Sunday, July 30, 2017

Week 7 Newsletter 2017

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. There is a possibility that the harvest will wrap up this week. You will find Balaton cherries in your bin this time around.  The Balaton cherry is larger, plumper, and significantly more flavorful than other red tart cherries traditionally used in cherry pies, tarts, jams and preserves. This combined with the Balaton cherry's deep, natural red pigment makes it a favorite for cooks and pastry-chefs alike. With Balaton cherries, you won't need to add red food coloring or as much sugar to your favorite pie recipe.

Unlike sweet cherries, fresh Balaton cherries are hand harvested without the stem. When Balaton cherries ripen, they lay down a special cell layer at the stem attachment, called the abscission layer, that “seals” off the fruit. When the fruit is ripe, the fruit naturally separates from the stem and the fruit is “protected” from outside air via a fully developed abscission layer. Thus, flavorful, fully ripened Balaton fruit are naturally stemless!

This past Saturday I took some extra cherries to Leticia at the Sarah Hardy Farmer's Market. She sells our produce at the market on both Wednesday and Saturday. If  you are at the market this season, be sure to stop by and say "Hi"to her at the Third Coast stall.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:     

Emperor Francis Cherries

Balaton Cherries

Skphos Lettuce


Red Skinned Potatoes


Yellow Peppers


.... and in the buckets:                                 

Emperor Francis Cherries

Skphos Lettuce


Red Skinned Potatoes

Yellow Peppers

Here are couple of recipes that include produce you will find in your bin/bucket this week.

Smashed Roasted Potatoes

Bon Appetit   August 2012



  • 2 pounds medium Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes (about 6 oz. each)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


    Preheat oven to 350°. Wrap each potato individually in foil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender, 45–60 minutes. Let cool slightly.
    Unwrap potatoes and arrange on same baking sheet. Set another rimmed baking sheet over potatoes, rimmed side up, and press gently to smash potatoes without breaking them apart. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with half of the oil. Carefully turn potatoes to coat.
    Preheat oven to 500°. Roast potatoes for 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining oil, turn to coat, and continue roasting until crispy and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.
    Michigan Balaton Cherry Focaccia

    Mouthwatering and festive, this recipe from the Cherry Home Companion cookbook is killer for breakfast or dessert.


    1 1/2 cups warm water
    2 tablespoons yeast
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon mahlep powder* (or almond extract)
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    5–6 cups bread flour
    Parchment paper
    *Mahlep powder is a Turkish seasoning made from ground cherry pit centers.


    1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup sugar
    1–2 teaspoons cinnamon
    2 cups fresh (or frozen) pitted Balaton cherries OR a mixture of tart and sweet cherries (halved and whole)

    In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together water and yeast. Let stand a few minutes then stir in sugar, salt, vanilla, mahlep powder (or almond extract), eggs, butter, and most of the flour. Stir until you have a soft mass. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes to form a soft dough, adding more flour as required. Form dough into a ball and place it in a well-greased bowl. Cover, and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes.

    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When dough has risen, gently deflate and flatten to fit sheet. If it springs back, let it rest a moment then coax to fit sheet. Insert entire sheet in a large plastic bag. Let rise 30 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously brush dough with the melted butter. Generously dust with sugar and cinnamon and then scatter cherries on top. Bake until bread is golden and cherries are softened and oozing, 45 to 55 minutes. Cut into slabs to serve. Serves 10 to 12.

    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    Week 6 Newsletter 2017

    Hello Everyone,

    We are in the heat of the summer now, and brighter-colored veggies are going to start filling up your bins and buckets where there was once only green. Along with all the heat we've been dodging some intense storms. It has been a great season in the garden and the heat loving plants have really moved ahead this week.

    What's in the bin: coming your way this week, you'll see:

    Black Sweet Cherries
    Napoleon Sweet Cherries
    Purple Onions
    Sweet Hungarian Peppers

    .....and in the buckets:

    Black Sweet Cherries
    Purple Onions

    Here are a couple of recipes for you to try, one includes zucchini and the other one features black sweet cherries.

    Zucchini Frico

    • YIELD4 to 6 hors d'oeuvres servings
    • TIME20 minutes


    •  Olive oil, for brushing
    • 1 medium Romanesco zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
    • 4 ounces Parmesan, grated medium-fine (about 1 cup)
    •  Fresh basil leaves
    •  Cracked black pepper
    1. Brush a large nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high until hot. Arrange half the zucchini rounds in a single layer, allowing about an inch of space between them. Cook, without moving them, until undersides are dark golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until golden, about 2 minutes more.
    2. Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over zucchini and into the spaces between it. Cook, without moving, until cheese looks lacy and translucent, and no longer sticks to the pan, about 5 minutes. Tip the skillet and using a spatula, gently help slide the frico in one piece onto a large plate. Sprinkle with torn basil and finish with pepper. Repeat with remaining zucchini and cheese. Break into pieces to serve.

