At 7 am I emerged from my room to a silent house. This is not normal.

I called my kid’s names. No response.

Were they outside in the yard?

The swings hung still and the slide was empty.

Turning around the corner of the house, I spotted a yellow picking bin walking by itself in the distant field.

Found: 6 year old boy and 3 year old sister in the lettuce field with the picking team – before breakfast!

mini farm kids w picking bins

picking certified organic lettuce

I did what any modern mother would do…  I grabbed my camera to capture the moment.

Maybe they think picking lettuce is more fun in the early morning than doing their normal chores, like vacuuming.

Older brother Blaise told me he saw him biking toward the field with little sister running behind. She asked the “boss man” to let her help so he sent her to the end of the row to bring an empty picking bin to him to fill.

Little farmer boy didn’t want to help at first but then grabbed the bin from her because he could do it better – she was too small.

“You can both bring bins!” shouted Boss Man from the end of the row, in an attempt to stop the crying and fighting.

Little did I know during my personal morning routine that my youngest kids were being supervised by our field manager – during work hours.

I don’t think we wrote that in the job description.

Is that what “family farm” means?

Here it does. The kids feel they belong to every part of the farm and love to get involved.

Tommy, our friend and former farm hand, dropped in to work in the field for fun one day this week.

Just reconnecting with the dirt, physical work and the comraderie of farm work gave his mind and body the satisfaction of a job well done and meaningful work.

Our farm members tell us the same thing.

“I feel like I can come to the farm anytime. You are always inviting me!”

I’m glad our customers, our farm team and our kids feel like they belong here!

This is YOUR Farm.

We grow for YOU.

I love the permission that the farm gives to people to rest into their spontaneous side.

To do something fun.

To have an adventure.

To be free from the ordinary and the routine for a moment – or a day. Or a summer.

So, I’m going to invite you again.

To be spontaneous.

To enjoy life.

To enjoy fantastic food.

To take a break from your routine.

Come to Pizza Night Tonight!

Hang out with Reuben and I on the deck this evening while Mas (Massimiliano’s Homestead) handcrafts your pizza and pulls it sizzling out of the wood fired oven.

Reuben smiles on farm deck at outdoor pizza night

As you savor each delicious bite, you’ll taste the love and care we pour into our crops and the unmistakable flavor that comes from the bounty of the farm

Here are the key details for every Friday:

15.00,  for personal 11 inch pie

Date: Fridays

⌚ Time: 5pm – 9 pm

Location: Willow Haven Farm

Address: 7686 Herber Rd. New Tripoli, PA, 18066

Walk in! No tickets or reservations necessary!

This is what Your Farm Does

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster are passionately focused on the people who make Willow Haven Farm so special.

Our  50-acre organic vegetable and grass farm in New Tripoli, PA, serves as a cornerstone for fostering meaningful connections and promoting well-being.

The heart of farming lies in the relationships we cultivate, ensuring that every practice supports not just the land, but the health and sustainability of families like you.

You are invited to experience the transformative power of nutrient-dense food, the strength of personal connections and shared experiences that turn farm members  into family.

Keep reading to discover what our Farm Members are transforming into healthy meals for their families and creating a sustainable life with new knowledge and skills.

Harvest Highlights for Market Box CSA – June 10, 2024

If you are curious about the curly, pointed garlic scapes or how easy it is to make probiotic kefir on your countertop, this video is for you.

Even experienced farm members learn something new here.

Veggies We Harvested This Week:

Every member’s customized Market Box is unique so we hope you will take advantage more varieties of vegetables as you get comfortable with all the great organic produce we are offering.  Use our A to Z Vegetable Guide to help use and store your veggies.

Tessa’s Tips

Coming Soon: Cherries, Cucumbers. If you want those the first time they are offered, make sure they are rated 5 in your preferences and there aren’t too many other competing 5s.

What to use first: arugula, dill, microgreens, tomatoes, strawberries.

Finished for the season: we’ll let you know here when a certain crop is over for the season.

Done for now but will return: many spring veggies will reappear in the fall.

Storage & Usage Info

Arugula – Place arugula in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within three days. Arugula is a slender, leafy green which has a spicy/nutty taste. Some prefer to eat it tossed with other fresh greens or lettuce so that the spicy taste is not as strong. Putting it on a sandwich is another delicious way to enjoy its flavor without being overpowered by it. It can also be sautéed or added to hot pasta. Here is a collection of recipes for any taste 19 Ways to Eat Arugula

Asparagus – Store upright in a jar with an inch of water in the refrigerator. Some recommend draping a plastic bag over the spears. Best flavor if used within a couple days but will keep longer. The key to enjoying asparagus is to trim off the “woody” ends. The tough fibers are unpleasant compared to the soft, melt in your mouth stems and tips. This video (at minute 5:50) shows my preferred method. Freeze with blanching method for 30 – 60 seconds depending on thickness.

