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Week 14                           Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 3, 2013

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Bulk veggie info
Order Thanksgiving turkeys now!
Letters from our members
Beef schedule
Member Laura Novak's cooking tips column
11 ways to get more out of your CSA vegetables
Local food events
For your reading pleasure
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"The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway."

 ~ Michael Pollan 










Buggy silhouette





We've spent the last couple of weeks telling you about the various people involved in bringing your produce to you each week. This week we would like to talk about the final step in the process - the role played by our pick-up site partners.


You've most likely taken a look at our site list to see the variety of pick-up sites that participate in this program. They range from schools, churches and libraries, to offices, stores and restaurants. There is even a bed & breakfast! The thing that all of our partners have in common is the understanding of the importance of our local food economy. These wonderful places have all taken an active role in ensuring that our local, organic farms do not disappear. They sustain farm families by providing the critical connection between farmer and customer.


Is it easy to host a site? Not always. Site managers take on the role of scheduling volunteers for pick-up times and making sure that leftover shares get to a hunger center or a family in need. They set aside space in their facilities (which is nearly always at a premium) for the pick-up area and for storage from week to week. They welcome our CSA members and address issues or questions that arise.


Many of our sites have been with us from the start, and we have been thrilled to find additional site partners who want to participate as we have grown each season. Old or new, we are thankful for the important role they play.


We usually place this list at the end of our newsletter. This week we would like to highlight all of our partners. Please find opportunities to patronize or support them whenever you can. They do so much for you and for Geauga Family Farms!


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

Landerhaven Dental Associates                              Jones Day

MRI Software



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 Green or red leaf or Romaine lettuce, blackberries, peaches, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, red seeded and seedless watermelons, cherry, grape, heirloom, Big Beef and Big Dena tomatoes, cooking and bunching onions, eggplants, leeks, red, Yukon Gold and fingerling potatoes, green and multi-colored peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, Carmen Red peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, carrots, shallots, spinach, parsley, celery, cabbage, beets, kohlrabi and sweet corn.


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 

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.


Canning tomatoes: $22/20-pound box

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

Cherry tomatoes: $2.25/pint

Hot peppers: $15.50/half-bushel

Sweet banana peppers: $15.50/half bushel

Rhubarb: $2.50/pound

Regular or Lemon basil: $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. 


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.

Letters from our members

A big shout out of THANKS to all those picking up veggies at Sage's on Tuesday! I tripped, fell and had the care and attention of numerous CSA subscribers and the family and staff of Sage's who pulled together and provided comforting words, blanket and pillow, and took the time to gather my belongings and lock up my car. Other than bruises, black eyes and a broken nose, all is well and I was able to get my veggies today. The kindness of the Geauga Family Farms network (including a woman named Jennifer) is truly appreciated - many stayed by me until I was safely on the ambulance.

Susan E. Kay 

We really do have a wonderful community of members. Thanks from Geauga Family Farms to those who stopped to help Suzi last week!

We just picked up our weekly share and I'm just so very grateful! It is absolutely gorgeous!!! We are so very fortunate to have access to these beautiful veggies and fruits. Thank you to you both for coordinating and thank you to all of the farmers and their families. Thank you, thank you!!!
The Oddo Family

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 


Mexican Pepper Casserole

Serves 6
6 medium red and green bell peppers
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 pound medium sharp cheddar cheese -- thinly sliced
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream -- or yogurt
Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice the peppers in thin strips. Heat butter and olive oil together in a heavy skillet. Saute onions and garlic with salt and spices. When onions are translucent, add peppers. Saute over low heat
for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour. Mix well and saute until there is no extra liquid. Butter a deep casserole. Spread in half the saute, topped with half the sliced cheese. Repeat these layers. Pour custard over and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 40-45 minutes, uncover for last 15 minutes.

Recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook


French Leek Pie

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust

1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup light cream

1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

2 teaspoons butter

3 leeks, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and cheese, and warm through. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until custard is set and golden on top. Allow to sit 10 minutes before cutting pie into wedges.

