Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week 15 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,    

We are in full swing with the apple harvest. The cooler and the packing shed have a strong fresh apple aroma and the bins keep marching in from the orchards. We prefer a cool finish for the apples and are looking forwards to cooler temperatures for the apple picking crew to complete the apple harvest. 

*Save The Date*

You are invited to come to the farm and fill your last bin (Week 16) of the season. We will be meeting in the Peak Season CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/17) between 4:30 - 6:30 pm.

I will include your Beyond The Bin tally this week with your Week 15 Bin. It works best for me if you can plan on paying when you pick up your Week 16 Bin.  For those who will not be coming to the garden please mail the payment to me to this address:   

17017 Peninsula Drive,
Traverse City, MI  49686

One last thing... I will be offering an early sign up option for the 2018 season. If you sign up for next year by November 1, 2018 and include your $ 50.00 deposit you will receive a FREE 1/2 bushel of Honey Crisp apples for a full share or a FREE 1/2 peck of Honey Crisp apples for a small share. I will have apples and sign-up sheets available at the CSA garden on Wednesday. (10/4/17)

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Honey Crisp Apples
One More Melon
Red Onions
Sweet Peppers
Red and Purple Potatoes

... and in your buckets:

Sweet Peppers
Purple Potatoes

Here are a couple of recipes that include some seasonal ingredients.

Apple-Gruyère French Toast With Red Onion

MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 2 servings  TIME About 30 minutes


2 1 3/4-inch-thick slices challah bread from middle of loaf
3 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 cup)
¼ small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small apple, cored, quartered and very thinly sliced
 Fried eggs, for serving, optional


Place one slice of bread on kitchen counter, the bottom crust nearest you. Cut into bottom crust, parallel to counter, to make a pocket. Do not cut all the way to top of slice; bread should remain attached there. Tuck half the cheese and onion slices in pocket. Repeat with other slice.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour custard into a wide, shallow dish. Soak stuffed bread in custard, turning once halfway through, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the apple slices in a single layer and cook for 1 minute. Place bread slices in pan, covering apples. Arrange remaining apple slices on top of bread; cook 1 minute more.
Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium; cook until bottoms are golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn bread and apples and cook until bread is golden and cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with fried eggs if desired.

Caprese Chicken Stuffed Peppers



1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
3/4 c. ricotta
1/3 c. shredded fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 bell peppers, halved (seeds removed)
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350º. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is golden and no longer pink, 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, then dice.
In a large bowl, stir together cherry tomatoes, cooked chicken, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, ricotta, basil, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff tomato mixture into peppers and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Pour chicken broth into baking dish (to help the peppers steam) and cover with foil.
Bake until peppers are tender and cheese melty, 40 to 45 minutes.
Garnish with more basil, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and serve.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week 14 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,                        

We are on the home stretch of this year's CSA. It is hard to believe that there are only 3 weeks left of this season. The main garden is taking on a fall look and I did notice orange pumpkins in the garden this past week. The warm temperatures were welcomed which  helped the cantaloupe cross the finish line.

If you are planning to can/freeze or roast tomatoes, make tomato sauce or 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:

Macintosh Apples
French Melon
Sweet Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Fingerling Potatoes

... and in your bucket:

Sweet Peppers

Here are a couple of recipes that include items from your bins/buckets this week.

Fresh Tomato Soup With Basil and Farro
 MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 6 small servings  TIME 1 1/2 hours


1 ½ tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
1 ½ cups farro
3 large sprigs basil, stems and leaves separated
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 ¼ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
 Black pepper, to taste


Pour 8 cups cold water and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, add the farro and basil stems, and cook until grains are tender but still a little chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the leek and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook leeks until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 cup reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes have completely fallen apart, about 30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, purée the tomato mixture until smooth (you may have to do this in batches). Add half the farro and pulse until the grains are broken down and the soup is a chunky purée. Stir in the remaining farro. If the soup seems thick, add more cooking liquid. Taste and add more salt if needed. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Drizzle with oil; top generously with black pepper and torn basil leaves.

Baked Eggplant JEZZI16  Prep 15 min Cook 30 min Ready in 45 min


cooking spray
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tomatoes,
sliced 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with non-stick play.
Arrange eggplant and tomato slices into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables; season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the entire mixture.
Bake in preheated oven until the cheese is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Switch oven broiler to high; continue baking until completely browned, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week 13 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,

I have been harvesting the lush green kale this week and marvel at how they start off from such tiny seeds.  The kale seed is the size of the tip of a pen.  This veggie is part of the Brassica family along with cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, and broccoli.  

