Author: bloomingglenfarm

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.


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).


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.


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).


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).


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.


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!).


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.


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!


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.

Farro is an ancient grain, similar in appearance to rice, but with a more nutty nuanced flavor and a chewy texture. To prepare whole grain farro you need to think ahead and soak the grains overnight, but you can cheat and get the semi-pearled variety, which cooks in 15-25 minutes, and is available at most grocery stores and whole foods stores. Whole farro retains all the grain’s nutrients; with semipearled part of the bran has been removed but still contains some fiber.

I fell in love with farro after making this one-pan farro with tomato dish from Smitten Kitchen. If you aren’t familiar with the blog Smitten Kitchen, you should be! Her seasonal recipes that highlight the delicious flavors of farm fresh veggies always impress me- it is super easy to search her site by ingredient, and pull up lots of ideas. You can choose a simple recipe like the one pan farro and tomatoes, or get a little more ambitious, like this delicious zucchini galette I made with our zucchini and some farmers market ricotta from Fulper Farms (they have a stand at the Wrightstown Farmers Market on Saturday’s). And don’t get me started on Smitten Kitchen’s desserts!

So when I saw the first harvest of our giant green bell peppers, I knew I wanted to stuff them with some sort of farro mixture. I brought 3 cups of water to boil and threw in a cup of farro and simmered it until the grains were the texture I wanted (chewy but not mushy), about 30 minutes. Some people say to simmer covered, I did it uncovered but had to add water periodically as it cooked off, so covered is probably a better bet (or start with more water and simmer gently).

In a large saucepan I sautéed in olive oil 4 cloves of garlic and one thinly sliced onion (you could use a sweet onion or the red torpedo’s). Then I added in a chopped tomato (or two), about a cup of leftover cooked corn kernels from our dinner the night before (cut off the cob). I also diced up a chicken breast from Hershberger Heritage, also leftover from grilling the evening before, and threw in a handful of chopped basil. Then I added most, but not all of the cooked and drained farro.  I simmered everything until the juices from the tomato were running.

Meanwhile, I cut two bell peppers in half lengthwise, seeding and coring them, being careful not to pierce the walls of the pepper. I also cut the tops off of some poblano peppers. The peppers went into a steamer basket for 15 minutes. Let cool enough to handle and carefully lay out on a cookie tray. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spoon the farro mixture into the pepper halves, and stuff into the poblanos. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and mozzarella (or whatever cheese you have on hand). Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melting and peppers are slightly browned. You can really improvise with the ingredients and scale depending on how many peppers you are stuffing and what you have on hand. Removing the seeds of the poblanos does reduce their heat, but I noticed that the membrane that the seeds are attached to is very hot, so as we got closer to the tip of the pepper, we were in for some delicious heat. You can either try to remove this membrane better than I did, or save the poblanos for those in your family who like that smoky heat.

Serve with a tossed salad- chopped romaine, cucumbers, grated carrots (and a glass of white wine?). 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 11th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

Yesterday at the farm, Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service served up some delicious samples of dishes he made using farm fresh ingredients from this week’s CSA share. He also shared tips on using some of the more unusual greens like dandelion and agretti. (Though agretti was not in the share this week, we figured you might still have some in your fridge from the past 2 weeks). The recipes are below for your enjoyment. Be sure to check out Chef Rich’s website and sign up for his newsletter for more recipes and tips, or check him out on Facebook.

Mediterranean Chopped Salad (adapted from Cook’s Country)

Serves 6. Chef’s Note: I used heirloom tomatoes in place of cherry and added dandelion greens for half of the romaine.

12 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ½” pieces
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 Romaine lettuce heart, cut into ½” pieces
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup parsley, chopped

  • Toss tomatoes, cucumber and ½ tsp salt in colander and let drain for 15-30 min.
  • Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in a large bowl. Add tomato, cucumber, chickpeas, olives and onion. Toss to combine. Let sit at room temp for 5 min.
  • Before serving, add lettuce, feta and parsley. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper


IMG_4711Agretti Salad

Serves 4. Chef’s note: You can blanch the agretti in boiling, salted water for a minute or two if you want it less raw.

1 bunch agretti
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large oranges, 1 sectioned and 1 juiced
¼ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

  • Trim agretti from woody stem (thinner, more tender stems can be used) and roughly chop.
  • In a bowl, whisk the oil with the juice of one orange. Add salt and pepper flakes to taste and set aside.
  • Dry the agretti (if damp) and place in serving bowl. Toss with dressing. Add orange sections and toss. Garnish with seeds and cheese (if desired).


