NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 9/24/2014 4:57pm by Amy Philson.

Hello, everyone!  I sure am enjoying this weather!  Warm, sunny days and cool nights.  I thought we would have an early frost the way it was looking a couple of weeks ago, but it's staying away for a while yet.  So that means the summer veggies keep producing in limited quantities.  Yeah!


Here's what is in CSA shares this week:


Buttercup squash


Sweet corn


Green peppers




Plus Full Shares get delicata squash and arugula.


Enjoy those pears!  It has been a difficult year for growing fruit.  The peach crop totally failed, and there are very few apples around.  Melons didn't do so well this year, either.  So we're thankful for the pears!


Here are some recipes to try this week:

Wilted Arugula and Pear Salad

Balsamic Glazed Buttercup Squash

Baked Brown Rice with Carrots

And a simple how-to:  How to Roast Winter Squash


I hope you have a wonderful week!  There are 8 more weeks to go in this season's CSA.



Posted 9/4/2014 1:26pm by Amy Philson.

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry for the delay in sending this weekly email.  I usually send it on Wednesday evening so the Wednesday pickup people have the recipes for their shares.  But it just didn't get done yesterday.  After packing boxes, making a huge pot of spaghetti sauce to can, putting out a whole bunch of fires for CSA and at home, we were eating dinner and Eric announces that we have to catch a bunch of lambs to take to the butcher last night.  Our ewes are relatively friendly, but the rams avoid people.  So I didn't get this email finished.


Anyway, here's what should be in your share this week:

Full Shares:

2 acorn squash

6 sweet corn

1 lb. beets

1 lb. onions

1 lb. green tomatoes

1 lb. tomatoes

1 green pepper

1 lb. ground cherries

1 head lettuce

2 choice items

1 herb


Small Shares:

1 acorn squash

4 sweet corn

1 lb. beets

1 lb. onions

3/4 lb. tomatoes

1 lb. ground cherries

1 head lettuce

1 choice item

1 herb


Those little tomatillo-like fruits with paper husks are ground cherries.  Here are a couple of recipes to try with them:  http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe/ground-cherries-recipes


My favorite way to eat green tomatoes is Fried Green Tomatoes


A different twist on an old favorite way of cooking beets:  Rosemary Roasted Beets.


And we have Acorn Squash in the shares this week!  Yeah!  Try Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash.


That's it for now.  Have a great weekend!




Posted 8/27/2014 6:12pm by Amy Philson.

Hi everyone!  It has been a tiring week at my house.  Last weekend, we had a wedding reception for our son and his new wife.  They were married a few weeks ago, but they wanted a very small, simple wedding with the reception later.  So we had family here from Michigan for a few days in the midst of all of our regular stuff.  I'm still not caught up, but I'm getting there slowly.


Today when we delivered to Grove City, we discovered that the YMCA is closed for the week for maintenance and the driveway blocked for repaving.  Thank you, Grove City members, who had to deal with finding an alternate route in and then find us at a different spot at the Y. 


And thanks, too, to Slippery Rock and Butler members who had to wait for the delivery truck, since Eric was running late due to the problems in Grove City.


Hopefully our Thursday route will go more smoothly.


Here's what's in the shares this week:


Sweet corn

Red onions (some of you may have some yellow in there, too)

Heirloom tomatoes

Inferno peppers (hot)

Green pepper

Baby arugula (I love arugula in my salads and in my omelets.  I think it smells earthy like mushrooms)

2 choice


Plus full shares received eggplant and a cantaloupe.


You have everything you need to make a yummy salsa with corn, onions, hot pepper, tomatoes...except the black beans.  Even better if you got cilantro as your herb choice!


Other ideas for your share this week: 

August in a Bowl

Tomato, Swiss Chard and Ricotta Calzones (these would be really good with the arugula)

Roasted Fairy-Tale Eggplant

Green Onion Sweet Corn Fritters (you could sub any onion in these)

Arugula Pesto


I hope some of these sound appealing to you!  Remember, you can search our website for other recipes to use with your share contents.


Enjoy the heat this weekend!  We may just have to turn our air conditioner on at our house!




Posted 8/6/2014 8:39pm by Amy Philson.

Hi everyone!  When I got home tonight after helping Eric deliver all the shares today (one of our daughters or another farmer usually helps him, but our daughters have colds and we didn't want them to infect your food, and Jesse is on vacation), I went to turn on my computer to check email and send this weekly email.  But one of my children had been playing near the desk and knocked my laptop onto the floor, damaging it.  So I can't turn it on, and I can't remember how to check my work email since I have it programmed to download directly to my computer.  I can't contact our website company until they open in the morning, and at that time I will be packing boxes for our Thursday deliveries.  So...as long as my husband lets me use his laptop tomorrow, if you have sent me an email I will respond sometime tomorrow.  If it's urgent, like concerning Thursday's delivery, you can call me.  What a wonderful day this has been (insert sarcasm)...but with everything that has gone wrong in our day today (you don't want to know), we got all of the orders delivered on time and no one is hurt :-).


