|Week 3 Geauga County, Ohio||June 16, 2015|
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"Go vegetable heavy.
Reverse the psychology of your plate
by making meat the side dish
and vegetables the main course."
~ Bobby Flay
The rhythm of the summer is starting to settle in to a more familiar pattern. The first few weeks of deliveries can be a little hectic as we all make sure we are covering all of the details associated with harvesting, preparing, ordering, packing, communications and more that make up a CSA program like ours. We appreciate your patience when things do not go exactly according to plan. Know that we will do our best to make up for problems should they arise.
Our harvests are settling in as well. Early June is always tricky in terms of yields, and the wet, cool weather kept volumes a bit lower than usual. You will notice a big difference in the items that make up this week's shares, as more of our summer vegetables are ready for harvest. See our produce list below for some idea of what you might expect to find in your box this week.
Weekly e-mail reminders will be starting this week to help you remember farm store ordering deadlines. If you would prefer not to receive these, follow the directions in your first e-mail to adjust your account so as not to receive them. We have been hearing that some of our early communications have ended up in spam folders. Please make sure to add Geauga Family Farms to your contacts list to ensure that you receive our e-mails, as they often include time-sensitive material. Our general communications come from a different address than our newsletter, so both need to be part of the contacts list.
We are starting a new section in our newsletter designed to help our members know how the weather is affecting the crops each week. We hope this will be helpful to you as we navigate the 2015 season together.
So we hope you start to feel like you are settling in to the fun summer routine of picking up your share each week and enjoying its contents. We are looking forward to a great week. Thank you for being a part of it!
~ 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 lettuce (red/green leaf, Romaine), kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), Swiss chard, bok choy, kohlrabi, beets, bunching onions, radishes, peas, cucumbers, yellow squash, garlic scapes, tomatoes, cauliflower, strawberries, green garlic and arugula.
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.
Humid weather has brought out the flea beetles, and they love to munch on thick, green leaves like kale and bok choy. We do as much as we can to control them within organic parameters, but you may notice some tiny pinholes in the leaves. While they don't look as pretty, these greens are still as delicious and nutritious as before. Just give them a good rinse and cook the way you normally would.
The humid weather has also moved along several of our crops. Look for squash, zucchini, cauliflower and beets coming soon.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who are interested in the farm tour – it is rescheduled to Tuesday, June 30.
Get to know your farmers! Join us on Tuesday, June 30 for our first farm tour of the season. We will gather at the farm of Andy and Laura Miller to tour the fields and greenhouses, sample some dishes using current items from the shares, and more. The visit will run from 6:30-8:30, but join us when you are able. Please remember to bring insect repellent and to wear shoes appropriate for walking through potentially muddy fields. The Miller Farm is located at 17201 Bundysburg Road in Middlefield.
We would love to have a sense of how many to expect. If you think you will be able to participate, please reserve spots in our farm store, here. There is no charge.
Hope to see you there!
Still accepting members
If you are worried you are too late to get in on a box of locally grown, certified-organic veggies for the summer because you forgot to sign up before the deadline, don't despair. We are trying something new this season.
You may sign up now through the fourth week of the season and participate in the program for as many as 17 weeks and as few as 15 weeks. Simply sign up on our website and you can still get a share of the crop!
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
Kohlrabi is an unusual looking, but versatile vegetable. Peel it, cube it, steam it and toss with some butter, salt and pepper for a simple side dish. Peel and slice it, and add to a raw vegetable plate. It has a little bit of spiciness when eaten raw. One of our favorite things to do with kohlrabi is to slice it in spears and make a batch of refrigerator dill pickles. They have wonderful crunch. The basic refrigerator pickle recipe below is a keeper - you can use it with a broad range of produce from your share, and it is incredibly simple.
Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing
Makes 4 cups, easily adapted for less
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon good mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste - go easy here
Fresh mint, chopped
1 pound fresh kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, grated or cut into batons with a Benriner
2 apples, peeled, grated or cut into batons (try to keep equivalent volumes of kohlrabi:apple)
Whisk cream into light pillows - this takes a minute or so, no need to get out a mixer. Stir in remaining dressing ingredients, the kohlrabi and apple. Serve immediately.
Recipe from Gourmet (From the blog A Veggie Venture - a great place to find new and inspiring ways to use vegetables.)
Green garlic is also known as spring garlic. It is milder than standard garlic. There is no need to peel the cloves, and the clove and stem can be sliced and added to soups, salads and more. Try it as a substitute in recipes that call for garlic, green onions or shallots. Store it in a plastic bag in the crisper.