    3. Farro Pilaf With Balsamic Cherries

      • YIELD4 to 6 servings
      • TIME2 hour 15 minutes



      • 8 ounces cherries
      • 1 tablespoon butter
      • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


      • 1 cup farro
      • 1 quart water or stock
      •  Salt to taste
      • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
      • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, to taste
      •  Freshly ground pepper


        1. Pit the cherries and cut in half.
        2. Heat a medium or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the foam subsides, add the cherries and sauté for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir until it evaporates, which should take no more than 1 minute. Transfer the cherries immediately to a bowl so that they don’t overcook or overcaramelize. Set aside.
        3. To cook the farro, place in a bowl or saucepan and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour, then drain. Return to the pot and add 1 quart water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, until the wheat berries have begun to splay. Drain through a strainer and return the farro to the pot. Place a towel across the top of the saucepan and return the lid. Let sit for 10 minutes.
        4. Uncover the farro and stir in the thyme, butter and cherries. Add pepper to taste, and serve.

      Sunday, July 16, 2017

      Week 5 Newsletter 2017

      The first sunflower of the season!

      Hello Everyone,

      Sweet cherry harvest is in full-swing, meaning things are getting pretty action-packed around the farm. Cherry season is such a staple of the Northern Michigan lifestyle and I am sure that for anyone who grew-up in the area, July evokes many memories. As you have experienced, the cherries are great this year! Farm markets and other customers are calling and visiting us daily to get these gems about as fast as are crew can pick them. Mechanical harvest is well underway. If you go for a cruise down either of the Peninsulas, be patient and careful around all the machinery and trucks moving around!

      Listed below is what to expect to find in your bin/bucket this week:

      Snow Peas
      Green Garlic

      Small Share:

      Garlic Scape

      I am including one of my favorite recipes this week.

      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.

      ...and one that looks interesting!

      Scrambled Eggs With Grated Zucchini

        MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN  YIELD Serves four  TIME About 10 minutes

      These scrambled eggs, flecked with squash, take just a few more minutes to throw together than plain scrambled eggs, and it’s an excellent way to use that zucchini lingering in your vegetable drawer. If you want a richer dish, serve this with avocado.


      2 medium zucchini (about 10 ounces)
      1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
      1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
       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


      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.

      Sunday, July 9, 2017

      Week 4 Newsletter 2017

      Dear CSA Crew,

      I saw this striking metallic blue wasp this past week by my garden shed. I don’t remember the exact size, just that it struck me as one of the largest wasps I’d ever seen. I believe it was a Blue Mud Dauber. If you do not like spiders, you should love the blue mud-dauber.

      Its iridescent blue-black body and deep blue wings give it a tough-guy look but the mud daubers are not known to protect their nests and rarely sting people – but they do sting spiders.

      They are members of the family Sphecidae, the thread-waisted wasps, and their nests are made of hardened mud tubes. I found out that they often nest on homes and their nest structures can make them a bit of a pest. So far, it was a I one time visit and I am keeping an eye out for a Mud Dauber nest.

      We have officially started cherry harvest 2017! The first day of handpicking was Monday and the packing line fired up on Tuesday. This year we were fortunate to to have cherries available for the roadside stand customers during the Cherry Festival. We dodged the storm that was suppose to bring a few inches of rain and thankfully we did not lose power with the storm that did pass through last Thursday. The cooler is beginning to fill up and our refrigerated truck made a trip down state on Friday to spread some cherry joy far and wide! It feels like it is all coming together. We are very lucky to have a fabulous crew and are looking forward to a safe and successful harvest. As the season kicks-off, expect to taste your first Michigan dark sweet cherry of the year this week! 

       Here is the full line-up:

      Black Sweet Cherries
      Mixed Greens
      Red Russian Kale
      Rat-tail Radishes
      Sugar Snap Peas or Snow Peas
      Baby Beets
      Purple Onions

      Small Share

      Black Sweet Cherries
      Purple Onions
      Rat-tail Radishes

      Steamed Fish on Kale

      MARK BITTMAN  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 30 minutes

      1 medium bunch kale, collards or other greens, about a pound
      ½ cup dry white wine (or water)
      1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
      3 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
       Salt and pepper
      1 ½ pounds skinless white fillet, like cod, halibut, hake, whiting, red snapper or sea bass

      Wash greens and shake dry, allowing some water to cling to leaves. Cut into rough sections, 3 or 4 inches long; cut off and discard any stems thicker than 1/4-inch.
      Put greens in a deep skillet that can be covered, along with wine, garlic, half the butter, and some salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium-high, cover and cook, checking occasionally to make sure mixture does not dry out, until greens are just about tender, 10 minutes or so.
      Put fish on top of greens, season with salt and pepper, and dot with remaining butter. Re-cover, and cook until fish is done and greens fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes more.

