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Week 7                            Geauga County, Ohio
July 17, 2012

The Fair Share

What's cropping up!
Christmas every week
In this week's shares
Stewing hens available
Veggie Tip of the Week
Bulk veggies available for canning, freezing
Getting the most out of your CSA membership
Local food events around town
Farm tour information
The Case for Beets
Mailing list add-ons
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"The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard." 

~ Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal: 

A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World




Buggy silhouette




Like Christmas every week

We have heard from so many of you about how each week is like Christmas - you love to discover what will be waiting in your box at pick-up. Mid-July is one of our favorite times of the season because of the new vegetables and fruit that start to become available for inclusion in the shares. The early season greens and cooler weather crops begin to give way to fun varieties of squash, peppers, blueberries and peaches. We love adding new items to the shares each week, hoping you are as excited as we are.


The mid-summer produce is so wonderful for creating simple and delicious meals. Thick slabs of tomatoes seasoned with fresh herbs, fresh vegetable salsas bursting with flavor and the simple joy of fresh fruit over ice cream all create lasting menus that help to define summer eating in Ohio. There will be time for more complex recipes that utilize the bounty of produce, but don't forget to stop and enjoy the essence of what makes these items so special and delicious on their own.


We enjoy bringing the gifts of this land to you, and we are thrilled to hear that you are enjoying it, too! 

Laura Dobson, Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, 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


In this week's shares

In this week's shares, CSA members can expect things such as fennel, red and green leaf lettuce, green romaine lettuce, sweet candy onions, bunching onions, basil, Big Beef tomatoes, Provider beans (green), Broncho beans (green), red beets, sugar snap peas, cabbage (green), yellow squash, patty pan squash (green, white/yellow or striped), zucchini, cucumbers, pickling cukes, mixed cherry tomatoes, potatoes and fingerling potatoes.


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. 


Stewing hens available

Susan Fisher at D & S Farm & Garden has stewing hens available at $5 per hen. They need to be picked up at the farm. To place your order, please call Susan at 440-693-4632.


Veggie Tip of the Week

Basil perks up if you put it in a glass of water. I like to put mine in a Mason jar on the counter like a big, fragrant bouquet. If the stems are just placed in the refrigerator without water, they will wilt and turn black almost immediately. You can throw it right into the food processor with a bit of olive oil and then pour into an ice cube tray. Empty the frozen cubes into a freezer bag and drop a cube into soups and sauces or whenever you want some fresh basil flavor.


Bulk veggies for sale

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

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

Canning cucumbers - $12/box - (24-30/box)

Basil - $3/pound 

Red Beets - $20/half-bushel, with or without tops

Zucchini -$18/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.


Getting the most out of your CSA membership

By Lyn Trier



For me, this is the time of year where life gets really crazy. It's blueberry-picking season, my son is in camp, and I have too many evening events scheduled in a row. Don't get me wrong, I love to be busy, but my fridge and CSAs suffer during extra busy weeks.


Saturday, I had planned to be away for most of the day. I woke up and decided that sometimes I just need to say no and work at home. I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning up the fridge. My goal was to be able to eat at home for a few days without much cooking and have a fridge all ready to accept the next bounty.


I made two quiches. In one quiche, I used cauliflower and in the other, I used sautéed beet greens and Swiss chard. Both of them used sausage crumbles, local eggs and local Gouda. I made the crust using local whole wheat flour. They turned out great. I froze about half and we've used quiche for a couple of meals since Saturday morning.


My husband chopped the onions for us. I had plans for a couple of dishes that needed raw onion, but decided that I need to get them into the freezer so they didn't go bad. A bit later, I had fajita onions and chopped onions in the freezer and some sliced onions for a cabbage dish in the fridge all ready to go.


I roasted a local chicken that was thawing in the fridge. I love to roast chicken since we get about four meals out of one. Once it was cooked, I let it cool and then took all of the bones out and cut up the meat. I left some out for a couple of meals and froze the rest. The next step was to make stock. Once it cooled, I froze some reasonable-sized containers.


