News and blog
We're coming down to the end. Next week marks the end of the 2015 CSA season. For some of you, it has already ended, but I'm already working on a great bunch of veggies for the last week. Our farmers have some goodies for next week's boxes. It's going to be good.
We butchered some turkeys earlier this week, and one of them dressed out at 40 lb.!!! I think he was pushing all the others away from the food and taking more than his share. That's one huge turkey, and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to cook it. My family will probably eat it because no one else wants a turkey that big! Think of all the leftovers I will have!
This week's CSA boxes contain:
- Squash (acorn, sweet dumpling, or carnival)
- Choice (1 Small, 2 Full)
- Plus Full Shares have garlic, potatoes, and cauliflower.
And here are your new recipes for this week:
Plus a great visual guide to winter squash along with recipe links: Visual Guide to Winter Squash
We are winding down the CSA season with only three weeks left after today. Next week will be the last pickup for some of you who elect to take your two vacation days at the end of the season. Did you know that you can still place a Webstore order when you are "on vacation" for your CSA share? It's true! So if you think you will be missing your local veggies, it doesn't have to be.
If you are unsure about your vacation days, on next week's pickup lists I will highlight all those for whom it is your last week.
I was speaking with David Yoder from NuWay Farm, and he has spinach, arugula, and lettuce planted in his greenhouses for the Winter CSA shares. We will give you as many greens as we can along with the storage crops.
This week's CSA Shares contain:
- Butternut squash
- Choice (2 Full, 1 Small)
- Plus Full Shares have sweet peppers
Kimberly, a long-time CSA member, shared a recipe for Squash & Red Lentil Curry Soup with me a few weeks ago that she says is delicious. I've been holding on to it until we had butternut squash in the shares again. Give it a try!
A quick and easy side dish: Crispy Garlic Parmesan Potatoes
I have been eating a lot of cauliflower the last several months because it's so versatile. I make rice and mashed potatoes out of it, among other things, in an effort to reduce grains and other foods in my diet. Here are two cauliflower recipes for you to try: Cauliflower Chowder and Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower (adjust the seasonings to your preference)
For those of you who like beets, try Beets and caramelized onion with feta or Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. You can sub any lettuce for the arugula in the salad. For those of you who don't like beets, search the recipe archives for baked goods that hide beets...or share them with your neighbor.
I hope your culinary adventures are splendid this week!Amy
We are well underway in our membership sign-ups for our Winter CSA Shares. This is just a quick note to let you know that we have added some various meat shares for this winter.
Ground Beef Share: 2 lb. of grass-fed ground beef at each pickup
Sausage Share: 2 lb. of bulk sausage of various flavors at each pickup
Chicken Share: 1 whole chicken (6-8 lb.) per month. These are very large chickens, enough for several meals for most families.
Pork Chop Share: 1 package of two pork chops (approx. 1 lb.) at each pickup
All of our beef is 100% grass fed. Chickens are pastured and fed non-GMO feed. The pork comes from animals fed non-GMO feed.
If you have questions, just reply to this email.
Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative
Happy fall! As we wind down Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Cooperative's 2015 CSA Season in a few weeks, we are looking toward the winter months and how the seasons affect the food we eat. Just because the weather turns colder doesn't mean that we should stop eating local food.
Our farmers grow lots of storage crops, those that are harvested in the fall and those that remain in the ground and are harvested in the cold. Several farms also grow in high tunnels, plastic covered hoop structures that help to control the elements and extend the growing season for fresh greens.
Our Winter CSA brings these seasonal crops to you from December through March with twice per month deliveries. In addition, the Webstore offers local meats, eggs, additional produce, and more. Pickup locations include Butler, Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, New Castle, and Slippery Rock.
Please email me with any questions you have. Thank you for your continued support of local farmers.
Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative
While we were packing boxes this morning, we were talking about an organic farming conference later this month in Ohio that a few of the farmers are going to attend. Shelly from Old Time Farm is at a heritage poultry conference this week. Some of our farmers read monthly or quarterly magazines about sustainable farming to keep up on current issues and new practices that improve the way we farm. And we often share books and articles with one another because we should always be learning. Farming should be a community effort.
