Week 1, May 29 – June 4, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 1
May 29 – June 4, 2011
If needed, please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118 e-mail: tantrefarm@hotmail.com phone: 734-475-4323 website: www.tantrefarm.com

THIS WEEK’S SHARE
We usually try to give you a pretty accurate listing of the produce in your box, but since the newsletter is published before the harvest, sometimes we may substitute some vegetables for others. Keep in mind that a text copy of each newsletter will also be published each week on our website.

*“GREENS ADVICE” for the entire season: Please keep in mind that greens are especially prominent during this early part of the season, so basically, “It’s salad time!” If you’re not sure what to do with the green or what it is, taste it, and if you like it raw, then eat in a salad. If it’s a little too strong or bitter then lightly steam or sauté it, since cooking often mellows the flavor. Greens can also be tossed in with something else like soup or tomato sauce for an extra nutritional boost and flavor.

ASPARAGUS: You will receive green, purple, or white variety; some vitamin A, fair source of vitamin B & C, and iron.
How to use: serve raw chopped in salads or with dips; steam, roasted, grilled, serve “cold” with vinaigrette or with a bit of olive oil and dash of salt and lemon juice.
How to store: wrap in damp cloth and plastic bag and refrigerate or bundle spears with rubber band and place upright in container with inch of water.

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or wrap in slightly dampened cloth and store in refrigerator. You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
Chives—mild, onion-flavored herb with long, slender, hollow leaves; often used as a garnish or chopped into any foods that call for onion; purple, onion-flavored blossoms add an attractive garnish to soups or salads (stems attached to purple blossoms are often discarded due to toughness).
Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
Oregano–member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.

LETTUCE: rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C. You will receive a variety of young, tender Red or Green Leaf Lettuce.
How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

SPICY GREENS MIX: a blend of arugula, Kyona/Mizuna, and red and green mustards;
How to use: used for salads and sautéing–cooks up quickly
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 2 to 4 days.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): full of great fiber and antioxidants, high in potassium and source of vitamins C and B-6.
How to use: can be cooked, grilled, roasted whole as a vegetable; chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor.
How to store: refrigerate in damp towel/plastic bag for 5-7 days.

KALE (Red Russian): the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged. Kale is high in vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, calcium and iron and has the highest protein content of all cultivated vegetables.
How to use: for salads, soups, and light cooking
How to store: keep in plastic bag or damp towel in refrigerator for up to 1 week

POTATOES, FINGERLING: a small, stubby, finger-shaped type of potato, which is usually a heritage variety; excellent roasted or boiled. You will receive “old buddy” potatoes that have been over-wintered in our timber frame root cellar, so may be slightly less firm or wrinkled, but very good for cooking.
How to use: good baked, boiled, roasted or in salads
How to store: Keep unwashed in cool, dark place in paper bag.

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor) or D’Avignon (also called, “French Breakfast”; traditional variety from Southern France; 3-4 inch long root that is part red with a white tip and tapered to a point).
How to use: raw, roasted, used in soups, sliced in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries, grated in slaws; Radish greens (excellent source of vitamins A, C, and the B’s) delicious in soups or stir-fries.
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag/damp towel for 1-2 weeks.

SPINACH (plan on taking 2 to 4 large bunches…it loved the rainy, cool weather!): large, crisp, dark green leaf– best eaten raw or with minimal cooking to obtain the beneficial chlorophyll, as well as vitamins A & C; delicious flavor when juiced.
How to use: toss in fresh salad, add to sandwiches, sauté, steam, braise, or add to crepes, quiche, lasagna, and soups.
How to store: refrigerate with a damp towel/bag for up to 1 week.
How to freeze: Since you will have the opportunity to grab large amounts today, we would like to suggest freezing it. Blanch leaves for 1-2 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain well, and pack into containers. Also, spinach can be pureed after cooking, frozen in freezer bags, and used in many recipes. Contact Deb for ideas!

TATSOI: an Asian green with small, spoon-shaped, thick, dark-green leaves with tangy, sweet flavor.
How to use: commonly eaten raw in salads and in stir-fries/soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag or wrap in a damp towel .

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. PLEASE LET US KNOW of any changes in your address, phone, e-mail, or of misspelled names on any mailings or check off lists at Distribution Sites as soon as possible.

2. MISSING E-MAILS: If you didn’t get our most recent e-mail notice called “Tantre Farm CSA 2011 STARTING SOON” and would like to receive future e-mails, please let us know so that we can add you to our e-mail roster.

