Week 3, Fall 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Nov. 13, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Beef sale
More beef - the breakdown
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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""I would rather sit on a pumpkin,

and have it all to myself,

than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

~ Henry David Thoreau







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    Welcome to Week 3 of the Geauga Family Farms Fall CSA program.


    There is something about fall that compels us to find joy in the present. There is no time for wistful longing for the sun-drenched summer months, or even anticipation for the first snowstorm. Each warm, sunny afternoon feels like it might be the last one for a while, and we are inclined to savor every minute of it. We feel the same about the vegetables in the boxes at this time of year, finding joy in a flavor-packed bunch of carrots, and thinking that we have only a few more weeks left of this beautiful produce. Will this be the last time we enjoy a flavorful tomato until next spring? Maybe - so let's make the most of it!


    After pulling the Swiss chard out of my box last week, I was taken with its rich and vivid colors, and felt so thankful to have access to the spectacular local produce of our farms. I couldn't resist the 

    opportunity to take a picture and even had a hard time chopping it up for dinner - it was just too beautiful.
    edless to say, we savored every bite.


    The brilliant hues of fall landscapes and fall produce feel like a wonderful celebration before winter's stark and subtle beauty arrives. We hope you are savoring these last few weeks of local produce, and are happy to play a role in bringing a colorful and flavorful fall harvest to your table.



    Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

    ~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms


    Important reminder

    We will be taking a break the week of Thanksgiving, to give our farm families a chance to relax and enjoy the holiday. There will be NO DELIVERIES Thursday, Nov. 27 or Saturday, Nov. 29. We will resume deliveries the following week.


    In this week's shares

    In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as lettuce (red and green leaf, Romaine), Swiss chard (green and rainbow), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), cabbage, broccoli, carrots, parsley, peppers (red and green bell), radishes, carrots, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, storage onions, pie pumpkins, butternut and acorn squash, and Ida Red apples.

    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.


    Beef sale

    It's fall, and that means it's time to stock the freezers! We are running a local grass-fed ground beef sale for those interested in picking up their beef at Geauga Farms Country Meats in Burton. Purchase 10 pounds or more for a sale price of $6.25 per pound. This country butcher shop is located at 14320 Main Market Road (Route 422). Call Dave at 440-834-8476 to reserve your beef today. While there, you can purchase other cuts, roasts, etc. from our grass-fed beef suppliers.

    More beef - the breakdown 

    We have three choice Black Angus beef available for bulk purchase. These are grass-fed cows, available by the half or quarter. A half is approximately 325-350 pounds hanging weight. A quarter is approximately 165-175 pounds hanging weight. Pricing for a half is $4.39/lb. plus processing (an additional 50-60 cents per pound), pricing for a front quarter is $4.29/lb. plus processing and a hind quarter is $4.49/lb. plus processing.


    So what does this get you? Each cow is a little different, but here are some helpful approximations:


    Front Quarter (approximately)

    16 ribeye steaks

    5-6 chuck roasts (3-3 ½ lbs. each)

    3 round bone pot roasts (3-3 ½ lbs. each)

    2 English roasts (3-3 ½ lbs. each)

    4-5 lbs. of short ribs

    1 beef brisket (4-5 lbs.)

    4-6 pieces of beef shanks (for soup and stew)

    10 lbs. of stew meat

    40 lbs. of ground beef

    (A general estimate for the total cost is somewhere in the $825-$875 range)


    Hind quarter (approximately)

    Steaks - 8 of each





    Roasts - 5 total, approximately 3 lbs. each

                    Sirloin tip


    4-6 pieces of beef shanks (for soup and stew)

    10 lbs. of stew meat

    40 lbs. of ground beef

    (A general estimate for the total cost is somewhere in the $850-$900 range)


    Half cow

    Includes all of the items from the front quarter and the hind quarter


    A nonrefundable deposit of $175 per half and $100 per quarter is required to reserve this beef. Reservations and payment can be made at our farm store, here.


