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Fall/Winter Week 4               Geauga County, Ohio
Nov. 16, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Happy Thanksgiving from GFF
In this week's shares
It's Thanksgiving turkey pickup time
Thanksgiving turkey tips
Bulk produce available
Certified-organic Beef for sale
Organic Consumers Assoc. calls for boycott on name brands that helped defeated Prop 37
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"Clearly there is growing sentiment in favor of reforming American agriculture and interest in questions about where our food comes from 

and how it was produced."

~ Michael Pollan, in his NY Times article, Why Prop 37 should matter to anyone who cares about food.





Buggy silhouette




Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Week to all!

We hope your preparations for the upcoming feast are going smoothly, and we are so happy to be able to have a role in bringing fresh, local food to your holiday table.


This is the time of year when we look back in thanks for the bounty the seasons have provided. We are especially thankful that we were able to weather this year's drought without experiencing too many hardships on our particular farms. Most importantly, we are thankful for you. Your continued support for local farms through participation in community supported agriculture programs and farm markets, gives us the hope that our families can have a future in farming. Thank you.


We have just a few important reminders before you jump back into holiday prep mode. There will be no CSA pickup NEXT week. Our farm families and volunteers will be taking a break. Pickups will resume the following week. Also, if you have ordered a turkey from one of the farms, we are including some pick-up information and cooking information below. Fresh turkeys need a slightly different approach than your common, supermarket varieties, but it will be so worth it!


The families of Geauga Family Farms wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and relaxing week.



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

Buggy silhouette


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as pie pumpkins, garlic, rainbow chard, Lacinato or Red Russian kale, green or red leaf lettuce, broccoli, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, hoop-house tomatoes, mustard greens, parsley, spinach, fennel, cabbage, Yummy Orange peppers and kohlrabi. 


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. 


Gobble, gobble! Time to pick up your Thanksgiving turkey

If you have ordered a turkey from the Hershberger Farm or D&S Farm, please call to schedule your pickup day and time (if you have not already done so). Bring a large cooler for transporting the turkey and cash or check for payment.


Here are the numbers:

Hershberger Farm - ask for Rosanna, Iva Mae or Marvin - 440-548-2399

D&S Farm - ask for Daniel or Susan - 440-693-4632


The farms do not take credit cards. You may also want to order some pies to pick up from Countryside Bakery while you are in the area. You'll want to order ahead to make sure your favorite kinds are available. Their number is 440-834-0776.


Thanksgiving turkey tips

Here are some tips for storing and cooking fresh turkeys, courtesy of The Turkey Farm in Maine:


Storing your turkey:

The best temperature for your turkey is between 28 and 34 degrees F.
Properly stored, farm-fresh turkeys keep well for 10 days or more. To store your turkey, first remove the giblets from the front cavity and the neck from the large cavity. Wrap giblet and neck in foil or plastic and put them into the refrigerator in a bowl.
Turn the fridge to its coldest setting and put the turkey into the coldest part of the fridge. Leave the turkey in its plastic bag or transfer it to another bag. 
An alternative to the fridge is a large (40-quart or so) picnic cooler. Put the turkey, with neck and giblets removed, into the cooler and pack ice around it. You can also use chemical gel-ice packs. Close the cooler tightly. Check it daily and re-ice if necessary.


Roasting your turkey:

The end you want to keep in view is a thoroughly cooked, yet moist and tender turkey.  A farm-fresh turkey properly handled is the best way to achieve that end.
Farm-fresh native turkeys roast faster than agribusiness turkeys, so follow these guidelines.
Before roasting, rinse the turkey and the giblets under cold running water.
Preheat the oven to between 300 or 325 degrees.  A hotter oven will dry out your turkey. An oven below 300 risks extending the time that the bird will be between 45 and 140 degrees, the temperature range in which bacteria multiply fastest.
If you stuff the turkey, put the stuffing into the bird immediately before putting the turkey into the oven.
For turkeys up to 20 pounds, roast for 15 minutes a pound. Thus, a 16-pound bird should roast for about four hours. Roast larger birds for 12 minutes a pound. If you stuff the turkey, add 30 minutes to the total roasting time. 
Some customers report that their farm-fresh turkeys have roasted even faster than times given here.  So, begin checking for doneness at least an hour before the turkey is expected to be done. 
It is usually not necessary to baste a farm-fresh turkey. Some customers report good results with a roasting bag. Other recommend covering the legs with foil after a couple of hours to prevent drying.


