2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #8

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

 A Route  Z Route
 peaches, Dawson’s Orchards  peaches or plums, Kistaco
 heirloom tomatoes, Weeping Willow Farm  garlic bulbs, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
 green tomatoes, Nu Way Farm  green tomatoes, Nu Way Farm
 green kale, Clarion River Organics (OG)  chard, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
 carrots, River View Farm  green beans, Nu Way Farm
 zucchini, Weeping Willow or Blue Goose (CNG)  carmen and hungarian peppers, Weepng Willow Farm
 candy onions, Crighton Farm  spaghetti squash, CRO
 bibb lettuce, Nu Way Farm  leeks and lettuce or cauliflower, Blue Goose Farm or River View Farm

OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown

Click HERE to check your delivery route



peachessquarePeaches

Grower:  Dawson’s Orchards or Kistaco

Store:  Place them on the counter until they reach your desired ripeness.  After they ripen, store them in the refrigerator.

Recipe:  grilled balsamic peaches  how to freeze peaches  grilled pork chops and spicy grilled peaches  peach tea

 

 

heirloom_tomatoHeirloom Tomatoes

Grower:  Weeping Willow Farm 

Store: On the counter top.  Storing tomatoes below 41 degrees can make them mushy.

Recipe:  15 gorgeous heirloom tomato recipes

 

 

green-tomatoescropGreen Tomatoes

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store: Avoid putting tomatoes in the refrigerator 

Recipe: fried green tomato grilled cheese  spicy green tomato BLT

 

 

kalegreenredGreen Kale

Grower: Clarion River Organics

Store:  how to store leafy greens

Recipe: kale and quinoa salad

 

carrotsCarrots

Grower:  River View Farm 

Store: Keep in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Recipe: spicy thai kale and carrot salad  asian kale salad with peanut dressing

 

ZucchiniZucchini

Grower: Weeping Willow or Blue Goose Farm

Store: keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator

Recipe: chicken and tomato stuffed zucchini

 

 

bibb lettucecropBibb Lettuce

Growers:  Nu Way Farm

Store: Wash, dry (in a salad spinner), wrap in paper towel or cloth and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

 

 

 

Prune-Plums-Custom-1024x682Methley Plums

Grower:  Kistaco Farm

Store: 

Recipe: summer fruit crostata 

 

GarlicBasketGarlic Bulbs

Grower: Blue Goose Farm

Store: Keep in a cool dry place.  Garlic does best at 60 degrees F.

Recipe:  how to roast garlic

 

 

medium rainbow-chardChard 

Grower: Blue Goose Farm

Store: Keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Recipe: garlicky swiss chard and chick peas

 

 

greenbeans_sunshine_printGreen Beans

Grower: Nu Way Farm

Store: In a plastic bag in the refrigerator

Recipe: garlic lemon green beans

 

sweetcarmenCarmen Peppers  

Grower: Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe: grilled barbecue vegetables in foil

 

 

sweethungarianpepperSweet Hungarian Peppers

Grower:  Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe:  veggie chorizo stuffed peppers  oven roasted sweet peppers

 

spaghetti-squashSpaghetti Squash

Grower:  Clarion River Organics

Store:  At room temperature.  After cutting, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator.

Preparation:   how to cook spaghetti squash  

Recipe:  spaghetti squash caprese bake

 

candy_onionsCandy Onions

Grower: Crighton Farm

Store:  In a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #7

Farm Feature:  Hostetler Farm

For this week’s blog feature we spoke with Linda Hostetler of Hostetler Farm. Based in Cochranton, PA – roughly 80 miles north of Pittsburgh – Joe and Linda Hostetler, along with their seven children, have been supplying fresh produce to Penn’s Corner since 2008. Linda says that they found out about Penn’s Corner through fellow farmer David Yoder of Nu Way Farm. Though they had always grown their own produce for their family, they had never sold any of it before joining Penn’s Corner. However, one year they had more strawberries and rhubarb than their family could consume by itself. That’s when David Yoder recommended joining Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance as a way to make some money selling their extra produce.

Today, Hostetler Farm grows a variety of produce, with strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb being their main fruit crops and carrots, beans, potatoes, beets and onions being the main vegetables. In addition to growing fresh produce for Penn’s Corner, Joe Hostetler and two of his sons run a logging business, which keeps the family busy. Linda says that her favorite task on the farm is picking strawberries and raspberries, which she finds relaxing compared to the other demanding tasks that are often required of her.

Being a small, family-run farm means being vulnerable to weather conditions that are out of your control – something the Hostetlers understand too well. Linda said that the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced this summer has damaged some of their crops. For instance, they lost most of their beans (though they replanted a second crop last week!) and their potato crop is down to at least one quarter of its original size. So far, she says, the beets and carrots are doing the best out of everything at surviving the turbulent and unpredictable weather we’ve been experiencing and they’re doing their best to manage despite the unpredictable weather.

