Summer Share 2015 – Week 4

Summer Newsletter
Week 4
Dear robert,
Week 4 is here, and we are starting to see more of the spring veggies. We have peas this week, which we usually see earlier in June. The cool weather has everything behind this year.  The larges and vegetarians will also see green beans.


Next Monday is our grilling techniques class. It will be held at Sterles Country House-the previous home of the Cleveland Flea (they are moving next month). Chef Bob Sferra and the Fresh Fork Market gang will be sharing the ins and outs of the grill!  There are not a lot of spots left, so sign up quickly to become a grill master.

Register now!

Trevor’s Corner

New Products and Farm Stories…Read Below. 

New Product – Pierogies (a la carte purchase option)

For the past few months I’ve been working with Autumn Johnson, the Pierogi Lady, to come up with some uniquely Fresh Fork pierogies.  I think we have succeeded.

Many of you have likely seen Autumn at different festivals and farmers markets around.  She is quite busy and arguably the reigning pierogi queen.  She hand rolls on average 8,000 pierogies per week!  Let’s just say Popeye would bow down to her in an arm wrestling competition.

Anyhow, I come from a family with a tradition of homemade pierogies.  For over 75 years now, our family has celebrated a traditional Polish Christmas Eve with a Wigilia – a meatless celebration of Christmas Eve.  Pierogies are at the center of the plate and my grandmother taught me how to make them probably 15 years ago.  Now, every Christmas I’m responsible for making the pierogies and pan frying them for dinner.

So when I first sampled Autumn’s product I was cautious.  Her dough crisps up nice and holds together well in a skillet.  Her fillings are also quite tasty.

Being that I’m the pickiest buyer around, I had to work with Autumn though to make sure all the inputs were local – flour, oil, potatoes, and other fillings.

At the end of the winter season, we worked with Autumn to start making pierogies with some of the seconds our farmers had – like potatoes with scab and cabbage that wasn’t the prettiest.  The result is two different pierogies, both made with whole wheat flour:

– Potato and goat gouda

– Potato with homemade sauerkraut


The pierogies are available for pre-order via our website, and they are sold 6 to a pack, frozen.  The cost is $7.5.

To preorder, place your order before Tuesday at midnight at

Sausage and Meat Training for my staff

Tomorrow night, my staff will be going through Sausage and Meat Training.  They will learn about the different retail cuts we offer, including sausages, ground products, and breakfast products.  We’ll taste them all and talk about the proper way to cook them.  I’ll share the sampling notes and cooking suggestions next week via this e-blast.

High Waters and Tough Times on the Farms

Has anyone noticed that when it rains as of late it rains like 2 inches at a time?  I know the farmers sure have noticed.

 Last week was certainly a good example.  Below is a photo Mickey (the driver in Solon, Beachwood, Hudson, and Mentor) took last Wednesday morning in Hartville.  On Wednesday early morning this farm recorded 4 inches of rain in under 2 hours.

I called this farmer in Wednesday morning as Mickey was on his way to the farm.  “Kay, just letting you know Mickey is on his way.  He should be there by 7:30 AM.”

‘Well, we’ll try to get him loaded.  The farm is under water now.  It’s up to the roof of the apartment.’  (He has an apartment for his farm manager down by the packing house)

“Oh.  How solid is the ground under the water?”  I ask.  Before he replies, I suggest the solution, “Now if he gets her stuck, you’ll drag him out with the dozer, right?”

‘That ground is solid as rock.  We won’t sink him.  He might float some.  By goodness, we’ll get him out.  Don’t you worry.’   Apparently I had ignited a fighting desire in Kay.  He wasn’t letting Mickey get out of there without the product.

“And Kay, all I’m saying is we need that food.  If all your guys and Mickey have to swim one box at a time out to the truck, let’s get it done.”

So I called Mickey to warn him.  “Mike.  You’re heading into high water.  Kay says the ground is solid and he’ll get you loaded up and out of there.  Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with, but don’t worry about the truck either.  If you get in water, keep your foot off the clutch and petal on the accelerator.  We don’t want to drown her.”  Mike chuckles.  He’s used to this craziness by now.

By the time Mike got there,  a lot of the water had drained and the pond was maybe a foot deep instead of four.  They were able to load up as usual and get him on the road in no time.

But the long term effects are now known.   Kay lost an entire field of spinach, one of radishes, and another of sweet corn from all the water.

Substitutions and Changes in Bag Contents

We are hoping for a drier week this week.  Last week the rains kept many farmers out of the fields to pick strawberries and this week it is threatening our peas and beans (which you can’t pick wet or they will rot in the box).  This has been frustrating for us because we end up shorting you what we had hoped to get you and we have to scramble to find product.

Below you’ll notice we have the projections for what will be in this week’s bag.  I want to point out that this is purely a suggestion rather than reality.  Weather conditions or even pests, like deer, can change what is available from Tuesday to Friday.  Because we do farm pickups each day to get you the freshest food, we have to roll with the punches and adapt as conditions change.

You may see substitutions throughout the year in the bag.  Sometimes weather is to blame.  Sometimes the farmers mis-estimated what they might have hanging on the plants.  Sometimes we simply do our math wrong and load the trucks improperly.

