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Fall/Winter Week 1               Geauga County, Ohio
Oct. 25, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Welcome to the Fall/Winter CSA
In this week's shares
Bulk produce available
Order Thanksgiving turkeys now
Certified-organic Beef for sale
Howdy Farm
Mailing list add-ons
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"At home I serve the kind of food 

I know the story behind." 
~ Michael Pollan



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Welcome to the Geauga Family Farms Fall/Winter CSA program

We're glad to have you join us for the next eight weeks, and we look forward to bringing you a delicious selection of fall vegetables from our organic farms. Some of  you are picking up today for the first time; others will pick up Saturday, depending on your pickup site.


Our newsletters include a list of vegetables you may find in your shares, some recipe ideas to use those vegetables and information about local food events. Our newsletter is also the place where we will let you know about important pickup information and special sales. We know you're busy, so we'll keep things simple. Please take a couple of minutes each week to browse the information provided - we think you'll have a more enjoyable CSA experience if you do!


This week we are including recipes for roasting a selection of vegetables. It's one of our favorite things to do with the fall harvest. It's generally an easy thing to do, and the roasted vegetables can be used in a wide variety of dishes (on salads, in stews, in frittatas and as a simple side dish on their own). Change seasonings and vegetable combinations for new tastes.


Thanks for joining us this fall!



Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, Laura Dobson and the Farmers of Geauga Family Farms

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In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as lettuce, cauliflower, acorn squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, garlic, broccoli, beets, collards, hot peppers and tomatoes.


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 at different times of the week may include different items. 


Bulk produce available

We still have lots of bulk veggies for sale so get some while they last.  


#1 Sweet potatoes - $31/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)

#2 Sweet potatoes* - $20/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)

Butternut and acorn squash - $1 a pound


*The #2 sweet potatoes, while fine for eating, are not the prettiest potatoes you've ever seen. Some have marks or were cut by the shovel when we were digging them up. 


To order, call Rosanna at 440-693-4625 between 7 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your bulk produce will be delivered with your share in a box with your name on it. Please look for it when you pick up your share. Rosanna will include an invoice in the box that needs to be mailed with your payment.


Gobble, gobble! Thanksgiving is getting closer

A couple of our farmers raise turkeys for the holiday season, and we are still taking reservations. Local, humanely-raised, GMO-free turkeys make a delicious feature for your special holiday meals. The turkeys are fed non-GMO feed and organic minerals. They are not considered fully organic. The price is $3 per pound. All turkeys will be 20 pounds or larger.


Please contact farmers directly to reserve your bird. You can request a general size range and arrange a day to pick up the turkeys at the farm. Turkeys cannot be delivered to pickup sites, but this provides a wonderful opportunity for an autumn drive in the country. Reserve your turkey today with the farmers below! 


Marvin Hershberger (ask to speak with Marvin, Rosanna or Iva Mae): 440-548-2399


D & S Farm & Garden (Ask to speak with Susan Fisher.): 440-693-4632


Piedmontese beef sale

If only certified-organic, grass-fed beef will do for you, we have that, too! Dominic Marchese of Manna Farms (a Geauga Family Farm located in Trumbull County) has organic beef available for purchase.


He raises Piedmontese cattle, a beautiful specialty breed from Italy. Piedmontese beef is known as the leanest, most tender and most heart-healthy beef, with less than half the cholesterol and fat of bison and chicken.


We are now taking orders of this beef by the full-cow (average 500 pounds), half-cow (average 250 pounds) or quarter-cow (average 125 pounds). The price for these options is $4.62 per pound, hanging weight. This cost covers processing costs and the provision of vacuum-sealed cuts to maintain the highest quality.


Call to place your order with Dominic or schedule a farm tour any time this fall through December. You can reach Dominic at 330-719-3492. Only a limited number of cows is available, due to the increasing popularity of Piedmontese beef with area chefs. This beef cannot be delivered - you must make arrangements with Dominic for pickup.


This is a great way to experience the finest in locally produced beef, and it is only available for a limited time each season through Geauga Family Farms. Don't delay, call today! For more information, visit



We include recipes each week using the items in your share. We'd love for you to share your recipes with us and we will include them in the newsletter. Please e-mail them to


Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has. Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Recipe from


Oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries  

The baking times are approximate; it depends on how thick you cut the wedges or rounds of sweet potatoes. Try to cut them evenly so they all cook at about the same rate. For best browning results bake only one sheet at a time. Why the sugar? To help with the caramelization and to intensify the sweetness of the fries, but you can easily leave it out if you want. 
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 3 large ones
1/4 cup olive or other vegetable oil
1-2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1-2 Tbsp spice or spice combination of your choice: chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, Cajun seasoning, etc.
Preheat oven to 450°F. (For more crispiness, preheat your oven to 500°F.) Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges. Alternately, you can slice the peeled sweet potato into disks either with a mandolin or a sharp knife. Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Use your hands to mix well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices. Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan. If you are trying to cut fat, reduce the oil to 2 Tbsp and use a non-stick coating on the baking sheet. (Note: a commenter has recommended putting them on a wire cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, so that the oven air circulates around the sweet potato pieces and you don't have to turn them in the
next step. Another commenter recommends preheating the baking sheet, to help the fries get crisp.) Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Recipe from