Though tending to the farm is hard work, the Hostetlers do get off of the farm once in a while. Linda says that they recently went canoeing at French Allegheny Creek and they have plans to travel to Holmes County in Ohio for a family birthday coming up. The only time they can’t get away from the farm, she says, is during strawberry season. Since strawberries are so perishable, they can’t bear to be away for even a day or they might risk their entire crop.

The Hostetlers want to thank you for supporting their farm through your purchase of a Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance CSA. We also want to thank you for supporting us and all of the amazing farmers who work hard every day to grow your produce. We hope you are loving your fresh, local food this summer!

 

 

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

 A Route  Z Route
 blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards  blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards
 green beans, NuWay or Baccari Farm  candy onions, Crighton Farm **some members will receive dilly beans in place of the onions**
 sweet corn, Clarion River Organics (OG)  sweet corn, Clarion River Organics (CRO)
 new red potatoes, Nu Way Farm  yellow zucchini, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
 arugula, Nu Way Farm  arugula, Nu Way Farm
 cucumbers, Weeping Willow Farm  carrots or kohlrabi, Hostetler Farm/River View Farm
 parsley, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)  beet bunch, River View Farm
 lettuce head, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)  lettuce head, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown

Click HERE to check your delivery route



 

candy_onionsCandy Onions

Grower: Crighton Farm

Store: The crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Recipe: bbq candy sweet onions bbq onion steaks with honey mustard

 

 

blueberriesBlueberries

Grower:  Dawson’s Orchards 

Store: It’s best not to wash the berries before storing them in the refrigerator as the moisture will promote spoilage.  For best results, wash them when you’re ready to use them.

Recipe:  50+ blueberry recipes  

fparsleycropParsley

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store: Loosely wrap parsley with a paper towel and keep it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Recipe: parmesan parsley potatoes

 

 

cucumberscropCucumber 

Grower: Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe:  cucumber lime cilantro salad 

 

 

ArugulaArugula

Grower:  Nu Way Farm 

Store: Wrap parsley loosely in a paper towel or cloth and store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe: arugula potato salad  

 

 

mixed color carrotsCarrots

Grower: Hostetler Farm or River View Farm

Store: separate carrots from their greens and store separately.  Hold on to the green tops and use them for pesto (see recipe below).  Keep carrots and carrot tops in the refrigerator.

Recipe: carrot ribbons with carrot top pesto

 

sweetcorncropSweet Corn – Organic corn is very challenging to grow you may find that this corn doesn’t look like the corn you would find in a grocery store. Give it a try, we think it’s delicious!

Growers:  Clarion River Organics

Store: Keep the husks on and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. 

Recipe: grilled sweet corn 5 ways  perfect grilled sweet corn  mini sweet corn fritters

 

kohlrabiKohlrabi

Grower:  Hostetler Farm or Nu Way Farm

Store: cut off the leafy stalks (and use as you would kale or collard greens) from the bulb as would beets and carrots. Wash the bulb, wrap it loosely and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Recipe: Thai inspired kohlrabi slaw

greenbeans_sunshine_printGreen Beans

Grower: Beccari’s Farm/Nu Way Farm

Store:  in a plastic bag, unwashed in the refrigerator crisper

Recipe: southern style green beans  

 

mixedbeetsBeets

Grower: River View Farm

Store: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves. To keep the beets dry, store them and the leaves, unwashed, in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer.

Recipe: roasted beets with balsamic glaze

 

newpotatoesNew Red Potatoes

Grower: Nu Way Farm

Store: Store at room temperature out of heat or sun, if you plan to eat them quickly. New potatoes are not cured so they will not last as long as other potatoes (a few days vs. a few weeks). For longer storage keep them in the refrigerator.

Recipe: red, white, and blue potato salad  

 

yellow zucchiniYellow Zucchini  

Grower: Blue Goose Farm

Store:  keep in the refrigerator

Recipe:  crispy baked zucchini cake

 

Lettuce

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

Recipe:  BLT bowl 

 

 

Feature Farm: Clarion River Organics

Clarion River Organics is a cooperative of 15 family farms near Clarion, PA that are all within roughly 6 miles of one another and that are all Certified Organic. I recently got the chance to speak briefly with Zeb Bartels, their general manager. He was kind enough to fit me into his very busy schedule to help you learn more about himself and Clarion River Organics. Zeb is not only the general manager, he also is a bit of a “jack-of-all-trades” – doing a lot of their marketing and bookkeeping, as well as managing their warehouse, distribution and transportation. He also acts as a go-between for communication between the farmers and their customers. Since most of the farmers are Amish, he explains: “they don’t have any email or telephone or anything like that.”

When asked how he became affiliated with Clarion River Organics, Zeb explained that he studied agriculture at Penn State and also comes from a farming background. Before Clarion River Organics was officially started, Zeb had been hired to make deliveries for a number of Amish farmers in the area who at the time were primarily selling their organic produce to stores in the Pittsburgh area, such as Whole Foods, the East End Food Co-op, and to us – Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance. Eventually, Zeb along with Nathan Holmes, who had also been doing deliveries, built a warehouse for shared use among the farmers, and Clarion River Organics was born shortly after in 2009. Now, Clarion River Organics operates a CSA of their own, sells their produce at farmers’ markets in the Pittsburgh area, and sells to other retail outlets in addition to continuing to provide lots of fresh produce for Penn’s Corner. Much of the kale, cabbage, collard greens, zucchini, broccoli, pac choi, and lettuce you’ve been receiving in your CSA shares this summer have been graciously grown by the farmers at Clarion River Organics (including my favorite treat from last week’s CSA share: honey puffed corn!).

