NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 8/30/2017 8:09pm by Amy Philson.

We are in Week 13, just beginning the second half of our CSA season.  Our field tomatoes are just beginning to peak, peppers have several weeks left of growth, and our fall crops are still to come.

David Yoder's son Willie is still in critical condition.  His biggest challenge at the moment is brain swelling and blood pressure fluctuations.  They continue to keep him sedated to allow his body to heal.  David is recording regular updates on his progress.  If you're interested in following, you may call 712-432-8557.  Some days there are multiple updates.  Your continued prayers for the Yoder family are most appreciated.

An update from Grateful Life Farm:

During the hottest part of each summer, there always comes a period where we hit a wall.  We keep moving, taking care of the animals each morning and evening and harvesting vegetables and attending market each week.  But we are physically and mentally drained, grumpy with each other, easily frustrated.  Everywhere I look is another aggravating reminder of something that should have been taken care of but wasn't: tall weeds going to seed in the garden, electric fence lines unmowed, piles of grass we were going to rake, half-built projects, a chainsaw and weed eater that don't run, and on and on.  The neighbors' perfectly manicured lawn, tidy garden and flower beds, and laundry gently blowing in the breeze on the clothesline mock me from just beyond the chicken coop. 

I've come to see that, similar to running a marathon, it is not a question of whether we will hit this wall, but only when, and how quickly we can pull through and bounce back.  This year I've tried to set some boundaries and I believe it has helped to shorten this mid-summer slump.  We've gone to bed shortly after dark most evenings.  I've been making dinner after chores and before starting the evening's tasks, rather than eating at 10 PM.  We've taken some time to walk in our woods hunting wild mushrooms.  I'm happy to say that we seem to be over the hump as this week has been very productive.

We processed our fourth batch of chickens on Sunday, only two more to go!  Monday, we cleared weeds and grass from a portion of the garden and planted out a bed of lettuce transplants.  We also completed another rabbit tractor, in record time using a pneumatic staple gun.  (Where was this amazing tool all our lives?)  All of our grower rabbits are now out on grass, and the mamas are back in their hutches to regain their body condition prior to their next litters, which will arrive around September 9th.  Shawn even replaced the carburetor in the weed eater and tidied up around the rabbit hutches and the brooder, making chores more pleasant. 

CSA Shares

The heirloom tomatoes that you have in your shares are picked a little before they are ripe.  Most heirloom tomatoes have thin skins that are highly susceptible to damage.  Therefore, we have to pick them before they are fully ripe.  You should let them ripen for a couple of days on your counter.  They are a pink tomato, so they won't turn bright red.  They may also retain some green blush on the top.  That is another characteristic of many heirloom tomatoes.  Just trim off the green part before using.  But aren't they gorgeous tomatoes?  And delicious, too!

Full Shares

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 bag parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 6 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. green tomatoes from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 bag parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 4 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

 

Mini Shares

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

 

Recipes

Heirloom Tomato/Avocado Toast with Balsamic Drizzle

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Chevre

Kohlrabi, Apple and Walnut Salad

Green Tomato Casserole

Baked Falafel -- something different to make with your parsley!

Israeli Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley (you will have to find cucumbers elsewhere.  Sadly, our farmers are out of cukes.)

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Summer Corn Chowder

Oven Baked Fried Green Tomatoes

 

Until next time...

Amy

Posted 8/24/2017 9:05am by Amy Philson.

We are halfway through our CSA season:  Week 12 for full-season CSA, and Week 6 for Peak-of-the-Season CSA.  If you are a POS member and would like to extend your share to the end of the season, just let me know.

We would like to ask for your prayers and kind thoughts for two of our farm families.  David Yoder of NuWay Farm and his family are currently at the hospital in Youngstown.  Their oldest son Willie was the victim of a freak logging accident yesterday.  Most of the bones in his face were broken, and he has already undergone two surgeries.  They do not yet know what his prognosis will be.  Willie's wife is currently expecting their first child.  Also, our driver Heather lost her niece this week after a long battle with leukemia.  Thank you for your prayers for these families.

An update from Silver Wheel Farm:

A small produce farm must, by necessity, run on well-established principles and practices of efficiency which include space- and labor-saving design as well as practical crop selection (crops offering the best Return On Investment). However, somewhere along the way many years ago, I fell in love with raising flowers and have always found a way to grow as many as possible: sometimes in dedicated beds, sometimes squeezing them in any spare foot or two of space. I loved creating bouquets on Friday midnights before Saturday markets—the relaxing last task before catching a few hours of sleep. I had a small flower CSA for a couple of summers ‘way back in the early 2000s and still sell occasional bouquets in the NWPAGC webstore.  

Procut Plum Sunflowers

Now my biggest flower challenge is upon me: designing and arranging the flowers for my daughter’s wedding next week.  Oh my.  Our Border Collie mix, Maddie, and I roam fields, forest and hedgerows every evening searching for vines, branches, and, well, weeds to fill in and complement the more domesticated blooms I have lovingly raised for this celebration. Pokeberry?  Yes!  Elderberry?  Absolutely!   Hops and wild grapevine for garlands!   And what is that beautiful vine with the delicate white flowers—oops...it's Poison Ivy-NO.   Apple mint, chicory and thai basil are great ‘fillers’; sprays of millet grass look pretty fancy nodding above the dahlias, roses, and oriental lilies in the wedding bouquets. It is important that we nourish our bodies with the best local foods. But beauty is important, too. I cannot imagine a farm without flowers.