IMG_4710 (2)Green Bean Salad (adapted from Cook’s Country)

Serves 4. Chef’s note: Some thinly sliced radish is a nice garnish.

2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 ½” pieces
Salt and pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp dill, minced (I used lemon verbena, which is available in the herb boxes a the farm.)
½ cup almonds, toasted

  • Bring 4 qt water to a boil in a large pot. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Add beans and 1 Tbsp salt to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 6 min. Drain and place in ice bath. Drain again, dry in salad spinner.
  • Whisk shallot, mustard, zest, juice, garlic and 1 ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until incorporated. Toss dill and beans in dressing and let sit for 30 min (or up to 2 hrs), stirring occasionally. Stir in almonds. Season with salt and pepper.


IMG_4712Grilled Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary (for gas grill) (from Cook’s Illustrated)

Serves 4

4 Tbsp olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
2 lb red potatoes, small, scrubbed, halved and skewered (so flat sides are level with each other)
2 Tbsp chives, chopped

  • Preheat grill to high for 15 min. Clean grill grate. Leave primary burner on high, reduce others to medium.
  • Heat olive oil, garlic, rosemary and ½ tsp salt in small skillet over med heat until sizzling, about 3 min. Reduce to med-low and cook until garlic is light blond, about 3 min. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl; press on solids. Measure 1 Tbsp solids and 1 Tbsp oil into large bowl and set aside. Discard remaining solids, but reserve oil.
  • Place skewered potatoes in single layer on large microwave-safe place and poke each with a skewer. Brush with 1 Tbsp oil and season liberally with salt. Microwave on high until potatoes offer slight resistance to knife, about 8 min, turning halfway. Transfer to baking sheet coated with 1 Tbsp oil. Brush with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place potatoes on the hotter side of the grill. Cook, turning once, until marks appear, about 4 mi. Move to cooler side and cook 5-8 min until knife slips in and out easily. Remove potatoes to bowl with reserved oil and solids. Add chives and toss.


IMG_4709Grilled Zucchini Salad (from The Barbecue Bible)

Serves 4

1 lb zucchini (and/or yellow squash), scrubbed and trimmed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 large mint leaves (or 1 tsp dried), minced
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin

  • Preheat grill to high.
  • Cut zucchini into ¼” length-wise slices. Brush each with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill, turning until tender and well browned, about 8-10 min. Transfer to cutting board.
  • Cut each slice on bias into ¼” strips. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining 2 Tbsp and rest of ingredients. Season with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice. Should be highly seasoned.

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.


Excessive heat warning in effect is not something to underestimate. Our tractor operator Tom Thorpe, a 10 year veteran of the marines, gave a presentation to our crew on how to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and how to prevent them. The take away- start thinking about the work week ahead over the weekend- hydrating and getting enough rest.

20160707_155613_1467921401161-001At this point our bodies have become somewhat adjusted to the heat, as have the vegetable crops. But they require lots of hydration, just as we do. Our irrigation manager Jeff (pictured to the right), is kept busy zipping around the farm on the orange 4-wheeler, managing the water needs across the entire farm. Monday night’s rain was cause for celebration, but we were right back to watering the next day. Tom was able to direct sow carrots, beets and green beans just before the rain arrived.

The tidal wave of red field tomatoes is probably about 10 days away. Hopefully we will have enough volume of heirloom tomatoes from our greenhouses to start distributing them to the CSA next week. Don’t worry- they’re coming! Also sizing up beautifully are the watermelons (first up- a delicious yellow variety) and cantaloupes- we’ll be enjoying them in just a few weeks.

Looking ahead to fall, the sweet potatoes are vining out and slurping up as much water as we can spare them. The spaghetti squash will be here before we know it. We are busy prepping ground and preparing to plant fall crops like Brussel sprouts, kale and cabbage. As farmers we must always look ahead a few months- there’s no playing catch up- it won’t grow if we don’t plant it. Erick keeps busy in the propagation greenhouse sowing seeds and potting up plants when necessary.


