Author: bloomingglenfarm

Folks were lined up in anticipation of our fourth annual Pie-Bake Off contest at the farm’s Harvest Festival on October 12th, waiting patiently for the chance to taste and vote for their favorite pie. Over 100 votes were cast for the People’s Choice, and it’s no stretch to say that we were all winners for the opportunity to taste ten delicious homemade pies.

Lining up while the judges make their decision; Patiently waiting!

Bernadette Rodrigo, the landslide winner of the People’s Choice with her scrumptious Cherry Pistachio Pie, was presented with the large ceramic pie trophy made by Katia McGuirk- bragging rights for one year, to be held and passed on to next year’s winner.

New this year we introduced the Judges Vote. Our esteemed panel of three judges carefully savored and compared slices of the competing pies. They were able to quickly come to a concensus on the first and second place pie, with some deliberation involved for the third place win. The judges looked at creativity, flavor, crust and presentation. The winner of the Judges Vote, also Bernadette Rodrigo, was presented with a ceramic pie-plate handmade by potter Christine Hernandez. (*The winners of both the People’s and Judges awards were not announced until later in the day, so no voters were influenced.)

2013 Pie Judges: Thomas Murtha, Iliana Berkowitz, and Susan Kahn

The first pie judge was Thomas Murtha- not Blooming Glen’s Farmer Tom- but his father who shares not only a name but a deep love for pie. Thomas Murtha turns 82 this week, and that adds up to a lot of pies enjoyed over a lifetime (without hesitation he’d choose pie over cake anyday), with many more to taste and enjoy. Thomas, (aka Tom the young, with Farmer Tom being Tom the Younger), or Pop as we like to call him, has a serious soft spot for fruit pies (but don’t tell next year’s contestants ;)).

The second pie judge was Iliana Imberman Berkowitz. Iliana is a professional bread baker at Stephen Starr’s Parc Bistro in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Previously, she made croissant and other pastries in West Philadelphia at Four Worlds Bakery. “In my spare time I like to bake cookies, pies, brownies, and anything sweet. I’ve got flour in my veins! I was delighted and honored to participate as a judge in this year’s contest, and was impressed by all 10 entries.”

Susan Kahn of Bucks County Cookie Company was the third pie judge. Susan said, “I’ve been baking all my life, well, ever since I was young. I always loved it! I started my cookie business for that reason, actually. Guess I figured I might as well start a business that I loved. So, when I left my full time job, I began BCCC in 2008. Pies are just such a homemade comforting all American dessert. Everybody loves Pie! My favorite pies have a nice flaky crust and the filling can be anything from fruits to custards. It doesn’t matter…I love them all.”

Cherry Pistachio Pie
by Bernadette Rodrigo
Judges Vote: First Place
People’s Choice: First Place

Bernadette Rodrigo lives with her husband and two children in Plumsteadville. She has been enjoying baking and experimenting with ethnic and gourmet cooking since she was a teenager. She finds joy in being able to create food that brings people together and puts a smile on the faces of friends and family. “This pie takes elements from different recipes and combines them. The simplicity of the ingredients and the richness added by the buttery crust are what makes this pie irresistible. I hope you enjoy it.”- Bernadette

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 sticks chilled butter
3 egg yolks
4 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour and sugar. Chop butter into 1/2” squares and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend until it resembles course meal. In a small bowl lightly beat egg yolks and water. Add liquid to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork, until evenly distributes. Mixture will be crumbly. Use hands to press the dough into a ball. Turn out onto counter top and kneed a few times, smearing the butte and forming the dough into a ball. Divide in two. Flatten into two discs. Wrap and refrigerate. This recipe makes enough crust for 2 pies.

Pistachio Paste
3/4 cup pistachios, unsalted
1/4 cup almonds, blanched
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Process above ingredients in food processor until a paste forms. Then add:
4 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Process until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

Cherry Filling
3 cups of cherries, fresh, frozen or jarred
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Toss together and set aside.

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine in above ingredients in food processor to mix, leaving oats semi-intact.

Roll pastry to fit your pie pan and shape the crust.
Spread the pistachio paste evenly on the bottom of the crust.
Spread cherries evenly over the paste. Then sprinkle crumb topping over the cherries.
Bake at 375 degrees until crust is browned and the center bubbles. Approx. 45 minutes.

