Blooming Glen Farm | bloomingglenfarm
1
archive,paged,author,author-bloomingglenfarm,author-1,paged-5,author-paged-5,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,paspartu_enabled,paspartu_on_bottom_fixed,qode-theme-ver-12.1,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive
 

Author: bloomingglenfarm

With ten seasons under our belt at Blooming Glen Farm, we felt it was time to brush off the cobwebs and spruce up our website. We loved our old site- it was a beautiful design from our friend in California, it aged well, and got us this far, but a lot has changed in the past 10 years, and we felt it was time for the website to reflect that growth. Sheesh, there was a time when we sent out the newsletter at night using dial-up internet! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When we arrived on this land 10 years ago with a year old baby, there was little to no infrastructure. The photo below was taken in January 2006, as we were breaking ground on the construction of the heated greenhouses which now stand adjacent to the Discovery Garden.

We started out with a 100 member CSA, on just a couple of acres. Over the past 10 years we’ve gone from 5 to 40 acres under cultivation, adding in seven hoophouses, one massive deer fence, and an extensive irrigation system. Our equipment and our staffing and our lessons learned have grown exponentially. We’ve increased the numbers of pounds of crops we are harvesting, and by default the numbers of folks we are feeding. But one of the most important numbers we have increased is harder to see and harder to measure- our soil organic matter, and in turn our soil microorganisms, the unsung heroes of organic agriculture- the bacteria and fungi, the nematodes and earthworms.

Our new website will hopefully carry us into the next 10 years, whatever that may bring. These days websites are expected to be informative, but concise, while also appealing visually. We added a short video which expresses the flavor (we hope) of the CSA. We have a few more video ideas in the works for this season, so stay tuned for future collaborations with our website designer, and photographer/videographer, Dave Barbaree. With our new website we were able to integrate the blog into the site, the site works equally well on smartphones and tablets, and most importantly we are able to change and update content ourselves. If you wish to receive an email whenever we post a new blog, you can subscribe (see the sidebar on the right). Unfortunately, if you were a subscriber previously you’ll need to subscribe again, as we lost you in the conversion.

Also new this season is our registration system through Small Farm Central. Click on any of the registration links sprinkled throughout our website and, if you haven’t already, easily sign up for a season of farm fresh produce! We are able to accept credit card payments through Paypal. The new registration system is visually intuitive, with lots of features we will introduce as the season continues, and most importantly Small Farm Central provides us with stellar customer service, so we in turn can do the same for you. Available for the 24 week 2016 CSA season are full and half shares for on-farm pick-up, as well as medium and large boxes for delivery to Yardley and Doylestown.

IMG_3060

Gazing out of the office window at the frozen landscape, we are busy gearing up for the new season. We are entering the last of our records from the 2015 season, taking stock of our seed and supply inventories, perusing seed catalogs and discussing variety changes. We are always tinkering, looking for crop varieties with the right combination of factors that will make it a winner here at Blooming Glen Farm- will it grow well in our heavy clay soil, in our variable and finicky climate, is it productive and does it fit with our organic management practices? Do we want to grow it? Does our community want to eat it?

IMG_3062

Though we won’t start seeding until mid February, there is still plenty of work to keep us busy- we are updating our job openings, managing registrations, and above all, dreaming of a season that unfolds exactly as planned (though experience tells us that’s about as likely to happen as winning the power ball).

The 2015 CSA season has come to an end. This was the 10th season for Blooming Glen Farm CSA, and we think it was one of our best yet. From strawberries to tomatoes to winter squash, it has been a long bountiful harvest season. Looking back we can barely remember the wet spring, followed by the weeks and weeks of dry weather.

The last share of the season saw the addition of brussel sprouts and a Cuban pumpkin, along with favorites like frost sweetened carrots, spicy ginger and popcorn. Similar in flavor and texture to an acorn squash, I roasted the Cuban pumpkin and had enough puree to enjoy as a side to dinner and for a batch of pumpkin muffins. Our last farmer’s markets of the season are this Saturday at Wrightstown and Easton. Come see us and stock up for the winter- CSA members receive 10% off at our market booth. All the winter squashes will keep for many months in a cool (not freezing) place.

Final share of the season 11/10/15

Final share of the season 11/10/15

With the end to the CSA season, we’d like to thank some of the faces from behind the scenes. We often talk about our field crew, but as you can imagine there are many hands involved in the chain from growing to harvest to your table. If you’ve been impressed by how clean the vegetables in the share are, you have these four folks pictured below to thank. We have come to rely on our CSA wash crew. No matter how many crates of veggies we harvest, no matter how much mud is clinging to their roots, they keep them moving through the wash tanks and into the cooler, all with a smile, undaunted by the rush to be ready for CSA pick-up by 1 pm sharp.

