Author: bloomingglenfarm

Grilled summer squashOne of my favorite parts of summer is the time we get to spend cooking and eating outside.  Grilling vegetables brings out a depth of flavor that just cannot be matched on the stovetop, and we’ve been taking full advantage of that with this season’s CSA share.  One of the best veggies to grill is summer squash and its partner, zuchinni.

Eating summer squash provides us with cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients Grilled summer squashvitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. However, because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, we need to make sure we leave it intact. Grilling summer squash allows us to do just that!

Of course, squash can be cubed or cut into disks for kabobs, but I really like it when its cut into planks and placed right on the grates of a hot grill. The recipe below calls for this method of cooking; give it a try and let us know what you think. I’ve paired the delicious and nutritious summer squashes with superfoods, brown rice and Swiss chard, and healthy plant protein from chickpeas. All that wrapped up into a summery salad suitable for a main dish or a side — that’s tough to beat!

Grilled summer squash

Grilled Summer Squash & Brown Rice Salad


1 cup brown rice
3-4 summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4″ thick
5-6 leaves Swiss chard, stems completely removed (slice the stem out from between the two halves of the leaves)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 sweet onion and some of its greens, chopped

2 tbs olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tbs juice
1/2 teaspoon agave
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh herbs of your choice (basil works great here), chopped
additional salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice according to package directions.

Fire up your grill! Lay out the squash slices. Lightly spray each side with grapeseed (or other high-heat) oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the grill is heated, place the squash in one layer, cover and cook for ~3 minutes, until grill marks are apparent. Flip and cook another couple minutes, again until grill marks are apparent. Squash cooks very quickly on the grill and can become soggy (especially the larger ones) if left on too long, so be careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and let cool.

Blanch the Swiss chard in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold water and chop. Add chard, onion, chickpeas to a serving bowl.

Cut squash into a large dice and add to the bowl; you should have about 2 cups.  Gently stir in rice.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and then add to salad, stirring to combine everything. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve at room temperature, or chill.  This salad also make a great stuffing for tortillas or collard wraps.

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,!

11.2 inches of rain have fallen on the farm in the last 30 days- that’s a quarter of our annual rainfall. As farmers we pretty much are always checking the weather radar, but these past few weeks it seems like we are glued to our mobile devices, as storms constantly pop up and head our way. Luckily there has been enough drying time between downpours for us to get the last of the winter squash planted, along with the leeks and brussel sprouts. We were also able to cultivate the sweet potato aisles, stake and trellis the peppers and eggplants, and hand weed the corn, onions and sweet potatoes.

CSA share week 6, 7/2/13.

This week’s share sees the first of the potatoes- freshly dug with tender uncured skins, they are called new potatoes, and should be refrigerated. Our crew had the chance yesterday to get up close and personal with the colorado potato beetle- left to its own devices this colorful striped beetle will rapidly defoliate the potatoes (and eggplants), eventually killing the plants. Instead, we hand pick them off the crops, dropping them into buckets of soapy water.

Cantaloupes; sweet potato vines

Walking throught the cantaloupe field this weekend, there was a steady hum of honey bees. It won’t be long before we are enjoying these fragrant fruits. The sweet potato vines are rapidly spreading- they seem to be flourishing in the rain, as are the green beans. Despite lots of muddy feet, CSA members enjoyed the pick-your-own flower patch this week, which is in full bloom.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

This is the first in a series of recipes contributed by local chefs, inspired by the fresh seasonal vegetables of Blooming Glen Farm. Chef Kristin Moyer of Perkasie is excited to be part of a planning team focused on bringing a Community Supported Kitchen and Supper Club to the area.

Herby Yellowfin Tuna Loin. Grilled Sweet Spring Onions.
Perfect Blooming Glen Greens with a Carrot Ginger Beet Vinaigrette.

