Week 19, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Oct. 14, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Join us for an open house this Saturday
Last week to sign up for weekly extras
Sign up for a fall share now!
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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"Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty,

as if nature had been saving up all year 

for the grand finale."

~ Lauren DeStefano, Wither





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    Welcome to week 19 of the Geauga Family Farms summer CSA program! 


    We can't believe that another season is drawing to a close. We are down to the last two weeks of the season.


    Looking back on yet another summer program, we are amazed at all of the people who come together to make this revolutionary idea of selling healthy produce directly to customers an endeavor that continues to be sustainable and successful. We consider our members to be part of the team, since we would not be able to do what we do without you. So you might be interested to know that together we have:


    ~ Provided healthy food for more than 1,100 families


    ~ Distributed more than 21,660 boxes of produce during the season


    ~ Delivered items to 23 different locations throughout the region on a weekly basis


    ~ Supported at least four local food banks and emergency food pantries by donating leftover produce so

    that nothing went to waste


    ~ Enabled 10 local farm families to earn a living wage through this cooperative program


    It's amazing to see what can be done when people come together to support something in which they find meaning and value. It's more than just picking up a box of vegetables each week; it's the development of a supportive community that values health, quality and farming practices that respect nature and sustain our land.


    It has been a very hectic summer on the farms, but we wanted to find one more time to get together this season. This is short notice, but we would like to invite all of our members for an open house at our warehouse and at the Fisher family farm this Saturday, October 18. We'll share some food and some conversation, and we look forward to seeing you. Please see below for more details.


    Finally, we want to mention that this week is the last chance to sign up for a fall share. If you are not ready for the farm-fresh produce to end, we will be delivering to a limited number of sites for our six-week fall program. If you know someone who has been interested in the CSA program, this is a great way to give it a try on a smaller basis before next season. Our deadline for applications is October 18.


    Thank you for joining us on this adventure!



    Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

    ~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms


    In this week's shares

    In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine lettuce, Red Russian, Winterbore and Lacinato kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, turnips. beets, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkins, acorn, butternut and patty pan squash, bunching onions, garlic, shallots, green, Yummy Orange and sweet or hot banana peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, eggplant, parsley, sweet potatoes and Ginger Gold, Jonagold and apples.

    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. 


    Join us for our Open House event this Saturday!

    We wanted to have one more chance to get together with our members this season, and provide one more opportunity to see a farm. We will kick off the afternoon with an Open House from 1 - 2 p.m. at our warehouse facility. We'll have fresh cider and snacks, and we invite members to bring a favorite dish to share.  Our warehouse is located at 8122 Parkman-Mespo Road, Middlefield. See a map here.


    The Fisher family will host members between 2 and 3:30 p.m. Explore the farm and visit their excellent farm store. You'll find several varieties of apples, cider, fall vegetables, honey, jams, Amish crafts and more. The D & S Fisher Farm is located at 4738 Gates East Road, Middlefield. See a map here.


    If you are thinking about heading out for our Open House, please make a reservation in our farm store, here. It's not absolutely necessary, but it helps us to know how many people we might expect.


    In addition to the open house, Geauga Farms Country Meats will have specials for Geauga Family Farms members who stop in this Saturday, Oct. 18, only. Our grass-fed ground beef will be available for $6.25 per pound, and there is a wide range of additional cuts available - bring a cooler and stock up. Geauga Farms Country Meats is located at 14320 Main Market Road (Route 422), Burton. See a map here.


    After the open house activities you may want to stop in at other area attractions, including the Middlefield Original Cheese House, the Mesopotamia General Store and the Ridgeview Farms Fall Festival. These are all within a few miles of our Open House stops.  


    We hope to see you this Saturday!



    This is the last week to order extras for delivery next week, so stock up now!


    Sign up now for fall shares

    The deadline to sign up for our six-week Fall CSA program is this Saturday, so sign up now. Fall shares are available in one size, slightly larger than our medium share. This will provide enough produce for three to four people to have several servings throughout the week. This year our fall shares are not available in an organic only option. The boxes will be primarily organic, but will include conventional apples during some of the weeks. You may add eggs, bread, jam or beef as an extra to be delivered weekly. 


    The starting dates are Thursday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Nov. 1, and the ending dates are Thursday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 13. Shares are delivered to your pick-up site of choice on a weekly basis. There will be no deliveries Thanksgiving week. Items in your shares will vary as the season progresses.


    There are 250 shares available on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline for sign-ups is Oct. 18. Sign up now in our farm store hereDon't miss this delicious opportunity to extend the season!


