|Issue 16 Geauga County, Ohio||Sept. 27, 2011|
|"By all these lovely tokens September days are here,|
With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer."
~Helen Hunt Jackson
Fall greetings to you all!
The days are getting shorter at the farms, meaning we have more planting and harvesting to pack into less time. As many CSA programs are starting to wind down, we're excited that we have five more weeks to enjoy together. Busy days are ahead! We hope you love the variety that we are including and we're looking forward to getting more of the things you've been missing into the share boxes.
Hopefully you received our note about this month's Field Night. We are disappointed to have to cancel it, but the wet conditions at the farms and the earlier darkness would probably not make for an enjoyable evening for anyone. We are working on a farm outing in October, and look forward to seeing you then.
We hope your fall is filled with the beauty, fun and delicious treats that make this time in Northeastern Ohio so wonderful!
Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
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 update
Previous newsletters have mentioned the availability of certified-organic, grass-fed beef. This is currently on hold due to a small glitch in getting the beef delivered back to Geauga County from the organic processor, and the beef team is trying to find the most economical approach to keep prices lower. As a result, it could be a few more weeks before it is available for delivery with the shares.
Once it is available, the price is $5 per pound; 10-pound packages are $45.00 or $4.50 per pound. These bulk packages 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 MichelleBZ@geaugafamilyfarms.org to place your order.
We will let you know as soon as it is available!
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: www.surveymonkey.com/s/osucsastudy
In this week's shares
In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as green kale, apples, tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, peppers (green and colored), hot peppers, banana peppers, Yummy orange peppers, lettuce, Swiss chard, yellow squash, green beans, eggplants, potatoes, storage onions, garlic, dill, basil, parsley, turnip greens and rhubarb. 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.
It's time to start thinking about Thanksgiving turkeys! Marvin Hershberger has turkeys available for order. The cost is $2.75 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!
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.
Green Pepper and Tomato Salad
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
3 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced (1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 a palm full
Combine peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley in a bowl with your fingertips. Squeeze the juice of the lemon with the lemon half
sitting upright. This will help prevent the seeds from falling into the bowl. The lemon juice will spill down over the sides of the lemon and the seeds will remain with the fruit. Squeeze the juice evenly over the salad. If the lemon is under-ripe, microwave it for 10 seconds before you cut into it. Next, sprinkle a tablespoon of vinegar over the salad -- just eyeball it. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over the salad, add the salt, pepper and cumin. Toss again. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve.
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Fast Apple Rhubarb Pie
1 9- inch pie shell
6 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
3 rhubarb, diced
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (220 degrees C). Combine apples and rhubarb in a large bowl. Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a
small bowl, then sprinkle over fruit. Toss until fruit is thoroughly coated. Spoon mixture into pastry shell. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
Getting the most out of your CSA share
by GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier
I'm back from my trip to Hawaii and I am readjusting to what fruits and vegetables are local and in season here in Ohio.
Last week, I spent time visiting a few roadside stands and farmer's markets. The in-season local eats in Hawaii included mango, papaya, bananas, dragon fruit, coconut, zucchini, green beans and more.
Here in Ohio, apples are in full swing. We have been apple picking twice so far and have plans to go again tomorrow.
To get the most out of your apples, store them in the fridge. They will keep much longer than on the counter. I often pick too many apples at once to allow for refrigerator storage. To use up the excess apples, I usually make one of my favorite apple dishes, applesauce!
We make lots of applesauce. I've already canned 14 quarts of applesauce, plus a few pints of plum-applesauce. I plan to can some more next week. My kids would eat a quart a day if I let them. Lucky for me, I have blueberries, peaches and other fruit, so I don't need 300 quarts of applesauce stored to last until next season.
I usually make smooth applesauce. My preferred method uses a slow cooker.
- Wash the apples
- Cut them in quarters, cutting out any obvious bad spots
- Put in crock pot with ½ cup water
- Cook for a few hours on low, adding cinnamon or sugar if desired
- Once soft, run through a vegetable strainer. I use my KitchenAid mixer with the food strainer attachment. It works great.
- Put the finished applesauce back into a slow cooker and keep hot until canning.
The last time I made applesauce, I had three slow cookers going. It was a bit of insanity in the kitchen.
If you don't have a strainer, peel, core and chop the apples, then cook them in a slow cooker, a sauce pan on the stove or a dish in the microwave until they have your desired texture. Add cinnamon or sugar to taste.
