|Winter Week 4 Geauga County, Ohio||Dec. 2, 2011|
"From December to March,
there are for many of us three gardens -
the garden outdoors,
the garden of pots and bowls in the house,
and the garden of the mind's eye."
- Katherine S. White
Stock your freezer for the winter with GFF beef
Specials for the Holidays
We're excited to announce great grass-fed beef specials to help round out your holiday meals. Geauga Family Farms beef is humanely-raised and grass-fed. This makes for healthier animals and healthier meat options for your dinner table. You'll feel comfortable knowing you are supporting local farmers who care about the animals they raise, and you will taste the difference.
We are providing a selection of beef packages for a special delivery option on Dec. 15 and 17 at a range of locations. Place your orders on our Web site at www.geaugafamilyfarms.org in the "2011 Season" section under the "Extras" heading by Sunday, Dec. 11, to take advantage of this special delivery offer. Delivery is provided free-of-charge for this special sale. Orders will be delivered by our beef farmers in a refrigerated truck and will be available for pick up at the following sites during the time periods listed:
Thursday, Dec. 15
Lowe's Family Greenhouse, Bainbridge - 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Congregation Kol Chadash, Solon - 4 - 5 p.m.
Bandy-Zalatoris residence, Cleveland Heights - 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17
St. Noel, Willoughby Hills - 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Hill's Family Karate, Mentor - 11 a.m. - Noon
Sage's Orchard, Chardon - 12:30 - 2 p.m.
Please feel free to contact Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris (MichelleBZ@geaugafamilyfarms.org) with any questions you may have regarding the special boxes or delivery details.
Please remember that our meat is also always available at Geauga Farms Country Meats on Route 422 in Parkman. See our Web site for details on what is available.
Small beef package - $66
This is a great introduction to the delicious flavor of grass-fed beef. The small beef package includes five pounds of ground beef in individual one-pound packages, one roast (approx. 2.5 pounds) and four steaks (two sirloin-approx. 1.25 pounds each, and two T-bone or strip (approx. 10-12 ounces each).
Large beef package - $92
An excellent combination of freezer favorites! This package includes 11 pounds of ground beef in individual one-pound packages, one roast (approx. 2.5 pounds) and four steaks (two sirloin-approx. 1.25 pounds each, and two T-bone or strip-approx. 10-12 ounces each).
Winter comfort package - $50
The perfect combination of cuts for soups, stews and slow-cooker favorites! Stock your freezer and you're ready for the cold, blustery days of January. You'll have the ingredients for a range of comforting meals with this package that includes one roast (approx. 2.5 pounds), 1.5 pounds of short ribs, 1.5 pounds of beef shanks, two pounds of stew meat and four pounds of ground beef.
This is an excellent gift option for the locavores on your list! Choose the value you'd like to give, and allow the recipient to choose their favorite cuts at Geauga Farms Country Meats. It's a great way to introduce friends and family to the delicious value of locally-raised, grass-fed beef.
To order gift certificates, please e-mail Kathleen Webb at Kathleen@geaugafamilyfarms.org to let her know the value of your certificate, and send a check for that value to:
Geauga Family Farms
c/o Mr. Lester Miller
15480 Burton Windsor Road
Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Your gift certificate will be mailed to you for gift-giving. Please allow about eight days for processing.
Thank you for supporting the beef producers of Geauga Family Farms! With every purchase you are helping to create a viable, local market for high-quality, grass-fed beef.
Michelle, Laura, Kathleen, and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
In this week's shares, CSA members can expect a big surprise. Phones were down at the farms and we will be as surprised as you are when we open our boxes. NOTE: You may or may not receive all of the types of produce listed above. Shares received on different days may include different items.
Gift baskets make the holidays more festive
The holidays are a great time to share the importance of supporting local farms with friends and family. We have many delicious and festive options for you!
Holiday Gift Baskets
Share the bounty of Geauga Family Farms or treat yourself with our special holiday gift baskets. Our gift basket includes a freshly baked loaf of bread, two pounds of decorative holiday cookies, two jars of Miller's jams, one pint of 2011 maple syrup, ½ pound of Middlefield organic cheddar cheese, ½ pound of Middlefield organic garlic and onion cheese, a 4-ounce log of fresh, plain chevre from Mackenzie Creamery and a 4-ounce log of cranberry orange chevre from Mackenzie Creamery. All of this is packed in a festive, wrapped basket.*
*You will need to remove and refrigerate the cheeses until you are ready to give this gift.
