In  this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Max Hansen, MaxHansenCaterer and the Max Hansen Carversville Grocery,

The arrival of summer portends the bounty of the amazing market basket that comes from Bucks County farms. As a child growing up this meant going out to the garden with my grandfather to enjoy the best produce known to humankind. These days, in addition to growing two large gardens, we work with many of the amazing farms that literally surround us. None Such, Blue Moon Acres, Solebury Orchards and Manoff Orchards, to name but a few.

The arrival of the sweet corn from None Such Farms signals the peak of the summer growing season. My absolute favorite side dish is a simple succotash of Bi-Color Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Peppers. The vegetables are so full of flavor that I simply sauté each of them separately in a little butter/olive oil combination and season them with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. This is my modern take on the classic dish that I grew up loving as a child. It is a fantastic accompaniment to anything coming off the grill, beautiful rib-eye steaks, herb-marinated chicken or rare grilled sushi tuna.

At MaxHansenCaterer and the Max Hansen Carversville Grocery we work with as many local products in season as we possibly can. Our goal is to use excellent ingredients, cooked properly, to respect the integrity of the food and produce a wonderful culinary experience for our guests, wherever they may be!

Summer Succotash by Max Hansen

Nonesuch Farm Bi-Color Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Pepper “Succotash”

Click here for the recipe.

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Bunny at the Grange FairThe big news this week is, of course, the 66th Annual Middletown Grange Fair. This is Bucks County’s version of a county fair, the kind you hear about happening in Iowa and Kansas and places like that. If you think Bucks County is all suburbia, visit the Grange Fair and see all the 4-H kids who have proudly raised their goats, pigs, chickens and bunny rabbits. Walk through the exhibition halls where local folks have entered their vegetables, baked goods, quilts and so much more, with the hopes of getting a blue ribbon. There’s rides for the kids, vendors selling everything from hardware to home improvement, music, John Deere tractors (new and antique), and some very interesting entertainment including Sue Wee Pig Racing, a Goat Obstacle Course, Mutts Gone Nuts and Cow Chip Poker (don’t ask me; I have no idea).

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In  this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Linda Jacobs, Soup to Nuts Caterers,

Everything you want and need for a meal can be included in a salad. Salad as a main dish can be easy, cooling and refreshing on a warm summer day.

Linda Jacobs_blueberry bush_editI have always worked with fresh and seasonal ingredients. This year I’ve been lucky enough to get most produce right from my garden. This salad is a mixture of things I’m harvesting right now.

For the last month or so I’ve been starting the morning picking blueberries. A heat-resistant New Zealand spinach has been coming up since spring and is still going strong. Digging red onions and carrots adds a colorful and nutritious finish to the mix.

BLUEBERRY, CARROT, SPINACH SALAD with HERB CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

SALAD INGREDIENTS

½ Blueberries – wash and remove stems
¼ Carrots – wash and grate or dice small
2 Tbsp Red Onions – fine dice
¼ cup Toasted Walnuts – bake in oven at 275°F until lightly toasted (careful- it’s easy to over cook)
2 cups Spinach – stem and clean completely

Toss all ingredients together in the vinaigrette immediately before serving.

Blueberry salad_Linda Jacobs_Soup to Nuts_editHERB CITRUS VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Shallot
½ teaspoon Garlic
½ tsp Ginger
1 cup Orange Juice
¼ cup Lemon Juice
½ cup Kiwi Juice
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Basil and Cilantro
1 tsp Cumin
Pepper and Sea Salt to taste
1¾ cup Olive Oil

Mix together rice vinegar, shallots, garlic, and ginger in blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients, then add olive oil in a slow stream, blending ingredients. Add salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning.

Additions and substitutions:

  • Tofu (marinated in the vinaigrette)
  • Other nuts, grains, and seeds

 

ABOUT Chef Linda Jacobs and Soup to Nuts Caterers 

Chef Linda Jacobs is a graduate of Culinary Institute of America. Sixteen years ago, she started Soup to Nuts Caterers and has been catering small and large parties ever since. Linda places an emphasis on sustainable and healthy cooking. This year she is featuring cooking classes and small elegant dinner parties. For a Personal Chef or party planning, call Soup to Nuts.