Sister Jess and Meghan bonding over carrots on Tuesdays; Les and Jen our Thursday team

Sisters Jess and Megan bonding over carrots on Tuesdays; Les and Jen our Thursday team

Megan Clymer has been washing with us for almost as long as the CSA has been in existence, and now she’s recruited her sister Jess Schultz into the fold to lend a hand on Tuesday mornings. Les Swartley lives just down the road and grew up in Blooming Glen. He wrote a wonderful blog post a few years past with a fantastic photo of his great-grandfather, dubbed the potato king of Blooming Glen. Be sure to check it out- there’s also a photo from 1914 of what was to become Blooming Glen Farm! Jen Westdyke joined Les again this season on Thursdays, and together they get the produce clean and ready to be distributed.

Summer crew 2015.

Big thanks for a great season from the 2015 farm crew!

As we wrap up another season on the farm, we are beginning to look ahead to the next. After a bit of a breather, we will begin seed ordering, record keeping, hiring and crop planning for another year. We are also in the midst of redesigning our website- stay tuned! We very much appreciate your looking and planning ahead with us, as it is your CSA registration and payments for the 2016 season which make it possible for all the work that needs to happen in the winter months. It is this community commitment and mutual support that set us apart from other farm models, and allows us to grow and continue to prosper from year to year.

As a thank you for planning ahead, we are offering an early bird discount. Blooming Glen Farm’s early bird discount is for returning members who re-register and pay for the 2016 season by Jan 1st, after which time we will open registration up to the public.

Members who register and pay by Jan 1st will receive a 5% discount. Depending on your share type that’s a savings of anywhere from $21 to $40. That’s no small potatoes!

This year we are trying a new registration system through Small Farm Central. We hope you will find it easy to use. Please do not hesitate to email us directly if you have any questions. To register for the 2016 CSA season, click on the following link (or copy and paste into your browser): http://bloomingglenfarm.csasignup.com. *You will need to select your share type and register first. DO NOT click on the member login button. This feature is for use after you register. Since we are using a new registration system, everyone must go through the share selection and registration process first.

With the new registration system we are able to offer the convenience of paying either through Pay Pal, or directly to the farm by check. If you choose to pay through PayPal, we will be adding on a 3% service fee to cover the fee that they charge for online transactions. We will continue to offer a down payment option- please note that you will need to make the down payment immediately and a final payment by June 1st. Both payments must be made using the same payment method you choose at registration.

Blooming Glen Farm is grateful for the opportunity to provide certified organic produce to you and your family. As we finish up our 10th season growing, we look ahead to a great 2016 season, and hope you’ll share it with us!

To Register for the 2016 farm season: http://bloomingglenfarm.csasignup.com

Have a delicious Thanksgiving and a wonderful winter!

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 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Unseasonably warm weather has put a spring in our step as we reach the home stretch of the CSA. It certainly feels a little strange to be this warm during harvest in November, but we’re not complaining! We’ll take t-shirts over frosty fingers any day!  The share this week contains a few new items…arugula, popcorn and carrots. Check out my popping instructions in last season’s blog post if you are new to popping your own corn. A few blisters later, we got most all the kernels off the cobs for you. I did go ahead and purchase a hand crank sheller- (after we’d shelled most of it by hand of course 🙁 ). Hopefully it will allow us to increase production even more next year, as it is one of those crops that just tastes so remarkably better “homegrown”.

11/2/15, CSA on-farm A week #23.

11/2/15, CSA on-farm A week #23.

Another crop with a stupendous flavor is the frost nipped carrots. Oh so sweet and glowing with orange goodness, store bought carrots trucked in from California literally pale in comparison. They were a major success story of this season’s new machinery acquisition of a tractor drawn vacuum seeder. Sowing at the exact spacing we wanted completely eliminated the need to go through and thin the extra plants out. We are also pleased with the choice in carrot variety- certified organic seed, 50 days to harvest, and a great taste. That’s a win win!

2015 May12

Reminder- this week is the last boxed delivery share, as well as the last week for on-farm half shares week A. Next week (Nov. 10 and 12th) is the last week for on-farm full shares and half shares week B. Thanksgiving box details were emailed out separately today. If you did not receive an email and wish to purchase a box, please email us directly and we will contact you.