Sorry for rambling.  My job is usually enjoyable (at least most parts), but we all have those days once in a while, right?


For those of you wondering, our son's wedding was simple and lovely.  They wanted a very small, simple wedding, and that's what they had. 


Here's what should be in your shares this week:

Full Shares






cherry tomatoes



2 choice



Small Shares




cherry tomatoes


1 choice



Here are a few new recipes for your shares:

Curried Eggplant (small shares will probably get eggplant next week)

Summer Gratin

Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad


Reminder:  Don't throw away those lovely beet greens!  You have two vegetables in one!  Saute the greens in a little oil and season for a quick side dish, or add them to soups or casseroles or omelettes.


Reminder #2:  You can search for other recipes on our website by entering an ingredient in the search box.


I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the bounty of summer!


Posted 7/30/2014 8:53pm by Amy Philson.

This weather is definitely NOT end of July weather!  Our farmers have been battling rain all season, and we're just not getting any relief.  All the rain has ruined some crops and delayed many others.  By this time, we should have plenty of tomatoes and peppers, but they just aren't getting ripe very quickly because of the lack of sun.  We should have much more variety in our shares, but some veggies got flooded out and had to be replanted.  Others just aren't producing like they should.  But that's a risk that you take when you join a CSA.  You agree to take the risk along with the farmers, not knowing what the growing season will be like.  Our farmers are working hard while fighting the weather, and they're getting a little discouraged.  But they will keep plodding along to bring you the best that they can produce.

On top of this, virtually all of the peach crop was decimated this spring.  The blossoms didn't freeze, but a huge fluctuation in temperature from one day to the next caused the trees to all drop their blossoms.  So we will have no peaches for you this year.

Blueberries aren't as flush as in years past, so it looks like one time is all you will get them in your shares.  We will try to have a few more in the Webstore, but I know we can't get enough for shares.

So all that being said, we are trying our hardest to bring you satisfying CSA shares.  If you're getting tired of something or would like to see more of something, you're welcome to give me some feedback.  I would love to put a fruit in the shares each week, but it just isn't possible this year.

Here's what should be in your shares this week:



Red Onion

Red Potatoes

Squash Blossoms

2 Choice


Plus Full Shares received Green Beans, Kale and Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes


Not sure what in the world to do with squash blossoms?  You can slice them and add them to a salad.  Or you can make Stuffed Squash Blossoms.  The website in the recipe tells you all about how to prep your blossoms.

And for your cabbage, how about trying World's Best Braised Green Cabbage

Roasted Green Beans with Onions and Walnuts  looks delicious, too.

Not sure how to dry your herbs that you can't use right away?  Here are some great instructions.

If you're ever looking for a recipe (or other info) that's tied to whole food or health and don't want to wade through a bunch of recipes with packaged ingredients, here's a great search portal that I use:  http://grannysvitalvittles.com/real-food-sites-google-search-portal/.  You can search by ingredient or topic, and it searches through real food-related blogs to find matches.  I just though I would share that, since I used it to find some of the recipes for this week.

Happy cooking!




Posted 7/23/2014 4:02pm by Amy Philson.

It's Week 7 of the CSA!  We finally have another local fruit available this week (yeah!)  Here's what you should have in your box this week:




green beans


2 choice


Plus Full Shares received beets, tomatoes, and yellow zucchini.


Here are some recipes to try this week: 

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Garlic Green Bean Salad

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Lemon Zucchini Bread

Zuchini Summer Squash Skillet

Japanese Cucumber Salad to go in Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

All of these recipes are available on our website.  Click here to go to the recipe page.


Or try Blueberry Zucchini Bread from a past season.  You can search for other recipes by ingredient on our website to see some great recipes from past CSA seasons.

I hope you have a great week! 


Posted 7/16/2014 2:20pm by Amy Philson.

Our family garden is just beginning to produce beyond all the perennial herbs.  I picked my first zucchini today (I planted them late).  And it's almost time to harvest garlic for the year. 

In this week's shares, you should have received:


Red Potatoes

Fresh Candy Onion

Pickling Cucumbers or a big Cuke


Yellow Zucchini

2 Choice (those choice boxes are filled with yummy goodies...how do you choose?)

Herb choice

Plus Full Shares received Rhubarb and Green Beans.