Soup to Nuts Caterers, LLC
New Hope/Washington Crossing, PA
WEBwww.souptonutscaterers.com
PH
: 215.208.5389
EMAILSTNCaterers@aol.com
Neighbors Choice “Best of Bucks”
Bride Choice Awards Wedding Wire 2009 & 2010
Need to find a farmers’ market near you? Click here to see our local food guide on Farmers’ Markets.
 

Nectarines & Peaches from Solebury OrchardWe know you all lead very busy lives, so we would hate for you to miss out on the Bucks County peach season because of it! So we did some research, called some farmers, and made this list for you, so all you have to do is sit back, relax, and eat a peach.

Word is that due to our unseasonably cool weather, some of the peaches are taking longer to ripen. Always call ahead.

A [YES] next to the farm means that the peaches are ripe for picking now!

[YES]Active Acres Farm 881 Highland Rd. Newtown, PA  18940, 215-968-2192 Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday

[YES]Bechdolts Orchard 2209 Leithsville Rd, Rt. 412 Hellertown, PA  18055, 610-838-8522

[YES]Bedminster Orchard 1024 Kellers Church Road Bedminster, PA 18944, 215-795-0303

[YES]Bolton’s Farm Market 1005 Rt. 113 Silverdale, PA  18962, 215-257-6047

[YES] – Fairview Farm 831 Pineville Rd. Pineville, PA  18946, 215-598-3257

[YES] – Lapinski Farm 1003 Middle Rd. Dublin, PA  18917, 215-249-3431

[YES]Manoff Market Gardens 3157 Comfort Rd. Solebury, PA  18963, 215-297-8220

[NO]Penn Vermont Fruit Farm Rt. 113 & Rolling Hills Rd. Bedminster, PA  18910, 215-795-2475 – Hit or miss, not a great harvest this year due to the weather; only selling in quarts, if available.

[YES]Shady Brook Farm 931 Stony Hill Rd. Yardley, PA  19067, 215-968-1670

[YES]Snyder Farms Rt. 313 & 5th St. Perkasie, PA  18944, snyderfarmspa@gmail.com

[YES]Solebury Orchards 3325 Creamery Rd. New Hope, PA  18938, 215-297-8079

[YES]Solly Farm Market 707 Almshouse Rd. Ivyland, PA  18974, 215-357-2850

[YES]Styer Orchard 97 Styers Ln. Langhorne, PA  19047, 215-702-9633

[YES]Tabora Farms 1104 Upper Stump Road Chalfont, PA  18914, 215-249-3016

[YES]The Market at DelVal 2100 Lower State Road Doylestown, PA 18901, 215-249-3016

[NOT YET] - TT Farms 3235 Route 413 Mechanicsville, PA 18934, 215-794-5587 – check with them in a week.

Enjoy!

 

Two years ago, 48-year old Marian Bolum got the flu. But instead of just causing a week in bed, the virus went straight to her heart, putting her in the hospital with congestive heart failure. She almost died.

Any food with salt was out of the question. “I grew up with canning and preserving. We always had a garden and we didn’t eat processed foods,” Marian explains. So when she came home from the hospital, her husband was able to feed her by simply reaching for her already low-sodium canned goods.

“When I researched my condition on the internet, it said I have a life expectancy of five years. So I thought, what could I do to help people?” She decided then to reach out and teach people to eat better.

Farm to Jars is the result. It’s a home canning and food preservation educational program that Marian teaches at colleges, homes, corporate events, farm markets, health expos, culinary stores, and as part of the Penn State Cooperative Extension course curriculum.

Homemade Preserves

Although Marian has been preserving her own food for years, she decided to go a step further. She took the food preserver training course at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension and is now the only certified Master Food Preserver in Bucks County. This lady knows how to put up food.

“I have two goals when I teach my classes,” she explains. “The first is for each person to go home with confidence, knowing how to preserve their food. The second is to teach them the importance of supporting local farmers and markets, and to know where their food is coming from and what they are eating.”

