Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27 Newsletter

Hello Fruit Hounds,

Any berry lovers out there? I really like cherries and truly enjoy all the different berries. We are in full stride for all kinds of Northern Michigan summer fruit. The cool weather has helped to maintain the quality of both the cherries and berries.

Our farm is full tilt with the cherry harvest well under way. This week the crews have managed the tsunami of black sweet cherries. The cherries are a bit on the small side this year due to the heavy crop.
We have been harvesting cherries for processing and the hand crews have continued to pick and pack fresh black sweet cherries.

The main garden walkways are beginning to become covered with vines. The melons, cucumbers and squash are stretching in all directions. I have been giving them a boost with fertilizer and extra water during this time of rapid growth. The garden is also blooming with flowers. The sunflowers are showing their bright colors and so are the red runner pole beans. The bees are buzzing around the blue borage flower.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Sugar snap peas
Swiss Chard
Purple onion

Beyond the Bin for Week 8:

Black sweet cherries
Red raspberries
Black raspberries
Snow peas

Need some new recipe ideas? Here are a couple of recipes that we have used at our house in the past week.

Zucchini Bread

Yield: 2 loaves, 12 servings per loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
           3 cups shredded zucchini (12 ounces)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Cooking spray

. Preheat oven to 350°.
. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through baking soda) in a large bowl.
. Combine canola oil and next 3 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; add sugar, stirring until combined. Add zucchini; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in walnuts.
. Divide batter evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
Adapted from Cooking Light 
JULY 2005

Greek-Style Kale Salad

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 cup)


1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups torn kale leaves 
2 cups torn Swiss chard leaves
1 cup chopped cucumber 
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions (about 2)
10 kalamata olives, pitted and quartered

. 1. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and pepper in a bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add kale and Swiss chard; toss. Let stand 10 minutes. Add English cucumber, feta cheese, green onions, and kalamata olives. Toss.
Cooking Light 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20 Newsletter

Hello CSAers,

We have made the complete shift from spring to summer during the past week. The main patch of mixed greens are beyond bolting and are starting to develop seeds. The second wave of greens germinated well and enjoyed the cooler weather but have put on the brakes with the warmer temperatures. The peas liked the cool temperature and have continued to produce an abundance of pods.

Thank goodness for warm weather plants! The eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes are flowering and nicely setting fruit. The vining plants are pushing hard and seem to have doubled in size as they expand in all directions. The second wave of cilantro came on fast and even the the rosemary has jumped in height this past week.

Our cherry crews have been working long days. This past week we were picking and packing fresh cherries and also mechanically harvesting cherries. It not only takes many people in the field but also folks to transport the cherries to the receiving area. Then there are the others in the receiving area where they unload the boxes of cherries from flat bed trucks and load onto semi-trucks. We have a small truck which makes steady runs moving small boxes of hand picked cherries from the field to the cooler. We have another crew who work the packing line. The hand picked fruit is sorted on a packing line, weighed and the boxes are and assembling on pallets. Of course, we cannot forget the the people who keep all the spinning plates spinning! Everyday is different, it takes planning, scheduling and marketing to make it all happen.

What you can expect to find in your bin this week:

Black sweet cherries
Bok choy
Mixed greens
Sugar snap peas
Red skinned potatoes

Beyond the Bin:

Cherries 20# boxes or quarts
Black raspberries
Red raspberries
Snow peas

Here are a couple of recipes to try that include some of the items you will find in your Week 7 bin.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 3-4.

If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them by placing them in a bowl of ice water or cold water. Adding a little salt to the water will help the shrimp retain their briny flavor.

2 Tbsp high smoke point oil such as grape seed oil, or canola oil
1  Serrano chile (more if you like it spicy, or just a fraction of one if you want less heat),
                    sliced into rings
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 Tbsp lime juice

1 Place a large sauté pan or a wok over your strongest burner on high heat. Let the pan heat up for a minute and then add the oil. Use a high smoke point oil since you will be cooking the shrimp on very high heat. Let the oil heat until it's shimmering. If it starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a moment.
2 Add the chiles to the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cook 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat with oil. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 1 minute before tossing again so they get a little bit of a sear. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.

