Blooming Glen Farm | bloomingglenfarm
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Author: bloomingglenfarm

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the one above consists, in part, of these: sweet, tart, juicy, crunchy, crisp, aromatic, sugary-tart, rich, velvety, smile, slurp.” ~Lisa Kerschner, North Star Orchard

My mouth is already watering in anticipation! We are super excited to be able to offer this incredible add-on to your vegetable share in 2017: a 12-week CSA Fruit Share membership from our friends at North Star Orchard, which you’ll be able to pick up here at the farm on your CSA day! The share will start in August, but registration fills up fast, so sign up now (directly with North Star Orchard) to reserve your spot for weekly delivery to Blooming Glen Farm. CSA Members of North Star have been enjoying the Fruit Share for many years, and we think you will too! We encourage you to take a look at what their share has to offer here: https://northstarorchard.com/fruit-share.

Farmers Ike and Lisa Kerschner started North Star Orchard in 1992. They met while fellow students at Penn State. While still in college, they started their first apple breeding project, growing baby trees in their apartment. Their business has grown over the past 20 plus years into a thriving fruit and vegetable farm located on 20 acres in Cochranville, Pa, in Chester County. One of the apple varieties they developed in that apartment in college, Monolith, is currently being grown in the orchard and sold at farmers’ markets.  We met tie-dyed clad Ike a number of years ago when we had neighboring booths at the Headhouse Farmers market in Phila. We would always look forward to the arrival of this mad scientist of fruit, and subsequently the addition of their delicious offerings to our diet.

This is not ordinary fruit, but unique and heritage varieties which are full of flavor: plums with pizazz, perfect peaches, amazing Asian pears, great (seedless) grapes, astounding apples, and a sprinkling of heritage pear varieties. North Star Orchard grows no standard varieties, but rather heritage and super-flavorful varieties which you’ve likely never heard of and will knock your socks off.

Sign up directly with North Star on their website at https://northstarorchard.com/fruit-share, or if you need to reach them directly, email Lisa@northstarorchard.com. Benefits of the fruit share include: a weekly supply of delicious fruit starting at the beginning of August and going for 12 weeks; a balanced mix of different fruits each week to suit the whole family; fantastic varieties selected for flavor; a weekly email detailing varieties, and offering recipes and other information; the ability to add on extras to your weekly delivery if you so desire.

To read what Farmer Ike calls their “certified sensible” growing practices, head over to their website https://northstarorchard.com/growing-practices.

And for a quick view of North Star Orchard itself, enjoy this 90-second bird’s eye view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izdj6VIWyao

North Star Orchard Fruit Shares delivered to Blooming Glen Farm are only available for Blooming Glen Farm CSA members. You will have the option of picking up your weekly fruit share on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons at Blooming Glen Farm (during regular CSA pick-up hours of 1-7:30pm). So sign up for your veggie share with Blooming Glen Farm (early bird discount is currently in effect!), then check out North Star Orchard’s website and their fruit share!

Post by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  (Photos provided by Lisa Kerschner, North Star Orchards). Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

As the weather turns to freezing and the ground hardens, the wind howls and the landscape grays, our preparation for 2017 begins in earnest. The heavy fabric row covers are draped over the strawberry plants, a thick layer of leaf mulch is spread on the garlic and the greenhouses are battened down for gusty weather. We will be spending (quite a lot of) time entering our crop harvest records into a computer program, then the seed catalog ogling and ordering will begin. Planting charts from last season will be analyzed and edited. Adjustments in timing will be made, and the complicated game of crop rotation chess will begin.

Taking a cue from the energy of the earth drawing inward, we like to use this time to reflect back on the past season. Typically we talk about crops that have done well, and those that failed. Bugs that plagued us, and lessons learned (and there was plenty of both). Over the years we’ve seen all sorts of weather events- hail and wind, lightning strikes, drought and downpours, frost too early and frost too late. This year was hands down the hottest farm season we can remember in our 18 years of farming. It was hard on both the plants, and on the farmers. Not hard as in drink some water, put on your sunscreen and your straw hat, and head on out there. Hard as in, how do we prevent heat stroke, how do we keep this farm growing and producing food? I am quite sure we are only beginning to see the tip of the (rapidly growing) iceberg of challenges that we will face farming in a changing climate. Politics and that little thing called scientific evidence aside, ask anyone who does manual labor outside, day in and day out, where there is no thermostat, and you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence for global warming.

