Week 5, Fall 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Dec. 3, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Discounts on Summer 2015 shares start Friday
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon sale
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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"January cold and desolate; February dripping wet;
March wind ranges; April changes;
Birds sing in tune To flowers of May,
And sunny June Brings longest day;
In scorched July The storm-clouds fly,
Lightning-torn; August bears corn,
September fruit; In rough October
Earth must disrobe her; Stars fall and shoot
In keen November; And night is long
And cold is strong In bleak December."
Christina Giorgina Rossetti, The Months 


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    Welcome to Week 5 of the Geauga Family Farms Fall CSA program.


    Last week as we were sitting down with friends and family, we were extra thankful that one of our farm families was safe. A few days before Thanksgiving, Tom and Esther Byler's home burned down. Thankfully no one was harmed. They lost nearly everything in their home, though, and are working to put their lives back together. We are glad to have the opportunity to help them, and if you feel so inclined, we have placed a spot called Byler Family Fund in our web store. Checks can also be mailed to Geauga Family Farms at 16910 Tavern Road, Middlefield, OH 44062.  Please add Byler Family Fund in the memo line. All donations made will be given directly to the family to help them build a new home, cover expenses and settle in as soon as possible.


    This tragedy has helped us all to remember that amid the craziness of the holiday season, it's all too easy to forget the things that are really important - our interactions with one another. Our relationships with family, friends, neighbors and strangers do so much more to shape the quality of one's life. We hope you'll find some time during the chaos of the season to nurture the relationships that are meaningful to you. So often, food plays a role in this for us; cooking for someone, cooking together, sharing a meal, providing a surprise treat for someone who could use a little lift. It's one of our favorite approaches to being present for those who mean so much to us. 


    Thank you for being a part of our community of friends. We wish you peace and contentment throughout this beautiful season. 



    Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

    ~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms


    In this week's shares

    You may not recognize some new produce items in this week's shares. We're including daikon radishes and a variety of large, purple radish that one of our farms is growing for the first time. All are sweet and mild. See our recipes below for some ideas about how to use them.


    We also wanted to let you know that the colder-than-usual temperatures a few weeks ago have wreaked a bit of havoc on our fall crops. As a result, you may see some non-produce items like jam, syrup or honey in the shares over the last two weeks to help fill them out.


    Here is a list of other items you may find in your share this week: Empire apples, lettuce (red or green leaf, Romaine), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore or Red Russian), Swiss chard, micro-greens, radishes, rutabagas, beets, daikon radishes, cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, and acorn or butternut squash. 


    NOTE: You will not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Shares received on different days of the week may include different items.

    Discount pricing on early-bird sign-ups

    Discounted shares will be available for our 2015 summer season starting Friday. To help provide "seed money" (literally - we begin planting in January) all sizes of shares will be available at a discounted rate until Dec. 31. The gift of healthy, sustainable food never goes out of style! Treat yourself or treat someone you love to a summer of delicious, local produce.


    We have not finalized our pick-up sites for the 2015 season yet, but if you sign up for an early share, we will contact you as soon as the list is available to choose your site. You are also welcome to list your site preferences in the comments section of the application. We anticipate that most of our sites from this year will be available again, with the addition of some new options as well!


    Wild-caught Alaskan Coho salmon sale

    Looking for some fish to go along with the veggies from your share? Deep-sea fisherman and GFF member Denny Crews will have Alaskan Coho salmon for sale at two pick-up sites this Saturday and next.  


    Where & When:

    Look for Denny at St. Noel in Willoughby Hills from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and at Hill's Family Karate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the next two Saturdays, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13.



    This Alaskan Coho salmon, harvested out of Sitka in Southern Alaska, is wild-caught and blast-frozen at sea (at -40 degree F). The salmon is vacuum-packed in 1 to 2 pound fillets, skin on, boneless, for $9.95 per pound, $3 to $4 less than you would find online or at a retailer for a comparable product. Denny accepts cash or check for payment.


    How it's caught

    Unlike other types of Alaskan salmon, this is troll caught, not net caught.  Troll caught fish are caught live, individually, with hook and line and immediately processed, incorporating a special "bleeding technique" using a low-pressure water pump syringe that gently expels all the blood out of the fish, making for a clean and fresh-tasting product which will store in a frozen state for a much longer period of time without losing quality.


