Author: bloomingglenfarm

This week’s share sees the debut of tomatillos, a lesser known plant in the nightshade family (sharing the stage with potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant). The tomatillo, or husk tomato, is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American sauces. The most well known way to eat tomatillos is as salsa verde. The husk of the tomatillo turns brown as they ripen, and the fruit can be any number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Ripe tomatillos will keep in the refrigerator for about two weeks. They will keep even longer if the husks are removed and the fruits are placed in sealed plastic bags stored in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

CSA Share, week 11.

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

I came upon this method for drying cherry tomatoes that is a bit different than the standard “dry” dehydrating method. Here, you toss the tomatoes in olive oil before drying–a simple touch that gives them a wonderfully caramelized flavor that is perfect for pizza or pasta toppings. These are a great alternative to those expensive oil-packed sundried tomatoes you find in most stores. The only downside is you will need to freeze them if you want them to keep for storage. Good luck getting that far though! These make for a super sweet and delicious snack!

**If you want to dry these the traditional way to keep for a while in your cupboard, simply omit the olive oil and check to make sure the tomatoes are completely dry before storing.

-Heat your oven to 250 degrees

-Cut whatever quantity of cherry tomatoes you have in half and put in a bowl and lightly coat with olive, grapeseed, or other light oil.

-Spread on cookie sheet, cut side up (1 pint will fit on one cookie sheet give or take)

-Slow roast them in the oven for 5-6 hours depending on how dry you want them.**I was going to eat them right away so I didn’t dry them all the way (only about 4 hours) and used them in a pasta dish. YUM!

-Throw them in a quiche, on a pizza or some Penne and ENJOY! If you want to freeze them, simply cool and put in a plastic baggy.

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

Edamame: the Japanese name literally means “twig bean” (eda = “twig” + mame = “bean”) and refers to these young green soybeans grown on a twig-like branch. This very delicious and nutritious kid-friendly snack is very simple to prepare: the pods are boiled in water or steamed, until they soften. The most common preparation uses natural coarse sea salt for taste. The salt may either be dissolved in the boiling water before adding the soybean pods, or added after the pods have been cooked. Boiled soybean pods are usually served after cooling, but can also be served hot. Either squeeze the beans out with your fingers or slide them out of the pod with your teeth, getting a nice taste of the salt (the pod is a little tough and fibrous, so you don’t want to eat it). This popular snack is great with a cold beer! 

CSA share, week 10.

Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service braved last Friday’s thunderstorms and joined us again for a cooking demo during CSA pick-up. He had another wonderful assortment of recipes. Two of my favorites featured cantaloupes, which return to the share this week, and another crowd favorite featured grilled fennel.

Grilled Honey Mint Cantaloupe 

First, preheat your grill to medium-low. Then, heat 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup honey together in a saucepan.  Once melted, stir in 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped and a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Next, take 1 cantaloupe, seeded and cut into 8-12 wedges and place melon wedges on a sheet pan and brush with sauce. 

Rub grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil and place melon on grates (basted side down). Grill until lightly marked and softened, about 2-4 minutes. (The smell will be heavenly!)

Cantaloupe wedges on the grill.

Baste tops of melon with sauce and flip to grill on other side, another 2-4 minutes.

Remove melon from grill and allow to cool slightly.  Cut melon off of rind and into bite-size pieces; place in serving bowl.  Drizzle with remaining sauce before serving.

Cantaloupe Guacamole

Combine the following ingredients, and serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled fish or steak: 2 ripe avocados, peeled and roughly mashed, ½ ripe cantaloupe, cut off of the rind and finely diced, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, 1 teaspoon jalapeno (or more to taste), seeded and minced, ½ a 14-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed, 2 teaspoon lime juice (or more to taste), ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste).

Grilled Fennel from the Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

Use 4 small or 2 large fennel bulbs (1 ½-2 lbs). Cut each bulb lengthwise into ½” wide slices through the narrow side.

Combine in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix: 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 small shallots, minced and 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon or basil, chopped.  Add the fennel and toss to coat thoroughly.  Cover and let marinate for 2 hours, not necessarily in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill to high. When ready to cook, remove the fennel slices from the marinade, arrange on the hot grate, and grill, turning with tongs until just tender, 8-16 minutes in all, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Chop into bite-size pieces, if desired.  Toss grilled fennel with remaining marinade and serve warm or at room temperature.

