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Fall/Winter Week 7               Geauga County, Ohio
Dec. 14, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Simple joy
In this week's shares
Find unique, local gifts from GFF and our partners
Bulk produce available
Order pumpkin rolls for the holidays
Fill your freezer with certified-organic beef
Stock up on grass-fed beef
Stewing chickens available for winter comfort dishes
Give a piece of the park
Cooperative expects to harvest its first crops from urban greenhouse
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"Our holiday food splurge was a small crate of tangerines, which we found ridiculously thrilling after an eight-month abstinence from citrus... Lily hugged each one to her chest before undressing it as gently as a doll. Watching her do that as she sat cross-legged on the floor one morning in pink pajamas, with bliss lighting her cheeks, I thought: Lucky is the world, to receive this grateful child. Value is not made of money, but a tender balance of expectation and longing."

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle



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Simple joy

The fall/winter CSA season provides an opportunity for us to marvel at the ability to coax a range of vegetables to grow during less-than-hospitable growing conditions. The joy of harvesting beautiful greens, hoop-house tomatoes and robust heads of cabbage outside of the typical Ohio growing season is something we love to share. We hope you have been able to experience the simple joy of creating something delicious from these fresh fall and winter vegetables.


Just in case you still have a few enormous heads of cabbage sitting around, we thought we would share some recipes and ideas. Cabbage is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber, and serves as a staple in many cultures around the world. This is great because it gives us a wide variety of dishes to consider! From the simplest and most cost-effective dishes to complex layers of flavors, cabbage takes on an incredibly wide range in the kitchen. We're including recipes for stuffed cabbage soup, cabbage and noodles and Asian coleslaw. Do a search for cabbage recipes online, and the options are astounding. For an even simpler option, try adding some shredded cabbage to your next tossed salad. It adds a great texture and flavor.


Thanks for inviting us to your table!


Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, Laura Dobson and the Farmers of Geauga Family Farms

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In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as apples, Lacinato, Winter Bore or Red Russian kale, Red Leaf, Green Leaf or Green Romaine lettuce, acorn squash, broccoli, radishes, beets, storage onions and sweet potatoes. 


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. 


Unique, local gift ideas

The food and celebrations that are part of the holiday season make it a great time to share your passion for local foods with family and friends. We've compiled a list of delicious, fun and unusual gift ideas from Geauga Family Farms and our partners. There's something for everyone on your list!


Just in case you're still shopping, and we're sure at least some of you are, we are running our local gift idea list again, with a new idea added on this week. 


               LEAFYou really can't go wrong with a LEAF Cookbook. And GFF has a recipe in it! LEAF (Lakewood Earth & Food Community) has put together a collection of delicious recipes submitted by vendors, farmers like GFF, gardeners, market shoppers, community supported agriculture shareholders, chefs and friends of LEAF.


From Geauga Family Farms:

- Check out our extras section for a range of local foods that make great host/hostess gifts and stocking stuffers: jams, honey, Geauga maple syrup, Middlefield cheeses and baked goods from Countryside Bakery.

Simplify your holiday shopping and have it delivered along with your winter share! Please note that orders need to be placed by Tuesday for delivery on Thursday or Saturday. Find our extras section here.


A CSA share for the 2013 season makes a wonderful and thoughtful gift. Discounts are available until Dec. 31. Find our application here.


From our partners:

- Treat someone you love to an in-town getaway at Marigold Bed & Breakfast.

                 Marigold Bed & Breakfast - 12647 Caves Road, Chesterland


- Start a new fitness routine in the New Year. Martial arts classes, zumba and unique birthday parties are some of the great gift offerings at Hill's Family Karate.

                Hill's Family Karate - 8901 Mentor Avenue, Mentor 


- Find beautiful holiday decorations, plants and gifts at Lowe's Greenhouses, Florist & Gift Shop. 

                Lowe's Greenhouse, Florist & Gift Shop - 16540 Chillicothe Road, Bainbridge (this is not the big box hardware store!)


- Take a trip to Sage's Orchard in Chardon for local apples, cider and a range of unique local food items.

                Sage's Orchard - 11355 Chardon Road, Chardon


- Whole Foods and Mustard Seed Market carry a huge range of locally-produced items. Round out your holiday menus with items from these stores.

