NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
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




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

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

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

This week's share

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


Simple Lemon Pasta with Parmesan and Pea Shoots

Tuscan-Style Roasted Carrots

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Bisque 

Pureed Butternut Squash with Sage & Toasted Almonds

Glazed Butternut Squash

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic and Walnuts

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

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


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

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

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

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

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

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

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

CSA Recipes

Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Chicken and Kale Casserole

Sauteed Peppers over Rice

Pepper pasta

Apple, Mushroom and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Orzo and Cheese baked acorn squash

Glazed Carrots and Ginger

Curry and Carrot Soup - Vegan

Red beets & beet greens

Beet Gratin


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



Posted 10/26/2016 11:52am by Amy Philson.

Farmers have been busy this week picking the last of their crops that are sensitive to freezing temperatures and covering those that are staying in the field.  We woke up to lots of ice over everything this morning.  When I went outside before sunrise this morning, the sky was clear and the stars were brilliant.  If you live in town, lights dim the night sky, but out here it's beautiful.  And cold!

There are some crops, though, that get better after a frost.  Broccoli and many greens are still in the field, where they can withstand freezing temperatures down to about 20.  Some root crops have been harvested, while others are still in the ground.  And the wood stove is already heating Harmony Grove's greenhouse to keep their lettuce fresh and tender on cold nights.

Some of our farmers are finished with their growing season, but a few continue to grow and harvest all winter.  But even those who keep going through the cold still look forward to a slower pace in the winter.  Most of society views summer as the time for a slower pace.  But not so for your farmers.  Their vacation comes in the winter.

But even though we look forward to relaxing a bit, bills continue to come in.  Some farmers work seasonal or second jobs to make ends meet.  Others save as much as they can during the regular growing season to get them through.  Some families have multiple wage-earners because farming isn't enough.  All struggle with the uncertainty and inconsistency of their income.

In the network of small, local farmers that I encounter from around the country (and world), I see much frustration.  We just want to farm our land and provide high-quality, nutrient-dense food to our communities.  But it's so difficult to compete with food that shouts "organic" from grocery store shelves, even though our definitions are not the same.  I continually see farmers giving up their dream because their communities can't support them.  Some of the farmers in our cooperative have had to make this difficult choice to give up farming.

I get that times are tough.  I get that food prices are high and income isn't keeping pace with expenses.  I'm right there with you.  But we all make choices about how we spend our money.  Is it worth $2/day to you to eat locally this winter and support local family farms?  If that is a value to you, then I encourage you to join our Winter CSA.  http://nwpagrowers.com/members

Of course, this won't apply to some of you because we can't deliver to all areas in the winter.  But you can purchase extra items through the Webstore in the coming weeks to use throughout the winter.  Winter squash, onions, potatoes, and more can be stored for months.  Other items can be frozen or canned to use throughout the winter.  And of course there are meats and other items that can be purchased for later use. 

We all have to work together to ensure that our local farming community can not only continue but thrive.  Thank you all for supporting local foods as much as you can.


This week's shares:

1 OR 2 acorn squash from Chester Detweiler Farm

1 lb. OR 2 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm

1 lb. onions from Miller Farm Products

1 lb. turnips from NuWay Farm

2 green peppers from Chester Detweiler Farm

1/3 lb. OR 1/2 lb. baby dinosaur kale from NuWay Farm

1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

1 OR 2 choice items from Chester Detweiler Farm, NuWay Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Miller Farm Products



Crock Pot Maple Acorn Squash


Raw Turnip Salad

Kale, Turnip, and Turkey Sausage Soup

Cider Glazed Turnips & Apples with Bacon

Kale Pesto

Kale with Lemon Balsamic-Butter


Enjoy the fall colors before they're gone!  I think I will go make some tea now, because I'm still cold from packing produce this morning!



Posted 10/19/2016 10:23am by Amy Philson.

Oh my, I have really been enjoying this week!  We have had guests at our farm for the last three evenings, enjoying dinner together and sitting around our fire pit.  The colors are absolutely gorgeous, and it has just been a delightful time to be outside.  Rain is coming to change that, but we need it.  Many of our farms' fall crops have stalled out because of the lack of rain recently.  They are still growing, but more slowly than expected.  And the warm weather isn't what fall crops like, either.  We need colder nights to sweeten up the carrots, turnips, and other root crops. 

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

  • Butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Bell peppers from Weeping Willow Farm
  • Red potatoes from Weeping Willow Farm
  • Lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Tatsoi from NuWay Farm (the kale that we had planned was too small to harvest, so we subbed tatsoi, in case you read the list at pickup)
  • Onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Beets from Chester Detweiler Farm (Full Shares only)
  • Choice items come from Springfield Acres, Chester Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, NuWay Farm, and Miller Farm Products

Tatsoi is an Asian green that can be used in place of spinach in many dishes.


Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash

Restaurant Style Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Winter tatsoi salad with butternut squash croutons

Chickpea & Tatsoi Coconut Curry (a meatless main dish that looks delish!)

