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Week 12                           Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 22, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Team effort
In this week's shares
Bulk veggie info
Stewing chickens available
Beef updates
Member Laura Novak's cooking tips column
Local food events
For your reading pleasure
Please support our partners
Anyone can sign up for our newsletter
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""Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. 

~ Harriet Van Horne

"Not for Jiffy Cooks," Vogue magazine, 1956






Buggy silhouette




Team effort

Many people have asked us about the process it takes to put the shares together each week. To best address these questions, we are re-running a story from last season (with some updated information for this season) that describes the steps your vegetables take from our farms to your home.


On Fridays our warehouse team contacts each of our 10 farms to find out what types and volumes of produce will be available the following week. Rosanna, who manages the ordering process, determines the mix of items that will go in the small, medium and large shares for those three days. She then places an order from each farm for the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday deliveries. With nearly 1,000 members, this means between 250 and 350 boxes go out on each of our delivery days.


The day before our deliveries (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), our farmers are busy harvesting the items they will contribute to the shares that day. Each farm grows a different mix of vegetables, herbs and fruit based on what grows well in their soil and what interests them. Fruits and vegetables are hand-picked and brought to the barns for preparation. Spouses, sons, daughters and neighbors pitch in to get the items ready for delivery to the warehouse. This includes sorting, cleaning, packaging and placing into boxes for the arrival of the delivery truck.


Our trucks get an early start on our delivery days, picking up the produce orders from each of the farms, as well as eggs, bread, cheeses, etc., that have been ordered as extras. When the truck gets to the warehouse, the produce is unloaded, inspected and organized. Our warehouse team then packs each share by hand to ensure that the items will travel well and arrive in good shape. The inspection and packing process at the warehouse usually takes about two hours. The shares are then loaded back into the trucks for delivery to your pick-up site.


Once deliveries are complete the whole process starts again for the next day.


Are we perfect? No. As much as we try, sometimes something gets missed, or something gets handled in a way that limits its shelf life. That's why we truly appreciate your feedback. It has helped us refine our picking, cleaning and packing techniques over the years. There is always room for improvement, and we appreciate your willingness to let us make adjustments along the way.


When you think about the fact that most of the produce in stores travels over 1,500 miles and sits around in warehouses to ripen, it's comforting to know that the items in your share are fresh, hand-picked and carefully nurtured for the farm-to-table journey by families who love farming and who look forward to bringing you the best of what our land has to offer.



Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Buggy silhouette


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet corn, Big Beef, Big Dena, cherry or heirloom tomatoes, radishes, leeks, Green or red leaf or Romaine lettuce, beets, carrots, parsley, bunching onions, sweet onions, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet banana peppers, Carmen Red peppers, hot banana peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, jalapeño peppers, green bell peppers, eggplants, purple, Yukon Gold, red or fingerling potatoes and basil.


NOTE: You may or may 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. 


Bulk veggies 

As the season goes on, our farms frequently have additional produce available for purchase in bulk quantities (most often 20-pound boxes) for canning or preserving. These often include things like tomatoes, peppers, beets, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. This will change from week to week and from season to season. Most frequently these items are seconds - great for canning but not quite nice enough for the shares. Please check this section of our newsletter each week to see what is currently available.


Canning tomatoes: $22/20-pound box

Red beets: $22/half-bushel (with or without tops)

Blackberries: $4/pint

Cherry tomatoes: $2.25/pint

Hot peppers: $15.50/half-bushel

Sweet banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel

Rhubarb: $2.50/pound


To order bulk produce, call Rosanna Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the warehouse at 440-693-4625. Please leave a message if no one answers, or call Rosanna at home after 4 p.m. and on Saturdays at 440-548-2399. NO SUNDAY CALLS PLEASE! You will receive an invoice via e-mail and will be able to pay with a credit card using our PayPal site. If you order bulk vegetables, please check your e-mail for a Paypal invoice from Geauga Family Farms. We request that invoices be paid within seven days of receipt.


Stewing chickens available

The Fisher family has stewing chickens available for purchase. These are available for $5 each, and work best when used for soups or stews. They must be picked up at the farm at 4738 Gates East Road, in Middlefield. Please call Susan Fisher at 440-693-4632 to reserve your chickens and schedule a pick-up today!


Beef updates

Our August beef deliveries will be occurring at the following locations this week: Lowe's Greenhouse, Catholic Montessori School, St. Andrew, Sage's Apples (both Tuesday and Saturday), Jones Day, Market Café, LEAF Night - Lakewood and Hill's Family Karate. Please make every effort to pick up your beef orders during the pick-up periods described in your reminder e-mail. In many cases, beef that is not picked up on time will not be available for delivery until the following month.