Here is what is in your shares this week:
- Braising Mix (contains three types of mustard, mizuna, mibuna, arugula)
- Yellow zucchini
- Plus Full Shares have green beans and Swiss chard
I want to issue a warning about late-season sweet corn that is grown organically. It is notorious for having worms. The worms are usually just in the end, so when you encounter worm damage please chop off the end of your ear of corn before you cook it.
The braising mix can be eaten raw in salads, but it will have a little spice to it because of the mustards and arugula. If you prefer, you can lightly braise it (here is a good tutorial on braising greens) or use it in other recipes.
And here are some recipes to try with this week's veggies. Remember that some of these recipes come from other CSAs, so it's not always my commentary on the recipe.
Corn Pudding (a savory rather than sweet pudding to serve as a side dish)
I hope this gets your creative juices flowing in your kitchen. Indulge your tastebuds with lots of flavor this week!
I am loving these fall vegetables right now! Squash, apples, leeks, spinach, and more grace our table every day. Delicious!
This is Week 17 of our CSA, so we have 7 more weeks left. If you haven't used or scheduled your two vacation weeks yet, don't forget. If you would like to purchase those two weeks (or even one), just let me know and I will send you an invoice. The last CSA week is November 18/19.
I am impressed with the dedication of our farmers who harvest and clean their produce for our CSA members, even when it's pouring rain. There just wasn't a break in the rain on Tuesday, when much of the harvesting is done. I did receive a call from one of the farmers (Sarah from Busy Acres/AD), and they didn't have enough onions harvested for all the shares. Thankfully, other farmers have onions already harvested and dried, so we got some from Chester Detweiler's farm (CD) to finish out the shares.
Here is what is in your shares this week:
Zucchini (4 for Full, 1 for Small)
Choice (2 Full, 1 Small)
We were supposed to have two leeks in Small Shares and three in Full Shares, but I had no idea that NuWay Farm's leeks were so big! So they put 1/2 lb. leeks in Small Shares and 1 lb. in Full. Webstore orders have 1 lb. of leeks instead of three.
Here are your recipes for this week:
Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash I see that Brussels sprouts are back in stores. Our local sprouts won't be ready until after it's good and cold.
Zucchini Patties Like latkes, but with zucchini rather than potatoes!
Eat well this week!
There is one thing that we grow really well on our farm, and it seems everyone around us does too. Ragweed. I am very allergic to it, and it's in full bloom right now. Many people blame goldenrod for their late summer allergies, but goldenrod isn't the culprit. Goldenrod tea actually helps fight ragweed allergies. An interesting historical fact: after the Boston Tea Party, the colonists began drinking goldenrod tea since they couldn't get black tea from England. It became so popular that they began to export it.
Ragweed has tiny little blossoms that are almost imperceptible...but they throw oodles of pollen into the air. I refuse to take chemical allergy meds because they cause other problems in my body. So I treat my allergies the best that I can with herbs. I drink a lot of nettle tea, both hot and cold, since nettle is a natural antihistamine. And I suffer with a clogged head for a few weeks. So if you, too, suffer from ragweed allergies, you have my empathy.
Enough about me and my herb lecture. Here's what is in your share this week:
- 1 lb. tomatoes
- 1 lb. green beans
- 1 head bibb lettuce
- Zucchini (2 Full, 1 Small)
- Green pepper (2 Full, 1 Small)
- 1/3 lb. mizuna (an Asian herb...read about it here: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Mizuna_2027.php)
- Choice (2 Full, 1 Small)
- Herb Choice
- Plus Full Shares have 1 lbl green tomatoes and 1 acorn squash
And now some recipes:
Feel free to change up the herbs in recipes to suit your preferences and what you have on hand.
Have a great week!
What a beautiful week this is! I've been cleaning out garden beds that have been harvested (garlic, peas, onions, etc.), and I'm getting ready to plant fall crops. It's so nice work in the cooler temperatures. And after all the rain we had in May, June, and early July, it's getting dry and our farmers are hoping for rain soon.
