NWPA Growers Co-op

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News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 10/19/2016 10:23am by Amy Philson.

Oh my, I have really been enjoying this week!  We have had guests at our farm for the last three evenings, enjoying dinner together and sitting around our fire pit.  The colors are absolutely gorgeous, and it has just been a delightful time to be outside.  Rain is coming to change that, but we need it.  Many of our farms' fall crops have stalled out because of the lack of rain recently.  They are still growing, but more slowly than expected.  And the warm weather isn't what fall crops like, either.  We need colder nights to sweeten up the carrots, turnips, and other root crops. 

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

  • Butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Bell peppers from Weeping Willow Farm
  • Red potatoes from Weeping Willow Farm
  • Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Tatsoi from NuWay Farm (the kale that we had planned was too small to harvest, so we subbed tatsoi, in case you read the list at pickup)
  • Onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Beets from Chester Detweiler Farm (Full Shares only)
  • Choice items come from Springfield Acres, Chester Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, NuWay Farm, and Miller Farm Products

Tatsoi is an Asian green that can be used in place of spinach in many dishes.


Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash

Restaurant Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Winter tatsoi salad with butternut squash croutons

Chickpea & Tatsoi Coconut Curry (a meatless main dish that looks delish!)

Squash rolls (a great way to sneak orange vegetables into your family's dinner)


There are 4 more weeks in this CSA season.  Don't forget to sign up for Winter CSA!


Posted 9/1/2016 12:10pm by Amy Philson.

We are now in the second half of our CSA season.  It's hard to believe that we are only halfway through the season, since summer is at an end.  But that is the difference between farmers who raise crops for a living and most people who plant a garden.  I used to plant my entire garden in one or two sessions (depending on how early I got it started), and then harvest as things ripened over the course of the summer, finishing up sometime in September. 

But farmers who depend on raising crops for their income seek to extend the growing season as long as possible.  When one crop finishes in an area, it is tilled under and reseeded with something else.  Our farmer have been busy planting fall crops like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, and lots more.

Some crops are growing in large greenhouses to protect them after the weather turns cold.  The sun will heat the greenhouses during the day and keep many crops from freezing, sometimes into December.

CSA Shares

  • Red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • Roma tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • Mibuna (Asian green) from NuWay Farm
  • Onions from Miller Farm Products
  • Cabbage from Chester Detweiler Farm and NuWay Farm
  • Garlic from Miller Farm Products
  • Zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Beets from Chester Detweiler Farm (Full Shares only)
  • Choice from Chester Detweiler Farm, Busy Acres, Grateful Life Farm, NuWay Farm, and Miller Farm Products.

NOTE:  The farmer did not have as much garlic as he thought, and most of it was much smaller than I expected.  He didn't have enough to fill all the shares, but I didn't know that until we were packing boxes.  Full Shares do not have garlic today, but we will replace it next week with garlic from another farmer.


Braised Cabbage with Caraway

Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Sauteed Cabbage and Apples

Aunt Mary's Marinated Tomatoes

Grandma Blanche's Au Gratin Potatoes

Heirloom-Tomato Salad with Mizuna and Coriander Vinaigrette

Farmers' Market Greens with Shiitake-Ginger Sauce

Arugula Beet Salad (substitute mibuna)

Arugula and Tomato Pasta Salad (substitute mibuna)


That should give you some ideas for this week!  Enjoy your holiday weekend.


Posted 7/20/2016 12:16pm by Amy Philson.

It's CSA day!  I hear from some people that getting their CSA share each week is like opening a present.  They anticipate what might be in there and are excited to use the fresh produce in new or favorite recipes.  Others have a difficult time using up all of their share from week to week. 

Even though we have had some rain in the past week, it hasn't fallen on all of our farms, nor has it been enough.  Many crops are struggling from lack of water, and their yields will be smaller than normal.  This is the life of the farmer...always watching the weather and how it will affect crops.

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

Full Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 napa cabbage from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 qt. pickling cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 3 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch beets from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 choice


Small Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 napa cabbage from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cucumber from NuWay Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 choice


Don't throw away those beet greens!  I recommend that you cut the greens off when you get them home and store them in a separate bag. They will be fresher.

