|Week 15 Geauga County, Ohio||Sept. 12, 2012|
Thanks for coming!
Last Saturday ended up being an absolutely beautiful afternoon at the Miller farm. It is always such a fun experience when we get to meet more of our members in person. The kids loved the wagon rides pulled by two of the Miller family's draft horses, and playing with the new family puppy, Princess. The free-range turkeys were certainly curious about all of the new visitors!
A tour of the fields allowed the farmers to talk in detail about the challenges and successes of a wide range of crops. We would like to extend our thanks to those who stayed (and provided valuable insights!) for the canning demonstration. It was a lot of fun to spend that time together discussing new things to do with the fruits and veggies that arrive each week.
We would like to thank everyone who made it out for a visit on Saturday, as well as those who attended other farm events this summer. Our farm families put a lot of work into each of these visits with the hope of providing our members with a memorable and unique experience. Their hospitality is one of the things that make the Geauga Family Farms experience so meaningful. We have one more visit left for the season. Hope you can join us!
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, Laura Dobson 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.
We sent a note out to all those who receive beef each Tuesday, as well as to those of you who ordered beef as an extra. Due to area county fairs, the meat processors are backed up with orders and fair/4-H processing orders take precedence over everything else.
Most likely the beef deliveries will be back to normal on Thursday, but if it is still not available by then, this is the reason. Barring no further delays in processing, anyone who doesn't receive their usual order of beef this week will receive twice the amount next week; those who ordered extras will receive their beef orders next week as well.
In this week's shares
In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as apples, garlic, white, yellow or red storage onions, Big Beef tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, mixed or red cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Chiogga or red beets, green Provider beans, yellow wax Roctor beans, patty pan squash, fingerling potatoes, bell peppers (variety), Hungarian Wax banana peppers (hot), jalapeños (hot), sweet banana peppers, Red Carmen peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplants, fingerling potatoes, new red potatoes, rhubarb, bok choy, rainbow chard, parsley, green or red leaf lettuce, green romaine lettuce and yellow squash.
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 at different times of the week may include different items.
Bulk veggie bargains
We have a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers so get some now while they are on sale. The tomatoes are great for canned sauce, juice or whole tomatoes. The hot peppers are perfect for salsa to put on top of all your favorite Mexican dishes.
Green beans - $36/bushel, $18/half-bushel
Canning tomatoes - $12/20-pound box
#1 Roma tomatoes - $15/20-pound box
Mixed cherry tomatoes - $2/pint
Grape tomatoes - $2/pint
Basil - $3/pound
Red or Chiogga beets - $20/half-bushel (with or without tops)
Green bell peppers - $18/bushel, $9/half-bushel
Hot peppers - $12/half-bushel
Sweet banana peppers - $12/half-bushel
To order, call Rosanna at 440-693-4625 between 7 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your bulk produce will be delivered with your share in a box with your name on it. Please look for it when you pick up your share. Rosanna will invoice you for your items.
We love to hear from our members, and encourage you to contact us with question, comments, feedback, concerns, etc. Please feel free to call us anytime during normal business hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If you need to contact us outside of business hours, please e-mail us and expect us to return your e-mail within the next couple of business days. Thank you!
Reserve your Thanksgiving turkey now
Some of our farmers raise turkeys for the holiday season, and we are just starting to take reservations. Local, humanely-raised, GMO-free turkeys make a delicious feature for your special holiday meals. The turkeys are fed non-GMO feed and organic minerals. They are not considered fully organic. The price is $3 per pound.
Please contact farmers directly to reserve your bird. You can request a general size range (i.e. 15-20 pounds) and arrange a day to pick up the turkeys at the farm. Turkeys cannot be delivered to pickup sites, but this provides a wonderful opportunity for an autumn drive in the country. Reserve your turkey today!
Marvin Hershberger (ask to speak with Marvin, Rosanna or Iva Mae): 440-548-2399
We will provide contact information for additional farmers as they are ready to begin accepting turkey orders.
Farm tour information
Our farm tours are held on the second Saturday of the month from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Lester Hershberger farm
The last farm visit of the season is tentatively set for Saturday, Oct. 13. You won't want to miss it.
Here is what member Kim Roberts had to say about last week's visit:
"I wanted to say how much my girlfriend and I enjoyed the tour, hayride, snacks and the canning demo at the Miller's farm on Saturday. I love the farm visits as much as the wonderful veggies we get. I don't know if it could get any better. :D Thanks so much!"
Saturday, Oct. 13 - Fall tour and potluck get-together at the warehouse
An extra "gift"
One of our members, Karin McKenna, found a hitchhiker in her share when she picked up last week at Mustard Seed.
"Just had to show you guys the bonus gift we received with last night's share. You can see the large spider that was sitting on the green pepper in our bag. He now lives in the plants in front of Mustard Seed. :-)"
We appreciate Karin's sense of humor, and hope all our members understand that "extras" like these aren't uncommon, especially with our certified-organic veggies.
Similarly, some of you may have noticed green caterpillar-like worms, or powdery residue at the end of your corn. This is the result of wet, cool weather, and the fact that we are not spraying pesticides on the plants. Those little critters come out this time of year, and it is extremely hard to control them without chemicals. We try to pull out those ears during the packing process, but sometimes they get missed. The good news is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the rest of the ear. Just trim off the tips and cook as usual.
These are some of the challenges we face by not spraying pesticides on our vegetables. Thanks for your understanding.
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 LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org.
CSA Vegetable Soup
I made this fresh and hearty soup for dinner, pulling the majority of ingredients straight out of the CSA box. Feel free to adjust ingredients to suit your tastes.