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Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. That’s the weather forecast for this Thursday through Sunday, courtesy of the National Weather Service. Whether you believe in a higher being or not, you’ve got to admit that this weather feels like a gift from above after the winter we had.

People holding glasses of white wine making a toastAnd it is perfect weather for sitting back and sipping some wine…or listening to music and imbibing wine…or cooking with wine…or eating and savoring wine. Well, you get the idea.

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Come out tonight for a beautiful, delicious evening at Anchor Run Farm in Wrightstown (just north of Newtown). The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance is holding their last farm tour and potluck of the summer at this innovative property, beginning tonight at 6 pm. It’s an opportunity to meet the farmers, enjoy a great potluck and learn more about sustainable farming.

Derek & DanaDana Hunting and Derek McGeehan have been farming at Anchor Run since the spring of 2009. They are committed to sustainable, environmentally conscious farming using deep organic techniques that nurture the soil and biodiversity of the 100+-acre farm in general, and produce healthy, nutrient-dense, tasty food.

Anchor Run Farm has a history of being on the cutting edge of what’s new in sustainable agriculture and re-invigorating small family farming in Bucks County.

While the trend across the nation has been the aging of farmers and the loss of family farms, farmland and the communities that support them, a new breed of young farmers taking root in Bucks County are reviving interest in and appreciation for farming, farmers and the freshness of locally grown food.

By creating unique solutions to help re-build a local, sustainable food system, Derek and Dana give us one of Bucks County’s best examples of the new approach to farming. In fact, the farm’s recent history provides a primer of bold, creative ideas for not only farmers, but also landowners, communities, municipalities and governmental agencies.

mulchingAnchor Run Farm TIMELINE

2002 Wrightstown Township launches a Community Supported Agriculture Farm (CSA) on Township, publicly-owned land, the first CSA in Bucks County and the first municipally-sponsored CSA east of the Mississippi River. In 2004 the idea garners a state-wide award for excellence in innovative, green projects.

2006 Anchor Run Farm CSA inspires birth of Bucks County Foodshed Alliance when 3 members of the CSA gather in the farm’s kitchen to brainstorm how they can expand their access from beautiful, healthy produce to a complete diet of healthy, locally grown food. The Foodshed Alliance becomes a force for sustainable agriculture and local farms in Bucks County over the next few years.

2007 Anchor Run CSA wins Best-of-Show for their vegetable market basket, establishing a new benchmark at the Middletown Grange’s county fair for quality, diversity and freshness of produce, and out-competing farms that use pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Since the CSA’s inception they have garnered more than a dozen blue ribbons and Best-of-Show awards for their outstanding vegetable market baskets.

high tunnel2011 Twenty-something newlywed farmers Derek and Dana win a grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for a large movable high tunnel, enabling them to expand their business, extend their growing season and offer the first winter vegetable share in Bucks County. The grant also covers a 2.5-acre pollinator habitat, contour farming and cover cropping among several other projects.

2014 Derek and Dana purchase the homes, barn and all outbuildings at Anchor Run Farm from Wrightstown Township, while the Township retains ownership and control of the publicly-owned land—a ground-breaking agreement negotiated by Benner & Associates, on behalf of the farmers, and Clemons & Associates, solicitor for Wrightstown Township. 

What you’ll learn and see on the tour

The tour will show how Derek and Dana improve soil qualities and properties through appropriate additions of minerals, compost and fertilizer; their use of cover crops to protect the soil and add organic matter; and their intention to enjoy their “work and lifestyle and cultivate a nice community of folks who are pleased to be on the receiving end of our hard work and dedication.”

Potluck ExtraordinaireThe evening’s pot luck meal runs from 6:00 to 7:00 pmwith the tour to follow. Visitors are expected to bring a dish to share with others and their family’s own eating equipment, beverages and seating, and they should expect to carry out their own trash. Although the farm tours are free, donations to BCFA’s programs are encouraged. This educational and entertaining event is appropriate for school-aged children who are under an adult’s careful supervision.

Anchor Run Farm CSA is at 2578 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown (Newtown 18940). Any cancellations due to severe weather will be posted on the BCFA website. For more information:  215.621.8967 or BucksFoodshed.org.

