Week  6                                                    Geauga County, Ohio
July 7, 2015

The Fair Share     

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"Cultivators are the most valuable citizens...

they are tied to their country."

 ~ President Thomas Jefferson















Real food

Greetings from Geauga Family Farms!


After viewing a commercial for a new pizza with a hot dog crust (yuck!), a friend recently expressed concern about raising his child in a society that treats this as real food. Thankfully, we have the antidote to this. Our members know the importance of real food, and we are part of the growing movement to counter the influence of the processed junk that is so prevalent these days.


Our farm tour last week was a great example. It was wonderful to have kids of all ages involved. While it can be hard for little ones to walk the fields, it's an important early experience. We were delighted with the curiosity shown by the children during our question and answer period, and throughout the farm tour. Excited cries of "Look at those tomatoes!" and "Can we taste those cucumbers?" were music to our ears. 


One of the most rewarding things about our work at Geauga Family Farms is the opportunity to educate our members, young and old, about the importance of real food. The first step involves tasting the wonderful flavors of freshly picked produce. The second is getting out to the farms to experience why this land and this way of life are so important to preserve and protect. If we want to have the option of eating healthy, real food in the future, we have to teach the value of these things now. 


Thank you for being a part of this experience. We are delighted to have you as a member of our farm community.



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 blueberries, lettuce (red/green leaf, Romaine), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), Swiss chard, collards, rhubarb, radishes, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet onions, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beets, peas, broccoli, bunching onions and green garlic. Saturday shares may include peaches.

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.


Weather report

The sunny days and warm weather have been great for the crops! You will see a wider variety of offerings in the shares this week, including one of our favorites - blueberries.


Alert! Organic-only shares

Specially labeled organic-only boxes will be starting to arrive at our sites this Saturday. If you signed up for an organic-only share, please keep an eye out for your box. If you did not choose an organic-only share, please make sure that your box DOES NOT have one of the special labels. We will have some early-season peaches starting on Saturday, and will provide an alternative for our organic-only shares.


Special Catholic Montessori pick-up instructions next week

Please park in the east parking lot next Tuesday, July 14. Shares will be picked up from the hallway inside the door on the east side of the church. The regular pick-up area is reserved for the drop-off of items for an upcoming rummage sale. 


Volunteers needed at Lowe's site

We have been having some problems with people taking the wrong share sizes at Lowe's. We are looking for some volunteers who can oversee the pick-up period (if multiple people are interested, we could set up a schedule). Please contact Laura Dobson at 440-478-9849 if you are interested in helping. In the meantime, please make sure you are taking the correct share size when you pick up.


New in the online farm store this week

This week's farm store has some great items that can be added to your order. Use these to fill out your box with more of your favorites, or do some canning and preserving. Quantities are limited, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You can access the farm store here.


Green beans - $20/half bushel or $3.25/lb.

Cucumbers - $30/half bushel or $2 each

Broccoli - $2.75/head

Zucchini - $24/half bushel or $1 each 

Sweet onions - $1.75 each

Cabbage - $3/large head or $2/small head

Blueberries - $4/pint

Yellow squash - $24/half bushel or $1 each


Using the online farm store

The easiest way to access the farm store is to click on the link included in our weekly e-mail reminder. The reminders are scheduled to allow members to place an order in time for their next delivery. Our schedule is as follows:


For Tuesday delivery, place your order by Thursday at midnight.

For Thursday delivery, place your order by Saturday at midnight.

For Saturday delivery, place your order by Monday at midnight.


If this is your first time accessing the farm store, use the e-mail address you provided when you signed up for a share to log in through your account, and use the temporary password farmfresh. You will then create a personalized password. 


You may need to scroll to view all of our store sections. These sections include: Vegetables, Cheese, Meat & Eggs, Jam, Honey & Syrup, Baked Goods, Fruit and more.



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  .


Blueberry-Banana Smoothie 

1 fresh or frozen banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
6 ounces plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk or unsweetened soy milk, rice milk or almond milk 

1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

1 tsp. honey or maple syrup, or to taste

1/2 cup ice cubes, (optional)

Put all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Recipe adapted from WholeFoodsMarket.com


Cilantro-Lime Cole Slaw

1/4 head of cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, shredded

¼ cup finely chopped green onion



1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
4 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss with cabbage, carrots and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Let cole slaw site for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

This is great on fish tacos or as a side dish with grilled chicken. 

Recipe by Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris


Grilled Tomato, Onion and Bread Salad  

2 red onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick 8 plum (Roma) tomatoes, cored

4 Tbsps. olive oil, divided
4 cups cubed Italian bread 

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves 

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices 

1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
3 Tbsps. red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Brush the onion slices and tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside. Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cubed bread in a large bowl. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper; toss well. Skewer the bread cubes with metal skewers. 

Grill bread on preheated grill until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Grill onions and tomatoes until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Chop the roasted onions and tomatoes into large pieces, and place into a large bowl along with the toasted bread, cucumber, and basil. Whisk the vinegar together with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to make a dressing. Pour over the salad, and toss to coat. 

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Zucchini Pancakes 

4 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsps. olive oil
4 tsps. baking powder 1/4 cup butter, melted.