Raspberry-Apple Crumb Pie
By Esther Berko
Judges Vote: Second Place
People’s Choice: Third Place

“My inspiration to participate in the contest was because it would make me feel closer to my daughter Lexi’s world at the farm and more than just a spectator. (Lexi is a student at DelVal College and a BGF employee.)  Before Saturday I had no thoughts about the pie because I really don’t enjoy baking that much and my sister e-mailed the recipe to me. I have neither baked that pie before Saturday nor tasted it until the pie contest – and, yes, it was delicious!! However, given the positive response, I will definitely bake it again and will consider it my favorite pie in the universe. I will definitely participate again next year and will begin the search for a great pie recipe … or maybe concoct my own! I guess you could say my inspiration to bake more pies has just begun!” -Esther Berko

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box.  Do not bake ahead of time.

3 cups thinly sliced peeled baking apples (3 medium).  Add a splash of lemon juice.
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed
½ cup cubed or crumbled almond paste (from 7 or 8 oz. package) *Check the label to make sure it lists almonds as the first ingredient.

Almond Crumb Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cold butter
½ cup sliced almonds – roast them in a pan a little

Heat oven to 350.  Place pie crust in a 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on the box for One-Crust Filled pie.
In a large bowl, stir together apples, ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and the cinnamon. Spoon filling into crust-lined plate.  Sprinkle with raspberries.  Sprinkle almond paste over raspberries.

In medium bowl, mix ½ cup flour and ¼ cup sugar.  Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions) until particles are size of small peas. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle topping evenly over almond paste.

Bake 30 minutes. Cover edge with 2-3” strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.  Bake 30 to 50 minutes longer or until apples are tender in center and surface is golden brown.  (Put foil underneath to catch drips).  Serve warm or cool.

Sour Cream Apple Pie (adapted from The Silver Palate cookbook)
By Alysha Day
Judges Vote: Third Place

“I really enjoy cooking and baking with fresh ingredients for my family and friends. Over the past 2 years my family and I have learned so much about the food we eat by being members of your CSA, and are glad to have the chance to share something delicious with you!” -Alysha Day

2 ½ cups unbleached flour
5 tablespoons Sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled)
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening (chilled)
4-6 tablespoons apple cider (chilled)

Sift the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Cut in the butter and sugar with a fork until the mixture resembles rolled oats. Moisten with just enough cider to permit the dough to be formed into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hr.

After filling is ready cut off 1/3 of the dough and return it to the fridge. Roll out the remaining dough between sheets of wax paper. Grease a 9inch pie pan and line it with dough.

5-7 tart apples (I mix several varieties.)
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Whisk together all filling ingredients and then toss with the peeled, cored and thinly sliced apples. Spoon into the pastry lined pie. Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips for lattice on top.

3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Set the pie on center rack of a 350 oven (preheated).  Bake until juices are bubbling and crust is golden. 50-65 minutes. If crust browns too quickly cover loosely with foil.


Strawberry Crumb Pie
By Tricia Borneman
People’s Choice: Second Place

“Each pie contest so far I’ve found a new recipe and labored over the elaborate ingredients- (homemade gingersnap cookies became a crust with a carmel brittle one year), but this year I just decided to go with my favorite pie to make and eat, especially since it really showcases the taste of the farm’s bounty. The word from the pie servers was this was a favorite with the kids- I can relate- it’s a pie I grew up loving, and one I look forward to making every spring. Thanks to my mom for this recipe- not many people go for the straight strawberry- but we both agree- don’t mess up our strawberries with rhubarb! (Though I do love a straight rhubarb pie!) Enjoy!”- Tricia Borneman

Pate Brisee recipe from Martha

Crumb Topping
1 Cup flour, ½ cup sugar and 1 stick cold butter. Mix with pastry cutter until crumbly.

4-6 cups sliced strawberries (I used frozen ones from the farm from Spring)
2 1/2 tablespoons Tapioca
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ to ¾ cups sugar, depending on how sweet berries are.

Mix filling ingredients gently, let set a few minutes, pour into 9” crust. Top with crumb topping. Put pie on cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min then turn back to 350 for approx. 40 min. If crust is getting too done, cover edges with foil. Pie is done when crumb top is golden and pie is bubbly.

