Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall and Winter CSA First Newsletter

Curious what is going on with the Fall and Winter CSA?  What is there to be found in CSA boxes in the beginning of November in Pennsylvania?  Well, here is our newsletter from the first week of our Fall and Winter CSA...

Hello members!

We are so happy to be able to offer a Fall and Winter CSA, this is exciting for us!  It is a nice and sunny outside and we are busy here mulching and cleaning the fields for the winter.  Hopefully we have a few more days like this so that everything can get done!

In this weeks box:
  • Gold Potatoes
  • Rutabagas (this root vegetable is delicious in in soups, casseroles,  roasted, or mashed with potatoes. They are high in beta carotene and store well up to a month.)
  • Red Butterhead lettuce
  • Arugula (these are great on a sandwich or added to a salad)
  • Napa Cabbage ( a favorite ingredient in Asian cooking.  It is good in stir fries, soups, slaw, and of course kim chi.)
  • Buttercup Squash (similar to a Butternut in flavor)
  • Celeriac (sometimes called  "celery root" , they have a strong celery flavor.  It is easiest to slice off the top and bottom and then slice off the sides with a knife.  They are great in soups and make wonderful stock.  Recipe below)
  • Paprika Peppers (a small sweet pepper)
The next pick up day will be next Thursday, we will send out an email reminder.  Have a great day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

New Web Site!

Hi everybody,

I have been working with CRO for a couple months now, and I'm glad to say that we have all sorts of projects we are working on to prepare for the winter and next season.  I plan on posting on here a lot more often to keep you informed about all of these projects, but the one I'm most excited about right now is our new web site.

We have decided that our blog is a much better way to communicate with everybody than our existing web site, so we are building a new site around it.  This will allow us to keep all of you a lot more up to date on what's happening with us, and it will allow you to give input and communicate back with us.

The new site will be more of a constant work-in-progress, rather than a completed project, and we are very excited about that.  I think it will give us a lot more opportunities to share with you and give us more flexibility and control as we change and grow.

I hope you will bear with us as we are going through this process and I look forward to keeping you updated on all of our projects as we build this together.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Harvest Dinner at Shady Elms Farm

We are excited to announce our Harvest Dinner!  It will be a fun evening with great food from Clarion River Organics, prepared by our friend Chef Justin Severino.

The proceeds go to a good cause.  We believe everyone should have access to healthy, local food, and this dinner will help us fill that need.

We hope you can come! And please tell your friends!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall and Winter CSA

Hi y'all!  It has been a while.  We have some exciting news!  We are ready to accept members for our Fall and Winter CSA!

Expect lots of great potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, root vegetables, canned tomatoes, greens and more!

If you miss getting local and organic produce after the seasons change, this is probably for you! 

We also have a Holiday Option, where you can receive extras including River View Dairy's goat cheese!

Visit our website to sign up or learn more. 



We cannot have a blog post without pictures... 

We have been blessed with lots of apples this year, so much applesauce has been made.


Monday, September 12, 2011

2011 Farm Tour

This past Saturday was our first Farm Tour as Clarion River Organics!  Even though it rained on and off that day about 30 people showed up, we were delighted.

We saw some horses, goats, pigs and lots of chickens.  At the Schmucker Family Farm we got to taste a delicious Asian Pear, Niagra Grapes, and Mulberries.  Two growers showed us produce fields and their ice houses, and River View Dairy gave us a goat cheese tour, yum!

Rippling Brook Farm was our last stop where there was a hay/wagon ride pulled by two massive and beautiful Clydesdales.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Newsletter July 22, 2011

Clarion River Organics at the Pittsburgh Farm Markets

It's HOT!
But we can help cool you down with some of the sweetest treats of summer.  We've got a bounty of tomatoes, cucumbers, PLUMS and FENNEL.


Also: IceCream is back at our Pittsburgh Public Market stand! Three flavors to choose from... Yum!
This Week
From our Clarion River farms we've brought down:
      - Riverview Dairy's delicious Chevres, Feta, & Meadowbelle
      - Goat Yogurt! Plain & Rhubarb
      - Garlic
      - Hot and Mild green PEPPERS
      - HEIRLOOM TOMATOES! Pink Giant, Cherokee Purple, & Pineapple
      - New Red Potatoes
      - MIXED BEANS: Green, Purple, Yellow, and Dragon's Tongue
      - Squash Blossoms
      - Green and Yellow Squash
      - Beets! Cioggia, Golden, White, & Red
      - Methley PLUMS (sweet & juicy!)
      - Fennel
      - Broccoli
      - KALE & Rainbow CHARD
      - BASIL
      - Eggs
      - Goat's milk - available by request
      - Beef (Organically Raised, Grass-Fed)
      - Pork (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - Chicken, stewing & roasting (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - GOAT is back!
      - Rabbit
     
