NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 1/17/2014 1:36pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all having a wonderful winter!  In the midst of this cold, some of our customers are still enjoying local produce in the form of storage crops and winter lettuce from our growers and other farmers in the region through our Winter CSA.

But as we all know, summer and fall are the times when our produce is most plentiful.  So it's time to think about summer CSA already!  

We've made some improvements for this year.

Longer Season:  We are extending the CSA season another 4 weeks until November 19.  There will be a total of 22 pickups for each member.

Vacation Weeks:  You will get two vacation weeks any time throughout the CSA season.  So when you go on vacation, you won't have to forfeit your share that week.  You choose the weeks...just give me a week's notice so we don't send your share when you're gone.

Online payment is now an option.  If you would rather pay when you sign up rather than mailing a check, you can pay through Dwolla, an e-check service that electronically debits your checking or savings account. 

More Pickup Locations:  We are expanding again!  We are planning 15 pickup locations around northwestern PA and two pickup days.  You can see where pickup will be and what day it will be on here

Early Payment Discount:  If you sign up and pay in full by March 1, you get a $20 discount.  Look for the coupon code during sign-up online.  Or if you print your membership application to send in with a check, just deduct $20 if paying by March 1.

To check everything out, go to our website:  www.nwpagrowers.com.  Links to all the info are on the main page as well as in the drop down menu titled CSA.

If you're interested in helping us out as a site coordinator, either all season or part of it, please let me know. 

If you have questions after reading the info online, just shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer any questions.

Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative    
Posted 1/8/2014 6:09pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all staying warm in this frigid weather!  The good news is that it's supposed to warm into the 40s this weekend...or maybe not good as it will make mud everywhere again.

Here's what was in your CSA shares today:

Butternut squash (full shares only)
Red cabbage
Red potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Kohlrabi (the large green ball)
Purple top turnips
Herb (Thyme, rosemary, lemon thyme, lavendar or oregano)
Cremini mushrooms

Aren't you thrilled that Harmony Grove Farm has been diligently heating their greenhouse through this cold to grow fresh lettuce?  What a treat!

So...what in the world is kohlrabi?  It's a member of the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, kale) that gets sweeter after the weather turns cold.  My favorite way to eat kohlrabi is to peel and slice it and eat it raw.  Click here for some more ideas and recipes for kohlrabi.

For butternut squash recipes, click here.

For red cabbage recipes, click here.

For Sweet potato recipes, click here.

For turnip recipes, click here.

For carrot recipes, click here.

If you want to try a new recipes, here are the ones that I added to the Website today:

Thyme Roasted Carrots
Sweet Potato Latkes
Farm Quiche with Grated Potato Crust
Spicy-Sweet Turnips
Hide a Vegetable Soup
Braised Turnips with Mustard Cream Sauce
Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Caraway

Click here to see the new recipes.

I hope you enjoy eating these winter veggies!
Posted 12/18/2013 6:55pm by Amy Philson.

In today's share, you should have received:
Butternut squash
Acorn squash
Red potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Red onions
Green Beans
Mushrooms (either white or crimini) 

Plus Full shares received either beets, red cabbage or extra acorn squash.

Some of you have been waiting for winter parsnips...while others have never tried them before.  I think they are DELICIOUS!! 

The oranges are a treat from an organic grove in Florida.  While not local, they are a treat one time this year.

If you can't keep up with all the winter squash, you can bake it, puree it, and freeze it to use later.  I like to keep some in the refrigerator or freezer to use in baked goods or to add to soups, baked goods or smoothies to get extra veggies into my family.      

New recipes that I've added to the Website include:

Roasted Balsamic Acorn Squash
Cinnamon Parsnips
Roasted Parsnips
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Honey and Thyme Roasted Squash

To see all these recipes, plus lots of other to use with your Share veggies, click here.

Remember, there will be no CSA pickup or Winter Market until January 8.  I will "see" you all next year!


Posted 11/20/2013 7:02pm by Amy Philson.
I hope you're all enjoying the bounty of your Winter CSA shares and/or the farm-fresh food you order from the Winter Market Webstore!  A CSA gives you fresh produce, plus it forces you to try new foods!

