Week  10                                                   Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 4, 2015

The Fair Share     

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"The concept of being a locavore,

or one who chooses whenever possible

to incorporate locally grown

or locally produced food

into one's nutrition plan,

is of great importance."

~ Tyler Florence

 

   
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Balance

We try to keep a balance around here, and we hope our members can appreciate these efforts. We know many of you participate in a CSA program because you like the simple, straightforward connection between grower and customer. We like to think of this as one step removed from stopping at a farm stand to get your weekly produce (although for those members who pick up at our farm location, it's exactly that!) and it is key to the Geauga Family Farms experience. It's a connection to a simpler time, and one we don't want to lose.

 

On the other hand, we appreciate the availability of technological advances in our communications and things like CSA management software that allow us to provide you with better customer service and more purchasing options. We don't want to become slick, mobile grocery stores because that's not who we are. But we do want to continually make improvements in what we provide to our customers. We've been able to offer some new features to our members this year including regular produce offerings in the farm store and we are putting the final touches on an exciting new option for members that we will be announcing in the next couple of weeks. 

 

There are certain details of our program that reflect that balance between simplicity and technology. Our ordering deadlines are one of these items. Our warehouse does not have a computer. Most of our growers, partners and suppliers do not have computers. This is why we have a five-day ordering deadline. Our orders get called in to our suppliers, and enough time is needed for them to plan ahead (especially for things like baked goods) to complete our orders. As a result, last-minute changes or updates are incredibly challenging and something we try to avoid. We hope our members can understand this.

 

In that quest for balance, our farm representatives use software with a range of features meant to provide you with easier connections to our program. Believe it or not, six years ago we sent our members copied handwritten messages on sheets of paper in their shares. It's a little different these days with e-newsletters and automatic farm store reminders. We know some of these details can be challenging to navigate for someone who isn't used to the system, and we try to provide complete instructions at the beginning of the season. It never hurts to have some reminders, though. See below for a refresher on member accounts, including how to access and use them.

 

Know that throughout all of the carefully considered improvements we undertake as an organization, our goal is to stay true to our roots - authentic local growers and producers, producing quality products by hand. It's always a delicate balance, and one that defines Geauga Family Farms.

 

Warmly,

Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

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In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, romaine), onions (sweet, storage, bunching), garlic, shallots, green bell peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet banana peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, fingerlings, parsley, Bravo radishes (look similar to Daikons and can be eaten raw or used like beets), cabbage, basil, dill, pickling cucumbers, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant and watermelon.

 

There are photos of Bravo radishes on our Facebook page. The hot peppers will have a "HOT" sticker on the bag; others should be mild, but it never hurts to be cautious.

 

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.

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Accessing your account

We have had a lot of questions from our members about accessing their Farmigo accounts, and we wanted to provide this important information again. 


Here are the basics:

All members of the CSA have a personal account in our system.


Your account shows your order history, information for your site hosts, pick-up instructions for your site, and allows you to place orders from our online farm store.


If you have never accessed your account, you can start by following this link and signing in using your e-mail (the address you provided at sign-up) and the temporary password: farmfresh. Once you take this initial step, you will have an opportunity to change your password to something more personalized and easy to remember.


When you place an order for extras through your account, the following order deadlines apply:

For delivery on a Tuesday, place order by the previous Thursday at midnight.

For delivery on a Thursday, place order by the previous Saturday at midnight.

For delivery on a Saturday, place order by Monday at midnight.

 

If you place an order and do not receive an e-mail receipt, your order was most likely not completed. Check your account to see if it shows up in the upcoming orders section. If not, your order did not go through.

 

You are always welcome to let us know if you have any additional questions.

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Oops!

Thank you to all who caught our mistake in last week's newsletter and sent a note. While we were embarrassed about the mistake on our part, we were delighted to see that so many people read the article. So, to correct the mistake in our section about prepping greens for easy use during the week, after you wash and spin dry the leaves and place them between paper towels in a zippered storage bag, place the bag in the REFRIGERATOR; not the freezer.

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Grass-fed beef

Members who regularly receive beef may have noticed a change in our packaging last week. We are working with a new processor who packages our grass-fed beef in plastic wrappers instead of butcher paper. We wanted to make sure our members know that this is the same high-quality, grass-fed beef even though it looks a little different.

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In the online farm store this week

This week's farm store has some great items that can be added to your order. Use these to fill out your box with more of your favorites, or do some canning and preserving. Quantities are limited, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can access the farm store here.

 

Eggplant - $1.50 each

Green peppers - $1 each, $10/half-bushel

Green and yellow beans - $2.50/pound, $12/peck, $20/half-bushel, $40 bushel

 

When placing orders in the farm store, please make sure to proceed through the ordering process until you see a screen that thanks you for your order. This will then be followed by an e-mail receipt sent to your inbox. If you do not receive this e-mail, it is likely that your order was not completed. Check back in your account to review whether or not the order is there, and call us if you have any questions.