3 T olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped
½ head of bok choy, dice stems and finely chop leaves
3 roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 32 oz. container of low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 T chopped fresh basil or 1 cube of frozen chopped basil
¾ cup whole wheat macaroni or small shells
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, as a garnish
In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, pepper, carrots, celery and zucchini over medium-high heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add bok choy and tomatoes and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes. Stir in broth and garbanzo beans, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add pasta and basil and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Cook's note: We had some small, frozen wedding soup-style meatballs that made a nice addition to the soup. Pieces of grilled chicken or Italian sausage would also be great.
A great side dish for fall dinners.
6-8 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 T 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.
Sautéed Bok Choy
We love having fresh bok choy around because it is perfect for a quick and tasty side dish.
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 large bunch of bok choy, cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces (use leaves and stems)
1 T soy sauce
¼ cup water
In a large frying pan with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Serve with brown rice or a fragrant jasmine rice.
1/2 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy
1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped bamboo shoots
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic chives
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package potsticker or gyoza wrappers
2 tablespoons oil for frying the dumplings
Drain the tofu, cut into cubes and mash. Wash and prepare the vegetables. Combine the tofu with the remainder of the ingredients and seasonings. Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier).
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet or wok. When oil is ready, carefully add the dumplings and cook on high heat until golden brown (about 1 minute). Without turning the dumplings over, add 1/2 cup of water and cover. Cook for about 1 minute to cook the raw filling and then uncover and continue cooking
until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve the potstickers with the burnt side on top, with potsticker dipping sauce or soy sauce mixed with minced ginger for dipping.
Local food events
FarmAFare - A Celebration of Local Foods
Join the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District Sept. 13 in celebrating local food at its annual meeting. This fine dining event will be held outside under a big tent at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. This locavore event to honor the individuals and groups who are working to conserve natural resources in Lake County will include a 10-course dinner featuring local farm products prepared by area chefs. Tickets are $50 each or $90 for a couple. For more information, visit www.lakecountyohio.gov/soil. To reserve your seats, call 440-350-2730 or e-mail soil@lakecounty ohio.gov.
Stone Soup Mystery Meal
Saturday, Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
4040 Riverview Road
Peninsula, OH 44246
Gather ingredients from the Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow, travel to Hale Farm & Village, prepare a delectable soup and salad around a campfire and reenact the traditional tale of Stone Soup. Then it's time to feast!
Families are invited to explore historic farm properties in the Cuyahoga Valley and learn about local foods, sustainable agriculture, and farming history. These programs are part of a collaborative effort between Hale Farm & Village, the Countryside Conservancy, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and National Park Service.
Fee: $17/adults, $15 for partner members. $7 for children ages 4 - 11. Price includes market tokens.
Program begins at Howe Meadow at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. Call 330-675-2796 ext. 100 or visit www.cvcountryside.org for more information.
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
By Lyn Trier
It's finally starting to feel like fall. After such a hot summer, the past few days of coolness have been refreshing. One of my favorite crops this time of the year is winter squash. I'm not sure where the name comes from, but I think all of them are delicious. We'll start to see squash like acorn, butternut, spaghetti and more.
The first time I tried to cut open a winter squash, I broke my knife. Really, I literally snapped the tip off trying to cut into the very hard squash. Since that experience, I've learned quite a few things about squash.
The lazy way to cook squash is to wash it whole, rub a bit of olive oil on it and bake it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees until it's tender to the touch. The timing depends on the type and size of squash, but 45 minutes to an hour is typical. Once the squash is done and cools for a few minutes, it's easy to cut in half with a standard table knife. The next step is to scrape out the seeds and such from the center. Some people save the seeds for roasting. The part that's left is the flesh and the part that's generally eaten. Some people also eat the skin, but I'm not in that group.
Once you have the flesh, it can be eaten several ways. I like to mix it with cooked rice, cooked sausage crumbles, cinnamon, pepper and sage and then top it with a bit of parmesan. It's one of my go-to fall recipes. When I am in a fancy mood, I save the skin shell and re-stuff it with the filling and bake it a bit until it's hot and the cheese melts.
Butternut squash can be peeled when raw like a potato with a peeler. It's generally the squash to use if you want to use cubes in a dish rather than the puree. You can peel it, cut it in half, take out the seeds, and cut into cubes for casseroles and other recipes.
If you have a need to cut a raw squash like an acorn while it's raw, try using a wallboard saw. I saw this on TV several years ago and it works great to saw the squash. Besides, it's much cheaper than ruining a good knife.
Squash can be cooked in the microwave too. You can use your saw and cut the squash in half, scoop out the insides and put it cut-side down in a half-inch of water in a casserole pan and cook it for about 12 minutes. It's quicker than the oven, especially if you have a saw.
I think many people are afraid of squash. They are delicious and worth the time to cook them and enjoy. Next week, I'll share a couple more of my favorite uses for squash.
Corporate sites for 2013 season
Do you work in a large company that might be interested in hosting a CSA pickup for employees next season? Would a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday delivery work? Are there about 40 people at your location who would be interested in participating? If your answer is yes, please contact Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris at MichelleBZ@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org.
Winter share application coming soon!
We are happy to announce that we will be running a Late Fall/Early Winter CSA season again this year. We'll have about 300 shares available and our season will run for eight weeks (in previous years our season has run for six weeks). We are working out the remaining details and will release applications as soon as possible. This has been a very popular program. To be sure you get your share, we advise signing up as soon as the application is available. Shares will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Want to add someone to the newsletter mailing list? Anyone can sign up for our newsletter on our Web site. All they have to do is visit our Web site here, enter their information and they will receive the very next newsletter.
(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 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