Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Know Your Farmer: Goodell Family Farm

Second in our "Know Your Farmer" series is an entry from Goodell Family Farm of Mantua. Goodell Family Farm has particpated in our Shaker Square Market for many years! They specialize in maple syrup and maple products.

"Goodell Family Farm is a seventh generation family farm dating back to 1825 when Jonas Goodell purchased the original farm site. Presently, three generations are involved in the farm business. Virginia, two of her sons and their wives Jay/Barb and Bruce/Sherry and Jay’s son and his wife Nathan/Rebecca are active on the farm. There has been many changes over the years, but one continuous venture for the Goodell family has been maple syrup. With great tradition, we take great pride in our maple syrup.

The 2011 season has concluded and it was a very successful year. Compared to last year’s poor season we doubled our maple production. The season started earlier than usual on February 15 and ended late on April 5, creating a long span of favorable maple syrup weather. Light amber maple syrup was the dominant grade produced this year, but plenty of medium amber and grade B were also made.

In an effort to continuously improve upon our maple operation, we introduced disposable spiles into our maple tubing system. By using a new spile each year, the tap hole will remain cleaner and therefore more productive throughout the season. In addition, the new spiles are 1/4 inch compared to the previous 5/16 inch spiles, which means a smaller hole for the tree to heal.

If March isn’t busy enough, we also hold our own pancake breakfast for three Sundays in March. The buckwheat or plain pancakes are served with sausage and, of course, our own Goodell Maple Syrup. Local residents, as well as, distant visitors have enjoyed these Sunday breakfasts for nearly 30 years.

Currently we are working on an exciting tree planting project. We have enrolled an old hay field that is surrounded by our woods into the NRCS’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The nearly 10 acres is being planted with 5 different species of trees: Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Red Oak, Black Cherry and Tulip Poplar. Half the trees will be Sugar Maple with the other half divided between the remaining species. It will take close to 20 years before the maples will be large enough to tap. Also included in the project will be a pollinator strip for bees and butterflies.

Amongst all the madness that fills the maple season was a wonderful addition to the Goodell family. Evan Jaymes Goodell was born on March 30 to Nathan and Rebecca Goodell and big brother, Ryan. The next farming generation is expanding and learning about the traditions and joys of growing up on an active farm. Now that the maple season has finished we are turning our attention to the other farm responsibilities, the dairy cows, grazing and hay season, and farm markets."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Know your Farmer: Bluebird Meadows

New! North Union will begin featuring stories and words directly from our farms! This entry is from Bluebird Meadows, a family run farm that practices sustainable agriculture while providing its customers the best pastured pork, beef and poultry. Add in fresh berries and jams and they are busy on the farm Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter!

"Bluebird Meadows is a family run farm located in Northeast Ohio. Here on the farm we pride ourselves in providing top quality, pasture raised beef, pork, poultry, and eggs to our family, friends, and customers.

It is our mission to raise and sell the highest quality products all while practicing sustainable agriculture. We are committed to taking care of the earth and the gifts we have been given. We use simple, old-fashioned farming techniques that give back to the Earth what has been taken.

We use natural fertilizers on our berries and vegetables, provide ample room for our chickens to roam, and have planted a lush red clover and alfalfa pasture for the cows and pigs. On our farm water is used from our pond and we will soon be adding rain barrels to collect rain water, reducing our use of 'city water'. We compost any unneeded organic material, use the manure for fertilizer, and provide all of the animals with humane living conditions.

Every season has its challenges and keeps us busy here at Bluebird Meadows. The spring is busy with replanting pastures and mending fences and buildings that have been damaged by a long winter. Summer is very busy with the many farmers markets we attend. Fall is busy with back-to-school activities, the fair, and canning and preserving produce from our garden and from other vendors at the market, with whom we barter. The winter months on most farms is a little quieter, but so far for us this winter has been eventful. We are blessed with 4 of the most amazing kids ever. They are hard workers both in the classroom and here on the farm. During the winter ALL 4 like to fill their free time with basketball. So on our farm, the winter months are filled with 4 crazy basketball schedules. Add in Chris coaching, and there is not too much time for other things. This presents a slight problem for us here on the farm; who is going to do the chores? During the spring, summer and fall no one ever complains about watering the pigs and cows, feeding the chickens or collecting the eggs. During the winter, where we now have to carry water out to the barn from our house one 5 gallon bucket at a time, where we now have to don on boots, snow pants, gloves and hats and hike through snow drifts to collect the eggs, and now where hay and cracked corn is hauled by the pulling of a sled; no one seems to want to do chores. Luckily for the farm, we have a rule in place that no one can go to basketball until all of the chores are done. And since NO ONE wants to miss their court time, (including Chris) the chores are always done.

We love every season here at Bluebird Meadows, all of the joys and challenges."

