|Week 18 Geauga County, Ohio||Oct. 3, 2012|
"In my opinion, if there is one extremely legitimate use for petroleum besides running wood chippers and front-end loaders to handle compost, it's making plastic for season extension. It parks many of the trucks (for cross-country produce transportation). With the trucks parked, greenhouses, tall tunnels, and more seasonal, localized eating, can we feed ourselves?
We still have to answer that burning question."
~ Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal:
A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens,
Healthier People, and a Better World
Extending the season
A chill is starting to creep in at the farms, and the smell of wood smoke punctuates the crisp evening air. While many people assume that the fall and winter months provide a break in farm activities, we are just gearing up for a new range of work. It's always busy at Geauga Family Farms!
Several people have asked us about how we are able to run a Fall/Winter CSA program in Northeast Ohio, so we wanted to provide you with some information about our approach. There is certainly a different mix of items, as we switch to crops that produce well in cool, wet conditions. You won't see items like melons, sweet corn or cucumbers, but you will find a nice variety of tasty and healthful offerings.
Most of our winter share crops are planted in middle or late summer, as early season crops finish up and make space in the fields. Many of these items can be left in the fields during cold weather, and pulled from the ground when we need them. Beets, carrots, radishes and parsnips use the cooler ground as an outdoor refrigerator, and stay fresh for quite a long time. The main concern with these items is making sure to harvest them before the soil freezes.
We use floating row covers on plants like Swiss chard, kale, broccoli and bok choy to keep frost and snow from damaging the plants. These are long pieces of light fabric that sit atop low wire frames.
Several of our farms have high tunnels or greenhouses. These spaces allow us to continue to grow some plants in warmer temperatures, since many of these spaces are heated with wood-burning furnaces. Lettuce and tender greens like spinach are usually found in our greenhouses. A visit to our farms at this time of year will include the site of huge wood piles near our greenhouses so we can feed the furnaces throughout the winter months. These spaces are also kept warm so we can start our seedlings in January for next season's CSA crops.
We also grow a wide range of storage crops. These are items that are typically harvested at the end of the primary growing season, that store well when kept in proper conditions. These include items like potatoes, sweet potatoes, pie pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, onions and garlic.
Each year we find new techniques and new crops to help us extend our season and improve our offerings to our CSA customers - it's always an adventure. We hope you enjoy eating with the seasons as much as we do!
(If you would like to participate in our Late Fall/Winter season, see below for information and a link to the application. Shares are still available!)
Thanks for keeping it local,
Michelle, Laura and the families 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.
In this week's shares
In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as apples, green beans, bok choy, broccoli, bunching onions, carrots, eggplants (purple), garlic, Red Russian kale, Lacinato kale, kohlrabi, green romaine, green or red leaf lettuce, peas, peppers (green, red, orange, yellow or purple), Yummy Orange, Red Carmen, Hot Banana and/or Sweet Banana peppers, sweet potatoes, radishes, *sweet corn, pumpkins, Big Beef tomatoes (from greenhouse), yellow squash and spaghetti or acorn squash.
*While we check our corn closely, you still may find a caterpillar in your corn. Just trim the end off and the rest of the ear will be fine.
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 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 Sweet potatoes* - $20/half-bushel (about 20 pounds)
Red beets - $20/half-bushel (with or without tops)
Green bell peppers - $18/bushel, $9/half-bushel
Red bell peppers - $20/half-bushel
Yummy Orange peppers - $18/half-bushel
Jalapeņo peppers - $18/half-bushel
Hot peppers - $12/half-bushel
Sweet banana peppers - $12/half-bushel
*The 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.
Sign up for your Fall/Winter CSA now!
Shares are going quickly for our Fall/Winter CSA. We have only about 300 shares available. The fall/winter season will run for eight weeks, from Thursday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 22 (in previous years our season has run for six weeks). This is a very popular program. To be sure you get your share, we advise signing up as soon as possible. Shares will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to sign up is Oct. 18. To download the application, or to sign up online, click here.
We've heard from a number of you that you have not received the newsletter for the past several weeks. We just learned this was due to some glitch in the newsletter program. If you would like to read the past several newsletters (some haven't received the newsletter since Sept. 7), you can find them online on our Web site at http://www.geaugafamilyfarms.org/newsletters/. Or, you can e-mail Laura and she will forward them to you.
Extras ordering how-to
To order extras, visit our Web site. Click on Extra Items. (Note order deadlines.) Select your preferred pickup site under the item you want to order. Click on "Pay Now." From there, you have the choice to "Continue Shopping" (button is located to the left of the screen), "Check Out," or "Check Out with PayPal" (Check out buttons are to the right of the screen).
