FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
KEY THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT YOUR FARM SHARE
- Members are not sent notices or invoices. The completed contract serves as the indication of amounts due. Please make a copy for your records.
- Payments are not refundable. However, members may recruit new members to take over their share and arrange to receive payment from the people whom they recruit.
- Shares must be picked up during the time period listed for your pick-up site. They will not be held beyond that time. If you do not pick up your share it will be donated to a family in need or food shelter.
- Exact dates of harvest and content of shares will depend on weather and Mother Nature.
- Organic produce is not always perfect in appearance.
WHY IS EATING LOCAL FOODS SO IMPORTANT?
Delicious and nutritious, local foods are good for you, and good for farmers, too! Restaurants, institutions, health care providers, grocers and households are looking for local foods – for the sake of taste, nutrition and the environment. Eating locally also means more dollars for our local economy. Most fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, travel thousands of miles to reach our plates. Meanwhile, researchers tell us that the fruits and vegetables we eat today have a poorer nutritional value than in our parents’ and grandparents’ day.
Consumers spend nearly $8 million annually on food in Northeast Ohio. Since only a small fraction of that amount comes from Ohio farmers and food producers, some serious conversations about local food are exploring ways of capturing 10 percent or more of that figure, for starters. What changes would you need to make in your food shopping habits to begin spending 10 percent of your food budget on locally produced foods? Chances are you may not need to change where you shop – grocery stores, notably Heinen’s, Whole Foods and Reider’s in Concord Township, are committed to featuring foods produced locally. Cleveland Food Co-Op in University Circle and Nature’s Bin on the West Side are long-time supporters of wholesome and local foods. Even dining out in the Greater Cleveland area, consumers have many options for supporting locally grown foods by patronizing venues as diverse as Fire Food and Drink on Shaker Square, Greenhouse Tavern, Great Lakes Brewing Company and Crop Bistro in downtown Cleveland, Root Café in Lakewood or Tommy’s on Coventry. If your grocer or favorite restaurant doesn’t seem to have a local connection, speak up. Ask about their support of local products; maybe they just need a little nudge. Of course, buying direct from a farmer is the strongest support possible. Search out a seasonal farmer’s market in your vicinity, take a country drive and stop at farm stands, or join a CSA program such as the one Geauga Family Farms is offering.
According to the American Farmland Trust, in America we have been losing more than one acre of farmland per minute. The purchase of locally-grown foods and the support of local farmers help to preserve our farming heritage for generations to come.
WHAT DOES CERTIFIED-ORGANIC MEAN?
Organic farms rely on ecologically-based practices such as cultural and biological pest management and the exclusion of all synthetic chemicals, antibiotics and hormones in crop and livestock production. Certified-organic farms undergo a rigorous three-year review and testing process to ensure that National Organic Program standards of quality and purity are upheld.
WHAT IS HIGH BRIX AND WHY IS IT A FOCUS OF THE FARMS?
High brix means nutrient-dense. It is a measurement of carbohydrates or sugars. What is the gain? To get carbs into food, you have to build the soils with minerals, vitamins and amino acids. So when you have high brix – carbohydrates – you have sugars, minerals, vitamins and amino acids in your food, which equals nutrient-dense food. High brix fruits and vegetables also have more intense and satisfying flavor.
WHERE DOES GFF SELL ITS PRODUCTS?
GFF sells primarily local, meaning within 50 to 100 miles of Middlefield, mostly to the Cleveland suburbs.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE?
We have certified-organic and conventional vegetables, fruits, maple syrup, bread and other baked goods, free-range eggs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, lambs and grass-fed beef. Cheeses also are available from Middlefield Original Cheese Cooperative (all made from hormone-free milk from cows and goats raised on family farms and milked by hand).