NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
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!


Posted 6/18/2014 9:02pm by Amy Philson.

Wow...what a storm we had at my house tonight!  Rain was coming down in sheets, and the winds were swirling in circles.  One of the big maple trees in our front yard broke in half over the road.  I had our younger kids in the basement while older ones were watching out the windows.  Thankfully, the tree was the worst damage at our house.

It's Week 2 of CSA!  Here's what is in your shares this week:

Zucchini (Yeah...early zucchini!)


Green onions

Swiss chard

Bibb lettuce

Salanova lettuce




I've had some complaints about people not receiving their Webstore orders.  After you place your order, on the very last page you have to confirm the order.  If you don't confirm it, the order won't go through.  I made the message on that page larger to remind you.

Vacation Days:  When you would like to schedule your two vacation weeks for your CSA share, just send me an email with the date you will be gone.  You will still receive pickup reminders that week, but as long as I have acknowledged your email scheduling your vacation just ignore those reminders.  If you don't want to use your vacation weeks all season, you can purchase additional weeks, but we will deal with that in the fall.

In case you can't think of anything to do with your strawberries, you can try Spring Greens and Roasted Chicken or Berries and Greens Salad.

For your zucchini and Swiss chard, how about Stacked Vegetable Quesadillas; Rainbow Chard, Zucchini and Sliced Almonds; or Eggs with Swiss Chard.

There are lots of other yummy recipes on our website to use with your CSA veggies, too!

Have a great week!


Posted 6/11/2014 7:48pm by Amy Philson.

Our first day of 2014 CSA is over!  We delivered to half of our locations today, and tomorrow will be the other half.  The shares looked small to me when we had them all boxed up.  But that often happens the first week, especially when we have a cold, wet spring like this year.  We will soon be flush with produce and have almost overflowing boxes.

Here's what you should receive in your share this week:

Maple syrup



Green pepper

Lettuce mix


Plus Full shares received asparagus


Each week, I will send an email listing what was in your shares along with recipe ideas for you.  So if you're ever not sure what that unfamiliar veggie is or what in the world you can do with it, look for my note.

A note about boxes:  We really appreciate that you transfer your shares to your own bags or boxes.  The wax boxes that we use cost about $1.50 each, so we try to reuse them as long as they are in good condition.  If we purchased new boxes each week, either the cost of your share would be higher or you would receive less produce.  So thank you for helping us give you the best value we can, as well as saving the environment from excess waste.

Are you wondering what to do with all that rhubarb?  If you can't use it all right away, you can cut it in pieces, throw it in a bag and put it in the freezer to use later.  If you want to use it now, I've added some rhubarb recipes to our website:  Rhubarb Crunch, Chicken with Baked Rhubarb, and Farmers at Firehouse Rhubarb Rumble with a few different rhubarb recipes from our friends at the popular Pittsburgh market.  One of my personal favorites is rhubarb sauce plain or over ice cream.

We also have a recipes for Maple Ginger Vinaigrette and 4 Ideas for Asparagus.

Click here to go to our recipe page.

Have a great week!



Posted 5/29/2014 9:27pm by Amy Philson.

Good news!  Our main egg producer has recently refigured his costs using pesticide-free, non-GMO feed, and he has lowered his price for egg shares.  Instead of $132, egg shares will be $110 for the season. 

If you've been procrastinating about purchasing a CSA share for this summer, it's not too late.  The first week of CSA is June 11/12...right around the corner.  Find out more about our CSA shares here.

If you would like to add an egg share to your CSA share, just email me. This guarantees 1 dozen eggs per week.  Sometimes, eggs sell out in the Webstore, so there's no guarantee that they will be available.

If you have already purchased and paid for an egg share, I will be contacting you to make the adjustment, whether you would like a $22 refund or a Webstore credit.

Looking forward to a bountiful CSA season beginning soon!

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative

Posted 5/5/2014 4:17pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings!  As we near the end of our sign-up time for our 2014 CSA season, I wanted to send an update.  Our farmers are busy planting...and hoping for warmer weather so our crops can grow!  It's looking like many things could be 2-3 weeks behind because of the cooler than normal spring.

We have just added a new Sausage Share as another option to our CSA choices.  When you choose this share type, you will receive 1 lb. of pork sausage each week for 22 weeks.  Just like the other shares, you choose any two weeks for vacation weeks (the season spans 24 weeks).  We will rotate among ground pork, bulk breakfast sausage, bulk sweet Italian sausage and bulk hot sausage.  If you've already signed up for the season, this sausage share can be added.  If you have already signed up for CSA and would like to add this, just email me.  Or click here to sign up for 2014 CSA.

I'm also looking for Site Coordinators for many of our pickup locations.  If you're interested in volunteering for this position (or just finding out more about it), please contact me.  We offer discounts toward your share in return for your time, with potential of a free share, depending on how many people come to your pickup location.  If it sounds like too big of a commitment, we have had two members share the responsibility, each one taking care of half the season and sharing the benefits.  As a non-profit farmer-owned cooperative, we rely on our members to help us with word of mouth advertising and site coordinator positions. 

