|Fall Week 4 Geauga County, Ohio||Nov. 12, 2015|
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"The thankful receiver
bears a plentiful harvest."
~ William Blake
Greetings from Geauga Family Farms.
As you may have noticed, we are trying some new delivery and distribution approaches for our fall program, and we are curious to know what you think. The smaller size and shorter duration of this season enables us to test new ideas for improving our program on a smaller scale, to identify any potential adjustments that may be needed.
Our goal is to constantly improve our program so our members experience high-quality local food paired with great service. We strive to create a CSA program that is consistent, memorable and valuable to you. We may not always hit the mark exactly as we would like, but we want our members to know that we regularly evaluate all aspects of our program to search for opportunities to improve.
An important part of planning improvements to our program is knowing how our members feel about these changes. We realize that some things take a little while to get used to, but we would love to know how you feel about the following details this fall:
Pick-ups straight from our trucks (a change for most of our sites)
- Some of our locations have struggled to find volunteers to pass out shares, as well as space to store boxes from week to week. This approach eliminates those obstacles and makes the potential addition of new sites easier - all we need is a parking lot. This also allows us to offer a full range of extras anywhere our truck is parked, expanding our offerings for our members. Some of our sites have had restrictions on what items can be brought into their building for a variety of reasons.
Have you experienced any problems or drawbacks with this approach?
Is this more or less convenient for you?
Your share moves with the truck
- Not all of our sites are able to offer long pick-up periods, and several expressed a burden associated with members not picking up their shares within the posted timeframe, while expecting their shares to still be available whenever they arrived. This approach allows a member to get their share from a later (or earlier) pick-up spot if they are unable to make it to their main location during the pick-up period.
Is this flexibility helpful to you?
Our website and online farm store
- We are considering some changes to our CSA software and online farm store over the winter break.
Do you find the current program to be user-friendly?
Are there any additional capabilities you wish we could provide through this system?
Our farm store offerings
- We have been adding locally produced items to our farm store each season, including more produce, grass-fed filets and granola.
Are there any other items you would like to see offered through our farm store?
We would love to hear from you regarding any or all of these ideas. If you have a few minutes, please drop us an e-mail with "Suggestions" in the subject line. We appreciate your constructive feedback, and hope to use it to develop our best CSA program ever. Thank you for your support - we couldn't do it without you!
~ with Laura Dobson and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as kale (Winterbore, Red Russian, Lacinato), lettuce (Romaine, green leaf), Napa (Chinese) cabbage, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, turnips, spinach, bunching onions, storage onions, garlic, shallots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, Yummy Orange peppers, parsley, pumpkins, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, jalapeño peppers and apples (Gala, Mutzu, Yellow Delicious, Melrose).
Our farms grow a range of mild and hot peppers. Hot peppers will be labeled with a HOT sticker on the package. Peppers without a sticker should be mild, but it is always good to be cautious.
NOTE: You will not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Shares received at different times of the week may include different items.
As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to offer some special sales on some of our extras. These can make great hostess gifts or additions to a holiday brunch.
Taste Granola - Original flavor - sale price - $7/bag
Taste Granola - Toasted Almond Cherry flavor - sale price - $7/bag
Taste Granola bars* - Toasted Almond Cherry - sale price - $6.50/bag of 5
Taste Granola bars* - Peanut Butter - sale price - $6.50/bag of 5
Half-pint jars of the following flavors of Miller's Jam - sale price - $3.25/pint
Seedless red raspberry, triple berry, black raspberry, elderberry
Pint jars of the following flavors of Miller's Jam - sale price - $4.25/pint
Seedless black raspberry, elderberry, red raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, seedless red raspberry, seedless blackberry
*Please note the granola bars have a sell -by date of Nov. 30. Their quality is still excellent.
Quantities are limited for these specially-priced items, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Find a link to our farm store, here, and please remember to order by midnight on Sunday for deliveries on Nov. 19 and 21.
Reminder - no deliveries Thanksgiving week
Please remember that we will not be delivering shares on Thursday, Nov. 26 or Saturday, Nov. 28. If you wish to order any extras to use with your holiday meals, please remember to place your order by Sunday, Nov. 15 at midnight.
New in the farm store
We have some additional produce available in the farm store this week:
Napa cabbage - $3.00/head
Kale (Red Russian and Winterbore) - $2.50/bunch
Shallots - $2.50/half pound bag
Spinach - $2.50/bag
Cabbage - $3/3-5 pound head
Radishes - $2/bunch
Turnips - $1.50/bunch
Bunching onions - $1.50/bunch
Storage onions - $20/half bushel
Broccoli - $2.75/head
Find a link to our farm store, here.