Harmony Grove Farm grows their hydroponic lettuce in greenhouses.  To guard against aphid infestation, they periodically release multitudes of ladybugs.  The ladybugs feast on aphids, thus eliminating the need for chemical inputs to control them.

Ladybugs love aphids!

Grateful Life Farm has been battling pests, too:

This week we have been working to address the pest pressure we are seeing in our garden.  This season seems worse than usual with flea beetles damaging greens early on, then the wave of Japanese beetles eating pretty much everything, and now we are seeing cabbage worms on our brassicas.  As I harvested Tuesday evening, I noticed half eaten cherry tomatoes and green beans with the lower half bitten off.  I believe this damage is from voles, which I have started to see darting around the garden into clumps of weeds and under landscape fabric when they hear me approaching.  Although there are many products on the market that are approved for organic growing to deal with all of these issues, we try to use them sparingly.  Though we are not certified organic, we use organic standards as our guide, and one of the principles of organic pest management is to try excluding or deterring pests before you resort to killing them.  Even natural insecticides such as spinosad, a substance made by soil bacterium, can potentially harm beneficial insects as well as those you want to eliminate. 

For Japanese beetles, we hang traps, and we have also treated our fruit trees with a product called Surround.  It is made of Kaolin clay and you mix it with water and spray on a coating which hardens and forms a barrier that prevents insects from getting to the leaves.  This product can also be used for vegetables, but that did not seem practical for our operation because crops such as kale and basil, which are not normally washed, would have to be washed, adding labor and reducing shelf life.  Another drawback is that Surround needs to be reapplied after each few rains as it washes away and loses effectiveness.  For voles, we are sprinkling a repellant crystal called Plantskydd, with an active ingredient of dried blood.  It helped a lot last year with the nibbled tops damage we were seeing to beets and carrots.  We've also sparingly used a spinosad product called Captain Jack's Dead Bug Brew.  For my fall crops, I've ordered a large role of floating row cover and am covering all my newly planted mustard greens and spinach, as well as my existing kale, collards, and basil beds.

CSA Shares

This week we had to do some last-minute shuffling in our shares.  Our farmers try to predict how much of each item will be ready to harvest up to a week before it's needed, and sometimes their predictions are wrong.  We had planned for sweet corn in all the shares this week, but we only have enough for Wednesday shares.  Thursday shares will have a substitute, and then they will have sweet corn next week.  I had also planned on Swiss chard in all the shares, but there wasn't enough ready for all of that farmer's orders, so you get carrots instead.  Now we have to wait for the next patch of chard to grow more before harvesting.

Full Shares

  • 2 lb. paste tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. leeks from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. paste tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 2 leeks from NuWay Farm
  • 2 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 leek from NuWay Farm
  • 1 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Slow Cooker Roasted Tomato Soup

Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce

Italian Herb Tomato Bread  (a quick bread rather than a yeast bread...mix and bake)

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Summer Corn Chowder

Roasted Leeks and Potatoes

How to Clean Leeks

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Chicken Breasts

Enjoy the tastes of summer!

Amy

 

 

Posted 8/16/2017 11:03am by Amy Philson.

It's Week 11 of our 24-week CSA season.  It's the middle of August, and many people think that produce season is winding down.  However, field tomatoes and green peppers are just starting to ripen, and we still have all of our fall crops to come.  You can look forward to varieties of squash, beets, melons, more green beans and potatoes, and more!  Our fields and gardens will be going strong for another two months, and then start winding down.

Again, our farmers have been so busy in their fields that Grateful Life Farm is the only farm that sent us an update this week. 

This week we cut the grass, moved our pen and fence, and transferred another batch of chicks from the brooder to the pasture pen.  The brooder is cleaned out and ready for our very last batch of chicks for this season, arriving today!  The hatchery we use has developed a new broiler strain called the Robust White, and they have offered us a free batch of chicks to try.  It is a cross between the white broilers we raise and the heartier red broiler.  Many pasture-based chicken producers prefer the red broilers because they seem to retain more chicken instincts, perform better in an outdoor system, and have a flavor more similar to heritage chicken.  However, they take another four weeks to finish so we have never tried them.  The hatchery tells me that the Robust White cross will finish in the same 8 weeks as our conventional broilers, but perform better on pasture.  I'm also excited to see if there will be any flavor differences.
     
We played a bit of musical chairs with the rabbits this week, moving our Silver Fox doe Coco and her litter to one of our pasture rabbit tractors, and shifting another young doe to a hutch.  The young rabbits especially love the pasture pens!  They race around, hop, play, and chow down on grass and clover.  The does visited the bucks on Wednesday night, which should result in more babies on September 9th.  We purchased materials to build another rabbit tractor for our New Zealand doe Brandi, and her litter.  Hopefully, they can move in on Sunday.  For the next tractor, we are thinking about some design changes to provide the rabbits with more shade in the outdoor area, and to make the hutches easier to clean.        

I'm still not done with my fall crop seeding, but have made good progress.  Romaine lettuce has been seeded and has germinated nicely, spinach has been seeded, and the mustard greens are outside hardening off in preparation for planting.  11 more flats of lettuce and 9 more spinach to go! 

