NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 10/18/2017 5:16pm by Amy Philson.

I love fall.  The cool mornings, the sunshine warming the afternoons, the colorful leaves.  I also like the change in food from season to season, bringing new flavors to our plates that we had tired of several months ago.  This is Week 20 of our 24-week season...only 4 more weeks to go! 

Farm Updates

NuWay Farm

Hello NWPG Supporters,
 
Here we are now in mid-October already.  The leaves are turning color, the days are shortening, winter seems not far away.  I love living where the seasons are so distinct.  Whenever I tire of the present season, a different one will soon be along.  This year's growing season was for us just typical.  Some crops were a flop, while others were a success.  No matter the weather, it is usually good for something.  That's the benefit of being diversified.
 
You all can probably see the changes in the seasons by the contents of your share box.  In the spring, there are lots of greens, in the summer there are tomatoes, in the fall we have root crops, and in the winter storage crops and greens from high tunnels.
 
If your root cellar is filled, your woodshed stocked, a fat hog in the barn waiting on doomsday, winter need not be dreaded.  I look forward to some rest.  Let's enjoy it.

David's son, Willie, is healing slowly.  He is in rehab in Ohio, taking two steps forward and one step back.  His progress doesn't seem fast enough for the family making many trips back and forth and wishing for him to return to normal.  However, a severe brain injury and broken pelvis take a long time to heal. Please continue to pray for them as they come to your mind.

Grateful Life Farm

Last Sunday, we processed the last of our broiler chickens for the season, our experimental batch of Robust White broilers.  We processed them at 60 days old, just a bit longer than our normal 55 days for standard Cornish Cross broilers, and achieved only a slightly lower average weight than our largest batches for this season.  We had no mortality, excluding the two baby chicks that did not survive their first 24 hours, and no lameness or other leg problems.  We enjoyed working with these birds very much because of their energetic temperament and they produced a handsome, tasty carcass, still double-breasted, but with meatier legs.  However, a few weeks prior to processing, we started to notice each day during pen moves that they were leaving a lot of feathers behind.  This turned out to be because they have a lot more feathers than Cornish Cross broilers, probably the reason they are hardier!  The difficulty in plucking them cleanly led to an extra hour spent on our already long processing day.  We will consider carefully if we will raise these birds again.  We may use them in the beginning and end of the season to allow us to extend the production season a week or two beyond what typical broilers can comfortably weather.

This week we moved our rabbit doe Brandi and her four week old litter of seven to their pasture pen.  They always seem so happy to have lots of room to run around and grass and clover to munch on.  Today I put a nest box in our second doe Cocoa's hutch.  She is scheduled to have a litter this weekend.  After being sold out of rabbit for quite some time, we are looking forward to having more available starting in early December and through the winter. 

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, Grateful Life Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Mullett Farm

Small Share

  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1/3 lb. kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, Grateful Life Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Mullett Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Springfield Acres, Grateful Life Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Miller Farm Products, and Mullett Farm

Recipes

30-Minute Kale, White Bean and Chicken Soup (Sub other veggies that you have on hand for the zucchini, since it is out of season.  I would add carrots, squash, or sweet potatoes.)

Healthy Egg Kale Breakfast Cups

Creamy Cauliflower Chowder (gluten-free)

Low Carb Loaded Cauliflower

Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Stuffing (I made this last night and it was delicious!  Even those who usually turn up their noses as squash liked it.)

Italian Sausage and Brown Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Acorn Squash

Sautéed Cabbage

Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw

Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Onion Dijon Sauce (I've shared this one before, but it's my family's favorite cabbage recipe.)

Kale and Beet Salad

May your home be filled with the aroma of fall and love around your table.

Posted 10/11/2017 6:50pm by Amy Philson.

We are getting some much-needed rain this week.  Did you notice how brown everything was...and how green it turned overnight?  This will give our fall crops quite a boost.  We have 5 more weeks in our CSA season.  Have you signed up for your Winter Share yet?

Hazy Hollow Farm

Surprise!  Rosebud had a calf on Sunday, so things continue.  Both mother and son seem to be doing fine.

