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Winter Week 3                    Geauga County, Ohio
Nov. 17, 2011

The Fair Share

Subscribe to our newsletter, The Fair Share!
What's cropping up!
Farm news
In this week's shares
Egg shortage
Holiday gift packages available soon
Order your Thanksgiving turkey now
Local food the perfect gift
Sweet potato special
Talented farmers
Looking for new pickup sites
Recipes for what's in season
What is this weird veggie in my share?
Local Harvest Newsletter
Tips for a Slow Food Thanksgiving
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"The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest is all gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain.
So open wide the doorway-
Thanksgiving comes again!" 

-   Unknown


Buggy silhouette

News from the farms 

We're listening! We heard some comments last week regarding some of the ingredients (particularly the use of shortening) in our baked goods. We appreciate that feedback and wanted to let everyone know that we will be working on reformulating our recipes during the off-season to be more in line with our philosophies. We will also be working on gluten-free offerings. 


Wishing you a peaceful and bountiful holiday with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Geauga Family Farms.

Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Buggy silhouette  


In this week's shares 

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as potatoes (new, Yukon gold or sweet potatoes), pie pumpkin, lettuce (red and/or green leaf), bok choy, beets (red or golden), cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Daikon radish, (This is the crazy long, white vegetable; both the radish and the greens are edible.) parsley, spinach and pumpkin roll. NOTE: You may or may not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Shares received on different days may include different items.

Egg shortage

We apologize, but we are still having trouble getting enough eggs for the shares.


Just in time for the holidays 

The holidays are a great time to share the importance of supporting local farms with friends and family. We have many delicious and festive options for you! 


Holiday Gift Baskets

Share the bounty of Geauga Family Farms or treat yourself with our special holiday gift baskets. Our gift basket includes a freshly baked loaf of bread, two pounds of decorative holiday cookies, two jars of Miller's jams, one pint of 2011 maple syrup, ½ pound of Middlefield organic cheddar cheese, ½ pound of Middlefield organic garlic and onion cheese, a 4-ounce log of fresh, plain chevre from Mackenzie Creamery and a 4-ounce log of cranberry orange chevre from Mackenzie Creamery. All of this is packed in a festive, wrapped basket.*

*You will need to remove and refrigerate the cheeses until you are ready to give this gift.


Cost per basket:  $48

Order by:  Saturday, Dec. 3 - order through Paypal at


Delivery details: Boxes can be delivered to the Winter CSA pickup location of your choice. See our Web site for pickup locations and times. Delivery days will be Thursday, Dec. 15, for Lowe's Family Greenhouse, Congregation Kol Chadash and the Bandy-Zalatoris residence, and Saturday, Dec. 17 for St. Noel, Hill's Family Karate, Sage's Orchard and our warehouse.


Order your Thanksgiving turkey now     

There is still time to reserve a fresh, free-range Thanksgiving turkey from the Hershberger farm. Prices are $2.75 per pound, and turkeys range in size from 14-28 pounds. Turkeys must be picked up at the farm in Middlefield this Saturday, or next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. If you are interested in reserving a holiday bird, please call Marvin at 440-548-2399.


Give the gift of local, organic produce      

Early-bird discounts will be available to anyone who signs up for the 2012 summer season before the end of 2011. We'll have an application on the Web site in November. CSA memberships make great gifts! 


Sweet potato special 

If you can't get enough of our delicious, vitamin-packed, organic sweet potatoes, we've got a deal for you!


Bulk sweet potatoes are now available from D&S Farm and Garden (one of our CSA farms). They store well in a cool, dry place and can be used throughout the winter. This is a great time to stock up.


Place your sweet potato orders by calling Rosanna or Iva Mae Hershberger at 440-548-2399 for delivery to Winter CSA pickup sites. Orders will be labeled with your name and an invoice will be included. Please ask for Rosanna or Iva Mae to place your orders.


