"That is Gorgeous Garlic!"
What a heart-warming comment to hear from a friend and fellow garlic grower as he looked at the garlic in our barn, both the heads set aside for our CSA members and those being cleaned for the markets. :)
He also looked at our 'funky garlic' and together we all talked 'drainage', which is common farmer talk, no matter if your farm's soil is mostly sand or a mixture of clay and sand like ours with lots of field stone and the occasional boulder that appears (thanks to the glaciers!).
Interesting enough, Dick and I have actually torn apart some of the 'funky garlic', which has a strange but now recognizable shape, coloration, and sweet smell (no matter which variety it is) and eaten what appear to be perfect cloves inside those awful wrappers. These cloves look normal, smell normal, taste normal, and we are still standing. However, there is no way that we will risk selling those, so they are still going into a burn pile. Again, if one slips through to you (or a head looks good now but becomes very odd with storage), just let us know as we'll keep you happy with our garlic. :)
Please note the following info:
Special Note: someone left their garlic at the Ypsi Market - please come talk to us!
We bring 9-11 garlic varieties each week (bringing ~40 varieties at once would overwhelm you, and us!)
Varieties that are in limited supply will be in small baskets on the table. The first week around, these varieties have been split to make sure all 4 markets get 'equal access' to them. If they reappear (many are already sold out), these varieties will be sold as first come-first served.
The largest heads have been increased in price this year ($1/small, $1.50/medium, $2.00/large, $2.50/extra-large - these are larger than last year's garlic heads). Note: most of the very large $2.50 size heads have been sold already, but some are still left. In addition, this week's supply of JUMBO Inchelium Red garlic will be priced at $3.00/head. They are that large!
The price for the largest garlic braid (13 heads) will be increased to $30 this year because so many of our garlic heads are much larger than last year! I will also make some smaller braids this year at a lower cost. Prices as marked on the braid. (Please note - I am slow to get the braids made and ready for the public since our CSA members will get theirs first.)
Honey is in glass jars ranging from $3 to $18. All sizes are flying off the table, each market, each week. We cannot guarantee a fall honey harvest. We deperately need more rain so there is a nectar flow for the bees to make more honey. We are actually needing to feed our bees right now to help them make it through these drought conditions.
Special Note to all our Garlic Friends - if you miss coming to a market one week and wish to know if we have some bulbs remaining of a specific variety that we have already brought to the markets, please feel free to send us an email message. Tell us how many of which variety you would like, sizes, and which market you will use for pick up, your phone # for any last minute changes we might need to make, etc. We'll let you know by return email/phone if we have what you are looking for, cost, etc.
Special Note to Chefs/Food Producers - we enjoy having you to come to the farm to have a 'garlic tasting'. Weekends work best for us since we are usually ultra-busy on Monday and all mornings during the week to get ready for our afternoon markets. Please call Dick to arrange a time to come out to the farm at 734-649-1654. If you know which varieties you want, send us an email with your request and the best way to contact you (phone, email). We'll let you know if we have enough of the variety you desire, sizes, price, etc, and arrange a pick-up or delivery (within the A2 or Ypsi area only).
Looking ahead, by popular request, we will again do a garlic tasting at Ann Arbor's HomeGrown Festival at Kerrytown on Saturday September 8th. Time for the festival is 6-10 pm, rain or shine. We still need a few volunteers at our table Saturday night or Friday or Saturday during the day to help us get ready at our farm. If interested, please let us know by replying to email@example.com and put "HG Volunteer" in the subject line. We are already thinking about which 6 varieties we want available for tasting and purchasing that evening. Thank you!
Please check out our farm's website, and Facebook page. We enjoy posting short updates on Facebook about what is happening on our farm. Recent photos include several of "The Fam" of The Dyer Family Organic Farm. Phoebe stuck around in the first 2. :)
Dick and Diana holding some of the jumbo heads of Inchelium Red, one of Slow Food's Ark of Taste heirloom variety of garlic. What we are holding are the largest heads we have ever grown of this variety (and almost none of this variety has been 'funky'). We still have more of these beautiful heads, which we are bringing back to the market this week. One of our customers told us this garlic makes a salad dressing that is 'drinkable'. I believe that, but really, this is the garlic to choose to make whole roasted garlic heads as a beautiful, easy, delicious appetizer for a crowd.
