Author: bloomingglenfarm

This week’s share is a little bit wacky, even for us. Blame it on the hurricane, if you will! Our windswept eggplant and bell pepper plants left a whole lot of fruit exposed to the sun, and susceptible to sunburn, so we gave out lots of both this week. Get out your favorite stuffed pepper recipe, or give Jana’s Green Pepper Dolmas a try.

CSA share, week 14.

For all the early birds that picked up your share right at 1:00, unfortunately we had a major harvest error, and you most likely took home an unripe watermelon. We caught the mistake close to 1:30, and removed the melons from the share. So sorry folks! We are battling quite a bit of downy mildew at the farm- our basil plants have succumbed to it, and the mildew is sweeping through the melon patch. We are hoping the fruit will ripen completely before the vines die, but there’s a chance they won’t. Today’s watermelon harvest fooled us a bit, so we’ll see what happens. The tomatoes are also winding down: 19 inches of rain in the month of August, along with these cool nights, just hasn’t been kind to our tomato plants. However,we are pretty excited that we took a chance on an early planting of broccoli (one crop that likes cool, wet weather), which you are enjoying this week in the share. Just a taste of what’s in store this fall!

The plants that looked so wilted after the whopping 9 inches of rain we received during the hurricane looked a lot better today. (That 9 inches was reported on CBS news for Perkasie… we’re still not sure if it was closer to 7 inches, but our raingauge was definitely full to the brim!) It is certainly a soupy swamp in our fields, so we are thrilled that we managed to harvest all our winter squash on Friday and Saturday before the storm. Now we start to think about all the potatoes and sweet potatoes that need digging….

Butternut Harvest

As we watched the sunset over the greenhouses Monday night, we were very thankful that they withstood the wind, a true test of the “seatbelt” straps anchoring them down. Our thoughts are certainly with those folks living in the river communities and elsewhere, still dealing with power outages and flooded homes.

Post-hurricane sunset

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

Tomatillos, a staple of Mexican cuisine, have been becoming more and more popular. Known for their unique husk, fresh colors and tart, citrusy flavor, tomatillos are high in the fiber that’s essential for weight, cholesterol and blood sugar management as well as digestive health; vitamin C, which aids everything from our immune system to cancer preventions; and vitamin K, a bone- and blood-supporting vitamin normally found in dark, leafy greens. Their versatile and simple preparation options make getting this nutrition into our diets pretty easy!

Use tomatillos raw for classic Latin American salsas and sauces such as salsa verde and guacamole, chopped and sautéed in stir-fry, or cooked up for soups. The soup below pairs tomatillos with several other players in the Blooming Glen CSA share: flavorful and robust garlic and onion, jalapeño peppers that compliment the citrus flavor of the tomatillo, sweet peppers and corn that temper the tartness of the tomatillos, and potatoes that lighten the spice of the jalapeños.

Tomatillo Jalapeño Soup with Sweet Corn

Sauté 1 large onion, 7 cloves of chopped garlic, 4-6 thinly sliced jalapeños (use seeds for more spice), 1 cup chopped sweet pepper, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chile powder in grapeseed oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot until onion is soft and translucent.

Add 2 cups of chopped tomatillos (to prepare your tomatillos, peel off the husk and then wash the fruit to remove any sticky residue), 1 large diced potato, 4 cups of broth and 1 cup of water to the pot, heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in a 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, kernels from 3 small ears of sweet corn and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Serve with fresh bread (Bakers on Broad has excellent options, including gluten-free) and toppings such as cilantro, green onion, chives, plain yogurt, sour cream, broken baked tortilla chips and corn kernels.

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

This week has been one for the record books…first an earthquake and next a hurricane! Looks like a good weekend to stay home and enjoy your veggies, cook, eat, and cross your fingers we don’t get too much rain, or wind!

Last week at the Grange Fair we received the wonderful honor of being awarded the 2011 Fred Groshens Memorial Conservation Farmer of the Year, by the Bucks County Conservation District. The Conservation District presented us with a framed aerial photo of the farm, taken just weeks before. As I said on the farm Facebook page, we love this photo for the fact that you can’t see any of the weeds that need pulling!

And to top off our moment of glory, our entry in the market basket category at the Fair received a blue ribbon for first place, as well as Best in Show.

Pretty exciting! It’s hard to believe how far the farm has come in the past six years. Not too long ago it was just a dream that kept Tom and I moving from farm to farm, gathering knowledge and looking for the right place to put down roots. Well, we certainly share this recognition with all the many folks who have been with us since the beginning- family who never doubted our decision over 11 years ago to ditch our liberal arts degrees and become organic farmers (or at least didn’t vocalize it too loudly!) and continue to be our best “unpaid” labor force, friends and farmers coast-to-coast who have taught us invaluable lessons, our wonderful community of CSA members and market regulars who nourish their families from the farm’s bounty, the Rosenbergers who own this beautiful land and with a shared vision gave us the opportunity to soar, and all the wonderful people who have passed through the farm over the years, bringing their sweat and muscles to the nitty gritty of gettin’ it done and growin’ food!

