NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 4/12/2017 12:00pm by Amy Philson.

Spring greetings!  The daffodils are blooming, which makes me very happy.  My children picked a bouquet and put them on the table next to me.  While I love flowers, I do not take the time to tend a flower garden.  I love daffodils because they show their sunny faces year after year without demanding anything from me.

Our spring greens continue to grow.  Some of the items you will see in coming weeks are spring onions, wild ramps, spinach, arugula, and more lettuce.  We'll see if we have enough asparagus and rhubarb to add to the shares, too.

Here is what is in your Farm Share this week:

  • Onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Carrots from NuWay Farm
  • Potatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Pea Shoots from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Cabbage from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • Japanese sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers

When I arrived today to package up the sweet potatoes, I found that some of them had started to deteriorate.  I picked out all of the bad ones, but some just had soft spots on the ends.  I cut those off, since the ends should dry out and heal.  But we didn't have enough first-quality sweet potatoes to keep out those that had bad ends.  I recommend that you use them within a couple of days.  I am sorry that we had to send them out like this, but I thought some second-quality sweet potato was better than no sweet potato.

Recipes

Chef Salad in a Jar

10 Three-Minute Salad Dressings

Pea Shoot and Baby Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Linguini with Arugula, Garlic & Parmesan

Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil

Japanese Sweet Potato Fries

Low-Fat Vegan Vanilla Frosting (made with Japanese sweet potato!)

Balsamic, Honey Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Garlic Roasted Cabbage Wedges

 

Have you signed up for Summer Farm Share yet?  If not, be sure to do so soon to reserve your space.  And please tell your family and friends about us so they can enjoy farm-fresh produce all summer.  Our best advertisement is word of mouth.  Our local farmers thank you for your support, and our livelihood depends on community support.

Blessings to you all.

Amy

Posted 3/29/2017 11:40am by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this beautiful spring day!  Today is the first day of the Spring Farm Shares.  For those of you who are new to our CSA program, I send out an email on pickup day that lists what is included in your Farm Share along with some recipe ideas for you. 

I want to give you a little glimpse into delivery day.  During the summer and fall months, a couple of our farmers and some of my children usually volunteer some time to help pack the shares.  But in the winter and spring, those farmers don't grow much, so I lose most of my helpers.  This winter and spring, my 9-year-old son has been cheerfully climbing out of bed at 6 a.m. on packing day to accompany me.  After we get everything set up, he packs the CSA shares while I sort Webstore orders and the add-on shares (meats and eggs).  I usually finish before he does, so I help him finish up.  He does all this for a reward of a little chocolate from the Amish store on our way home, or sometimes I give him a dollar or two.  We homeschool our children, so he is free to come help me and then complete his schoolwork later in the day.

So if your box is missing anything, blame it on free child labor.  Seriously, though, if you're missing something or if you receive damaged or inferior produce, let me know and we will make it right.

Here is what is in your Farm Share box today:

  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1/3 lb. spinach from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 lb. Japanese sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms from Tuscarora Organic Growers

If you have never had them, Japanese sweet potatoes have a whitish flesh and are more firm than traditional sweet potatoes.  They make great oven fries because they don't get mushy if you bake them a little too long.

Recipes

At the beginning of the Winter season, we started using Pinterest for our recipes.  If you have never used it, it is a free online filing system.  I think you can view the recipes through the links I provide without having an account, but I'm not positive.  We also have several years' worth of recipes on our Website that are searchable by ingredient.

Spinach Frittata

Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Fried Egg Bowl

Mushroom and Sweet Potato Japanese-Style Curry

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken and Spinach with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Paleo Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Eggs

 

Have a great week, and enjoy your farm-fresh produce!  Again, thank you for your support of small family farms and local agriculture.

Until next thyme,

Amy

 

Posted 3/17/2017 3:32pm by Amy Philson.

Spring greetings, everyone.  Well, not quite, but we're almost there. 

If you have already voiced your support for our local farmers by signing up for an upcoming Farm Share, THANK YOU!  We truly do appreciate your commitment to local food and our local economy.

Spring Farm Share:  Our Spring Farm Share begins on March 29, less than two weeks away.  If you haven't yet signed up for Spring, it's not too late.  Spring pickup is available in Hermitage, New Castle, Butler, Slippery Rock, Grove City, Mercer, and Franklin.  However, our Franklin location is in danger of being cancelled for the spring due to lack of interest.  If we don't reach the required number by next Wednesday, Franklin will be cancelled until June.

