By CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN
If you want to eat farm-to-table healthy, you have to know the farmer. The best place to get acquainted with your farmers is at your local farmers’ market.
Elm Run Farms has been family-owned for five generations, over the course of 125 years. “My husband’s great, great grandfather purchased the farm in 1893,” Sandy Ressler said. She and her husband Ken took over running Elm Run Farms in 2011. “It was always a dairy farm. My husband works in dairy nutrition, helping dairy farmers with their herd health and helping them get the most milk. He has been doing that for 40 years. When we bought the farm, we thought,‘How hard can it be to add a few beef cattle?’ It has been quite a process. It has been a learning curve.”
The Resslers operate their farm on the philosophy that food should be raised as naturally as possible. This is done through responsible farming and by producing naturally raised, minimally processed food. Cows are never given grain. They are 100 percent grass fed. Chickens, turkeys and pigs are pasture-raised and given only non-GMO feed. No chemical fertilizers are used on Elm Run Farm pastures.
“There is a know-your-farmer movement these days. There is a lot going on at those big company farms that you don’t know about,” Sandy Ressler said. “When you buy locally, you know what you are buying. You can visit the farm to see what is going on there. We have regular customers who tell us that our food tastes so much better than the food you can get at a chain grocery store. Our food is healthier. It is raised without hormones, steroids and antibiotics.”
Elm Run Farms, located in Orrville, OH, provides naturally raised food to itsneighbors in Wayne, Ashland, Medina, Cuyahoga, Holmes, Lorain, Stark, Summit and Geauga counties. Their grass-fed beef, pork, chicken and turkey, eggs and maple syrup can be purchased at the farm and at the Frostville Farmers’ Market. Go to www.elmrunfarms.com for contact information.
It has been a little over a year since longtime friends Colin Casteele and Zach Douglas of Earthly Delights Mushroom Company started growing mushrooms. “The idea came to us gradually as we both began to learn about mushrooms through foraging, gardening, and small DIY grow projects here and there,” Douglas said. “Eventually, Colin pitched the idea that we set up a grow tent at his house and sell mushrooms at a market. In less than a year, that idea has now grown into a tent that is two times the size of the original, a dedicated lab room for sterile procedure, and a second grow tent in the works at my house. Simply put, we are fascinated by fungi.”
Douglas said their priority is to build community through the local production of nutritious and tasty mushrooms, sharing their passion and knowledge along the way. Casteele and Douglas minimize their environmental impact by prioritizing low-waste packaging and giving any ‘waste’ a second life.
“Over the past year, we have experimented with quite a handful of mushroom varieties, but we have chosen Blue Oyster and Lion’s Mane as our mainstays,” Douglas noted. “That being said, we will be adding golden oysters and pink oyster mushrooms periodically throughout the warmer months, and king oysters this summer.”Earthly Delights Mushroom Company mushrooms are available weekly at the Frostville Farmer’s Market. Visit www.earthlydelightsmushroom.co for contact information.
The Frostville Farmer’s Market, 24101 Cedar Point Rd. in North Olmsted, is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market has more than 35 vendors and market manager Angela Obbish lists the vendors in attendance, special guests and live entertainment each week on Facebook at www.facebook.com/frostvillemarket.
Brined Pork Chops on the Grill
(Elm Run Farms)
2 lbs. pork chops
2 C. water (or enough to cover chops)
Pink salt or Real salt (I T. per cup of water)
Dried basil (1 t. or to taste)
Dried sage (1 t. or to taste)
Onion powder (1 t. or to taste)
Black pepper (1/8 t. or to taste)
Dissolve salt in water and add seasonings. Pour over chops and let sit for one to four hours. Drain brine and discard. Grill chops over medium heat until top begins to turn white. Flip over and cook until done, or eight to 10 minutes on each side. Adjust according to heat and preference for doneness.
Smokey Chipotle Oyster Sammie
(Earthly Delights Mushroom Co.)
½ lb. fresh Oyster mushrooms
3 T. mayonnaise
½ t. ground chipotle pepper
Juice from ½ lime
Kosher salt or smoked salt
Spinach, washed and sliced
Heat olive oil in a pan. Cook mushrooms thoroughly, tossing occasionally. You will know when they are done when they have released their moisture and browned slightly. While cooking, mix together the mayonnaise, chipotle, lime juice and salt. Toast the bread. Assemble the sandwich ingredients: mushrooms, spinach, broccoli sprouts, and drizzle with the chipotle-lime mayonnaise. Serves two.
Lion’s Mane “Lobster” Rolls
(Earthly Delights Mushroom Co.)
1 lb. Lion’s Mane mushrooms, trimmed and diced
1 t. smoked paprika
¼ C. mayonnaise
¼ C. celery, minced
2 green onions, diced
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. lemon zest
Kosher salt, to taste
¼ t. fresh ground black pepper
4 split-top brioche buns
4 T. butter
1 T. chives, minced
Heat oil in a pan. While cooking the diced mushrooms, sprinkle them with smoked paprika and a pinch of salt. Once cooked through, turn off the heat. Place the mushrooms in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. In a medium bowl, mix together the chilled mushrooms, mayonnaise, celery, onions, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Toast or grill the buns and spread with butter. Dollop the mushroom mixture on the buns. Sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately. Serves four.