I had a few beets in the fridge as well. Since I already had the oven on for quiche and then chicken, I roasted the beets whole while the chicken cooked. Once they cooled, I removed the skin and made beet puree in the food processor. I added some basil for extra flavor and then froze the puree into cubes. I'll be using it for pizza later in the summer.


To use the rest of the basil, I decided to try a new recipe for balsamic basil vinaigrette. I didn't make up the recipe, so I can't share it, but if you just think about olive oil, vinegar, basil and a few spices, I'm sure you could easily recreate it. I loved using my Vitamix for it, but I'm sure a food processor or blender would work too. I will say that it was very weird to have green salad dressing, but once we got over the color, it was super delicious on our salad. Also, we didn't notice the color once it was over the greens.


My last dish was to make some coleslaw using the cabbage. After the slaw was done, the fridge was in great shape for our next pick up. I also haven't had to cook since Saturday and there's still a few meals worth of food ready to go in the freezer. All of my efforts definitely paid off.


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 will include recipes in the newsletter using the items in your weekly 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  


Grilled Fennel with Balsamic

Serves 2 

Grilled Fennel
1 fennel bulb

2 teaspoons olive oil, separated

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Trim the fennel stalks and fronds away, you can use them for something

 else. Cut the bulb in four 

and gently trim away the core. You want to leave just enough core to hold the sections together. If you have a larger fennel bulb feel free to slice these 4 sections in half again. Rub the fennel with 1 teaspoon of the oil and a 

Heat your grill to medium and make sure it is clean and oiled. Put the fennel on the grill, cover, and turn down to medium low. Check on the fennel in 5 minutes, if it is young and tender it is probably ready to be turned, otherwise it may need another few minutes. Baste with olive oil as needed. Grill 5-8 minutes per side and then drizzle with balsamic when hot. It should still have a good crispness to it, but not be raw either. Serve hot or at room temperature.generous helping of salt and pepper. 

Recipe from


Fennel and Sausage Risotto

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed meat crumbled

1 large fennel bulb, halved cored and thinly sliced

5 ½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 small onion, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 ½ cups arborio rice, 10 ounces

Pinch of saffron threads

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes longer. Cover and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, for 1 minute stirring constantly to thoroughly coat it with the fat. Crumble the saffron into the wine and add it to the rice. Cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Stir in the sausage and fennel along with the cheese, butter and parsley. Serve immediately.

Recipe from


Marinated Broccoli Salad

Easy to prepare and delicious on a hot evening.

1 large head of broccoli, washed and cut into small florets

½ cup toasted slivered almonds

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove of garlic, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place broccoli and almonds in a medium glass bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour over broccoli and almonds and refrigerate, covered, for at least two hours.  Toss the florets in the marinade from time to time during the two hour period to cover evenly. Serve chilled.

Recipe from Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris


Indian-Spiced Grilled Baby Squash

Serves 4

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. peeled fresh ginger (grated)

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground coriander

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 lb. patty pan squash (baby, cut in half crosswise)

1 red onion (cut into 1 inch pieces)

Cooking spray

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. fresh mint (thinly sliced, leaves)

Preheat grill. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Thread squash and onion alternately onto each of 8, 10-inch skewers. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until tender, turning frequently. Drizzle with juice. Sprinkle with mint.

Recipe from

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

6 pattypan squash, stem and blossom removed

6 slices bacon

½ cup diced onion

1 ½ cups soft bread crumbs

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring one inch of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the stem with little resistance. Drain, and slice off the top stem of the squash. Use a melon baller to carefully scoop out the centers of the squash. Reserve all of the bits of squash. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon to paper towels, and set aside. Sauté onion in bacon drippings. Chop the reserved squash pieces, and sauté them with the onion for one minute. Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Crumble the bacon, and stir into the stuffing along with the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff each squash to overflowing with the mixture, and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash are heated through.