Squash rolls (a great way to sneak orange vegetables into your family's dinner)


There are 4 more weeks in this CSA season.  Don't forget to sign up for Winter CSA!


Posted 9/1/2016 12:10pm by Amy Philson.

We are now in the second half of our CSA season.  It's hard to believe that we are only halfway through the season, since summer is at an end.  But that is the difference between farmers who raise crops for a living and most people who plant a garden.  I used to plant my entire garden in one or two sessions (depending on how early I got it started), and then harvest as things ripened over the course of the summer, finishing up sometime in September. 

But farmers who depend on raising crops for their income seek to extend the growing season as long as possible.  When one crop finishes in an area, it is tilled under and reseeded with something else.  Our farmer have been busy planting fall crops like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, and lots more.

Some crops are growing in large greenhouses to protect them after the weather turns cold.  The sun will heat the greenhouses during the day and keep many crops from freezing, sometimes into December.

CSA Shares

  • Red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • Roma tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Heirloom tomatoes from NuWay Farm
  • Mibuna (Asian green) from NuWay Farm
  • Onions from Miller Farm Products
  • Cabbage from Chester Detweiler Farm and NuWay Farm
  • Garlic from Miller Farm Products
  • Zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Beets from Chester Detweiler Farm (Full Shares only)
  • Choice from Chester Detweiler Farm, Busy Acres, Grateful Life Farm, NuWay Farm, and Miller Farm Products.

NOTE:  The farmer did not have as much garlic as he thought, and most of it was much smaller than I expected.  He didn't have enough to fill all the shares, but I didn't know that until we were packing boxes.  Full Shares do not have garlic today, but we will replace it next week with garlic from another farmer.


Braised Cabbage with Caraway

Beet and Cabbage Borscht

Sauteed Cabbage and Apples

Aunt Mary's Marinated Tomatoes

Grandma Blanche's Au Gratin Potatoes

Heirloom-Tomato Salad with Mizuna and Coriander Vinaigrette

Farmers' Market Greens with Shiitake-Ginger Sauce

Arugula Beet Salad (substitute mibuna)

Arugula and Tomato Pasta Salad (substitute mibuna)


That should give you some ideas for this week!  Enjoy your holiday weekend.


Posted 7/20/2016 12:16pm by Amy Philson.

It's CSA day!  I hear from some people that getting their CSA share each week is like opening a present.  They anticipate what might be in there and are excited to use the fresh produce in new or favorite recipes.  Others have a difficult time using up all of their share from week to week. 

Even though we have had some rain in the past week, it hasn't fallen on all of our farms, nor has it been enough.  Many crops are struggling from lack of water, and their yields will be smaller than normal.  This is the life of the farmer...always watching the weather and how it will affect crops.

Here is what is in your CSA shares this week:

Full Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 napa cabbage from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 qt. pickling cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 3 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 bunch beets from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 choice


Small Share

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 napa cabbage from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 cucumber from NuWay Farm
  • 2 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • Basil from NuWay Farm
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 choice


Don't throw away those beet greens!  I recommend that you cut the greens off when you get them home and store them in a separate bag. They will be fresher.

Basil Vinaigrette

Bailey's Basil Butter

Beet Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Beet Greens and Feta Pasta

Balsamic Beet Greens & Goat Cheese Crostini Recipe (This one looks a little more involved, but it looks delicious!)


Rosy Beet and Potato Salad with Garlic Dressing

Red and Green Cabbage with Thai-Style Fresh Herb dressing (skip the red cabbage; skip the hot pepper if preferred)

Beef and Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Carrot and Zucchini Salad With Seeds

Zucchini or Patty Pan Fudge Cake (Another chocolate zucchini cake.  Leave off the icing for a quick snack cake)

Tzatziki Sauce (serve this on falafel, Greek salad, meatballs, gyros...)

Sweet Vinegar Cucumber Salad

Easy Refrigerator Pickles


This should give you lots of ideas to spark your creativity in the kitchen!  Happy eating.


Posted 7/13/2016 12:43pm by Amy Philson.

A cooperative CSA is a bit different from a single farm CSA.  They both have benefits and drawbacks.  With a cooperative, we have a wider variety of products available than a single farm can produce on its own.  When there are shortages on one farm, another farm can often pick up the slack.  But we also have an issue with quality control at times.  Each farmer tells me each week which products they will have available for the following week.  I then draw products from all of the farms to create the CSA shares.  The farmers then harvest and deliver the products to our central sorting location.  I don't have the opportunity to see the produce before I arrive to sort and pack the shares in the morning.  I have to rely on the farmers to send their best produce.

Sometimes, the product that is delivered isn't what is expected.  Then we have the choice of rejecting products that are of lower quality, thus making the CSA shares unexpectedly smaller that week, or using them even though they aren't up to our standards.  That happened last week. 

Bok choi arrived that had more flea beetle holes than we desire.  While some holes can not be prevented when growing organically, but there are some measures that can be used to minimize them. 

