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About Farm Roots Connection

Farm Roots Connection is a multi-farm cooperative CSA that delivers fresh farm goods to Northeast Ohio. We deliver weekly shares of high quality, fresh produce, dairy, eggs and meats and also offer honey, maple syrup and breads from artisan bakers. Our farmers are committed to using sustainable and natural practices for growing produce and treat animals humanely with unlimited access to the outdoors and pasture. The distribution and delivery system of our products is owned and managed by our farmers in a cooperative way.

Farmer Owned and Operated

We are a farmer owned and managed cooperative. Our goal is to provide the missing link, a distribution system that connects the farmer directly to the eater. We ensure that all our producer members are following our strict production and packaging guidelines, and adhere to health and licensing requirements. Growers are selected for the quality of their products, reliability and a commitment to sustainability. By combining our farms we can provide a more diverse mix of product to our customers and spread the risks of farming to insure there will be available product for you. This new model of cooperative distribution and marketing for small-scale growers will help our community of farmers thrive and protect our valuable agricultural lands.

This section contains the posts that Farm Roots Connection Staffers make to the website. These include recipes, updates about the cooperative, and notes from producers about what’s happening on their farms and how they grow the produce you’ll see in your CSA share! Please follow this link (in CSA season) to check out our weekly CSA newsletter.

Note: Many of the recipes and information featured in this section come from this cookbook.


This first recipe is inspired by colcannon, an Irish mix of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. This lightened version is a mixture of two-thirds turnips and one-third potatoes, with the turnip greens stirred in at the end.



2 bunches turnips with greens attached (1 3/4 to 2 pounds, including greens)

1 pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped

2/3 cup low-fat milk, or as needed

Freshly ground pepper



1. Cut away the greens from the turnips. Peel the turnips and quarter if they’re large; cut in half if they’re small. Stem the greens and wash in 2 changes of water. Discard the stems.

2. Combine the turnips and potatoes in a steamer set above 2 inches of boiling water. Steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the steamer and transfer to a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly and leave for 5 to 10 minutes so that the vegetables continue to steam and dry out.

3. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste and add the greens. Blanch for 2 to 4 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water using a slotted spoon or skimmer, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine. Drain the water from the saucepan, rinse and dry.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan and add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and translucent but not colored. Add the milk to the saucepan, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.

5. Using a potato masher, a fork or a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mash the potatoes and turnips while still hot. Add the turnip greens and combine well. Beat in the hot milk and the additional tablespoon of olive oil if desired, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, right away, or transfer to a buttered or oiled baking dish and heat through in a low oven when ready to serve.


(from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/health/nutrition/mashed-turnips-and-potatoes-with-turnip-greens-recipes-for-health.html)


Not interested in mashed potatoes? It is summer, after all… so try this light, flavorful bruschetta:


Summer Turnip Bruschetta
A few handfuls summer turnips, washed and diced
A handful of summer turnip greens, diced
A handful fresh basil, chopped
A handful fresh chives, chopped
1/8-1/4 teaspoon White Truffle Oil
1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
Kosher salt to taste, about a pinch
Buttered and toasted baguette slices, lightly brushed with fresh garlic clove right out of the oven

Mix the first seven ingredients together until well combined. Serve atop the toasted garlic baguette slices.

(from http://www.careskitchen.com/2011/06/summer-turnip-bruschetta.html)


Jalapenos aren’t just for salsa anymore! But I wouldn’t suggest throwing them in a salad (well, not a salad for the faint of heart…) Stumped about what to do with these green beauties? Try one of these delicious recipes:

Four Cheese Jalapeno Peppers


8 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder



  1. Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add jalapeno peppers, cover, and steam until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Mix cream cheese with Parmesan, Cheddar, and feta cheeses, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder in a bowl.
  4. Arrange jalapeno peppers on prepared baking sheet. Spoon cheese mixture into each pepper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes.


Jalapeno Hummus


1 cup garbanzo beans

1/3 cup canned jalapeno pepper slices, juice reserved

3 tablespoons tahini

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

crushed red pepper to taste



  1. In a blender or food processor, mix the garbanzo beans, jalapeno peppers and reserved juice, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with cumin, curry powder, and crushed red pepper. Blend until smooth.


