Summer Newsletter
Week 16


Can you believe it is week 16 already?  This cool spell this last week has really brought it to my attention that the growing season is nearing an end.  It is bittersweet for us.  We love the bounty of the summer and the energy of our summer season, but the harvest time of year gets exhausting.  If you think of it this week, thank the drivers and staff at the back of the truck who have been working around the clock lately.  Mike, Kevin, Eric, and I have often been running double farm runs on a day - meaning we'll go out and fill and entire truck up, return, unload or switch trucks, then hit the road again.  Last Tuesday, for example, we brought back 62 pallets of food and had to do the same routes on Thursday and Friday morning to fill the supply for the rest of the week.  Needless to say, our warehouse was jammed full!  Just now Kyle and Brandon are finishing cleaning up the docks and cooler to get ready for Mike and Kevin to get back with the first loads of this week's produce this afternoon!


And in house here, Lauren and Michelle been holding down the fort and keeping all the orders organized and getting them out the door!  It's been crazy.   


This week's newsletter is quite long.  Sorry, I haven't had a chance to write much for it lately and I have a lot to talk about.   


Here is the quick "table of contents"

-          Packing the bags

-          Upcoming Events

-          Winter Season and "Put 'em up"

-          Salmon buying club 2014

-          Product Feature:  Peggy's Pickles

-          Recipe Feature:  ratatouille


PS Please bring your bags back this week.  We've had poor bag return rates lately.  (I had to sneak this in somewhere!)




Trevor's Corner

Bountiful bags and long lines.  That brings a second thought to my mind.  Sorry about the waits the last month on the bags.  Some bags are much more time consuming to pack than others.  Last week's bag was possibly the worst we've ever had.  All the bags were bursting, but the larges and vegetarian bags had 24 items in them!  As you could tell, they didn't even fit in the bags...and you should have seen the back of the trucks!  Sadly, this happens to be the luck of the draw because when the crops are ready to harvest, we have to take them.


Further, last week's bag contents cost more than what you paid for the bag!  We'll have to make that up in the last 6 weeks so I'll try to shop wisely for you over the next few weeks. 

This week, we lucked out and the cool weather slowed some things down.  This week's bag will be significantly easier to pack with fewer ingredients and fewer variables between the bags.


Upcoming EventsAs we close in on our winter season, we do still have a few events coming up.  We have the emails scheduled to come out gradually over the remainder of the season, but here is a "save the date" list:

Sunday, Sept 21Uptown Popup Dinner with Chefs Parker Bosley and Adam Lambert.  A few seats remain.  Details and registration HERE for Uptown Popup.  Here are some photos from last week's Raw Vegan Popup Dinner:  Photos Here.

Sunday, Sept 28Customer Appreciation Pig Roast and Potluck.  Lots of family activities, a free event, and a day full of fun.  Please join us.  Details and registration HERE.  A deposit is required so that we can plan accordingly for staff, tables, and our dish. 

Monday, Oct 6Ethnic Eats with Chef John Selick.  More details to come as we work out the menu, but expect some good eats and info.  Registration link (with limited details) here: Ethnic Eats

Monday, Oct 14:  Cabbage Mania with Parker Bosley. I'm really looking forward to this one as cabbage is a favorite vegetable of both Parker and I.  More details about the menu to come, but registration is open at this link:  Cabbage Mania

Monday, Nov 10:  My favorite event of the year, Thanksgiving Beer Dinner.  It is just what it sounds like.  A full T-Day feast with multiple preparations of turkeys, countless sides, and delicious sides.  We'll demo several of the recipes and answer questions from the attendees about how to master their Thanksgiving feast.  Full dinner and beer included.  This one sells out fast.  This year's menu to come later.  Registration link here:  Thanksgiving Beer Dinner


Photos from last year's Thanksgiving Beer Dinner. 


There may be a few more surprise popup dinners coming this fall.  I'll let you know soon.


