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Week 6 Fall                        Geauga County, Ohio
Dec. 12, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Chicken sale
Grass-fed beef still available
Holiday baked goods
Summer 2014 CSA early-bird app coming soon
Keep in touch on Facebook
A heartfelt thank you from one of our members
Member Laura Novak's column
Farming, environment, local food in the news
Anyone can sign up for our newsletter
Follow us on TwitterFind us on Facebook

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
~  Albert Camus









Thank you for joining us this fall! We've had a wonderful fall program this year and have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you a range of seasonal produce. We hope you have found it to be bountiful and delicious. We were thrilled to bring some new items to the shares this fall, including Brussels sprouts, leeks and a little surprise for this week's boxes.


It's always a little hard to come to the end of a CSA season. We love the interaction with site managers and members, and the weekly routines associated with the program. We'll certainly miss you until next season brings us together again. In the meantime, the dusting of snow on the fields reminds us that it is time to clear out the warehouse and settle in for our winter activities. There are greenhouses to prepare, wood to chop, seeds to order and a great deal of planning for the 2014 season. We take a few weeks to slow down around the holidays, and then our new CSA year begins in earnest.


One thing we always take time to do this time of year is reflect on the many things from 2013 for which we are grateful. First and foremost we are thankful that so many people in this region are making the effort to support local farms. While we were delighted at the growth of the Geauga Family Farms program, we were equally thrilled that other CSA programs and farmers markets around the region saw significant growth, too. This provides tremendous hope for the long-term protection of Northeast Ohio's valuable farm resources, and you played a major role. Thank you! 


Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as butternut squash, Yukon Gold and redskin potatoes, Lacinato, Winterbore and Red Russian kale, red leaf, green leaf or Romaine lettuce, storage onions, shallots, yellow beets, garlic and Pink Lady apples.


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. 


Organic chicken sale

Sylvio Pellegrino of Pellegrino Pastures will have his amazing organic chicken available at two locations this Saturday. Find him at St. Noel in Willoughby Hills from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and at Hill's Family Karate in Mentor from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Anyone may purchase chicken, so feel free to tell friends and neighbors. Sylvio accepts cash, checks and credit cards. No pre-order is necessary. Check out Sylvio's products hereThis is a great opportunity to stock your freezers for the winter!


Grass-fed beef

Even though our CSA deliveries end this week, Geauga Family Farms grass-fed beef is available at Geauga Farms Country Meats and at Middlefield Original Cheese House throughout the year. Call ahead to Geauga Farms Country Meats  at 440-834-8476 to reserve specific cuts and amounts, or one of our box specials.


Holiday baked goods

There is still time to place orders of cookie trays, pies and other treats for your holiday celebrations. See the options from Countryside Bakery on their general baking list here and for holiday baking here. Contact them at 440-834-0776 to place your order and arrange a pick-up time. 


Early-bird specials on 2014 CSA shares!

The 2014 season application is here! If the end of the fall program makes you yearn for next year's CSA seasons, you might want to get a jump on things by reserving your share now. Our early-bird discounts are available until midnight, Dec. 31. The application will be available on our website in the next few days.


Keep in touch over the winter on Facebook

We may not be sending out regular newsletters over the winter, but we'll be posting updates on our Facebook page. And you can still keep in touch with us on Facebook too. We'd love to hear from you and to hear stories of what you're doing with the veggies you stored for use during the long, cold winter. 


Heartfelt thanks from one of our members


Dear Laura, Michelle & the GFF Crew,
I'm making potato leek soup tonight, made acorn squash pie and made chana masala this afternoon, all chock full of ingredients from GFF.

It took me a while to figure out how to change my lifestyle to work in most of the share every week, but I've really started to do it. And doing so has helped me to be more healthy--I prepare salads for snacks now, cook during the weekend and have delicious food all week.

It is hitting me more and more emotionally--the appreciation of the share. I feel that we are truly capable of living largely with ingredients purchased from local farmers, minimizing fuel spent on transporting foods...

I've even gotten into canning this year in order to enjoy more local foods through the winter. It is such a satisfying thing!

Thank you so much for your very important work.

Thank you,


Kathy Smith has been a CSA member for the past few years. She is an extremely talented and creative web site developer for, the company that has made Geauga Family Farms' web site so wonderful!




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 


Member Leah Stella wrote us with these recipe ideas.

I wanted to share two recipes I have made recently. They use two items (radishes and kale) that we're not really fond of and made them into meals my whole family enjoyed.


Have you ever had roasted radishes? They're a really great way to use the radishes in the share.

I also made this stew using the kale, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, and garlic.

And here are a few more recipes to end the season.

