|Issue 7 Geauga County, Ohio||July 26, 2011|
Tell your friends: Sign up now for a 10-week CSA share
As quickly as the summer seems to be flying by, it's reassuring to think about the fact that we have 14 weeks of farm-fresh produce to look forward to. We hope you have been able to take the time to savor the things that make summer in Northeast Ohio so special to those of us involved with Geauga Family Farms - juicy, red tomatoes bursting with flavor, the crisp crunch of a fresh head of lettuce, the sweet-tart flavor of a blueberry munched right from the carton.
We feel lucky to live in a region that allows us to plant such a wide variety of produce, and happy to be able to share it with you. What are your favorite summer foods? Do you have family recipes without which it wouldn't feel like summer? We'll be sharing some of our favorite recipes from the farmers of Geauga Family Farms in the coming weeks, and we'd love to share yours, too.
Fourteen more weeks - it's our way of helping you extend the joys of the season!
Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
PS Your friends, neighbors and family members who have been drooling over your gorgeous produce may now sign up for a 10-week share. You may forward them this newsletter and all they need to do is click here for the 10-week application.
|Tonight's the night for our July field night
Hope you can join us for our July field night tonight at the farm of Andy Miller. Tour the fields, meet the farmers, learn about grass-fed beef and find out what other members are doing with that kohlrabi! The evening starts at 6 p.m., but come whenever you can make it. We'll have some refreshments, and the farmers will have additional items to sell (need some more kohlrabi?).
Remember to bring shoes for walking the fields and bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes.
This may be your last chance before the kids are in school! We'll see you at the Miller Farm (17201 Bundysburg Road - see map here). Get to know a little bit about the Millers before tonight's field night. See the profile about Andy and Laura Miller below.
In this week's shares
In this week's share, CSA members can expect things such as cherry tomatoes, sweet onions, zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash, jalapeņos, cucumbers, pickling cukes, kohlrabi, rutabagas, snap peas, green beans, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, rainbow chard, radishes, potatoes, parsley, broccoli, dill, spinach and okra. 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 recipes from our members.
The first recipe is from Laura Miller who, along with her husband Andy Miller, is hosting tonight's farm visit. If you come tonight, you may just get a sample!
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
2 cups zucchini, grated and drained
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup nuts, chopped
Mix all together and bake in two bread pans, or use as a cake. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
Ruffing Montesorri Site Manager Erin Wagner shared this recipe for Beet Ravioli with us. Erin says she plans to wait for a cooler day to roast her beets!
2 large red beets
1/4 c Ricotta fresh whole milk cheese
1/4 c Goat cheese
2 T dried breadcrumbs
1/4 c toasted Walnuts finely chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
salt/pepper to taste
1 egg white
2 T water
1 stick butter
1 T poppy seeds
Goat (or Parmesan) cheese for top
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast beets wrapped in foil (and I also used parchment paper) about 1 hour on baking sheet until tender when poked with knife. Let cool, peel, and grate finely in bowl. Add cheeses and season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon zest and toasted walnuts. Stir in breadcrumbs. Use wonton wrappers, brush the entire wrapper on one side with beaten egg white/water mix, fill with about 2 teaspoons of filling, fold and seal. Boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and stir in poppy seeds, keep warm. Toss with ravioli and sprinkle with cheese (and I also added extra nuts and poppy seeds). If you use unsalted butter, I would suggest adding a bit of salt to the butter as well.
Recipe from The Dill Spiel
The following recipes and ideas are from our very own Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris. We always love to find ways to use multiple items from the shares in one recipe. Here's a variation on pesto with a variety of uses:
Michelle's Swiss Chard Pesto
8 Swiss chard leaves, cleaned and spun dry
1 garlic clove
2 garlic scapes
1 handful of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor. Process until well combined. Add oil in a thin stream to make a paste. Store in refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed tightly to top surface to limit discoloration.
Open-Face Tomato Sandwiches
Mix 1 tablespoon of pesto with 2 tablespoons of canola mayonnaise. Spread on a thick slice of bread or toast. Top with a tomato slice and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Grilled Shrimp Pasta
Add 1/4 cup of pesto to hot pasta and 1/3 cup of reserved cooking liquid. Toss until well combined. Top with grilled shrimp. Brush 1 teaspoon of pesto on cut side of hamburger buns before placing on the grill. Toast lightly. Make a foil packet and fill with chopped zucchini, yellow squash and onions that have been tossed with olive oil and a few teaspoons of the pesto. Place on the grill and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Some of you may see okra in your shares. This is a southern staple that is probably not very familiar to many Northeast Ohioans. Try your okra in this tasty gumbo.
