NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 3/20/2019 12:55pm by Amy Philson.

This is the final week of Winter CSA.  We hope you have enjoyed the winter veggies, fresh lettuce, and locally raised meats and eggs.  If you have suggestions for how we can improve, we are always open to feedback from our members.  Spring Shares begin in two short weeks.

Farm News

Bushel and a Peck Farm

At our farm, we are deep into maple syrup season.  The sap is flowing well with cold nights and warmer days.  We all wish for more of the 70-degree days like we saw last week, but when we have too many of those the sap stops flowing.  Maple syrup producers wish for days like today to last for a month or two. 

In our woods, we use tubing to connect the taps to the tank in our saphouse.  A vacuum pump draws the sap from the trees into the pump.  Then the raw sap is pumped into a large tank on the back of the truck to be transported back to the evaporator house.  There, the sap is run through a reverse osmosis (RO) machine which removes pure water and concentrates the sap.  Then it is pumped to a holding tank above our evaporator, where it gravity feeds into the evaporator when we are ready to boil.  The RO allows us to boil more sap in a smaller evaporator in less time.  Our evaporator is a succession of pans that slowly boil off water and concentrate the sap into syrup, and is fueled by firewood from our woods.  We are often boiling late into the night (or even all night when the sap is flowing profusely), making this season exhausting at times.

But the syrup isn't finished yet.  Before we bottle the syrup, we filter out any impurities and niter.  When syrup is boiled, the minerals become concentrated, making the syrup cloudy and eventually settling in the bottom of the bottle.  Backyard maple syrup producers don't bother to filter out the niter, as it can be quite time-consuming (besides the special equipment needed).  They simply pass the syrup through felt filters removing large impurities.  Then the syrup will be bottled or stored in barrels waiting to be made into our various maple products.

We also have a house guest at the moment.  One of our sheep gave birth to twins this week, and she rejected the smaller one.  She won't feed it or care for it, so we brought it in the house to be bottle fed.  Violet is very sweet, and she will transition out to the barn and field as soon as she is big enough.

Grateful Life Farm

Some quiet signs of spring are starting to show.  While tending to the animals in the morning I hear bird song.  The garlic shoots snuck up out of their thick layer of leaf mulch while I wasn’t looking.  The days are getting a little longer and our hens are laying lots of eggs each day.  Maple sap is flowing from our taps like crazy!  The onion seeds I started have germinated and will be ready to trim back soon to promote more vigorous growth.  And each week I’m preparing more flats of soil blocks, starting more seeds, and dreaming of placing them outside in the soil soon.

CSA Shares

  • 2 lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 tatsoi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 maple mustard from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms from TOG
  • 1 lb. beets from TOG
  • 1 red onion from TOG
  • 1.5-2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG


Oven Roasted Sweets and Beets

Raw Citrus Beet Salad

Simple Butter Lettuce Salad

Healthy Sweet Potato Muffins

Indian Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry

Thai Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

30 Minute Chicken and Mushroom Marsala (I served this last night.  Delicious over rice or cauli rice.  I subbed cashew milk for the coconut and thickened it slightly.)

Brown Butter Mushroom Pasta

Chicken Club Lettuce Wrap

Garlic Sesame Chicken Lettuce Cups

Chilled Wilted Tatsoi Salad

Sweet Potato and Tatsoi Soup

Tatsoi Fried Rice

Thank you all for supporting our local farms during our "off" season.  Expenses continue even when income is low, and we really appreciate you sticking with us through the cold months.  Now on to spring!




Posted 3/6/2019 12:28pm by Amy Philson.

I am counting on the old adage about March:  "In like a lion, out like a lamb."  This cold is more tolerable in January than in March.  The daylight is lengthening, and this weekend we move our clocks forward (who ever came up with this scheme, anyway?).  So that means that spring is just around the corner...at least I hope so!

While most of us would rather stay inside during these cold days, farmers still have to go out in it.  Animals need fed.  Greenhouse heat needs maintained.  Some seeds have been planted in flats.  And some farmers are working on projects for the coming growing season.  Derek at Glacial Till Farm is drilling post holes to put a deer fence around his fields to minimize damage to his crops.  Hazy Hollow Farm has been making slate roof repairs on the old farmhouse after the windstorm last week.  Bushel and a Peck Farm is anticipating the warm-up this weekend so the maple sap begins running again.

