Week  11                                                    Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 11, 2015

The Fair Share     

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"Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done-buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated."
~ Maria Rodale, CEO and Chairman of Rodale



Greetings from Geauga Family Farms!


This is the time of the season when we celebrate the abundance of so many wonderful fruits and vegetables. The fields are full and boxes are heavy with items like corn, peppers, melons and squash. We are so thankful for this, at a time when other parts of the country are fighting drought and other adverse conditions, and we hope you enjoy the changing variety of items that are showing up in your weekly shares this month. 


One of our favorite holidays to celebrate this abundance was Saturday, Aug. 8. It was national Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day. We love the ideas that people have developed over the years to share the bounty, from decorating zucchini to wrapping them like sub sandwiches to leaving them in baskets on neighbors' porches in the middle of the night. To celebrate further, we are including a reprint of the poem, Zucchini Nightmare, sent in by Kathy Yutzy of Parkman Produce, as well as a range of great zucchini recipes.


We hope you have some fun during this abundant time of the year. Instead of getting overwhelmed, try to celebrate the delicious harvest by using it as an opportunity to share with friends and neighbors. Throw an appetizer party. Have a zucchini cook-off. Drop off some of your extras at a local food pantry. Host an out-of-the-box potluck with other CSA members. Sneak something yummy on your neighbor's porch.



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 cherry and, Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, low-acid tomatoes, lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, romaine), bell peppers (colored or green), banana peppers (sweet or hot), potatoes, fingerlings, sweet onions, shallots, garlic, red onions, storage onions, bunching onions, parsley. dill, cabbage (red or green), green beans, sweet corn, yellow squash, pattypan squash, eggplant, beets, watermelon, peaches and red raspberries. 


Our farms grow a range of mild and hot peppers. Hot peppers will be labeled with a HOT sticker on the package. Peppers without a sticker should be mild, but it is always good to be cautious.


Some of the slicing tomatoes you receive might look a little pale. These pale red or pale orange peppers are fully ripe, but they are a special new low-acid variety we are testing. Let us know what you think!


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.


Organic-only shares

We have some conventionally-grown peaches going into the boxes this week, so please keep an eye out for our specially labeled, organic-only shares at pick-up. These boxes will have other items substituted for the peaches, and will be labeled with individual members' names. Please DO NOT take someone else's box.


For those members who pick up at our bulk sites, the produce list will include a substitution for the peaches.


Thank you for your attention to this!


New in the farm store this week are the following:

Sweet Banana Pepper

Single (bag of 6) $1.50 

Bulk (1/2-bushel) $13

Hot Banana Peppers 

Single (bag of 6) $1.50 

Bulk (1/2-bushel)

Green Bell Peppers $1 each

Colored Bell Peppers $1.25 each

Garlic $2 each

Bulk (1 pound) $10

Sweet Onions

Bulk (1/2-bushel) $12

Canning Tomatoes

Bulk (1/2-bushel) $13

Roma Tomatoes

Bulk (1/2-bushel) $15

Quarts $3


Quarts $3

Sweet Corn

Dozen $6

Patty Pan Squash $1 each

Zucchini $1 each

Bulk (1/2-bushel) $24

Peaches* $30/half bushel, $4.50/quart

*Please note that these peaches are not organic.


All items are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Find a link to our farm store, here.


When placing orders in the farm store, please make sure to proceed through the ordering process until you see a screen that thanks you for your order. This will then be followed by an e-mail receipt sent to your inbox. If you do not receive this e-mail, it is likely your order was not completed. Check back in your account to review whether or not the order is there, and call us if you have any questions.


Farm tour announcement

We are delighted to announce our next farm tour to be held Saturday, Aug. 22 from 2-4:30 p.m. at the home of Marvin and Iva Mae Hershberger. The Hershberger farm is located at 15549 Patch Road, in Middlefield.


We will plan to walk the fields and taste some dishes that celebrate the bounty of August. We are also working on some additional surprises to be announced next week.


Please reserve your spot by signing up in our online farm store, here. There is no cost to attend, but your reservation will help us know how many to expect. Hope to see you at the farm!



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  .

A favorite from Geauga Family Farms member, Gina Gillombardo.

Corn & Basil Cakes
Makes 5 servings, 2 cakes each 
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup low-fat milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsps. canola oil, divided 
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels 
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 
Whisk flour, milk, eggs,1 tablespoon oil, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in corn and basil. 
Brush a large nonstick skillet lightly with some of the remaining  oil; heat over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Cook 4 cakes at a time, using about 1/4 cup batter for each, making them about 3 inches wide. Cook until the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, making 10 cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning. 

Recipe from EatingWell.com

Watermelon Margaritas

2 tsps. sugar
1 lime wedge
3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
2 Tbsps. sugar
3 Tbsps. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
Lime wedges or watermelon balls (optional)
Place 2 teaspoons sugar in a saucer. Rub the rims of 6 glasses with 1 lime wedge; spin rim of each glass in sugar to coat. Set prepared glasses aside.
Combine watermelon and next 4 ingredients (through Triple Sec) in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each prepared glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup margarita to each glass.
Garnish with lime wedges or melon balls, if desired.

Recipe from Cooking Light


My kids have never really enjoyed zucchini, but they gobbled up these fries in a matter of minutes. ~ Michelle

Baked Zucchini Fries
1 cup Panko
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 425. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine Panko, Parmesan and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
Working in batches, dredge zucchini in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Recipe from DarnDelicious.net


Zucchini Soup 
Serves 8 
2 Tbsps. butter 
2 onions, chopped 
2 potatoes, peeled and diced  
8 zucchinis, chopped 
1/4 tsp. dried thyme 
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary  
1/2 tsp. dried basil  
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper 
4 cups chicken broth 
1 cup whole milk 
1/4 cup dry potato flakes  
In a large frying pan, melt butter or margarine; add onion and saute until translucent. Add diced potato, zucchini, thyme, rosemary, basil, and white pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.  
In a medium-sized cooking pot, add broth and bring to boil. Add zucchini/potato mixture; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.  
When cooked, puree in food processor or blender in batches. Return to cooking pot, add milk and bring just to boil, but do not boil. Add instant mashed potato flakes and soy sauce and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with dill weed. Soup may be served hot or chilled.  

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Zucchini Cake
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased 9 x 12 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool, then frost.

Recipe from Kathy Yutzy 


Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup honey
3 tsps. vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup chopped nuts
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsps. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Mix oil, honey, vanilla and eggs. Add zucchini. Mix lightly but well. Add dry ingredients. Mix until blended. Add nuts. Pour into two greased bread pans and bake at 325 for 1 hour. Remove and cool on rack.

Recipe from Kathy Yutzy

Zucchini Nightmare

Our friends all raise zucchini, it's an easy crop to grow.
They share with us, make such a fuss, we cannot tell them no.
We must not waste, says wifey dear, we can't throw it away.
I know you'll grow to love it so, we'll eat it every day.
I'll braise zucchini, mash zucchini, smother it with cheese.
I''ll slice and dice, make something nice, your appetite to please.
I'll bake zucchini, fry zucchini, marinate it, too!
I'll broil and boil, sauté in oil, and make zucchini stew.
I'll make zucchini patties, and zucchini jubilee.
I'll grill and chill, toss in some dill, Zucchini Fricassee.
I'll make zucchini candy, and then for something new,
I'll even try some zucchini pie and maybe ice cream, too.
I'm so tired of zucchini
And my tummy's startin' to ail.So I'll make a wish for next year,
His zucchini crop will fail!


Strange but good: Southwestern Pizza with Corn & Black Beans

This week we would like to extend a warm welcome to Meghan McCarthy, a Geauga Family Farms member and local food blogger who has offered to share some of her writing with us for our newsletter. You can read more of her material on her blog Clean Eats, Fast Feets. Find a link to her blog below.


By Meghan McCarthy


Who doesn't love pizza? This one uses a bounty of beautiful CSA produce (think peppers, onions and corn, Oh my!) and gives it a southwestern flair. 


The Mexicali Blues Pizza (Caramelized Onions, Black Bean and Corn Pizza)

*(Serves 2 really, really hungry folks or four reasonably hungry people: The Hubby and I ate it in two separate sittings.)


1 large pizza dough ball. This is a topping-heavy pizza, in a good way, so use real dough. It can take the weight.

2 cups caramelized onions and bell peppers. In order to get 2 cups of caramelized, you'll need about 2 cups of sliced onions and 2 cups of sliced bell peppers to start (so 4 cups reduced down to 2 cups)

2 ears of corn, cooked and shaved off the cob (1 can of corn would work too). To cook 2 ears of corn, bring a large pot of water to a boil with a teaspoon of sugar added. Once the water comes to a boil, add the corn and cover for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the corn, let cool and then using a sharp knife, shave the corn kernels from the cob.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped. If you use more toppings, I recommend using more cilantro.