    Why it tastes better

    Net-caught fish (gillnetting and seining) cause the fish to die slowly with bruised flesh from the pressure of the nets.  In both cases the fish die without being bled, and with all internal organs, including the stomach and intestines still intact, together with whatever the fish has recently eaten. It may be several days (up to 4 or 5) before the fish is actually processed. By this time the blood and internal debris causes the flesh to be of a much lower quality resulting in that "fishy taste."


    Net fisheries are also considered "terminal fisheries," meaning that they take place closer to the fresh water (streams and rivers) where the fish will spawn.  In most cases the fish have already stopped eating at this point, meaning that their fat content and vitality has already started to wane, meaning less Omega 3s and a compromised taste.



    Additionally, this salmon is considered "sushi-grade." To be considered sushi grade the fish must be at least -30 degrees F for more than seven days. This kills any parasites that may be present.  Trollers are the only ones with this type of freezing system.


    Can't make it to St. Noel or Family Karate? Denny is willing to home deliver the salmon for those ordering 10 pounds or more at no extra charge. Call Denny at 440-463-3732 to place your order of 10 pounds or more and schedule a home delivery.



    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 LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org.


    Mashed rutabaga with sour cream, dill, salt and pepper

    Serves 4-6 as a side dish

    2 to 3 pounds of rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1- inch chunks

    2 teaspoons butter

    Salt and black pepper

    1/4 cup to 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (more or less to taste)

    2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill or chives


    Cover the chopped rutabaga with about 1 inch of cold water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and boil until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.

    Reduce the heat to low and let the rutabaga steam for a minute or two. Mash with a potato masher.  Add the butter, sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Just before you serve, mix in the chopped dill or chives.

    Recipe from simplyrecipes.com


    Rosemary Lemon Garlic Rutabaga Fries

    Serves 4

    4-5 rutabagas [peeled, and sliced medium]

    2 Tbsp. olive oil

    ½ Tbsp. lemon juice

    ½ tsp. sea salt

    ½ tsp. black pepper

    4 cloves of garlic [minced]

    4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

    Chipotle Dip

    4 Tbsp. vegannaise or mayonnaise

    2 Tbsp. lemon juice

    ½ tsp. chipotle

    ½ tsp. chili powder

    ¼ tsp. sea salt

    Sriracha Ketchup Dip

    2 Tbsp. ketchup

    2 Tbsp. Sriracha


    Wash and peel rutabagas, then cut into French fry-sized pieces, about ¼" by ¼".

    Preheat oven to 425º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, toss chopped rutabaga, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

    Mix together using hands until the fries are lightly coated.

    Bake for 35-40 minutes, removing once or twice to stir fries around on baking sheet.

    To make the sauces, combine the ingredients for each in a small bowl and mix using a spoon.

    Recipe from TheFitchen.com


    Pickled Daikon Radish and Carrot

    Serves 4

    1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

    1/4 cup white sugar

    1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

    1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

    1 Thai chile pepper, seeded and chopped


    Heat vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and refrigerate to cool. Place daikon and carrot in a glass jar with the cilantro and chile peppers. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over, submerging the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

    Recipe from Allrecipes.com


    Butternut Squash, Ricotta, and Sage Crostini

    1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2" cubes (about 4 cups)

    3 1/2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

    1 1/2 tsps. (packed) light brown sugar

    Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    24 fresh sage leaves

    3/4 cup fresh ricotta

    1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

    12 3/8"-thick baguette slices, toasted

    Fresh lemon juice


    Preheat oven to 425º. Toss squash, 2 tablespoons oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden and tender, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on sheet.

    Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage; cook until edges begin to curl and turn dark green, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to paper towels to drain. Mix ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

    DO AHEAD: Butternut squash, sage leaves, and ricotta can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill squash. Store sage airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill ricotta mixture. Bring squash to room temperature before serving.

    Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each baguette slice. Top each with a few squash cubes. Drizzle crostini with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top crostini with 2 fried sage leaves each.

