Week  12                                                   Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 18, 2015

The Fair Share     

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"The fast-food industry is in very good company with the lead industry and the tobacco industry 
in how it tries to mislead the public,
and how aggressively it goes after anybody who criticizes its business practices."
~ Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

Greetings from Geauga Family Farms!

This is the time of year when we are excited about the range of possibilities in front of us. It's similar to the way we feel in January, when we start to look at all of the new options in the seed catalogs and dream of summer harvests. This time of year, though, it's a matter of looking at the baskets of produce coming out of the fields and imagining what delicious things we will do with each of the items. We don't want to miss the opportunity to make a peach pie while the fruit is fresh from the orchard, or the best BLT of the summer made with juicy, ripe tomatoes and crunchy leaf lettuce. Take a look at this week's produce list and you will know what we mean - so many wonderful possibilities.

The same is true with activities this time of year. There are so many interesting things going on as people try to squeeze in every ounce of summer fun possible before the weather turns colder. We hope you will consider the possibility of attending our farm tour this Saturday. We will have samples of great harvest dishes, tours of the Hershberger family farm, activities for kids and an opportunity to talk with some of our farmers. It's a great way to connect with other members of the Geauga Family Farms community, and nothing feels more like summer in Ohio than walking though farm fields bursting with produce.

As news comes out about Monsanto purchasing more and more seed companies and John Deere criminalizing farmers for trying to make their own tractor repairs, we appreciate the alternative farming possibilities that your participation in this program allows. It's a program dedicated to serving the needs of people who value healthy food, produced by people who care about the land.

Imagine the possibilities if we all approached it this way!

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 watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, red raspberries, lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, Romaine), beets, colored bell peppers, green bell peppers, yummy orange peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, bunching onions, sweet onions, shallots, garlic, yellow squash, pattypan squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes (regular, heirloom, Roma), parsley, potatoes, fingerlings and sweet corn.


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.

Farm tour this Saturday
Don't miss your opportunity to tour the wonderful farm of Marvin and Iva Mae Hershberger this Saturday, Aug. 22 from 2-4:30 p.m. The farm is located at 15549 Patch Road in Middlefield. Look for the Hershberger Organics sign along the road, and follow the long drive back. We'll have farm event signs to let you know when you have reached the right place. We would love to know how many to expect on Saturday. If you are able, please make a reservation through our online farm store. There is no cost, and you can access a link here. Be sure to bring appropriate shoes for potentially muddy conditions, as well as sunscreen. We will have a range of activities and light refreshments. Hope to see you on Saturday!
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. If there is any problem, please immediately (before you leave the pick-up site) call either Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris at 216-513-9829 or Laura Dobson at 440-478-9849.

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!
Weather report
We have had many questions about the lack of greens in the shares lately. We have been missing them, too! This is the result of a three-week rain delay earlier this summer that kept us from getting out into the fields to plant our second round of greens. Lettuce is finally starting to make an appearance again.

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.

New in the farm store
Want to add some favorites to your weekly share or make a giant batch of your grandmother's famous pasta sauce? Look for quantities of these items, small and large, in our farm store, in addition to items we've listed in previous weeks.

Jalapeño peppers - $1.50/half dozen or $30/half bushel
Peaches (not organic, but locally grown) - $4.50/quart or $28/half bushel
Sweet corn - $6/dozen 
Roma tomatoes - $15/half bushel

Limited quantities are available 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.
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 

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup 
Perfect for a hot day.

1 cantaloupe - peeled, seeded and cubed 
2 cups orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Peel, seed, and cube the cantaloupe. Place cantaloupe and 1/2 cup orange juice in a blender or food processor; cover, and process until smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in lime juice, cinnamon, and remaining orange juice. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with mint if desired. 
Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Abner McDaniel's Favorite Baked Jalapeño Peppers
Spice up your next get-together with these!

12 fresh jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack, mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese
2 pieces crisp, crumbled bacon
2 Tbsps. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne, or less, to taste
2 large eggs
2 Tbsps. milk
8 tsps. Essence*
1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, cumin, cayenne, onion and bacon. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeño half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.

*Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 Tbsps. paprika
2 Tbsps. salt
2 Tbsps. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dried leaf oregano
1 Tbsp. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Recipe from Emeril Lagasse, "New New Orleans Cooking"

Simple Tomato Salad
A quick and easy summer side dish.

1 pint of mixed heirloom or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 Tbsp. of olive oil 
1 Tbsp. of good quality balsamic vinegar
6 fresh basil leaves, shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place tomatoes in shallow bowl or serving platter. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with fresh basil. Allow the flavors to blend for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Recipe from Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

Green Bean, Feta and Almond Salad
A great chilled salad for a hot day.