It’s scary and it’s overwhelming. But wait, there’s actually some really good news. By supporting organic agriculture you are doing your part to combat climate change. Really? Yes!! Numerous studies have demonstrated that a switch from conventional to organic farming methods can decrease the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nitrogen heavy chemical fertilizers used in conventional agriculture are a serious contributor of N2O (nitrous oxide) production- a major greenhouse gas. In addition, chemical fertilizers damage the mycorrhizal and microbial interactions that store carbon in the soil. A 30 year study by the Rodale Institute proved the soil’s ability to reverse climate change, but only when the health of the soil is maintained through organic regenerative agriculture. That’s the kind of agriculture we do, the kind that uses cover crops, residue mulching, composting, crop rotation and conservation tillage. Take cover crops for example- crimson clover, tillage radishes, rye, vetch and buckwheat are some of our favorites. There are a lot of reasons to grow cover crops- erosion control, nutrient management, attracting beneficial insects and increased soil organic matter. But now when I look out over the sea of green on our fields I see a blanket of carbon sequestration.

Plants need CO2 to grow, so through photosynthesis they suck carbon out of the air. What the plant doesn’t need for growth is exuded through the roots to feed soil organisms, whereby the carbon is humified, or rendered stable. Carbon is the main component of soil organic matter and helps give soil its water-retention capacity, its structure, and its fertility. And that’s a win win for us. Using methods of organic agriculture not only reduces atmospheric CO2, it boosts soil productivity and increases resilience to floods and droughts.

So if your own health isn’t reason enough, let’s really start to think and talk about how this community of eaters is doing a vitally important job in supporting the health of these 40 plus acres of soil.  Soil is an incredible thing. A teaspoon of soil contains more living organisms than there are people on earth! And these 40 acres of organically managed soils at Blooming Glen Farm, in our little corner of Bucks County, can convert carbon from a greenhouse gas into a food-producing asset. As my dad would say, that’s turning a setback into a comeback. Since the first day that I discovered agriculture as a way to speak my truth in the work that I do, I have been motivated by a desire to do meaningful work on a local level. Moving out of 2016 and looking toward 2017 I look up a bit from my grassroots focus and recognize with more gravity the global importance of the work we do here. One in which good healthy food, a result of good healthy soil, is just one of many benefits.

So take a moment and go on over to our website and register for the 2017 season. If you register by March 1st you will receive an early bird discount, so don’t delay. That early bird discount is a thank you to those folks who make that commitment to us in the off-season, in those cold wintry months when you may not be thinking of sweet spring strawberries and sugar snap peas, and juicy summer tomatoes and watermelons, but we are. That’s our job, and that’s what we do in the “off-season”. We do all that planning and tweaking of plans, and supply ordering and hiring. And we couldn’t do it without your support and commitment to help us pay those bills in the winter and early spring. Farming is a crazy business, all that work and investment has to happen months and months before the first seed even hits the ground, then it’s months and months more before that seed becomes a marketable crop. But it will! If our 11 years growing here at Blooming Glen Farm has taught us anything it is that a seed wants to grow, and if we do our part to help it along its way, the avalanche of crops will follow.

We are excited to have a new addition to our offerings this upcoming season. We will be offering a pick-your-own flower share. This will be an add-on for delivery share members who may want the opportunity to come out to the farm and pick a bouquet of flowers, or for those folks who might have their own garden and therefore are not interested in the veggie share, but would like to partake of just the pick-your-own flowers. More information can be found on our website. (*Folks who register for the CSA share with pick-up at the farm in Perkasie will continue to receive PYO flowers as a part of that share, so you do not need to register for the additional flower share).

Spread the word. Tell your friends. Register now. We need you. The soil needs you. The earth needs you. Thank you for your continued support. We wish you and your loved ones a joyful, healthy new year in a world where peace and love for one another and for this beautiful planet prevails.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

This season we experimented with new popcorn varieties, in our quest to find one that not only grows well and tastes great, but also has large enough ears to go through our hand crank sheller. First up are the golden yellow kernels of the variety Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Flavor. This is a pre-1885 heirloom popcorn maintained by the Pennsylvania Dutch, introduced in 1988 by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. It has a superior flavor to commercial popcorn (as really all the varieties we grew do), and pops into nice fluffy white kernels. We also grew the beautiful dark glossy Dakota Black, an open-pollinated variety bred by Prairie Road Organic Farm in North Dakota and Calico, a colorful heirloom variety from Minnesota. (I read in one report that Calico pops most consistently if you freeze the kernels first then throw them directly into a kettle with hot oil. I haven’t tried this yet, and have had good luck without doing so.)