3 Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro, then the lime juice.
Serve hot or at room temperature. Serve alone, over rice, or in a folded heated flour or corn tortilla.

Simply Recipes

Spicy Garlic Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Yield: Serves 4
Total:25 Minutes

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 heads baby bok choy (about 1 lb. total), halved lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews

1. Heat grill to medium (350° to 450°). Combine soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, oil, vinegar, sugar, and garlic in a small bowl. Set bok choy in a rimmed baking dish and brush with two-thirds of soy-garlic mixture. Wrap bok choy tops with foil.
2. Grill bok choy, turning once, until slightly softened and streaked brown, 5 to 6 minutes total. Remove foil from leaves and set bok choy on a platter. Brush with remaining soy-garlic mixture and sprinkle with cashews.

Sunset June 2011

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13 Newsletter

Hello Cherry Fans,

Have you noticed how many cherries are on the trees this year? This past week they have doubled in size and the dark black sweets went through a range of colors. It is amazing how much they change as we close in on harvest. This year's crop is sizing up nicely. We even were able to supply a few of the northern Michigan fruit stands with fresh cherries this past Festival week.

The main garden has also gone through a transformation and taken on a new look. The stakes were carefully placed in the rows of tomatoes and string has been woven through the stakes and plants to give them support. I am seeing a few green tomatoes on the plants and they are also filled with many small yellow flowers. The paths between the rows were rototilled and straw mulch was added to fend off the weeds. The irrigation system was used frequently and what a delight to see the second planting of carrots poke their heads up through the soil. It is definitely looking like a summer time garden!

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Black sweet cherries
Sugar snap peas
Tuscano Kale

And Beyond the Bin:

Black sweet cherries
Snow peas

Here are some recipe ideas for the items that you will find in your bin this week.

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

1 bunch beets with


1/4 cup olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped onion (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)

. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted.
. Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
. When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the greens as is, and the roasted beets sliced with either red-wine vinegar, or butter and salt and pepper.

. Makes 4 servings                  Adapted recipe from

Cherry Salsa

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 – 2 jalapenos, very thinly sliced
2 Cup black sweet cherries split in half

Mix all together. This goes well with grilled fish.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6 Newsletter

Hi CSAers,

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend and maybe even saw the Blue Angels perform over our beautiful West Bay! Not only does the 4th of July mark our nation's birthday, it is usually the kick-off to Northern Michigan's cherry harvest. With the season starting so late and cherries still unripe, it does not seem fitting to light off fireworks quite yet. I guess we'll just have to settle for strawberries for the time being, but do not worry.... the cherries will be here soon!!

As you can see from the photos, the swiss chard is loving the atmosphere in the hoop-house and looks absolutely stunning. Expect to see less greens and wide varieties of cooking greens, peas and more in the bins in the upcoming weeks. The strawberry supply is beginning to wind down, so we are only selling them by the quart in the beyond-the-bin, so everyone can have a chance to stock-up on an extra quart or two. They are super sweet right now. Perfect for freezing or making jam!

Get out to the Cherry Festival and celebrate cherries, our community and the beautiful place in which we are so lucky to live! Have a great week!

What to expect to find in your Week 5 bin:

Sugar snap peas
Snow peas (green & purple)
Rattail radishes
Zucchini or Broccoli
Swiss chard

Beyond the bin:

Strawberries - quarts
Sugar snap peas
Swiss chard

Here are a couple of recipes that include items that will be in your bin this week.

Snow Peas and Peppers in Peanut Sauce

2 Tbsp chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp canola oil
12 oz fresh snow peas
½ cup thinly sliced red bell peppers

In a small bowl, combine the broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic and sugar.  Whisk to blend.  Set aside.
Coat a wok with vegetable spray.  Set over high heat for 1 minute.  Add the oil and swirl around the pan to coat.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Add the snow peas and peppers.  Toss.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the peas are bright green.
Reduce the heat to low.  Add the reserved peanut butter mixture.  Cook, tossing for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 4 serving

Swiss Chard with Dried Cherries

1/2 large onion, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick (1 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 pounds Swiss chard, center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds with skins

Cook onion with 1/4 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard in batches, stirring frequently, until wilted, then add raisins and water. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt.

Cook almonds in remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over chard.