2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts of the onion).

1/2 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese

Dusting of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 (or follow directions on pre-made pizza dough ball).

While oven is heating, combine cooked corn, black beans and cilantro in a medium bowl. Let sit on counter until ready for use.

Roll out pizza dough and bake, topping-less, for five minutes.

Remove the pizza dough from the oven and add your toppings: first spread the caramelized onions and peppers, then the black bean, corn, and cilantro mixture. Scatter the entire pizza with the chopped green onions and freshly shredded mozzarella cheese. Dust the entire thing with a sprinkle of salt and a dash pepper.

Put in the oven and bake for about 10 additional minutes until the crust is cooked through and the edges start to brown.


Side Note: I rarely measure when I cook and this time was no exception (I did mention the Strawberry Tequila, yes) so these are fairly good approximations. At the end of the day, it's a pizza so you can add as a little or as many toppings as you want.


Meghan McCarthy is a number cruncher by day and a Blogging Ninjress by night. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her two felines and occasional Hubby. Her favorite activities include cooking, exercising, and farmers marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys making a mockery of sentence structure and twisting words and phrases to better meet her devilish needs and more closely align with her nefarious ways. Meghan blogs over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets, where her posts are virtual kitchen parties, music included, veggies always welcome. She's been known to swear a holy crapton, and just recently saved the life of a budding young chipmunk. She's a modern day Joan of Arc without the martyr part. Or the Saint part. Or the French part. Or perhaps the Joan of Arc part. Read her hilarious blog here.


4 All-Star Chefs Revolutionizing the Way We Farm and Eat

By Monica Michael Willis for Modern Farmer

"Food as a single subject has more impact on human, environmental, societal, and economic health than any other topic," says Connecticut chef Michel Nischan, founder of the nonprofit Wholesome Wave, which strives to make farm-fresh produce available in low-income communities. And no one, Nischan believes, has more impact on the food we eat than restaurateurs. (How do you think kale, bison, and "trash fish" entered the mainstream?)


In 2012, Nischan and fellow activist Eric Kessler teamed up with the James Beard Foundation to host the first Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change at Blackberry Farm in eastern Tennessee. Since its debut, the program has welcomed 75 culinary professionals into the fold, helping them articulate and advocate for the causes that concern them most, from genetic modification to childhood nutrition to forging stronger ties with organic farmers. "We wanted to encourage more chefs to step out of the kitchen and get involved in policymaking," explains Kessler.


The foundation's most recent Chefs Boot Camp brought 14 culinary stars from across the nation to Avery Island, La., home to Tabasco, for three days of intensive workshops on topics as diverse as how to shepherd a bill through Congress, harness the power of social media, and create a like-minded network of supporters. In one session, participants broke into groups to craft the one-minute pitches they'd give if stuck in an elevator with, say, Michelle Obama or the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.


Which is not to suggest that every moment was devoted to such serious business. On the final night of the conference, the chefs teamed up to cook dinner for some 60 guests of Tabasco and the James Beard Foundation - in just 90 minutes. Held at Marsh House, an impressive 1818 homestead on Avery Island, the collaborative feast unfolded like an episode of Top Chef on steroids. After sizing up the provided ingredients in the pantry, the group sprung into action. 


Seamus Mullen, owner of Tertuliain New York City, butchered a boar that had been hunted earlier in the day by Avery Island land managers, while Victor Albisu, of Del Campo in Washington, D.C., prepared an aromatic spice rub for the meat. Pastry chef Emily Luchetti, of San Francisco's Marlowe, Park Tavern, and The Cavalier restaurants, got to work washing berries and peeling apples for a cobbler. Michel Nischan ran interference, prepping onions for one dish, searing chunks of wild boar for another. Gumbo, black-eyed peas, and a spicy boar vindaloo, thick with garlic, and okra simmered on the stove, as dumplings were sealed and fried, tag-team style, by Lee Anne Wong and Christian Thornton of Atria on Martha's Vineyard.


As the guests sat down to eat, many of the chefs hung back, sipping cold beers and cocktails, still a little dazed from the nonstop push that led to the meal. Connections had clearly been forged and friendships cemented over a mutual respect for food and its power to bring people together. "When the chefs come to boot camp, they don't fully realize what they've signed up for," says Eric Kessler.

By the time they leave, however, they're energized by the power and possibility of working collectively to make a difference. Or as James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Sherry Yard put it: "This whole experience made me realize I'm not an army of one." 


Read the original article here.


Shares still available

Are friends and co-workers jealous of your weekly organic veggies? Don't hesitate to let them know that they can still sign up for a share with Geauga Family Farms. Forward them this newsletter, and they can find a link to our sign-up area, here.


Area events


FARMAFARE: a celebration of local foods

Aug. 27, 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. dinner & presentation

The Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland

The Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District has given local food, farmers and chefs the spotlight at its annual meeting since 2012. This year, FARMAFARE will feature a farm-to-table dinner prepared by: Art Ishman, Bon Appetit; Ben Bebenroth, Spice Kitchen + Bar, Spice of Life Catering Co. & Spice Acres; Nathan Fagnilli, Crosswinds Grille; Joe Longo, Joey's Italian Grille & Joey's Catering; Tina Greci, Pastina's; Ky-wai Wong, Tri-C Culinary; Chris Sotkovsky, Little Mountain Brewing Co.; Rusty James Phillips, Motor Mouth Food Truck; Jennifer and Joe Horvath, Toast; and Michael Lorah, Pairings, Ohio's Wine & Culinary Experience. Locally produced beverages will be provided by Cornerstone Brewery, Cellar Rats Brewery and local wineries.


Lake County residents are encouraged to help guide conservation in the county by participating in the special election of the Board of Supervisors. All proceeds support the Lake SWCD. To order tickets or for more information, call 440-350-2730, or click here.

Sponsors are Bon Appétit Management Co., The Holden Arboretum, Northeast Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Wine Producers.


Dinner in the Valley

Aug. 28, 7 p.m. 

Dinner Along the Cuyahoga

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, Rockside Station

For reservations and more info, click here.


REAP the Benefit 2015: A Night on the Farm

Saturday, Aug. 29
7 - 10:30 p.m.
The Ohio City Farm at Bridge Avenue and West 24th Street 

Cleveland chefs will create dishes using produce cultivated by Ohio City farm trainees at individual chef stations. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who has dedicate his life's work to spreading the philosophy of non-violence, will speak. Guests will also enjoy traditional music and dance from members of the local refugee community and The Revolution Brass Band, a horn-and-percussion group. For tickets, click here.

Sustainability Summit 
Sept. 16-17
Sustainable Cleveland is presenting its seventh annual Sustainability Summit this year. Participants design and develop action plans on a variety of topics to create a more thriving and resilient Cleveland region. This year's speakers include Naomi Davis, founder of Chicago's Blacks in Green, and Marcus Eriksen, who took a five-month journey down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft which led him to a career studying the ecological impacts of plastic marine pollution.
For more info on Summit 2015, and to propose your own Innovation Session, click here.

Finger Lakes Foodie Extravaganza

Sept. 28 & 29

Looking for a getaway with a local food theme? The Finger Lakes region in New York is hosting a trio of local food activities - a Finger Lakes Foodie Scavenger Hunt, a locally-sourced cooking demo and panel discussion, and Farmer's Dinner at Roots Café.


Scavenger Hunt

The scavenger hunt will present a variety of experiences from farm visits to local cheese producers, with artisan bread thrown in for good measure. Spots for lunch, wineries and breweries are on the hunt to keep it interesting. You'll get to meet the people who grow and produce this food, and learn about why they do what they do. Many stops will have a special surprise. Reservations are required. The scavenger hunt begins Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Pricing is $75 per person and includes all taxes and gratuities.

Locally Sourced Cooking Demo

A panel of chefs and speakers will instruct you on how easy it is to find and use local ingredients to create incredible meals. They will share recipes, talk about methods and techniques, and get your taste buds involved when the preparation is done. There will also be time for a Q&A session with the panel.

Price is $45 per person, with local taxes included.

Finger Lakes Farm-to-Table Dinner at Roots Café

Enjoy an evening of wine tasting and a multi-course dinner, the ultimate culmination of your local food journey! Pricing per person is $99, includes local taxes and gratuity. 


For more information and reservations, contact Deb at 607-569-3767.


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.



(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,



Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062