Spring                        Geauga Family Farms CSA                     May 23, 2017             

The Fair Share     

What's cropping up!
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   "If the rain spoils our picnic,
but saves a farmer's crop,
who are we to say it shouldn't rain?"
Tom Barrett
A recent interview on NPR's The Salt got me thinking of how purchasing food for your family is such a different experience for members of a CSA program like ours. 

The interview, with local author Michael Ruhlman, discusses his new book, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America. In the book, Ruhlman writes about how we produce, distribute and buy food, and tries to understand our changing relationship with what we eat and how we get it.

Ruhlman talks about what an extraordinary luxury grocery stores are, how when we want a certain item for our dinner that night, we have 40,000 items right there at our fingertips, no matter the season. Peapods in August? Sure, right there next to the butternut squash, which isn't in season either, by the way. 

He says the best and worst of America are right there on the grocery shelf. "We want to think the people who are offering our food care about us, but I don't think they do anymore," Ruhlman said. 

And this is where grocery store buying and CSA membership differ. 

The farmers of Geauga Family Farms do care about you. They care about the food they produce that you will eat and feed to your family week after week this season. They care what you think of the crispness of the lettuce. They want you to enjoy the flavor of the tomatoes, and love the sweet, juicy deliciousness of the strawberries. 

Why do they care so much? This is food they feed their own families as well. And, they know they have you to answer to you when they meet you at a farm visit or see you at a farmers market. They know you have a direct line to them through their farm representatives, and they want to be able to look you in the eye and tell you they have grown the best, safest, freshest food for you, your family and theirs. They wouldn't have it any other way.

GFF growers care about you, and each item they place in every box of produce - all season long.

Laura Dalheim
~ with Rachel Machesky and the farmers and families of Geauga Family Farms
Just a few days left to sign up for the FULL Summer 2017 season
It won't be long now before Summer 2017 season gets underway. We are going to start Tuesday, June 6, so just two short weeks from now. Look for an email with all the pertinent pick-up information soon.

To participate in the full 20-week season, you must sign up by May 29; you may join at any time during the season, but the deadline is May 29 if you want to receive 20 weeks of fresh veggies.

Everyone must sign up as a new member. Returning members receive a special discount. To receive the discount, the discount code (below) must be entered when placing your order. 

Share sizes/options
We are offering medium, large and customizable shares this season; we don't have small shares this year. The customizable share is a new addition. Many of you have been requesting this option for years! This share is equivalent to the medium share in volume. Members will select $23 worth of produce only from the farm store to fill each week's share. The total regular price of $700 includes a $12 fee each week to cover the cost of special packaging and the extra labor required to hand-select each item ordered by the member. Since this is a new option, we are only offering a limited number of customizable shares. This means quantities will be limited, so order early to get one of these customizable shares. 

Farm discount: An additional savings of $50 is applied to those picking up at our farm location. 
Returning member discount: We are offering a 5 percent discount to returning members*.

Payment plan
You may pay for your share with a check by mail or online with a check or credit card. We offer a payment plan which breaks down the total cost into three equal payments. If you are paying by check, it requires mailing in all three checks at once. If you are paying online, three payments will be automatically deducted from your credit card, each one month apart. Please be sure to use a credit card that does not expire before the final payment is due, or make a note to update it when your new card arrives. 

No deadlines
We introduced this last year, but remember, you can sign up anytime during the season. Taking a summer vacation in early June and want to wait until mid-June to sign up? No problem! The price of your share will be pro-rated to charge you only for the remaining weeks in the program.

Vacation holds
Another new feature we introduced last year, and one of our most popular, is the vacation hold option. Put your share on hold while you're on vacation and then let us know when you'd like to receive your make-up share.

Returning member discount pricing:
Medium share - $441.75*
Large share (returning members) - $736.25*
NEW! Customizable share - $665*

Regular pricing (remains the same as last year)
Medium share - $465
Large share - $775 
NEW! Customizable share - $700

*You must enter discount code Returning17 when placing your order to receive the discount. For farm pick-ups, you must enter the discount code FarmPickUp.

Click here to order your share now.
Pick-up sites: New Beachwood location!
We are still adding more sites to our list of Summer 2017 pick-up sites. Check out our new site at Lifetime Fitness in Beachwood. We have also extended some of our pick-up hours so be sure to check it out. 

Our newest site is at LifeTime Fitness, 3850 Richmond Road, in Beachwood. Pick-ups will occur Thursdays from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the back corner of the parking lot in front of the Eaton Headquarters building. 

