Week 16                                                    Geauga County, Ohio                                                Sept. 20, 2016

The Fair Share     

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"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."
~ George Washington

Welcome to Week 16 of the Geauga Family Farms summer season. Our work is all about growth. We start each season with bags of seed, soil and hope. It's up to us to put in the work needed to take those seeds from their humble beginnings and nurture them into the beautiful vegetables that grace our tables and fill our shares. As much as this is a typical cycle, the transformation always amazes us.
And because our work is centered upon growth and change, we are never content to do the same thing. Each season brings a new opportunity to try different vegetables, different growing techniques and different approaches to this business of farming. We thrive on opportunities for growth, and we can't stop looking for ways to improve the experience for our members.

Even though we are nearing the end of the summer season, we are trying a new monthly meat share, starting this week. We are working with a new farmer, Seth Sharp from Premium Pastured Meats. Seth is providing pastured chicken for the shares, and we are looking forward to finding additional ways of working together. Learn more about Seth and his farm below. If you did not get a chance to sign up for the meat share, don't worry. We are planning to offer it again during the fall season. 

Our growers will be getting together any day now to begin planning for next summer's season. We have taken your feedback from previous weeks and will use it to guide our work as we plan for a season of growth and positive change. Thank you for growing with us!

Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris
~ with Laura Dobson, Rachel Machesky and the farmers of Geauga Family Farms
In this week's shares
Look for some of these items in your share this week.

Ginger Gold apples, leeks, onions (sweet, storage, bunching), shallots, garlic, lettuce (red leaf, green leaf, Romaine), parsley, tomatoes (regular, heirlooms, Romas, cherry), bell peppers (colored, green), banana peppers (sweet & hot), Yummy Orange peppers, turnips, sweet corn, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash and potatoes (Yukon Gold, red).

NOTE: Y ou 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.

*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.
Sweet corn
We have more delicious sweet corn to share, but this is the time of the season when we are more likely to see corn worms at the tips of the ears. The corn is still perfectly fine, but we wanted to let you know in case you receive ears with the tips removed.
In our farm store
(Locally grown, conventional)
Gala - $4.50/quarter-peck, $28/bushel
Ginger Gold - $4.50/quarter-peck, $24/bushel

Romaine - $2.50/each

Red & yellow storage onions - $2/pound
Sweet onions$2.25
Shallots - $3/half-pound

Cherry tomatoes - $3.50/pint
Roma tomatoes - $3.50/quart, $15/half bushel

Fingerling potatoes - $5/quart

Yummy orange peppers$2.50/pint
Green bell peppers - $1.50

Other vegetables:
Leeks - $3.50/bunch of 3
Fall Harvest Farm Tour
We are getting more and more excited about our upcoming Fall Harvest Farm Tour from 2 - 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Join us at the home of Lester and Martha Hershberger for farm tours, old-fashioned games (bobbing for apples, sack races, etc.), a pumpkin patch, kettle corn, fresh cider and more!

There will be farm-fresh eggs, pork, chicken, grass-fed beef, pumpkins and corn stalks available for purchase. It will be a great opportunity to stock up for the winter. 

Mark your calendars and reserve your free tickets today, so we know about how many to expect. Click here to visit the farm store and make your reservations. 

Help us celebrate a great season together!
Premium Pastured Meats
We are thrilled to be working with Seth Sharp, the manager and co-owner of Premium Pastured Meats. His family has owned their farm for more than 100 years, and they pride themselves on raising free-range animals using the tried-and-true methods of their ancestors.
In Seth's own words - "All of our chickens and turkeys are out on pasture, and guarded by a pack a Maremmas, an ancient Italian livestock guardian breed of dog. We mix all of our own feed on farm purchased with ingredients from local non-GMO farmers. We have water wagons we move daily that also serve as shelter during the heat of the day and at night. We take pride in the way we raise our animals with respect to them and the land."

Sounds like a great fit for Geauga Family Farms! Meet Seth at our upcoming Fall Harvest Farm Tour where he will have samples to taste and premium poultry to purchase.
Pepper Guide
Peppers are great sources of vitamin C, carotene, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron. To reduce the heat of hot peppers, remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the pepper. When working with hot peppers, it is helpful to wear gloves. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and never touch your eyes after handling hot peppers. Our hot peppers come in a bag with a "HOT" sticker. While the lack of a sticker should indicate a mild pepper, it is always wise to use caution. 