The dressing recipe calls for Beet Kvass which is a tangy fermented tonic. I chose to add carrots to the kvass as well, just for fun, although it is not necessary. Plan ahead a few days so you have this on hand for the recipe.
Take a 1 Quart mason jar and add enough unpeeled yet cleaned beets and carrots, chopped fairly small, to fill the jar 3/4 of the way. Add to the veggies 1 Tablespoon of sea salt for a quart sized jar. Fill with filtered water to top and lid it. Shake slightly to help dissolve the salt. Set it and forget it, in a warm spot for no less than 3 days. Strain out the liquid and you will have a beautiful nourishing tonic. Refrigerate and enjoy. Use some in dressing recipe below.

For the Dressing
Combine the following ingredients in a blender or food processor (Vitamix is KING):
4 fresh carrots
1/2 cup carrot/beet, or just beet, kvass
3 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or any vinegar/citrus combo you like
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or any oil you prefer (walnut would be good)
1 inch knob of ginger
Juice of an orange
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Tuna
Ask your fish guy for TUNA LOIN. 1 to 1 1/2 pounds is suitable for a family of four. It is super simple to handle. It will most likely come with the skin on one side and a dark red chunk down a portion of it. Do not be alarmed. Place it on your cutting board with the skin down. Slide the knife under the skin and roll away from the knife as you slice through between the flesh and the skin. It should be rather easy. The tuna is pretty resilient so don’t worry about damaging it. Now that the skin is removed, find the blood line (deep red portion) and cut that out! Take the clean and pretty tuna and place your hand on top to secure. Slice horizontally right through the center of the loin. Separate the top and bottom pieces and place them next to each other. Slice the bottom piece again long ways to create logs. You now have three long log-like tuna loins. Wasn’t that Easy?!

Now, heat 2 Tablespoons of peanut or safflower oil in a pan on medium high. You are going to sear each loin on every side so you want it pretty hot. Don’t try to move it too soon, it will stick. When it’s ready to release, it will.
*DO NOT COOK ALL THE WAY THROUGH. The aim is medium rare, so high heat to brown, then remove to a cutting board. Cool completely.

As for the herbs, I gathered a good handful of most herbs, plus the edible flowers, in the Discovery Garden at Blooming Glen Farm. De-stem and wipe with a damp towel, chop fine and set aside.
When the tuna is completely cooled, sprinkle each loin with oil, salt, pepper and the herbs to coat. Give them a nice massage.
Wrap individually in saran wrap and place in fridge for at least 6 hours.

To Compose the Dish
Toss your sweet spring onions in oil, salt and pepper, give them 5 minutes on a hot grill to char.
Any mix of lettuce, spinach, radicchio, chard, kale, arugula, etc…will do.
Super thin slices of carrot and cukes to taste.
A generous drizzling of the Carrot Ginger Beet Vinaigrette.
Top with sliced tuna and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. ENJOY!

My name is Kristin and I harbor a healthy obsession with food. It is with much gratitude that I joyfully create in the kitchen. Through creative expression I find health and vibrancy, sprung forth by a deep nurtured connection with my Source. The food we eat will also embody this life force, if the well from which it springs is one of Purity and Love. Every living thing longs for this connection and every vein of life holds within it the knowledge of its place in the energetic chain. I believe that the core principle of sustainability is simply nurturing each things innate ability to exist and perform to its purpose and potential. When I slice into a chiogga beet and lay my eyes on the rings of brilliance and color, I KNOW humility, my place in the grand scheme of thing, a pawn to that beet, a servant with a grateful heart flying high on a purpose driven life. Contact me at 215-804-6684 or  for catering, or if you are interested in being part of the upcoming Community Supported Kitchen adventures! Happy Feeding!  
Recipe and last two photos from Kristin Moyer. Blog post edited and compiled by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Depite the fact that the we are just a few days into summer, here at the farm we are already looking ahead to fall. Into the ground went our winter squash crop- butternut and delicata- as well as a later planting of field tomatoes. The hot dry wind had us racing to irrigate the tender transplants- quite a switch from the downpours a few weeks ago!

