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Week 13                           Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 29, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Time for change
Fall/Winter application available soon
Corporate pickup sites wanted
Pickup site issues
In this week's shares
Time for an heirloom tomato tasting
Bulk veggie bargains
NOTE: Farm tour schedule changes
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
Local food events
Mailing list add-ons
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"Earthworms will dance." 

~ Joel Salatin





Buggy silhouette




Time for change

The signals are clear that change is on its way. Cool evenings are usually the first sign, followed by subtle changes in the evening serenades of crickets and frogs. Nature is telling us that autumn is right around the corner.


Reduced daylight means a new urgency to completing the numerous tasks in the fields earlier in the day. The children are heading back to school, resulting in fewer hands to help with the harvest. This is a busy time on the farms. It's also a time of great beauty. The fields still look lush, filled with plants that are heavy with ripe and nearly ripe vegetables. Deep purples, reds, oranges and yellows peak out from beneath the leaves - hints of delicious meals to come.


We're hoping you can join us at the farm of Marvin and Iva Mae Hershberger this evening for a cool and pleasant walk through the fields - the weather should be perfect. Hershberger's Organic Produce is located at 15549 Patch Road in Middlefield - just off Route 168 (Tavern Road). We'll be getting together from 6 - 8 p.m.


Speaking of change, we wanted to let you know about a change to our remaining farm tour schedule. We are switching our upcoming Saturday farm visit from Noah Yutzy's farm to the farm of Andy Miller. We are planning to have hayrides, a pumpkin patch and a canning demonstration at the Miller farm on Sept. 8. We are canceling the field night scheduled for Sept. 25, because it will be too dark at that time to host farm tours.


Our thanks go out to you for any changes you have made in your lifestyle to support local farms in this very meaningful way. The success of this CSA program means that we are able to earn a living doing what we love the most. We truly appreciate it!


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


Marlin Barkman                Jonas L. Byler                     Thomas C. Byler

Daniel Fisher                    Lester Hershberger             Marvin Hershberger

Dominic Marchese            Abner McDaniel                   Andy J. Miller                   

Noah Yutzy Jr.


Buggy silhouette


Winter share application coming soon!

We are happy to announce that we will be running a Late Fall/Early Winter CSA season again this year. We'll have about 300 shares available and our season will run for eight weeks (in previous years our season has run for six weeks). We are working out the remaining details and will release applications as soon as possible. This has been a very popular program. To be sure you get your share, we advise signing up as soon as the application is available. Shares will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.


Corporate sites for 2013 season

Do you work in a large company that might be interested in hosting a CSA pickup for employees next season? Would a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday delivery work? Are there about 40 people at your location who would be interested in participating? If your answer is yes, please contact Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris at


Share size alert

A few of our sites are experiencing share shortages. Please be sure you are taking the correct size box when you pick up your share. If you are having someone pick up for you, please tell them what size they will be picking up for you and alert them to the fact that there are two different share sizes. Thank you!


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as garlic, basil, blackberries, white, yellow or red storage onions, Big Beef tomatoes, Gilbertie heirloom tomatoes, mixed or red cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Chiogga or red beets, green Provider beans, yellow wax Roctor beans, patty pan squash, fingerling potatoes, bell peppers (variety), Hungarian Wax banana peppers (hot), jalapeños (hot), sweet banana peppers, Red Carmen peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplants, fingerling potatoes, new red potatoes, rhubarb, yellow squash and dill.


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. 


Heirloom tomato alert!

You may wonder about the appearance of some of the tomatoes that will start showing up in your box this week. We are starting to include some heirloom varieties of slicers, paste tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. These may have an unusual color (pale pink, green, purple, etc.) and may be misshapen or may have more pronounced stem areas. This is normal for these varieties. They will most likely not have the "perfect" appearance of other varieties. Patience in working with their unusual features will reward you with wonderful tastes and textures. You may even want to try a tomato tasting to experience the subtle differences and determine your favorites.  Enjoy!


Bulk veggie bargains

We have a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers so get some now while they are on sale. The tomatoes are great for canned sauce, juice or whole tomatoes. The hot peppers are perfect for salsa to put on top of all your favorite Mexican dishes.  

#2 canning tomatoes - $12/20-pound box

#1 Roma tomatoes - $15/20-pound box

Mixed cherry tomatoes - $2/pint

Grape tomatoes - $2/pint

Basil - $3/pound 

Red or Chiogga beets - $20/half-bushel (without tops)

#1 Green bell peppers - $18/bushel, $9/half-bushel

Hot peppers - $12/half-bushel

Organic blackberries - $3.50/pint 

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 invoice you for your items.


Farm tour information

Our farm tours are held on the second Saturday of the month from 1 - 3:30 p.m. Tuesday Field 

Nights are from 6 - 8 p.m.

Lester Hershberger farm


Our schedule for the remainder of the season is 

as follows:


Tuesday, Aug. 28 - Hershberger Organic Produce (map to Marvin Hershberger's farm)


Saturday, Sept. 8 - Miller's Organic Produce - hayrides, pumpkin patch & canning demonstration


Saturday, Oct. 13 (tentative) - Fall tour and potluck get-together at the warehouse


Getting the most out of your CSA membership

By Lyn Trier



Up until now, my two main methods of preserving food have been freezing and canning. From squash to peaches, I've had a great time preserving different foods. Last week, I had the opportunity to take a dehydrating class. It really opened my eyes to a whole new way of preserving.


