|Week 20, Summer 2014 Geauga County, Ohio||Oct. 21, 2014|
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"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy,
leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."
~ Carol Bishop Hipps, "October,"
In a Southern Garden, 1995
Welcome to the final week of the Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA program!
There is such a wide range of emotions that comes with the last week of the CSA season: relief for making it through another year, happiness regarding the new friendships that our members bring, sadness at the thought that we will not see or hear from many of you until next spring, and most of all, thankfulness for all of the people whose participation, dedication and hard work make this program possible.
We are thankful for all of the farm families who contribute produce to the CSA and who work so hard throughout the year to make these 20 weeks a great experience for our members. Their dedication to the craft of organic farming is a wonderful gift.
We are thankful for the site hosts and site managers who volunteer their space and their time each week to help the program succeed. Their commitment to helping support small, family farms is humbling.
We are thankful for our warehouse and delivery team. We have been blessed with a group of individuals who take our members' satisfaction very personally. Thanks to Neil, Abner, Rebecca, John, Rick, Rick and the whole crew of packers.
We are thankful for you. We appreciate your comments and notes, your help in spreading the word about the importance of supporting our local farmers and your willingness to open your tables to our produce each week. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed your experience with Geauga Family Farms!
If you are not ready for it all to end, we have left the application up for our Fall shares until Thursday. We'll also stay in touch during the off-season to let you know about special events and updates for the 2015 summer season. In the meantime, we wish you the best and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine lettuce, Red Russian, Winterbore and Lacinato kale, Swiss chard, regular and baby bok choy, broccoli greens, micro greens, cabbage, green and colored peppers, hot and sweet banana peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, broccoli, Yummy Orange peppers, radishes, sweet potatoes, parsley, acorn and butternut squash, pie pumpkins, apple cider and Red Delicious, Honeycrisp and Empire apples.
NOTE: You will not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Different size shares and shares received at different times of the week may include different items.
You might notice something new in your box this week. One of our farmers has been working on growing micro-greens, and we wanted to share them. These baby greens pack a tremendous nutritional punch, with some studies showing micro-greens to have four to six times the nutritional value of mature versions of the same plants. You can keep the package on the counter, making sure that it stays moist. Use the greens as you need them in salads, soups and on sandwiches. If they begin to grow too large, place them in the refrigerator. Let us know what you think!
Last call for fall shares
We will be accepting applications for our Fall CSA program until Thursday. We would like to apologize for an earlier link that was not working correctly. Please click here to sign up via our website.
Several of our farmers have farm stands and farm stores that will continue to be open for a few more weeks. If you find yourself in the Middlefield area, stop by and stock up! Please note that farm stands are not open on Sundays. They include:
D&S Organic Farm - 4738 Gates East Road, Middlefield
Miller's Organic Produce - 17201 Bundysburg Road, Middlefield
Parkman Produce - 17050 Nash Road, Middlefield
Hershberger Organic - 15549 Patch Road, Middlefield
It's fall, and that means it's time to stock the freezers! We are running a local grass-fed ground beef sale for those interested in picking up their beef at Geauga Farms Country Meats in Burton. Purchase 10 pounds or more for a sale price of $6.25 per pound. This country butcher shop is located at 14320 Main Market Road (Route 422). Call Dave at 440-834-8476 to reserve your beef today. While there, you can purchase other cuts, roasts, etc. from our grass-fed beef suppliers.
We have three choice Black Angus beef available for bulk purchase. These are grass-fed cows, available by the half or quarter. A half is approximately 325-350 pounds hanging weight. A quarter is approximately 165-175 pounds hanging weight. Pricing for a half is $4.39/lb. plus processing (an additional 50-60 cents per pound), pricing for a front quarter is $4.29/lb. plus processing and a rear quarter is $4.49/lb. plus processing.
A nonrefundable deposit of $175 per half and $100 per quarter is required to reserve this beef. Reservations and payment can be made at our farm store, here.
This is an extremely affordable way to stock your freezer with top-quality grass-fed beef. Please feel free to contact Neil Miller at our warehouse with any questions you may have. Our warehouse number is
We include recipes each week using the items in your share. We'd love for you to share your recipes with us and we will include them in the newsletter. Please e-mail them to
Salad of the Week - Easy Sweet Potato and Apple Salad
Note: This recipe must sit overnight for the raw sweet potato to soften and the flavors to combine.
4 cups peeled and grated sweet potatoes (yams)
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces, toasted
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
Mix the sweet potatoes, apples, raisins and pecans in a large bowl.
Combine the juices, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Whisk together, then add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
Pour over the salad, toss well to combine well, then refrigerate overnight before serving.