Cream of Green Garlic and Potato Soup
4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into equal-sized chunks
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 cups chopped green garlic, white and light green parts only
1 quart chicken broth, or more as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces minced prosciutto
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Place potatoes in bowl of water. Set aside. Soak green garlic in a bowl of water to remove dirt or sand. Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir minced prosciutto until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add green garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Do not let the garlic brown. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; cook and stir for 1 to 2 more minutes. Mix chicken broth into green garlic mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove potatoes from the bowl of water and add them to the garlic and broth mixture. Cook until potatoes are tender and easily smashed against the side of the pot, about another 30 minutes. Add broth as needed. Transfer potato chunks and some green garlic chunks to a blender with about 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Puree until smooth, adding more cooking liquid as needed. Stir blended potato mixture back into the pot; stir in heavy cream. Cook over medium-high heat until cream is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped chives.
Recipes from AllRecipes.com
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
6 to 8 pounds pickling cucumbers
40 fresh dill sprigs
2 large onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 quart water
1 quart white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canning salt
Cut each cucumber lengthwise into four spears. In a large bowl,combine the cucumbers, dill, onions and garlic; set aside. In a Dutch oven, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir just until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture; cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Recipe from Taste of Home
Radish, Butter and Bread Recipe
Serves 8 - 10
1 bunch (about 2 dozen) small, firm, fresh radishes*
8 slices best-quality dark or white bread, cut into quarters**
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Fleur de sel, coarse salt, or sea salt
Wash (don't peel) and trim radishes; set a dozen or so tender, fresh leaves aside.
Place the washed whole radishes in a plastic container; fill container with enough water to cover the radishes, add 4 to 6 ice cubes, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, thinly slice radishes into rounds (sliced paper thin like translucent sheets of ice). Each radish round should be tipped with color. Chop or sliver radish leaves.
Spread one side of each piece of bread generously with butter. Top with some chopped radish leaves and then cover with the slices of radishes.
Serve, offering the salt at the last minute before eating (let each guest sprinkle their own salt on top of the radish slices).
NOTE: This is a great place to use your Fleur de sel.
* Vari-colored radishes may be used.
** Purchase whole loaves of bread that you will slice yourself.
Recipe from What's Cooking America
Eat the freaky looking vegetables!
By Laura J. Novak
Dreams are not accomplished in anyone's comfort zone.
The times in my life when I've been most proud of myself were not the times when I did what I had always done. It was the first time I ran 6 miles, the time downhill skiing when I conquered the same hill that had me in tears and paralyzed with fear only weeks before, when I earned my Master's degree in an accelerated 11 months, tearfully tired, ready to quit nearly every day (but I did not give up). Or the time three years ago, heart racing, when I volunteered to write about vegetables in a CSA newsletter and they actually took me up on it!
The yogic law of ahimsa, or "non-violence," means "do no harm" to yourself or to others. It means being gentle and treating yourself like a best friend instead of an enemy. Recently, I've been contemplating how ahimsa not only means not pushing yourself to pain, but it also means knowing how far you can push. You are truly hurting yourself if you're holding back from what you can become, from reaching your fullest potential.
So how can you prepare to live the life of your wildest dreams in practical, daily ways?
- Start small. Once a week, do something new that scares you, that makes your heart pump just a little more quickly. For me, this challenge meant eating a pickle (yes, I really thought I might die), going to a hot yoga class, running in the rain on purpose and going to the beach to watch a storm roll in. Believe it or not, I survived all of these things and felt much braver tackling unexpected events the next day. Perhaps for you it means speaking in front of a group, going out with new people, pulling those shorts out of the back of the closet and actually wearing them in public, eating the kohlrabi, those leafy greens, the beets, or the cauliflower.
- If there's something that your heart longs to do, like write, paint, tap dance, sing, garden, yodel- set aside some time each week to indulge yourself and gain the experience. A couple of hours a week may seem like nothing, but over time, you'd be amazed by the experience you can accumulate. "Little by little, one travels far." - J.R.R. Tolkien
- Start noticing the difference between ideas that scare you and situations that are unfamiliar. Yes, fear is a natural trait that protects our survival. But too often, it is easy to mistake fear for the first steps of something unknown, a healthy adrenaline.
I recently saw the movie Jurassic World and noticed how the lead character was actually prepared for one of the most terrifying situations a person could face: A ridiculously scary dinosaur on a killing spree with 22,000 people stuck on an island among other giant, toothy dinosaurs. So, this character had served in the military and also trained dinosaurs who pretty much wanted to eat him every day. He was always pushing limits of what is comfortable for most.
Yes, this is a fictional character in an action movie and hopefully we are not preparing ourselves for a dinosaur apocalypse. I know that putting these practices into action are much easier said than done. In fact, I'm writing this just as much to myself as I am to you. It's an ongoing practice. Sometimes I push myself out of my comfort zone, applaud my bravery, and then crawl back under my bed for a day, a month, a year. But those tears of pride and unexpected awesomeness do not happen under my bed. They happen WAY outside of the comfort zone.
An extraordinary life is waiting. Get yours - one new experience (or vegetable) at a time.
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.
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.)
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,
Grass-fed beef & poultry
Kathleen Webb, 216-408-7719,
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062