We will see a gap in the cucumber harvest. This first planting we have all been enjoying went through that late frost we experienced back in mid-May, and never fully recovered. It’s weakened plants were more vulnerable to bug damage- that’s the scarring you see on the skin. The next planting coming up looks way healthier and productive. Another casualty of the late frost seems to be the potatoes. Overall we are getting lower yields per plant compared to previous years.

The pick-your-own flowers are a sight to behold. There is no excuse not to fill your house with flowers for the next few weeks.


My favorite variety, nigella (first photo above), is thick right now with wiry blue and purple blooms. It is only in bloom for a short time, but then the seed pods are just as lovely. As I was harvesting them to make market bouquets the flowers were alive with the sound of hundreds of honey bees, all with pollen balls tucked under their wings. I hope you enjoy the flowers as much as I do- it is a labor of love to grow such an extensive variety of blooms. Enjoy them while they are at their peak.

In this week’s share is agretti- most likely a new crop for many of you. It is an Italian green, also known as seawort or monk’s beard. You can eat it raw- it has a tangy flavor, or you can sauté it with lemon and garlic and toss with pasta or put with fish. Think Mediterranean!

CSA on-farm share, week #6, 7/5/16, week B.

CSA on-farm share, week #6, 7/5/16, week B.

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.

Varieties of summer squash and zucchini are are abundant during the summer — which is a very good thing! (And to clarify, at the farm we just call it all summer squash, of which this week’s dark gold and green zucchini is included under that heading. I am referring here to the lighter yellow squash as “summer squash”- it is also milder in flavor than the gold and green zucchini varieties that Blooming Glen grows). These light and mild veggies are not only delicious, but also healthy and versatile. Nutritionally speaking, the manganese in squash helps promote strength by building strong bones and connective tissues. As we know, vitamin C supports our immune systems, preventing colds and other infections, but it’s also an antioxidant that can help protect our bodies from the damage caused by pollution. Finally, the fiber in zucchini and summer squash aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut. In order to get all these benefits, it’s important to skip the peeler; like most other vegetables and fruits, a lot of the healthy stuff in zucchini and summer squash lives in or near the skin. Instead of peeling, simply rinse off the veggies under running water to remove any dirt. Here are a few tips for using up your stock of zucchini and summer squash:

  • Dice ’em up: Diced zucchini and summer squash can be added to soups, stir-fries, chilis, crepes and quiches, stews, curries, spaghetti sauce and rice. They can also be enjoyed raw, mixed into pasta salad, grain salads and green salads.
  • Cut into coins: Sliced zucchini and summer squash make a great topping for pizza, taste great layered into lasagna, or used in casseroles.
  • Savory pancakes: Add grated squash and zucchini to whole wheat pancake mix, along with some garlic powder and chopped spring onion. Serve with a dab of sour cream for a savory, summery side dish.
  • On the grill: Slice zucchini and squash lengthwise, into planks and spray lightly with high-heat cooking oil. Place on hot grill or grill pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 5-10 mins., until tender and charred, flipping once.
  • Thicken up soups: Cook and puree squash and zucchini to use as a creamy soup base.
  • Preserving: Shred and freeze zucchini and squash to preserve. Use thawed veggies in breads, muffins, casseroles, fritattas, and quiches.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site,

P1016499Greens are probably the best food to add to our diets to improve nutrition. They provide cancer-fighting vitamins & minerals, the fiber we need for heart & digestive health, & assistance to our body’s detoxification processes. They’re also really easy to add to our meals; a great way to start is by simply adding a handful of chopped up greens to whatever you’re cooking — sauces, salads, soups, stir-fries, casseroles, just about everything! Another great strategy for getting more greens into our diets is to keep a green side on-hand; make the recipe below to serve with your meals throughout the week!

This recipe also makes use of two super flavorful ingredients that we’ve been finding on our shares lately, garlic scapes & fennel. Scapes have been called a “vegetable, aromatic & even herb all in one,” & I would also put fennel in that unique (& delicious) category.  Both fennel & scapes also give us a nutritional boost with fiber, antioxidants, & phytonutrients.

Add your favorite plant-based protein to make the this dish heartier & more complete — chickpeas, seitan, or quinoa would be tasty.  You can also enjoy this recipe hot or cold.  Eat immediately after preparing as a hot side dish, or let cool & use as an ingredient in a whole grain wrap or mixed into a green salad.

