Main Logo
Week 5 Fall                        Geauga County, Ohio
Dec. 5, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Slowing down
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies
Chicken sale
Gifts for the locavores on your list
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

"Autumn arrives in early morning, 

but spring at the close of a winter day."
~ Elizabeth Bowen








Slowing down

The holiday season can be a hard time to slow down. Our lives are pulled in so many directions that it's difficult to keep things balanced and too often, easy to miss the important details. Our bodies and our minds need a break from the chaotic pace and we hope your CSA membership can play a part. The simple act of cooking with fresh, wholesome ingredients can allow you an opportunity to slow the pace down. Consider each ingredient and the care that went into raising it from a seed, and take a few minutes to be mindful of how the act of cooking and eating your meal will nourish both your body and your soul.


The stresses of the season can also take a toll on your health. By fitting these fresh vegetables into your diet, you are providing yourself with the nutrients that will create an excellent defense against colds and flu. Cabbage provides more vitamin C than an orange, and provides high amounts of a range of powerful antioxidants. Kale is a superfood, with high levels of vitamins C, K and A. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene and vitamins A, C and B6. As you can see, aside from giving you a much-needed break in the holiday action, slowing down to cook your CSA vegetables can be just what the doctor ordered.



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 and acorn squash, sweet, Yukon Gold and redskin potatoes, Lacinato, Winterbore and Red Russian kale, red leaf, green leaf or Romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, leeks, storage onions, shallots, radishes, beets, garlic and Brussels sprouts.


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

We still have lots of great vegetables available in bulk for canning, preserving and storage. Check out the current list below.

Storage onions: $16/half-bushel

Sweet potatoes: #1 - $32/half-bushel; #2 $21/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)

Redskin potatoes: $23/half-bushel

Yukon Gold potatoes: $23/half-bushel

Garlic: Small/Medium heads $1 each or 6/$5. Large heads $2 each.


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. 


Storage: If onions are stored in a cool, dry place, they can last up to five months. A basement is an ideal place to store them. Onions also may be frozen for use in soups and stews.


To order bulk produce: You may leave a message at the warehouse at 440-693-4625, or call between the business hours of 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays and talk to Neil or Rebecca to place your order. You will receive an invoice via e-mail and will be able to pay with a credit card via PayPal. 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.


Chicken sale

Sylvio Pellegrino of Pellegrino Pastures will be on hand at St. Noel from 9:30-10:30 a.m. and Family Karate from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 with a selection of his certified-organic chicken. Be sure to stop by and stock up on all the cuts from wings, legs and breasts to whole chickens. Stay tuned for announcements of more chicken sale sites. Check out Sylvio's products hereSylvio accepts cash, check or credit cards, and no pre-order is necessary.


Gifts ideas for the locavores on your list

To simplify your holiday shopping we have compiled a listing of some of our favorite local food gifts.


Farmer John's Cookbook - The Real Dirt on Vegetables

By John Peterson


Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets Paperback

by Deborah Madison


Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese - outstanding quality and flavor. Find their products at Whole Foods, Mustard Seed Market and the Shaker Square Farmer's Market.


Miller's jams and honey - a wide selection is available on our website in half-pint and pint sizes. Try the elderberry or black raspberry for something a little bit out of the ordinary. These are great in gift baskets or for hostess gifts.


Middlefield Cheese - - this site has a wide range of local cheeses and gift boxes.


Sage's Apples - - send Ohio apples and Geauga County specialties to someone you love. A wide variety of gift boxes is available.


The best gift of all is a CSA membership for the 2014 season! We hope to have applications available next week, in plenty of time for treating yourself or someone you love to a season of organic produce. 



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 


Kale and Apple Salad

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced
1/4 cup dates
1 Honeycrisp apple
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 ounce pecorino, finely grated (1/4 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.
While the kale stands, cut the dates into thin slivers and the apple into thin matchsticks. Add the dates, apples, almonds and cheese to the kale. Season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Recipe from


Best Baked Sweet Potatoes

Scrub and thoroughly dry sweet potatoes. Pierce with a fork several times. Rub with a little bit of vegetable oil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Do not wrap in foil.

Try topping your sweet potato with cinnamon and coconut milk, or a little bit of butter and crunchy pecans.


Rustic Cabbage Soup

Serves 4 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock 
1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons

More good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes - it's o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning - getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc.)... Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.

Recipe from


Oh, those dirty veggies!

By Laura Novak

The Geauga Family Farms CSA Fall season is winding down to just the last couple of weeks (as well as fall in general!). Could you hear the tear drop on my desk?


As you venture back to the grocery stores for the majority of your shopping, the best practice is to buy all produce organic. Personally, I don't feel that I can wash off harmful chemicals with spray gentle enough to consume, but even I have to bend sometimes. Going all organic is certainly an expenditure that not everyone is comfortable or even able to make. So when you head back to the grocery store, there are some foods more important than others to buy organic.


The Environmental Working Group provides a yearly report on the Dirty Dozen foods to always buy organic. These are the most contaminated by pesticides and most harmful to the health of you and your family. For the past two years, the EWG has called it the Dirty Dozen Plus and added two more foods that didn't meet the criteria to make the Dozen list, but were "commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system."  They are:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines (Imported)
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Hot Peppers

And the Bonus Two:

Summer Squash

Kale & Collard Greens


Generally, it's also a good idea to buy organic whenever produce is coming straight out of the earth, or most saturated in chemicals that have been used over and over, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc. (Think root veggies.) 


Veggies that are safer to buy without going organic are those with a thick skin to peel, like bananas and avocados. The Environmental Working Group also lists a Clean 15, or the produce safest to buy conventionally.


Now that you know about the deliciousness of buying local, be sure to look at where your produce is coming from. The further it has to travel, the less fresh it will be. And be sure it's an area you feel comfortable supporting with your dollars.

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.


Evergreen debate: Choosing between real and artificial Christmas trees

Why $7-per-gallon milk looms once again

Moon Turnips? NASA Takes Gardening to New Heights

Census finds schools offering more produce 

I'm Not Just Gaming, Ma! I'm Helping The World's Farmers 

Chemical Cuisine: Your guide to food additives 


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