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Winter Week 6                    Geauga County, Ohio
Dec. 16, 2011

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Greetings from the farms!
Summer 2012 CSA applications now online
Beef up!
In this week's shares
Local food: The perfect gift
Need a carpenter?
Looking for new pickup sites
Recipes for what's in season
Read Lyn Trier's local food blog
Follow us on TwitterFind us on Facebook

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost






Buggy silhouette

Greetings from the farms 

Greetings on this final week of the Winter CSA program! As we are wrapping things up at the farms, getting ready for winter and preparing for joyful holiday celebrations, we're also anxiously looking forward to the 2012 CSA season. Planting lists for the summer CSA are being discussed, soil is being tended, seeds are being ordered and high tunnels are being prepared for those first seedlings in January and February. Many of our high tunnels are heated with wood-burning furnaces, so lumber has to be cut and stacked. It certainly doesn't slow down much during the "off-season."

In addition to the usual preparations, we're working on some new things for the 2012 season. We have formed a partnership with award-winning Mackenzie Creamery to offer their goat cheese as an extra next summer. Based on feedback from our members, we are going to re-evaluate our recipes for our baked goods to include healthier ingredients, gluten-free options and better labeling. We'll be considering new opportunities for beef delivery and are even looking into a herd share option for dairy products. We're also trying some winter crops using a range of newer planting techniques. We'll let you know if we end up having some winter vegetables available, and we'll keep you posted on any other new developments.

We hope you keep Geauga Family Farms in your thoughts. Please share your experiences with friends and neighbors, so we can keep this local food movement growing, and let us know if you have ideas for improvements, new pickup sites, vegetables you'd like to receive, etc. Know that we are always working to improve our offerings and the CSA experience for our customers. While our summer sign-up deadline is in May, the earlier we have members signed up, the easier it is for us to plan for the season. We thank you for all of your support through 2011. We have gotten to know many of you personally, and consider you part of our extended farm family.

Our best wishes for a peaceful and healthy New Year -


Michelle, Laura and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms

Michelle & Laura, farm reps 



Sign up now for Summer 2012

You still have 15 days to send in your application to receive 2011 pricing for the Summer 2012 CSA. To fill out your application online, click here. Applications received after Dec. 31 will be subject to new 2012 pricing. 


GFF beef is always available

Our meat is always available at Geauga Farms Country Meats on Route 422 in Parkman. See our Web site for details on what is available. 


Gift certificates

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 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

Buggy silhouette  


In this week's shares 

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as red and green leaf lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Swiss chard, rutabagas, spinach, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, bread and eggs. NOTE: You may or may not receive all of the types of produce listed above. This is a list of possible items. Shares received on different days may include different items.

All I want for Christmas is... a CSA membership      

Early-bird discounts will be available to anyone who signs up for the 2012 summer season before the end of 2011. The 2012 Summer CSA application is now available on our Web site here. CSA memberships make great gifts! 


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 and we'll include them in an upcoming newsletter.


Roasted Rutabaga

1 rutabaga about 6 inches in diameter

2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. dried Italian herb mix

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel rutabaga and cut into half-inch cubes. Place rutabaga cubes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Cover bowl with a plate and shake to coat rutabaga with oil. (You may need a bit more oil.) Sprinkle rutabaga with remaining ingredients and shake again distribute. Transfer rutabaga to a parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet. Roast in center of the oven until edges brown and rutabaga is tender - 30 to 40 minutes - stirring about halfway through to minimize sticking.

Recipe from


Mashed Potatoes and Rutabagas

3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, about 5 or 6 medium

2 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste

2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional

Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Recipe from


Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups sweet potato, cubed

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish. In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

Recipe from


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 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!  

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