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Recipes

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 

 

Still trying to figure out a way to use your rhubarb? Member Karen Scheel at Tucker Ellis, one of our corporate sites, sent in this great idea.

 

A quick way to use the rhubarb

Cut rhubarb into small pieces and remove strings and add to Crock-Pot. Add cut strawberries. Add ½ - 1 cup sugar, honey, brown rice syrup or agave (or a mixture of two). Cook on low heat for four hours. Let cool and refrigerate. Drizzle over angel food cake, pound cake or ice cream.


This week's shares are perfect for one of our favorite summer salads. ~ Michelle

Salad Nicoise

Makes 2-3 large servings or 4 side servings 

  • 1/2 pound new potatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup pitted nicoise olives
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tuna, drained
  • 1/3 pound fresh green beans - rinsed, trimmed and blanched
  • 1 head of leaf or romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup lemon vinaigrette

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm,

about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Place beans in salted, boiling water cook until they turn bright green and are crisp tender (1-2 minutes). Immediately remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process. 

On a large serving platter, arrange the base layer of lettuce. On top of the lettuce, place the tuna, eggs, olives, potatoes, beans, tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with capers. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Just before serving, drizzle salad with lemon vinaigrette. 

Serve with crusty French bread and a chilled Rose or Vinho Verde for a great weekend lunch.

Recipe by Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

 

Summer Corn Chowder

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ green pepper, finely chopped (or use 3-4 yummy orange peppers)
  • 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup potatoes diced in ½ inch pieces (2 medium potatoes or 5-6 new potatoes)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. fresh basil (or 1 basil ice cube)
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add celery, onion, and green pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add corn, potatoes, water, salt, pepper, paprika and basil. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook covered for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree vegetable mixture, or skip this step for a chunkier soup.

Place 1/2 cup of milk in jar with tightly fitting lid. Add flour and shake vigorously.

Gradually add milk-flour mixture to cooked vegetables. Then add remaining milk.

Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil and thickens.

Adjust seasonings to taste.

 

This spiced cauliflower and potato recipe cooks in one pan, making it a hassle-free weeknight side dish. 

Aloo Gobi

Makes 4 to 6 servings 

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound new potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes), large dice
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 4 tsps. peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from about 1 [2-inch] piece)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and season with salt. Cook, occasionally tossing and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a flat metal spatula, until the potatoes are beginning to brown in spots, about 6 minutes. Scrape the potatoes into a medium bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, and heat until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and toast until fragrant and popping, about 1 minute. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, measured salt, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the cauliflower and stir to coat in the spices. Return the potatoes to the pan, add the water, and stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the butter and stir until it is melted and coating the vegetables. Taste and season with salt as needed.

Recipe from Chow.com

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Review: The Food Activist Handbook

By Francesca Shanks for Modern Farmer

 

If you're interested in building a healthier community in any way - from simply making local food more accessible to starting a food film festival - The Food Activist Handbook by Edible Vineyard co-owner Ali Berlow will help.

 

Part instruction manual, part manifesto, and part community success digest, it offers advice and examples designed to make communities, and thus the world, places where farmers thrive and food is delicious. Since the idea that local agriculture matters is not a new one, there are plenty of great projects to show off, and there's plenty of information about what works.

 

Each chapter gives advice about how to educate your community on where food comes from (farm-to-school programs are a good start), agricultural policy, finding land and reaching out to media and elected officials, plus Berlow offers resources to help get local food in your child's school cafeteria and tips for setting up a community garden or an aquaponics facility. The information is presented clearly in short vignettes, but not oversimplified - long enough to get some detail but short enough that you can read two or three in 10 minutes or so.

 

The most inspiring part, though, is a series of blurbs scattered throughout the book that spotlight farm programs across the country organized by people who believe in reforming our food system at a grassroots level. For example, a parade of cows in Brattleboro, Vermont, put the value of agriculture on display for thousands of people, and a jail gardening program in Fremont, Ohio, produced 375 pounds of food that was donated to local food pantries.

 

Though this book is heartening and thorough, there are some things worth pointing out: A few suggestions tend toward the political-but-not-agricultural ("wage peace, grow food. Turn guns into farm tools," from a list of in-brief suggestions on page 17, for instance), there's excerpted material from various farm support and education organizations that are useful when presented together but probably available online, and some statistics aren't cited (one example: a statistic about the number of farm-to-school programs in the U.S. on page 34).

