We picked up our bag at Mayfield this week.  It was the heaviest bag ever.  I had to split it into two bags to carry it to the car.


Here’s what we were expecting to receive this week:

  • 1 dz. eggs
  • 1 piece gouda cheese
  • A handful of hot Hungarian peppers
  • Approx. 2 to 3 green peppers, depending on size
  • 1 head cabbage (most will be green)
  • Either 1 pint mixed color cherry tomatoes or about 1.5 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 lb. green filet beans
  • 2 ct. cucumbers
  • 1 pint blackberries or approx. 1.5 lbs. peaches
  • 1.5 lbs. spelt berries
  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1 lb. chorizo
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 ct. patty pan squash
  • 6 ears sweet corn

I’m going to be preserving peppers and squash tonight.  We have enough of both to can or freeze.  I’m also going to make a small batch of pickles with my cucumbers since I have a few.


We ate the sweet corn for dinner.  This is one of the weeks when dinner was determined bulkiness.


We’ll be having beans with lunch tomorrow.  I’m not sure about the tomatoes, but they might just get pureed and frozen for later.


The cheese will keep a few days.  The peaches won’t be ready to eat for a couple of days, but will go great in our oatmeal.


The carrots will make a side dish for dinner tomorrow.  These peppers are hot and that is my least favorite Fresh Fork item.  I’ll probably just freeze them for chili this winter.


We have an abundance of eggs and I’m going to make some custard tomorrow.  I’m also going to hard boil some to have for snacks.  The chorizo was partially thawed, so it will become part of lunch tomorrow.


The spelt berries are in the pantry.  The beets will get used tomorrow.  I’ll probably make Harvard beets again.  It’s a household favorite.


The cauliflower was dinner.  I made it “mac and cheese” style.  I used the cauliflower (received instead of broccoli) as the pasta and made a white cheese sauce that used Mayfield Road creamery Smoked Gouda.  It was delicious.  I don’t have plans for the cabbage yet.


I’m leaving town on Sunday and will be back late on Wednesday.  I should have taken a vacation week with Fresh Fork, but I wasn’t really thinking.  I’m going to prepare and preserve as much as possible before I leave.  My goal is for Stephen to have food for while the kids and I are gone, but not be overwhelmed when he tries to find something in the fridge.  I did sign up for vacation next week.  That will give me a few days of recovery when I get back.  Our freezer is pretty full right now.  I just need a couple of days to make some jam and get a bit organized.  I’m hoping to make time for that next weekend.


My partner in crime is moving Israel.  We’ve trained a couple of times during the last week.  Today, she trained our trainer.  Since my partner in crime is Orthodox, she always has on a skirt, long sleeves and her hair is covered.  So, she brought in an outfit for our trainer today.

Jen was such a good sport as she was asked to try out all of the “hard to do in a skirt” exercises.

Kettle bell lunges, passing the kettle bell under your legs as you lunge down the fitness center.


High box step ups


Tennis ball sprints down the hallway.


Floor work with a bar.


Thanks to trainer Jen for being such a good sport.  It was such a fun last session before saying goodbye to a great friend.  The J won’t be the same.


Just for record keeping, here are the last two workouts:

7/30 Workout (3 sets)

  • Cable Chest Press 40lb x 20ea
  • Band Squat+Press x 1min.
  • Cable Reverse Fly 20lb x 20ea
  • Kettle bell Push Press 12lb x 30sec ea
  • Knee Drives x 25ea
  • Band Lateral Steps x 1min.
  • 2 sets of the following:
  • DB Single Leg Crunch 6lb x 40
  • Torso Twists x 40
  • Medicine Ball Supermans 2lb x 20ea
  • Single Arm/Single Leg Vups x 15ea

8/8 Workout (2 sets)

  • Bicep Curls 10lb x 25
  • Bar Push Press 18lb x 30
  • Cable Single Arm Row 40lb x 30ea
  • Shoulder Circuit 2.5lb x 5sets x 10ea
  • Cable Triceps Pull 35lb x 20ea
  • DB Single Arm Row 30lb x 20ea

I was nursing a bad knee, hence most of the workout was upper body only.


Here’s the last installment from our day at Wholesome Valley Farm.  First, here’s an overview photo of the barn, parking and main area.  If you look closely, you can see the bounce house.  Our kids had lots of fun in it, but I never took any photos of them jumping.


One of the first thing that the kids did was this cart ride.  They loved it.  It’s a bit strange to send your 2 and 4 year olds off with kids that aren’t all that much older, but they were never totally out of sight and had a blast!


In addition to the bounce house, the kids loved the corn box.  Here’s Sally sitting in the corn.  She spent lots of time in the box.  The next photo is of the chicken house.  The chickens can come and go as they please.  It was fun to check them out.


Two of the Amish boys help us gather eggs.  The kids (and I) thought it was great.  One of the eggs was still warm.  Eggs don’t get any fresher.



After gathering eggs, the kids got to check out the 2 day old chicks.  The expressions were hard to capture, but were priceless.