Sautéed Greens with Scapes & Fennel


1 tbs cooking oil
5 garlic scapes, sliced
1 fennel bulb & stems, sliced up to fronds
1/2-cup white wine or broth
6-8 cups kale, chard, &/or collards, stripped from stems & chopped
1 tbs red wine or balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, & sesame seeds (optional)

Heat oil, scapes, & fennel in skillet until veggies are tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine or broth & stir in greens until coated evenly. Allow greens to reduce about 5-7 minutes, stirring often & adding additional wine or broth if needed. Remove pan from heat & toss with vinegar. Serve with optional toppings.

Post & photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, & co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating & living on her site,

In our team meeting today we reminded our crew to take a moment and look around as they are hustling from job to job. We are very ground focused- scouting for bugs, pulling weeds, checking soil moisture levels, installing irrigation, crawling around on our knees weeding and thinning, bending to the ground to harvest. Occasionally we look to the sky when it darkens or the wind picks up, or a hawk flies overhead. A reminder to take in the bigger picture can be necessary, the whole farm organism as a season. One minute we are harvesting spring radishes and strawberries, then in the blink of an eye, the weather changes, the season for that harvest ends and we are on to the next crop.


Our early spring beds are already being tilled under, fall crops like the winter squash and sweet potatoes are planted and growing, and we are focused on getting all our summer field tomatoes staked and trellised, and weeding crops like green beans (pictured above) and tomatillos (below).


Staking tomatoes is a serious upper body work out. Our crew is getting stronger and more fit by the day, learning not only what makes a good size bunch of beets, or a large enough head of lettuce, but also how to hold your body to maximize drive force when putting in hundreds and hundreds of stakes.


After the stakes are in, we’ll go through with boxes of tomato twine, and weave the tomatoes into a trellis. We will keep adding strings as they grow. This work on the front end will make the harvest easier in the long run. One of the first farms Tom and I worked on over 15 years ago did not trellis their 1000 foot beds of tomatoes. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than crawling along searching for ripe tomatoes under a dense canopy of vines, in the heat of August, during one of the worst mosquito years I can recall. In that instance we learned how not to grow tomatoes, and we’ve embraced trellising ever since!

This season we are experimenting with undersowing our corn with a cover crop- a mix of crimson clover- a nitrogen fixing legume- and lacy phacelia, which attracts beneficial insects. Tonight’s much needed rainfall (keep your fingers crossed it comes) will get those seeds germinating and help with weed suppression over the harvest season. Pictured below, Jeff is using a spin seeder in the popcorn to spread the cover crop seed.


This week’s share sees the spring crops overlapping with the summer, the strawberries winding down, the peak of the sugar snap pea harvest, as well as the first of the freshly dug new red potatoes and the first pick of summer squash. Hard to believe that same planting of summer squash went through a frost just four weeks ago!

For new CSA members who are intimidated by the new (to you) vegetables you are seeing in the share, don’t forget you can search by vegetable (see the sidebar to the right) and pull up recipes we have posted in the blog over the years. I had lots of questions in the distribution room about kohlrabi- a search with that title brought up a few delicious recipes: “Roasted Beets and Kohlrabi with Fennel“, “Kohlrabi fritters with yogurt dill sauce“, and “Kohlrabi Dal with aromatic rice“. You can do the same search with garlic scapes or fennel. We will begin posting new recipes soon as well. Enjoy!

June 15 delivery shares, medium box on the left and large box on the right. Pictured at teh top of the post is CSA on-farm share week #3/A, 6/14/16.

June 15 delivery shares, medium box on the left and large box on the right. Pictured at the top of the post is CSA on-farm share week #3/A, 6/14/16.

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.


The farm was invigorated with new energy these past two weeks as smiling CSA members filled their baskets with produce from the farm, and headed out into the fields to pick strawberries, sugar snap peas, and herbs. I love seeing the familiar faces, many who have been with us since the beginning 11 years ago, as well as introducing new people to the process. The positive energy, and grateful members provide a reason for the long hours my husband Tom and I, Pete our assistant farm manager, and our stellar farm crew put in daily to the work of growing these amazing organic vegetables. To hear how excited and thankful you all are to receive food just hours from the earth, and to bring that bounty and health home to your kitchens, helps to make all the hard work worthwhile.