Delicata winter squash.

While our main crew has Sunday and Mondays off, crops like cucumbers and summer squash- and soon tomatoes- need to be harvested every other day, so the conveyor belt is put into action on Mondays. Thankfully, our crew has grown in size with the addition of local high school and college students. Every morning except Wednesday is spent harvesting, so we squeeze all our farm work in on that day, and in the late afternoons.

Weeding the sweet corn.

Thursday’s share, as well as this Friday’s first boxed delivery share to Doylestown, may look a little different from the one below. A miscommunication with one of our crew resulted in the untimely mowing of the radicchio crop (oops!). The heat is also causing the broccoli to flower faster that we can get it picked.

CSA share week 5, 6/25/13.

Looking ahead, the heirloom tomatoes are setting beautiful fruit- it won’t be long now!

Next week’s pick-up will continue as regularly scheduled, despite the holiday. You can look forward to freshly-dug new potatoes for your fourth of July barbecues. If you won’t be picking up on Thursday, or need to switch to Tuesday the 2nd, please let us know!

Harvesting dark red norland potatoes.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Photo of tomatoes by Rebecca Metcalf.

Napa CabbageThe delicate and pretty napa cabbage we found in our CSA shares this week regularly appears in East Asian dishes, from savory stir-fries to spicy Korean kimchi.  Napa is specifically a Chinese cabbage, comparable in flavor to bok choy and, of course, other cabbages.

Napa does have a milder flavor than the standard green and savoy cabbages, but still has all the nutrition those offer:

“[Cabbage’s] anti-inflammatory properties are stellar, thanks to the high content of an amino acid called glutamine. In addition to promoting the digestive process and intestinal health, glutamine has been shown to be useful in all sorts of treatments including burns and peptic ulcers. Because cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family, it’s also a great cancer-fighting food. Cruciferous veggies are high in indole-3-carbinol, a chemical shown to block the growth of cancer cells, as well as stimulate DNA repair in cells. Finally, a look at cabbage’s nutritional profile shows it as an excellent source of vitamins K and C, a very good source of fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6 potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, and a good source of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, and protein.”

This time of year, when the days are getting hotter and the air is humid, I prefer using napa uncooked, in a refreshing slaw.  There are tons of flavor varieties to play with when it comes to slaws.  Use the recipe below as a base, and try adding other shredded veggies, nuts, seeds, and vinegars.

Sesame Napa Slaw
Sesame Napa Slaw
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1/2 teaspoon agave syrup
1 head napa cabbage, end trimmed, outer leaves removed, and chopped (about 4 cups)
2 green onions, with some of the greens, sliced thin
pepper, to taste

In a bowl, mix the seeds, oil, vinegar, tamari and agave.  Add the cabbage and onion and toss, so that dressing coats the veggies. Pepper to taste and serve.

Post sources and recommended links:
Cabbages, from The Cooks Thesaurus.
8 Things to do with Napa Cabbage from She Knows.
Napa Cabbage: 5 Healthy Uses and Nutrition Facts, from Lunch Box Bunch.

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,!

With the Summer Solstice right around the corner, we hope these intermittent rain storms that continue to plague the farm are the last hurrah of Spring. Despite the rain showers, the warm sun and winds have lessened the puddles and mud, and the process of drying out has begun.  The weeds on the farm have enjoyed the wet weather, so now our job is on hands and knees, moving down the beds, pulling weeds. We started in the pick-your-own flower patch, and moved on to the fields of celeriac.

