Week 5- May 10th/11th

The weather yesterday and today seems like an amazing, surprise gift that no one was expecting.  I spoke with David Yoder early this morning and he told me that his insides were “jumping around” because he was so excited about the weather and getting into his fields.  A little later I got an email from Bill Foulk from Clubhouse Gardens.  He delivered some garlic to Nu Way Farm this morning and had this to say about the Yoder’s Farm:

Saw David out in the field working up the ground with his horses.  This was before 7:00 this morning!  It sure was a pretty site.  You should have been there.

You may or may not have come across this PG article about Pennsylvania farms this weekend.  The short story is that, as a region, we are weeks behind schedule for many important crops.  The upshot is that there is still a good possibility that today’s weather will stick around and that most farms can end up with a good growing season after all.  It’s anyone’s guess!  While none of us likes to consider a summer with less of the foods that we’ve spent months dreaming of the lesson, or point or reminder here is a salient one: real food is grown.  There are men and women and beasts that toil under conditions of weather, the global economy (grain and oil prices), and the particulars of their own lives to grow food for our community.  We could all take a stroll to the nearest grocery and buy garlic from Peru, broccoli from California and canned pumpkin from who knows where but many of us choose not to.  It’s a choice that connects you with your place, your farmers, and your food.

On a related but different note, technology is amazing!  After hearing from Bill Foulk about the horses at Nu Way Farm I rang our driver Clint.  I knew that he was on his way to David’s to pick up products for our Farm Stand later today.  I told Clint that I’d love it if he could take a few photos with that Droid of his and send them along to me.  I asked him to photograph some horses if he happened to see any.  So thanks to Clint and his 3G network, here are some shots from Nu Way Farm this morning.  David’s 15 year-old son Josiah in the photographs.  Many of you may remember Josiah’s cherry tomatoes from your CSA last year. He is growing for us again this year!

Josiah Yoder and the horses at Nu Way Farm
Good morning Nu Way Farm!
I guess this is what Bill Foulk was talking about.


If you are a Cabin Fever member and want to add the Harvest Share to your membership now is the time!  The additional 24 week share can be added to your membership and paid in full or in installments.  Be sure to contact Karlin before we are sold out.

                                THIS WEEK’S HARVEST


~ green butterhead lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1/2 dozen eggs, Clarion River Organics

~ pea shoots, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG

~ Forbes cheese, Hidden Hills Dairy

~ green garlic, Clubhouse Gardens, CF

~ 1/4# spinach, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ wild foraged ramps, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1# wheat berries, Clarion River Organics, OG


~ green butterhead lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ Forbes cheese, Hidden Hills Dairy

~ 1/4# spinach, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ wild foraged ramps, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1# wheat berries, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ apple butter, Kistaco Farm

~ 1# rhubarb, Nu Way Farm, CF

 OG- Certified Organic                                      CNG- Certified Natural Grown                                          CF- Chemical Free

Chef’s Corner

This week Bistro 19’s Executive Chef, Jessica Gibson has been kind enough to share some recipes with us.  Jessica has been at Bistro 19 since its opening five years ago.  She is a Pittsburgh native and worked at the Carlton for some time.  If you haven’t been to this Mt. Lebanon establishment you should check it out!  They serve lots of wonderful local food with a creative flair.

Wheatberry Salad

1 cup wheatberries
2 cups spinach chopped
2 ramps chopped
1/2 cup forbss cheese (chopped or shredded)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry oregano
Cook the wheat berries in 3 cups of salted water for about 45 minutes until soft.  Chill and mix the berries with remaining ingredients and serve. Season with more salt and pepper.
Baked Fish with Ramp Pesto
4, 5 oz white fish filets (cod, tilapia, trout, snapper or whatever you prefer)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
10 ramps
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup spinach leaves
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, place fish on parchment paper lined baking sheets and sprinkle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. While baking combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor until well combined and pour over fish evenly and bake 5 minutes more or until fish flakes with a fork indicating that it is fully cooked.


