NWPA Growers Co-op

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News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 10/29/2014 2:41pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings!  This is Week 21 of our CSA season.  The last week is Nov. 19/20, which is 3 more weeks.  Some of you have elected to use the last two weeks of the CSA season as vacation weeks, which would make next week your last pickup week.  If you haven't used both of your vacation weeks and haven't contacted me about when you want to take them or to purchase additional weeks, then I will be sending an email out soon informing you of your last pickup day.


Here is what is in this week's shares:



Sweet potatoes



Italian (sweet) peppers



Plus Full Shares have Carrots and Mixed Greens.


Recipe ideas this week include Braised Red Radishes  or Radish Top Soup (don't throw the beautiful tops away!). If you don't have shallots on hand, any onion can be substituted. 

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes look like a delicious side dish. 

Broccoli Cheese Soup is an all-time favorite.  Sometimes I make a big batch and freeze some for easy lunches.

For a main dish, try Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry.  It calls for spinach, but you could substitute any braising green that you have on hand.


Enjoy your week!


Posted 10/1/2014 5:34pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings everyone!


I've had several people ask me when the CSA will be finished this fall.  Well, after today we have 7 more weeks, until Nov. 19 or 20, depending on your pickup day.  That's almost 1/3 of the season, so we're not by any means finished yet!


Some of you have not taken your vacation weeks that were built into the CSA this year.  Our season is 24 weeks long, but everyone paid for 22 weeks so you could have 2 weeks of vacation anytime throughout the season.  If you are sure you will not use them, you can either end your CSA share two weeks early, or you can purchase the additional two weeks, $17 per week for small shares or $24.50 per week for full shares.  Just let me know which you prefer.


Here's what's in shares this week:

Watermelon (either crimson sweet or sugar baby--the dark green one)

Sweet Dumpling Squash (a variety of Delicata)


Sweet Potatoes

Onions (Full Shares)


Green Pepper or Sweet Banana Peppers

Cherry Belle Radishes




Cabbage...what to do with it?  You could make naturally fermented sauerkraut, which is full of probiotics if you don't heat it.  It's as simple as cabbage, salt and water in mason jars.  Or you could try Carmelized Cabbage Soup or Braised Cabbage with Garden Veggies.  If none of these strike your fancy, you can do a search on our recipe page for cabbage and come up with a whole page of options.


Want to spice up your sweet potatoes?  Try Chile Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Add as much spice as you like!


Here's a new take on winter squash:  Baked Delicata Squash with Cream and Parmigiano.  We're having some delicate tonight for dinner, stuffed with ground lamb, apples, onions, celery, arugula and mushrooms.  Yum!


Enjoy your veggies this week!  And get outside before it turns colder this weekend!






Posted 9/29/2014 3:37pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall weather!  However, it is bound to come to an end soon.  And we are looking toward the end of our Summer CSA season in November and the beginning of our Winter CSA season.  We invite you to eat seasonally with us and at the same time support local farmers.


We will again be delivering CSA Shares and Winter Market Webstore orders to several communities around Northwestern Pennsylvania from December through March.  They will contain a lot of storage crops like squash, potatoes, onions and beets, as well as fresh greens, lettuce and broccoli as long as the weather cooperates.  There will also be some farm-produced products in the shares such as jams and relishes.  All of our produce is grown without pesticides and GMOs, and our animals are raised humanely without antibiotics and GMO feed.


There will be one medium-sized share offered this winter, rather than our traditional Full and Small Shares.  It will actually be quite large to accommodate the twice per month pickup instead of weekly.


A change this year will be that we will only have twice per month pickup for our Webstore orders as well.  We have traditionally offered weekly pickup only in Slippery Rock, but as our member base has spread out we have found that it's not as practical.


Pickups are being planned in Butler, Erie, Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, New Castle, and Slippery Rock.  However, we reserve the right to cancel a location if we don't have enough members.


To learn more about our Winter CSA, click here.  To read about our Winter Market Webstore, click here.  Remember that CSA Members receive FREE access to our Webstore, so there is no need to join both.


When you join sooner rather than later, you can spread your payments out over the course of the next two months if you need to.


Happy Fall!

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative



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.







Basket of Hope