Preheat grill to 425 to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, add shredded zucchini and mix well using a fork. Add flour, sugar, salt and vegetable oil and stir to blend well. Finally, add baking powder and mix well using a large spoon. The batter's consistency should be like heavy whipping cream. Spoon batter on hot grill (about 2 tablespoons) for each pancake. Cook until there are no longer bubbles forming in the pancake about 2 minutes; turn over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Rub pancakes with melted butter and serve immediately.

Recipe from AllRecipes.com 


Nourished by sunlight

By Laura Novak


"In the eye of the cook or the gardener or the farmer who grew it, this food reveals itself for what it is: no mere thing but a web of relationships among a great many living beings, some of them human, some not, but each of them dependent on the other, and all of them ultimately rooted in soil and nourished by sunlight."

~ Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto


Can you taste the difference?  I know that I can, especially after a winter of buying produce from the grocery stores, even organic. If you think about it, our food is traveling a much shorter distance, allowing it to retain more nutrients and to stay fresher. The local farmers are our neighbors, not a big farm in another country. I find these things very refreshing. And delicious!


This week, I ran out of garlic while I was making pasta. Luckily, there were a few garlic scapes still in the refrigerator, so I cut them up and used them in place of regular garlic. It was really delicious.


I also put the basil in a vase with water and it grew roots! I set the vase on a counter where it could get some sunlight. It is still shiny and green, thriving. This basil was from a few weeks ago and I'm still able to use it. I've often thrown the basil in a cup with shallow water, but this time it was so tall that it knocked the cup over, so I grabbed the vase. This accidental experiment went great. You may want to give it a try! Just be sure to change the water to keep it fresh.


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.


Foods as medicine found at your local farm market (or in your CSA box!)

Article reprinted from DIYNatural.com

Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Unfortunately, food as medicine is a forgotten idea. We have divorced our food and our medicine. We go to the doctor for medicine and the table (often the restaurant) for our food.


While, unlike some food cultures (such as that of India) we don't use too many medicinal spices in our food, we do still have healing aspects in our day to day fare. This sometimes comes in the form of vitamins and minerals, but surprisingly, even some of our most overlooked vegetables can be used as medicine if needed.


Summer is here and many of us will be heading out to the farmer's market for fresh vegetables to keep our families healthy and well-fed. In honor of this, I thought I would devote today's piece to the healing aspects of the common grocery and farmer's market produce we might bring home.


Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Rich in vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. It is antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is helpful for upset stomach, acid reflux, IBS, and arthritis. You may like these ideas on How to Use Fresh Basil.


Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)

Kale MUST be steamed before eaten to protect against a buildup of oxalic acid in your system. (Read more about why raw greens may not be as healthy as some think.) This vegetable is antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial. It is very helpful for eye health, blood oxygenation, immune support, and bone strength. Kale contains vitamins A, K, C, B6, B2, B3, B1, E, fiber, manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, folic acid, and phosphorus.


Dill Weed (Anthemum gravelolens)

Dill weed is not just for pickles! This herb is important for settling digestive upsets and leveling out blood sugar. It is anti-septic and disinfectant while being anti-spasmodic and sedative. It is rich in folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin A, B-carotene, and Vitamin C. It is also a good source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.


Fennel Herb and Bulb (Foeniculum vulgare)

High in Vitamin C and potassium, fennel is a strong anti-inflammatory and has possible anti-cancer benefits.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Move this herb from the side of your plate to the center - with three times the Vitamin C of oranges and two times the iron of spinach it is a powerhouse! Also an excellent source of Vitamin K, A, and folic acid. It is an aid to the heart, an anti-oxidant, and has potential anti-cancer benefits. Read more about The Benefits of Parsley.


Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

Think GENTLE DETOX! Cucumber is naturally diuretic, mildly laxative, detoxifying, and helpful in weight loss. It is soothing for skin disorders externally. This fruit is high in Vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, and natural fats. Check out 6 Uses for Cucumbers and a Cucumber Toner Recipe.

Radish (Raphanus sativus)
Stimulates a healthy appetite, benefits the bloodstream, is helpful in the case of piles, and is a mild laxative. As a diuretic it is especially beneficial for disorders of the urinary tract. It is one of the richest sources of iron and calcium of all the common vegetables. The leaves have more nutrition than the root, but the root is healthiest eaten raw.

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

This juicy fruit is anti-inflammatory and helpful for asthma, heart health, diabetes, and arthritis. It is a rich source of vitamins A and C and contains a high concentration of antioxidants. Watermelon is really great for urinary tract and kidney health. See some delicious watermelon recipes here.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.)

Look for pumpkins at your market later in the season. Pumpkin seeds are especially high in zinc but also contain vitamins B, C, D E and K as well as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. They are a perfect snack especially for men as they support prostate gland health. (Learn How to Make and Preserve Pumpkin Puree for later use.)


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Area events

Cleveland VegVoyage 2015 

Set sail with the Cleveland Vegan Society for a sunset cruise on board the Nautica Queen. Enjoy a meal by Cleveland Vegan Catering with live music, dancing and a cruelty-free silent auction.
Sunday, July 26 
6 - 9 p.m. (boarding promptly at 5:30 p.m.)
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,

Grass-fed beef & poultry

Kathleen Webb, 216-408-7719,  


Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062