Sweet potatoes may be ordered in the following amounts:

5-pound bag - $4.50

10-pound bag - $9

50-pound bag - $45


Our farmers have many talents    

Before they got into farming full-time, most of our farmers did other types of work. Many have participated in the building trades. Some continue to do other work during the off-season to supplement their farm incomes and support their families. We'll bring you information from time to time about services that are available from our farmers. Feel free to pass this information on to others who might be interested.


D & A Hershberger Construction: 440-477-4438 (7 a.m. - 4 p.m. - leave a message if calling after hours)

Marvin Hershberger, one of our board members, is taking on some construction work this winter. His team is skilled in a range of interior and exterior construction projects, from detailed tilework and cabinetry to masonry and roofing. They have a significant amount of experience in drywall work, kitchen renovations, basement renovations and more. References are available. These craftsmen are available to work in locations within an hour's drive from Middlefield. Feel free to call Marvin to discuss your project needs.


Pickup sites needed for the 2012 season    

Do you have a pickup site or area that you would like us to consider for next season? Let us know now as we jump into our 2012 planning. Sites need a minimum of 40-50 members. We are happy to do a presentation about the program at your site to help drum up support.


Recipes for what's in season

Please share your favorite recipes with us. Send them to Laura Dobson at and we'll include them in an upcoming newsletter. 

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas  

2 7-inchflour tortillas

1 small (1/2 pound) sweet potato (If you are only making one quesadilla, you will have some extra. A 1/2 pound of sweet potatoes will yield about 3/4 cups of mashed, which is enough for three quesadillas.)

1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Salt, chili powder and cilantro to taste

Cooking spray

Peel sweet potato and chop into small pieces. Boil for about 10 minutes or until very soft. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Lay out one tortilla. Cover with 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup cheese, and salt, chili powder and cilantro to taste. Cover with second tortilla. Spray frying pan with cooking spray and fry your quesadilla a few minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and beans are heated through.

Recipe from

Sweet Potato Pie

1 (1 pound) sweet potato

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then will sink down as it cools.

Recipe from


Sautéed Daikon Radish on a Bed of Wilted Greens

Cooked radishes have a totally different flavor and consistency when they're cooked. Gone is the sharp, bitey flavor, which has been replaced by a surprisingly mellow one. The daikon radish in particular, tastes really wonderful when complimented by other greens and, believe it or not, milk-based products, because they provide the perfect gentle foundation and also tremendously enhance the dish's overall flavor.

Just like beet greens, daikon radish greens are edible. The greens have a peppery flavor similar to arugula, but after they've been cooked, they taste a lot like spinach. This works out quite well because, not only can you find creative uses for the greens, but it also means less kitchen waste.


1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. garlic, peeled & finely minced (about 3 large garlic cloves)

1 Tbsp. shallot, peeled & finely minced (about 1 large shallot)

1 c. daikon radish, peeled & sliced crosswise into paper-thin rounds (about 1 large radish)

2 c. daikon greens, finely chopped crosswise into narrow strips

1/4 c. fresh sorrel, finely minced

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped crosswise into narrow strips

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (about 10 sprigs)

1 c. water

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 Tbsp. butter

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. sour cream

Parmesan cheese, grated (for garnish)

Sauté garlic and shallot in olive oil on low heat, and cook until tender (about 30 seconds). Add all other ingredients, except the sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and cook until liquid has almost completely evaporated. Be sure to cook the ingredients on low heat, as you want to blanch the greens, so they retain their bright green color. Taste-test a radish; it should be pliable but still retain a bit of its crunch. When ready, remove from heat.

Allow to cool a bit, mix in sour cream, stir thoroughly, garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Chef's Notes: Use a vegetable peeler to slice the radishes paper thin; this is the best way to achieve this effect. It's important that the radishes are very thin because they need to cook at the same rate as the greens.