Recipe from


Grilled Peaches & Angel Food Cake with Red-Wine Sauce

1 cup fruity red wine, such as Merlot or Shiraz

1 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons Triple Sec, or other orange-flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons brandy

1-2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

6 ripe but firm medium peaches, peeled and halved

6 slices angel food cake (1 inch thick)

Combine wine and orange juice in a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced to ½ cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in Triple Sec (or other orange liqueur), brandy and 1 tablespoon sugar. Simmer until the sugar dissolves and flavors combine, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice. Taste and stir in remaining sugar if needed for a pleasantly sweet but not cloying sauce. Preheat grill to medium. Oil the grill rack. Brush peaches lightly with 2 tablespoons of the wine sauce, reserving the rest. Transfer the peaches and cake slices to the grill. Grill the cake over indirect heat or the coolest part of the grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute per side. Grill the peaches over direct heat until softened and browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes per side. In the last minute of grilling, brush the peaches with 2 tablespoons more of the wine sauce. Arrange 1 cake slice and 2 peach halves on each dessert plate and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe from


Peach Cooler

3 cups seltzer

1 cup peach juice or nectar

1 cup sparkling white grape juice

4 slices fresh peach

Combine seltzer, peach juice (or nectar) and sparkling white juice in a pitcher. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with peach slices.

Recipe from


Corn Jalapeño Muffins

1 cup milk

1 large egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup corn kernels, frozen thawed or canned drained

2 tablespoons minced jalapeño, or use mild chiles

Whisk together the milk, egg, and oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Stir in first mixture until all ingredients moistened, then stir in the corn and peppers. Spoon into greased muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan

for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

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.


Pasta Salad to Share and Saucy Soup 

By Laura Novak

Did you share some of your veggies during the holiday gatherings? I came up with a nice recipe that used up my veggies and also gave me the opportunity to share and talk about the CSA with my friends. It also made me feel great to share the nourishment of the local, organic vegetables.


I made a pasta salad. It was delicious, perfect for sharing and for using up the vegetables. I used rotini pasta to help the little diced vegetables get into the pasta.

1 pound cooked pasta (cooled)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

2 ears corn, grilled and cut into kernels

½ green bell pepper, diced small

½ yellow bell pepper, diced small

¼ cup fresh spinach, sliced into thin strips

1 bunch green onions, diced

½ red onion, diced

¼ cup smoked sundried tomatoes, diced

Garlic powder, salt, oregano, and basil to taste

Romano Italian Dressing (I used a Heinen's brand)

(You could add zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, celery, peas, basil...really anything you like!)


First I diced and mixed everything together with half a bottle of dressing, then I let it sit overnight. The next day before serving, I mixed in the remaining dressing. My friends raved about it, then ate it all up. I hope you enjoy it, too!


Did you make soup with those lovely leeks last week? I did! I made a different variation of the minestrone soup that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. This week, I added a jalapeño pepper, the leeks and zucchini instead of green beans, paprika, caraway seeds and some tomato & basil pasta sauce instead of the tomato paste. I always love to top my soups with fresh, chopped Italian parsley. It adds a nice, fresh flavor. 


Every time I have new ideas, I make a completely different soup. Sometimes I wonder if I wrote down the ingredients and followed a recipe if it would ruin the new soup. I'm always smelling and tasting along the way, finding inspiration in the spices and veggies. It's a bit like writing- I usually think I know where dinner will go, but then sometimes it takes over and becomes something I never expected. These different veggies every week sure keep dinners interesting!

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.


This was sent in by GFF member Dorrie Keough. Thanks Dorrie!


11 enlightening ways to get more out of your CSA vegetables 

By Johanna Voss

There are a lot of things to look forward to each summer: sunshine, beach days and lots of fresh vegetables! If you decided this summer to support your local farm through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, I'll imagine you are really excited about the bounty of fresh vegetables coming your way each week.

By joining a CSA program, you've signed up to receive between 15-25 weeks of vegetables that can provide for 1-4 people, depending on the size of your investment. Oh, the veggies that are coming your way! While it's really fun to get a new selection of vegetables each week, it can also be a bit stressful. Are you nervous about that week when your CSA share bag has 18 beets in it and lots of unidentifiable beans? 

Learn how to stay on top of your weekly CSA share and impress your friends with how you get creative with veggies.