My general rule of thumb in the past has been to can items that I can use the water bath method for and freeze items that would require pressure canning. Peaches, applesauce, plain tomato sauce and jams go into canning jars. Squash, corn, soups, beans, onions and peppers go into the freezer.


The problem with this logic is that my freezers are getting too full. I thought if I took a class in dehydrating, I would be able to keep all of my food out in the cupboard in jars and fix my space problem. Well, it doesn't work quite like that. It's actually recommended that dehydrated foods be kept in the freezer for long-term storage. The good news is that they don't have to be in the freezer 100 percent of the time and when you freeze them, they take up less room!


Some items are easier to dehydrate than others. Some items require blanching and some require treating for color.


If you are looking for some different preserving options, may I suggest that you look into dehydrating? A starter model dehydrator is only about $70. That's a lot less than the cost of a new freezer! It's also less money and takes up less space than a good canning setup.


So far, I'm looking forward to homemade raisins, tomato powder for tomato paste and sun-dried tomato pesto. Hopefully, I'll continue to learn more about dehydrating and be able to share more in the future.


Need to ID some veggies? Try these sources:

Visit our Facebook page

Check Lyn's blog

Check the Veggie ID Guide on our Web site.



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  


Spanish Tomato Toast Recipe

Serves 8

8 slices sourdough or country-style bread, cut into 3/4-inch thick slices

4 cloves garlic peeled and cut in half

4 small ripe tomatoes cut in half*

Cruet of extra-virgin olive oil

Small bowl of coarse salt or sea salt

Freshly ground peppercorns

*For the best flavor, use vine-ripe tomatoes, preferably homegrown ones. If not available, slow-roasted or baked tomatoes may be substituted or a good-quality canned tomatoes (ideally the pear-shaped ones), well-drained of their packing juices.

Grill the bread approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side on a barbecue or toast it lightly in the oven. Once the bread is toasted, rub 1/2 clove of garlic, cut side of half, over the bread while still warm. Use a fresh piece of garlic for each slice. Rub tomato (cut side) over the bread, pressing firmly to push the pulp into the bread, until the toast is covered with tomato; discard the skins and remaining pulp. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and a couple grind of pepper. Serve immediately.

There are two ways to serve tomato bread:

The first is for the cook to do the rubbing and drizzling.

The second is to provide each person with a clove of garlic, half tomato, cruet of oil, and bowl of

salt and let him or her do the work. The second way is more fun.

Optional garnish, choose one or a combination:

1/2 cup green Spanish olives

12 anchovy fillets, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, drained, and patted dry

6 paper-thin slices Spanish ham or prosciutto

12 paper-thin slices Manchego

Recipe from


Apple-Rhubarb Crisp

Oats, brown sugar and walnuts team up with cinnamon and cloves in the terrific streusel topping for this

homespun treat.

Serves 6


3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1/2 cup old-fashion oats

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts


1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

3/4 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

For topping

Mix first five ingredients in medium bowl. Rub in butter until mixture begins to clump together. Mix in nuts. (Can be made one day in ahead. Chill.)

For filling

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine apples, rhubarb, sugar, flour and vanilla extract in large bowl and toss to coat. Transfer apple mixture to 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit. Bake until fruit is tender when pierced with knife and topping is crisp, covering with foil if topping is browning too quickly, about 45 minutes. Cool 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe from


Sweet Pickled Banana Peppers

1/2 lb banana peppers, seeded and sliced crossways into rings

Pickling Juice

2 cups white vinegar

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Sterilize 2- 1/2 pint jars.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a rolling boil. Place peppers in the 1/2-pint jars.

Pour on the hot pickling juice and bring liquid to within 1/2" of the top. Be sure the edge of the jar has no juice on it. Place lids and screw on bands finger-tip tight. Seal jar and leave for two weeks.

Recipe from


Summer Corn Chowder

Serves 4

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ medium onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

½ green pepper, finely chopped (or use 3-4 yummy orange peppers)

3 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 cup potatoes diced in ½ inch pieces (2 medium potatoes or 5-6 new potatoes)

1 cup water

2 tsp fresh basil (or 1 basil ice cube)

¼ tsp paprika

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups skim milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add celery, onion, and green pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add corn, potatoes, water, salt, pepper, paprika and basil. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook covered for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Use an immersion blender to puree vegetable mixture, or skip this step for a chunkier soup. Place 1/2 cup of milk in jar with tightly fitting lid. Add flour and shake vigorously. Gradually add milk-flour mixture to cooked vegetables. Then add remaining milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Adjust seasonings to taste.


Heirloom Tomatoes with Lemon Pesto  

Serves many

Tomatoes (use an array of colors, types, and sizes of tomatoes)* 

Pesto with 1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice and 1 tsp. lemon zest stirred in

Fruity extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh basil sprigs

* Use as many tomatoes as you need for the amount of people you are serving.

