Author: bloomingglenfarm

Rice & Beans PeppersFrom Cuban black beans with yellow rice to Indian ramjah (kidney beans) with basmati rice, rice and beans is a classic, versatile dish that’s found throughout most cultures around the globe. Rice and beans are hearty, inexpensive, and super adaptable, making them a worthwhile addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. The key to making this not only a belly-filling meal, but also a nourishing and nutritious one is using whole grains and loading up on veggies. The recipe below uses heart-healthy brown rice, and loads of Blooming Glen Farm-fresh veggies that are packed with vitamins and minerals. The black beans bring plant-based protein, making this a nice rounded and complete meal.

As with many recipes on this blog, the one below is very much open for alterations, depending on your particular tastes, what you have available in your pantry, and what veggies you may need to use up from your share.  I’ve added lots of peppers to this version, since they’re abundant right now. The poblano peppers add a tiny bit of heat, while the frying peppers bring in some sweetness.  Greens are always a good thing to add to your meals; using them here brings in a satisfying chewiness, perfectly complimented by the soft peppers and beans.  Corn would be a nice addition and so would zucchini — feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have on hand!  You can substitute pinto or other beans in place of the black beans. You can even skip the rice and serve the beans over baked or smashed potatoes (leave skins on) or another whole grain. Experiment and have fun 🙂

Recipe note: I make rice and beans by first getting the rice going in a rice cooker, then moving on to the prep and cooking of the beans.  In most cases, by the time the beans are done, so is the rice.

Rice & Beans

Rice & Beans

2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped (~1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
4 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped (~1 cup)
1+ jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1+ cup kale, chopped fine
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (~2 cups)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1+ cup broth (No-Chicken Broth is good here)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 cups hot cooked brown rice*
Fresh cilantro (optional)
* I prepare rice for this recipe with broth, rather than water.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for a minute or two, until they begin to soften. Add garlic and spices, cook for one minute more. Add peppers. greens, and tomatoes, stir well, and cook until veggies are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash 1/2-cup of the beans.

Add mashed beans, whole beans, broth, and maple syrup to the skillet. Turn up heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until reduced to desired thick consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified 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,!

Get ready to eat! There is always one share each season that is truly epic. This might be that one. The summer bounty is at its peak, and you may just need a wheelbarrow to get this share home…or at the very least a strong back.

8/19/14, share #12

With three pounds of plum tomatoes in the share, small batch sauce may be on the menu, or oven-roasted tomatoes. My favorite way to enjoy the plums is to halve them, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt, and roast on a cookie tray in the oven. Roast them at a low temp, around 225 degrees. I put them in the oven in teh morning and let them go all day. These are delicious on pizza or in pasta. The whole tray can be put into the freezer, than the frozen tomatoes popped into freezer bags. They make for a delightful winter treat. If you’re feeling ambitious, 25 pound bulk boxes of the plum tomatoes can still be purchased.

This week was the last harvest of melons- both the cantaloupe and watermelon fields were picked, mowed, tilled and readied for cover crop seed to be planted. Hard to believe this is week #12, the midway point for the CSA distribution!

Justin weeds the brussel sprouts

Keeping an eye toward fall, we’ve been digging around in the sweet potatoes and they are sizing up beautifully. Coming out of the ground this week is the first of the celery root (aka celeriac). The fall cauliflower and broccoli is also looking awesome as we keep the weeds pulled and the plants watered.

Fall cauliflower field

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Additional photos by Tom Murtha.

A handful of fresh herbs can transform any dish, but what better pairing than with the juicy flavorful tomatoes coming from the farm right now. I like to overindulge in these luscious fruits at the height of the season, so I won’t miss them in the winter months. This simple recipe highlights the flavors of summer.

Marinated Tomato Herb Salad

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 heirloom tomatoes, diced fine
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
2 baby red torpedo onions, diced
4 sweet peppers, diced

Handful of herbs (parsley, tarragon, oregano, agretti), kept whole, stems removed
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
4 Tbs evtra virgin olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve. Enjoy!

Post and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm owner.

It’s been an unusual summer here at the farm. The cool nighttime temperatures have affected some of the crops that are typically more prolific. The sweet peppers are ripening slowly- we see the first of the harvest this week. We are actually noticing blossom drop because of the broad temperature difference between night and day. The heirloom tomatoes continue to be profuse however, coming from both the field and the high tunnels- 7 pounds of tomatoes in this week’s share, not including the cherry’s. I’ll be posting Chef Kristin’s recipe featuring tomatoes, so check it out.