Roasted Kohlrabi 
Kohlrabi is simply roasted with garlic and Parmesan cheese.
Serves 4
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.
Recipe from

Howdy Farm

Dirt and hard labor yield healthy, community-minded college grads

COLLEGE STATION - Matthew Weintrub left life in the city after high school and entered college as a finance major.

Things got dirty after that, he confesses.

Peer pressure lured him to a field in the shadows of Kyle Field football stadium at Texas A&M University and changed his life forever.

Weintrub quit his major, and a website tells the rest: he became a farmer - a farmer intent on feeding himself, his fellow students and a hungry world.

"The Texas A&M Howdy Farm is a student-run, student-led initiative to create an experiential learning community where people can learn sustainable agriculture," said Weintrub, the farm's manager.

It was a friend and founder of Howdy Farm, Brady Grimes, who nudged Weintrub to the land.

"It transformed my experience at Texas A&M because I had learned all this stuff in the classroom when it comes to science and biology, but it's kind of hard to connect plant science when you're not dealing with actual plants," he said. "Coming out here changed how I think. You have to think daily about what you're growing. In a classroom, you don't experience such things as checking the soil moisture, walking through and noticing bugs and infestations, or knowing when to harvest something at what size. All of that stuff came together when I came out here to the farm."

Weintrub said his eyes also were opened after taking a freshman course in nutrition.

"I learned a lot even though I had eaten healthy foods growing up," he said. "And then I realized something else that really hit me hard: I know to eat a banana because it's good for me and has potassium, but I had no idea where a banana came from. I had no idea where anything came from, and I knew I needed to learn. So I switched my major to horticulture from finance, and I have been immersing myself in science since then."

Weintrub now is nudging other students to get the hands-on learning while producing healthy food to eat.

What began as a few hundred square feet of raised beds on the main campus has become about 5 acres on a field near the AgriLife Complex on Texas A&M's West Campus. After yielding a hundred pounds of squash - more than the hungry college farmers could consume - the group partnered with campus dining services to buy their produce for the university's campus eateries.

The students then applied for a grant from the Aggie Green Fund in 2011 and received $50,000.

"That allowed us to grow tremendously," Weintrub said, noting that Howdy Farm has year-round production.

Howdy Farm is a Community-Supported Agriculture system that sells memberships to students and others in the community. For $240, a person receives an allotment of vegetables for 12 weeks. Membership information can be found at

The fall Howdy Farm now is growing winter squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe, tomatoes, beans, sweet peas, mustard greens, spinach, turnips and kale, Weintrub said. Some summer eggplant, okra and peppers are still producing as well. The group also sells extra produce at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market and Urban Harvest Farmers Market in Houston.

Also linked to the Howdy Farm umbrella is a Sustainable Agriculture student organization, an "army of volunteers" who works in the field three days a week, internships and undergraduate research for which students in any major can earn college course credit, graduate research on watermelon breeding and aquaculture, and the Horticulture 325 Vegetable Crop Production course, he said.

The students also received a second grant for $96,000 in 2012 to build a greenhouse education facility, Weintrub noted.

 "It is my hope this grant allows us to create a facility, possibly called the Howdy Farm Sustainability Center, to serve as the farm's first piece in developing a multi-departmental interdisciplinary learning lab for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences," Weintrub said.

Weintrub said having a farm on campus close enough for students to walk, drive, bike or bus to is part of the success and attraction, though it is not known if the field will always be available or will be the site of a future building.

But the experience already has molded his life as well as those of all the other student farmers.

Horticulture is in a "revival" today, he believes.

"If you look at policies from the United Nations to localities in Texas, we have different avenues on how we're going to feed the world. I think part of that is urban farming and I think part of that is small-scale sustainable farming," he said. "I want to go to graduate school because I need to learn more, but in the end I have to be outside in the sun and working with my hands.

"It's also sad that some people in the world go to bed hungry, and we have been struggling over this for a hundred years asking ourselves 'how are we going to feed the world?' But we're still not there," Weintrub added. "I think that if we can get back to where we started and work locally to increase food production in all localities where there are people with small gardens at home and autonomous robot farms for the community, we can solve hunger. But I think it starts with a more conscious mindset of what we're doing. It starts by educating our peers, our community and our state one day at a time."

Follow the Texas A&M Howdy! Farm on facebook @

Article from Texas AgriLife

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(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PLEASE!)

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