Week 17, Summer 2014          Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 30, 2014

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Looking back
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies
Bulk apples
Sign up for a fall share now!
Beef sale
More beef!
Turnip ideas from Real Simple
Laura Novak's column
Food and farm-related events/activities
Farming, environment, local food in the news
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    "Life starts all over again 

  • when it gets crisp in the fall."

  • ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby















    Looking back

    Welcome to week 17 of the Geauga Family Farms summer CSA program! The first week of fall is a time when we like to take a look back at the summer and assess how we feel about each CSA season. We had an opportunity to meet many of you last week, and we appreciate all of your kind words and your feedback. In response, our farmers and our warehouse team wanted to take an opportunity to share our thoughts about the 2014 summer program so far.


    The weather has been challenging to say the least. As we have mentioned before, the hot spike in June followed by a very cool summer threw off many of our crops, including peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Many of these items had a very promising start with harvests that dropped off dramatically and unexpectedly. Extremely heavy rains at a few spots throughout the summer flooded fields in a way that ruined one farm's corn crops and left other crops floating or compromised. This can be seen now in the lack of many of our typical root crops, including our russet potatoes and beets. We've got beautiful fields full of sweet potatoes that are still small, waiting on a long enough stretch of warm weather for a badly needed growth spurt. As a result, this year's boxes have not been typical, especially as we have no intention of sacrificing the quality of what we send out.


    Our staffing has been different this season. As we mentioned in the spring, we started with a new warehouse team this year. They've spent this summer getting accustomed to the patterns of the week, to customer preferences, and to knowing how to deal with last-minute changes or issues. They have done it with determination and with a true passion for making our customers happy. We all take feedback very seriously, with sleepless nights spent figuring out how we might have done things differently when problems arise.


    We're not telling you this because we are trying to make excuses. We want to help all of our members understand the realities of farming. Current climate changes just make what was already a challenging endeavor even more so. We want our members who have been with us for years to know that this has been a very unusual season, and not a sign that we are changing our approach or that we are slacking off in any way. We share this kind of information with you because we consider our members to be our partners in this sustainable farming adventure.


    We also want you to know that even when we know it has been challenging, we take your comments and suggestions into account and start each week with the goal of making this the best experience we can for you. Participating in a CSA and being more directly involved with the source of your food is an important and valuable practice, and we are so thankful that you have chosen Geauga Family Farms.



    Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
    Tom Byler
    Neil Miller
    Laura DobsonMarvin HershbergerAbner Miller
    Andy MillerJonas BylerRebecca Kurtz
    Noah YutzyAbner McDanielDominic Marchese
    Lester HershbergerChris FisherJames Troyer

    In this week's shares

    In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as butternut and acorn squash, yellow squash and zucchini, tomatoes, cherry/grape tomatoes, sweet and hot banana peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, green/colored bell peppers, leeks, turnips, beets, lima beans, green beans, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, bok choy, parsley, Red Russian, Lacinato and Winterbore kale, Swiss chard, Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine lettuce, rhubarb and Ginger Gold 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. 


    Bulk vegetables

    We still have some bulk items available for purchase.
    Cherry/grape tomatoes - $2.50/pint
    Garlic -$10/pound  


    You can find them in our farm store, here.

    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. Access our farm store, here: Store

    Please remember, these apples are not organic. They are locally-grown.

    You can find them in our farm store, here.

    Sign up now for fall shares

    Thanks for your patience! Details are finally in place for the fall shares. You may now sign up for our six-week Fall CSA program. 


    Fall shares are available in one size, providing enough produce for three to four people to have several servings throughout the week. This year our fall shares are produce only, but you may add eggs, bread, jam or beef 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 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.


    Turnip ideas from Real Simple


    Sautéed Turnips and Greens

    Cook peeled and cut-up turnips and sliced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the turnip greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

    Roasted Turnips with Ginger

    Peel and cut turnips into wedges. Toss with sliced fresh ginger, canola oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast at 400° F until tender.

    Mashed Turnips with Crispy Bacon

    Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.

    Creamy Leek and Turnip Soup

    Cook thinly sliced leeks in butter in a large saucepan until soft. Add peeled and cut-up turnips and enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer until very tender. Puree until smooth, adding water or broth as necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.



    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 - Kale-Apple Coleslaw with Poppy Seed Dressing

    For the dressing:
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar

    2 tablespoons honey

    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

    1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    Freshly ground black pepper

    3 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1/3 cup small-dice red onion (about 1/4 medium onion)

    Place the vinegar, honey, mustard, poppy seeds and salt in a large, nonreactive bowl, season with pepper, and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil until all of it is incorporated. Add the onion, stir to combine, and set aside.


    For the coleslaw:

    1 pound flat-leaf kale (about 2 bunches)

    2 medium Granny Smith or Fuji apples, or 1 of each

    Wash and dry the kale. Cut out and discard the tough stems. Arrange the leaves into stacks, slice crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons, and add to the bowl with the dressing. Core the apples, cut them into 1-1/2-inch-long matchsticks, and add to the bowl. Toss to combine. Let the coleslaw sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature and up to one day in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld. Toss again before serving.

    Recipe from Chow.com


    Sweet Potato Leek Soup

    Makes 6-8 servings

    1 medium leek or two small leeks

    1 stalk celery, diced

    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnish)

    5-6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into coins

    1 cup + 2 cups soy milk

    1 cup water

    Salt and white pepper to taste

    Curry powder (for garnish)

    Trim the end off of the leek, and slice it into thin rings, discarding any darker green leaves. Put the sliced leeks in a salad spinner and fill with water. Use your hand to swirl the water around and dislodge any dirt from between the leek's rings. Lift the basket out of the spinner, then dump the water out and repeat once. Dump any water out of the bowl of the spinner, return the basket, cover and spin the leeks to remove the excess water.


