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Issue 10                        Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 16, 2011

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Cooler weather is coming
Important notices
In this week's shares
Recipes
Getting the most out of your CSA share
Bus brings fresh produce to Chicago's food deserts
Summer's top 5 sustainable food books
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Buggy silhouette

Greetings to all! 

The cooler weather is bringing the desire to spend time in the kitchen. While summer cooking is all about grilling and simple, fresh meals, fall allows time for more complexity and experimentation. This fits perfectly with the produce that is starting to appear in the shares - turn those peaches into a golden peach pie, and the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes into a delicious late summer caponata. Add a chunk of Middlefield Cheese and some great bread and you've got a wonderful meal.

This is where the bounty of Northeastern Ohio's farms really start to shine, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to share it with you!

Fondly,

Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Buggy silhouette  

Reminders & updates

It's time to pull those canners out of storage, wash all your Mason jars and stock up on seals. We have 20-pound boxes of cucumbers and tomatoes (both are seconds) for sale. The cukes are $10/box and the tomatoes are $12/box. There are also a lot of multi-colored cherry tomatoes available for $1.75/pint. To order, call Roseanna Hershberger at the Geauga Family Farms warehouse at 440-693-4625. 

In this week's shares   

In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as peaches, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, peppers, jalapeņos, hot banana peppers, watermelon, beans, parsley, eggplant, beets, sweet corn, carrots, garlic, Swiss chard and peas. 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 later in the week may include different items.

Recipes for what's in season 

Please share your favorite recipes with us. Send them to Laura Dobson at LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org and we'll try to include them in an upcoming newsletter. Here are some favorite family recipes from our farmers.

 

The first two recipes are from Jonas Byler's wife. She said she recently made pizzas with cauliflower, celery and chopped, cooked chicken breast. "A delicious summer meal!" she said.  

Vegetable Pizzas 

2 cans buttermilk biscuits (makes 32)

1 16-ounce cream cheese

1 16-ounce sour cream

1 package ranch dip mix

Fresh vegetables (Peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, grated cabbage, tomatoes, etc. 

Grated cheddar cheese

 

Bake biscuits, cool and cut in half. Mix cheese, sour cream and dip mix and a bit of sugar. Spread on biscuits. Top with your choice of chopped vegetables and cheese.

 

Hot Taco Salad

1 head lettuce, shredded

Tomatoes

1 pound grated cheddar cheese

1 bag Doritos, crushed

Chopped vegetables

 

Sauce:

Brown one pound ground beef; drain. Add:

1 can kidney beans

1 8-ounce bottle Thousand Island dressing

1 package taco seasoning

A bit of brown sugar

1 tsp. taco sauce

Simmer 15 minutes.

Layer chips, lettuce, fresh chopped veggies. Add hot sauce and grated cheese to your plate.

 

This recipe is from Iva Mae Hershberger of Hershberger Produce. "We like this recipe because it is something you can make, even if you're in a hurry," Iva Mae said. "Simple and delicious!"

 

Zucchini Frittata

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 tsp. cooking oil

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup Swiss cheese

 

Saute onion and zucchini over medium heat in oil for two to three minutes. Pour eggs over top. Sprinkle with salt. Cook until almost set, about six or seven minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for four to five minutes, until cheese is melted.    

Here is a recipe that uses several of the vegetables you'll find in this week's share. Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris likes to add in some zucchini as well, another great way to use up all that extra zucchini you always have at this time of year.

 

Caponata

Caponata is a sweet-and-sour Sicilian version of ratatouille. Because eggplant readily absorbs other flavors, it's particularly good in such a pungent dish. Caponata should be served at room temperature, but it's good cold and tastes even better if left overnight. Caponata makes a great topping for bruschetta.

 

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (1 large), roasted

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, from the tender inner stalks, diced

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 red bell peppers, diced

Salt to taste

1 pound ripe tomatoes, preferably Romas, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes (in puree)

3 heaped tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted green olives

2 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch

3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar (more to taste)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Roast the eggplant, then allow to cool. Chop coarsely.

2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet, then add the onion and celery. Stir until the onion softens, about five minutes, and add the garlic. Cook together for a minute, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant, and add the peppers and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir until just tender, about eight minutes. Add another tablespoon of oil and the eggplant, and stir together for another five minutes, until the vegetables are tender. The eggplant will fall apart, which is fine. Season to taste.

3. Add the tomatoes to the pan with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan often, for five to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant. Add the capers, olives, remaining sugar and vinegar. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly tender and the mixture is quite thick, sweet and fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. If possible, cover and chill overnight. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: Serves six to eight

Advance preparation: Caponata will keep for three to five days in the refrigerator.

Recipe from The New York Times  

Getting the most out of your CSA share 

By GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier

 

U-Pick

If you have been following my blog, you have probably noticed that I really like that my kids are learning about where their food comes from. Besides enjoying the GFF field nights and farm visits, we often go to different U-pick farms in the area. It's really important to me that the kids know all about their food.

 

This summer, we have picked strawberries, peas, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches and currants.

We have visited 10 different farms, some more than once, this summer: Patterson Fruit Farm, Rainbow Farms, Wintergreen Tree Farm, Secor's Nursery, Blue Jay Orchard, Voytko Farm, Greenfield Berry Farm, Boughton Farms, Ridgeview and West Orchards.

 

We are willing to drive about 45 minutes to go picking. I'm actually starting to get to know my way around Geauga County!

 

We pack drinks, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, hats, containers, ice packs, a cooler and sometimes lunch.