Recipe adapted from a recipe on Food.com
Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Makes 6-8 servings
1 medium leek or two small leeks
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnish)
5-6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into coins
1 cup + 2 cups soy milk
1 cup water
Salt and white pepper to taste
Curry powder (for garnish)
Trim the end off of the leek, and slice it into thin rings, discarding any darker green leaves. Put the sliced leeks in a salad spinner and fill with water. Use your hand to swirl the water around and dislodge any dirt from between the leek's rings. Lift the basket out of the spinner, then dump the water out and repeat once. Dump any water out of the bowl of the spinner, return the basket, cover and spin the leeks to remove the excess water.
Add the leeks, celery and olive oil to a pot and cover with a lid. Turn the stove on to medium-low heat and cook, string occasionally until the leeks are soft (10-15 minutes). Remove the lid and turn up the heat and sauté, string constantly until the leeks are reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume and caramelized.
Add the sweet potato, 1 cup soy milk, and water. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium low heat until the potatoes are tender and falling apart.
Turn off the heat, and then add the rest of the soy milk.
Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you are using a regular blender, cover the lid with a large towel and hold it there as you slowly turn up the speed of the blender, otherwise the sudden escape of steam will cause the lid to blow off, spewing hot soup all over you and the kitchen.
Add salt and white pepper to taste, as well as more soymilk if you want the soup thinner. Return the soup to the pot to reheat.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of curry powder.
Adapted from recipe by food blogger Marc Matsumoto
Garden Vegetable Pasta Sauce
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chopped tomatoes, canned or about 6 fresh, peeled tomatoes
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, cooking until tender. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, wine, carrots, parsley, basil, sugar, and salt. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring frequently.
Add sliced zucchini and mushrooms; cook until sauce is thick, about 20 minutes longer. Serve with hot cooked pasta.
Tomato sauce recipe serves 4.
Recipe by Diana Rattray for About.com
Baked Sweet Potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large sweet potatoes
2 pinches dried oregano
2 pinches salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat the bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish with olive oil, just enough to coat.
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into medium size pieces. Place the cut sweet potatoes in the baking dish and turn them so that they are coated with the olive oil. Sprinkle moderately with oregano, and salt and pepper (to taste).
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 60 minutes or until soft.
Recipe from Allrecipes.com
4 Tbsp. butter
4-5 cups sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only (from about 4 large leeks)
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups water (vegetarian option), or chicken stock
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (more to taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
In a large (6-quart) pot, heat the butter on medium high heat until it melts and foams up. Continue to heat until the foam subsides a little and the butter just begins to brown.
Immediately toss in the sliced leeks and onions. Stir to coat with the butter. Cook for several minutes, reducing the heat to medium if necessary, until the leeks and onions are translucent and wilted.
Add the chopped potatoes, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Remove from heat.
Purée using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend in a blender. (Careful! With hot liquids only fill the blender 1/3 of the way full, and hold the blender top on with your hand while blending.) Purée until completely smooth. If you want an even smoother soup, you can take the extra step of pressing thepurée through a sieve with a rubber spatula.
Allow to cool a bit before stirring in the sour cream and whipped cream. Allow to cool completely and chill in the refrigerator. The soup should be served just below room temperature (maybe 65°F or 18°C). If it is too cold, it won't taste as good. Add more salt to taste. Serve garnished with chopped fresh chives.
Makes about 10 cups, serves 6 to 8.
Recipe from SimplyRecipes.com
Those farmers are my heroes
Wait a minute...I thought I just heard someone say...no! This is the last week of the Geauga Family Farms CSA Summer program? What?
I look out my window and I see brightly colored leaves with gray skies. I'm bundled in a sweatshirt and still a little chilly. But I am still rebelliously wearing flip flops. Summer over? When exactly did it pass by?
This was my third year with the CSA and every year I'm blown away by how fresh and delicious the veggies are. I reflect on how hard the farmers, volunteers and all the members making the CSA possible work. At a time when big business is somehow getting into our food supply and rendering it confusing if not inedible, I am so thankful that I can contribute to a group that keeps organic agriculture alive while helping to keep our local economy thriving.
For the last three years, I've consistently been a bit depressed on this day. Even though I will be continuing on with the delightful fall program, this is the turning point where I'm going to have to mentally prepare myself for the all-organic grocery bill again, for the produce that travels hundreds, if not thousands of miles, for having to squint at the carton of eggs to figure out if they are really organic and cage-free or trying to trick me...(Note: remember how "all natural" means absolutely nothing? OK, good.)
I realize how refreshing it's been to not have to worry about those things. As someone who cares passionately about the health of my family, the peace of mind gifted by those weekly shares has been priceless.
Hopefully, you will be hanging on as tightly as me, clinging desperately to the fall program and hoping that those weekly shares don't actually come to an end, appreciating each vegetable more and more.
It's been an enlightening journey in organic produce this summer. I hope you've enjoyed it, too. I'll look forward to seeing you again next year (or in a couple of weeks for those fall veggies)!
