Week 15 Geauga County, Ohio Sept. 13, 2016
"Farming looks mighty easy
when your plow is a pencil,
and you're a thousand miles
from the corn field."
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
Welcome to Week 15 of the Geauga Family Farms 2016 summer season. The cooler weather this week is our signal that fall is on its way. The light is more golden, the morning air in the fields is crisp and the first hints of rich fall colors are starting to emerge. The drop in temperatures means we are much more excited about jumping into the kitchen to cook seasonal items from the current harvests. We are making our favorite fall comfort foods that include spicy vegetable chilies, savory stews and roasted root vegetables. We also have a renewed energy toward making sure we savor the remaining weeks of the season by canning and freezing the produce we will pull out for comforting meals in the depths of winter.
There is a celebratory nature surrounding fall as well. We are so grateful to have made it through the heat of the summer season, with bountiful fields and great harvests, and we are hoping to celebrate with you on Saturday, Oct. 1 at our last farm event of the season. We will gather at the home of Lester and Martha Hershberger to celebrate the harvest with games, great food and fall activities. We will have a pumpkin patch for your fall decorating needs, and Geauga Family Farms pastured pork available for purchase. We are planning some special surprises for the event as a thank you for joining us this year, and we hope to see you there.
Look for our fall shares to be available on our website at the end of this week. We are finalizing details, pick-up locations and timing, with the season to start Thursday, Oct. 27. As in years past, deliveries will occur on Thursdays and Saturdays for the six-week season. A limited number of shares will be available, and it is the perfect opportunity to continue to enjoy farm-fresh produce beyond the summer season.
~ with Laura Dobson, Rachel Machesky and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
Look for some of these items in your share this week.
Gala apples, tomatoes (regular, heirloom, yellow, Roma, cherry), cucumbers, zucchini, parsley, bell peppers (green, colored), banana peppers (sweet, hot), snack peppers (orange, red, yellow, mixed), Carmen Red peppers, jalapeños, green beans, eggplant, garlic, shallots, onions (storage, sweet), turnips, beets, potatoes (red, Yukon Gold), yellow squash, kale (Lacinato, Winterbore, Red Russian), sweet corn and winter squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti).
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.
*It's pepper season! Hot peppers will be marked with a HOT sticker, but please exercise caution when tasting any peppers. Wash hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers and do not touch your eyes.
Non-organic apples in shares this week
It is apple season. This means our members who signed up for organic-only shares will have different boxes than those with locally grown but non-organic apples. If you have signed up for an organic-only share (it will say "standard" by your share type on the sign-in sheet) and you do not pick your share up directly from our truck, please look for our specially labeled boxes.
Calling all carnivores - the meat share is finally here!
We are doing a special trial run of our meat share program, and we hope you will give it a try. It will work like this:
- Sign up for a meat share (if your location allows meat delivery) for a month at a time. The cost is $80.
- Each week you will receive two to three items, with the following schedule for this first share:
Week 1 - 1 lb. of grass-fed ground beef, 1 package of chicken breasts (2)
Week 2 - 1 lb. of bacon, 1 lb. of stew beef, 1 lb. of mild Italian sausage links
Week 3 - 1 lb. breakfast sausage links, 1 package of skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4)
Week 4 - 1 lb. of grass-fed ground beef, 1 lb. of bacon, 1 package of pork chops
Grass-fed beef is from Geauga Family Farms, and it is non-GMO, antibiotic-free and hormone-free.
Pastured chicken is from Premium Pastured Meats, and it is non-GMO, antibiotic-free and hormone-free.
Pastured pork is from Geauga Family Farms, and it is non-GMO, antibiotic-free and hormone-free.
This is a very special offer, with sign-ups for the initial share this week only. Deliveries for the first four-week program will begin next week. If all goes well, we will run another meat share program during our fall season.
Sign up for your meat share here.
In our farm store
Red & yellow storage onions - $2/pound, $21/half-bushel
Sweet onions - $2.25
Shallots - $3/half-pound
Canning tomatoes - $13/half bushel
Cherry tomatoes - $3.50/pint
Heirloom tomatoes - $5/quart
Roma tomatoes - $3.50/quart, $15/half bushel
Slicing tomatoes - $4.50/quart, $24/10-pound box
Green peppers - $1.50 each, $9/peck
Colored bell peppers - $1.75 each
Carmen Red peppers - $2.50/bag of 3
Hot banana peppers - $2/bag of 4-6, $14/half-bushel
Sweet banana peppers - $2/bag of 3-4
Jalapeños - $2/pint
Yummy Orange peppers - $2.50/pint
Acorn squash - $2/small, $3.50/large
Spaghetti squash - $3
Turnips - $2/bunch of 2-3
Beets - $3/bunch of 2-3
Parsley - $3/bunch
Oct. 1 farm event details
We hope you can join us for our harvest celebration Saturday, Oct. 1 at the farm of Lester and Martha Hershberger! Here are the details:
Date: Saturday, Oct. 1
Time: 2 - 5 p.m.
Location: The Hershberger Farm, 17570 Tavern Road, Middlefield.
Activities: Farm tours, games, fall treats and more
Bring comfortable shoes, mosquito repellant and cash for any food or pumpkins. This event is free, but we would like to know how many to expect. Please reserve your free tickets in our farm store
If you have placed your share on vacation old this season and have not yet scheduled a make-up delivery, please let us know your preferred date to receive a make-up share by Sept. 27.
We include recipes each week using the items in your share. While our in-house chefs Rachel and Michelle always have great recipes to share, we'd love for you to send us your favorite recipes as well. We will include them in the next newsletter. Please e-mail them to
This is a favorite recipe in our home. We often throw this in the Crockpot with stew beef for a heartier main dish, but it is just as good on its own. Serve with rice, pitas and a fresh salad. ~ Michelle
2 Tbsps. olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 pound fresh green beans, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsps. of chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 Tbsps. of minced parsley
A pinch of cinnamon
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat and crush while cooking. Add beans to pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes, lemon juice and seasonings and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Recipe by Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
A great side dish for fall dinners.
6-8 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 Tbsps. ground cinnamon
1/2 -3/4 cup of water (or apple cider)
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cover with lid and cook for about 20 minutes until apples are soft, stirring mixture every few minutes to prevent sticking. Mash apples with a spoon for a chunkier consistency, or use an immersion blender for a smoother consistency. Delicious warm or cold.
Serves 6 as a side dish.
Recipe by Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
Sausage and Kale Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes
5 waxy potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 bunch kale (12 ounces), stemmed and shredded
12 ounces smoked sausage (or vegetarian sausage), cut into 1/4-inch half moons
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
In a large pot (6 to 8 quarts), heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add potatoes, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have blended, 15 to 20 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup so it's still a little chunky. This can also be done by placing half the soup in a regular blender and pureeing until smooth. Return to pot. Add kale and sausage. Simmer until kale is wilted, 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
FARMAFARE: a celebration of local foods
Sept. 15, 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 local chefs with locally produced beverages. All proceeds support the Lake SWCD. To order tickets or for more information, visit the FARMAFARE listing on Eventbrite, call 440-350-2730, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!)
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109,
Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849,
Rachel Machesky, 216-246-8254,
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062