Put 'em up!  This is the time of year to start processing veggies for the winter (if you haven't been doing so all along).  Below are some ideas and things you can find on our website, many available for pickup this week:


Roma Tomatoes:  tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, oven dried tomatoes (like sun dried), dehydrated tomatoes, frozen tomatoes (to sauce later or use in stews).  $20 per half bushel (approx 20#)


Hot Hungarian Peppers:  hot pepper slices, stuffed hot peppers, pickled hot peppers, Italian hot peppers in oil, pepper butter (like a homemade mustard).   $18 per half bushel


Apples/Pears:  apple/pear sauce or apple/pear butter.  Pears are in now and again at the end of the month, then apples should continue to come in most of the winter thanks to controlled atmosphere storage.  Pears $20 per half bushel.  Apples  $32 per bushel (45-50#).  Both will include an additional $6 crate deposit. 


Cabbage:  make your own sauerkraut!  $2.5 per large head. 


Peggy's Pickles

Speaking up "put 'em up," fellow customer Peggy S from Solon has been working hard at putting up her organically grown pickles.  Peggy started a cottage industry business creating refrigerator pickles.  Her dill pickle spears are crunchy with a nice acidic zing and a light dill hint.  Peggy's Pickles are not canned; instead, they are fermented and are sold as refrigerator pickles.  This means you must keep them cold and the benefit is that there are live, healthy enzymes in the pickle due to the fermentation process.


Peggy sells her pickles by the 32 oz jar (quart) and each jar is $6.50.  The supply is limited this year to about 100 jars and they may be preordered at


Winter Season.  The Fresh Fork Market winter session starts the week of November 3rd.  For those who have done it before, you can attest to the fun.  We start with 3 consecutive deliveries then start every other week schedule to skip the holidays.  The winter season is 15 deliveries and it lasts until mid-May.  There is only one size bag (essentially the summer large bag) and no vegetarian or vegan options available (such options wouldn't be a fair value in the winter).  The bag comes out to $45 per delivery, which is every other week.


We've been working hard to get ready for the season.  A few weeks ago I made an impromptu drive to upstate New York to buy an automatic bean snipper. This machine trims the tails and tips off of green beans and wax beans at a rate of 1,000# per hour!  This made is possible for us to buy Jonas Hershberger's 6,000# of beans last week.  Yeah, we put a few beans away already.   Here are a few photos of it in action.  


We've also been using the corn husker and cutter that I bought last fall to process sweet corn. We've already put about 15,000# of sweet corn into the freezer for the winter. 


Other frozen vegetables include peas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and diced heirloom tomatoes.  Clark Pope and some of our other producers have been working hard as well to "put up" tomatoes into sauce and other preserves for you this winter. 


Full details about the winter season and registration can be found here: Winter Season Details  


Salmon Club 2014:  Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon

Ok, now I got your attention. Clearly not local, right?  Well there are some things that we will never source local here, and some fellow Fresh Fork subscribers have turned me on to a truly fantastic product. 


Jill S and her friend Freddy organize a "buying club" in Cleveland for the Wild Salmon Company out of Asheville, NC.  Heidi, who lives 9 months of the year in Asheville, grew up in Seattle and her family has always fished salmon in Alaska.  At age 15, her dad bought her a commercial fishing permit for one of the fisheries in Alaska. Today, she has fished every summer for 20 years in Alaska.


Heidi and her boyfriend catch the fish and even sort them for quality and package them for sale. The product is sushi grade, IQF frozen.  It is fantastic and very reasonably priced (since she is selling direct).


Last winter, Allyson and I traveled down to Asheville to help Jill and Freddy out and pick-up their salmon.  We were very excited to meet Heidi and learn about her operation.  It was fascinating.  And because I have no control, I decided to bring back 200# for last winter's customers to try.  I get emails weekly to this day asking when we'll have more.  It is really that good.  


This year we worked with Heidi in advance to buy a whole pallet and ship it back to Cleveland directly from the processor in Seattle.  This year's fishing season just ended and Heidi is in Seattle now sorting and grading the flash-frozen fish.  The salmon will arrive in Cleveland in October and will be distributed during the week of October 13th


Because we were able to work with Heidi before she started packaging, we were able to get the cream of the crop - all center cut filet portions graded by size.  Usually she sells random weight boxes.  I know that is a recipe for disaster when you need to split them up.  So we worked to get you all the same size portions. 