Cost per basket: $48
Order by: Friday, Dec. 9 - order through Paypal at www.geaugafamilyfarms.org
Delivery details: Boxes can be delivered to the Winter CSA pickup location of your choice. See our Web site for pickup locations and times. Delivery days will be Thursday, Dec. 15, for Lowe's Family Greenhouse, Congregation Kol Chadash and the Bandy-Zalatoris residence, and Saturday, Dec. 17 for St. Noel, Hill's Family Karate, Sage's Orchard and our warehouse.
Turkeys available for your holiday dinner
Marvin Hershberger has a few turkeys left that would make a wonderful holiday dinner. The turkeys are $2.75 per pound, and need to be picked up at the Hershberger family farm within the next week or so. These turkeys freeze well and would make a great local addition to your holiday meals. Please call 440-548-2399 to reserve your turkey. Ask for Rosanna or Iva Mae to place your order.
Give the gift of local, organic produce
Early-bird discounts will be available to anyone who signs up for the 2012 summer season before the end of 2011. We'll have an application on the Web site soon. CSA memberships make great gifts!
Bulk potatoes, squash perfect for winter storage
The following winter storage items are available in bulk. Like all of our vegetables, these are certified organic and delicious!
Yukon Gold Potatoes:
5 pounds for $4.00
10 pounds for $7.50
$1 per pound. Squash range between 1and 3pounds.
5 pounds for $4.50
10 pounds for $9
50 pounds for $45
Pure Maple Syrup
Geauga County Maple Syrup makes a great holiday gift! We have 2011 syrup available in quart, half-gallon and 1 gallon quantities on our Web site under "2011 Season" in the "Extras" section.
To order these items, call Rosanna or Iva Mae Hershberger at 440-548-2399. These can be delivered to our winter share sites for the next two weeks. Please make sure you are familiar of pickup days and times.
Need a carpenter?
Before they got into farming full-time, most of our farmers did other types of work. Many have participated in the building trades. Some continue to do other work during the off-season to supplement their farm incomes and support their families. We'll bring you information from time to time about services that are available from our farmers. Feel free to pass this information on to others who might be interested.
D & A Hershberger Construction: 440-477-4438 (7 a.m. - 4 p.m. - leave a message if calling after hours)
Marvin Hershberger, one of our board members, is taking on some construction work this winter. His team is skilled in a range of interior and exterior construction projects, from detailed tilework and cabinetry to masonry and roofing. They have a significant amount of experience in drywall work, kitchen renovations, basement renovations and more. References are available. These craftsmen are available to work in locations within an hour's drive from Middlefield. Feel free to call Marvin to discuss your project needs.
Pickup sites needed for the 2012 season
Do you have a pickup site or area that you would like us to consider for next season? Let us know now as we jump into our 2012 planning. Sites need a minimum of 40-50 members. We are happy to do a presentation about the program at your site to help drum up support.
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 include them in an upcoming newsletter.
Life Lyn Style
GFF member Lyn Trier, who wrote the column "Getting the most out of your CSA share" for the Fair Share all summer, is taking the winter off. However, you can still find her fun, chatty and informational blog at http://lifelynstyle.com where she writes about her CSA memberships, food, exercise and eating local, and posts a photo of each item in her shares. Wondering what that weird vegetable in your share is? A link to Lyn's photos of every veggie in each week's share also can be found on our Facebook page. Thanks Lyn!
Thanks from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
I've always liked Thanksgiving, but in the last few years, I have come to love it. The reason: I've turned my Thanksgiving into a celebration of local, healthful food. That makes sense, since the great thing about Thanksgiving is that it's all about the food: no presents, no fireworks to distract. What other holiday can you say that about?
As winter settles in and the Earth puts itself to rest, it's the perfect time for us to pause and be grateful for the gift of good food, healthy land, and wise farmers. Wendell Berry concluded a poem with: "The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer." Helping to produce that "careful farmer" is a big part of what the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) does. It's not just about growing more local food, or even about producing food following nature's principles. It's also about making sure that farmers can stay on the land, producing not only good food, but a healthy and economically-sufficient living for their families. That's re-generative agriculture!