In the same delivery, we had issue with the lettuce.  The heads were so large that the farmer tried to stuff the lettuce into bags rather than trimming it to fit.  I'm sure you all know what happens to lettuce when it is packed too tightly:  it deteriorates quickly. 

So we had two of the main products in the CSA shares last week that were inferior.  We elected to send them, hoping that they would be adequate.  If you received an unusable product, please let me know, and we will make it right. 

CSA Shares

Full Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1 lb. tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 2 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. green beans from NuWay Farm
  • 3 cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 4 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 cabbage from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice
  • 1 herb

Small Shares

  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. red potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. green beans from NuWay Farm
  • 3 cucumbers from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. kale from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 4 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 choice
  • 1 herb

Choice items came from Chester Detweiler Farm, Grateful Life Farm, Silver Wheel Farm, NuWay Farm, and Jonathan Byler Farm.  Herbs are from Springfield Acres, Silver Wheel Farm, Grateful Life Farm, and Bushel and a Peck Farm.


Creamy Kale Pasta

Cranberry Kale Salad (This calls for fresh cranberries, but I think it would be even better with dried cranberries or fresh blueberries.)

Chilly Dilly Cucumbers

Chili and Lime Cucumbers

"Karen's Salad" -Our version of a Greek Salad (not ours, but another farm's)

Andy�s Really Yummy Cabbage with Butter (again, another farmer.  But very simple.)

Cabbage Potato Soup

Baked New Potatoes

Zucchini Lemon Bundt Cake (a light, refreshing zucchini cake with lemon flavor!)

If you need more zucchini recipes, check the recipe archives from past CSAs.  There are over 50 zucchini recipes here!

I have mixed feelings about rain for today.  We desperately need the rain, but it seems like it rains every Thursday, washing away some of our farmer's markets.  So part of me is hoping it rains, but it would be nice if it finishes early or waits until evening.


Posted 7/6/2016 8:05pm by Amy Philson.

I am sure that some of you were disappointed with the rain that fell on July 4.  Your farmers were not!  The hot, dry weather continues to take a toll on produce.  Some areas received just a sprinkle of rain, not enough to give any relief.  We are hoping for more rain today.

Our new driver began this week, and I rode along with her for training.  Thank you to everyone who suggested potential drivers and passed the information on to others.

Let me share what our week looks like at NWPA Growers:

  • By Thursday evening, all farmers must let me know via phone or email what they will have available for the following week.  I then make a preliminary plan of CSA shares, update the Webstore inventory, and let our Wholesale Manager know what is available that week.  
  • Friday 7 a.m. I open the Webstore, monitor emails, and field more phone calls from farmers.  Friday noon I leave for farmer's market in Hermitage.  I arrive home around 9 p.m.
  • Saturday I do not work or check emails.  My day of rest.
  • Sunday I respond to emails, complete accounting from farmer's market, CSA, and Webstore.
  • Monday 7 a.m. I finalize CSA shares and update numbers that change weekly due to vacations.  9 a.m. Webstore closes and I send emails and field phone calls from all of our farmers to report their sales for the week.  I spend the morning running reports, printing 40-50 pages of pickup lists, spreadsheets, etc. for that week's deliveries. 
  • Tuesday is the big harvest day.  Some farmers will deliver their products to NuWay Farm that evening and put them in the walk-in cooler.  Others deliver Wednesday and Thursday mornings. 
  • Wednesday 6 a.m. I load my van and go to NuWay Farm for sorting and packing, picking up products from another farm on my way.  One of my children usually volunteers to help pack just because they like to.  Other farmers arrive by 7 a.m. to deliver their products for the day and some of them stay to help pack sometimes.  We are all packed and ready to send the driver on her way by 8:30 or 9 a.m.  When I arrive home, I work on this email, finding recipes to go with CSA Shares.  I also do some of my accounting and respond to emails.
  • Thursday 6 a.m. repeat of Wednesday.   Then it starts all over again.  Sandwiched in there is a lot of time spent sending emails, making sure the Website is up to date, tracking payments for CSA and Webstore, and lots of other things. 

Enough about our week; here is what is in CSA Shares this week:

Small Shares

  • 2 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 tomato from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/3 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice

Full Shares

  • 3 zucchini from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head bok choi from Allen Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. arugula from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. rhubarb from Jonathan Byler Farm
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss chard from NuWay Farm
  • 2 choice

And now the recipes:

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Arugula Pesto

Arugula ideas

Easy Fried Rice

Chinese Noodles

Bok Choy with Chile, Garlic, and Ginger

Curried Zucchini Soup

Scrambled eggs with zucchini

Juicy Sauteed Swiss Chard

Another thing that I do with zucchini is grate it and freeze it.  I then use it in smoothies throughout the year to reduce the amount of fruit needed.  It give more nutrition than ice and adopts the flavors of other foods with which it is blended.

Happy eating!