One of our members shared an article with me entitled "Care Where Food Comes From."  Here is a short excerpt:

It’s only in the past few generations that we’ve become accustomed to eating food grown, raised, or produced by total strangers so far away, and by methods so mechanized and industrialized that we often can’t even tell precisely (or even generally) what our food contains.
In the process, we lost track of where our food comes from — not just geographically but elementally. We lost our consciousness of the nature of food, of the places where our meats and plant foods originate, of how they are raised, and of the eco-systems on which they depend.

Read the entire article here.

CSA Shares

 

Full Shares

  • 1 lb. tomatillos from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 3 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. tomatillos from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 eggplant from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 green pepper from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 onion from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Mullett Farm, Detweiler Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Fairy tale eggplant is a smaller eggplant with a light purple skin.  Since it is smaller than the black eggplant that you're used to, adjust the recipes accordingly.

Tomatillos have an outer husk that must be removed before cooking.  If you're not familiar with them, they look like a small green tomato.

The hot peppers in the Choice boxes include hot Hungarian (mildly hot), Inferno (larger than the Hungarian but similar shape and color; a little hotter), and Jalapenos (small and dark green, the hottest of the three).  We included the hot peppers because most people make salsa verde with their tomatillos, but we wanted to let you choose the amount of spice.

Super Easy Salsa Verde

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie

Roasted Tomatillo Chickpea Curry

Roasted Spicy Garlic Eggplant Slices

Grandma's Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Cheesy Stuffed Banana Peppers (You can use any of the peppers for this recipe...depends on your affinity for heat)

Chili Pepper Salt (Again, any hot pepper is appropriate here)

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Enjoy your week!

Amy

Posted 8/10/2017 12:01pm by Amy Philson.

My newsletter will be a bit shorter than normal today.  My mom is visiting from New Mexico this week, and I am trying to shorten my work load for the week in order to spend more time with her, since I usually only get to see her once a year.

While the weather has been beautiful this week with the cooler temperatures, it has delayed ripening of our field tomatoes and peppers.  The tomatoes that have been in the shares so far have been grown in the ground in a greenhouse at Detweiler Farm.  Cherry tomatoes that are in the field ripen more quickly than the larger tomatoes.  So you will have to wait patiently for the delicious field-ripened heirloom tomatoes.  Sweet corn is coming soon, too.

We have an update from Grateful Life Farm:

On Monday, we processed our third batch of chickens, marking the halfway point of our broiler chicken season.  Nine more weeks and three more butcher dates to go!  Each time seems to go faster and better as we settle into routines in our new space.  We've been planning to purchase another freezer, but so far our inventory has not exceeded our storage and we should be able to wait a few more weeks.  This time we're getting an upright freezer with shelves.  I've been lusting after one ever since visiting a friend's farm and seeing her pork storage area, each cut neatly organized and labeled on the outside freezer doors.
 
We've had several nights this week of being woken by the eerie sound of howling coyotes.  They sound so loud and near and the noise seems to swell to surround us on all sides as every coyote in the neighborhood calls to one another and answers back.  One night we even got out of bed and jumped in the side-by-side to check the chickens.  Fortunately, the coyotes have not bothered them, yet, but I would love to know if the fence is working to repel predators or simply has not yet been challenged.  We received the game camera I ordered this week.  It is capable of sending real time pictures to our cell phones or e-mail, but I'm still working on setting it up as electronics are not my forte!  Hopefully this weekend we can have it operational and be able to see what is going on back there while we're sleeping.  

The fall crops we seeded, including mustard greens, lettuce, and green onions have germinated nicely with the air conditioner running to keep the grow room temperature down.  We ran out of lettuce seed, but received another shipment this week.  I hope to finish my seeding work this weekend to be ready to fill up the garden again through the second half of August. 

I was not very familiar with the endive that is in your shares this week, so I had to do a little research.  I thought you might be interested in reading some of the info:

Endive, commonly known as escarole, is a green leafy vegetable with a hint of bitter flavor. Nevertheless, this popular salad plant is much more than just a leafy green; it packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A, etc.
 
Botanically, this perennial herbaceous leafy plant belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family, in the genus, Cichorium, and is closely related to chicory, radicchio, and Belgian endive (witloof). Scientific name: Cichorium endivia.
 
Endive is native to Asia Minor region. This cool-season crop requires well-drained fertile soil to flourish. There exist two main cultivar varieties of endive: curly-endive (Frisée, Cichorium endivia, var crispum) with narrow curly leaves, and Escarole or scarole (Cichorium endivia, var latifolia) with broad leaves. Escarole leaves have serrated, dentate margins (like in dandelion or lettuce) with thick stalks. Its leaves feature, however, less pungency than small, curly, intensely bitter taste of "frisée" (curly-endive).
Belgian endive or witloof is a popular winter season vegetable in Europe. It features smooth cream-colored leaves, compressed into a compact (bud-like) 10 to 12 cm long heads.

Health benefits of Endive

  • Endive is one of the very low-calorie leafy vegetables. 100 g fresh leaves carry just 17 calories; however, it contributes about 8% of daily-required intake (DRI) of fiber.

  • Current research studies suggest that high inulin and fiber content in escarole help reduce glucose and LDL-cholesterol levels in diabetes and obese patients.

  • Endive composes good amount Vitamin-A and ß-carotene. Both these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A inside the human body. Furthermore, vitamin-A required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Also, it is also an essential vitamin for good eyesight. Consumption of natural vegetables/greens rich in vitamin-A helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • Further, it contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them through external sources to replenish. They take part as cofacors in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.