Cut the large tomatoes into slices and the small cherry tomatoes into halves. Arrange cut tomatoes on a decorative platter or board. Drizzle prepared pesto over the larger tomatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of all the tomatoes. Place a few basil sprigs around the tomatoes. When serving, encourage your guests to tear off some of the basil leaves, tear into smaller pieces, and sprinkle over the top of their tomatoes before eating.


Local food events 


Cleveland Garlic Festival

Shaker Square

Sept. 8, 1 - 9 p.m., Sept. 9, noon - 6 p.m.

One-day pass: adults $7, seniors $4, children ages 3-12 $2.
Two-day pass: adults $12, seniors $6, children ages 3-12 $3. 
Children younger than 3 are free both days

For tickets and additional information visit    


FarmAFare - A Celebration of Local Foods

Join the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District Sept. 13 in celebrating local food at its annual meeting. This fine dining event will be held outside under a big tent at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland. This locavore event to honor the individuals and groups who are working to conserve natural resources in Lake County will include a 10-course dinner featuring local farm products prepared by area chefs. Tickets are $50 each or $90 for a couple. For more information, visit To reserve your seats, call 440-350-2730 or e-mail soil@lakecounty


Stone Soup Mystery Meal

Saturday, Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.  

Howe Meadow

4040 Riverview Road
Peninsula, OH 44246 

Gather ingredients from the Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow, travel to Hale Farm & Village, prepare a delectable soup and salad around a campfire and reenact the traditional tale of Stone Soup. Then it's time to feast!

Families are invited to explore historic farm properties in the Cuyahoga Valley and learn about local foods, sustainable agriculture, and farming history. These programs are part of a collaborative effort between Hale Farm & Village, the Countryside Conservancy, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and National Park Service.  

Fee:  $17/adults, $15 for partner members. $7 for children ages 4 - 11. Price includes market tokens. 

Program begins at Howe Meadow at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. Call 330-675-2796 ext. 100  or visit for more information.


Local Harvest Newsletter

Why buy organic, and how

Aug. 27, 2012

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

Twenty years ago, I packed up two suitcases and moved from Minnesota to Northern California to work as an intern with CAFF, a statewide sustainable farm organization. My first project was to squint my way through heavy books of data at the Department of Pesticide Regulation, cataloging how many tons of each of the most toxic pesticides were being sprayed on California's main crops. The numbers were staggering, and on the rise.

It didn't take long for me to see the value of eating organic food and adjust my food purchases accordingly. But that was 20 years ago. This month I got to wondering, have things changed? I called Jim Riddle, Organic Outreach Coordinator, University of MN - Southwest Research and Outreach Center, and asked him to give me an update.

Riddle's overview of the last two decades falls into three areas: a new hazard, greater structure, and more data. The new danger, of course, is being wrought by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), just under development in the 1990s, but now estimated to be found in 70% of food on grocery store shelves. (The rise of GMOs - and the fight against them - will be the topic of a future LH newsletter.) The increased structure Riddle mentions is provided by the National Organic Program, which in 2000 created a single, national definition of "organic." The organic standards have many fans, as well as quite a few opponents.

Many people turn to organic food out of concern for what pesticides do to our natural resources, and their impact on human health. Compared to 20 years ago, Riddle says, we have greater documentation of both the ways organic systems protect groundwater, and the increased nutritional value of organic foods. Recent studies have consistently shown that organic foods have higher vitamin, mineral, and anti-oxidant levels, and lower nitrate levels. Riddle concludes, "Choosing organic is an investment in our health."

The case for organic is strong, and with over 75% of Americans buying some organic products, it seems that most of us agree. Few of us buy organic food exclusively, though, so we have to make choices at the grocery store. Asked how he spends a limited budget for organic, Riddle said that he prioritizes organic dairy, which he calls a "gateway organic product." Dairy gets the top spot for a few reasons: cows on organic farms eat fresh grass, so their milk is higher in healthy amino acids. Eating organic milk and dairy products also allows us - and our children - to avoid pesticide residues which make their way from the cows' grain to the milk, and dodges the infamous rBGH (bovine growth hormone). If organic dairy is outside your budget, you would do well to look for products labeled "rBGH free."

After dairy, Riddle recommends making sure that fruits and vegetables that are consumed raw and not peeled are organic. Planting a garden, as many of us do, will make in-season, organic produce plentiful, stretch our food dollars, and teach the next generation a valuable skill. For those who don't have space for a garden, shopping for fresh, local foods at the farmers market is economical and delicious. Whatever you do, warns Riddle, "stay away from highly processed, highly packaged foods - you're wasting your food dollars, whether it's organic or not." Amen! From his vantage point as an organic educator, Jim Riddle sees that consumers' beliefs are changing. "People in the U.S. are placing more value on the food they eat and how it's grown."

We want to hear about what organic foods you buy and how you budget for them. We'd also like to know what you think of the National Organic Program and whether its definition of organic goes far enough. Please take a couple of minutes to tell us!

Until next time, take good care and eat well. Erin Barnett

Director, LocalHarvest



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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