Organic Grains
      - Rolled Oats
      - Spelt and Wheat flour
      - Wheat berries

+ Home made Icecream, new flavors! Peanut butter, Rhubarb, and Vanilla *

And also:
      - Pasture Maid Creamery's raw aged cheese and cream-line milk from New Castle, PA *
             + we have more Camembert!
      - Bedillion Farms Honey from Hickory, PA*
      - Glass-bottle milk from Aliquippa's Brunton Dairy *
      - Locally grown KOMBUCHA (delicious and healthy effervescent beverage)
      - Gluten-free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free treats from Pittsburgh, PA*
 

*indicates products only available at the Pittsburgh Public Market

::Highlight: Fennel::
CRO loves Fennel! We love the roots (which taste like Parsnips), the bulb, the stem (sweet anise flavor), and the leaves.

Roots: Saute or Roast

Bulb & Stem:  Eat raw in salads or as an hors d'oeurve; add to stir-frys, soups, or
roast it on the grill (DELICIOUS RECIPE ALERT!)
Leaves: Use fresh as garnish or tossed in salad;  dry them for later use to lighten the flavor of beans or vegetable dishes

Fennel is a great food for summer, with a fresh clean flavor to cool off any dish.


 

Friday, July 15, 2011

CSA box - week 6


Here is a look at what was in the box for week 6:
  • Green Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Mixed Beets
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • A mix of Green, Purple, and Wax Beans
  • Broccoli
  • And some beautiful Eggs and Bread (if you receive those). 
Happy veggie eating!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Care


That's right, they're almost here!  Tomato season is just around the corner.

Heirloom varieties tend to be more delicate and perishable than other tomatoes, so you might want to be a little more cautious with storing them .  These beauties are worth the extra care!
Here are some tips to keep your tomatoes delicious until eating:
  • Do NOT refrigerate.  Refrigeration will lead to a mealy and flavorless tomato.  Instead keep them at 55 - 70 degrees.  They will usually keep well on your kitchen counter.
  • Store them sitting upside down.  Yes, I mean sitting on their stem.  This is because the bottoms are typically more ripe than the tops therefore the tops handle the weight better.
  • Try to finish the tomato at the same sitting or shortly after.  Since you don't want to refrigerate, it is better to stick with this rule of thumb. 
Well that is about all I can think of, does anyone have any other tomato keeping tips?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Customer Shared Rabbit Recipe

We love getting recipes and any cooking stories from our customers.  Here is a delicious sounding family recipe for a Rabbit dish, enjoy!


Dear Nathan and crew:

A couple weeks ago I bought a rabbit from your stand at the Phipps farmers market. Though I had never cooked rabbit before, I was very excited to purchase it because my husband is from Belgium and he grew up eating rabbit meat. My mother-in-law included a rabbit recipe in a recipe book that we received for our wedding last summer. This was my first chance to try cooking the recipe. It turned out very well! My husband said that it tasted just like his mother's/grandmother's dish, so this recipe must work. I've written it out below. Please feel free to share it.


BELGIAN BEER RABBIT

1 rabbit
500 grams dried prunes
50 grams lard (butter is ok)
100 grams bacon
5 small onions
Salt and pepper
Thyme and bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
5 half-liters chicken broth
1 bottle of Belgian beer (preferably Chimay but Hoegaarden works too)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cook the bacon in lard
Cut the bacon into small pieces and put it back into the lard
Add the diced onion and let it sweat
Cut the rabbit into pieces and roll in flour
Put the rabbit piece in bacon fat to brown
Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan well
Add beer, brown sugar, broth, thyme, bay, pepper, and salt
Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes
Add prunes
Simmer for another 15 minutes
Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes

Friday, June 24, 2011

Newsletter June 24, 2011

Clarion River Organics at the Pittsburgh Farm Markets

We highlighted SQUASH this week because they are such a tasty and interesting aspect to summer cooking. Check the bottom section for a little TRIVIA on them too.
This Week
From our Clarion River farms we've brought down:
      - Riverview Dairy's delicious Chevres, Feta,  Meadowbelle, & last wheel of The Purple Goat 
      - Goat Yogurt! Plain & Rhubarb
      - Summer Squash! Zucchini & Patty Pans!
      - Rutabaga
      - Red Romaine Lettuce
      - Crisp Head Lettuce
      - Eggs
      - Goat's milk - available by request
      - Beef (Organically Raised, Grass-Fed)
      - Pork (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - Chicken, stewing & roasting (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - Rabbit
      - Homemade Ice Cream*: Berry of the Wood (Red Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries), Vanilla
Organic Grains
      - Rolled Oats
      - Spelt and Wheat flour
      - Wheat berries
      - Wood-Fired Bread

And also:
      - Pasture Maid Creamery's raw aged cheese and cream-line milk from New Castle, PA *
      - Bedillion Farms Honey from Hickory, PA*
      - Glass-bottle milk from Aliquippa's Brunton Dairy *
      - Locally grown KOMBUCHA (delicious and healthy effervescent beverage)
      - Gluten-free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free treats from Pittsburgh
                  Brownies & Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars *

*indicates products only available at the Pittsburgh Public Market

::Highlight: Patty Pan Squash!::

It's finally time for the Summer Squash to start coming to markets.

