NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 7/10/2013 8:01pm by Amy Philson.
Good evening!  Are you surviving all this rain?  There is a lot of flooding around us!

I want to explain a detail about how a CSA cooperative works.  In case you're disappointed with the looks of your broccoli (if you received it) in the shares today, I was too.  Last year, this same grower had beautiful, huge heads of broccoli.  But so far this year, they aren't doing so well.  The cabbage moths are loving this wet weather, and even though there is row cover over the broccoli, some moths still sneak under and lay their eggs on the broccoli.  The caterpillars that hatch damage the broccoli and can stunt the growth of the plant.  We could spray the broccoli to kill the moths, but that's not what we do.  We're committed to all-natural produce, and with that sometimes you get a bug or bug damage in your food.  But you also get clean food without harmful chemicals.  

As a cooperative of 16 farms, I don't get to see the produce until it is delivered Wednesday morning.  The farmers have to play a sort of guessing game.  On Thursday, they inform me of what they expect to have available for delivery the next Wednesday.  I plan the CSA shares over the weekend and put extra produce in the webstore.  However, it's almost a week between when they notify me and when you receive it.  So the produce isn't always at the point of growth that we would expect in a week due to weather and pests.  That's what happened with some of the broccoli being small.

When we receive delivery of a sub-par item, we discount the item for the CSA shares (and for webstore items, too), so even when you receive an item that isn't perfect, you will still receive your value in the CSA share in the long run.  I have a budget that I work with each week for shares, and I continually re-evaluate where we are in the entire season's budget.

Here is what was in the shares today:

Full shares:
2 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 head broccoli
1 bunch beets
10 pickling cucumbers
1 bunch baby carrots
½ lb. kale
1 head lettuce
1 pint peas
1 choice
1 herb
Small shares:

1 cabbage
1 zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 head broccoli or sugar snap peas
6 pickling cucumbers
1 bunch baby carrots
½ lb. Green leaf lettuce
1 choice item
1 herb

In case you're wondering you can eat pickling cucumbers just like other cucumbers.  Their skin is a little thicker, but some people prefer their crispness.  Or you can make a jar of pickles!  I posted a recipe for 24 hour refrigerator pickles to try.

My niece sent me a recipe for zucchini boats, and I added that to the website today, too.  It's stuffed with sausage (I'll make homemade beef sausage from grass-fed beef) with spaghetti sauce and cheese on top.  It looks delicious!

Other new recipes include Garlic Stir-Fried Snap Peas, Chilly Cucumber Soup and Broccoli Cabbage Slaw.  To check them all out, click here.

Have a great week!

Posted 6/26/2013 8:32pm by Amy Philson.
Good evening!  I hope you all are pleased with the bounty in your shares today!  Here's what you should have received:

1 lb. rhubarb
zucchini (yellow and green)
garlic scapes
kale or collards
lettuce mix
Plus full shares received baby beets, Swiss chard, and an extra choice item.

I know many of you were happy to see green peppers and tomatoes in the choice box again.  We're adding more variety to your shares as the weeks progress, and the rain the last couple of days will certainly help things along!

My favorite way to cook summer squash is to slice it and saute it with onions, garlic, and red peppers...and mushrooms if I have any.  A little salt and pepper, maybe an herb...delicious!

I like to use my garlic scapes in omelettes along with mushrooms, any kind of greens (chard, kale, collards, etc.), peppers, etc.  In fact, that's what I had for dinner tonight (along with strawberry shortcake that my daughter made).

Recipes that I just added to the website are for garlic scape pesto, roasted radishes, white bean and garlic scape dip, parmesan stuffed summer squash, beet green and young garlic pasta (you could use any greens for this), and Vickie's rigatoni and Swiss chard.  See the recipes here.

In case you're wondering, the recipes I choose come from a database that is hosted by Small Farm Central, the company that maintains our website.  Other farms and co-ops from around the country add recipes to this database to use with their CSA shares as well.  I have access to all these recipes from other CSAs, and I go through them and choose ones that look yummy and that use fairly normal ingredients.

Enjoy your fresh-from-the-farm produce!
Posted 5/2/2013 6:46am by Amy Philson.


Looking outside, it is obvious that spring is marching on and summer will be upon us soon.  Our farmers are busily preparing their fields and planting seeds in flats and in the fields to get things growing.  We are seeing the first of the new crop of greens and onions coming to our tables.  And we are all looking forward to this year’s CSA season for fresh, local, naturally grown produce and other farm products.

We are still taking memberships for our CSA and Webstore that begins June 12.  If you haven’t already signed up, you will want to do so very soon!   To look at your options, click here.  To sign up, go here.  If you want to look at the webstore information, click here.

I’m also looking for site coordinators for Grove City, Butler, New Castle, and Greenville.  If you’re interested in helping us distribute produce to community members, please contact me to discuss the position.

