|Week 7 Geauga County, Ohio||July 14, 2015|
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"Teaching kids how to feed themselves
and how to live in a community responsibly
is the center of an education."
~ Alice Waters
Greetings from Geauga Family Farms!
We love variety. Who wants to eat the same thing week after week? We hope you enjoy variety, too, and we do our best to plant crops in a way that allows a different mix each week. We don't stop there, though. When we are fortunate to live in a region that supports the cultivation of a tremendous range of fruits and vegetables, we delight in the opportunity to plant new and interesting choices for our members.
Take tomatoes, for example. We could just plant slicers and paste tomatoes, but everyone knows what those are like. Instead, we have planted a wide range that includes those basics, but that also brings exciting new varieties into the mix. You may see some great heirlooms like Green Zebras or deep burgundy Brandywines this season. You will also see a mixture of regular and artisanal cherry tomatoes that include varieties with wild names like Lucky Tigers, Blush and Purple Bumble Bees. These come in a variety of beautiful colors and shapes that will make your salads gorgeous. Try a taste test to determine your favorite, and let us know what you think!
Our growers could plant basic purple beets, but instead they have also included striped Chioggas, golden beets, Detroit beets, Red Ace, longer Cylindras and albino beets in their fields. We've had green, red and Savoy cabbage in the past, but new this year are the conical heads of Caraflex cabbage. That's not all, though. Look for more fun varieties throughout the season. We will try to inform you of new and unusual varieties when they appear in the boxes so you are not left guessing, but don't hesitate to check our Facebook page where we will post images of less familiar items.
While we pride ourselves on providing our members with healthy and delicious produce, we hope we can also add some fun to your local eating experience. Time spent in the kitchen should include food that is beautiful and interesting, as well as tasty, to inspire truly memorable meals.
Here's to variety!
~ 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, peaches, lettuce (red/green leaf, Romaine), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), cucumbers, yellow squash, pattypan squash, basil, dill, garlic, pickling cucumbers, sweet onions, bunching onions, cauliflower, broccoli, beets (Red Ace, Cylindra), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, collards, spinach, cabbage (regular and/or caraflex), green beans and possibly some sweet corn later in the week!
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.
Special Catholic Montessori pick-up instructions for today
Please park in the east parking lot today. 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.
While many of our crops are doing surprisingly well in this damp and cool summer, our biggest challenge has involved an inability to get out in the wet fields to plant second rounds of some of our vegetables. Many of our growers have greenhouses full of lettuce and fall vegetable starts that are ready to go out, but they can't get their equipment out into the fields until things dry out a little more. As a result, you may notice a break in some of our leafy greens like lettuce for a week or two.
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.
Last reminder - July 4
We've heard from nearly everyone regarding their preferences to make up for our holiday break on July 4 at this point, but this is the last chance. If you pick up at one of our Saturday sites and you joined before June 22, please let us know whether you would prefer a date to receive a make-up share (let us know the Saturday), or credit to use in our online farm store. If we have not heard from you by this Friday, July 17, we will automatically give you farm-store credit. Thanks to all who have gotten back to us on this!
Alert! 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 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.
Additional pickling cucumbers - $15/peck
More volunteers needed at Lowe's site
We have been having some problems with people taking the wrong share sizes at Lowe's. We have a volunteer who will be there until 4:30, but we still need another volunteer who can stay from 4:30 to 6 p.m. We are looking for volunteers who can oversee the pick-up. 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.
Member Joe Dietrich, who picks up his share at Lowe's Greenhouses in Bainbridge, doesn't like to let anything go to waste. He says he reuses the plastic CSA box liner. "It's the perfect size for a kitchen trash can," Joe says. "Yes, it's perforated, but not enough to waste it."
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
LEAF member Eileen Drust said she "wanted to share a yummy recipe I found for kohlrabi on acouplecooks.com. The only change I made to the recipe is to add a couple of tablespoons of flour. The fritters are really delicious. Another thing we've done with the kohlrabi is to peel and slice it, wrap it in a foil packet with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill the packets while grilling meat.
Kohlrabi and Carrot Fritters
2 Tbsp. flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Green onions (for garnish)
Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel 1 carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.
Place ½ cup oil in a large skillet (enough for ¼-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
In a small bowl, mix ½ avocado, ¼ cup plain yogurt, juice from ½ lemon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor).
Serve fritters with avocado cream and sliced green onions.
Member Kathy Emrich, who picks up at the Lake County History Center, one of our new sites this year, sends us two raw vegetable soup recipes she and her family have been enjoying with their CSA produce. Both recipes are from a book called "Clean" by Alejandro Junger, M.D.
Cucumber Soup with Mint
Makes 2-3 servings
3 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 lemon, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup pinenuts
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
3-4 cups water depending on how thick you want it
1/4 cup mint
Some ice cubes to cool it down (optional)
Blend first six ingredients in a high speed blender til very smooth. Add mint and blend briefly. Add some ice cubes to the blender or chill in the fridge. Enjoy with a bowl and spoon or straight from a mug.
Zucchini and Basil Soup
Makes 3-4 servings
1 zucchini, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tbsp red or sweet onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
5 medium to large basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups water depending on how thick you like it.
Lemon juice, 1-2 tbsp as required
Blend all together, except for the lemon juice, in a high speed blender. Taste and add some lemon juice only if it the flavor needs to be brighter. Add some ice cubes to the blender to cool it down if you want. Serve cool or cold. Garnish with additional basil if desired.
Creamy Ravioli with Squash, Lemon and Chives
16 to 18 ounces cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
3 summer squash (zucchini and/or yellow squash; about 1-1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh chives
Start by prepping your ingredients; thinly slice your squash, chop your shallot and shred your cheese.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and lemon zest and cook until the vegetables are tender and the cream is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add squash mixture, pecorino and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and toss gently to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Serve sprinkled with chives and additional pecorino.
Recipe adapted from the Noble Pig Winery blog/Real Simple
Stuffed Pattypan Squash
6 pattypan squash, stem and blossom removed
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the stem with little resistance. Drain, and slice off the top stem of the squash. Use a melon baller to carefully scoop out the centers of the squash. Reserve all of the bits of squash.
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon to paper towels, and set aside. Sauté onion in bacon drippings. Chop the reserved squash pieces, and saute them with the onion for one minute.
Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Crumble the bacon, and stir into the stuffing along with the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff each squash to overflowing with the mixture, and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash are heated through.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
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.
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.
Deadline for tickets is July 20, so get them soon!
Sunday, July 26
6 - 9 p.m. (boarding promptly at 5:30 p.m.)
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.
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!)
Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849,
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109,
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062