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Week 11                           Geauga County, Ohio
Aug. 14, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Welcome 10-week members
Letters from our members
In this week's shares
Bulk produce for sale
Organic blackberries!
Hot pepper alert!
Farm tour information
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
National Planting Day
Local food events
Federal aid for Ohio farmers looks likely
Mailing list add-ons
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"To reclaim this much control over one's food, to take it back from industry and science, is no small thing; indeed, in our time cooking from scratch and growing any of our own food qualify as subversive acts."

~ Michael Pollan  



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One of the top reasons that many people cite for buying locally grown produce and for participating in CSA programs is the variety of items that are available. Most grocery stores carry only the few most popular types of apples or lettuce, for example. At Geauga Family Farms we love to experiment with new types of veggies to bring a greater variety to our members, and hopefully to make your experience truly unique.


While we generally include tomatoes every week they're available, we try to switch out between slicers, Romas, cherry tomatoes and heirlooms to give you a wider range with which to cook. We hope you have as much fun as we do experiencing the subtleties of flavors and textures that each new type brings. Peppers are starting to appear in the boxes, and we're growing several different kinds: bell peppers, hot Hungarian peppers, mild banana peppers and yummy orange peppers are just a few.


We've had some brand-new items this year that we have never included in our summer shares before. This includes spinach, lemon basil, blackberries, organic blueberries and fennel. Did you enjoy them? If there are items or varieties you have particularly enjoyed, or if there is anything you would like to see, please let us know. We love to hear from you about ways to improve the CSA experience.


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.


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Welcome new members! 

We're happy to welcome our new members to the 10-week CSA program. If any of our 20- or 15-week members notice anyone who looks like they could use assistance during pick-up, please lend a hand and help them understand the details related to sign-in/share size/extras. Thanks so much!


Letters from our members

We have heard from so many people this season about how much they are enjoying the CSA. We wanted to share their kind words. This week, we include a note from Judith Macek, who picks up at Miller Organic Produce, what we call our warehouse pickup site.


Hi Laura,
I can't begin to tell you how much Greg and I have enjoyed our CSA this season and cannot believe we haven't joined one sooner! When I picked up yesterday at Miller's I made sure they knew how much it is appreciated. The food has been wonderful, and we have had fun stepping outside our comfort zone to try the different varieties of vegetables that have been offered. I have shopped organic for over 10 years, but still was not completely satisfied because the produce is picked before it is ripened. Joining the CSA has blown that away. We are truly blessed.
Thanks to everyone who makes this possible!
PS - can't forget to mention the newsletter, icing on the cake :)
Judith Macek 


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as basil, watermelon, cantaloupe, blackberries, sweet corn, red and green leaf lettuce, green romaine lettuce, Rainbow chard, white and red storage onions, Big Beef tomatoes, mixed or red cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, Chiogga or red beets, green beans, cabbage, patty pan squash (green, white/yellow or striped-Ronde de Nice), pickling cukes,  fingerling potatoes, green peppers, Hungarian Wax banana peppers (hot), jalapenos (hot), sweet banana peppers, Red Carmen peppers, Yummy Orange peppers, zucchini and eggplants.


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 veggies for sale

Ladies and gentlemen, start your canners! We have bulk veggies for sale now. 

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

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

Mixed cherry tomatoes - $2/pint

Basil - $3/pound 

Chiogga beets - $20/half-bushel

#1 Green bell peppers - $24/bushel, $12/half-bushel

Hot peppers - $22/half-bushel

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.


Limited-time add-ons

D & S Farm & Garden has lots of organic blackberries for sale for $3.50/pint. To order, call Rosanna at 440-693-4625 between 7 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your add-on order will be delivered with your share in a box or bag with your name on it. Please look for it when you pick up your share. Rosanna will invoice you for your items.


Pepper Alert!

You will start to see both hot and mild banana peppers show up in your bags. The hot peppers will be marked with a "HOT" sticker on their bags, and the mild peppers will not have a sticker. It is always good to be cautious, though. Please remember to limit contact with the seeds, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling.