The Spring Farm Share costs only $150.00.  Pickups are every two weeks through May.  We also have egg and meat add-on shares available for Spring.

New Summer Locations:  We are adding additional choices for pickup locations.

Sharpsville:  An additional pickup location is available at a home in Sharpsville from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Mercer:  We are considering a pickup location near Lake Latonka if there is enough interest.  We will also continue the pickup southeast of town since our driver Heather is willing to take shares home with her after the delivery route.  We are also changing Mercer's pickup day to Wednesday.

Pittsburgh:  We have interest in at least one location in the city, in a neighborhood off Butler Street.  We would be happy to come to your neighborhood if you are interested in hosting and we can gather at least 10 members there.  Pittsburgh pickup is on Thursday.

Erie:  A member would like to host pickup at her home on the west side of town rather than the location on Parade Street.  We are open to continuing the pickup at Latino's or another location on that side of town.  But I need your help with suggestions.  Erie pickup will remain on Wednesday.

Payment plans available:  Our largest veggie share is only $25.00/week.  Smaller shares are also available.  If the large payment is too much for you, you can pay in installments.  Or if you receive SNAP benefits, then we can charge your card monthly for each month's share.

To go to our signup page, click here.  If you have any questions, please ask.

Have a great weekend!

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative

 

Posted 2/22/2017 7:56am by Amy Philson.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a personal relationship between a farmer and eater. You join the farm as a member and you get a box of food from the member farms throughout the growing season. The CSA charter describes this relationship well.

As our culture and economy becomes more homogenized and centralized, CSA is the opposite. It is about a personal relationship between farmers and the CSA members. It is an intimate connection between local farmland and your dinner table. 

You get the freshest possible ingredients from farmers that you know and the farms get advance knowledge of demand so they can focus on growing healthy food and getting the food to you.

In world of intractable problems - take your pick: political and economic instability, nuclear weapons, global warming, and on and on - joining a CSA is a positive act that you can take today that has profound impacts on your health, your local economy, and the environment. 

CSA farmers spend money with other local businesses which circulates money in our local economies. CSA farmers take care of their land. CSA farmers treat their employees well. You know all this because you can go visit your CSA farmers and see for yourself. CSA keeps small scale, local farms in business so they can continue producing food for you.

Our member farms have joined together into a nonprofit cooperative so that they can spend more time farming instead of marketing and delivering.  It's a win-win for both farmers and consumers.

To be frank, joining a CSA is not the easiest path to eating healthy. You can continue to shop at the grocery store and maybe visit the farmers market a few times throughout the season. However, joining a CSA puts you in partnership with a local farmer. A CSA membership enriches your life with high quality food as you spend your food dollars in a way that you will feel good about. 

The investment you make in your CSA farm is modest. Our largest CSA share costs $25/week during the season, so that is $100/month. That’s probably less than your cable bill and less than your cell phone bill -- for food grown with care in local soil and delivered directly to your neighborhood! There usually is some up-front investment, though we offer payment plans, and we also accept SNAP benefits for those on government assistance.

Thank you for supporting local farms and making the commitment to a CSA share. Your support makes all the difference and keeps our farms running. 

If there is something that is preventing you from joining your CSA farm, please let us know so we can improve our program in the future!

To find out more and reserve your space in this year's Farm Share, click here.

Again, thank you for your support of local farms and local food.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative

Posted 2/15/2017 12:38pm by Amy Philson.

If you have a minute, can you give me some feedback on the Winter Shares this year?  I created a short, 4-question survey to help me know how to make the final weeks of our Winter Shares best for YOU.  Here is the link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L3FY8FL

From a couple of comments I have received, as well as monitoring my own crop, our storage garlic has come to the end of its life.  If you received garlic that was past its prime last time, I am sorry.  Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain if garlic is good until you peel it.  We are not sending you the remainder of our garlic crop.

This is turning out to be the winter that wasn't.  But it's still too cold and dark to grow a whole lot.  With temps in the 60s again this weekend, some growers are starting their spring greens and onions in their greenhouses.  Others are boiling maple syrup and hoping that the warm weather doesn't cut the syrup season short again.

