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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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April 27th

*Tentative CSA menu:

Spring Onions
Radishes
Mixed Greens
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Yellow Onions

Mark your calendars now for our 2 Open Farm Days this summer:

Saturday: July 21 and August 25
Bring the whole family, extended and friends to experience and see where all your produce is coming from and what it takes to farm organically in 2018

This spring has been quite the challenge for us so-far. In 40 years of farming, my parents have reported never experiencing this type of "sunlight deficit" to start the season. We can plant indoors and plan ahead for a cold delayed spring all we want; but nothing can increase or guarantee the amount of natural sunlight we are going to receive that is so desperately needed for plants to grow. It incredible to watch how quickly a plant reacts to the sun and how fast they can grow and sometimes even double their size on a sunny day. We all lean towards the light, inherently!
Some farming facts about growing indoors: many people ask if a certain crop is "greenhouse or hot-house grown." Our indoor farming is all done in "high tunnels" that are unheated 1-acre plastic field tunnels that are large enough to drive a tractor in and out of to plant and harvest. As a farm, we made the decision years ago that heating a greenhouse with a propane heater just doesn't fit into our growing practices and efforts to remain 100% energy sustainable. Not to mention blowing that type of heat exhaust onto our precious plants just to have tomatoes in April was not worth the fumes! For now, we will wait until the week of Mother's Day when we are typically safe to plant tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants outdoors where they thrive and are at peak flavor during the summertime.
The weather report for next week looks promising and warm for our region and we are looking to the horizon for asparagus, bok-choy, parsley, and turnips!

Chard Lentil Soup with Lemon
1-1/2 C lentils
1 bunch Swiss Chard- chopped
1/2 C olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt, freshly ground pepper, 3/4 C chopped onion, 1 rib celery, chopped, 3/4 C lemon juice.
Put lentils in pot and cover with water and cook covered till tender, about 45 minutes. Add chard and 1 C water, cook until the chard is wilted. Sauté onion, garlic, celery, and 1/2 t salt in olive oil. Add to the lentils. Add lemon juice and stir into the soup. Taste and correct seasoning. Serve with crusty French bread. Suggested toppings for the soup bowl: chopped tomatoes and parsley, sour cream/yogurt, your favorite herbs.

"My Mama's" Salad Dressing
For all the salads that I KNOW we are all craving this spring!
In a Pint Jar:
1/3 cup Italian Organic Vinegar
1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. organic raw cane sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
Shake well before serving.

Chicken Milanese with Spring Salad Mix
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package spring salad mix
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced spring onions
1/4 teaspoon salt , divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 dash sugar
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup panko
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Combine the lemon juice, white wine vinegar, spring onions, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and sugar in mixing bowl. Let stand 15-30 minutes while preparing chicken.
Place each chicken breast in between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap, and pound until 1/4 inch-1/2- inch thickness, which ever thickness you prefer, using the smooth side of a meat mallet. Set aside.
Combine bread crumbs, Panko, parmesan cheese, garlic powder in small bowl. Beat egg and water in another bowl. Place flour in another bowl and set up a work station in this order: Flour, egg, and bread crumb mixture.
Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and pepper. First dredge each chicken breast first into the flour, then into the egg, and lastly into the bread crumb mixture. Make sure each breast is coated well, let stand 5-10 minutes.
Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes, turn, and cook 2 minutes more, or until browned on both sides.
Mix the remaining 1 TBLS olive oil to the spring onion- vinegar mixture. Whisk until blended.
Place salad greens in a large serving bowl, pour dressing mixture over top and toss gently with tongs, until salad is completely coated with dressing. Divide salad mixture between 2 plates, top with chicken breasts.

Khaya's Korner
Hi everyone... I hope all of you had a great week! Mine wasn't very good, because it doesn't really feel like spring yet. I wish it would stop raining so I could take a nice walk outside. Also, on the warm days I've been stuck inside doing state testing. However, I was able to meet some new people so overall it was a good experience. I have been looking and waiting for leaf pop- out day, and it finally came! It is so beautiful outside my window watching the flowers bloom and the animals come out. So, this week's goal: In like a lion, out like a lamb. Until next week, Khaya Brownback

A message from the farmers welcoming you aboard our 25th season

-All produce you receive in your CSA shares throughout the season is grown and coming directly from the soil at our farm. We have been USDA certified organic since 1994. Each year, we go through multiple rigorous inspections to verify that the food we grow meets the qualifications of the USDA under PCO (Pennsylvania Certified Organic). Certified Organic ensures that the food you are eating has been grown from non-GMO seeds and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, we do not use any type of animal manure or fertilizers on our produce. We rely strictly on our own vermicomposting system right here on the farm from vegetable grade-outs that we accredit to playing a major role in the farm's fertility. The OMRI (Organic Methods and Research Institute) does have organically approved biological sprays that can be used if under "insect pressure" but we work hard to use other preventative methods to deal with pests and disease in a way that does not affect our beloved ecosystem that the food is grown in!

