NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 2/28/2018 11:24am by Amy Philson.

This is Week 7 of our Winter Share.  One more week in mid-March, and then our Spring Shares begin.  This time of year, I crave fresh greens after the season of storage crops, so I'm thankful that we have some fresh greens available before most spring crops are ready.  We have to be content with storage crops a little while longer for the bulk of our veggies.

An update from Grateful Life Farm:

The end of winter is feeling near, as we have spent more time outdoors the past few weeks.  We gave a thorough cleaning to all our rabbit hutches and a health check to all our breeding does and bucks, then brought the does to the bucks' hutches for our first breeding of the season.  Baby rabbits are due on March 8th.  We have also spent some time tapping a dozen maple trees on our property.  We don't make much syrup, but enough for ourselves, and it feels good to be out in the woods collecting sap, gathering fire wood, and gradually getting used to hard physical work again. 

Also, check out Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm's Facebook page to watch some videos of our maple production.  https://www.facebook.com/philsonsbushelandpeckfarm/

CSA Shares

  • 2 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 scallion microgreens from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 maple mustard from Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes from Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1 dozen pullet (small) eggs from Mickley Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from TOG
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 1 lb. turnips from TOG

Recipes

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic  (cut recipe in half to serve 4)

Jerusalem Artichoke and Mushroom Saute Persillade

Simply Delicious Glazed Carrots

Carrot Ribbons with Rosemary Butter Sauce

Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Skillet

Chili & Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime

Sweet Potato, Turnip & Chickpea Hash

Sweet Turnip and Carrot Soup

The Maple Mustard makes a great dip for pretzels or chicken.  Spread some on chicken, pork chops, ham, or salmon for an easy glaze.  It's also great on sandwiches and burgers.

Until next time!

Amy

 

Posted 2/15/2018 10:56am by Amy Philson.

With the promise of warmer weather, we are looking forward to a new growing season.  The sap is running in the maple trees.  Farmers are prepping their greenhouses and starting seeds. 

It's time to sign up for your Farm Share for Spring and Summer/Fall.  Do you grow a garden, but you crave the fresh greens in the spring before your garden begins to produce?  Or are you curious about how a Farm Share works and not sure if you will like it?  Check out our Spring Share, with a low commitment (5 pickups spread over 10 weeks) that will allow you to get a feel for what is in a weekly Farm Share.

For the Summer/Fall season, we offer several options.  There are three different sizes of CSA Share.  You can choose the full-season share from June to November, or just the Peak-of-the-Season 12-week from July to early October.  Since our regular CSA Share consists completely of veggies and fruits, there are also several add-on options including meats, eggs, and cheese from which to choose. 

www.nwpagrowers.com

Are you planning to be out of town?  You may schedule vacation days and get a double box on a different week, so you still get the full value of your share.  Or you can ask a friend to pick up for you and share the bounty with them.

CSA Share members receive some bonuses.  Each week you receive an email with farm news and recipe suggestions for your weekly veggies.  You also receive free membership to the Webstore to order extras.  And CSA Shares enjoy first priority from our farms as well as more value for your money compared to Webstore. 

Last year, we tested a Select Share with a few members, where they could choose the contents of their CSA box each week.  After assessing the good and bad of that program, we have decided to revamp it a little.  This year, rather than a CSA Share, we are rolling the Select Share into our Webstore.  When you prepay at least $300.00 on your Webstore account, the Webstore Membership Fee will be waived.  You may then place orders from all categories in the Webstore (not just produce!) and use your account balance toward payment.  You save $16.00 and the hassle of paying for your order each week, and you receive exactly what you want.  Add more money to your account at any time throughout the season.  While we prefer to have commitments for CSA Shares rather than the Webstore, we understand that this arrangement doesn't work for certain families.

Of course, our regular Webstore membership is also available, where you pay for each order at pickup.

As always, our produce is naturally grown without chemicals and GMOs.  Our meat, eggs, and cheese come from animals that enjoy pasture and non-GMO feed when appropriate.  Our cooperative of small family farms and homesteads endeavors to feed our families and our surrounding communities with wholesome, locally-produced farm products that will help you live a healthy life.

Pickup Locations:  We are scaling back a little this year, consolidating all of our deliveries to Wednesday.  Our goal is to have at least 15 CSA members at each location.  Too few, and we will be forced to cancel delivery to your community.  We want to serve fewer communities better instead of being spread thin over a wide area.  You can help ensure that we stay in your community by sharing this info with your family and friends.

We are currently looking for a new pickup location in New Castle, since our past hosts are hoping to sell their home.  If you know of a home or business that may be interested in hosting, please contact us.