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 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Our sixth annual pie bake-off contest brought in 24 pie entries. Over 100 votes were cast for the people’s choice award, and our panel of three judges deliberated at length to come to a consensus on the top three winners for the judges vote. We were clearly all winners for tasting such an incredible array of beautifully crafted pies, from Maple Walnut, Cherry Berry and Caramel Apple, to Snickerdoodle, Apple Crumb, Peach Ginger, Maple Cream and Harvest Berry to name just a few. This year there was no overlap between the judges and the people’s votes, though clearly rich chocolaty pies (with a few pecans and fruits thrown in for good measure) rose to the top. This year, three of our six winners were under the age of 18. A common theme- have fun baking and don’t be afraid to experiment!

IMG_2537 (2)

Pie judges (left to right): Julia Thomas, Buck Hazzard and Rose Vaeth

Leading this year’s judging panel was Rosemary Vaeth, “veteran of the pastry world, long-time member of the food service industry, and deeply opinionated individual.” Rose is still thrilled that she managed to score a spot on the judging panel two years running.

Julia Thomas, a CSA member and former pie bake-off winner with her Banoffi Pie Recipe, joined us for the first time as a judge. She brings a background as a private chef to famous rock bands, having travelled extensively over the years cooking and baking for the likes of ZZ Top, Queen, Aerosmith and Elton John. Julia remembers one particularly daunting task in the early 90s of arriving in a communist Russia and bartering for food and buying provisions on the black market to feed 400 band and crew that same day. “It was quite the challenge! Forget menu planning! Arriving in Rome at 5am and being met by 16 scooters to take me grocery shopping was also another fond memory. I love the unexpected, that’s why I always enjoy the unusual veg we get at Blooming Glen!”

Buck Hazzard, baker at Crossroads Bakery in Doylestown for the past 8 years, just returned from a motorcycle road trip out west that included a stop over in Pie Town, New Mexico. Reflecting on the pie bake-off experience, Buck says “having community support for our local farmers is the tie that keeps us grounded, and holding a pie contest allows us to celebrate together the love of the simplest things in life: food and friends.”

IMG_2547 (2)-001

S’mores Pie
by Emily Williams
Judges Votes: First Place

Emily Williams- “My name is Emily and I am 10 years old. I have been baking pies for 2 years now, but I have been baking for 4 years.  I decided to make a s’mores pie because I love making (and eating) s’mores.  I was signed up for the contest at first just because my friend signed me up. My quote is, “Thank you Dakota for signing me up. You’re a great friend.”

FullSizeRender

Emily Williams, and friends, with her award for winning Judges first place.

Ingredients
1 stick of butter
1/2 cups white sugar
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounces, weight container of  marshmallow crème
8 whole (1.55 Oz bars) Hershey chocolate bars, unwrapped
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9″ pie pan with baking spray. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until they are well combined, then add the egg and vanilla and stir them in.  Stir in the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder.

Divide the dough in half. Press half the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Then spread the marshmallow creme over the bottom crust. Separate the chocolate bars into rectangles and place them over the creme.  Then put the marshmallows on top.

With the remaining crust pat sections of the dough onto the top and around the marshmallows. Make sure some of the marshmallows are showing.  Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips. Bake your pie 20 minutes until lightly brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack.  Cool the pie completely before cutting.

The winning Ground Cherry Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

The judges tasted first. Scott Brown’s award winning Ground Cherry Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

Ground Cherry Pie
by Scott Brown
Judges Vote: Second Place

Scott has been baking as a hobby for over 25 years. He started out making cookies and in the past few years he has been making amazing muffins and breads for the gang at the office (his wife owns local business, Harmony Clean). At the holidays, he and his wife Vicki make 15 different cookies for family members. Vicki Brown- “I think it is the best part of the holidays! Scott loves to find new recipes and we are hoping when he retires from his job as a union concrete guy that he starts a bakery!”

Crust Ingredients
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
1 stick of butter cold
1/4 cup oil (veggie)
1/2 cup milk

In a food processor mix sugar, salt, flour. Add butter and oil until crumbly, drizzle milk in processor until combined. Divide into two 1-inch round discs and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Pie Filling Ingredients
4 cups ground cherries (Bakers Note: we bought these at Bolton’s Farm market-you have to peel away the outer layer)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all together and add to pie crust, place top crust on, bake at 350 until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling.

IMG_2548

Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse Pie
By Josie Gilmore
Judge’s Vote: Third Place

Josie, last season’s winner of the people’s choice award with her Chocolate Caramel Pie, is a senior at Council Rock H.S. You’ll see her every Saturday slinging veggies behind the Blooming Glen Farm booth at the Wrightstown Farmers Market. Josie was inspired by her famous chocolate mousse recipe to find a pie that would pair chocolate mousse with the seasonally appropriate pumpkin.  Josie is currently applying to colleges where she can pursue her love for science.  “I love chemistry and baking is similar to it in a lot of ways. Maybe that’s why I’m good at baking!”

