NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
Posted 6/8/2016 11:40am by Amy Philson.

Welcome to the new season of NWPA Growers' CSA!  We hope that you enjoy all the farm-fresh produce this summer and fall.  Our farmers work hard to bring you the best that they can offer.

Each week, all CSA members receive this email that lists what is in shares as well as some recipe suggestions.  I have a large family and cook a lot, so I try to find recipes that are not too complicated.  Very few will have odd ingredients, so you should have most things on hand or can easily substitute as long as you have a kitchen that is stocked with the basics.  One thing you will find with a CSA Share:  You have to cook! You will receive lots of standard produce in your share, but you will also get to try some new or different veggies.  A few of you have only meat shares, so most of the info in this email won't apply to you, since the recipes are centered around our veggie shares.

Our cooperative is currently made up of 19 farms, both Amish and English (that's what they call us).  Some farms grow only produce, others raise only meat, and others produce a variety of products.  Some farms are 100 or more acres, while others grow a large garden in their back yard.

Every Monday morning, I report the week's orders to each farmer via email or telephone.  The Amish go to a phone to call me for their orders.  Everyone then gets to work harvesting and preparing all of the orders for CSA, Webstore, and Wholesale.  Everything needs to be at David Yoder's NuWay Farm by 7 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.  A few of us meet there to sort and box orders and send them out for delivery with our driver.

So here's what you should have in your CSA box today:

  • 1 lb. rhubarb from Sunny Meadow Farm
  • Mixed lettuce from NuWay Farm (1/2 lb. Full Share; 1/3 lb. Small Share)
  • 1/2 lb. scallions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch radishes from NuWay Farm
  • 1 head green garlic from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • Strawberries (Quart from Allen Detweiler Farm for Full; Pint from NuWay Farm for Small)
  • 2 Choice
  • 1 Herb choice
  • Plus Full Shares have 1 pt. peas and 1/3 lb. spinach from NuWay Farm

Green garlic is garlic that has not fully matured.  Use it just like garlic, chopping it up to use in other dishes.  Just like leeks, most people discard the tough upper leaves.  However, you can use the tender part all the way up the stalk if you peel off the outer leaves.

And now some recipe ideas:

Did you know that you can eat radish tops?  Use them like any green in recipes for a mild radish flavor.  Or try Radish Top SoupThis recipe also calls for spinach, or you can substitute another green.

Or if soup doesn't appeal to you in June, try Cool Radish Pickles.

Cut lettuce doesn't last as long as Harmony Grove's lettuce with roots attached.  Make sure you use your lettuce in the next few days.  Herbed Salad Dressing for Salad Lovers

Parmesan Risotto just looked like a yummy basic recipe.  You can add scallions, garlic, spinach, peas, or other veggies for variety.

Oatmeal Rhubarb Pie uses a crust that you pat into the pan.  If you are terrified of rolling out pie crusts, here's the recipe for you!

Another rhubarb recipe:  Cinnamon-Topped Rhubarb Muffins.  I love rhubarb muffins!

We have lots of other recipes on our website from past years.  Go to http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe and search by ingredient, or just scroll through.

Have a wonderful week, and eat well!



Posted 5/18/2016 8:21pm by Amy Philson.

Greetings on this last day of Spring CSA Shares.  I'm sorry that this email is a bit later than usual today; it's a result of very full days in which I never get enough accomplished.  But we did get all of your CSA shares delivered without issue today, and I met with some members and potential members at the Mercer Area Library this evening for an informational session about NWPAGC.  And my list of things not yet accomplished will be waiting for me tomorrow morning.

We still have several pickup locations that are in jeopardy of being cancelled due to lack of interest:  Slippery Rock, Cranberry (north), Cranberry Twp., Greenville, Meadville, Wexford, Harmony, Mercer, and New Wilmington.  Please help us spread the word about the importance of supporting local farmers and buying local food.

Today's shares include:

  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/3 lb. watercress from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. frozen butternut squash from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 lb. fiddlehead ferns from Emery Raber
  • 2 lb. rhubarb from Sunny Meadow Farm
  • 1 bunch chives from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products

What in the world are fiddlehead ferns, and what do I do with them?!?  Here is everything you need to know about fiddlehead ferns.

And now some recipes:

Lemony Fiddlehead and Mushroom Linguine

Savory Rhubarb Lentil Curry (This one looked interesting, but I don't know how it will taste.  Rhubarb recipes are almost always sweet with added sweetener, but this is a savory main dish.)

Rhubarb Bread Pudding and Whiskey Sauce

Balsamic Rhubarb Compote (a new twist on the classic rhubarb sauce)

Arugula and Fontina Frittata (try this with watercress, and cheese of your choice)

Winter Squash Bars

Pumpkin Muffins (use squash)

I know it's not fall, but in my world a pumpkin bread/cake is never out of season!