CSA Shares

  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products
  • 1 jar honey from Hazy Hollow Farm
  • 2 lettuce (or 1 lettuce and 1 Rosie Asian Green) from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. golden turnips from TOG
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 2 lb. golden potatoes from TOG


Lemon Roasted Turnips

Red Lentil Soup with Chicken and Turnips (or leave the chicken out for a vegan meal)

Instant Pot Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry  You can make this on the stovetop if you don't have an Instant Pot.

Mexican Chicken, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Skillet

Honey Cinnamon Cornbread Muffins

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

Veggie Loaded Breakfast Bake

Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce (a "cheesy" sauce made with veggies)

Honey Flan Have you ever made flan?  It is actually quite simple.  My family loves flan made with maple syrup.  I have even made it with nutmilk.  

We have one more week of Winter CSA.  Have you signed up for spring yet?



Posted 2/21/2019 2:15pm by Amy Philson.

Again, I apologize for changing the pickup day this week, especially at the last minute.  I had received some emails from members asking if we were still going to deliver after learning of the weather forecast.  At that point, we were.  But when our van was sliding around in the driveway before it even left and a forecast for freezing rain, we decided it would be safest to delay for a day.

Spring is quickly on its way.  I am late in getting the website updated for Spring and Summer CSA, but finally got it done this week.  With only two Winter season deliveries left, don't delay!  To access the sign-up page, go here:  http://nwpagrowers.com/members

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

This week we welcomed three new litters of baby rabbits!  Our beautiful Silver Fox doe Coco, a reliable mother, had a litter, and we also had litters from two of our new Giant Chinchilla and Champagne D'Argent cross does.  We are experimenting with raising these two does, who are sisters, together in a colony system.  They were bred on the same day, and I feared that only one had given birth when I discovered a nest in only one of the two nesting boxes we had provided.  However, when I checked the nest, I discovered that both does had given birth in the same box and 16 tiny baby rabbits were nestled together. 
This weekend we will be welcoming this year's piglets to the farm!  The breeder we purchased from last year did not breed this year, and I looked hard and long to eventually find the Gloucester Old Spots and Tamworth crosses we will be picking up on Sunday.  I have heard wonderful things about the flavor and quality of meat from both of these breeds and am very excited to try them this year.  I am also excited to have these friendly and personable animals on the farm again.

CSA Shares

  • 1 bag tatsoi from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 bag arugula OR lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. popcorn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from TOG
  • 1 lb. parsnips from TOG
  • 1 lb. beets from TOG
  • 1 lb. daikon radish from TOG
  • 1/2 lb. shallots from TOG
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms from TOG


Red Wine and Garlic Mushrooms

Crispy Daikon Radish Cakes

Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon

Mushroom and Crispy Shallot Nachos

Caramelized Shallot and Gruyere Quiche

Instant Pot Chopped Eggs:  Do you hate peeling eggs for egg salad?  Skip that step using your Instant Pot.  I'm sure this could be adapted for stovetop, too.

Roasted Beet Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese

Roasted Parsnip Salad

Bombay Carrot Salad

Arugula Orange Salad

Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and White Bean Soup

Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots

Crispy Salmon on Tatsoi

Chickpea Tatsoi Curry Soup

Artichoke Pesto and Burrata Pizza with Lemony Arugula (this one just LOOKS delicious)

If you try any of these, let us know how they turned out.


Posted 2/20/2019 2:06pm by Amy Philson.

It's hard to believe that spring is just around the corner when I look outside today.  But the maple trees are beginning to flow, lambs and calves are appearing on our farms, and there are signs of green trying to peek out of the ground.  Our farmers have already begun planting seeds for our early crops.  And now it's time for you to think about where your food will come from this year.

More and more we are seeing news headlines about food recalls across the nation.  This is the result of our commodity-based food supply chain.  When lettuce is picked 3,000 miles away and then shipped to our local store, there is greater opportunity for harmful bacteria to grow.  When mega-farms harvest semi-truckloads of a particular vegetable, there is greater chance of listeria hiding on their equipment waiting for a chance to hitch a ride to an unsuspecting consumer.  

But the story is different when you buy locally.  Produce from small, local farms is safer to eat because of the shorter time from harvest to consumer and because of the smaller scale.  Plus, your farmers are eating from their fields, too.

So if you want cleaner, fresher food, choose local.  Plus, you have the added benefit of supporting your local economy.  So don't delay...join our CSA!