Recipe from


Grilled Romaine Salad

"Grilled romaine lettuce is a nice change of pace from just a regular green salad and all you need is steak seasoning, olive oil and a bit of lemon juice!" 

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Drizzle olive oil over romaine lettuce and season with steak seasoning. Place lettuce cut side-down on preheated grill. Cook until lettuce is slightly wilted and charred, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice to serve. You may also omit the steak seasoning and serve this recipe with Caesar dressing and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Recipe from 

Local food events around town

The next stop on the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association's annual Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series will take place Friday, July 20 in Cleveland.


Garden Tour and Lecture with Peter Bane
Friday, July 20  ● 6:30 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Cleveland
21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122


In this free garden tour and lecture sponsored by OEFFA and organized by Ambrosia Regenerative Land Care, Peter Bane, author of The Permaculture Handbook, will describe how to develop effective small-scale methods for home-based production. A book signing will follow this talk. This event will start outside the church with a tour of the newly installed permaculture garden. Free and open to the public. 


For more information about this event, contact Ambrosia Regenerative Land Care at 216-407-2870 or, or go to more information about the other farm tours and events in this series, including directions and maps, go to


Countryside U 2012 - Home Cooks and Backyard "Farmers" 

The Countryside Conservancy in Peninsula offers classes throughout the year. Here is information for the next class in their summer series.


Preserving Your Bounty

Preserving your veggies can be fun and rewarding.  Learn this timeless talent and enjoy your bounty all year long.  Local farmer and canner will teach you how...

Aug. 14

6 p.m.

Basket of Life Farm, 4965 Quick Road, Peninsula

Cost: $25 per person

Instructor: Heather Walters, Basket of Life Farm

To register, visit


Farm tour information

Our farm tours are held on the second Saturday of the month from 1 - 4 p.m. Tuesday Field Nights are from 6 - 8 p.m. Our schedule for farm visits for the remainder of the season is as follows:


Tuesday, July 24 - Red Sled Farm and a tour of the warehouse


Saturday, Aug. 11 - Farm of Tom Byler & corn roast


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                                                                               Lester Hershberger farm


Making the Case for Beets

by Susan Russo

Two years ago, cilantro haters were vindicated. The New York Times ran a story, Cilantro Haters, It's Not Your Fault, in which Harold McGee, respected food scientist and author, explained why cilantro really does taste like soap to many people. Turns out, some folks "may be genetically predisposed to dislike cilantro."


Now, I'd like to see Harold tackle beets. This vegetable suffers all sorts of indignities. People say they taste like metal, mud, wood, even dirty socks. (Dirty socks? Really? That's hard-core beet hate.)

 Candy Cane beets

What's behind all this beet antipathy? Is it chemistry? Genetics? Canned beets? President Obama? (He famously banned them from the White House garden.)

Unlike the president, I adore fresh beets, which are at their sweetest from May through September. Some beets, especially dark red ones, have a sweetness close to sugar, while others admittedly taste a little like dirt, or as beet lovers prefer, "earthy."


I've given some thought to this beet bashing, and here's what I've come up with: canned beets. Other than canned string beans, it's hard to find a more repugnant vegetable - freakishly iridescent and disturbingly mushy. Nothing good comes from canned beets.


Many people claim beets taste metallic. This could be because of the metal can, which studies have shown tastes like metal. But that doesn't explain why many people say fresh beets taste like metal. Perhaps it's iron. Beets are high in iron, which is why they're recommended for people with anemia.


Then there's dirt. Maybe they taste like dirt because they have not been properly cleaned and still have dirt clinging to them. Dirt tastes like dirt. Or it could be geosmin, a compound that gives beets their distinctive, dirtlike flavor.


Irwin Goldman, a beet breeder and professor of horticulture at the University of Wisconsin, is trying to help with the beet-dirt issue. He's working to breed beets higher in geosmin for people who like that distinctive dirty flavor, as well as beets lower in geosmin for those who prefer more sweetness.