Grateful Life Farm

What an unhappy surprise to have the first fall frost come two weeks early!  For our area, the average first frost date is October 15th and this year it came in the early hours of October 1st and then again the following night.  Our basil got some protection from the floating row cover we applied, but the tops are still blackened.  Green beans, tomatoes, sunflowers, and our fall bearing raspberries are done for the year.  We are very much looking forward to the high tunnel we plan to install next season and the increased protection it will give us from the unpredictability of the weather.

The good news is that the colder temperatures and the much needed rain we've had in the past few days have really helped our lettuce, radishes, and spinach along.  Our kale, collards, and mustard greens are tasting even nicer now that we've had frost.  With the summer crops finished, it's time to prepare those beds for the garlic we will plant starting around the 15th.  I'm adding a fourth variety this year - Music!

Now that we've decided to proceed with raising pigs, we've spent quite a bit of time this week cutting brush and mapping out areas of our property where we will rotate them.  We will need a stationary shelter and fenced in area near the house, where we will keep the pigs in the worst of winter and where we can train young pigs to respect electric fence.  We will also need a portable shelter and electric fence to rotate the pigs through our woods and through some overgrown pasture areas I would like them to till.   

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 head Salad Endive from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch French Breakfast Radish from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head Cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Butternut Squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. Sweet Onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Springfield Acres
  • 1 Herb from Springfield Acres

Small Share

  • 1 head Salad Endive from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch French Breakfast Radish from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head Cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Butternut Squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. Sweet Onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 head Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Springfield Acres

Mini Share

  • 1 bunch French Breakfast Radish from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head Cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Springfield Acres

Recipes

The endive that is in shares is a salad endive that can be eaten raw.  If you chose a green from the Choice box that has long deeply incised leaves, that is regular endive, and is usually cooked.

Cabbage, Apple, and Radish Slaw (you can probably sub your endive in this recipe, too)

Endive Radish Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette

Sautéed Radish Greens (yes, you can eat the greens, too!)

Radish Salsa

Ginger Carrot Radish Salad

Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry

Skinny Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash and Spinach Tortellini

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower

Enjoy these cool fall days.  I think I'm going to go make a cup of tea to enjoy.

Amy

Posted 10/5/2017 11:01am by Amy Philson.

This is the final week of Peak-of-the-Season Shares.  Thank you for trying us out with a short-season share.  Even though your weekly CSA share is coming to an end, you may still order from the Webstore through the end of the current season in November.  When you place Webstore orders, payment is due at pickup.  I will still send you reminders that the Webstore is open and it's pickup day.  If you do not wish to order and do not want these emails, please let me know and I will turn them off for you.

We have several farm updates for you this week:

Hazy Hollow Farm

It finally got cool enough on September 30 that I thought we could trim the sheep and goat hooves without heat stressing them.  That went well, thanks to the Lakeland sheep table we bought last fall.  It works really well as the animals remain much calmer than working with them on the ground.

Now if it would only rain.  The pastures are really short and dry.  I don't want to start haying yet, but if we have to, we will.

Also, I bought a few Guineas because I was told they eat deer ticks.  Maybe, but they sure follow the sheep and goats around and clean up there.  They're pretty, and pretty loud, but no worse than the donkeys.

Springfield Acres and Silver Wheel Farm

I (Lori from Silver Wheel Farm) baked some Apple Cider Rye loaves, using Patty's cider of course (Springfield Acres). Photo is Patty with bread, cider and her apples that were going to the cider press the next day.

Happy Apple Lady washing up the cider apples on a beautiful day

Grateful Life Farm

I am very grateful that this heat wave has passed and it is finally starting to feel like fall.  Our final batch of broilers, the robust whites, came through the heat without any issues.  Each scorching afternoon when I arrived to move their pen to fresh grass, they were as active and excited as ever.  We had planned to process these birds October 1st, but they have grown a little slower than we hoped, and we will wait one more week.  Our fall vegetable crops also look well.  I was very concerned about the lettuce going to seed, but the damp, cool nights, shorter day length, and my frequent watering seems to have averted bolting.  We will finally have lettuce for the market this weekend and through the rest of the season, some red butter, green butter, and green oakleaf!       