Basil Vinaigrette

Bailey's Basil Butter

Beet Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Beet Greens and Feta Pasta

Balsamic Beet Greens & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipe (This one looks a little more involved, but it looks delicious!)


Rosy Beet and Potato Salad with Garlic Dressing

Red and Green Cabbage with Thai-Style Fresh Herb dressing (skip the red cabbage; skip the hot pepper if preferred)

Beef and Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Carrot and Zucchini Salad With Seeds

Zucchini or Patty Pan Fudge Cake (Another chocolate zucchini cake.  Leave off the icing for a quick snack cake)

Tzatziki Sauce (serve this on falafel, Greek salad, meatballs, gyros...)

Sweet Vinegar Cucumber Salad

Easy Refrigerator Pickles


This should give you lots of ideas to spark your creativity in the kitchen!  Happy eating.


Posted 7/13/2016 12:43pm by Amy Philson.

A cooperative CSA is a bit different from a single farm CSA.  They both have benefits and drawbacks.  With a cooperative, we have a wider variety of products available than a single farm can produce on its own.  When there are shortages on one farm, another farm can often pick up the slack.  But we also have an issue with quality control at times.  Each farmer tells me each week which products they will have available for the following week.  I then draw products from all of the farms to create the CSA shares.  The farmers then harvest and deliver the products to our central sorting location.  I don't have the opportunity to see the produce before I arrive to sort and pack the shares in the morning.  I have to rely on the farmers to send their best produce.

Sometimes, the product that is delivered isn't what is expected.  Then we have the choice of rejecting products that are of lower quality, thus making the CSA shares unexpectedly smaller that week, or using them even though they aren't up to our standards.  That happened last week. 

Bok choi arrived that had more flea beetle holes than we desire.  While some holes can not be prevented when growing organically, but there are some measures that can be used to minimize them. 

In the same delivery, we had issue with the lettuce.  The heads were so large that the farmer tried to stuff the lettuce into bags rather than trimming it to fit.  I'm sure you all know what happens to lettuce when it is packed too tightly:  it deteriorates quickly. 

So we had two of the main products in the CSA shares last week that were inferior.  We elected to send them, hoping that they would be adequate.  If you received an unusable product, please let me know, and we will make it right. 

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from NuWay Farm
  • 3 cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 4 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice
  • 1 herb

Small Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. green beans from NuWay Farm
  • 3 cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 4 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice
  • 1 herb

Choice items came from Chester Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, NuWay Farm, and Jonathan Byler Farm.  Herbs are from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm.


Creamy Kale Pasta

Cranberry Kale Salad (This calls for fresh cranberries, but I think it would be even better with dried cranberries or fresh blueberries.)

Chilly Dilly Cucumbers

Chili and Lime Cucumbers

"Karen's Salad" -Our version of a Greek Salad (not ours, but another farm's)

Andy�s Really Yummy Cabbage with Butter (again, another farmer.  But very simple.)

Cabbage Potato Soup

Baked New Potatoes

Zucchini Lemon Bundt Cake (a light, refreshing zucchini cake with lemon flavor!)

If you need more zucchini recipes, check the recipe archives from past CSAs.  There are over 50 zucchini recipes here!

I have mixed feelings about rain for today.  We desperately need the rain, but it seems like it rains every Thursday, washing away some of our farmer's markets.  So part of me is hoping it rains, but it would be nice if it finishes early or waits until evening.


Posted 7/6/2016 8:05pm by Amy Philson.

I am sure that some of you were disappointed with the rain that fell on July 4.  Your farmers were not!  The hot, dry weather continues to take a toll on produce.  Some areas received just a sprinkle of rain, not enough to give any relief.  We are hoping for more rain today.

Our new driver began this week, and I rode along with her for training.  Thank you to everyone who suggested potential drivers and passed the information on to others.