Recipe from


Savory Stuffed Pumpkin
1 pumpkin (about 3 lbs.) 
2 cups of cubed stale bread
1/2 cup of shredded gruyere cheese
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup of heavy cream or broth (or a combination) - more may be needed to make sure filling is nicely moistened.
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Wash and dry pumpkin, cut a 6" hole cut in the top and remove seeds and loose strings from cap and inside of pumpkin.
Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper.
Sautee garlic and shallots in olive oil until soft - a few minutes.
In a bowl, mix the bread cubes, cheese, garlic and shallots.  
Stuff the pumpkin with this filling and pour the cream or broth over top.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Cover with cap and place on the baking sheet and bake for 1-1/2 - 2 hours, until the pumpkin flesh is soft.
To serve: scoop out spoonfuls, making sure to include pumpkin and stuffing, or cut into wedges and place on a serving tray. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.
This makes a great vegetarian option for Thanksgiving dinner!
Life Lyn Style

GFF member Lyn Trier, who wrote the column "Getting the most out of your CSA share" for the Fair Share all summer, is taking the winter off. However, you can still find her fun, chatty and informational blog at where she writes about her CSA memberships, food, exercise and eating local, and posts a photo of each item in her shares. Wondering what that weird vegetable in your share is? A link to Lyn's photos of every veggie in each week's share also can be found on our Facebook page. Thanks Lyn!  

LocalHarvest Newsletter, Nov. 15, 2011

Last weekend my husband and I finished putting our garden to bed for the winter. There wasn't much left to do before the snow comes, but we raked leaves over the perennials and rolled up the chicken-wire fences to store in the garage until spring. By Saturday afternoon the last remaining task was to dig up the dahlia tubers. A hard frost last week had turned the dahlia foliage limp and black, quite unappealing.


As with many of our vegetables, this wasn't a good year for dahlias. I got only a handful of blooms off of a dozen beautiful looking plants. I assumed that if the plants could not flower, the tubers under the soil were likely in poor shape; digging them up for next year seemed not worth the trouble. But eventually I got over my ambivalence, cut back the dead foliage, and sunk my spade into the soil. I was surprised to find a huge clump of healthy tubers, twice as big as any from last year. I am no botanist, but all I can conclude is that somehow the conditions were not good for flowering, and that in that less than auspicious environment the plants decided to conserve their energy and store it up for next year.


Those dahlias got me thinking. For some people 2011 was an abundant year, but for many more it has been one marked by hardship and uncertainty. Every month we hear of farms closing because they can no longer afford to farm. Millions of people carry other burdens from the recession, and the collective stress is just plain painful. How easy it is to feel overwhelmed by all that we and our neighbors need, by all that did not flower this year. Yet here we are, approaching Thanksgiving, a time when many of us feel called to count our blessings and give thanks. What the dahlias made me consider is that when things are most difficult, when our best efforts have yielded little, it is possible that something good yet grows in silence, biding its time beneath the surface.


This is the essence of hope. It seems to me that in hard times a sense of hope is itself a blessing that deserves to be counted.


A few months ago someone sent me a quotation from a Native American prayer which says, "Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way." So may we express our gratitude around our Thanksgiving tables, for those blessings already manifest, and for the capacity to sustain the hope that what is needed is on its way.


With gratitude and hope,


Erin Barnett

Tips for a Slow Food Thanksgiving  

Want to have a Slow Food Thanksgiving? Slow Food's one-stop-shop Thanksgiving 2011 Guide is a good place to look. Make your holiday good, clean, fair and more delicious than ever! 

Visit Slow Food's Thanksgiving 2011 Guide here.

  • Try new recipes using local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. There's something for everyone - whether you're planning a traditional turkey dinner or looking for vegetarian alternatives.
  • Learn tips, tricks and Slow Food USA recommendations to make prepping less stressful and cooking more fun.
Top 5 tips to a Slow Food Thanksgiving: 
  1. Shop for fresh, seasonal and local foods at a farmers market.
  2. Take the time to learn about where your food comes from and how it was raised.
  3. Give thanks for the labor that brought your food to your table and the earth that grew it.
  4. Get all hands on deck in the kitchen. Teach others what you know and learn from them.
  5. Sit back and savor the meal with family and friends.

Contact Us:

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