Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 18 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,

Do you remember the first week of the CSA season with the spectacular chive blossoms? The purple chives are rallying with another bloom in October. Oh, what a wonderful growing season it has been this year!

This week your are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin with the items below plus extra produce. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden. The easiest way to get to the garden is to head north on Center Rd (M37) and go about 12 miles, then turn left on Kroupa Rd. In 1/2 mile you will come to a stop sign, turn right on Peninsula Drive, drive another 1/2 mile,  then turn left on Phelps Rd. Drive about a quarter of a mile and you will see the hoophouse on the left hand side of the road. You will also notice 2 long rows of posts where the tomatoes are located.

* Reminder* - the Peak Season CSA address will take you to my house rather than to the garden. Be sure to pack the directions to the garden along with you for this adventure.

Also, confirm with me by email if you are planning to come to the farm  this week by Tuesday evening. I will be in the garden to assist with the bin assembly between 4:30 - 6:30 pm on Wednesday. There will be plastic produce bags and brown paper bags available in the hoophouse. Of course, your own cardboard box/ tote bag would be ideal for this pick-up.

For those members who are unable to come to the farm I will put bins together in large brown paper bags and my son/daughter will be delivering the bags to the regular locations and times on Wednesday.

* Big Reminder*  -  Please return all black plastic bins this Wednesday.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Apples

Carrots
Ahhh, the first batch of tomato sauce

Tomatoes

Peppers

Lettuce

Onions

Garlic

Fingerling Potatoes

Winter squash

Here are a couple of recipes that include items from the last bin of the season.

Roasted Carrots With Parsley and Thyme

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time About 1 hour  Yield Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds carrots, peeled quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise depending on the size, then into 2-inch lengths
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 Salt
 freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a sheet pan or a baking dish large enough to fit all of the carrots in a single layer. Place the carrots in a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano.
Spread in an even layer in the prepared pan or baking dish. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, and if the carrots are not yet tender, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes until tender. Add the parsley, stir gently, and taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.


Greek Tomato Salad

  DAVID TANIS  Time 20 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings

The Greek approach to a good tomato salad, whether it has cucumbers and lettuce or not (this one doesn’t), is all about keeping it simple. Sweet, ripe summer tomatoes, salt and olive oil are all you need. The flourishes here — green pepper, red onion, chopped mint and pinch of oregano — are optional, but they add brightness. Good Greek feta cheese takes it over the top.


INGREDIENTS

3 to 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom
1 small red onion, sliced thinly crosswise
1 or 2 small sweet peppers, such as bell or corno di toro, sliced into thin rings
 Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
4 ounces Greek feta cheese
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
½ teaspoon dried oregano
 Fruity extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

PREPARATION

Wash, core and slice tomatoes 1/2-inch thick. Arrange slices on a platter or in a shallow wide bowl.
Scatter onion and pepper slices over tomatoes and season everything with sea salt. Let sit 10 minutes to draw out juices.
Break feta into rough chunks and scatter over salad. Sprinkle mint and oregano over top, drizzle generously with olive oil and serve.









Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week 17 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,

This past week we started harvesting apples and continue to see
the damage that was created by the storm back in August. Luckily,
we have crop insurance and our crop was declared 100% damaged
on the majority of our apples. It looks like a wonderful set of fruit until you get a closer look at the pecks, bumps below the skin of the apples. It is a great year for applesauce and ciders!

My mother was very fond of poems by Robert Lois Stephenson and I am including Autumn Fires to kick off our magical  season.