As this season slows down, I am finding myself with more time and energy to work on plans for next year.  We are applying for several grants, for a high tunnel, to extend our vegetable production season, and also for a forestry management plan, to improve our wooded areas through selective timbering and controlling invasive species in the understory.  We have also decided that we will be adding forest-finished pork to our product lineup for next year!  As this project develops, I'll be publishing a blog post on our website with many more details.

Bushel and a Peck Farm

This is one of our busiest weeks of the year.  Friday through Sunday we will have two booths at Applefest in Franklin, selling our maple products at one booth and coffees and teas at another.  Also on Friday, we have a booth at Clarion's Autumn Leaf Festival.  Both of these festivals were new to us last year, and they were on different weekends.  But this year they fall on the same weekend, so we are splitting our forces to attend both. 
 
The week is full of last-minute prepping.  Maple syrup is made in the late winter/early spring, but we store it in 5-50 gallon containers to save space.  Throughout the year, we reheat and bottle the syrup as needed, as well as use it to make our value-added products.  While we have steadily been building up our inventory for this weekend, we have fallen behind where we need to be so we are in a mad scramble to get everything done.
 
We are also debuting a new product this weekend that we have been perfecting:  Cinnamon-infused Maple Syrup.  People tell us it reminds them of a Cinnabon.  This adds to our line of specialty syrups, which includes Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup and Vanilla Bean Infused Maple Syrup.
 
We enjoy markets and festivals, meeting people and sharing our love for maple syrup, but we will all be glad for a (very short) rest next week.  Maybe I can sleep in for an extra hour next Tuesday.  Maybe.
 
If you're in Franklin or Clarion this weekend, stop by and say "hi!" 

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1/2 lb. broccoli rabe from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1/3 lb. broccoli rabe from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli 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, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/4 lb. broccoli rabe from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

 

 

Recipes

Spicy Potato Wedges (scale the recipe up or down for the amount of potatoes you have)

One Pan Italian Sausage and Veggies (switch out veggies according to your family's preferences and what is in season)

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Broccoli Apple Salad

Italian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe (this blog gives a great description of broccoli rabe and how to prepare it)

Lemony Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli Rabe

Delicata Squash and Sausage Gratin

 

Until next week...

Amy

Posted 9/28/2017 9:16pm by Amy Philson.

As the season turns from summer to fall, we hope you have been enjoying good food from bountiful harvests, whether from our farmers, your garden, or local farmers markets.  We encourage you to eat locally as much and as often as you can.  We are reminded that winter is coming, and we need to make preparations for the season ahead.

Enrollment for our Winter CSA is now open, so you can continue to eat locally and seasonally all year.  Some of you depend on our member farms for much of your family's produce, meat, and other farm products.  Others have your own garden and look to us for local food during the cold months.  Some of you are just curious about how a Farm Share works and haven't yet tried it out.

As you know, a farmer's bills don't stop coming just because the growing season is taking a long nap.  Our farmers prepare for this by growing storage crops like squash, onions, potatoes, beets, cabbage, and more.  We also have some greenhouses that allow us to grow fresh greens through the cold, dark days.  Since most of the produce lasts longer in winter, we schedule deliveries every two weeks to several communities in Mercer, Venango, and Butler counties.  If you live outside those areas, you will have to wait until our Summer CSA to enjoy the fruit of our farmers' land when we expand our delivery area.

You can find all the details about our Winter Farm Share on our website.  If you have questions, please send us an email, and we will do our best to answer your questions.

This year, we are asking that our members make a down-payment toward your Winter Share and pay the remainder in 2018 to help us avoid income taxes on money that is not really income for the co-op but goes to the farmers in the remaining months of the Winter CSA.

Do you prefer the Webstore rather than the CSA?  Details and application are available here.

Thank you for supporting our small family farms.  We endeavor to grow the most nutrient-dense food as possible with the resources that we have.

