2012/13 Winter Share, February 27th (#7)


Farmer’s Corner

Kevin and one of his hens.

Kevin and one of his hens.

Penn’s Corner was formed years ago by a handful of farmers in the hope that by working together they could all work and live more efficiently.  Let’s face it, farming is exceptionally hard, time-consuming work and it takes a special kind of person to be a great farmer and to love their work. Penn’s Corner is full of great farmers that love their work and occasionally we are lucky enough to get a clear glimpse of that.

Kevin Jarosinski has been a Penn’s Corner member farm for two years now.  I asked Kevin a few questions hoping that I could put together a profile of him for our CSA members.  I asked him how he got into farming, what he farms, what he loves and hates most about it and what his favorite thing to have for dinner is.  He replied with an incredibly touching letter.  Rather than rephrase his reply I have simply included his letter below.  It’s an intimate view into the life of a young, outrageously enthusiastic farmer.  Your farmer.

Hello! I would love to share with Penn’s Corner members about how I got to this point in my Life 🙂
Well, I suppose this all starts with the infamous toy barn sets that I cherished. When I was a little boy, I was infatuated with farms whether the toys or driving past having my nose pressed against the window 🙂 I really think it is a God-given gift. So it was said by Paul Harvey, “God looked down on his planned paradise and said, I need a caretaker.”
When a friend of the family passed away; my parents bought a piece of his farm when it went up for sale in 2002. The land that was purchased was fertile, but didn’t have a farmer to take the reins. With no farming history in the Jarosinski family, I officially started March.12.2007 with an order of (25) chicks. Being born in 1991, I was only fifteen when the fire of farming was finally ignited on that special day.
I took high school seriously keeping a 4.0 GPA, but when graduation passed, I jumped into farming with two feet..! I look back over the past six years and cannot help but to smile. I suppose my college education took place on my farm. Learning from experience and trial & error.
Currently, I am raising 1,000 pastured chickens — 300 egg laying hens — 30 hogs –10 cows — 1 sow 🙂 [piglets!] per year. Then I farm about 20 acres of hay 🙂

Kevin's Barn

Kevin’s Barn

That’ll keep a young man busy. Expansion? I am really content with my plate. I am happily diversified to be sustainable in my eyes. I feel expansion would risk my quality.  Every day when I open the barn door, I can’t help but to scratch and greet my animals. I feel so content with the animal welfare on my farm. My animals are very happy creatures in their natural environments. Expansion would risk that philosophy.

In my eyes, being a farmer is not a “career”, nor is it a “job.” Farming, you see, is a lifestyle. It is my identity of who I am. I have given my farm my blood, sweat, and even tears. Seven days a week, you can do a lot of bonding 🙂 The best thing about farming is the “pay.” No, not the money. If you want to make money – don’t farm.
The thing I love best about farming is the paying reward of hard work and dedication. When a calf falls sick on the coldest winter night and you watch him fight. Staying near his side for nights and watching him gain strength. Then when months pass, that calf struts around pasture as a fine yearling full of energy and life. That, is what farming is all about..!
Growing good, wholesome “food” for entrusting families. That, my friend, is a “pay” no dollar can beat.
I sort of chuckle about thinking about anything I don’t particularly enjoy and I am drawing a blank. I like all sides of the farm. From the animals to making hay to calling Karlin to get those orders. It’s all good stuff..! 🙂
Dinner..! Ah, Mom’s breaded pork chops [Home Grown]. Can’t beat those. To sit down with my family and enjoy all of that hard work.
Life is good 🙂
Chicks

ChicksThank You..!

Kevin
A young man and his truck.

A young man and his truck.

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Please keep these remaining delivery dates in mind: February 27th, March 13th and March 27th. If ever deliveries are not able to be made due to driving conditions we will be sure to email you and to schedule a make up day as soon as possible.