      Broccoli Salad With Garlic and Sesame

        MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 6 to 8 side-dish servings or more as an hors d'oeuvre

      This salad is made from uncooked broccoli tossed with an assertive garlic, sesame, chile and cumin-seed vinaigrette slicked with good extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. The acid “cooks” the florets a little as ceviche does fish. After an hour, the broccoli softens as if blanched, turning bright emerald, and soaking up all the intense flavors of the dressing.


      1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
      1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
      2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size florets
      ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
      4 fat garlic cloves, minced
      2 teaspoons cumin seeds
      2 teaspoons roasted (Asian) sesame oil
       Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes.


      In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine.
      In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and up to 48 (chill it if you want to keep it for more than 2 hours). Adjust seasonings (it may need more salt) and serve.

      Sunday, July 2, 2017

      Week 3 Newsletter 2017

      Hello Everyone,

      I hope you have a great time this week celebrating the Fourth of July.  It is the perfect time of year to enjoy time with your family and friends. We are gearing up for cherry season which should be starting for us some time this week. It has been a particularly wet summer so far and the Wunsch team has been spraying the fruit trees to prevent diseases. The wet condition are an invitation for molds which effect both the fruit and foliage on our fruit trees. Lucky for all the salad lovers, the greens have loved all the moisture and the cooler temperatures. Like they say.... every year is different.

      What to expect to find in your bin:

      Bok Choy
      Mixed Greens
      Green Lettuce
      White Turnips

      Small Share

      Mixed Greens
      Red Leaf Lettuce
      Sugar Snap Peas
      Bok Choy

      Here are a couple of recipes to try this week.

      Roasted Baby Bok Choy

      From: EatingWell Magazine, August/September 2006

      A quick trip to a hot oven, combined with a drizzle of lemony dressing, brings bok choy to the table in no time at all.

      4 heads baby bok choy, (1¼ pounds), trimmed, leaves separated
      4 teaspoons canola oil 
      1 clove garlic, minced 
      ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
      ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 
      1 tablespoon lemon juice 
      1½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or ¾ teaspoon dried 
      1 teaspoon mirin, (see Note) 
      Freshly ground pepper, to taste

      Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss bok choy, oil, garlic and salt in a roasting pan. Roast on lowest rack, stirring twice, until wilted and tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Whisk lemon zest and juice, tarragon, mirin and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the roasted bok choy.

      Note: Mirin is a low-alcohol rice wine essential to Japanese cooking. Look for it in your supermarket with the Asian or gourmet ingredients. An equal portion of sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar may be substituted.

      Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy

      MELISSA CLARK  YIELD Serves 2 to 3  TIME 30 minutes 


      2 tablespoons soy sauce

      2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

      1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil

      2 teaspoons light brown sugar

      ¾ pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips

      2 tablespoons finely chopped gingerroot

      2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

      3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

      ½ pound bok choy (1 head), trimmed and thinly sliced

      2 leeks (1/2 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

       Pinch chile flakes

       Salt, as needed

       Cooked rice, for serving


      In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Pour half the mixture over the chicken, along with half the ginger and half the garlic. Let stand 20 minutes.

      Heat a large, 12-inch skillet over high heat until extremely hot, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and the chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, until meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

      Add the remaining peanut oil to the skillet. Add the bok choy and cook 1 minute. Stir in the leeks and chili flakes; cook, tossing frequently until bok choy and leeks are tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the marinade and a pinch of salt. Move vegetable mixture to the border of the pan. Add remaining ginger and garlic to center of pan and cook, mashing lightly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return chicken to skillet and combine with ginger, garlic, and vegetables. Serve immediately, over rice.

      Strawberry Fool

      MARK BITTMAN  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 30 minutes 

      This Minimalist recipe is as basic as dessert gets, and especially in strawberry season it’s just perfect. It is essentially fresh strawberries and whipped cream (substitute heavy cream, sour cream or yogurt). It can be eaten right away or refrigerated. Only a fool would pass this up.


      1 pint strawberries

      ½ cup sugar, or to taste

      1 cup heavy cream

      1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional


      Hull strawberries, then wash them and chop into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Toss with half the sugar, and wait 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they give up their juices.

      Place half the strawberries and all the juice in a blender, and puree. Pour puree back in bowl with chopped strawberries.

      Whip the cream with remaining sugar and vanilla until cream is stiff and holds peaks easily. Fold berries and cream together, and serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two hours.