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Week 13                           Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 27, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Team effort
IMPORTANT: Pick-up details
In this week's shares
Bulk veggie info
Stewing chickens available
Order Thanksgiving turkeys now!
New meat newsletter
Beef updates
Pepper Guide
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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"We got married in a fever 

hotter than a pepper sprout." 

~ June Carter Cash








Buggy silhouette




Team effort: supporting staff

Last week we gave you an idea of some of the steps it takes to get our produce to you every week. We mentioned our farm families and our warehouse management team, and the process they have developed to organize the program's weekly deliveries.


To provide an even more complete picture of the organization, we will spend the next few weeks talking about others involved in the process. There is whole range of supporting staff and partners who also play a role in making this program possible. Today we'll take a look at our supporting staff:


We couldn't do all of our work as smoothly as we do without the support of a wonderful delivery team. We were thrilled to find drivers for the 2013 season who assist with loading and unloading, equipment maintenance and delivery details. They are constantly working to improve our delivery systems and efficiency, and they go out of their way to fix any problems that may pop up along the weekly delivery routes. We have been delighted to hear from many of you about how much you have enjoyed your interactions with these members of our team this season.


We have a warehouse packing team of five who assist Rosanna and Neil in that critical time on delivery days when all of the produce is delivered to the warehouse and has to be sorted into 250+ shares and packed back into the trucks within a two-hour period. While Neil and Rosanna provide oversight, this team provides a second set of eyes looking for quality-control issues.


Our farm representatives provide a link between our members and our farm families. They organize weekly extras sales, answer questions from members, respond to delivery shortages or quality issues, assist with invoicing, help to unload the trucks during melon season, coordinate with our pick-up sites, pull together our weekly newsletter to provide members with information about the program, organize farm tour events and assist with marketing and promotions for the program year round. They are dedicated to helping the families of Geauga Family Farms find success in farming by taking care of as many of the non-farming details of the program as possible.


As you can see, it is not a simple process to get fresh produce from our fields to your home. We believe it is an absolutely worthwhile one, however, and we hope you do, too! 



Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Buggy silhouette


Pick-up site details - please review!

Our pick-up site partners have generously offered space in their facilities and businesses for our members to pick up their shares during a certain time period each week. We are thrilled to have this available. In return we have been very clear with our partners that they are not required to hold shares or extras beyond these time periods. This is also stated very clearly in our member contracts and has been reiterated numerous times through our pick-up instructions.


It has come to our attention lately that some of our members are asking or expecting our partner sites to hold their shares beyond this time. PLEASE DO NOT REQUEST OR EXPECT THIS. It jeopardizes our partnerships with these sites and we risk losing them for future seasons by making the program extra burdensome for them. If you are unclear about your pick-up time period, please check our website.


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as Green or red leaf or Romaine lettuce, blackberries, zucchini, yellow squash, green and wax beans, yellow, red, seeded and seedless watermelons, cantaloupes, cherry, grape, heirloom, Big Beef and Big Dena tomatoes, sweet, cooking and bunching onions, eggplants, leeks, red, Yukon Gold and fingerling potatoes, green and multi-colored peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, Carmen Red peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, carrots, parsley, rhubarb, beets and sweet corn.


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)

Cherry tomatoes: $2.25/pint

Hot peppers: $15.50/half-bushel

Sweet banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel

Rhubarb: $2.50/pound

Regular or Lemon basil: $3.50/pound


Helpful hint: If you are planning to order bulk produce, you may want to make sure you can process these items as soon as possible after receiving them. At a minimum, items should be removed from their boxes and stored in the manner most appropriate for that type of produce to maximize shelf life. 


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!


Order your free-range Thanksgiving turkey now

Hershberger Organic Produce has Broad White-Breasted turkeys, raised on pasture and fed with non-GMO grain, available for your holiday dinners. Turkeys will range in size from 20 to 30 pounds. Call Marvin, Iva Mae or Emma Jane at 440-548-2399. Turkeys will be ready for pick-up Tuesday, Nov. 26, or Wednesday, Nov. 27.


New meat newsletter

In an effort to bring you the most up-to-date information possible on the range of meats available through Geauga Family Farms, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new, monthly newsletter devoted to this topic, beginning this week. This will be the place for information on our grass-fed beef, chicken, turkeys and more. Geauga Family Farms is happy to be your source for humanely raised, hormone-free and non-GMO meat.


