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Week 15                           Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 10, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Fall share news
Bulk veggie info
Order Thanksgiving turkeys now!
Beef schedule
Member Laura Novak's cooking tips column
Local food events
For your reading pleasure
It's time to plant bulbs
Anyone can sign up for our newsletter
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"In corn, I think I've found the key to the American food chain. If you look at a fast-food meal, a McDonald's meal, virtually all the carbon in it - and what we eat is mostly carbon - comes from corn."

 ~ Michael Pollan 










Buggy silhouette





We've been thinking a lot about how participation in a CSA program can sometimes feel a little subversive. When we hear friends complaining about the rising costs in the produce department, we happily bypass this area, knowing that our vegetables have already been paid for and will be delivered to our weekly spot. We walk in, check off our names, and walk out with a beautiful box of fresh, organic produce. Grocery stores try to lure us with specials and sales, but we know we're getting the good stuff, straight from the source. It's certainly not the sort of thing Big Ag would like people to do, and that suits us fine.  


Thankfully, while the whole thing can feel a bit subversive, we certainly don't have to keep this activity a secret in any way. The more we can spread the word about the health benefits, community benefits and environmental benefits of participation (let alone the fun surprise of discovering what is in our boxes each week), the more that local family farms in this region can depend on sustaining themselves through farming. There is certainly room for growth in this area, so please don't keep your experiences a secret!


We would like to thank member and Church of the Good Shepherd site manager Andrea Corbett, who has taken some time to track the pricing of items in the boxes and to compare them to local stores. Her conclusion - "So this tells me that the farmers have really done their work to make sure their produce is fairly priced compared to similar (or identical) products in the store. And it means I can feel confident telling folks on Thursdays that they are getting a good deal for their share price - with more of the money ending up in the hands of the farmers vs. stores and distributors."


We couldn't have said it better!



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 sweet corn, bok choy, peaches, blackberries, carrots, parsley, rhubarb, bunching onions, beets, red, Yukon Gold and fingerling potatoes, eggplants, cooking or storage onions, green and wax beans, celery, kohlrabi, cherry, Big Beef, Big Dena and heirloom tomatoes, green, red, orange, chocolate, yellow or purple sweet peppers, Banana or jalapeño hot peppers, Yummy Orange and Carmen Red peppers, and zucchini.


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. 



We are so appreciative of our members' efforts to recycle and reuse containers. We are able to reuse the egg cartons, but other items like clam shell containers cannot be reused because we cannot sterilize them. To maintain organic standards, our produce has to be placed in clean, sterile containers each week. We do encourage you to recycle or find additional uses for the bags and containers on your own, though!


Fall shares

Many of you are anxious to sign up for our fall shares, and we are thrilled. We are still in the process of finalizing the details and hope to have the applications available next week. Thank you for your patience.


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.

Peaches: $22/half-bushel

Canning tomatoes: $22/20-pound box

Roma tomatoes: $22/20-pound box 

Regular or Lemon basil: $3.50/pound

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

Hot banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel

Rhubarb: $2.50/pound

Storage onions: $15.50/half-bushel

Ground cherries: $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. 


Storage: If onions are stored in a cool, dry place, the 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, 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.


Order your free-range Thanksgiving turkey now

The following farmers have turkeys available for your holiday meals.

Marvin Hershberger - To order, call Marvin, Iva Mae or Emma Jane at 440-548-2399.

Andy Miller - To order, call 440-548-5697

Sylvio Pellegrino - To order, call 440-289-8489

Call the farmers directly for more information, pricing and to order.

The turkeys are Broad White-Breasted turkeys, raised on pasture and fed with non-GMO grain. Turkeys will range in size from 20 to 30 pounds. Turkeys will be ready for pick-up Tuesday, Nov. 26, or Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Beef schedule

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.





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 


Chili-Stuffed Peppers

Serves 5

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 large portabella mushroom, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or more to taste)

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)

1 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder* (or more, to taste)

1 teaspoon salt

5 red bell peppers

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat a large non-stick skillet or saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until it softens, about 4 minutes. (Add a splash of water as necessary to prevent sticking.) Add the mushrooms and jalapeno and continue to cook until mushrooms soften. Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, and seasonings. Cook for a few more minutes to allow most of the tomato liquid to cook off. Preheat oven to 400F. While the chili is cooking, prepare the peppers by cutting them in half through the stem end, removing the seeds and membranes, and rinsing the insides to make sure all the seeds are out. Check to see if they will stand upright, and if not, peel a strip off of the back side. Oil a baking dish big enough for the peppers (or line it with parchment paper). Fill each pepper half with the chili and place it in the baking dish. Bake until peppers are tender, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle each pepper with sliced green onions and serve hot.

*Note: I used Penzey's Chili 9000, a chili powder that contains cumin, oregano, and other spices as well as chiles. Depending on the spiciness and flavor of your chili powder, you may need to add more or less.

Recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen


Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

For the filling:

1/2 pound ground turkey

3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cups frozen corn

1 hot pickled Serrano pepper, chopped (or jalepeño) more to taste

1 large diced tomato

1 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbsp. chopped onion

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1 tsp. cumin

Kosher salt to taste

For the peppers:

3 red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise

1/3 cup chicken broth

9 Tbsp. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 Tbsp. chopped scallions, for garnish

In a large skillet brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is browned, add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, serrano pepper, diced tomatoes, and cumin. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes. Remove lid, add corn and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until all the liquid reduces.

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.  
Place peppers, cut side up in an oven-proof dish. Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup turkey mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the peppers become soft.  
Remove foil, top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of cheese and bake uncovered an additional 5 minutes.  Top with scallions and serve with reduced-fat sour cream if desired (optional).
Recipe from    


Our Very Favorite Pizza Sauce

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about two or three large cloves)

1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano (if using fresh, add at the end of the cooking time)

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes (undrained) or 2 pounds diced fresh tomatoes

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this makes for a lot of heat, which we love, but I recommend you start out with 1/4 tsp. or even just a generous pinch if you're unsure)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. If you're using dried oregano, add that along with the garlic. If you're using fresh, add it to the sauce at the end of the cooking time. Increase the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Leave over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low for a nice simmer. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes. Stir in fresh oregano, if using. Allow the sauce to cool to a safe temperature and then, using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender.

Recipe from


Late Summer Soup

Here in New Hampshire, fall comes early in the form of cool September nights. That means soup season starts gloriously here-with late-summer vegetables still available and the requisite chill in the air to make w arm soup just the perfect food. When a late-summer night has you closing a window to keep the chill out, try this delicious, gluten-free, late-summer soup.

Serves 8

3 Tbsp. olive oil

3 large shallots (chopped)

1 sprig of rosemary (3" long)

1 medium zucchini (cut into 1/2" chunks)

1 medium summer squash (cut into 1/2" chunks)

1/2 lb green beans (cleaned, picked, and chopped)

2 c fresh corn (6 ears, removed from cob)

3/4 lb of potatoes (scrubbed, unpeeled, and cut into 1/4" pieces)

3 clove of garlic (chopped)

5 c vegetable stock

1 c plain yogurt

1 pinch kosher salt

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Toasted almonds for garnish (optional)

Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

Drizzled olive oil for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in large heavy bottomed soup pot, over medium heat. Add shallots, salt, red pepper flakes and stir. And rosemary sprig. Sauté until shallots are tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in zucchini, summer squash, green beans, corn, and potatoes. Cook until squash becomes tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and remove rosemary sprig. Then add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15-17 minutes. Let the soup cool a bit and purée with hand blender or in batches in food processor. Return to soup pot and whisk in yogurt. Garnish and serve.

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.


Food for Thought

By Laura Novak

"How is it that at the precise historical moment when Americans were abandoning the kitchen, handing over the preparation of most of our meals to the food industry, we began spending so much of our time thinking about food and watching other people cook it on television?...there are now millions of people who spend more time watching food being cooked on television than they spend actually cooking it themselves." - Michael Pollan, Cooked


Pollan continues, "It will come as no surprise that the decline in home cooking closely tracks the rise in obesity and all the chronic diseases linked to diet. "We are living busy lives at a hectic time in a non-stop culture. Still, this doesn't have to be the case for us."


According to Pollan, it is the "single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being," "the most important thing an ordinary person can do to help reform the American food system, to make it healthier and more sustainable," "How ... people living in a highly specialized consumer economy [can] reduce their sense of dependence and achieve a greater degree of self-sufficiency." It's even the answer to: "How, in our everyday lives, can we acquire a deeper understanding of the natural world and our species' peculiar role in it?"


There is one simple thing we can do to accomplish all of the above. As a member of the Geauga Family Farms CSA, you are likely already doing it. We can COOK.


And you thought you were just quieting the growling in your belly. We haul our colorful fruits and veggies home, toss them around in the kitchen or on the grill, and serve them to our families, our friends, ourselves. We are making a difference. We are taking a stand for our health. We are supporting our community. Truly, we are doing something special, whether we think about it often or not. Now sauté your veggies, then go watch Chopped.

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. 

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.


Number of women farmers on the rise 

Corn Hardwired for Chemicals: A Video Asks "Could You Taste the Difference?"

Yes on 522

Why You Should Only Eat Pastured Eggs

Singer-songwriter's ode to agriculture


Lowe's Plant Doctor says now is the time to...

Dig, Drop, Done

That is the theme for planting spring flowering bulbs which have just arrived to Lowe's. Tulips, Hyacinths, Alliums, Crocus and Daffodils can all be planted now and it is as easy as Dig, Drop, Done. Plant your bulbs now for a huge display of flowers next spring.

Lowe's greenhouses are filled with fresh hanging baskets and flowers to fill/replace/renew your yard and gardens.

Have gardening questions... Lowe's has answers!


The Plant Dr. is always in at Lowe's Greenhouse or schedule a garden coaching session and have a landscape professional visit your home to provide suggestions specific to your garden conditions.


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