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Issue 13                        Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 7, 2011

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Add spice with peppers
Reminders & Updates
Bulk veggies available
Survey responses requested
In this week's shares
Learn all about grass-fed beef
Getting the most out of your CSA share
Say no to GMO!
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Spice up your life with peppers 

The peppers are starting to make a greater presence in the fields these days - adding their beautiful colors and textures. You may have already received some green peppers, jalapeños and Hungarian hot peppers, but keep an eye out for Yummy Orange peppers (a super sweet mini bell pepper developed to go easily into lunch boxes) and Carmen Reds (mild, sweet red peppers that are long and skinny). We hope you'll enjoy adding these to your meals and snacks. Peppers are a great source of vitamin C.


Store them in your refrigerator in a paper towel or paper bag to preserve their freshness. Be careful when handling the hot peppers - remove seeds and interior ribs to decrease their heat, and never touch your face or eyes when working with them.


If your children are not quite sure they like peppers, try introducing them to one of the sweet varieties mentioned above. They are so fun to eat, you might just win them over.  We love having the opportunity to bring you new vegetable varieties that we are trying at our farms, and we hope you are enjoying these culinary adventures, too!


Thanks for all you do to support local farms.


Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

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Reminders & updates

Please make sure we have current contact information that includes the number where you are most likely to be reached in case of a last-minute delivery issue. Our initial means of contact will be via e-mail - we recommend you check your e-mail each week before heading out to pick up your produce in case we need to let members know about an unexpected delay or other problem that could affect your pickup time.  


Learn all about grass-fed beef

This month our Open House Farm Tour will take place at the farm of Mardy Townsend, one of our beef producers. Join several of the farmers from Geauga Family Farms at a special farm event there this Saturday, Sept. 10 from 3-5 p.m. If you are interested in learning more about the details of raising grass-fed beef, this is the event for you. More than a typical farm tour, this will include informative and technical sessions on the subject. This is part of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's 2011 tour series, and Mardy has generously extended an invitation to our CSA members. It should be a great afternoon at Marshy Meadows, and a great way to catch up with some of our CSA farmers! Find a link here for a map to Mardy's farm.


Please participate in a survey to help an OSU Ag student 

Joe Vaillancourt, a graduate teaching associate in agricultural communications at The Ohio State University, has asked Geauga Family Farms to help with his graduate project. He is conducting a survey titled "UNDERSTANDING THE COMMUNICATION NEEDS OF COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE PROVIDERS AND SHAREHOLDERS." We hope you'll find the time to participate in this 15-minute survey to help Joe with his graduate project. We hope it will give us answers as well, on how to more effectively communicate with our membership. The survey can be accessed by clicking on this link:


In this week's shares   

In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as apples, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, green zucchini, 8-ball zucchini, patty-pan squash, potatoes, green peppers, jalapeños, hot banana peppers, sweet orange peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, beans, peas, eggplant, red or golden beets, sweet corn, basil, Swiss chard, storage onions and small green cabbage. 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.


Bulk veggies 

We now have 20-pound boxes of #1 Roma tomatoes for $20/box. There are also a lot of multi-colored cherry tomatoes available for $1.75/pint. We also have bulk basil available for $4 a pound. To order, call Roseanna Hershberger at the Geauga Family Farms warehouse at 440-693-4625.


Recipes for what's in season  

Please share your favorite recipes with us. Send them to Laura Dobson at and we'll try to include them in an upcoming newsletter. Zucchinis are still on everyone's minds. This week we have a poem about zucchini as well as several more recipes from Kathy Yutzy, Noah's wife, along with more recipes from our members.   


Zucchini Nightmare

Our friends all raise zucchini, it's an easy crop to grow.

They share with us, make such a fuss, we cannot tell them no.

We must not waste, says wifey dear, we can't throw it away.

I know you'll grow to love it so, we'll eat it every day.

I'll braise zucchini, mash zucchini, smother it with cheese.

I''ll slice and dice, make something nice, your appetite to please.

I'll bake zucchini, fry zucchini, marinate it, too!

I'll broil and boil, saute in oil, and make zucchini stew.

I'll make zucchini patties, and zucchini jubilee.

I'll grill and chill, toss in some dill, Zucchini Fricassee.

I'll make zucchini candy, and then for something new,

I'll even try some zucchini pie and maybe ice cream, too.

I'm so tired of zucchini  

And my tummy's startin' to ail.

So I'll make a wish for next year,

His zucchini crop will fail!  


Zucchini Fritters

2 cups grated zucchini

1 or 2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup flour

1 medium onion, chopped (optional)

1 green pepper, chopped (optional)

Pepper to taste

Mix together. Drop like patties in oiled skillet and fry till lightly brown and crispy.


Zucchini Scramble

2 or 3 small zucchinis (about 1 pound) sliced or grated

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 Tbsps. butter

6 to 8 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup shredded cheese

In skillet, saute zucchini, onion and pepper in butter until tender, not mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Add eggs and stir until set. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat and cover until cheese melts. Sausage or other meat may be added and chopped and fried with the zucchini. 


