Week 5, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
July 15, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies
Welcome 15-week members
NOTICE: Business hours
First farm tour of the season!
Laura Novak's column - Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Bacon
Middle ground between organic and conventional?
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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"Raw ingredients trump recipes every time; farmers and ranchers who coax the best from the earth can make any of us appear to be a great cook." 
Judy RodgersThe Zuni Cafe Cookbook: 

A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant 











Welcome to Week 6 of the Geauga Family Farms summer CSA season!


We're extending a special welcome to our new 15-week members. We hope you enjoy your experience with Geauga Family Farms. Our members and site managers have a tradition of being friendly and helpful. If you have any questions at your first pick-up, don't be shy - we're all happy to help.


We've been thinking a lot about traditions lately, identifying the things that are most important to pass on to future generations. The CSA program has become a cherished family tradition for us. The first strawberries, the first sweet corn and the first batch of kohlrabi pickles are all things we look forward to year after year; creating delicious memories that will stay with us long after the season is over.


Visits to the farms and time spent there gaining new knowledge, having adventures and sharing great conversations will forever be a part of how we define summer in this glorious place. With these experiences comes the underlying knowledge that these visits connect us to the traditions of our farm families; gaining a deeper understanding of what it truly means to depend on the land and the importance of sustaining it for everyone.  We hope you can join us for next Tuesday's farm visit and experience it for yourself. See below for more details.


Has your participation in the Geauga Family Farms CSA program led to any new traditions in your home? We'd love to hear about them. Please drop us a note so we can share your traditions and inspire others. 




~ 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), kale (Winterbore, Lacinato, Red Russian), Swiss chard, kohlrabi, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, shelling peas, pickling cucumbers, garlic, dill, bunching onions, potatoes, fingerling potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.


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 vegetables

We have several veggies available for bulk purchase. 

Cucumbers - $30 (approximately 24 large cucumbers - exact number will vary based on size) 

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.

Welcome 15-week members

This week kicks off our 15-week season. You should have received an e-mail with confirmation of your pick-up site, share size and pick-up instructions. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


NOTICE: Business hours

Please call our farm representatives Michelle, Laura and Kathleen during the regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday ONLY. These are their personal cell phones and/or home phone numbers so please respect their personal time. Thanks!


First farm tour of the season!

Please join us at the farm of Noah and Kathy Yutzy Tuesday, July 22 from 6 - 8 p.m. We will tour the fields and wrap up the evening with refreshments and conversation in the barn. There is no need to arrive right at 6. Please feel free to join us whenever you are able.


The farm is located at 17050 Nash Road in Middlefield. You can access an interactive map for directions here. Please dress appropriately for walking through uneven and/or muddy fields. You may also want to bring bug repellent.


We would love to have a sense of how many to expect. If you think you will be able to participate, please reserve spots in our farm store, here. There is no charge.



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: Garden Potato Salad 

We love this potato salad because it's not only creamy but it's crunchy, too. The recipe uses a lot of vegetables and is not limited to those listed. Try experimenting with others you have on hand and need to use up. 

Serves 8

6 medium potatoes (2 pounds)
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 up chopped radishes
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tsps. celery seed
2 tsps. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsps. salt
½ tsp. pepper
6 hard-boiled eggs, coarsely chopped

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain well. Peel and cube potatoes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add celery, onion and pickle. Combine mayo, sugar, celery seed, mustard, salt and pepper. Add mayo mixture to potatoes. Toss lightly to coat potato mixture. Carefully fold in the chopped eggs, reserving one egg to slice for the top as a garnish. Cover and chill thoroughly. More mayo or a little milk may be added for an extra moist salad.

Recipe from Laura Dobson


Member Joe Dietrich sent us his recipe for zucchini pancakes. Joe, who picks up at Marigold B&B in Chesterland, is a creative cook who loves experimenting with different combinations and spices.