Geauga Family Farms grass-fed ground beef and grass-fed stew beef is delivered frozen in 1-pound packages. Beef orders are delivered on a monthly basis to participating sites. Please see the Extras section of our website, here, to place an order.  

Beef delivery dates for Tuesday sites:

Lowe's Greenhouse      








Marigold B&B








Catholic Montessori








St. Andrew








Sage's Orchard








For Tuesday sites, please place any orders by the Thursday prior to the delivery date.


Beef delivery dates for Thursday sites:

Market Café8/22/2013       9/19/2013      10/17/2013
Jones Day8/22/20139/19/201310/17/2013
LEAF Night8/22/20139/19/201310/17/2013
Landerbrook Dental     
Good Shepherd

For Thursday sites please place any orders by the Saturday prior to the delivery date.


Beef delivery dates for Saturday sites:

St. Noel   

9/14/2013 10/12/2013
Family Karate8/24/2013
First Church Cong

Sage's Orchard8/24/2013
St. Paul's

First Unitarian

Goddard School


For Saturday sites please place any orders by the Tuesday prior to the delivery date.





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 


Heirloom Tomatoes with Lemon Pesto

Yield: serves many

Tomatoes (use an array of colors, types and sizes of tomatoes)*
Pesto with 1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp. lemon zest stirred in
Fruity extra-virgin
olive oil
basil sprigs

* Use as many tomatoes as you need for the amount of people you are serving.

Cut the large tomatoes into slices and the small cherry tomatoes into halves. Arrange cut tomatoes on a decorative platter or board. Drizzle prepared pesto over the larger tomatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of all the tomatoes. Place a few basil sprigs around the tomatoes. When serving, encourage your guests to tear off some of the basil leaves, tear into smaller pieces, and sprinkle over the top of their tomatoes before eating.


Eggplant Cutlets

These cutlets are easy to make, and can be utilized in a variety of dishes.

1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise in ¼ inch thick slices

2 eggs, beaten

 2 T vegetable or canola oil

1-1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Place oil in large, rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Make sure pan is well coated. Preheat oven to 375. Mix breadcrumbs and spices in a shallow bowl. Dip eggplant slices in egg and coat with seasoned bread crumbs. When eggplant slices are ready, remove baking sheet from oven and place eggplant slices in a single layer. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 minutes more.

- Top these slices with warm pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese for eggplant parmesan.

- Make an eggplant cutlet sandwich with roasted red peppers, tomatoes and goat cheese.

- Roll with goat cheese and slice into rounds for a tasty appetizer.


Simple Refrigerator Pickled Green Tomatoes and Peppers

Yield: 1 quart jar
Prep time: 45 minutes, let sit at least 2 days.

1 cup distilled white vinegar

1 1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 pound firm green tomatoes (5-6 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks)

1-2 Hungarian peppers (seeds removed, cut into 1 inch chunks)

6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

20 sprigs of fresh dill

1-1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Sterilize a quart jar and lid in a boiling water bath. Chop vegetables and toss in a bowl with garlic, peppercorns and dill. Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a non-reactive pan and bring to a boil. Make sure the salt is dissolved. Pack vegetable mixture in sterilized jar, leaving ½" to ¾" room at the top. Pour boiling brine mixture into the jar, leaving approximately ¼" of space at the top. Place lid on jar and place in refrigerator. Let this sit for at least two days before opening. Use within 2 weeks.


Lots of our members are foodies, as you can see by those who have sent in recipes lately. Another of our member foodies is Kim Roberts, who chronicles her weekly cooking adventures here.


Veggies Everywhere! 

What to do with the overflow 

By Laura Novak

Wow, and the wonderful vegetables just keep coming. It's not hard to get behind, especially with the social commitments of summer; vacations, parties, dinners out, even spending time outside. So how can you keep up?


A dear friend of mine always makes "refrigerator soup." She throws all kinds of leftovers into soup and somehow - really anything that needs to be eaten - it's usually quite good. I've been doing this with the overflow of veggies. A great soup to make is Minestrone - you can use the corn, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, onion, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, greens, parsley and basil all at once.

Sauté the carrots and onion in olive oil, then add the diced potatoes and tomatoes. Add dried oregano, basil, rosemary, garlic powder, a bay leaf, and any other favorite Italian spices. Add broth (about 5-8 cups depending on amount of veggies) and half of a can of tomato paste, along with some molasses or something to sweeten the acidity of the tomato (about a tablespoon.) Bring to a boil, then turn to low and cover. After about a half hour, add diced squash (including zucchini and/or eggplant), pepper and chopped green beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. After about another half hour, turn off the heat and stir in greens like spinach and kale, along with the fresh parsley and/or basil. If it still tastes too sour, you can simmer longer or add a little sugar, but the fresh spices should help. The great thing about this soup is that you can make it with more veggies or less - you can add beans (Great Northern or cannellini are great!) and little pasta noodles. Delicious! This makes enough to freeze some for later.