Apple harvest 2015
  Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

What to expect to find in your bin:


Apples

Red Cabbage
Fernleaf dill 

Tomatoes


Lettuce


Eggplant


Leeks


Peppers


Garlic


Red Kuri Squash/ Butternut Squash


Sage




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

Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan

 ( you can easily substitute red kuri squash for butternut squash in this recipe)

MOIRA HODGSON  Time 45 minutes  Yield 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Spanish onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 leeks, white part only, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 ½ quarts vegetable or chicken stock
¼ pound Parmesan piece or rinds
2 butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
3 leaves fresh sage, chopped
1 bay leaf

PREPARATION

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, leeks and garlic and cook them until they are soft.
Add the vegetable or chicken stock, Parmesan pieces or rinds and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Add the butternut squash, sage, bay leaf, salt, pepper. Cook until the squash is tender (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Remove the bay leaf and the cheese and puree one quarter of the soup in a food processor and return it to the stock pot (the cheese -- not the rind -- can be crumbled or grated as a garnish for the soup). Heat through and correct seasoning. Garnish the soup with scallions and serve. Pass the freshly grated Parmesan separately.

Cabbage and Red Pepper Gratin

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time1 hour 20 minutes  Yield Serves four to six


Paprika contributes a spicy edge to this sweet, comforting gratin.


INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut in small dice
6 to 7 cups shredded cabbage about 1 1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon sweet or smoky paprika
3 eggs
½ cup milk
2 ounces Gruyère, grated 1/2 cup

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Add the red pepper. Cook, stirring, until the pepper is tender and the onion is beginning to color, about five minutes. Stir in the cabbage, dill and paprika. Add salt to taste, and cook, stirring, until the cabbage begins to wilt, about five minutes. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and continue to cook for another five to 10 minutes until the cabbage is tender. Remove from the heat.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and whisk in about 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Whisk in the milk, and stir in the cabbage mixture and the cheese. Scrape into the baking dish.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving.
Tip
Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 1 hours or even a day before assembling and baking. The baked gratin will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, and it can be reheated in a medium oven.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 16 Newsletter 2015

Garlic chive flowers
 Hello Everyone,

This week I am sharing some photos that I have received from CSA members. It is inspirational to see tomatoes and pesto carefully prepared and tucked away for a later use.

Did you know.....

Tomatoes contain substances we receive as the flavor, umami, or savory, more thought of with meat and meat broths than with vegetables. Umami is one of the five basic tastes in addition to sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami flavor rounds out and enhances other flavors, especially salt. Other potent source of umami flavor include fish, cheese, mushrooms and fermented products such as miso, soy sauce and tamari  sauce. Umami flavor often involves glutamate, a salt form of the the amino acid glutamic acid.
Tomatoes are high in glutamate. There are other compounds including various nucleotide that also give an
umami flavor. The richest umami flavor occurs with
combination of multiple umami receptor triggering
substances.

Maybe this is why some of our favorite recipes
combine tomatoes with meat or cheese or both.
When meats are cured they enhance the umami flavor. A bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is an example of an ultimate umami experience.





What to expect to find in your bin:

Asian Pears

Melon

Tomatoes

Fingerling Potatoes

Cucumbers or Zucchini

Onions

Lettuce

Kale

Carrots

Garlic

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

Ribollita

MARK BITTMAN  Time  50 minutes  Yield 4 servings

Even vegetable stews can have more vegetables. This recipe adds a pound of kale -- that's right, a full pound -- to softened onions, carrots and celery, combined with beans and tomatoes. It's simply a matter of bringing the other vegetables together in a simmer, then adding the kale and topping with the toast. The whole dish bakes in the oven for a few minutes to brown the toast with a little Parmesan.

INGREDIENTS

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
 Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 pound chopped kale or escarole
4 large, thick slices whole-grain bread, toasted
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

PREPARATION

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Drain the beans; if they’re canned, rinse them as well. Add them to the pot along with tomatoes and their juices and stock, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the soup bubbles steadily; cover and cook, stirring once or twice to break up the tomatoes, until the flavors meld, 15 to 20 minutes.
Fish out and discard rosemary and thyme stems, if you like, and stir in kale. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lay bread slices on top of the stew so they cover the top and overlap as little as possible. Scatter red onion slices over the top, drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Put the pot in the oven and bake until the bread, onions and cheese are browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. (If your pot fits under the broiler, you can also brown the top there.) Divide the soup and bread among 4 bowls and serve.


Fresh Tomato Sauce

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time 30 minutes  Yield About 2 1/2 cups

This is a quick, simple marinara sauce that will only be good if your tomatoes are ripe. If you have a food mill, you don’t have to peel and seed the tomatoes; you can just quarter them and put the sauce through the mill.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced (to taste)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered if you have a food mill, peeled, seeded, and diced if you don’t
⅛ teaspoon sugar
2 sprigs of fresh basil, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
 Salt
1 tablespoon slivered fresh basil
 Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

In a wide, nonstick frying pan, or in a 3-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, basil or thyme sprig, and salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later), and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until thick. Pulpy tomatoes like romas will usually take 20 to 30 minutes. However, if the tomatoes are very juicy, it will take longer for them to cook down. The longer you cook the sauce, the sweeter it will be. You can speed up the process by turning up the heat, but stir often so the sauce doesn’t scorch. Towards the end of cooking, stir in the slivered fresh basil and some freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
If using quartered tomatoes, put through the medium blade of a food mill. If you used peeled seeded tomatoes but want a sauce with a smooth, even texture, remove the basil sprigs and discard. Pulse the sauce in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Week 15 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,
Brightly colored nasturtiums

We are on the home stretch of this year's CSA. It is hard to believe that there are only 4 weeks left of this season. The main garden is taking on a fall look and I did notice an orange pumpkin in the back corner. The small white cucumbers turned the switch and the vines are now brown and withered up this week. Luckily, the hoophouse has cucumber vines
that are protected and are continuing to flower and produce cucumbers.

The edamame (green soybeans) were harvested this week. They grow on a stalk and seemed to produce well this year.

If you are planning to can/freeze or roast tomatoes, make tomato sauce or salsa......be sure to let me know. The Beyond the Bin will include 1/2 bushels of tomatoes and some of the other needed ingredients.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:



Hoophouse Cucumbers
Mixed Greens

Melon


Beets


Eggplant


Onions

Cucumbers

Edamame

Tomatoes


Sweet Peppers


Fingerling Potatoes










I am a big fan simple of simple flavorful meals. One of my favorites is garden fresh tomatoes on a tuna sandwich. Here are a couple of recipes for you to try out this week.



Classic Tuna Salad Sandwich


THE NEW YORK TIMES  Time 5 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings

Here is Craig Claiborne's version of the classic lunchbox staple. Celery, red onion and red bell pepper add crunch; capers and lemon juice lend a little tang.

INGREDIENTS


2 (6-ounce) cans solid, waterpacked tuna

½ cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
½ cup finely diced celery
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely minced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 teaspoons lemon juice
 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
 Sliced sandwich bread of choice

PREPARATION


In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, bell pepper, capers and lemon juice. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on the sandwich bread of your choice.


Edamame in the Shell

 MARK BITTMAN  Time 5 minutes  Yield 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

 Salt
1 pound fresh or frozen edamame in their pods
 Black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the edamame, return to a boil and cook until bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. To microwave: Put the edamame in a microwave-safe dish with ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt, cover partly and microwave on high until bright green, 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave power.

Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and a little or a lot of black pepper. Toss and serve hot, warm or chilled with an empty bowl on the side for the pods.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Week 14 Newsletter 2015

The heat keeps ripening the tomatoes



Hello Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the bounty of fruit, vegetables,
flowers and herbs this season. This is my favorite time of year to assemble the bins. There are so many choices and I love being able to fill the bins with a rainbow of color.


This past week I found a frog enjoying the moisture, left late in the day under a large melon leaf.  I believe it was a tree frog and has the ability to change color with the background colors. Yes, the chameleon effect!

Hats off to everyone who is going back to school this week.



What to expect to find in your bin this week:
I had a visitor in the garden this week.

Melon

Asian Pears


Green Cabbage



Fennel Bulb
Tomatoes

Leeks


Fennel Bulb


Cucumbers


Mixed Greens


Spaghetti Squash


Jalapeno Peppers




Here are a couple of recipes that include items from your bin:

Fennel and Cucumber Salad

PIERRE FRANEY  Time15 minutes  Yield 4 servings


INGREDIENTS

1 small head fennel (about 1/2 pound)

2 medium-size cucumbers
1 teaspoon sugar
 Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

PREPARATION

Trim the fennel, leaving only the white bulb at the bottom. Cut the bulb in half and cut into thin slices.

Split the cucumbers in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice them crosswise.
Place the slices of fennel and cucumber in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to blend. Check the seasoning and serve.


BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH

1 med. spaghetti squash
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar divided
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place in baking dish with about 1 inch of water, cut side up. Dab butter on edges and in squash. Sprinkle brown sugar on and in squash.

Bake uncovered for 50 minutes or until fork inserts easily.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week 13 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,                                                     

The upcoming week is forecasted to be in the 80's and possibly the low 90's. It should help to ripen the melons and germinate seeds that were recently planted in the hoophouse. I have heard positive comments about the lettuce this season and plan to provide you with both mixed greens and lettuce heads this time around. I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the warm temperatures and savor the end of summer with easy to prepare meals.

What to expect to find in you bin this week:

Nectarines/ Peaches


Rosemary

Mixed Greens


Lettuce


Onions


Cucumber


Eggplant


Tomatoes


Zucchini


Garlic

Here are some recipes that include items that you will find in your bin this week.

Couscous With Eggplant

PIERRE FRANEY  Time 15 minutes  Yield 4 servings


INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots or scallions
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup diced eggplant cut into 1/4-inch cubes
 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup water
1 cup precooked couscous
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

PREPARATION

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallots, onions, turmeric, coriander, eggplant, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until wilted, but do not brown.

Add the water, bring to a boil, add the couscous and blend well. Cover tightly, remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Add the butter and lemon juice, stir and blend with a fork to separate the grains. Keep warm.

Tomato, Squash and Eggplant Tian

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time 2 hours  Yield 6 servings

This is one of the simplest Provençal gratins, a dish that takes a little bit of time to assemble, then bakes on its own for 1 1/2 hours. It tastes best the day after it’s made.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ripe, firm tomatoes, round or Roma, sliced thin

1 red torpedo onion, sliced thin
½ to ¾ pound zucchini, preferably mixed green and yellow, sliced thin
1 long, thin eggplant, sliced thin (if all you can find is a bulbous eggplant, cut in half or in quarters and slice it thin)
 Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus a few sprigs
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart rectangular or oval baking dish.

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary and thyme leaves and toss gently.
Arrange the vegetables in rows in the baking dish in this order: tomato slice, eggplant slice, tomato slice, squash slice, onion slice, tomato slice, eggplant slice, tomato slice, etc. Each slice of eggplant should have a tomato slice on either side. The vegetables should not be lying flat; they should be arranged in the dish as if you had stacked them, then lay the whole stack in the dish, all of the rounds slanting slightly to one side. Insert the herb sprigs into the dish. Pour any juice left in the bowl on top. Cover tightly with foil.
Place in the oven and bake 1 hour. Remove the foil and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly tender and lightly colored on the edges.

Tip
Advance preparation: You can assemble this and refrigerate for a day before baking, or bake a day or two before serving. Reheat in a medium oven or serve at room temperature.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week 12 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,

 It is time for eggplant!

We’re growing three different varieties of eggplant on the farm this season. The first variety is a Black Beauty, it is cylindrical shape and a blackish purple color. We will try our best to get the other varieties to you, but each week’s harvest will differ and some of the varieties are more plentiful than others.

The way it looks out there now, there are enough eggplants for many weeks to come. There are fruits that are mature now, some that are still growing, and some that are only beginning.We sure hope you like eggplant! No worries if you don't’ know what to do with it! Over the next few weeks we’ll provide you with the resources to have an eggplant party in your kitchen! For starters, see this week’s recipes.

What to expect to find in you bin this week:

Watermelon


Tomatoes


Mixed Greens


Cucumbers


Eggplant

Summer Squash/ Zucchini


Onions


Peppers


Basil

Here are a couple of recipes that include items from your bin this week.


Broiled Eggplant With Parmesan

PIERRE FRANEY  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 servings


INGREDIENTS

2 eggplants about 3 inches in diameter, total weight 1 1/4 pounds

 Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to broil.

Trim eggplants and cut into 16 slices of equal thickness.
Arrange eggplant slices in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil.
Place eggplant under broiler about 4 inches from heat source. Broil about 3 minutes, and turn slices and broil for 3 minutes more.
In a small dish, blend garlic with Parmesan, and sprinkle mixture evenly over eggplant. Place under broiler until bubbling. Serve immediately.

Pan-Cooked Summer Squash With Tomatoes and Basil

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time 15 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings


This Provençal summer dish is delightful as a starter or as a side dish with fish, chicken or cooked grains.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ pounds medium or small zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or diced depending on what shape squash you use
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ripe tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater, or peeled, seeded and diced
 Salt
 freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered fresh basil (to taste)

PREPARATION

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan, until the zucchini is lightly seared and beginning to soften, three to five minutes. Remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, then the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant -- less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have begun to cook down, about five minutes. Return the zucchini to the pan, add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is tender and translucent and the tomatoes have cooked down to a fragrant sauce. Stir in the basil, and taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from the heat and serve hot, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Advance preparation: You can make this a day or two ahead of time. Keep refrigerated, and reheat gently on top of the stove. The dish is also good cold, doused with a little lemon juice.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week 11 Newsletter 2015

Hello Tomato Lovers,              

 It really seems like summer when the tomatoes turn red on their vines. Last week was a teaser with a couple of tomatoes and if the weather holds up they should could continue to appear in your bins the rest of the season. The first variety you are sampling are Early Girls. They have the perfect name and always seem to be the first to show their color.

I hope you enjoyed your quart of cherries in last weeks bin. The large cooler in the packing shed was turned off and the last few boxes of cherries were moved to the small CSA cooler. It just seemed right to pass on another quart of cherries.

Our crew on the farm has been busy putting the orchards back together after the storm. There were many downed limbs and even a few trees that went down with the strong wind. The bins and pails that were used for hand picking have been power washed, stacked, wrapped in plastic and tucked away for next year. The bean counters are sifting through all the paperwork and organizing the production records. We call all of this activity the post-harvest clean-up.


What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Nectarines


Tomatoes


Zucchini


Green & Purple Pole Beans


Cucumbers


Onions


Lettuce


Swiss Chard


Hungarian Peppers






Zucchini With Fresh Tomatoes and Mozzarella


  MARK BITTMAN  Time 30 minutes


 INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds zucchini

1 ½ pounds tomatoes
1 pound mozzarella
 Olive oil
 Balsamic vinegar
 Salt and pepper
 Basil, for garnish

PREPARATION

Heat a charcoal or gas grill; the fire should be medium-low and the rack about 4 inches from the heat.

Cut 1 1/2 pounds zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Rub zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper; grill, turning once, until nicely browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
As zucchini cooks, slice 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes and 1 pound mozzarella into 1/4 inch rounds.
Toss (or layer) with the zucchini, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with basil.

Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time About 40 minutes  Yield Serves 4


This is a popular dish throughout the Mediterranean, particularly in Catalonia, Provence, and the Italian Riviera. It is often made with spinach, but I prefer to use Swiss chard, because the chard stands up to the cooking but still has a delicate flavor.


INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons currants, raisins, or golden raisins

2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed in several changes of water, stems diced and set aside
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
 Salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

Place the raisins or currants in a bowl and pour on hot water to cover. Soak 10 minutes and drain.

Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and add the chard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to the bowl of ice water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop coarsely.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the chard stems and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until the garlic begins to smell fragrant about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and raisins or currants and toss together until they are well coated with oil and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week 10 Newsletter 2015

Hello Everyone,                                                            


Oh, what a week! Many of you noticed that last week's newsletter arrived on Monday morning rather than Sunday evening. The storm last Sunday caused a power outage at our farm and our top priority was setting up a generator to keep harvested produce cool. Luckily we have a couple of refrigerator trucks and the remaining fresh black sweet cherries were moved to the trucks. It was a powerful storm that left us counting our blessings that although we lost produce and trees we "survived" the storm.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Summer Apples


Oakleaf Lettuce


Tomatoes


Zucchini


Cucumbers


Green Beans


Red Onions


Carrots


Fingerling Potatoes



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


Haricots Verts, Corn and Carrot Salad

MELISSA CLARK  Time 10 minutes  Yield 6 to 8 servings


This is a sturdy, appealing picnic recipe made from haricots verts, corn and carrots. Haricots verts, by the way, are skinny green beans, but you can use regular ones instead. This salad gets even better the longer it sits, and is relatively indestructible. With all the contrasting colors, it’s pretty, too.

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup minced fresh chives
 Black pepper, as needed
1 pound haricots verts, trimmed
2 ⅔ cups cooked fresh corn kernels (from about 4 corn cobs)
½ pound carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (2 cups)

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, whisk together salt, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk in oil until incorporated. Whisk in chives and pepper.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in haricots verts and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, cool and chop into bite-size pieces.
In a large bowl, toss together haricots verts, corn and carrot. Toss in dressing and season with salt and pepper.


Roasted Zucchini & Pesto

From EatingWell:  August/September 2005, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)


Roasted and tossed with your favorite pesto, zucchini turns into an almost-instant summer side dish.

Makes: 4 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds zucchini, (about 4 medium), trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons prepared pesto
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste


PREPARATION

Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 500°F.

Toss zucchini with oil in a large bowl. Spread the zucchini on the preheated baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the zucchini and continue roasting until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes more. Return the zucchini to the bowl. Add pesto, salt and pepper; toss to coat.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 9 Newsletter 2015

First there are blossoms





....then there are cucumbers!
Hello Everyone,

We can see light at the end of the tunnel! If all goes as planned, we will be wrapping up the cherry harvest very soon. The hot and dry weather was  perfect for the fresh sweet cherries this year. You may have noticed how beautiful the tart cherries were in your bin last week. Luckily we harvested the tarts before the "big" storm.

The main garden has transformed and the sunflowers are beginning to bloom as well as a few zinnias. The finches have discovered the Swiss chard in the hoophouse and I am continually shooing them out. Do have any tried and true tactics for theses persistent little birds?




Here are the items to expect to find in your bin this week:


Flowers


Sweet cherries


Zucchini


Cucumbers


Yellow beans


Dragon Tongue or Roma Beans

Basil & Dill


Lettuce


Onions

The yellow beans have arrived

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

Pan-Roasted Green Beans With Golden Almonds

TARA PARKER-POPE  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 servings


This simple almond-shallot topping goes with just about any simply cooked vegetable, but it tastes best with green beans. Instead of simply blanching the beans, they can be charred until they develop a smoky richness.


INGREDIENTS

 Kosher salt
8 ounces green and/or wax beans, trimmed
¼ cup blanched whole almonds, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, thinly sliced
1 lemon
 Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add salt (a teaspoon or so, or to taste). Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until bright green but still firm, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain again. Pat dry with paper towels until completely dry.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the almonds and the oil, adding more oil if needed to just cover the almonds. Cook over medium heat until the almonds are golden, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shallot. It will cook in the residual heat.
Coat a large skillet with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the beans and season with salt. Cook, tossing frequently, until charred dark brown in spots and tender-crisp, about 7 minutes.
Top with the almond mixture, then the parsley. Grate the zest from a quarter of the lemon directly over the beans, then cut the lemon into wedges for serving. Season with pepper and serve.



Summer Pasta With Zucchini, Ricotta and Basil

  DAVID TANIS  Time 30 minutes  Yield 4 to 6 servings


A summer pasta should be simple and fresh, ideally made with vegetables straight from the garden or market. 


INGREDIENTS

 Extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
 Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 tablespoons chopped green garlic
1 ounce basil, about 2 cups loose leaves
1 pound ziti or other dry pasta
8 ounces ricotta, about 1 cup (see recipe)
 Pinch of crushed red pepper
 Zest of 1 lemon
2 ounces grated Parmesan, pecorino or a mixture, about 1 cup, plus more for serving

PREPARATION

Put a pot of water on to boil. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary to keep onions from browning. Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until rather soft, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Salt the pasta water well and put in the pasta, stirring. Boil per package instructions but make sure to keep pasta quite al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.

Add cooked pasta to zucchini in skillet and turn heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to distribute. Check seasoning and adjust. Cook for 1 minute more. Mixture should look creamy. Add a little more pasta water if necessary. Add the basil paste and half the grated cheese and quickly stir to incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm soup plates and sprinkle with additional cheese. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Week 8 Newsletter 2015









This week we started harvesting tart cherries.





Hello Everyone,


We made a turning point with cherry harvest this past week. The sweet cherry harvest has come to an end for 2015 and we are now harvesting tart cherries. The cooler has boxes and boxes of sweet cherries tucked away and we will continue to market, pack and deliver sweet cherries.




The bees are buzzing in the garden.



Flowers are showing up in all corners of the garden
and attracting bees, butterflies and a few hummingbirds.




Hummingbirds love the Red Runner Beans.

What to expect to find in your bin the week:

Sweet Cherries                                             
Tart Cherries
Apricots
Broccoli
Zucchini
Parsley & Cilantro
Lettuce
Leeks
                                                                                   

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



Marinated Zucchini Salad

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Yield Serves four


Raw zucchini can be a dull ingredient, but when it’s very thinly sliced it marinates beautifully, especially in lemon juice. I like to use a mixture of green and yellow squash here. Assemble this dish at least four hours before you wish to serve it, so that the squash has time to soften and soak up the lemony marinade.


INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium or small zucchini, preferably a mix of green and yellow

 Salt to taste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, mint, chives, dill or a combination

PREPARATION

Slice the squash as thinly as you can. Sprinkle with salt, preferably kosher salt, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and drain on paper towels.

Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours.
Remove from the refrigerator, and remove the garlic clove. Add the fresh herbs, and toss together. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
Advance preparation: This dish will keep for a day or two, but it is best served just after the herbs are added. The lemony zucchini will lose its flavor over time.


Parsley Hummus

  MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  Time About 20 minutes  Yield 2 cups


  It’s important to pick the parsley leaves off the stems, because unlike the stems of cilantro, parsley stems are tough and should be discarded. The leaves reduce quite a bit in volume when you chop them, especially if you chop them fine. Two cups of parsley leaves will yield a little over 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley. This hummus has a pale green hue and herbal overtones.



INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 large garlic cloves, peeled, cut in half, green shoots removed
½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
 Salt to taste
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling if desired
3 tablespoons sesame tahini, stirred well if the oil has separated
 Plain low-fat yogurt as needed

PREPARATION

(Optional step): If you want to take the time to do this, remove the papery outer shells of the cooked chickpeas by gently squeezing them between your thumb and first two fingers. Discard the shells.

Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. Process until the garlic adheres to the sides of the bowl. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chickpeas, parsley and salt to taste and process to a coarse purée. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn on the machine and add the lemon juice and olive oil with the machine running. Add the tahini and process until the hummus is smooth. It should not be too thick or dry. If it is, thin out as desired with yogurt or water, or with the broth from the chickpeas if you cooked them. Season to taste with salt. Scrape out into a bowl or mound on a platter. Run a fork over the surface and drizzle with olive oil if desired. Serve with crudités or pita bread.
Advance preparation: This will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator and freezes well

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 7 Newsletter 2015


Hello Everyone,       


This past week we have been harvesting my favorite black sweet cherry variety.The Ulster
has great flavor and a stand out "crunch" texture. This will be the type of sweet cherry that will be in your bin this week.

Our farm is in full swing, we are hand picking cherries as well as packing and delivering this delicate fruit. It is remarkable how fast our hand picking crew gets the fruit off the trees while carefully handling each and every cherry with care. As soon as a picker completes a box, it is removed from the orchard and stored in our cooler. The cherries are cooled down before they are washed, run through a packing line which includes sizing, sorting, weighing and packing the cherries. We custom pack to fill orders for local customers and deliveries to southern Michigan.

While hand-picking with buckets and ladders is the traditional method of harvesting fruit, technology has made it possible for cherry growers to get their fruit harvested much faster. We hand pick our highest-quality fruit but mechanically harvest the rest for a Michigan fruit processor (where it becomes cherry pie filling, frozen fruit, dried cherries, yogurt filling etc.). In the 70s, the price of processing fruit dropped so low that farmers could no longer afford the cost of hand-picking. Thus the method of using machines to shake the tree and catch the fruit was born. This is much faster than picking, and when done right, does not damage the tree.  At this point we are also mechanically harvesting cherries and have both a day and night shift. Our farm receives fruit from other growers for a processor. There is a team that unloads trucks, weighs and tests the cherries and then reloads the fruit onto semi-trucks. The paperwork involves traceability and each box of fruit is labeled with the variety of fruit, harvest date and the originating farm. The processing company is receiving dozens of truck loads of fruit from all over Michigan every day, so it is important that the paperwork is accurate and we want to make sure that when the truck from Old Mission roles in, every pound of fruit is accounted for.

You might be amazed to learn about the long, hard hours and meticulous methods that cherry farmers and their crews are currently enduring. Although the work can be tough, this time of year most growers and workers are all smiles. After a years worth of work, it is a joy to see what we have produced and our crews take pride in this accomplishment.

The cool temperature have allowed for an extra long pea season. So I hope you are enjoying the edible pods and maybe even trying out a new stir-fry recipe that includes snow peas and bok choy this year.







What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Black Sweet Cherries


Lettuce  


Snow Peas


Sugar Snap Peas


Zucchini


Arugula or Purple Scallions


Bok Choy


Radishes


Here are a couple of recipes for you to try with the items you will find in your bin.

Sauteed Bok Choy

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (from 1/2-inch piece)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 2 medium bunches), cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Salt (optional)

Total Time: 10 mins

Active Time: 10 mins

Makes: 4 servings


Instructions

1. In a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
2. Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3.Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt if desired.

Scrambled Eggs With Grated Zucchini

MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  TimeAbout 10 minutes  Yield Serves four

INGREDIENTS

2 medium zucchini (about 10 ounces)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
 Salt
 freshly ground pepper
6 eggs
2 tablespoons low-fat (2 percent) milk
2 tablespoons minced chives
 Optional: 1 medium avocado, diced or sliced, for garnish

PREPARATION

Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick pan. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring often, until it wilts, about three minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute or two until the mixture is very fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium.
Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the milk and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk together. Stir in the chives. Add to the pan with the zucchini, and cook, stirring every few seconds with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, until the eggs are scrambled. Remove from the heat and serve, garnished, if you wish, with diced or sliced avocado.
Advance preparation: The dish can be prepared through Step 2 several hours before scrambling the eggs. Reheat until the zucchini is sizzling, and proceed with the recipe.