The center-cut, wild caught Alaskan salmon filet portions are available by the piece and by the 10# box.  The pieces average about 6 oz each.  They are $18.50 per lb, so $7 per serving. For those who know they will eat it, think about buying a whole 10# case and saving.  10# cases are $165 per box and average about 26 portions per box.


You can purchase this preorder via


When shopping, we didn't want to create a special category just for fish.  Look under Meat.  This is a once per year opportunity and once it is gone, there won't be any until next year.  


Note: This is a preorder and the product will ship during the week of Oct 13.  Please keep your confirmation email, print it out, and put it on your fridge to remind you to get it the week of Oct 13th.  




What's In The Bag?
Small Omnivore - this week's bag does not include meat intentionally
1 6 oz piece Hulls Trace Aged Cheddar
1 to 2 eggplant
2 ct zucchini or squash
1 butternut squash
1 candy onion
1 lb yellow wax beans
1 bunch carrots
1 head green leaf lettuce
2 ct green peppers
1 bunch green onions
1 head  broccoli
Approx 3 lbs tomatoes 
1 quarter peck gala apples

Small Vegetarian
No substitutions needed

Small Vegan
1 to 2 eggplant
2 ct zucchini or squash
1 butternut squash
1 candy onion
1 lb yellow wax beans
1 bunch carrots
1 head green leaf lettuce
2 ct green peppers
1 bunch green onions
1 head  broccoli
Approx 3 lbs tomatoes 
1 quarter peck gala apples
1 half pint red raspberries
1 quarter peck Bartlett pears
1 watermelon (or cantaloupe depending on what nature gives us)

Large Omnivore
1 6 oz piece Hulls Trace Aged Cheddar
1 to 2 eggplant
2 ct zucchini or squash
1 butternut squash
1 candy onion
1 lb yellow wax beans
1 bunch carrots
1 head green leaf lettuce
2 ct green peppers
1 bunch green onions
1 head  broccoli
Approx 3 lbs tomatoes 
1 quarter peck gala apples
1 quarter peck Bartlett pears
1 lb whole wheat garlic chive linguine
1 Berkshire Pork Shoulder Roast, approx 2.5#

Large Vegetarian
Large Omnivore Minus Pork Shoulder, Replace with:
1 watermelon
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 half pint red raspberries
Trevor's Ratatouille


Tomatoes, Zucchini, Squash, and Eggplant - about equal proportions zucchini, squash, and eggplant and three times as much tomatoes, chopped.  So if you have 2 cups of zucchini, 2 cups squash, and 2 cups eggplant, add 6 cups tomatoes.

Garlic - a few cloves sliced small

Onion - 1 large onion, roughly chopped

Green Pepper - 1 to 2 peppers, cut into long strips and then in half

Salt and Pepper


Start by preparing all your vegetables.  Cut the zucchini and squash into cubes about a half inch by a half inch.  For the eggplant, cut the skin off and also cube it up.  Toss the zucchini in a bowl with a little sunflower oil (or olive oil).  Season with salt and place on an oiled cookie sheet.  Do the same to the squash and eggplant.  Keep all ingredients separate.


Roast the vegetables in the oven, turning them once or twice, until they start to have color and a lot of the water is baked out.


In a heavy bottomed pan, get some oil hot.  Add your onion and pepper and saute until slightly translucent.  Add the garlic but be careful not to burn it.  Now add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat down to a simmer.  Add the roasted eggplant, zucchini, and squash and let simmer until it thickens.  This can take a while depending on the tomatoes.  You can also transfer to a crock pot and let it simmer there.  Add a few tablespoons of honey to mellow out the acid.  Continue cooking until consistency you desire is reached (I like mine more thick).  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve as a side dish, main course, or a condiment (I like serving it over mac and cheese).

Grilled Zucchini with Cherry Tomatoes and Cheese

This is one of my favorite recipes from the summer cooking classes so far.  This one is from our Easy Meals class we had last month.  Start by cutting your zucchini and/or squash in half (not lengthwise).  Then quarter each half lengthwise, essentially into jo-jo fry shape.  Cut your cherry tomatoes in half.  Shred some sharp, dry cheese, such as the Hulls Trace Aged Cheddar. 


