|Week 2 Geauga County, Ohio||June 9, 2015|
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"The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf
has traveled farther than most families go
on their annual vacations."
~ Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:
A Year of Food Life
I don't know if you're like me, but I get a little crazy on the first week of the CSA. I've been waiting so long for the taste of those delicious vegetables and the fun challenge of using what I receive in my box, that my entire share is usually gone within one or two days. This year was no different. I brought my box home on Saturday and proceeded to make the following:
Open-face tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwiches (that tomato is always the first thing to go), pasta salad with garlic scapes, fresh greens with simple vinaigrette and fresh strawberries.
Swiss chard and feta tart (with fresh eggs), tossed salad
Roasted rhubarb clafoutis, fresh strawberries, maple oatmeal scones
Rice noodles with sautéed bok choy, peanuts and basil
The kitchen was a bit of a mess all weekend, but I savored every delicious bite, and can't wait until my next delivery. The best part? My 8-year-old son asking for seconds on salad and said, "This is farm lettuce, isn't it?" Yes it is.
So, in addition to getting you this produce each week, we love to help you find ways to thoroughly enjoy it. We'll do our best to fill this newsletter with inspiration and a wide range of ideas. Consider The Fair Share your road map to navigating the CSA season.
This week we're providing some basic information on greens, as well as recipes for rhubarb, garlic scapes and bok choy. While visiting our sites during pick-up last week, those were the requests I heard most often, and we have a range of great recipes for them.
You asked for it, and we are happy to oblige!
~ 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 strawberries, rhubarb, lettuce (red/green leaf, Romaine), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), Swiss chard, cucumbers, garlic scapes, yellow squash and tomatoes.
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.
REMINDER: At the beginning of the season shares can seem a little light, due to the smaller number of items available at the start of June. We will more than make up for this as the summer goes on and the growing season gets into full swing.
Our online farm store is open for business with more than 100 items available to add on to your share. To help you plan ahead, please note our schedule for ordering and delivery:
For Tuesday delivery - order by Thursday at midnight
For Thursday delivery - order by Saturday at midnight
For Saturday delivery - order by Monday at midnight
If your extras order is received after these deadlines, it will be delivered the following week.
Click here to see all of the great offerings this season - local honey and maple syrup, organic eggs, grass-fed beef, Miller's Jam, Amish baked goods and a huge selection of cheeses from Middlefield Original Cheese Co-op. We will be adding some great new products to our farm store this season, and will let you know when they are available.
Tips for greens
You will see a lot of greens in your shares, including many varieties of lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and bok choy. Here are some tips for cleaning and processing these greens to make the most of them.
Do this as soon as possible after receiving your produce.
Step 1: Fill sink (or a large bowl) with cold water
Step 2: Trim the bottom of the lettuce (or other greens) to remove core and separate leaves
Step 3: Place leaves in the water and swirl around a bit to remove any excess dirt
Step 4: Place the leaves in a salad spinner to remove excess water
Step 5: Line a gallon-size zipper bag with two paper towels and place leaves in bag between the towels. Remove as much air as possible. Zip bag shut.
Greens will remain crisp and delicious for two to three weeks when stored this way.
If you know you will not get through your greens while fresh, clean, trim and roughly chop the greens. Place in a Ziploc storage bag in the freezer to crumble into soups and smoothies at a later time.
Scapes are the blossoms of garlic plants, trimmed before they can drain nutrients from the garlic bulbs below ground. They are milder than fresh garlic, and can be tossed into salads, stir fries, etc. Use the curly stem below the pointy blossom.
Here are two of our favorite garlic scape recipes:
White Bean and Garlic Scape Hummus
1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. sea salt
Ground black pepper (to taste)
1 can (15-ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
In the bowl of a food processor, process the garlic scapes, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper until finely chopped, scraping the sides as needed. Add the beans and process to a rough puree (the beans will be just about completely mashed). With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until smooth. Check the consistency; if it is still thick and paste-like, you can add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit. Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with your favorite vegetables, pita chips, etc.
Recipe from BrownEyedBaker.com
Garlic Scape Pesto
1/4 pound garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup and 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper to taste
Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper together in a food processor until smooth.
