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Week 17                           Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 24, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Cooperative spirit
In this week's shares
Egg cartons needed!
Veal opportunity
Fall share news
Bulk veggie info
Order Thanksgiving turkeys now!
Beef schedule
Member Laura Novak's cooking tips column
For your reading pleasure
Anyone can sign up for our newsletter
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 "She is fond of greens who kisses the gardener."

~ Author Unknown












Buggy silhouette




Cooperative spirit

One of the primary differences between Geauga Family Farms and other CSA programs is the fact that we are a cooperative of 10 family farms. We have an elected board that works with the rest of the farmers in the decision-making process for the business. Here's a little insight into the cooperative approach to our season planning.


This weekend was our annual planning meeting. Our farmers start planning for the next summer season beginning in the fall. This is beneficial for several reasons. We are able to assess plant varieties, amounts, packing details, delivery concerns, etc. while the current season is underway and details are still fresh in our minds. Were members excited about certain vegetables? Were there particular items that received complaints? Should we be sending the produce in a different manner?


Starting our planning now also helps us to be more economical in our approach to next season, as the farmers are able to place their seed orders before the prices go up in January. This is one of the reasons we offer a discounted share price to members who want to reserve a share for the next season by Dec. 31. It literally provides "seed money" for the farmers to use when they place their orders with the seed companies.


To plan for the next season, the farmers sit down with a list of all of the vegetables and fruit they are interested in planting. Each item has been given a general amount that should be included in each share (for example, cherry tomatoes - 1 pint), as well as the number of times an item should be included throughout the season. This helps to determine the amount of each item that should be planted. Farmers then volunteer for the items they would like to grow.


Generally, each item on the list is planted at three farms. This allows overlap in case one farm runs into any problems during the growing season due to weather, pests, etc. This also allows the farmers to feel more comfortable trying out new varieties or crops. Space, soil conditions and timing with other crops factor into the decisions. Advice is shared with farmers who want to try something new. It's always a spirited discussion made up of equal parts bartering, sharing of expertise and good-natured ribbing. It's also a fascinating meeting to experience as the passion and dedication of our farm families is clear from start to finish.


We share this information with our members to help you understand the seriousness with which we approach this endeavor. We want you to feel great about supporting local farms, knowing that we are constantly striving to bring you an excellent harvest and a great CSA experience. 


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 ask apples, butternut squash, green beans, zucchini, carrots, redskin, sweet, Yukon Gold and fingerling potatoes, cherry, Big Beef and Big Dena tomatoes, banana, green, red, orange, chocolate, yellow or purple sweet peppers, banana or jalapeño hot peppers, Yummy Orange and Carmen Red sweet peppers, Lacinato, Winterbore or Red Russian kale, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplants, storage onions, beets, leeks, dill and garlic.


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. 


Egg cartons needed!

We are running short on egg cartons, and this is the one item we are able to recycle very easily. If you are able to return egg cartons to your pick-up site, our drivers will make sure to get them back to us. Even if you do not purchase eggs from the farms, we would love to have the empty cartons. Thanks!


Veal opportunity

One of our farmers is trying to gauge interest in 100% organic, grass-fed, humanely-raised veal. The calves are kept in the fields with their herd rather than in small pens. Manna Farms is considering making veal available in early December if there is interest. It would be sold as whole or half cows, averaging at about 200 pounds hanging weight. Per pound price is $5.50. Please contact Dominic Marchese at 330-719-3492 or at if you are interested or if you would like additional information.


Fall shares

The application for our six-week fall CSA program will be up on our website in the next few days. The starting dates are Thursday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 2, and the ending dates are Thursday, Dec. 12 and Saturday, Dec. 14. Shares are delivered to your pickup site of choice on a weekly basis; pickup sites will be announced soon. There will be no deliveries Thanksgiving week. Items in your shares will vary as the season progresses.


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.

Hot banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel

Sweet banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel 

Storage onions: $15.50/half-bushel

Ground cherries: $3.50/pint


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, 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 Café10/17/2013
Jones Day10/17/2013
LEAF Night10/17/2013
MRI 10/10/2013
Landerbrook Dental     10/10/2013
Good Shepherd10/17/2013

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


Beef delivery dates for Saturday sites:

This Saturday, Sylvio Pellegrino will have organic, free-range chicken available at Hill's Karate from 10 - 11:30 a.m. 

St. Noel   
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 


Caramelized Fennel

Notes Before You Start:

The key to this dish is to brown, not steam, the fennel. Keep the pan hot and spread out the fennel, no crowding. Cook in batches if necessary- the only problem will be that you will finish the first batch before the next batch is done. Yes, this dish is that good.

Serves 4 as a side dish

2 large fennel bulbs

¼ cup olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper

½ lemon

Using a very sharp knife, cut the top and bottom from the fennel bulbs and then remove tough or bruised outer layers. You will end up with a bulb about the size of your fist. Slice the bulbs in half and then remove the cores from the fennel. Then cut the fennel lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices (it is ok if a little thicker). Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and then the fennel slices. Spread the fennel out in the pan to encourage browning. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping the fennel slices every few minutes, until golden brown. Remove the fennel from the pan and drain off any excess oil. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, to taste. Serve.

