GFF Communications - PLEASE READ
Thanks to everyone for your patience as we work through start-of-the-season kinks. Part of this is making sure that you get the information you need to help things run smoothly. Our most efficient way to communicate with 750+ members is via this newsletter. We recognize that you may not have time to read all of the articles, but please make sure you browse the top portion of the newsletter for any alerts or updates. These will be in bold text. Here are the updates for this week:
~PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR OWN BAGS
~PLEASE TAKE THE CORRECT SHARE SIZE, AND CHECK OFF YOUR NAME ON THE SIGN-IN SHEET
~PLEASE PICK UP YOUR PRODUCE DURING THE ALLOTTED TIME - IT WILL NOT BE HELD BEYOND THAT PERIOD
Thank you for your attention!
Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, green onions, garlic scapes, cucumbers and pickling cukes, zucchini, kohlrabi, eggs and bread. 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.
Extras via PayPal will start in July. We will let you know when they are available. PLEASE DO NOT ORDER EXTRAS ONLINE UNTIL WE NOTIFY YOU. NOTE: There are no extras at Lake Hospitals sites. Also, Whole Foods cannot allow beef to be delivered.
Getting the most out of your CSA share
By GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier
Processing your CSA goodies:
Once you arrive home with your CSA bounty for the week, it's important to take a few minutes and sort it all out. I usually begin by spreading it all out on my kitchen table and taking photos, but you can skip that part. Next, I take a look at each item and make sure that I know what everything is.
If I need help identifying any items, I use the following resources:
· GFF newsletter: In this week's shares
· GFF Facebook page: Ask questions or post a photo for identification help.
· Google Image Search: Check your guesses by searching photos.
· Photos at http://lifelynstyle.com/: Pictures posted each Tuesday evening of a Family size, Tuesday pick-up box.
· E-mail Laura or Michelle: Both are available to help
Once you know what you have, it is a lot easier to decide what to do with it. I use the web and Google to figure out how to store the different items. After a while, you will get into the groove of what to do with everything and only have to look up the new oddball items. I found that if I look at three different Web sites, I get three different ways. At the end of the day, how to store your items comes down to trial and error and personal preference.
I have had good luck by storing my vegetables these ways: I leave my onions and tomatoes out on the table. Beets and radishes get stored in a sealed plastic bag with the tops removed and a paper towel. Beet and radish tops (greens) get stored with a paper towel in a loosely closed plastic bag. I always wash and dry my lettuce and store it in a produce saver container or a ZipLoc bag. I usually put a paper towel in with it to soak up the moisture. I have heard that it doesn't last as long washed, but in our house, it gets eaten if it's ready to go.
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. In next week's article, Lyn will talk about planning, prioritizing and preserving.
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.
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 two for what you might see in your box this week.
Unfamiliar with garlic scapes? They are the tops of garlic plants and have a more delicate flavor than the bulbs. They can be used in place of scallions. Toss them into salads and stir fry, or try this recipe for a tasty, fresh pesto.
Garlic scapes help make an easy, fragrant pesto that can be spread on bread or crackers, put on pasta, used with fish, and as a substitute for garlic, onion, or scallions.
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 pound garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper to taste
Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper
together in a food processor until smooth.
4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each of the slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the Parmesan cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Other simple preparations for kohlrabi:
Steamed: Trim off leaves and peel skin. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Steam for 4 minutes or until just tender. Toss with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. This takes away the spiciness of the raw vegetable and tastes like a cross between sweet corn and potatoes.
Or, simply peel it, cut it up and eat it raw with salt, or serve it with your favorite dip such as ranch or dill.
Tomato Nicoise with Tuna, Kamut & Olives
(Kamut is an ancient, organic grain with a rich, nutty flavor.)
6 ripe tomatoes, stem on if possible
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves
1 t. oregano
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 c. cooked kamut
12 oz. quality tuna packed in water, drained, broken into bite size pieces
1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 c. crumbled Feta
1/4 c. chopped Nicoise or Kalamata olives
1 T. chopped capers
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Using a serrated knife, trim a small slice off the bottom of the tomato, allowing them to sit squarely on the plate.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes and reserve. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the center of the tomato into a large
bowl, to make space for the filling. Season the inside of the tomato with salt and pepper and reserve.