In a hot sauté pan, add some sunflower oil.  Toast the zucchini/squash until they start to brown some.  Flip them a few times and repeat.  Add the cherry tomatoes for the last few minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and toss with the shredded cheese.  Serve.  

Vegetarian Borscht

1 pound beets (beetroot), peeled and cut into matchsticks

2 medium onions, sliced into half-moons

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

3/4 pound white cabbage, cut thinly into shreds

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cups vegetable stock

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt to taste

Coarsely ground black pepper

Sour cream (optional, omit for vegan soup)

Finely chopped parsley or chives (optional, for garnish)


Peel and cut the onions, carrots, and beets (alternatively, shred the carrots and beets using the shredding blade of a food processor) and sauté over medium heat in the olive oil with a pinch of salt in a large soup pot. Reserve a small amount of beet to grate and add near the end to enliven the color.


In the meantime, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. When the vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes), add the shredded cabbage and the hot stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. With a few minutes left, add the reserved grated beet.


Season to taste with salt and pepper, then squeeze in the lemon juice, aiming for a pleasing but subtle sour taste. Serve with freshly grated black pepper, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped parsley, if desired.

Bacon and Butternut Squash Soup

By Parker Bosley

1 large butternut squash

1 large onions

4 thick slices bacon

1 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper


To cut the squash:  Cut the "neck" from the bulb.  Split each of the resulting two pieces.  Remove the seeds and pulp.  Cover the squash with foil and roast the squash in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the pieces are very soft.  The "neck" portion will take longer.  This is the reason for separating the two parts of the squash. 


While the squash are roasting cut the bacon in one inch pieces.  Sauté the bacon in a heavy bottom pan that will be used to make the soup.  Adjust the heat to prevent the bacon pieces from becoming crisp. 


Peel and slice the onions.  When the bacon has rendered its fat, add the onions.  Cook the onions until they are very soft and beginning to color. 


Remove the flesh from the roasted squash and add it to the bacon and onion mixture.  Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the ingredients.  Cook for about one hour. 


Puree the soup in a food processor or blender.  Pass the soup through a screen. 


Taste and add salt and pepper.  Remember the salt from the bacon so you may not need much salt. 


Garnish the soup with fresh herbs, sour cream, whipped cream or an herb butter. 


This soup can be made in large batches at the end of the season when you have an abundance of squash.  You can use most any hard squash-acorn, buttercup, Hubbard, turban or a combination of several kinds. 


You could also use only a small amount of chicken stock and create a squash puree to serve as a vegetable rather than a soup.  Make ahead and use later.  Place the squash in a gratin dish and back it just enough to reheat. 


The soup and the puree can be frozen for winter use. 

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Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of our favorite ingredients.  Actually, I love all winter squash. But this one in particular is easy to use.  At each of our cooking classes, we get a bunch of questions about how to prepare the squash.  Here are some tips:

Cutting:  Cut the squash first between the neck and the bulb.  Not lengthwise.  Now trim the stem off and the butt.  You now have a flat surface on both sides of each half. Sit the squash on end (on the flat, exposed flesh side) and cut down through the squash to open it up.  This is much safer.  
Scoop out the seed cavity with a metal spoon. 

Skinning:  Don't skin it until you have cooked it.  The flesh will scoop out or you can easily remove the skin with a pairing knife.  

Cooking:  Roast the squash two ways:
1) Line a cookie sheet with foil for easy cleanup.  Put a little water on the bottom of the sheet and roast flesh side down until the flesh is soft to the touch and depresses.  Heat = 350.
2) Wrap the squash in aluminum foil (like a baked potato) and roast on a cookie sheet to avoid making a mess of your oven.  Heat = 350.  

The second way retains more flavor in my opinion.  

The bulb (which has a thinner flesh wall) and the neck will cook at different rates.  Check them periodically and remove the bulb from the oven if it finishes first.  


Have you ever tried blanching your broccoli before serving cold or adding to a dish?  Blanching is the simple process of plunging the product in boiling water for about 30 to 60 seconds.  Remove it from the water and plunge it into ice water (literally water with ice cubes).  Do this until the broccoli is cold.  

You can now make a beautiful vegetable plate, salad, or use the vegetable in a pasta dish or bake.  It will retain it's vibrant color better.  

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