Week 4, Fall 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Nov. 20, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
No deliveries the week of Thanksgiving!
In this week's shares
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
Edith Sitwell 




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    Welcome to Week 4 of the Geauga Family Farms Fall CSA program.


    As we begin preparations for family celebrations next week, we always like to take a few moments to reflect on things for which we are thankful. One thing we don't mention often enough is our thankfulness for this local food community. We're lucky here in Northeast Ohio to have a healthy mixture of local farms, local producers and customers who value organic produce. We are surrounded by artisans who care very deeply about the quality of food they produce, and we all benefit from their efforts. This has created a wonderful culture of appreciation for food and craft of which we feel honored to be a part. We're even thankful for our competition - CSA programs in this area of all types and sizes. Their presence means that community supported agriculture is alive and well here, and there are options available to appeal to a wide variety of customers. Thank you for choosing to be a part of Geauga Family Farms.


    We always like to use the pre-Thanksgiving newsletter to highlight a broad range of side dish and dessert recipes that feature delicious fall produce. We've got so many favorites that we will include them as links, rather than printing the entire recipe (because we recognize that our newsletter is long enough already!). Just click on the link and you will be taken to the recipe. We hope you find some new favorites.


    We'll be thinking of all of our members during our week off, and looking forward to seeing everyone again the first week of December. Please make sure to finalize pick-up arrangements if you have purchased a turkey from one of our farmers.


    Wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with good food, great friends and delicious memories!


    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), tomatoes, radishes, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, cabbage, micro-greens, acorn and 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.


    Something new

    You might notice something new in your box this week. One of our farmers has been working on growing micro-greens, and we wanted to share them. These baby greens pack a tremendous nutritional punch, with some studies showing micro greens to have four to six times the nutritional value of mature versions of the same plants. You can keep the package on the counter, making sure that it stays moist. Use the greens as you need them in salads, soups and on sandwiches. If they begin to grow too large, place them in the refrigerator. Let us know what you think!


    Instructions for roasting a fresh turkey

    If you have purchased a fresh turkey from one of our farms (or another local farm), we wanted to provide some basic cooking instructions, courtesy of Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Connecticut:


    Farm fresh turkeys cook faster than frozen or store bought birds. This is because the high moisture level of the meat transfers the heat more readily during cooking. SO BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER-COOK YOUR FARM FRESH TURKEY! 


    You should plan on 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees for fresh turkeys (Oven temperature may vary. Adjust time and temperature accordingly). Allow an extra hour just in case the turkey doesn't comply with this time frame. However, be careful not to overcook the bird as this will dry out the meat. Keep in mind that the turkey should sit for 30 minutes after removing it from the oven, before you carve it, so the extra time also provides a cushion should the turkey need to roast longer.

    Remove your turkey from the bag and place it in the sink. Remove the giblets and neck. Thoroughly rinse the bird inside and out.

    Grease the turkey with a little soft butter before roasting and place it in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper, and according to personal taste use rosemary, sage or other herbs.


    Cook the turkey breast side down for a little more than half of the roasting period, then turn it breast side up. Cover the bird loosely with foil until 1 hour before it is done, then remove the foil to allow the breast to brown up.


    If you stuff your turkey, plan on about 20 minutes more cooking time.

    A meat thermometer is the best way to test if your bird is ready. The thermometer should read 165 degrees in the thickest part of the inner thigh when the turkey is done. You should begin checking the bird one hour before the end of your roasting time. 


    Another turkey option

    If you've never heard of spatchcocking (cutting out the backbone and flattening the bird before cooking), it is an increasingly popular way to cook poultry. It cuts cooking time in half, and is felt by many to be the most foolproof way to cook a turkey. Check out this article and video if you would like to learn more.



    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


    There are so many delicious options for filling the Thanksgiving table. We have tried to provide a wide range of sides, desserts, vegan options and more, and have organized recipes by primary vegetable (or fruit). Enjoy!


    Acorn squash:

    Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Acorn Squash 

    Acorn Alfredo Penne Pasta (vegan) 

    Crispy Acorn Squash Rounds

    Vanilla Bourbon Baked Acorn Squash 



    Mile High Apple Pie 

    Apple Butter

    Salted Caramel Apple Cake


    Sweet potatoes:

    Butter Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Five Spice Sweet Potato Pie

    Sweet Potato and Butternut Gratin



    Bacon and Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

    Vegan Mashed Potatoes

    Lemony Roasted Potatoes (vegan)


    Green beans:

    Shallot and Balsamic Glazed Green Beans with Goat Cheese

    Green Bean Casserole (vegan & gluten-free)



    Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake

    Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

    Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin (vegan) 



    Slow Cooker Stuffing  

    Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

    Vegan Sourdough Stuffing 


    Giving thanks

    By Laura Novak

    As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I can't stop thinking about gratitude. Thanks for fresh, local vegetables, for farmers who care, and for the opportunity to nourish my family with good, home cooking.


    I've mentioned in earlier articles that this is no small thing we are doing. We are supporting our community, our local agriculture, the nourishment of ourselves and our families.


    We haul our colorful fruits and veggies home, toss them around in the kitchen, and serve them to our families, our friends, ourselves. We are making a difference. We are taking a stand for our health. We are supporting our community. Truly, we are doing something special, whether we think about it often or not.


    Take a moment to notice the little glow of the good you've done in the local community and also in nourishing yourself and your family with fresh, whole foods. Feel the connection with the earth, with the farmers, with the abundance of the land.


    Last week, I shared about my complete flake out on forgetting my veggies. I'm so grateful that the farmers don't forget about us! No matter how cold it's getting, how hot it was over the summer, whether it's raining, shining, or snowing, they are steadfast.


    With a heart full of gratitude, I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings (so far!)


    ~ Laura


    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.

    Industrial hemp finds a home 


    (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