We include recipes each week using the items in your box. We'd love for you to share your recipes with us and we will include them in the newsletter. Please e-mail them to
Sweet Potato Pie
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well. Add milk, sweet potatoes, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°; bake 35-40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 6-8 servings.Recipe from Taste of Home
6-8 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth or gluten-free stock for dietary restrictions)
5 Tbsps. unsalted butter, divided into 4 Tbsps. and 1 Tbsp.
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and finely diced
2 cups arborio rice
(can substitute medium grained white rice, but arborio is preferred)
1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsps. chopped chives or garlic chives
Heat broth in medium sized saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Melt 4 Tbsp of butter in a large saucepan; add onion and butternut squash. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add rice to onion and squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly until wine has been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. Add a few ladles of broth, just enough to barely cover rice. Cook over medium heat until broth has been absorbed. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.
During the last minutes of cooking, add remaining tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and chives. At this point the rice should have a creamy consistency. Add salt to taste. Serve with remaining grated Parmesan.Recipe from Simply Recipes
2 large bunches of spinach, about 1 pound
Olive oil, extra virgin
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt to taste
Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining. Put the spinach in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute.
After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat.
Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.Recipe from Simply Recipes
Sweet and Sour Chinese Cabbage Rolls
This recipe was sent in by member Mary Mason who says these were a huge hit with her family when she used the "beautiful large head of Napa cabbage" from last week's share to make these.
For the rolls:
1 head Napa cabbage, large leaves only
2 cups brown Minute Rice *
6 scallions (about 1 cup, chopped)
1.5 pound ground pork
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1.5 inches ginger root
5 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
4 Tbsps. brown sugar
1/2 cup light soya sauce
2/3 cup rice vinegar
2/3 cup mirin **
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
3.5 Tbsps. chili sauce ***
2 Tbsps. cornstarch
1.5 cups beef broth
* You can use 3 cups of precooked brown rice if you prefer.
** Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine. If you don't have mirin, you could substitute 2/3 cup dry sherry with 2 tbsp of dissolved granulated sugar.
*** Your favorite spicy Asian chili sauce is just fine. I have a particular penchant for Sambal Oelek, however Sriracha or even a Cantonese garlic-chili sauce will do the trick nicely.
Preheat your oven to 350º. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
Carefully pull about 14-16 of the large outer leaves off of the cabbage head, being careful not to split or break them. When the water has come to a rolling boil, immerse the leaves a few at a time and let them blanch for no more than 2 minutes, or just until they're tender. It doesn't hurt to cook a few extra cabbage leaves, just incase you were stingy with the stuffing and need to make extra wraps, or some of the leaves tear as you're rolling them. Both are possible. I'm just saying.....
Remove the blanched cabbage and lay the leaves flat on a large board to dry.
If you're using brown Minute Rice, pour 1 and 3/4 cups of water into a smallish pot and set it over high heat until it comes to a boil. Pour in the 2 cups of Minute Rice, cover the rice and immediately turn the heat down to minimum. Let the rice cook for 5 minutes and then take it off the heat. Let the rice stand, covered, for another 5 minutes before uncovering it and fluffing it up with a fork. Let the rice sit uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until is has cooled close to room temperature. Or, if you're using regular precooked brown rice, just scoop 3 cups of it into a large mixing bowl.
In the mean time, put all of the sauce ingredients except for the corn starch and beef broth into a medium sized pot. Put the pot on to medium high heat and let it come to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is fully melted and the mixture is well combined.
Dissolve the cornstarch into the beef broth, stirring well to make sure there are no starchy chunks. When the sauce mixture is at a simmer, slowly pour the starchy broth in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly as you do so. Continue whisking for about another 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up considerably but is still pourable. Take the sauce off the heat.
Add the pork in with your cooled rice. Finely slice the white and green parts of the scallions and throw them on top. Mince the ginger and garlic as finely as you can, or use a rasp to make short work of both and add them to the mixture along with the sesame oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and black pepper.
Gently work the mixture with your hands, being sure not to crush or mush the rice too much, until it is well mixed so the onions, garlic and ginger are evenly dispersed.