One thing Zeb mentioned about Clarion River Organics that people may find surprising is how they cool the produce once it’s been picked. Since the farmers are primarily Amish, they don’t use any electricity and that means they don’t use conventional refrigerators to cool their produce. Instead, the crew at Clarion River Organics prepare for their summer cooling needs months ahead of time, in the middle of winter. Typically in January, or once temperatures have been cold enough for adequate ice to have built up on a pond to work safely, they use a gas-powered circular saw to create 15 by 30 inch blocks on the ice. They then use boards and prods to send the ice chunks up onto a chute that propels the blocks into the ice house. Inside the ice house, more workers are waiting to catch the ice blocks and stack them around the walls. This ice room is connected to the produce room, and, once complete, the farmers can open or shut the door between the two rooms to keep the produce at the optimal temperature throughout the growing season. Amazingly, the ice in the ice room lasts throughout the summer and does a great job of keeping the vegetables at the ideal temperature and humidity levels – which is something that even mechanical refrigerators often struggle with.

As always, thank you for supporting your local farmers such as those at Clarion River Organics through the purchase of your Penn’s Corner CSA share. When you are cooking up some of your fresh produce this week, we hope that knowing how much time, effort, and preparation went into growing your produces makes it taste that much better!

Here are some pictures to illustrate the ice cutting process

Ice Cutting 2013 1

Using the saw to cut hatch marks into the ice.

Ice Cutting 2013 2

The ice blocks floating on the pond before being pushed up onto the shoot.

 

 

Ice on the shoot for the ice house.

Ice on the shoot making it’s way to the ice house.

2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #6

Our featured farm this week is Clarion River Organics.  Click here to read more about their co-op of Amish farms and a “cool” way they keep their produce fresh without electricity!

This week’s featured food is the heirloom tomato!

Heirlooms Heirloom tomatoes come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and have a sweet, juicy quality not found in commercially grown varieties because they are ripened on the vine.  An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down through several generations for their favorable characteristics.  Every heirloom variety is genetically unique and has its own resistance to pests and diseases and an adaptation to specific growing conditions and climates.

Some folks say that they are not aesthetically pleasing with cracks, lumps and bumps but we think that’s what makes them beautiful.  Their colors vary and range from deep browns and beautiful purples to light yellows and pinks.

The skins of heirloom tomatoes can be thinner and more prone to bruising.  This also means their shelf life is less than that of a commercially grown tomato.  You’ll want to plan to eat them within two or three days.  Storing the tomatoes in the refrigerator changes their texture and flavor so you may want to avoid doing that unless you’ve cut into one.  There are 100-plus kinds of heirloom tomatoes growing on vines these days, and most have names — Sun Golds, Green Zebras, Black Krims — as unique as their looks.

Tomatoes in general provide iron, potassium, fiber, a host of B vitamins, and quercetin, a phytochemical that may reduce types of cancer as well as protect against heart and degenerative eye diseases.  The tomato’s biggest selling point, though, hinges on the presence of lycopene.  This cartenoid is associated with lower risk of both macular degeneration and several types of cancers.

They look good and they taste great!

 

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

 A Route  Z Route
 blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards  fennel, Clarion River Ogranics (CRO)
 basil, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)  green beans, Beccari’s Farm/Nu Way Farm
 zucchini, River View Farm (OG)  zucchini, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
 cucumber, Weeping Willow Farm  cucumbers, Weeping Willow Farm
 heirloom tomatoes, Weeping Willow Farm  heirloom tomatoes, Weeping Willow Farm
 broccoli, River View Farm (OG)  red cabbage, Clarion River Organics (CRO)
 chard, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)  chard, Nu Way
 sweet corn, Clarion River Organics (OG)  new red potatoes, Weeping Willow Farm

OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown

Click HERE to check your delivery route



 

heirloom_tomatoHeirloom Tomatoes

Grower: Weeping Willow Farm

Store: At room temperature on a plate not in plastic, keep out of sunlight.  Keep in mind that storing in a refrigerator can make tomatoes mealy. If you find that your tomatoes are not yet ripe, let them ripen on your counter top for a few days.

Recipe: heirloom tomato, basil, and onion salad

heirloom tomato toast with balsamic drizzle

 

 

blueberriesBlueberries

Grower:  Dawson’s Orchards 

Store: It’s best not to wash the berries before storing them in the refrigerator as the moisture will promote spoilage.  For best results, wash them when you’re ready to use them.