Ingredients
1 (8.8-ounce) pkg. Biscoff cookies, crushed
5 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
4 egg yolks (well beaten)
2 heaping tablespoons flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1½ cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons water
1½ cups cold whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups powdered sugar
sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish

Instructions to Make Crust: Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2¾-inch sides. Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and nuts in a medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the pan. Bake at 325 F for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To Make Filling: Make a paste of the egg yolks, flour, sugars and small amount of the milk in a heavy medium saucepan. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat remaining milk 1 minute. Slowly add milk to the egg mixture and, stirring constantly, cook over medium low heat 7-10 minutes or until thickened (mixture will thicken more as it cools). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

Measure out 1 cup of the filling and put into a separate bowl. Add chocolate to the remaining filling and stir to melt. In reserved bowl, add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Pour chocolate filling into a medium bowl, then press plastic wrap onto the surface of both of the fillings, to eliminate a skin. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Soften the gelatin in the water for about 5 minutes in a microwave-safe dish.

In a medium chilled bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin until it dissolves and starts to bubble around the edges, around 30 seconds. In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in 1/3 of the dissolved gelatin into each of the 3 filling bowls (about 2½ tablespoons each–however, I only used 1 Tbsp) and combine well. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into each of the 3 fillings.

Spread chocolate pudding onto cooled crust. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to become firmer. Layer with the cream cheese filling, then place into the freezer for another 10 minutes. Top with the pumpkin layer.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.

People's Choice winners, left to right: Rose Vaeth, Chloe Nazemi, Allison Seelaus

People’s Choice winners, left to right: Lori Guerin, Chloe Nazemi and Allison Seelaus with the trophy.

Maple Brown Butter Rum Peach Pie
by Allison Seelaus
People’s Choice: First Place

Allison Seelaus- “A little bit about myself, baking is my passion. I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York City and hold a Baking and Pastry degree. Ever since I was two years old, mixing cookie dough with my family, I knew I was going to be a Baker/Pastry Chef. Baking is my life. Currently, I am a Pastry Chef at Normandy Farm Estates producing desserts and bread for over 400 residents daily.

Why I chose this pie:  I love everything about this pie from the bubbly caramel filling to the crispy crunchy streusel. Having ripe peaches is key because it makes the pie so sweet and just perfect! I knew this pie would please many taste buds because it includes flavors like cinnamon, allspice, spiced rum and maple syrup which are known flavors of fall.”

Pie Filling Ingredients
3 pounds ripe peaches (about 6 peaches)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of allspice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons butter

Streusel Ingredients
1/3 cup pecans
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch cinnamon

Crust Ingredients (from Smitten Kitchen):
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, to serve

If making homemade crust (you can also use frozen or refrigerated pie crust), start with that. Pour one cup of cold water into a bowl and add in a few ice cubes. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk 2½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until well-combined. Take out your butter. It needs to be very cold, so you may want to put it in the freezer for a few minutes to really get it solid. Cut the 2 sticks of butter into ½” pieces Use a pastry blender or food processor to combine the flour mixture and butter pieces until the butter is broken up into pea-sized pieces. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Drizzle half of the ice cold water over the mixture (making sure not to accidentally pour in any ice cubes). Using a rubber spatula, mix together the dough until large lumps form. Use your hands to knead it all into one smooth ball. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks (balls first, then flatten a bit), and wrap in plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least an hour and a half before rolling out. Stays good in fridge for one week, longer in freezer.

When your dough is ready, flour everything. Your counter, your rolling pin, the dough itself. You want a lot of flour. Press your rolling pin down in the center of the dough disk and push outward. Roll in that direction a few times, then lift and do a quarter turn and roll that direction a few times. Continue rolling, turning the dough, and rolling again until the entire crust is rolled out into a 12″ circle. Work quickly, you don’t want the dough to warm up.

Place the pie crust in your pie pan and fold the excess, overhanging dough underneath, so the pie is now the size of the pan. Crimp the pie crust by making a “V” or pinching shape with your thumb and forefinger on the outside of the crust. Then, using your other pointer finger, push the crust from the inside to fit in between the V-shaped fingers. Continue all around the crust. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

As you wait for your crust to cool, make the filling. Peel and slice the peaches, and then toss in a large bowl with the cornstarch, flour, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, maple syrup, rum, and water. Stir JUST UNTIL the sugar dissolves and then let come to a boil. Resist the urge to stir while it boils. Swirl the pan occasionally to make sure the caramel is browning evenly, but DO NOT STIR. Once the caramel turns a deep amber brown, remove from heat and add in the butter, swirling the pan until the butter completely melts.