If you want to order more than one item, click on "Continue Shopping" and you will automatically return to our Web site to choose an additional item. Simply repeat these steps for each item. You don't need to check out until you are finished making your selections.
To check out, you do not need a PayPal account. Simply click on "Check Out." On the next page, click on "Don't Have a PayPal Account?" and it will ask for your debit or credit card number and contact information.
IMPORTANT: Please check your contact information in PayPal. Many people's contact information has changed since they signed up for their PayPal account. If yours is different from what you have in PayPal, please send us an e-mail with your up-to-date contact information.
If you have any trouble with this process, please feel free to contact Laura or Michelle.
Gobble, gobble! Thanksgiving is getting closer
Some of our farmers raise turkeys for the holiday season, and we are just starting to take 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.
Please contact farmers directly to reserve your bird. You can request a general size range (i.e. 15-20 pounds) 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!
Marvin Hershberger (ask to speak with Marvin, Rosanna or Iva Mae): 440-548-2399
We also have larger turkeys (20+ pounds).
D & S Farm & Garden (Ask to speak with Susan Fisher.): 440-693-4632
We will provide contact information for additional farmers as they are ready to begin accepting turkey orders.
Farm tours - final tour of the season Oct. 13
Our farm tours are held on the second Saturday of the month from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Make it out to the farms before the snow flies!
The last farm visit of the season is tentatively set for Saturday, Oct. 13. You won't want to miss it.
Here is what member Kim Roberts had to say about the last visit:
"I wanted to say how much my girlfriend and I enjoyed the tour, hayride, snacks and the canning demo at the Miller's farm on Saturday. I love the farm visits as much as the wonderful veggies we get. I don't know if it could get any better. :D Thanks so much!"
Saturday, Oct. 13 - Fall tour and potluck get-together at the warehouse
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 LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org.
Grilled Green Onions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon adobo
15-20 green onions (scallions)
Chop the roots off the scallions and a half-inch off the top and line up on a cookie sheet in one layer. Mix butter and adobo together and using your hand, smear the butter onto both sides of the scallions. Place on a hot grill for 3 or 4 minutes on each side or until they are wilted and slightly charred. Keep an eye on them because they grill fast.
Butternut and Apple Harvest Soup
"This medley of autumn vegetables combine to make a wonderfully warm and comforting soup. Pair this with crusty bread and a salad, and dinner is served!"
2 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 cup diced carrots
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 quart chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
Radish, Butter and Bread Recipe
1 bunch (about 2 dozen) small, firm, fresh radishes
8 slices best-quality dark or white bread, cut into quarters*
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Fleur de sel, coarse salt or sea salt
* Purchase whole loaves of bread that you will slice yourself.
Wash (don't peel) and trim radishes; set a dozen or so tender, fresh leaves aside.
Place the washed whole radishes in a plastic container; fill container with enough water to cover the radishes, add 4 to 6 ice cubes, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, thinly slice radishes into rounds (sliced paper thin like translucent sheets of ice). Each radish round should be tipped with color. Chop or sliver radish leaves.
Spread one side of each piece of bread generously with butter. Top with some chopped radish leaves and then cover with the slices of radishes.
Serve, offering the salt at the last minute before eating (let each guest sprinkle their own salt on top of the radish slices). NOTE: This is a great place to use your Fleur de sel.
Serve with a white wine such as pinot gris or chardonnay.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Recipe from What's Cooking America
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
By Lyn Trier
What have you learned?
As we approach the end of the CSA season, I'd like to talk about what we've learned. If you have any stories that you'd be willing to share about your CSA experience, please let me know. I'll try to highlight them over the next two weeks.
Our family has learned to try new vegetables. Items like Swiss chard and beets are not staples in our house. The first few times we received them in our boxes, I cringed. Now, everyone is happy to receive them.
Even after four years of CSAs, there are still new items that appear. This summer we tried fennel for the first time. I love that the area farmers aren't afraid to try growing new items.
Mostly, we've learned not to be afraid of the unknown. This week, we purchased a half lamb. Before my experiences with CSAs, I would have never considered this. But, the opportunity presented itself and I knew that my experiences with trying new foods, looking for recipes and exploring would easily be transferred to lamb.
What have you and/or your family learned this summer? Please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amish auction fundraiser for children's health clinic in Geauga
The DDC Clinic is an important personal cause for Neil Miller and his family. We thought we'd help spread the word.