The farm share this week saw the first carrots, basil and garlic scapes, as well as pick-your-own green beans.  For Father’s Day I made a basil pesto and tossed it with steamed green beans- it was the hit of the barbecue. Diced garlic scapes can be subbed in for garlic cloves in your favorite pesto recipe, but I prefer to highlight their unique flavor in a wonderful side dish all on their own.  Garlic scapes, the flowering tendril of stiff-neck garlic, taste almost like a garlicky green bean. My favorite way to enjoy them is grilled- just toss them in a bowl with oil and salt and pepper, and grill until tender and carmelized. Delicious! For more ideas, check out these recipes from a previous blog post, Slaw Variations and Garlic Scapes. To preserve that wonderful garlic flavor into the winter months, I’ve also made pickled garlic scapes. Here’s a recipe from Food in Jars blogger, Marisa McClellan.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

Plants want on average an inch of water a week. We received over 8 inches of rain in just a few days. With an average annual rainfall of 40 inches, we’ve had our fair share. The ground reached its saturation point during Monday’s downpours. It started as a warm misty rain, falling gently as we picked summer squash, then it came down in sideways sheets. Rivers were cascading through the fields, and down the aisles, and the low ends of all our beds were close to being submerged. Luckily the farm made it through the night without any more accumulation, and enough drainage occured for us to be able to harvest the next morning.

CSA share week 3, 6/11/13

We will certainly see the affects of the storm in a shorter strawberry season, as well as short term damage in crops like spinach, a tender green that hates wet feet and quickly starts to turn yellow from water stress. The soggy soil will delay our planting schedules and keep us out of the fields until some serious drying happens. Just another reminder that despite our best efforts, farming is ultimately out of our control. This lesson is always a hard one to swallow, no matter how many times we are reminded.

Harvesting summer squash in the rain.

A major portion of our harvesting this week was done with a conveyor belt to ease the amount of foot traffic in the fields. In anticipation of Thursday’s thunderstorms (and tornado warnings- yikes!), we harvested for the Thursday CSA pick-up on Wednesday evening until dark.

Late day harvest of napa cabbage.

This was after a full day weeding and trellising our tomatillos and field tomatoes.

Posts going in for tomatillos; Trellising field tomatoes

Through it all our crew kept smiling! What a week!

Lexi with a bundle of spring onions.

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

If you’re like a lot of our market customers and CSA members, you might find yourself puzzled as to what to do with that oddly shaped vegetable you picked up this week. On first glance it can be daunting to figure out how to even begin to use it. But kohlrabi, which comes from Eastern Europe and is the German name for ‘cabbage turnip’, is really just a strange looking sister to the cabbage family and can be used in many similar ways. You can eat the bulbs raw or cooked. Shred them into a salad with some lemon juice or substitute them for cabbage in your favorite coleslaw recipe. They are equally delicious cooked into a stir-fry or vegetable sauté.

I’m new to kohlrabi myself. But, I’ve already found my favorite way to use it… in fritters! Mostly composed of ingredients you’ll already have in your cupboard or refrigerator, they are really simple to whip up and take very little time. You can use them as a side dish or for a lighter meal, pair them with a spring salad mix. However you use them, one thing is for sure, you’ll definitely remember them the next time kohlrabi season comes around!

Start by combining the following ingredients for yogurt dip and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving: 1/3 cup yogurt, 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and salt to taste. *For a different sauce, you can replace the dill with cilantro and the lemon with lime juice, and add a bit of honey. Or try mint!

Meanwhile, peel and shred the 4 kohlrabi bulbs into a colander and sqeeze out excess moisture. In a separate bowl combine 2 beaten eggs, 3 Tablespoons dried bread crumbs, 1/4 cup chopped spring onion (you can add in some green garlic too if you have it), 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste. Add kohlrabi by the spoonful and mix until egg is coating the entire mixture. Heat 4 Tablespoons of olive oil in skillet until small bubbles appear. Form fritter mixture into two-inch balls and drop into skillet. Press gently with spatula to flatten. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serves 4-6

Recipe adapted from: From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm Fresh Produce (3rd ed.). Photos and text by Blooming Glen Farm apprentice Rebecca Metcalf.

Green garlic stalkWoo hoo, another season has begun at Blooming Glen Farm! I’m sure you were as excited as I was about the first share of the year. Fresh strawberries, lots of greens (including gorgeous spinach), turnips, and green onions and garlic have been making their way into our meals all week.