Brassicas are a favorite host to the imported cabbage worm or looper worm.  The yellowish white moths flock to the rows of brassica to lay their eggs.  The eggs hatch into caterpillars that crawl into the head of broccoli or cauliflower to eat before it pupates into a new moth.  We can control them using a bacterium product containing bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki or Bt.  The bacteria are dusted on the crop leaves, then the worms ingest the bacteria that disrupt their digestion.  Bt was first used in the 1920s and is one of the most widely used naturally occurring bacterial products to control worm populations in food crops.

We rinse all of the produce that is packed in the bins and buckets and recommend items be washed before they are used in your homes. 

The watermelons for both the bins & buckets will be located in a "grab your watermelon" black crate at each delivery site.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Sweet Peppers
Red & Purple Potatoes

...and in the buckets:

Macintosh Apples
Red Potatoes

Pasta With Kale, Shiitake Mushrooms and Sausage

DAVID LATT  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 30 minutes


1 bunch black kale, washed, ribs removed
4 Italian sausages (mild or hot)
½ pound shiitakes (or brown mushrooms), washed, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
4 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chicken stock or pasta water
1 tablespoon sweet butter
 Sea salt and pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 box pasta (spaghetti, ziti, penne, or fusili)
1 tablespoon kosher salt for the pasta


Make the pasta in boiling salted water, drain (reserve 2 cups of the pasta water if you’re making the vegetarian version), drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, toss and set aside.
Sauté with olive oil or grill the sausages to put a crust on the outside, drain on a paper towel, cut into 1/4-inch rounds, then set aside. In a hot pan lightly brown the kale with the olive oil and remove. Add the shiitakes, shallots, and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn down the heat to medium. Return the kale to the pan along with the sausages, stock, and butter. Braise for 15 minutes. The liquid should reduce by half.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, toss to coat with the sauce. Serve with grated cheese.

Olive-Oil-Braised Leeks with Thyme

By Tamar Adler Fine Cooking Issue 115

Servings: 4


2 lb. leeks (about 5 medium), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise
12 small sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. dry white wine (like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
Kosher salt


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the leek halves cut side down in a snug single layer in a shallow 8-inch square baking dish. Nestle the thyme sprigs among the leeks. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, wine, and 1 Tbs. water and drizzle over the leeks. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Braise the leeks in the oven until completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to braise until the leeks are caramelized, about 15 minutes more. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve the leeks warm or at room temperature.

The leeks will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make a light lunch: Chill, drizzle with mustard vinaigrette, and serve with a softly boiled egg and a piece of rustic bread.

Layer for an appetizer: Slice lengthwise into a few pieces, drizzle with fresh lemon juice, sprinkle with coarsely chopped parsley, and serve layered with fresh mozzarella.

Use to top fish: Coarsely chop and spoon over pan-seared striped bass or halibut.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Week 12 Newsletter 2017

Hello Everyone,

The harvest is coming in fast and furious, and we hope you are enjoying every bit of it. The bins and buckets were heavy last week and I do not expect them to be any lighter this week. We have made the bend when not everything will fit in the bins, so plan on making 2 trips to your car. I will be putting the watermelons in a "grab your watermelon" box this week. Please remember to take one when you pick up your bin.

What to expect to find in your bin this week:

Asian Pears
Tomatoes (all kinds)
Purple Cabbage
Sweet Peppers
Kuri Squash or Sweet Dumpling Squash

....and in the buckets:

Tomatoes (all kinds)
Sweet Peppers

Here are a couple of recipes that include produce that will be found in your Week 12 bins & buckets.

Grilled Garlic Bread                           

JULIA MOSKIN  YIELD 6 to 8 servings  TIME 15 minutes


1 large (or 2 small loaves) baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably whole grain
 Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, not peeled
1 large ripe tomato, halved (optional)
 Coarse salt such as kosher or Maldon


Cut bread in half lengthwise, and cut in half crosswise if very long. Brush cut surfaces of bread lightly with olive oil. Under a broiler or on a grill, toast bread, turning a few times, until cut surfaces are golden brown. (If using a broiler, you can place bread directly on the oven rack.)
Remove bread to a work surface, grab a garlic clove with your fingertips and rub it lightly over the cut surfaces of the bread. (The papery skin of the garlic will come off.) When the bread is well scented with garlic, brush again with olive oil and toast again. If using tomato, rub the cut surfaces against the bread so the bread absorbs the juice. Oil and toast bread one last time, until golden and charred. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve immediately.

Tomato, Fresh Fig and Blue Cheese Salad

MELISSA CLARK  YIELD 4 servings  TIME 20 minutes


1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large or 2 small ripe tomatoes, about 8 ounces, thinly sliced
½ pound fresh figs, cut into quarters
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese, like Fourme d’Ambert, more to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
 Black pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and salt. Whisk in oil.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast pine nuts, shaking the pan occasionally, until light golden, about 2 minutes.
Spread tomato slices on a large plate. Scatter fig quarters and pine nuts over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme, drizzle with dressing and finish with pepper.