Put a cabbage leaf down flat in front of you and fan it out as widely as it will go. Dollop a fair amount of the stuffing mixture (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup will do the trick) and fold the flat end up around it. Tuck the sides of the cabbage leaf in so that the filling is snug as a bug and fully enclosed, and roll the whole thing upwards until you have a fairly tightly sealed wrap.
Lay the wraps seam side down in a 9×13 baking pan or casserole tray, making two rolls. The full rolls will just fit in there, so if you made them a bit small (meaning there are more of them with a lower filling to leaf ratio) you'll need to squeeze them up all cozy like. That's fine though, because they'll still cook evenly and be absolutely delicious even if they are a bit elongated. No need to be alarmed! And hey, isn't it good to be conservative these days? All that to say that I used up all my stuffing and still had 2 pieces of cabbage left, but I understand how that won't be the case for everyone - particularly people who aren't as greedy and rash as I am.
When all of the filling is used and the cabbage rolls are rolled, pour the sauce overtop.The rolls should be mostly swimming in their saucy little bath of sweet vinegary Asian goodness. Cover the pan with tinfoil and tuck it into the center of your oven for 15 minutes.
Uncover the pan and spoon the sauce overtop of your cabbage rolls again to give them a lovely glaze. Tuck the pan back into your oven, uncovered, and cook the rolls for another 30- 40 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat and the rolls look glazed.
Spoon 2-4 rolls into a bowl with a little bit of reserved sauce, and say hello to dinner.
The sharp tang of salt and vinegar meets some syrupy sweetness in the sauce and shakes it's hand with a howdy-do. The rolls, meanwhile, are thickly tumescent with dense ground pork, brown rice, and the savory bite of scallions and sesame. These are not your grandmother's cabbage rolls, to say the least. However, they are depression-era poverty food with an Asian twist, and they pack up remarkably well for lunch the next day, so I think ol' Grams would have liked them anyway when all was said and done.
So I guess that Nice Marketing Lady was right - there IS nothing wrong with a bit of convenience, as long as it's only once in a while and it doesn't market itself as 'substitute', 'flavored', or 'meal solution'. Compromise - that's me, all about the compromise. (and free stuff)
PS - Mike ate these rolls for dinner, then for lunch the next day. I still had *my* leftovers in the fridge due to a lunch meeting that day, and he eyed them plaintively before saying, "More? For me?" If nothing else, they have the Fussy Mike seal of approval in the palm of their poignantly saucy hands.
Recipe from the Choosy Beggars blog. For photos and step-by-step instructions, click here.
Resist the Butterball Conspiracy
Regardless of your take on the American holiday of Thanksgiving, you have to admit: It's the one day of the year families and friends of all walks of life gather to cook and eat together. And yet, too often we all too easily buckle beneath the weight of the Butterball Conspiracy.
Please, please do not let your meal become a caricature of the homogenizing supermarket, television commercial Thanksgiving meal.
Here are some ways to do so:
- Cook heritage turkeys or no turkeys at all.
- Learn about the history behind the holiday; and discover recipes from your region.
- Be convivial with loved ones.
- And, let Friday's leftovers inspire your personal food waste regimen - far better than answering the call of the mall.
And if nothing else, slow down.
Excerpted from the Slow Food USA newsletter
Salmon available throughout fall season
Joe Ruvolo from Wild One Seafoods will be at St. Noel and Family Karate again this week with wild-caught Alaskan salmon directly from a fisherman co-op in Sitka, Alaska.
Wild One has frozen Coho fillets at $9.50/pound and King salmon fillets at $15/pound. The Coho fillets are between 1 and 2 pounds each and the King fillets are between 2 and 4 pounds each. Due to the size of these fillets, you may not want to consume the entire piece of fish at once. You may partially thaw the fillet, cut the size piece(s) you would like, and refreeze the remainder.
You can find Joe in the parking lot near the pick-up area at the following pick-up sites:
Saturday, Nov. 14
St. Noel - 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Hill's Family Karate 10 - 11 a.m.
If these pick-up sites are not convenient for you, you may place an order by calling Joe Ruvolo at Wild One Seafoods at 440-391-3569. Wild One Seafoods offers free delivery to your home or business for orders over 10 pounds. Wild One accepts cash and personal checks.
One additional note: There will likely be pin bones in these fillets. Once a fish is caught it is cleaned and flash-frozen immediately on the boat. In order to allow for fresher fish, instead removing these bones at the processing facility, which would require thawing and refreezing the fish before vacuum-sealing and shipping, the salmon remains frozen. Thus, small bones may be found in the fillets.
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!)
Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849,
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109,
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062