Farm Feature: Hostetler Farm
For this week’s blog feature we spoke with Linda Hostetler of Hostetler Farm. Based in Cochranton, PA – roughly 80 miles north of Pittsburgh – Joe and Linda Hostetler, along with their seven children, have been supplying fresh produce to Penn’s Corner since 2008. Linda says that they found out about Penn’s Corner through fellow farmer David Yoder of Nu Way Farm. Though they had always grown their own produce for their family, they had never sold any of it before joining Penn’s Corner. However, one year they had more strawberries and rhubarb than their family could consume by itself. That’s when David Yoder recommended joining Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance as a way to make some money selling their extra produce.
Today, Hostetler Farm grows a variety of produce, with strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb being their main fruit crops and carrots, beans, potatoes, beets and onions being the main vegetables. In addition to growing fresh produce for Penn’s Corner, Joe Hostetler and two of his sons run a logging business, which keeps the family busy. Linda says that her favorite task on the farm is picking strawberries and raspberries, which she finds relaxing compared to the other demanding tasks that are often required of her.
Being a small, family-run farm means being vulnerable to weather conditions that are out of your control – something the Hostetlers understand too well. Linda said that the heavy rainfall we’ve experienced this summer has damaged some of their crops. For instance, they lost most of their beans (though they replanted a second crop last week!) and their potato crop is down to at least one quarter of its original size. So far, she says, the beets and carrots are doing the best out of everything at surviving the turbulent and unpredictable weather we’ve been experiencing and they’re doing their best to manage despite the unpredictable weather.
Though tending to the farm is hard work, the Hostetlers do get off of the farm once in a while. Linda says that they recently went canoeing at French Allegheny Creek and they have plans to travel to Holmes County in Ohio for a family birthday coming up. The only time they can’t get away from the farm, she says, is during strawberry season. Since strawberries are so perishable, they can’t bear to be away for even a day or they might risk their entire crop.
The Hostetlers want to thank you for supporting their farm through your purchase of a Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance CSA. We also want to thank you for supporting us and all of the amazing farmers who work hard every day to grow your produce. We hope you are loving your fresh, local food this summer!
THIS WEEK’S HARVEST
|A Route||Z Route|
|blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards||blueberries, Dawson’s Orchards|
|green beans, NuWay or Baccari Farm||candy onions, Crighton Farm **some members will receive dilly beans in place of the onions**|
|sweet corn, Clarion River Organics (OG)||sweet corn, Clarion River Organics (CRO)|
|new red potatoes, Nu Way Farm||yellow zucchini, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)|
|arugula, Nu Way Farm||arugula, Nu Way Farm|
|cucumbers, Weeping Willow Farm||carrots or kohlrabi, Hostetler Farm/River View Farm (OG)|
|parsley, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)||beet bunch, River View Farm (OG)|
|lettuce head, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)||lettuce head, Blue Goose Farm (CNG)|
OG = Certified Organic, CNG = Certified Naturally Grown
Click HERE to check your delivery route
Grower: Crighton Farm
Store: The crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Grower: Dawson’s Orchards
Store: It’s best not to wash the berries before storing them in the refrigerator as the moisture will promote spoilage. For best results, wash them when you’re ready to use them.
Recipe: 50+ blueberry recipes
Grower: Blue Goose Farm
Store: Loosely wrap parsley with a paper towel and keep it in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Recipe: parmesan parsley potatoes
Grower: Weeping Willow Farm
Store: In refrigerator
Recipe: cucumber lime cilantro salad
Grower: Nu Way Farm
Store: Wrap arugula loosely in a paper towel or cloth and store it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Recipe: arugula potato salad
Grower: Hostetler Farm or River View Farm
Store: separate carrots from their greens and store separately. Hold on to the green tops and use them for pesto (see recipe below). Keep carrots and carrot tops in the refrigerator.
Sweet Corn – Organic corn is very challenging to grow you may find that this corn doesn’t look like the corn you would find in a grocery store. Give it a try, we think it’s delicious!
Growers: Clarion River Organics
Store: Keep the husks on and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
Grower: Hostetler Farm or Nu Way Farm
Store: cut off the leafy stalks (and use as you would kale or collard greens) from the bulb as would beets and carrots. Wash the bulb, wrap it loosely and store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Recipe: Thai inspired kohlrabi slaw
Grower: Beccari’s Farm/Nu Way Farm
Store: in a plastic bag, unwashed in the refrigerator crisper
Recipe: southern style green beans
Grower: River View Farm
Store: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves. To keep the beets dry, store them and the leaves, unwashed, in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer.
New Red Potatoes
Grower: Nu Way Farm
Store: Store at room temperature out of heat or sun, if you plan to eat them quickly. New potatoes are not cured so they will not last as long as other potatoes (a few days vs. a few weeks). For longer storage keep them in the refrigerator.
Grower: Blue Goose Farm
Store: keep in the refrigerator
Recipe: crispy baked zucchini cake
Grower: Blue Goose Farm (CNG)
Recipe: BLT bowl