Recipe:  blueberry hand pie  50+ blueberry recipes

 

Basil

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store: tips for storing basil 3 ways

Recipe: basil blueberry dressing basil garlic aioli

 

 

cucumberscropCucumber 

Grower: Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe:  cucumber lime cilantro salad

 

 

 

broccoliBroccoli

Grower:  River View Farm

Store: wrap in a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator crisper

Recipe: 20 fresh broccoli recipes healthy broccoli salad

 

 

medium rainbow-chardChard

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store:  Refrigerate loosely in plastic

Recipe: spicy pickled swiss chard stems  potatoes in garlicky chard broth

 

 


sweetcorncropSweet Corn – Organic corn is very challenging to grow you may find that this corn doesn’t look like the corn you would find in a grocery store. Give it a try, we think it’s delicious!

Growers:  Clarion River Organics

Store: Keep the husks on and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it. 

Recipe: grilled sweet corn 5 ways

 

 

BabyFennel

Fennel

Grower:  Clarion River Organics

Store: how to chop fennel    how to store fennel

Recipe: pasta with fennel, kale and lemon

 

 

 

greenbeans_sunshine_printGreen Beans

Grower: Beccari’s Farm/Nu Way Farm

Store:  in a plastic bag, unwashed in the refrigerator crisper

Recipe: baked green beans 

 

red-cabbageRed Cabbage

Grower: Clarion River Organics

Store:  wrap cabbage in plastic and refrigerate.  

Recipe: cuban slaw

 

 

newpotatoesNew Red Potatoes

Grower: River View Farm

Store: At room temperature out of heat or sun, if you plan to eat them quickly. New potatoes are not cured so they will not last as long as other potatoes (a few days vs. a few weeks). For longer storage keep them in the refrigerator.

Recipe: basil potato salad

 

 

Zucchinigreen_yellow_zucchini

Grower: River View Farm

Store:  keep in the refrigerator

Recipe:  zucchini chips 4 ways    chocolate yogurt zucchini bread    zucchini fritters

 

 

2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #5

Summer Rain – The good, the bad and the ugly.

Living in Pennsylvania, we’re used to the occasional summer rain storm.  A good rain is essential to the health of our lawns, gardens and wildlife.  However, excessive rain can have serious consequences for your local farmers.  Too much of it can put a premature end to a growing season, flood fields, promote disease, ignite weed growth and generally make things sloppy and difficult to work in.

The immediate consequences of the torrential rain we have received have been the premature end of strawberry season at the Hostetler and Sunny Meadow Farms and Blue Goose Farm lost all of their peas.  The rain also makes it very difficult to dry greens and lettuces before packing.  You may have noticed that your lettuces are more damp than usual and are not lasting as long because of the increased moisture.

Weeds are doing quite well in the rain but as you can imagine, this is bad news for growers.  Because many of our farms are organic or are certified naturally grown, they don’t rely on herbicides to control weeds.  This means that they must pull weeds by hand which can be a difficult if not impossible task if the rain seems to never let up and the fields don’t have time to dry out.  No to mention, it’s difficult/impossible to plant new fields for fall crops.

While the excessive rain has caused hardships, soggy boots, delays, and headaches, the Penn’s Corner farmers are a hardy bunch and do their best to make the most of a situation they can’t necessarily control.  We thank you for your patience and hope that you will send some good (dry) thoughts to your farmers the next time it rains.  Keeping them in mind and cheering them on certainly helps.  :)

This week’s featured food is the radish!

radish-cherry-belle-300x225Did you know that the radish has many health and nutritional benefits? You can use every part of the plant, from roots to leaves.  In fact, the leaves contain more calcium, protein and Vitamin C than the roots.  So think twice before you chop off those greens and toss them in the compost bin!  It’s best to separate the radish greens from the roots and store them separately, as you would other lettuces in your refrigerator.  We’ve included a few radish green recipes below.

Radish is rich in folic acid, Vitamin C and anthocyanins. These nutrients make it a very effective cancer-fighting food.  In addition they contain zinc, B-complex vitamins and phosphorus, which are effective in treating skin disorders such as rashes, dry skin and boosting mood.

This post from the kitchn is full of ideas and tips for using radishes.  If you’re into pinterest, our radish board also has a few radish recipes to choose from.

radish and beet greens

radish leaf pesto

pickled radish

If you find radishes to be too peppery for your taste, try sauteeing them in butter to mellow the flavor.

sauteed radishes

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

A Route Z Route
broccoli, River View Farm (OG) broccoli, River View Farm (OG)
radish bunch, Blue Goose Farm (CNG) radish bunch, Blue Goose Farm (CNG) 
cucumber, Weeping Willow Farm cucumber, Weeping Willow Farm
zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm
red cabbage, Clarion River Organics (OG) garlic scapes, Pucker Brush Farm
honey puffed corn, Clarion River Organics (OG) honey puffed corn, Clarion River Organics (OG)
green kale, Clarion River Organics (OG) red russian kale, Clarion River Organics (OG)
romaine lettuce, River View Farm (OG) bibb or romaine lettuce, Nu Way Farm
chives, Clarion River Organics (OG) parsley, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
  yellow or green zucchini, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)


**Vegan and gluten free members will receive green onions in place of the honey puffed corn**
OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown


Click
HERE to check your delivery route



 

 

BroccolicropBroccoli

Grower:  River View Farm 

Store:  Keep refrigerated.  Don’t store it in a sealed container.  Broccoli needs ventilation to stay fresh.  You can spray it with water and loosely wrap it with a paper towel.

