Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 2/18/2014 11:00am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes… This morning we woke once again to falling snow.  All of us younger farmers were gathered, whining about the continued cold/cloudy/snowy weather, when my father enters cheerfully into the room, exclaiming that, “this was the most beautiful snow we have had yet!”  I’m not sure if it’s the fact that more snow allows for another day of him joy riding on his tractor and plow, or if over the years he has learned to live in and enjoy the present. Either way his enthusiasm at least helped to balance out my own antsiness for warmer weather. With the weather as it has been, we have been creative with inside tasks this winter.  This past week Jackie spent several days organizing, cleaning, and preparing hive boxes for our bees for the coming season.  Adam had the challenging task of taking a wire brush to our old, rusty John Deere corn planter and after some days of work we have a nice brilliant green piece of equipment that will hopefully last us another 50 years.  Allison has spent some of the coldest mornings helping me recreate our planting schedule spreadsheet to allow for time saving in year to year adjustments.  So regardless of the weather conditions, we have made good use of our time as we wait for the snow to melt, soil to warm, pastures to green, and ever so pregnant goats to bring forth the life within.  ~Deb

Summer/Fall 2014 Signup is open!  Sign up by March 1st to receive the “Early-bird” rate!

Interested in Grass-fed Beef, Lamb, and free-range Pork? We partner with Blue Rooster Farm (my brother and sister-in-law’s far) to make these meats available to our customers.  Visit their website to join their mailing list and/or to order products which will be delivered to your CSA pickup location. 

IN THE SHARE TODAY:  Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Red Beets, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Onions*, Garlic, and Spinach. * Purchased from TOG.

Turnip Gratin Gourmet | October 2007

yield: Makes 6 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 pounds medium turnips, trimmed and left unpeeled

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1/2 tablespoon chopped savory

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt Rounded

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preparation Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Melt butter in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet, then cool. Slice turnips paper-thin with slicer, then arrange one third of slices, overlapping tightly, in skillet, keeping remaining slices covered with dampened paper towels. Sprinkle with about a third of thyme, savory, kosher salt, and cayenne. Make 2 more layers. Cook, covered, over medium heat until underside is browned, about 10 minutes. Add cream and cook, covered, until center is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, then bake, uncovered, until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Posted 2/4/2014 8:42am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes… Well, I ended my last farm note with, “Here’s to hoping for temperatures above freezing!” I’m sorry to report my hopes have been dashed!  There are no words to describe how frustrating it is to see greens ready to burst forth but not receiving enough sun, doing chores involving water with frozen hands and feet, and the window’s apparent refusal to shine light upon my face in my waking up routine. That all said, we do see constant promises of spring: those greens, for example, keep plugging along; some chickens who hadn’t yet laid eggs are starting to; and, we do get at least intermittent glimpses at the sun. We are ready (just ignore those predicted storms coming tomorrow and this weekend). We’ll all look back on this and it will be a distant memory soon; I am sure. Keep warm, Hannah  

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Rutabaga, Celeriac, Potatoes*, Napa Cabbage, Kale, Mesclun mix, Frozen Tomatoes. 

*Not certified Organic- from neighboring farm (no pesticides/synthetic fertilizers)

Note on the Greens:  Our greens are never washed prior to packaging, so be sure to wash before use.  With the cold temperatures, the quality of the greens in our greenhouse are a little compromised.  We harvested as carefully as we could, but would encourage you to wash a little more carefully and use more quickly as they may not keep as long.  

What to do with your frozen tomatoes… Freezing tomatoes whole at the height of the season is a great way to have the taste of summer in the dead of winter. Of course they are not the same texture and consistency, but the taste is better than anything you’ll get in a grocery store at this time of year. Well, considering most commercial tomatoes are picked green, better than anything you’ll get in a grocery store even in summer. To defrost, leave them in the bag on your counter or in your refrigerator. The skin will peel off easily (some people run them under warm water while frozen to remove the skins – the same approach you can take with frozen whole peaches). Alternatively, you can put frozen tomatoes directly into any boiling hot recipe and the skins will pop and float to the surface. Frozen tomatoes can be cooked just as you would in any tomato-based dish that you would usually use canned tomatoes for.

Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 3 cups water 3/4 cup lentils (I used brown lentils, but I imagine any type would work) 1 large or 2 small chicken or vegetable boullion cubes 14 oz frozen or canned tomatoes, chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup, in a pinch Paprika and garlic powder, to taste Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In a large saucepan, saute onions and carrots in olive oil until they begin to soften. Add water and lentils. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until lentils begin to soften. Add bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and desired seasonings. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or so, until lentils are completely soft and flavors are blended together. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. If you don't have an immersion blender, let the soup cool and transfer to a blender to puree. Reheat soup before serving.

Posted 1/22/2014 8:19am by Hannah.


Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Spinach, Parsnips, Onions, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Turnips and Garlic

Farm Notes…

Mesclun Mix

Well, it’s hard to believe; it’s time for the first of this season’s CSA deliveries! Granted, Mother Nature has delayed us a bit, but we were all prepared for you before she decided on a snow delay. Temperatures in the negatives would put just about any farmer in a foul mood, yet our high tunnels remain solidly green for you. Slower growth than we were hoping for, but green nonetheless.

We had a wonderful break, celebrating often with family; did a bit of traveling (Chandler, Hope and I went to Clearwater, Florida for a Women in Agriculture Conference where Chandler was seated with the US Dep Sec of Ag at dinner and was mentioned several times in the Dep Sec’s address that evening); and, we welcomed two new crew members: Allison Glick and Jackie Swihart. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from and meeting them soon. They’re already proving to be great assets to our team.

Look for information to come out soon about our main season CSA, including our decision to continue with two box sizes (our members spoke!), and chicken shares (after MUCH family discussion and lots of member feedback).

Here’s to hoping for temperatures above freezing!



Recipe… Chicken in a Pot with Carrots, Turnips & Barley


1/2 cup pearled barley

1 3½–4-lb. chicken

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole

3 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup brandy or dry white wine

3 carrots, sliced 3" thick

2 leeks, whites and light greens only, trimmed, sliced 3" thick

1 bunch peeled whole baby turnips or one larger turnip (about 6 oz.), peeled, cut into 1" wedges

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Place garlic, thyme, and bay leaf inside chicken.

In a Dutch oven or cast-iron pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry and place it breast side down in pot. Cook until browned, 5–7 minutes per side, then transfer chicken to a plate. Pour brandy into pot and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Add carrots, leeks, and turnips and nestle chicken among vegetables. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until thighs pull easily away from the bone, 45–55 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot and gently spoon out vegetables. Skim any foam or fat from broth and strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with paper towels. Stir in barley to warm; season with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with chives.

Posted 12/17/2013 11:47am by Debra Brubaker .
 FARM NOTES… Here we are at the last CSA distribution of the 2013 year.  It has been a great year- good growing conditions, good harvests, good folks to work with, and good customers! Thanks to all of you for your support, whether throughout the whole year or just in the last few weeks.  We are excited for a short break (5 weeks) before resuming every-other-week deliveries in late January.

While we will be spending good time with family and having some true down time, we will also be continuing the process of farm succession planning as we try to guarantee that this land and the farm is stewarded wisely, well into the future.  Most of you know the first stage of this process happened with transitioning from my parents being the lead farmers to a legal partnership between my dad and me. We’ve been hard at work, holding family/farm meetings, doing our transition plan homework (and being sensitive to the needs of my parents as they move into retirement) and planning for how Hannah and the kids and I will manage to keep the farm running viably and honor the holistic goals we all have for this land. We’ve surveyed you all several times as we continue to refine our plans and we are fortunate to have a loving, supportive family (including our siblings) who are all encouraging us as we move into the next stage of our farming journey.

Thanks for agreeing to come along for the ride! Have a wonderful next few weeks! Deb

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Mesclun/Arugula, Red Onions*, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Napa Cabbage, Herbs, and Frozen Red Raspberries (bring a cooler if you aren't going straight home!) *Purchased from Tuscarora Organic Growers (our grower’s coop)



Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

No need to thaw the raspberries – just toss them in right from the freezer.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar, sucanat or other sweetener

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces yogurt

1/3 cup butter or oil

1 egg

1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Spray, grease or put paper liners in 12 (2 ¾ inch) muffin cups.  In medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  In small bowl, beat together yogurt, oil and egg.  Stir yogurt mixture and raspberries into dry mixture until almost blended.  Add raspberries and stir until batter is just blended.  Do not overmix.  Spoon into prepared muffin cups.  Bake until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.


Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Cumin, cayenne and salt to taste

Roasted and salted nuts or seeds

Preheat oven to 400º F. Place sweet potatoes on a pan (don't poke them), and bake for an hour or until soft. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slipping off the skins.

Transfer the sweet potato to a glass bowl. Add spices and salt, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Top with roasted and salted nuts or seeds, and serve immediately, or it can be stored in an airtight container the fridge (just reheat before serving).

Posted 12/9/2013 8:44pm by Hannah.

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Red Beets, Rutabaga, Cabbage, Leeks, Garlic, Mesclun Mix, Kale


As the work here at the farm slows with the shorter days and colder temperatures, we find ourselves equally busy…not only tending to those things that have been neglected for the past 9 months, but also engaging in workshops and trainings.  This week has been quite full of learning and networking with other farmers. Last week I attended a two day conference for experienced Organic farmers- learning tips for pest control, greens production, and general business management.  Over the weekend, we took part in the Pennsylvania Farmers Union convention and were inspired by the wisdom of John Ikerd -an agricultural economist who writes and speaks extensively on economic sustainability, emphasizing the critical role of small farms in this process.  And this week the off-farm learning and networking opportunities continue as both Hannah and I will be presenting at the Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Conference.  Of course it’s a little hectic trying to pull off all of these engagements when we are still in the midst of weekly CSA distributions, but thanks to Adam and Will, all the harvest has gotten done in time and my parents, Julie, Chandler and Owen are stepping in to make sure all the details of distribution are taken care of. It really helps to have a great team. I’m grateful!  I am looking forward to settling back into a routine at the farm though… and diving into those seed catalogs for next season!

Also, just a reminder that there is one more week remaining in the fall extension (Dec17/18) which will be followed by a 5 week break before our first Winter CSA delivery on January 21/22.  We will have extra eggs and chicken available next week so that you can stock up for those weeks if you like. I also hear that Chandler may have some of her highly sought-after all-natural lip salve sticks for holiday gifts…stay tuned. 




While we prefer our rutabaga sliced raw with sharp cheese…

RECIPE…Roasted Rutabaga (Technically, this recipe could be made with sweet potatoes, carrots, red beets, rutabaga cabbage, leeks, garlic and kale - all together or pick & choose!)


1 rutabaga about 6 inches in diameter

2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. dried Italian Herb mix

2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. sugar



1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel rutabaga and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

3. Place rutabaga cubes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

4. Cover bowl with a plate and shake to coat rutabaga with oil.(You may need a bit more oil.)

5. Sprinkle rutabaga with remaining ingredients and shake again to distribute.

6. Transfer rutabaga to a parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet.

7. Roast in center of the oven until edges brown and rutabaga is tender - 30 to 40 minutes - stirring about halfway through to minimize sticking



Posted 12/3/2013 11:29am by Hannah.


Welcome to our first ever CSA fall extension!

Typically, at this time of year, we are beginning our winter/spring share and delivering every other week. The fall extension is our way of concluding the season within a calendar year before taking a more significant break than we have typically taken in the past. We are still working out what our schedule will be at this time next year and you’ll likely hear from us at some point, asking for your opinion. This year, we are fortunate to have had an abundant season, with plenty of crops in storage and three greenhouses packed with, well, green! All we need now is a nice sunny December to keep those greens growing (and farmers cheery)!

We hope you enjoy your share the next three weeks. We plan to have extra eggs and chicken (and perhaps some other things as well) at the December 17 distribution to hold you over through the holidays. Our first winter/spring distribution will by January 21.

Please note: For those of you who received a Thanksgiving turkey, we are asking for your feedback in a turkey survey. Please visit to contribute. You will also receive an email with the direct link.



