Today, we visited the Coit Road Farmers’ Market for the first time.  We really didn’t know what to expect.  I had heard that it was small, indoor and had a cooking class scheduled for 11AM today.

I followed my easy directions and before I knew it we were at the market.  It was hard to miss.  There were just a few produce stands.  This time of year, the produce stands for this market and just getting started.  We were happy to see Secor’s from Perry.  We really like to U-Pick there, so I was familiar with them.  There were some booths with baked goods and other odd ball items, too.  We ended up buying a watermelon, but I questioned to myself if that was grown locally since I think it’s a bit early and I haven’t seen any other watermelon yet.  But, when the kids want watermelon, I try not to turn them down.

Nick and Sally were enamored with the chicken coops.  I don’t think we are up for chickens at our house, but the kids would love it!


A new coop was delivered while we were there.  Here’s a photo of the kitchen area that was going to be the scene for the cooking class.


In addition to the coops, there were also hives.  All of the wood products were fascinating.  Once it was time for the cooking class, Nick and Sally were given aprons to wear.  I think they are adorable.


Miss Pat gave a demonstration on how to make pasta salad.  She used cucumber, garlic and tomato from the market.  She tossed them with pasta and some dressing.  We were a little disappointed in the class, since we had seen photos of the last class, we were expecting a hands on class.  Being a demo, it was hard to keep the attention of the kids.


Sally was also in a “mood” which didn’t help.  I think she was just hungry and tired.  After the demo, the kids were excited when they found out that they could keep the aprons.  And, Miss Pat gave Nick his own knife.  Once we finished at the class, we stopped to let Sally buy some corn.


She carefully picked out 5 ears and we were on our way.  Then, tonight at dinner, both kids really wanted to help cook.  We cook together at home often, but they really were extra inspired today.  I think it was the aprons.  Oh, and Nick could not wait to use this knife.


I decided that we could make some simple tomato soup in the morning and he could cut up the tomato.  I nervously helped and watched him.  He had such a great time.


I definitely need to brush up on my knife skills if I am going to teach my 4 year old to use one.


The first lesson was a success.  The tomato is chopped and no band aids were needed.  All in all, we had a nice day.  I think I’d stop by this market every now and then, but I don’t think it will become my favorite.


We picked up our bag in Beachwood yesterday.  Some weeks, it’s just more convenient for us.  I love the colors in this week’s bag.


Here’s what we were expecting to receive:

  • 1 dozen pasture raised chicken eggs
  • 1 piece Havarti from Mayfield Road Creamery (8 oz.)
  • 2 ct. zucchini or squash
  • 1 bunch carrots or 1 bunch beets (switching from last week)
  • 1 lb. whole wheat linguini
  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1-2 bulb onions depending on size
  • 1 lb. apricots
  • 2 lbs. peaches
  • Approx. 1.5 lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 pint mixed color cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pint blueberries

We were missing our blueberries.  I’m hoping to stop by Mayfield today and pick them up.  We are a bit overstocked on eggs at the moment.  My niece and nephew are coming next week and they love eggs, so I think it will all even out.  I packed some of the tomatoes in Stephen’s lunch this morning.  I doubt any will be left by tomorrow.


I’m actually keeping up with onions.  These are the only two that we have in our fridge.  I’m guessing they will just be used in regular cooking this week.  I’m hoping to grill zucchini for dinner tomorrow.


These tomatoes will probably be made into tomato béchamel sauce for our pasta.  It’s convenient that we received carrots this week too.


Peaches and apricots disappear around here quickly.  Nick likes to do a magic trick where the apricot turns into a pit.  If there are any left tomorrow, we’ll grill some with our zucchini.


Everyone in our house loves cheese, so there’s never a need to figure out a plan.  The pasta will be an easy meal for lunch on Sunday with the sauce.


The beans will make a good side dish for dinner tonight, along with the corn.


I’ve also been buying yogurt and milk from the truck.  Between the CSA and the extras, our fridge is packed today.  It sure beats shopping at the grocery store.


This morning, Sally and I headed to Voytko Farms for blueberry picking after we dropped Nick off at camp.  The farm is easy to find and has a few signs along the way.  Once in the barn, there’s a nice sign with information and usually an attendant around to help.  This year, berries are $1.75 a pound.


We met up with our friend Shayna.  Sally was super excited to see her.  Soon, we had some berries in our buckets.  No, Sally didn’t pick those, she just modeled with the bucket for the photo.


I had Shayna take a photo of me picking.  This is a rare occurrence, since most of the time there aren’t other adults in the patch with us.  We started to hear thunder and new it was going to rain.  Once it started sprinkling, we headed to the barn.  It was raining pretty hard buy the time we got back.