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

If you can resist the urge to eat all of your sweet corn right off the cob this week, try this deliciously and mildly spicy version of creamed corn with poblano and sweet peppers. It makes a great side dish, but could also be a lovely topping to a taco or simply eaten with corn chips as an appetizer. Serves 4.

Creamed Sweet Corn with Poblanos

-Shuck 6 ears of sweet corn and, with a sharp knife, remove the kernels and set aside in a small bowl

-Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat and add:

1 white or red onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced with seeds removed
1 sweet pepper, diced with seeds removed
1 clove of garlic, finely minced

-Cook until peppers are tender and onions are translucent

-Toss in corn kernels and salt and pepper generously

-Pour in 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of chicken or veggie stock and simmer on medium-low heat until thickened (about 15 minutes).

-Let cool slightly and enjoy as a side to mashed potatoes (what I did! : ) ) with tacos, or with your favorite corn chip!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog

Power Breakfast: Swiss Chard, Fresh Tomato and Egg If vegetables are lacking in the standard American diet, leafy greens are the scarcest of all. Given the incredible and unique nourishment these veggies offer, learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health. Thankfully, adding these nutritional powerhouses to our diet is easy, especially if you’re a member of a CSA — greens grow from the beginning to the end of the season, with kale and collards bracketing the more tender Swiss chard.

Swiss chard is a unique leafy green in that it contains at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, which have been shown to aid our circulatory and respiratory systems by protecting us from atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), high blood pressure and air pollution damage. Polyphenols also contribute to cancer prevention and longevity.  Considering all of their health benefits, making sure we include them in our diet first thing in the morning will start us all off on a day fit for a superhero!

The addition of a local, free range, organic egg will add a “complete protein” that contains an adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids necessary for our diet, healthy fats like omega-3s, and choline, which helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. In order to reap these benefits, you must be sure your eggs are from chickens raised in a natural environment. The ones sold at various local farms and markets are a great choice, like those from Deep Springs Farm in Harleysville, Purely Farm in Pipersville, or Happy Farm in Kintnersville.

Finally, the fresh tomatoes in this recipe are shown to prevent cancer, heart disease as well as high cholesterol — not to mention the fact that they taste great!

Superhero Breakfast: Swiss chard, Fresh tomato and Egg
Note: this dish can be made ovo vegetarian (dairy-free) using options below.

Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion with a pinch of salt in 1/4 cup of water only (water sauté) over medium heat until onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat small skillet with butter or grapeseed oil.  Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Swiss chard cut into thin strips to the onions and mix well, adding more water if necessary.  Cover and cook until tender and bright green, about 2-3 minutes.  Break one nature perfect egg and fry on the oiled skillet.

Add several splashes of vinegar to chard/onion mixture and stir well. Turn off heat and stir in 1 very small chopped tomato. Flip egg, cook for one minute and turn off heat.

Using a slotted spoon (to leave any remaining liquid in the pan), place the greens-onion-tomato mixture into shallow bowl and sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast flakes, romano cheese or parmesan cheese. Top with egg and serve immediately.

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

With the cooler days and nights of late summer, I find that instead of craving quickly cooked meals and cold salads, I have been turning to more warm, comforting dishes. The appearance of soups and stews on the table is a delightful reminder of the fast approaching fall season!

Tomato soup is that perfect transitional late-summer meal. Alongside a good grilled cheese, you can’t match the freshness and comfort of this classic dish. My recipe uses whole milk for creaminess (not as heavy as those recipes that call for cream), roasted garlic and sweet peppers to add a depth of flavor, and a topping of balsamic vinegar and fresh corn for some sweetness.

Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Peppers

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Quarter approximately 3 pounds of red tomatoes and place on baking sheet with 4 or 5 (about 3/4 of a pound) of sweet peppers, seeded and diced, and 5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or so until veggies are tender.

-Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and saute 1 white onion until translucent. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste.

-Pour 4 cups of chicken or veggie stock over onions and bring to boil. Then turn down to a medium-low heat.

-Dump roasted veggies into pot with stock and onions, making sure to remove garlic skins beforehand. Puree with an immersion blender. **If you don’t have one of these you can simply put the mixture into a blender, food processor or food mill.

-Add in 1 cup of whole milk (or half a cup of heavy cream if you prefer) and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

-Let cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes to let flavors meld. Stirring occasionally.

-Top with a splash more of balsamic and some fresh, sweet corn. Serve along side your favorite version of grilled cheese. ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog

Over the past few days the farm has received over 4 inches of rain. That’s quite a lot in a short period of time! Luckily we had a busy week before the rain came getting lots of our fall crops in, as well as seeding our fallow fields in a variety of cover crops. The rain, however, does spread disease quickly, so enjoy the tomatoes while we have them: 4 pounds this week plus free-choice “grazing” in the last of the cherry tomatoes. And yes, the bird netting worked, and you’ll be getting sweet corn this week!! Enjoy!

CSA share photo, week 12.