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

After a beautiful stretch of mild fall weather it looks like the cold autumn winds are here. It’s hard not to forget that this time last year Hurricane Sandy was headed our way, and the year before we experienced that freak October snowstorm. Who knows what will be next, but reflecting on last year’s experience I am reminded again to be thankful for the luxury of electricity which keeps the house warm, the food cold, and the water flowing.

Here at the farm we prepared for the first frost by getting out the giant white floating row covers and blanketing the more tender crops like lettuce, arugula, radicchio, beets and carrots.

Only two more weeks of CSA pick-ups to go. A reminder that the last share is Tuesday Nov. 5 and Thursday Nov. 7th. These last few shares will contain butternut squash, one of my favorite fall vegetables. This recipe for Minestrone and Parmesan Biscuit Potpie from Martha Stewart is a favorite in our house, especially since it utilizes leeks, kale, butternut, the tomatoes I canned from earlier in the summer, and delicious buttery homemade biscuits. The perfect comfort food after a cold day.

 The last big job on the farm is happening this week: garlic planting! A major thanks to everyone who helped break up the garlic at the farm’s Harvest Festival Garlic Social– what an unbelievably huge help that was for us.

Each individual clove is planted 6 inches apart in rows of 3, in our 225 foot beds. This year we are aiming to plant 18 beds- that’s over 24,000 cloves!, then covering them all with a thick blanket of straw mulch where they will grow for the next 9 months. See you next summer, garlic crop!

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

I am often asked by people what new crops we are growing at the farm. Not all our experiments always work out, but this week’s share sees one new addition which we were very pleased with: the Cuban pumpkin. Also called Calabaza, or Jamaican pumpkin, it is mottled green, yellow and tan, with a light yellow flesh and a smooth sweet flavor. As the name suggests it is typically grown throughout the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. A popular Cuban dish is Arroz con Calabaza, or Pumpkin Rice. Chunks of squash are simmered with rice, garlic, onions, peppers, and fragrant herbs and spices. The squash can also be baked or made into soup, and substituted in recipes for other hard skinned winter squashes like butternut and hubbard.

CSA share, week 21, 10/15/13

Thanks to everyone who came out to the farm’s Harvest Fest on Saturday. After the torrential rain on Thursday and Friday, we ended up with a gorgeous afternoon, and a wonderful turnout.

When you’re at the farm, check out the results of the community earth loom, and feel free to add to it on your pick-up days. It will remain there throughout the seasons to weather and be recreated. You can also see the giant paper mache tomato created by Spiral Q puppet makers from Philadelphia. Festival goers answered the question What does Blooming Glen Farm mean to you? and glued their red slips of papers onto the tomato. More details on our 4th annual pie bake-off contest are coming soon! The winning recipes- both for the popular vote and the judges vote- will be posted here in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Thank you to 4th Street Foodworks of Frenchtown, NJ for generously giving out their delicious organic kettle corn and for The Coffee Scoop for providing their fair trade, locally roasted coffee. Thanks to artist extraordinaire Katia McGuirk for manning the earth loom and bringing my vision to life. The beautiful artwork of Jennifer Schuster of Sunny Face Painting was on display on arms and faces throughout the festival. And local bluegrass band Goose Creek Pioneers provided the great toe-tapping music and good vibes! Thank you also to our wonderful farm community, and to all our volunteers and others who made the event a success!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Photos also contributed by Juan Manzo and Katia McGuirk.

sweet potatoesIt’s hard to find a person who can’t appreciate sweet potatoes. They’re often something I recommend to clients who need to add a little more color into their diets — both literally and figuratively — because their sweet flavor, beautiful color and ease of preparation make them a relatively safe new veggie to try.  I’ve found that sweet potatoes, specifically fresh ones, have the ability to impress even the most fastidious of palates 🙂

Nutritionally speaking, sweet potatoes are most noted for providing beta carotene, which helps increase the cancer-fighting antioxidant, vitamin A in our blood. They also provide a healthy shot of fiber, vitamin C and manganese, in a low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol package.  As is the case with many fruits and vegetables, it’s important to eat the skin since that’s where many of its nutritional benefits are stored.