Recipe:  parmesan broccoli creamy broccoli salad

 

cherryBelleRadishRadish Bunch

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store:  To keep your radishes fresh for as long as possible, separate your radishes from their greens and store them in separate plastic bags in your refrigerator.

Recipe: thyme roasted radish with champagne honey dressing

 

 

cucumberscropCucumber 

Grower: Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe:  cucumber chive salad

 

 

 

red-cabbageRed Cabbage

Grower:  Clarion River Organics

Store: 

Recipe: ruby salad 

raw nori wraps with red cabbage, cucumber, carrots, zucchini & spicy dipping sauce

 

garlicscapesGarlic Scapes

Grower:  Pucker Brush Farm

Store:  Refrigerate loosely in plastic

Recipe:  10 ways to use garlic scapes

 

 


white lady turnipsSalad Turnips

Growers:  Blue Goose Farm

Store: To keep your turnips fresh for as long as possible, separate your turnips from their greens and store them in separate plastic bags in your refrigerator. Don’t throw away your greens, they’re delicious too!

Recipe: 31 ways to use your CSA vegetables

 

honeypuffedcornHoney Puffed Corn

Grower:  Clarion River Organics

Store:  Cool dry place

 

 

 

 

kalegreenredGreen Kale

Grower: Clarion River Organics

Store:  First, wash and destem kale.  Next, dry the kale in a salad spinner or a dish cloth.  Wrap the kale in paper towel and place it in a plastic bag.  Seal the bag and store it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator

Recipe:  chopped kale thai salad

 

redrussianRed Russian Kale

Grower: Clarion River Organics

Store:  First, wash and destem kale.  Next, dry the kale in a salad spinner or with a dish cloth.  Wrap the kale in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag.  Seal the bag and store it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Recipe: pasta with kale lemon and toasted walnuts

 

romaine-lettucecropRomaine Lettuce

Grower: River View Farm

Store: In a sealed container in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Recipe: grilled romaine

 

 

bibb lettucecropBibb Lettuce

Grower:  Nu Way Farm

Recipe: egg salad lettuce wraps

 

 

 

chivesChives

Grower:  Clarion River Organics

Store:  Wrap them loosely in plastic wrap and place them in the warmest part of the refrigerator.

 

 

 

fparsleycropParsley

Grower:  Blue Goose Farm

Store:  Wrap loosely in plastic and store in the warmest part of the refrigerator.

 

 

 

green_yellow_zucchiniYellow or Green Zucchini

Grower: Blue Goose Farm

Store:  keep in the refrigerator

Recipe:  zucchini chips 4 ways

 

 

2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #4

This week’s featured farm is Blue Goose Farm:

blue_goose_farm

Blue Goose Farm

Scott and Chrissy Farabaugh own and operate Blue Goose Farm located in Nicktown, Pennsylvania.  Their property is about 150 acres with 10-12 of those devoted to growing vegetables.  The rest of the land is for hay and small grains to support their livestock.

Working the land is certainly in Scott’s heritage.  He grew up on a farm and his ancestors for many generations have been involved in agriculture.  Traditionally, his family raised livestock, grains, rye and potatoes.  However, Scott decided to forge a new path and ventured into growing vegetables.  The farm Scott grew up on required a significant investment in capital to keep it running successfully, which can potentially leave farms swimming in massive debt.  This wasn’t the way for Mr. Farabaugh.  His farm is small enough that he can do most chores by hand without needing to rely on expensive pieces of machinery (forcing him into debt) to keep the farm going.  He’s very proud to say that he and his wife own and operate their farm debt free.  This is a big reason why he sleeps peacefully at night.

Being small enough to do the work by hand may save vast sums of money but it does require a daunting amount of physical labor.  Scott often feels that Blue Goose Farm isn’t quite small enough to justify doing everything by hand and isn’t big enough to invest in expensive machinery.  This setup is a recipe for long days on the farm.  Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, Scott is able to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies, reading nonfiction books.  While he’s in the tractor or weeding the fields, Scott enjoys listening to biographies, expanding his mind while keeping up with the farm work.

The Farabaugh family believe in leaving the world a better place than they found it.  All of their vegetables are grown with organic methods and are certified through CNG (Certified Naturally Grown).  Their use of crop rotation and organic amendments increases the health of the soil and the food it produces for future generations.

There is an extensive list of produce coming from Blue Goose Farm such as green onions, basil, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, kale, green onions, garlic scapes, lettuce, peppers, and potatoes, just to name of few.  This week in your share you’ll find green onions and lettuce from the Farabaughs.

The 7 Farabaugh siblings spend many hours exploring and helping out at Blue Goose Farm.

The 7 Farabaugh siblings spend many hours exploring and helping out at Blue Goose Farm.

