News and blog
Just a reminder that our early bird discount for 2015 CSA ends on January 31. To receive $20 off a Full Share or $15 off a Small Share, sign up and pay in full by January 31.
Here is the link to sign up: http://www.nwpagrowers.com/members
Please email me with any questions.
I hope you all got out to pick up your CSA share through the snowfall today. There was just enough to make driving a bit slippery, but not enough to cancel or postpone delivery.
Don't forget that the discount for Summer CSA Shares expires on January 31. If you can afford to pay all at once, the discount is just under the cost of one week's share!
This week's share have the following items:
Salad Mix (pint case)
Micro Greens (flat plastic case)
Sprouts (pint case)
A few of you may have gotten more lettuce or pea shoots instead of micro greens because the farmer ran short. There was a death in the family and they didn't get enough micro greens started in time.
The pea shoots might be a new thing for some of you. You can eat them raw alone or in salads, or you can add them to stir fries or sauté them lightly.
I just have a few new recipes for you this week. For more inspiration, search our recipe page.
My family made Moroccan Spiced Rice to go with our dinner last night. It was delicious. I'm currently doing a grain free diet, and this "rice" is made with sweet potatoes (or a combination of root veggies).
Although I prefer mine roasted or pan fried, Maple Parsnip Soup looks like a delicious way to use your parsnips. The parsnips look like giant white carrots, in case you're not familiar with them.
For another take on roasted veggies, try Roasted Sweet-and-Sour Beets, Carrots and Parsnips. I guess sweet dishes look yummy to me today!
Stay well, and we'll see you in two weeks!
Happy Winter! I'm sure SOMEONE out there enjoys this weather, but it's definitely not me! After being out and about this morning to pack CSA boxes and Webstore orders and get the delivery truck on the road, I'm chilled to the bone! I have plenty of clothes on, and I made myself a cup of ginger tea, but I'm still cold! So I hope I don't have to go outside anymore today.
We had a new lamb born at our house this morning. This is the second one so far this season. My kids all love to spend time in the barn with the new lambs. And they're soooo cute!
Here's what's in your CSA share this week:
2 lb. potatoes
1 lb. carrots
1 butternut squash
1 lb. beets
1 pt. micro greens
2 pt. lettuce
1/2 lb. kale
1 lb. turnips
1 pt. sweet beets
2 Savoy cabbage
1 acorn squash
1 herb (thyme, rosemary, oregano, lemon thyme)
We are thrilled to have so many green things in your shares this time of year! And all of your share is coming from our local farmers. We will most likely supplement local products with some produce from eastern PA farmers next time for more variety.
What will you do with all of this produce? I've added several new recipes to our website to give you inspiration with your share. And remember, there are LOTS of recipes from the past there, too.
Micro greens are delicious added to salads. I also like to sprinkle some on my eggs or other dishes. Micro greens are nutrient-packed seedlings, so a little goes a long way nutritionally. Be sure to eat them all within a week for freshness. I always like to save them so I don't run out, but they inevitably go bad before I get them all eaten! But they're a nutritional powerhouse during these dark days of winter, so eat up!
Kale, Beet and Apple Salad looks refreshing. If you don't have all the ingredients, feel free to substitute (sultanas aren't something I normally stock in my kitchen pantry). Or for a more different version, try Beet Kale Salad.
Are you looking for a more sophisticated take on squash? Roasted Acorn Squash with Dates, Pumpkin Seeds and Goat Cheese fits the bill!
In the recipe for Carmelized Turnips, I would substitute chicken broth for the water and chicken bouillon, since most bouillon has MSG that I try to avoid. I think I may just get my kids to like turnips with this recipe, plus it's easy!
Carrots with Lemon and Dill would be a refreshing addition to any meal. Just substitute 2 tsp. dried dill weed for the fresh.
If you don't like spice, adjust the seasonings in Easy Spiced Kale and Mustard Greens. Or if you like it spicy, add some more!
I would like to try Mustard Greens with Potatoes and Mushrooms. But since I don't have any mustard greens, I may substitute kale in this. I've found that you can substitute most greens in recipes with minimal flavor variations.
Enjoy your fresh produce this week, and stay warm and healthy!
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 Cookies. I'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.
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:
Sweet dumpling or acorn squash
Red or savoy cabbage
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.
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.
If you have any questions, just reply to this email and ask.
Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Co-op
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:
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!
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:
Italian (sweet) peppers
Plus Full Shares have Carrots and Mixed Greens.
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!
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)
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!
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.
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.
Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative