Week 18, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Oct. 7, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
In this week's shares
Sign up for a fall share now!
New veggies
Bulk apples
Beef sale
More beef!
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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"I'm so glad I live in a world 

where there are Octobers."

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


  • ____________________________________________________________ 


    Welcome to week 18 of the Geauga Family Farms summer CSA program! 


    We're in the home stretch, looking forward to bringing you the region's delicious bounty for the remaining three weeks of the season. This weekend's chilly weather brought thoughts of warm and comforting fall dishes that bring a coziness all their own to the table. Look in our recipes section for seasonal favorites such as homemade applesauce, sausage-stuffed peppers, savory fall vegetable bread pudding and more. Try a few of these, and you'll feel cozy in no time! 


    We're doing our best to keep our crops cozy, too. The threat of frost this time of year keeps us on our toes. You can bet that we have started working on floating row covers (long pieces of light fabric, placed over rows of plants to protect from frost damage) and firing up the furnaces in our greenhouses to protect the most delicate of plants.


    This is also why we maintain a balance within the range of plants we grow. Over the generations the farmers in this area have developed an understanding of what grows well during different parts of the season, and which crops can be counted on when the weather turns chilly. Many, like our root crops of beets, turnips, radishes and sweet potatoes, can handle colder weather as long as the ground doesn't freeze (which makes it hard to harvest!). Our greens love the chilly weather, as long as they get some much-needed sunlight during the day. We also grow crops like winter squash, garlic and storage onions that can be harvested before it gets too cold, but that store well throughout the fall.


    Even though we use things like floating row covers and greenhouses to extend our growing seasons for our members, we also believe in the importance of eating with the seasons. It grounds us in the important life cycles of this region and connects us with generations before who depended on this land for their health and survival. The families of Geauga Family Farms are happy to carry on these traditions and to play a role in helping you to enjoy the cozy flavors of fall.


    If you are interested in enjoying the farm fresh vegetables through November and December, don't miss this opportunity to sign up for our Fall CSA Program. Our application deadline is Oct. 18. See below for more details and a link.



    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 pie pumpkins, butternut and acorn squash, eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers, patty pan squash, green peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, hot/sweet banana peppers, grape tomatoes, tomatoes, beans, garlic, leeks, bunching onions, beets, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine lettuce, Red Russian, Winterbore and Lacinato kale, Swiss chard, cauliflower, bok choy, parsley, raspberries and Jonagold 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. 


    Sign up now for fall shares

    Sign up now for our six-week Fall CSA program. 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 beefas 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!

    New vegetables

    We've had a few questions about the large pink and white vegetables that went out in many of the boxes last week. They look a little like overgrown radishes, but these are turnips. They have a slightly spicy flavor when eaten raw, and they take on a sweet nuttiness when roasted. Try roasting them with potatoes, onions and winter squash for a great side dish. The greens are also delicious.


    You may also find a small, round, spaceship-like vegetable in your box. This is most likely a patty pan squash. These can be used in any recipes that call for yellow squash or zucchini. Try the stuffed patty pan squash recipe included below.


    Bulk apples available

    Speaking of stocking up, we also have bulk apples available to order for the next week. The varieties are as follows:

    Gala -                    $28/bushel, $15/half bushel

    Ginger Gold -     $24/bushel, $13/half bushel

    Jonagold -           $24/bushel, $13/half bushel


    Place your order now for delivery the following week. Please remember, these apples are not organic. They are locally-grown.


    You can find them in our farm store, here.

    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!

    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 rear quarter is $4.49/lb. plus processing. 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 440-693-4625.



    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 - Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Salad

    1 medium sweet potato

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    Pinch of salt and pepper


    1 medium apple

    Walnuts, toasted

    Cheese, either feta or Gorgonzola


    2 Tbsp. olive oil

    2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar

    2 tsps. maple syrup

    1 tsp. stone-ground mustard

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    Peel sweet potato and slice into half-inch wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a covered baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes start to brown. Remove from oven.

    While sweet potatoes are in the oven, wash lettuce, slice apples into half-inch wedges, and toast walnuts if need be. I like to toast nuts in a skillet, shaking occasionally until fragrant.

    Once sweet potatoes are done, assemble salad. In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard, tasting and adjusting as need be. Serve immediately.

    Recipe from naturallyella.com



    We make this several times a week during apple season.  ~ Michelle

    5-6 apples

    2 tsp. cinnamon

    Water or cider

    Peel, core and slice apples. Place in a saucepan with ¾ cup of water or cider. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Cover and cook over medium low heat until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and check to see if more liquid is needed. Mash apples with a fork for a chunkier applesauce, or use an immersion blender for a smooth applesauce. Serve warm.