Let me share what our week looks like at NWPA Growers:

  • By Thursday evening, all farmers must let me know via phone or email what they will have available for the following week.  I then make a preliminary plan of CSA shares, update the Webstore inventory, and let our Wholesale Manager know what is available that week.  
  • Friday 7 a.m. I open the Webstore, monitor emails, and field more phone calls from farmers.  Friday noon I leave for farmer's market in Hermitage.  I arrive home around 9 p.m.
  • Saturday I do not work or check emails.  My day of rest.
  • Sunday I respond to emails, complete accounting from farmer's market, CSA, and Webstore.
  • Monday 7 a.m. I finalize CSA shares and update numbers that change weekly due to vacations.  9 a.m. Webstore closes and I send emails and field phone calls from all of our farmers to report their sales for the week.  I spend the morning running reports, printing 40-50 pages of pickup lists, spreadsheets, etc. for that week's deliveries. 
  • Tuesday is the big harvest day.  Some farmers will deliver their products to NuWay Farm that evening and put them in the walk-in cooler.  Others deliver Wednesday and Thursday mornings. 
  • Wednesday 6 a.m. I load my van and go to NuWay Farm for sorting and packing, picking up products from another farm on my way.  One of my children usually volunteers to help pack just because they like to.  Other farmers arrive by 7 a.m. to deliver their products for the day and some of them stay to help pack sometimes.  We are all packed and ready to send the driver on her way by 8:30 or 9 a.m.  When I arrive home, I work on this email, finding recipes to go with CSA Shares.  I also do some of my accounting and respond to emails.
  • Thursday 6 a.m. repeat of Wednesday.   Then it starts all over again.  Sandwiched in there is a lot of time spent sending emails, making sure the Website is up to date, tracking payments for CSA and Webstore, and lots of other things. 

Enough about our week; here is what is in CSA Shares this week:

Small Shares

  • 2 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice

Full Shares

  • 3 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. rhubarb from Jonathan Byler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice

And now the recipes:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Arugula Pesto

Arugula ideas

Easy Fried Rice

Chinese Noodles

Bok Choy with Chile, Garlic, and Ginger

Curried Zucchini Soup

Scrambled eggs with zucchini

Juicy Sauteed Swiss Chard

Another thing that I do with zucchini is grate it and freeze it.  I then use it in smoothies throughout the year to reduce the amount of fruit needed.  It give more nutrition than ice and adopts the flavors of other foods with which it is blended.

Happy eating!


Posted 6/29/2016 10:35am by Amy Philson.

What a beautiful week this is!  Lots of sun, low humidity, comfortable temps.  However, some of our farmers are praying for rain because our fields are awfully dry.  Some farms got a drink early this week, but it missed most of us.  We will all be happy when it rains, as will all of the plants.  NuWay Farm, for one, has a whole lot of plants started that they need to transplant.  However, if they put them in the field now, they will wither up and die.  That means a delay in harvest for those crops. 

But other crops are coming along nicely.  Early tomatoes and peppers are starting to come out of greenhouses.  Hopefully we will have some for next week.

For those of you in the Hermitage area, NWPA Growers has a large stand at the new Hermitage Farmers Market on Fridays from 3-7.  Come visit me there and pick up some extras to round out your groceries this week.  Temple Family Farm also has a stand there.

Old Time Farm is at the New Wilmington Market on Thursdays and Cranberry Twp. on Fridays.

Grateful Life Farm and Harmony Grove Farm are at the Franklin Farmer's Market on Saturdays.

In Grove City, you can see Harmony Grove Farm, Temple Family Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm on Thursdays.

I'm sure I'm missing some markets that our farmers attend, but these are the ones that come to mind.

Here is what is in your share this week:

Full Shares

  • 3 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 bunch onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes from Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 choice
  • 1 herb


Small Shares

  • 2 zucchini from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 choice
  • 1 herb



Spinach Artichoke Dip  You can substitute Swiss chard for the spinach.  This recipe has several options to make it dairy free and gluten free, or make it the traditional way. 

CHILLED ZUCCHINI SOUP WITH WALNUTS AND BASIL (fabulous!)  I have not tried this recipe, but the original poster added the fabulous note.  You may have to reduce the recipe to match the amount of zucchini that you have. 

Baked Summer Squash  A different way to use your zucchini.

Bok choy ideas  Lots of ideas and some recipes. 

Cold Asian Noodles  You can substitute bok choi for the napa cabbage.  Serve it hot or cold.  Add meat to make it a main dish.