Shrimp and Okra Gumbo
- 2 pounds medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds chopped okra
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 12 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the okra and saute for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste, tomato, onion, garlic, celery and green bell pepper and saute for 15 more minutes.
- Add the water and season to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer for 20 more minutes. Finally, add the green onion to the soup and stir thoroughly.
Getting the most out of your CSA share
By GFF CSA Member Lyn Trier
As I've said many times before, my goal with the CSA is not to waste anything. Now, we are getting into the heart of the growing season and trying to use up everything each week becomes more challenging for me. Ideally, by the end of Sunday, I like the fridge to be almost empty along with our kitchen table. This is the first week that hasn't happened. On our table, we still have a tomato, two large onions and some potatoes. In our fridge, we still have some green onions, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers and cabbage. Now, keep in mind that we have a family share CSA from GFF and we also have a small share from another CSA. In addition to our two CSAs, we pick fruit fairly often. Many places also have markets and I am always coming home with more produce.
So, I share with you my go-to list of how to use up a variety of CSA veggies all at once.
- stir fry
- vegetable soup
- roasted vegetables
- chop and freeze (blanch first if needed)
These are dishes that can easily be adapted to use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand.
Meanwhile, here's my personal plan to use up what I have:
- Chop and freeze the big onions
- Chop the tomato and feed it to the kids as a snack
- Mash the potatoes with a little green onion and local cream cheese
- Make cole slaw using the cabbage and some green onions
- Make squash fritters
- Bake zucchini bread
Looks like I need to go get busy in the kitchen! See you next week.
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.
| Miller Organic Produce is home sweet home |
By Laura Dobson
Andy Miller grew up on a farm, working on a dairy farm from the time he was 14 until he was 20. That's why, after a few years of working in masonry, it felt only natural for him to return to the farm.
The owner of Miller's Organic Produce on Bundysburg Road in Middlefield says he likes farming much better than masonry.
"I like being home, I like working with the children, and every year is different," Andy said. "When you think you've got it figured out you just wait till next year and you'll find out you don't know everything. There's always challenges - that's the bottom line."
Andy says farming and masonry have similarities.
"Just like with farming, in masonry you had to worry about Mother Nature," he said. "If you're doing masonry work, everything stops dead. But with farming, at least if it rains for a day here, things keep going."
Andy, his wife Laura, and their three children - Raymond, 8, and twins Andrew and Arlene, 6, share their 20.5 acres with horses, beef cattle, chickens, a pony, pigs, and Tippy, their three-legged dog. The farm is also populated with fruit trees: apple, peach, plum, pear and cherry.
The farmer's wife is often the glue that holds the operation together. With Andy and Laura, it's no different. In addition to caring for the children, Laura cooks, does all the housework and takes care of their produce stand. She also bakes - sometimes as many as 10 pies and four loaves of pumpkin bread in a day, besides the usual three meals.
Through a mouthful of Laura's delicious rhubarb pie, Andy says he'd be lost without her.
"She's amazing. Laura is the best wife a farmer, or any man, could ask for," Andy says.
Andy's specialty is heirloom tomatoes, which he grows along with a few sweet peppers, in two wood-stove-heated hoop houses, also known as high tunnels.
"The first ones we started March 1 - planted them right in the ground. The other ones we planted the second week in April," he said.
The hoop houses actually remain covered year round. Andy says it's too hard to take off the plastic and the plants get plenty of sun through the clear plastic.
In addition to tomatoes, Andy grows a lot of kohl crops - cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, as well as quite a bit of vine crops like melons. Another vine crop Andy grows is a Concord-style grape called Warden, the juice of which he uses to bottle his own sweet wine.
But Andy doesn't have much time to sit around sipping his wine. He's not one to be idle for long. Once the tomatoes are through for the year, he finds something else to keep the hoop houses full from October to March.
"By fall, I'm going to switch over and plant a lot of stuff in there for the Winter CSAs - lettuce, kohl crops, arugula..."
The work of a farmer, and a farmer's wife, is never done.
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