Mr. Farabaugh’s favorite thing about farming is the satisfaction of picking the very first radish or strawberry.  He feels there is something very special about taking a seed and turning it into a beautiful vegetable which will nourish the community.  Seeing a huge pile of zucchini or potatoes is immensely gratifying to Scott.

As always, thank you for supporting local farms by choosing your Penn’s Corner CSA share.

 

 

 

This week’s featured food is collard greens!

CollardscropThe ladies of MIX Salad Concept have generously provided their recipe for a collard green wrap including a savory balsamic dressing!  MIX provides healthy and delicious lunchtime meals to time-crunched professionals in Pittsburgh. They source local ingredients to give each specially crafted salad the freshest ingredients available.

Collard greens are nutrient power houses!  Just 2 cups of collard greens supplies over 30% your Daily Value of Magnesium, 30% your Daily Value of Vitamin C, and well over 100% your Daily Value of Vitamin K.  When incorporated into daily meals, collard greens’ (and other green leafy vegetables) many nutrients work together to help lower blood pressure, increase immunity, support healthy bones, and in some cases even improve insulin resistance!

MIX was recently featured in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for their salad creations.

MIX Salad Zesty Tomato Collard Wrap

1 large Collard green, rinsed
1/2 c wild rice, cooked
1/3 c sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp feta cheese
2 tbsp kalamata olives, chopped
Savory Balsamic Vinaigrette (combine: (1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp fresh oregano, dash of cracked black pepper)
Lay collard green flat and shave off the thickest part of the stem with a knife to make it easier to roll up all your ingredients. Place all ingredients on the collard green and drizzle with Savory Balsamic Vinaigrette and gently wrap up similar to the way you would wrap a tortilla-based burrito. Enjoy

 

 

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

A Route

Z Route

collard greens, Clarion River Organics (OG)

collard greens, Kistaco Farm

cherry belle radishes, Nu Way Farm

cherry belle radishes, Nu Way Farm

zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm

zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm

yellow or light green zucchini, River View Farm (OG)

yellow or light green zucchini, River View Farm (OG)

red or green leaf lettuce, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

red romaine lettuce, River View Farm (OG)

salad turnips, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

green carmen peppers, Weeping Willow Farm

green onions, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

green onions, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

bok choy, Blackberry Meadows (OG) or kohlrabi, River View Farm (OG)

savoy cabbage, Clarion River Organics (OG)

Buttercup cheese, Hidden Hills Dairy

Buttercup cheese, Hidden Hills Dairy

OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown

**Vegan members will receive lambs quarters and apple butter in place of the cheese.**


Click
HERE to check your delivery route



 

 

CollardscropCollard Greens

Clarion River Organics or Kistaco Farm

Store:  Keep collard greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe:  collard green coleslaw stuffed collard greens

 

 

 

cherryBelleRadishCherry Belle Radishes

Nu Way Farm

Store:  To keep your radishes fresh for as long as possible, separate your radishes from their greens and store them in separate plastic bags in your refrigerator.

Recipe: roasted radishes cinnamon sugar radish chips

 

 

 

ZucchiniZucchini

Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe: roasted zucchini with garlic double chocolate zucchini bread

 

 

yellow zucchiniYellow or Light Green Zucchini

River View Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe: layered ratatouille

 

Red Romaine LettuceRed Romaine Lettuce

River View Farm

Store: Keep lettuce in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. If you notice that it’s wet place a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture.

Recipe:  grilled romaine with bacon

 

 

Red or Green Leaf Lettucelettuce_red_leaf

Blue Goose Farm

Store:   Refrigerate after opening.

 

 

 


white lady turnipsSalad Turnips

Blue Goose Farm

Store: To keep your turnips fresh for as long as possible, separate your turnips from their greens and store them in separate plastic bags in your refrigerator. Don’t throw away your greens, they’re delicious too!

Recipe: 31 ways to use your CSA vegetables

 

greencarmencropGreen Carmen Peppers

Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  Keep peppers in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Uses: Carmen peppers are deliciously sweet. Chop them and add them to salads, toss them into scrambled eggs or omelets or slice them and eat them with your favorite dip.

 

 

greenonions2cropGreen Onions

Blue Goose Farm

Store:   Keep unwashed green onions in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

bokchoyBok Choy

Blackberry Meadows

Store: Keep bok choy in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Recipe: sauteed ginger bok choy

Note:  You’ll notice small holes in the leaves of your bok choy which means that flea beetles have gotten to it, a common problem with organic farming. While it may not look as pretty, the holes are harmless and we hope you enjoy the taste. As always, if something doesn’t measure up to your standards please let us know.

 

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

River View Farm

Store: Cut off leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.  The bulb can be refrigerator for several weeks.

Recipe:  5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi kohlrabi homefries kohlrabi salad

 

savoycropSavoy Cabbage

Clarion River Organics

Recipe: sauteed cabbage

 

 

 

buttercupButtercup Cheese

Hidden Hills Dairy

Use:  This is a semi-soft, creamy, smooth, buttery tasting cheese.  Try some melted on your hamburger or baked potato today!