8/12/14, share #11

Out in the field the focus is on fall. The harvest of the winter squash has begun. Kabocha and blue hubbard were first, next will be butternut and delicata. Look for spaghetti squash in next week’s share.

Multiple varieties of kabocha winter squash

Most of the crop of storage onions have been harvested and are laid out in the now shade cloth covered greenhouse to dry down and cure.

The winter radishes, varieties like green meat, watermelon and black radish, are being thinned and cultivated; carrots and beets are not far behind.

Tractor cultivation of the winter radishes.

Even though it is still August, as farmers we are aware of the shortening day length (which means growth slows down) as we head into fall and winter. We are busy looking ahead, tending to the cabbage, broccoli and romanesco, as well as kale, chard, broccoli raab and arugula. Enjoy the remainder of the summer, and get excited for the bounty of fall!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the benefits of belonging to a CSA was an unexpected one: It puts me out of my comfort zone. When shopping at the super market for produce, I — like most of us, I’m sure — pretty much stuck to the same vegetables and fruit that I always ate. The standard peppers, carrots, broccoli, and spinach were tasty, and I honestly didn’t even realize there was so much I was missing out on until my first season at Blooming Glen.  A part of being out of my comfort zone was not only discovering new foods (French breakfast radishes, who knew we were destined to be together forever?), but also being faced with foods that I traditionally didn’t like.

At the top of this list was eggplant: A vegetable that I tried to prepare at home once or twice, but in the end could only ever eat if it was restaurant prepared, breaded and fried and smothered in marinara sauce, á la Eggplant Parm.  At first, I simply gave away the eggplant from our share to family or neighbors — good riddance!  But, after seeing the array of different eggplant at the farm, noticing just how pretty they are, and knowing how important and beneficial variety in one’s diet is… I decided to challenge myself to find a way to make a relationship with me and eggplant work 🙂

In the end, after a little experimentation, with some failures and some successes, it turns out that grilling has been the easiest and tastiest way for me to incorporate this pretty purple veggie into meals. Once grilled, you can use the slices for sandwiches and wraps, chop them up to use with grain and vegetable sides, add them to omelets or salads — the possibilities are endless. I grill them as soon as I get them home, then store them in the fridge for easy use. The recipe below calls for using grilled eggplant; here’s a down-and-dirty grilling method:

1) Lightly spray a grill pan over medium-high heat. 2) Cut eggplant into thin disks, place on a grill pan, spray lightly with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 3) Cook until grill marks appear, about 3-4 minutes, toss, then cook for another couple minutes. The eggplant will significantly reduce as the moisture is cooked out.

Nutritionally speaking, eggplant is low in sodium and calories, and high in fiber. However, all of its disease-fighting and health-building phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals reside in it’s skin. Most notably, eggplant skin contains nasunin, a phytonutrient found to protect the fats in brain cell membranes, and chlorogenic acid, which has been found to benefit anti-cancer, antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. So, when preparing your eggplant, be sure to keep the skin on!  For more eggplant ideas and a recipe for Baba Ganoush, click here.

Eggplant & Summer Veggie White Bean Pasta

2 cups whole wheat pasta (bow-tie pictures)
2 eggplant, grilled, cut into bite-size pieces
1+ bunch broccoli rabe, large/thick stems removed*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 torpedo onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (quarter larger ones)
Kernels from 1 ear of corn
3/4 cup white beans
Crushed red pepper
Nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese)
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

* Other hearty greens can be substituted, including kale, collards, or Swiss chard. If using more delicate greens, such as arugula, spinach, or dandelion greens, skip the blanching process below.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch raab for ~60 seconds, drain, reserving water to cook pasta. Set raab aside and cook pasta.

Heat a teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté for a minute. Add onion, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of sea salt, sauté for a few minutes, until onions turn translucent and soft. Add tomatoes, stir well, and allow to cook down a bit, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chop raab, then stir into the pan, with corn kernels and pinch of sea salt, cook for a couple minutes. Add eggplant and beans, stir well to combine and let cook for a 5-6 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

To cooked pasta, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring to coat well. Add veggies to pasta, stirring gently to combine everything. Serve topped with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese. A light sprinkle of high quality balsamic vinegar is really yummy, too 🙂

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified 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,!

Ode to Tomatoes
by Pablo Neruda

The street
filled with tomatoes
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it’s time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth,
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

8/5/14, share #10

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This week’s harvest screams summer… watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers and yes, the tomatoes are finally here!