In  this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Rich Baringer,

This recipe is actually a combination of two recipes from America’s Test Kitchen that I adapted to go with each other. It’s healthy, quick and gives you a nice, light summer dinner. Oh, and it’s delicious!

You can interchange some ingredients if you wish—especially the greens. In the picture here, I used beet and radish greens instead of the chard. Feel free to use any of those or spinach, kale or any other greens. Just be aware that you may have to adjust the cooking times depending on the kind of greens you use.

Salmon and chard_Rich Baringer

Here’s the recipe…

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“And the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye…”

Forgive me for bursting into old show tunes, but what with this gorgeous weather we’ve been having, and driving along Bucks County roads, passing corn field after corn field, I just had to.

Corn. Photo credit: Lynne Goldman

Sweet corn, plump tomatoes and juicy peaches. Summer is really here, despite the unseasonably cool weather. I wait all year for these tomatoes, eschewing what passes for tomatoes in the supermarket the rest of the year. Whether it’s a roadside stand, your favorite farmers’ market or one of our local farm markets, go and get some.

Peaches. Stone fruits—peaches, nectarines—are ripening and beginning to come in. See our updated post on who has peaches in Bucks County here.

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VEG-E Systems, a hydroponic farm located right here in Bucks County, has introduced a new program to bring fresh, local lettuce directly to businesses in the Doylestown community. Employees of participating businesses can receive Doylestown Fresh lettuce delivered right to their offices each week through the new Business CSA program.

“We’ve already been delivering our lettuce to some businesses in Doylestown, and the feedback we’ve received is excellent,” says Dennis Riling, VEG-E Systems’ CEO. “People like the convenience of receiving our lettuce at the office, and they can take it
home and share it with their families.”

Through Doylestown Fresh’s new Business CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, local businesses order cases of fresh, delicious lettuce up to two times a week. The lettuce, which is pesticide-free, herbicide-free, and non-GMO, is then delivered during the business day. Cases consist of 12 5-ounce packs of Fresh Mix, a combination of Green Sweet Crisp and Red Butter Lettuces.

Fresh Mix clam shell
Doylestown Fresh’s Business CSA program is an easy and powerful way local businesses can support their employees’ healthy eating habits, the local Doylestown economy, and the local foodshed. It makes a great addition to an existing employee health and wellness program since businesses can have convenient access to fresh, nutritious lettuce year round.

Doylestown Fresh is the local brand of VEG-E Systems, an indoor hydroponic farm based in Doylestown. VEG-E Systems is dedicated to giving local communities access to fresh, healthy produce. The company has local roots, founded by Delaware Valley College alumni Dennis Riling and Tim Sulzer.

For more information or to sign up for the program, visit doylestownfresh.com/business-csa or email kim@vegesystems.com.

You can also buy Doylestown Fresh produce at these retail locations.

To learn more about Doylestown Fresh, click here and read our article.

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When I first heard that there was a new poultry farm in Chalfont, I was a bit puzzled. Chalfont? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely community, but there isn’t a lot of farmland left in Chalfont, and I was hard pressed to picture it. As it turns out, Hershberger Heritage Farm, Bucks County’s newest poultry farm, is nestled in one of Bucks County’s oldest family farms, Meadow Breeze Farm, on Walter Road in Chalfont.

Meadow Breeze Farm sunset_photo credit Shelah Layton

Walter Detweiler owns Meadow Breeze Farm (and farm market), a 60 acre property that’s been in his family for generations. It used to be a full-time dairy, but now he raises beef and grows hay. Unfortunately, his children are not taking over the farm, and at 69 years old, Detweiler is ready to retire. But he is interested in leasing out his assets. And that’s good for Nathan and Shelah Layton.

The cost of land being what it is in Bucks County, it’s near impossible for young farmers starting out to own land. That’s why it’s so exciting to see an older farmer extending a hand to a new farmer, and finding new ways to keep our local farmland producing food.

The Laytons are leasing six acres on Meadow Breeze Farm to pasture-raise chickens for eggs and meat. Detweiler generously includes use of his tractors, electricity, barn space and water in the agreement, and is encouraging the Laytons to lease more next year. You couldn’t ask for a better landlord.