Spring Shares begin in April, just 6 weeks from now.  There are only five deliveries in April and May, so it's a great way to "try out" a CSA without the long commitment of the full season.

Summer shares begin in mid-June and run for 24 weeks.  Or you can opt for our 12-week Peak-of-the-Season share July-September.

We also offer various add-on shares if you would like meat or eggs each week.  

For those of you returning, we have the exact same pricing and sizes that we had last year.  Another option is the Select Share, where you can customize your share and your schedule.

If you are thinking, "It's only February...I have lots of time," the earlier you sign up, the more time you have to spread out your payments to help with budgeting.

Stay warm and dry on this dismal day...and dream of fresh greens and field-ripened tomatoes.


Posted 2/6/2019 1:17pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 5 of Winter CSA.  If you read my email on Friday, we had a little mix-up with one of our suppliers, so your shares are a little bit small today.  We will make it up in a future week.  I had to find a couple of veggies from a different farmer to round out our shares.  The celeriac and sweet potatoes are certified organic, grown locally.  After we received delivery on them and I opened the boxes, I was less than pleased with the sweet potatoes.  First of all, they are gigantic.  While that is fine if you have a large family like I do, many of you will likely wonder what in the world you will do with these monsters.  Secondly, some of the sweet potatoes have bad spots that you will have to cut off.  And you should use them sooner rather than later.  I truly apologize.  But the bright side is that most of you who received a single sweet potato have well over the 2 lb. that I allotted to your share.  Some of you have smaller sweet potatoes in bags, which you are used to.  And a couple of you have 1/2 dozen eggs instead of your sweet potato or celeriac.

What in the world is celeriac???  I know that some of you have never eaten it, or even heard of it.  This week, you get to stretch your veggie knowledge and taste buds.  Celeriac and celery are the same plant but different varieties, cultivated for either the root or the stems.  They have similar flavor, but they should not be used interchangeably in recipes.  Celeriac is good in soups and stews, gratins, and even grated in salads.  You will need to peel the root and discard all the knobby skin, which is easily done by trimming off the top and bottom and cutting down through the outer layer while it is sitting on your cutting board.  Use immediately or put it in acidified water to prevent discoloration.

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

Our laying hens and rabbits have made it through the bitter cold of the last few days and nights, but our incoming well water line was a casualty.  We were very hopeful that our improvements last year of heat tracing and burying it deeper would keep it from freezing, but we’ll have to try again.  In the meantime, we’re purchasing water for the animals and ourselves and I’ve even melted some snow on the woodstove for my camping shower bag!  We will likely have running water again when temperatures warm above freezing tomorrow afternoon. 
I am grateful for the warmup because five of our rabbit does are ready to kindle in the next two weeks, with the first one due on Sunday.  We’re expecting litters from our three experienced does, Brandi, Coco, and Cinnamon, as well as two first time mamas. (Amy:  this was composed last weekend, and their water is running again.)
Despite the snow and cold, we’ve been trying hard to get outside as much as possible and we’ve taken some beautiful hikes and even done a little winter foraging.  We were excited to identify a tree right in our front yard as an Eastern white pine and the tea we made was mild and pleasant. 
We were also excited to make our way back to some of the thickest multiflora rose patches on our property and find rose hips still on the plants.  They tasted sweet, like craisins, and we ate some raw and made a delicious, delicately pink tea as well. 

Bushel and a Peck Farm

During the very cold days, we spend time working on our maple equipment and preparing drops for sap collection.  This involves cutting a section of tubing and using a special tool to attach the tap to one end and a connector to the other.  Later, the taps will be inserted into trees and connected to larger tubing that runs to our collection tanks.  These are used for new lines.
This week, however, has warmed up nicely, so we are spending lots of time in the woods clearing lines of fallen tree limbs and attaching new taps to the tubing drops.  The tubing stays in the woods year-round, but we have to replace the plastic taps that are inserted into the tree every year.  The taps can harbor bacteria which can affect tree health and also reduce sap collection.
Maple sap is probably beginning to run, but we don't like to tap the trees too early.  As soon as you drill a hole and insert the tap, the tree begins healing the wound.  As the season progresses, there will be less and less sap that comes out of each hole.  So if we prematurely tap trees during a warm spell in the winter, it can greatly reduce collection over the course of the season.  Sometimes this reasoning holds up, but sometimes it backfires on us.  Last year, many producers tapped during the warm January and made lots of syrup, but we waited until late February because we knew there would be another cold spell.  Then, when it did start to warm up, it did so very quickly.  March was unseasonably warm last year, and that curtailed maple season quickly.  So it's always a gamble trying to predict what the weather is going to do.