* Eddy Fruit Farm, Chesterland - 5 - 6:30 p.m. NEW!
Farm pick-up, Middlefield -  1 - 5 p.m.
Lake County History Center, Painesville Township - 3:30 - 5 p.m.
Lowe's Greenhouses, Bainbridge - 1 - 6 p.m. (Truck remains with refrigerated items till 2:30 p.m.)
* Materion Corp., Mayfield Heights - For Materion employees only 

Peace Lutheran Church, Munson Township - 3 - 5 p.m.
St. Andrew Episcopal Church, Mentor - 5:30 - 7 p.m.
The Grove, Mayfield Village - 2:30 - 4 p.m.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lyndhurst - 4 - 5 p.m. 
Ernst & Young, Cleveland - For E&Y employees only
Jones Day, Cleveland - For Jones Day employees only
LEAF Night, Lakewood - 5:30 - 8 p.m. (Truck remains with refrigerated items till 6:15 p.m.)
*LIfetime Fitness, Beachwood - NEW!
Lucy's Sweet Surrender, Shaker Heights - 5:30 - 7 p.m.
MRI, Solon - For MRI employees only
Market Cafe, Cleveland - 3 - 7 p.m.
Mustard Seed Market, Solon - 1:30 - 8 p.m. (Truck remains with refrigerated items till 2:30 p.m.)
Ruffing Montessori School, Cleveland Heights - 4 - 5 p.m.
Tucker Ellis - For Tucker Ellis employees only

Farm pick-up, Middlefield - 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
1815 Tavern, Aurora - 10:30 a.m. - noon
ElTech Building, Chardon - 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Goddard School, Macedonia - 2:30 - 4 p.m.
Hill's Family Karate, Mentor - 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Truck remains with refrigerated items till 10:30 a.m.) 
*Hudson Montessori School, Hudson - 12:30 - 2 p.m. NEW!
St. Noel Church, Willoughby Hills - 9 - 10:30 a.m.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights - 8 - 9:30 a.m.

Keep in mind when making your selection that remaining produce shares not picked up from the truck will be left behind at some sites; refrigerated items cannot be left at most sites.
Loretta Paganini CSA cooking classes
Well-known chef, author, cooking school owner and restaurateur Loretta Paganini is offering classes on how to clean, prepare and trim all your CSA veggies, package them up and take them home to enjoy, chef-developed recipes in hand. 

The classes will be held once a month during the Summer CSA season at Loretta's International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute (ICASI) in Chesterland. Kate Csepegi, a graduate of the ICASI program and an innovative chef herself, will teach the classes. 

Held the last Friday of each month from June through October, the five classes will focus on storing and preparing your vegetables. During the class, students will be served three dishes inspired by the contents in that week's CSA share. 

Classes are open to members and non-members alike. Have you always wanted to try CSA membership, but have been reluctant to commit to an entire season? Now's your chance to give it a try. Sign up for the class and receive a week's share to use in class and take home with you.

Whether you're a seasoned CSA member or a newbie who will be picking up your first share in June, these classes are for you. 

The class dates & member discount codes are:
Friday, June 30, 6-8:30 p.m. - 2017GFFMember-1
Friday, July 28, 6-8:30 p.m. - 2017GFFMember-2
Friday, Aug. 25, 6-8:30 p.m. - 2017GFFMember-3
Friday, Sept. 29, 6-8:30 p.m. - 2017GFFMember-4
Friday, Oct. 27, 6-8:30 p.m. - 2017GFFMember-5

Each class will be $45 for GFF members and $65 for non-members (to cover the cost for the week's share.) Shares will be delivered Thursday and stored until class time at ICASI at 8700 Mayfield Road in Chesterland. Sign-up now for these classes before they fill up. 
More Loretta!
Loretta Paganini, chef, author, cooking school owner and restaurateur, is hosting a farm-to-table dinner at Sapore, her restaurant in Chesterland. She has planned a menu featuring food from our farms. 

Farm-to-Table Dinner
Sapore, 8623 Mayfield Road, Chesterland
Wednesday, Aug.23, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
$55 per person plus tax & service

Celebrate the fresh bounty of summer by enjoying an evening at Sapore Restaurant. At this special evening, you will meet local farmers and taste a variety of fresh local produce in a variety of delicious dishes. Join us! Summer never tasted this good!

Menu: Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Peppers; Cheddar Corn Chowder with Crispy Bacon Chips; Summer Mixed Melon Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; Pan-Seared Walleye with Fresh Vegetable Ratatouille; Grilled Beef with Tomato Balsamic Steak Sauce, Heirloom Potato Salad; Peach & Blackberry Cobbler with Honey Gelato.

For reservations, call 440-729-1110 or click here
First farm visit will be a mini-Strawberry Festival
Please make plans to join us Saturday, June 24 at D&S Organic Farm in Mesopotamia for a very special farm visit. We will have a mini strawberry festival with strawberries and ice cream as long as Mother Nature smiles on the strawberry fields. The farm visit will be held rain or shine, strawberries or no strawberries. 

There will be tours, games, pony cart rides and more. Kettle corn and other snacks and treats will be available. Traditional Amish treats will be for sale, as well as grass-fed beef, organic eggs and produce.
Please remember to bring bug spray and sturdy shoes. You might also want to bring a cooler for your purchases.

The farm visit will be from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. You are welcome to show up any time. The address is 4738 Gates East Road, Mesopotamia. Find a link to a map here

We ask that our members reserve free tickets for this event so we will know how many to expect. Sign up for the farm visit hereWe hope to see you on Saturday, June 24!
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.
(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday ONLY PLEASE!)
Farm Representatives

Laura Dalheim, 440-478-9849,
Rachel Machesky216-246-8254,  

Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Geauga Family Farms, 16505 Mumford Road, Burton, OH 44021
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