|Week 2 Geauga County, Ohio||June 12, 2012|
"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato."
~ Lewis Grizzard
Swinging into summer
It's nice to be back in the swing of a new CSA season. We hope you enjoyed the first week of fresh vegetables, and we look forward to bringing much, much more your way! Just a reminder that the shares will be a little lighter at the start of the season, but will fill out as more items become available. We'll always provide ideas and recipes for the items in your box, but if you have a favorite recipe that you are willing to share, please send it our way. We love to include items from our members in the newsletter.
Check out Lyn Trier's column today for what to do with greens. From cleaning and storage tips to recipe ideas, Lyn has some great information.
Thank you for your patience as we work out any beginning-of-the-year issues that might have come up. We'll do our best to address any challenges that arise. Along these lines, we have a few friendly reminders:
- Please make sure you are taking the correct share size when you pick up
- Don't forget your extras if you have ordered them for the season or the week
- Please be sure to arrive during the pickup times listed for your site
- Please unfold and stack your boxes after removing your items
And finally, please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any ideas for improving the CSA experience. We appreciate your input and would love to hear from you!
Thank you for your support of local farms.
Laura Dobson & Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
Marlin Barkman Jonas L. Byler Thomas C. Byler
Daniel Fisher Lester Hershberger Marvin Hershberger
Dominic Marchese Abner McDaniel Andy J. Miller
Noah Yutzy Jr.
In this week's share
In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as strawberries, peas, green or red leaf lettuce, Red Russian or Green Winter Bore kale, bunching onions, Rainbow Swiss chard, red or golden beets, Big Beef tomatoes, rhubarb, spinach, garlic scapes, bok choy, lemon basil, zucchini and/or yellow squash. Those who didn't receive strawberries last week should receive them this week. The strawberry crop is a little slim this year.
NOTE: You may or may not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Different size shares and shares received later in the week may include different items.
First field night of the season!
Have you always wanted to see how we put together everything to get it out to your pickup site? Now's your chance. We will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 at our newly renovated warehouse at 8122 Parkman-Mespo Road, Middlefield.
Everyone will have a chance to see the new space and learn about how weekly shares are organized and packed. At 7:15 p.m., we will head down the drive to scenic Red Sled Farm to tour Abner McDaniel's fields and greenhouses. Abner is growing a wide range of items this year, including tomatoes, broccoli, fennel and blackberries. We'll finish with light refreshments in one of the barns. It should be a fun evening!
New! Upgrade to Family Share from Single Share
Did you purchase the 20-week single share, and then decide that you'd like to get the larger, family sized share instead? We now offer this upgrade option that will kick in to increase your share size for 15 weeks starting the week of July 10. Visit our Web site to upgrade your share.
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
By Lyn Trier
Don't be afraid of the greens!
I love this time of year because the CSA summer season is finally here. But, I hated it four years ago when I was brand new to CSAs. I picked up our first few bags and spent hours online trying to figure out what everything was. The greens season is rough when you are new to this. Then, once we identified the items, we had to figure out how to store it and what to do with it. It was very stressful and not fun at all. Many things went to waste and I didn't know if CSAs would be for me.
Now, I love CSAs and can't imagine life without one.
So, I thought I'd share a couple of tips for the greens.
- Don't be afraid to try the greens. If one way of preparation doesn't work for you, try another one next time. There's a lot of trial and error to find go-to recipes for yourself and your family.
- I really like to use Google images to help identify items. At this point, I usually know what each item is, but if I need to double check, Google is a great tool. If you think you have Swiss chard, you can type that into Google and click on images and you'll have hundreds of photos appear. Almost always a few look like the item you have on your kitchen table.
- I write a post each week for my blog at http://lifelynstyle.com and I always include a picture and identification for each item that I received. I only get the single share and we don't always get all of the same things depending on the growing week. But, it's a quick go-to guide. I pick up on Tuesdays, so it's nice that it's early in the week.
- I always use the bulkiest and/or hardest item first. Usually, it's the Swiss chard, collards or bok choy that are just in the way when I open the fridge. These are the items that I prepare first.
- I generally put the greens in a loosely tied plastic bag and toss them in the fridge as soon as I get home. Lettuce is the exception; I try to clean it and spin it before storing in a produce saver container. It gets eaten so often, that it's best to have it all ready to go.