Only potatoes are produced at higher quantities than tomatoes in the U.S. The word tomato comes from the Mayan ‘xtomatl’ (bonus points if you can figure out how to say that). Originally cultivated in South America, the tomato spread across the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Despite the fact that it is botanically a fruit, the tomato is still widely considered a vegetable in cooking and is even officially classified as a vegetable for customs purposes in the United States (there’s even a supreme court decision regarding the tomato because of an 1883 tax on vegetables but not fruits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nix_v._Hedden)


There are oodles of varieties of tomato (more than 7500 to be exact) – not that you’d know that from the spherical scarlet staple found at a grocery store near you. Those tomatoes are bred for shape (for ease of packing) and their ability to be harvested green so that they can be gassed with ethylene when they’re at or near their destination. The tomatoes at your local farmers market, however, are cultivated for flavor. Heirloom tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, and cherry tomatoes run from dime-sized and pearly white to purple and black striped zebras the size of golf balls, not to mention the classic cherry-red beauties. And don’t forget medium-sized meaty romas, ideal for sauces. If you aren’t crazy about tomatoes, pick up a new variety next time – their flavor might surprise you!


Check out four basic tomato sauces here: http://www.helpwithcooking.com/sauces/tomato-sauce.html.


In the first two (and in any recipe!) you can switch canned tomatoes out for fresh:

To substitute fresh diced tomatoes for a 14.5-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes, use approximately 1 1/4 cups of diced fresh tomatoes and 1 cup of liquid. If your recipe calls for a 28-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes, use about 2 1/2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes and 1 cup of liquid. Use any liquid that seems appropriate for your recipe, such as water, broth or tomato juice. (http://spontaneousderivation.com/2009/11/14/replacing-canned-tomatoes-with-fresh)


Fresh, in-season tomatoes don’t need a lot of messing with. Add them to shish kebabs, stuff them like you would a pepper, add them to grilled cheese sandwiches, top fried eggs with warm tomato and sautéed greens, or top sliced tomato with your favorite cheese and run under the broiler (kids love this!) or spread with guacamole or top with pesto and parmesan.


For a quick pasta dish (or just a lovely tomato-y snack or side) fry up some onions and/or garlic in olive oil or butter. Then add a couple handfuls of whole cherry tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes until the tomatoes are warmed through and maybe a little wrinkly. Toss with pasta or rice or eat on the side of fresh salmon or chicken breast. Salt and pepper to taste!

Try adding:

hot peppers or red pepper flakes and cilantro

fresh basil and parmesan cheese


your favorite vinaigrette, balsamic, or rice vinegar

steamed snap peas or broccoli

baby greens (beet, turnip, spinach, chard, sorrel – you name it!)

lemon juice


Or my personal favorite… prepare the tomatoes with greens and then fish them out of the pan and set aside. In the oil or butter left over, fry up half a handful of cheese curds (about 30 seconds on a side until golden brown). Throw the tomatoes and greens back in, swirl around in the pan, and then toss on top of your favorite crusty bread.


… And more easy recipes:


Fresh Tomato Salsa (http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fresh_tomato_salsa/)


2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed, finely diced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeño chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced

1 serano chili pepper (stems, ribs, seeds removed), finely diced

Juice of one lime

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: oregano and or cumin to taste


1 Start with chopping up 2 medium sized fresh tomatoes. Prepare the chilies. Be very careful while handling these hot peppers. If you can, avoid touching them with your hands. Use a fork to cut up the chilies over a small plate, or use a paper towel to protect your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Set aside some of the seeds from the peppers. If the salsa isn’t hot enough, you can add a few for heat.

2 Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. If not hot enough, carefully add a few of the seeds from the chilies, or add some ground cumin.

Let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.

Makes approximately 3-4 cups.

Serve with chips, tortillas, tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, pinto or black beans.



Easy Gazpacho


3 pounds (about 6 large) ripe, juicy tomatoes, cored

1 large cucumber (peeled if waxed)

1 medium onion

1 green pepper, cored

1 fresh jalapeño, seeded (optional)

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/3 cup packed fresh parsley, cilantro or basil, or mix

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

Fresh ground pepper



Chunk the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and green pepper. Slice the jalapeño into strips.


Dump the chunked tomatoes and garlic in the processor. Process until puréed.


Add the cucumber, onion, green pepper and jalapeño to the food processor, along with the herbs, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Pulse until the vegetables are chopped but not yet puréed, still with some texture. Add pepper to taste.


Chill. Taste for seasonings: cold flavors lose strength, so you’ll likely need to ramp up the vinegar, salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve cold. If desired garnish with ice cubes, chopped fresh herbs or a dash of hot sauce, and serve with crackers or bread on the side.