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 (Marvin Hershberger's farm)


Saturday, Sept. 8 - Parkman Produce (Yutzy Family farm) & canning demonstration


Tuesday, Sept. 25 - Miller's Organic Produce + pumpkin patch & hayrides


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


Getting the most out of your CSA membership

By Lyn Trier


Late to the Summer Squash Party

Earlier this week, I was reading some Facebook posts and ran across this recipe from Whole Foods.


I thought it looked interesting and I was glad that it didn't need to be cooked, but I wasn't really interested in making it. I had never seen squash ribbons before.


Then, a couple of days later, I read this post from Smitten In Cleveland.


I know Kimberly in real life and thought - squash ribbons twice in one week. Now, I need to try these. I love her photos and step-by-step.


I did a little searching online and found that these are not a new invention. From Paula Dean to NPR, everyone has a recipe that uses squash ribbons.


I was amazed that so many people had so many variations on the theme of summer squash ribbons. I feel like I'm late to the party.


This week, I made a dish using the ribbons. It was absolutely delicious and such a great way to have squash. I'm a texture person and I get tired of the seeds in the squash and always slicing it for the grill or a stir fry.


I didn't get a photo, but I took a yellow squash and a green zucchini and made ribbons. I cooked some bulk Italian sausage and made a white sauce with a bit of Asiago cheese. I added the ribbons and sausage to the sauce and cooked it together until the squash was warm, but not mushy.


It was superb. Now, I'm anxious to try them again and again using some of the suggestions from above.


We're starting to get toward the end of summer squash season, but I bet many of us still have a few hanging out in our fridge.


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  

Red Pepper Coulis

A tasty sauce made from red bell peppers that goes very well over chicken as well as fish.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red bell peppers and shallots; saute until soft. Stir in white wine and chicken broth, and simmer over low heat until reduced by half. When the mixture is reduced, stir in sour cream, and transfer the mixture to a blender. Puree until smooth. Reheat before serving if necessary.


Hot Pepper Mustard

A sweet and tangy pepper mustard that is delicious on hot dogs, pretzels and lots more. A great way to use up an abundance of hot banana-type peppers grown in the garden.
10 banana peppers (5 inches long), stems removed
1 cup prepared yellow mustard
1-1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
Remove the seeds from the banana peppers and place the peppers into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour into a large pot and stir in the mustard, sugar, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil, so that it is boiling so hard it cannot be stirred down. Stir together the flour and water until smooth. Pour into the boiling mixture. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Pour into sterile pint jars and seal with new lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your altitude.


Ribollita (Reboiled Italian Cabbage Soup) 

Made in the classic Italian tradition, this hearty soup combines a white bean puree with a blend of vegetables including cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard, with toasted bread to thicken the mix. It's reheated (ribollita) and served topped with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

2 cups dry cannellini beans

4 cups water

3 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth

5 cloves garlic, minced

4 sage leaves

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

2 onions, diced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 large stalks celery, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 1/2 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped

1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped

1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread, lightly toasted

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1/2 cup olive oil

Sort and rinse the beans before placing them in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain.

Place the beans, chicken broth, garlic, sage leaves, bay leaves, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Cool. Remove 1 cup of beans. Discard the bay leaves and sage leaves. Blend the remaining bean mixture with a hand mixer until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until transparent, about 10 minutes. Combine the carrots, celery, potatoes, cabbage, Swiss chard and kale with the onions. Stir in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and cook until greens have wilted, stirring at least once, about 20 minutes. Stir in the pureed bean mixture, and cook 40 minute until the mixture thickens. Stir in the reserved beans. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add the toasted bread slices; cook until bread is soaked, about 10 minutes longer. Cool, and refrigerate overnight.

Reheat the soup over low heat until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve each serving garnished with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipes from


National Planting Day

Join the folks who bring us the Great American Cleanup each spring on Sept. 8 for the first ever National Planting Day. The nationwide event encourages the planting of native species to support local ecosystems, reduce water consumption, improve soil stability, and provide food and shelter for indigenous wildlife.

Do your part! This fall, plan to plant native species at home and join a volunteer effort to beautify your community. Tell your friends and family about the importance of native species and get them involved too!

National Planting Day celebrates the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment, while creating greener, more beautiful communities. With a national focus on Sept. 8 and activities happening throughout the fall, Keep America Beautiful is mobilizing Americans to plant native species of trees, flowers and plants.

