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Issue 15                        Geauga County, Ohio
Sept. 20, 2011

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Thankful - for YOU!
Reminders & Updates
Grass-fed, certified organic beef available
Survey responses requested
In this week's shares
Bulk veggies available
Gobble, gobble
Getting the most out of your CSA share
LocalHarvest Newsletter
Local Foods Week Columbus
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"By all these lovely tokens September days are here,
With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer."
~Helen Hunt Jackson
Buggy silhouette


We've got a lot of things to be thankful about at the family farms this year - we managed to come away from the challenging spring weather with a fairly decent array of crops and a good supply of many of our staples, we added some wonderful new pickup site locations that have enabled us to serve our members in new and convenient ways, our pickup sites have been tremendous partners, and improvements in our communications have enabled us to streamline many of our services.


As many of you have experienced during a tour through our fields, one of our greatest challenges lies in not being able to predict which crops will do well and which will be less successful each season. We're constantly experimenting with varieties that may allow us to overcome some of the challenges without compromising flavor and quality. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don't. The mid-season heat that made our tomato plants so prolific brought the flea beetles that made it hard for our leafy greens, kohlrabi, broccoli and cauliflower to thrive. The later variety of corn that was so successful for us two years ago did not react well to the wet weather and cool temperatures of late August and early September this year. As you may have noticed, the peppers came in late this year, but they are more than making up for it in volume!


So what are we most thankful for? We are most thankful for our members - people like you who are willing to join our families on this adventure of small-scale, personalized farming. Your support through issues of "too many beets" or "not enough beets" allows small farms like ours to survive, doing what we love the most, despite the numerous challenges that each season brings.


Thank you for being a part of Geauga Family Farms!



Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Buggy silhouette  

Reminders & updates

Please do not swap out vegetables from another box during pickup. We make a tremendous effort to make all of the boxes as similar as possible, and it is not fair to other members. Many sites have exchange or swap tables. If there isn't one at your pickup site, feel free to ask your fellow members if they are interested in swapping items - a great way to get to know one another and possibly end up with more of your favorites! 


Certified-organic, grass-fed beef available 

There is a limited supply of certified-organic, 100 percent grass-fed beef available (our normal beef is grass-fed but not certified organic). The price is $5 per pound. If you are interested in a single 10-pound package, the bulk price is $4.50 per pound. This would be great for fall cookouts and block parties! The beef is frozen and can be delivered to any of the pickup sites except Whole Foods. Please contact Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris at to place your order. 


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 green kale, apples, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, peppers (green and colored), hot peppers, banana peppers, yummy orange peppers, lettuce, Swiss chard, yellow squash, winter squash (table god, table queen, acorn, butternut), green beans, eggplants, potatoes, storage onions, garlic, dill and turnip greens. 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. To order, call Roseanna Hershberger at the Geauga Family Farms warehouse at 440-693-4625.


Gobble, gobble  

Speaking of being thankful, it's time to start thinking about Thanksgiving turkeys! Marvin Hershberger has turkeys available for order. The cost is $2.50 per pound and the turkeys will range in size from 14-28 pounds. These turkeys are free-range but their feed is not 100 percent organic. Turkeys (and other poultry) must be picked up at the farm. They cannot be delivered.  If you are interested in reserving a holiday bird, please call Marvin at 440-548-2399. There is nothing like the flavor of a fresh, local turkey at the holidays!


Grapes by the peck   

Eli Wengerd has seedless Concord grapes available by the peck (1/4 bushel). The cost is $6 per peck. Grapes can be delivered with your share if you place your order with Eli at least three days before your delivery day. Please call Eli at 440-632-0278, and provide your name, pickup site location and amount of grapes desired. Please note that these grapes are not organic.


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. Since we have such a bumper crop of peppers this year, we have more recipes to help you use up all those peppers. Don't be afraid to try the turnip greens. This is just one way to prepare them; there are many, many recipes to be found on Google for turnip greens.  


