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Week 4                     Geauga County, Ohio
June 23, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
First farm visit Tuesday
Ideas for all those greens
Deadline approaching for the 15-week season
Upgrade your share now
Next beef delivery July 11
Comments from our members
Please support our partners
Ole Chipotle!
For your reading pleasure
Anyone can sign up for our newsletter
Follow us on TwitterFind us on Facebook

"We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it."

~ Wendell Berry,

from The Long-Legged House






Buggy silhouette





We talk about this a lot, but one of the best things about this CSA is the community that it creates. It is truly amazing to be connected with so many people for whom the issues of supporting our local economy, the protection of family farms and healthy eating are important. We're lucky to live in a region that supports the production of such a wide range of delicious produce, and thankful to be able to share that with you each week.


We hope you will get to know others in this wonderful CSA community at our farm tour this week. Marvin and Iva Mae Hershberger have invited everyone to tour the farm and share each other's company. See details below, and do try to join us!


We want to mention how much we appreciate the fact that our members are so patient and respectful if and when issues arrive with deliveries, orders, etc. We are all doing our best to have everything work perfectly week in and week out, but sometimes unexpected issues arise. We do hope you know that we are happy to rectify any mistakes that occur, and so thankful for your kind words and understanding.


We hope you experience at least a little of that sense of community that Community Supported Agriculture provides whether it's at your pick-up site, on our farm tour, in our newsletter or through our Facebook page. We love connecting with you!



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 red leaf, green leaf or romaine lettuce, Red Russian, Lacinato or Winterbore kale, Rainbow chard, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, zucchini, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, collard greens, beets, radishes, bunching onions, sugar snap peas, strawberries and garlic scapes. 

Swiss chard
Rainbow chard


Lacinato kale
Lacinato kale

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. 


Tour our family farms Tuesday

Our first outing of the season is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. Marvin and Iva Mae Hershberger are hosting the June Farm Tour at their home, located at 15549 Patch Road in Middlefield. See a map here. We will walk the fields, chat about farming techniques and enjoy refreshments in the barn. It's a wonderful way to spend a summer evening and a great way to meet our farm families!


Bring shoes that can get muddy, bug spray and some cash. There are usually baked goods and extra produce available. Show up any time after 6 p.m., find a parking space along the drive and join us in the fields. If Tuesday evenings don't work well for you, plan on joining us in July and August, when our farm tours will occur on Saturdays.



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 


These recipes are from our partner, Whole Foods. 


Beans and Greens Soup (With a little Italian sausage)

(courtesy of Whole Foods Market Cooking)

Makes 3 to 4 quarts

1 pound Great Northern beans, soaked overnight in water to cover

1 pound Sweet Italian sausage (I like the kind with fennel) baked at 350F for 30 minutes

1 cup sliced leeks (white and pale green parts)

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 cups chicken broth

8 cups chopped greens (kale, spinach, collards-your choice)

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced in 3/4 inch cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the soaked beans in water for 40 to 50 minutes until tender, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, sauté the leeks, crushed red pepper and garlic in the olive oil until soft.

Slice the baked Italian sausage in 1/2 inch rounds and add to the soup pot. Saute for about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, the reserved bean broth and the potatoes. Bring up to the boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the greens and the cooked beans, bring back to the boil and simmer until the greens have wilted. season to taste with salt and pepper.


Ricotta Risotto with Dandelion Greens

(courtesy of Whole Foods Market and

Serves 2-3

4 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 large bunch tender dandelion greens, swished in water, rinsed and trimmed to 2-inch lengths for 3 loosely packed cups. Can substitute another tender bitter green, such as lacinato kale, tatsoi, mizuna or curly endive.

1/3 cup baby leeks, white and tender green parts only, cleaned and sliced (can substitute spring onions or green onions)

1 cup Carnaroli rice

1/3 cup vermouth

1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano

Freshly ground black pepper

Orange for zesting

Taste a bit of the dandelion green to get a sense of its bitterness.

In a small saucepan, start to heat up chicken stock over medium heat. Once stock begins to steam, cover pan and lower heat to keep stock warm.

In a Dutch oven, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat; add garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add dandelion greens and cook, stirring, until leaves are bright green and beginning to wilt. Taste again; greens should be considerably less bitter. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Add ½ tablespoon olive oil to the Dutch oven and then add baby leeks. Cook for a minute, stirring to make sure baby leeks do not burn and turning stove down if necessary. Add rice and stir to coat, about a minute, until opaque. Add vermouth and cook until almost all has evaporated.

Ladle about 1 cup of the warmed stock into rice mixture, constantly stirring, until almost all the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Continue adding remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing rice to absorb liquid each time before adding more. Rice mixture should be barely simmering throughout additions. After 20 minutes, taste the rice. You want the finished rice to be slightly firm and creamy, with a bit of liquid remaining, not mushy. If the rice is tender, remove from heat. If rice needs a minute more, by all means, cook it a minute more, adding a bit more stock if necessary.

Off the heat, briskly stir in ricotta - any remaining liquid should come together with the cheese as the creamy finished risotto. Stir in reserved dandelion greens. Grate Pecorino Romano over risotto to taste, do the same with the black pepper. Finish the risotto with fresh orange zest (no pith) to taste. Stir and enjoy! 


Don't forget to check member Kim Roberts' blog, in which she writes about what she is doing with all the yummy veggies she gets in her shares each


More ideas for all those greens!