It's the time of year that I almost never go to the grocery store because we're eating lots of fresh, local foods!  I hope you're doing the same.




Posted 6/22/2016 11:24am by Amy Philson.

Today, I am making deliveries to all of our Thursday locations.  Thankfully, Jesse, our Wholesale Manager and one of our farmers, delivered yesterday, allowing me to help get our hay baled before the rain today.  I don't mind driving the route, but I have so many other things that demand my time, so I am anxious to hire a new driver.  I have already had some inquiries, so thank you to those of you who have shared the info.

Here is what should be in your boxes today:

  • 1 kohlrabi from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head of lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bunch of onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bag of garlic scapes from Bushel and a Peck Farm (Full Shares have 3/4 lb.; Small Shares have 8-9)
  • 1 pint snow peas from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head of lettuce from either NuWay Farm or Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Choice (2 for Full; 1 for Small)
  • Herb choice
  • Plus Full Shares have 1/2 lb. Swiss chard

And now your recipes:

Garlic scapes are the long curly stem that grows out of the top of hard neck garlic varieties.  They have a mild garlic flavor.  A seed pod with tiny garlic cloves will eventually form there if they are not cut off.  But making seeds draws energy from the bulb, resulting in smaller garlic harvested.  Garlic scapes can be used anywhere you would use garlic cloves, but use more since they have a more mild flavor.  My favorite way to eat them is sautéed with mushrooms and greens to fill an omelet.

If you want to make pesto with your scapes, try Garlic Scape & Almond Pesto.  You can even add some chard if you need another way to use that.

Beef & Garlic Scapes Stir Fry calls for a fresh hot pepper.  Since they aren't in season yet, you can substitute with crushed red pepper flakes, adjusted to your taste.

Garlic Scape Carbonara is a pasta dish that involves a little more hands-on time, but looks delicious.

If you like fritters as much as I do, try Kohlrabi Fritters with Herbs Recipe for a different twist on kohlrabi.

Mediterranean Snow Peas are lightly sautéed to retain their sweetness...if you can't resist eating them raw!

Creamy Sesame Greens uses tahini in the sauce for a different flavor.  Full Shares can use their Swiss chard for this one.

Enjoy your fresh food this week.  It looks like we will have zucchini next week.  I can't wait!!!


Posted 6/8/2016 11:40am by Amy Philson.

Welcome to the new season of NWPA Growers' CSA!  We hope that you enjoy all the farm-fresh produce this summer and fall.  Our farmers work hard to bring you the best that they can offer.

Each week, all CSA members receive this email that lists what is in shares as well as some recipe suggestions.  I have a large family and cook a lot, so I try to find recipes that are not too complicated.  Very few will have odd ingredients, so you should have most things on hand or can easily substitute as long as you have a kitchen that is stocked with the basics.  One thing you will find with a CSA Share:  You have to cook! You will receive lots of standard produce in your share, but you will also get to try some new or different veggies.  A few of you have only meat shares, so most of the info in this email won't apply to you, since the recipes are centered around our veggie shares.

Our cooperative is currently made up of 19 farms, both Amish and English (that's what they call us).  Some farms grow only produce, others raise only meat, and others produce a variety of products.  Some farms are 100 or more acres, while others grow a large garden in their back yard.

Every Monday morning, I report the week's orders to each farmer via email or telephone.  The Amish go to a phone to call me for their orders.  Everyone then gets to work harvesting and preparing all of the orders for CSA, Webstore, and Wholesale.  Everything needs to be at David Yoder's NuWay Farm by 7 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.  A few of us meet there to sort and box orders and send them out for delivery with our driver.

So here's what you should have in your CSA box today:

  • 1 lb. rhubarb from Sunny Meadow Farm
  • Mixed lettuce from NuWay Farm (1/2 lb. Full Share; 1/3 lb. Small Share)
  • 1/2 lb. scallions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head green garlic from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • Strawberries (Quart from Allen Detweiler Farm for Full; Pint from NuWay Farm for Small)
  • 2 Choice
  • 1 Herb choice
  • Plus Full Shares have 1 pt. peas and 1/3 lb. spinach from NuWay Farm

Green garlic is garlic that has not fully matured.  Use it just like garlic, chopping it up to use in other dishes.  Just like leeks, most people discard the tough upper leaves.  However, you can use the tender part all the way up the stalk if you peel off the outer leaves.