-All produce is picked, packed, and shipped at peak ripeness, flavor, and nutritional content. Most things in your share are harvested the day before you receive them and is intended to last/store all week until your next CSA delivery. We are Food Safety certified as well as Harmonized GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified. We wash, grade, and chill all produce before it is packed to ensure that it will hold its freshness in your own kitchen.

-We are a multi-generation farm that was started in 1978 with founding farmers, Mike and Terra, still heavily involved in the daily operation. My brother, Will, and I have now both returned home to Spiral Path, devoted to continuing the drive for sustainable agriculture here on our family farm. We proudly eat what we grow here! I was 7 years old during our first CSA season where we packed the boxes as a family and have grown up surrounded by vegetables and the tremendous support we have received from the community. It is now my job to make sure that you are beyond satisfied as a supporting CSA customer. Although we take great care in packing and handling your produce, "compost happens." Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are ever unsatisfied with any item in your weekly share so that we can quickly address and send you replacement items.
Cheers to the up-coming CSA and thanks for your support to help see that our farm continues its mission in the food and ecosystem!

Lucas Brownback
2nd Generation Farmer / Spiral Path Farm CSA Manager

New members: please leave your share box on-site each week for us to collect and recycle into our deliveries. The plastic bag inside the box pulls right out for you to take your produce home safely. The bag is 100% biodegradable and cannot be reused on the farm to ensure proper food safety adherence. Thanks for your help to reduce unnecessary waste.

Khaya's Korner
Hi. My name is Khaya Brownback, if this is your first year getting a Spiral Path Farm share and reading Khaya's Korner. I live here at Spiral Path Farm, and I love it. I'm 12, cyber schooled, a gymnast, and I am so happy I get to share a piece of my life with all the CSA members. I hope you enjoy reading my pieces as much as I enjoy writing them. I'll be here every week, throughout the season. So, get ready for a great time!

Radish Dip
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup finely chopped radishes
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Assorted fresh vegetables or crackers
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth; stir in the radishes, onion, parsley, and seasoned salt. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Serve with vegetables or crackers

Swiss Chard & Potatoes
1 bunch Swiss chard, (chopped fine and use the ribs)
1 large onion chopped (or spring onions)
4 garlic cloves- minced
1/2lb bacon- minced before cooking (bacon optional)
3 C sliced boiled potatoes
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Heat 2 T olive oil in large skillet. Add bacon, onion, and garlic and stir until veggies are cooked through. Then add the chopped Swiss Chard, stir until it wilts, and then cover pan and let steam for another 5 minutes.
Butter a 9x13 pan and cover bottom with 1/2 chard mix. Then layer with 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 cheese. Top this with the 2nd layer and finish with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Spring Spinach Medley
1 bag baby spinach, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 C grated cheese (sharp is best or 1/2 C parmesan)
Salt/pepper to taste
Noodles or brown rice, cooked
Sauté onions and garlic in hot olive oil until soft. Add spinach, allow to wilt. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the beaten eggs, stir, and turn off heat. Add the cheese and allow to melt and the eggs to firm up with a lid on. Serve over rice or noodles. The addition of about 1 cup of ricotta cheese is also delicious.
One cup of spinach provides 5 grams protein! Enjoy now, spinach likes cool weather only.

Potato Salad
1 C. Mayonnaise
4 C cubed potatoes
1 T. white vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 C chopped raw sugar snap peas
¾ tsp salt
½ C chopped spring onions
¼ tsp pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Boil about 2-3 lbs. potatoes, whole and with the skins. Turn to simmer and cook only until just cooked through; insert a small knife. You want them to be firm. Drain in a colander and allow to cool slightly to warm. Cube with skins into bite size pieces. Prepare the dressing: whisk the vinegars, salt, pepper, sugar, mayonnaise. Pour over warm potatoes. Add the vegetables and toss gently. Serve warm over a few Boston lettuce leaves. Potato salad is at its best room temperature.

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