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

Squash CasseroleLucky for us, zucchini and yellow squash are not just a reliable and tasty summer staple, they’re also a great source of nutrition! When we eat summer squash, we benefit from the cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We also get a healthy dose of essential minerals magnesium and potassium, as well as copper. Because many of these nutrients live in the skin of the squash, be sure to leave the skin intact and choose organically grown — like those from Blooming Glen Farm. As is true with most veggies, in terms of nutrient retention, steaming is a much better cooking method than microwaving or boiling.

I usually serve the vegan version (see options below) of this quick and easy squash casserole with a side of greens and BBQ tempeh — best eaten outside, of course! You can make this casserole throughout the growing season; in the spring/early summer, simply substitute with young and more delicate squash, and cut the steaming time by a couple minutes.

Squash Casserole

Steam 5 cups sliced yellow squash, 5 cups sliced zucchini, and 2 onions, sliced or cut into this wedges, in a steamer basket until tender, about 5 minutes. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with butter or grapeseed oil. Add a layer of squash, zucchini and onion in the casserole dish, top with a thin coating of whole wheat Italian bread crumbs (or, season your own); repeat until all the veggies are in the dish.

In a small bowl, stir and combine 3/4 cup breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the mixture over the vegetables and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and browned on top to your liking.

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

The cooler weather at the farm this week has us thinking of fall. Though it may still be early August, as farmers we must always be looking a few months ahead- sowing, transplanting and even harvesting crops now, to be eaten later in the season. Direct sown crops like turnips, carrots, beets, arugula and radishes must all go in the ground. Crops that we started a month or so ago in the greenhouse are also being transplanted- celery, parsley, spinach, bok choy, tatsoi and fall lettuces.

Purple-top turnips and transplanted spinach.

The winter squash crop looks exceptional this year. The butternuts, delicata and cheese pumpkins are all starting to color up and finish ripening. The first winter squash to be harvested, red kabocha, or “sunshine” squash, was picked this week.

Red Kabocha winter squash harvest.

You may notice when you come to the farm that the propagation greenhouse has been covered with a shade cloth and converted to a drying area. In there you will see onions drying and the winter squash curing, while the remainder of our seedlings have been bumped to a smaller greenhouse.

The prop house changes duties for the fall.

We aren’t by any means through with summer just yet. Even as we plan for fall, most of our mornings are still spent harvesting summer crops. Like summer squash and tomatoes, crops like okra have to be harvested almost every other day. Okra has a beautiful flower, similar to hibiscus, but the plant itself is very prickly, and rash inducing. Only the brave dare harvest without gloves!

Mighty okra

Despite the realization that sweet corn takes up a lot of space, requires a disproportionate amount of fertility and nutrients, and in general is just really difficult to manage organically, well, like everyone else we love to eat it, so we keep trying. Our first corn rotation blew over in the big wind and hail storm, causing terrible pollination. The second rotation had quite a bit of worm damage, but the worst was the birds- they know just when the corn is sweet and almost ready for picking and they swoop in, strip the tips down and devour the top two-thirds of the cob, rendering them pretty much inedible. Okay, so let’s hope the third times the charm. We didn’t think our neighbors would appreciate a big cannon blasting noise every few minutes to scare the birds off, and we definitely weren’t into having teenagers out there with their BB guns, so we opted for a gigantic bird net. Call us crazy, but we had to try. So now eight out of ten of the 200 foot beds in the third and final rotation of sweet corn are covered in what looks like a gigantic hair net. Yes, red-winged black birds, we left two beds for you! Please, please, please leave the rest for us!!

Bird-proofing the sweet corn. We hope.

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

This flavorful chili is a very light and healthy recipe that utilizes a lot of this week’s share–onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, summer squash, and okra. This is a great way to use up some of those items you may not know what to do with. Tomatillos give this chili some sweetness and depth of flavor, while the okra gives it some good texture and acts as a thickener.

Summertime Chili

Cut up 2 pounds of tomatoes into quarters and put on baking sheet with:

2 poblano peppers, stem removed and seeded
1 jalapeno, stem removed and seeded (you might want to wear gloves for this step!)
1 pound of tomatillos, husks removed
2 cloves of garlic

-Drizzle all veggies with a little olive oil and place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they start to get tender and brown slightly. [**The last 5 minutes I set my oven to BROIL to char the veggies a little bit, but feel free to simply roast if you don’t like that flavor] Set aside to cool.

-Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, saute 1 white onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook until translucent and add 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste. Mix well.

– Add in with the onions 2 pounds of ground beef (Tussock Sedge Farm is both local and grass-fed) and brown until fully cooked. Salt and pepper generously.

-Place all of the roasted veggies in a food processor with 1 teaspoon of salt, 2-3 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Pulse until pureed.

-Add pureed mixture in with the cooked beef and onions along with 2 medium sized summer squash, cut into small pieces, and 1 1/2 cups of chicken or veggie stock

-Bring chili to a boil and then turn down to a low setting and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

-In the last 15 minutes of cooking, chop up a handful of okra and toss in. This will help thicken the chili and give some additional texture and flavor.

-Let cool a bit and serve alongside some cornbread and maybe a cold beer. ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog