Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31 Newsletter

Hello Tomato Fans,

Ah, sun kissed tomatoes are the best! It seems like we have had many of the storms pass us by this past week. Of course, everything in the garden enjoyed the gentle showers and the landscape has taken on a rich green color. The warm loving plants seem to be standing tall. The tomatoes continue to show more brilliant color everyday. It is certainly harvest season in the vegetable garden.

We have had many of the folks who helped with the 2014 cherry harvest depart during the past week. So far it sounds like their travels have gone well. Many of crew travel from southern Florida, Texas and South Carolina. They enjoyed our cooler temperatures and find our fresh water oh-so refreshing after working in the packing shed or in the fields. It sounds like many of them are planning to return next year. Season help can be tricky and we really enjoy having a tight community on our farm.

My neighbor's awesome peaches are ripe and he has just put up his u-pick sign on the corner of Eimen and Peninsula drive. He mentioned to me yesterday that if any of the Peak Season CSA members are interested in peaches to give him give him a call:  Michael McMaster - 231-620-4677

What to expect to find in your bin:

Purple potatoes
Sweet white onions

Beyond the bin offerings: 

Red raspberries

Here are a couple of recipes that include items from the Week 13 bin.

Eggplant Caprese Salad


1 cup boiling water
¼ cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 1 pound eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup coarsely snipped fresh basil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 7- to 8-ounce balls fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
4 large heirloom tomatoes, such as Brandywine, cored and thinly sliced

Coarse salt

Ground black pepper

Small fresh basil leaves

1. In a small bowl combine boiling water and dried tomatoes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain, discarding water; chop tomatoes.
2. Trim stem and blossom ends of eggplant; cut eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place slices on a baking sheet; brush both sides of slices generously with the 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle evenly with the 1 teaspoon salt and the 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
3. For a charcoal or gas grill, place eggplant slices on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly charred and tender, turning once halfway through grilling. Transfer grilled slices to a clean plate and let cool to room temperature.
4. In a food processor or blender combine dried tomatoes, the snipped basil, the 1/4 cup oil, and the vinegar. Cover and process or blend until finely chopped.
5. On a large platter arrange eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese slices, and tomato slices, overlapping slices. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and pepper. Spoon dried tomato mixture on top. Garnish with basil leaves. Serve at room temperature.

Better Homes and Garden

Fresh Tomato Salsa

3 large tomatoes, seeded, chopped (3 cups)
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

In large glass or plastic bowl, mix all ingredients.
Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to blend flavors.

Betty Crocker

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 24 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,             

This week we started picking nectarines, and you should expect to find some in your Week 12 bin. They have great color and are full of flavor, and have been a wonderful addition to our farm over the course of the past few years. Our nectarine orchard is going into its fourth year, and we were quite worried about it after last year's cold winter, since nectarine trees are not thought of as particularly cold-hardy. However, nearly all of the trees survived, and the red and yellow crop looks both abundant and beautiful against the backdrop of our August sunsets. There are three varieties of nectarines, so CSA members should have the pleasure of enjoying them for the next few weeks.
This blast of heat has helped the melons size up, and hopefully they will mature soon. I also noticed that the eggplants are pushing hard for a second showing. The beans were planted at different times, but it seems like this week both the French beans and the Italian beans are ready for harvest. So get ready for beans, beans, and more beans!

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

French green beans
French green beans
Italian beans
White potatoes                                                                            
White onions
Green cabbage                                                            

Beyond the Bin offerings:

Red raspberries
Swiss chard

Italian green beans

Here are a couple of recipes to give a whirl!

New Potatoes & Green Beans

Serves 4

1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound red or white potatoes cut into small  pieces, washed well, leave the skins on
1 pound fresh green beans, stem ends snapped off, broken in half or thirds if long
Garlic to taste, a clove or two minced very small
2 tablespoons butter
Additional salt to taste
Put enough water in a pot to cover potatoes and beans, add salt and sugar, bring to a to a boil while prepping the potatoes. Add the potatoes, cover and let cook at a slow simmer until nearly done, start checking at about 15 minutes, the potatoes are usually ready after about 20 minutes.
Add the beans, return to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes or until the beans are well-cooked but still bright green. Drain the potatoes and beans, then return them to the hot pot to toss with garlic and butter. Add salt if needed.

Cucumber Salad

Serves 4

1 - 2  farm fresh cucumbers

1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
Olive oil
Fresh herbs to taste - try basil & parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Trim and peel the cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise and then scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut into half rings or chunks. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar  and enough water to cover the cucumbers. Let the cucumbers soak for a few hours.
Drain the cucumbers. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17 Newsletter

                                                                 To all the Tomato Lovers,

Yes, we do have tomatoes! The cool temperatures have slowed down the ripening process and each day a few more change from green to orange to red. You will find a few bright red slicers in you bin. It looks like we will have nice supply of tomatoes to enjoy for the next few weeks. Please remember to store your tomatoes on your kitchen counter. Tomatoes do not like the cold temperatures and the texture and flavor will suffer if they are stored in the refrigerator.

You may have noticed that I remove the green tops from the carrots before putting them in the bins. Over the years I have found that they keep much longer if the tops are removed. Carrots "transpire"and this causes the crisp carrots to become limp and rubbery.

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful summer evening!