Roasted Peppers and Seasonal Vegetables

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut in eighths

1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cut in eighths

1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut in eighths

2 small yellow summer squash, cut in eighths

2 green zucchini, sliced in eighths

1 onion, peeled, cut in eighths

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp. rice vinegar, or sherry vinegar

2 fresh thyme springs, leaves picked

1 fresh rosemary spring, leaves picked

In a small saucepan, warm the oil and garlic over low heat, until the garlic begins to bubble. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes to infuse the oil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add the remaining ingredients to a large glass baking dish, and strain over the garlic oil. Toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Remove and toss the vegetables. Put back in and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the vegetable are tender and the edges are browned.

Garlic and Herb Sautéed Bell Pepper Strips

2 large red bell peppers, seeded, cut into half-inch strips
2 large yellow bell peppers, cut into half-inch strips
2 cloves finely minced garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
Toasted Italian bread to garnish, optional
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pepper strips, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the peppers begin to soften. Turn down the heat to low, and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar and herbs. Toss to combine. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Toss again, adjust seasoning and serve with toasted bread if desired.


Sauteed fresh turnip greens

1 lb. fresh turnip greens
1 tsp. salt
1 hard cooked egg
1/3 c. minced green pepper
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 strips bacon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Wash turnip greens thoroughly. Trim off coarse stems. Fry bacon until crisp and remove it from the fat. Save for later use. Add onion and green pepper to bacon fat and saute until limp. Coarsely chop turnip greens and add to onions and green pepper. Stir to mix well. Cover tightly and cook 10 - 15 minutes, or until tender. Add salt, black pepper, sugar and lemon juice. Toss lightly. Turn into serving dish and garnish with crisp, crumbled bacon and slices of hard cooked egg.

Getting the most out of your CSA share

by GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier

Hello autumn!


I don't know about you, but I was thrilled to see the cooler temperatures this week. With the cooler temps, we will see the return of lettuce, broccoli, greens and other cooler weather crops.  


We will also begin to see winter squash and pie pumpkins. Winter squash is my single favorite CSA item. Usually, it can be stored for several weeks. It likes it cool, dark and dry. We currently have ours set up in our basement near our dehumidifier.


Many times, I cut the squash in half using a wall board saw that cost all of $4 at the hardware store. I clean out the seeds and place it cut-side down in a pan with a half inch or more of water. Then I bake it in the oven at 350 degrees until it is soft, which is usually about 45 minutes. Once the squash is baked, I scoop out the inside and use it in soup, casseroles, pancakes or freeze it for future use.


Pie pumpkins I prefer to bake whole. Then, once they have cooled a bit, I cut them open, remove the seeds, and use the pulp as desired. This works for squash, too.


For pumpkin puree, I put the flesh in a food processor and blend well, then I use a jelly bag or coffee filter to drain off the liquid. I save the liquid and use it in place of water for extra flavor in pancakes, rice or other dishes. Last year, I bought 10 pie pumpkins and processed them for puree, which I kept in the freezer. It's much better than pumpkin from a can!


While you're in Ohio enjoying apples and the first of the winter squash, I'm heading to Hawaii this week and look forward to trying fresh, local, tropical fruit. Aloha!


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.


LocalHarvest Newsletter

We include this August edition of the LocalHarvest newsletter to show you how similar your experiences as members of a CSA are with those across the country.

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter. August is the month that local food lovers await. Tomatoes, melons, peppers, eggplant, etcetera, all in abundance - at least in the temperate parts of our country. This year, though, temperate areas have been hard to find, and harvests have been sparse in many areas. The drought in Texas has made national news, while other regions got too much rain early in the season and then too little, or too much heat when plants were trying to set fruit. Where I live, it's been a bumper year for cucumbers but not much else!