Thank you for your interest in and support of our local farmers.  We all know that eating local food supports our local economy, which helps all of us.  Local food is fresher and more nutrient-dense.  And did you know that most farmers only receive pennies on the dollar for their crops?  You help our small farms earn the value of their hard work when you support NWPA Growers. 

You can find all the details at www.nwpagrowers.com.  To go directly to the sign-up page, click here.  Please email me with any questions you have.

Amy Philson, general manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative

 

 

Posted 2/14/2018 11:23am by Amy Philson.

Happy Valentine's Day!!  At my home we don't really celebrate it, mostly because it's a holiday promoted by corporations to sell cards, chocolates and flowers, but also because our second son was born on this day, so that celebration is more important to us.

This is Week 6 of Winter CSA, so we have just two more deliveries until our Spring Shares begin.  I am putting the finishing touches on updates to our Website, so look for an email very soon announcing Spring Share and CSA 2018 sign-ups.

CSA Shares

  • 2 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 micro greens from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. popcorn from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms (cremini or white) from TOG
  • 1 lb. sweet onion from TOG
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 1 lb. red beets from TOG

Recipes

A perfect dessert for Valentine's Day:  Beet Brownies

One-Pot Creamy Sausage Potato Soup

Roasted Baby Potatoes in Mushroom Sauce

Egg Roll Skillet

Sautéed Cabbage

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Swiss Melt

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

Breakfast Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Hash Egg Cups (you could use regular potatoes, too!)

Colorful Beet Salad with Carrot, Quinoa and Spinach  (you can switch out ingredients to suit your tastes and what you have on hand)

Enjoy the warming days of early spring.  Our farms are filled with mud this time of year, but we look forward to fresh green plants and newborn animals as the days lengthen.

Amy

Posted 1/31/2018 11:26am by Amy Philson.

We had a taste of spring, and now it looks like winter is going to hold on a bit longer.  We have been busy on our farm getting our maple syrup equipment all cleaned and ready, as well as installing additional tubing to collect the sap.  Some of the smaller maple producers collected sap during the warm days and have already boiled some syrup, but most of the larger producers wait until the weather is a little more predictable because of all the work involved in emptying and cleaning our evaporators so they don't freeze.  The maple syrup in your shares today was freshly boiled this week at NuWay Farm.

Your farmers are also busy planning for this year, discussing delivery locations and CSA share details, planning our crops, and ordering seeds.  We will open our sign-up period sometime next week, so be on the lookout for that email.

CSA Shares

  • 1/2 pt. maple syrup from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 container broccoli sprouts from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 1 lb. purple daikon radish from TOG
  • 1 lb. red onion from TOG
  • 1 lb. golden beets from TOG  (I urge you to try these even if you don't care for beets.  They taste very different.)

Recipes

Roasted Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes

When we have leftover baked sweet potato, we often make chocolate pudding.  Simple and creamy.

One Pan Maple Mustard Chicken and Potatoes

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon:  If you eat salmon, this looks like a simple recipe.  I recommend coconut aminos or tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. 

Salt & Vinegar Broiled Potatoes

Spicy Potato Wedges

Golden Beet and Quinoa Salad with Feta

Golden Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese

Roasted Golden Beets with Rosemary and Garlic

If you make something yummy with your CSA share, feel free to post a photo or recipe on our Facebook page!

Amy

Posted 1/18/2018 11:39am by Amy Philson.

One of our farmers, Silver Wheel Farm, has started a new venture, Going with the Grain Bakery.  They are baking artisan bread using local and organic ingredients.  Their bread is available through our Webstore.

They are hosting two events in the coming weeks that you might be interested in:

Artisan Bread for Every Oven:  Saturday, January 27.  A hands-on class which teaches recipes and techniques for making artisan bread in your kitchen.  Click here for details.  If you are a member of NWPAGC's CSA and/or Webstore during the last year, you can use the code artisanbread15 for 15% off the class fee.

The Baker & The Farmer: A Winter’s Tale of The Journey of Bread Saturday, February 17.  Nigel Tudor from Weatherbury flour and Lori Sands from Going With the Grain Bakery will discuss local grains and their use in baking bread.  Click here for details.  If you are a member of NWPAGC's CSA and/or Webstore during the last year, you can use the code bakerandfarmer5 to get a discount on the cost.

Posted 1/17/2018 12:07pm by Amy Philson.

This week, we have added some produce from Tuscarora Organic Growers, a farmers cooperative in east side of the state.  We cooperate with another co-op in our area for transportation of the produce so we can minimize our cost and the effects on the environment.  My kitchen then becomes a packing area for a few hours to weigh and bag everything.