And that's why I feel so strongly about supporting OEFFA and the work that they do. Since its beginning, OEFFA has helped farmers learn to produce food while protecting the natural resources on which we all depend. OEFFA has also been working to support those farmers as small business owners and entrepreneurs. OEFFA is helping conscientious eaters find the food they want and connect with the careful farmers who grow it. And while we know that consumer choice is a powerful force in shaping our food system, we recognize that we can't shop our way out of all the challenges which face us. That's why OEFFA also cultivates our grassroots to advocate for policies supportive of small- and mid-sized organic and sustainable family farmers.
With your support, 2011 was a monumentally successful year for OEFFA. Never before have so many learned with us, advocated with us, toured with us, and celebrated with us:
- OEFFA's sold-out 32nd annual conference offered nationally-recognized keynote speakers, more than 70 workshops, a tradeshow, and a kids' conference. Nearly 1,000 enthusiastic people of all ages gathered to gain new knowledge and skills to move sustainable agriculture forward.
- OEFFA's 29th annual farm tour series featured 17 of Ohio's finest organic and sustainably-managed farms, bringing hundreds onto farms to learn about how their food is grown.
- OEFFA's Certification Program continued to be a national leader in upholding the integrity of the organic label, protecting the environment, and safeguarding our health while sowing the seeds of profitability for family farmers.
- OEFFA fully launched its policy program, hiring a policy program coordinator who is working with our grassroots supporters to advocate for policies which protect the livelihood and viability of sustainable and organic family farms-and the consumers who count on them.
- After a four-year long fight in which OEFFA was on the frontlines, we helped restore a consumers' right to know if artificial growth hormones are in their milk, a victory not only in Ohio but precedent-setting for the rest of the nation.
In this season for giving thanks, I want to share with you how thankful I am to know careful farmers. I am thankful for the healthy food they raise, their integrity, their generosity, and their care for the land. I am thankful for the abundant rain, the fertile soil, and the strong sun that make growing this food possible. And, I am thankful to be part of a community that includes people like you, who recognize the value and the importance of supporting local farmers and the work they do.
Your support is critical in ensuring that OEFFA can continue to work to create a vibrant food and farm system in 2012. Please send your gift of $40, $75, $150, or whatever you can afford.
Warmly wishing you many reasons to be thankful,
President, OEFFA Board of Trustees
We include this note because this is the agency that certifies the farms of Geauga Family Farms as organic. Should you want to donate to the OEFFA, you can find information here: http://www.oeffa.org/donate_appeal.php
Organic, urban, backyard farmers can turn 'big ag' around
Why I support organic backyard gardening, urban farming and community-supported agriculture: There's a huge knowledge gap in farm country today.
People like my father, who grew up in the 1930s Depression, knew how to grow and prepare their own food on the farm self-sufficiently.
People today think rural areas are filled with the farms of that time, and the marketing on television seeks to perpetuate that myth, even down to only picturing 1950s-era tractors in their photos of lush farm fields.
But agriculture today is all about industrialization, for plants and animals. Many farmers today don't know how to grow food. They grow commodities - corn, soy, rice, etc. - that's planted by machines mile after mile and hauled off and processed into semi-synthetic "food products."
Many farmers today, even owning thousands of acres, don't - and don't know how to - grow their own food, much less for anyone else, or even want to do it. That knowledge is fast disappearing, or gone in big farm areas. Rural people are as dependent on grocery stores, fast food, junk food and reprocessed commodities (fake food in a fancy package) as anyone else.
Our rural state is filled with "food deserts," areas where there is no fresh produce for sale, anywhere. Our state is also a food importer; we no longer provide our own communities with food.
I'm pushing 60 and live out in the country, but few people here grow their own food. I do know how to grow a turnip. A lot of rural folks, young and old, wouldn't know what one looks like, much less how to plant it, grow it, prepare it and eat it.
Some young people are taking to backyard farming and urban farming, both of which are growing as a nationwide trend, which may be the salvation of American (and rural) self-reliance.
Robert Rodale, a founder of the organic movement, wrote prophetically shortly before his death in 1990 in his book, Our Next Frontier: "The highly productive home gardens of tomorrow will, I think, be the sprouts from which many new small farms will grow. The small-scale farmers of the future can hardly learn their craft in the land-grant colleges, which preach bigness in almost every way. These new farmers will start as gardeners and grow from there. I think that we will see the size of gardens increase, so that the distinction between a large garden and a small farm will become blurred. The new wave of small farms will fill in the chinks of land made available as some of the old-style farmers are driven out of business by ever-bigger farming conglomerates."