  • Additionally, escarole is a good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron, and potassium. Manganese used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.

    (from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/endive.html)

CSA Shares

Full Shares

2 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 qt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products

1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

1 endive from NuWay Farm

2 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

1 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

1 endive from NuWay Farm

1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

1 herb from Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Mini Shares

1 lb. white potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from Detweiler Farm

1 onion from Miller Farm Products

1 garlic from Red Dog Farm

1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

(Endive is also called escarole)

Charred Escarole Salad

Wilted Escarole with Feta, Walnuts and Honey

Italian Beans and Greens

Marinated Cherry Tomato and Herb Salad (my family loved this when I made it last week)

Quick Spiralized Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Creamy Basil Dressing

Have a great week!

Amy

Posted 8/2/2017 9:08pm by Amy Philson.

It has been a beautiful week, but it's getting to the point where your farmers are hoping for a little rain.  Some farms received a little bit yesterday, and some received only a drop or two.  The warm, dry weather is great for tomatoes and peppers; lettuce and beans would like a drink.  Some of our fields are watered with drip irrigation hoses, while others are left to the whims of Mother Nature.  However, a good soaking rain is always preferred to irrigation because there are other substances in rainwater that are not found in well water, plus the energy savings of running the pump. 

All of our farmers must be very busy these days.  I only have an update from Grateful Life Farm this week:

This week we turned our attention back to the garden, where we are working to get ready for planting our fall crops.  We harvested the rest of our garlic, the German Red variety, and hung it in the shed to cure.  The garlic beds can now be replanted with successions of beans and radishes.  For our fall transplants, we seeded flats of lettuce, green onions, and mustard greens in our indoor grow room.  Because the grow lamps make a lot of heat, we've installed a window air conditioner to keep the temperature low enough for our seeds to germinate.  So far it is working as we have seen excellent germination rates. 

The chickens in the back pasture are doing very well and we are enjoying having so much room to move the pen each day, unlike our other spaces, where every inch counts and we are constantly squaring up the pen to make sure we were not losing any precious ground.  I've been obsessively checking the electric fence to make sure it is hot enough to hold off predators.  A charge of at least 2500 volts is recommended.  In the afternoons on nice days, the fence is very hot, as high as 5200 volts, but after the sun goes down and dew starts to form, the charge drops off quickly.  In the mornings, I have tested as low as 1400 volts.  I spoke with the fence manufacturer this week and was told that it doesn't take as much voltage to deliver a shock to a predator when the ground and their paws are wet from dew, but he also gave me some pointers on improving the charge.  

Yesterday afternoon when we arrived to move the pen, we saw a section of fence had been knocked partially down.  It seemed odd that it had happened during the day, but there was no evidence of any digging around the pen, so we believe it was a deer running out of the woods, or perhaps a neighbor had hit the fence with a side-by-side.  We are planning to set up a game camera shortly so we can see what's going on back there when we're not around.

On Monday, we will process our third batch of chickens.  We package them as wholes, halves, boneless skinless breasts, leg quarters, and wings, and soup bones, livers, hearts, gizzards, and feet are also available. 

CSA Shares

Last week we had a couple of complaints about the peaches being too ripe when you received them.  Sometimes fruits are difficult to put in CSA boxes.  We can not pick them at the peak of ripeness or they will be past their prime at delivery.  We don't put certain items in plastic bags because they do not breathe.  However, brown paper bags speed up the ripening process of certain fruits, including peaches, because a gas that is released is trapped inside.  If we just put loose peaches in your box, they will be damaged.  So this week we tried putting them in paper bags and leaving them open so the gas is not trapped.  Let me know if it works better.  There is nothing worse than expecting delicious, non-sprayed peaches and finding them inedible!

Full Share

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Recipes

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Sautéed Cabbage

Marinated Tomatoes

Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes

Green Bean, Mushroom and Chicken Skillet in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

There are also lots more recipe ideas on our other Pinterest boards, as well as in the Recipes  section of our Website.

As always, if you receive inferior produce that you would like replaced, please let me know.  Have a great week!

Amy

 

Posted 8/2/2017 9:07pm by Amy Philson.

It has been a beautiful week, but it's getting to the point where your farmers are hoping for a little rain.  Some farms received a little bit yesterday, and some received only a drop or two.  The warm, dry weather is great for tomatoes and peppers; lettuce and beans would like a drink.  Some of our fields are watered with drip irrigation hoses, while others are left to the whims of Mother Nature.  However, a good soaking rain is always preferred to irrigation because there are other substances in rainwater that are not found in well water, plus the energy savings of running the pump. 

All of our farmers must be very busy these days.  I only have an update from Grateful Life Farm this week:

This week we turned our attention back to the garden, where we are working to get ready for planting our fall crops.  We harvested the rest of our garlic, the German Red variety, and hung it in the shed to cure.  The garlic beds can now be replanted with successions of beans and radishes.  For our fall transplants, we seeded flats of lettuce, green onions, and mustard greens in our indoor grow room.  Because the grow lamps make a lot of heat, we've installed a window air conditioner to keep the temperature low enough for our seeds to germinate.  So far it is working as we have seen excellent germination rates. 