Last up was produce picking.  It was super fun for Nick and Sally to pick a few items from the fields.  They ended up with patty pan squash, onions, carrots, and tomatoes.  The produce picking came with a ride in the golf cart which was also fun for the kids.




It was such a fun day and the weather was great.  The kids are still talking about it.  Thanks to the 2 Amish boys especially.  They were super nice to Nick and Sally and really made them feel special.


My day started by leaving at 6AM to take the kids to Niagara Falls.  My mom came with us and we met up with friends.  It was a great day.  My pick up for the CSA was smooth, but 2 1/2 hours later than normal.  My photos are a bit dark and I’m glad that I found a bit of time for this post tonight.

Here’s what we picked up today:


cantaloupe, watermelon


bell pepper, corn


onions, banana peppers


tomatoes, cherry tomatoes




We love local melon season.  We will be cutting these melons up as soon as possible so we can enjoy them.  I also have a recipe from Jane Snow for cantaloupe gelatin that I am excited to try.  If it works out, I’ll share more about it soon.

Our green pepper, lettuce and tomatoes will go into salad.  The rest of the tomatoes will be snacks or frozen.  I found a recipe for tomato jelly that I’m going to try soon.  The onion and banana peppers will be chopped and frozen.  We’ll have the sweet corn with dinner tomorrow.

This is a pretty easy week.  It’s a good thing for us, since it’s a super busy week in our household.


Here’s the third installment from our day at Wholesome Valley Farm.  After a wonderful lunch, we had the opportunity to take in a couple of workshops.  Stephen offered to hang out in the shaded tent outside so the kids could play.

I attended the Lacto-Fermentation class.  I had never really thought about making fermented foods before.  I was so excited that it was easy.

Karen Geiser was our instructors.  She really knows her stuff.  She started out showing us how to make pickles.


She used a special Ferment-O Jar.  It was super easy and only took about 5 minutes to prep.


Next up was sauerkraut.  It was also super easy.  She even showed us how to use a regular canning jar for it.  No special equipment is required.


Karen also talked about resources and was so excited to see a copy of this new book.  She’s 11th on the list for it at the library, not wanting to buy it before she saw it.  I think she’ll probably buy it now.


The problem that I have with lacto-fermentation is that you need to keep items in the fridge once the initial fermenting is complete.  I don’t have extra fridge space to dedicate to sauerkraut.

After a short break, I brought Nick in and we attended the bread workshop by Tina.  We were told it was ok to take photos of the Amish people, but that we should take any close up photos or portraits.  So, I don’t have much to show of her.

She explained to us the importance of grinding flour right before it’s made into bread.  She then demonstrated her process and talked a lot about using high quality ingredients.

She passed out white flour vs. wheat flour for us to taste and see the difference.  Nick loved the brown flour and decided the white flour was icky.  Then, he really enjoyed watching the big mixer.  This recipe makes 4 loaves of bread!


In between steps, we hears about Dutch Country Grains, their equipment and saw a demonstration of rolling oats.  At the end of the day, we each received a sample.


There was a third class at some point, but I never even saw it going on.  I’m not sure if it was during or after the two classes I attended, but one can only do so much.  After the bread making demo, I headed out with the family to finish up our adventures.  Wednesday, I’ll tell you about them in my fourth and final installment about the farm.


After we learned about the reaper-binder equipment and process, our tour continue at the threshing.  We came upon the field and saw the men working.  They were tossing sheaves onto a belt.  The sheaves went into the machine.  Oats come out one shoot and straw came out the other.


When we first arrived, the thresher was being powered by this old steam tractor with really long belts.  It was very cool to see.


But, the steam engine wasn’t able to move the belt fast enough to make the thresher work correctly.


They cleaned out the machine a couple of times.



Eventually, they hooked up this 1930’s gas powered Huber tractor.


Our wait while they were fixing the thresher made Sally really tired. She relaxed with Stephen and eventually napped on my shoulder.  She was really sound asleep despite the noise from the threshing.  She was even snoring.


After sitting on the wagon for about an hour and a half, we headed into the barn for an awesome Amish style meal.  We were served family style.  The menu consisted of chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, pie and ice cream.  The meal was prepared by the Amish women and used many ingredients from the farm.  Our day continued with workshops.  I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about them.


Our Fresh Fork CSA had an event at Wholesome Valley Farm today.  It was the 1st Annual Threshing Day and was a family friendly event.  We left Mayfield Heights just after 8AM, stopped for gas,  and arrived at the farm right about 9:30AM.  The event was to start at 10AM sharp.


Trevor was all set up when we arrived.  He had his sign out and cold water available as we checked in and received a schedule.


First up was a tractor ride out to the fields.  We past bee hives, pastured Berkshire hogs, and soon arrived at the field of oats that was ready to be processed.


Joel was uncovering the reaper-binder and starting telling us about the process.  Trevor was asking lots of questions on our behalf.  It was quite informative.


Soon the equipment was up and running.  The reaping part of the machine is what cuts down the grain.  In this case, feed oats were being processed.  The binder uses twine to tie the cut stalks into sheaves.


We had nice seats in the wagons while we watched the horses go by a few times.


Once the sheaves are dropped out of the reaper-binder, they are stacked by hand into shocks to dry.


