NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 5/4/2017 9:31am by Amy Philson.

Yes, it's already May.  Flowers are blooming, weather is warming...and farmers are planting their summer crops. 

We need your help.  Sign-ups for our Farm Shares are falling short of our past seasons.  In fact, way behind.  Our farmers depend on the preorders of Farm Shares to plan what and how much to plant.  However, they are shooting in the dark right now.  And they are getting worried that they won't be able to sell their products.  Which means more family farms closing down.

In fact, two of our member farms decided to do just that this year.  They couldn't make ends meet by depending on farming, so they were forced to take a different job in order to care for their families. 

Farming is a gamble, and we seem to lose more often than we win.  And people wonder why the price of local food is so high.  It's because we don't receive farm subsidies from the government.  We prefer to rely on our hard work and the support of our community.

Since you are a part of our mailing list, we know that you see the importance of healthy food.  You value supporting our local economy by purchasing that food from small family farms. 

We all know that there are some drawbacks to purchasing a Farm Share.  Sometimes it is inconvenient to make another stop to pick up your share.  And you have to actually cook!  But if good health is important to us, then we all must make the time to seek out the best food and prepare it for our families.

At our cooperative's recent Board of Directors meeting, we discussed ways to meet the needs of our changing society, including a mobile farm truck, farmer's markets, home delivery, a storefront or market stand, and more.  All of these ideas are in the discussion stage right now, but we welcome your input as we adapt to the needs of our communities.


How can you help?

  • Some of you have already signed up for your Farm Share.  A big THANK YOU to you!  You can help by telling your friends, family, and acquaintances about our Farm Share.  Some of our pickup locations are in danger of being cancelled if membership there doesn't increase.
  • Some of you are brand new to NWPA Growers and don't know much about us.  I encourage you to try a Farm Share.  We have several sizes available to match your eating habits.
  • Some of you have been considering a Farm Share but just haven't gotten around to signing up.  Do it now!
  • Some of you grow your own garden.  Consider joining our Webstore to supplement what you grow.  The Webstore also has healthy meats, eggs, cheese, maple products, honey, and more.
  • All of you can forward this email to others.  Or go to our Facebook page and share. 


Again, thank you all for your support of local farms.  We take our mission to provide healthy food to our surrounding communities very seriously.  But we can't do it alone.

Live well and eat healthy.

Amy Philson, manager

Northwest Pennsylvania Growers' Cooperative


Posted 4/26/2017 11:23am by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this beautiful day!  All of your farmers are busy busy busy this time of year planting, prepping fields, tending to baby animals, and more.  Farms are abuzz with activity!

Here is what is in your Farm Shares today:

  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 lb. rhubarb from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. spring ramps from NuWay Farm
  • 5 oz. pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

For those of you who are new to local foods, ramps are a wild onion/garlic relative.  We responsibly forage for them in our woods so that we don't over-harvest and ensure their continued growth.  They are only available for about 4-6 weeks in the spring, and they are native to northeastern woods.  One of my favorite ways to eat them is in an omelet.  Use both the bulb and leaves.  I generally sauté the chopped bulb as I do onion and garlic, and chop the leaves to add to dishes toward the end of cooking time since they are more delicate.  Enjoy this spring treat!


Asparagus Salad

Pea Shoot and Baby Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Egg Fried Rice  I would add some chopped or shredded carrots and pea shoots to this, too.

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Muffins

Grape, Avocado and Arugula Salad

Crispy Chicken with Arugula & Parmesan

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pudding Cake

Cinnamon-Rhubarb Muffins  I make these with a gluten-free flour and reduced sugar.  Delicious!

Ramp Spaghetti Carbonara with Poached Eggs

Ramp Butter

Ramp Chowder  with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options


If you would help us out, please share with your friends and family about our CSA.  We rely on word of mouth for our best advertising.  Like us on facebook and share our posts.  Thank you all for your support of our small family farms!

Until next thyme...



Posted 4/12/2017 12:00pm by Amy Philson.

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

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

Here is what is in your Farm Share this week:

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

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


Chef Salad in a Jar

10 Three-Minute Salad Dressings

Pea Shoot and Baby Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Linguini with Arugula, Garlic & Parmesan

Arugula Salad with Parmesan, Lemon and Olive Oil

Japanese Sweet Potato Fries

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

Balsamic, Honey Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Garlic Roasted Cabbage Wedges


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

Blessings to you all.


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

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

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

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

Here is what is in your Farm Share box today:

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

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


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

Spinach Frittata

Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Fried Egg Bowl

Mushroom and Sweet Potato Japanese-Style Curry

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken and Spinach with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Paleo Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and Eggs


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

Until next thyme,



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend!

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative

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

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

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

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

Here is what is in your CSA share this week:

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


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

Creamy Four Cheese Spinach Butternut Squash

Slow Cooker Risotto with Butternut Squash

The Best Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup

Raw Citrus Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Orange and Quinoa Salad

garlic pea shoots

Simple Lemon Pasta with Parmesan and Pea Shoots

Parsnip Sweet Potato Latke with Garlic Aioli

9 Super-Easy Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipes

Garlic Herb Sweet Potato Fries

Roasted Turmeric Parsnip Fries

Simple roasted parsnips


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


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

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

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

New this year: 

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

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

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

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

Check out our Website to get the full scoop.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers' Cooperative

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

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

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

Here is what is in your CSA share today:

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


Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry

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

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

Beetroot and Feta Cheese Salad

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

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

Honey Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes

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

Indian Fried Cabbage

Easy Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

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

Mushroom Lentil Loaf -- Another vegetarian main dish.

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

Happy eating!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions?  Email me at amy@nwpagrowers.com




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