About Our Farm...

Village Acres Farm

Village Acres Farm has a mission of connecting people to their food, the earth and each other. We are committed to growing food and building relationships that are sustaining, restorative, and transformative for our customers, employees, and selves.

Celebrating over 30 years of farming, 20 years of Organic certification and 15 years of serving the community through a CSA model, Village Acres operates as a diversified system, integrating vegetables, berries and pastured livestock.

Village Acres offers on-farm pick-up of produce, eggs, and chicken for CSA members, as well as distribution to State College, Lewistown, Selinsgrove, and Harrisburg. We also serve breakfast the first Saturday of every month (April-November) and live music several evenings a year in our FoodShed.

Located just off Route 322 near Mifflintown - about 45 minutes from State College and Harrisburg - the 30 acre farm is centered in the village of Cuba Mills, nestled along the banks of the Lost Creek close to its confluence with the Juniata River.

 Read about our farm in Grid Magazine's Farmbook...

Blog/Farm Newsletters

Winter / Spring 2014 CSA Season - Week 7 of 10

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Tuesday, April 15 :: 10:44am

The rhythms of the farm are quickening and we farmers are doing our best to adapt.  Thankfully a little sunshine and warmer temperatures puts a little extra bounce in our steps.  Spring truly is a great time to live on this farm.  All living things are showing renewed energy- cover crops pushing new growth that will feed our soil, wild ramps emerging in the woodlots in places we hadn’t seen them last year, skunk cabbages along the stream edges, multi-flora rose brambles that will soon be fodder for our herd of goats, and of course a Village Acres spring staple of Rhubarb (with Asparagus soon to follow we hope!)  When I dig down in the soil, I can see that the peas we planted just a few days ago are pushing out there first root- the mystery of seed germination never ceases to amaze me.   The farm also gets lots of visitors these days, mostly in the form of trout fisherman as our farm is the location of one of the Fish and Game Commission’s stocking areas on the Lost Creek.  It is great to see folks out enjoying the natural peacefulness of the stream (and our farm) and be reminded that the way we farm this land has great potential to contribute to the health (or detriment) of that beautiful stream.  This spring we are working on a project with the Nature Conservancy to educate and encourage farmers and other community on the importance of stream side vegetation for the health and vitality of the stream, and specifically for the native brook trout that are threatened in this stream.  This stream is a vital piece of our farm, defining our margins, providing life source for our plants in dry times, rejuvenation for workers

in hot times, and peaceful respite whenever needed.  Of course you are all welcome to come and enjoy the stream as well- bring your fishing rods, wading shoes, or your lawn care and enjoy its beauty and life! 

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Sweet Potatoes, *Cabbage, Red Russian Kale, Spinach, Lettuce Mix, Carrots, Turnips, and **Onions *Cabbage from neighboring farm, not Certified Organic. **Certified Organic purchased from TOG.

About this week’s vegetables: This week’s box has the last cabbage of the season, as well as the last harvest of kale and spinach from our greenhouses.  I just would like to take a moment to thank our kale and spinach plants for sustaining us all through a very long and cold winter.  These plants have been producing since early October, have produced many pounds of nutritious greenery for us in the dark months, and have now decided it is time to set seed.  Don’t worry we will have our spring planting of kale and spinach before too long, if all goes as planned, but in the mean time we will rely on some other types of greens.   

Recipe: Peppery turnips and spinach by Ron Mikulak   1½ pound turnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes 1 teaspoon kosher salt 5 teaspoons olive oil 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 pound baby spinach 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar Toss turnips with salt, and let stand in a colander at least 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. In a large skillet, heat 3 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. When shimmery, add turnips and cook, tossing, until lightly browned, 5 minutes or so. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and continue to cook another minute. Add the spinach, cover, lower heat and cook 2 minutes. Toss turnips and spinach together, cover and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, 4 or 5 minutes more. Add vinegar and remaining oil, and serve hot or at room temperature.  Serves 4.

Winter / Spring 2014 CSA Season - Week 6 of 10

Posted by Hannah :: Tuesday, April 1 :: 12:39pm

Farm Notes:

For those of you picking up your CSA share at a staffed distribution site, look to be seeing more of our interns, Allison and Jackie over the summer. For those of you picking up at unstaffed sites, be sure to say hello to them when you come up for breakfast or a visit.

Allison GlickAllison Glick, originally from Illinois, comes to us after a stint with the Peace Corp, working in Guinea, West Africa, as a teacher. She says Village Acres is a perfect fit for her interests: science and good food. She’s also enjoying exploring Mifflintown and the surrounding area by way of running and pedaling. If only we could keep up with her!