At our house we use an air popper to pop our popcorn. But you can just as easily make it on the stovetop, electric or gas, which I experimented with for the following recipe.

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (I assume canola will work just as well.)
1/2 cup popcorn kernels (you can do more or less, just adjust oil. I’ve seen recipes with 2/3 cup kernels to ¼ cup oil)
sea salt to taste

Melt the coconut oil in large pot over medium-high heat. (A heavy bottom Dutch oven is preferable but my regular 4 quart stainless worked fine- you just want a pot that has a fitted lid.) Add 3 kernels of corn and cover and cook until all 3 kernels pop.

Take the three kernels out of the pot. Add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Cover and take the pot off of the heat. Wait 30 seconds.

Put the pot back on the heat. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally. After about 2 minutes, and the popping has slowed down, remove from heat and take the lid off of the pot and let the steam out. Pour it into a bowl and add your toppings. I just added sea salt to taste, which is a great complement to the mild coconut flavor imparted by the oil. You of course can add your favorite toppings, be it salt and butter, or try nutritional yeast and savory herbs like rosemary, or go for sweet with a cinnamon and honey-butter combo or spice it up with dark cacao powder and cayenne pepper.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Frosty mornings and a cold chill in the air- no better time to make a super nutritious soup chock full of vibrant fall greens and a bit of ginger and jalapeno heat. Pair it with warm-from-the-oven perfectly spiced muffins that take advantage of the proliferation of winter squash this time of year and dinner is served. Thanks to Chef Samara Salisbury (bio after recipes) for sampling her wonderful recipes at the farm on Tuesday. Delicious!

Gingery Super Green Soup with Coconut, Jalepenos & Lime
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoon organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil
1 small yellow/sweet onion
1 leek, top removed, washed well and sliced thin
1 stalk celery, small dice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and grated on micro-plane
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 kefir lime leaves, broken in half
zest and juice 2 limes
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (add more or less depending on the level of spice you prefer)
7 cups greens (any type of kale, collard greens, spinach or Swiss chard leaves), washed well, stems and ribs removed then chopped
4-5 cups cold water
2 cups unsweetened fully fat organic coconut milk
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

Garnish Suggestions
Fresh grated coconut, hemp seeds or roasted chickpeas

Method
In a large heavy bottom stock pot warm coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and leek and sauté about 5 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Generously season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Add grated ginger root, jalapeños, lime leaves, zest and juice, greens, 4 cups water and coconut milk. Turn up heat and bring to boil then turn down and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes. Greens should be very soft and tender. Turn off heat, remove kefir lime leaves and add cilantro. In small batches, puree soup in Vita-mix until completely smooth. Check seasoning and adjust with more sea salt and black pepper.

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Spiced Butternut Squash Whole Wheat Muffins
Makes 16 standard size muffins (or 48 mini)

Ingredients
3 eggs, room temperature and beaten
2 cups roasted and pureed butternut squash **
1/2 cup organic, unrefined & virgin coconut oil, melted
1/3-1/2 cup water
1 cup local raw honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, peeled and grated on micro-plane
3 cups Castle Valley Mill whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2 24-cup (or 16-cup standard size) mini muffins pans with a small amount coconut oil. In a large mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, squash puree, coconut oil, water, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger root. Whisk until smooth. In another medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add dry ingredients to wet and using a wooden spoon mix until just combined. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out batter to fill 48 mini muffin tins. Bake for 9 minutes (or longer for larger size) then cool on wire rack. Store in glass airtight container up to 5 days or freeze.

** Butternut squash puree can be substituted with any of the following: Cheese pumpkin, kabocha squash, acorn squash or sweet potato. You can also combine different squashes.

Recipes created by Samara Salisbury. Chef Samara Salisbury, known as “Chef Sam” to her clients, is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. Her background includes cooking professionally in both New York City and Paris, and working in marketing for Whole Foods Market. Over the years Chef Sam has developed a strong passion for supporting local organic farmers and food artisans. She enjoys using her cooking skills to help educate customers about where to source locally grown ingredients and how to prepare simple wholesome dishes with them.

Chef Sam has worked extensively with farmers markets in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has created seasonal recipes featured in Edible New Jersey magazine and cookbook. This past year she created a farm to school afterschool cooking program for 3rd-6th graders at Bridge Valley Elementary in Furlong, PA. Her goal is to further educate young children and their parents about the many amazing farms we have right here in Bucks County. Raising more awareness about supporting sustainable agriculture and nourishing our bodies with fresh wholesome foods needs to be a priority with this generation. Chef Sam is hoping to expand this program district wide.