In spite of their detractors, beets are experiencing a culinary heyday. Innovative food bloggers, writers and chefs are sharing recipes for raw beet salads, beet carpaccio and beet tarts. Beet confections have blossomed as well, especially mysteriously dark chocolate-beet cake, cupcakes and brownies. There's even beet ice cream, on which the jury is still out.


Chefs are smitten with diminutive, jewel-colored baby beets as well as full-sized gold beets with their sun-soaked yellow flesh. Is there a hip eatery that does not serve a roasted beet and goat cheese salad?


Nothing has elevated beets' status as powerfully as Chioggia beets, also known as candy-stripe or candy-cane beets due to their festive red and white striations. When they appear at my local farmers market, they cause traffic jams.


Nothing has elevated beets' status as powerfully as Chioggia beets, also known as candy-stripe or candy-cane beets due to their festive red and white striations. When they appear at my local farmers market, they cause traffic jams. (Keep in mind that cooking diminishes their color, so for the most dramatic presentation, serve Chioggia beets raw.)


When selecting beets, look for deeply colored, smooth, firm-skinned globes with the leaves attached. Avoid beets that are soft, shriveled, pitted or spotted. If storing, cut off the leaves, and trim the stems to about 1 inch. Wrap in paper towel, place inside a plastic bag, and refrigerate for seven to 10 days.


When you're ready to eat them, wash beets thoroughly, scrubbing the skin to dislodge any dirt, then cut off the stem. You can boil, steam, microwave and even grill beets, yet roasting is the kindest cooking method, as the heat gently caramelizes the vegetable's natural sugars. Plus, the skins practically slide off after roasting. Of course, you can also enjoy beets in all their raw glory. Grated, shaved or sliced paper-thin, they're bursting with color and crunch.


As for the beet greens, whatever you do, don't throw them away unless they're mildewed, browned or full of holes. Fresh beet greens should be unwilted and richly colored. They're similar in taste to Swiss chard and are a delicious alternative to more prosaic spinach.


To prepare them, cut off any thick stalks. Submerge in a large bowl of water to loosen the dirt. Drain, rinse and repeat as necessary, then pat dry. Par-boil them by dropping in boiling water for one minute. Remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water. "Shocking" the greens will keep them bright and beautiful. Drain, and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Beet greens are wonderful simply sauteed in olive oil and garlic, tossed into scrambled eggs and pasta or added to soups and stews. They're also delicious raw, thinly sliced and added to salads and sandwiches.


As for flavor pairings, beets have an affinity for tangy, pungent foods such as goat, blue and feta cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, horseradish and onions; acidic foods such as oranges, lemons and vinegars; and smoky foods such as bacon, smoked fish and smoked meats. They also pair well with legumes, especially lentils; whole grains such as barley, bulgur and quinoa; and most nuts, particularly pistachios and walnuts.


If you have a tenuous relationship with beets, consider starting simply. Roasted beets sprinkled with good olive oil, salt, black pepper and fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme are one of the tastiest ways to enjoy beets. So, too, is crostini topped with goat cheese, sliced roasted beets, lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil. Crunchy raw beet salads are an attractive option as well, especially when tossed with shredded carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts and coated with a creamy tahini or yogurt dressing.


I hope folks like Irwin Goldman and Harold McGee shed some light on this dirty issue soon because clearly it's not on President Obama's agenda. While I wait, I'll be slurping my beet smoothies, spooning my beet soup and crunching my beet chips with abandon.

Article from


About The Author

Susan Russo is a food writer in San Diego. She publishes stories, recipes and photos on her cooking blog, Food Blogga. Her latest cookbook is Recipes Every Man Should Know. When she isn't writing about her Italian family back in Rhode Island or life with her husband in Southern California, she can be found milling around a local farmers market buying a lot more food than two people could possibly eat.



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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