Week 10- June 14th/15th

We hope you all enjoyed your first box of the Harvest Share last week!  I don’t know about you, but the first juicy bite of fresh local strawberries always lets me know summer has truly arrived and leaves me aching for more delicious fruit!  Luckily for us, we have strawberries in the boxes once again this week, along with other tasty early summer treats!  Karlin has a much deserved day off today, so I, Lydia, have the pleasure of writing the CSA blog entry.  Don’t worry though, Karlin will be back next week!

As the Farm Stand coordinator, I can’t help but take this opportunity to plug some shameless Farm Stand promotion into this blog for all you wonderful CSA members.  In case you are not aware, Penn’s Corner has a Farm Stand Buying Club which allows anyone to pre-order local farm products to be picked up at either our Squirrel Hill or Mt. Lebanon locations.  As CSA members, you are not required to pay the annual fee, and can place orders for whatever you like, 12 months out of the year!  We are thrilled to introduce you to our brand new ordering system for the Farm Stand Buying Club, and encourage you to check out what’s available!  The ordering period will be open till Wednesday, June 15 at 2pm for our Monday, June 20 pick-up.  CLICK HERE  to check it out, and send me an email at farmstand@pennscorner.com if you would like to be added to our Farm Stand email list which lets you know when a new ordering period has opened.  Products available through the Farm Stand include, vegetable and herb plants, meat, cheese, eggs, milk, veggies, fruit, grains, pasta, bread, honey, syrup and much more!

Strawberries growing in the fields in Clarion




~ 1 quart strawberries, Sunny Meadow Farm, CF

~ 1 lb tomato basil rotini fresh pasta, Fontana Pasta

~ 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, Wild Purveyors

~ red dazzler romaine, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ little gem green romaine, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1/2 lb kale mix or collard greens, Kistaco Farm

~ rosemary plant, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG

~ 3+ squash blossoms, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 3 green garlic bulbs, Clarion River Organics, OG


~ 1 quart strawberries, Sunny Meadow & Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1 lb garlic parsley rotini fresh pasta, Fontana Pasta

~ 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, Wild Purveyors

~ red dazzler romaine, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ green butterhead or oakleaf lettuce, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ collard microgreens, Crighton Farm, CNG

~ pineapple sage, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG or Crighton Farm

~ white icicle radishes, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ green garlic, or green onions or garlic scapes, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

and Clubhouse Gardens, CF

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


Garlic is one of those amazing crops that produces from early spring to the end of summer.  It is planted in late fall by placing one clove underground.  Throughout the winter and early spring that clove starts to grow, and pretty soon you have tall green stalks growing.  You can pick these stalks in the spring to enjoy young green garlic (or spring garlic as some farmers call it), while the stalk is still tender enough to eat and the bulb hasn’t formed underground yet.  There are hundreds of varieties of garlic, but all of them can be categorized into two major types: soft-necked and hard-necked.  In late spring the hard neck plant will shoot out these crazy swirly scapes, which form a flower on the end if left alone.  It is important to break these scapes off so the plant can put its energy toward developing the bulb, instead of the flower, and luckily for us these scapes are a fun and delicious addition to any meal!  What you haven’t already pulled out as green garlic will continue to grow into a beautiful bulb of many cloves, ready to be pulled out of the ground in mid summer and either eaten fresh or hung to dry and eaten all winter long.  Soft-necked varieties are often dried and braided into chains of garlic.  It’s no doubt garlic is a favorite crop of many farmers!


Bill Foulk of Clubhouse Gardens is Penn’s Corner’s resident garlic grower.  After their time in the service, Bill and his wife Paula returned to the farm his great grandparents had over a hundred years ago. I called Bill up this morning and asked him why he loved growing garlic and how it became the only crop grown on his farm.   He told me that 10 years ago he couldn’t stand garlic.  All he wanted to grow were great big onions, but didn’t have much luck doing that till he met a fella named Doc Green.  Doc Green taught Bill how to grow those great big onions, and then told Bill he needed to start growing garlic.  He gave Bill some starts that coincidentally had been handed down to Doc Green from Bill’s grandparents.  Bill planted 100 starts that year, gave half of them away, and planted the other half for the following year.  This year Bill has about 12,000 plants and sells them almost solely to Penn’s Corner.   Bill has now come to love garlic, and even calls himself a bit of a garlic connoisseur.   He says it is the specialty he was needing and can hardly keep up with demand.  He enjoys trying new varieties and has planted 8 different varieties this year.  Thanks Bill, for growing so much great garlic for us!

One of Bill’s favorite ways to eat green garlic and garlic scapes is to dab them with olive oil, sprinkle them with season salt, and then simply throw them on a grill.  He says he eats them much like asparagus, and I am sure they would taste great grilled alongside any veggie or meat dish.

Bill’s Garlic Scape Kabobs:

Take your meat (or shiitake mushrooms!) and marinate if wanted.  Add veggies of your choice, poke a hole thru it with a sharp knife and thread onto a garlic scape.  Bill usually coats everything with olive oil and seasons with season all salt or Mrs. Dash.

Grill on medium high heat till done.  Everyone gets a “kabob” (or two or three) and everything is edible, including the skewer!


Squash Blossoms:

Squash blossoms are so perishable that you usually only find them in backyard gardens and farmer’s markets.  Don’t know what to do with them?  Check out this link for five ways to prepare these beautiful edible flowers.


A note about Fresh Pasta:

The pasta included in your box this week is fresh pasta.  While dried pasta is made without eggs and can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, fresh pasta must be kept cold and will keep for a few days under refrigeration, or a few months in a freezer.  The best way to prepare fresh pasta is to take it right from your freezer or refrigerator and dump it into a pot of boiling water.  It will only a take a few minutes to be ready, so check often and then drain!

Pasta with Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Pasta, mushrooms and garlic is always a winning combo in my book.  Try out this simple recipe which also includes sun tried tomatoes and pine nuts with a white wine sauce.  If tomatoes and pine nuts aren’t your thing, try substituting with other veggies, more fresh herbs and cheese!


  • 12 sun dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Non-stick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped (or green garlic, or garlic scapes!)
  • 12 ounces penne (or rotini!)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried


Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let stand until tomatoes soften, about 15 minutes. Drain tomatoes, reserving soaking liquid. Thinly slice tomatoes.

Spray large nonstick skillet generously with vegetable oil spray. Add mushrooms, onion, wine, garlic, reserved tomato soaking liquid and sliced tomatoes. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquids are reduced by half and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook, pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same large pot.

Pour sauce from skillet over pasta. Add Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Toss, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Mix in basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



  1. Last week’s strawberries were the best I’ve ever had (except for last year’s, also from Beccari). Here’s looking forward to more!

  2. So great to see the wonderful local strawberries, small, fragrant and reminiscent of the strawberries we ate as kids in the 60s, before we knew about those giant California ones! (which just don’t last!) And the fresh local ones lasted for a week! in the fridge, I had some with my cereal this morning!

    thanks again for such great food!

  3. Yeah for more strawberries! I’m eating homemade strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberry compote on top, can’t get enough and can’t wait for more!

  4. I will 4th the spectacular strawberries. A visiting niece was very happy to have a fresh strawberry milkshake – the rest of us were very happy to just munch away. We are taking the plunge with sauteed kale tonight. Unfortunately, we didn’t look at the blog and our pasta went kaput before we used it – bummer. Oh! The garlic was tremendous in (home-made) pasta Friday night. Yum. Thanks, and looking forward to Tuesday!

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