1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup sliced almond pieces, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
4 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place green beans in a steamer in 1 inch over boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, approximately 2 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine beans, onion, feta cheese and almonds. Whisk olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss lightly to coat. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
Recipe from Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris

Super Easy Peach Cobbler
The taste of late summer.

4 cups fresh peaches
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional) 
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
6 Tbsps. butter, melted

Place peaches in bottom of 9x9 pan or casserole. Sprinkle lemon juice over peaches. Sift dry ingredients. Beat egg slightly and add to dry ingredients. Toss with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over peaches. Drizzle butter over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Recipe from Food.com
Savor the symphony of flavor
By Laura J. Novak

"If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything."
 ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step

It was one of the best meals of my life.

No, I was not dining in a 5-star restaurant. It was a simple chicken salad sandwich from the prepared foods section of the grocery store. I would have made it very differently at home. 

But sitting under the stars on a soft blanket with my feet in the cool grass, beside my dearest friends as Tchaikovsky's violin concerto danced in my ears, the sandwich became miraculous; a sublime delight to the senses. 

Have you ever noticed how food often tastes better on vacation? Sitting outside, looking at the fiery peach and purples of a sunset over the ocean, feeling relaxed and breathing in the fresh air, we're tasting the whole experience and paying attention to the moment. This is called mindfulness.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh in Savor, "Literally, the combined [Chinese] character [for mindfulness] means the act of experiencing the present moment with your heart... It helps us to be in touch with the wonders of life, which are here and now. Our heart opens and is immersed in the present moment, so that we can understand its true nature." 

What if every single meal could be this enjoyable?

In Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, Jan Chozen Bays writes, "If we eat and stay connected with our own experience and with the people who grew the food and cooked the food, who served the food, and who eat alongside us, we will feel most satisfied, even with a meager meal. This is the gift of mindful eating, to restore our sense of satisfaction no matter what we are or are not eating." 

By joining the CSA, we are already connected to the people who grew the food. The next step is to notice the food, to enjoy the company, to take in the elements of everything going on around us. If we sit in front of the television, check our email, or multitask in any other way when we eat, we can miss it entirely.

"When we don't taste what we eat," writes Bays, "we can end up stuffed to the gills but feeling completely unsatisfied." Has this ever happened to you? I've shoveled the food, planning what will happen next more often than I care to admit. 

Each occasion where we can slow down and notice the flavor in a bite adds to the joyful moments we remember. This delightful experience has reminded me to savor my meals whenever I can, acknowledging the moments that make up this sweet and delicious life. 

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 third 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. 
By David Beach for the Green City Blue Lake blog

Want to become more aware of your surroundings and more connected to nature in Northeast Ohio? Want to develop a deeper appreciation for the amazing diversity of life all around you? Then attempt these 10 items on my eco-bucket list. It might make you a better person!

During 30 years of writing about environmental issues I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to explore the varied landscapes of Northeast Ohio. I've had some incredible guides -- geologists, archaeologists, botanists, birders, water quality experts, farmers, urban planners, and more.

I'm still no expert, but I have learned a lot about my bioregion -- my home territory. I have a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of this place and how to live here sustainably. I'm more sensitive about what's important and what's right.

After looking back on my experiences, I've attempted to identify 10 of the most important things to do to become rooted in this place. It's a list that can be accomplished over a year of exploring and paying attention.

To read about David Beach's 10 most important things and where to do them in Northeast Ohio, including watching the sun, seeing the geology, experiencing the natural communities, identifying some plants, going birding, sampling a stream, swimming in Lake Erie, visiting an organic farm, touring a wastewater treatment plant and riding the Towpath Trail, click here

These 10 experiences have been especially meaningful in my bioregional education. And I would add one more: Take action for the environment. That can mean changing personal behaviors, attending a meeting, writing a letter, supporting an environmental organization, working for policy change, voting, or many other actions. It's important to do something, for our actions are what change us the most.
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, e-mail 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.

Inspire: Ignite your creativity
Oct. 2-4  
Various locations in Lake County
Writing ~ Meditation ~ Art ~ Music ~ Yoga ~ Dance
Join our own Geauga Family Farms contributing writer, Laura J. Novak, for Inspire, a weekend retreat igniting creativity in mind, body and spirit. The retreat begins in nature along Lake Erie and moves to the breathtaking Steele MansionYou will gain the tools to not only create that weekend, but take home practices that you can use everyday, anywhere to set fire to your creative life.
Bring your tools; guitar, ukulele, crocheting or knitting needles, canvas and paint, a pen and paper, your arms and legs, your witty mind, your creative heart. Come as you are - everyone is welcome!
Relax, create and live inspired. 

To register or for more information, click here. Deadline to register is Sept. 12.
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