Unfortunately, we have a tendency to add far too many sweeteners in sweet potato recipes — the most classic example being, of course, the marshmallow-topped Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole! There’s nothing wrong with adding a small drizzle of maple syrup to sweet potatoes, but having these potatoes fresh in our CSA shares each week offer a great opportunity to experiment a bit and try them prepared different ways. We can simply bake them and top with a small dollop of butter, or mash them adding a sprinkle orange zest and cinnamon. They also make a good addition to soups and chilis, as seen in the chili recipe below. This chili pairs the sweet potato with savory and smokey spices, and boosts nutrition with heart-healthy black beans and one one of my all-time favorite superfoods, kale. An added bonus: In total, it uses five veggies (potatoes, kale, onion, peppers, tomatoes) from our share!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

sweet potato and black bean chili

2 small onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup sweet peppers, diced
3 – 4 cups sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and diced.  Leave the skin on, but cut out any gnarly spots.
2 15-ounce cans black beans
1 24-ounce can diced tomatoes or equal amount of fresh diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I used a Dutch oven), sauté onion and garlic with a sprinkle of salt over medium-high heat for a couple minutes until onion begins to soften.  Mix in spices and cook for another minute. Add potato, kale and peppers and a splash of the broth and stir well.  Cover and cook for ~5 minutes until veggies begin to soften.  Add tomatoes, beans and broth, stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Salt and pepper to taste, serve with vegan (or dairy) sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Post sources: Nutrition Data

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,!

Last year we experimented with growing a few plants of lemongrass in the discovery garden. The aroma of the fresh lemongrass, like the warm scent of tropical flowers, won us over to this delightful herb immediately. The grass hung in my kitchen all winter for delicious herbal tea. This season we attempted to grow enough of the giant 5 foot tall masses to be able to include some in the share.

Lemongrass grows in individual stalks, in a giant clump much like ornamental grass. Layers of tough green leaves surround a tender central bulb, similar to the way spring scallions grow. Since it is a tropical plant we grew ours in bags of soil in our greenhouse, moving them outside once it was warm enough.

A popular ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass imparts a delicate floral lemon flavor due to its high content of citral oil. It can either be finely chopped and integrated into stir-fries, marinades, salads, spice rubs and curry paste, or chopped into sticks and bruised and used to flavor dishes like broths, soups, braising liquids and stews while they cook, then removed before serving. The longer it’s left in, the stronger the lemon flavor- for a light flavor add it in toward the end of the cooking time. Only the bottom six inches or so of the bulb and stalk are typically used in cooking, with the more tender center being used for dishes where the lemongrass will be left in. The less flavorful grassy leaves can be made into a wonderful tea — just cut with scissors into pieces, add hot water, steep for 5-15 min , strain and serve.

In eastern cultures, lemongrass has long been used to treat fever, flu, headaches and to aid digestion. There is some research that has even shown potential cancer fighting and preventative properties in lemongrass. Many patients take to drinking lemongrass tea during chemotherapy treatments. To store, the stalks can be refrigerated for a few weeks, or frozen for up to 6 months, and the grass can be hung to dry.

Also in the share this week, you’ll see what happens when Farmer Tom spends too much time indoors with the seed catalogs in the dead of winter. He was boondoggled by a photo of a Dutchman in a seed catalog holding an 8 pound kohlrabi. That’s right, an 8 pound kohlrabi. You can look forward to (or blame Tom for) those alien monsters this week. They are amazingly sweet and delicious- the size does not negatively impact the flavor at all- so enjoy!

We hope to see you at the Blooming Glen Farm Harvest Festival this Saturday October 12th from 2pm until dark. Join us from 2-5 pm for all sorts of wonderful crafts and activities, our fourth annual pie contest, wagon rides, relay races, a puppet show, live bluegrass music, earth loom weaving and more! Come for the potluck dinner at 5:15 pm- bring a dish to share, your own beverage and place settings. Celebrate the bounty of the season!

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

Coming up soon: “Winter Wednesdays” at the farm! We will be opening up a market stand in the pick-up room at the farm on Wednesdays from 12-7 pm starting in December. We will have all our fall greens and roots for sale, and more! We hope you’ll consider continuing to “shop” from us through the winter months. CSA members who sign back up for the 2014 season will receive 15% off the farm stand prices throughout the winter. 