Thank you all again for your support of our local farms.  We appreciate you more than you know.  If you are signed up for Summer CSA, look for an email with details sometime next week.




Posted 5/9/2016 3:28pm by Amy Philson.

NWPA Growers’ Cooperative’s Spring Share has been a huge success! We offered Spring Shares in the same communities where our Winter Shares are available, and many people are enjoying fresh spring greens, onions, and more!

Don’t forget about our Summer CSA, beginning June 8. We are still accepting members for the weekly farm shares.  Check out the types of shares available and sign up at www.nwpagrowers.com.

We have several pickup locations that are in jeopardy unless additional members join:

  • Slippery Rock
  • Cranberry (north)
  • Cranberry Twp.
  • Greenville
  • Meadville
  • Wexford
  • Harmony
  • Mercer
  • New Wilmington

If you are a member in one of these communities, please share with friends and neighbors, or we may be forced to eliminate delivery to your community. Our best advertising comes from satisfied CSA members who tell others about the fresh food they receive.  Of course, feel free to share even if you live somewhere else!

Thank you for supporting local farmers with your food dollars. We are forever grateful that you seek out local food and trust us to help feed your families.

Amy Philson, manager

For the farmers of Northwest Pennsylvania Growers’ Cooperative

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Posted 5/4/2016 3:32pm by Amy Philson.

Did you remember to pick up your CSA Share today?  I hope so, because we had to avert a catastrophe to get it to you!  We lease NuWay Farm's produce packing shed for aggregating all of our product, sorting and boxing it all up, and storing empty boxes, coolers, etc.  They also have their farm products going out through this same facility, as well as other farms' products being shipped to other locations.  They have a loading dock and a walk-in cooler, so they serve as a central location for getting many farmers' products to stores, restaurants, and community members.

Yesterday, Weeping Willow Farm delivered the potatoes and maple syrup for your CSA shares.  Then, a truck came to pick up other farm products for delivery.  However, the boxes with potatoes and syrup also got loaded on the truck and ended up in Pittsburgh!  So we had to do some scrambling to get the boxes back up to Fredonia.  David Yoder, owner of NuWay Farm couldn't just hop in his buggy and run to Pittsburgh.  A kind person drove them up last night (and made some extra money for his time) so that we had them first thing this morning.  Whew!

This week's shares include:

  • 2 heads of lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • 1/2 lb. spinach from NuWay Farm
  • 1 bunch green onions from NuWay Farm
  • 1/3 lb. watercress from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. carrots from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1/2 pt. maple syrup from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 3 lb. russet potatoes from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 1 bunch chives from Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1/2 dozen eggs from Miller Farm Products

It's looking like rhubarb will be ready in two weeks.  I saw the first of it today, so there should be enough for all of our shares next time.  Yum!

Some words about watercress

"One of the best culinary aspects of watercress is its versatility. It can be used as a salad green (a very nutritious one!) with Romaine lettuce or fresh spinach, steamed and eaten as a vegetable, and in soups for a subtle, peppery flavor. It's also a standard ingredient for sandwiches in Britain for both common and high tea.

Because watercress grows in water, it should be washed thoroughly, then soaked for half an hour or so in cool water with hydrogen peroxide added (around one tablespoon per quart) to remove any pollutants, parasites, or other impurities. For optimum freshness, watercress can be submerged in water and stored in the refrigerator for two to three days. Before eating, rinse again and separate the leaves from the fibers and roots." from http://foodfacts.mercola.com/watercress.html.  Click on the link to read more about watercress.


Recipes to go along with your shares:

Quinoa Spring Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Watercress Soup

Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Walnuts & Gorgonzola

Search for more recipes at http://nwpagrowers.com/recipe


Have a great week!



Posted 4/6/2016 12:28pm by Amy Philson.

I hope you all remembered to pick up your first Spring Share today!  We have turned from storage crops to fresh greens since the last Winter CSA.  The large variety of fresh crops is still growing, but we've got a good start with this week's shares.  In the coming weeks, there will be even more fresh produce!

If you're new to our CSA, you can expect an email like this for every CSA day.  I will include a list of what is in your share as well as some recipe suggestions.  We also have a large recipe database where you can search by ingredient for more ideas.

Here is what should be in your share:

  • 2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm
  • Pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm (these are greens with longish tendrils and leaves, delicious fresh in salads or sautéed in stir-fry)
  • Kale from NuWay Farm
  • 3 lb. White Potatoes from NuWay Farm
  • 1/3 lb. Ramps from NuWay Farm (a wild oniony-garlicky plant with edible leaves and white bulbs)
  • Watercress from NuWay Farm (the other greens with small, tender leaves; a little spicy)
  • Quart bag of frozen Butternut Squash puree from NuWay Farm
  • 1/2 pt. Maple Syrup from Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm
  • 1/2 dozen Eggs from Philsons' Bushel and a Peck Farm or Miller Farm Products

If your eggs are white, you have duck eggs.  If they are brown, then they are chicken eggs.  Duck eggs may be used interchangeably with chicken eggs, although they are larger so you may want to reduce the number if using them in baked goods.  Or not.  I do not recommend using duck eggs for hard boiled because their shells are thicker and you will end up with sore fingers from peeling them.  Don't ask how I know.