Fried Zucchini Cakes

2 cups fresh zucchini  
1/4 cup fresh tomatoes
1/8 cup onion or leek
1 clove minced garlic
1-1/2 cups bread crumbs or dried, crumbled toast
1-1/3 cup milk of choice
2 eggs beaten
1 Tbsp. oil of choice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh basil
1 Tsp. salt
1 Tsp. black pepper 

Start by shredding zucchini into a bowl. Add diced tomato and onion. Add salt, minced basil, and lemon juice. Mix and let stand 10 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk together thoroughly, then combine all ingredients except oil. Now, heat your preferred oil in a skillet on med-high. Finally, pour batter, pan fry, and enjoy with sour cream or ranch dressing!



Last week we included the incorrect link to the recipe for Kohlrabi Fries. Here is the correct link. After we sent out last week's newsletter, we received more kohlrabi recipe ideas. 

Here are a few of them:


Kohlrabi Sandwiches

"I noticed at the end of the newsletter that it was mentioned that you have been getting a lot of questions about kohlrabi, so I thought I would forward on our favorite way to enjoy it. We like to cut it on the mandolin into thin circles and eat it raw on a sandwich made with pumpernickel bread, butter and fresh ground pepper. It's the perfect no-cook meal for the summer months."
~ Manda Double

Vegan Kohlrabi au Gratin
"I thought I'd share what we've been doing with our kohlrabi. My kids love it. I'm sure there are some yummy non-vegan recipes too, but the cashew cream keeps this light and you can still taste the kohlrabi."
~ Ellen Hochschild

2 medium size kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, halved, and sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick.         
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or more to taste)
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, plus a few small sprigs for garnish if desired
Salt and pepper 
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Put soymilk, cashews, mustard, lemon juice in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Arrange half the kohlrabi slices in the bottom of a baking dish.  Pour half the sauce over the slices, then add a 1/2 dash of nutmeg plus half the fresh thyme leaves. Add the rest of the kohlrabi, sauce, nutmeg and thyme. Cover and bake at 350 for approx. 45 min., until cooked through but not mushy. Remove cover and cook for an additional 10 min to lightly brown the top. Remove from oven and let sit 10 min before serving.
This dish holds well on a buffet table and has a nice presentation when garnished with fresh thyme sprigs.

Recipe from SusansCooking.com


Sauteed Kohlrabi

"Here is a Kohlrabi recipe that I tried, and really like, this week. I'm sure you can add whatever spices you want to this...experiment and enjoy!"
~ Mrs. Dave Harrill

1 large kohlrabi
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter 
1-2 cloves garlic
1 sliced onion
1 Tbsp. fresh, chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Grate kohlrabi and squeeze liquid out with a towel. Sauté the garlic, onion and basil in the olive oil & butter. Remove basil and onions. Add kohlrabi and sauté in the remaining oil and butter (add more if you need to) till it begins to brown slightly. Add the sautéed basil and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Bacon

By Laura J. Novak

I want to put bacon on everything.


Yes, everything. On Sunday morning, I made gluten-free banana chocolate chip pancakes with granola, almonds and bacon bits (oh yeah!).


Confused about what to do with those greens? Fry them in bacon grease with some bacon bits. Make a light summer pasta with olive oil and throw in some banana peppers and bacon to really amp up the flavor.


I was a vegetarian/trying to be vegan for nearly three years and I read many books on health and nutrition urging me to do so. But I've also learned something very valuable.


No matter how many books I read, the best place I learn is by tuning into my own body. I've learned to be very careful about where my meat comes from (organic, grass fed, humanely raised). Once it meets those criteria, however, I eat it happily and with many (organic) vegetables. If you pay attention after eating conventional meat, you may notice the extra hormones. You might feel depressed and not know why or feel a little bit sick.


At first, I found myself confused. One authority would tell me to do one thing and then another equally respected authority would tell me the opposite. So I tried something crazy: I checked in with my body.