    Pretty-in-the-Pan Stuffed Patty-Pan Squash

    Serves about 3

    10-11 patty-pan squash

    1 zucchini (sliced in half with one half scooped out)

    1 large carrot

    1 large green onion stalk (or half a small, sweet onion will work)

    1 cup short-grain brown rice

    2 cups (or a bit more if necessary) vegetable stock

    1-2 garlic cloves, poked with a fork

    3 tbsps. tomato paste

    1 1/2 tbsps. butter, softened

    Pinch or two of sea salt

    Freshly ground black pepper

    Dried or fresh parsley, to garnish

    Freshly ground black pepper, to garnish

    In a medium-sized pot, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock, sea salt and poked garlic cloves to a boil on high. Add 1 cup short-grain brown rice and stir well, checking often, cooking for about 10 minutes. Add more stock if it gets too dry. Reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 20-25 more minutes over medium heat. Check it often as it can burn easily.

    While the rice is cooking, take a large pot and fill it with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place patty-pan squash in the pot and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and cool.

    While the above is cooking, prepare the stuffing. Remove the insides of the squash carefully with a spoon and add it to the carrot, onion and zucchini mixture. Process the carrot, half a zucchini (plus insides from other half), and green onion in a food processor until fine.

    In a small bowl, mix the sauce for the rice. Put the butter in a small bowl and mix in the tomato paste until smooth.

    When the rice is done cooking remove garlic cloves, add the tomato paste/butter mixture, and stir very well. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

    Dump the vegetable mixture into the rice pot. Stir well. Stuff the patty-pan squash with your rice and veggie mixture. Scoop any remaining leftover rice mixture into the pan around the squash. Bake in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes.

    Sprinkle with parsley, serve and enjoy!

    Recipe adapted from OhSheGlows.com


    Bob's Stuffed Banana Peppers

    Serves 8

    8 banana peppers

    2 tablespoons butter

    1/2 cup chopped onion

    1/2 cup chopped celery

    1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 teaspoon dried basil

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1 pound hot Italian sausage

    1 pound mild Italian sausage

    1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

    Cut off tops of peppers, and remove ribs and seeds. Chop edible portions of tops; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peppers, reduce heat, and simmer until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

    Heat butter in a medium skillet. Sauté reserved chopped pepper, onion and celery until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and garlic.

    Season with basil, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine egg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan. Mix in hot sausage, mild sausage, bread crumbs and 1 cup of the tomato sauce mixture.

    Using a piping bag or sausage stuffer, fill each pepper with the meat mixture. Place in a 3 quart casserole dish, and pour remaining tomato sauce mixture over peppers.

    Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard & Cheddar

    Serves 8 as a main course, 16 as a side dish


    2 tablespoons butter
    2 large onions, chopped
    2 large bunches Swiss chard, washed well, stems discarded, leaves chopped
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


    3 eggs, whisked
    1-1/4 cup whole milk
    1/2 cup cream
    2 tablespoons good mustard (what is 'good mustard'?)
    2 teaspoons ground sage
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    A pinch of cayenne pepper
    A generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper

    To assemble

    1 butternut squash, washed well, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes (aim for 1-1/2 pound of squash cubes, see how to cut, peel & cube a butternut squash and keep all 10 fingers)
    1/2 pound whole-grain bread, crusts on, cut into half-inch cubes (see Kitchen Notes)
    8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in 1/3-inch cubes
    The set-aside cooked onions

    Chard In a large skillet, melt the butter until shimmery. Add the onions and cook until just soft. Set aside half the onions. Add the chard a big handful at a time and stir to coat with fat. Let it cook a minute or two, then add another handful. When all the chard is added, let cook until soft. Add salt and set aside.

    Custard Mix all custard ingredients together.

    Assemble (If baking immediately, preheat oven to 375 degrees.) In a large bowl, combine the squash, bread, cheese and cooked onions. Transfer HALF the mixture to a lightly buttered baking dish about 8x11 or 9x13. Arrange the cooked chard evenly on top, then the remaining squash-bread-cheese mixture. (See Notes, if making ahead, you may choose to stop here.) Gently pour custard mix over top, being careful to wet all the bread pieces, especially.

    Bake Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven. If any pieces of butternut squash are still firm, gently push them into the custard. Cover and bake for another 15 or so minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so before serving. Reheats well.

    To prep ahead This bread pudding can be made ahead in two ways. It can be fully assembled, then baked a few hours later. Or the bread-squash-chard-cheddar mixture and the custard mixtures can be prepped the day before, then combined just before baking. With the first method, the bread pudding is slightly crusty on top, very good. With the second, the bread pudding is more custard-y, also very good. Cook's choice!