Read more: Recipe: Simple Garden Gazpacho http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/kgk/2001/0901/redgazpacho.html#ixzz1xJZUhsUl


Check out more tomato recipes here: http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/tomatoes


and here: http://whatscookingamerica.net/TomatoRecipes.htm


… here too: http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/kitchen-assistant/easy-fresh-tomato-recipes-00400000050766/


It’s funny how many recipes for tomatoes there are. Especially when the easiest way to eat a fresh-from-the-farm tomato is so easy: just toss it in your mouth!


The word ‘radish’ is derived from latin ‘radix’ meaning root. Radish greens, like the greens of other root vegetables, are packed with nutrition. Toss tender baby greens into salad, or use mature greens in soups or stir-fry! Radish roots come in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and levels of spiciness! Radishes should show up in your local farmer’s market in the spring and again in the fall. Radishes store well, and mix nicely with other root vegetables. They are often interchangeable in recipes, and can also do pretty much anything a turnip can. Try mixing radishes in wherever you’d use turnips or even beets, or just use radishes instead! Or, if you’re one for the classics, try radishes fresh, sliced or cubed into salad or alone, drizzled with your favorite dressing or just a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt for a simple side.



If you’re not crazy about radish’s spice, try them roasted with a little salt. Cooking calms their flavor a lot!


Or, try one of these simple recipes (all of which would be just as delicious with the addition of turnips, beets, carrots, parsnips or even potatoes!):


Roasted radishes with radish greens



3 bunches small radishes with greens attached

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  3. Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.


Grilled Radishes (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Radishes/Detail.aspx)


20 ounces radishes, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1 cube ice

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the grill for high heat.
  2. Place the radishes, garlic, butter, and ice cube on a double layer of aluminum foil large enough to wrap contents. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly seal foil around contents.
  3. Place foil packet on the grill, and cook 20 minutes, or until radishes are tender.


*** You could also do these in the oven the same way, in the foil packet, or in a baking dish.


Pan fried daikon radish cake (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pan-fried-daikon-cake/detail.aspx)


1 1/2 cups grated daikon radish

2 teaspoons salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®)

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  1. Place the daikon in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain daikon. Stir in the garlic, onion, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, paprika, and chili garlic sauce. Mix well. Form into 8, small round patties.
  3. Pour oil into a large skillet. Heat over medium heat. Fry patties in the hot oil until firm and nicely brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.


*** For less spice, leave off the chile garlic sauce and paprika or dip in sour cream or ketchup. To calm down the radish flavor use half radishes and half potatoes. Daikon radishes have a great flavor, but you can really use any variety you want in this recipe.


Radish Top Soup



2 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, diced

2 medium potatoes, sliced

4 cups raw radish greens

4 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup heavy cream

5 radishes, sliced


1.         Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and saute until tender. Mix in the potatoes and radish greens, coating them with the butter. Pour in chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

2.         Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.

3.         Return the mixture to the saucepan. Mix in the heavy cream. Cook and stir until well blended. Serve with radish slices.


Turnip Gratin (Just as good with radishes! Or both!)

Check out the source for photos of each step: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/11/turnip-gratin/


4 whole Turnips (probably 5-7 radishes, they tend to be smaller)

3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic

2 cups Gruyere Cheese (cheddar, gorgonzola, swiss, mozzarella – your favorite cheese would do just fine here also)

4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Butter

Chicken Broth

Heavy Cream

Salt And Pepper, to taste

Fresh Herbs, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375º.

Start by peeling and thinly slicing the turnips and mincing the cloves of garlic. Grate about 2 cups of Gruyere cheese.

In a large oven-proof skillet, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Place a single layer of turnips on top of the butter.

Next, sprinkle a little of the garlic on top, then – and this is purely optional and really not all that necessary – add a couple of tablespoons of butter.

Next drizzle a healthy splash of chicken broth over the turnips. Next, do the same with the cream.

Now add a nice layer of Gruyere – about ½ cup. Sprinkle a bit of salt, but not much as the cheese is already salty.

Repeat these layers twice more. Sprinkle on some freshly ground black pepper.

Now pop the whole thing into the over and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is hot, brown and bubbly.


And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, head here for a list of 10 unique radish recipes: http://dancinggecko.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/10-tasty-radish-recipes/



Radishes will keep for up to two weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Store greens separately, wrapped in a damp towel in the hydrator drawer, and use them as quickly as possible.



Broccoli evolved from wild cabbage that was first cultivated by ancient Romans on the coasts of Europe. Broccoli likes cool weather, which means local broccoli is generally available mostly in early summer and fall.