Pour the caramel over the peaches and mix well. Pour the peach-caramel filling into the prepared pie shell and place in the refrigerator once more.

Sprinkle the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then chop.

In the same small, heavy-bottomed saucepan you used for the caramel, melt a stick of butter over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the butter turns golden-brown. Set aside.

Whisk together the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, ½ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of cinnamon. Mix in the pecans. Drizzle over the browned butter (which now should be slightly cooled) and mix until crumbs form. Crumble the streusel mixture on top of a rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the filled pie pan and the streusel from the refrigerator. Sprinkle and crumble the streusel over the pie filling until the pie filling is completely covered. Cover the pie crust with foil and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Make sure to put a baking sheet or pie drip catcher underneath, as it WILL bubble over and make a mess! Remove the foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the caramel should bubble when the pie is ready.

Texas Caramel Pecan Pie first pie in foreground.

Lori Guerin’s winning Texas Caramel Pecan Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

Texas Caramel Pecan Pie
Lori Guerin
People’s Choice: Second Place

When she heard about the Blooming Glen Pie Bake-off returning for another year, Lori decided to do something she hadn’t since she moved back to Pennsylvania from Texas more than twenty years ago: bake a pecan pie.  Although a former Houston resident, the inspiration for her submission came from much closer to her Pennsylvania home.  “When I was an undergrad at La Salle, I would meet my friend Doreen after a long week to share coffee, stories, and a slice of pecan pie at the Howard Johnson on the Boulevard; I enjoyed recreating that.”

Crust Ingredients
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
3 tablespoons cold water

Mix the flour and the salt together, add shortening and cut into flour mixture. Add water and mix gently with a fork. Gather pastry into a ball and spread along the bottom and sides of pie tin.

Optional: add 2 teaspoons (about) flaxseed meal, pinch each of cardamom and nutmeg to the flour and salt before adding the shortening. Bakers Note: “I am an Irish cook…so I tweak every recipe, every time. In this case a bit of flax meal, cardamom and nutmeg mixed in the flour for a little pop for the crust.”

Pie Filling Ingredients
1 ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cup pecan pieces
¾ teaspoon vanilla

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in milk, pecans and vanilla and mix very well. Pour into pie shell.

Bake 10 minutes at 400, reduce heat to 350 and bake 35-40 minutes, until center barely jiggles. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

IMG_2546

Chocolate Mousse Pie
by Chloe Nazemi
People’s Choice: Third Place

Chloe Nazemi, age 9- “I picked the recipe because I thought it would be different because not a lot of people probably make a mousse pie with lavender crust and lavender whip cream. I’ve always loved experimenting with baking without recipes. Sometimes the baked goods turn out great, sometimes terrible. I used a recipe for the mousse pie because I’ve never made one before and I had no idea how to do it.” What do you enjoy most about baking? “I think it’s fun because I get to use different ingredients to make new things. I like it because the end result is always a surprise!”

Crust
Make your crust (any recipe will do, or a frozen dough store bought one also works). Lay crust into pie plate. Sprinkle a large pinch of culinary lavender over the surface and press into the crust. Bake according to recipe, set aside.

Chocolate mousse Ingredients (Ina Garten recipe)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
1/4 cup brewed coffee (freshly)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (diced, at room temperature)
8 extra large eggs (separated, at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar (plus)
2 tablespoons sugar (divided)
kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream (cold

In a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the two chocolates, coffee, and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature. Beat in the softened butter.

Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale yellow; when you lift the beater, the mixture will fall back on itself in a ribbon. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a larger mixing bowl.

Measure 1 cup of egg whites and freeze or discard the rest. Combine the cup of egg whites with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff but not dry. Mix half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.

In the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until firm. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into the pie crust plate and spread out evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight and up to a week.

Chloe’s addition to the recipe: Make lavender whipped cream to decorate just before serving. Make this whipped cream as stated above and ADD a good pinch of culinary lavender before whipping. Watch as the whip turns lavender in color. It’s delicious!

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 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Frosty mornings have us waiting for the crops to thaw before harvest can start. We are looking forward to daylight savings time giving us a jump on the cold mornings. This week was spent planting garlic and beginning the process of covering it with straw mulch. The straw will protect the garlic on its journey through the cold winter and help suppress weeds for the 9 months the garlic is in the ground. We are increasing our acreage planted, as we can’t ever seem to have enough of this crop. A certain amount of our harvest is saved for seed each year- this season is the first we will be buying in seed to help increase our yields.

Fresh from the farm this week: butternut squash, frost sweetened greens, leeks, red celery and a delicious array of roots. Baby Hawaiian ginger grown here at the farm makes its debut in the CSA share.