CSA Shares

  • 1 lb. popcorn from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 Rosie Asian greens OR arugula from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 oz. garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG or CRO (some may have eggs instead)
  • 1 celeriac from CRO (one of you has eggs instead)

CSA Recipes

Kohlrabi and Sausage Skillet

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

One Bowl Sweet Potato Brownies

10 Best Celeriac recipes

Celeriac Soup with Roasted Garlic, Chives, and Pine Nuts

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad (sub your arugula or Rosie greens for some or all of the kale)

Roasted Broccoli Chickpea Arugula Salad

Celeriac and Potato Mash

Chili and Lime Popcorn

Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream

I realized today that some of you may have never made homemade popcorn.  So here's an easy tutorial for you.

Honey Butter Popcorn

I welcome feedback on your CSA Shares!  What do you like?  What would you rather skip in the future?  Would you like more non-veggie items like eggs, maple products, honey, and bath products?  Or do you prefer almost all veggies?  Please share your thoughts.



Posted 1/23/2019 12:31pm by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 4 of our Winter CSA.  We're halfway through the cold season (even though our real cold just started).  Last weekend some of your farmers received just a few inches of snow along with freezing rain, but most of us saw about a foot of snow.  Today we have about an inch of rain falling, and then it is supposed to turn cold again.  All that water freezing will make chores even more challenging as we navigate across ice to care for our animals and winter crops.  Hopefully we will get another layer of snow on top of the ice to give us some traction.

Farm News

Even though it is cold, your farmers are still hard at work.  At Hazy Hollow Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Mickley Farm, Miller Farm, Detweiler Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm we are busy caring for animals.  Our grass fed animals get hay during the winter that was cut and baled last summer and fall.  Other animals (like chickens) are fed grain along with hay.  During cold snaps, it is a challenge to keep animal water from freezing.  Sometimes water heaters don't quite cut it, so we need to break ice and refresh their water multiple times each day.  We also clean their stalls in the barn and put down fresh bedding.  And chicken eggs need to be collected multiple times each day to prevent them from freezing.

Glacial Till Farm 

They don't have any storage crops for us this winter, but they are increasing their production this year to include some.  Here are some snippets that they have shared this month:
"The ground was finally frozen enough to start cutting the logs I stacked last winter into firewood. I removed all the trees from the edge of the field to let more sunlight on the crops. This wood will heat my house."

"Completely reconfigured the the tool shed to get ready for the deer fence addition and root vegetable wash station. So I had to move the goats to stall three, and clean the goat bedding out of stall one which will now be a BCS “garage”." (BCS is a multi-purpose farm tool for tilling, etc.)
"After 8 years the wheelbarrow I found along the side of the road broke. So I decided to go with this farm cart. It straddles my beds so I can apply compost only on the beds."

Grateful Life Farm

Winter has returned and our farm has been blanketed with a layer of fresh snow nearly every day this week.  We always worry about the animals when temperatures drop, but they surprise us with their resilience.  If we block wind and snow in a snug shelter and make sure they always have fresh water, they do very well.  Slightly before first light, the laying hens are ready to start their day and I can hear them while I drink my coffee, calling me to get my winter clothes on and get myself outside ASAP!

When I open the door, I can see that a wild rabbit has been busy during the night making her rounds.  The rabbits in the pasture pens are thrilled for me to shovel off a fresh patch of grass for them and replace the ice in their bowls with fresh warm water.

And when I'm finished feeding and watering, it looks like a gloriously sunny day is dawning behind the pine trees!

CSA Shares

We have a couple of new products in our CSA boxes this week.  The Gilfeather Turnip is on Slow Food's Arc of Taste.  Here is some info I found about it:

