!

Recipes I added to the Website tonight include Wilted Kale and Roasted Potato Salad, Secret Chocolate Cake (made with beets), Shredded Beet Salad, Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower, Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, and Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.  Check them all out here, as well as lots of other recipes for your Share veggies.

Remember, there is no market next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  We'll see you in two weeks!


Posted 11/7/2013 6:03am by Amy Philson.
Have you procrastinated about joining Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Co-op's Winter CSA or Winter Market Webstore?  Even though you have missed the first week, it's not too late to join!  We still have a few spots left in the CSA if you hurry.

If you've already joined, then THANK YOU! 

Our first CSA delivery was yesterday, and here's what was in the boxes:

Sweet Dumpling squash (a super-sweet delicata squash)
Sweet potatoes (locally grown!!!)
Broccoli (giant heads!)
Sweet peppers
Either tomatoes or red cabbage

All locally grown and free of pesticides!

So if you don't want to miss out, our Winter CSA has deliveries twice per month through February.  Your share will be prorated for the first week that you missed.  To get all the details or to sign up, click here.

Or if the Winter Market Webstore is more your style, check it out here.

Deliveries for both CSA and Webstore will be to Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, New Castle, and Pittsburgh on Nov. 20, Dec. 4 & 18, Jan. 8 & 22, and Feb. 5 & 19.  Pickup is available every week in Slippery Rock (for both CSA and Webstore on the above dates and for Webstore only on other dates).

Questions?  Just email me!

Looking forward to eating fresh, local food this winter!

Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative                          
Posted 11/6/2013 7:28pm by Amy Philson.
For those of you who are new to NWPA Growers, I send out a weekly email where I list what is in each week's CSA shares and give you recipes to use them.  Sometimes I send it out to Winter Market customers, too, especially if there is something I need to tell you about.

If you placed a webstore order today and didn't receive something, I apologize.  A few growers had some things freeze, even though they thought they were protected well enough.  If you ordered from Silver Wheel Farm (SW), they had something come up where they could not deliver their product today.  So if you're missing your ginger or scallions, look for them in the webstore next time.  

How do you like your first box of veggies from your Winter CSA?  Here's what was in the boxes:
Sweet Dumpling squash
Sweet potatoes
Red potatoes
Sweet peppers

Plus full shares received tomatoes and small shares received red cabbage.  Full shares receive larger quantities of some items, too.

I've added some new recipes to the website tonight that go along with your share veggies.

Crispy Baked Beet Chips
Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Curry Broccoli Fritters
Kale and White Bean Soup
Red Cabbage Salad

There are also lots of other recipes using most of your veggies.  One of my favorite things to do with winter veggies is to roast them. 

To see all the recipes here, go to our website.  We have almost 200 recipes on our website, and if you scroll down you can search by ingredient.  Lots of yummy things to cook!

Enjoy your fresh, local, pesticide-free food!