Early summer in Northeast Ohio is always rich with greens (don't worry - there are many other things on the way soon!), and we wanted to share some ideas in case you just can't handle another salad.


~ Michelle


Lettuce wraps

I don't know if it's the novelty of using lettuce like a tortilla or what, but my kids love these. We usually cook some grass-fed ground beef (tofu, ground turkey or chicken would work well, too) with garlic, hoisin sauce, green onions and usually some very finely chopped bok choy. When the meat mixture is cooked though, set it out in a bowl and serve with shredded carrots, cucumbers, chopped green onions and chopped peanuts. Wash your head of lettuce and separate into individual leaves. Top a leaf with a small mound of meat mixture, veggies and peanuts, fold in the ends and roll. These fall apart quite easily, but they are fun, delicious, and a perfect cool dinner on a warm evening.


Other types of fillings for a lettuce wrap could include tabbouli, tuna, egg salad, or a kohlrabi, apple and walnut slaw.



Add lettuce, Swiss chard or kale to any fruit smoothie for a delicious, slightly green flavor and added nutrients.


Grilled romaine

The romaine lettuce is a little sturdier, and is well-suited to throwing on the grill. Cut head in half lengthwise (keeping each half intact). Brush the cut side with a little bit of olive oil and place on the grill until slightly charred and a little bit wilted. Serve drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette and shaved parmesan, or with buttermilk dressing and crispy bacon bits.


Kale chips

A favorite with many - wash and dry kale leaves, remove stems and tear into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and seasoned salt or other favorite herb mix. Place in a 350 degree oven until edges start to brown (about 10-15 minutes). Watch carefully, as they can go from crisp to burned in a very short time.


Freezing for soups

I have talked with some of our members who have mentioned that they chop any leftover greens (including lettuce) and put them in a freezer bag to add to soups, stews and braises in the winter months.


If nothing else fails, ALWAYS offer to bring the salad course to parties and potlucks!


What unusual ways have you found to use your greens? We would love to hear your ideas.


Now accepting applications for the 15-week program

Tell your friends who are envious of all the fresh, delicious veggies you're receiving that they too can get their own share. We are accepting applications online only for the 15-week program, which will start July 9, 11 and 13 and run into October. Click here to sign up now. Hurry! Deadline is June 28.

Upgrade your share now

Have you found yourself wishing you had more veggies left at the end of the week? Upgrade your share now to the next size larger, or even two sizes larger. Let Laura or Michelle know by e-mail if you'd like to do so and we will send you an invoice via PayPal for the difference. The upgraded share sizes will be effective the week of July 9, starting along with the new members in the 15-week program. Deadline to upgrade is June 28.

Beef deliveries - IMPORTANT!

The next beef deliveries will occur in July, staring July 11. We recognize these scheduled deliveries will take some adjustment on everyone's part, and appreciate your flexibility!


Comments from our members

We have heard from many of you, either sharing recipes or telling us how much you are enjoying your membership in the CSA program. We thought we'd share your comments in The Fair Share.


"We are enjoying the share and look forward to this not only for the upcoming season but upcoming years!!!"

Steve Connor

"We love the half shares this year! It is just the right amount for a little adventure and variety in our produce, but not so much that we feel overwhelmed or wasteful. The size of the share was the predominant factor in signing up again for the CSA this year.  

The strawberries are a favorite in our house, and the yellow tomatoes quite tasty as well. I was surprised to discover (from a dinner guest) that some people love to eat raw scallions from root to top.  


Michelle Lawther

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


The genetically modified burrito: Chipotle tells all

If you're horrified by the prospect of eating food containing genes that were altered by some industrial food giant, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) will tell you what's what in its ingredients. Just don't expect to be eating much that's on the menu, at least for now. Go with pork carnitas, sour cream, and guacamole. Forget about pretty much everything else: The menu is heavy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), from the chicken to the tortillas.

Chipotle's chicken, for example, is classified as a "responsibly raised meat" grown humanely and without antibiotics or hormones. In some locations, however, the responsible chicken is cooked in soybean oil, nearly all of which comes from modified soybeans in the U.S.-hence the "G" label on chicken. Similarly, the fajita vegetables are both organic and "local," a designation for any food that's from a farm within 350 miles of the Chipotle outlet that serves it, such as the romaine lettuce and guacamole the chain sells. The veggies, too, are sometimes cooked in soybean oil, depending on location.

The chain began labeling its ingredients in March on its website, including such details as "pasture-raised dairy" for the sour cream and cheeses. There are no plans to post the data on the menu boards in restaurants because of the boards' "limited real estate," Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold says. The company hasn't noticed any change in sales due to the menu disclosure. "It's not a concern to us that we're going to lose business over this," says Arnold. "If anything, it engenders more trust when you're more forthcoming about the food you serve. Any downside there may be ... is going to be eclipsed by the upside with being transparent."

The chain is working to reduce the GMO content of its ingredients but doesn't expect to achieve a 100 percent GMO-free menu, given the nature of the U.S. food industry, Arnold says. "Our food system is so dominated by these big industrial food producers."

To get away from one heavily modified crop, the company is switching from soybean oil to sunflower oil for frying taco shells; the change is expected to be completed by Sept. 1. The chain is also experimenting with rice bran oil in some markets, to reduce the use of soybean oil. Along with the modified organisms, the company also labels foods that contain hydrogenated oils and preservatives in a "room for improvement" section.

Article reprinted from Bloomberg Business Week


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.


Former GMO engineer drops biotech & goes organic

Ohio's first agribusiness STEM school to open


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