    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 - Bok Choy Salad 

    1/2 cup olive oil

    1/4 cup white vinegar

    1/3 cup honey

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 bunches baby bok choy, or 1 large bunch bok choy, cleaned and sliced

    1 bunch green onions, chopped

    1/8 cup slivered almonds, toasted

    1/2 (6 ounce) package chow mein noodles

    In a glass jar with a lid, mix together olive oil, white vinegar, honey, and soy sauce. Close the lid, and shake until well mixed.

    Combine the bok choy, green onions, almonds, and chow mein noodles in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    Sausage and Kale Soup

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 onion, diced

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

    5 waxy potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

    3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

    1 cup water

    1 bunch kale (12 ounces), stemmed and shredded

    12 ounces smoked sausage (or vegetarian sausage), cut into 1/4-inch half moons

    1 tsp. salt

    ½ tsp. pepper

    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

    In a large pot (6 to 8 quarts), heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until soft, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add potatoes, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have blended, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Using an immersion blender, puree the soup so it's still a little chunky. This can also be done by placing half the soup in a regular blender and pureeing until smooth. Return to pot. Add kale and sausage. Simmer until kale is wilted, 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

    From allrecipes.com, adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart.



    Caponata is a great relish/sauce that uses a lot of fresh veggies and complements a wide variety of dishes. It is one of our favorite late summer recipes. We use ours as an appetizer, spread on toasted baguette rounds or polenta squares. It's also delicious with grilled fish and chicken. The trick for the best flavor is to let this sit for at least 24 hours before you eat it.

    1/4 cup olive oil

    1 medium eggplant, 1/2" roughly chopped, about 3 cups

    1/2 cups chopped onions, 1/2" dice

    1/2 cup celery, 1/2" dice

    2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1/4" dice

    1 cup chopped summer squash, 1/2" dice

    1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper, 1/2" dice

    2 tablespoons minced garlic

    2 tablespoons tomato paste

    1/4 cup wine vinegar

    1/3 cup stuffed green olives, torn or sliced in half

    1/4 cup capers, drained except for 1 tablespoon juice

    1 tablespoon sugar

    1/4 minced parsley

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

    In a large saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil. Add the eggplant and onions over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, tomatoes, squash, and garlic and cook for about 15 minutes more minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, lower heat, and slowly simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan lid if the mixture becomes too wet (this is supposed to be the consistency of a relish, and it's OK if the eggplant becomes mushy).

    Refrigerate for a day, and taste to adjust the tart-sweet balance by adding a touch more sugar or vinegar.

    Best served at room temperature. May also be served warm or cold. Freezes well.


    Roasted Pumpkin Filled with Everything Good

    1 sugar pumpkin, about 2-3 pounds
    canola or olive oil
    salt and pepper
    3-4 slices (about 1/4 pound) stale bread, torn into chunks
    1 cup (about 1/4 pound) grated or chunked cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, aged cheddar, or a combination
    2-4 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
    4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
    1 tsp. fresh thyme (optional)
    1/3 cup (ish) half & half or whipping cream
    pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the top off the sugar pumpkin, like you would if you were carving a Jack-o-lantern, and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the inside with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put it on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and put it into the oven while you prepare the stuffing.

    In a bowl, toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, thyme, half & half, some salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Remove the pumpkin from the oven (if you put it in) and stuff the bread mixture into it, letting it overflow a bit, drizzling any cream in the bottom of the bowl over top. Put the lid on and put the pumpkin back into the oven for about an hour.

    Remove the lid and bake for another half hour, until the pumpkin is soft and slumped over, and the top is golden and crispy. To serve, scoop out the soft pumpkin with the filling.

    Serves 4-6.

    Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table


    Simple comforts

    By Laura J. Novak

    As the weather starts to cool and the trees are turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red, I find myself yearning for time in the kitchen to cook comforting foods. Last week, I spent more time than usual planning meals and drooling over fall staples like butternut squash, bread, and sweet potatoes.


    One of my cooking adventures this week was to make a Butternut Squash Risotto that I found in October's Food Network Magazine. It was absolutely delicious! I added 2 shallots (diced small) and about ¼ cup of white wine after the squash and shallots were browned. On the side, I also tossed some arugula in lemon juice with lemon zest (from one lemon) with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder as a nice compliment to the risotto.


    Too busy to hang out in the kitchen stirring rice? Try this amazing Slow Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew. Believe it or not, I actually followed the recipe. Then, I used the leftover arugula and this time tossed it with lime juice, lime zest, canola oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.


    Truly, I couldn't get enough time in the kitchen this week. How about a special treat? I am not a baker. As you've probably noticed, exact measurements are not my thing. As a matter of fact, my first batch of this dough went in the garbage because I completely messed it up. No, it wasn't difficult. My brain just has trouble following exact instructions. This article on 50 Quick Breads was so helpful. You don't have to wait for bread to rise. These recipes are actually pretty easy and very comforting. I made the vanilla bread (#27) with the cinnamon roll filling (#28.) It was truly delicious!

