Saturday, August 31, 2013

CSA Share Week 13

Happy Saturday!!  Its a beautiful day here in North East Ohio and I've been out & about today visiting friends and picking up veggie shares.

Here is Week 13's photo of beautiful organic veggies & fruit.. 

This baby was HEAVY!  I weighed it when I got home & it was 30#.   Wow!  I picked up my girlfriend's share which is a small share & even it was pretty full.  I asked the gentleman who was helping me if he was sure he got the right share.  He assured me he did. They were sure bountiful today!  Ok, they almost always are.. but today was exceptionally so.

So today we got grape tomatoes, blackberries, 8 ears of corn, 4 slicing tomatoes, 2 slicing onions,  2 yellow bell peppers, a nice size bag of green beans, a bag of Italian hot peppers and a bag of Italian sweet peppers, 2 green bell peppers, 3 small beets, a bag of fingerling red potatoes, a bunch of bunching onions, a small watermelon, an eggplant, red leaf lettuce and a head of romaine lettuce..  whew!

This week, we're going to enjoy grilling the corn on Labor Day when we have family over to celebrate the day with us..I'm going to stuff the peppers with Italian sausage & mozzarella cheese which is another of our favorites for the grill and add a nice salad with lettuce, tomatoes, & bunching onions.. yum! 
We'll have to slice up that watermelon too.. Yum!
 I'll just add another meat, maybe Country Style Ribs and a Pear Cobbler or Pear Cake Squares and call it a great day!  

Im planning on stuffing the bell peppers & put them in the freezer to eat another day.  They freeze & keep really well in Food Saver Bags.  I never did make those Stuffed Cabbage Rolls I mentioned last week and its on this weeks plan. 

I've decided I have enough tomatoes now that I can make some tomato sauce or a few more jars of salsa..
I still have a few jars of tomatoes & tomato juice from last year in the pantry so I guess I'll see which way the wind blows me when I'm ready. 

 Just as soon as I got this stuff put up, M'honey & I hit the road running to his nieces house to pick pears!
We picked 60# and I'll be busy as a bee soon. 

Im planning making a few different things with these pears.. Im going to have to hurry and make some pear butter with the ones that are already yellow.. I still have a few days to work with the green ones..  I want to try my hand at making Pear Slices in Heavy Syrup that one of my favorite in-laws used to make.  
Wish me luck!  :)  

I hope you & your family have a wonderful and happy Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An Amish CSA Farm Visit

Geauga Family Farms is the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) that I get my weekly veggie shares from.  They offer vegetables and some fruit and the majority of them are certified organic. 
Along with veggies & fruit, we have many add on options including breads, cheeses, meats, honey, maple syrup & pies. Im sure there are other options Im forgetting. 

Another bonus we get for belonging to Geauga Family Farms CSA is that we get to visit some of the farms on a Farm Tour.  They happen a couple times a month during the summer. 

My daughter & I were able to make it to one of them a couple weeks ago..
 This farm is in Middlefield Ohio which is located in North East Ohio. 
I thought I'd share my photos of the farm with you.. 

 The Neighbors!  I wasnt able to get a full on view of the home we were visiting because there were too many Amish folks mingling with all the guests they had that day..   We were asked to not photograph them as their Ordnung  prohibits it.  They're lovely folks & have invited us to take photos of the farms if we wish as long as we respect their traditions. Its the least we can do. 

This is a partial view of the home of the farmers who hosted us. 
I've been inside the mud room that is accessed by a door under the room on stilts that you can see. 
They have a full mudroom & wash room and I suspect they do canning in there as well. 
This is where they had my chickens I bought about a month ago.. 

They have plenty of chickens!  One of the sons gave another couple along with me & my daughter a private tour since we were late getting there. I was really happy to be able to see where my chickens had lived.

On with the farm tour...  

 Now these are what I call Black Tomatoes.

There were a huge amount of tomatoes on the vines..  Oh how I wish they were mine.. 

