Week 10, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 12, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies
It's not too early
Next farm tour
Farmers market stamps
Laura Novak's column
Can you trust that organic label on imported organic food?
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
Follow us on Twitter  Find us on Facebook
  • "The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary, no painter's pallet
    can duplicate nature's artistry." 

    ~ Dr. SunWolf













    Welcome to Week 10 of the Geauga Family Farms CSA!


    Our farmers have had a great time getting out to our pick-up sites. We've been to four sites so far, and will continue to schedule visits throughout the season. Mid-season responsibilities at the farms are stretching this scheduling out longer than we initially anticipated!


    We really look forward to interactions with our members. Your comments, ideas and passion about healthy, local foods bring so much added joy to what we do. We appreciate everyone who stopped to chat about the CSA during these events, and look forward to our upcoming visits.


    Speaking of getting together with our members, we have two more opportunities for farm tours this season. Our August tour, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 23, will take place at the farm of Tom and Esther Byler. Tom and Esther grow much of our corn, and they are happy to welcome members for a corn roast. Please plan on joining us from 2-4 p.m. for a great afternoon. We're asking all who would like to attend to reserve spots for the tour in our web store. There is no charge, and this will help us to make sure we have enough corn for everyone.


    We would love to hear from you in terms of our September farm tour. What would you like to see? Would a potluck picnic with other members be enjoyable? Are you interested in demonstrations (cooking, canning, etc.) that would help you make the most of your CSA experience? Please e-mail us with your suggestions as we work on planning a fun event.


    Thank you for being a part of Geauga Family Farms!




    ~ with 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 cantaloupe, cabbage, green bell peppers, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrots, banana peppers, hot peppers, pickling cucumbers, yellow squash, potatoes, beets, eggplant, parsley, garlic, green beans, sweet corn, zucchini and dill.


    NOTE: You will 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 vegetables

    We have several veggies available for bulk purchase. 

    Yellow squash - $24/half bushel (approximately 24 squash per box - will vary slightly based on size)

    Zucchini - $24/half bushel (approximately 24 squash per box - will vary slightly based on size)

    Cherry/grape tomatoes - $2.50/pint

    Garlic -$10/pound 

    Roma tomatoes - $16/half bushel

    You can find them in our farm store, here.

    It's not too early...

    Our farmers are getting ready to start taking reservations for farm-raised Thanksgiving turkeys. These are Broad-Breasted White turkeys fed a non-GMO feed with organic minerals. The birds will average 18-25 pounds. The price is $3 per pound, dressed, and the turkeys will be available for pick-up from the farms on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. We will provide farmer contact information in next week's newsletter. 


    Farm tour

    Our next farm tour is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 23 from 2 - 4 p.m. at the farm of Tom and Esther Byler. Their farm is located at 8173 Cox Road in Windsor.  One of the Byler family's main crops is sweet corn, and Tom has offered to treat members to a corn roast as part of this tour. Click here for a sign-up link for farm tour reservations. :https://www.farmigo.com/store/geaugafamilyfarms.  We will provide a map in next week's newsletter.


    Farmers market stamps

    These new Forever stamps will make you want to send snail-mail. The U.S. Postal Service┬« celebrates the abundance and bounty of America's farmers markets with four colorful stamps depicting a table laden with products found at a typical farmers market. The stamp on the far left has among its products various baked goods, artisan cheeses and eggs. The produce on the second stamp includes vegetables and fruits. Cut flowers adorn the third stamp. The stamp on the far right features live plants. Most items bear handwritten labels that identify the product and its price. You can find them here and at your local post office.



    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 


    Salad of the Week:  

    See Laura Novak's column.

    Cilantro-Lime Cole Slaw

    "This is great on fish tacos or as a side dish with grilled chicken." ~ Michelle Bandy Zalatoris

    1/4 head of cabbage, shredded

    2 carrots, shredded

    ┬╝ cup finely chopped green onion


    1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
    4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

    1 garlic clove, minced

    Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss with cabbage, carrots and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Let cole slaw site for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.


