Tag Archives: local and organic foods

Know Your Neighbors: Tomatillo Chicken Stew

I don’t want to invite trouble, but I just might be able to die a happy woman after this weekend. It was perfect. Yup, I said it. Perfect.

There was a little time spent in the kiddie pool, a fun impromptu picnic snack with Daddy, a short but delicious nap, and lots of baby snuggles. All wonderful, but there was a high point…

It was my first Saturday off in months, and I was busting at the seams at the thought of spending the whole day with my boy (make that boys.) It was also my first opportunity to check out the Selinsgrove Farmer’s Market. Don’t get too excited…it’s not like many of the others I’ve seen and salivated over on other blogs. But, small as it may be, there were treasures to be had!

We met a local farmer, Giles, who told us that he operates an organic farm nearby, Mystic Springs. And get this: he’s one of our neighbors! I had no idea! We chatted for a bit, and he told us that he and his wife have 8 children, and their desire to feed their family organic foods is what sparked their farming career. They’ve chosen not to seek certification, but they do run a sustainable, energy efficient, organic farm. What a find! I can’t stress this enough: Get to know your local farmers!

This totally makes up for that guy in Lewisburg who told me pesticides were OK because “my daughter eats my peaches and she’s fine…” :roll:

Here’s the Mystic Springs farmstand, CSA baskets and all…

We grow many of the same items, so we didn’t need much, but I just couldn’t pass up the challenge of the tomatillos!

Pretty, aren’t they?

We picked up a brochure and found that the Mystic Springs mission statement includes “integrating spirituality with farming” and Giles’ wife, Marcia, is a lactation counselor! I wonder if I can talk them into being our new best friends… :D

I strolled away, tomatillos and a few other purchases in hand, feeling a little less alone in the world. *sigh*

So what do you do with tomatillos? I wasn’t feeling the salsa idea so much, so I set out on a Google hunt for a new recipe…and found Tomatillo Chicken Stew! 

This recipe required me to roast the tomatillos under the broiler (which was fun because they pop and squeal!) and make them into a sauce, which I refrigerated overnight to let the flavors meld. I finished the stew up on Sunday in a matter of about 35 minutes. It was a tart change of pace, and we really enjoyed it! Although next time, it definitely needs a little more heat. My jalapenos must be a little dull…

Here are some pictures of the “stew progression.” For the sake of time (since the baby is tucked in and I’d like to savor the last few hours of my perfect weekend with my husband…) you can find the original recipe here.

Many thanks to Giles and his family for their produce, which mingled with ours in a lovely locally grown collaboration. They are expecting delicata squash next week…I can’t wait! 

Go bug a local farmer today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Do you make an effort to support local farmers? Have you found any hidden gems?

Have you ever eaten a tomatillo?



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