"A Vermont heirloom root crop with a long story as well as a long history. John Gilfeather first began selling his farm-original rutabaga, calling it a 'turnip' (as rutabagas are often called in Vermont), in the late 1800's, jealously protecting his propriety by careful trimming of the tops and roots to prevent "unauthorized reproduction" of his genetic treasure. Fortunately for his Precious, some seeds eventually escaped Gilfeather's hoard, and were commercialized by a market farming couple unrelated to the Gilfeather family. The name was thereafter protected by a registered trademark until 1995, when the trademark was allowed to lapse. Such efforts to keep control of open pollinated seeds seem quaint today, when the dominant model of protection has become the legally heavy-handed Utility Patent.
The genetic story is also interesting. The bachelor Gilfeather's "turnip" is actually an interspecies cross between a rutabaga (Brassica napus) and a true turnip (Brassica rapa). Such crosses are uncommon, but occur at a rate of 1% or less when the plants flower together in close quarters. Mr. Gilfeather's discovery likely resulted from keeping his own seed on the farm, and paying attention to the 'off-types' that can result from doing so. I can relate. This is how I became a plant breeder.
'Gilfeathers Turnip' leaves have the color and shape of rutabaga, with a good kale-like flavor. The root is shaped like a football rather than a sphere, lacks the purple top of both common turnips and rutabaga, has the color of a white turnip (as opposed to the yellowish flesh of common rutabaga), with a texture and flavor intermediate between the two. When cooked and mashed, the color and texture would mislead many to think of mashed potatoes. The flavor is mild, with less of the sulfurous taste that we associate with the Brassica family. When allowed to grow to seed, the seed plant has a close-branched architecture like a turnip with flowers almost identical to Siberian kale and rutabaga." from http://www.wildgardenseed.com/product_info.php?products_id=284

Rosie Asian Greens are a pac choi variety developed by Johnny's Seeds.  Use it in any recipe that calls for an Asian green like mizuna, mibuna, pac choi, etc.  Or you can use the leaves in place of spinach and use the stems in soups or stir-fry.

  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 garlic from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. Gilfeather turnips from TOG
  • 1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms from TOG
  • 1 bunch green onions from Harmony Grove Farm (one of you received garlic chives instead because they ran short)
  • 1 bag Rosie Asian greens from Harmony Grove Farm


Asian Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms (use creminis instead!)

Choy Sum (Asian Greens) with Garlic Sauce

Creamy Tagliatelle and Mushrooms (use any pasta shape you like)

Chickpea and Turnip Lemon Soup 

Mashed Carrots and Turnips

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup

Potato, Corn and Kohlrabi Chowder

Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry (Add chickpeas or lentils to make a plant-based meal, or some cooked chicken if you prefer.  This post has a link to make your own curry paste if you feel adventurous in the kitchen.)

Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw (Leave out the red cabbage if you don't have it; it adds a little flavor, but it's mostly for color.)

If you make something delicious with your CSA veggies, please share it with me or on our Facebook page!

Have a great week and stay safe.


Posted 1/9/2019 10:25am by Amy Philson.

Today is Week 3 of our Winter CSA Season.  Deliveries are running ahead of schedule today, so you can pick up earlier if you wish at every location except Slippery Rock.

Our farmers have lots of certain types of storage crops that last through part or most of the winter.  Others grow year-round in heated greenhouses.  However, we don't currently have enough to fill all of the shares, so we supplement with veggies from a certified organic farmer's cooperative a few hours away.  We cooperate with another local co-op for transportation, because they, too, supplement with produce from TOG in the winter.  This arrangement brings you greater variety in the winter with regional food (not within a 60-mile radius but still considered local when looking at the grand scheme of our food).  This week we supplement with sweet potatoes and parsnips, two crops that I have been asking our farmers to grow for years but no one has had much success with, especially to store them long-term.

Farm News

Grateful Life Farm

As we prepare for a new farming year in 2019, we take time to reflect on the previous year; what went well, what could be improved on, and what lessons we took from our experiences.  Our biggest change for 2018 was to improve our broiler chicken operation by hiring help to process larger groups of chickens on a single day.  We were so nervous about this!  Where and how would we find people who would want to come to our remote farm to do this physically and emotionally challenging job and would care about food safety, quality, and the welfare of our birds as much as we do?  To our surprise, getting help was one of the best decisions we ever made.  We found wonderful people whose kind spirits and tireless hard work made the job so much easier.  We enjoyed passing on our knowledge to those who wanted to learn, and in turn, we learned from those who had experience processing chickens on other farms.  Other people will likely not do a job exactly as you would, but it’s possible they will do it even better!  We finished each processing day with a crew lunch with meats and vegetables from our farm.


CSA Shares

  • 1 red cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. beets from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. parsnips from TOG
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes from TOG
  • 1 bag arugula from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm


Roasted Beet Hippie Bowls with Horseradish Cream (interesting name, kind of like a buddha bowl)

Roasted Carrots and Beets with Thyme

Slow Cooker Red Cabbage

Crunchy Red Cabbage and Tuna Slaw

Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Feta Salad

Best Sweet Potato Casserole Ever (Paleo.  My family's absolute favorite sweet potato recipe.)