    Butternut Mac 'n' Cheese

    Makes about 4 cups


    1 two-pound butternut squash
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise and rub cut side with olive oil. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 60 - 75 minutes or until completely cooked and soft. Scoop out flesh while still warm and break apart with a spoon. Timing-wise, finish the squash roughly the same time the pasta and the sauce is cooked so that it's still warm.
    Note: For a 'less squashy' and more 'mac 'n' cheese' version, use half the roasted squash in this dish, reserving the other half for something else.


    Salted water
    4 ounces (about 1 cup) elbow macaroni
    Cook macaroni in salted water. Let drain well. Timing-wise, finish the pasta and the sauce about the same time.
    Note: For a "more mac 'n' cheese" version, use up to 16 ounces of macaroni.

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 small onion, chopped small
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    1 tablespoon flour
    1 cup whole milk
    16 ounces cheddar cheese or any good melting cheese (if in a brick, sliced or cubed)
    In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat until shimmery. Stir in the onion as it's prepped, then the nutmeg and white pepper, cook until onions soften. Stir in the flour and mix well. A tablespoon at a time, add the milk, incorporating each tablespoon well before adding another. (If you add it all at once, or without working in each time, there's risk of ending up with a lumpy sauce.) Stirring often, let the sauce come almost to the boiling point, it will thicken slightly. Add the cheese and let melt, adjusting temperature so that the sauce won't boil. (It's not a disaster if it does, since it's going into the casserole, but it'll look curdled.)

    Combine In a large bowl, break the squash apart, mashing it really, with a wooden spoon. Stir in the hot, drained pasta and combine well, distributing the squash throughout. Stir in the sauce and combine well. Transfer to a greased baking dish. If you like, sprinkle the top with pimenton or paprika. If making ahead, let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

    Bake Return dish to room temperature. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout. To add color to the top, place under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn't burn. When covered with foil, holds its temperature for a good 30 minutes.

    Alanna's Tips & Kitchen Notes 

    A two-pound butternut squash is "small" by supermarket standards. If you get a large one, you might use only a quarter of the roasted flesh for this dish.


    These last two recipes are from Alanna Kellogg's blog - A Veggie Venture


    Dear Paradise, Where are the veggies?

    By Laura J. Novak

    Over the years, I've leaned more and more toward making vegetables the star of my meals at home. Because I eased in a little bit at a time, eventually going all the way vegan and now back to a balance with organic meat, I almost forgot how far off the beaten path I've eaten.


    This past week, I was blessed by the opportunity to go on a cruise in the Caribbean. The weather was perfect, the sea was turquoise and clear, the food was good...but not what I am used to at all. I was reminded what the average American plate looks like when served several giant slices of beef with a rich sauce over top and "vegetables" like mashed potatoes or a tiny ramekin of creamed spinach on the side. I was held captive with no organic vegetables! Don't get me wrong, the vacation was amazing, but between the lack of veggies and my overindulgent vacation mentality, I barely had the brain power to write this article!


    I expected to come home feeling refreshed, but instead I felt tired, weak and sluggish. Since returning, I've been counting down the days to the new veggies.


    When I arrived home, I was thanking my past self for freezing green smoothie ingredients, a refreshing break from the overindulgence. Since then, I've actually been juicing organic veggies to try to get the balance back, trying to find my lost energy, my missing sparkle. I know I often write about the importance of healthy organic veggies in the daily diet, but I just proved to myself once again what a huge impact a properly balanced diet can have - even on basic daily functioning!


    If you are a busy person who would like to sneak more veggies into your life, you can thank your past self, too. Please enjoy this link on how to make a month's worth of smoothies in about an hour! 


    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


    TOMORROW: Enhancing Your Emotions with Essential Oils
    Wednesday, Oct. 8
    6 p.m.
    Do you ever feel down, but can't place exactly why? Do you ever wish you could have just a little extra push of motivation and excitement to get you through your day? Your week? Or perhaps you feel great, but wish 
    others would be happy, too? Join Laura at Light Your Life Healing Arts to learn how you can enhance and balance your emotions with powerful, organic essential oils. Bring a friend or two!
    For more information or to RSVP, please e-mail or call 440-940-4017.

    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.


    California Cracks Down On Farmers Market Cheaters

    Top 5 Pesticide Laden Fruits and Vegetables

    Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free 

    Your Guide To Dining From The Dump

    International year of family farming

    USDA approves more GE crops (This week's bad news)

    Man rides giant pumpkin down river


    (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