We have Zucchinis and Patty-Pans of varying greens and yellows. These Summer treats are great on the grill, brushed with olive oil and some seasoning.
The Patty-Pan, also called 'The Scalloped Squash', has exciting potential in its interesting shape!  It also is excellent for Vitamins A & C, niacin, and magnesium.

You can scoop out the insides of the Patty-Pan and mix it with garlic and other choice flavors, then put it back in the 'shell' and grill or bake at 350 for about 15 min.

Also, because of the Patty-Pans fun shape, it's great to stuff with things like cheese, bacon, sausage or bread crumbs!

Are you wondering: Squash have seeds inside... does that mean that they are technically a fruit?
The Answer is... YES! Squash is the edible fruit of plants in the family Cucurbitaceae (also includes gourds, pumpkins, melons, luffas, and cucumbers), the initial domestication of which predates even maize and beans in the Americas! Varieties are grown for their flesh, seeds, or both. Seeds can either be roasted, used for their oil, and/or ground into a flour.
These fruits, however, are indeed treated as vegetables when it comes to the culinary world.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garlic Scapes



Garlic Scapes are the flower part of the garlic plant, harvested before they bloom. Farmers harvest them, not only because they are tasty, but also to help the cloves develop. If you remove the flower then more energy is there to go into the garlic bulb. They have a bitey garlic flavor but are more mild than fresh garlic, and a texture similar to a green bean.  They are great in stir-fries, pasta sauces and (if you are a garlic lover) eaten raw. 

They are only here for a short time, and almost impossible to get in grocery stores.  We will most likely have them at the farmers markets for a few weeks, so enjoy them while they are here!

Garlic Scape Pesto:
    6 - 8 garlic scapes, chopped
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste
      Put all ingredients in food processor and blend till almost smooth. Serve over pasta or use to make garlic bread. Delicious!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Newsletter June 16, 2011

This Week
From our Clarion River farms we've brought down:
      - Riverview Dairy's delicious Chevres, Feta,  Meadowbelle, & last wheel of The Purple Goat 
      - Goat Yogurt! Plain & Rhubarb
      - Summer Squash! Yellow & Green Pattypans and Zucchinis
      - Easter Egg Radishes
      - Lettuce! red romaine, green romaine, & Buttercrunch
      - Winter Bore and Red Russian Kale
      - Rutabaga & Turnips
      - Eggs
      - Goat's milk - available by request
      - Beef (Organically Raised, Grass-Fed)
      - Goat - (We'll have it next week!)
      - Pork (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - Chicken, stewing & roasting (Organically Raised, Pastured)
      - Rabbit
Organic Grains
      - Rolled Oats
      - Spelt and Wheat flour
      - Spelt Berries
      - Spelt Crackers

And also:
      - Pasture Maid Creamery's raw aged cheese and cream-line milk from New Castle, PA *
            We still have a few Camemberts left!
      - Bedillion Farms Honey from Hickory, PA*
      - Glass-bottle milk from Aliquippa's Brunton Dairy *
      - Locally grown KOMBUCHA (delicious and healthy effervescent beverage)
      - Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free treats from Pittsburgh*
 

*indicates products only available at the Pittsburgh Public Market

::Highlight: Kale! And a photo of our field::
We are fully into Kale season, and we should all rejoice.  Although it might seem easy to get tired of this thick and hearty leaf, Kale is the 'most nutritious vegetable in the world'.  It's a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflamatory, works against cancer in multiple ways, strengthens bones, good source of iron, and boosts DNA cell repair.

Kale also freezes well, so you can stock up now while it's fresh and bountiful-- preparing to savor its benefits during the winter too.

Here are some Kale ideas to keep you going!

 - Strawberry-Kale breakfast smoothie!
        
  (Throw some raw kale & strawberries & any other favourite fruit in the blender!)

 - Grilled Kale Chips
       
  (Cut the kale into pieces, then brush with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and toss on the grill)

 - Kale Stir-Fry
         (Take your  favourite vegetables and fry them in the frying pan, drizzle with soy sauce or tamari

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Some cool farm pics


Look at all that romaine!

That's right, the tomatoes are almost here!
Last season's watermelon harvest

Last season's butternut harvest


CSA box - 1st week!



Our first CSA week!

Here is what was in the box:

Simply in Season cookbook (special for all first time members)
Mint
Rhubarb
French Fingerling potatoes
Mini Romaines
Kale
Thyme plant
Asparagus


Just a couple tiny catches here and there, overall it is off to a great start!
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