Here is what is in your CSA share this week:

  • 1 butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1 lb. parsnips from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 5 oz. pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Chester Detweiler Farm

Recipes:

If you're not familiar with parsnips, they look similar to a white carrot.  They have a sweet flavor, and are delicious roasted or pan fried.  Larger parsnips should be quartered and the woody core removed, or your jaw will get a good workout.

Creamy Four Cheese Spinach Butternut Squash

Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash

The Best Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup

Raw Citrus Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Orange and Quinoa Salad

garlic pea shoots

Simple Lemon Pasta with Parmesan and Pea Shoots

Parsnip Sweet Potato Latke with Garlic Aioli

9 Super-Easy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipes

Garlic Herb Sweet Potato Fries

Roasted Turmeric Parsnip Fries

Simple roasted parsnips

 

That should give you a few ideas to get your culinary juices flowing.  Happy cooking, and happy eating!

Amy

Posted 2/6/2017 11:29am by Amy Philson.

Even though it's winter, we are thinking about the coming summer bounty.  It's already time to sign up for the Summer/Fall Farm Share (CSA).  Remember that when you join early, you can spread out your payments over several months if you need to.

Spring Farm Shares are also still available.  New Castle residents, we hope to resume delivery with the Spring Shares, so sign up now.

New this year: 

  • Mini Share -- for smaller appetites
  • Peak of the Season Share -- 12 weeks, July to October
  • SNAP accepted -- After many months of paperwork, we are finally approved to accept SNAP benefits for Farm Shares.
  • Referral Coupons -- When your friend joins and pays for a Farm Share as a new member, you can get a credit toward a Webstore order.

Besides our veggie shares, we offer several add-on shares, including meats, eggs, and cheese.  Learn more here.

We currently offer pickup in 12 communities.  If your community is not listed, we would be happy to add you to our delivery route.  Just find 10 friends to commit to our full-season Farm Share, and we will add your home or business as a pickup location.  We can add multiple locations in the same community with neighborhood delivery for your convenience.  Email me to discuss the possibilities.

Summer Market Webstore is also available if you want access to local farm products without the commitment. 

Check out our Website to get the full scoop.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative

Posted 2/1/2017 12:03pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this fine winter day.  As I type this, I am looking out the window at a snow squall, and I can barely see across the road.  It's beautiful!

This week is the first time this winter that we have included produce that doesn't come from our member farmers.  As most of you know, when our farmers begin to run short on produce in the winter, we supplement with items from an organic farmer's cooperative in the eastern part of PA.  Other farms and cooperatives in our area also purchase from them, so we can share the expense of obtaining the produce.  The cabbage, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms are from them this week.

Here is what is in your CSA share today:

  • 1 butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. mibuna (Asian mustard) from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head cabbage from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 2 garlic from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers

Recipes:

Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry

Best-Ever Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake -- It really is best-ever...plus it's grain-free!  My family LOVES this cake!  I usually make a buttercream/honey icing for it, rather than the icing in the recipe.

Chocolate Beet Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting -- I haven't tried this one yet.  It looks like I am craving chocolate cake today!

Beetroot and Feta Cheese Salad

Cheesy Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Havarti and Garlic -- use your mibuna for the greens

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos -- I like this, but most of my family didn't care for it as much.  If you like sweet and savory together, give this a try for a vegetarian main dish.

Honey Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Sauce -- This. Is. Delicious.  A simple way to dress up cabbage.

Indian Fried Cabbage

Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Spicy Mushroom Rice -- since jalapenos aren't in season right now, you can substitute canned or dried hot pepper and adjust it to your preference.

Mushroom Lentil Loaf -- Another vegetarian main dish.

I am working on updating our Website to open registration for our Summer Farm Share.  It will hopefully be ready early next week. 

Happy eating!

Amy

 

Posted 11/28/2016 3:10pm by Amy Philson.

Thanksgiving is over, and winter is fast approaching.  Even though the weather is still somewhat mild, we all know what is coming!  We enjoy farm-fresh produce in the spring, summer, and fall, but did you know that you can still get local produce in the winter?  Our Winter Farm Share brings you local, chemical-free produce from December to March. 