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

Now that the worst of that torrential heat wave from last week is waning, I find myself finally able to make my way back into the kitchen and near a stove for the first time in weeks. I’ve been eating mostly cold salads and ice cream lately, so the idea of a baked-cheesy-crispy-veggie-something sounded perfect. This is a variation of a classic French dish that simply involves layering vegetables and topping them with cheesy, herby breadcrumbs. Before you get started, I recommend making your own breadcrumbs. You can buy them at the store pre-made, but I find a very noticeable difference in them from the ones you make from scratch. One of my favorite bloggers, Smitten Kitchen, gives these valuable tips on the ease of making your own:

May I implore you, nay, beg you to forgo store-bought breadcrumbs and make your own? It is too simple not to. Take any bread at all — I mean your favorite kind, rolls the pizza place sent you with your salad, the crusts off your kid’s sandwich — leave it out overnight and pulse it in the food processor the next morning: instant breadcrumbs that will put that sawdust in a can to shame! In a rush? Fresh bread grinds up well, too, whether or not you toast it first. Planning ahead? Make a lot and keep it in the freezer. Breadcrumbs, at the ready!

Once you have the breadcrumbs ready, this impressive summer gratin layered with new potatoes, tomatoes and summer squash will be ready for quick assembly.

Provencal Summer Gratin

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil a large cast iron or baking dish with equivalent volume.

-Thinly slice about 1 pound of new potatoes and assemble them at the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping the layers. Salt and pepper generously.

-Slice about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of red tomatoes (slice up an heirloom to throw in for variation if you have it). Arrange layer of tomatoes on top of potatoes. Salt and pepper.

-Thinly slice 2 gloves of garlic and arrange atop the tomatoes. Sprinkle some dried oregano and thyme.

-Cut 2 summer squash into 1/4 inch slices and layer on top of tomatoes and garlic. Salt and pepper.

-Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth and 2 tablespoons of olive oil over layers (for cooking moisture)

-Take 1 cup of homemade breadcrumbs and mix in a small bowl with 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese and a dash of dried oregano and thyme. Sprinkle over veggie layers.

-Bake gratin for 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly. 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

Thanks to a wonderful crew of volunteers a few weeks ago, all of our garlic is harvested and hanging to dry. Two huge crews of CSA members spent the morning tugging the bulbs out of the ground and then tying them in bundles. Over 10,ooo bulbs were harvested over two weeks.

Volunteers harvest garlic.

Moving the garlic back to the barn to be bundled.

After about 6 weeks the garlic will be dry and ready to be cut down, and the stems and roots trimmed off. The larger bulbs will be sorted out and saved for seed for planting this fall, where it will begin it’s 9 month journey to next year’s harvest. We’ve been saving our own garlic seed for the past 5 seasons. The thought is that the seed eventually becomes adapted to your farm, and its specific growing conditions, and with the average cost of garlic seed about $13 a pound, it makes sense to save our own. We started out with a number of different varieties of garlic, but have found our stand-out favorite to be Music. Music is a Porcelain hardneck variety named after its developer, Al Music, a farmer in Ontario who switched from tobacco farming to growing garlic in the early 1980’s and developed the strain from garlic he acquired in Italy. It has a wonderful robust flavor, large easy to peel cloves, and grows consistently well year after year. If you missed the garlic harvest, don’t worry, we plan on pulling all our storage onions pretty soon, another fun harvest experience. Keep an eye out for details. We certainly do love to grow alliums here at Blooming Glen Farm!

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

It’s been a hot few weeks here at the farm…not that we need to tell any of you that! The hot weather has some of the crops struggling- like the lettuce, and others thriving- like the watermelons. This week’s share saw the parking lot full of gigantic watermelons- a wonderfully productive and sweet variety we discovered last year. The only problem- finding harvest bins large enough to hold them!

Watermelon Bounty!

CSA Share- Week 9.

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

Here is a great recipe for those of you looking for something new to show off those beautiful carrots from this week’s share. Though it can stand solo or as an addition to your salad plate, we think it might also be delicious along side a lamb dish or atop a pulled pork sandwich.

Moroccan Ginger-Carrot Salad

Grate 1 bunch of carrots (3 cups equivalent, grated) into a large bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together:

1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 clove of fresh garlic
juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash of cinnamon
salt to taste

-Pour mixture over carrots and toss

-Add in 1/4 cup of shredded coconut, 1/2 cup of walnuts and a handful of chopped parsley

-Toss again and 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


This week a few heirloom varieties of vegetables make their way into the share. In the pick-your-own field you’ll find the beautiful purple streaked Dragon’s Tongue Beans. This tasty attractive 19th century heirloom hails from the Netherlands. It is considered a “romano” type bean, because pods are flat rather than round. Crisp, stringless and amazingly juicy when eaten raw, it does lose it’s purple coloration when cooked. You’ll also find the gorgeous elongated red torpedo onions, or Tropea onion, an Italian heirloom variety. The red onion from Tropea, Italy (Italian: “Cipolla Rossa di Tropea”) is a particular variety of red onion which grows in a small area of Calabria in southern Italy named “Capo Vaticano” near the city of Tropea. (You can also find it on the rolling hills of a small organic farm in the tiny hamlet of Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania!)