Services include: Personal cooking lessons/parties, Monthly Farmer’s Market Recipe Club, Farm to Table Catering and Wholesome Pantry Make-Overs. For more information please visit her website http://www.chefsamcooks/ (website currently under construction but will be live soon) or follow her Chef Sam Cooks Facebook page and @chefsamcooks Instagram page. You can email Samara at mailto:chefsamcooks@gmail.com or call 973-202-2026.

Post and photos* by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community. (*Muffin photo provided by Chef Sam.)

The signs of autumn are here. The warm color of the light at dawn, as the sun breaks through the mist. The view from our hilltop of the golden hued trees shedding their leaves. We shift to a later start, an extra hour to sleep, or plan, or sip coffee, as we move toward darker and colder mornings. Sweatshirts and muck boots and warm layers abound.  Fields that sat empty during the drought are able to get tilled and seeded with cover crop seed, as a stretch of rainy days has finally moistened the earth. Out into the fields we spin seed- crimson clover, rye, vetch- a mix depending on our plans for next year, or the needs of the soil in that particular field. Out on the farm we are cleaning up the fields of summer crops, cutting down the cherry tomato and eggplant trellis twine, removing stakes and lifting mulch.

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Our annual organic inspection was last week, another marker of the passage of time. Though this was the third year, we still get excited and a little nervous. We do enjoy the challenge of the audit where we trace a crop from seed to sale- on a 40 acre farm growing dozens of different crops it is no small task tracking everything that happens over the course of a season. We look at it as a fantastic opportunity to test our record keeping systems, to see where we need change and improvement. And we enjoy chatting with the inspector, hearing about the greater organic community which we can often lose sight of during the mayhem of our farm’s personal challenges.

Looking ahead to the remaining weeks of our season, we have garlic to plant, fall greens and roots to continue to harvest. Our sweet potatoes are out and curing in the warm greenhouse. The last of our potatoes will be dug as soon as the ground dries. Winter radishes and fennel will soon follow.

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The vegetables are a reflection of what our body needs to eat as the weather turns. Nutrient packed greens fortify us, winter squash contains the summer rays in its golden flesh. Celeriac, turnips, beets, carrots, radishes- all roots, ground us. Root vegetables are a true comfort food, delicious and satisfying, they fulfill carb cravings and often a sweet tooth- think beets, carrots and sweet potatoes- without bombarding our body with sugar. They are a powerhouse of nutrition, packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytonutrients, from the lowly turnip to the earthy beet.

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In our CSA share and on our farm stand this week you’ll find kabocha squash- this is my favorite squash to eat, and that’s coming from someone that really loves winter squash. Acorn, delicata, butternut, they all have their place, and their recipes are in a steady rotation in our house, but oh so sweet kabocha, with your beautiful blue gray skin, you’re the one we hoard and store for the winter, the one my daughter requests the most. You are definitely the least well known and perhaps most under appreciated of all the winter squash we grow. So I am here to sing your praises. Enjoy kabocha while we have it! This Japanese pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene- just look at that bright orange flesh! I halve or quarter it, roast, scoop out of its flesh and mash and eat as a side with our greens. No need to add a thing! So incredibly moist and delicious all on its own.

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The fall greens are abundant and beautiful- kale, collards and swiss chard, broccoli raab, arugula, and those magnificent beet greens. If you do one thing for yourself and your health, eating your greens should be it. Sauté, add to a soup or blend them raw in a smoothie. Find ways to incorporate them into your daily diet and you will see and feel a difference in your well being.

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Our spaghetti sauce and ketchup is ready for sale…made almost entirely from ingredients grown on our farm. It was prepared and bottled locally by The Bauman Family in Sassmansville, Pa. This historic apple butter factory has been in their family since the late 1800s. A massive wood fired cast iron boiler from 1926 sends steam through the copper coils that heat up the vats of tomatoes (or apples).  It is quite an amazing operation! We hope you’ll purchase a sauce or ketchup to enjoy this winter- they taste fantastic and make great gifts.  The labels were designed by Michael Alan, an artist from Philadelphia. He has just completed the illustrations for a beautiful cookbook/history book, Colonial Spirits. Truly a collaboration, and an extension of the season, that we are so excited to share with you!