The chickens in the back pasture are doing very well and we are enjoying having so much room to move the pen each day, unlike our other spaces, where every inch counts and we are constantly squaring up the pen to make sure we were not losing any precious ground.  I've been obsessively checking the electric fence to make sure it is hot enough to hold off predators.  A charge of at least 2500 volts is recommended.  In the afternoons on nice days, the fence is very hot, as high as 5200 volts, but after the sun goes down and dew starts to form, the charge drops off quickly.  In the mornings, I have tested as low as 1400 volts.  I spoke with the fence manufacturer this week and was told that it doesn't take as much voltage to deliver a shock to a predator when the ground and their paws are wet from dew, but he also gave me some pointers on improving the charge.  

Yesterday afternoon when we arrived to move the pen, we saw a section of fence had been knocked partially down.  It seemed odd that it had happened during the day, but there was no evidence of any digging around the pen, so we believe it was a deer running out of the woods, or perhaps a neighbor had hit the fence with a side-by-side.  We are planning to set up a game camera shortly so we can see what's going on back there when we're not around.

On Monday, we will process our third batch of chickens.  We package them as wholes, halves, boneless skinless breasts, leg quarters, and wings, and soup bones, livers, hearts, gizzards, and feet are also available. 

CSA Shares

Last week we had a couple of complaints about the peaches being too ripe when you received them.  Sometimes fruits are difficult to put in CSA boxes.  We can not pick them at the peak of ripeness or they will be past their prime at delivery.  We don't put certain items in plastic bags because they do not breathe.  However, brown paper bags speed up the ripening process of certain fruits, including peaches, because a gas that is released is trapped inside.  If we just put loose peaches in your box, they will be damaged.  So this week we tried putting them in paper bags and leaving them open so the gas is not trapped.  Let me know if it works better.  There is nothing worse than expecting delicious, non-sprayed peaches and finding them inedible!

Full Share

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Mini Shares

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. beans from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, and Mullet Farm

Recipes

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Sautéed Cabbage

Marinated Tomatoes

Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes

Green Bean, Mushroom and Chicken Skillet in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Garlic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

There are also lots more recipe ideas on our other Pinterest boards, as well as in the Recipes  section of our Website.

As always, if you receive inferior produce that you would like replaced, please let me know.  Have a great week!

Amy

 

Posted 7/27/2017 8:45pm by Amy Philson.

I am loving the weather this week!  Cool at night and not too hot during the day.  It makes working on the farm and going to farmer's markets so much more enjoyable.  We are currently attending two farmer's markets:  Monday afternoon in Robinson Twp. outside of Pittsburgh and Friday afternoon in Hermitage.  Some of our farmers also have a presence at Bellevue market on Wednesday, Grove City market on Thursday, and Lawrenceville market on Saturday.  Sometimes at market I hear complaints about how expensive our food is.  What they don't realize is that I spend 8-9 hours for a 3-4 hour market, plus the hours that our farmers spend harvesting and preparing their products for the market.  Thank you for your commitment to local farms this season with your prepurchased CSA Share!

My family was discussing whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable.  Of course, there was a difference of opinion.  So I asked Google.  Evidently, it depends on what classification system you are using.  If you're looking at the question as a botanist would, the tomato is definitely a fruit, as are cucumbers, pumpkins, beans, and a host of other "vegetables."  But in the everyday world, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable because that is how it is generally eaten.  So we still haven't resolved our argument.

Here is an update from Grateful Life Farm:

We made it!  Our fourth batch of broiler chicks went out of the brooder and into the pasture pen in our large back pasture on schedule on Tuesday evening.  Sunday was a very busy day, processing rabbits in the morning, then moving to the back pasture to cut grass and put up portable electric net fence in the afternoon.  We didn't finish the grass, but only cut what we would need for the first week or so, because of how long it was taking.  Finally, we disassembled the chicken pen, hauled each half up the path, then reassembled it inside the fence line.  The next day, we got some great news: our sickle bar mower was ready to be picked up!  That evening, we made quick work of the rest of the grass, cutting more area in an hour than we had in 3 hours on Sunday.  Check out our Facebook page for a video of this powerful mower.   https://www.facebook.com/GratefulLifeFarm/

Tuesday, Shawn set up the feeder and waterer, we crated the chicks, and they arrived at their new home just in time to clean out the brooder and welcome another batch of day old chicks in the morning.  Although we have two layers of protection in the pen and the electric fence, we still worry about predation so far from the house and I didn't sleep well, having nightmares about our birds being eaten by bears.  In the morning, I drove back at dawn to find them all well and safe.  If you would like to see lots of pictures of the whole process, check out my latest blog post on our website.  http://gratefullifefarm.com/this-week-on-the-farm/taking-back-our-field

This week in the garden we are working to get the rest of our garlic harvested.  Yesterday we pulled our Deerfield Purple hardneck garlic.  Rather than coming from purchased seedstock, this garlic was saved from our own harvest last year, selecting the largest, nicest heads to replant.  It is bundled and hanging in the shed and we only have our German Red left to harvest.  Summer crops are coming along well with basil really taking off, flowers on the green beans, and green fruits on the tomatoes.