Butterhead Lettuce – this variety is a head lettuce. Store it properly to last all week. How to Store Lettuce.

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 7

Chinese/Napa Cabbage – Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked any way you would use traditional cabbage. It tastes excellent in Asian-flavored dishes, especially stir frys. Stir fried Chinese Cabbage Recipe Store the Napa cabbage wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in crisper drawer. The Napa cabbage will stay fresh for up to two weeks.

Collard Greens – To store, wrap the greens, unwashed, in damp paper towels until you are ready to use them. Keep the wrapped greens in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days. When you are ready to cook the greens, you’ll need to wash them. To freeze: Wash the leaves, cut off the woody stems, blanch in boiling water for three minutes and chill in ice water. Dry the leaves, pack into freezer bags, and freeze.

Dill – like all herbs, will not last long once picked. Place upright in a glass of water in the fridge or on your kitchen counter. Dill pairs well with potatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. If you cannot use the dill this week, preserve the herb by tying a string around the bunch and hanging it upside down in a well-ventilated and dry area. When it’s dry, crumble and store in an airtight container. Making a dill dressing to use on salad, dip, grilled veggies or meats also preserves the dill longer.

Garlic Scapesa treat that is only harvested for about 3 weeks each year. Place in a plastic bag in fridge for two to three weeks.  It makes a delicious pesto. Simply replace basil with garlic scapes in a pesto recipe. This pesto may also be frozen flat in a plastic bag so that you may break off a chunk as needed. Garlic Scape Pesto. If you can’t get through them fast enough, just chop them up and throw them into the freezer in a Ziploc freezer bag. Use them all winter long as a garlic substitute. I like to use these in garlic-scape compound butter or add to my own DIY cream cheese.

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 8

Kale – Lacinato or Red Russian kale. Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer for 7-10 days. Lacinato is dark green, narrow bumpy leaves. Red Russian kale has red/purple stems and a more tender, flatter leaf. To freeze, wash and chop into small pieces and place in a freezer bag. This would be delicious used in the winter in a potato soup or vegetable stir fry.  I love it sauteed with garlic and olive oil until bright green and tender.

Microgreens – transfer to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Store the container or bag in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer, where the microgreens can stay fresh for about 5 to 7 days.

Mint – Just like most herbs, mint should be stored on the kitchen counter in a jar or cup with a small amount of water in the bottom. Keep the mint fresh by snipping a half inch off the bottom of the stem and placing it in a glass of water on your kitchen counter, just like you would do to a bouquet of flowers. Change the water daily to keep the herb fresh all week. Here’s more to help you use fresh mint. Mint Resources

Mushroom, Portobello & Cremini – These two mushrooms are the same variety but are harvested at different sizes. Store in a paper bag and refrigerate in the main section of the fridge with a dry paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Alternatively, mushrooms can be briefly sautéed or blanched before freezing to extend their shelf life for up to 3 months.

Mushrooms, Shiitake – Emmanuel Farm successfully grew these Shiitakes to offer you. Add them to stir-fries, risottos, soups, or use them as a filling for tacos. They are also great for Asian-inspired noodle dishes or as a base for stuffed mushrooms. Enjoy their earthy flavor and meaty texture in these and other creative recipes.

Parsley – Store as you would any herb; in a glass with some water on the counter.  Keeps for several days. I love in Tabouleh Salad. Here is my Spring Tabouleh Recipe.

Radish – keep well for up to two week in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately. Wash radishes and layer with paper towels in a mason jar or a plastic Ziploc bag in the fridge to keep them crisp longer. This root vegetable can be eaten raw or steamed for 8-12 minutes for a milder taste. Try this quick Thai Radish Salad.

Rhubarb – To store rhubarb, remove any leaves and trim the ends, then place the stalks in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. For usage, rhubarb can be cooked into compotes, jams, pies, or used in baked goods, providing a tart flavor that pairs well with sweet ingredients like strawberries or apples.

Scallions – Green onions, or scallions, can be wrapped in a damp towel or placed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Chop and use raw or cooked any way you would use a bulb onion. The whole of the green onion can be eaten, stalks and all.

Sprouting Broccoli is a variety of broccoli characterized by its long, slender stalks and multiple small florets, rather than a single large head. Use sprouting broccoli in steamed or sautéed dishes, stir-fries, pastas, salads, roasted with seasonings, or as a topping for pizzas, quiches, and frittatas. Storage: Keep sprouting broccoli in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, stored in a plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel, and use within a week for best quality.

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 9

Stinging Nettle 

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 10

General and Nutritional Information:
Stinging nettle is a wild leafy green known for its stinging hairs, which contain compounds that can irritate the skin. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, iron, calcium, and magnesium, making it a highly nutritious plant that can be safely consumed once cooked or dried.

Usage Suggestions:
Use stinging nettle in soups, stews, and teas after blanching or cooking to neutralize the stinging hairs. It can also be added to pesto, sautéed like spinach, or used in place of other greens in recipes.