Market Schedule This Week (all markets rain or shine)
Tues Aug 28 - Ypsilanti Downtown on Ferris St. behind Key Bank - 2-6 pm
Wed Aug 29 - Ann Arbor Evening Market at Kerrytown - 4:30-8:30
Thurs Aug 30 - Ann Arbor Westside at Zingerman's Roadhouse - 3-7 pm
Fri Aug 31 - Dixboro on The Village Green - 3:30-7:30 - come have a Friday evening picnic on the tables set up in the shade on the Village Green - bring your own food or purchase from the Chuckwagon Hotel (pulled pork, etc).
Garlic CSA Members Pick-up
will also be on these same dates. They will be receiving 3 different varieties each of the upcoming 5 weeks plus a garlic braid on the last week of September to use through the winter months. If CSA members need to change their market location for pick-up, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (asap - thanks).
What We Are Bringing to Market (varieties listed in order of abundance - Limited = 25 or fewer heads per market available):
Garlic Varieties (short descriptions of each variety can be found at our farm website, http://www.dyerfamilyorganicfarm.com):
New - Tzan - Limited
New - Purple Glazer - Limited
New - Georgian Crystal - Limited
New - Our 2012 Mistake - well, we finally did it - we got some of our garlic mixed up in the fields - so you get gourmet garlic at grocery store prices this week (well, almost!)
New - Red Toch - we were not going to replant this variety except it makes wonderful roasted garlic with an exceptional earthiness flavor
Slovenian - I thought these were sold out, but I found some still up in the barn loft! - the garlic with a hint of smokiness
New - S&H Silver
Also available - the "Etc!" in our Garlic, Garlic, Garlic, Etc! banner
• Honey - various sizes - raw, chemical-free, contains the pollen, from our farm's bee hives, in glass (not plastic) - we give you 50¢ off when you bring back the glass jar
• Garlic Braids - various sizes (IF
I get these made up)
• Bag O'Smalls - a bag of 7 randomly chosen perfect small heads for $5.00
• Sampler Bag - a bag containing 10 small (or 1-2 very large cloves) garlic varieties, one of each variety on the table that week, all labeled for your enjoyment at home - for $9.00. Both the Bag O'Smalls and the Sampler Bag are 'bargains' compared to purchasing individually from the table. These sell quickly at each market. We are happy to make up another Sampler Bag for you at the table but will need to increase the cost a bit to cover the size of the garlic heads used if no small heads are available.
• Bag O'Cloves - a sampler of 40 perfect cloves taken from imperfect heads - perfect for our 40-Clove Chicken and 40-Clove Broth recipes available at the table
• Garlic Gift Boxes - a sampler box of 4 beautiful large garlic bulbs, all labeled, perfect as a gift to a someone who loves garlic or just loves cooking
Recipe of the week: Easy Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes (from Nancy, one of our CSA members):
Take a selection of nice, quality beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes (although I've also used Roma's and even cherries before). Wash, cut them into chunks, and place to cover a 9' x 13' glass pan along with as many individual cloves of garlic (unpeeled) as you wish, a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper (you could also add other spices like fresh oregano/sage/thyme if you like, even a bit of chopped onion or zucchini). Then roast uncovered @ 400 degrees. Bake at least 40 minutes and be sure to stir at 20-minute intervals - take a look to see how the tomatoes are breaking down and how the garlic is cooking. You can go anywhere between 40 and 60 minutes.
There are a number of things you can do with this. I like to drain the juice off of it once it cools and drink it warm (it's the best 'tomato juice' you'll ever have). Then you can:
1) serve as a side of roasted veggies with an entree;
2) serve as is over pasta (or depending on your preference) with grated cheese or goat cheese on top OR puree and serve as a less chunky sauce over pasta or with an entree;
3) drain the juice and stuff the veggies into an omelette along with some amazing local goat cheese (this pairs really well with either Zingerman's or Four Corners Creamery goat cheese).
Vendors who use our garlic include:
Delicious Diversity - jams and jellies available at the Ypsilanti Downtown Market on Tuesday - Andrea DiMuzio makes the BEST Roasted Garlic Jelly using our Kettle River Giant or Applegate garlic varieties. Seriously, forget the cracker and just eat this jelly with a spoon like I have done! She buys as much local produce as possible from fellow vendors for her other delicious and diverse products. Popular varieties (like the one featuring our garlic) sell out almost every week!
Nightshade Army Industries - hot sauces, salsas, and various garlic-chili pastes available at both the Ypsilanti Downtown Market on Tuesday and the Ann Arbor Wednesday Evening Market on Wednesday. Stefanie Stauffer uses our garlic such as Spanish Roja, but grows all of her own peppers (40 varieties) and tomatoes right in Ypsilanti, which is why her AMAZING products - all of them - are labeled Ypsi-grown and Ypsi-made.