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1/4 lb. basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 4 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head garlic from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Bushel and a Peck Farm

Small Shares

  • 1 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1/8 lb. basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/2 lb. peaches from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bag basil from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/4 lb. lettuce mix from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Miller Farm Products, Silver Wheel Farm and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Easy Peach and Basil Flatbread (I wasn't going to give you any recipes for peaches, because I imagine some of you will eat them by the end of the day because...fresh peaches!, but this one caught my eye since it uses basil too and is very simple)

Fresh Basil Garlic Bread

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

How to Freeze Fresh Basil

Spicy Zucchini Soup

Amazing Zucchini Brownies (If you don't have the stevia blend, you can use regular sugar in the larger amount)

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta (for those of you with veggie spiralizers, or you can julienne the zucchini)

Cucumber Salsa

Cucumber Greek Salad

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts

Grilled Balsamic Zucchini

Parmesan Tomato Zucchini Bake

Avocado/Tomato/Mozzarella Salad

I always end up with more recipes than I mean to share.  When I'm searching for recipes, so many look good and I want to share them.

Have a great week!  Check out our Facebook page in the coming days for posts from a book I've been reading.

Amy

Posted 7/19/2017 10:58am by Amy Philson.

Welcome to our Peak of the Season CSA members!  Each week you will receive this email, which I send to all of our Farm Share members.  In it you will find reports from some of our member farms, a list of what is in your CSA box, and recipe suggestions for your Share.  Of course, the share contents won't be pertinent for Select Share members, but the rest is.  If you want to read past newsletters, you can view the most recent ones here.

With the (finally!) dry weather this week, many farmers are rushing to put up hay.  We usually do our first cutting in mid-June, but we haven't had any streaks of dry weather to do so.  This means we will only get two cuts this year, rather than the three that is always hoped for.

David Yoder from NuWay Farm writes about Horse Power versus Horsepower:

I have been surrounded by horses all of my life.  I was still quite young when I became the owner of a little grey pony that I named Silver.  I rode Silver everywhere bareback; I never had a saddle.  Silver was not like other ponies, kind of pokey, but at a gallop he fairly flew.  There were not many things he and I liked better than when, after school, I would spring upon his back and go pounding up and over our fields all the way to the woods and back.  It was great stimulation for us both.
 
The relationship between people and the horse is a special one.  It is claimed that it takes three to make a team--that is two horses and a driver.  It also has been proven that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a human.  That is why horses are used more and more in therapy for special needs children.
 
In recent decades in the USA, indeed over the whole world, farmers are trading the rumble of the diesel for the clinking of chains, tires for steel shoes, and fuel for hay and grain.  In our country of dwindling farmers it has been claimed that the very large operator and the small horse farmers are our farmers of the future.
 
Certainly the heavy draft horse was designed to work.  Their bones are heavier than standard sized horses, making them durable enough to withstand the rigors of farm life.  They also tend to have a gentle demeanor, which makes them highly sought after in the field.
 
Comparing tractors with horses is a favorite topic of mine.  I love to debate their differences.  Several questions I usually ask are, "Have you ever stepped into your barn in a morning and discovered a baby tractor nursing at your adult tractor?" and "Can your tractor, while working in the field or woods, sense danger lurking around the next corner and stop on its own?"
 
With a little help from man, horses reproduce themselves and fit well into the agro-ecosystem.  They can be sustained with food grown on the farm and they can contribute their manure for soil fertility.
 
Horses do their part to give back to the soil with their natural amendments.  Everything it takes to make and sustain a horse comes from the earth.  And even when they die, their carcasses can safely be broken down by the forces of nature to nurture the earth one more time.  Hence, horses take from the earth and give back to it.  In the meantime, they provide the power needed to care for and farm the earth.

Leah Wilson from Grateful Life Farm shares an update from their farm last week:

Another batch of chickens went in the freezer on Sunday and we are now 4 days from our deadline for moving our pen and fencing to our back field.  The neighbor mowed the field on Saturday, but rain has slowed our progress since then.  Luckily, the weekend weather is looking favorable for us to hit it hard on Sunday.  Sadly, we have lost a couple of the rabbit kits that were born almost two weeks ago.  In each litter, the ones that were noticeably smaller than their litter mates didn't make it.  However, all 11 remaining babies are growing fast and seem strong and healthy.  Their eyes are starting to open and their fur is coming in quickly. 

Wednesday night we harvested our first bed of garlic, tied bundles with twine, and hung them from the shed rafters to cure for a few weeks.  This year we grew one softneck variety and two hardnecks.  The hardnecks will not be harvested for a few more weeks, but the Inchelium Red softneck was ready and we were just waiting for a dry day.  I especially enjoy growing and harvesting crops like garlic and potatoes for the surprise factor.  You don't really know what you will find until you dig them up!  As we dug, lifted bulbs, and oohed and aahed over their beauty, size, and aroma, Shawn asked me the name of the variety and how it got that name.  Inchelium Red is an heirloom garlic that is said to be the oldest strain grown in North America, cultivated before the arrival of Europeans.  It was found on the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, Washington and is on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste.  We are planning a taste test with a head of roasted garlic drizzled in olive oil and some crusty bread.  If you try this recipe, beware!  Back in high school, my girlfriends and I would go out for this appetizer and when I got home, my mother would tell me she could smell the garlic coming out my pores!  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-garlic-102291 

Share Contents

Full Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. yellow wax beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berry Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 Choice items from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Small Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berry Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice item from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm
  • 1 Herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres

Mini Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 tomato from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. yellow wax beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice item from NuWay Farm, Mullet Farm, Detweiler Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Silver Wheel Farm

Recipes

Garlic Herb Potato Salad (You will have to reduce the size to accommodate your potatoes.  Use your choice of herbs.)