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Yellow beans & Dragon tongue beans
Eggplant or Broccoli

Beyond the bin:

Swiss chard

Here are a couple of recipes that include items you will find in your Week 11 bin.

Cucumber salad with balsamic vinaigrette

(Recipe from Mayo Clinic)

Serves 2


For the dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cucumber with peel, washed and thinly sliced
Cracked black pepper, to taste


In a small saucepan, add the rosemary, vinegar and olive oil. Heat over very low heat to blend and intensify the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard until well blended.
In a serving bowl, add the cucumber slices. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Add the black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pasta with Leeks and Parsley

(Recipe from How to Cook Everthing.)

Makes: About 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 2 or 3 dried red chiles or hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3 large or 4 medium leeks (at least 1 pound), trimmed, washed, and chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper or 1 tomato, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pound spaghetti, linguine, or other long pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Meanwhile, put half the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add the garlic and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic browns, about 2 minutes; remove the chiles (and the garlic if you prefer).
2. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, if you’re using it, and lower the heat; continue to cook, stirring once in a while, until the leeks begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. When it’s done, drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta and leeks together with the remaining oil or butter, a few sprinklings of black pepper, and all but a little of the parsley, adding a bit of the cooking water if the mixture seems dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,

We have hit the halfway point of the CSA season. It is the time of year when it gets hard to decide what to put in the bins, because there are so many items that are ripening at the same time. I just hope I am providing you with interesting combinations and a few new items each week. The star combo this week is red skinned potatoes and rosemary. Yellow beans or vine-ripe tomatoes may be your favorite item this week!

There is light at the end of the cherry harvest tunnel! Since we are located farther north on the OMP than other farms in the area, we still have about a week to go while most other farmers in the area have wrapped things up. We shook the last of the Montmorency cherries this weekend (the Monts are the bright red ones used for making pies!). A few members stopped by the farm to get some of these cherries for freezing and cooking- I hope you enjoy them and make all sorts of delicious cherry creations! Hopefully, you are not getting too tired of cherries yet (I cannot imagine you would be ;) ) because they will be making an appearance in this week's bin. We also still have apricots available as a Beyond the Bin item, so the fruit is still plentiful!

In your bin this Wednesday:


Yellow beans/ Dragon Tongue Beans

Red Potatoes

Beyond the Bin:
Swiss Chard

Here is a recipe from Epicurious:

Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Shallots with Rosemary


  • 1 3/4 pounds medium-size red-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 large shallots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried


Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine potatoes, carrots, shallots and oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Transfer vegetables to roasting pan. Roast until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Add rosemary and roast until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to bowl

It finally feels like summer, so hit the beach and fire up the grill! Have a wonderful week everyone!!  :) 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,

Wunsch Farms continues to march on with cherry harvest. We are still hand picking sweet cherries and have also started harvesting tart cherries. We dodged the hail storm and are content with things being dusty and dry. We also have "no wind" posted on our weather wish list. Tart cherries bruise easily and warm temperatures and wind can be troublesome. Our receiving crew refer to the bruising as "wind whip" and it makes a negative impact on the grading of the fruit.

The main garden is buzzing with bees. We also had a few sightings of swallowtail butterflies this week.
Towards the end of the week my nephew and his friend completed harvesting the garlic. You will be receiving a few heads of fresh garlic in your bin. Fresh "uncured garlic" is moister than the usual "cured" garlic, but can be crushed, baked, diced, etc.. just like normal garlic.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Fresh garlic

Beyond the bin offerings:

Red raspberries
Black raspberries
Mixed greens

Here are some recipes using items you will find in your Week 9 bin.

Edamame Guacamole

Epicurious  | March 2013

Makes 2 cups; Serving Size: 2 Tbsp.


1 c. frozen edamame beans, thawed
1 c. fresh broccoli florets
1 c. avocado, chopped
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. jalapeño, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato, chopped and seeded
1 Tbsp. red onion, minced
1 Tbsp. green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper


BRING a medium pot of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath and set aside.
COOK the edamame beans at a rolling boil until tender, 10 to 11 minutes. Drain the beans into a strainer and shock in the ice bath. Drain well.
PUREE the avocado, lime juice, garlic, and jalapeño in a food processor at high speed. Add the edamame beans and the process on high speed.
MEANWHILE, cook the broccoli at a rolling boil until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain the broccoli and shock in the ice bath. Drain well and pat dry.
ADD the broccoli to the edamame mixture and process on high speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all the ingredients.
TRANSFER the mixture to a medium bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients, mixing with a rubber spatula until well incorporated.
TRANSFER the guacamole to an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour, before serving with accompaniment of choice. (The guacamole will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.)

Apricot Coffee Cake                           (I substituted fresh apricots in this recipe with great success!)

Epicurious  | February 2002

Makes 9 servings


14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 15 3/4-ounce can apricots, well drained
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly butter an 11x8-inch glass baking dish.
2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (don't be concerned if the mixture looks slightly curdled). Beat in the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and stir into the batter, then stir in the lemon juice and zest.
3. Spread evenly in the pan. Arrange the apricots over the batter, cutting them into halves or quarters if necessary to give the cake a uniform appearance. (There are often apricots of different sizes in the same can.) Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.
4. To serve, sift confectioners' sugar over the cake and cut into squares.

Make Ahead.
 The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap, and served at room temperature.