Red Beets Butternut Squash Tatsoi/Bok Choy (choice – limited bok choy), Mesclun Mix, Hakurei, Turnips, Leeks, Potatoes, and Chard


Beet, Citrus and Avocado Salad

For the dressing:

-        2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

-        1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

-        Salt and freshly ground pepper

-        1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

-        1 tablespoon walnut oil

-        2 tablespoons canola oil

For the salad:

-        1 bunch beets (about 1 pound), scrubbed and roasted

-        1 pink grapefruit

-        1 medium-size or large ripe but firm Hass avocado, sliced

-        2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil 

1. Mix together the lemon or lime juice, the ground cumin seeds, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the walnut oil and canola oil.

2. Peel the roasted beets, and slice or cut in wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

3. Cut away both ends of the grapefruit so that it sits flat on your work surface. Cut the skin and pith completely away from the fruit, following the natural curve of the fruit from top to bottom. Hold the grapefruit in your hand over a bowl to catch the juice, and cut away each segment from between the membranes.

4. Arrange the beets in the center of a platter, and surround with the grapefruit and avocado slices. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, and drizzle any grapefruit juice in the bowl over the grapefruit and avocado. Sprinkle on the basil, and serve.


Posted 11/26/2013 11:29am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

 It seems to us fitting that our fall season concludes with Thanksgiving.  We have much to be grateful for this season…

˜ We are grateful for the wonder and delight that is this beautiful life.

˜ We are grateful for all the friends and family whose relationships with us make are lives richer.

˜ We are grateful for the opportunity to steward the land on this farm and to share with you all the bounty offered.

˜ We are grateful to be able to engage in work that is satisfying and tangible and fruitful.

˜ We are grateful for all the earth offers us, that the earth is patient with us and communicates with us what is needed to ensure future harvests.

˜ We are grateful for everyone who lives and works with us on the farm, dedicating themselves to a continual process of learning and sharing.

˜ We are grateful for everyone who makes our distribution process possible, offering up their homes/businesses/places of worship for us to be able to connect with community, offering their time and effort through our workshare program, and understanding when we need to make last minutes changes for weather, vehicle issues and crop surprises.

˜ We are grateful for a growing community of folks who care about the future of farming, who want access to nutrient-dense and safe food, and who increasingly understand the realities of what it takes to make it all happen.

When you sit down with your family this Thanksgiving, maybe take a moment and think about who grew the food you are eating and know that whatever part our farm plays in your meal, we are grateful to be in relationship with you and for the gifts that come with sharing our bounty with you.


Hannah, Debra, Chandler, Owen, Roy & Hope


Parsnips, Rutabaga, Celeriac, Leeks, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Spinach, Napa Cabbage, Kale, and Mesclun mix (full shares only) 

Apple Cider Turkey Brine
(yes you can use the cider you purchased, didn’t drink, and is now hard!)


-        3 cups Apple Juice or Apple Cider

-        2 gallons Cold Water

-        4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves

-        5 cloves Garlic, Minced

-        1-½ cup Kosher Salt

-        2 cups Brown Sugar

-        3 Tablespoons Peppercorns

-        5 whole Bay Leaves

-        Peel Of Three Large Oranges


Preparation Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.

Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.

Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

Creamy Mashed Parsnips & Potatoes

-        5 medium white potatoes

-        5 parsnips

-        1 large white onion

-        1 clove elephant garlic

-        kosher salt

-        4 Tbls. butter (that’s 1/2 a stick)

-        1/4 cup-1/2 cup heavy cream

-        1/4 tsp. white pepper


+Peel your veggies and chop them up

+Boil them ’til soft and drain

+Mash with butter

+Infuse with cream

+Season with a little salt and white pepper


Braised Cabbage

-        2 tablespoons melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease for coating the baking dish

-        1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds)

-        1 large red or yellow onion, peeled and thickly sliced

-        2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch coins

-        1/4 cup bone broth or water

-        1/4 cup melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease

-        Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

-        Aleppo pepper (optional)

-        Aged balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with the rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with the melted fat.


2. Cut the entire cabbage into 4-6 wedges. Keep the core attached so the wedges stay intact after the long cooking time. Don’t worry: The tough core will get super tender, too.


3. Place the cabbage pieces in a single layer in the greased dish — a little overlap is okay. Toss on the onions and carrots and drizzle with broth and the melted fat. Season well with salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper (if using). Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.