The Yummiest Buttery Parsley Potatoes

Easy Zucchini Carrot Pancakes (maybe not for breakfast...but then again, why not?)

Summer Veggie Stew (carrots, zucchini, tomatoes...yum!  I would switch out real cream for the evaporated milk)

Roasted Wax Beans with Arugula and Lemon (Skip the arugula at the end, or use a different green.)

String Beans and Summer Squash (Green or yellow...makes no difference)

Garden Fresh Bruschetta

Parmesan Tomato Zucchini Bake

After looking at these recipes, some of you might be wishing you had a Small Share instead of Mini, or a Full Share instead of Small!  If you find that your share isn't large enough, you can increase it.  Or you can just order extras from the Webstore, too!  If you're in the area, we are at Hermitage Farmer's Market on Fridays and Robinson Twp (Pgh) Farmer's Market on Mondays.

We welcome your comments about our farms, the share contents, and anything else you want to tell us.  Feel free to share recipes and photos on our Facebook page.

Happy eating!

Amy

Posted 7/13/2017 9:48am by Amy Philson.

This week, we have updates from three of our farms.

Hazy Hollow Farm

I think our farm is an example of sustainable agriculture.  It has been under cultivation since about 1800 when the McCoy family acquired it as a part of a Revolutionary War grant, so the legend goes.  The main barn that we still use was built in 1820 from timber cut on the farm.
My father and grandfather bought the farm in 1947, and it became Hazy Hollow Farm, one of the Country Belle Cooperative dairy farms. 
 
My father maintained the dairy herd until 1964 when he moved to beef cattle and Merino sheep – I was 25% owner of the flock – at age 10.
In the late 1970s my father kept a small beef and pig operation going.  In the mid 1980s my wife, two sons and I returned to the farm and established a Christmas tree nursery.  By the 1990s we were wholesaling trees and selling eggs and honey at the Slippery Rock Farmers’ Market.   We also established a Boer/Alpine cross meat goat herd, and began raising Bobwhite quail.
 
In 2006 I purchased a Scots Highland bull, registered him as Hazy Hollow Hugh, and began a Scots Highland beef herd.  I chose the Scots because they are considered a heritage breed and are extremely “thrifty” which means they utilize nutrients well, calve easily, and are generally hardy.  At the time my pastures were marginal, and the animals have prospered.
   
I market my animals as hanging halves and through the CSA.  None of the beef animals that I market have ever eaten grain of any kind,  although some of the brood cows I purchased early on were grain supplemented, that was years ago and that ended when they arrived at Hazy Hollow.  I have experimented with crossbreeding with Hereford and Angus/Hereford brood cows, but am currently returning to a completely Scots operation of about 30 head combined cows, calves and yearlings.
 
We also keep a small number of pasture raised pigs, which we market as we do the beef, and free range chickens for our own use.  Of course, there are rabbits, alpacas and donkeys for the grandchildren. Hazy Hollow Farm currently consists of 130 acres of pasture, hay and forest land. We use no herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  Besides my wife and I, our two sons and their wives and six children live on the property – the fifth generation of Thompsons on the farm.  I think that speaks to sustainability.
 
Our Ground Beef Shares feature meat from Hazy Hollow Farm.  Their beef, pork, and honey are available in the Webstore.

Silver Wheel Farm

Rain rain rain. Farmers love rain, especially in July. We plan on pulling our garlic crop on July 18 - 20, so we hope it dries up a bit before then, but in the meantime the rains are waking up new plantings of beans, sunflowers and lettuce. And the best time to cultivate the soil in the growing beds is after a rain, when the soil is a dark brown chocolate color, but not too ‘wet’.    
 
It has been an outstanding season for us so far; the kale and chard have never been bigger or more beautiful. We cover all of our greens beds with Agribon row cover to prevent the insects from chewing holes in the leaves. Works like a charm. The ‘Zephyr’ summer squash is going gangbusters already.  Parsley plants resemble big bouquets of green.  High tunnel basil looks just like the pictures in the seed catalogs. 
 
Potatoes are standing tall in straw-mulched hills, we dug (and already ate with the help of family and friends)  10 lbs of ‘Carola’ potatoes over the weekend.  Delicious with home-grown shallots and parsley.  I think one of the most strikingly noticeable flavor differences is that between store-bought potatoes (which have been sprayed with a wide variety of toxic chemicals, and have been sitting in a warehouse for who knows how long…usually months…) and freshly-dug, naturally-raised potatoes.  Really!  You can detect  a sweet earthiness. Try different kinds--each has a distinct flavor, much like fine wine.   Don’t forget the shallots and parsley!
 
Look for Silver Wheel Farm's products in the Choice box next week, and some of their herbs in the Webstore.
 
Grateful Life Farm
 
Baby bunnies arrived this week!  Friday evening when I opened the hutch to put in the first nest box, our doe Brandi had already had two kits.  I scooped them up and put them in the nest box, covering them with the fur she had pulled from beneath her chin.  She has never had such a small litter before and there was no afterbirth, so I started to worry.  I kept checking her every few hours and early Saturday afternoon the rest of the litter came, five more almost 24 hours later.  That night, our other doe Coco gave birth to a litter of eight, which were all doing well the next morning.  Their fur is just starting to come in now at four and five days old.
 