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

 ~ 1# fresh garlic parsley pasta, Fontana Pasta~ 1/2# meadowbelle goats milk cheese, River View Dairy~ 1# crimini mushrooms, Wild Purveyors

~ 1# winter radishes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ apple butter, Kistaco Farm

~ 3# blue potatoes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ 1/2 gallon apple cider, Kistaco Farm

~ 3# red and white onions, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ pea shoots, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG

~ 1 dozen eggs, Clarion River Organics/ Jarosinski’s

OG- Certified Organic    CNG- Certified Natural Grown
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Penn’s Corner is Hiring!

Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance is looking for a driver.

Drive one of our 16′ refrigerated box trucks to pick up food from our growers and deliver to restaurants, businesses, and front porches throughout Pittsburgh and its suburbs.

25 hours a week to start, with increasing hours and responsibilities available once we get into full swing in May. Experience driving a truck is preferred, but we can train any confident car driver who has a decent knowledge of Pittsburgh-area geography. An ideal candidate will be outgoing, able to work independently, and detail-oriented. Must be willing to pitch in with non-driving tasks, including packing CSA boxes and helping with our farm stand. Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds, and have reliable transportation to our warehouse in Larimer/East Liberty.

This is a great opportunity to work with local farmers, Pittsburgh’s best restaurants, and all of our loyal customers. And it’s a great way to get to know Western Pennsylvania!

Please send a resume and cover letter – along with any questions you might have – to clint@pennscorner.com

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PASTA!

Please note that this pasta is fresh.  It is not shelf table so if you leave it on a counter or cabinet it will mold.  The best way to store it is to freeze it even if you plan to use it tomorrow!

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Returning Members can Sign up Here for your 2013 regular season CSA share now!

We are offering all of our regular options plus a bi-weekly share, an egg share and a flower share this year!  We love to deliver to workplaces, Universities and Community Centers.  Please contact Karlin if you are interested in hosting or have suggestions for new locations.

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Potato-Mushroom Frittata

  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes (use blue potatoes!)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin strips (optional)
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil or Italian parsley

Preparation

1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan. Add water to cover and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, simmering until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and slice them 1/2 inch thick. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often but gently, until they are golden brown. Remove and set aside.
4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet, and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, over high heat, until they start to turn brown. Add the onions, red pepper strips, ham, garlic, pepper and salt to taste. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan, 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
5. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat well with a fork.
6. Wipe the skillet clean. Add the olive oil to the skillet and heat. Add the potatoes, the mushroom mixture, and the basil or parsley. Cook, stirring, over high heat for 2 minutes.
7. Beat the egg mixture again, and pour it over the potato-mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring from the bottom, until the eggs start to set, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes or until done.
8. Place a large round serving dish over the skillet, and quickly invert both the skillet and the dish, letting the frittata fall into the dish. It should be golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
YIELD 4 servings

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Be sure to check out this great article on winter radishes!  It includes some interesting recipes for fermented radishes and radish risotto among others.

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Pasta ingredients: semolina and durum flours, eggs, powdered garlic and dried parsley. 

Vegan pasta ingredients: semolina and durum flours, powdered garlic and dried parsley.

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Fettuccine with Mushroom Marsala Sauce
serves 2
1/3-1/2 lb fettuccine
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large shallot, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
8 oz assorted mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup Marsala wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp of Wondra flour*
1/3 cup heavy cream
several sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stalks
salt and fresh cracked pepper
Chopped parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish

  • In a heavy pot melt and butter and olive oil and saute the shallot and garlic for a few minutes.
  • Add in the mushrooms and saute, stirring often, for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the mushrooms just tender.  If the pot seems too dry, add a little more olive oil.
  • Add the Marsala into the hot pot and let it evaporate for a minute, then add the chicken stock, thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Let the sauce simmer and reduce for a few minutes.  Sprinkle in a dash of Wondra flour and blend in.
  • Add in the cream, and bring back to a simmer.  Check for seasoning and set aside while you cook the fettuccine.
  • When the fettuccine is just al dente, either add it to the sauce and toss well, or put it in a serving bowl and top with the sauce. Garnish with cheese and parsley.

* Wondra flour is formulated to dissolve instantly in hot or cold liquids, no clumping. It’s the best thing for those times when you just want to slightly thicken a sauce, especially at the last minute.  All you do is sprinkle it in and stir.

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