The work of the last few weeks has involved a lot of trellising and staking of tomatoes, and keeping up with all the weeding. We weed by hand, with hoes and with cultivating tractors (pictured below the sweet corn is being cultivated with our old farmall tractor). Often the weeds outpace the crops in their growth, so it is a constant scramble to stay ahead, and to do it while the ground is dry, which it was for quite awhile. There is also weekly transplanting and seeding to stay on top of, as certain crops we plant multiple rotations of- cucumbers, summer squash, beans, lettuce, and corn for example.

Every year we have new folks join us on our farm crew, so there is a quite a lot of training that goes on, especially in those early weeks of the CSA as we get into the swing of things. It’s not the easiest to get 6 or so people all making uniform bunches- but we’ll get there!


We have been super pleased with our bumper strawberry crop- full share members have already received 5 quarts! The plants this year were big and healthy, resulting in big tasty berries. On a side note, I feel I should explain that you may notice long white fibers on some of the berries in the field or in the bulk flats you are purchasing. This fiber is from the big white sheets of floating row covers we had to use over the berries to protect them from that late frost that came in mid May. Do not be alarmed- it is not human hair, but a fiber that can be washed or pulled off. We are doing our best to remove them as we pick, but are not always successful!


The sugar snap peas are so sweet and abundant this season, and a joy to pick. Coming up in the share next week will be the first of the new red potatoes, as well as garlic scapes- the delicious curly cue that grows out of the center of our stiff neck garlic plants.

Now that everyone has at least one pick-up under their belt, here are a few reminders:

  1. BYOB: please remember to bring your own bags, coolers, or baskets to get your produce home in. If you’re picking up at the farm, you will also need your own clippers for pick-your-own crops like herbs and flowers.
  2. The on-farm pick-up times are between 1 and 7:30pm on your designated pick-up day. The distribution room will get cleaned up at 7:30pm, but you may do the pick-your-owns until 8pm. If necessary, you may do the pick-your-own crops on another day within the week before your next pick-up, preferably within a few days. The farm is closed to pick-your-owns after 3pm Saturday and all day Sunday.
  3. What if I go on vacation? One option is to “Share your Share” with a friend. You can have someone else pick up your share while you are gone (no need to tell us). However, you are responsible for explaining the pick-up location and procedures to your substitute. For on-farm pick-up members, another option is to change your pick up day from a Tuesday to a Thursday or vice versa. Just let us know by email by 7pm Sunday of the week you wish to switch. Unfortunately, because we harvest a precise number of shares each harvest day, we cannot accommodate last minute switches. Please do not call or email us if you forget to pick-up your share- this just puts us in an uncomfortable situation, as you can imagine.  *Delivery share members do not have the option of switching pick-up days, or picking up at a different site.
  4. Recipes: A wonderful way to get ideas about using new veggies is to ask your fellow CSA members as you are picking up. We also have a wonderful cookbook, “From Asparagus to Zucchini” available for sale in the distribution room- it is a fantastic resource for new members. You can also search our blog by key ingredient and pull up old recipes we have posted as well. And there’s always Google.
  5. We will post a labeled share photo on Tuesday evening on Facebook. This photo will show the on-farm pick-up share, as well as the medium and large delivery shares. This is the quickest way we have found to post the photo, so in case you get home and forget what you have, it is there as a reference. Other folks take their own photo of the chalkboard in the distribution room, or as one resourceful young man pictured below did, make a list. Blog posts will happen as frequently as we can manage, and we will begin to post recipes as well.


You may have noticed our new farmstand wagon at the farm. It will be open to the public Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat from 10-7pm. We will also stock it with a few extras of certain items on pick-up days so your able to purchase more of things while you are here- a common request we have received over the years. As a CSA member you will receive 10% off- the same if you visit us at any of our weekend farmers markets.

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If you are interested in signing up for a sustainable seafood share, follow this link: to enroll in the 2016 programs for wild caught Halibut, Sablefish, Rockfish, Sockeye, Coho and King Salmon with Otolith Sustainable Seafood.  Delivery will be from Otolith to Blooming Glen Farm- you will be able to pick up your seafood share from the freezer on your pick-up day that is closest to the delivery.

CSA on-farm share, week #2, 6/7/16.

CSA on-farm share, week #2, 6/7/16


Photo above, left to right: Medium and Large delivery Share 6/8/16.

Photo above, left to right: Medium and Large delivery Share 6/8/16.

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. Farmstand photo and strawberry field photo by photographer and CSA member Vanessa Lassin.