Amy Philson, general manager

Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Cooperative

Posted 9/28/2017 5:14am by Amy Philson.

The topic of everyone's conversation:  It's soooo hot!  I can't wait until fall weather!  We have been counting the days until the cooler weather would arrive.  It's finally here!  Our fall crops don't like this heat, and the greens and broccoli want to go to seed instead of giving us a delicious harvest.  Now if we could only get a day of rain...

This is Week 11 of 12 for our Peak-of-the-Season Shares.  If you would like to continue your share through the end of the season, please contact me for more information.  Alternately, you will have access to the Webstore through November.  It is Week 17 of 24 for the full-season shares.

Silver Wheel Farm

Here is the newest addition to Silver Wheel Farm-- that’s our Polin Stratos 2 deck bread oven! Isn’t she beautiful? Technicians Andrew and Todd spent two days doing the installation; to ‘season’ the decks and prevent cracking they slowly brought the temperature up to only 194 over an eight hour period. The second day they took it up higher and pronounced it ‘ready-to-bake’. We’ll be baking artisan breads at temperatures up 550 degrees.
 
Many of you might remember when Silver Wheel sold breads at the ‘old’ Slippery Rock Market 'way back in 2003-2008, and also through the NWPAGC webstore for a few years. We are now taking it to the next level, having built a fully-equipped commercial kitchen on our farm to house Going With The Grain LLC. Our breads will be made with organic, non-GMO, local ingredients (organic flours from Weatherbury Farm in Avella, PA) and will also showcase local (NWPAGC) farm produce and products. Stay tuned, we are a few weeks away from our grand opening, but our Facebook page will be up and running later today. As Andrew said (technician on the left) “Hello, we’re here to make your baking dreams come true!”

Grateful Life Farm

This week we have been busy moving fences and mowing the fence lines to make sure our portable electric net fences are as hot as can be after an alarming incident on Monday.  Shawn had come back in the house after morning chores and heard some strange yipping noises outside the window as well as the laying hens sounding the alarm and running for cover.  When he looked outside, he saw a mama coyote and two young, right in our yard in broad daylight!  After processing rabbits on Sunday, I had cleaned out the empty rabbit tractors and one had been left open to air out.  Shawn watched one of the young coyotes climb right in, walk through the hutch, down the run, and hop back out the other side!  We've heard coyotes practically every night the last week, and our theory is that they've been pushed out of their homes by some nearby timbering activity and closer to us.   

I'm still not finished with planting all the transplants I prepared for fall and winter veggies, but very close.  Only seven more flats are staring reproachfully at me.  I have never harvested all through the winter, but the last few mild winters and our purchase of low tunnel supplies have encouraged me to give it a try this year.  According to renowned organic grower Eliot Coleman, crops should be timed to reach approximately 75% of their full maturity when the hours of daylight drop below ten and plant growth slows to nearly nothing.  In our region, this will happen around November 8th.  If you'd like to try some winter gardening of your own, the Johnny's Selected Seeds website has this handy chart showing how many weeks before this date to plant various crops.  According to the chart, I am right on time for spinach, but behind for lettuce and green onions.  http://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/vegetables/winter-harvest-planting-chart.html 

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1/2 lb. baby kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli from Detweiler Farm
  • 6 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1/3 lb. baby kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pt. sunsugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli from Detweiler Farm
  • 4 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/3 lb. baby kale from NuWay Farm
  • 1 broccoli from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Garlic Baby Kale with Crushed Red Pepper

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Garlic Parmesan Broccoli

Simple Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Baby Kale Salad with Parmesan and Roasted Chickpeas

Turkey, Mushroom and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Summer Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

11 Delicious and Unique Corn on the Cob Recipes

 

Have a great week, and thank you for your support of our small family farms.

Amy

Posted 9/20/2017 2:19pm by Amy Philson.