Here's what you should have received in your CSA share today:

Butternut squash
Sweet Dumpling squash
Red cabbage
White potatoes
Beets (they're not radishes)

We would have given you pie pumpkins this week, but none of our farmers have them available this fall!  But that's okay, because you can use butternut squash the same way.  And here's a recipe for the absolute best pumpkin pie!  I used to prefer apple pie over pumpkin, but since I found this recipe I love them both!

Are you wondering what to do with all these root vegetables?  My favorite way to use them is to roast them.  Just cut veggies in chunks (potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips, beets, squash (peeled and seeded), garlic...whatever you want...and coat them with olive or coconut oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like and spread them in a shallow pan.  Roast at 400-450 degrees until tender, about 45 minutes.

Have you tried your Sweet Dumpling squash from your box two weeks ago?  They are the most delicious squash I have ever tasted!  When our grower said he had more, I had to put them in your box again before they were gone.  Just cut them in half and scoop out seeds.  Put them in a pan and add butter, maple syrup or honey, salt, pepper, apple, raisins, cinnamon...whatever you like.  Bake at 350 until tender when poked with a fork.  Mmmmm!

Recipes I added to the Website tonight include Wilted Kale and Roasted Potato Salad, Secret Chocolate Cake (made with beets), Shredded Beet Salad, Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower, Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, and Stuffed Cabbage Rolls.  Check them all out here, as well as lots of other recipes for your Share veggies.

Remember, there is no market next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  We'll see you in two weeks!


Posted 11/7/2013 6:03am by Amy Philson.
Have you procrastinated about joining Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Co-op's Winter CSA or Winter Market Webstore?  Even though you have missed the first week, it's not too late to join!  We still have a few spots left in the CSA if you hurry.

If you've already joined, then THANK YOU! 

Our first CSA delivery was yesterday, and here's what was in the boxes:

Sweet Dumpling squash (a super-sweet delicata squash)
Sweet potatoes (locally grown!!!)
Broccoli (giant heads!)
Sweet peppers
Either tomatoes or red cabbage

All locally grown and free of pesticides!

So if you don't want to miss out, our Winter CSA has deliveries twice per month through February.  Your share will be prorated for the first week that you missed.  To get all the details or to sign up, click here.

Or if the Winter Market Webstore is more your style, check it out here.

Deliveries for both CSA and Webstore will be to Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, New Castle, and Pittsburgh on Nov. 20, Dec. 4 & 18, Jan. 8 & 22, and Feb. 5 & 19.  Pickup is available every week in Slippery Rock (for both CSA and Webstore on the above dates and for Webstore only on other dates).

Questions?  Just email me!

Looking forward to eating fresh, local food this winter!

Amy Philson, manager
NWPA Growers Cooperative                          
Posted 11/6/2013 7:28pm by Amy Philson.
For those of you who are new to NWPA Growers, I send out a weekly email where I list what is in each week's CSA shares and give you recipes to use them.  Sometimes I send it out to Winter Market customers, too, especially if there is something I need to tell you about.

If you placed a webstore order today and didn't receive something, I apologize.  A few growers had some things freeze, even though they thought they were protected well enough.  If you ordered from Silver Wheel Farm (SW), they had something come up where they could not deliver their product today.  So if you're missing your ginger or scallions, look for them in the webstore next time.  

How do you like your first box of veggies from your Winter CSA?  Here's what was in the boxes:
Sweet Dumpling squash
Sweet potatoes
Red potatoes
Sweet peppers

Plus full shares received tomatoes and small shares received red cabbage.  Full shares receive larger quantities of some items, too.

I've added some new recipes to the website tonight that go along with your share veggies.

Crispy Baked Beet Chips
Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Curry Broccoli Fritters
Kale and White Bean Soup
Red Cabbage Salad

There are also lots of other recipes using most of your veggies.  One of my favorite things to do with winter veggies is to roast them. 

To see all the recipes here, go to our website.  We have almost 200 recipes on our website, and if you scroll down you can search by ingredient.  Lots of yummy things to cook!

Enjoy your fresh, local, pesticide-free food!

Posted 10/23/2013 7:40pm by Amy Philson.
I want to thank all of you for the great season.  I get such satisfaction in helping others eat fresh, local food.  The more I learn and farm and live my life, the more committed I become to supporting local enterprises, including local farmers.  I wasn't always this way.  I used to look at the bottom line...whatever is the best value for the money, that's what I would buy, no matter its origin.  But as I look at how our world is becoming more and more globalized and we're losing our sense of community, my commitment to local becomes greater.  Now, I don't buy everything locally, because I just can't.  Some things aren't available, and some things I just can't justify the larger expense.  But there are many things that I buy from local businesses that cost me more money, but it's worth it.  It builds community.