And now for some recipes:

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Almond Vinaigrette

Wild and Wonderful Ramp Chowder

Watercress with Spicy Sesame Vinaigrette (tone down the spiciness with less red pepper)

Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese


Enjoy your first Spring Share...even though it doesn't feel like spring out there!


Posted 3/18/2016 1:17pm by Amy Philson.

Our Spring Share season is fast approaching, but there is still time to sign up!  Spring Shares are available in Hermitage, New Castle, Butler, Slippery Rock, Grove City, and Franklin.  Pickup is twice per month for April and May.

Summer CSA and Webstore members from these six locations are eligible to place Webstore orders during the Spring Share season for FREE!  Look for an email with details next week.

We still have room in our Summer CSA, too!  Wednesday deliveries will be made to Butler, Slippery Rock, Grove City, Franklin, Cranberry, Meadville, and Erie.  Thursday pickups will be in Greenville, Mercer, Hermitage, New Wilmington, New Castle, Cranberry Twp, and Wexford (tentative).  Summer CSA begins June 8!

To find out more or sign up, go to www.nwpagrowers.com

Feel free to forward this email to your friends, or like us on Facebook and share the post there.

Thank you for your support of local farmers. 

Posted 3/16/2016 6:21pm by Amy Philson.

Thank you all for your support of our local farmers through this Winter CSA season.  Today marks the end of the Winter CSA.  The Spring CSA will be twice per month for April and May.  If you haven't signed up yet, time is running out.  The spring shares will be a little smaller than the winter shares and they may include items besides veggies such as eggs or soap.  But we've got lots of greens and spring onions coming your way!

Remember that if you choose not to join the Spring CSA, you can still place Webstore orders through May.

Here is what is in this week's shares:

  • 2 heads of lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm (HG)
  • 1 1/2 lb. of carrots from Weeping Willow Farm (RB)
  • 1/2 pt. of maple syrup from NuWay Farm (NW)
  • 1 lb. of yellow onions from Chester Detweiler Farm (CD)
  • 2 butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm (CD)
  • 5 lb. of potatoes from Sunny Meadows Farm (SM) or NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. of mixed color beets from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 3 lb. of sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1 lb. of red onions from Tuscarora Organic Growers

When we were packing today, I noticed that there were a few blemishes on some items.  We're very sorry for that.  It's at the very end of the storage crop season, so it's difficult to keep produce fresh at this stage.  I recommend that you keep a close eye on the items that shouldn't be in the refrigerator (squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes) and use them quickly if they start to go bad.

Here are some recipes to try:

Italian Sub Salad

5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Fritters

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash

Beet OR Carrot Muffins   If you don't have orange zest, substitute 1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract.  If you don't have buttermilk, you can use sour milk (1 T. vinegar + 1 c. milk, let it sit 5 minutes before you add it to your recipe.

Purple Pride Sweet Potato Bars (substitute regular sweet potatoes for the purple ones)

Rosie's HHF Maple Cookies

Again, thank you for allowing us to contribute to your family's meal table this winter.  Be sure to tell your friends about NWPA Growers!



Posted 2/17/2016 1:50pm by Amy Philson.

Well, the farmers who were talking about planting a couple of weeks ago are glad they didn't!  They knew that winter wasn't over, but spring sure was teasing us then.  But it looks like this snow won't last long, and our farms will be back to mud in a few days.  But along with the warmer temperatures, maple sap begins to run.  Many of our farmers will be busy collecting sap and turning it into that delicious golden sweetness that we all love.  Did you know that it takes upwards of 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup?  Add to that hours and hours of boiling to reduce it to syrup.  We will be very busy in the coming weeks!

Here is what you should have in your shares today:

2 heads lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

3 oz. pea shoots from Harmony Grove Farm

3 lb. potatoes from NuWay Farm

2 butternut squash from Chester Detweiler Farm

1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm

1 red cabbage from Chester Detweiler Farm

2 garlic from Silver Wheel Farm

1 lb. cornmeal from Mickley Farm

1 lb. golden beets from Tuscarora Organic Growers (reddish-orange, round)

1 daikon radish from Tuscarora Organic Growers (long, white root)

1 lb. sweet white turnips from Tuscarora Organic Growers (white with purple top)

1 lb. carrots from Tuscarora Organic Growers

1 lb. parsnips from Tuscarora Organic Growers

1 lb. celeriac from Tuscarora Organic Growers (round and knobby)

That's quite a list!  I would love to know if you think this is the right amount to receive every two weeks, or if it's too little or too much.  We want to tailor the shares to what works best for the most people, so feedback will help us plan for next year.