7/29/14, share #9

Out on the farm, the acre of garlic is being harvested. We started last week, and will be finished today. Keep an eye on the Zone 7 website for their final video in their garlic series, filmed at our farm.

This is one of Tom and my favorite crops to grow. Planted last October, the garlic has a long journey to harvest.

After it is pulled from the field, (a tractor bar loosens under the garlic beds and then we pull each one by hand) it is then bundled and strung from the rafters in the Rosenberger’s beautiful barn.

The next big task on the farm is to harvest all the storage onions. You’ve been enjoying the sweet white onions pulled fresh from the ground. The storage onions are pulled and dried on racks to be used well into the winter.

Farming is pretty hard work, that’s no doubt. This week was a particularly fun share to harvest (heavy, but fun!)- seeing the mountains of beautiful corn and melons was awesome. However, one of the more rewarding parts of our job is to see the fruits of our labor end up in appreciative hands, whether leaving in bags at the farm market stands, or headng home in your baskets from the farm. I love seeing all your smiling faces each week enjoying the CSA shares, especially the pick-your-own!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Another strange summer in Pennsylvania… It may feel warm during the day but these cool nights that are such wonderful sleeping weather are keeping our tomatoes from ripening, and testing our farmer patience. Loaded with green fruit, we are finally seeing the first blush of red on the plants.

It may still be a week or two until we see the full avalanche of ripe fruit. This is definitely a later harvest than usual- caused by both the current weather and the late winter that pushed the spring planting back a few weeks. Hopefully the first frost of the fall will be later than usual as well!

The conveyor belt worked overtime this week as we put it to use to harvest the sweet corn and cantaloupes. This back-saving harvest tool is a favorite of the whole crew, used almost every other day in the cucumbers and summer squash. We harvest right onto the belt which funnels the crops directly onto a wagon to be packed.

The cantaloupes are a success story this season. We have tinkered with variety and planting methods in hopes of getting a great harvest- and here it is!

The sweet corn, as we have written about in the past, is always a challenge to grow organically. We mainly battle the corn worms and the black birds. Each year we hang dozens of cards on the corn tassels which contain thousands of beneficial wasps. 

Farmer Tom hangs the cards containing beneficial wasps in the sweet corn.

To keep the birds at bay, we invested in a noise making cannon- our experience from last year proved it is effective after just a few times. Still, you will see some bird and worm damage on the ears in this week’s share. In addition to managing pests, another challenge with growing sweet corn organically is that corn has heavy nutrient demands. We switched corn varieties this season, in hopes of growing a larger ear. Since we do not utilize chemical fertilizers like conventional growers, we have to look for varieties that respond well to organic management practices.

7/22/14, share #8

Another treat in this week’s harvest are the Purple Viking potatoes. This beautiful variety has a deep purple skin with hot pink splashes and a creamy white flesh. Delicious baked, roasted or mashed, this is one of Tom and my favorite potato varieties, not only for its appearance but for its wonderful flavor.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

After many years working behind the same walls, dancing between sweaty bodies and hot equipment, I half jokingly refer to myself as a recovering restaurant chef. For me, the farm to table movement not only translates into healthier meals but a healthier spirit as well. Don’t get me wrong, sweaty bodies and equipment are abundant on the farm as well, but the difference is the fresh air and the glisten from the sun (or rain) keeps things in humble perspective.

One of the greatest discoveries I have made culinarily speaking, is the fresh herb garden. Endless creative possibility lives in the simplicity of plucking a few sprigs of marjoram and a little oregano, perhaps a bundle of parsley too and voila, there in the palm of your hand is enough flavor to build a whole meal around. As a chef I strive on creativity aroused through the senses. A walk through the herb garden can take an idea with loose ends and quickly bring it together, and I always say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Here are a few recipes to highlight herbs. Hopefully these dressings can replace some store bought family favorites in your fridge. Enjoy!

Herb Cucumber Ranch Dressing

1-1/2 cup drained plain yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
juice of one lemon
3 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp coconut aminos or worcester or soy sauce
4 cloves garlic (fresh if you have it)
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup grated cucumber
3 tbs fresh herbs like dill, tarragon, oregano, parsley
2 tbs chives

In a large bowl or with a mortar and pestle smash garlic into a paste. Clean all your herbs by dunking in cold water and removing stems, reserve stems along with garlic wrappers for stock. Chop herbs very fine and add to garlic with a teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of black pepper. Work these ingredients together into a small grind. Add onion and onion juices along with the rest of the ingredients. Whisk very well and chill overnight. The other option is to throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. 