Last week I attended Mid-Ohio Growers Conference for two days in Holmes County, along with David and Lydia Yoder from NuWay Farm.  Over 80% of the attendees were Amish and Mennonite, so I was definitely in the minority.  There were three workshops to choose from every hour, as well as vendors with information about their products and services.  One of the big topics nowadays is GAP certification, which is required for produce farms that sell to larger stores and institutions like schools and hospitals.  GAP stands for good agricultural practices, and is mostly common-sense food safety practices like hand washing and water testing, but it also involves keeping detailed records of planting, harvesting, sales, etc. We do that informally, but our farmers are considering whether we need to add this certification.  The yearly cost to each farm is several hundred dollars, plus the cost of the time to prepare for inspection and recordkeeping throughout the year.

CSA Shares

  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms from TOG
  • 1 lb. carrots from TOG
  • 1 lb. parsnips from TOG
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG

Recipes

Lemony Parsnip and White Bean Soup

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

No-Mayo Carrot Apple Slaw

Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili

Cuban Quinoa Bowl with Spicy Lemon Cashew Dressing (sweet potatoes)

Sweet Potato Flourless Brownies

Spicy Roasted Cabbage Wedges

I think I will make a big pot of vegetable soup for supper tonight.  It's just that kind of day.  The next CSA is January 31...back in two weeks!

Amy

 

Posted 1/3/2018 12:25pm by Amy Philson.

I hope you all had wonderful holiday celebrations the past few weeks.  Mine was busy with our holiday store, and I am looking forward to slowing down for the next couple of months and working on several projects that I put off until these cold days. 

I have been dreading today all week.  While it's sunny and almost balmy at 22 degrees while I type this, it was anything but that at 6:00 this morning.  Some people thrive in cold weather.  I am not one of those people.  But you needed your CSA food, and our farmers needed to ship their products, so a few of us braved the cold and got it done.

So far, all of our CSA shares have consisted of products from our farms.  I'm sure some of you are tiring of cabbage or squash.  Next time, we will have additional veggies from an organic farmer's cooperative in the eastern part of PA to supplement our farmers' products and give you more variety.  We cooperate with other farms and stores in our area to bring their produce "out west" to save fuel and have a lower imprint on the environment.  You can look forward to new flavors in the coming months, including sweet potatoes, parsnips, and mushrooms.

CSA Shares

  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. popcorn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bag pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm

Recipes

Choosing recipes to share can be a difficult task.  Some of our members choose a vegetarian or vegan diet.  Some choose paleo.  Some eat a standard American diet but know they should eat healthier.  Some eat gluten-free.  Some deal with food allergies.  I could continue listing variations, but you get the picture.  I try to choose a variety of recipes so that you can always find some here that fit your family's needs.  I always look for recipes with all or most whole foods rather than processed ingredients.

Roasted Winter Veggie Power Bowl:  My family had this for lunch today, and it is delicious!  We subbed acorn squash for the butternut and added some sliced red onion and pea shoots.  We didn't have parsnips, so we left them out.  You could add a protein like chicken breasts or garbanzo beans.

Grilled Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Peanut Chicken Keto Wraps:  I would use lettuce rather than Swiss chard in these.  If you're not familiar with aminos, they are a healthier substitute for soy sauce.  You can choose coconut aminos or Braggs liquid aminos...or just use soy sauce if that's what you're used to.

Nigel Slater's Five Spice Chicken and Pea Shoot Salad

Roasted Beet Salad with Pea Shoots (the recipe title for this says it has chevre in it, but there is no chevre in either the recipe or photos.  Feel free to add some if you want!)

Smoky Black Bean Beet Burgers:  The comments on this recipe say they are delicious. 

Mediterranean Beets with Garlic and Olive Oil

Fried Cabbage with Potatoes and Bacon

Cabbage Roll Soup

Mushroom and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberries, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Glaze

Really Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Vegan Potato Soup with Beans and Kale

 

 

Posted 11/29/2017 10:57am by Amy Philson.

With every CSA delivery, I send out an email with farm news, a list of the share contents, and suggested recipes for your share.  For most of you, this is old news.  But we have a few members who are new to our CSA, so you can expect this email on CSA day.  In the winter, farm news will be more sporadic since there isn't much going on at many farms during the cold months.  That's not to say that your farmers aren't busy; rather much of the daily operations are not very newsworthy.

CSA Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. turnips from NuWay Farm
  • 2 delicate squash from Detweiler Farm (a few of you have acorn)
  • 1 lb. onions from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm Products

Recipes

Breakfast Delicata Squash

Warm Winter Kale and Delicata Salad

Turnip Soup with Rosemary and Black Pepper (One of our CSA members says this is the best turnip recipe she has made.)