Mash the tomato pulp with a fork or potato masher. Stir in vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Slowly
drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper and reserve
In a large bowl place the kamut and the next six ingredients; drizzle with some of the vinaigrette, stir gently to
combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill each tomato with kamut salad, mounding it slightly and
placing the reserved top at an angle on the filling. Drizzle with more vinaigrette if desired. Serve cold or at room
*To cook kamut - soak overnight to reduce cooking time. Drain. Place 3 cups water for every cup of kamut in a
large pot and bring to a simmer. Season with salt. Add kamut, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes, until tender.
Drain; lightly coat with olive oil and season with salt. Use as desired.
FIRST FIELD NIGHT OF THE SEASON - TUESDAY, JUNE 28
Location: Parkman Produce - the farm of Noah and Kathy Yutzy
17050 Nash Road, Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
One of the real benefits of belonging to a CSA (beyond the delicious produce!) is the ability to get to know the people who are growing your food. We provide a variety of opportunities to visit the farms during the season:
On the fourth Tuesday of each month, we hold our Field Nights - an opportunity to tour the fields at one of the farms, followed by refreshments and conversation. It's always a good idea to bring shoes or boots that can get muddy - we will be walking through the fields for the first portion of the evening. It's also helpful to bring insect repellent.
On the second Saturday of the month, we open up three or more farms for less formal Open House visits. Stop at one or all of the farms on that day's list and meet the families involved. It's a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon in Geauga County. Open House dates will include both produce and beef farms - an excellent opportunity to learn about grass-fed beef and poultry available through the farms! While you're visiting, feel free to stop by Geauga Country Meats and the Middlefield Original Cheese Co-op to pick up some additional local treats.
An evening in the fields at the end of a hectic day can feel like a real getaway. We hope to see you at the farms!
Farming a family affair for the Yutzys
Noah Yutzy farms 35 acres of his 88-acre farm at in Parkman Township. That sounds like a lot of ground to cover for one man, but he doesn't do it alone.
Noah's wife Kathy and their nine children, ranging in age from 3 to 16, all help Noah with everything from planting to picking. He says it gives the children a sense of worth.
"Everybody helps," Noah said. "Even our 3-year-old loves to ride along on the wagon and watch the action and holler 'Whoa' and 'Giddy up.' The 7-year-old and the third- and fourth-graders can help put beans in the bag, put cherry tomatoes in the basket. They're always in competition to see who can pick the most."
He says while they all have a good time, it's not all fun and games.
"Sometimes it's 90 degrees, sometimes it's raining, and it still needs to be picked and brought in, with mud up to your knees. You need to be dedicated," he said.
Noah's father bought the farm in 1988 and ran it as a dairy farm until 1993. The farm, which he has named Parkman Produce, includes five acres of maple trees and more than 30 acres of pasture and woods. About 15 acres are in rotation at any given moment, changing year to year from sweet corn, row crops, hay, oats and corn for the horses.
Speaking of horses, the large Yutzy family shares their land with a menagerie of animals in addition to horses, including goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, a miniature donkey and a barnyard full of cats.
The family has come to enjoy the goat milk. Noah and Kathy started using it for their second child because he was allergic to regular milk.
"I like goat's milk better than cow's milk," Noah said. "It tastes like 2 percent milk from the store; it's very mild if it has been cooled properly and they haven't been eating too many weeds."
Noah says participating in the CSA concept is one of the best things that can happen in growing produce. From his perspective, he likes the CSA model because as a farmer he knows his product is being sold.
"You don't need to hunt for a market while you're so busy trying to farm. And unlike an auction, we're not getting below wholesale pricing," he says.
Noah says the weather doesn't always cooperate.
"The hardest part is trying to get things planted on time so we're able to harvest on time," Noah said. "If it's raining and you can't lay plastic then the plants sit in the greenhouse and they get extra long and they fall over. That's our toughest part. And this year because of the rain we got everything into the ground late."
Noah likes the other benefits of farming in general.
"You're at home with the family," he said.
Noah isn't the only one who likes farming. Kathy says she thinks it has brought the family closer.
"Before I had to try and keep four boys busy," Kathy said with a laugh. "I like it better not having to get up in the morning and pack Noah's lunch. I like him being home every day."
When he isn't farming or sugaring, Noah is a carpenter, working with his dad in the off-months framing homes, remodeling bathrooms and kitchens, and roofing.
The work of a farmer's wife is endless as well, but Kathy takes it all in stride and always has a ready smile.
Noah and Kathy express their sincere appreciation for everyone involved.
"We appreciate the volunteer help from everybody," he said. " We really love the CSA concept."
Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849, LDobson@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 216-321-7109, MichelleBZ@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org
Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062