Green Rhubarb

Rhubarb comes in many varieties. While most of us think red when we think of rhubarb, there are several green varieties. Some are a little green, some mostly green and others are nearly all green. Any rhubarb, no matter the color, that you find in our CSA box is mature and ready to be eaten.  As I understand it, while the deep red variety may be more popular, these plants are often accompanied by less substantial growth and yield. In contrast, green varieties are often much more productive.

Our pole last week indicated that most of the respondents love rhubarb, a few hate it and a decent number of you aren’t sure how to use it.  One of the things that is important about using rhubarb is to not over think it.  Here are a few recipes to start with.

Rhubarb Compote

Wash and slice your rhubarb.  Simmer it on the stovetop in a pot with a little water (maybe a 1/3 cup or so).  Once the rhubarb begins to cook and fall apart, add the sweetener of your choice (sugar/honey/ maple syrup/agave nectar).  This is all about taste so if you like it tart, just sweeten it a little.  If you don’t dig the tartness you can add more sweetener.  You can also add some frozen or fresh strawberries if you like.  Simmer it until the rhubarb is soft.  This make take 20 to 30 minutes.  Spoon this over pancakes, your breakfast yogurt (my fav!) or of course, ice cream.  It never lasts long at my house but I would suspect that it would keep just fine for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Rhubarb Muffins

I’d love to credit this recipe to someone but I don’t know who that person might be.  A friend got it from a friend.  You know how that goes.  So, I’ll just thank my friend Susan for sharing it with me.  Theses muffins are seriously delicious.

1 1/2 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour (or spelt!)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 2 1/2 cups buttermilk  or plain yogurt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 egg (beaten)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups rhubarb diced.

1/2 cup nuts (toasted and chopped)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon butter (melted)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon flour

Combine first 5 dry ingredients thoroughly. Then in a separate bowl, mix the next five wet ingredients well. Stir dry ingredients into wet until just moistened.  Don’t over mix.  Add rhubarb and nuts into batter.  Fill greased (or those use those paper thingies) muffin tins two thirds of the way full.  Then combine last  4 ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffin batter.  This should make about 18 muffins.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.


Washing your produce

We would like to offer a gentle reminder to always wash your produce.  This applies to Penn’s Corner product as well as anything else that you purchase.  While we try to be sure that our products are never “dirty”when you receive them, nothing is washed.  It is always a good and safe bet to wash produce before you consume or cook it.

On that note, I know that washing greens gets lots of people down.  I often hear that people, “just don’t feel like cleaning lettuce” or greens, or “I’d eat it if it were already clean”.  My recommendation is this:  buy a good salad spinner.  Don’t get a gadgety one with bells and whistles because those bells just break!  I stand by my Oxo.  With the exception of maybe our dishwasher, it is the most used item in our kitchen.  I fill that baby up with water, place my chopped greens in the water and swish them around a while.  (This is a great job for kiddos if you have any that like to help in the kitchen.  Just remind them to be gentle with the greens in order not to bruise them!)  Once the greens have been swished for a bit just lift the basket out of the bowl, empty the bowl, place the basket back in there and spin away.  You can get the greens quite dry and then store any extras in a plastic bag in the bottom of your refrigerator.




  1. Yes, I’d be much more inclined to buy it I got them every couple of weeks or so, I rarely use a dozen eggs in a week.

  2. I would have to disagree with everyone else so far. I use eggs up in a week without even blinking an eye. I bake during the week. My family also likes to have eggs on the weekend. I would really hope that the eggs do not get discontinued. I would not prefer to buy another item.

    • The eggs from Greenawalt Farm at the East Liberty Farmers Market are from a much larger operation with thousands of birds. Here is a little article about their operation. We try keeping our prices as low as possible while still allowing the farmers to set their prices to cover their costs. Grain is expensive!

  3. I love the occasional half dozen to a dozen of eggs in the box and would be disappointed to see them go, but I am not inclined to buy a specal share just for eggs – sorry.

  4. I agree about the eggs, I enjoy getting the eggs in my share, but I probably can’t swing buying a separate share of eggs. Also wanted to say I really enjoyed the Forbes cheese and rhubarb. Had never cooked with rhubarb, and the compote was a family favorite 🙂

  5. Loved the Wheatberry Salad & Rhubarb Muffins recipes!! I have never had wheat berries before, I am now a fan 🙂

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