Lemon Roasted Turnips

Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche

Do you know how easy it is to make Egg Drop Soup?

Zuppa Toscana - a creamy soup with sausage, potatoes, and kale.

Simple Potato Soup

Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry for a meatless meal

Chicken Yakisoba - a vegetable, chicken, and ramen noodle dish.  Be sure you throw away the seasoning packet in the ramen noodles...or buy plain ones.

My family's favorite cabbage recipe:  Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Sauce

Our next CSA delivery will be December 13, and then we have 3 weeks off until January 3.  Thank you for choosing to eat local this winter!

Amy

 

Posted 11/21/2017 10:52am by Amy Philson.

Our Summer/Fall Farm Share (CSA) season has ended, and our Winter season begins next week!  If you haven't already signed up, it's not too late to join.  If you have already joined us, THANK YOU!!

Our Winter Farm Share will mostly include our naturally-grown produce, but you might also receive eggs, maple syrup, and other farm-produced items.  Your share will be full of seasonal veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and onions, plus fresh lettuce and greens grown in greenhouses to extend the season.

Additional shares of eggs, ground beef and sausage are also available.

Our Winter pickup locations include Butler, Franklin, Grove City, Hermitage, Mercer, and Slippery Rock.  Delivery is only twice/month for the winter season.

Since we know that most people's budgets are stretched at this time of year, you can make a down-payment and pay the rest after the holidays.

Give a gift of support to your local farmers this season, and receive yummy farm products in return!

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving and a rewarding time with family and friends.  We are thankful for our neighbors who support local farm efforts.

Your farmers from Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Cooperative

Posted 11/8/2017 9:59pm by Amy Philson.

Our current CSA season is over in one more week.  But you can still eat locally this winter with our Winter CSA.  Instead of every week, our pickups are generally every two weeks for the Winter and Spring Shares. Support your local farmers even in the winter!

Grateful Life Farm

This week we've had several unwelcome visitors to the farm.  Earlier in the week I was checking on the progress of some of the younger spinach and lettuce.  I pulled back the floating row cover from two beds to find complete destruction.  The spinach looked as though I had walked down the rows with pruning shears and the little lettuces were eaten down to stubby cores.  We've had previous crop damage from voles and I've successfully treated the area with Plantskydd granules.  However, I have only struggled in the past with them eating root crops like beets and carrots and I had not applied any of the repellent to spinach or lettuce beds.  Their population in our garden seems to be expanding, probably because a food source is available and we have fenced out the larger animals that are their natural predators, but they are small enough to go through the fence or tunnel under.  In addition, the landscape fabric we've used this season for weed control gives them somewhere to hide.  We decided to go out in the rain and apply Plantskydd to everything, and also try a sonic deterrent and several packs of mouse traps.

The second visit came last night around 12:30, when we were woken by a hen screaming bloody murder.  Hearts pounding, we jumped out of bed, tugged on boots, and ran to the chicken coop.  I couldn't see anything at first, and we almost thought they had just been alarmed by a spilled-grain munching vole.  Fortunately we didn't go back to bed, because another trip around the coop with a strong flashlight revealed a possum hiding under the nest boxes.  We dispatched the possum and none of the hens appeared harmed.  I'm not sure why the possum was so slow to attack that the hens could sound the alarm and we feel very lucky, but we need to evaluate our system to determine how the possum gained entry in the first place and shore up the weak points.

Bushel and a Peck Farm

We are very busy at our farm right now.  While most farms are slowing down and preparing for long rests during snowy days, our busy season is upon us.  Last year, we set up a stand at Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage for the month of December to sell our maple products. This year, we are expanding greatly.  We are opening a store at Grove City Premium Outlets for the holiday season.  Along with our maple products, we will have lots of locally produced and natural products from other artisans and local businesses.  Our goal is to open this Friday, and we have a ton of work to do to get ready before opening. 
 
Along with our store, we are stretching more tubing in the woods to expand our maple production.  Then, when the tubing is in place, we will wait until the weather is right to tap the trees and collect the bountiful sap to boil into maple syrup in the spring.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cauliflower from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. watermelon radish from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 2 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bag parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Mullett Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cauliflower from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Mullett Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Byler Farm, Mullett Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Wild Rice

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Roasted Watermelon Radishes

Watermelon Radish Tart with Lemon Thyme

Amish Cabbage Patch Stew

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Chili

Do you notice a trend here?  With colder weather, we are attracted more toward roasted and stewed dishes.  These make up the bulk of our meals, with a little bit of fresh thrown in, contrasting with summer when most of our meals are based on fresh, raw veggies.  I rather like the change of the seasons and the different ways we prepare foods according to the seasons.  Put on a pot of soup or stew to enjoy with your family this weekend.


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