Laura J. Novak is a freelance writer and passionate supporter of locally grown, organic produce. Director and founder of Light Your Life Healing Arts in Mentor, Laura is certified as a Raindrop Technique (Relaxation Massage with Essential Oils), Advanced Reiki, Angelic Reiki Energy Healing, and Body Wisdom Practitioner. She also serves as a wellness consultant with Young Living Essential Oils. You can learn more about Light Your Life Healing Arts here. Laura is excited to participate in her third year with the Geauga Family Farms CSA and her second year as a contributing columnist to the newsletter. She also has a bachelor's degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace College and a master's in education from Ursuline College.
Local food and farm-related events/activities
Upcoming events at Light Your Life Healing Arts
7501 Clover Ave., Mentor
(Inside the Air Technical Industries Building)
Preventing Inflammation with Dietary Choices
Saturday, Oct. 25
Did you know that food choices can create inflammation in the body? Discover how adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can reduce painful inflammation within your body. Join Light Your Life Healing Arts and special guest, Cathy Picozzi, certified health coach. Cost is $5 which will be donated to the Lake County Humane Society.
Light Your Life Healing Arts Holiday Open House
Saturday, Nov. 8
Light Your Life Healing Arts will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a Holiday Open House. Enter to win a free Raindrop (Relaxation) Massage, enjoy complimentary samples of essential oils, and sip some celebratory champagne. You may purchase healing arts packages at a discount, as well as browse holiday baskets, purchase gift certificates, and meet members of the Light Your Life community. This is the perfect opportunity to meet Laura J. Novak, GFF newsletter contributor and founder of Light Your Life Healing Arts.
See all special events at Light Your Life Healing Arts here.
For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail
or call 440-940-4017.
Other area events:
Lowe's Greenhouses, Florist & Gift Shop, Bainbridge
The 12 Weeks of Christmas sale
12 weeks of savings, celebration and fun!
17-23: Birdseed, Feeders & Houses - 20% off
24-30: Fairy Garden Supplies - 20% off
31-11/6: Christmas Ornaments - 20% off
Other holiday events:
Nov. 6: Holiday Open House 3-7 p.m.
Nov. 22: Poinsettia Glow 6-8 p.m.
Nov. 30: SugarPlum Dreams, 1-4 p.m. with Santa's Reindeer
Dec. 11: Ladies Night with Gift registry & Art Show 5-7 p.m.
Fall events in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Days Of Service in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Saturday, Oct. 25
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Work alongside fellow volunteers and park staff to enhance and maintain the rich resources of CVNP. Plant trees, conduct a thorough "sweep" of a trail, and help rebuild Table Top Trail, closed due to flooding since 2003.
Choose from three projects: Plant Native Trees, Trail Repair or Trail Maintenance
For more information and to register, click here.
Curious by Nature: Fall Weekend Retreat
Saturday, Nov. 8 - Sunday, Nov. 9 Cuyahoga Valley National Park
At this inaugural Cuyahoga Valley Institute program, Curious by Nature, attend workshops that examine how current issues impact society and community. Venture onto the stunning trails of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, practice yoga in a meadow, and toast marshmallows around the campfire. You will depart with a fresh perspective and lasting connections.
Overnight lodging available: dormitory-style bunk lodging, which includes linens, is available at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center for an additional charge.
Choose from three groups:
Food and Farming: Field trips include Greenfield Berry Farm, Trapp Family Farm, and a session with Great Lakes Biomimicry. Involves walking over moderately uneven terrain.
Culture and Society: Field trips include Brecksville Dam, the Trapp Family Farm or Greenfield Berry Farm, and a session with Great Lakes Biomimicry. Involves walking and hiking over moderately uneven terrain.
Ecology and Succession: Field trips include Beaver Marsh, the old Coliseum site, and the Brecksville Dam or a hike. Involves hiking over moderately uneven terrain.
To register, click here
Ursuline College 16th Annual Faculty Lecture Series
Fracking and the Future of Sustainability Justice in Northeast Ohio
Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
Ursuline College, Pilla Dining Room
A local food movement is exploding in Northeast Ohio, part of a growing network of sustainability and social and political activism. Meanwhile, horizontal hydraulic fracturing is coming to the region, potentially threatening the soil, air, and water that are essential to emerging sustainable food systems. This multi-media presentation investigates the interacting political economies of global industrial energy and the local grassroots sustainability movement in our region. Is there a way forward that can include multiple ethical perspectives on, and visions for, "the land" in Northeast Ohio?
Elizabeth E. Meacham, PhD, is an assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies. She teaches courses in environmental philosophy, ecojustice, bioethics, and sustainability. She developed the curriculum for the Online Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Spirituality, which will launch in the fall of 2015 in the MA in Ministry Department. For more information, click here.
(ONLY between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday PLEASE!)
Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849,
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109,
Grass-fed beef & poultry
Kathleen Webb, 216-408-7719,
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062