Daikon radish is a mild radish, often used in far-eastern cooking.  You can slice it and saute it alone as a side dish, or you can use it in a myriad of ways.  Here's a list of ideas:  http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/top-10-ways-to-enjoy-daikon-radish or try Daikon Carrot Salad.

Celeriac is a type of celery that is grown for its bulbous root.  It is not a pretty vegetable, but it is tasty.  It can be eaten on its own or used to impart celery flavor to soups and casseroles.  Smashed Celeriac is one option, or you can search our recipes for more option.

Here are more recipes for this week's share:

Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted Beet Salad with Pea Shoots and Chevre

Lentil Stuffed Red Cabbage Rolls

Golden Beet and Citrus Salad

Lavender-Orange Glazed Turnips (omit the lavender or sub a different herb if you don't have it)

Butter-browned turnips

Butternut Squash Soup (this one uses celeriac, apples, and tomatoes)


That's it for now.  If you think about it, shoot me an email with comments about your share, what you like and don't like in the winter shares, the quantity, etc.  We realize that we can't please everyone since we all have different preferences, but we can't try if we don't hear from you!



Posted 2/3/2016 1:02pm by Amy Philson.

Well, this seems like a beautiful spring day.  Some of our farmers were joking this morning about planting this week.  But we all know that winter will return with these winds that are blowing.  Farmers are preparing to tap maple trees soon for their annual syrup making.  They are readying their greenhouses for seedlings and spring greens.  After a few weeks of slower schedules, we are all getting back to prepping for planting.

This week's shares include

  • 1 pt. maple syrup from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 2-4 assorted squash from NuWay Farm
  • 1 lb. baby carrots from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 3 lb. red potatoes from Weeping Willow Farm
  • 3 lb. sweet potatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1 lb. onions from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 lb. parsnips from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1 lb. beets from Sunny Meadows Farm
  • 1 lb. golden turnips from Tuscarora Organic Growers
  • 1 cabbage from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 3 garlic from Chester Detweiler Farm
  • 1 head lettuce from Harmony Grove Farm

In case you're unfamiliar with parsnips, they are a yellowish color and are shaped like a large (or jumbo) carrot.  The larger parsnips have a hard core inside that is edible but can be difficult to chew.  I usually cut each parsnip in quarters and cut most of the core out.  My favorite way to cook parsnips is to slice them and saute them in coconut oil in my cast iron skillet.  Sprinkle with a little salt and enjoy.

The golden turnips are small and round.

Recipes for this week:

Easy Curry Stew--a great way to use up leftovers!

Mashed Potato, Carrot and Turnip Medley

Hearty Lentil Soup with Winter Roots

Warm Winter Salad of Roasted Root Fries

Sweet Potato Soup

Grated Roots Salad with a Curry Dressing

Baked Winter Squash with Apples

Have a great week, and EAT YOUR VEGGIES!!!


Posted 1/21/2016 3:56pm by Amy Philson.

In the midst of cold and snow, we are looking toward summer and our next Farm Share season.  Sign-up has begun for 2016 CSA. Here are the changes for this year:

Spring CSA!  Twice/month deliveries in April and May to the same locations as our Winter CSA.  The Spring CSA will include spring greens and other produce, as well as eggs, maple syrup, and more farm-produced products.  The Share will be approximately twice the size of a Small Share, but it is designed to be used over two weeks.

Credit Card payments!  You can now use your credit card through PayPal checkout (you don't have to have a PayPal account) on our website. There is a 3% fee for this convenience (the fee that we are charged).  You may continue to pay with cash or check to avoid the fee.

SNAP benefits accepted!  We are in the process of registration with the SNAP program to accept benefits for CSA Shares.  If you have friends who use SNAP, please share the word so they can have access to fresh, local food.

Early Discount!  Receive a $15 discount off a Full Share or a $10 discount off a Small Share when you sign up AND pay by February 29.  Use the code FULLSHARE15 or SMALLSHARE10 at checkout.

$10 Referral Credit!  When your friend joins our CSA, ask them to let us know that you referred them.  You will receive a $10 coupon toward a Webstore purchase for each friend who is new to our CSA.

Longer Season!  We have eliminated the two weeks of vacation built into our CSA.  Our price increase reflects two additional weeks in our season, making it 24 weeks long.  There is no increase in per-week cost.  You can still schedule a vacation and receive a double box the following week.

Click here to go directly to our sign-up page.  Or read more about the details on our Website.

Please email me with any questions you have.

Amy Philson, manager

NWPA Growers Cooperative


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