It was actually a welcome sight and I just hoped it was also raining in our garden.  Chuck runs the farm and had a computer with internet access in the barn.  He looked up the radar and said that there was no way the storm missed Mayfield Heights.  I was a soaked but happy camper.


With the rain, we ended up picking for 45 minutes.  I ended up with 2.5 pounds of berries and a nice outing with Sally and Shayna.  Since the berries were wet, I laid them on a paper towel on a cookie sheet to dry them out a bit before I froze them.


The picking was outstanding and I’d definitely suggest checking out the farm.  All of my berries came from just 2 bushes and I could have picked more.

Voytko Farms is located at 11391 Franks Road, Auburn Township, OH 44023


When we first decided to spend a week at a beach house in Rehoboth, I started looking for things to do in the area.  I came across a list that included a farmers’ market that was near a park.  That sure sounded like a win win for our family.

After some beach time in the AM, we packed up and headed to Grove Park.  We enjoyed lunch at the pavilion and then the kids played.  They are still in their swim attire.  Neither of them could climb the rope, but they had a great time trying.



Soon it was time to check out the market.  They had a nice information booth, and since it was by the park, there were also restroom facilities.  I’m not a big fan of kettle corn, but it sure smells delicious.


Blueberries were in season and quite a few vendors were selling them.  The market looked like the tents were provided (sponsored) by area businesses.  There were about 30 vendors on the day we visited.


We almost bought some of the prettiest broccoli that I had ever seen, but it was sold when we went back to get it.  I was surprised that there were no greens to be found.  We could have used lettuce, but ended up buying peaches, cherries, fudge and nuts.


The peaches came from Bennett Orchards.  They have U-Pick peaches, but it was a week or so away from being open.  Maybe on a future trip to Delaware, we’ll go peach picking.

This market was a decent size and more like the bigger markets in our area.  We had a good time and the kids were able to practice naming their veggies once again.

 Posted by at 9:55 PM

It’s week 7 of our Geauga Family Farms CSA.  We made our pick up at Whole Foods and headed home as quickly as possible since it’s 97 degrees outside.

Here’s what we received in our small share this week:


tomatoes, pickling cucumbers


onions, cucumbers


zucchini, cherry tomatoes


beets, lettuce


green beans


I think we’ve passed the heavy greens part of the season with all of the heat lately.  I suspect, we’ll see more greens when the weather cools toward the end of the CSA season.  The tomatoes will be great for salads.  Stephen and Nick like them.  Sally and I do not.  If anyone has any tips on learning to like the texture of tomatoes, please let me know.

I’m going to make refrigerator pickles with both types of cucumbers this week.  I need to slice the onion for a cabbage dish that I am going to make.  I used the reserved onions in tonight’s dinner, so I need to replenish.  I had some squash grilled at an event this past weekend, so I decided to just make zucchini straight up tonight.  I’m not sure what I don’t eat it like that more often.  This week’s zucchini will be eaten with minimal preparation.

I’m going to venture out of my comfort zone on the beets and try to use one raw on some salad.  I may also use some on a quesadilla of sorts.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  The beet greens weren’t worth keeping this week.

The lettuce will go to salad and the beans will be a great side dish in the next day or two.  I was sad that we didn’t receive any fruit this week.  I was expecting blueberries.  The ones we received the last couple of weeks were so good.  I have plans to go picking on Thursday, so I’ll be able to replenish our supply then.

With all of my preparations over the weekend, I feel very caught up in the kitchen and ready to tackle this week’s share.


On Monday of the week we were at the beach house, I planned to go to the Farmers’ Market at Bethany Beach.  The only problem with that is that it had happened on Sunday – OOPS!  So, Stephen checked around and found this market for us.

It took us about 20 minutes to drive there from Rehoboth.  We were mostly hoping that we beat the storm that was coming.


Turns out this was a very small market.  I think there were about 12 vendors.


Parking was really close to the vendors.  It was actually kind of dangerous.  Cars and pedestrians don’t mix well.  It wasn’t crowded at all.


We picked up a few small things.  Nick picked out some pita chips and Stephen and I picked out croissants.  My favorite was Sally picking out cucumbers.  Both kids really like spending money at the markets.


I like that with each trip to a market, they get to practice naming all of the vegetables that we see.  It’s also interesting to see the seasonality of produce in the different climates.  We were in DE in June and peaches and corn were already in season.  Generally, they are 2-4 weeks ahead of Ohio.

 Posted by at 9:06 PM

Today, I worked the Fresh Fork CSA booth at Taste of Tremont.  I was able to park near Tremont and College streets.  I was told to look for the smoke.  It was easy to spot.