  1. Plan Ahead: Take a moment to plan. Now this is a wee bit different kind of menu planning than you might be used to. Instead of spending your Sunday to plan out your week's meals, and then shopping accordingly, wait until the day you get your veggies to make your plans. This way you will see what you need to buy from the fruit and produce section at the grocery store to supplement what is in your CSA share.
  2. Question yo' veggies: When you pick up your veggies each week, no matter how tired or rushed you may be, take a moment to peek inside your bag and see what treasures await you. Not sure what something is? Ask your farmer while you are at the farm picking up your share. If your farm delivers, ask the driver, who probably picked a lot of the vegetables in your CSA share. If none of those options are available to you, don't hesitate to ask fellow CSA members or friends. What you don't want to do is just pick up your veggies, head home, get caught up in life, and then not figure out what you have until later. Now you'll have to Google the unknown vegetable and spend some time on Google images confirming exactly what's in your hand.
  3. Prepare and store: As soon as you get home, prepare and store your veggies. Wash your leafy greens and store accordingly (more on that later). A lot of veggies, such as beets, come with leafy greens attached. When you get home, make sure to cut the greens off so that they stop drawing moisture from the vegetable. Carrots, Kohlrabi, turnips, and other root veggies are some examples of vegetables you'll most likely receive this year that will come with greens attached. Most vegetables do well with a quick rinse and then stored in a dark, cool drawer in your fridge.Photo: MTSOfan
  4. Fry Lettuce: Yup. I said fry your lettuce. Switch up how you think of each vegetable. For example, move past thinking of lettuce just in salads. It can be sauteed, tossed into soups, fried etc. Have you ever added carrots to a stir-fry or into a blender? What about beets on your pizza? Get creative! On the other hand...
  5. Eat it raw: Figure out what you can eat raw and go for it. If you are unsure about which foods to eat raw, start with dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale or try carrots, celery, and cucumbers. Technically you can eat almost any vegetable raw, in its naked, natural state (careful around rhubarb!). It's just a matter of taste and how well your body digests it. Just make sure to chew your food well to aid your body in digestion!
  6. Garnish, baby! When you receive a small quantity of something, think of how it can garnish your meal. For example, only receive a couple small beets this week? Grate 'em and toss them on top of your dish.
  7. Be delicate: Cook and eat your delicate, leafy greens such as parsley, cilantro, spinach and kale earlier in the week, and leave the items that can last a bit longer, such as carrots, onions and beets, for a couple days later.
  8. Read, read, read!: Read your respective CSA's newsletter so you know exactly what you are getting in your share each week. This way there are no surprises when you pick up your share, or your allotment of weekly vegetables. By reading ahead of time, you can start to think about what to do with your bounty.Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  9. Make it cold: Turn your fridge down a degree. By cooling your fridge down a bit, you'll preserve your items a little bit longer. You don't have to do much, just a degree or two colder could make world of difference. Thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal temperature for your fridge. This way it won't create freezer burn on your food, nor will it be too warm in there so food spoils quicker.
  10. Freeze yo' veggies: Some people recommend blanching, which is boiling vegetables for a minute and then quickly dipping them in ice cold water, before putting the vegetables in the freezer, but it's up to you. Just about every fruit, all your leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, beans and yes, even potatoes can be frozen raw or blanched to use later on. No doubt you will be excited to open your freezer and eat summer vegetables in the middle of winter.
  11. Embrace the bounty: MORE Kale?! WWWHHHAAATTTT? There are going to be weeks that you will get waaaaayyyy more of one vegetable than you bargained for. It's what you signed up for. It's going to happen. Embrace it. Welcome all the leafy greens like kale and other vegetables such as zucchini into your life. This is going to happen whether you like it or not. And instead of being cranky and annoyed that you are faced with another week of eating kale, embrace your creativity. Making loaves of zucchini bread? Make extra and give it to a neighbor. Throw a kale party where everyone brings their favorite recipe!



Local food events


Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy World!

Awaken Yoga in Mentor has an entire weekend of learning on being healthier, greener and yoga to help your body detoxify. Spend a weekend with Jennifer Langsdale learning the yogic lifestyle with an introduction to being green in body and mind.

When: Sept. 7 & 8

Times: Saturday, 8 - 4 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Cost: $165; registration required

Click here to register.

The weekend will include:

Lectures on healthy eating and living

Learn about the Shaktkarmas or cleansing practices of yoga

Living and raw food tasting and demonstration

Truth about vegetarianism

Ways to become greener and save $!

(2) Detoxifying yoga practices with Jennifer

No yoga experience necessary. 

For more information, call 440-488-7212 or visit



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.


I bought produce, now what?

Farmer - baker - sausage maker

Are we flying blind with antibiotics?

Photographing the female face of farming

Why genetically modifying food is a bad idea

Grocery manufacturers spend big against food-labeling proposal


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