About vacation days, remember that you have two weeks to use any time during the season. You must either schedule your vacation days on the Website (http://nwpagrowers.com/members/scheduleactions) or email by Sunday night of the week you would like to take vacation. Since I report orders for the week to our farmers on Monday morning, after that time it's too late to cancel your share for the week. You can schedule vacation as far in advance as you wish. (Please note that this is not directed at anyone that has emailed me too late to cancel your share for the week; there is uncertainty from many about vacations and this is a reminder for everyone.)
Here's what is in your shares this week:
- 1 lb. onions
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 zucchini
- Green pepper (2 for Full, 1 for Small)
- Inferno pepper (yes, it's hot)
- Tomatoes (2 lb. Full, 1 lb. Small)
- 2 choice for everyone
- 1 herb
- Plus Full Shares have cabbage and green beans
And now for some recipes:
Crisp Summer Squash Slaw (substitute or leave out the pattypan squash)
Cabbage Stuffed with Beef, Zucchini and Herbs (substitute beef with other protein for vegetarian meal)
Have a great week!
Did you remember to pick up your CSA share today? I hope so! There is a lot of yummy stuff in there.
Here's what you should have:
2 lb. red potatoes
Bag of pickling cucumbers
Lettuce (Romaine for Full; Bibb for Small)
Small Shares have a cucumber
Full Shares have green beans and collards or Swiss chard
Plus Choice (2 Full; 1 Small) and Herb Choice
Broccoli likes to grow in cool weather, so it's usually planted in the spring for early summer picking and again in late summer for a fall harvest. I find it interesting that spring broccoli is about half the size of our broccoli in the fall. For those of you who are new to our CSA, just wait until you see some of the giant heads late this fall!
Pickling cucumbers are so named because they are crisper and make better pickles. However, you can eat them the same way you eat slicing cukes...sliced, speared, in a salad, etc. Or you can make a couple of jars of refrigerator pickles. There's a recipe on our website from last year.
I am loving all this zucchini! I hope you're not getting tired of it yet. I bought a spiralizer last winter to make veggie noodles because I was on a grain-free diet. (Now, I eat very limited and specific grains, and I feel much better!) I've been spiralizing zucchini and adding olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and some herbs, and it's absolutely delicious! I dress it up with black olives, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, whatever I have on hand. Or I put a stir-fry on top instead of using noodles or rice. You can also make noodles with a vegetable peeler or a julienne peeler.
Here are some recipes to try this week:
Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad: I love quinoa, but feel free to substitute with rice if you prefer.
Enjoy these sunny days! Your farmers are working furiously right now to catch up from all the rain. I am a member of a group of CSA farmers from around the country, and there are many who are struggling to have enough produce right now to put in their CSA shares. I love our cooperative model, because we can benefit from several farmers' fields where one falls short.
And it's still raining. Plants that are growing in raised beds and greenhouses are doing well, although they could use a little more sun. But plants in fields are definitely suffering from being waterlogged. Plus there are many crops that just haven't been planted yet because the fields are more like swamps. I'm not complaining; the weather is a continual frustration for farmers. But I do want you all to be aware of the challenges we're facing with the large amount of rain we have received.
I've had several people contact me saying that they are not receiving emails from me. If you haven't been getting them regularly (at least 3 per week), I hope I have the problem fixed. It was an issue with our email server. If you would like me to resend info about the season, please let me know.
Here's what you should have in your CSA shares this week:
- Chinese Cabbage
- Turnip greens
- Green onions
- Choice (2 for Full, 1 for Small)
- Plus Full Shares have Zucchini, Radishes and Broccoli Leaves
So, what do you do with all these greens? You can use most greens interchangeably (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, broccoli leaves). The heartier greens should be cooked longer than the more delicate leaves in hot dishes. Here are some recipes to help you out with your share this week.
Beet Greens Recipe (again, use this for any of your greens)
Tuscan Kale with Almonds, Plums and Goat Cheese (use any seasonal fruit)
I hope you have a great week. On my agenda for this week is a trip to North East to pick sweet cherries for the freezer. Hopefully we will have a few hours of dry to pick! Then we pit them all and freeze to use in smoothies and desserts. And maybe some cherry jam.