Amish Auction Benefit for the DDC Clinic - Center for Special Needs Children
Friday, Oct. 12
Middlefield Market Pavilion
15848 Nauvoo Road
Live auction, quilts, furniture, Chinese raffle, bake sale, door prizes, food stand, salad bar and more. Come play Cow Patty BINGO - the winner receives a half-side of beef, cut and wrapped for the freezer.
The DDC Clinic - Center for Special Needs Children is a non-profit primary care and research facility in Middlefield providing medical services for patients with over 70 different rare conditions. The clinic was conceived as a "gathering place;" a place of love, compassion and caring where children and families are respected; a place where people take the time to listen and share; a place of faith and hope. For more information on the Clinic, visit ddcclinic.org.
Local food events
Local Food Week
Sustainable Heights Network will hold its Local Food Week Oct. 1 - 6 in celebration of local food. Our very own Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris will be speaking with Sandy Kish Jordan of CityFresh and The New Agrarian Center at the Local Food Festival at Grace Lutheran Church, 13001 Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights. Michelle and Sandy will speak at 1:15 p.m. Saturday about What Is Community Supported Agriculture? The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and also includes door prizes, information tables, additional presentations and workshops. While in the Heights area, dine on locally-sourced food specials at restaurants such as Nighttown, Brennan's Colony and Barle Soup and Sandwich. Or, attend a tree pruning workshop or a free screening of "Fresh." For more information about Local Food Week, click here.
Dinner in the Valley: Exploring Local Cheese
Wednesday, Oct. 17 6 -9 p.m. at Hines Hill Conference Center
Enjoy an informative evening tasting delicious cheeses made from sheep, goat, and cow milk. The meal incorporates these diverse cheeses. For reservations, call 330-657-2796 ext 121. Pricing is $35 for non- members, $32 for Conservancy members, and $7 for children ages 5-12.
Reservations will be taken until Friday, Oct. 12.
Each month our Dinner in the Valley series features Chef Larkin Rogers who creates a delightful meal hosted at one of CVNP's Extraordinary Spaces.
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 MichelleBZ@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org.
Here's your beef
If you are considering stocking up before the end of the season on ground beef, please do so soon.If you are ordering five pounds or more at once, please allow two weeks for us to fill your order.
During the cold and blustery months, it sure is nice to be able to shop for supper in your own pantry or freezer. Now is the time to consider buying our locally raised, grass-fed beef by the whole, half or quarter. Our cattle have spent the summer months grazing on pasture grasses, in fresh air and sunshine. Grass is the natural and healthy diet for all ruminants, including cows. Grass-fed beef is naturally high in the "good fats," incuding Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in proper proportion, and conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs). And grass-fed beef is delicious, as well as nutritious.
Cost: $3.60 on the hanging weight, including cutting & wrapping charges
Weight: A whole beef will weigh approximately 500 pounds, a half about 250, a quarter about 125
Butcher: Geauga Farms Country Meats will do the cutting and wrapping, per your order.
If you have never ordered beef this way in quantity before, please be assured that Dave and Katherine at Geauga Meats will patiently walk you through the decisions and choices. For questions or to place an order, call Kathleen at 216-408-7719 or e-mail her at Kathleen@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org.
Oct. 1, 2012
Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.
Over the weekend my husband picked up a class schedule from our local gymnastics club. Our daughter is five, and the press of extra-curriculars is beginning. The problem is that most of these activities fall squarely over the dinner hour, which I consider sacred. The practice of sitting down to eat with people we love is something we at LocalHarvest really value, but as we all know, it isn't easy.
Kids' schedules are not the only impediment to shared meals. Many of us work late, live alone, do shift work, or have obligations in the early evenings. In reality, living as we do in this age of busyness and distraction, sitting down with loved ones requires conscious intention. The pull of work, volunteer commitments, television, and the Internet are significant. If we are going to gather at the end of the day, we have to make a plan to do so.
An article in the New York Times published a few years ago identified eating dinner with others as one of three things that actually make people more happy. And on some level, we know this to be true. In a recent study by the International Food Information Council Foundation, nearly 90 percent of respondents thought it was good for their health to sit down and share meals with their loved ones.
Read the rest of the Local Harvest newsletter here.
Signing up friends and family for our newsletter
Want to add someone to the newsletter mailing list? Anyone can sign up for our newsletter on our Web site. All they have to do is visit our Web site here, enter their information and they will receive the very next newsletter.
(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. PLEASE!)
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