I met up with some of the other crew and got to work.  It’s always nice to see Allison and Kelly.  In the background the roasting of corn had begun.


Fresh Fork displayed some products for sale.  Mostly, we sold corn on the cob and pig roast platters.


There were a couple of downpours, but it was hot and sunny most of the day.


I think Trevor enjoyed a couple minutes away from the grill during one of rains.  Bean was a big help, but after a few hours started to get bored.  Later in the day, it was time for the second pig.


It was fun to be a part of the crew today.  Maybe in a future year, I’ll visit a few of the other vendors.  This was the tenth year for the event which draws 20,000 people each year.


I’ve wanted to make vanilla for a long time.  Recently, I read a post about it and decided that it was a good time to order some beans and start some for holiday gifts.

Stephen volunteered to slice the vanilla beans open.


They were put into a 1/2 gallon canning jar.  Vodka was added.


We make 2 jars worth and it’s sitting in our canned cupboard.


We’re supposed to give it a shake every once in a while.  Hopefully at the end of the year, we’ll have great vanilla to use as gifts.


Due to some other plans today, we picked up our bag yesterday.  The flexibility is awesome.

WOW, I need to get a better photo set up as I am having trouble fitting everything in one frame!  This week’s bag is great.  I’m still getting used to the vast amount of stuff in a large vs. the small that we subscribed to last year.  I’d never go back to the small.

Here’s my attempt at a group shot.


Here’s what we were expecting to receive:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 head leaf lettuce
  • 2 ct cucumbers
  • 2-3 zucchini/squash
  • 1 head red cabbage
  • About 3 tomatoes, depending on size
  • 1 lb. apricots
  • 1 bunch beets or 1 bunch carrots (rotating for the next two weeks, everyone will get each)
  • 2 lbs. peaches
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 1 package of ravioli
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard

Our chicken was partially thawed.  I’m guessing that was due to the excessive heat yesterday.  So, instead of putting it straight in the freezer, it’s thawing in our fridge.  That made fitting everything in the fridge a bit challenging, but we managed.  I’m hoping to cut it up and have Stephen grill it for dinner tomorrow.  We’ll see how that goes.  Usually, I roast them whole.  I’m going to cut the onions up and freeze them.


I’m not sure about the red cabbage.  I may use some of it in a slaw, but I need to do a bit more research.  The cucumbers have been great for salads and snacking.  I keep thinking about making some pickles, but they keep disappearing.


We’ll grill the zucchini with the chicken.  The apricots almost didn’t make it through dinner.  After packing lunches today, there’s one left.


The peaches have been great for snacking or in our oatmeal.  These need another day or two to ripen.  With our abundance of lettuce, the tomatoes will be great in the salads (for Nick and Stephen).


I made a simple white sauce to go with the spinach and garlic scape pasta last night.  The pasta was on the strong side, but it was definitely tasty.  You can’t really tell from this photo, but this is the biggest head of lettuce ever.


After going to the Beet class last week, I’m excited to make puree and freeze it for future pizza!  These are the best beet greens that I’ve ever seen.  I’m going to use them tomorrow so I can enjoy them.  The four of us finished the blueberries this morning at breakfast.  It’s a good thing that I picked 15 pounds for the freezer this week.


The green beans have been tasty this year.  These will make a great side dish with one of our chicken meals.  I’ll probably use the Swiss chard in some eggs for breakfast tomorrow.


This weekend is all about using up the bulk.  Our fridge is overflowing with fresh goodness.  Hopefully, by Sunday night, we’ll have it a bit more under control.


Yep, after our visit to Wintergreen Tree Farm on Tuesday, Sally and I headed back to Mantua today.  Once we checked in, we headed to almost the last row of bushes.  Then, we headed to the back of the row.  At times, it was hard to get through the aisle.  I knew if we kept going, the picking was going to be great.  The berries did not let us down.  Even though Sally can walk on her own, I don’t know if I can go blueberry picking without a stroller.  It’s nice to have a place for all of our stuff.


Sally has been really enjoying my attention since Nick’s been at camp this week.  I kept catching her eating blueberries out of the big bucket.  My response was usually for her to pick her own if she was hungry.


Back at the shed, Hannah checked us out.  We picked almost 9 pounds!  I didn’t get a photo of our crop, but our buckets was just a couple of inches from the top.  Again, I put them in containers and they went straight to our freezer.


I talk to Hannah about the crop.  She guesses that there’s about 2 weeks of picking left.  I’m hoping to take my niece and nephew when they come to town.  It’s going to be tight.  My niece really wants to go blueberry picking.


Sally posed with Hannah.  It was a great day for picking!