4. Cook the cabbage undisturbed for 40 mins - 1 hour. Crack open the foil cover and carefully flip the wedges over. Reseal the dish tightly and braise until fork-tender.


5. At this point, you can remove the cabbage to cool and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (up to 4 days). When you’re ready to serve, crank the oven up to 425 F and bake until browned (about 15 minutes).


6. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar and serve immediately


Posted 11/19/2013 1:14pm by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

November is a special month.  In the first few weeks we all start to recover from the chaos of the height of the growing season and the projects that have been on the back burner and which slowly become the tasks of the day. We all begin to breathe easier and tell slightly longer stories at the morning meeting.  This is of course until we reach the week and a half before Thanksgiving. We then suddenly need to switch back to summer mode -strategizing the processing, cooling, and packaging of 200 turkeys on top of harvesting, washing, and packing our Thanksgiving CSA boxes. It’s an exciting last hurrah for the year. We are bracing ourselves for taking that plunge in the next few days.   The feeling I have is similar to the feeling I used to have entering Final Exams - a little anxiety, a little satisfaction, and a good dose of excitement, knowing the end of one phase of the process is near.  Deb


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Kale, Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Turnips, Onions, Garlic, Butternut Squash.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!



Cabbage Salad

1 Head Cabbage (chopped)

4 Green Onions (chopped)

2 packets ramen noodles

4 T Sesame Seeds

3/4 c slivered almonds

3/4 c oil

1/2 c honey or other sweetener (if desired)

1/4 c white vinegar

2 T soy sauce

Toast the 2 packets ramen noodles, 4T Sesame Seeds, and 3/4 c slivered almonds.

Dressing: mix oil, honey (heat mix slightlyif using sugar), white vinegar and soy sauce together.

Add all of the above items together just before serving. The noodles get soggy if the dressing is added too early.


Baked Kale Chips

Large handful of kale leaves

2 Tablespoons olive oil

sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 275 F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.


Radish Butter


4 small radishes

2 T fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

6 T butter

Sea salt

Pulse 4 trimmed radishes and the parsley leaves in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the butter (softened), and pulse until well combined. The radish butter can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days. Serve on toasted bread. Sprinkle sea salt on top to taste.


Our daughter Chandler made this recipe this week and it was FANTASTIC!

Chocolate Swirl Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crust

This pie happens to also be gluten free, but it is completely satisfying and delicious.


2 eggs

3/4 cup cream

3/4 cup sugar (we used sucanat)

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt

2 cups roasted and mashed sweet potato (about two large potatoes)

Chocolate Swirl

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup cream

Pecan Crust

1/3 cup sugar (we used sucanat)

2 1/2 cups ground pecans

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Step 1. 

If the sweet potatoes have not been pre-roasted, wash and pierce the skins of two large unpeeled sweet potatoes and set them in the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour at 350F, or until soft when squeezed and the skin peels away easily. Peel

Pie Crust

Step 2.  Mix the ground pecan, sugar and cinnamon together, and stir the melted butter into the dry mix. Continue to stir by hand for a few minutes, until all of the pecans have been coated with the melted butter.

Step 3. 

With patience, press the pecan mix FIRMLY into the bottom and up the sides of a 9.5" deep-dish pie plate. Take the time to ensure that it is packed well; the nut crust will hold together better. Chill the crust for 40-45 minutes in the fridge.

Pecan Nut Crust

Step 4.  On a cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven, bake the pie crust at 350F for 8 minutes, watching to ensure that the crust does not burn. Remove from oven and set aside to fill. (The sweet potatoes could also be done at this stage if you did not pre-roast them).

Pie Filling

Step 5.  In a small saucepan, warm the 1/4 cup cream for the chocolate swirl. Sift the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder in gradually, smoothing out any lumps with a spatula and set aside.

Step 6.  Peel the roasted sweet potatoes and remove any bad spots from the surface with a knife. With a mashing tool, smash the potatoes coarsely.

Step 7. 

Place the cream, white sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a blender with the mashed sweet potato and butter. Purée the mixture until no chunks of sweet potato remain. This will ensure a fine texture to the finished pie.