CSA Share, week 8.


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

David Koschak, 36, joins us for his second season of farming, having spent last season pasturing chickens, pigs, and cows with Forks Farm near Bloomsburg, PA. David is an architectural designer by training, having first studied English and Environmental Science at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA and then receiving a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon.  He has spent the last six years working in architectural firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  David’s hometown is Dushore, Pennsylvania, a small town in the Northern Tier.  He currently resides in Wilkes-Barre.

“I grew up in a very rural and poor area.  I was very affected by the physical and cultural changes I saw occurring during my childhood.  I wanted to better understand why these small northern Pennsylvanian towns were shrinking, why beautiful old buildings were neglected or torn down, why farms continued to disappear, why everyone young moved away, why so many people were extremely poor, and why my own family’s farm, now owned by my uncle, may no longer be ours after 150 years.

The story was always that it was no longer possible to make a living milking, there was no longer a market for small-scale egg production, or there was no longer money in lumber. To me, it seemed crazy that we were creating a world where only large-scale commercial production existed. Why didn’t we buy eggs and meat and veggies from each other? For me personally, the large-scale alternative meant that the world I loved was being phased out.

I studied Architecture to be a part of the physical changes that occur in our communities.  I wanted to be more involved in the decisions about what kind of buildings we built and what part of our history we chose to tear down.  I moved to Oregon to study Architecture and ended up also learning about local sustainable agriculture and local economies.  It was the first time I saw a community that overwhelmingly valued local organic food (and may even have bought some veggies from Tom and Tricia at the Saturday Market in Eugene, Oregon).  I was inspired and excited to see this as a possible way for us to move forward and I wondered how this may become true back home in Pennsylvania.

Since coming back to the east coast I have been interested in not only working to create better buildings, but also richer communities through a stronger more vibrant local food system.  A highlight of the last few years was to have worked on the adaptive reuse of a historic silk mill.  This project included the design of a café featuring local produce and local pastured chicken from Forks Farm where I also worked.  I am with Blooming Glen this season to continue to better understand what role I can play in the growing network of people and food.  I hope one day that I’ll be able to combine my architectural and agricultural experience and possibly help tend my family’s farm for another generation. 

I remember, as a kid, believing there was a garden behind our town’s grocery store.  And I remember being very confused when I didn’t see one there.  I wish I hadn’t been wrong.  But for now, I am happy to be currently living on a farm where there is some truth to that idea.”

David Koschak

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

Chef Rich of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service joined us on Tuesday for a demonstration and tasting. Chef Rich has been a regular here at the farm over the years, doing demos during CSA pick-ups, as well as at our festivals. It’s always a pleasure to chat with him, as I seem to learn something new each time. This Tuesday morning he popped over to the farm and picked up some fresh picked veggies and herbs, then after a little prep, returned in the afternoon. As he fired up the grill and hot pad, a steady flow of people were drawn over, enticed by the wonderful aromas coming from his table. He happily shared his take on grilled veggies, which I immediately fell in love with for its surprising hint of tarragon. Of course, with the addition of any combination of fresh herbs, the recipe can be adapted to suit your taste. Or, you can always call Chef Rich, and he’ll turn your CSA share into meals for you!

Grilled Vegetable Salad (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

Chef Rich's Grilled Vegetable Salad

Begin by whisking the following ingredients together in a large bowl:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Slowly whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil until thoroughly incorporated.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dressing. 

Next, add your prepped veggies to the marinade:

3 small to medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut in thick slices lengthwise
1 onion, any variety, sliced into 1/2 inch thich rounds. Be sure to keep the onion rounds together in the marinade for ease of grilling later
1-2 tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1/4 pound green beans, blanched and cut into bite-sized pieces (beans can also be grilled on a grill pan, if you have one)

Marinate veggies in the dressing for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Meanwhile, get your grill ready.

For a gas grill: turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.  Then lower the burners to medium-high.

Clean and oil cooking grate, then place the marinated veggies on the grill. Grill the squash and onion (covered if using gas) until charred and tender, 4-6 minutes per side.  Grill the tomatoes, cut side-down, on the coolest part of the grill until they start to soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove veggies (the skin will slip right off the tomatoes) and chop into 1” pieces and toss with reserved dressing, and beans. 

Add in your fresh herbs: 2 tablespoons minced basil, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, 1 tablespoon minced tarragon.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

To contact Chef Rich Baringer of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service, call 215-804-6438, email:
or check out his website:

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