    This is an extremely affordable way to stock your freezer with top-quality grass-fed beef. Please feel free to contact Neil Miller at our warehouse with any questions you may have. Our warehouse number is




    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 


    Member Beth Karl sent in this recipe for a variation on a classic comfort food.


    "A spicy and smoky way to use some sweet potatoes, yet you can barely taste them. The directions don't say to peel the sweet potatoes, but we did. We also didn't use all of the sauce."

    ~ Beth Karl


    Sweet Potato & Bacon Mac & Cheese

    2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 red onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups milk
    2 cups sweet potato, small cube (1/2 inch or less)
    1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tsp. paprika
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    2 tsp. hot sauce (Frank's)
    1 lb. elbow noodles
    6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
    1/2 cup sliced green onion

    In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the red onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
    Add in the milk and sweet potato and bring to a boil, stirring frequently as to not scald the milk. Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft, about 15 minutes (actual time will depend on how big your sweet potato cubes are. The smaller the better).
    Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions.
    Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, pour the saucepan contents into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt, cheddar, Parmesan, and hot sauce. It should still be hot enough to melt the cheese. Once the cheese is melted, blend it up again to bring back some of the creaminess.
    Pour the sauce over the cooked noodles. Garnish with bacon and green onion

    Recipe from thestayathomechef.com


    Kicked-up Broccoli-Cheese Soup 

    Serves 6-8

    1/2 cup butter, melted

    4 large shallots, finely chopped

    1 tsp. finely minced garlic

    1/3 cup all-purpose flour

    4 cups whole milk

    2 cups chicken stock (has more flavor than broth)

    1-1/2 cups heavy cream

    1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

    4 heaping cups broccoli florets

    24 oz. shredded pepper jack cheese

    8 oz. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling on top

    1 Tbsp. finely ground black pepper

    Sliced green onion for garnish


    In a large, heavy bottomed pot (I used a 7 quart Dutch Oven), melt butter over low heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, sautéing for 1 minute more, still over low heat.

    Add flour and whisk in until fully incorporated. Slowly pour in milk, whisking away any lumps. Add chicken stock, cream and nutmeg, stirring until fully combined. Add broccoli.

    Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until broccoli is softened. Stir several times during cooking process so bottom of pan does not burn. Continue to cook over low heat. Once broccoli is softened, use a potato masher to mash the broccoli into smaller pieces. Add pepper jack and cheddar, stirring until melted. Stir in black pepper. Serve immediately.

    Recipe from NoblePig.com


    Butternut Squash Risotto 

    Serves 6

    1 butternut squash, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds

    1 tsp. tamari

    5 to 6 cups vegetable broth

    4 Tbsps. (1/2 stick) butter, divided

    1/2 medium onion, chopped

    1 shallot, chopped

    1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

    1/2 cup white wine

    3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

    Sea salt, to taste

    Ground pepper, to taste


    Fill a pot with a steamer basket with 2 inches of water and turn heat to high. Cut squash in half and remove seeds, stem and peel. Cut squash into 1-inch pieces.

    When water in pot is boiling, place squash in steamer basket above water and steam for about 4 minutes; then, sprinkle squash with one teaspoon of tamari. Continue steaming until squash is entirely tender, about 6 to 8 minutes more, and set aside.

    Heat broth in large saucepan on medium-low heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and shallot and cook until translucent. Add rice and stir to coat with butter, onions, and shallots. Add wine and 1/2 cup of the warm broth. Stir until most of liquid is absorbed.

    Add another 1/2 cup of broth and stir until most of liquid is absorbed. Continue this process until rice is tender, cooked through, but is still somewhat firm, around 20 to 25 minutes total. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Parmesan, 3 cups of cooked squash (more or less to your taste) and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.