Besides canning, applesauce freezes well in Ziploc bags or other freezer-safe containers.
To match up apple varieties with uses, look at one of the many charts like this one: http://www.ohioapples.com/ohio_apples_useschart.htm. Although some apples aren't recommended for sauce, I have never had any that I didn't like in applesauce. My favorite applesauces, though, have a mix of varieties.
Give homemade applesauce a try! Once you taste it, store-bought will never be the same.
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 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.
We include these LocalHarvest newsletters to show you how similar your experiences as members of a CSA are with those across the country, and just because they make for good reading.
Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter!
Last fall, a couple of weeks before the farmers market was to close for the season, signs started appearing on the public bulletin boards around my town. "Buy out the farmers on the last day of the market!" It was my favorite little bit of food activism all year. We who shop were reminded of the benefits of stocking up on storage crops, and got to express our appreciation for our farmers by filling their pockets with cash on the last day of the season. On the big day I found myself bellying up to a table loaded with the most beautiful winter squash I'd ever seen, and taking home a trunk full. (What does a family of three do with 25 winter squash, you ask? Put them in the basement. Bake three at a time every week, and eat one. Scoop out the flesh of the other two and freeze in large yogurt containers to use in quick winter squash soup all winter.)
Stocking up in the late summer and fall extends the buy-local produce season. Garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, beets, carrots and other root crops all store easily and well for weeks or months in the basement, garage or frig, depending on the crop and your local climate. (If you are uncertain about how to store particular crops, the Internet has many resources, including these two from the University of Minnesota and Washington State University.) If you are up for canning, drying, or freezing some food, fall offers oodles of fun weekend projects that will set you up well for delicious winter meals.
Stocking up goes a long way toward answering the perennial question of what's for supper. Having plenty of food in the house that needs to be eaten limits the menu possibilities in a way that I find very helpful. From now till spring we eat whatever vegetables we have in the basement, with a few things from the grocery store sprinkled in for variety.
If you get bit hard by the food preservation bug, and it happens, you're eventually going to want to give thought to some kind of root cellar. Since most of us live in houses built since the habit of thrice-weekly trips to the grocery store took hold, few of our homes have a cool corner of the basement open to the bare ground. But wouldn't it be nice? Fortunately, there are many alternatives to taking a jackhammer to your basement floor. One of my favorites falls in the category of "fruit and vegetable hideaway," and consists of an old refrigerator buried on its back and accessible from ground level.
The very best book I've seen on keeping food is called Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables. Filled with photos, line drawings, and stories, it is a great, fun resource to have around if you're even considering expanding your food preservation options. Thanks to Storey Publishing, this month we're lucky to have five copies to give away. If you'd like to enter to win a copy, fill out the little form here by Friday, Sept. 30. I'll email you if you win!
Many people are looking for ways to eat local food in the winter. If you live in a part of the country where fresh produce is available year round, lucky you! If not, you can buy in bulk over the next few weeks, and store foods at home to eat in the cold months. For many people, this turns out to be easier than anticipated. It may, however, require shifting your mindset about how and when you shop, how much food you keep in the house, and what you consider "fresh." Remember, until very recently, nearly everyone "put food by." We can too!
Do you have a favorite food preservation practice, recipe, or book? We'd love to hear it!
Until next time, take good care, and eat well.
What's New with Local Food?
After a seasonal break, Local Food Cleveland network events are back in action! Join Local Food Cleveland Oct. 3 at Great Lakes Brewing Company and check in with old friends, make new connections and learn about exciting local food projects and businesses in Northeast Ohio. This month we're showcasing new local food projects and businesses of all shapes and sizes from around Northeast Ohio.
Local Food Cleveland events are a unique opportunity to grab a great local beer and connect to new people and ideas. Whether you need to get re-energized to continue your work or you're finding your place for the first time, these events are the place to "connect, learn, do" local food.
Presenters at this event currently include:
- Andrew Hudak - The BEAN Project and Kinsman Farm
- Kelli Hanley - Small Farm Insurance
- with many more to come!
Register for What's New with Local Food? at http://www.e4s.org/events/544
Local Food Cleveland Network Event
Monday, Oct. 3 - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
@ Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room (Directions)
5:30 - 6:15 p.m. Registration and open networking
6:15 - 7:45 p.m. Program
7:45 - 8:30 p.m. More networking!
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
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062