You can dice up the fruit and freeze it to throw into smoothies in the future - peaches, cantaloupe and watermelon all work great for this. 


My husband and I spent a couple of days in the Istrian region of Croatia this spring, on the coast near Italy, where meals have a notable Mediterranean influence. I enjoyed some amazing pasta there that had a typical olive oil sauce, but with a bit of a spicy kick. When I asked about it, the secret was banana peppers! You can cut them into rings and sauté them in olive oil and garlic, then add cherry tomatoes to the pan and you've got a light and zesty pasta sauce. The chef took the banana peppers out before serving, but I like to leave them in. They really add a nice, unexpected flavor. You can also add salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes to enhance the flavors. Banana peppers are also great on pizza.


I hope these little tips are helpful in keeping up with your veggies. Writing this was actually a good reminder for myself. It's Minestrone soup for dinner tonight at our house!


Laura J. Novak is a freelance writer in Lake County. Her blog,, is about eating well and shaking free to live your best life. She enjoys reading about nutrition, participating in yoga, cooking and visiting parks with her husband, Vida. She is a passionate supporter of locally grown, organic produce and even has her own small garden. This is her second year enjoying the Geauga Family Farms CSA. Laura has a bachelor of arts in English and a master's degree in education.

Local food events



Join the Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District at 6 p.m. Sept. 12 under the big tent 

at Holden Arboretum for a 10-course, local foods dinner celebrating the best of Northeast Ohio's farms showcased by talented, local chefs! Lake County residents are invited to guide conservation efforts in the county by voting in the special election. A ticket is not required to vote.

Last year, the LCSWCD annual meeting was transformed into FARMAFARE, a celebration of local foods. The transition to this farm-to-table event that celebrates local food and local farms was a huge success. This year there will be more of everything: more local foods prepared by more local chefs, room to accommodate more friends under the big tent at the Holden Arboretum and more wineries participating, eight to be exact, as well as two local breweries. 

Tickets are $50 each or $90 per couple. Click here to order online or visit the LCSWCD Facebook page here for more info. 


Roots Festival

Let's celebrate being true to our roots with a big party at the winery! We will be pouring our home grown wine and serving it up with some locally grown veggies from nearby farms. Come out and see some of the best, home grown, American roots music, with musicians all day playing fiddles, banjos, guitars, and stellar vocals. This event is free and all ages, a great Labor Day weekend party! For more information, visit

Sept. 1, 2 - 10 p.m.

Barrel Run Crossing 

3272 Industry Road, Rootstown



Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy World!

Awaken Yoga in Mentor has an entire weekend of learning on being healthier, greener and yoga to help your body detoxify. Spend a weekend with Jennifer Langsdale learning the yogic lifestyle with an introduction to being green in body and mind.

When: Sept. 7 & 8

Times: Saturday, 8 - 4 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $165; registration required

Click here to register.

The weekend will include:

Lectures on healthy eating and living

Learn about the Shaktkarmas or cleansing practices of yoga

Living and raw food tasting and demonstration

Truth about vegetarianism

Ways to become greener and save $!

(2) Detoxifying yoga practices with Jennifer

No yoga experience necessary. 

For more information, call 440-488-7212 or visit

Why Cows Need Names: and More Secrets of Amish Farms
Randy James will talk about his latest book, Why Cows Need Names: and More Secrets of Amish Farms, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at South Franklin CircleFor reservations to this free event, call South Franklin Circle, 440-247-1300. For more information, call George Lupone at 440-247-5279. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

For your reading pleasure

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.


Councilman promotes edible plants in parks

Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field 

Naturally Grown: An alternative label to organic

The Dirty Truth About Clean Water


Please support our partners

Please take advantage of your weekly visit to the establishments of our partners. Shop, dine and otherwise patronize the businesses of those who do so much to help us with our efforts in the local food movement. We couldn't do it without them!

Church of the Good Shepherd                                Market Cafe & Wine Bar

Cuyahoga County Board of Health                          Mustard Seed Market

First Church Congregational                                  Catholic Montessori School

First Unitarian                                                        Sage's Apples

The Goddard School                                               St. Andrew Episcopal Church

Hill's Family Karate                                                St. Noel Church

LEAF Night                                                             St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Lowe's Greenhouse                                                Ruffing Montessori School

Marigold Bed & Breakfast                                       Whole Foods


Sign up friends and family for our newsletter

Want to add someone to the newsletter mailing list? Anyone can sign up for our newsletter on our Web site. All they have to do is visit our Web site here, enter their information and they will receive the very next newsletter.


(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PLEASE!)

Farm Representatives:

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