2012/13 Winter Share, March 27th (#9)

syrupWhen I was a child I thought that strawberries began the growing season in southwestern PA.  Every spring I looked forward to strawberries and then all of the glories that came after them; tomatoes, corn, cucumbers.  Then once I got a little older and more wise about seasons and farming I realized that it was ASPARAGUS that really got things going for us here in southwestern PA.  Definitely asparagus with it’s green spears popping out of the ground without a moment’s notice.  That’s when you knew that spring had arrived and the growing season had commenced.

Nowadays I have the good fortune of working with farmers.  Now I know that in February when the days start to warm up a little a few of the Penn’s Corner farmers start sugaring maple trees. Maple syrup comes long before asparagus and strawberries.  It is with this knowledge that I am reminded that there is no beginning or end to our growing season here in southwestern PA. Season extension by way of greenhouses and high tunnels makes it even more impossible to draw these lines of beginnings and endings.  There is only a continual cycle of change.  At this point of the year we are probably all hoping for a little more dramatic change toward warmer temperatures and sunnier skies!

Thank you for hanging with Penn’s Corner during the colder part of the cycle this year!  Winter Share members tend to be at the heart and soul of the concept of CSA by sticking with their farmers when things are most scarce, adapting to some repetition, and enjoying what the land around us has provided.  We deeply appreciate our Winter Share members and hope to see you again soon!


March 27th is the 9th and final 2012/2013 Winter CSA delivery.  Please return your empty box to your pick up location by Friday March 29th. 



 ~ 2# carrots, Tuscarora Organics Growers, OG~ 2# onions, Blue goose Farm, CNG

~ 1# sauerkraut, Legume~ microgreens, Crighton’s Farm

~ 1/2 pint maple syrup, Weeping Willow Farm

~ 1/2# halloumi, River View Dairy

~ 1# dried turtle beans, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ rosemary, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ 1/4# spinach, Nu Way Farm OR Penn’s Corner salsa

~ 3# russet potatoes, Clarion River Organics, OG

~ arugula, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

OG- Certified Organic    CNG- Certified Natural Grown

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

We are offering a free pansy pot to each current 2013 CSA member that refers a new member to our 2013 CSA season.  Get your Spring share while they last and refer a friend.  Deadline is April 3rd!


Grow Pittsburgh is a Penn’s Corner member farm.  They have a weekly column called the Urban Harvester.  Check in weekly, on Wednesdays, to read their new posts on gardening, harvesting, and making use of that fine, extra-local produce! They share tips and techniques, gleaned from their urban farms and gardens. Email info@growpittsburgh.org with any topics you’d like us to cover.  This week’s topic is green garlic!



The kraut that you will find in your CSA share this week is Penn’s Corner cabbage that’s been lovingly fermented by Chef Trevett at Legume.

carrotsThe carrots…

are super ugly.  And some of them have odd sprouts on them.  There’s no need to worry.  A good scrubbing or peeling will render them all history.  This is what root crops look after months in storage.  An admirable effort  trying to grow!


Cuban Black Beans

1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over

1 T vegetable oil

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

1 bunch cilantro, minced  (If you don’t have it, don’t worry about it! Substitute a little chopped red onion or scallion.)


Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds.

Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves and minced cilantro. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.

Once cooked, add salt and additional minced cilantro if desired. Serve beans over rice, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.


2 hours, not including overnight soak time

**beans freeze wonderfully!




Those of you not familiar with this lovely greek cheese can check out what Wikipedia has to say here.  River View Dairy has recently added this cheese to their repertoire as they only now have ac

cess to sheep’s milk.  Halloumi is traditionally a mixture of sheep and goat milk.

Halloumi is great for grilling, pay frying or deep frying.  There are tons of recipes available online.  A simple Google is all it takes.  Personally, I heated a cast iron pan with a bit of safflower oil and cooked the cheese in 1/4″ or slightly thinner slices until it was brown and soft.  It’s pretty fantastic.  Let us know how you like it!





  1. Absolutely the best sauerkraut I have ever had. Is there a way to get more? BTW my carrots were not ugly, just multi colored.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s