--Julie Blankenship, Bluebird Meadows

You can find Bluebird Meadows at our Indoor Winter Market this season and at our Crocker Park, Chagrin Falls, and Cleveland Clinic markets beginning this spring!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SNAP/EBT at the Markets

Beginning in July, North Union Farmers Market will begin accepting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Cards at its Lakewood, Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University locations. SNAP recipients may bring their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to the farmers market and obtain tokens which may be used to purchase fresh, local vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat products, honey, preserves, baked goods, plants used to produce food at home and much more. SNAP recipients should first visit the “Market Information” tent to receive tokens before purchasing items.

North Union Farmers Market operates certified, producer-only markets. SNAP recipients who purchase local food from the market will receive fresh, nutrient-dense produce and all natural farm products.
Market vendors will also continue to accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons.

Market Locations and Hours:

North Union Farmers Market in Lakewood
Arthur Avenue Extension in front of Kauffman Park, behind Drug Mart
Wednesdays, 10am to 1pm through September 30, 2010

North Union Farmers Market at the Cleveland Clinic
Crile Mall on East 100th between Euclid and Carnegie Avenues
Wednesdays, 10:30am to 2:30pm through October 6, 2010

North Union Farmers Market at Cleveland State University
Off of Euclid Avenue between East 18th and East 21st Streets
Thursdays, 10:30am to 1:30pm through October 2, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our Green Heritage Under Glass

North Union Farmers Market is pleased to announce our first annual “Get Growing for Summer: Flower Day at the Market” at our Crocker Park location on May 22, 2010 from 9am to 2pm. This will be the perfect opportunity to get everything you need to start your landscaping, gardening and yard work for the summer. Plus, it is a wonderful opportunity to support your local nurseries!
Did you know that in the late 1930’s, Greater Cleveland was home to the largest concentration of farming acreage under glass (225 acres) in America? Greenhouses were popping up all over Cuyahoga County as early as 1887 when T.W. James built a greenhouse near Brooklyn Heights. In fact, Dean’s Greenhouse in Westlake, built in 1924, is one of the area’s oldest operational greenhouses. The greenhouse industry in Northeast Ohio continued to flourish (pun intended!) throughout much of the 20th century, culminating in 1972 when the Cleveland Plain Dealer referred to Cuyahoga and Lorain county area as the “Greenhouse Capital of America.”

Events in the early 1990’s (a freeze in Florida which drove the prices of tomatoes up and increasing emissions standards by the EPA) put a great strain on the industry. Many growers borrowed money personally to try to protect their business. Unfortunately, many went out of business and our title of “Greenhouse Capital of America” was lost.

Several growers still operate in our area, and it is important to support them. The local food movement in Northeast Ohio is extremely popular and prominent and increased use of sustainable growing practices by local greenhouses means the two movements can work together to restore this vital industry. People who are dedicated to eating food grown locally are restricted by Ohio’s climate. Advanced technologies and growing innovations in greenhouses may provide us with an extended season.
Show your support for local nurseries and local food! Visit a local nursery for your summer supplies or shop from over 5 greenhouse vendors at our “Flower Day at the Market” on May 22nd, 9am to 2pm at Crocker Park. Local seedlings are acclimatized and plants are grown right here in Ohio, and there is one other benefit to buying local--talking to the grower, asking him or her questions and gaining a wealth of knowledge from their expertise!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Escape to the Country

Our visit to Killbuck Valley Mushrooms...a delicious day!
On Sunday, May 2, a group of us from North Union Farmers Market including staff, board, farmers and market shoppers visited Killbuck Valley Mushrooms in Burbank, OH for a day of foraging mushrooms, learning about nature and relaxing in the country.

When we arrived, Tom and Wendy Wiandt, the owners and operators, were setting up tables and grills to prepare for the dinner Karen Small of The Flying Fig would help us prepare later. Chickens scurried throughout the yard, the sun peaked through the clouds we had all been watching for rain and we decided it was going to be a great day!

As guests arrived, Tom and his daughter, Jessie, showed us around the farm. They have a field planted with garlic and rutabagas, and a few of the guests were brave enough to pluck a rutabaga right out of the ground and take a bite! We then made our way into the woods to forage. The weather cooperated and we were soon gathering wild ginger, nettle, and a few wild mushrooms. The woods were so peaceful--the only sounds being the birds, babbling creek, and occasional shouts from one of as we slipped in the mud or creek! We also saw wild life such as salamanders, newts and frogs scampering through the leaves on the ground.
In the afternoon, we all tried fishing, but the cloudy sky kept all the fish hidden. Mick Prochko of Covered Bridge Gardens caught the only fish, but Tom and Mick had caught quite a few the evening before. We all headed back to the barn to watch Tom filet the fish and get ready for dinner.