Store fresh stinging nettle in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and use within a few days for best quality. Dried stinging nettle can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for several months.

Handle stinging nettle with gloves to avoid skin irritation from its stinging hairs. Always cook or dry stinging nettle before eating.

Summer Squash – green summer squash is often called zucchini but there are many varieties of various green and yellow that are interchangeable in recipes. Try a simple sautee or stir fry. Simple Sauteed Zucchini Squash Recipe.

Swiss Chard – Chard is in the chenopod family which includes beets and spinach. The stems come in a variety of vibrant colors or simply a whitish green. Both the leaves and the stalks are edible. When cooked, swiss chard is a very good source of vitamins A, C, K, iron, and potassium. Serving Suggestions: When picked very young, chard can be part of a green salad. But full grown chard like in your box today has a very strong flavor and tough stems when eaten raw. Chard can be sliced and chopped and added to soups. After cooking for several minutes, it can also be added to rice and beans or omelets. Basically any way you would prepare spinach, you could substitute chard allowing for longer cook time for the stems. Store in a loosely sealed plastic bag in the fridge for 3-5 days. Before using, wash well in cool water and separate the leaves from the stems. See below for E-book with recipes. This is one of our family favorites Baked Swiss Chard Stems. Try this twist on bruschetta: Skillet Bruschetta with Beans and Greens.

swiss chard on board


Tomato, Red – Keep tomatoes on the counter at room temperature. Tomatoes should not be refrigerated. Enjoy fresh in salads.

What To Do With Your Veggie Scraps

Make your veggies go further and give you more value when you save your trimming and ends of the vegetables you are preparing.

Start a “veggie scrap bag” in your freezer to store random bits of onion skins, root ends of turnips, radishes, carrots,  woody ends of asparagus, garlic scapes, collards, and kale. When the bag is full, use it to create your own DIY veggie broth. You can even freeze your veggie broth in ice cube trays for late use.  Grab our Do It Yourself Veggie Broth Guide here.

Farm Food Highlights

Strawberries with greens - Week 1 CSA 2023 share box


Strawberries – Best when eaten right away.  But if you have to store them: avoid washing the strawberries to prevent excess moisture. Remove the green leaves and stems and place the strawberries in a breathable container or basket lined with paper towels for air circulation. Store the container in the refrigerator’s main section for up to 3 days.


Country Sunflower Bread – This bread is perfect for any use. Just a bit nutty, but show-casing the rich flavor of the organic wheat flour and sourdough method. To reheat sourdough bread, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), wrap the bread loosely in foil, and warm it for 10 to 15 minutes. Optionally, remove the foil during the last few minutes for a crispy crust. Use for morning toast with jam, a sandwich at lunch piled with farm cheese, greens, and cured meats, or with cultured butter with your dinner.


Haven Farmstead Table’s spreadable “fromage” can be used like cream cheese and is a favorite with Willow Haven Farm members.

If you didn’t get these in your farm share this week, look for them next time.


Make use of several items from your box and try this  Farmer’s Favorite Summer Skillet. This beautiful seasonal mix of Swiss chard, scallions, tomatoes, zucchini, and garlic scapes is delicious alone, over pasta, or as a side.

Keep Tessa’s Favorite Coleslaw Dressing & Recipe on hand all season to make coleslaw or use over any spring salad.

Veggie E-Books

Download these collections of tips and recipes for each veggie. You’ll use these as a reference throughout the season.

Garlic Scape E-Book
Collard Greens E-Book
Kale E-Book
Radish E-book
Fresh Herbs E-book
Kohlrabi E-Book

Do you know what vegetables have greens you can use?

Click the image to download a list of Vegetables Greens You Can Use:

Vegetables with greens you can use

Farm Events

Coming up:

Brick Oven Pizza Night

Join us every Friday night from 5:00-9:00 P.M.  Relax and enjoy the farm-to-table flavors of Massimiliano’s Homestead’s hand-crafted pizza.

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 11


Member Appreciation Dinner – June 29, 5:30 P.M. Join us for an incredible meal and inspiring event to support the opening of the Willow Haven Farm General Store, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Carmina Chapp on local sustainable food systems. More Info Here!


As Always…

We support your desire to have a good, healthy way of life and food on your table that supports that goal.

We’ll keep farming for you!

Reuben and Tessa DeMaster
Willow Haven Farm

P.S. Olive Rosemary Bread, Ancient Grains, Country Sunflower, Brioche, Scones…

Open this weekend!

On Farm Market Hours: Saturday: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

We want to connect you with a real farmer and send you amazing local, organic food this week!

Farm Kids in the Field: How Kids Value Organic Life 12

Join the Market Box Subscription.

  1. Choose your size.
  2. Tell us your favorite farm foods.
  3. Pick up your box and enjoy amazing flavors in your food again.

We support your desire to have a rewarding, healthy way of life and clean food on your table that supports that goal.