NWPA Growers Co-op

News and blog

News about NWPA Growers!
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

Recipes:

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!

Amy

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

Recipes:

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!

Amy

 

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

Recipes

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!

Amy

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....

Amy

 

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

 

Recipes

Crock Pot Maple Acorn Squash

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH CRANBERRY WALNUT QUINOA STUFFING

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!

Amy

 

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.

Recipes

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!

Amy

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.

Recipes

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.

Amy


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