Loads & loads of big beautiful tomatoes

Unfortunately, Late Blight hit a day or two before our farm visit..  The tomatoes were still wonderful.
I'd love to know what variety these are.. Those plants were loaded! 

Beans & Gladiolas for the Farmers Market

 Their corn was looking really good and we had a Corn Roast while we were there.
They soaked the corn in water and then put them on the grill to roast for a short time.
They served it with lots of butter & I think I saw some honey too..  Yum!  It was great!

More corn & other veggies in the fields..

 Tomatoes from afar & other fields..

They had lots & lots of rhubarb!

Their beets looked beautiful too.  I was oohing & ahhing over them & our guide asked me "You dont get tired of them?"   Oh No!!  I cant get too many beets in my share.  Im thinking about buying a half bushel.

Their carrots were beautiful as well..

Now, while we dont get any of this (I dont think) this was a really nice healthy stand of Asparagus that had gone to fern.  Im working on building my own big stand of asparagus

They grow some of the most gorgeous leeks I've ever seen..  They make everything look so easy.
This greenhouse is actually not on their property we were told.. He also told us they order and buy their plant starts, so they aren't growing them, themselves.I didnt ask who they get their starts from but I suspect from some of the other farmers since I know they grow their own starts.

Just to the right of the green house are a huge amount of blackberry bushes..
Yum! They go from next to the green house all the way down to the road.. which is a "far piece", maybe a 1/4 of a mile.


Thick as can be...

And heavily loaded..  Yum!! I need a blackberry smoothie..  I'll be right back!!

 2 long rows of blackberries all the way down the road..  Im not sure I'd love to be the one picking these every day..  What a chore!

In addition to the fruit & veggies they grow for the CSA & Farmers Market, they also grow flowers that they sell at Farmers Markets.  I wouldnt complain if they added flowers to our CSA.
I know other CSA's do..
Here are some of this farms gorgeous flowers..

I love this garden with the old Push Plow!  I used to have one just like it & at times it was the only way I had to till up my garden.. Hard work but good memories.

Snapdragons, Dalias, Colius, Zinnia & Clemone are the flowers I recognize in this flowerbed.

 Snapdragons & Zinnas

Cleome & Zinnas

Isnt this little fence border gorgeous? Someone on this farm has a very artistic touch.
I enjoyed taking photos of  the beauty all around us.

And I think this is another most gorgeous touch.. I want one just like it!

You can see a few other little artistic touches tucked in here & there..

 I peeked into the green house & found it was filled with garlic drying..
Am I the only one who REALLY LOVES GARLIC?
 This much garlic makes me REALLY happy!
Its like a love affair! Shhh..

These are other members of our CSA who were sitting around under the trees in front of the house, just next to the corn roasting going on.
The shade was gorgeous & this is a wonderful place for a family to gather around & enjoy a few mintues
of rest..

They have lots of turkeys in the pastures and this one who escaped the fences..
He & a buddy were hanging out in the barn.. 

This greenhouse like structure is where they sell many of the farm items they raise.. and they have a Farm Store Business behind it where they sell all manner of organic farm goods in addition to vitamins & supplements, seeds, & fertilizers. I've been known to be a customer there too.

 Here are a few sights of whats to be seen in the Organic Produce Tent..

I wound up buying a bushel of tomatoes from them..  For the first time in close to 30 years, my own garden was a dismal failure and I had to have organic tomatoes to make my own Rotel Tomatoes.

 We left the farm & went to visit M'honey's niece who lives in the next "town" over from where we were..  She'd called & said she had apples for me, and to stop by since she'd seen we were in the neighborhood..   so stop by we did!

I got a bushel of apples from her, took this last picture of the neighboring Amish Farm from her front yard and called it a day..

If that isnt gorgeous, I dont know what is!!

Hope you enjoyed this Farm Tour!!

Have you ever visited an Amish Farm?  I'd love to hear about it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

CSA Week 12

I was in Western New York on Saturday morning so M'honey picked up my veggies for me and he also  took a picture for me.  Amazing what will happen in our lives when we ask. ;) 

 I would have loved to have weighed this share. 

