2013: Week 1, May 26 – June 1

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 1
May 26-June 1, 2013

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

In our newsletter, we try to give you an accurate listing of the produce in your box; however, since the newsletter is published before the harvest, we may sometimes substitute some vegetables for others. The information provided here is also published each week on our website. **Also, if you’re having trouble identifying any unfamiliar produce, please look on our website under “Veggie ID” for images and additional information under CSA INFO or RECIPES sections.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

GREENS ADVICE for the entire season: Please keep in mind that greens are especially prominent during this early part of the farm season, so basically, “It’s salad time!” If you’re not sure how best to enjoy your green, taste it. Greens can be eaten raw in a salad or lightly steamed or sautéed in order to mellow their flavor. They can also be tossed into a dish (such as soup) for an extra nutritional boost.

ARUGULA : an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C. This will be bunched in a bag with Spicy Greens and Yukina Savoy.
-How to use: add to salads, soups, and sautéed vegetable dishes
-How to store: very perishable, so use up quickly; store in plastic bag with a paper towel in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

ASIAN GREENS (Yukina Savoy): similar to Tatsoi, but larger; thick, savoyed leaves held upright on pale green petioles; delicious steamed or stir-fried. This will be bunched in a bag with Spicy Greens and Yukina Savoy.
-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 for up to a week.

ASPARAGUS: You will receive a bunch of green, purple, or white variety; each contains vitamins A, B, and C, as well as iron.
– How to use: serve raw, chopped in salads, or with dips. You can also steam, roast, grill, or serve “cold” with a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt, and lemon juice.
– How to store: wrap in damp cloth and plastic bag, then refrigerate. Alternatively, bundle spears with rubber band and place upright in container with an 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; can be added to potato salad, baked potatoes, soups, salads, omelets, dips and spreads, pastas and sauces.; purple, onion-flavored blossoms add an attractive garnish to soups or salads (stems attached to blossoms are often discarded due to toughness).
Oregano–member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent, spicy flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.

KALE: You will receive 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, 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 in fridge for up to 1 week

BABY LETTUCE: You will receive a bag of baby heads of red and green lettuces such as Rouge D’Hiver, Parris Island, Red Saladbowl, Royal Oak, and Saladbowl; rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C.
– How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
– How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large bulb onions; full of great fiber and antioxidants, high in potassium and source of vitamins C and B-6.
-How to use: the bulb, flowers, and green leaves are edible; 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.

POTATOES: You will receive Russet Burbank (a brown-skinned, white-fleshed potato; commonly used in French fries in fast food restaurants). These are “old buddy” potatoes that have been over-wintered in our timber frame root cellar, so some tubers may be slightly less firm or even a bit wrinkled, but totally fine for cooking.
-How to use: great baked, mashed, or fried
-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).
– 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.

RHUBARB: related to a common weed, the dock plant; it is botanically a vegetable, although generally we think of it as a fruit; pinkish-green stalks are extremely acidic and sour; high in vitamins A and C and some minerals, such as calcium.
-How to use: dice young tart stalks into salads or hot /cold cereal, add slices to spring soups, juice it, make a sauce, pie, crisp, or tart.
-How to store: wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. For long-term storage, rhubarb may be frozen as a sauce or after it is washed, chopped, and drained, put in a bag.

SAUERKRAUT: We are pleased to offer The Brinery’s “rutabaga sauerkraut” in our first week’s CSA share with produce grown by Tantrè Farm and fermented by The Brinery early this past winter. The Brinery is a local foods business, specializing in naturally fermented, local vegetables and operated by former Tantré farmer, David Klingenberger. For more information, please visit www.thebrinery.com. These krauts are raw and unpasteurized.
– How to use: use as a condiment with any dish, especially meat dishes, salads, roasted veggies, or sandwiches.
– How to store: refrigerate up to 3 months or longer depending on how you like the flavor, since it will get stronger with more age. *NOTE: These jars have NOT been canned, so it must be REFRIGERATED.

SPICY SALAD MIX (Spectrum): an amazing, mildly spicy, leafy salad mix of greens and reds with a wide variety of leaf shapes and sizes with ingredients such as Golden Frills, Ruby Streaks, Tokyo Bekana, and Red Komatsuna. This will be bunched in a bag with Arugula and Yukina Savoy.
-How to use: used for salads and sautéing–cooks up quickly
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 2 to 4 days.

SPINACH: You will receive a bag of this 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.

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, “Tantre Farm CSA 2013 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 or you may check your Junk Mail.

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, 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 19. It was one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had! We spent the afternoon weeding the herb garden, planting lettuce, potatoes, and the Kid Garden, visiting the animals and touring the farm. A lot was accomplished on an enjoyable, sunny day!

6. CSA COOKBOOKS: We will have a handy cookbook for sale this season 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.

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 has been updated from last year, so it is good for former members to look it over, as well as new members. This was already sent in text copy format in the “Tantre Farm CSA 2013 STARTING SOON” online notice.

8. MISSED PICK UP: If you don’t pick up or forget to come, you will have one day to come to the farm to get your share before it will be taken apart or donated. Please call or email, so we know what happened, and Deb doesn’t need to call you.

9. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Farm (Wed.)–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed.) –6 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Farm (Fri.)–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Sat.)– 8 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

ANNUAL RITE OF SPRING
By Deb and Richard

The last few nights the moon has been full and the air very cool, almost frosty. Similarly the days have been cool and fair, making our work time very equanimous. Last fall’s Russet potatoes have found their way to the potato washer. They are all scrubbed down for their CSA distribution this week like the good “ole buddies” that they are, dependable and reliably still edible. The spinach, arugula, mustard, have been basking in the glorious sunshine for the last several weeks sporting their emerald delicacy. Pink radishes have popped out and have been bunched by a small tribe of devoted farm workers. The asparagus is thrusting skyward from its earthly bed among the earthworms and robins that scratch for a hearty meal. Despite this coolish spring, most of the spring crops have all been planted.

We’re still waiting for the peas and strawberries to finish flowering in the next couple of weeks. We’re also looking forward to some milky-sweet turnips and greens. For those of you familiar with the spiraling garlic tops, they are still a couple weeks away from showing their peaked hats. We’re looking forward to the final planting of the summer crops as well, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, etc. Overall it looks like it will be a promising year for growing an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables.

Many thanks for the many hands that have weeded, seeded, planted, cultivated, pulled and picked, all that needed doing for these last 3 months. Hopefully you will get a chance to meet our farm crew of 16 at the markets and the farm this season. We have 6 of our farm crew from last year returning with the other 10 coming from places as far away as North Carolina, Montana, New Jersey, New York, and of course Michigan. We’re looking forward to our first week of distribution to greet and meet all of our CSA members as this annual rite of spring transpires.

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

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 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced or mashed
1-2 sprigs of thyme or oregano or 1 tsp. of chopped chives

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 and garnish with chive blossoms. Makes 4 servings.

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