I’ll be back tomorrow with what happens next.


We picked up our bag in Mayfield this week without issue.  I was glad to make it a quick trip and didn’t even get the kids out of the car.  I’ve decided that the large is really hard to take a photo of since it’s so large.  This is all of the items except the meat.  I had already popped them into the freezer.


Here’s what we were expecting this week:

  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • Either 1 pint mixed color cherry tomatoes or approx. 1.5 lbs. heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 ct. zucchini/squash
  • 2 ct. eggplant
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 large candy onion
  • 2 oz. basil
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • Approx. 1.5 lbs. slicing tomatoes
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (ground)
  • 1 pint blackberries or approx. 1.5 lbs. peaches
  • 1 small yellow watermelon
  • 1 lb. yellow wax beans or green filet beans
  • 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1-2 cucumbers depending on size

These melons are really small.  I think I’ll call them personal size.  We’ll eat them quickly.


The guys of the house will snack on the cherry tomatoes.  The rest are going into some salsa (hopefully tonight).


We’ll eat the lettuce in salad and use the basil for some dressing.   I need to pick up some more balsamic vinegar, but we’ll make due until then.


I haven’t decided on a dish for the kale yet.  It may just get sautéed.  The cucumbers will be great for salads and snacking.


I have lots of garlic frozen from last year.  I’ll have to remember to use it more often.  We had the onion with our dinner tonight.


I’m not a huge fan of ratatouille, so we’ll probably make a veggie lasagna this week and use the eggplant.  I’m hoping to try a bread and butter zucchini pickle recipe with the zucchini (and a few others we have).


We’ll have the blackberries for breakfast tomorrow.  Our fridge is too full to keep them around.  We’ll either roast or pickle the radishes.


The beans will be a side dish for Sunday.  I put the Italian sausage and ground beef in the freezer.



I really need to get some preserving done, my fridge is over flowing.  A little canning and freezing and we’ll be all set.  It’s easy for us to use our items when we eat at home, but we’ve had a strange schedule lately and we’re a bit behind on consumption.


After the kids and I picked peaches on Sunday, we decided to stop and pick a few blackberries.  The blackberry patch was right off of 113 between the market and Wright Road.  We first arrived and found an empty table.  We left and went to pay for our peaches and checked on blackberries at the market and headed back over.  Apparently, the attendant had just taken a potty break.  I suggested a “back in 5 min” sign was in order.  She was very nice and the parking was close to the berries.


The attendant walked over to show us what we were looking for.  She wanted to make sure we knew there were good berries there if you look under the leaves and in the bushes.  Sally ate a red one and the attendant snapped at her because she didn’t want her to get sick.  Sally started crying.  She was mostly just very, very tired.


Nick found some black berries and Sally took a nap.  Don’t worry, we could see the car the whole time we were picking.  She was in the shade and the door was open.


We only picked a pound and a half.  It was $4.50 total.  It wasn’t really good picking.  When the field looks red upon arrival, that’s not a good sign.  I’m sure many people had picked on Saturday and probably earlier in the day on Sunday.


Even though we didn’t get many berries, it was fun to check out the crop.  I’m hoping to get some more closer to home next week since blackberries are great in jam and smoothies.


On Sunday, I contacted Patterson Fruit Farm and inquired about U-Pick peaches for this year.  I was informed that there was not enough peaches for pick your own this year.  I was sad since I had such a good time picking them there last year.  So, I went through my list of farms and remembered that Burnham Orchards was having U-Pick peaches.  The kids and I had plans to meet friends at a west side farmers’ market, so we decided the extra 50 minute drive wouldn’t be bad to head over to the orchard.  Usually, we drive about 45 minutes or less for U-Pick.  I’ve wanted to visit Burnham for a while now.  They are one of the few farms in the area that usually have U-Pick sweet cherries.

We stopped at the market to get the picking location.  It turns out that our friends approached the orchard from a different direction, so it took a few minutes for all of us to meet up at the right picking location.  We ended up picking off Wright Rd and 113.  We were there right before picking was supposed to start for the day.  The hours were 12-4 and it was about 5 til when we arrived.  The staff was a bit disorganized, but everything was quickly remedied.  It wasn’t fun to find out that we’d have to load the peaches in our car and drive back to the market to have them weighed.  I’m used to paying in the field where I pick.


Soon enough, we were surrounded by peach trees.


Sally loved carrying her own basket.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention and she would pick a peach, take a bite and then put it in her basket.  She did this 8 times before I caught her.  I bought the peaches.


Nick and Sally both taste tested.  The peaches weren’t quite ripe, but it didn’t stop them from eating one.


It was a rare picking day.  We had all three of us and a friend to take a photo.


Nick loved pulling the wagon.  We ended up with 3 big baskets full.  All together, we picked about 60 pounds of peaches.  They were 90 cents a pound when you bought 24 pounds or more.


I canned our first of them today.  I ended up with 5 quarts.  The rest didn’t seem quite ripe enough.  I’m hopefully that I can do another batch tomorrow and then the last of them on Friday.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to pick more this year, but we still may procure some additional peaches for canning.