Week 9, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 5, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies
Pick-up site deliveries
Next farm tour
Ugly vegetables
Zucchini nightmare
Laura Novak's column
Farmers markets grow in Ohio
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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  • "A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing,
    and the lawn mower is broken."

    ~ James Dent












    Welcome to Week 9 of the Geauga Family Farms CSA!


    One of the things we really like about participating in this CSA program is the way it forces us to be creative when working our way through our weekly share. My family has dubbed last week Cabbage Week 2014. We had received a head of cabbage in our box on two separate occasions, and had not gotten around to using them. We were determined to not let all of the amazing nutritional benefits of those beautiful, green heads go to waste, and ended up having daily cabbage dishes as part of our menu. 


    From cabbage vegetable soup to a quartet of coleslaws (Cilantro Lime - on fish tacos, Soy Ginger, Caesar and basic) to homemade egg rolls and a favorite shrimp, cabbage and peanut stir-fry, we were amazed that despite using the same vegetable daily, it never got monotonous.


    While every week provides numerous opportunities for you to get creative with your vegetables, this week offers an especially unique chance. It's National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day Friday, Aug. 8. This holiday celebrates the lengths to which people will go to ensure that a bumper crop of veggies doesn't go to waste. Kathy Yutzy has provided us with the poem Zucchini Nightmare for another humorous perspective.


    Have you found a creative way to use produce that you would like to share? Send us a note, and we'll include your creative solutions in next week's newsletter.




    ~ 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 lettuce (red leaf, green leaf or Romaine), watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbage, Swiss chard, parsley, basil, dill, garlic, pickling cucumbers, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, onions, bell peppers (green or colored), banana peppers (sweet or hot), potatoes and sweet corn.


    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

    You can find them in our farm store, here.

    Pick-up site deliveries

    It's orange barrel season and occasionally, despite taking every precaution to avoid it, our drivers run into traffic issues that can cause our deliveries to run a little late. We truly appreciate everyone's patience when this occurs, and ask that our members please wait until the shares are completely unloaded before taking one. Shares taken during the unloading process can throw off final counts and cause inadvertent shortages down the line.   


    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. We'll provide maps and a sign-up link to reserve spaces on the tour in next week's newsletter.


    Ugly vegetables

    Special thanks to member Meghan McCarthy for sharing this link to a great video about celebrating ugly vegetables.


    Zucchini Nightmare

    Our friends all raise zucchini, it's an easy crop to grow.

    They share with us, make such a fuss, we cannot tell them no.

    We must not waste, says wifey dear, we can't throw it away.

    I know you'll grow to love it so, we'll eat it every day.

    I'll braise zucchini, mash zucchini, smother it with cheese.

    I''ll slice and dice, make something nice, your appetite to please.

    I'll bake zucchini, fry zucchini, marinate it, too!

    I'll broil and boil, saute in oil, and make zucchini stew.

    I'll make zucchini patties, and zucchini jubilee.

    I'll grill and chill, toss in some dill, Zucchini Fricassee.

    I'll make zucchini candy, and then for something new,

    I'll even try some zucchini pie and maybe ice cream, too.

    I'm so tired of zucchini  

    And my tummy's startin' to ail.

    So I'll make a wish for next year,

    His zucchini crop will fail!



    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: Tabbouleh

    This healthy Lebanese salad is a great way to use parsley, cucumbers and tomatoes.

    1 cup bulgur

    1 2/3 cups boiling water

    1/3 cup olive oil

    1/3 cup lemon juice

    1 cup chopped green onions

    1 cup chopped fresh parsley

    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

    3 tomatoes, chopped

    1 cucumber - peeled, seeded and chopped

    1 teaspoon salt

    Pepper to taste

    Combine bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover, and set aside to soak for 1 hour. Add oil, lemon juice, onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    While the first sweet corn of the season is perfect served steamed or grilled with a little butter and salt, you might want to try Elote, a type of corn served by street vendors in Mexico. 


    Serves 4

    4 ears corn
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup Cotija cheese (Parmesan will work if you can't find it)
    2 limes, cut into wedges
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon cumin

    Prepare a grill or grill pan with high heat. Keep corn in husks, or remove one strip of husks. Place directly on grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until husks are well blackened and the kernels are bright yellow.

    If serving on the cob, remove husks and slather each ear with a generous spoonful of mayonnaise. Add the juice of one lime wedge per ear, followed by a pinch of salt, a healthy sprinkle of cheese and a light dusting of cumin and chili powder.

    Recipe from the blog: the kitchn


    Summer Corn Chowder

    Makes 4 servings

    1 Tbsp. olive oil

    ½ medium onion, finely chopped

    2 celery stalks, finely chopped

    ½ green pepper, finely chopped (or use 3-4 yummy orange peppers)

    3 ears of corn, kernels removed

    1 cup potatoes diced in ½ inch pieces (2 medium potatoes or 5-6 new potatoes)

    1 cup water

    2 tsp. fresh basil (or 1 basil ice cube)

    ¼ tsp. paprika

    2 Tbsp. flour

    2 cups skim milk

    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add celery, onion, and green pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes.