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Important CSA dates: Tuesday Nov. 8 and Thursday Nov. 10 is the final week of CSA pick-ups for full shares, and week B half shares. Tuesday Nov. 1 and Thursday Nov. 3 is the last week for week A half shares. The last boxed delivery shares will go out Wed. Nov 9.

Please note: *We will be taking this season off from holding our annual harvest festival in order to get inspired and energized for the 2017 season.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

With back to back chef demos last week (hmm…maybe we need to do our own version of an Iron Chef competition!), here are a few more recipes for your enjoyment. These are from Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service.

Spaghetti Squash Salad with Chickpeas and Feta (adapted from Cook’s Country), Serves 4

This is a different take on spaghetti squash. It’s light and tasty–and it’s not trying to pretend the squash is real spaghetti. Try it! ~Chef Rich

Ingredients
2 ½ lb spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and pepper
2 tsp lemon zest
7 tsp lemon juice
15 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
4 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 375 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with 2 Tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Place squash, cut side down, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just tender, 40-45 min. (Paring knife should go in with little resistance.) Transfer to a wire cooling rack, turn squash cut side up and let cool completely, about 1 hr.

Combine zest, juice, ¼ cup oil, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in large bowl. Use fork to scrape squash strands into bowl. Toss. Add chickpeas and toss. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with cheese, parsley, scallion and seeds. Drizzle with more oil before serving, if desired.

grilled-eggplant

Grilled Eggplant Dip (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook), Serves 4

This is a very healthy and flavorful dip/spread much like baba ghanoush–just with a few adjustments from the traditional. Serve with vegetables or crackers. You could even use it as a sandwich spread. ~Chef Rich

Ingredients
2 lb eggplant, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
2 sweet peppers, halved, seeded and stemmed

Preheat grill to high. Score eggplant with paring knife, about ½” deep. Brush with oil and season with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Brush the peppers with oil and season with salt and pepper. Scrape and oil grill grate.

Lay eggplant, cut side down, on grill until very soft and skin is shriveled. At the same time, place peppers on grill, skin side down until charred. Remove eggplant to a sheet pan to cool slightly. Place peppers in a zipper bag and seal. When cool enough to handle, scoop eggplant pulp into a mesh strainer set over a bowl and let drain 3 min. Meanwhile, remove skins from peppers and roughly chop.

Place eggplant, peppers, tahini, juice, garlic, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper in bowl. Mash with potato masher until desired consistency. Chill for 30 min. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Recipes by Rich Baringer, Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. Phone: 215-804-6438; Email: mailto:DinnersDonePA@comcast.net Web: http://www.dinnersdonepa.com/ Like Dinner’s Done: http://www.facebook.com/DinnersDonePA

Post editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

As we move into fall, the harvest starts to see more root veggies, winter squashes and fall greens. Kristin Moyer’s chef demo last week was the perfect transition into fall goodness (her post and recipes follow). While it’s still warm enough to use your grill, this recipe makes for a delicious dinner. I love the addition of fresh herbs- you can really use whatever is to your liking. They always elevate a dish from ho hum to extraordinary.

Grilled Root Vegetables

Preheat grill to medium heat. Gather and wash your assortment of squash and root veggies (beets, hakurei turnips) from the farm share. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, place on the grill and put 1 tablespoon oil, herbs and garlic into each cavity. Cut the remainder of the roots and any other winter squash (acorn and/or delicata) being sure to remove all seeds- you can leave skin on) and cutting them into pieces that will grill in a reasonable time and manner. You could also grill some eggplant to add in.

Put all of your beautiful rooty goodness in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other herbs and spices you like. Arrange them on your grill, adjust the heat to a real-deal medium and close the lid. Check every 10 minutes, flip and rotate as needed. The spaghetti squash will take the longest, followed by the beets and then the others will soon follow.

In a large bowl they go, one by one as they are done. I add the beet greens, chopped, some kale or fresh herbs (thai basil, lemon verbena, lemon basil, anise hyssop- any of these will work), salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Done! This warm root mash-up is perfect for either one of the sauces below (or the sauces can be enjoyed on their own as a dip with raw veggies). Nom Nom, Enjoy ~Kristin Moyer

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Harissa

Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cooking.

Ingredients, makes about 2 2/3 cups
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seed
4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 large sweet peppers
4 hot peppers (jalapeño,serrano,habanero, etc..)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
juice of a lemon and juice of a lime

Stir coriander, fennel, and caraway in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer to processor. Peel garlic; add to processor.