10/28/15, on-farm CSA week #22, B

10/28/15, on-farm CSA week #22, B

We get our certified organic ginger seed direct from Kauai, presprout it in early March and grow it all season long until harvest starts in late September. We prefer to grow the ginger in large bags of our own soil mix- allowing us to really control the nutrients and soil aeration, and to start and end the growing process in our heated tunnels.

ginger-003Ginger is a warming herb- often used for the circulatory and digestive systems. It is a well-known antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. You will find the young ginger has a more nuanced floral flavor with less of the searing heat we are used to in store bought ginger. You can use the whole thing- no need to peel off a tough exterior layer. There isn’t one!

IMG_2445

Use your fresh ginger in tea, in soup (ginger carrot or ginger squash soup is delicious!), in stir-fries or in a marinade for topping salmon. If you don’t use it fresh in about 10 days, I would recommend preserving it by drying, pickling or freezing. When freezing, you would just grate it frozen into whatever dish you are preparing. If you want to use frozen chunks in your smoothie- cut it to the size you like before freezing and blend it while frozen.  Pickled ginger is a wonderful accompaniment to winter dishes, or make a ginger simple syrup to spice up your winter cocktails. Last season I dehydrated some ginger and made my own ginger powder for use in baking. Another wonderful option. Have fun with it!

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 entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

We woke to a frosty winterscape Monday morning, with the low temperature dipping down into the mid 20’s. It is always with mixed emotions we greet this time of year. There is a certain relief to see the page turn on the season, to think about planning and improving and moving into a less physically demanding time on the farm. It is with barely stifled glee that we gaze on the skeletal remains of the weeds we have battled all summer, but bittersweet to see the end to the peppers and tomatoes that have been tenuously holding on for the past few weeks. And I was a bit choked up to see my beautiful dahlias, even in the hoop house, smoked by the cold. Sigh.

IMG_2661

Despite the freeze warning proclaiming direly “the growing season is ending” the reality is there are many cold tolerant vegetables still in the ground, still being harvested. Though it is true that most of their growing is done, there is plenty of abundance to come. The leafy greens will be sweeter- their natural defense mechanism against the cold converts starches to sugars.

2015 May11

Tom and I noticed the sweeter flavor significantly in our sautéed raab for dinner last night. You can expect the same in the roots- beets, turnips, carrots and radishes, and in crops like leeks, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.

10/20/15, CSA share #21, on-farm week A.

10/20/15, CSA share #21, on-farm week A.

Certain crops have been harvested already and are in warmer protected storage: the winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes and celeriac. Our ginger was moved to the heated greenhouse- and will be coming up in the CSA share (along with popcorn), and will continue to be at the farmers markets.

It was quite the monumental effort from our crew last Friday, with everyone chipping in to row cover or harvest anything that we thought might perish in the cold. They all worked well into the evening, with tractor headlights guiding the way. It was easier to face Monday morning, knowing that we had done all we could, and it was out of our hands.

2014-09-26

This week saw the first harvest of the winter radishes: the black radish, green meat radish and watermelon radish. The black Spanish radish is popular in Eastern European countries, has a black skin, ivory flesh and a dryish texture with a pungent earthy flavor. High in Vitamin C it also touted for its medicinal properties. It can be grated raw to use as you would horseradish, or roasted. The green meat radish is a unique green fleshed Asian radish. It is similar to its close cousin, the larger white daikon. An excellent keeper, it is good eaten raw, cooked or pickled. The watermelon radish, so named because of its bright pink interior and greenish rind, is beautiful in a raw salad, but can also be roasted, pickled, or sautéed. Milder than most radishes, it is slightly sweet with a nice crisp bite when eaten raw.

Please note, the last on-farm pick-up week for the CSA is week #24 (half shares week B and all full shares), Tuesday Nov. 10 and Thursday the 12th. If you are an on-farm half share pick-up week A, your last week is Nov. 3rd or 5th. The last delivery for the 22 week boxed delivery shares will be on Wednesday Nov. 4th.

We will be offering a limited number of boxed Thanksgiving shares for pick-up at the farm on Tuesday Nov. 24th- ordering, pricing and payment instructions will be emailed out next week.

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 entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

A flurry of floating row covers have been unfurled on the farm in masses of white waves. The focus on the farm this week has been prep for the coming cold snap headed our way this weekend. It is typically around October 10th that we see our first few light frosts, but the forecast is calling for temperatures dipping down to 28 degrees Sunday night. This is quite a freeze and cause for some alarm, so we shifted our efforts to laying hoops and row covers over all our tender greens. Swiss chard, herbs, broccoli raab, arugula, lettuces, escarole, fennel, carrots, hakurei turnips, and beets are all tucked in under their cozy covers.

