August 10th 2015 Newsletter

The Weekly Menu

What you can roughly expect to receive each week:

Here’s where we list what is going to be in the weekly shares.  What we think we will harvest when writing the newsletter – may not necessarily be what’s actually ready on harvest day.  We’ll do our best to get it right!

This week: Carrots (they are getting smaller now), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, peppers (purple and green), and herbs.

Repeat from last week: It looks like one of our apple trees is starting to produce and is just about ready.  We may pick it this week, or next…. but I wanted to give you a heads up that these apples have never been sprayed with anything….so they are rather ugly.  The upside is that you can eat them, right then and there.  There’s no chemicals to wash off (there’s something that they put on conventional apples that makes my lips tingle and mouth itch) and you can tell that if the bugs like them….they must be good!

Mid-summer is here, already?

We planted the last of the season’s beans (Dragon Langerie and Gold Rush) and about 3000 feet of Detroit Dark Red Beets.  In the midst of the beet seeding, my tractor, the Allis Chalmers G (1952) conked out.  I’m not mechanically inclined, so I call my Mechanic – Greg.  The poor guy is up to his eyeballs fixing things and I’m sure it’s the last thing he wants to here “the G died in the field again, can you help me?”  He said he couldn’t….  At that point, I took a stick and beat that tractor, really I did.  But it didn’t help.  About an hour later (after Dawn and I seeded the whole field by hand), Greg and a Garden Share member of ours (who’s also mechanically inclined) come out, adjusted the idle and I’m on my way.  I hate it when things break down, but we’re a farm on a budget and don’t really have any new equipment – fixing things is the norm.

We took our annual vacation to Lake Erie this past weekend.  It’s kind of a rite of passage – we leave the apprentices alone at the farm to run the whole thing (for about 36 hours). It was nice to be off the farm for a short while…. when we’re here, we can’t sit still for long before thinking; “do the cows need water? Has the greenhouse been watered? Isn’t there a tractor to fix?”.  It’s always nice to decompress a bit!   Now that we’re back and recharged, we’re ready for the next half of the growing season.  So far it’s looking a lot better than the spring did!


This may be the LAST CSA Potluck for the year!!
August 15th -Sign up now!

Click here for the Link

We had a nice turn out for this past potluck – and we really lucked out with the rain.  Everyone had a chance to make their own pizza, which was lots of fun!

Play Date at the Farm!

We had a nice little turn out for the playdate this past Friday.  Three other kids were here to check out the farm.  We visited all the animals, learned about harvesting lima beans, ate raspberries and played on the playground.  We’ll do another one next friday 9:30 – 12:00.  It’s a great opportunity for your kids to get some farm time!

Here’s a couple interesting links to articles about farm exposure and allergies:

Hay Fever

New York Times Article

Join us for a day with Farm Family Kindermusik on Saturday morning, September 19th.  (Weather Permitting)

Help Celebrate!  Christa Beck (one of our long-time CSA members).  She’s been teaching Kindermusik in the Alle-Kiski Valley for 15 years now!


1212 Carlisle Street

Natrona HeightsPA  15065 

Cumin Crusted Chicken Thighs with Tomatillo Salsa


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) Cumin Crust Rub

For the Tomatillo Salsa

  • 7 large tomatillos, papery husks removed, and cut in half
  • 1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz/20 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt


1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs and oil. Toss to coat the thighs evenly. Transfer the thighs to a platter and sprinkle evenly on all sides with the cumin rub. Set aside at room temperature.

2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling over medium heat; the temperature inside the grill should be 350°—375°F (180°—190°C). If using charcoal, bank the lit coals on either side of the grill bed, leaving a strip in the center without heat, and place a drip pan in the center. If using gas, preheat the burners, then turn off 1 or more of the burners to create a cooler zone. Brush and oil the grill grate.

3. To make the salsa, place the tomatillos and chile over the direct-heat area of the grill. (You’ll probably need a grill screen for the chile or you’ll lose it through the grate.) Cook, turning as needed, until well charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos and chile to a blender, add the lime juice and oil, and pulse until combined but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl, fold in the cilantro, and season with salt. You should have about 2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml). (The salsa can be made up to 1 week in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

4. Place the thighs, meaty side down, over the indirect-heat area of the grill. Cook, turning once, until the thighs are nicely grill-marked on both sides and firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from bone registers 170°F (77°C), 10—15 minutes on each side.

5. Transfer the thighs to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve at once with the tomatillo salsa.

the game plan

  • Make rub; coat chicken with oil and season with rub
  • Set up grill for indirect grilling over medium heat
  • Make tomatillo salsa
  • Grilling time: 20–30 minutes
  • DON’T FORGET: Try to turn the thighs only once so they develop nice grill marks.

Local Goods:

Frankferd Farms – These guys are great!  What a treasure to have here in Western PA – A distributer of natural and organic goods!!  Place an order with them at the end of the month and we’ll have it on hand at your next CSA pick-up.  Give Jen a heads up that you placed an order.
Natrona Bottling Co. – Brewed fresh here in Natrona, this beverage is High Fructose Corn Syrup Free and Local!  If you’re gonna eat junk food – it might as well be local junk food!
Allegro Hearth Bakery Fresh bread and sweets available at the farm pickup only.  Made fresh every Tuesday night – amazing stuff!
Jarosinski Farm – we’re excited to be working with Kevin, a young fellow in Buffalo Township who is tending high quality pasture raised chickens for eggs and meat.
Kopar Honey Farm – talk about local!  The Kopars keep bees on our farm, as well as other locations in southwestern, PA.
Clarion River Organics – we purchase potatoes, watermelon, winter squash and other items from them that we may not be growing this year.
Brenkel’s Organic Farm – in Zelienople, supplies us with a few veggies too. 
Conneautee Creamery – Artisan cheeses made from grass fed cows.
Harmony Hill Farm – supplies us with pasture raised, grass fed beef.  We’ll have ground beef on hand at $7/lb.
Northwoods Ranch – located in Gibsonia area, this farm specialies in all pasture raised, Non-GMO and soy free beef and pork.  They raise heritage breeds of pigs and Highland Cattle for beef.  Currently, we only have ground beef from these guys.
Hunter Farms –  keeps us supplied with the best Certified Organic Blueberries  around.  They usually start up in July.  
Una Biological – creams, salves, and balms.  All made in small batches, with organic and some locally sourced ingredients.

Value added from the Farm

We dabble in a few hand crafted items.  We’ll purchase fair trade, organic, green coffee beans and roast them in our wood oven.   

We just made some fantastic Garlic Salt this spring.  Mixed with high quality Himalayan Salt – it’s great for a seasoning on most meals and as an addition to popcorn!

Thanks for choosing our CSA.  We strive to grow nutrient dense, wholesome foods for you.  We think what we do is hard work – but important for our family, friends, and community.  There’s a few things that we find important: growing good food, participating in the local economy, being good stewards to the environment, providing our community with access to a farm, farm animals and the outdoors, and teaching new and beginning farmers what we know.  By being a CSA member and supporting our endeavors, you’re helping us to achieve our goals.  Thanks!!


Your Farmers,

Greg, Jen, Evelyn, Matt, Sam, Dawn and Haven

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