Karen Small looked over the ingredients laid out on a table in the barn. You could watch the wheels in her head beginning to spin as she asked people to start chopping, boiling and preparing each dish. When it was all over, it was hard to believe she hadn't planned for days but only for a couple of hours! The meal consisted of a chicken stock soup, a rutabaga-sunchoke puree, deviled eggs, mixed and braised mustard greens, candied wild ginger, grilled asparagus, and the fish with a log shiitake cream sauce. For dessert, we enjoyed rhubarb candied in maple syrup over vanilla ice cream. More pictures and info to come on the dinner...
The day was relaxing, educational, DELICIOUS, and fun! We hope you'll join us on our next farm visit...stay tuned for details on when and where!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tiffany's Thanksgiving shopping list for the Crocker Park Farmers Market:

Butternut and Acorn Squash -- Weaver's Truck Patch
Eggs -- Plum Creek Farm
Carola Potatoes (for mashing) -- Peth Farm
Yellow Onions -- Hansen's Greenhouse
Carrots -- Peth Farm
Bulk Sausage (for my Grandma's famous stuffing!) -- Bluebird Meadows
Salted Butter -- Covered Bridge
Pie Pumpkins (for homemade pumpkin rolls) -- Weaver's Truck Patch
Buttercrisp Lettuce (for salad) -- Nature's Garden
Radishes (for salad) -- Hansen's Greenhouse
Cider (for Hot Mulled Apple Cider!) -- Smith's Fruit Farm and Woolf Farms (we go through alot!)
Bread (for the table) -- Lucy's Sweet Surrender
Pumpkin Pecan Pie -- Gray House Pies (because they make the best!)
Remember: Bring my knives for Garth to sharpen!

Emma's Thanksgiving Shopping List for Shaker Square:


Salad Mix -- Oasis Acres/Snake Hill(has regular or spicy mix!!)
Pecans -- Covered Bridge Gardens
Chevre -- Mackenzie Creamery
Carrots -- Blissful Acres

Sides/Basic ingredients:

Brussel Sprouts -- RainbowFarms/ Schultz
Cauliflower -- RainbowFarms/ Schultz
Potatoes -- Weavers Truck Patch
Garlic -- Crooked Creek
Eggs -- Millgate Farm
Sweet Potatoes -- Heritage Lane Farm/Don Anna/Firefly
Cheese -- Ohio Farm Direct
Carrots -- Blissful Acres
Onions -- Snake Hill Farm
Cornmeal -- Covered Bridge
Heavy Cream/Milk for Gravy -- Country Gristmill
Butter -- Country Gristmill
Ground Pork for Stuffing -- New Creation Farms
Bread for Stuffing -- Zoss/Lucys


Tea Hill Poultry(Pick up Sat @ Market or Tuesday @ Shaker Sq. in front of Deweys between 2 and 6pm) --Tea Hill will also have Lamb, Goat and Chicken this Saturday!


Pie Pumkins(there is a shortage of canned pumkins so stock up!) -- Covered Bridge Gardens/Rainbows Farm/Snake Hill Farms
Apples for Pies --Schultz Farm/ Smith's Fruit Farm/ Woolf Farm
Strawberries -- Walnut Drive (They still have some everbearing!!!)

Have a great holiday, thank you for supporting local farms by shopping at the Market!

Friday, October 2, 2009

October at the Farmers Market

We apologize that we've been to busy running markets, canning and freezing this year's harvest and visiting farms to blog! But it has been a great market season with farms reporting record sales and stands overflowing with a delicious bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although we are winding down for the year, the market is still full of fun things like fall gourds, pumpkins, apples, grapes, and of course baked goods, artisan food products and more.

We are happy to report that our newest market at the Cleveland State University has been getting lots of visitors! We are open through October 22 on Thursdays from 10:30am to 1:30pm on Euclid Ave. between East 18th and East 21st Streets. Ride the trolley from downtown on your lunch break!

We're planning some fun ideas for Halloween at the market this year! Any ideas? Leave us a comment!

"It Must Be October"
By Pearl N. Sorrels

The harvest moon hangs round and high
It dodges clouds high in the sky
The stars wink down their love and mirth
The Autumn seasons is giving birth
Oh it must be October
The leaves of red bright gold and brown
To Mother earth come tumbling down
The breezy nights the ghostly sights
The eerie spooky far off sounds
Are signs that its October
The pumpkin yellow big and round
Are carried by costumed clumsy clowns
Its Halloween lets celebrate
Come one come all and don't be late
We know now its October
We'll roast and toast some luscious food
For apples we'll be bobbin
While tales are told around the fire
Of timely ghosts and goblins
Oh how we love October
The moon has grown pale
The stars have grown dim
Our Halloween party is over
With a hi-de-ho homeward we'll go
What a delightful month October