If you're not in the habit of using fresh herbs, you can let your herbs dry in a basket and then put them in a jar to use dried.  Or many herbs can be frozen in oil or water in ice cube trays and then stored in bags in the freezer.

New recipes this week include

Bean and Potato Salad with Basil Oil

Spaghetti with Zucchini and Lemon

Chicken Shawarma with Green Beans and Zucchini

Crash Potatoes

Country Cabbage Soup

How to Freeze Cabbage


Another great thing you can do with your cabbage is make naturally fermented sauerkraut.  It's full of probiotics and really good for you!

We're having cabbage roll casserole for dinner tonight...like cabbage rolls but without all the effort to stuff the leaves.  Yum!

Have a great week.







Posted 7/9/2014 12:56pm by Amy Philson.

I guess this is the Summer of Storms!  Yesterday afternoon, a tornado touched down in the woods behind our house, then skipped over a few miles and tore up a section of the nearest town.  I think today was the first day this season that it hasn't rained when we were packing CSA shares.  Rain makes things grow, but it has also flooded some crops.

At my house, we butchered more chickens and our turkeys this week.  I've been cooking all the chickens, deboning them to freeze the meat (sooo convenient for soups, casseroles, salads, etc.), and cooking all the bones for broth.  So far, I have 35 lb. of chicken frozen and 55 qt. of broth canned with another 20 or so quarts cooking now.

For those of you with Chicken Shares, next week is chicken week!

Here's what you received in your Week 5 CSA Share:


Red potatoes

Fresh onions

Heirloom tomatoes


Yellow Zucchini



Choice (2 for Full)

Plus Full Shares received Green Beans and Radishes


Recipes to try this week:  Kachumbari Salad (tomatoes, onion, cilantro), Radish Top Soup (potatoes, radishes), Super Summer Kale Slaw, and Zucchini Fritters.

If you ever get tired of kale, a great thing to do with it is to make Kale Chips.  Even most kids gobble them up, so it's a great way to get those veggies into them.  When I make them, I have to hide them if I want any because my kids eat them all!

Have a great week!  As always, send me an email if you have an issue with your share or need to contact me about anything.


Posted 7/2/2014 5:53pm by Amy Philson.

Summer's abundance is beginning to show!  We're all complaining about this hot, humid weather, but it sure makes the plants grow!  So be thankful for the heat...at least a little.

Here's what is in your shares this week:

Red potatoes

Zucchini (green and yellow)


Cucumber or pickling cucumbers




Plus Full Shares received sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, and kale.

Small Shares received tomatoes.


I have a slew of recipes to share with you today!

Those curly things in Full Shares (and a few in Choice) are called garlic scapes, if you're not familiar with them.  You can use them in place of garlic in any dish.  One of my favorite ways to use them is in omelette.  Or you can make Garlic Scape Pesto.

For your zucchini, I love to saute it with onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, etc.  Or try Zucchini Boats or Ten Minute Zucchini Pizza.

My family has been enjoying Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad lately.  It's very colorful, and you can substitute whatever you have on hand.  But I do recommend buying the avocado and mango for it.  I even substitute some things in the dressing with what I have, and it's still delicious!

Bavarian Potato Salad looks like a good alternative to mayo-based salads this weekend.  Or try Scandanavian Cucumbers or Snap Peas with Mint Oil.

Have a wonderful holiday this weekend!




Posted 6/25/2014 4:57pm by Amy Philson.

Some of you are still uncertain about how to take your vacation weeks.  Simply send me an email and tell me when you would like to take a vacation week.  I need to know by Sunday night of the week you want your vacation, because I report the week's orders to our farmers first thing Monday morning. 

Our produce is finally catching up to our demand.  We have much more variety in our shares this week, especially in the choice items!  Here's what is in your shares this week: 



Green onions

Baby beets with greens



Choice (2 for Full)


Plus Full shares received Swiss chard or spinach and tomatoes.


Yeah for early cucumbers and tomatoes!!


New recipes for this week include a gluten free Rhubarb Coffee Cake that my kids made a few days ago, and it was delicious!  Or try Strawberry Rhubarb Cottage Pudding, Rhubarb Granita or Raw Berry Pie with your fruits.

If you don't know what to do with beets, you can make Beet Chocolate Cake (the original red velvet cake without toxic food coloring).  And don't throw out those beet greens!  Make Beet Greens with Carmelized Onions.  And for you chard, how about Creamed Swiss Chard.

We have lots of other recipes from past years on our website.  You can search by ingredient, or you can scroll down through the entire list. 

Have a great week!


Basket of Hope