 

Still, you'll be able to use the knowledge gathered here in your own neighborhood, whether it's a big city or a wide open space. And it's sometimes hard to get started, or easy to make excuses - so it's nice to have a handbook.

 

To read the original article, click here.

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Sunshine and gratitude

By Laura Novak

 

"There is a sacrosanct quality to taking something into your body to nourish it. Treat the foods you eat with the respect they deserve." ~ Eat Yourself Super, Dr. Todd Pesek

 

This year, we wearily waited for the long winter to finally turn to spring. Then, we were dreaming of summer, watching the cloudy skies in June and yearning for the sun. Now, it feels like summer is finally shining down on us and we are already sending the kids back to school!

 

This gives me such a feeling of gratitude for every sunshiny day, letting the sun warm my shoulders as I upturn my face like a flower, knowing I will need to soak it up to warm the months to come. I've been going for more walks, even short ones, just to enjoy the moments of these glorious summer days.

 

With this week being the 10th week of our CSA program and the halfway mark, I am feeling the same sense of gratitude for our fresh, organic, local veggies. When my tiny garden was scorched a bit in the heat (even though I was watering two to three times a day), I thought of the CSA farmers and how hard they and their families were working to protect the harvest and to keep the thirsty plants hydrated and safe. I felt like I was spending so much time watering even though I simply stood in one place to water my whole garden. How much more effort is it taking them to water on such a large scale?

 

Thank you, CSA farmers and families for all of the hard work. The first 10 weeks have flashed away in the fastest summer of my life. This is why I am giving thanks for every week remaining, for every deeply nourishing vegetable that appears in my box to share sunshine and summer with my family.


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 third 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. 

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Area events

 

Dinner in the Valley

Aug. 12, 6 p.m.  

A Profusion of Vegetables 

Ledges Shelter, Cuyahoga Valley National Park

For reservations and more info, click here.

 

Aug. 28, 7 p.m. 

Dinner Along the Cuyahoga

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Rockside Station

For reservations and more info, click here.

 

REAP the Benefit 2015: A Night on the Farm

Saturday, Aug. 29
7 - 10:30 p.m.
The Ohio City Farm at Bridge Avenue and West 24th Street 

Cleveland chefs will create dishes using produce cultivated by Ohio City farm trainees at individual chef stations. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who has dedicate his life's work to spreading the philosophy of non-violence, will speak. Guests will also enjoy traditional music and dance from members of the local refugee community and The Revolution Brass Band, a horn-and-percussion group. For tickets, click here.


Sustainability Summit 
Sept. 16-17
Sustainable Cleveland is presenting its seventh annual Sustainability Summit this year. Participants design and develop action plans on a variety of topics to create a more thriving and resilient Cleveland region. This year's speakers include Naomi Davis, founder of Chicago's Blacks in Green, and Marcus Eriksen, who took a five-month journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft which led him to a career studying the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution.
For more info on Summit 2015, and to propose your own Innovation Session, click here.

Finger Lakes Foodie Extravaganza

Sept. 28 & 29

Looking for a getaway with a local food theme? The Finger Lakes region in New York is hosting a trio of local food activities - a Finger Lakes Foodie Scavenger Hunt, a locally-sourced cooking demo and panel discussion, and Farmer's Dinner at Roots Café.

 

Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt will present a variety of experiences from farm visits to local cheese producers, with artisan bread thrown in for good measure. Spots for lunch, wineries and breweries are on the hunt to keep it interesting. You'll get to meet the people who grow and produce this food, and learn about why they do what they do. Many stops will have a special surprise. Reservations are required. The scavenger hunt begins Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Pricing is $75 per person and includes all taxes and gratuities.


Locally Sourced Cooking Demo

A panel of chefs and speakers will instruct you on how easy it is to find and use local ingredients to create incredible meals. They will share recipes, talk about methods and techniques, and get your taste buds involved when the preparation is done. There will also be time for a Q&A session with the panel.

Price is $45 per person, with local taxes included.
 

Finger Lakes Farm-to-Table Dinner at Roots Café

Enjoy an evening of wine tasting and a multi-course dinner, the ultimate culmination of your local food journey! Pricing per person is $99, includes local taxes and gratuity. 

 

For more information and reservations, contact Deb at 607-569-3767.

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Local food, farming, environment in the news

We have so many things we'd like to share with you regarding the local food movement and things like the farm bill, the latest news on GMO foods, and much, much more, but we don't want to make our newsletter any longer. Until we get our blog up and running on our website, we are going to include links to articles that you may find interesting. Here are a couple. If you run across any articles you think would be of interest to our members, feel free to send us the link for inclusion here.

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CONTACT US

(ONLY between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday PLEASE!)

 

Farm Representatives:

Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849,

Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109,

 

www.GeaugaFamilyFarms.org

Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062