NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 2/27/2015 8:53am by Amy Philson.

On February 28th, we are joining with CSA farmers from across the country to celebrate National CSA Sign-up Day. This is an important time of year for us to get new members signed up because we are in the process of making the investments that will result in a successful harvest many months from now.

The CSA model is an important model to support our farm. Laura, who runs First Root Farm in Concord, Mass. put it eloquently: "The CSA model was what allowed me to start my own farm business at age 23. Without the sale of CSA shares, I would not have been able to buy seeds, potting soil, fertilizer, or anything else. Six years later, my business is still going strong. Access to capital in the off-season; the meaningful connections between farmers and CSA members; the sense of ownership and pride members feel about their CSA farms--all these things add up to healthy farms, businesses, and communities. The CSA model is good for everybody,"

So thank you for your support on this and throughout the year. It is so important for us and we are thankful to you!

To celebrate National CSA Sign-up Day, we are offering a $10 credit to current CSA members who refer friends.

If you want to help us spread the word, please post about National CSA Sign-up Day on social media: NWPAGC is celebrating National CSA Sign-up Day on Feb 28th. Join me in supporting local farmers:  www.nwpagrowers.com  #CSAday

To sign up for our CSA, visit: www.nwpagrowers.com.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative

Posted 2/18/2015 3:28pm by Amy Philson.

Did you all remember to pick up your CSA share today?  If not, this email might trigger your memory if you read it right away!  There are a lot of yummy things in your share!

This week's share includes:

1/2 pt. maple syrup

1/2 pt. zucchini relish or elderberry jelly

1 cabbage

1 lb. carrots

1 lb. beets

1 lb. rutabaga

2 lb. potatoes

1 lb. yellow onions

1 lb. red onions

1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms

5 oz. pea shoots

1 head lettuce

1 pt. micro greens


I think the only unfamiliar item this week would be the rutabaga, so you can probably decipher which it is.  It looks similar to a turnip and is yellowish with a little purple on it.

If you're not familiar with cremini mushrooms, they are also called baby bellas.  They're just immature portabella mushrooms.

Not sure what to do with rutabagas?  I have two recipes to choose from:  Rutabaga Fritters or Rutabaga Casserole.  Or you could just add them to your roasted veggies.

Apple and Cabbage Slaw looks like a simple salad to make.  There are also lots of cabbage recipes on our website that you could search for.

Would you like to try your hand at fermenting?  Gingered Carrots is a simple ferment that adds lots of probiotics to your diet!

If you're looking for new ways to use your pea shoots, try Pea Shoots, Mango and Smoked Chicken Salad.  It looks delicious!

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole would be a simple supper that will use up potatoes if you're having trouble eating all of them.


I hope you're enjoying the seasonal produce that our farms and other PA farms are producing for you during these cold days! 



Posted 2/3/2015 1:41pm by Amy Philson.

I hope all of you remembered to pick up your CSA Share today!  It's full of lots of goodies. 

This weekend my husband and I, as well as several other NWPAGC farmers, will be attending the annual PASA Farming for the Future conference in State College.  There will be 2 days full of workshops pertaining to sustainable and organic farming practices.  There is always more to learn!

This week's shares include:

1/2 lb. frozen berries (blueberries, red raspberries or black raspberries)

1 pt. tomatillo salsa

1 butternut squash

2 lb. sweet potatoes

2 lb. potatoes

3/4 lb. radishes

1 celeriac  (It's roundish and light green)

1 lb. carrots

5 oz. pea shoots

1 head lettuce

1 pt. micro greens


What in the world do you do with celeriac?  It's also called celery root.  I have two recipes to choose from:  Apples and Celeriac with Honey Mustard Dressing (a salad that you could use your greens for instead of the spinach called for) and Potato and Celeriac Soup

The radishes are mixed winter radishes.  Some are rather large and others are smaller.  They're various colors.  If you don't prefer the flavor of radishes, you can mute the flavor by cooking them or mixing with some dairy.  Try Easy Creamed Radish or Radish Dip, both very simple recipes.

Some other recipes to try are Quick Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Hash, Carrot Ginger Soup, and Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries.


Remember to eat your veggies!  Don't let them go to waste.


Posted 1/26/2015 12:59pm by Amy Philson.

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.

Posted 1/21/2015 4:24pm by Amy Philson.

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:


Sweet Potatoes





Acorn Squash



Pea Shoots

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!


Posted 1/7/2015 1:12pm by Amy Philson.

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

mustard greens

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!


Posted 12/17/2014 1:03pm by Amy Philson.

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 CookiesI'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.


Posted 11/19/2014 8:28pm by Amy Philson.

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:


Buttercup squash

Sweet dumpling or acorn squash

Red or savoy cabbage



Sweet peppers



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.


Posted 11/13/2014 9:02am by Amy Philson.

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.

Click here to find out more about the Winter CSA and to sign up.  For Webstore info, go to this page.

If you have any questions, just reply to this email and ask.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Co-op




Posted 11/12/2014 11:09am by Amy Philson.

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:


Pie Pumpkin

Red Cabbage







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!


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