    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


    Upcoming events at Light Your Life Healing Arts

    7501 Clover Ave., Mentor

    (Inside the Air Technical Industries Building)  

    Preventing Inflammation with Dietary Choices
    Saturday, Oct. 25

    3 p.m.
    Did you know that food choices can create inflammation in the body? Discover how adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can reduce painful inflammation within your body. Join Light Your Life Healing Arts and special guest, Cathy Picozzi, certified health coach. Cost is $5 which will be donated to the Lake County Humane Society.

    Light Your Life Healing Arts Holiday Open House

    Saturday, Nov. 8


    Light Your Life Healing Arts will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a Holiday Open House. Enter to win a free Raindrop (Relaxation) Massage, enjoy complimentary samples of essential oils, and sip some celebratory champagne. You may purchase healing arts packages at a discount, as well as browse holiday baskets, purchase gift certificates, and meet members of the Light Your Life community. This is the perfect opportunity to meet Laura J. Novak, GFF newsletter contributor and founder of Light Your Life Healing Arts. 
    See all special events at Light Your Life Healing Arts here.

    For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail or call 440-940-4017.

    Other area events:

    Lowe's Greenhouses, Florist & Gift Shop, Bainbridge

    The 12 Weeks of Christmas sale 

    12 weeks of savings, celebration and fun!


    1-9: Artificial Wreaths & Garlands - 20% off

    10-16: Houseplants, Ivy & Herb Topiaries & Orchids - 20% off

    17-23: Birdseed, Feeders & Houses - 20% off

    24-30: Fairy Garden Supplies - 20% off

    31-11/6: Christmas Ornaments - 20% off

    Other holiday events:

    Nov. 6: Holiday Open House 3-7 p.m.

    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.


    Fall events in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Days Of Service in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Saturday, Oct. 25

    10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    Work alongside fellow volunteers and park staff to enhance and maintain the rich resources of CVNP. Plant trees, conduct a thorough "sweep" of a trail, and help rebuild Table Top Trail, closed due to flooding since 2003.

    Choose from three projects: Plant Native Trees, Trail Repair or Trail Maintenance
    For more information and to register, click here.


    Curious by Nature: Fall Weekend Retreat

    Saturday, Nov. 8 - Sunday, Nov. 9 Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    At this inaugural Cuyahoga Valley Institute program, Curious by Nature, attend workshops that examine how current issues impact society and community. Venture onto the stunning trails of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, practice yoga in a meadow, and toast marshmallows around the campfire. You will depart with a fresh perspective and lasting connections. 

    Overnight lodging available: dormitory-style bunk lodging, which includes linens, is available at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center for an additional charge.

    Choose from three groups:

    Food and Farming: Field trips include Greenfield Berry Farm, Trapp Family Farm, and a session with Great Lakes Biomimicry. Involves walking over moderately uneven terrain.

    Culture and Society: Field trips include Brecksville Dam, the Trapp Family Farm or Greenfield Berry Farm, and a session with Great Lakes Biomimicry. Involves walking and hiking over moderately uneven terrain.

    Ecology and Succession: Field trips include Beaver Marsh, the old Coliseum site, and the Brecksville Dam or a hike. Involves hiking over moderately uneven terrain.

    To register, click here.

    Ursuline College 16th Annual Faculty Lecture Series

    Fracking and the Future of Sustainability Justice in Northeast Ohio

    Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.

    Ursuline College, Pilla Dining Room

    A local food movement is exploding in Northeast Ohio, part of a growing network of sustainability and social and political activism. Meanwhile, horizontal hydraulic fracturing is coming to the region, potentially threatening the soil, air, and water that are essential to emerging sustainable food systems. This multi-media presentation investigates the interacting political economies of global industrial energy and the local grassroots sustainability movement in our region. Is there a way forward that can include multiple ethical perspectives on, and visions for, "the land" in Northeast Ohio?

    Elizabeth E. Meacham, PhD, is an assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies. She teaches courses in environmental philosophy, ecojustice, bioethics, and sustainability. She developed the curriculum for the Online Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Spirituality, which will launch in the fall of 2015 in the MA in Ministry Department. For more information, 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.


    Nanomaterials in Organic Food? The USDA Is Looking the Other Way

    PLU Codes Don't Indicate GM Produce

    Central Hubs Bring Farms, Schools Together 

    Colorado, Oregon Vote on GMO Labeling

    Pesticide Use by Farmers Linked to High Rates of Depression, Suicides

    Biotech, Agribusinesses Spending Heavily to Defeat State GMO Food Labeling Votes

    Sheep, llama mow grass on Cleveland's Lake Erie Shoreline


    (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