Today, we picked up our second week of our Geauga Family Farms CSA.  The table at Whole Foods wasn’t manned today, but we didn’t have any trouble getting our bag or extras and checking off our name at the customer service desk.

This time of year, the shares are a bit light since the growing season is just getting started.  I think it works out well because it give people time to get used to the process and figure out their greens.

Here’s a group shot of this week’s share:


Lettuce, Swiss chard


Tomatoes (slicing), beets


Bunching onions, rhubarb


I’m going out of town this weekend and I’ll be gone for two weeks.  My husband is picking up the share next week, so I want as much of this week’s share to be used before I leave.  Since I have a crazy week ahead, my plan will include some preserving.

The lettuce will get used in salad.  We try to have lots of salads this time of year.  The Swiss chard will get added to some ground sausage with peppers and onions and put on tortillas for dinner tomorrow.  Nick and Stephen like tomatoes.  They’ll just eat them or have them on their salads.  If they decide they don’t want them, I’ll pop them in the freezer.

To use the beets, I’ll probably make Harvard beets.  Everyone likes them and I haven’t looked up pickling yet.  I am pretty sure I want to pickle beets this year – especially if our garden beets take off.

Some of the onions will get used in the dish for tomorrow’s dinner.  The rest I will just chop and freeze to get them out of the way.  We don’t use many raw onions here, so freezing them works well.

I have a small bag of rhubarb in the freezer.  I’m going to add this rhubarb to the freezer as well.  I saw several recipes that look appealing.  Here are some ideas:

I’ll most like be making compote and I’ll probably mix in some strawberries or blueberries depending on what’s in our freezer when I get around to it.

I love the freshness that we picked up in our bag.  Everything looks great.


During last summer’s CSAs and farm visits, I ended up with some rhubarb.  I knew I didn’t want to make cobbler or pie.  So, I decided to freeze it and save it for sauce at a later date.

I washed the rhubarb and cut it into 2 inches chunks.  I froze it in 3 quart bags.

Monday, I decided was the day to make sauce.  I had purchased some ham loaf from Fresh Fork CSA a few weeks back and I thought that honey rhubarb sauce would be good with ham loaf balls.

  • 7:30AM get out crock pot, add 3 q.t bags of rhubarb, 2 qt. homemade tomato sauce, turn crock pot on low
  • 7:50AM add one cup of chopped onion from the freezer
  • 8AM leave for JCC
  • 12:30PM stir
  • 1PM stir
  • 1:15PM add one cup honey from The Gyette Family.  It’s local, but definitely not my favorite kind.  Stirred in 1 cup of cider vinegar
  • 3PM used the immersion blender to make the sauce smooth
  • 3:05PM added spices 4 t garlic, 2 t mustard powder, 2 t Worcestershire sauce, 2 t salt, 2 t smoked paprika
  • 3:10PM left lid off and cooked on high
  • 4PM stirred in 2 T molasses
  • 4:40PM added 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 5PM added 1 t ancho chili pepper
  • 6:15PM Stephen comes home from work and says it’s good
  • 8:45PM I went to bed and left it on warm
  • 7:40AM Tuesday morning, I added 1 t liquid smoke and 1 t mustard
  • 8AM covered and turned up to low and left for the JCC again
  • 12:00PM tasted it – yum.  turned off crock pot and ladled into jars
  • 1PM cooled, topped jars and put in fridge

The entire ingredient list:

  • 3 qt. chopped rhubarb
  • 2 qt. home made tomato sauce (it was kind of thin)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 t garlic
  • 3 t mustard powder
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 2 T molasses
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 1 t ancho chili pepper
  • 1 t liquid smoke

If I were to make the sauce again, I’d add everything except the liquid smoke at the beginning and I’d only use 1/2 cup of vinegar to start.

The recipe made about 2 1/2 quarts.  It can not be canned per se since I just made this recipe up on the fly and have no idea what the pH values would be.  I’ll probably share some with a friend, freeze some, and use some with the ham loaf.


Today was our 4th pick up for the Geauga Family Farms CSA.  As usual, our pick up items were a surprise.  I was happy that we received lettuce since we were out.  Between our two CSAs we are getting tons of lettuce and not letting it go to waste.  The bounty did not disappoint and we received two types of lettuce.

They are taking applications for partial season shares that will start in a couple of weeks.  If you are interested in getting a CSA, let me know and I can send you the application.

Here’s what we received in our family share:


Let’s take a closer look.

One large onion with greens, bunch of radishes.


green onions, cherry tomatoes


tomato, yellow squash


zucchini, rhubarb


kohlrabi, collard greens


2 types of lettuce


beets, snow peas (eat whole in the pod, usually used in stir fry recipes)


We did well with our shares last week.  I can say that I had summer squash fritters 3 times for lunch and I’ll probably be having more of them this week.  Today, before I picked up our GFF share, I only had some cabbage and cucumber left from last week’s shares.

This week, I’ll be making a tofu stir fry to use the peas along with some of the cabbage from my other share last week.  We’ll probably try roasting the kohlrabi, radishes and beets this time.  I’ll have to think about the collards.  I’m guessing I’ll probably sauté them for lunch one day.  I froze some rhubarb last week, so I’ll add this to that bag.  I think I’ll end up making a rhubarb dessert soon.  The cherry tomatoes are already half gone thanks to Stephen and Nick.

It should be a great week!


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!