Char sweet peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop peppers; add grilled peppers, oil, sugar, citrus, crushed red pepper and hot peppers to processor. Puree. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

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Avocado Pesto

Ingredients
1 avocado
1 cup packed parsley and cilantro leaves (I added some raw kale too)
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
1 Serrano hot pepper
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lime – or two
½ cup water
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup raw almonds (you can sub other nuts)

Pulse all ingredients – except almonds – in a food processor or blender until incorporated. Add nuts and pulse until mostly smooth (depends on what consistency you want). Serve as a dip, spread, or sauce — or add additional water or oil to thin the sauce for use as a dressing or a marinade.

Recipes by Kristin Moyer, chef and food educator. Check out her website Carcass and Roughage for more information about the development of a Community Supported Kitchen and her pop up farm fresh meals, available locally for pick-up and delivery. Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm.

Hurricane Hermine brought us a whole lot of nothing in the way of rainfall.  The dry weather continues, with an added dose of late summer high temps reaching the hundreds over the next few days. The spiking temperatures are pushing along our late tomato planting, just as the first rotation dips off. Hopefully that means we won’t have much of a gap in the tomato harvest. Jeff is pictured here mixing up a fish kelp and sea salt fertilizer to run through the drip lines of the tomato plants. It is a mild concentration to support plant growth during fruit set.

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The summer crops of peppers and eggplants are peaking, and we are getting back into harvesting some of the fall greens- currently rainbow swiss chard, tuscan and curly kale.

With weather this dry we have to keep the irrigation pipes moving. Since the only moisture in the ground is coming from the morning dew, we need to irrigate to get the direct sown crops to germinate and continue growing. Pictured in the very top photo are teeny carrot seedlings in the beds to the left of the irrigation pipe and larger beets on the right.

We’ve also direct sown purple top and hukurei turnips (we’ll be harvesting the hakurei’s in the next week or so), broccoli raab, arugula, and winter radishes- (pictured below).

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The harvest of our popcorn crop has begun… we grew a larger eared variety this year so we could run it though a hand crank popcorn sheller, and prevent a lot of blisters from getting the kernels off with small hand tools. We are excited to try the three new varieties we chose- Dakota Black, Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Flavored and Calico.

Many of our CSA members have seen our note attached to the onions we are giving out in the share. You may remember this spring we mentioned the appearance of a new insect to our region- Pennsylvania experienced a “First in the Nation” sighting (lucky us) of the allium leafminer, introduced from Europe. The Department of Ag used our farm as an observation site- monitoring the bugs life cycle with sticky traps. Unfortunately the dire warnings were well founded. In addition to losses we experienced in the spring onions, we are seeing major damage in our storage onions as well as garlic. We made the decision not to plant leeks this fall until there is more information about how to prevent infestations- I can guarantee you it will be a hot topic at the PASA conference this winter. The onions you are receiving in the share are not the best quality. But we decided to give them out quickly, with the thought you can cut off any bad spots, rather than us composting them all. As our note read, if this is not to your liking, it’s probably best you don’t take them from the share.

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CSA share 9/6/16 (week #15/A). Top photo on-farm pick-up, bottom left large box share delivery, bottom right medium box share delivery.

The winter squash harvest is complete- it was a bountiful butternut year, along with kabocha and delicata. Kristin Moyer did a chef demo Tuesday at the farm featuring grilled spaghetti squash, acorn squash and root veggies, with herbs and greens that was absolutely delicious. We will be posting her recipes shortly. We will also share recipes from today’s demo with personal Chef Rich Baringer.

And last but not least I feel I need to introduce our resident spider. Or should I say spiders. We are now up to three spiders greeting you as you walk down the path next to the CSA distribution room (they are along the wall of the red shed, under the pear trees). They’ve been there for a number of weeks, happily stringing their beautiful webs and catching lots of bugs, being the subjects of lots of photographs and attention. They are orb weaver spiders, specifically yellow garden spiders (or zipper spider as I’ve always called them), argiope aurantia, and all three are females. They make a vertical zigzag band or zipper, above and below the middle of the web. They are not dangerous to humans, and are unlikely to bite unless provoked (best to observe from a distance, as we do want them to stay).

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Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

As you can probably imagine, this has been a challenging few weeks (month??!) working on the farm. Whether in the fields, the pack house or at the farmers markets, it has been incredibly hot and humid. And August is a pretty busy and bountiful time at the farm so there isn’t really an option to close up shop and take it easy. The summer crops are rolling in- especially the tomatoes, peppers and melons. Unfortunately the greens have suffered- lettuces that usually hold up to the heat have bolted, though with temperatures feeling like 110, that’s really not a surprise. We do plant lettuce every 10 days, so hopefully the next rotation will make it to harvest (this heat wave has to break soon, right?!). As we are harvesting the summer crops, we are also harvesting our winter squash, before it literally bakes in the field. The acorn squash will be picked today, followed soon by the delicata squash and butternuts.

