Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 29 Newsletter

To all the Apple Fans:

We are in full swing with the apple harvest. The cooler and the packing shed have a strong fresh apple aroma and the bins keep marching in from the orchards. Our refrigerated truck made a trip to southern Michigan with the first run of apples from the packing line. Also this week, a semi-truck took a large load of apples to a processing plant. We are looking forward to another nice week of weather for the apple picking crew to keep harvesting apples.

Someone asked me "What is your favorite thing to harvest?"  I would have to say, I really enjoy picking peppers.  They vary in color and their firm texture is so forgiving of the harvesting process.  Those big peppers can fill up a packing crate in no time!

What to expect to find in this week's bin:

Honeycrisp Apples
Red Macintosh Apples
Sweet Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Toscano Kale
Red Torpedo Onions
Red Kuri Squash
Red/Purple Potatoes

Beyond  the Bin:

Raspberries pt                                      5.00
Broccoli                                               3.00
Tomatoes 1/2 bu                                  10.00
Roasting Roma Tomatoes   1/2 bu           10.00
Asian Pears qt                                      4.00
Basil                                                   2.00

So many different kind of tomatoes!

Did you notice all the anthocyanins (think purple)
in your bin last week? Anthocyanins may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may even enhance memory.
Common fruits and vegetables rich in anthocyanins include blueberries, black grapes, raisins, blackberries, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant, purple cauliflower and purple potatoes.

Recipes for week 16:

Oven Roasted Red Kuri Squash

1 squash, cut into quarters
Olive Oil spray
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Honey or Maple syrup — optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Spray squash quarters with Olive oil spray, season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 40 minutes turning once half way through. 

Serve with a drizzle of honey or Maple syrup.

Winter squash is also a source of potassium, niacin, iron and beta carotene. The orange-fleshed squash is also an excellent source of beta carotene. As a general rule, the deeper the orange color, the higher the beta carotene content.

Apple Salsa


2 medium red Michigan Apples
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup chopped orange segments
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 finely chopped jalapeno
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Yield: 3 cups.

Core and dice apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Toss immediately with lime juice. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill 2 hours before serving over fish, chicken, turkey or chips.

Michigan Apple Committee

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22 Newsletter


To all the Autumn Admirers:

Apple Season has officially begun on Wunsch Farms!  We started picking apples just as the cooler weather moved into the area.  The coolness adds the extra color, flavor and crispness that the northern Michigan grown Honey Crisps are known for.  Yes, there will be Honey Crisp apples in the bins this week!

The first annual Peak Season CSA harvest potluck went well. It was a little rainy but we were able to use the screened in porch to enjoy one of the last warm evenings of the summer. It was a great way to share ideas on how to use different fruits and vegetables that have made appearances in the bins this season.  I was happy to see the large and heavy pumpkins made their way off from my porch and on to the porches of the members who attended the potluck.

This week's bin will include:

Asian Pears
Purple & Red Plums
Honey Crisp Apples
Red Cabbage

Beyond the Bin:

Tomatoes 1/2 bu               10.00
Nectarines                           4.00
Raspberries                         5.00
Sweet Peppers                    2.00
Basil                                   2.00
Zinnias                               3.00
Honey Crisp bushel          35.00
Honey Crisp 1/2 bu          20.00
Honey Crisp peck            14.00
Honey Crisp 1/2 peck        9.00

Here are a couple of recipes for you to try with items that will be showing up in the bins this week.  I like to add thinly sliced garlic to the seared red cabbage.

Seared Red Cabbage Wedges
1 small head of red cabbage, cut in 8 wedges, core intact so that the wedges stay together
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more as needed)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy cast iron or nonstick frying pan. When it is very hot, place as many cabbage wedges as will fit in one layer in the pan. Cook for three to five minutes until golden brown on one side. Using tongs or a spatula, turn over and cook on the other side until tender, nicely browned and crispy on the edges, about five minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Yield: Serves six to eight.
Advance preparation: Make this just before serving for the best results.
NY Times 2010
Recipes for Health

Leek and Potato Galette

6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 pounds (5 to 6 medium) baking potatoes, peeled
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 leek, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced crosswise, well washed
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack set in top third. Line bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a round of parchment paper. Place melted butter in a large bowl. Using a mandoline or cutting by hand, slice the potatoes 1/8 inch thick; add to bowl with butter. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. In prepared pan, arrange some of the potatoes around edge of pan, overlapping the slices. 

 Fill center of pan with more overlapping slices. Sprinkle with half the leek and half the cheese; season with salt and pepper. Repeat with another layer of potatoes and remaining leek and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining potatoes. Using a spatula, press galette down firmly.

Bake until potatoes are tender, 70 to 80 minutes, pressing down firmly twice with a spatula during cooking. Run knife around edge of pan. Carefully invert galette onto a plate, remove parchment, and reinvert onto serving plate. Cut into wedges, and serve

Martha Stewart

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,

I know it has been a week of transitioning for many of you, from the close of summer vacationing to the beginning of a new school year.  Hopefully, you have been able to find some time during the busy week to explore some new ways to use all of those tomatoes!  The days are starting to get shorter and the temperatures are getting a little cooler.  It is interesting to watch the leaves on the summer thriving plants turn brown this time of year and the cooler temperature plants begin to make a second appearance.  It is also a time when many of the items in the bins are in a "ready to go" state. I hope you enjoy the fall fruit as much as I do!

Things keep clicking along on the farm.  Rye seeds were planted last weekend, and have soaked up the rain and turned a nice light green color this week.  The packing shed continues to be prepared for our upcoming GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) audit and making way for apple packing.  Even the hoophouse received some attention this past week.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Asian Pears
Lettuce Mix
Sweet Peppers
White Onion

                                                         Beyond the Bin
                                                         Watermelon               3.00
                                                          Nectarines/qt             4.00
                                                          Raspberries/pt           5.00
                                                          Basil                          2.00                        
                                                         Tomatoes 1/2 bu      10.00
                                                          Sunflowers                3.00                                 

Coming up this week......