Roasted Parsnip Salad

Maple Roasted Parsnips

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad


Have a great day!  I am off to New Mexico for a week, so please be patient if I don't respond to emails quickly.


Posted 12/19/2018 12:04pm by Amy Philson.

It's Week 2 of our Winter CSA Season.  Just a reminder:  we have a 3-week break between deliveries this time, resuming on January 9.

What's new at our farms this week?  Let's see....We have seen the sun for two days in a row now!!!  That is great news for the greenhouses at Harmony Grove Farm.  Plants don't grow when it's cloudy and cold.  Even when it is cold outside, the sun quickly warms our greenhouses and perks up the plants.

We are all dealing with lots of mud.  With the warmer temps this month, the ground isn't frozen, but it's wet.  So it's difficult to do much in the fields and woods that requires machinery.  Some of us need to cut firewood, but it's too wet to drive trucks into the woods.  Some still need to cut corn or beans...again, too wet.  I have seen a meme recently that goes something like this:  "You're a farmer?!?  Cool!  What do you raise?"  I reply, "Mud.  I raise mud."  But freezing temps are coming soon.

There's not much else to report this time of year.  We all keep very busy most days, but sometimes there isn't much to say about the routine chores.

CSA Shares

  • 1/2 pt. maple syrup from Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1 spaghetti squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 red cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 bag barese chard from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

More variety is coming in January!


Maple Chai Tea Latte.  I always use maple syrup or honey to sweeten my coffee and tea.  You can make this with regular milk or a dairy-free alternative.  Take some time to enjoy a special drink.

Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.  This would be delicious with chicken, too.

Maple Apple Breakfast Crisp

The Barese is like a cross between Swiss chard and bok choi.  It would be a great fit for this Swiss Chard and Onion Fritatta.

Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Herbs.  A vegetarian meal with crispy pine nuts.

Roasted Carrots and Mushrooms.  Delicious!

Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins

Red Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Asian Quinoa Salad (with red cabbage and peanut sauce)

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Your farmers at Northwest PA Growers Co-op want to wish you and your family happy holidays.  May you enjoy peace and love and family this season.




Posted 12/5/2018 12:48pm by Amy Philson.

Welcome to NWPA Growers' Winter CSA!  Most of you are returning members, and we thank you for sticking with us (or coming back) for the winter.  New members, we hope you enjoy the local farm products this winter.  I send this email out on CSA day telling you what is in your share, giving you farm news, and sharing some recipes to give you inspiration for your veggies.  We use Pinterest to organize our recipes, so if you have a Pinterest account be sure to follow us.  We also have lots of recipes on our website from past years if you need even more ideas.

Farm News

Harmony Grove Farm

We have barely seen the sun in the last few weeks, so our greens are growing extremely slowly.  They keep very well in our heated greenhouse, so we just have to be patient while they grow.  Because we aren't harvesting or planting much right now, we have slowed down, taking time to hunt and rest during these early days of December.

We make this Garlic Chive Cracker Spread every time we have party, and everyone loves it. It’s very simple to make.   

Garlic Chive Cracker Spread:

  • 1 oz Chopped Japanese Garlic Chives
  • 1 package Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
  • Some salt, garlic powder, & onion powder to taste  

Mix everything together, and make into a log. Enjoy!!  

Bushel and a Peck Farm

We are in a very busy season at our farm right now.  Our temporary store, Philson & Friends at Grove City Outlets is in full swing, so at least one of us is there almost every day. Our store features mostly locally made products, from maple syrup, honey, and beef jerky to decorative glass, leather purses, jewelry, and more.  Stop in to see us if you're looking for unique gifts and want to support local businesses.

We are also busy bottling maple syrup and making more maple products to keep the store shelves full.  Plus we will soon be in the woods repairing sap lines and stretching new lines to prepare for tapping in February.  We are looking forward to taking a break in January and early February before the sap begins to run.  But we never know what the weather will hold.  Last year, we had an unseasonably warm January with lots of sap running, only to shut off in February.  With farming, we have learned to be flexible when it comes to planning too far in advance, because those plans will inevitably change.