His prediction of bigness driving out small farmers has proven true; enough so, that much or most of that wisdom is gone. (Look to your elders! They are a fast-disappearing resource!)
But there's still hope that young people will reject the agri-biz juggernaut and learn to provide for themselves and their families, friends, and neighbors, and return some food independence to the people, and food sovereignty to the nation.
Why should we willingly be hungry beggars to the multinational corporations that hold no allegiance to any nation or people but their own profit?
Feeding ourselves and our families and sharing our abundance can indeed feed the world, or at least add substantially to it.
Food: I noticed that Rainbow Natural Foods in Jackson has been selling (Organic Valley) raw milk cheeses in the dairy case. I bought some. Pretty good! Wish we had some local cheeses.
Here's a great place to order artisan raw milk cheeses online: www.artisanalcheese.com.
Contact Jim Ewing at (601) 961-7036, email@example.com, on Twitter @OrganicWriter, or Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc.
Reprinted from ClarionLedger.com
|UF's community ag program is growing
by Dana Edwards
Danielle McDuffie was 28 years old when she was diagnosed with eosinophilic gastroenteritis, an uncommon gastrointestinal disease where the body rejects many common foods.
McDuffie, 31, joined the University of Florida's Community Supported Agriculture team because of how it promotes local fresh produce grown without the use of pesticides - a requirement for McDuffie's daily meal preparation.
"We're seeing a general nationwide movement to support locally grown food," said Ashley Pennington, outreach coordinator for UF's Office of Sustainability. "People want to know what's in their food, who grew it, where it came from, and we're providing access to that for students on campus."
In its second year, the UF Community Supported Agriculture program is adding the Health Science Center as a second location to the original Bledsoe Drive facility on campus for students to pick up their shares of produce from 4:30-6 p.m. each Monday, November through June.
The program supports local farmers by having students and faculty pay and sign up with one of four farmers for four to six items of produce each week. The four farms include Swallowtail Farm, Kumarie's Organic Garden, Grahams Farms and The Family Garden Organic Farm, with roughly 400 spots available.
"We started off just selling our items at the farmers market, but that was not supporting us because we had so much food go to waste," said Kumarie Barran, owner and farmer at Kumarie's Organic Garden. "A doctor who treated about 15 cancer patients came to us asking about the (Community Supported Agriculture) five years ago, and now we have about 300 members this year."
Barran said the profits made from the local and university programs give her the opportunity to get more seeds, fertilizers and other farming needs she was not able to have before.
She used to borrow money from friends and family to keep open the farm she started with her husband.
"We are the flagship agricultural school in Florida, so (Community Supported Agriculture) makes sense on a local and statewide level," McDuffie said. "Plus, there are so many external costs that are offset with government subsidies, but we are reinvesting our money back into the local economy to make it grow."
The program is also a good way to lower carbon emissions because the transportation of food over long distances is eliminated.
"I used to live in Japan where there are extreme recycling laws and more than 10 bins for separating materials," said Kirsten Laufer, assistant director of UF Study Abroad Services and a returning Community Supported Agriculture supporter. "I like to think that through this program, I'm doing all I can to make sure I don't have a carbon footprint."
The Community Supported Agriculture program is different from a typical farmers market or grocery store because the farmers share produce that is seasonal in the community. Unique foods such as squash pickles, kohlarabi, daikons and turnip roots show up in the weekly deliveries.
Pennington and McDuffie say this provides students with the opportunity to learn how to prepare the foods. The program looks to incorporate educational cooking events, such as publishing a cookbook and starting a blog on the sustainability website.
"My husband and I tried kale for the first time last year," Laufer said. "I made salads for lunch every day with it, and then I missed it in the spring when the weather was too hot for it to grow."
Laufer finds that she and her family have become more health-conscious and have to be creative in preparing foods, which she says isn't a bad thing.
"I love it," Laufer said. "I definitely recommend the program to anyone looking for fresh veggies. I feel a different level of connectedness to the earth and have a greater appreciation for farmers."
Reprinted from the Gainesville Sun
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