Please help us out by spreading the word about our CSA to your friends and neighbors.  You can forward this email to them if you would like to.  Because we are a non-profit organization, we don’t have a large advertising budget.  The majority of what you pay for your food goes back to our farmers.  So we rely heavily on word of mouth from our members for our advertising.

Thank you for supporting local farmers with your food dollars.


Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative
Posted 3/7/2013 11:26am by Amy Philson.
April 21st, 2013 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Learn how to grow your own shiitake mushrooms! Professional shiitake grower Jesse Allen will lead this hands on workshop which will also feature a tour of his shiitake yard.  Participants will inoculate their own shiitake log to take home. Limited to 20 participants. $10.00 fee. Email Lori at tchfrch@hotmail.com  to register. Rain date April 28. Location: 185 Turk Rd, Slippery Rock, just off Route 8  near the Stone House and Jennings.

Posted 1/10/2013 6:35am by Amy Philson.
I know that its hard to "Think Spring" right now, but that's what farmers do in winter! Our latest endeavor, the Winter CSA Share, is almost over and it has been a success.  Fresh produce in January!  Amazing. Kudos to our manager Amy for making this happen. We will offer this again next winter for sure.

   We are busy planning the next CSA season and ---while Manager Amy Philson will definitely send out a detailed email prior to sign-ups---  I want to fill you in on the general scope of our offerings this year.   Bigger and Better than ever!

More Add-On Share Types:  in addition to the Ground Beef and Egg Shares, we will also offer a 10-Week Flower Share and a weekly Milk Share. Back! monthly Chicken Shares.

More Drop-off Sites: Slippery Rock, Grove City, Franklin as always. Back! Butler, New Castle, Hermitage.       New!  Greenville   

More Growers: We added four new farms last year, which really upped our variety and volume. We proudly distributed bountiful, beautiful produce every single CSA week.  Two more growers are currently in the application process.  Our reputation as the "A Team" for produce and CSA in our region is growing....

The Bottom Line: 20 -week CSA  June 12 - Oct 23. Wed afternoons. (price includes webstore membership)
                   Small Shares   $330.00 
                   Full Shares      $500.00

       The $20.00 price increase over last year is due to an exciting new development:  a truck!  We have grown so much that we need our own vehicle to transport our products  We will deliver the CSA shares to the drop-off sites instead of asking site coordinators to drive to Slippery Rock.
   We think that you will agree that a $1.00-per-week increase in share price is fair.   

 CSA sign-ups will once again be processed through an automated system via our website starting Jan. 15th.

  Check out our new look:  new website design    newly-energized facebook page.

Thank you for choosing local foods and farms. 

    Lori Sands
  Board President , NWPAGC      
Posted 7/19/2012 10:28am by Amy Philson.

Registration for this workshop is now open in our Webstore. Please log in and go to the new "Event Registration" department. When you click to add this workshop to your cart you will be officially registered. Please note that the $7.00 fee will show up as a charge on your webstore order however we will collect the fee at the event. Do not pay at CSA pickup . 

VEGETABLE PAPYRUS WORKSHOP:   Monday, July 30th at Springfield Acres 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. (very near the Pottery Dome and Outlets in Springfield Twp, Mercer County.  Convenient to Routes 19 and 79. Directions will be emailed to registered participants)            LIMITED TO 12 participants.  Registration starts now (Thursday) and will remain open until the workshop is filled. This event is open to NWPAGC CSA and Webstore members only.

It doesn't get any better than this!  Art and vegetables at the same time!  All materials are provided. A workshop fee of  $7.00 per person will be collected at the event.

This workshop is led by New Orleans native Vanessa Adams, who is currently interning on Silver Wheel Farm. Vanessa heads up a Printmaking Cooperative in NOLA. Her latest project is the creation of a regional papermaking collective. A graduate of Brown University, Vanessa enjoys using her talents to make all kinds of art and craft accessible to all members of the community. From Vanessa, below:.

'Come learn how to make beautiful and translucent Vegetable Papyrus Papers from vegetables you can find at your local co-op or in your backyard. Egyptian papyrus is made by overlapping pieces of the stalk of the papyrus plant and pounding or pressing the pieces together. A similar technique can be used to make Vegetable Papyrus using common household vegetables or corn husks. Using this technique we will thinly slice and cook local vegetables and create colorful papers—using cucumbers, beets, carrots and more! Papers will be pressed and dried flat to create works of art in which the intricate seed patterns, color, and natural beauty of the vegetables are exposed. These papers can be used decoratively, can be framed or used in other art and craft projects (lampshades, etc.).   No previous experience is necessary! All levels and ages are welcome, including children over the age of 7  accompanied by an adult.'