What kind of produce is available locally in the winter, you ask?  Plenty!  Not only do we have storage crops like potatoes, onions, squash, and beets, but several of our farmers grow winter produce in greenhouses.  Most rely on the sun for heat, but one farm heats their greenhouse all winter to bring us fresh lettuce!  We also have broccoli, kale, and other greens as weather permits.

In the winter, you might also receive fresh eggs, maple syrup, honey, or other farm-produced products in your share.

Since many of us do not like to be out in bad weather and much of our produce has a longer shelf life, we reduce pickups to every two weeks, with larger shares each time.  We also reduce the number of pickup locations, so if you don't live near one of the communities where we deliver in the winter, you will have to wait until summer.

Our first week of Winter Farm Share is December 7, just a few days away.  Space is limited, so sign up now to reserve your share!

We accept SNAP benefits for Farm Shares.  And they make a great gift, too!

Questions?  Email me at amy@nwpagrowers.com

 

 

 

Posted 11/16/2016 11:26am by Amy Philson.

This is it!  The final day of this season's CSA.  I am sad and glad at the same time.  Sad because another season is over and the fresh produce that we so enjoy will be scarce for several months.  Glad because our farmers have successfully provided sustainably-raised fresh produce and meats to around 200 families this season.  And I look forward to a slower pace for a few months with a smaller CSA and only twice-per-month delivery.

Our farmers give our heartfelt thanks to you all for your support of our farms.  We take our responsibility of providing food to you, our neighbors, very seriously.  We endeavor to grow the best, most nutrient-dense food using sustainable practices.  We sincerely hope that you are satisfied with the CSA products that we have provided and that you will join us either this winter or next year.

This week's share

  • 1 head cauliflower from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. baby carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. OR 2 lb. potatoes form NuWay Farm
  • Small Shares have 1 bunch kale from NuWay Farm
  • Full Shares have 1 head lettuce AND pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Choice items are from Chester Detweiler Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, Weeping Willow Farm, NuWay Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, and Miller Farm Products

Recipes

Simple Lemon Pasta with Parmesan and Pea Shoots

Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Bisque 

Pureed Butternut Squash with Sage & Toasted Almonds

Glazed Butternut Squash

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and Walnuts

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving next week.  Thank you all for making my job so enjoyable.  I look forward to "seeing" you next year if not before!

Amy

Posted 11/9/2016 12:39pm by Amy Philson.

We are almost finished with this season's CSA.  One more week left.  If you live in the area where we deliver Winter Shares, be sure to tell your friends about us!  We have less than 1 month left until Winter Shares begin.  At this point, Franklin and New Castle are in danger of having their delivery cancelled due to lack of interest. 

I was reminded this week about proper storage of veggies.  It's so easy to just throw everything in the refrigerator when you get home.  But you might want to think twice before you do that.  Last night, I went to use some carrots from last week's shares, but some of them had gone bad.  Wait a minute...carrots usually keep a very long time in the fridge.  However, when you purchase carrots from the store, the bags are vented so the carrots can breathe.  I had simply thrown the bag with the twist tie in the fridge and forgotten about them.  That led to too much moisture, which led to rot.  Other root veggies like turnips and beets should be treated the same.  For your fresh beets, you should cut the greens off the roots and store them separately to keep them freshest (unless you're going to use them within a couple of days).

If greens are dry, they keep well in closed bags as long as the bag has air in it.  Some people put a dry paper towel between the bag and the greens to absorb moisture and prevent spoilage.  If your greens have much moisture, take the tie off so they can breathe.

Onions, potatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes should be removed from plastic bags and stored at room temperature.  They will last even longer if you have a cool area to store them.  You can leave them in paper bags if that's they way they came.

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

  • 1 bunch of beets with greens from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale from NuWay Farm
  • 3 peppers from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from NuWay Farm (Full Shares)
  • Choice items are from Chester Detweiler Farm, NuWay Farm, Weeping Willow Farm, and Miller Farm Products

CSA Recipes

Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Chicken and Kale Casserole

Sauteed Peppers over Rice

Pepper pasta

Apple, Mushroom and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Orzo and Cheese baked acorn squash

Glazed Carrots and Ginger

Curry and Carrot Soup - Vegan

Red beets & beet greens

Beet Gratin

 

Enjoy these cool fall days!  I'm in a soup mood today.  Now to decide which kind....

Amy