Generally, we like to get to farms when they open. It is cooler, less crowded and generally the best picking then.

It is not too late to go picking this season if you are looking for more local fruit to add to your CSA bounties. We are still looking forward to picking tomatoes, bell peppers, grapes, apples, the fall crop of raspberries and chestnuts.

 

Apples are particularly popular for picking. The season is long since there are so many varieties and it doesn't take very long to pick a peck, bushel or more. Pound for pound they are also one of the least expensive fruits to pick.

Many of these farms grow their crops conventionally, but some are organic or naturally grown. At some farms, it varies from one crop to another. Prices vary widely depending on what you are picking, location and growing practices.

 

Always call ahead and confirm crop availability, hours, prices and ask if you need to bring your own containers.

A great Web site to get started is http://pickyourown.org/, especially for finding farms in your area. Many farms do not have a big Web presence, so don't assume the picking isn't good if you can't find a Web site.

 

I hope to see you at a local U-pick farm or orchard soon!

 

Lyn Trier lives in Mayfield Heights. She's a stay-at-home mom trying to raise healthy kids who enjoy local food and other area offerings. She authors a blog at http://lifelynstyle.com where she writes about food, exercise and eating local. Lyn will be sharing her thoughts with the members of Geauga Family Farms CSA throughout the season. 

 

Lyn took photos of all the items she received in her shares last year. To identify the unfamiliar veggies in your share, please download this PDF of Produce photos and compare your produce to the photos.

Fresh Moves mobile food market hits Chicago streets

Refurbished city bus brings vegetables to urban communities 

by Cassandra West

 

In urban communities known as "food deserts," fresh, healthy produce is often nowhere to be found. Processed meats, sodas and chips, well, those are available in abundance. To improve nutrition and curb digesting too many empty calories, residents in food deserts must have access to more fruits and vegetables. Now, there's an option.

Fresh Moves, a mobile food market, has come to two Chicago neighborhoods - Austin and Lawndale. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the converted CTA bus pulls up to pre-designated locations offering all to climb aboard and load up on apples, cucumbers, bananas, collards, kale, mustard greens and more. Fresh Moves even stocks some organic items, at prices much more affordable than some supermarkets.

 

The driver and two retail assistants are even happy to hop off the bus and take orders from customers with mobility problems.    

 

The idea for Fresh Moves sprang up three years ago, when food activists Steve Casey, Sheelah Muhammad and Jeff Pinzino, who all have backgrounds in philanthropy, decided it was time to do something about the lack of access to fresh, healthy foods in poor, economically isolated neighborhoods.

 

The three started the grass-roots organization, Food Desert Action and went about seeking support and funding. They got the Chicago Transit Authority to donate the bus for the price of $1. Architecture for Humanity rehabbed the bus. Chase Foundations donated some funds. Good City, a West Side organization that provides emerging entrepreneurs and community leaders with training and knowledge to implement innovative and necessary programs in the city's underserved neighborhoods, became their fiscal agent. A Chicago nonprofit EPIC: Engaging Philanthropy, Inspiring Creatives, INC. donated approximately $70,000 worth of creative and branding services, Casey says.

 

Shawn Jackson, principal of Spencer Technology Academy, a Chicago Public School in Austin, has gladly welcomed Fresh Moves to the neighborhood, and the mobile market visits his school on Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

 

"This is a food desert here," says Jackson, referring to the area around Spencer. "There are no healthy food options at all. I mean a grease pit. McDonald's is the default food here. ... This is what my [students] are exposed to.

"To run into something like Fresh Moves was a godsend. The fact that you have a group of individuals willing to do this was superb."

 

Jackson says he believes good eating habits can start at school, if not at home. When Fresh Moves visited Spencer "last Thursday, every student purchased something. We want kids at home saying, "Hey, the Fresh Moves bus is coming." 

 

Article reprinted from the Seeding Chicago Web site at http://tinyurl.com/448jucx  

Summer's Top 5 Sustainable Food Books

by Daniela Aceves

 

As summer draws to an end, Roots of Change (ROC) wanted to know what were this summer's top five sustainable food books to read. In a recent Facebook poll, ROC asked its followers to vote and tell them which books made their summer list. Below are the results.

1. Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook
Tomatoland traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., also known as the tomato capital of the United States.


2. American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food by Jonathan Bloom
American Wasteland chronicles how we waste food from farm to fork and examines the impact of our wastefulness. With an upbeat tone, the book offers suggestions on how we - as a nation and as individuals - can trim our waste.


3. Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food by Paul Greenberg
In Four Fish, award-winning writer and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a culinary journey, exploring the history of the fish that dominate our menus--salmon, sea bass, cod and tuna--and examining where each stands at this critical moment in time.

 

4. Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail by Kurt Michael Friese, Kraig Kraft and Gary Paul Nabhan
Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the Chile pepper-from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role.

5. Keeping Pet Chickens: You don't need much space to Enjoy the Bounty of Fresh Eggs from Your Own Small Flock of Happy Hens by Johannes Paul, William Windham and Joe Stahlkuppe
Keeping Pet Chickens offers essential advice, provides the basic, easy-to-follow illustrations to master every aspect of keeping and raising healthy and productive poultry. Published in 2005 this book continues to gain momentum as the urban ag movement gets bigger.

Printed from rootsofchange.org

Contact Us:

Farm Representatives

Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849, LDobson@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org

Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109, MichelleBZ@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org

Grass-fed beef & poultry: Kathleen Webb, 216-408-7719, Kathleen@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org  

www.GeaugaFamilyFarms.org

Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062