Click here to register : Vegetable Papyrus Registration 

Questions? please email Lori at tchfrch@hotmail.com   



Posted 6/18/2012 8:47am by Amy Philson.
Hello All-
Our first CSA picnic was a success (and we are already planning the next one!) It was organized and hosted by farmers Lori and Ben of Silver Wheel Farm.  We had perfect weather for meeting-and-greeting fellow CSA members and farmers, stomping in the creek, eating great food, then kicking back on the blanket to take in the harmonies of Lonesome No More band. After dark we toasted marshmallows around the firepit and were treated to a spectacular firefly exhibition; one of those amazing sights you see once or twice in a lifetime.
Thanks to our farmers for the following:
Burgers:  ground beef from Fruitful Farm, Hazy Hollow Farm
Buns: burger buns baked by the Philsons at  Bushel and a Peck Farm certified farm bakery
Salad:  ingredients from Silver Wheel, NuWay Farm, and Wild Roses Farm
Cheeses:  Milky Way Meadows raw milk, grass fed cheeses
Veggie Burgers:  black beans from Ron Gargasz Farms  

Great News!!  Becky Lubold sent us the salad dressing recipes that everyone asked for.
 Click here:     CSA Recipes   for the "Double Sesame" and "Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette" recipes.   

To see photos of  CSA members and farmers enjoying the picnic, click here:
                                                   Mossy Rocks Showcase 

  Thank you to everyone involved.        We will announce our July CSA event soon.



Posted 6/4/2012 7:03am by Amy Philson.
Its almost CSA time!  June 13th marks Week 1 of the 2012 CSA season.   And to help kick-off the summer season, our first Northwest PA Growers event is on June 16th; the First Annual Mossy Rocks Family Picnic, featuring The Lonesome No More Band.

Location:  Silver Wheel Farm,  141 Porter Rd 16038 near Harrisville PA .  (access from route 58 or route 208).    We will send detailed directions in a reminder email next week.  Please park along the left side of the road only. Directions also found at www.silverwheelfarm.net

Time:  We'll start the grills at 4:00 pm and end at dusk, approx 9:00 pm. We will be picnicking in the woods, so please wear appropriate footwear for woods trails. There are walking trails through the woods and  a small creek to splash in as well. (children must be supervised on trails and near creek)   NO PETS PLEASE! 

Food:  We will load up the grill with local meats, burgers,  veggie burgers, and hotdogs. Seasonal salads will accompany, with pitchers of sun tea and water. We will have some plates, cutlery, cups, but it would be great if you could bring your own.  Please bring a side dish, salad or dessert to share.  (BYOB if you wish, but please no glass bottles. And also here we insert a reminder that this is a family event).

Music:  The Lonesome No More Band playing roots/Americana-folky/bluesy-bluegrassy all-around good music.   

Admission details:   NWPAGC CSA and Webstore members have 'Preferred Admission" status at the gate. We are asking for a donation of $4.00 per CSA family (not per person)  to help with costs of food and music.  The event is open to the public, with admission/donation of $ 8.00 per family. 

******an RSVP to Lori sands at tchfrch@hotmail.com would be helpful, and is recommended, but is not required.  Questions?   email Lori. 

Looking forward to meeting everyone and having some summer fun!

Lori S.  of Silver Wheel Farm  
Posted 3/16/2012 5:32am by Amy Philson.
At this time we regretfully say thank you and goodbye to Sarah. She is not able to continue as Manager of NWPA Growers Cooperative due to her full time job elsewhere. Sarah did a great job of steering us through the last year, her enthusiasm and spirited communications will be remembered and missed!

Fortunately, our new Manager is a very familiar face;  NWPA grower Amy Philson of Bushel and a Peck farm has agreed to take on the added responsibilites of running the day-to-day business of the cooperative. Amy has been managing the Winter Market pickup this winter, so many of you already know her well. She is also now in charge of receiving and recording the CSA /Webstore sign ups and checks, operating the webstore both winter and summer, and communicating with our customers via email and newsletter.  She will coordinate the logistcs of the CSA this summer; setting the share contents each week and ensuring that all goes smoothly.
   If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact Amy at philsonfarm@verizon.net   724 372 1564 cell      724 662 1231 home

Posted 3/7/2012 8:55am by Amy Philson.
Hello Winter Market members-
This is an alert that the popular Riverview Dairy Goat Cheese will be available in the webstore this week,  but can be ordered on Friday only.    We need to have an exact count by late Friday as we have made special (yet convoluted) arrangements to get it to Slippery Rock for next week.

For those not familiar with Riverview Dairy, it is an Amish family farm south of Emlenton that uses all-organic practices in the field and in the barn.  Their cheeses have developed quite a following as they are creamy, delicious and freeze beautifully.

We will offer  Plain Chevre, French Herb Chevre, Onion & Chive Chevre, Dill & Garlic Chevre, goat Feta, plus the newer raw-milk "tonne-style"  Meadowbelle hard goat cheese.    

There is plenty available of each variety,  and there is no limit on order amounts.

(Thank you for choosing local goats and cheese.)