    Grilled Tomato, Onion and Bread Salad

    Serves 8

    2 red onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick

    8 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cored

    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

    4 cups cubed Italian bread

    2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

    Salt and pepper to taste

    1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

    1/2 cup shredded fresh basil

    3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.Brush the onion slices and tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside. Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cubed bread in a large bowl. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper; toss well. Skewer the bread cubes with metal skewers.  Grill bread on preheated grill until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Grill onions and tomatoes until soft, about 5 minutes. Chop the roasted onions and tomatoes into large pieces, and place into a large bowl along with the toasted bread, cucumber and basil. Whisk the vinegar together with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to make a dressing. Pour over the salad, and toss to coat.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    Shrimp and Cabbage Stir Fry

    1 pound large raw shrimp, shelled
    2 egg whites, beaten slightly
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    1 pound green cabbage (1/2 head), chopped
    1 cup chopped carrots
    1 cup thinly-sliced red pepper
    1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped

    2 tablespoons soy sauce

    1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

    1/4 cup cooking oil (peanut oil recommended)
    ┬╝ cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

    Butterfly and de-vein shrimp; place in bowl. Add egg whites, cornstarch, mustard and salt. Stir to combine. Cover and set aside. In wok or deep skillet, cook ginger and garlic in sesame oil over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add cabbage, carrots and red peppers; cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in peanuts, soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove from wok and keep warm in 200 degree oven.

    Heat peanut oil in same wok or skillet to 375 degrees. Drop shrimp into oil without crowding wok. Cook 2 - 3 minutes until golden. Remove with slotted spoon to paper-lined tray. Keep warm in oven while frying remaining shrimp. To serve, arrange cabbage mixture on platter and surround with fried shrimp. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve with rice.

    Adapted from a recipe on Peanutbutterlovers.com


    Green Bean Blue Cheese Salad
    Serves 4

    1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces

    1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

    1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

    1/2 cup olive oil

    4 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar

    1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Place green beans in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Allow to cool. n a medium bowl, combine beans, onion, blue cheese, and pecans. Stir in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    Low-Fat Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

    1/3 cups boiling water

    2 cups shredded zucchini
    1 1/2 C flour
    1/2 C cocoa
    3/4 C sugar
    1 1/4 t baking soda
    1 t salt
    1 t cinnamon
    1/2 C vegetable oil (canola is good!)
    3 eggs
    1 t vanilla
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, pour boiling water over zucchini. Add all other ingredients and stir just until well combined. Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups, and use a 1/4 cup measure to pour batter into cups. Bake for 30 minutes. Yields 18 muffins.

    Recipe from SparkPeople user SUZEQZ 


    Hot summer salad

    By Laura J. Novak


    "In the eye of the cook or the gardener or the farmer who grew it, this food reveals itself for what it is: no mere thing but a web of relationships among a great many living beings, some of them human, some not, but each of them dependent on the other, and all of them ultimately rooted in soil and nourished by sunlight."

    - Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto


    My favorite way to celebrate the fresh, organic veggies is by making a gigantic salad within the first few days of pick-up. We clean and use a lot of the lettuce, some spinach, and then chop up onions, tomatoes, cucumber and an avocado. Then, we throw peppers, large onions and zucchini and/or yellow squash on the grill, sometimes with organic chicken. I like to add fresh herbs like parsley to the lettuce mix. Sometimes I'll hard-boil an egg or fry up some fresh green beans. Sometimes I add bacon bits. Our summer salads are never the same! You can add cabbage, walnuts, kohlrabi sticks with salt on the side, and carrots (I like to grate them). You can add cheese (and it's so nice when you add the hot veggies from the grill to melt the cheese a bit). I've even added strawberries, blueberries and watermelon. To me, it's so satisfying to mix raw and cooked food on one big plate - a cooling treat for the summer, but still the hot to warm your belly for dinner.