Zucchini Bread

3 eggs

1 cup oil

1 cup honey

3 tsp. vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini

2/3 cup chopped nuts

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

3 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking powder

Mix oil, honey, vanilla and eggs. Add zucchini. Mix lightly, but well. Add dry ingredients. Mix until blended. Add nuts. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake at 325 for one hour. Remove and cool on rack.


Zucchini Cake

3 eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 cup oil

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups raw zucchini, grated

Mix together and add dry ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts

Bake in greased and floured 13 X 9 pan at 350 for one hour. Can be used as cake or pudding with whipped cream. This cake can easily be made into a bigger batch and canned for winter use. Fill jars half full, set in pans in oven until baked. When done, remove from oven, put lid on and turn ring tight. 


St. Noel member Kimberly Hardie shared another of her favorite recipes with us. "Here is another old wonderful family recipe to deal with too many zucchinis," Kimberly writes. "Yum! It spoils you for anything you can get commercially. It just doesn't compare."


Nanny's Zucchini Relish
Bernice Lewis


12 cups zucchini, grated
4 cups onions, grated
4-6 large carrots, grated
2 red bell peppers, grated
2 green bell peppers, grated
2 green jalapeños, grated
6 cups sugar
2 ½ cups vinegar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon celery seed
2 tablespoons pickling spice


Grate all veggies and mix.  Let sit over night (or 5 hours at least) covered with 5 teaspoons of salt.Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
Drain off water in the morning.Add remaining ingredients.Heat & simmer 15-20 minutes.Spoon into canning jars and water-bath if desired.
Process 10 minutes for pints, 15 for quarts.
Makes 4 ½ quarts or 9 pints
To Water Bath: Fill jars with hot relish, to within ½ inch of the top.Wipe rims & make sure they are clean.Seal with canning jar lids (bring lids to boil just before you seal the jars per the instructions in the box of lids) tighten & place jars in a pot of water that covers the top of the jars at least an inch or more.  
Remove jars from water-bath an allow them to cool.You will hear the lids seal any time from the time you take them out of the water until they are completely cool.If any lids didn't appear to seal, push the center of the lid to see if it sets.If any appear not to seal, refrigerate and use the unsealed jars first. 
Getting the most out of your CSA share

by GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier


Easy CSA Vegetable Lasagna


Lasagna is now an easy go-to dish that I make regularly rather than a once-a-year project.  When I was growing up, I remember my mom making "Aunt Pat's lasagna." It always seemed like a huge undertaking. The noodles were cooked and needed to cool enough for handling, the ricotta mixture was made, and the meat was cooked, etc. Once I was older and on my own, I never made lasagna because I thought it was too much work. I've learned a lot about lasagna since I started with CSAs.


Lasagna is layers of lasagna noodles, cheese, and meat, veggies, or both. What goes into a lasagna is flexible and a matter of personal preference.


Here's how I look at the components:


Sauce: I usually use a standard spaghetti or tomato sauce. You can use any kind of sauce you like. It can be red or white. The possibilities are endless. I usually have three layers of sauce, beginning with the bottom.


Noodles: I never cook my noodles first. I usually keep whole-wheat lasagna noodles in my pantry. Rice noodles or regular lasagna noodles are also fine. As always, it's a matter of personal preference.


Cheese: For me, the cheese layer depends what I have on hand. I've used cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and silken tofu. Most of the time, it's a combination depending on contents of our fridge. In the middle of the lasagna, I like a layer of cheese mixed with Italian herbs. On the top, once the lasagna is cooked, I add a layer of parmesan or Romano as a finishing top layer.


Meat: Sometimes I use a meat layer, but usually I skip it.


Veggies: This is the fun part! You can clean out your freezer when making veggie lasagna. Patty pan squash, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, spinach and peppers; any or all of these types of veggies are great in lasagna.


From the bottom to the top, here were the layers in the lasagna I made today:

  • Sauce
  • Noodles
  • Summer squash slices
  • Cheese and herb mixture (silken tofu, Parmesan cheese, oregano and basil)
  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Eggplant and squash slices (I only had one eggplant)
  • Noodles
  • Sauce

After covering with foil and baking at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, I added a layer of Parmesan-Romano cheese on top and baked for another few minutes uncovered. The moisture in the veggies softened the noodles, leaving us with perfectly cooked, tasty lasagna.


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 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 takes photos of all the items she receives in her shares and posts them on Facebook. To identify the unfamiliar veggies in your share, visit our Facebook page and compare your produce to the photos.

News from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA)

Frankenfoods in our fields and on our plates

More than 80 percent of the soybeans, corn, cotton, sugar beets, and canola grown in the U.S. contain Monsanto's patented genes. But, genetically engineered (GE) crops present real risks and fewer choices for both farmers and eaters.

Organic farmers, who are prohibited from using GE crops or feed, are at risk of contamination. Public health is at risk due to increased pesticide and herbicide use, and because little rigorous independent research has been done on the safety of GE foods.

Add in problems like herbicide-resistant super weeds, and it's clear that the only one who benefits from GE seed are the biotechnology companies that developed them.

Will you help OEFFA raise awareness about the dangers of GE crops in our fields and Frankenfoods on our plates? To find out more about GE food, click here

Contact Us:

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