IMG_2596

Though the roots of the carrots, turnips and beets will survive, we want to save their green tops from being smoked in the cold. We dug the last of our sweet potatoes and will be harvesting all the celeriac this week. Both these crops were in the CSA share, along with our favorite, kabocha squash. Don’t put this squash on your porch for decoration- it is too delicious to miss out on! It is a very sweet thick dry squash, one of our favorites to enjoy oven roasted, scooped out and mashed.

10/13/15, on-farm CSA share #20, week B

10/13/15, on-farm CSA share #20, week B

The harvest festival on Sunday was a wonderful event- it was a perfect fall day, with a few hundred people in attendance. Twenty-four pies were entered in our 6th annual pie bake-off, the most entries ever! Sing a song of sixpence, A pocket full of rye, Four and twenty blackbirds, Baked in a pie!

The people's choice trophy, to be kept for one year and then passed on to the next winner.

The people’s choice trophy, to be kept for one year and then passed on to the next winner.

Over 100 people tasted the delectable entries and cast their votes. The three winning pies in the people choice category, as well as the three judges winner’s will be featured in another blog post coming soon, complete with recipes just in time for your holiday baking!

IMG_2855 (2)

The harvest festival was a celebration of all things veggie. Pumpkins were decorated, veggie tattoos applied, and scarecrows made.

View More: http://vanessalassinphotography.pass.us/20151011bgfharvestfest

2015 May9

Goose Creek Pioneers kept up a steady jam of bluegrass music, entertaining young and old alike, while a steady stream of wagon rides took folks on a looping tour of the back forty, followed by a delicious potluck feast. It was a wonderful community celebration- thank you all for attending!

View More: http://vanessalassinphotography.pass.us/20151011bgfharvestfest

Katia McGuirk unveiled her beautiful gift to the garden- a little free farm library. The next time you are at the farm, please take a moment and visit it in the discovery garden. It is truly a magical addition, stocked with mostly children’s nature and garden themed books as well as a few adult selections. Book donations are very welcome! For those who are unfamiliar, you can borrow a book from the little free library, and either return it to us, or to another little free library. There are tons in Doylestown, thanks to the efforts of my friend Marlene Pray- who inspired the idea. There is a lovely facebook page with a map and information on the little free libraries located in and around Doylestown. We are looking forward to registering ours on the official free library site. Thank you Katia- you are a blessing to this farm!

2015 May10

Post and photos* by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Additional photos contributed by Vanessa Lassin (of Vanessa Lassin Photography), Katia McGuirk, and Cheryl Gilmore. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Rain and cool weather- just what our fall crops ordered. How quickly the farm greens up with a little extra moisture. Not that we haven’t been irrigating, but there is nothing like a good rain after weeks and weeks of dry. Hopefully the upcoming hurricane will spare our area the worst of the downpours. Earlier in the week before the rain fell, our farm crew scrambled to get our sweet potatoes and more field potatoes harvested while also fulfilling our regular harvest commitments, picking fall crops like broccoli and fennel, pictured below.

2015 May8

The sweet potatoes are a little berserker- 11 pounds was the largest one we came across. What do you do with an 11 pound sweet potato??  Yields were high, but cosmetically they are not perfect- unfortunately the exterior skin is affected by scurf. Scurf is caused by the soil borne fungus monilochaetes infuscans which grows on the surface of the sweet potato tuber. The diseased areas are grayish-brown to purplish black and are only skin-deep.  This does not in any way affect edibility or the interior look or flavor- in fact our sweet potatoes are an incredible vibrant orange inside with a sweet and delicious taste- after curing for 10 days in the warm greenhouse, we will begin to sell and distribute them.

20150928_113113

Scurf does however decrease the marketability of the sweet potatoes (they don’t look pretty), and can cause them to lose quality faster in storage. Typically conventional growers will turn to fungicides as a preventative, which is not a tool we will use as organic growers. Crop rotation and clean sweet potato slip sourcing have not made any difference for us, and supposedly scurf is worse in soils that are heavy, with not so great drainage, and high in organic matter (that’s our farm). We will continue to research this issue, and hopefully find a solution (other than growing them on some light sandy Jersey soil!). Until then, don’t judge a book by its cover, or sweet potato by its skin color.

FullSizeRender (3)-001

9/29/15, on-farm CSA share #18, week B

The summer crops are truly winding down- the last of the tomatoes and sweet peppers and flowers are in this week’s share. We hope you are enjoying the transition to fall as much as we are. I personally love the return to making soups every week and roasting roots in the oven- the hakurei turnips can be eaten raw, especially those grown in the spring, but this time of year I prefer them oven roasted. Delicious!