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Hershberger Heritage Farm came into being just this past March (named after Nathan’s maternal grandfather, Richard Hershberger). “We got started because we wanted eggs and poultry that was non-GMO, and we were having a hard time finding them,” says Nathan. Most people, faced with this problem, would not start a poultry farm. Luckily for us, the Laytons decided they would. And they decided to raise their chickens using “beyond organic” farming practices. But what does mean?

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Just when I think things are slowing down for the summer, I look at Bucks County Taste’s Food Events Calendar and find a whole bunch of fun things going on locally.

Sticky buns_serious eats_Photo credit Elizabeth Bomze

Homemade cinnamon buns made by your (surrogate) grandmother. On the last week of every month, the Central Bucks Senior Center holds a cinnamon bun bake sale. Fresh, gooey, chewy buns, made that morning, are sold by the dozen in three flavors: plain ($5), raisin ($5.50) and raisin and nuts ($6.50). This week the sale begins on Tuesday, July 29 and continues through Saturday, August 2, every day from 9 am to 3 pm.

Volunteers from the center start the process at midnight the day of the sale, mixing the dough and rolling it out. As the morning progresses, they are joined by the “goopers,” “bakers,” “dumpers,” and “wrappers,” who all perform their essential function so that you can bite into a lovely sticky bun with your coffee. They make between 120 to 150 dozen buns a day! Stop by the center at 700 Shady Retreat Road in Doylestown (near intersection of Shady Retreat and Broad St.). For more information, call 215.348.0565.

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You may think the summer is a quiet time but get a look at what’s happening on the local restaurant scene.

Sunday Supper_Vintage Grille

The Vintage Grille in Fountainville is offering a special prix fixe menu every Sunday evening throughout the summer. The Sunday Supper features three courses for $24.95. The menu this past Sunday featured a Chicken & Quinoa Chowder, House Salad with roasted tomato vinaigrette, Edamame Potstickers and a Beet & Goat Cheese Arugula Salad for appetizers. Entrées included Soba Noodles with Salmon, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Polenta Lasagna, Flat Iron Steak Salad, and Tagliatelle with Mussels. And dessert too! Call 215.348.4850 to reserve your seat.

Hamilton's Grill Room courtyard; painting by Robert Beck

In Lambertville, Hamilton’s Grill Room has updated their weekend lunch menu for the summer. In addition to favorites like Fried Oysters (with a cornmeal crust and a tabasco remoulade) and a Lobster Roll (with mascarpone, on a buttered brioche roll), they’ve added a Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad and Burrata Cheese with Prosciutto. Lunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. And with the weather we’ve been having, it would be great to sit out in the courtyard too. For the full lunch menu, click here. Call 609.397.4343 to reserve.

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In  this series, chef Rich Baringer gives great recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By guest blogger, Rich Baringer,

In our house, I’m usually the one who tries out all the unique and gourmet recipes.  My wife, Mary Beth, luckily for me, is extremely skilled in making great comfort food. These are the dishes that she was raised on and that just hit the spot. This recipe is one of them.

Often, with these kinds of recipes, there really isn’t a recipe.  So we had to estimate the amounts and cooking times.  And, to be honest, a recipe like this is really more of a guide. You don’t have to follow it to the letter. A lot has to do with your personal taste. But whether you follow the recipe closely or not, this meal is worth making. It is so tasty, made with all local, in-season ingredients. The perfect dinner for a lovely summer night. It tastes even better a day or two later.

Ham and Beans_Rich Baringer

For the recipe…

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Farm-to-fork, craft beer, wine pairing, pizza on the grill, and even catching fire flies. It’s all happening this week in Bucks and nearby.

Lagunitas beerIf you are a craft beer fan, don’t miss a special beer dinner Thursday (tomorrow) night at the Yardley Inn. The five course meal will feature Lagunitas Brewing Company beers. Sous Chef Josh Noel has created a pairing menu to compliment the beers, including fried gulf oysters, potato chip crusted pork terrine, and seared big eye tuna (for the full menu, click here). 

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