    Recipe from WholeFoodsMarket.com


    Chard & Feta Tart

    Serves 8


    3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

    3/4 cup all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 Tbsps. chopped fresh thyme or oregano

    3/4 tsp. salt

    3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    5 Tbsps. cold water


    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

    6 cups chopped chard, (about 1 bunch), leaves and stems separated

    2 Tbsps. minced garlic

    2 Tbsps. water

    2 large eggs

    1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

    1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

    1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

    1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

    1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


    To prepare crust: Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, thyme (or oregano), salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add 1/3 cup oil and 5 tablespoons water. Gradually stir the wet ingredients into the dry to form a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and chill for 15 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 400º. Coat a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to the prepared pan and press into the bottom and up the sides. Trim any overhanging dough and use it to patch any spots that don't come all the way up the sides.

    Prick the bottom and sides with a fork in a few places. Bake the crust until firm and lightly brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

    To prepare filling: Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chard stems and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chard leaves and 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring, until the leaves are just tender and the water has evaporated, 2 to minutes. Transfer the greens to a sieve over a bowl and let drain and cool for 5 minutes. Whisk eggs, ricotta, lemon zest and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Fold in the greens, olives and feta. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the tart until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

    Recipe from EatingWell.com


    Apple-Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

    1 cup uncooked quinoa

    1 1/2 tsps. cinnamon

    1/2 tsp. nutmeg

    1/8 tsp. ground cloves

    2 apples, peeled, diced

    1/4 cup raisins

    2 eggs

    2 cups vanilla soy milk (can substitute regular milk)

    1/4 cup maple syrup

    1/3 cup almonds, chopped


    Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 7 x 11-inch baking dish (an 8 x 8 works too). In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices. Pour into greased dish. Sprinkle the apple and raisins on top of the quinoa.

    In that same small bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the soy milk and maple syrup. Pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.

    Bake for one hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.

    Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate. In the morning, cut a square, microwave it on a plate, and enjoy alone or with a few dollops of Greek yogurt.

    Recipe from FitSugar.com


    Salsa-Braised Kale

    Serves 4

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    1 large bunch *kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 16 cups; see Notes)

    1 cup store-bought salsa, preferably fresh

    1/2 cup water

    1/4 cup crumbled or shredded **Cotija (See notes) or Mexican-style cheese


    Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add kale and toss until bright green, about 1 minute. Stir in salsa and water. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

    Notes: *Choose organic kale when possible. Nonorganic can have high pesticide residue.

    **Cotija cheese, also called queso aûejo or queso aûejado, is a salty aged Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture. Find it near other specialty cheeses or at Mexican grocery stores.

    Recipe from EatingWell.com


    What in the Love of Veggies

    By Laura Novak


    You are never going to believe this.


    Have you ever forgotten your veggies? It happens to the best of us. Even the one who writes about the Love of Veggies... and of course it happens in a week when there's no time for the grocery store. Opening up cans, digging in the pantry, missing the veggies, nothing for the juicer! Kicking myself for losing one whole precious week out of only six.


    This made me think about how the farmers don't get to flake out like me, ever. Every person behind the Geauga Family Farms CSA operation works diligently to make sure we get our awesome veggies. No matter what is going on, they consistently deliver the goodness to us. Wow, thank goodness! So grateful!


    It also got me thinking about how important life balance is. No matter how busy our lives get, we still need to find the time to nourish ourselves, to schedule some downtime, to remember to pick up the lovely vegetables. So in this time when holiday commitments are ramping up, let's remember to take care of ourselves. Only when we take good care of ourselves, can we truly be there for others fully in the way they need us. Take that bath, settle down with a book, get a massage, cook yourself a nourishing meal. Actually block it out on the schedule to keep it a priority. And always remember your veggies!


    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!

    Nov. 22: Poinsettia Glow 6-8 p.m.

    Nov. 30: SugarPlum Dreams, 1-4 p.m. with Santa's Reindeer

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

    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.

     The real Johnny Appleseed brought apples - and booze - to the American frontier


    (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