And there are many foods that I am willing to pay more for because they are local or naturally grown.  Again, with a family of 9, we can't afford to purchase ALL organic food.  But there are some things that we don't compromise on.  We don't buy meat at the grocery store.  We don't buy foods on the Dirty Dozen list.  We try to grow much of our food or know where the majority of it comes from.  We know our farmers.  Again, it comes down to community.

I've really enjoyed getting to know many of you this season...some in person, and some via email.  Thank you for helping make my job enjoyable and rewarding.

I read a recent blog post from one of my favority Real Food bloggers about Real Food Heroes.  If you find yourself spending a LOT of time in the kitchen to prepare wholesome food for your family, you might want to check out this post.  It's inspiring.  I wanted to share it with you if you have an extra 5 minutes to read it.

Now, you're probably wondering what those round things in your box today are...

Watermelon radishes (white on the outside, red inside)
Butternut squash
Sweet potatoes
Green pepper

Plus Full Shares received Cabbage and Garlic.

Recipes?  How about Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos, Fried Beets and Carrots, Beet Burgers, Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce, Mexican Radish Slaw, Broccoli and Cheese Soup, and Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter?  See them all here.

Did you know that you can use butternut squash in place of pumpkin in most recipes?  Check out The Best Pumpkin Pie!  It really is!  It's the only pumpkin pie I ever make now (and I didn't used to like pumpkin pie very much).

And be sure to save your squash seeds to roast!  


Posted 10/23/2013 9:08am by Amy Philson.

We wish to thank all of our Summer 2013 CSA and webstore members for being a part of our CSA this season.  From our end, it was a great summer for growing. Mostly enough rain, enough sun, enough heat, and no disasters except for the late blight that took down the tomatoes. We hope you enjoyed your colorful and bountiful share boxes every week, filled with a fantastic variety of produce.( just wait til you see the giant broccoli heads in the boxes today! )

Today marks the last week of our summer  CSA, so please join us in thanking the following:

** the hosts at the pick up sites; they are a big part of our success. Thank you for helping!

** the growers who gathered every Wednesday morning to pack your boxes (for no pay)

** Eric Philson, for driving the CSA route 9 hours every Wednesday without fail (for no pay)

** and especially Manager Amy Philson, who spent hours every week coordinating all of the CSA, webstore and restaurant orders. So many phone calls and emails! (for not as much pay as she is worth...)

THANK YOU and see you next season. Sign ups will begin in early February.

With gratitude from the Board of Directors of NWPAGC

Jesse Allen

Patty Wilson

Lori Sands

Eric Philson

and Manager Amy Philson


Posted 10/2/2013 7:14pm by Amy Philson.
I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful fall weather!  It has been so nice to get some outdoor projects done.  My family has been picking apples and grapes and preserving them for winter.

In CSA shares today, you should have received:

Sweet potatoes
Green Peppers

Full shares also received Green Beans and Swiss Chard.
Small shares received Broccoli.

New recipes I've added to the Website to use with this week's share vegetables include:

Oven-Baked Potato Fries
Golden Roots and Greens Soup
African Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
Garlic Green Bean Salad
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Vegetable Korma

See all these recipes and lots more here.

Have a great week!
Posted 9/25/2013 1:33pm by Amy Philson.
Hi everyone!

After today, there are four more weeks of CSA for this season!  I can't believe it has gone by so quickly!  Don't forget to sign up for the Winter CSA to keep getting fresh local food.

In today's shares, you should have received:

Green tomatoes
Red and Green Bull's Horn Peppers
Green or yellow beans
Salanova Lettuce

Plus full shares received a watermelon, carrots, and broccoli.

Green tomatoes might be a new food for many of you.  My favorite way to eat them is in Fried Green Tomatoes.  Another recipe I might try is Green Tomato Pizza.

For your spinach and zucchini, you could try Green Quesadillas or Warm Greens Salad. 

Full shares might want to make Fresh Vegetable Stir Fry with their broccoli and carrots.

Find these recipes and lots more here.

Have a great week!



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