                Whole Foods - 27249 Chagrin Boulevard, Woodmere

                 Mustard Seed Market - 6025 Kruse Drive, Solon 


- Treat a downtown employee with a gift certificate for lunch at the Market Café.

                Market Café - 1801 East 9th Street #5, Cleveland


- Make a monetary or non-perishable food donation to the food pantries at St. Noel or St. Andrews churches.

                St. Noel Church - 35200 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills 

                St. Andrew Episcopal Church - 7989 Little Mountain Road, Mentor


Bulk produce available

We still have lots of bulk veggies for sale so get some while they last.  


Acorn Squash - $1 a pound


To order bulk produce, please leave a message at the warehouse at 440-693-4625, or call Rosanna at home - 440-548-2399. You will receive an invoice via e-mail, and will be able to pay by check or with a credit card using our PayPal site.


Order pumpkin rolls for the holidays

The farm families are again offering pumpkin rolls for sale just in time for your special holiday meals. Pumpkin rolls are sweet pumpkin cake with a cream cheese filling. They serve six to eight people, and cost $5.50 each. Please place your orders with Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris ( by Monday, Dec. 17. Let us know how many you would like, and where you would like to have them delivered. We will e-mail an invoice. Orders will be delivered to Winter CSA pickup locations on Thursday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 22.



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


Cabbage and Noodles

Serves 6


3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

4 cups thickly shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium-sized head)

8 ounces egg noodles or Polish-style kluski noodles, prepared according to package directions

1 clove of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat; saute onions and cabbage until very soft and light brown. Add remaining ingredients and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Asian Coleslaw

Serves 4


1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

6 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil

4 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar (if seasoned rice vinegar is not available, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to regular rice vinegar)

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (Napa, green, purple, or a combination)

1/2 cup grated carrots

1/4 cup toasted, salted, shelled, peeled peanuts



Chopped fresh cilantro

Thinly sliced green onions or chives


Prepare dressing. Place peanut butter in a medium bowl. Add the vegetable oil and the toasted sesame oil and whisk until nicely smooth. Whisk in the seasoned rice vinegar and do a taste test. Depending on how you like your dressing, how salty your peanut butter is, how seasoned your rice vinegar is, you may want to add a little more vinegar, a little more sugar, or a little salt. (Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing.) Toast the peanuts. Although the roasted peanuts from the store may already be cooked, you'll get even better flavor with just a little toasting. Heat a small skillet on medium high heat and add the nuts to the pan. Do not ignore or the nuts can easily burn. Stir a little with a wooden spoon until the peanuts begin to get browned in spots and you can smell the toasting aromas. Remove peanuts from pan to a dish. In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage, grated carrots, and peanuts together, and any other optional ingredients you care to add (like a little chopped cilantro or green onions). Right before serving, mix in the dressing.

Great with fish or burgers.

Recipe from Simply Recipes


Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Serves 6 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs 90% lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
28 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes
2 beef bouillon cubes
2/3 cup barley (using barley instead of rice helps cut down on carbs) or 2/3 cup rice, rinsed & uncooked
2 teaspoons sugar
2 -3 teaspoons sweet paprika
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 lbs cabbage, coarsely chopped (1 medium head)
3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth

In a pot, warm the oil over medium heat, and sauté beef and onions until onions are soft and beef is browned (8 minutes). Drain off the fat, and add the tomatoes, bouillon, barley, sugar, paprika, garlic, pepper, cinnamon and lemon juice; mix well. Put the cabbage in the crock pot, and top with meat mixture (Do NOT stir); top with beef broth. Cover and cook on LOW for nine hours. Stir soup well; continue to cook covered on LOW for another hour. 

Based on a recipe from


Fill your freezer with certified-organic beef 

If only certified-organic, grass-fed beef will do for you, we have that, too! Dominic Marchese of Manna Farms (a Geauga Family Farm located in Trumbull County) has organic beef available for purchase.

He raises Piedmontese cattle, a beautiful specialty breed from Italy. Piedmontese beef is known as the leanest, most tender and most heart-healthy beef, with less than half the cholesterol and fat of bison and chicken.

We are now taking orders of this beef by the full-cow (average 500 pounds), half-cow (average 250 pounds) or quarter-cow (average 125 pounds). The price for these options is $4.62 per pound, hanging weight. This cost covers processing costs and the provision of vacuum-sealed cuts to maintain the highest quality.