- Keep in mind that most of the tops are edible. Items like beet greens, turnip greens and even radish tops can be enjoyed.
- Generally speaking, most greens can be done by washing, taking out the stems, chopping and sautéing with some olive oil, garlic, onion and a splash of acid like lemon or vinegar. Sometimes, I like to boil or steam them first to make sure they are tender.
- Preparing them the traditional way gets boring. I like to chop them up and add them to casserole dishes. Greens find their way into taco meat, fajitas, pasta, eggs, soup, quiche, etc.
Don't be afraid to experiment and try to keep track of how your family enjoyed the greens so you can prepare them the same way in the future. I try to have a go-to recipe for each likely item and then I experiment with one or two new recipes a week. It takes time and if you don't get enough greens these first few weeks, they'll return as the weather cools in the later CSA weeks.
Other ways to ID veggies:
Visit our Facebook page.
Check Lyn's blog.
Check the Veggie ID Guide on our Web site.
Tell your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors
We have openings for membership in our 15-week CSA program that begins July 10. Due to the warm spring and a few openings left after the 20-week season enrollment, we have space for more members. Now your family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers have a chance to start receiving their own delicious, locally grown, organic produce. Feel free to forward this e-mail to everyone.
You may sign up online at www.geaugafamilyfarms.organd pay via PayPal or mail your application and check to: Geauga Family Farms, c/o Laura Dobson, 10401 Stuart Drive, Concord Township, OH 44077. Envelopes must be postmarked by June 24. No exceptions. Applications and checks received with a postmark after this date will not be accepted. Checks will not be returned. Download the application here.
Once you've signed up, we hope you'll "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We also suggest you read our newsletters as this is our only means of communicating important information to you.
Thank you for your interest in our program and in supporting the local food movement.
We will include recipes in the newsletter using the items in your weekly 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 LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org.
Garlic Scape/Kale Pesto
1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes) cut into ¼-inch slices
3-5 leaves kale, tough stems removed and then slice into sideways strips
1/3 cup walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts (toasting these adds a nice twist)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
Place scapes, kale, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind until well combined and somewhat smooth but not purely pureed. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated but there is still some chunkiness. Transfer mix to a mixing bowl. Add P
armesan, salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1-1/2 cups of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe from www.365daysofkale.com
This pesto is an especially tasty way to enjoy fresh kale. Garlicky and cheesy, this pesto recipe is every bit as tasty as traditional basil pesto, but the kale makes it healthier. Use this kale pesto in your favorite lasagna recipe or simply toss with penne to make pesto pasta.
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups firmly-packed
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup olive oil
Place pine nuts in a dry skillet, and toast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Place kale in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add pine nuts, garlic and salt. Pulse until kale is finely chopped. Add cheese, and pulse until cheese is incorporated. Do not puree or over-process. The pesto should still be chunky. Drizzle in olive oil, and continue to pulse until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
Recipe from kidscooking.about.com
4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each of the slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the
olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe from allrecipes.com
Kale and Mushrooms with Polenta
1 1/4 pounds kale, stemmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups whole milk
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups polenta
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon, coarsely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, and stemmed shiitake), sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain. Bring milk, water, polenta, salt, and pepper to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil to drippings in skillet. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale and pancetta. Add garlic and broth; simmer until broth is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme, lemon peel, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk butter and Parmesan into polenta and divide among plates. Top with kale mixture.
Recipe from www.pcfma.com
6 medium beets (about 3/4 lb)
1/4 c cornstarch
4 c safflower or vegetable oil for deep frying
Peel beets. Using a mandoline or other manual slicer, cut beets into paper-thin slices and transfer to a large bowl. Add cornstarch and toss well to coat.
In a 3-quart saucepan heat oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches of 8 to 10 slices, separating them from one another, fry beets, turning once or twice, until crisp and beginning to shrivel, 30 seconds to 1 minutes, making sure oil returns to 350 degrees F before adding the next batch. Transfer chips as fried with a large slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Beet chips may be made up to 12 hours ahead and kept, uncoverd, at room temperature.
Recipe from www.justvegetablerecipes.com
Simple tomato salad
Chop or slice tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It's an easy and delicious side dish that brings out wonderful flavor in the tomatoes. It's also great as a topping for grilled fish. Add some chopped lemon basil for a more complex flavor.
Recipe from Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
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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