3. CHANGING PICK UP DAYS: Please remember to contact us preferably a week in advance, but at least by Sunday of each week, to make changes in pick up days or locations. It is very disappointing to put together a box that is never picked up. Please have the courtesy to make some kind of contact with us, if you can not pick up your box for some reason.

4. PAYMENTS DUE: If you still owe money on your Balance Due, it will be reflected on the check-in sheet, when you pick up your box. If you believe there has been some mistake, or have any questions, please call or e-mail us. Please finalize payments due within the month of June, unless alternate arrangements have been pre-approved.

5. SPRING WORK PARTY: We would like to thank everyone who came to our Spring Work Party on Sunday, May 1. We spent the afternoon weeding the herb garden, digging invasive weeds out of the chicken yard, planting potatoes, planting flowers, pumpkins, and peas in the Kid Garden, visiting the animals and touring the farm. It was an enjoyable, sunny day!

6. CSA COOKBOOKS: We will have 2 handy cookbooks for sale this season. The first one is called “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce”. This $15 book includes an easy-to-follow format with vegetables listed from A to Z. We are also offering a new preserving resource called “Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything” for $20. It includes instructions for preserving fruits and vegetables. Both cookbooks will be available throughout June.

7. TANTRE FARM CSA HANDBOOK, a handy guide to “Most Frequently Asked Questions” at our farm, will be available at each Distribution Site for June. This was already sent in text copy format in the “Tantre Farm CSA 2011 STARTING SOON” online notice.

8. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
*REMINDER – No pick up at the farm on Tuesdays.
Farm on Wed.–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Farm on Fri.–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

INTRODUCING RICHARD, DEB, AND ARIANA…

Some of our articles may feature some of the regular workers on Tantré Farm throughout the coming weeks. Here are the owners of the farm, Richard Andres & Deb Lentz, and their daughter, Ariana.

Richard and Deb both grew up with a connection to farming and growing food. Richard grew up in Plymouth & Canton, Michigan. He had an early interest in farming, since he worked as a teenager picking corn for a local farmer. Then he started raising and selling strawberries, corn, and muskmelons on his parents’ property. He also worked at his friend’s farm, Garden Works, for a few years. Following that, he tended traditional, Asian-raised gardens at the Ann Arbor and Toronto Zen Buddhist Temples for a number of years. Finally, he bought Tantré Farm in 1993, and proceeded to make it certified organic. After that he began growing organic potatoes, winter squash, and garlic for wholesale orders, besides continuing full-time work as a timber-frame carpenter.

Deb grew up on a 160-acre beef farm in Lake City, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota with an Elementary Education degree. She taught fourth through sixth grades in Central Minnesota and worked as a counselor at a Summer German Camp for the next 10 years. Then she met Richard in 1994, which led to their marriage in July of 1997. After that she taught first and third grade for several years in Napoleon, Michigan, until their daughter, Ariana, was born in 2001.

Richard is working as a full-time farmer now, and continues using his carpentry skills through the many maintenance and building projects of the farm. Now Deb publishes the newsletter and coordinates the communication and bookkeeping of the CSA. She also continues to enjoy teaching to groups who come to the farm for field trips, as well as, in area schools through Farm-to-School programs. Ariana is now completing third grade, and she is looking forward to playing with lots of kids on the farm this summer! This will be Tantre Farm’s eleventh year as a CSA. Both Richard and Deb enjoy the sense of community that running Tantré Farm creates for themselves and their daughter, as well as the opportunity to serve the local community fresh, organic food.

RECIPES
*Keep in mind the following websites–www.epicurious.com, www.cooks.com, www.recipes.com, www.tantrefarm.com.

RADISHES AND GREEN ONIONS WITH FETA CHEESE (from Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor) Serves 6 to 8.
2 c. thinly sliced radishes
3 or 4 green onions, chopped
4 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
10 to 12 Kalamata olives, pitted, and chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Toss together the radishes, green onions, Feta cheese, olives, and mint. Season with the salt and pepper. Toss again. Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together and pour over the vegetable mixture. Toss to coat vegetables with dressing.

SPINACH AND ASPARAGUS FRITTATA (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” web site)
FILLING:
1 bunch spinach, washed and drained, with stems removed
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic or garlic scapes, minced or mashed
EGG MIXTURE:
8 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons whipping cream or water
1/4 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded
Olive oil, to coat skillet

Preheat broiler. Mix ingredients well and pour into a greased 8-inch skillet and stir until set (about 5 minutes). Place under broiler for 2 minutes until top is golden brown. Cut into slices. Makes 4 servings.

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