    Sometimes I make a cilantro-lime dressing, sometimes it's Italian with sundried tomatoes, and sometimes it's Garlic Expressions - anything fresh and complimenting on the veggies for the day. You can always make a nice dressing with olive oil, juice of lime or lemon, and your favorite spices. Raw minced garlic adds a spicy kick. If you don't have citrus juice, vinegar works just great. Drops of honey to sweeten are always a nice touch and this is a great time to add fresh parsley, basil or cilantro.


    What is your favorite summer salad?


    Laura J. Novak is a freelance writer and passionate supporter of locally grown, organic produce. Director and founder of Light Your Life Healing Arts in Mentor, Laura is certified as a Raindrop Technique (Relaxation Massage with Essential Oils), Advanced Reiki, Angelic Reiki Energy Healing, and Body Wisdom Practitioner. She also serves as a wellness consultant with Young Living Essential Oils. You can learn more about Light Your Life Healing Arts here. Laura is excited to participate in her third year with the Geauga Family Farms CSA and her second year as a contributing columnist to the newsletter. She also has a bachelor's degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace College and a master's in education from Ursuline College. 

    Can you trust that organic label on imported organic food?

    By Dan Charles

    Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth.


    Peter Laufer, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices. And also because those products are arriving through supply chains that stretch to far corners of the world.


    The U.S. imports organic soybeans from China, spices from India, and dried fruits from Turkey. "It just screams to my perhaps prejudiced, cynical, journalist's mind: Is there anything wrong with this?" Laufer says. "This needs some checking."


    Two products recently caught Laufer's attention when they showed up in his kitchen: a can of organic black beans from Bolivia and a bag of organic walnuts, which turned out to be rancid, labeled "Product of Kazakhstan."

    Laufer's mental fraud alarm went off. "I've done a lot of work in the former Soviet bloc, and when you look at the 'corrupt-o-meter,' it doesn't get much worse than Kazakhstan," he says. Bolivia, he says, isn't much better.


    Read the rest of the article here.


    Local food and farm-related events/activities

    Hops Production Twilight Tour

    Thursday, Aug. 14

    6 -  9 p.m.

    OSU South Centers - Endeavor Center Room 160 

    1862 Shyville Road, Piketon

    Attend the Hops Production Twilight Tour hosted by Brad Bergefurd. Topics include trellis construction, planting of hops rhizomes, training of bines, drip irrigation, hops for Ohio craft brewers and more.
    The cost to attend is $15. To register, click here. You may also contact Charissa McGlothin at 740-289-2071, ext. 132, or mcglothin.4@osu.edu, The deadline to register is TODAY!

    Sirna's Farm & Market Tour
    19009 Ravenna Road 
    Auburn Township
    Saturday, Aug. 16
    3 p.m.
    This tour is part of the 2014 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series featuring free public tours of some of Ohio's finest sustainable and organic farms. Fifteen tours, six workshops, and a farm to table dinner, held between June and November, are being sponsored by OEFFA, the certifying agency for Geauga Family Farms.

    Dinner in the Valley: Summer's Bounty
    Thursday, Aug. 21 
    6 p.m. 
    Cuyahoga Valley National Park
    Octagon Shelter, off Kendall Park Road

    Each month, the Dinner in the Valley series features a gourmet meal at one of the beautiful, historical spaces in the park. August is the height of abundance from the garden. Enjoy cold melon soup, a summer vegetable tart with goat cheese and more. Click here for reservations.


    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.


    Ohio Farmers Union on the recent Toledo water crisis

    Russia to ban all ag imports from U.S.

    Where is Your Closest Farmers Market?

    TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama, USDA to Stop Undermining Organics

    Rural dating blooms on niche online site FarmersOnly.com

    Cross-country tractor journey nears end 


    (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