Animal Feed:  If you have your own flock of chickens or purchase animal feed, NWPAGC is now a distributor for Hiland Naturals feed.  We know how difficult it can be to find natural feed, so we're making it available to you.  Right now, we have limited availability, but we will be placing an order within a couple of weeks, so if you know approximately how much feed you would use in a month, we can order it for you.  And we can even deliver it to our pickup locations when CSA begins (or to our present pickup locations now).  For more information, go to our website or email me.

Thank you for your interest in local food and your support of our local farming economy.  Thank you for supporting local farmers with your limited food dollars.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative




Posted 4/28/2014 3:20pm by Amy Philson.

The time has come again for our annual flurry of sign-ups for the 2014 CSA growing season. Please take time to have a look at our website at www.nwpagrowers.com and sign up for this season’s CSA and Webstore. If you have not signed up yet for the CSA season, there are still 5 weeks left until the start date. If you have already signed up, thank you for supporting local agriculture with your food dollars.

As spring comes into full swing, our growers are busily preparing their fields for the coming CSA season. This year, the NWPAGC has also added some new farms to our collective of natural growers and we’re positioned to expand. We are in a new phase of growth and have added new drop sites throughout the region for a total of fifteen.

NWPAGC is now recognized officially as a regional food hub. This is based on our increased range and volume of distribution in the Northwest PA region.   Credit for this honor belongs to the vast support of our CSA and webstore community supporters. We are greatly appreciative of your continued involvement and trust in our providing the region with nutrient-rich, naturally-grown foods.

This growth has put us in a unique position to accomplish something that, with the cooperation of our buying members, will benefit everyone.  As you may be aware, one of the main food staples that has been lacking in the local food movement is local production of natural grains for use in human consumption as well as livestock feeds. There simply has not been enough local demand of natural grains for farmers to justify the extra resources needed to grow those grains. We believe it is achievable for a few farmers to begin doing this. But we need your help to prove it.

This year, we’ve made the decision that our production of eggs and pork should better reflect our mission by bringing in feeds that are certified chemical- and GMO-free from a source in Ohio.  They are expensive. Transportation costs also add to that expense. In the short term, this means higher egg and pork prices than what our consuming partners have previously experienced. But in the long term, we think it will mean better local food at lower prices. So our request is that you will join with us in making a short-term commitment to this cause by accepting a higher cost to some products now so that they can be better and more affordable in the future. We feel sure that area farmers will see the benefit of providing grains locally as well. If we provide the demand for local natural grains, area farmers will respond with supply. With your support and help, we’ve made a way to provide our region with highly nutritious naturally grown foods. With your continued help, we’ll complete the job.

We count it as a high privilege to be able to do what we love doing and to be a valued part of the community as a result of doing it. We thank you for all your past support and friendship and are glad to be bringing into motion another season of continued community participation.


Eric Philson President,


Posted 3/14/2014 6:02am by Amy Philson.

The Winter Market Webstore will be open now until Monday at 9 a.m.

Pickup will ONLY be in SLIPPERY ROCK this week.


Normand Homestead has restocked their goat milk soaps.

Harmony Grove Farm is on a roll with their Bibb lettuce from their greenhouse.

We have an abundance of fresh eggs.  Think hard boiled, quiche, egg salad, on a green salad....


There are two events coming up that some of you might be interested in attending.  On Wednesday, March 26 at 6 p.m., Sustainable Slippery Rock and NWPA Growers is sponsoring "Green 14:  Building a Local Food System in the Slippery Rock Area."  There will be a panel of speakers, group discussion, networking, and local snacks centered around our local foodshed.  More information is available at http://sustainablesr.org/.

The second event is a seed exchange for open pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds on Sunday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. at Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building (across from North Country Brewing).

Log into the Webstore here to go shopping!


Posted 2/20/2014 9:51am by Amy Philson.

THANK YOU to all of you for helping to make our Winter CSA a success!  Our farmers are grateful that you entrust us with your family's food.  We look forward to providing more healthy food for you all!

CSA is over until June, but our Webstore runs all year.  We have decided to continue deliveries to Franklin, Grove City and Hermitage every two weeks (as long as there is enough product to deliver and we have enough orders) through May.  Slippery Rock will continue to have weekly pickup through the spring.  Watch your email for notice of when we will be delivering to your area.  Or you are welcome to order any week and travel to Slippery Rock for pickup.

Here is what was in the CSA shares this week:

maple syrup

red potatoes

sweet potatoes






plus Full shares received kohlrabi.


New recipes to use with your share:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

Mashed Parsnips and Carrots

Check out these recipes and lots more on our website.


Again, thank you for being such a great group of people to work with!


Basket of Hope