Today was our first pick up for the Geauga Family Farms CSA.  Sometimes we get a “what’s in season this week list”, but usually surprised when we pick up our items for the week.

Here is what we received.


Let’s take a closer look.

2 containers of strawberries (approximately 2 quarts), 3 tomatoes


loaf of wheat bread (that was sampled on the way home), 1/2 dz. eggs


small head of green leaf lettuce, 2 small heads of another variety of leaf lettuce


bok choy, 2 different views


garlic scapes, cucumber


green onions


I’ll be back tomorrow to share our plan of attack for consumption.


Today, we traveled to Ridgeview Farm in Middlefield, Ohio.    From our house in Mayfield Heights, it’s about 45 minutes away.  We made plans to meet up with some friends and our timing worked out well.  We arrived about 9:15am.  We had 2 adults and 5 kids (ages 4 and under) in our group.

I shared a few tips about U-Pick in last Wednesday’s post about West Orchards Farm.


The U-Pick at Ridgeview opened at 8 AM.  Ridgeview also has a store that opens at 9 AM.  The store sells produce and other “country store” items like jams and cheese.  Since the store was open, that’s where we picked up our containers for picking.

This year, the price for U-Pick was $1.49 per pound.  The strawberry field was in the back of the farm, which required a tractor ride.  The farm had a 6 pound minimum for each adult who rode the tractor.  We had the option to walk, but it was far, muddy and we had kids with us. We waited about 20 minutes for the tractor and then rode to the field.  The kids LOVED the ride.  I brought the BOB jogging stroller for Sally and I was glad to have it.  It was easy to load on the tractor and was great to have to hold Sally when she was tired.  It also gives me a place for my camera, diaper bag, water bottles, and other necessities.

Here’s a view of the farm and a photo of Nick, Sally and me on the tractor.


Here’s a photo of Sally and Nick.


We ended up picking until we heard the next tractor come back.  I didn’t time it.  My only concern was to make sure I met the minimum since I didn’t want to get charged for 6 pounds and take home 5.  We took the tractor ride back to our car and paid for our berries.  I ended up with 7.5 pounds.

We used the port-a-jon, loaded up and headed home.  We ended up leaving around 11:30 AM.

Once we got home, I packaged up the berries.  The containers on the right went into our fridge.  The larger container (about 4 pounds) on the right went to my friend Shayna’s house.


Ridgeview Farm 5488 Kinsman Rd (SR 87) Middlefield, OH 44062 (440) 693-4000


Today was our second pick up for the Fresh Fork CSA.  We were expecting the following items.

Small CSA:

  • 1 lb Berkshire chorizo sausage
  • 2 lbs spelt berries
  • 1 lb whole wheat linguini
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes
  • 1 head assorted leaf lettuce
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 2 lbs hoop house tomatoes
  • 1 dz brown eggs

Here is what we received.






The radishes were owed to us from last week since ours were missed.  The yogurt was an add on.  Most weeks, there are additional items for sale at the back of the truck.  It was $5 and although it’s expensive, we really like it.

Update on last week:  I ended up serving the tomatoes to my husband and son on their salads.

Here’s our plan of attack for this week:

We like the yogurt with jam mixed in and as the liquid for overnight oats.  I’m going to make whole wheat honey strawberry shortcake with the strawberries  I have radish top soup on the stove now.  Some of the radishes will be used in salad and the rest will be blanched and frozen.  The lettuce and tomatoes will get eaten in salad.  The sausage and pasta will be eaten as a main course.  We will sauté most of the garlic scape with other veggies during the week.  We may make some garlic pesto pizza as well.  Eggs and spelt berries are staple items and have a long shelf life, so we don’t have specific plans for them yet.


One of our favorite times of the year began today.  It’s time for U-Pick.

If you’ve never been picking before, here are a few things to consider.

  • Bring water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. when you go to pick.
  • Some places want you to have your own containers.  Other places provide them.
  • Call ahead and make sure u-pick is open.  Many places only pick for a few hours a day depending on condition.
  • Most places are “reasonably” stroller friendly, but keep in mind you are in the fields – it’s a perfect time for the stroller with the big wheels.
  • Ask about restrooms or port-a-jon availability when you call to verify hours so you aren’t caught off guard, especially if you take little ones.
  • It’s nice to have correct change, so it’s a good idea to stock up on small bills for u-pick farms.
  • Some places will have parking close to the fields, but at others you will have a walk to get to picking.
  • is a great resource.

Also, pick your own isn’t usually cheaper than the local market or store.  Pick your own is about enjoying the experience, seeing how crops are grown and and enjoying fresh and local.

First up for the U-Pick season here is strawberries.  This year, strawberries were a bit later than normal due to all of the rain that we have had.  Today, we traveled to West Orchards Farm in Perry, Ohio. From our house in Mayfield Heights, it’s about 30 minutes away. It took us a few minutes longer today due to the construction on route 2.

The U-Pick here opened at 8am.  We arrived a few minutes after 8 and were the only ones doing U-pick!  Here’s the view of the entrance of the market along with a sign directing you to the picking area.


We were greeted by Allee who has worked at the farm for 5 years.  She’s a student at Mt. Union and works here during the summer.  She set us up with our containers and headed out to the field with us.  When it’s not busy, she picks.  West Orchards provides containers.  The kids each had a small basket and I had a larger container for berries.  We ended up picking 9 pounds of berries.  Here the strawberries were $2 per pound regardless of the number of pounds picked.


Nick enjoyed picking eating the strawberries.  He had a red face and fingers to show for it.


Sally spent most of the time in the stroller, so I didn’t get any good photos of her.  I’ll have to try to capture her next time.

We were able to park really close to the fields and there was a port-a-jon available as well.  We’ll definitely be returning to West Orchard.  If we don’t make it for more strawberries, we’ll definitely go out for sour cherries in a few weeks.

Nick, Sally and I hope to be picking a couple of times a week throughout the summer as we enjoy our seasonal fruits and vegetables that are available for U-Pick in the area.  I hope you enjoy our tour of the local U-Pick farms.

West Orchards Farm Market 3034 N. Ridge Rd.  (SR. 20)Perry, OH 44081 (440) 259-3192