A few local organizations are participating. Find out what events are happening locally by contacting them directly. 


Keep Lakewood Beautiful
Ruth Gillett, Chairperson


Keep Mentor Beautiful
Bonnie Rice, Program Director


Keep Wickliffe Beautiful
Patricia Fowler, Executive Director


Local food events 


Canning/Preservation 101 

The Countryside Conservancy, an organization working to preserve farmland in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offers Canning/Preservation 101.
Preserving Your Bounty
Tuesday, Aug. 14     
6 - 9 p.m. 
Fee: $10 
Learn how to can the delicious fresh food you just picked or received in your CSA share. Taught by local farmer Heather Walters, the class will be held at Basket of Life Farm, 4965 Quick Road, Peninsula. Registration requested by e-mail: For more information, visit


Enjoy Lunch and Support the Conservancy

Our partner, Whole Foods Market on Chagrin, will hold a "Giving Grill" event with all proceeds benefiting the Conservancy. Enjoy a lunch of all-beef hot dogs and veggie dogs, a side of fruit salad or potato chips, and a beverage for $5.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Noon - 2 p.m.
Whole Foods Market-Chagrin

27249 Chagrin Blvd.

Woodmere, OH 44122


Cleveland Garlic Festival

Mark your calendars and get out the breath mints! The second annual Cleveland Garlic Festival is coming soon. This grassroots food and urban music festival will support North Union Farmers Market's mission of championing local foods.

Inspired by the 31-year-old Garlic Festival in Gilroy, Calif., the Garlic Festival is ground zero for all things garlic in the Midwest Great Lakes region. Attendees will enjoy garlic-themed food prepared by local celebrity chefs including everything from ice cream to oysters, an onsite Grill Off, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and more.


For kids, they can visit the Mighty Locavores area with rock climbing, tastings, garlic growing, chalk art classes and more events and activities. They'll want to stop by the Meyer Hatchery  exhibit to learn about raising chickens and to enter the raffle for a chance to win a backyard chicken hutch.


Tickets and additional information can be found at any North Union Farmers Market location, by calling 216-751-7656, online or by e-mail at   

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


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


Federal aid for Ohio farmers looks likely

USDA secretary says drought assistance may be weeks away 

By  Dan Gearino

Article from The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio farmers suffering through drought might have to wait a little longer to learn whether their county will be added to more than 1,400 nationwide set to receive federal disaster assistance, the nation's top agriculture official said yesterday in Columbus.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters at the Ohio State Fair that his office is reviewing data that may add parts of the state to the disaster list.

So far, no county in Ohio has been named a drought disaster area, but six counties in the northwestern part of the state - Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert, Darke and Fulton - are eligible for aid because they border counties in Indiana and Michigan that have received the declaration.

"We're going to constantly look for ways to help," Vilsack said.

He said it "could be a matter of weeks" until more counties are added, and that he is taking steps to make it happen as quickly as possible. Federal officials based in Ohio are working to determine how much of the state may be eligible.

On Monday, Gov. John Kasich asked for a federal disaster declaration for all 88 counties.

To qualify, a county must have lost 30 percent of the production of one major crop or be able to show eight consecutive weeks of certain levels of drought conditions. Once a county gets the designation, the contiguous ones are added automatically.

"It's a serious sort of circumstance that we're in the middle of," said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.Nearly two-thirds of the contiguous United States was under some level of drought as of July 31, more than a fifth of it classified as extreme or worse, according to the Drought Monitor, a weekly report compiled by U.S. climate experts.Other parts of the country are suffering more than Ohio is, and the worst U.S. drought in 56 years intensified over the past week. Above-normal temperatures and scant rainfall continue to parch corn and soybean crops across the Midwest and central Plains, including in the major farming states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.The drought also became more severe in the southern United States. It comes just a year after a record-breaking dry spell, which ruined crops and wilted pastures across Texas and Oklahoma, forced an unprecedented northward migration of cattle.

When drought renders grazing lands useless, farmers are forced to pay for more animal feed.

"The cost is going to be huge this year," said Sherri Lawrence of Coshocton County in Ohio. Her horses usually graze but lately have needed to be fed hay.

Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was included in this story. 

Read the rest of the story here.



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!)

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