On Wednesday we let our turkeys out on pasture after a week of getting used to their new shelter.  This year we cut the feathers short on the right wing of each bird prior to letting them out to limit their flying abilities.  Although the feathers grow back, the birds will have gotten used to being a bit off balance and they don't seem to try to fly so high.  Their roost is around four feet off the ground and they will have no trouble reaching that, but we are hoping to eliminate the phone calls from our neighbor, informing us that our turkeys got out and are on the roof of our house!

Last Sunday we processed our second batch of chickens, giving us nine days to break down our new pen into halves and move it, and the fence, to a large field near the back of our property.  One of the frustrations of this growth stage of our farm is that we always seem to be in crisis mode and this project is no exception.  Almost two months ago, we ordered a brush cutting attachment for our BCS, two-wheeled tractor, to cut the grass in this field.  The attachment was supposed to arrive in one week, but took five weeks, and the tractor and the attachment are now at the dealer service department and the grass in the field is knee high.  Shawn spent some time with the weed eater, which didn't get him far on grass cutting.  However, the noise drew the attention of the neighbor, who told him he's an idiot and agreed to bring his tractor and brush hog the field in exchange for six gallons of diesel fuel.  Now we'll only need to build a bridge over a small stream to access the field, rake off all the grass, and set everything up.  Will we make it? 
 
Grateful Life Farm supplies our Chicken Shares and Rabbit Shares, as well as some produce for CSA Shares.  Their products are also available in the Webstore.
 
CSA Shares
Full Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 6 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. lettuce mix from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berries
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres
 
Small Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard from NuWay Farm
  • 3 pickling cucumbers from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. blueberries from Hochstetler Berries
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Springfield Acres
Mini Share
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 pickling cucumber from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from NuWay Farm
 
Recipes
 
 
Lemon Zucchini Bread  I will cut the sugar in half and sub applesauce for part of the oil, plus use a gluten-free flour.
 
35 Zucchini Recipes Surely you can find something here!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
25 Healthy Lunches (or dinners) for people who hate salad  Most of these recipes don't match this week's CSA share, but there are some great ideas here to save for later.
 
I love this time of year when we have more choices of fresh produce!  Were you the lucky one who snatched the cherry tomatoes from the choice box at your location?  We had 4 available today, to spread over all of our pickups.
 
Have a great week!
Amy
 
 
Posted 7/6/2017 10:44am by Amy Philson.

I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day celebration.  It's very rare when farmers take the day off.  Most worked part of the day and then squeezed in some time for relaxation with friends and family. 

Here is an update from Grateful Life Farm that was written last Friday:

Although busy, this week was happily uneventful with no major storms or power outages!  On Sunday, we moved our turkey shelter, mowed around it, and set up another section of fence to transition the turkey poults to pasture.  We ran an extension cord and hung a heat lamp above the roost for a bit of extra warmth at night.  The first two evenings at dusk, I had to pick up each turkey and place them on the roost, but by the third night they were flying up on their own.  We also transitioned our third batch of broiler chickens from their brooder to pasture and received another shipment of day old chicks on Wednesday morning.  This was also the final week of gestation for our two rabbit does, who are expected to give birth this weekend!  Tonight I will place a nest box filled with bedding in each of their hutches in anticipation.

In the garden, our spring crops are looking a little ragged, with some of the spinach and lettuce going to seed after the hot spell, but the summer crops coming on strong.  The green beans, basil, and tomatoes and growing well, and I noticed the first flowers on tomatoes yesterday.  This weekend we will stake the tomatoes and prune off suckers.  The next succession of radishes will be ready in a week or two and the kale and collards look full and strong.  We harvested the scapes from our hardneck garlic, which means the heads will be ready in about a month.  Scapes have a delicious garlic flavor and make an intense pesto.   https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1015301-garlic-scape-pesto
 
We also pulled a few test heads from the Inchelium Red softneck variety we planted and they looked much larger than we expected and very nice.  I even managed to get several more flats of lettuce transplanted yesterday just before the rain came.  It was a beautiful evening with a strong breeze to cut the humidity and hundreds of fireflies flashing as night fell.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 qt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. mixed lettuce from Grateful Life Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from NuWay Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Allegheny River Farm
  • 1 herb from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Springfield Acres

Small Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 qt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Harmony Grove Farm, and Allegheny River Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. blueberries from Bushel and a Peck Farm and Bylers Blueberries
  • 1 pt. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Detweiler Farm

Recipes

31 things to do with CSA Veggies  Some of these recipes look fabulous!

Blueberry Chicken Chopped Salad

Blueberry Feta Salad

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Pint Blueberry Jam  Did you know that you can make blueberry jam with only 1 pint of berries?  It's honey-sweetened, too!

Lemon Grilled Zucchini  I made this to go with our burgers and dogs last night.  We love this recipe from Against All Grain.  Feel free to substitute whatever herbs you have on hand.

Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Easy Thai Carrot Soup

Meaty Zucchini Casserole

Baked Kohlrabi Fries with Greek Tzatziki

I love to make a simple coleslaw with kohlrabi and carrots.  Dress it with a creamy dressing or a vinegar/oil dressing.  Just be sure to peel your kohlrabi before you shred it, or your jaw will get a good workout.

Thank you again for supporting local farms.  We welcome your feedback on the share contents.  Do you like herbs in the shares, or would you rather do without?  Too much lettuce?  Not enough lettuce?  Of course, we can't please everyone, and in the early weeks we have lots of greens, but we still want to know what you think so we can improve.  Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes are coming soon!

Amy

 

 

 

 


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