We got 5 slicing tomatoes, a seedless watermelon, a bunch of leaf lettuce,
3 gorgeous leeks, a bag of jalapenos, a bag of fingerling potatoes, 2 slicing onions, 5 carrots, 
a big bag of Yummy Orange Peppers (yes, thats the variety), a black and a green bell pepper, a nice heavy cabbage, a bunch of dandelion greens, a good sized eggplant, a pint of grape tomatoes, and a zucchini. 

Im planning on making a lot of salads this week.. I've got a frig full of salad yummies in addition to the peppers & tomatoes you see here, so we'll have salads with most of our dinners. 
I'm going to make my dear friend Didi's Manicotti With Roasted Garlic Eggplant & Italian Sausage.

 I'll be honest & tell you..  I dont even LIKE eggplant.. but I LOVE this dish.. Its that good and that easy!  If you eat Gluten Free, just put the filling in a baking dish when you bake it.. Thats what I did with my part of the recipe..  Yum!!  I bet you could stuff a zucchini boat with it too.. or a tomato or pepper..  Yum!

I'll also be making Cabbage Rolls this week and also Roasted Chicken with Carrots and New Potatoes. 

Im planning on doing a small batch canning session and can all the extra root veggies I have piling up in my vegetable drawers.. Or, I may decide to make a pot of veggie soup instead..  

Not sure what Im going to do with those dandelion greens but they're beautiful and I'll definitely be eating them. 

And if you're curious as to what those two things are on the far right of the photo of veggies.. The pink stuff in the basket is a Himalayan Salt Rock Lamp and the container covered with a white towel is Kombucha brewing. ♥

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

CSA Week 11

Week 11 is here and its chock full of delicious organic veggies..  Thanks Geauga Family Farms!

Yep... Beautiful!! 
There is a nice healthy bunch of rhubarb, some seriously beautiful and healthy green onions, 
a nice bunch of beets with greens (yum), some gorgeous carrots, and red tip leaf lettuce. 
There is a nice sized bag of brown new potatoes, 3 of the best tasting sweet red peppers, and 2 pints of blackberries.. Double Yum! 
We got another bag of sweet yellow peppers,a small bunch of dill, a pint of mixed cherry tomatoes, a yellow squash, 5 slicing tomatoes & 2 bell peppers. 

What to do, what to do?  We'll have salads with the lettuce, tomato & the red peppers unless I just decide to eat them out of hand.. I already ate the largest one before I had all this stuff put up. :)  They're soo good. 
I think Im going to fry up some onion, potato, & squash in a skillet one of these nights soon.. 
and I may very well stuff those yellow Italian peppers with a sausage cheese mix and grill them. 
Its one of my favorite recipes! 

That leaves the beets, carrots, blackberries & bell peppers.. 
I may can the beets & carrots along with a few other weeks offerings and Im going to give the bell peppers to my daughter.. Maybe I'll stuff them for her first..  

Blackberries.. either a cobbler or Im just going to snack on them.. Love love love Blackberries. 
We're so blessed to have a CSA that has loads of blackberries on their vines. 
We went to the Farm last Saturday afternoon and they were loaded. 
I'll share the Farm photos soon!

I also picked up a Small or Half Share for a friend who is in the hospital.. 
Here is what she got!

She told me to use it or give it to my daughter, whatever I wanted to do with it since she'll be in the hospital & rehab for at least another 2 weeks. 
I'm stealing the corn..<G>  Maybe the eggplant if they'll get in touch with me to let me know if they want it or not.  I'm adding more tomatoes, peppers, and squash to take to them since I know they'll use those.
They got leaf lettuce, and basil too.. The basil smells so good. 

If you're of the praying bent, please keep my friend Cheryl in your prayers.. 
That is something we can all use more of..and she especially needs them. 

Thanks so much & have a wonderful weekend!