We are hoping you can join us for the Peak Season CSA potluck dinner at the Sweetbriar Farmhouse on Friday, September 20th.  It will start at 6:00 pm and will include one of the last sunsets of the summer season.

Please bring your own place settings, a dish to pass and RSVP by email by Thursday, September 18th.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8 Newsletter

Hello CSA Sharers,

Hopefully you were able to freeze, dry, can or share some of the bounty in last week's bin.  Last year I chopped, steamed and froze some late season kale.  I found it to be a great addition to homemade soups in the middle of winter. Another favorite last winter was having frozen roasted tomatoes to add to tomato based dishes.  Roasting tomatoes brings out a layer of delicious smokiness and rich flavor.

The fall raspberries are starting to hit their stride and do not be surprised to find a pint added to your bin at some point in the next few weeks.  I have been trying to sprinkle them around to the group as they ramp up their production.

Our packing shed is in the process of changing from cherries to apples. The crews are also busy with building and irrigation repairs, as well as tucking away some of the CSA materials. It is always fun putting up the sugar snap pea fencing in the spring and so much easier if it has been disassembled with care this time of year.

What to expect in your bin this week:

Spaghetti Squash
Red, White and Purple Potatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes - heirloom & slicers
Sweet Pepper Mix (bell, carmen & pimento)
Hot Peppers - Jalapenos
Purple Onions
Running out of ideas for ways to use tomatoes? Then here are a couple of recipes just for you.


1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
2 links fresh Italian pork sausage, removed from casings
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups prepared classic pasta sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon butter, softened
1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 slices whole wheat bread

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange squash in a dish, cut-sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Rake with a fork to remove flesh in strands. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat and cook sausage, until almost done, breaking into smaller pieces, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add pasta sauce and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Keep warm. Combine butter, garlic and basil; spread onto one side of bread; place on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes. Portion squash into bowls, top with sauce and serve with garlic bread.

Nutritional Info:
PER SERVING:400 calories (180 from fat), 20g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 990mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (9g dietary fiber, 15g sugar), 14g protein


9 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large white onion, quartered
3 jalapeno chiles, plus more if desired
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Coarse salt

Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tomatoes and jalapenos are charred, about 7 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
Peel the roasted garlic. Transfer to a blender along with the charred tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add water as needed. Season with salt to taste.
Beyond the Bin:

Nectarines/ qt                 4.00
Peaches/qt                      4.00
Raspberries/pt                  5.00
Basil                               2.00
Eggplant                         2.00
Zucchini                         2.00
Potatoes                          3.00
Tomatoes/ 1/2 bushel        10.00
Honey  8 oz                    4.00
Honey 16 oz                   6.00

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1 Newsletter

To all the Summer Garden Gourmets:

This is absolutely my favorite time of the year.  The choices are endless when I am trying to decide what to put in the bins.  Many things are peaking in the garden!  Not to mention, the bay water is warm and the sunsets are filled with spectacular color.

I took advantage of the holiday weekend to give my home refrigerator a much needed clean out.  Do you ever wonder what happens to the "not so perfect" vegetables?  I tend to gather many of these items and dream of morphing them into something delicious at a later time.  This weekend I was able to succeed with a few and added the others to the compost pile.  Hopefully, the quantity you are receiving in your bin provides an adequate weekly amount without overloading the produce drawers in your refrigerator.

This past week the farm crew snipped the strawberry plants including the prolific runners.  The high density apple orchard has had the new growth tied down and the Honey Crisp fishline has been added to the landscape.  We struggle with crows who want to sit on the tops of the Honey Crisp tree and peck holes in the apples.  The fishline around the trees tends to annoy these birds enough to keep them out the trees.  The apples are sizing nicely and are gaining some color.

Please mark your calendar:

A Peak Season CSA Potluck will be held at the Sweetbriar Farmhouse on September 20th.      

Expect to find in your bins this week:

            Green Cabbage

         Beyond the Bin offerings:

         Eggplant                          2.00
         Watermelon                     3.00
         Pole Beans                        2.00
         Tomatoes/ 1/2 bushel         10.00
         Raspberries/pt                  5.00
         Peaches/qt                       5.00
         Nectarines/qt                   4.00
         Nectarines/5#                  10.00

Tuscan Vegetable Soup with White Beans and Parmesan

Bon Appétit  | October 2003
Ristorante Mamma Gina, Florence, Italy

               1 1-pound package dried cannellini (white kidney beans)
               2 tablespoons olive oil
               1 large onion, finely chopped
               2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
               4 garlic cloves, minced
               1/4 head of green cabbage, cut into1/2-inch pieces
               2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
               4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
               3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
               10 cups (or more) vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
               2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
               1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
               1/2 head of red cabbage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
               4 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
               6 3/4-inch-thick slices 7-grain bread, toasted
               1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
               Additional olive oil

Place beans in heavy large pot. Pour in enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Soak overnight. Drain beans.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in very large pot over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add green cabbage, tomatoes, celery, and carrots; sauté 10 minutes. Add beans, 10 cups stock, potatoes, and basil. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour. Add red cabbage and zucchini. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Uncover. Add toasted bread slices to soup and remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Divide soup among bowls. Top each serving with ground pepper and additional olive oil and serve.

Kale Chips

From EatingWell:  September/October 2011

                        1 large bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces (about 16 cups; see Note)
                        1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
                  1/4 teaspoon salt

               Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.
               If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don’t overlap. (If the kale won’t all fit, make the chips in batches.)
               Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)

Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days