Testing for doneness:

There are at least three tests of doneness:

The most reliable test is a meat thermometer. The temperature in the deep breast should be 160 to 165 degrees. In the deep thigh, temperature should be 180 to 185 degrees. Happily, these two temperatures occur at the same time. 

A second test of doneness is to stick a fork into breast and thigh. When the juices run clear, not pink or tan, the turkey is done. 

The third test is to lift the leg away from the thigh. If it separates easily, the turkey is done.

When the turkey is done, cool it at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before carving. This lets the meat solidify a bit more and makes for easier and more attractive carving.

Refrigerate leftovers no more than two hours after removing the turkey from the oven. Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or freezer-grade plastic, the roasted meat can be frozen.


Bulk produce available

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


#1 Sweet potatoes - $31/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)

#2 Sweet potatoes* - $20/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)

Butternut and acorn squash - $1 a pound


*The #2 sweet potatoes, while fine for eating, are not the prettiest potatoes you've ever seen. Some have marks or were cut by the shovel when we were digging them up. 


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.



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


Mustard greens are primarily used in Asian and southern cooking. They are a little less bitter than kale or collards, and when cooked, taste similar to spinach (with a little more sturdy texture).


Ontario Greens 

Serves 4

This is a good way to use mustard greens or kale.

1 - 1-1/2 pounds fresh greens, washed, chopped

2 Tbsps. butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic

Salt & pepper

1/2 cup sour cream

Steam the greens about 10 minutes or until nearly cooked but still bright-colored. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet on medium-high. Add onion and garlic, sauté until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the greens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the sour cream, let warm briefly. Serve immediately.


Yellow Split Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Mustard Greens

Serves 10

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion - chopped

4 clove garlic - minced
2 tsp. cumin

2 cups dried yellow split peas
5 cups water
4 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable broth

3 ripe plum tomatoes - seeded, peeled, diced
1 med. Sweet potato - peeled and cubed
½ lb. Mustard greens - coarsely chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, cook 4 to 5 minutes, until onion is soft. Add garlic and cumin, cook one minute more. Add split peas, water and broth, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook about 1 hour until peas have broken down.

Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes and mustard greens, simmer until vegetables are tender - approx. 25 minutes. Season as desired with salt and pepper.

Recipe from

Thanksgiving Recipe: Braised Fennel with Orange-Honey Sauce

Serves 8

4 large fennel bulbs
2 Tbsps. butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 cup fresh squeeze orange juice (from about 1 1/2 Navel oranges)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. thyme leaves, stems removed
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Prepare Fennel: Cut off the green tops of the fennel bulbs and trim the root slightly. Cut fennel in half from top through root, and through the widest diameter of the bulb. Lay each half flat and cut in half, leaving a bit of root on each wedge to help it hold together.

Sauté Fennel: In a large high-sided sauté pan, melt butter. Add fennel wedges and sauté until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Stir only occasionally (because otherwise the fennel will break apart). Add wine and cook until reduced to a syrup. Zest the orange and set aside. Add the orange juice, chicken stock and honey. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and cook until fennel is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove lid and reduce liquid to a thick syrup, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, orange zest, thyme and parsley then season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.


Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

Serves 6

"A beautiful whole baked pumpkin provides an impressive presentation in this versatile dish. Use as an accompaniment to a turkey dinner, or spoon over home baked pumpkin bread with a dollop of whipped cream to end a meal."

1 medium sugar pumpkin

6 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dark rum (optional)

2 tsps. minced fresh ginger root

1 Tbsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Position rack in the center of the oven. Cut out top of pumpkin, and set aside. Scoop out seeds with a metal spoon. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, walnuts, cranberry sauce, pineapple, brown sugar, raisins, and rum. Season with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the cleaned pumpkin, and replace top. Set pumpkin directly on a baking stone or a thick baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until pumpkin begins to soften. Remove from heat, and stir, scraping the sides gently, so that some pieces of pumpkin fall into the apple mixture. 

