Geauga Family Farms CSA Offers Pickup Sites in Geauga County

It looks like the long winter is finally almost over. After being so spoiled with last year’s mild weather, spring seems all the sweeter this year after the cold, snowy winter. The farmers of Geauga Family Farms, a co-op of 10 farmers in the Middlefield area who grow certified-organic produce for their community supported agriculture (CSA) program, already have cold-hardy plants in the ground.

If you’re not familiar with community supported agriculture, CSA members pay up front for a weekly box of produce, or share, they receive weekly for 20 weeks from June to October. This allows the farmers to buy seeds and pay for any labor needed to get the crops in the ground. In return, members enjoy truly fresh, locally grown vegetables.

Pick up sites include Miller’s Organic Produce on Bundysburg Road in Middlefield, Lowe’s Greenhouses in Bainbridge, Sage’s Apples in Chardon, and Marigold Bed & Breakfast in Chesterland.

This year, GFF farmers have a new smaller share size. The half share is perfect for singles or even for couples who don’t eat at home a lot during the week. This share, as well as the other two sizes – single and family – can be picked up at convenient sites in Geauga County, including Miller’s Organic Produce on Bundysburg Road in Middlefield, Lowe’s Greenhouses in Bainbridge, Sage’s Apples in Chardon, and Marigold Bed & Breakfast in Chesterland.

How it works…

The farmers harvest the vegetables, pack them in boxes, and they are ready for pickup within 24 hours at pickup sites all over Northeast Ohio. Simply choose a share size, and in early to mid-June members start receiving veggies – lettuces, green onions, and radishes will start off the season. In midsummer you’ll get tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, beans, potatoes, and melons, and in fall, there will be cabbage and squash.

Simply choose a share size, and in early to mid-June members start receiving veggies.

The inclusion of many farms means members enjoy a wider variety. This region is able to produce an amazing array of vegetables. GFF farms grow more than 50 types of vegetables, and multiple varieties of many of them. The farmers are always interested in growing new things, and CSA members really benefit from that experimentation. Last year’s new additions included fennel, lemon basil, yellow watermelon, and Carmen Red peppers.

Trying new things…

Participating in a CSA program really encourages you to try new vegetables. Aside from providing more types of vegetables and varieties, the fact that you have to work with what you receive provides a wonderful opportunity to expand your repertoire. Given the choice to select their own vegetables at the grocery store, how many people would actually try kohlrabi or all the other things that are included in a normal share? Members talk about how participating in a CSA has taught them to eat new and different things and changed how they eat for the better.

GFF farmers are committed to the stewardship of earth’s resources, a somewhat unique approach in their community. Spend a few minutes with any of them and they are happy to share their thoughts on anything from keeping the bees healthy to maintaining nutrient balance in their soil, water quality, and new information on why GMOs are so horrible.

GFF also offers other farm products, including eggs, cheese, maple syrup, honey, and baked goods. Chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef are also available.

There has been much discussion of GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, lately. GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Since each of the GFF farmers grows certified-organic vegetables, you won’t find any GMO food in your share. From time to time, sustainably grown fruits may be included. You have the option to opt out of anything non-organic.

GFF also offers other farm products, including eggs, cheese, maple syrup, honey, and baked goods. Chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef are also available.

Geauga Family Farms also has pickup sites in Cleveland Heights, Downtown Cleveland, Kirtland, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Macedonia, Mentor, Painesville, Parma, Shaker, Solon, Willoughby Hills and the Chagrin Boulevard/271 area.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News