    Add corn, potatoes, water, salt, pepper, paprika and basil. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook covered for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree vegetable mixture, or skip this step for a chunkier soup.

    Place 1/2 cup of milk in jar with tightly fitting lid. Add flour and shake vigorously. Gradually add milk-flour mixture to cooked vegetables. Then add remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil and thickens. Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Recipe from Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

    Zucchini Cake
    2 cups grated zucchini
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 cups flour
    3 eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    3 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. baking powder
    Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9 x 12 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool, then frost.
    4 oz. cream cheese
    1/2 cup butter
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    Recipe from ?????

    Leaping lettuce!

    By Laura J. Novak

    Calmly washing lettuce in the sink, I yelped as something leapt out of my lettuce. I stopped the running water in an effort not to drown the little guy who had obviously hopped a ride from the farm. With a paper towel, I let the grasshopper sidle up to safety, then out to the garden he went.


    I am all girl, so at first I was a little...shall we say...jumpy. There was a very careful inspection of each and every individual leaf after the "incident."


    But then I started thinking - these veggies are from the earth. And what a testament to the organic, pesticide-free produce. That tiny creature was healthy and hearty enough to make it from the farm, along a bumpy ride in a truck, to the church in a bag stuffed with veggies, chilling out in my refrigerator for two days, jumping out from near drowning to see a giant (he may have been almost as frightened as me), then out to the garden to dry in the sun. Obviously, there is no poison anywhere near that lettuce that could hurt me or my family if Mr. Grasshopper made it that far without even looking woozy.


    So instead of freaking out, I simply gave thanks for the freshness of the fields. Don't be surprised if you have a leaping lettuce experience. Every year, I have at least one critter looking at me. But now the thing to wonder about...what happened to those bugs on your conventional produce? And are you looking forward to biting into what killed them? I much prefer this alternative.


    In honor of my new friend, please enjoy the recipe for one of my favorite summer salads to bring to parties. It's easy to make and I always receive compliments on the dish. I also like to add avocado, bell pepper and cucumber. When I add a significant amount of extra vegetables, I usually double the amount of dressing.


    Hoppin' John Salad

    Makes about 10 1/2-cup servings

    2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, or 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained
    1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
    1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
    1 tomato, diced
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 - 2 garlic cloves, crushed

    Combine black-eyed peas, rice, green onions, celery, tomato and parsley in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, oil, salt and garlic, and pour over the salad. Toss gently. Chill 1 to 2 hours if time permits.

    From PCRM (The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) website


    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. 

    Geauga Family Farms farmers sell their produce at area farmers markets. You can meet Andy Miller's wife Laura at the Chardon Farmers Market on Fridays and Marvin Hershberger's daughters at the Geauga Fresh Market in Novelty on Saturday mornings


    Farmers markets grow in Ohio

    By Kate Snyder


    ZANESVILLE - Farmers markets are becoming more popular in the U.S., an attitude that also is reflected at the local level.


    The number of farmers markets across the country has increased 76 percent since 2008, according to a Saturday announcement from Anne Alonzo, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's agricultural marketing service administrator.


    Ohio remains in the top 10 states with the most farmers markets, climbing from the No. 5 spot in 2013 to the No. 4 spot this year. Eleven more farmers markets in Ohio were recorded this year, according to a release from the USDA.


    In the release, Alonzo said that rise reflects continued growth and demand for local produce in every region of the country; that demand also appears to be present in Muskingum County.


    Mitzi Welch, of Zanesville, was at the Zanesville Farmers Market on Saturday looking for honey. She knew she could have found honey quickly at a grocery store, but she thought the products at the farmers market were fresher and better.


    "I just think it's better," she said. "I would rather get it from someone who made it in their backyard."


    Carson Bauer, of Zanesville, was manning a stand of jams, jellies, salsa and miniature pies that were made by her and her mother, Sharon, also of Zanesville, for the Zanesville Farmers Market. Bauer said customers at the farmers market know the products are better than in the store, and that's part of why they turn out every week.


    Read the rest of the article here.


    Local food and farm-related events/activities


    Light Your Life Healing Arts Sample Session

    Wednesday, Aug. 6 
    6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
    Light Your Life Healing Arts

    7501 Clover Ave., Mentor
    (Located inside the Air Technical Industries Building)
    Learn how to strengthen your immune system, increase daily health and find emotional balance with Young Living Essential Oils. Learn more about oils like Frankincense, Peppermint, Lemon, Lavender, Peace & Calming, Thieves, and many more in this informative sample session. These basic oils are used by families all around the world, all day long to maintain vibrant health. Attendees will get to sample the oils and experience the benefits first-hand! Please RSVP to


    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 Aug. 12.

    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.


    Organic Food Shows Lower Levels of Pesticides than Conventional

    PETITION: President Obama, Please Reverse USDA Coup Undermining Organics

    Can urban agriculture feed growing cities?

    Celebrating a Healthy Harvest: Tips and recipes for fresh fruits and vegetables

    When China Spurns GMO Corn Imports, American Farmers Lose Billions

    Russia considers ban on U.S. poultry 


    (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