Blooming Glen will also be participating in the Easton indoor holiday market on Saturdays in December (10-2pm), the Headhouse Farmers Market in Philadelphia on Sundays until Dec. 15th (10-2pm), and the Wrightstown winter market on the 2nd and 4th Saturday’s from December through April (10-11am).

Looking toward the cold months ahead, the greenhouses are being prepped and planted with late fall and winter greens. The last of the heirloom tomato plants had to be removed to make way. Sigh. Any later and the greens won’t have enough time to get established before the short days of winter. We’ve transplanted spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula, and swiss chard.

Carrots will also be direct sown into the greenhouses for a late winter, early spring harvest. Outside the final field planting of direct sown carrots has been thinned, as well as the beets, winter radishes and turnips.

The last of the field plantings also went in- broccoli raab, fennel, beets and arugula. Clean up continues- fields of drip tape need to be removed- if the mulch is biodegradable it is disced under, if not, it’s wound up and removed. Then the cover crop seed is spinned out, with a final discing to bury it. A new purchase this fall, a drip and mulch winder, eliminates (mostly) the dreaded and dirty task of pulling up drip by hand.

New in the share this week: a rainbow of kabocha squash to choose from, crunchy juicy bok choy and the first of the winter radishes- the daikon. All are popular staples in asian cuisine. The name daikon is Japanese for large root. It’s wonderful in miso soups, slow cooked in any recipe you’d use turnips, in kimchi with carrots or as refrigerator pickles.

CSA share, week 19, 10/1/13.

Looking ahead, the last week of the CSA, week 24, is Tuesday November 5 and Thursday November 7. The delivery share ends next Friday, October 11th. We will be offering Thanksgiving boxes of fall produce for purchase again this season. Order requests will be sent out Nov. 18th and boxes can be picked up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 26.  CSA reenrollment information will be sent out in the next month. We hope you’ll consider coming back for another season!

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

One of my favorite things to do on the farm is harvest tomatillos. Just today I found myself with a black crate, walking through the tomatillo jungle, feeling the husks for ripeness.

A tomatillo is ripe when it’s green bulge of a body pushes it’s leafy husk to the brink of splitting.  And there is digging for potatoes; pulling up garlic cloves by their stalks; torpedo and sweet onions surprising us with robustness.  Intimate interactions compose farming.

There were also strawberries with sunrise, which my boyfriend was not happy to help with, but he did!  He also helped me move here, to Perkasie.  We drove in a U-Haul on a snowy day in March, all so that I could become a member of the 2013 Blooming Glen Farm team.  I was leaving my home on 53rd street in West Philadelphia; international house (a great movie theater in Philadelphia); a job I felt so fortunate to hold with Project HOME; tons of friends; some furniture; and a guinea pig.  

But my departure felt like a new beginning and I believe that with my time here at Blooming Glen, I have only grown as a person.  I do miss my home on 53rd street, and my great neighbors.

So many people have opened their homes and hearts to me this past growing season.  I would like to thank all my coworkers, admiration abounds; to my family and friends for supporting me; and especially to Tom and Tricia- your vision is profound and important, thank you for letting me take part.

I don’t know what the future beholds. One day I’m planning for a return to the city, the next a puppeteer career, and last week an adventurous bike trip. But I continue to feel fortunate. I am fortunate to have been able to leave a full time job to join Blooming Glen; to have had a job; to have a job; to have a job where people care about me; to have had the opportunity to travel and attend college; to speak a second language, conversationally; to be accepted and tolerated; and to be able to change.

There are so many people I have missed, or have never met, but nonetheless have had a profound effect on my life. I am grateful for the experiences that have facilitated my belief in the dignity and worth of each person, like taking a class inside a maximum security prison, or being with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico. In seeing society as a macro organism, I know that my choices as a United States citizen and consumer matter and will affect people across the world. A purchase is like a vote, and while I still contradict my intentions (and probably always will), I strive to participate in practices that contribute positively to the world, and as a white woman in America, often a choice in consumption is an easy place to begin.

Post written by Robin Hernandez. Photos by Tricia Borneman and Rebecca Metcalf.