Green garlic is probably a crop that most of us aren’t too familiar with, but can do a lot for meals and nutrition. Green garlic is “baby” garlic, also known as spring garlic. Although it’s smell is as pungent as the mature bulb, the flavor is much more mild and can be enjoyed raw in salads, or cooked, where it sweetens up a bit. The greens can also be used, similar to how one would use chives. As far as nutrition, green garlic contains the same great benefits as garlic:

  • Allicin, a natural antibiotic that helps boost your immune system by blocking infections.
  • Iron, which keeps iron levels high in your blood stream, and ferroportin, a protein that transports iron from the inside of a cell to the outside of it.
  • Vitamin C, a super vitamin that can help with everything from weight management to cancer prevention.
  • Vitamin B6, which has been shown to help prevent heart disease.
  • Selenium, which support our cancer-fighting antioxidant system.
  • Manganese, another mineral that supports antioxidant efforts, as well as our “good” cholesterol (HDL).

Luck for us, there are lots of ways to utilize green garlic in the kitchen. Here are a few yummy recipes to add to your recipe box:

I’ve been using the creamy (and bright!) green garlic dressing below with grain and pasta salads, green salads, and in stirfries this week.  I’ve played with a couple different oils and vinegars and they all turned out tasty. If you don’t have the called-for ingredients, feel free to play around with what you do have on hand!

Green garlic dressingGreen Garlic Dressing
2 stems of green garlic, trim bulbs, include greens
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup water
1 tbs agave honey, plus more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Simply add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, adding a bit of water if needed. Adjust agave, salt and pepper to taste.

Post sources and recommended links:
What’s New and Beneficial About Garlic, from WHFoods.
Ferroportin on Wikipedia.
Spring Vegetable to Try: Green Garlic, from PopSugar.
Green Garlic: All The Flavor & Nutrients 5 Calories Can Handle from Your Organic Gardening Guide.

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,!

The spring bounty was evident at the farm this week. As we enter year eight here at Blooming Glen Farm, we are pleased to see that our steady soil building practices seem to be yielding more vibrant, health-nurturing vegetables each season. The crops are exploding with the heat and steady irrigation, though it looks like we’ve returned to more reasonable weather and cooler nights. Despite seeing the first of the lightning bugs, we still have a few weeks until the Solstice, the official start of summer!

CSA share week 2, 6/4/13.

Last week was a tough week on the crops, but also on our crew. With a steady flow of popsicles, cold beverages and lots of sunscreen on hand, we made it through the worst of it. There were some bigger weeds to contend with- a lot of hand pulling in our onion crop- but we spent the hottest part of the days thinning carrots. Slow and low to the ground, this task required a bit less exertion than being in the greenhouse saunas trellising tomatoes.

Thinning and weeding carrots.

The only crop that got planted last week was the eggplants- it was just too hot to shock tender transplants when it’s in the upper 90 degrees. The heat went on just long enough to cause some problems for our cooler weather loving crops: the tatsoi bolted (put up flowers), some newly emerged radishes withered under the row covers, and we are seeing more heat-loving pests like aphids and flea beetles. To help combat the aphids on our greenhouse heirloom tomatoes, we released parasitic wasps. These tiny wasps look more like gnats than the wasps we are familiar with, but they will take care of the aphids over time.

A rainbow of cabbages.

Our spring cabbages are a rainbow of color, and will be harvested in a few weeks. Interested in learning to make sauerkraut or other simple tabletop pickles? I’m thrilled that we have local fermentation enthusiast and author of the fermentation site, Amanda Feifer, coming to the farm in a few weeks. Her fermentation class is 12-2pm on Sunday June 23, you can click here for more info and to register. After reading Michael Pollan’s wonderful article in the Sunday NY Times Magazine on May 15, Some of My Best Friends Are Germs, I am ready to add more fermented foods to my diet and boost the beneficial bacteria in my gut! Hope to see you there!

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.