    Recipe from Epicurious.com


    Roasted Daikon Radish, Carrots and Peppers

    1 bunch daikon radishes (3 daikons), scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch rounds

    4 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds

    1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

    1 shallot, thinly sliced

    2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper, to taste

    ¼ cup balsamic vinegar


    Preheat the oven to 400º. Combine the daikon, carrots, red peppers, shallot and olive oil on a nonstick baking sheet. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender.

    Drizzle the veggies with balsamic vinegar and return to the oven. Roast for an additional 5 minutes. Toss well and then transfer to a serving bowl.

    Recipe from sarahscucinabella.com


    The bounty of the season 

    By Laura Novak

    "Oh, the bounty!" I heard my husband exclaim as he pulled out the baking sheet full of pumpkin seeds. We usually roast our butternut squash seeds, so the quantity from the pumpkin was nearly overwhelming - in a good way. Have you roasted your pumpkin seeds yet? It does take a bit of work to separate the seeds and clean them, but they are delicious and definitely worth it. We season them and roast on about 375º for roughly 10 minutes. Smaller seeds usually require less time, and depending on your oven, times may vary. They should be slightly brown and crispy. Yummy.


    The last few years, roasted butternut squash has been added to our Thanksgiving spread. It's always delicious - my favorite - with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon. Crunchy, but that nice gooey, starchy, satisfying texture. We can't get enough of butternut squash.


    I'm so excited to see what veggies are on their way this week after our Thanksgiving week off. I hope the farmers and members of the CSA enjoyed a restful time with family to celebrate and give thanks for the season's bounty and the many blessings of life. 


    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. 


    Local food and farm-related events/activities


    Events at our partners:

    Lowe's Greenhouses, Florist & Gift Shop, Bainbridge

    The 12 Weeks of Christmas sale 

    12 weeks of savings, celebration and fun!

    Dec. 11: Ladies Night with Gift registry & Art Show 5-7 p.m.

    Other local events:
    Looking back at the year of Zero Waste: A panel discussion
    Dec. 16, noon
    City Club of Cleveland

    Every year leading up to 2019, Cleveland focuses on one of the key areas fundamental to a sustainable economy. 2014 is the Year of Zero Waste for Sustainable Cleveland 2019. By reducing the amount of waste Cleveland produces and sends to landfills, the city can improve human health through the elimination of hazardous waste, protect and increase property values and quality of place, as well as save businesses, organizations, the government and community money.

    Join a panel discussion moderated by the City of Cleveland's Chief of Sustainability Jenita McGowan as local businesses and community organizations share their efforts to refuse, reduce, recycle and upcycle waste in the past year.

    Panelists include: Mel Kurtz, Founder and President, Quasar Energy Group; Nicole McGee, Founder, Plenty Underfoot and Collective Upcycle; and Nicole P. Schiro, Vice President, Brand Manager, PNC

    Tickets: $15 members/$25 nonmembers. Click here to register. 


    Fourth Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Quarterly Meeting

    Dec. 17, 5:30 - 8 p.m.

    Great Lakes Brewing Co. Tasting Room

    Come celebrate our successes during the Year of Zero Waste and help welcome in the Year of Clean Water. Updates from Sustainable Cleveland Summit will be shared while you enjoy happy hour appetizers and a cash bar. 

    For more information visit sustainablecleveland.org or direct questions to Cathi Lehn (216-664-2421 -or- clehn@city.cleveland.oh.us). To register, click here.

    Year of Clean Water Kick-Off

    Jan 23, 2015

    Cleveland City Hall, 601 Lakeside Ave.

    Join the Mayor's Office of Sustainability to kick off The Year of Clean Water.The Celebration Year for Clean Water in 2015 will connect people to their water resources in order to restore, conserve and protect this valuable asset. Fresh water resources represent an invaluable local asset that has shaped Cleveland's identity, both in the way that the city has perceived itself and how it has been recognized outside the region. Join us to learn about local innovations, resources, and organizations working to keep our water clean. This event is FREE and open to the public. Sign up on Facebook!
    *Please note, a photo ID is required to enter City Hall. RTA's FREE trolley stops in front of City Hall. Parking is available at Willard Garage at regular rates. Questions? Contact Michelle Harvanek: mharvanek@city.cleveland.oh.us or 216-664-2455.


    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.


    (ONLY between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday 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