Sweet Potato Puree

Step 8.  Pour off about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the sweet potato purée and fold into the saucepan with the cocoa powder. Add more sugar to sweeten the purée if desired, as it will taste like unsweetened dark chocolate (we did not add sugar and it was plenty sweet – assuming you like dark chocolate). Set aside.

Step 9.  Without scraping, pour all of the remaining purée from the blender into the ready pecan crust.

Marbled Swirl

Step 10.

To create a top swirl that doesn't marble the pie all the way through: Top the orange purée with the chocolate purée. Do not worry about getting the chocolate to the edges. Top the chocolate with irregular splotches of orange purée scraped out of the blender. With a knife, make large loops and swirls through the chocolate and orange. Less is more dramatic.

Step 11.           

Keep the pie on top of a cookie sheet. Using a pie shield (or create a shield with aluminum foil), carefully tent the exposed edges of the nut crust to prevent burning. Bake at 350F for 50minutes to 1 hour. The pie will begin to heave at this stage, but there will still be a soft spot in the middle.

Step 12.           

Turn off the oven and allow the pie to remain in the heat for another 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely before serving.

Posted 11/12/2013 10:50am by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Our Summer/Fall season is rapidly coming to a close- just two more distributions after today.  We are continuing to put outside planting to sleep for the winter.  Yesterday, Dad spent the day putting compost around our blueberry patch and the recently planted garlic will shortly be blanketed with straw mulch.  Inside the greenhouses we are installing supports for additional row covers that will be drawn over the greens every evening and rolled back every morning for the next 3-4 months. 

We are also quickly trying to learn the routines of Steve and Marsha who are finishing their last weeks here.  Steve and Marsha have been integral members of the farm for the past few years.  Steve has been a diligent caretaker of the animals, always the first to get up in the morning, and faithfully remembering to close the hens into their shelter every night.  He has also stoked the fire, turned the compost, maintained many machines, and moved countless lengths of poultry netting- all in addition to helping with the planting, weeding, and harvesting tasks of the day.  Marsha has been fantastic at heading up CSA box packing and ensuring that the correct number of shares makes it to each distribution location.  She has also done many of the often thankless jobs of organizing the packing shed, washing and hanging out to dry hundreds of box liners, weighing and recording the seemingly endless amounts of produce that come from the field and strategically packing it all into the coolers.  She has made delicious biscuits and coffeecakes and roasted some fine coffee to serve for our First Saturday breakfast.  Marsha has always been the person to give a smile and lighten the mood even on the most stressful summer days.  Together, Steve and Marsha have processed over 1500 chickens and almost 400 turkeys and washed approximately 2000 dozen eggs in their tenure at Village Acres.    So…as you can see we have some big holes to fill as they transition back to Eastern PA, closer to their families, and their next phase of farming life.

As always, life here on the farm (well, life in general) is about the changing of the seasons: constant renewal…


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Acorn Squash, Potatoes, Carrots, Celeriac, Red Beets, Head Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, and Leeks.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!


Leek, Celeriac & Potato Soup

Adapted from Ellen Ecker Ogden’s From the Cooks Garden.


-        4 T butter

-        3 cloves garlic minced

-        1 celeriac peeled & cubed

-        1/2 t nutmeg grated

-        1 c spinach chopped

-        3 med leeks chopped

-        4 potatoes red skinned, cubed

-        6 c vegetable or chicken stock

-        1 bay leaf

-        to taste salt & pepper


Heat butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often until leeks are tender (about 15 minutes). Add potatoes and celeriac and cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Add stock, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Remove bay leaf.

In batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Add the spinach leaves and pulse to blend. Return to pot, season with salt and pepper to taste, and reheat gently. Season with salt and pepper shortly before serving.

Posted 11/5/2013 12:55pm by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Well, it’s that time of year when we officially have everything in from the fields with the exception of parsnips, leeks, and celeriac, as well as carrots, collards and kale that we are overwintering. Now will rely heavily on storage crops and what we are growing in the greenhouses. Don’t worry, though, we we’ve stored a lot for you and our greenhouses are truly GREEN!

Today we are providing several recipes, one of which (stuffed cheese pumpkin) is a real treat for the whole family, so consider making it together with kids or invite some friends over!