For most of us, immoderate weather is an inconvenience, but farmers' livelihoods are tied to the sun and rain. Summers like this one are a cause for great concern. Last month LocalHarvest farmers were invited to participate in a survey aimed at learning more about the current challenges and opportunities for farmers. One question asked them to name the issues having the greatest impact on the viability of their farms. Their number one concern? 'Changing climate/weather patterns' (chosen by 42 percent of respondents). As we wrote back in 2007, the changing climate adds a new layer of uncertainty to farming, and to our food supply. At the very least, summers like this one make a strong argument for diversification: if one crop or variety doesn't do well, hopefully others will.


And what does a rough summer mean for people who like to eat local food? What is required of us when the pickings are slim at the farmers market, the CSA box contains too much of some things and too little of others, and all the work that went in to the garden offers little in return?


After complaining my way through most of July, in recent weeks I have been working to have a better attitude. Rather than stomping my feet about the sparsity of choices, I needed to take on an "it is what it is" kind of acceptance, and then I could get out my cookbooks and be more creative with the ingredients at hand. Personally, I also had to be a little more flexible. I really believe in supporting local farmers and eating what my family produces ourselves. Our loyalty to them matters, especially in lean years. And, there came a point when we could not live on greens and cucumbers alone. I had to break down and buy some produce at the grocery store, something I rarely do during the growing season. A little respite did us good, and the next week we were able to return to the farmers market with fresh eyes, happy to take home whatever the farmers had. (Turns out the greens and cukes were still doing well, but the first tomatoes were ready too.)


Ultimately, the thing that supports this loyalty and flexibility and acceptance is a sense of gratitude. Things change when we find the space within ourselves to feel thankful for what the land is providing, even, and perhaps especially, in challenging seasons.


Until next time, take good care, and eat well.


Erin Barnett

Local Foods Week  

If you are heading to Columbus, or if you want to go specifically to participate in Local Foods Week, here is what is in store for you.   


The Line-Up

Friday, September 30
Local Foods Week Happy Hour (5-8 p.m.)
Visit bars around Columbus to taste some of the best local brews, wines and liquors around along with some great food specials! Check back soon here for a map of participating bars.


Saturday, Oct. 1
Kids Cook Off Challenge at WOSU@COSI (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.) Admission is free.
Join Eat Local Ohio for a special Local Matters Kids Cook-off Challenge! Sign up your 5-12-year-old to compete in this fun, hands-on and delicious experience. In addition to the cook off we'll have a variety of activities for kids of all ages and an Ohio apple tasting. For more information or to sign up your son or daughter for the Kids Cook Off Challenge email Lyndsey at Spaces are limited so sign up today!


Grilled Cheese Throwdown in the Short North (4-7 p.m.) $5 admission
Chefs will compete alongside talented amateurs for the title of "grilled cheese master" using local breads, cheeses and toppings. Taste their amazing creations and cast your vote for the winner! Tickets are limited so reserve a spot here for your taste buds today! 


Yummy! Art Show Opening at Brothers Drake Meadery (7-11 p.m.) Admission is free
Yummy! is an art exhibition hosted by the Couchfire Collective which explores eating, drinking, cooking, dining, and everything related to food. Yummy! will showcase food-themed artwork by local artists as well as raise funds for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and promote Local Matters' Local Foods Week! Please bring non-perishable food items or a monetary donation for the foodbank. More details can be found here.


Sunday, Oct. 2
Food Cart Rally at Eartha Limited (4-8 p.m.) $5 ticket includes 1 drink ticket
In partnership with the Small Business Beanstalk we will present an evening of music, drinks and amazing food from food carts celebrating local ingredients! Tickets available now!   


Monday, Oct. 3 

Food Forum on Urban Farming at the Wexner Center (6-8:30 p.m.) Admission is free
We will hold a special edition of our monthly Central Ohio Food Forum featuring the experts! Urban farmers from all over Central Ohio will be on hand to share their stories and photographs from their operations. RSVP here to make sure you have a seat! 