 

 

 

lambsquartersLambs Quarters

Pucker Brush Farm

Store:  In a plastic bag in the refrigerator

Uses:  5 Ways to Enjoy Lambs Quarters

2015 Summer Harvest CSA Share Week #3

This week’s featured farm is Blackberry Meadows Farm:

Blackberry Meadows Farm is an 85-acre organic farm located in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania.  Jen Montgomery and Greg Boulos purchased the farm in 2008 and along with their apprentices, interns, volunteers, and three year old daughter, have been running the farm ever since.

Jen was able to take a few moments out of her busy schedule and answer some questions about her life on the farm.  We hope you enjoy getting to know Jen and Blackberry Meadows Farm.

Farm girl Evelyn feeding the hens.

Farm girl Evelyn feeding the hens.

Jen and her daughter Evelyn making a delicious "dirt" pizza.

Jen and her daughter Evelyn making a delicious “dirt” pizza.

 

How do you make it work being a full time farmer and mother?
It’s not easy and it’s not always fun.  I’ve certainly stepped back a lot on the farm.  Now that our daughter is 3 1/2 years old, she’s more independent and tolerant of some of the farm tasks and has more staying power in the fields.  Greg has taken on more of the farm load and we try to have apprentices that can help defray the workload and responsibility.  Thank goodness for our parents, they watch our daughter a couple days throughout the week.
It’s an amazing place to raise a family, I can’t think of anything better.  Someone asked me what we do for family fun….. I was stumped.  We work long days, hardly see each other as a family except for short stints throughout the day.  We work 6 days a week and still have to be around for the animals on Sundays too.  We do watch fireflies, swim in the pond, play with baby bunnies, get dirty, grow things, run freely around the farm, watch the barn swallows grow, eat raspberries and forage for wild edibles.  Each day is an adventure and we make sure to take time out with our daughter, to slow down and be a part of the amazing diversity of life that’s going on at the farm.
What is a positive way that working with your husband has impacted your relationship?

I think that Greg and I balance each other out.  And working together has really exacerbated that difference.  He’s intense and always thinking ahead.  I’m calm and always trying to keep the train moving.  I hear that it’s often hard for couples to be in business together, but in general, I think it’s great for both of us.  We’re not the type to clock in and out of a job…. we’d rather just keep busy doing things, whether it’s farming, fixing things, being crafty or cooking.  We don’t sit down until we lay down for the night.  I’m sure, not having a TV around makes keeping busy a lot easier.

Is there anything that you would like to tell consumers/members that they may not understand about farming?

Most farmers do everything on their farm:  They are marketers, bookkeepers, web designers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, agronomists, biologists, horticulturists, road workers, landscapers, therapists, motivational speakers, etc.  It takes every waking hour to keep a farm functioning smoothly.  When you see us smiling at market, please remember all of the effort it takes to provide you with beautiful, fresh, produce (when you haggle over fifty cents).

With the abundance of fresh produce on the farm, do you find time to cook?  If so (or not) what is a typical dinner like for you? 
With our apprenticeship program, we have a rotational arrangement that we also participate in.  The Homesteader, the Stockman, and the Cropper.  Each week, we and the apprentices rotate through these positions.  The Homesteader cooks a big lunch for everyone each day – we all sit down together in the afternoon and enjoy a big meal together.  So – yes, we do eat a lot of our own fresh veggies.  We like to say that “we eat like kings, and work like dogs”.  Another nice thing about our rotation system, is that I get a break from making lunches for everyone, every day.  Our apprentices learn how to cook a diverse selection of veggies for a large group of people – so it’s a great learning experience for them too!
Of the many tasks and demands on the farm, what is your favorite chore?
I like putting the chickens away at night.  Now that it’s getting dark later, we have to go out around 9:30 p.m. and close up the chicken coop.  I love the walk back to the house.  Our huge oak tree is loaded with fireflies, the tree frogs and bullfrogs are singing away and the night is cool and calm. So refreshing!
I actually really like to weed.  I don’t get a whole lot of time to do it, because our daughter gets bored rather quickly but I love seeing the path of destruction behind me as I crawl down a row of beans and tear out that thistle!
I also love picking cherry tomatoes, when they first start to ripen.  They taste so good, so summery. I can’t eat enough of them.  By late September…. they’ve lost their novelty.  Still good, but I’m onto other crops by then.
Do you have any yearly traditions on the farm?
Two things…. one more successful than the other.  1 – I like to take everyone (us and the apprentices) tubing down the Clarion River in August.  It’s a nice break – but hard to actually take time off the farm.  2 – we have a big Thanksgiving dinner for everyone who works and volunteers on the farm.  We raise our own turkeys and make one heck of a meal.  It’s quite and event, a lot of fun and a good send off for the crew.
What are your top three favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh?
Legume, hands down.  If we’re going to take the time to leave the farm and spend money, it’s going to be for something amazing and high quality.
What’s something that significantly improved your life on the farm?
Definitely having our apprenticeship program.  We used to take on interns – which  meant that kids would either live with us or commute to the farm.  I told them what and when to do everything.  Now, with our apprenticeships broken into the 3 positions, within a month, everyone has a good idea of what’s going on.  There’s a bit more responsibility evenly dispersed and more autonomy.
The team and  "supervisor" getting plants in for the season.