Roasted Acorn Squash Couscous Salad

This makes a great side dish for lunch or dinner, as well as a filling breakfast. - Michelle B-Z

1 small acorn squash (cut in half, seeds removed)

1 cup whole wheat couscous (dry)

1 apple (cored and chopped in ½" cubes)

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

1 stalk celery, diced

1 cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds



Juice of 1 lemon

3 T cider vinegar

3 T honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup olive oil

Roast acorn squash. Place halves face down in a lightly oiled roasting pan, in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until squash is soft. Let cool. Peel and cut into small cubes.


Cook couscous according to package directions. Let cool.


Combine remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooled couscous and squash. Toss lightly.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Stir to distribute evenly. Can be eaten immediately, but flavors continue to blend if you can let it sit in the refrigerator for a while.


Many thanks to Elizabeth Young for her inspiration for this recipe.


Sweet Potato Leek Soup

Serves 6 - 8

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 a recipe by food blogger Marc Matsumoto


Yukon Gold Gruyère Galette

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (from about 2 large shallots)

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; plus 1/2 tsp. for the pan (or use olive-oil spray for the pan)

1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 large or 3 medium), unpeeled and scrubbed

1 heaping tsp. very lightly chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about a 1-1/2-oz. piece, grated on a box grater's small holes)

1 cup finely grated Gruyère (about 3-1/2 oz.)


Combine the shallots and 3 Tbs. of the oil in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to a low simmer; cook the shallots until nicely softened (don't let them brown), about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely (about 25 min. at room temperature; cool them more quickly in the refrigerator. if you like).


Heat the oven to 400°F. Rub the bottom and inside edge of a 7-1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with the remaining 1/2 tsp. olive oil or spray with olive-oil spray. Put the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.


Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible (about 1/16 inch) with a chef's knife. Tip: If the potato wobbles, slice a thin lengthwise sliver off the bottom to stabilize it; then continue slicing crosswise. Discard the ends. Put the potato slices in a mixing bowl, add the shallots and olive oil along with the herbs and toss well to thoroughly coat the potatoes (a small rubber spatula works well).


Cover the bottom of the tart pan with a layer of potato slices, overlapping them slightly. Start along the outside edge of the tart pan and, making slightly overlapping rings, move inward until the bottom is covered with one layer of potatoes. 


Sprinkle the potatoes with salt (a generous 1/8 tsp.) and then sprinkle about one-quarter of the Parmigiano and about one-quarter of the Gruyère over all. Arrange another layer of potatoes, season with salt, sprinkle with cheese, and repeat two more times, until you have four layers of potatoes. (This is a messy job; you'll need a damp towel to wipe your hands between layers.) Top the last layer with more salt and any remaining cheese.


Bake the galette until the top is a reddish golden brown and the potatoes are tender in all places (a fork with thin tines should poke easily through all the layers), 45 to 50 min. The bottom will be crisp and the sides brown.


Let the galette cool for 10 or 15 min. in the pan. It will then be cool enough to handle but still plenty hot inside for serving. Have a cutting board nearby. Run a paring knife around the edge of the galette to loosen it and carefully remove the tart ring by gently pressing the tart bottom up. Slide a very thin spatula under and all around the bottom layer to free the galette from the tart bottom. Use the spatula to gently slide the galette onto a cutting board. Cut into four or six wedges, or as many as you like.


Recipe from Fine Cooking


Cheers to another great year!

By Laura Novak

What a year! If this was your first year with the Geauga Family Farms CSA, I hope you enjoyed trying new veggies like kohlrabi and kale. I know you tasted a difference in the fresh, local flavor. If you have been a member for awhile, you know that those behind the CSA have been working hard to make improvements and that this program just keeps getting better and better!


For me, the fresh vegetables were a reassuring constant. Since June, I've relied on the good farmers of Geauga County to keep the nutritious food coming, the sustenance that has nourished me through change, blessings and life's lessons.


This fresh, local food has helped me to look at my food differently. I've reduced the amount of packaged and canned products I use. When in the grocery store, I take note of how far the produce had to travel and try to lean toward the veggies that had less of a long and bumpy journey. It's very rare that I buy conventional produce. The CSA has demonstrated how delicious veggies are without the harmful chemicals!


Being a member of the Geauga Family Farms CSA has been a continued blessing for me and my family for the last two years. From the bottom of my heart, I offer a prayer of Thanksgiving to those who have worked so hard to make it possible to enjoy the gifts from the earth - even here in Ohio! Thank you to the farmers and their families, to Rosanna, Laura and Michelle who have worked tirelessly to make a difference in the local community. Thank you for reading my column and for learning along with me. It's been an amazing season and I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have!


Good health to you and your loved ones and wishing you the happiest of holidays! See you next year!

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, 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.


Fresh Research Finds Organic Milk Packs In Omega-3s

Alternative Christmas Gifts

These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes


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