Well, after the last couple of weeks, we didn't expect such hot summer weather in the middle of September.  I love fall...the warmish days and cool nights, apples, pumpkins and squash, colorful leaves, sweaters in the morning, cleaning out the gardens.  But sometimes fall just gives me a teaser and then lets summer crowd it out for a little bit longer.  I can wait...as long as fall gets its fair share of days and winter doesn't rush in.

Silver Wheel Farm

Silver Wheel Farm

You are welcome, whoever you are! Now that we (Silver Wheel Farm) no longer sell at Farmers Markets we miss the personal interactions with customers. It was so gratifying to find this little note taped onto a returned flower bouquet container. All of the farmers that are part of our cooperative work very hard to send our members the very best produce, meats, cheeses and more, and it is nice to know that we are appreciated. 

Grateful Life Farm

On Saturday, our rabbit doe Brandi had a litter of seven!  She and the babies are doing well.  Unfortunately, our Silver Fox doe Coco, who was also scheduled to kindle that day, turned out to not be pregnant.  I kept checking the nest box obsessively through the weekend and into Monday, but finally accepted reality, removed her nest box, and took her back to the buck's hutch last evening for a few hours.  That pair has successfully produced a litter earlier this season, so I suspect the buck may have been temporarily sterile from the summer heat and humidity.   

On Sunday, we processed our fifth batch of broiler chickens.  Our daily chores are diminished substantially now that we have only the laying hens, the rabbits, the turkeys, and one last batch of broiler chickens to care for.  This is good because we are losing daylight rapidly and the time between evening chores and dark is shrinking fast.  Despite this, I've managed to clean out some garden beds and plant out several flats of spinach transplants in time for the rain Wednesday night to water them in well.  With more inside time, I've also been able to put a batch of tomatoes through the canner and cook a couple of simple but delicious chicken meals I'll share with you. 

I think we often feel that cooking requires recipes, special ingredients, trips to the store, and more effort than we can muster after a long workday.  While that can be a fun way to cook, we can often nourish our bodies without much effort from our garden, farmer's market, or CSA box and the seasonings in our cupboards.  One night, I placed parchment paper on a baking sheet, preheated the oven to 425 F, and spread out assorted legs, drumsticks, and wings.  I seasoned them heavily with salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika and roasted them for 25 minutes.  I also roasted cherry tomatoes and cut up eggplant, onions, and zucchini tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a side dish.  Another night, I marinated boneless skinless breasts in coconut aminos (a gluten-free soy sauce substitute) with a dash of fish sauce and maple syrup, while I baked a few buttery Yukon gold potatoes.  I grilled the breasts on high heat for 5 minutes per side.  Shawn always complains that boneless, skinless breasts are dry, but he loved these and gobbled them up!  

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1/2 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch beets from NuWay Farm
  • 6 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 spaghetti squash from Mullett Farm
  • 1 bunch parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch carrots from NuWay Farm
  • 4 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch parsley from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 corn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Detweiler Farm, Mullett Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Save those beet greens!  Citrus Sautéed Beets and Greens

Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots

Carrot Apple Bread

How to Cook Beets

Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad

Arugula and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans

Turkey, Mushroom and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash (Cut the recipe in half with one acorn squash)

Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

3-Ingredient Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash (you could sub arugula for the spinach)

Enjoy this warm "fall" weather!

Posted 9/13/2017 1:54pm by Amy Philson.

I have good news to share about David Yoder's son, Willie.  He is healing slowly, and has begun responding to commands and answering some questions with a nod of his head.  They removed one of the pain medications, so he is not as groggy.  The doctors are hoping to move him to a rehab facility at the end of the week!  That is wonderful news for his family and friends, when just a couple of weeks ago we didn't know if he would even survive.  Again, thank you for your prayers and thoughts toward this family as you think of them.

This Saturday, Howard from Mickley Farm will be at Penn Pantry in Harmony.  They will have samples of Howard's meat, as well as meat for sale, a new item at their store.  They are offering samples from other local food vendors as well.  https://www.pennpantry.com/

This Sunday, plan to come see us at Munnell Run Farm Day in Mercer.  It's a free family event that highlights our agricultural heritage.  Tour the farm, shop from local artisans, learn about local organizations, and grab lunch.  We will have some produce for sale at our booth, along with information about our CSA, and we will also be selling salads in the lunch area made with our farmers' produce.  My husband will also have a booth with our maple products.  Find out more here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/712993075565764/

We are also at farmers markets in Hermitage on Friday and Robinson Twp on Monday.

