Week  7                       Geauga Family Farm CSA                    July 24, 2018 

The Fair Share     

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Former farm rep series
Welcome to Week 7 of the of the 2018 summer season. We are continuing with our series of articles written by former farm reps, and including some of the past quick and simple recipes as well. This one was written by Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris, and we thought it was a timely topic for this week.
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Fast food
One of the biggest reasons we hear from people for not participating in a community supported agriculture program is that they do not have enough time to cook the produce they receive. We get it. There never seem to be enough hours in the day, and it's hard to change our patterns and habits regarding cooking. Over the years we have been working hard to develop approaches to using our shares in a way that is just as fast as many convenience foods, but so much healthier.
In our opinion, we need to change the meaning of the words "fast food" for our families, and each season we keep plugging away at that goal. 
This newsletter is aimed at providing tips and recipes to help you with that approach. We are sharing some of our favorite fast recipes for the current mix of items in the boxes, and some of the best techniques for making the most of your share.
Step 1: Assess. The first thing we do when we get home is to spread everything out on the counter and make some general decisions about how we would like to use the contents of the share. Lettuce and other greens get washed in a sink of cold water, spun dry and packed loosely between paper towels in large zipper storage bags and placed in the freezer. This provides quick and easy salads during the week. Anything we plan to eat raw (carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green beans), gets a quick rinse and placed into refrigerator storage containers for easy access. Then we make plans for the remaining items. Anything we don't think we'll get around to using in a meal gets placed into freezer bags (we keep a large bag for soup ingredients and one for smoothie ingredients in the freezer) for later use.
Step 2: Plan your meals. In the summer, we focus on simple recipes and combinations that limit cooking time in a hot kitchen and help us to enjoy the fresh flavors of the produce. No complicated sauces or overly complex preparations - just basic good food. You'll find a selection of our favorites below.
Step 3: Relax. There is no need to get stressed about the vegetables in your box. If you don't get through everything, it's not the end of the world. Over the years we have learned to recognize what we might not finish during a given week, and often pass it off to friends and neighbors who can use it. Sometimes things end up in the compost pile, and that's OK, too. 
We bet that many of you have great techniques for getting healthy food on the table quickly, and we would love to share them. Send us your favorite quick recipes, storage techniques and more, and we will include them in next week's newsletter. 
Are you ready for a better approach to fast food? It's time to have it our way! 

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:
Sweet corn, cabbage, yellow squash, cucumbers, small, medium or large tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red beets, kohlrabi, kale, lettuce (red leaf, romaine), broccoli, cauliflower, sweet onions, beans, green peppers, pickling cucumbers, bunching onions and Swiss chard.  
NOTE:  You will not receive all of the types of produce lisnapted 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 some  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. Remember, we always have eggs, bread, maple syrup, honey, jams and other non-produce items available in our farm store as well.
Beets: 1/2 bushel - $22
Cucumbers: 1/2 bushel - $25
Green beans: 1/2 bushel - $23  
Green cabbage: bushel - $22/50
Green garlic: 1 pound - $8.50 Kohlrabi: 1/2 bushel - $24
Sweet onion: 1/2 bushel - $21 Yellow squash: 1/2 bushel - $26

First farm tour of the season 
Get to know your farmers! Join us Saturday, Aug. 4 for our first farm tour of the 2018 season. We will gather at the farm of Noah and Kathy Yutzy to tour the fields and greenhouses, sample some dishes using current items from the shares, and more. The visit will run from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., but join us when you are able. Please remember to bring insect repellent and to wear shoes appropriate for walking through potentially muddy fields. The Yutzy Farm is located at 17050 Nash Road in Middlefield.
For more information or to sign up for the farm tour, visit our farm store  here.
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.

Try these fast and easy recipes with your share items. Entertaining? These make great sides and starters.
Simple Cucumber Salad

1 medium cucumber

3 Tbsps. rice wine vinegar

3 Tbsps. soy sauce

Slice cucumber as thinly as possible (a mandoline slicer is great for this). Whisk together vinegar and soy sauce, and pour over cucumber slices in bowl. Toss to coat. Serves 3-4 as a small side dish.
Gazpacho a la Mrs. Landesman 
Cool, refreshing and so good for you. Pair gazpacho with a fresh salad and a crusty loaf of bread for summer lunch perfection.

3 cloves garlic, crushed 

1 onion, coarsely chopped 

1 cucumber, sliced 

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 

5 tomatoes, peeled and quartered 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. paprika

1 1/2 cups tomato juice 

In the container of a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and blend to your desired texture. Stir in the tomato sauce and paprika and transfer to a bowl or container. Can be eaten immediately, but the longer this is able to sit in the refrigerator, the more the flavors will blend.
Recipe from AllRecipes.com
Spanish Tomato Toast
This is a great addition when you have the grill heated up for a meal.
Serves 8

8 slices sourdough or country-style bread, cut into 3/4-inch thick slices 

4 cloves garlic peeled and cut in half

4 small ripe tomatoes cut in half

Cruet of extra-virgin olive oil

Small bowl of coarse salt or sea salt
Freshly ground  peppercorns
Grill the bread about 2 to 4 minutes per side on a barbecue or toast it lightly in the oven.
Once the bread is toasted, rub 1/2 clove of garlic, cut side of half, over the bread while still warm. Use a fresh piece of garlic for each slice. Rub tomato (cut side) over the bread, pressing firmly to push the pulp into the bread, until the toast is covered with tomato; discard the skins and remaining pulp. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and a couple grind of pepper. Serve immediately.
There are two ways to serve tomato bread:
The first is for the cook to do the rubbing and drizzling.
The second is to provide each person with a clove of garlic, half tomato, cruet of oil, and bowl of salt and let him or her do the work. The second way is more fun.
Optional garnish, choose one or a combination:

1/2 cup green Spanish olives

6 paper-thin slices Spanish ham or prosciutto

12 paper-thin slices Manchego

Smoky Eggplant Dip
If you love the flavors of Middle Eastern dishes like Baba Gannoush, but don't want to bother with the grill, try this fast and fresh alternative. Scoop this with pitas for a satisfying appetizer.

1 large eggplant 

1 coarsely chopped tomato 

2 Tbsps. finely chopped red onion 

1 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar 

2 Tbsps. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1-2 tsps. of fresh lemon juice

1 clove minced garlic 

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 

Crudites, bread and crackers, for serving 

Place eggplant over a gas burner set on high (or place under broiler). Cook, turning as needed, until blackened and soft. Set aside to cool. Remove skin; discard. Coarsely chop eggplant; drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Combine eggplant, tomato, onion, olive oil, vinegar, parsley, lemon juice and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with crudites, bread, and crackers. 
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living 
Vegetable Grill Packs
Planning to grill some chicken or burgers and need an easy side dish? 
Take a large piece of foil, and spray with a cooking spray. Chop a combination of vegetables and place in the middle of the foil. Add fresh herbs, seasonings and a drizzle of flavorful olive oil. Fold the foil around the contents to create a fully enclosed packet, and place on the side of the grill to cook until the vegetables are tender (times will vary based on amount and vegetable). 
Here are a few of our favorite combinations:

Zucchini, yellow squash, curry powder and green onions

Potato, onion, garlic, salt and pepper

Eggplant (peeled and cubed), bell pepper, onion and basil

Area events
Farm-to-table dinner at Sapore               
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.
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