4) separate out the garlic cloves, squeeze out the garlic when cool enough to handle and then spread over steamed sweet corn (the Dyers call this combination "Upper Midwest Decadence")
5) simultaneously bake one of those jumbo baseball bat size zucchini, cut lengthwise into two long pieces and placed cut side down in a 9x13 pan with a bit of water, when soft inside, scoop out the seeds and then serve stuffed with the roasted tomato mixture, sprinkled with grated cheese if desired.
Nancy leaves the garlic in their final peel/wrapper to help them cook without drying out. I found that just a little too crunchy for me to eat 'straight' but giving the sauce a quick swirl in the food processor is enough to break up the final wrapper. It is also easy to put the garlic cloves in one end of the 9x13 dish to make them quick to separate at the end of cooking. You may then squeeze them when cool enough to handle before adding back the roasted garlic to the final tomato dish or finding other uses for some of them (such as spreading on sweet corn as already mentioned, adding to hummus, salad dressings, etc etc). Easy and delicious!
Both of these small, local companies make food that is perfect for both special gifts and regular daily use. We've done both! :)
Comments and Tips from our customers (again, I had more quotes than I knew what to do with this past week, except to include them all!):
"I love thinking about you and your farm when peeling my garlic." Dixboro market shopper (and we love thinking about our customers all week long)
"The Creole Red garlic made my jambalaya recipe far more flavorful" Dixboro market shopper (Creole Red is sold out for 2012)
"This table looks like a garlic fantasy!" - Dixboro Market shopper (this comment went up on our farm's Facebook page)
"I need my weekly garlic fix" - Dixboro Market shopper and Dixboro vendor
"Garlic is a wonderful thing. I used 5# of garlic last week." - Ann Arbor Westside market shopper (We love you! - DD)
"We caramelized the garlic scapes we bought from you by putting them in a crockpot with a little water, turning them on low, and just letting them go. Then we froze them in small amounts and now add them to everything!" - Ann Arbor Westside shopper and CSA member (does anyone besides us still have garlic scapes hiding away in their frig? I'm going to try this! - DD)
"I love the Sampler Bag for tasting. We eat a bit of each one raw and then roasted them all in a muffin tin to taste side by side." Ann Arbor Westside Farmers Market shopper (that's a clever idea -I wish I had thought of that! - DD)
"You need t-shirts that say 'Even vampires like the Dyer Farm Garlic!' " - Ann Arbor Westside Farmers' Market shopper (so clever - I wish I had thought of that myself! Maybe we will - DD)
"I'm looking forward to garlic with kick!" - A2 Westside Farmers' Market shopper (last week's two varieties with 'kick' were Lotus and Transylvanian - this week we have Tzan available for the first time. I am certain it will sell out!)
Wife - "Do we need garlic?" Husband - "Do we even need to discuss this? (with a hearty and happy laugh)" - A2 Westside Market shopper
"Life is good when you have great peppers and great garlic" - A2 Westside shopper (another great t-shirt slogan!)
"I need a hit of garlic!" - A2 Wednesday Evening shopper (Another new, and funny, comment for us to hear!)
"When can I sign up for next year's Garlic CSA?" - A2 Wednesday Evening shopper
A customer at the Ann Arbor Wednesday Evening Market told us about a WWII Army cookbook he has that uses 1 clove (yes, 1 clove) of garlic for 100 servings (yes, 100 servings) and 2 cloves (woohoo!) if the recipe is for something 'Italian', again for 100 servings. Let's spice things up a bit!
"I grazed on your garlic sampler bag all week. They were all great! Now I want 150 heads of anything - you pick for me!" - A2 Wednesday Evening Market shopper (ahhhhhh - music to our ears!)
"Allicin is everything" - A2 Wednesday Evening Market shopper (admittedly I first thought he was saying Alison, the name of
our daughter in law, instead of 'allicin', the active ingredient in garlic, and was confused for a nano-second or two!)
"I use garlic in 90% of my food" - A2 Wednesday Evening Market shopper (you're in good company with us!)
"You both look so healthy, especially your eyes." Ypsilanti Market shopper (a nice comment to hear!)
"I send people to your booth all the time, which is my pleasure." - an Ypsilanti Market shopper (my favorite comment of the week, from one of my favorite weekly Ypsi
Our customers say all there is to say about garlic and make us smile if not also laugh out loud!
Thanks again for your support of our small, local, family-owned and run farm. We love selling our garlic to each of you!
Dick's 'Pretty Good!' Garlic makes great food and conversation, too. :)
Diana & Dick Dyer - Your Local Garlic Growers
The Dyer Family Organic Farm, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Shaping our future from the ground up"
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