Here is our weekly update from Grateful Life Farm:

This week has truly been a joy just to be outdoors with cool, misty mornings, periods of brilliant sunshine and gentle rain while we're sleeping to make the vegetables and grass grow.  Many mornings, we pull up to the back pasture at dawn and catch a glimpse of deer and wild turkeys. 

Our laying hens are starting to molt, getting ready for winter by shedding their old feathers and growing new ones.  It can be alarming to open up their shelter in the morning and see the ground beneath their roosts completely carpeted in shed feathers.  Several of them are looking really scruffy and our rooster is especially sad without any of his normally showy tail feathers.  Hens do not lay many eggs while they put their energy into feather regrowth, but we have not seen much of a decline, probably because we have hens of different ages and not all are molting at the same time. 

When we build new pens and shelters, we always tweak our previous designs to address problems we've experienced, but sometimes we inadvertently create new problems.  Our new pasture pen has several inches more ground clearance with the wheels raised to make the daily pen moves easier.  The greater clearance unfortunately also allows small birds in their first week or two on pasture to duck out rather than walking with the pen.  This is never too much of a problem with the Cornish Cross broilers; we sometimes have one or two escapees.  But with the Robust White broilers, once one gets out, they all want out.  It can be frustrating to move the pen to fresh grass only to see a dozen little birds sprinting away to the fence line.  We then have to herd them back towards their pen, many with grasshoppers they've found clutched in their beaks, and catch each one.  They are fast at this age and I'll be happy when they've grown too big to get out.

We put in nest boxes for our rabbit does Brandi and Coco, who are scheduled to give birth tomorrow!  This weekend we will also be processing another batch of broiler chickens.  Our standard cuts are wholes, halves, leg quarters, wings, and boneless, skinless breasts.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lb. roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 garlic from Silver Wheel Farm
  • 2 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 zucchini from Miller Farm Products
  • 3 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. yellow beans from Mullet Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bag roma tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 delicata squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 Choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Mullet Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Delicata squash is my favorite squash.  It's very sweet and mild.  When it's fresh, the skin is tender and can be eaten, so you don't have to peel it.

Roasted Wax Beans with Herbs and Feta (you can use green or yellow beans)

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Delicata Squash (Sumac has a lemony flavor.  If you don't have sumac, you can just leave it out or add a little lemon zest or lemon juice.)

Thai Green Curry

Rosemary Roasted Delicata Squash

Green Bean, Tomato, Onion and Basil Salad (cut up your heirloom tomato instead of the cherry tomatoes)

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Mozzarella 

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

I love fall foods, with apples, squash, sweet potatoes, and maple!  I made a delicata squash curry with added quinoa a few days ago.  I put sautéed apples and maple syrup on my oatmeal this morning. Do you eat seasonally?  That's one thing that CSA teaches us, how to eat with the changing seasons that we have in Pennsylvania.

Happy fall!

Amy

Posted 9/6/2017 12:59pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this fall day!  The weather certainly has changed into fall, even though the calendar doesn't say so.  This weather makes me crave soup, pumpkin, and casseroles.  I can't wait until our squash harvest begins! 

Farm Updates

David Yoder's son, Willie, is beginning his recovery.  Until last Saturday, it was touch-and-go, and the doctors and family did not know whether he would survive.  However, he began to show signs of improvement.  He has had surgery to insert a tracheal tube and a feeding tube, allowing them to remove all the tubes going into his head.  The doctors have reduced his sedatives, allowing him to wake from his coma.  He is responding to the voices of his family.  He still has a long recovery ahead, but the family is so thankful for your prayers and thoughts.