Speakers include: Wayne Shingler, Frijolito Farms; Trish Dehnbostel, Hoover YMCA Gardens; Ashley Laughlin, Franklinton Garden; Joseph Swain, Swainway Urban Farm; Jerry Ra, Compost & Gardens; Jessica Roach, Homesteader; Yolanda Moser, Godman Guild Association; and Bill Dawson, Franklin Park Conservatory.


Tuesday, Oct. 4
Movie Night at the Drexel in Bexley (7-9 p.m.)
The inspiring documentary Fresh! will be screened and delicious movie snacks will be available. Tickets are limited so get yours here  today!


Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home
Join Jeni Britton-Bauer in her private test kitchen for an intimate dinner and instructional session on how to make delicious ice cream in your own home. Only 12 spots available. Ticket information will be posted in mid-September.


Local Food Tour with Columbus Food Adventures
Local Foods Week tour presented by Columbus Food Adventures highlighting some of the city's most talented chefs who emphasize local sourcing. Tour stops will include Skillet, Harvest Pizza, Market 65, Latitude 41 and Knead. Tickets and tour details are now available here!


Wednesday, Oct. 5
Presentation at Franklin Park Conservatory (7-9 p.m.)
Hors d'oeuvres in the Gardening Campus with local producers along with a cooking demonstration by our very own Executive Director, Michael Jones.


Local Food Tour with Columbus Food Adventures
Local Foods Week tour presented by Columbus Food Adventures highlighting some of the city's most talented chefs who emphasize local sourcing. Tour stops will include Skillet, Harvest Pizza, Market 65, Latitude 41 and Knead.
Tickets and tour details are now available here!


Thursday, Oct. 6
Local Drink Tasting at House Wine (6-9 p.m.) $15
House Wine will offer a variety of Ohio beverages for their Thursday night wine tasting.
Location: House Wine, 644 N. High St, Worthington

Speak Easy at Wild Goose Creative (7-9 p.m.) $5
This hilarious storytelling event will focus on local food with the theme "Ohio Grown" in honor of Local Matters' Local Foods Week! Event details can be found here.


Fall Family Fun Dinner with Jeni at The Hills Market (6-8:30 p.m.) $10 Adults, $5 Kids
Hills Market will present a buffet of Hills Own house-made chicken tenders (made with Gerber Chicken from Kidron), Ohio sweet potato wedges and Ohio apple sauce. They will have Snowville Creamery milk to drink and Jeni Britton Bauer from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams will present her Pumpkin Tiramisu Parfait for dessert. Ohio wine and beer cash bar will be available.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 614.846.3220. Please let us know how many adults and how many kids (10 and under) will be in your party. Seating will be outside on our heated Veranda, so please dress accordingly.
Location: The Hills Market, 7860 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus


Local Food Tour with Columbus Food Adventures
Local Foods Week tour presented by Columbus Food Adventures highlighting some of the city's most talented chefs who emphasize local sourcing. Tour stops will include Skillet, Harvest Pizza, Market 65, Latitude 41 and Knead. Tickets and tour details are now available here!


Friday, Oct. 7
Harvest Dinner (6-9 p.m.) $100 for dinner and the ball
Prior to the Harvest Ball, the Harvest Dinner will feature a fabulous five course local dinner by Two Caterers. Tickets are now available! 


Harvest Ball (9 p.m.-midnight) $20 in advance, $25 at the door
A party of grand proportions featuring great music, delicious local bites and delightful drinks! Tickets are now available! 


Saturday, Oct. 8
Market to Market Ride and Harvest Festival (8 a.m. -12 p.m.)
Ride your bike from the North Market to the Hills Market (and back!) or start in Worthington and make your way south. The Market to Market Ride is entering it's fifth go-round with a special theme - Zombies vs. Pirates! Get into the fun of fall with this ride for foodies and cyclists of all ages. Details are available 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