Recipe from

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

Makes 2 very generous servings

1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, in 1/2-inch chunks

2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped

4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped

About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

About 1/3 cup heavy cream

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that's just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you'll have to serve it from the pot - which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't so easy.

Using a very sturdy knife - and caution - cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween jack-o'-lantern). It's easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper -- and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little - you don't want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It's hard to go wrong.)

Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours - check after 90 minutes - or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.

Serving You have choices: you can cut wedges of the pumpkin and filling; you can spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful; or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I'm a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonsful or wedges, it's just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

Greenspan's Stuffing Ideas There are many ways to vary this arts-and-crafts project. Instead of bread, I've filled the pumpkin with cooked rice - when it's baked, it's almost risotto-like. And, with either bread or rice, on different occasions I've added cooked spinach, kale, chard, or peas (the peas came straight from the freezer). I've made it without bacon, and I've also made and loved it with cooked sausage meat; cubes of ham are another good idea. Nuts are a great addition, as are chunks of apple or pear or pieces of chestnut.

Recipe by Dorie Greenspan from Epicurious


Piedmontese beef sale

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


Article by the Organic Consumers Association

Payback Time: 

Boycott 0rganic & 'natural' traitor brands that helped kill Prop 37

They stomped on our right to know. Now it's time to get even.


Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative, was narrowly defeated last week thanks to a relentless, deceitful $46-million advertising blitz. Among the largest bankrollers of the NO on 37 campaign were huge multinational food and beverage companies whose subsidiaries make billions selling some of your favorite organic and "natural" brands.

Brands like Kashi. Honest Tea. Naked Juice. Muir Glen, Horizon, Silk, and Morningstar Farms.  


It's time to boycott the companies and brands whose dirty money confused and scared millions of California voters into voting No on Prop 37. It's time to plaster their Facebook pages with this message: We won't support you until you support us. It's time to call their consumer hotlines, complain to the store managers where you buy your organic and natural products. It's time to tarnish their holy organic and natural images, to expose their hypocrisy and greed.

It's time to raise a little hell. If we raise enough hell, maybe their parent companies will come to their senses and stop carrying the water for Monsanto and the biotech industry. Maybe they'll stay neutral in the upcoming labeling battles in Washington state and Vermont. 


The OCA is calling on consumers to boycott these organic and "natural" traitor brands:
  • PepsiCo (Donated $2.5M): Naked Juice, Tostito's Organic, Tropicana Organic
  • Kraft (Donated $2M): Boca Burgers and Back to Nature
  • Safeway (Member of Grocery Manufacturers Association, which donated $2M):"O" Organics
  • Coca-Cola (Donated $1.7M): Honest Tea, Odwalla
  • General Mills (Donated $1.2M):  Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar
  • Con-Agra (Donated $1.2M): Orville Redenbacher's Organic, Hunt's Organic, Lightlife, Alexia
  • Kellogg's (Donated $791k): Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger
  • Smucker's (Donated $555k ): R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic
  • Unilever (Donated $467k): Ben & Jerry's
  • Dean Foods (Donated $254k): Horizon, Silk, White Wave
Tell these companies that if they want your loyalty - and your grocery dollars - they must do two things:

1. Speak out publicly in favor of the pending GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (I-522) in Washington State in 2013, as well as the pending GMO labeling bills coming up in Vermont and other states.

2. Contribute as much or more money to the Yes on I-522 Campaign in Washington than their parent corporations spent to defeat Prop 37 in California.

Prop 37 was narrowly defeated, by dirty money and dirty tricks. But it spawned a huge, national consumer movement that is fired up and more determined than ever to fight this battle until we win the right to know if our food has been genetically modified. We're already collecting signatures in Washington State, talking to legislators in Vermont and Connecticut. A 30-state coalition is formulating a plan to collaborate on GMO-labeling laws and initiatives.

You are a part of this movement, and today we're calling on you, on the millions of consumers who were outraged by the NO on 37's dirty campaign, to send a clear message to the traitor brands who helped kill Prop 37, in the only language they understand: lost profits and lower sales.


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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