Silver Wheel Farm

This week we turned our attention fully to Fall chores, maintenance and planting. Time to brush hog the far field. Time to mow and clear the cross country ski paths in our woods. Time to do final prep work on the 3 x 125 ft beds where we will plant shallots, walking onions and garlic for next year. Time to enjoy the dahlias in full bloom, knowing that we will soon harvest crates of tubers to store in the cellar for spring 2018 planting.

As I wrote about a while back, the potato crop is simply magnificent this year. Now we are digging the variety 'Elba', and hoo-boy, there are some spectacular Elba 'lunkers' hiding out in the potato rows. Reliably 8 - 12 potatoes per hill! We get our seed potatoes (not actually 'seeds', but rather whole potatoes to plant) from Fedco Seeds in Maine. I highly recommend the Carola, Satina, Purple Viking and Elba varieties for our area. If you have never grown potatoes before, I especially recommend Carola and Elba. Fedco carries Certified Organic and Naturally Grown (as well as conventional) seed potatoes. We have never been disappointed in the 19 years that we have ordered seeds, plants and trees from this cooperatively-structured company.

In the photo you can see the straw mulch pushed back to reveal the potato hill. We have found that not skimping on straw yields the best results.  Pile it on.

In the other photo the kale addicts--er, I mean chickens-- are racing to snatch a fresh kale leaf.  May The Best Chicken Win.

Grateful Life Farm

September 1st!  The noticeably shorter days and this cool weather make it feel like fall is coming very soon.  The rabbits and turkeys really love the cooler weather and are much more active.  Our final batch of chicks for the season, the experimental Robust Whites (a cross between Cornish Cross and Freedom Ranger,) went out to the back pasture pen on Tuesday.  Although their appearance is only slightly different from the Cornish Cross, with some birds having a bit of very light reddish feathering, their behavior difference is striking.  They are extremely energetic, racing to the other side of the pen like a tiny stampede, and avid in their foraging.  I had some concerns about the cold nights we've been having, but they seem unfazed.  It will be interesting to see if they stay so strong and healthy as they grow bigger.  So far, this experiment has been encouraging and has led us to consider trying some Freedom Rangers next year.

This week we've also continued to seed and transplant lettuce, green onions, radishes, turnips, and spinach for fall, which should be complete in the next few days.  Some of the summer items we struggled with earlier in the year are finally coming in.  We've harvested our first ripe tomatoes, beautiful and delicious Berkeley Pink Tie Dye, and the sunflowers are coming on strong.  Our mustard greens and lettuce, transplanted several weeks ago, are looking good as well.

We've had a few pieces of sad news that affected us deeply this week.  Early Wednesday morning we learned the terrible news that two men Shawn had worked with were killed the night before at Bruce Mansfield Power Plant when they inhaled and were overcome by hydrogen sulfide gas.  Having both spent our careers in these types of facilities and experienced fires and explosions, we were reminded yet again that the stress and hardships of transitioning to making our living as farmers are worth the struggle.  We also learned that some close friends have decided to get out of farming, after two deaths in their family.  They had learned so much and made so much progress in their skills and abilities and their infrastructure that it is really sad to see them giving up.  We are carefully considering if we will purchase one of their sows and begin producing forest-raised pork next year.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 3 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Small Share

  • 1 heirloom tomato from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. candy onions from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 garlic from Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm
  • 1 herb choice from Silver Wheel Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 pt. sun sugar cherry tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 choice from NuWay Farm, Miller Farm Products, Detweiler Farm, Bushel and a Peck Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, Springfield Acres, and Grateful Life Farm

Recipes

Southern Fried Cabbage

Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad

Tomato Bacon Carbonara

Tomato Chickpea Salad

3-Ingredient Roasted Dijon Potatoes

Fried Cabbage and Potatoes with Bacon

Cabbage Lasagna

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry

I'm sure that many of you have transitioned from your summer schedule back to school schedules.  I hope that our recipe suggestions help you get a healthy dinner on the table each night rather than running through the drive-thru.  With a little planning, you can still have a healthy dinner on the table in about 30 minutes on your busiest days.

Have a great week!

Amy

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

 

 


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