Do you notice a difference from the local, organic veggies? Take a moment to check in after a meal. Do you have a little more spring in your step? More glow to your skin? Are your fingernails growing faster and your hair flowing long and lustrous? Do you visit the restroom regularly after each meal? These are all signs that you are getting proper nourishment from your food. When I started to pay attention to these things, I decided that organic was important for me and my family. It was where I started learning the balance between meat and veggies, wheat (or not) and dairy. It took me over four years of reading about nutrition to finally check in and actually try to notice what's going on in my body. What a revelation when there are so many sources trying to scream their agendas! What about your agenda? What does your body need? I urge you to check in and ask.


If you still need a little guidance, I will share the simplest advice I've read by Michael Pollan: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." (And perhaps the occasional sprinkle of bacon...)

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. 


Are Organic Vegetables More Nutritious After All?

By Dan Charles

For NPR's The Salt

There may never be an end to arguments over whether organic food is more nutritious. But a new study is the most ambitious attempt so far to resolve the issue - and it concludes that organic fruit and vegetables offer a key benefit.


It's a scientific reply to an analysis that some researchers at Stanford University published two years ago. That paper, which generated lots of media coverage and much controversy, reviewed more than 200 studies of organic and conventional food, and concluded that organic foods do not really offer any significant nutritional benefit.


This new analysis, from a group of scientists mostly based in Europe, crunched data from an even bigger pile of studies: 343 of them, carried out over the past several decades. It will be published Monday in the British Journal of Nutrition.


The new analysis repeats some of the Stanford group's findings. It finds that organic and conventional vegetables offer similar levels of many nutrients, including minerals, vitamin C and vitamin E. Conventional crops are higher in protein. And there are fewer pesticide residues on organic foods, as you'd expect.


But the group found a significant difference in the levels of special compounds called antioxidants. "Across the important antioxidant compounds in fruits and vegetables, organic fruits and vegetables deliver between 20 and 40 percent higher antioxidant activity," says Charles Benbrook, from Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, a co-author of the study.


Read the rest of the article here.


Local food and farm-related events/activities


Sustainable Cleveland Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, July 22 

5:30 - 8 p.m. 

The Third Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Quarterly Meeting will be held at the Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room. Come hear updates from Sustainable Cleveland and enjoy happy hour appetizers and a cash bar. Learn what some of your colleagues are doing to move our region's sustainability initiatives forward and more about what to expect at the 2014 Annual Sustainability Summit in September. For more information visit sustainablecleveland.org or direct questions to Cathi Lehn (216-664-2421 -or- clehn@city.cleveland.oh.us).

GreenSmoothieGirl smoothie class

Wednesday, July 23

6 - 7:30 p.m.  

Heinen's Bainbridge

8482 E. Washington St., Bainbridge

This is a free class that marries green smoothies and essential oils, taught by Roseann Zaft and Jennifer Cabic of GreenSmoothieGirl. Learn how to make smoothies for specific health concerns and taste various samples of three different smoothies: Basic, Blueberry Superfood and  Chocolate Peppermint Bliss Smoothie. Also, learn how to use essential oils and other strategies to help you achieve optimal health! To register, click here.    

For more information, contact Carol at 440-543-5166.


Dinner in the Valley: Blueberry Abundance

Wednesday, July 30 

6 p.m. 

Greenfield Berry Farm

The barn at the Greenfield Berry Farm is the backdrop for this midsummer feast brought to you by the Countryside Conservancy. Come enjoy flank steak with a blueberry glaze, blueberry lemonade and the first tomatoes of the season! Each month, the Dinner in the Valley series features a gourmet meal at one of the beautiful, historical spaces in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. For more information, or to make a reservation, click here.


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.


Bringing the Farm to Your Backyard

Veterans explore organic farming at Rodale Institute

Can agriculture appeal to today's youth?

Not all progress comes with engines

Why does Europe hate GM food?

Man raises $40,000 for a potato salad 


(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