CSA Shares

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. potatoes from Miller Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 oz. Japanese garlic chives from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm


In honor of Hanukkah, try some Garlic Parmesan Potato Latkes.  These should be served with sour cream or applesauce.

Panko Crusted Creamy Carrot Casserole

Creamy Potato Kohlrabi Soup

Cashew Cabbage (if you don't have green pepper, skip it or sprinkle a little red pepper flakes to spice it up)

One Pot Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

Kohlrabi Carrot Fritters

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry

If you make one of these, share a photo on our Facebook page.  Or if you find another delicious recipe, share that!

Have a wonderful week.  We will see you in two weeks!


Posted 11/14/2018 7:48pm by Amy Philson.

Another season has come to an end.  We are putting most of our gardens and fields away for the winter.  We have harvested our storage crops for Winter CSA.  A few farmers have greenhouses that will prolong the season, hoping for enough sunshine and warmth to harvest a some greens this winter.  Our garlic is planted.  We are preparing barns and coops to keep our animals protected from the cold.  Our bees have enough honey stores to survive the long winter.  Our maple trees are going dormant, awaiting the warmth that will make the sap run in the spring.  It's time for your farmers to take a rest.  Except that's not how it works.  Most of us have animals that need even more care in the cold months.  Things need fixed around the farms that get neglected during the busy growing season.  Some even heat a greenhouse with wood to continue harvesting through the winter.  But we do make sure we take some time to relax when it's frigid outside.

Thank you all for your continued commitment to local farmers.  We count it a privilege to provide you with nutritious food for your families.  This has been a season of transition for NWPAGC.  Two of our long-time farmers moved on to other ventures.  Other farmers remained with NWPAGC but are narrowing the focus of their farms away from produce.  Two farmers joined us, filling some of the gaps that others left.  So this season has been one of adjusting and finding the right balance.  At our winter meeting we will discuss the ups and downs of this season as we prepare for an even better season next year.

CSA Shares

Full Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Miller Farm
  • 1 cabbage (red or green) from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 kohlrabi from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cauliflower from Detweiler Farm
  • 8 oz. Siberian kale from Glacial Till Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 3 choice from Detweiler Farm and Miller Farm

Small Share

  • 1 butternut squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage (red or green) from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 2 choice from Detweiler Farm and Miller Farm

Mini Share

  • 1 cabbage (red or green) from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 acorn squash from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. sweet onions from Miller Farm
  • 1 choice from Detweiler Farm and Miller Farm


Spicy Ground Beef and Butternut Squash.  Vegetarian?  Switch up the ground beef with lentils.

Chai Spiced Butternut Squash Pie.  Like pumpkin pie.  Gluten-free/grain-free crust.  This will be on my menu soon!

Butternut Squash Soup.  The recipe calls it the best, but isn't every other recipe you find on Pinterest the best?  Anyway, I am eating a version of this soup for lunch all week.  Most of my family doesn't care for butternut squash soup, so when I make it it's mostly mine.  My win!  I say I am eating a version of this because I used this recipe as my guide.  I cooked a whole squash and pureed it...didn't measure.  I didn't have leeks or red onions so I sauteed sweet onion along with the apple.  I don't have any chicken broth on hand, so I skipped it and just used a little water to thin it at the end.  And I used nut milk in place of the cream.  It's still delicious even with all the changes.  I like a little hard cheese sprinkled on top of my squash soup, too.

Cabbage, Potato, and Sausage Soup

Warm Red Cabbage with Cranberries, Goat Cheese, and Almonds

Chinese 4-Ingredient Fried Cabbage.  Quick and easy.

Amazing Roasted Cabbage Soup.  The roasting adds depth of flavor.  Even cabbage-haters like this.

Roasted Red Cabbage with Lemon and Garlic

Cranberry Apple Acorn Squash

Kohlrabi Gratin with Mushrooms.  Switch up the oyster mushrooms with baby bellas or white button.  It calls for a few kohlrabi, but you have that many in one package!

Kale and Kohlrabi Salad

Kohlrabi and Apple Salad.  I shared this recipe a while ago.  My daughter made it this week at my request, since she won't eat kohlrabi salad.  It was delicious.  She left out the walnuts (I'm not sure why), and it was just as good.  Those of us who like slaw loved this recipe, so I thought I would share it again.

Well, that's a wrap on this season.  To those of you who actually read my newsletters, thank you for putting up with my ramblings all season.  I'll see some of you in three weeks for the Winter Share.  Happy Thanksgiving!