    Add the leeks, celery and olive oil to a pot and cover. Turn the stove on to medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until the leeks are soft (10-15 minutes). Remove the lid and turn up the heat and sauté, stirring constantly until the leeks are reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume and caramelized.

    Add the sweet potato, 1 cup soy milk and water. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low heat until the potatoes are tender and falling apart.


    Turn off the heat, and then add the rest of the soy milk. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you are using a regular blender, cover the lid with a large towel and hold it there as you slowly turn up the speed of the blender, otherwise the sudden escape of steam will cause the lid to blow off, spewing hot soup all over you and the kitchen. 


    Add salt and white pepper to taste, as well as more soy milk if you want the soup thinner. Return the soup to the pot to reheat. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of curry powder.

    Adapted from recipe by food blogger Marc Matsumoto


    Turnip and Potato Patties

    1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/3 cups)

    6 oz. potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

    2 1/2 Tbsp. thinly sliced scallion greens

    1 egg, beaten lightly

    1/4 cup all-purpose flour

    Grapeseed oil, peanut oil or canola oil (high smoke point vegetable oils)

    Salt and pepper

    In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are tender, and drain them. In a bowl, mash them with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste.


    Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/2-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil.

    Recipe from www.simplyrecipes.com


    Hot Pepper Mustard

    10 banana peppers (5 inches long), stems removed

    1 cup prepared yellow mustard

    1-1/4 cups white sugar

    1/4 cup honey

    1 cup apple cider vinegar

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    1/4 cup water

    Remove the seeds from the banana peppers and place the peppers into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour into a large pot and stir in the mustard, sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, so that it is boiling so hard it cannot be stirred down.


    Stir together the flour and water until smooth. Pour into the boiling mixture. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Pour into sterile pint jars and seal with new lids and rings. Process in a boiling-water bath for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your altitude.

    Recipe from AllRecipes.com


    Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas

    For the enchiladas:

    1 cup red enchilada sauce (homemade or canned)

    1 tsp olive oil

    2 1/2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut 1/2-inch-dice

    Salt and pepper, to taste

    1 small onion, diced

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

    10 oz. can tomatoes with green chilies (or peeled, seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes and peppers)

    1 1/2 cups reduced sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained

    1/4 cup cilantro

    1 tsp. cumin

    1/2 tsp. chili powder

    1/4 cup water

    8 medium low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas

    1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese

    2 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish

    Sour cream, for serving (optional)


    For the enchilada sauce:

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1-2 Tbsp. chipotle chilis in adobo sauce 

    1-1/2 cups tomato sauce

    1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

    1/2 tsp. ground cumin

    3/4 cup chicken broth

    Kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
    Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook 2-3 minutes until onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add cubed butternut, tomatoes, black beans, water, cilantro, cumin and chili powder and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.

    Place about a generous 1/3 cup filling in the center of each tortilla and roll, place on the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese and bake, covered with foil until hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Top with scallions and eat with sour cream if desired.

    Recipe from SkinnyTaste.com


    You can do the green smoothie. Really!

    By Laura J. Novak


    Would you like to increase your energy level, improve your digestion, and use up those extra greens? You are ready for the Green Smoothie! If you have never tried a green smoothie, I sincerely believe you would be surprised at how delicious it can be. The trick is to start by sweetening it up with a little bit of fruit.


    Last week, I couldn't get enough of the apples and kale in smoothies. My recipe is green, but sweet. First, I added a handful of spinach and a stalk of kale (stem removed) to the blender, added a little bit of water and blended until smooth (to make room for the other goodies.) Next, I added an apple (peeled, cored and seeds removed, diced large), ¼ green pepper diced, ¼ avocado diced large, ½ frozen banana, ½-inch ginger (diced, skin removed), a squeeze of lemon, and a little bit of protein powder. When using such hearty veggies, I blend for one minute, then 45 seconds, then 30 seconds, resting for a moment in between each blending session.


    While I'm doing all the dicing, I usually make a few bags for later in the week. Even the peeled apples and avocadoes stay fresh when you squeeze lemon over them.


    The trick to green smoothies is to keep them smooth and sweet. I don't eat dairy, so that's the banana, avocado and protein powder. You could use Greek yogurt or even soft tofu instead of the avocado. It helps to have at least one type of fruit to add sweetness, like the banana. Apples pair really nicely with kale, carrots and celery. You can add chia seeds for extra protein and pep. I've even added garlic before. Be creative!


    Last week, I had the smoothie above for both breakfast and lunch and I was full of energy, while feeling light and satisfied knowing that I had already fulfilled my vegetable requirements for the day. Honestly, when I haven't had a green smoothie in awhile, it's a bit of a push to try again. But then I'm always surprised by how refreshing they are! I'm not sure what happens to my brain that makes me feel intimidated and thinking it won't be tasty, but it always is. I dare you to try it!


    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


    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.


    To Stop Picky Eaters From Tossing The Broccoli, Give Them Choices

    Benefits of Joining the Herd 

    GMO Wheat Investigation Closed, But Another One Opens (This week's bad news)

    Sayonara To 'Super-Size Me?' Food Companies Cut Calories, So Do We

    Supermarkets Waste Tons Of Food As They Woo Shoppers 


    (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