Week 14- July 12th/13th

Planning, Assembling and Delivering

In the past we’ve explained the genesis of Penn’s Corner.  This week we want to explain a little more about how your CSA box is planned, assembled and delivered.

Packing at Nu Way Farm in 2010

It’s a complicated story with lots of moving parts but I’ll take a stab at it. Obviously, things have changed over time but this is the story in recent history.

So Penn’s Corner has 30+ family farms in its membership.  You know that part already.  These farms own Penn’s Corner.  Penn’s Corner has three marketing arms, so to speak.  We have the CSA, wholesale, and Farm Stands.  Farmers decide for themselves which of these markets works best for their farm.  Some may provide a lot of CSA product and very little or no product for restaurant sales.  Some really love the Farm Stand and some find that it’s just not practical for them.  Others rely entirely on restaurant sales.  There is no co-op wide formula here.  These choices are based on a number of factors including scale, distribution and preferences.

I would approximate that about 18 of our farms regularly provide product to the CSA.  That is counting Clarion River Organics as 1 farm which is misleading because they are also a co-op of 10 farms but for discussion purposes, let’s stick with 18!  Each week the CSA Manger reaches out to each of these farms to see what they think they might have available for the following week and in what quantities.    Some of our farms are large enough that they can provide enough product for all of our boxes on a given day but for many others we have to divide a day between a few farms. We mix and match and flip and flop products around to come up with the best possible box combined with the most reasonable and efficient distribution logistics.

One interesting detail of this process is the way that we contact each farmer.  We can email several of them directly.  Clarion River Organics has two Englishmen, as the Amish like to call them, that act as a kind of middle men.  Some farms have no internet connection so we have to call them.  Some of our Amish farms have phones on the farm so we call them also.  Some of them don’t have their own phones and we call their neighbor or friend and they return our call when they get the message.  The short of this is that we spend a lot of time reaching out to individual farms and offering them the same attention and personal service that we offer our CSA members.  As a staff, we are here to serve them as well as our customers.

On Friday afternoons I contact the farms again to give them their orders for the following week.  On Tuesdays we pack our CSA boxes at Pucker Brush Farm in Indiana County.  Through a series of events, we gather all of the product for that day on Pam Bryan’s farm and pack those boxes Tuesday morning. Boxes are packed in an assembly line fashion by drivers, farmers and farm help.  Boxes are then split between our two 16-foot box trucks and delivered to our Tuesday pick up locations.  We do a similar dance on Wednesday only it happens in Fredonia at David Yoder’s Nu Way Farm.  So there you have it:  some of the steps that happen behind the scenes each week!




~ 1/2 pint blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards

~ candy onions, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ 1.5# cling peaches, Dawson’s Orchards

~ 1# green beans, Kistaco Farm

~ baby beets, Nu Way Farm and Weeping Willow Farm, CF

~ 1/2 lb of chard, Goose Creek Gardens, Pucker Brush Farm, and Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ 1 cucumber, Beccari’s Farm

~ pint snap peas, Beccari’s Farm

~ 2 lbs of new red potatoes, Weeping Willow Farm, CF

~ 1/3 lb of lettuce mix, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ tarragon, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG


~ pint snow or snap peas, or 1/2# green beans, Hostetler Farm, CF or Kistaco Farm

~ green onions, Crighton’s Farm, CF

~ 1/2 pint blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards

~ 1.5# cling peaches, Dawson’s Orchards

~ 2# new red potatoes, Weeping Willow Farm, CF

~ baby beets, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1/3# red chard, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ 1/3# lettuce mix, Nu Way Farm, CF

~ cilantro, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ 1# broccoli, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1 cucumber, Beccari’s Farm

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

Egg Shares Reminder

Please remember that only those signed up for an egg share are to take the eggs from the cooler bag or cooler at your pick up site, thanks!



Cheese in Your CSA

We apologize for any cheese confusion last week.  In the future, on hot days especially, we will be putting cheese in the cooler or cooler bag with the egg shares.  If there is cheese in the CSA please take one piece from the cooler at your pick up location.  Thanks and let us know if you have any questions!


Cling Peaches!

Cling peaches are a bit different from their freestone relatives that are usually what you find at the grocery store.  The stones of cling peaches cling to the flesh of the peach, rather than separate easily. Cling peaches often tend to be less juicy, firmer and milder, while freestone peaches tend to be softer and more tangy flavored.  Cling peaches are often used in canning and preserving since they are easy to bruise while removing the pit.  They are also great in pies due to the fact that they are less juicy.  Grab some vanilla ice cream and try out a peach cobbler this week!


Peach Cobbler

Gourmet  | September 1999


  • 6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For biscuit topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

Cook peaches:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

Make topping while peaches bake:
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Peach-Cobbler-102277#ixzz1RkY66xCI



Braised Potatoes with Tarragon


serves 2 to 4

  • 2 pounds of the teeny-tiniest potatoes you can get your hands on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 10-15 leaves of tarragon, chopped or torn up
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • water

* why not add one of your sweet onions from this week’s box?

In a (preferably nonstick) pan, warm your olive oil over medium heat.  Scatter your potatoes, the pan should be big enough that you don’t need to overcrowd, with the potatoes hardly overlapping (a little is ok).  Throw your tarragon, salt and pepper in.  Add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the potatoes.  Cover the pan and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, checking at about 15 minutes in case they’ve cooked quickly.  Take the lid off the pan and cook until the water evaporates, stirring very gently with a spoon or silicone spatula so that the potatoes brown on all sides.  Serve hot, with a drizzle of olive oil.


Go Hog Wild

at Elements Contemporary Cuisine’s Whole Hog Dinner featuring local pork and veggies from Penn’s Corner! Check out the details and reserve yourself a spot!

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