The team and “supervisor” getting plants in for the season.

Blackberry Meadows Farm at dusk.

Blackberry Meadows Farm at dusk.

What is something about your farm that folks may not know?
We’ve noticed that more people are turning to home gardening.  As an answer to that, we’ve started a Garden Share program.  We supply you with the seeds and seedlings you need to grow a 100 sq ft garden from March to October.  Each month, you’ll get a new distribution of seeds and seedlings, the same varieties that we grow on our farm.  It’s a grow your own CSA!

This week’s featured food is garlic scapes

garlicscapesWhat are these mysterious curly green things that keep showing up in your CSA box? Garlic scapes, also called “serpent garlic”, are the flower stems of hardneck garlic plants. While garlic doesn’t actually flower, the plant does send up these crazy, curly shoots. Garlic growers often trim the scapes from the plants so the plants can put more of their energy into the bulbs. That’s good news for us because scapes are delicious!

Garlic scapes are only available for a few weeks every year, which is why we try to include them in your shares as often as possible. They are milder than garlic cloves and don’t require any peeling. They are versatile and can be used in all the same ways you would use garlic. They will last for quite a while if they are kept in a plastic bag in your refrigerator so don’t feel overwhelmed if you’ve collected a few bags of them.

If you want to use up a lot of garlic scapes at once, try making Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto. You can freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, then transfer the pesto cubes to a freezer bag. Anytime you need a quick meal, cook some pasta and pull out a handful of pesto cubes. For more ideas, check out the recipes below:

Zucchini and Garlic Scape Frittata

Garlic Scape and Beef Satay

Vegetarian Stir-Fried Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scape Dip

 

 

THIS WEEK’S HARVEST 

A Route

Z Route

green cabbage, Weeping Willow Farm

pac choi, Clarion River Organics (OG)

snow peas or shell peas, Hostetler Farm or pea shoots, Clarion River Organics (OG)

tomatillo salsa, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm

zucchini, Weeping Willow Farm, Blue Goose Farm (CNG) or Clarion River Organics (OG)

garlic scapes, River View Farm (OG), Blackberry Meadows (OG) or Clubhouse Gardens

garlic scapes, Blackberry Meadows (OG)

romaine lettuce, River View Farm (OG)

red or green leaf lettuce, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)

kale, Kistaco Farm or River View Farm (OG)

kale, River View Farm (OG)

romanesco, Clarion River Organics (OG)

broccoli, Clarion River Organics (OG)

applesauce, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

applesauce, Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown


Click
HERE to check your delivery route



 

Cabbage

Green Cabbage

Weeping Willow Farm

Store:  Keep cabbage in the refrigerator. Wrap with plastic to prolong freshness.

Recipe:  Cabbage and Kale Slaw with Caraway Ranch Dressing, Fish Tacos with Quick Cabbage Slaw

 

 

bokchoy

Pac Choi

Clarion River Organics

Store:  Keep pac choi in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

Peas-snow1crop

Snow Peas

Hostetler Farm

Store:  In refrigerator

Recipe:  Quick Sesame Snow Peas

 

 

shell peasShell Peas

Hostetler Farm

Store:  In refrigerator.

Recipe:  Fresh Shelling Peas: Four Ways

 

 

pea_shoots_864

Pea Shoots

Clarion River Organics

Store:  In refrigerator

Uses:  Pea shoots have the same flavor as peas and are delicious on sandwiches, salads and as a garnish for just about anything.

 

 

tomatillo salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

Store:   Refrigerate after opening.

 

 

 


ZucchiniZucchini

Weeping Willow Farm, Blue Goose Farm or Clarion River Organics

Store:  In refrigerator

 

 

 

garlicscapescrop

Garlic Scapes

Blue Goose Farm, Clubhouse Gardens or Crighton Farm

Store:  Keep garlic scapes in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

 

 

 

romaine-lettucecrop

Romaine Lettuce

River View Farm

Store:   Keep lettuce in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. If you notice that it’s wet place a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture.

 

 

redbutterheadcrop

Red Leaf Lettuce

Blue Goose Farm

Store:  Keep lettuce in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. If you notice that it’s wet place a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture.

 

 

 

three_colors_kale

Kale

Kistaco Farm or River View Farm

Store:  Keep kale in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Note:  This week’s shares contain a variety of kale types including red russian, blue scotch, red scarlet and green curly. For recipe ideas check out 50 Things To Do With Kale

 

romanescocrop

Romanesco

Clarion River Organics

Store:   Place romanesco in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Uses:    Romanesco is a relative of broccoli and cauliflower and can be used in the same ways.

Recipe:  Roasted Romanesco

 

Broccolicrop

Broccoli

Clarion River Organics

Store:  Place broccoli in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

appleproducts

Applesauce

Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

Store:  Refrigerate after opening