And now some recipe ideas:

Did you know that you can eat radish tops?  Use them like any green in recipes for a mild radish flavor.  Or try Radish Top SoupThis recipe also calls for spinach, or you can substitute another green.

Or if soup doesn't appeal to you in June, try Cool Radish Pickles.

Cut lettuce doesn't last as long as Harmony Grove's lettuce with roots attached.  Make sure you use your lettuce in the next few days.  Herbed Salad Dressing for Salad Lovers

Parmesan Risotto just looked like a yummy basic recipe.  You can add scallions, garlic, spinach, peas, or other veggies for variety.

Oatmeal Rhubarb Pie uses a crust that you pat into the pan.  If you are terrified of rolling out pie crusts, here's the recipe for you!

Another rhubarb recipe:  Cinnamon-Topped Rhubarb Muffins.  I love rhubarb muffins!

We have lots of other recipes on our website from past years.  Go to http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe and search by ingredient, or just scroll through.

Have a wonderful week, and eat well!



Posted 5/18/2016 8:21pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this last day of Spring CSA Shares.  I'm sorry that this email is a bit later than usual today; it's a result of very full days in which I never get enough accomplished.  But we did get all of your CSA shares delivered without issue today, and I met with some members and potential members at the Mercer Area Library this evening for an informational session about NWPAGC.  And my list of things not yet accomplished will be waiting for me tomorrow morning.

We still have several pickup locations that are in jeopardy of being cancelled due to lack of interest:  Slippery Rock, Cranberry (north), Cranberry Twp., Greenville, Meadville, Wexford, Harmony, Mercer, and New Wilmington.  Please help us spread the word about the importance of supporting local farmers and buying local food.

Today's shares include:

  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/3 lb. watercress from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. frozen butternut squash from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. fiddlehead ferns from Emery Raber
  • 2 lb. rhubarb from Sunny Meadow Farm
  • 1 bunch chives from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products

What in the world are fiddlehead ferns, and what do I do with them?!?  Here is everything you need to know about fiddlehead ferns.

And now some recipes:

Lemony Fiddlehead and Mushroom Linguine

Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry (This one looked interesting, but I don't know how it will taste.  Rhubarb recipes are almost always sweet with added sweetener, but this is a savory main dish.)

Rhubarb Bread Pudding and Whiskey Sauce

Balsamic Rhubarb Compote (a new twist on the classic rhubarb sauce)

Arugula and Fontina Frittata (try this with watercress, and cheese of your choice)

Winter Squash Bars

Pumpkin Muffins (use squash)

I know it's not fall, but in my world a pumpkin bread/cake is never out of season!


Thank you all again for your support of our local farms.  We appreciate you more than you know.  If you are signed up for Summer CSA, look for an email with details sometime next week.




Posted 5/9/2016 3:28pm by Amy Philson.

NWPA Growers’ Cooperative’s Spring Share has been a huge success! We offered Spring Shares in the same communities where our Winter Shares are available, and many people are enjoying fresh spring greens, onions, and more!

Don’t forget about our Summer CSA, beginning June 8. We are still accepting members for the weekly farm shares.  Check out the types of shares available and sign up at www.nwpagrowers.com.

We have several pickup locations that are in jeopardy unless additional members join:

  • Slippery Rock
  • Cranberry (north)
  • Cranberry Twp.
  • Greenville
  • Meadville
  • Wexford
  • Harmony
  • Mercer
  • New Wilmington

If you are a member in one of these communities, please share with friends and neighbors, or we may be forced to eliminate delivery to your community. Our best advertising comes from satisfied CSA members who tell others about the fresh food they receive.  Of course, feel free to share even if you live somewhere else!

Thank you for supporting local farmers with your food dollars. We are forever grateful that you seek out local food and trust us to help feed your families.

Amy Philson, manager

For the farmers of Northwest Pennsylvania Growers’ Cooperative

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