Week  10                           Geauga Family Farm CSA                           Aug. 14, 2018 

The Fair Share     

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"The shared meal elevates eating from
a mechanical process of fueling the body
to a ritual of family and community,
from the mere animal biology
to an act of culture."
~ Michael Pollan , author, journalist 
& professor at UC Berkeley

Welcome to Week 10 of the of the 2018 summer season.

Last week the focus was on zucchini. While there's still a lot of that around, this week we're talking tomatoes. If there's one thing you can be sure you'll get in your share at this time of year, it's tomatoes. Tomatoes produce over a long season and we have no choice but to keep picking them. And if we're picking them, they're going in the shares. Generally, you'll see several tomatoes a week. Some weeks we'll load you up more than others.

Our tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The colors are so fun: red of course, and also pink, purple, deep mahogany, white, yellow, orange, sunburst of orange and red. The lumpy ones are fun too, with asymmetrical shoulders, bulbous sides and zippers and scars. These imperfections that you likely won't see in a supermarket tomato, don't in any way indicate quality or lack thereof. In fact, they often indicate high quality, and even more than that, taste. These are varieties that haven't been bred so much to look right as they are to live well in a soil, or express a color or shape that reminds us of where we came from, or to thrive in a climate. You'll find that quality in flavor, thickness of skin and flesh, juiciness, acidity, and stage of ripeness; but mostly flavor, which for many vegetables indicates the health of the plant, and often of the soil, though there are more variables at play than just that.

Most of the tomatoes you see here are slicers or beefsteaks. They're good for slicing and doing just about anything with: on and in sandwiches, eggs, pasta, salads, soups (think gazpacho; it's hot!). A pinch of salt on them brings out more flavor. These are what you know. They're tomatoes. You know what to do with them. And if you don't, you won't go wrong trying them in any fashion. We also grow cherry tomatoes, little balls of sweet, and paste (Roma) tomatoes.

Paste tomatoes have a thicker wall and less juiciness, and are used for making sauce, salsa and some soups. Don't waste any time adding a bushel or more to be delivered with your share - they don't last long.

Remember that tomatoes don't need to be refrigerated. Keep them on the counter top. Tomatoes keep best around 55 degrees, but your kitchen counter will be fine. Tomatoes with a deep color and skin starting to soften need to be eaten most quickly. We also harvest some just before they're fully ripe. These ones will keep longer on the counter and continue to ripen, to be ready later in the week. 

Unlike many vegetables, tomatoes ripen well off the vine - as long as they're still picked when they're a good ways through the process. That is, the tomatoes you buy in the store are picked before they've ripened enough (if at all), so that they'll ship better. They get gassed with ethylene in the truck as they cross the country. That turns them red but they're not truly developed into what they could be (although they're not bred to be as great as a fresh market variety). That's why they're often white inside. And taste like manila file folders. Bleh. 

Point is - don't ever put them in the fridge. If you're in a rush and want them to ripen faster, put them in a paper bag. More likely, though, they're going to get real ripe and you just need to eat them when you get them. Why wait, anyway?

John Egan, Constance Hendrick and the farmers and families of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares  
Look for some of these items in your share this week.  *It's  pepper season! Hot peppers will be marked with a HOT sticker, but please exercise caution when tasting any peppers. Wash hands thoroughly after handling hot peppers and do not touch your eyes.
Lettuce (green leaf, red leaf, romaine), cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, green peppers, hot banana peppers, sweet banana peppers, jalapeños, sweet onions, red or yellow storage onions, eggplant, beets, watermelon, cantaloupe, Swiss chard, kale, cucumbers, beans and chives.