We are also trying to plant and nurture more crops for the fall. Bug pressure was severe and we lost our cabbage planting, but the beets and carrots that were direct sown at the end of last week are already up and growing (thank goodness for those late day thunderstorms…even though we did get some crazy wind and a few minutes of hail, the cooling drench of rain for the plants was worth it), and the fall kale and chard is looking promising. Fennel is in and growing, as are turnips and fall radishes, and our late planting of tomatoes should have us enjoying them until the first frost.

You may hear a loud boom going off periodically while you are here at the farm. This is our noise-making corn cannon. This is the only effective prevention we have found to keep the flocks of blackbirds from chomping on the tips of sweet corn. It’s amazing how quickly and how extensively they can decimate a ripe field of sweet corn, as we saw with the last planting, where we were only able to give out 3 ears to each CSA member, and had none for market :(.

A number of our summer employees head out this week and next, back to school (and air conditioned classrooms?!). A big thanks to college students Clayton, Ian and Matty and elementary school teacher Mr. Grace, for all their hard work this summer, as well as high school students Ryan and Spencer.

Thank you all for supporting our farm- for coming out to the farmers markets even when it’s hot (because let me tell you it was an effort these past few weeks to get it all picked and packed, and there’s nothing worse than no customers at the market!), for our neighbors for visiting our little roadside farm stand and introducing themselves and sharing their appreciation, for our CSA customers coming out to the farm with smiles each week, for heading out into the heat to do your pick-your-owns (and getting a tiny taste of what a farmer’s work day is like), for sharing your recipes and cooking successes, for taking home our produce and eating it!

In the share this week: Spaghetti squash! Check out this previous blog post, Spaghetti Squash 100 ways, for cooking suggestions. The delicious sweet frying peppers are back- such a great raw snack, or add to your sautés. And have you tried the Eggplant Basil Sandwiches in From Asparagus to Zucchini? (Check out the farm copy in the distribution room, or purchase one for your reference- only $20 each). These “sandwiches” are a favorite of farm volunteer Megan Clymer!

The plum tomatoes are prolific- these we reserve to sell in bulk as a nod to all the canners and preservers in our community. They are still available in 25 pound boxes for $25. A steal for certified organic delicious roma tomatoes, these will be available for at least another week (email us to order). Be sure to try my favorite technique of halving, tossing in olive oil, sprinkling with salt and oven roasting at low heat (@225 degrees) for a number of hours or all day. Then put the whole tray in the freezer and pop them into freezer bags for those winter months when you want a little taste of summer.

A favorite recipe of mine using ingredients from this week’s share: Creamed Sweet Corn with Poblanos . This recipe was posted in our blog a few years past by Jana Smart, a former employee who worked with us for two years. She met her future husband here, Dave Koschak, and they are now living, working and homesteading in Vermont. Jana just opened a food truck in East Albany, Vermont selling her delectable farm to table meals and baked goods: check out her mobile cafe’s facebook page for a little envious drooling. As a recipient of many of her wonderful creations when she lived here at the farm, I am sure she will be a smashing success! Many of her recipes are featured on our blog- I encourage you to search by ingredient to find lots of tasty ideas.

Closer to home, Kristin Moyer who also cooked and blogged for us two years ago has started a pop-up kitchen in Perkasie on Tuesday nights. She sources her ingredients locally- most of her veggies are from our farm- and posts her menu on Friday on her website, Carcass and Roughage. You can also sign up on her website to be on her email list. You can then either pre-order (or not) and pick-up a delicious dinner at Down to Earth Café in Perkasie (the site of her pop-up kitchen) Tuesdays from 6-8 pm. What a wonderful community resource! We hope to have her back at the farm soon doing a cooking demo and tasting.

The creators of our favorite farm to table cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini has a new cookbook out! I just got a copy, Farm-Fresh and Fast: Easy Recipes and Tips for Making the Most of Fresh, Seasonal Foods, and I’m so excited to order a bunch to offer for sale to you all. This one even has seasonal cocktails, like one called Sungolds. So if you’re not sure what to do with all your cherry tomatoes, well this is certainly a new twist!