Recipe from the Putney Farm website - Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables


Fried Shallots Recipe

Serves 2 servings as an appetizer or serves 4 as a garnish

Crispy fried shallots are great solo or as a tasty topping for simple dishes - green beans and mashed potatoes are classics. Shallots can be simply fried in hot oil, but going to the extra effort of breading them first will prove worth the time. As with most shallot recipes, feel free to substitute onions (for onion rings) if you prefer.

8 ounces shallots (about 6 to 8 large shallots), sliced carefully into rings about 1/4-inch thick 
Kosher salt, to taste 
Ground black and cayenne pepper, to taste 
All-purpose flour (about 1/2 inch in the bottom of a wide bowl) 
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water 
Bread or cracker crumbs, finely ground (about 1/2 inch in the bottom of a wide bowl) 
Cooking fat, such as peanut oil or lard 

Separate the shallot rings on a platter and toss with salt. Allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes, then blot dry completely with a towel. Season with peppers. Working one at a time, dredge each ring in flour and shake off the excess. Next, dip it into the egg mixture and let it drain completely. Then dip the ring into the crumbs, coating both sides thoroughly. Set the rings on a platter; do not allow them to touch. Allow the rings to rest for at least 20 minutes. Fill a frying pan with a quarter-inch of oil or lard, and heat over medium-high until a thermometer registers 325 degrees Fahrenheit or the oil begins to shimmer. Fry the rings in batches to avoid overcrowding, for about 3 minutes total, flipping them carefully after the first side is golden. Drain on a towel and sprinkle with salt while hot. Leftovers can be brought back to life by reheating in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Recipe from


Butternut & Apple Harvest Soup

This medley of autumn vegetables combine to make a wonderfully warm and comforting soup. Pair this with crusty bread and a salad, and dinner is served.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter

2 large leeks (white and pale green parts

only), chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1 cup diced carrots

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and

sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 quart chicken stock

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

1/2 cup light cream

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.

Recipes from


Roasted Potatoes & Shallots

6 large shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in lowest position.

Toss shallots with 1 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 13-by 9-inch baking pan, spreading evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, until shallots are golden, about 30 minutes.

Toss potatoes with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then add to shallots. Roast, turning occasionally, until vegetables are tender and potatoes are crusty, 40 to 50 minutes. Cooks' note: Shallots (but not potatoes) can be roasted (for 30 minutes only) 1 day ahead and chilled.

Recipe from Epicurious


Shallot Butter

This can be used on potatoes, pasta, green beans - the delicious possibilities are endless!

3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

Combine butter and shallots in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter melts. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Before using, stir over low heat until butter melts; keep warm.)

Recipe from Epicurious


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.


An order of vegetables without poison, please 

By Laura Novak

"As we have learned, when banks are too big to fail, they can bring down our economy and represent a threat to our freedom. Monopolies in agriculture and banking have destroyed family farmers, and have actually made America a less democratic nation... We need to help people go back to the farms."

~ Dennis Kucinich, eight-term U.S. congressman and former Cleveland mayor


We all know there are some scary things going on in the war for control of our food supply. You've probably heard of Monsanto, the company that emerged on the economic scene as a creator of war chemicals, responsible for Agent Orange and now also for the majority of canola, corn, cotton and soybean seeds. Did you know that in India 95 percent of the cotton crop is owned by Monsanto? Since the giant began to take control there, more than 250,000 Indian cotton farmers have committed suicide. Here in America, Monsanto is fighting to keep genetically modified food products from being labeled, spending loads of money to actually make it legal policy that they won't have to disclose to us, or anyone attempting to watch out for our food supply, what exactly is in the "food" they are providing. This is just one of the many corporations fighting for our dollars without concern for our health. 


According to Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and leading expert on politics and practices of the food industry, "The food industry has way more power than it ought to have in Washington and in statehouses, but we have people power, the truth and morality on our side. A movement is growing. You can see it not just in the growth of farmers' markets and natural foods, but also in efforts from the USDA and government agencies to make positive changes, and in all the local programs, nonprofits and for-profit companies that are picking up on these messages and trying to make a difference. There is an explosion of energy to try to fix what more and more people realize is a major problem... Don't let your country's food policy be a spectator sport."


We have already taken a huge step toward positive change by joining the Geauga Family Farms CSA and voting for REAL FOOD with our investment in the farm shares. These are some more resources that can help inform, educate and further unite the movement for our health:

Non-GMO Shopping Guide:

Non-GMO Project:

Organic Consumers Association:

Beyond Pesticides: 


"Everybody has their own journey, but very often health is a crucial doorway. You can take drugs and you can have surgery, but what if you look at the really simple building block of life, which is what you are using to build and fuel your body?" 

~ Elizabeth Kucinich, director of government affairs for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine


*Quotes and information from Voices of the Food Revolution, a compilation of interviews by John and Ocean Robbins. 


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.

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.


Taking Down Big Food Is The Name Of Chipotle's New Game

American Farmers Say They Feed The World, But Do They?

USDA will not take action in case of GMO alfalfa contamination

Non-GMO Foods Will Account for 30% of U.S. Food, Beverage Sales in 2017

Are junk food corps hiding behind lobbyists to stop GE food labeling in Washington? 

Officials drop fine proposal for noisy roosters in Maine


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