Italian Herb Vinaigrette

1 head roasted garlic, squeezed to freedom
1 small red onion, diced fine
1/3 cup oregano
1/4 cup marjoram
1/3 cup parsley
1/3 cup basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup choice vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Optional 1 tbs parmesan cheese or sundried tomatoes

Roast one head of garlic, whole. Oven temp. 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown and is soft to the touch. Just pop it in on a sheet pan and let it cook.

Add your herbs, onion and roasted garlic to a blender or food processor, while running add spices and water, add dijon and slowly add olive oil to desired consistency. You may choose to add more oil. I prefer to leave it alone and add oil if needed per use. 

Panzanella (Italian Bread Salad)

6 cups day old crusty bread, cut into cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup thinly sliced kale (tuscan pictured)
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup olive oil
10 basil leaves, torn
juice of a lemon
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed well
2 eggplants, grilled and chopped

Add garlic, oil and lemon in large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, whisk well. Add beans, toss, add tomatoes, bread, basil and onion, toss again. Add cooled eggplant with any of its juices and gently toss. Option- dress with either the Herb Ranch Dressing or Italian Herb Vinaigrette. Also optional- add cubed cheese, Italian hard salami or roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

Post and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Photos and editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen Farm owner.

Tabbouleh Salad ingredientsTabbouleh (also tabouli) is a classic Middle Eastern salad made from whole grains and highlighted by the fresh herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes that are in season right now. The whole grains in tabbouleh come from bulgur, which is made from whole hard wheat (wheat berries) that’s been parboiled, dried, and then cracked.

This whole wheat is very different than the wheat-based products we often buy at the grocery store:  When wheat is refined and processed — primarily into wheat flour — nearly all of its nutritional value is stripped away.  In fact, “more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fiber” are lost.  When wheat is refined, its nutritious bran and germ are removed and we’re left only with a starch that’s digested as a simple sugar, causing our blood sugar levels to spike as if we’d eaten candy!

Healthy whole wheat like bulgur, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that offers a unique combination of minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which work in concert together to protect our cardiovascular health, prevent Type 2 Diabetes, promote digestive health, and help fight off cancer.  Once cooked, bulgur has a mild, nutty flavor that adds a fantastic chewy, meaty texture to foods. Mix it into a salad, stirfry, chili, spaghetti sauce, taco filling, or use it as a base for a grain salad (such as this Asian Bulgur and Edamame Salad), stuffed peppers, breakfast porridge, or savory side dish.

In addition to whole wheat, tabbouleh takes advantage of the cucumber bounty we’ve been enjoying with our share.  Cucumbers aren’t commonly thought of for their nutrition, but they actually are a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, and a very good source of potassium and vitamins C and K.  Thanks to the phytonutrients in cucumbers, they also bring our bodies anti-inflammatory, antioxident, and anti-cancer benefits, too.

The important key to accessing all this great stuff, however, is consuming the skin. (Some might remember that this is true for many of the vegetables we eat — we’ve talked about potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and eggplant here before 🙂 )  If you’re just getting used to eating the skin on cucumbers, try peeling only half of the skin off at first, then move up to keeping it all intact.

Tabbouleh a naturally versatile and adaptable dish, so feel free to play around with the grain-herb-veggie ratio.  You might prefer an herb-based salad, or you might choose to go heavy on the cucumbers, since they’re so abundant right now (as I did in the salad pictured). You could even make this recipe gluten-free by substituting bulgur for another healthy whole grain, such as quinoa. Tabbouleh pairs great with hummus, baba ganoush, and pita.



2 cups boiling water
1-1/4 cup bulgur wheat (use quinoa for a gluten-free version)
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1+ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or chopped
1+ cup cucumbers, diced

1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon, more to taste
1 tsp salt, more to taste
pinch of pepper
pinch allspice

Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let stand for 20-30 minutes, until softened, but still chewy.  Drain off any excess liquid, and fluff. If using quinoa, prepare per package instructions. Add herbs and veggies to bulgur and gently stir. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Add dressing to bulgur, gently stirring until dressing coats salad well. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve chilled.

Post Sources
Harvard School of Public Health
Nutrition Data (Bulgur)
Nutrition Data (Cucumber)
WH Foods (Cucumber)

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified 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,!