Jackie Swihart grew up in central-Ohio, where she spent time on her Grandparent's farm working and playing in the greenhouse and barns, as well as picking loads of strawberries and blueberries. After working in Academic Healthcare for a number of years, she caught the farming bug again when she did a summer work-share at a biodynamic farm in Carnation, WA. Last year she interned at Buckhill Farm in Lititz, PA. Her ultimate goal is to start a full-diet CSA program.

Allison and Jackie are both super team players, always at the ready to dive right in and make things happen. We are really grateful for their commitment to sharing the season with us.

Things are really shaping up here and we are eager to share it all with you! 

Hannah


IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Butternut Squash, Potatoes*, Carrots, Parsnips, Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Kale, and Garlic. *Potatoes from neighboring farm, not Certified Organic Extras for Sale: Pecans, cheese, honey, chicken, olive oil, soap, and lip balm


UPCOMING EVENTS: Farm Breakfast: April 5. 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month, April through November). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Live Music: April 5. 6pm kitchen opens. 7pm music starts. McMinn & Bingman at the FoodShed. www.hannahbingman.com


Summer/Fall 2014 Signup is open!  Sign up here!

Interested in Grass-fed Beef, Lamb, and free-range Pork? We partner with Blue Rooster Farm to make these meats available to our customers.  Visit their website www.blueroosterfarm.com to join their mailing list and/or to order products which will be delivered to your CSA pickup location. 


 

Recipe: Garlic Parmesan Kale Dish

Ingredients

½ lb. (or one large bunch)

kale ½ lb. (8 oz.) pasta or rice

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt & pepper

¼ cup grated Parmesan

pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

1. Tear the kale leaves from the woody stems and rinse well in a colander under cool, running water. Allow the kale to drain. Cut the kale into thin strips or small pieces.

2. After starting the pasta or rice, add the olive oil, butter, and minced garlic to another large pot or skillet. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Add the kale and continue to sauté until the kale has wilted and has turned a deep green color (about 5-7 minutes). Turn the heat off.

3. Add the drained pasta or the rice to the pot with the sautéed kale. Toss together. Allow them to cool to the point that steam is no longer rising from the pot. You want the dish warm, but not hot enough to melt the Parmesan.

4. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to your liking. Add the grated parmesan and toss to coat. Sprinkle red pepper flakes (optional).

 

 

Winter / Spring 2014 CSA Season - Week 5 of 10

Posted by Hannah :: Tuesday, March 18 :: 12:31pm

Farm Notes:

Brubaker Tent RocksWell, we did it! We took our vacation! We had a wonderful time visiting with friends in New Mexico. I had a 5 day stint at the National Farmers Union convention in Santa Fe, but otherwise we soaked up every minute exploring.
This photo was taken at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.
As Debra says, “We are all happy to be back, and so grateful to my parents, Jackie, Allison, and Will for holding down the farm. It is a wonderful thing to be able to step away every once in a while and come back with renewed energy.”
We were amazed at the growth of plants and animals alike in our absence. Our goat kids look huge to us, even with having missed only a week of their growth. Spring is truly teasing us and we anticipate lots of continued growing of everything living here! If you are on Facebook, don't forget to check out our photos from time-to-time.
For those of you interested in eggs, we have duck eggs now to purchase as extras. As for our chickens, we have added some araucanas and marans to our flock. They should be laying green and deep brown eggs this summer.
It’s hard to believe that by the end of next month we’ll likely be harvesting asparagus!
Hannah


IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Sweet Potatoes, Rutabaga, Redbeets, Onions*, Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Kale *Onions from Tuscarora Organic Growers Extras for Sale: Duck eggs - $5/doz; pecans, cheese, honey, chicken, turkey, olive oil, soap, and lip balm


 

UPCOMING EVENTS: Farm Breakfast: April 5. 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) farm breakfast (first Saturday of every month, April through November). Proceeds benefit our Community Fund.

Live Music: April 5. McMinn & Bingman at the FoodShed. www.hannahbingman.com


Recipe: Mesclun Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

2 heaping cups 1" cubes sourdough bread
3⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
12 lightly packed cups mesclun greens
1 cup dried cranberries
1⁄2 cup pecan halves, toasted
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 oz. goat cheese, chilled

1. Heat oven to 350°. Toss bread cubes with 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden brown, 12–14 minutes. Let cool.
2. Roughly chop garlic; sprinkle with a little salt. Using the side of a knife, scrape garlic into a paste; transfer to a bowl. Add vinegar and mustard; whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in remaining oil while whisking constantly to form a smooth vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Combine croutons, mesclun, cranberries, pecans, and thyme in a bowl. Add some of the dressing; toss well to combine. (Reserve remaining dressing for another use.) Crumble goat cheese over salad and divide between plates.

 

 

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