Beef updates

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 Café9/19/2013      10/17/2013
Jones Day9/19/201310/17/2013
LEAF Night9/19/201310/17/2013
MRI 9/12/201310/10/2013
Landerbrook Dental     9/12/201310/10/2013
Good Shepherd9/19/201310/17/2013

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 Karate
First Church Cong
Sage's Orchard
St. Paul's
First Unitarian
Goddard School

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




Pepper Guide

We've finally hit pepper season, and wanted to provide our members with a guide for what you may start to see in your shares. Peppers are great sources of vitamin C, carotene, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron. To reduce the heat of hot peppers, remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the pepper. When working with hot peppers, it is helpful to wear gloves. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and never touch your eyes after handling hot peppers. Our hot peppers will come in a bag with a "HOT" sticker. While the lack of a sticker should indicate a mild pepper, it is always wise to use caution.


Peppers generally do well in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They can also be frozen for use in soups and stews. Remove the tops and seeds, quarter the pepper and place on a tray in the freezer until frozen. Place frozen peppers in a freezer bag, and store for up to six months.


Mild Banana Peppers - Long and yellow-green in color, these are great in salads, on sandwiches and are wonderful pickled. Try stuffing them with Italian sausage and breadcrumbs, and bake for a great appetizer.


Hot Hungarian Peppers - Similar to mild banana peppers in appearance, these peppers make a great addition to spicy sauces and relishes.


Jalapeño Peppers - These peppers are small and dark green to red in color. They add a spicy kick to Mexican and southwestern dishes.


Poblano Peppers - Medium in size and deep green in color, poblanos are great peppers for roasting and for stuffing. They add a slightly spicy and complex flavor to dishes.


Sweet Bell Peppers - You'll find these in green, red, orange, purple and chocolate brown shades. They are great for salads, stir fries, and a wide range of dishes.


Yummy Orange Peppers - These are small, orange and super sweet. These peppers were developed for kids' lunch boxes, and are a definite CSA favorite.


Carmen Red Peppers - These long, deep-red peppers have a wonderful, sweet flavor. They are starting to show up as a gourmet item in many grocery stores.



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 


This is GFF farmer Abner McDaniel's favorite stuffed jalapeņo recipe. He adds bacon and chopped onion to turn up the flavor.


Baked Jalapeño Peppers

12 fresh jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
8 teaspoons Essence*
1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.
*Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking"


Bell Pepper Salsa

A quick and easy, delicious salsa recipe to accompany steak and meat dishes is this bell pepper salsa, seasoned with red chile flakes, onions, and parsley, basil or arugula.

1 large bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped

6 green onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp chopped arugula, basil, or parsley

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Serve with steak, carnitas or carne asada.

Recipe from


Baba Ghanoush

1 eggplant

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup tahini

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a

medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Recipe from


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.


Letting the vegetables do the cooking 

By Laura Novak

I was planning a very lazy, easy dinner. This is embarrassing to admit, but I was just going to make some mac & cheese. Then, I thought I should have some better protein, so I found dry, cracked chickpeas and started boiling them with vegetable broth. Later, I added some red lentils and walked away. When I came back, I had a creamy dal (an Indian-style yellow soup.) Wanting to improve the texture, I threw in some quinoa. It was still soup. So, I started thinking, "What can I put this over?" Then I remembered the green beans I needed to use and the potatoes that always go so nicely in a curry. Into a pan they went. As I was digging for an avocado for my salad, I saw the carrots and the giant green pepper that we still needed to eat. Again, into the pan. I added some cayenne pepper, Indian spices now that I had a dal mixture, salt and fresh garlic. Next thing I knew, I had a really delicious curry - honestly better than anything I've tried in a recipe or even have tried on purpose to create. All thanks to the vegetables! Needless to say, the mac & cheese went back in the pantry. I'll save that for the sad months when my veggie shares stop coming.

When you're more in the mood to follow a recipe, this is a delicious and fairly simple eggplant recipe from Vegetarian Times: Pistachio Crusted Eggplant Cutlets. It's fancy and tasty enough to share with company.


Did you know that basil is best stored in water as opposed to the refrigerator? Just fill a mug or vase with about an inch or two of water and let it stand up. If it's wilted, place it near a window for some sunshine. Check your water every day and add more as needed. I've had fresh basil last up to a week this way!


Remember, if you're feeling uninspired at dinner time, perhaps it's time to ask the vegetables what you should make. You never know what might you might collaborate to create!

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


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



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. 

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.


Big Food Stocks and Anti-GMO Sentiment: Right to Choose Movement Gains Strength 

GMO Backers Outspending Foes in Washington State

U.S. farm, food groups want better oversight of GMO field trials 

Tablet App for 'My American Farm' Now Available

Right to know GMO

Drexel food safety experts on a mission to stop cooks from washing chicken 


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