What’s In The Bag?

Small Omnivore
1 pack green onion brats (4)
    or beer brats
1 bunch kale
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch beets with tops
1 cucumbers
1 head lettuce
2 yellow squash
1 quart snow peas
Small Vegetarian
no sausage, add:
1 head purple kohlrabi
1 pound green beans
2 zucchini
1 bunch onions

1 bunch garlic scapes

Small Vegan
same as vegetarian
Large Omnivore
small omnivore plus: 
1 head purple kohlrabi
1 pound green beans
2 zucchini
1 dozen eggs
1 piece aged cheddar (Hull’s Trace)
Large Vegetarian
small vegetarian plus:
1 head purple kohlrabi
1 pound green beans
2 zucchini
1 dozen eggs
1 piece aged cheddar (Hull’s Trace)


Snow Pea Salad with Bacon and Cheese

1 pound snow peas-strings removed, peas sliced on the diagonal       1/4 inch thick

1/4 cup

4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 small white onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

zest of one lemon

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mint leaves, torn

2 ounces shaved Burr Oak cheese

  1. Soak the snow peas in ice water for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat until lightly browned and the fat has mostly rendered. Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the snow peas and pat dry. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lemon juice and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Add the snow peas, bacon, onion and half of the mint and season with salt and pepper; toss well. Garnish with the remaining mint, shave the cheese on top and serve.

adapted from a recipe found on Food and

Chef Robin Blair’s Mashed Cauliflower
1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper until almost smooth.
Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter

Simmered Beet Greens With Roasted Beets, Lemon and Yogurt

This recipe was adapted from the NY Times.  It makes use of the whole beet and would work well with our yogurt.

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN Published: February 7, 2012

2 bunches of beets with greens

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Juice of 1 lemon (more or less to taste)

1 to 2 garlic cloves (optional)

3/4 cup Velvet View yogurt

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish or lidded ovenproof casserole. Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (3 ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (8 ounces) 50 to 60 minutes, until easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins. Slice or cut in wedges and set aside.

2. While the beets are in the oven, stem the greens and wash in at least 2 changes of water. Place in a bowl.

3. Heat a large, wide skillet over high heat and add the greens by the handful, stirring each handful until the greens wilt in the water left on the leaves after washing. Once one batch has wilted, add another until all of the greens are wilted. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turn the heat down to low, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. The greens should be tender but still bright. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, toss the greens in the pan, taste and adjust seasoning. (Note: if you are not serving this right away, don’t add the lemon juice, as it will change the bright color of the greens; instead, add shortly before serving).

4. At this point you have the option of transferring the greens to a platter or serving the dish right from the pan. Whether in the pan or on a platter, arrange the beets on top of the greens. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil and squeeze on more lemon juice to taste. Mash the garlic to a purée with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and stir into the yogurt. Place spoonfuls of yogurt over the top of the beets and beet greens, sprinkle on the walnuts and serve, with grains if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Roasted Beets with Anise Vinaigrette

1 ½ lbs beets

Salt and pepper

1 tsp anise of fennel seeds

1 garlic clove, peeled

2 tsp vinegar

2 TBS olive oil

Heat the oven to 375 degree.  Peel the beets and cut them into ½ inch slices.  Toss with enough olive oil to coat the slices and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the beets on a sheet pan or in a large baking dish.  Make sure the beets are in a single layer with only slight over-lapping.  Give them plenty of room.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

Crush the anise seeds with the garlic in a mortar or with a knife on a cutting board.  The idea is to make a paste.  Add vinegar and olive oil to the paste.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, pour the vinaigrette over the beets.  Toss and marinate for several hours before serving.

In This Issue


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Ingredient Spotlight

Beets are sometimes called nature’s candy. This is because they have a high sugar content. There are many varieties of beets which have different levels of sweetness.  Most of the time, our beets come with the tops attached. These are edible, too.  Try sauteing them in oil, or blending them into your favorite salad.  The beet root is delicious roasted, steamed, or boiled. Unpeeled they can be very earthy, but peeled and they show off their sweeter side.

Even if you are not a beet fan, you should try to add them to your diet, as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Separate the beets from the greens to make both the tops and the root last longer.
Beet Recipes
Cauliflower is a delicious vegetable. It grows well in cooler weather, so we see it in spring and fall.  This week, you will see a variety of colors of cauliflower-purple, green, white or even yellow.  They all taste basically the same and will lose most of their color when cooked.  Delicious raw, try adding the colored varieties to a salad or veggie tray for huge impact.
You will see either green onion or beer brats in your bag this week. If you have a preference, just tell your greeter and we will try to accommodate your request. When making brats on the grill, most folks tend to just slap them down on the grill and let ’em cook. This method is okay, but has a tendency to dry out the sausages. For best results, cook the brats in some water (which you can heat on the grill). When they are about done, pop them over the coals to give them their final sear. The result will be a juicier brat that will burst with flavor. We mean that literally, they will be hot and the contents can spray out, so give them a little prick of the fork before munching down on them.


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