Acorn squashAutumn has arrived at Blooming Glen Farm, as noted most deliciously by the lovely winter squashes making an appearance in our shares over the last couple weeks. Autumn-time squashes, including acorn, kabocha, delicata, butternut, and sweet dumpling, are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese (which helps or bodies absorb nutrients). They also provide vitamins A and B6, thiamin and magnesium (good for maintaining healthy blood pressure). All this nutrition is delivered in a sweet-tasting package that is low in calories, carbs and cholesterol!

The recipe below uses health-boosting acorn squash along with super grain, quinoa — which isn’t really a grain at all, but a seed. Quinoa is known for its nutrient density; most notably, it offers plant-based, complete protein, meaning that it has all of the essential amino acids the human body needs. Cooked risotto-style with a generous helping of herbs de provence, the dish below makes a savory side, perfect for fall.

Herbed Acorn Squash & Quinoa Risotto

Herbed Acorn Squash & Quinoa Risotto

2 tbs Earth Balance, divided
1 acorn squash
1+ cup chopped onion (I used 2 small onions from the share)
1-1/2 tbs herbs de provence
1 cup uncooked quinoa
4 cups No-Chicken broth (or sub veggie broth)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, optional (or sub Parmesan cheese)

Cut squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out seeds and pulp with a spoon. Peel the skin off with a peeler and then cut squash into small cubes. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add squash in a single layer, sprinkle with salt, and let cook for 5 minutes. Stir squash and cook until tender, about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a large skillet, and add onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in herbs and cook for a minute. Stir in quinoa and cook 3 minutes. Turn up heat to medium-high and add 1-1/2 cup of the broth, bring to a simmer, stirring often, until the broth is absorbed. Add broth like this, 1/2-to-1 cup at a time, until the quinoa becomes creamy and the germs have burst. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Stir in nutritional yeast, and then gently stir in squash. Salt and pepper to taste.

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,!

Last week I saw a bald eagle fly over the farm. The following day was the autumn equinox. The rain held out Saturday evening long enough for the beautiful Outstanding in the Field dinner to be in the field, (even with a last minute back-up plan of an empty greenhouse).

Chef Josh Lawlor from The Farm and Fisherman cooked an amazing meal, one in which I would be hard pressed to select a favorite course- they were all spectacular. Spectacular but simple, highlighting the flavors of our seasonal farm fresh vegetables and protein.

I do love this time of year. The morning fog, the giant puffy clouds in the rich blue sky, the setting sun, cool mornings and warm afternoons. This is my favorite time of year to be a farmer.

This week a forgotten hand hoe in the field punctured the tractor tire mid cover-crop seeding. But the seeding continues….

Different seed blends for different fields- mixes of rye, vetch, clover, tillage radishes and more, depending on what was planted in the fields this season, and what is destined for them next.

CSA share, week 18, 9/24/13

Post and by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Photos with gray border taken at Outstanding In the Field dinner contributed by photographer Chris Dardaris.

A mysterious circle was found in our field of fall kale. There is a perfect circle of about 30 feet diameter where the small plants have died- the stems look black and burnt, the entire plant “cooked”, dry and brittle. After examining the evidence, and doing a bit of internet research, we concluded it came from a lightning strike from last Thursday’s thunderstorm. A loud crash around 7 pm startled us in the house- that must have been it. Crop damage from lightning is definitely a first here at Blooming Glen!

What I learned online was that the most severe damage to plants by lightning may be caused by the extreme heat and shock waves generated by the electrical current, although other damaging effects probably occur. The current produces temperatures greater than 50,000 degrees Farenheit in millionths of a second. The heat turns plant fluids into steam and burns plant cells and tissues, leading to a wilting symptom and blackened, scorched tissues, including roots, stems, branches, and fruits. Yikes! More reason than ever to keep out of the fields when storms are approaching!

CSA share, week 17, 9/17/13

The first winter squash was in the share this week- a choice between sweet dumplings and spaghetti squash.  Both are a new addition to the farm this season. We’ve been getting lots of positive feedback about another new crop, the dandelion greens. If you’re still not sure what to do with them, check out Mikaela’s latest blog post, 10 Uses for Dandelion Greens.

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Share photo by Meghan Clymer.