NOTE:  You will 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 items  
Want to do some canning, make homemade pickles or sauerkraut? You'll find the following bulk items, as well as smaller quantities of a lot of other veggies, in our farm store  here. Look for even more items as we progress through the season.
Green or yellow beans: 1 peck $12.50; 1/2 bushel $21; bushel $40
Green bell peppers: 1/2 bushel $11.50; bushel $21
Roma Tomatoes: 1/2 bushel $15;  bushel $29
Storage onions (red or yellow): 5-lb. bag $7; 10-lb. bag $11.50
Sweet onions: 1/2 bushel - $21
Tomatoes: #1 Slicers - $15/10 lb. box
Tomatoes: #2 Canners - 1/2 bushel, $11; bushel, $20

Now in our farm store  
In addition to bulk items and those listed below, we have all kinds of produce and non-produce items in our farm store including  bread, honey, jams and more. Anyone is welcome to purchase extras from our farm store  here
Green or yellow beans: 1-lb. bag $4.50
Cantaloupe (small): $2.75/each
Green bell peppers : $1.75 each
Cherry tomatoes: $3.75/pint
Poblano peppers: $2.20/bag of 4 or 5 Watermelon (small): $3.75 (limited quantities)
Hot or sweet banana peppers:  $2.35/bag of 6

Labor Day Sale  
Get ready for Labor Day weekend and stock up on Geauga Family Farms beef. Check our farm store for deals on t enderloins and ground beef next week. More info coming soon. The sale will run Aug. 20 - 31. 
We include recipes each week using the items in your share. While we always find great recipes to share, we'd love for you to send us your favorite recipes as well. We will include them in the next newsletter. Please e-mail them to JEgan@geaugafamilyfarms.org.

We've been seeing ground cherries in our shares lately. Some of you may be unfamiliar with these tasty treats whose flavor reminds us a bit of pineapple. They are called ground cherries because they fall to the ground when ripe. They are known by many names, including  husk tomato, cape gooseberry, husk cherries, ground tomato and more. Member Eileen Drust sent in this recipe for ground cherries, or husk cherries, as they are called in this recipe. While we were checking out the recipes on DenisonFarm.com, we saw a couple other recipes there we thought you'd enjoy.

Rebekah's Plum & Husk Cherry Tart
Pate Brisee:
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 tsp. salt
9 Tbsps. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
4-5 Tbsps. ice water
Combine the flour and salt on your counter top. Use a pastry scraper to cut in the butter until you get pea-sized chunks of butter (you can use the tips of your fingers to break the butter, too, but be careful that the butter doesn't get too warm). Add the water one tablespoon at a time and use just the tips of your fingers to incorporate it into the dough. When you can squeeze the dough in your hand and it doesn't fall apart, stop adding water. Gather it into a ball pat it into a thick disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Plum and Husk Cherry Filling:
10 oz. of tart golden plums (weighed un-cut with the stone in), cut into slices
1 pint husk cherries, husks removed
1/2 cup candied ginger
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsps. flour
Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients. Cover and set aside while preparing the dough. (The liquid in the plums will dissolve the sugar to make a thick paste. At this point, you can taste a bit and adjust the flavorings to your liking.)
Roll the dough out into a rough, 10" circle of even thickness. Lift the dough frequently as you roll and flip it over to make sure it doesn't stick to the counter. Use a light dusting of flour if things start to get sticky. This is a rustic tart, so the exact size of the crust doesn't need to be exact. Transfer the crust onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour the filling into the center of the pie crust and spread it to within 4-5 inches of the edge of the crust.
Looking at the crust as the face of the clock, fold the lip of the dough over the filling at 12. Next fold the lip over at roughly 2. Then at 4. Then at 6. Then at 8. At 10, fold the lip over but then unfold the 12 fold partway to tuck the 10 fold under so that all the layers fall in the same direction. Brush the top with egg or milk thinned with a little water.
Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top of the tart with Demerara sugar just before serving. Enjoy!

Green Bean Salad with Red Onion & Tomato
1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cucumber, cut into thin sticks resembling shape and size of green beans
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and pepper
Steam green beans in 1/2 inch boiling water covered for 3 or 4 minutes. Cold shock beans by running under cold water and drain well. Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber and tomato. Dress salad with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper, to taste.