Call to place your order with Dominic or schedule a farm tour any time this fall through December. You can reach Dominic at 330-719-3492. Only a limited number of cows is available, due to the increasing popularity of Piedmontese beef with area chefs. This beef cannot be delivered - you must make arrangements with Dominic for pickup.

This is a great way to experience the finest in locally produced beef, and it is only available for a limited time each season through Geauga Family Farms. Don't delay, call today! For more information, visit


Stock up on grass-fed beef

Our beef team has grass-fed beef available for bulk purchase. We are taking orders for full-cow (around 500 pounds), half-cow (around 250 pounds) and quarter-cow (around 125 pounds) amounts at $3.60 per pound, hanging weight. This includes processing and packaging, and is a great way to stock your freezer with a range of steaks, roasts and ground beef at a very reasonable cost. These beef packages must be picked up at Geauga Country Meats.


Please contact Lester Miller at 440-281-2861 with questions or to place your order today.


Stewing chickens available for winter comfort dishes

The Fisher family currently has stewing chickens available for purchase. As their name implies, these free-range chickens are best used in soups, stews and slow braises. These are available for $5 per chicken, and must be picked up at the farm. Stock your freezer now for soups and stews all winter!


Call the Fishers at 440-693-4632 to reserve your chickens today. 


Another local gift idea

Give the Gift of CVNP ParkShares

Cuyahoga Valley National Park preserves 33,000 acres along 22 miles of the "crooked" river. Do you have a friend or family that loves our national park? 


If yes, give them the unique gift of a CVNP acre. Save some gas and a trip to the mall- simply click here to purchase a ParkShares acre for the park lover on your holiday list! 


Green City Growers to plant first winter crop

by Debbi Snook, Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter and GFF CSA member

Starting next month, you could have some Cleveland winter lettuce with that sandwich.


That's when Green City GrowersCooperative, a worker-owned business, expects to harvest its first crops from one of the largest urban greenhouses in the country, a 3 1/4-acre hydroponic operation off East 55th Street in the city's Central neighborhood.


Mary Donnell, chief executive officer of Green City, said she's had interest from potential customers, including Heinen's supermarkets and distributors who supply restaurants and food service operations in Northeast Ohio. Customers will be able to choose from green leaf, butterhead and red lettuces, and a variety of tender herbs.


"We'll be competitively priced," she said of goods normally shipped in from California and Arizona.


Terry Romp, produce buyer for Heinen's, said he's been advising the startup and is eager to see -- and taste -- the end product.


"We told them that if it's good, and it's competitively priced, we'll buy it," he said. "It makes sense to buy food closer to home. It costs us $7,000 just to run a truck one way from California."


The Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University have also expressed an interest in buying from the new company, said Steven Standley, chief administrative officer for UH and chairman of the board of Evergreen Cooperative Corporation.


The nonprofit group oversees the greenhouse, along with two other recently formed, for-profit companies, Evergreen Cooperative Laundry and Evergreen Energy Solutions.


Both of those businesses have met founding goals to employ a total of about 40 people who are given a living wage and health insurance, he said. Both are also showing growth, he added, and may still reach the other goal of profit-sharing with their workers.


Evergreen was inspired by cooperative companies established in Spain in the 1950s, during a time of political upheaval. Many of them still exist and are flourishing, Standley said.


Evergreen hired Donnell, who was instrumental in starting the hydroponic greenhouse program for the Ohio State University Extension service and who has a background in commercial fresh vegetable processing. She hired Graham Tucker as head grower. He worked at Green Circle Growers, a commercial flower greenhouse in Oberlin.

Donnell calls her company a $17 million economic-development project, using federal new markets tax credits, support from University Circle institutions, the Cleveland Foundation and $450,000 loan from the city to build the structure and hire many of its workers from the neighborhood.


Mack Squire, 53, will be part of the initial work force of 25 showing up Monday to plant the first crop.


Unemployed since July, Squire said his employer, an industrial stamping plant, lost a contract to a company in China.


While he hopes the company can be successful enough to share profits with workers, as designed, he said he is happy to have health coverage and a starting salary somewhere around $10 an hour.


"I live simply," he said.


Article from Morning Ag Clips, Buckeye Edition


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(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PLEASE!)

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