Broccoli is great fresh – dip it in your favorite salad dressing, or try it topped with peanut butter and raisins (ants in trees!?) or hummus and eggplant dip for a Mediterranean twist! Steamed broccoli is also a great option, or try roasting it: toss broccoli florets in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.


Check out this list of broccoli recipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Fruits-and-Vegetables/Vegetables/Broccoli/Top.aspx



Store broccoli in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the refrigerator for a few days, or for long term storage blanche and freeze.




 Indigenous to Central and South America, green beans are one of the most popular vegetables in the United States. But green beans are only one of innumerable types of beans, available fresh or dried and packed with nutrients. Dried mature beans tend to be higher in protein, but fresh beans still pack a punch with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and B!


Fresh Beans


Fresh beans or snap beans are eaten for the pod when the beans themselves are very small and the pod is crisp. These are probably the most prevalent type of fresh beans available. Try them steamed or boiled, but don’t overcook them! Watch for them to brighten in color and become tender – go past that point and they’ll become soft and mushy. Remove stems and strings before cooking but leave beans uncut, they retain more nutrients cooked whole.


Check out this list of creative green bean dishes: http://www.myrecipes.com/ingredients/vegetable-recipes/simple-green-bean-recipe-ideas-10000001940158/



Fresh beans should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and used as soon as possible. They should keep for about a week, but also freeze well – blanch for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, rinse in cold water and store in an airtight container.


Shell Beans


Beans that come from a fibrous inedible shell (like cranberry, cannelloni, or fava beans) are often dried , but they can also be eaten fresh! These beans often look unappetizing at market but that’s because the best part – the bean – is hidden inside a shrivelly dried pod. Check out this website for more information on fresh shelling beans: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/05/FDC211VB23.DTL&ao=all. There are recipes at the bottom, so scroll down!


Or, play it simple and try a Fresh Shelling Bean Salad!

This recipe makes about 2 cups (250 g) and comes from David Lebovitz’s website (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/09/how-to-prepare-shelling-beans)


You can use a favorite vinaigrette (about 1/4 cup, 60 ml) and perhaps include a chopped shallot to mix with the warm beans, too. A handful of fresh herbs is delightful, but I wait until the beans are cool to add them so they don’t lose their oomph. I enjoy them often tossed with good summer tomatoes and lots of fresh basil, which is pretty much my favorite summer salad.


They’re also insanely-good tossed with thin spaghetti, steamed green beans, a swirl of pesto stirred in, then topped with toasted breadcrumbs.


3 quarts (3l) of very lightly salted water

1 pound (450 g) shelling beans, shucked

optional: a bay leaf, a few branches of thyme or savory, half a small onion


1. In a large covered saucepan, bring the water to a boil.


2. Add the beans and any, or all, of the optional seasonings.


3. Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook for 25-30 minutes with the lid ajar, until the beans are tender. But be careful not to overcook them. You may need to add more water while they’re cooking.


4. Drain the beans, then toss with while warm with vinaigrette and a peeled and minced shallot, or a drizzle of walnut or hazelnut oil and sea salt.


To serve, add a handful of fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, or basil. Toss well, and mix with tomatoes, par-boiled green or yellow beans, or serve on their own, alongside roast pork loin.



Shell beans are more perishable and should be used within a few days. Store them in a paper bag or basket in the refrigerator.



Dried or Canned Beans


Dry beans are typically soaked overnight (or for 8-10 hours) before cooking. Although this makes them cook more quickly, it can lead to a loss in both nutrients and flavor. If you do soak them, drain the soaking water and cook beans for about three hours in stock or water with your favorite seasonings. But, add salt later in the cooking process or after beans are cooked to avoid toughness. And avoid rapid boiling of the beans because it may cause them to split!

Canned beans, on the other hand, are pre-cooked and can be eaten right out of the can. They typically contain more sodium than dry beans, so rinse them thoroughly before using them in a recipe.


Here is some great information about dried and canned beans: http://food.unl.edu/web/fnh/cooking-with-dry-beans


Or try this simple recipe:

Best Black Beans (from allrecipes.com, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-black-beans/)


1 (16 ounce) can black beans

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste


1.         In a medium saucepan, combine beans, onion, and garlic, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Season with cilantro, cayenne, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, and serve.


For a variation, experiment with different types of beans and seasoning mixes, or try using dried beans!



Dried beans are the most shelf stable option – they should be good for about six months. Store them in a cool dark place (like a cupboard or pantry) in a closed container.