With the  change of the season, the cacophony of cicadas in the trees have segued to the chirping of tree frogs. I was lucky to spot this little guy all nestled in the crook of our pear tree. To the right is a picture of a praying mantis on a large sunflower stalk, another lovely sign of health in the garden.

2015 May7

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 entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Save the date! Sunday, October 11th at 3pm is our annual fall harvest festival at Blooming Glen Farm! Activities and festivities begin at 3pm, community potluck will begin @5:30pm and go until dark.  Join us to celebrate a season of farm fresh food and community connections.

From 3-5 pm, join us for wagon rides, garlic seed social, potato sac races, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making and more!

Collages13

Dance along to live music by local bluegrass favorite, Goose Creek Pioneers. Sip locally roasted coffee from The Coffee Scoop. Line up to vote in our annual pie bake-off!

**We are still looking for pie entries- the more the merrier, and no experience necessary. Pies will be entered to win both the popular and judges vote. The winner of the popular vote will receive the large pie trophy to enjoy and display for one year (Stanley cup style!). The judges vote winner will also receive a special prize (and major bragging rights!). Email us if you are interested in entering (or volunteering to serve samples), or sign-up in the CSA distribution room.

2015 pie bake-off winners of the people's choice vote!

2015 pie bake-off winners of the people’s popular vote!

At this year’s festival, our artist in residence, mosaic tile goddess Katia McGuirk will be leading a clay loom craft at the festival- we love her community art projects! (We are seeking yarn donations for this activity). We will also be unveiling her newest creation- a little free farm library! We are so excited for this addition to the farm. This beautiful creation will live nestled in the discovery garden. Help us stock it with children’s themed nature and garden books- donations accepted in the CSA room. Bring a book to the festival to swap, and join us for story time in the garden with Lauri @4pm. We are also super thrilled that local illustrator and nature writer Kim Kurki, author of the beautiful National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide will be here with her books for sale, as well as her inspirational nature display and a lovely hands-on craft.

Bring a potluck dish to share for the community potluck (seriously folks, with this group of food lovers, you can guarantee this will be one of the best potlucks you will ever attend), as well as all your picnic needs- aka plates, utensils, beverages, picnic blankets, etc.

Fall Fest 2012

Harvest Festival 2012

Volunteers are needed to help with the various crafts and activities, and pie entries wanted for the pie bake-off! Please (pretty please) sign up in the distribution room. Help us make this an awesome celebration- we can’t do it alone! (Just a reminder that the actual farm season goes into November, so this is not the end by any means! Your CSA pick-up will continue, as will the farmers markets we attend.) We hope all our CSA members and loyal farmers market customers and their friends and families will join us on October 11th at 3 pm! This is a sunshine event only, and it will be cancelled if the forecast calls for steady heavy rain. Check our facebook page the weekend of, if in doubt. Hope to see you there!

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 entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Today we welcome the autumnal equinox. We woke to a chill in the morning air, and despite the warmth of the midday sun, we know that the length of daylight will gradually decrease as the months move us closer to winter. It is a wonderful time to be a farmer- the pace is slower and less frantic than the spring and summer months. Though there is still almost two more months of CSA and markets left, and a sizeable to-do list, the work load is more pleasant, to match the temperature outside.

The harvest is gradually moving away from summer crops into fall greens and roots. My kitchen is cool enough now to enjoy the oven at full blast, and the warm sweet smell of roasting winter squash mirrors the change in seasons.

9/22/15, CSA on-farm share #17, week A.

9/22/15, CSA on-farm share #17, week A.

This weekend was a busy one for us, in addition to our regular farmers markets, we did the wedding flowers for the daughter of our dear farmer friends and mentors. It was a beautiful experience, and a side of the farm we hope to continue exploring and slowly growing.

Downloads

On Sunday we hosted Outstanding In the Field for the 5th year. The table was set way out in the back field on the ground we have just opened up this season (the farthest corner of the farm you can find!).

IMG_2390

We led a farm tour/hike of over 200 people, half of which strolled through our beautiful field of fennel, tasting and admiring the ferny fronds blowing in the breeze- what a site to see all those folks amongst the knee high plants. The tour ended at the long table, nestled amongst broccoli and celery.

Chef Lee and his crew from Bolete Restaurant in Bethlehem cooked a fantastic dinner, under the open sky, navigating some tricky logistics, and pairing the meal with some of the best local wine I’ve tasted, from Galen Glen Winery.

With the equinox and the change from summer to autumn, it seemed only appropriate to include a poem from Mary Oliver.

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

~ Mary Oliver

Post and *photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. *Additional wedding photos by Jesse Dornstreich. Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is entering its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.