*This recipe is great tossed with pasta, brushed on seafood or chicken, or mixed with mayo for a tasty sandwich addition. Combine with yogurt or sour cream to make a dip for pita chips or raw vegetables. Freeze any leftovers in cubes or small containers for future use.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
We love this blog post on The Crisper Whisperer with additional ideas for garlic scapes.
The long green and red stalks with leaves removed are rhubarb. Rhubarb is tart, fresh and tastes like spring. Here are some of our favorite rhubarb recipes:
Rhubarb Clafouti - a delicious custard-like dessert
For the rhubarb:
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces, about 3 long stalks) diced rhubarb
2 Tbsps. granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Clafouti:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. lemon zest
Pinch of salt
Heat the oven to 350°. Combine the rhubarb with the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes to dissolve the sugars and begin extracting the rhubarb juices. Spread the rhubarb in the bottom of an 8x8" baking dish or 9" pie pan. Roast uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool until the rhubarb is just warm to the touch. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk in the milk. Whisk in the flour, lemon zest and salt. (To avoid clumps, sift the flour into the bowl through a strainer.) This batter can be prepared up to 30 minutes ahead of time. Pour the batter over the roasted rhubarb and bake for 35-40 minutes (still at 350°). When it's done, the clafouti should be puffed around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. It's OK if the middle still jiggles slightly, and the edges will collapse once the clafouti starts to cool. The longer it cools, the more set the clafouti becomes. For a loose pudding-like dessert, serve while still warm from the oven. For a firmer custard, allow to cool to room temperature or serve chilled. If you're feeling fancy, sift a little confectioner's sugar over the top just before serving. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Recipe from TheKitchn.com
Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
3/4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2-3 stalks)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup honey
1 cup uncooked quick oats (gluten-free oats OK)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cups milk
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a large bowl. Add honey, sprinkle with cornstarch and toss until fruit is well coated and place in prepared 9x9 baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of honey, milk, egg,and vanilla extract, then add to the oats. Pour the oat mixture over the strawberries and rhubarb, making sure to distribute the mixture evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.Bake the oatmeal for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven with additional milk or cream if desired.Makes approximately 6-8 servings.
Recipe adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes
Check out the website Rhubarb-Central.com for more than 250 rhubarb recipes and explore some of the great options that include rhubarb cocktails, breads, sauces and more.
Sauteed Bok Choy
We love having fresh bok choy around because it is perfect for a quick and tasty side dish.
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsps. freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large bunch of bok choy, cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (use leaves and stems)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
¼ cup water
In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Serve with brown rice or a fragrant jasmine rice.
From the kitchen of Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
Still accepting members
If you are worried you are too late to get in on a box of locally grown, certified-organic veggies for the summer because you forgot to sign up before the deadline, don't despair. We are trying something new this season.
You may sign up now through the fourth week of the season and participate in the program for as many as 19 weeks and as few as 15 weeks. Simply sign up on our website and you can still get a share of the crop!
Never miss a pick-up
Have you ever forgotten to pick up your share until you were almost home and then had to turn around and go back to your pick-up site? Or, worse yet, have you completely forgotten to pick it up and missed out on your entire week's worth of wonderful veggies? Set up a reminder in your Smart Phone so you won't ever forget again. In an iPhone, simply add a weekly reminder to your calendar and you'll be sure to remember each week. Other phones and e-mail programs have similar calendar programs, so set it now and you won't forget it!
Welcome to My Home: Wildlife in the Valley
Explore the wildlife "hotspots" of Cuyahoga Valley National Park during this special nature tour.
1 - 4 p.m.
Explore the national and historic sights of Cuyahoga Valley National Park-by trolley! Each month, the bus tour features a unique park experience led by a seasoned local historian. You'll enjoy a three-hour trip on Lolly the Trolley with a behind-the-scenes tour of the best the Cuyahoga Valley has to offer.
Space is limited so please make your reservations early. Check out the other tours planned for July 5, Aug. 9 and Sept. 27.
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.
(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