Ingredients (makes one)
4 sungold cherry tomatoes
1-2 thinly sliced jalapeno rings
3 teaspoons honey syrup (3:1 honey and water- combine in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until incorporated. Stir excess in fridge)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces gin
1 sprig cilantro, for garnish

Muddle the sungold cherry tomatoes, jalapeno and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. (*To muddle is to crush ingredients to release their flavors into a drink. The technique is similar to using a mortar and pestle to crush herbs for cooking). Add the lemon juice, gin and some ice and sharply shake. Double strain into an ice-filled glass and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

This is the time of year when we just try our best to hang on tight and survive the ride. The fields get fuzzy around the edges as all non-essential and semi-essential projects are neglected, our summer help of college and high school kids desert us for vacations and back to school, and the few full time full season employees we have left that survived one of the hottest summers I can remember are pretty darn tired. But it’s August on a vegetable farm! That’s peak harvest season for the summer crops and we still need to look ahead and plan for fall. Harvest, harvest, harvest! That’s about all we seem to have time for these days, with a bit of trellising and planting thrown in when we can fit it.

The field tomatoes waited for the cooler weather to ripen- people think well, it’s hot out, the tomatoes must love it, but actually the optimum temperature for tomato ripening is between 68-77 degrees. Anything above (or below) that will slow down the process. And it certainly was way above 77 degrees for the last month! But not anymore- this afternoon we harvested 1,245 pounds of red beefsteak tomatoes. Then it was onto the green bell peppers (the sweet fryers are a week or so away), and off to plant some fall fennel and greens.

The winter squash is looking to be a bumper crop, which is perfect, as our summer squash is winding down. Earlier this week we harvested all the spaghetti squash, so look for that coming up in your share and at markets this weekend- a nice change from all the zucchini heavy meals I know I’ve been making! The acorn and delicata squash look amazing, as do the butternuts and kabocha. Speaking of fall, the sweet potatoes are vining out nicely (see photo below).

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Enough talk about fall! It is still summer, and we have watermelon on the horizon- lots of gigantic red ones and some super sweet orange ones as well. The cantaloupes this week were smaller than we would have liked (this planting was one that went through that late frost way back in mid-May, and just never bounced back), but they are still super sweet and tasty- keep them in the fridge and eat them soon.

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Another summer time favorite, the Italian eggplant, is beautiful this year- big glossy purple globes. The sweet corn has been awesome (this week’s yellow variety is definitely the best corn I’ve ever eaten), and we hope to have a few more weeks of it (if we can get the corn cannon going to scare off all the blackbirds that like to munch on the tips- argh!).

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For our second planting of tomatoes we experimented with mulching it with a heavy carpet of leaves, instead of using plastic. It was very labor intensive, but we are hoping that not only will the leaves help build up organic matter in the soil for subsequent crops, but that it will also suppress the weeds for this crop of tomatoes. And the leaves are free from Perkasie- they’ve been breaking down here at the farm since the town delivered them last fall.

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On a more serious note we are definitely very short handed on the farm. We have lost a lot of full season employees that we did not anticipate losing, for various reasons. This farm is much larger than anything that Tom and I are able to handle on our own. The farm suffers when we have to retrain people constantly to do work that requires a lot of attention to detail, as well as physical and mental stamina, all during a season when people are used to vacationing, trips to the beach, and a slower pace. Farming is hard work, and it is definitely not for everyone. Actually it seems to not be for many people at all, and that’s becoming increasingly a problem. We’re really not sure what the answer is when it comes to labor, and I know we are certainly not the only farm to struggle with this issue. But I do know being shorthanded means we have to make a lot of decisions about what work to prioritize, and what to let go. For you all, this might mean less blog posts and things like classes and cooking demos scheduled, and out on the farm things looking a little rougher around the edges than we’d like- (there are definitely lots and lots of weeds not getting weeded, but maybe we are the only ones noticing ;). But we are hopeful that we will get more help hired in the coming few weeks, and get back on track. And we are super grateful for those field workers we have that are willing to put in the effort, the long days and long weeks, and see the season through.

Laura, our friend and CSA greeter, will be leaving us when her kids head back to school. We’ll miss her but we’re so glad she helped us out this summer! We will be looking for a new CSA greeter for Tuesdays (and possibly Thursdays) starting in September through the end of the CSA season in mid-November. The hours are 12:30 to 8pm. The ideal candidate has great customer service skills, has been a CSA member for a number of years, and really values the farm and the food. Must be physically capable of restocking- lifting up to 40 pound bins. Please email me directly for more details if you are interested.

Enjoy the bounty!

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Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.