Cucumber Soup with Wasabi Avocado Cream
3 cucumbers (3 1/2 pound total), peeled and sliced
1/2 cup cold water
2 to 3 Tbsps. seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tsps. kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 ripe California avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
8-ounces plain yogurt
1 tsp. wasabi paste (or 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water)
2 Tbsps. finely chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
Garnish: finely chopped fresh chives
Puree cucumbers with water, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in batches in a blender until smooth.
Mash together avocado, lime juice, and remaining teaspoon kosher salt until smooth. Whisk in yogurt, wasabi paste, chives, and pepper, to taste.
Just before serving, blend soup with ice in batches until smooth. Serve topped with avocado cream.
Cooks' note: Soup (before blending with ice) and avocado cream can be made 1 day ahead and kept, separately, chilled and covered.

Creamy Lettuce Soup
2 Tbsps. butter 
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped scallions 
1/8 tsp. white pepper
15 cups chopped lettuce  (red leaf, Boston, green leaf or romaine)
6 oz. cream cheese
In a large pot melt the butter and sauté the scallions and lettuce until the lettuce is limp 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add a dash of lemon juice if desired.  Cool the soup slightly and puree in a food processor, blender or  with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and reheat.  Dice the cream cheese and add to the soup. Heat until melted and serve hot. Sprinkle with a few minced herbs and croutons.

Zucchini-Melon Salad
2 medium zucchini
1 tsp. salt
2 (3-inch-wide) wedges melon, seeded and rind removed
1 lb. smoked chicken breast, skinned and thinly sliced crosswise with a knife
1 (1/2-lb) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, cut crosswise into thin shreds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Cut zucchini crosswise diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices and transfer to a colander, set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat, and let stand 5 minutes, then rinse under cold water. Arrange in 1 layer on paper towels and pat dry.  Cut melon wedges lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.  Divide melon, zucchini and chicken among four plates.  Shave about a quarter of the cheese into curls with a vegetable peeler and divide curls and mint among the plates. Drizzle each plate with oil and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipes from DenisonFarm.com
Area events
Farm-to-Table Dinner at Sapore
Make your reservations now! Just 12 seats left!       
Aug. 22, 6 p.m.
Sapore Restaurant, 8623 Mayfield Road, Chesterland
Join Chef Loretta Paganini and Geauga Family Farms as they join together for a farm-to-table dinner. The dinner will feature Chef Loretta's excellent cuisine fashioned from Geauga Family Farms' finest produce and meats.
For more information or t o sign up for the dinner, click here.

Maplestar Farm Farm-to-Table Dinner
Aug. 19, 4 - 8 p.m.
Maplestar Farm, 10382 Washington St., Auburn Township
Jake and Dawn Trethewey invite you to their organic farm for a celebration of local food benefiting two causes near and dear to their hearts. Maplestar Farms and Driftwood Catering are collaborating on a farm-to-table menu of small plates showcasing a diversity of Ohio flavors. Guests will tour the farm, sample appetizers in the field, and enjoy Great Lakes Brewing Company beer and special wine pairings from Wente Vineyards, 100 percent estate-grown wines. Proceeds will support Ohio's organic farmers with a gift to the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and Ohio veterans with a gift to Operation Homefront.

For more information, or to get tickets for the event, click here.
Local food, farming, environment in the news
We have so many things we'd like to share with you regarding the local food movement, what is affecting the food you eat and the world around us, and much, much more, but we don't want to make our newsletter any
longer. So, we include links to articles you may find interesting. Here are a few. If you run across any articles you find interesting and think other members would be interested in reading, feel free to send us the link for inclusion in an upcoming newsletter.
(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday ONLY PLEASE!)
Farm Representative

John Egan, 440-749-6137, JEgan@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org  
Constance Hendrick, 214-636-0335, CHendrick@geaugafamilyfarms.org

Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062