Notes on some of the box  items:

New England Cheese Pumpkins: These pumpkins are similar in flavor to butternut squash and are great for pies, custards, and other pureed type dishes.  We don’t have quite enough for everyone, so if you prefer, we have the option of choosing  butternut squash instead.

Sweet Potatoes: You will notice that some of the sweet potatoes have little holes this year.  Early on in their development, our sweet potatoes were subjected to the impact of wire worms in the soil. There are not worms in the potatoes, but you will see the evidence of their feasting. What is left behind is a hardened hole which typically separates from the potato after cooking if you choose to remove the skin. There is nothing inedible about it, but you may notice the visual imperfection. We are working to figure out what is causing the increase in wire worm damage and will hopefully figure it out before next year. 

Peppers: These are seriously the last of the season.  The last row came out of the greenhouse this week.  I know there have been a lot of peppers this year, but if you can, enjoy the last of the season!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Fall Harvest gathering and last Saturday Morning breakfast of the season. Our FoodShed was full most of the morning. We hope to see you all again in the spring!


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Cheese pumpkins / Butternut squash (out of box – choice), onions, sweet potatoes*, watermelon radishes, peppers, Tatsoi, Napa cabbage, kale/chard, rosemary.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!

Recipe: Sautéed Tatsoi

Organic Coconut oil

Tatsoi leaves or Baby Bok Choy



Garlic, minced

Fresh Lemon slices or wedges

Coarse salt or sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste



Separate, wash, and dry the Tatsoi (keeping the stems on). Place the them onto a towel to dry.

Add coconut oil to a medium-hot large frying pan and sauté the peppers and onions. Add fresh minced garlic to your taste. Sauté until the garlic releases its lovely odor.

Turn heat to medium low, toss in the prepared greens, stir, place lid on the pan; cook just until the greens have turned a brilliant green, approximately 3 to 5 minutes, and have softened and just begun to wilt. If needed, add a little water or chicken stock so nothing sticks to the pan.

Add fresh lemon slices or wedges as garnish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed Cheese Pumpkin – takes some time but a real treat and fun for the whole family!

Recipe courtesy of Daniel Boulud, adapted from a recipe prepared by his mother, Marie

Yield: 10-12 servings (recipe is for a large pumpkin of 10 or so lbs – halve for a small pumpkin of 5 or so lbs)


1 cheese pumpkin

1 squash (acorn or butternut)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 loaf sourdough bread

1 clove garlic, peeled

3/4 pound smoked bacon, cut into approx ¼ inch thick batons (can be omitted)

½ cup toasted and chopped pecans

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 bunch chives, sliced

1 pound Gruyere or other similar cheese, grated

5 cups Half and Half

3 tablespoons spice blend of brown sugar, rosemary, coriander, ground cloves, and nutmeg to taste

Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the squash (not the pumpkin) in half, remove the seeds, rub the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lie the squash flesh side down on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until cooked through (check with the tip of a paring knife). 

Meanwhile, with a small serrated paring knife, remove a circular cap wide enough to later fill the pumpkin with stuffing (approximately 10 inches in diameter). Cut the sourdough bread into 1-inch thick slices and toast. Lightly rub the toasted bread with the clove of garlic. 

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. When the cooked squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon and cut into a rough dice. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Half and Half with 2 tablespoons of spice blend, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Sprinkle the inside of the cheese pumpkin with salt, pepper and the remaining spice blend. Begin filling the pumpkin, starting with a layer of bread, then half of the bacon, half of the pecans, half of the squash, half of the chives and half of the cheese. Pour in about half of the Half and Half mixture and lightly press down. Repeat with remaining filling ingredients to reach the top of the pumpkin. Pour in the remainder of the Half and Half to reach the top of the pumpkin. Return the cap to the pumpkin and transfer onto an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the cheese pumpkin is cooked through. 

Serve warm, scooping a bit of the cheese pumpkin from the sides along with the filling.


Kim Chi

Recipe courtesy of



1 (2-pound) napa cabbage

1/2 cup kosher salt

About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed

8 ounces radish (daikon is ideal), peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

4 medium scallions or onions or leeks, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)

1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar



Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover (about 12 cups), making sure the cabbage is submerged (it’s OK if a few leaves break the surface). Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. 

Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tightfitting lid and seal the jar. 

Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.