Peppers generally do well in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They can also be frozen for use in soups and stews. Remove the tops and seeds, quarter the pepper and place on a tray in the freezer until frozen. Place frozen peppers in a freezer bag, and store for up to six months.

Mild Banana Peppers - Long and yellow-green in color, these are great in salads, on sandwiches and are wonderful pickled. Try stuffing them with Italian sausage and breadcrumbs and bake for a great appetizer. 

Hot Hungarian Peppers - Similar to mild banana peppers in appearance, these peppers make a great addition to spicy sauces and relishes.

Jalapeño Peppers - These peppers are small and dark green to red in color. They add a spicy kick to Mexican and southwestern dishes.

Poblano Peppers - Medium in size and deep green in color, poblanos are great peppers for roasting and for stuffing. They add a slightly spicy and complex flavor to dishes.

Sweet Bell Peppers - You'll find these in green, red, orange, purple and chocolate brown shades. They are great for salads, stir fries and a wide range of dishes.

Yummy Orange Peppers - These are small, orange and super sweet. These peppers were developed for kids' lunch boxes, and are a definite CSA favorite.

Carmen Red Peppers - These long, deep-red peppers have a wonderful, sweet flavor. They are starting to show up as a gourmet item in many grocery stores.
We include recipes each week using the items in your share. While our in-house chefs Rachel and Michelle always have 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 LDobson@geaugafamilyfarms.org.

Here is a recipe from member Kathy Smith.

Eggplant Lasagna
With the veggie crumbles, you wouldn't even know this tangy, cheesy lasagna is vegetarian! It's a keeper.
1 smallish eggplant, finely diced (1/4" cubes)
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
About a pound of ground vegetarian "hamburger"
8 oz. mozzarella, part-skim, shredded
4 cups ricotta, low-fat
1/2 cup parmesan
1/3 cup fresh diced parsley
2 eggs
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 box lasagna
Preheat oven to 350. In large skillet, sauté eggplant and onion in olive oil until onion is partially translucent. Add vegetarian "meat" and stir and warm until heated through. Mix in 1 jar of spaghetti sauce. Warm, then turn off the flame and set aside.
Beat eggs, then mix in ricotta, parmesan, parsley and salt to taste. Spread half of the second jar of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan. Alternate layers of lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, mozzarella and "meat" mixture. On the top, spread the rest of the second jar of spaghetti sauce over a noodle layer and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Cover with tin foil, and bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Uncover, then bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Kathy Smith

Hot Pepper Mustard
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.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup 
Serves 6-8
2 lbs. ground beef
2 green bell peppers, diced ( about 1 cup)
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15-oz. can of tomato sauce
32 oz. container of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 small onion, diced
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 cups of cooked rice 
Brown and drain grease from the ground beef and place in slow cooker. Add in tomato sauce, tomatoes, broth, peppers, onions, garlic, brown sugar, water, salt and pepper to slow cooker. (basically everything but your cooked rice) Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
When about 30 minutes are left, add in your cooked rice, recover and continue cooking until time is up 
Recipe from FamilyFreshMeals.com
Area events

The Art of Vegetable Butchery with Cara Mangini
6 p.m., Sept. 30
Cara Mangini, author of  The Vegetable Butcher and owner and executive chef of  Little Eater in Columbus, will discuss her best tips and tricks to grow, shop, cook and eat seasonally and artfully. Books will be available for purchase and signing; proceeds benefit The Countryside Conservancy.
The presentation begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20.  Or come early for an extra dose of vegetable chatting at the Meet and Greet. Seasonal appetizers and cocktails from  Spice Catering Co.  will be served. Meet and Greet begins at 6 p.m.; tickets (including presentation) are $50. 
Click here to purchase tickets. Read more about Cara and The Vegetable Butcher 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 and things like the farm bill, the latest news on GMO foods, and much, much more, but we don't want to make our newsletter any longer. Until we get our blog up and running on our website, we are going to include links to articles that you may find interesting. Here are a couple. If you run across any articles you think would be of interest to our members, feel free to send us the link for inclusion here.
(Between the regular business hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday ONLY PLEASE!)
Farm Representatives

Laura Dobson, 440-478-9849, LDobson@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org
Rachel Machesky216-246-8254, RMachesky@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org
Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris , 216-321-7109, MichelleBZ@GeaugaFamilyFarms.org

Geauga Family Farms, Middlefield, Ohio 44062