One Saturday a month during the growing season, several of the CSA farmers open up their farms for an open house.  We can go out and see the produce being grown, meat being raised and meet the farmers.  Today, we had an opportunity to see 3 farms.  We also stopped at Geauga Farms Country Meats.

We met Lester Miller first.  They have a “hobby farm” and are raising 4 cattle.


Sally and Nick really liked the chicken coop.


The farm was so picturesque today.  The weather was perfect for a visit.  The porch swing in the shade was welcome after our time in the sun.


Next we headed to the farm of Tom Byler.    One advantage of having my husband along is I end up with photos of me.


We took a look at the fields, saw a few animals, bought a loaf of bread ($3) and a plate of molasses cookies ($3), and enjoyed a cold drink. The bread was still warm when Mrs. Byler brought it out. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!

Next, we were off to see Jonas Byler.  I got really lost trying to find this farm last year.  I was happy to have better directions and the Welcome CSA member sign at the road was a nice addition for all of the visits this year.  Jonas is mostly growing sweet corn and tomatoes.  Since there isn’t much to look at with the corn, we enjoyed some time in the tomato house.


The tomato plants are huge.  He offered a few for picking.  Nick jumped at the opportunity.  When we get cherry tomatoes in our pick up, they don’t even last a day at home.


Although it was a bit of a drive from the farms, we ended our day at Geauga Farms Country Meats.  We purchased a $70 frozen box of meat.  We have a roast, 2 rib eye steaks, 2 sirloin steaks and 11 pounds of ground beef.  We had brought a cooler with ice packs to help keep it frozen on the drive home.  We’re looking forward to trying it.


We saw a few others out at the farms, but none of them were busy while we were there.  I hope others got to take advantage of the beautiful day and enjoy the scenery.


Last night, the kids and I attended the first field night of the season.  It was at the farm of Noah and Kathy Yutzy in Middlefield.  We had been to this farm last year, and we were happy to return again.

It took about 50 minutes from our house in Mayfield Heights to get out to the farm.  This included rush hour traffic through Mayfield and slowing down for the buggy traffic once we were in the Middlefield area.  The kids loved the ride, especially seeing the horse and buggies.

We went on several visits last year, but this one had the most people of any that I had been to.  I’m guessing that there were about 30 people there including kids, but I didn’t really think to count.

There was a GFF welcome sign a the end of the drive.  This made the farm very easy to spot.  Nick and Sally held hands as they walked to the barn where everyone was meeting.  Noah led us on an informative tour and it was fabulous to see the farm in action.


We saw pigs and horses.


We also saw the greenhouse and lots of healthy crops.


This spiked wheel is a device for spacing the plants.  It puts holes in the plastic at a certain distance so the crops are evenly spaced.  This dog was the biggest hit with all of the kids.


There was also a ton of mud.  I kept telling Nick that if he kept playing in it, he was going to fall and be covered in mud.  At least he didn’t mind posing for photos.  Mental note to self: bring extra clothes and shoes to the next field night.


Here’s Nick as cleaned up as possible.  Sally chilled in the rocking chair.  That was great until she flipped it backwards.  Luckily, the chair and her were fine.


At the conclusion of the tour, Kathy had refreshments out for everyone to enjoy.  There was also a table of items that people could buy.  I purchased the items pictured below.  I paid $9.75 total for 3 bunches of rhubarb ($6), 2 cousa squashes ($1) (a type of zucchini that is often served stuffed with meat and rice), and a loaf of fresh wheat bread ($2.75).  I had never had rhubarb before, so I am excited to try it out in a few recipes.  I was just looking for cousa squash this week since I ran across an article about it.  We love stuffed winter squash and I had never thought about stuffing any summer squash.  The bread is always delicious and my husband and kids really enjoy it when we have it in the house.  (I no longer partake since it’s not 100% whole wheat, but I know from past experience that it’s quite tasty.)  I wouldn’t usually buy extras on a Tuesday since we pick up on Tuesday and I hadn’t seen our share yet, but I was already on the lookout for 2 out of 3 of these items, so I splurged.


Even though Nick and Sally are usually in bed by 7:30 PM, it’s totally worth a late night out with them for the farm visit experiences.  We can’t wait for July!