2013: Week 4, June 16 – June 22

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 4
June 16-22, 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.

We also try to keep the formatted newsletter to a 2-page maximum, which means that we don’t list all the share items’ descriptions every week, but refer you to previous newsletters for information on items that have already appeared in your shares.

**Also, if you’re having trouble identifying any unfamiliar produce, please look for “Veggie ID” with additional information on our website under CSA INFO or under RECIPES.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

ARUGULA : an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

ASPARAGUS (Due to the end of the asparagus season, this will be the last week of asparagus for Wed./Sat. Farmers Market members and Wed./Sat. Food Hub members. Next week will be for “On Farm” pick up members only): You will receive green, purple, or white variety. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

BABY BEETS & GREENS: small, round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves. *The beet greens are especially delicious right now. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GARLIC SCAPES: This popular and highly delectable flower top of a garlic plant has a slender green stem with a slight bulge at the bottom (resemble chives, except for the bulge and often curled); tender and milder in flavor than mature garlic, but can be substituted for garlic cloves in recipes. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage information.

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. This weather has really created a large amount of herbs for everyone this week, especially mint and thyme, so everyone may choose 1 of each!
Chamomile (optional)— These small, daisy-like flowers are best known for making a soothing tea; also the flowers make a pretty garnish and a flavorful addition to salads. The whole bundle can be dried upside down for a week or two, and then the flowers plucked and put into a jar for a restful tea for the winter. We unfortunately do not have quite enough for everyone, so it will be on the side, if you’d like to try it. It will be available until we run out. SEE FEATURE ARTICLE FOR MORE INFORMATION!
Black-stemmed Peppermint–forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea; adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries. Everyone can take 1 bunch.
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats. Everyone can take 1 bunch.

KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”).
See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

BABY LETTUCE MIX (Wildfire): a beautiful bag of dark reds and vibrant greens including Green and Red Oakleaf, Green and Red Romaine, and Redleaf lettuces. Your lettuce has been rinsed once, but needs washing. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

HEAD LETTUCE: You will receive 1 head of Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large onions.
See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

RAPINI: also called “Broccoli Raab” or Rabe or Rape; leafy green with 6 to 9 inch stalks and scattered clusters of tiny broccoli-like buds (some of ours don’t have buds yet, so just the leaf); traditional Italian specialty combining qualities of broccoli and mustard greens;
How to use: used for salads or light cooking. To cook simply: Clean rappini with water, oil pan, add garlic and brown. Add 1 cup of water. Put in rappini, season to taste. (Lemon may be used if desired.) Cover pan and steam for thirty minutes. Pepperoni or sausage may be added to rappini after it is fully cooked.
How to store: wrap in dampened cloth in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

STRAWBERRIES: You will receive 1 quart this week of this member of the rose family; red, conical fruit with tiny white flowers. **Over the last few weeks, we have received many calls or emails about u-picking organic strawberries. We thought we should explain how the berry harvest works to you, since everyone is so excited about picking. As the berries first get ripe, we usually have just enough for the market table. When we know we have enough for our members, then we pick them for you. We do not allow u-picking until we’ve been able to give our members at least 1, if not 2, weeks of berries or we may not have enough for each distribution, so no u-picking just yet. Thank you for your patience and your excitement!
How to store: Do not wash until you are ready to consume them. Place them on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
How to freeze: Freeze whole strawberries hulled and washed on cookie sheets and put in freezer bags.

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; very small, multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS and GREENS: A white salad turnip with round, smooth roots that have a sweet, fruity flavor with a crisp, tender texture. Use the greens as well, sautéed or braised. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations, especially with the 4th of July vacations coming up. Also keep in mind that changes need to be made within the same week (Sun.-Sat.), not into the next week of distribution.

2. KID FARM HIKES: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm starting this week on Friday, June 21, at 2 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 30 minute hike with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore the farm’s fields, wetlands, and forest. Sheila teaches ecology and field biology classes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Meet at the Distribution Shed at 2 pm. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait for you.

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: There are always a generous amount of weeds on the farm. If you are interested in helping out–even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes before you pick up your box at the farm, come join us. Please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark. We could really use the help with the weeds right now. Thanks for volunteering!

4. 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.

CHAMOMILE
Chamomile has long been one of the most popular herbal teas in Europe where it is sometimes served in hospitals to calm patients. Chamomile tea aids digestion, is calming, and sleep inducing. It relaxes nerves and reduces inflammation. The flavor is delicate, soothing, slightly sweet, and pleasantly bitter. The aroma is reminiscent of that of apples.

Chamomile can be dried in the shade in a warm, well-ventilated area on a nylon or stainless steel screen, in a shallow box, or loosely in a paper bag. (If you’re drying the herbs in a paper bag, punch many holes in the bag for ventilation.) Some have found that drying herbs in a paper bag in the backseat of their car to be very effective. You can also tie herbs in small bunches and string them up in the attic or warm room to dry. The flowers will dry in four to seven days. When leaves and flowers crumble between your fingers that is a good indication they are dry enough. If they bend and remain flexible they probably still contain moisture that needs to evaporate.
Before brewing the flowers into tea, crush them a bit – rubbing them between your fingers, using a mortar and pestle or chopping them with a knife. 1 tablespoon of flowers should be steeped no longer than three to five minutes to prevent the development of a bitter flavor.

Clean, dry, glass jars make the best storage containers for herbs. (Plastic does not make a good storage container because it’s permeable and does not protect the flavor of the herbs. Be sure that the jars are completely dry – check for moisture especially under the rims – and remove any cardboard inner lid. Amber colored glass bottles, which protect their contents from light, are great.

Chamomile has many other uses as well. It is excellent in compresses and salves for treating skin inflammation, burns, eczema, psoriasis, insect bites, and external ulcers. It can be used as a gargle to soothe a sore throat, as a mouthwash to treat gingivitis as a poultice to relive a toothache and as an eyewash to treat conjunctivitis and sties. Chamomile can be used as a bath herb to relieve stress, nourish dry skin and calm cranky children. Enjoy chamomile’s many qualities!

RECIPES

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.

BROCCOLI RABE WITH LEMON & GARLIC (from COOKS.COM)
1 1/2 lb. broccoli rabe, wash & discard coarse stem ends & yellow leaves
2 tsp. minced garlic or 2 garlic scapes
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley or thyme
2 tsp. fresh grated lemon rind

In a heavy kettle cook the broccoli rabe covered in very little water until stems are tender. Sauté garlic in butter over medium heat 3 minutes. Drain the broccoli rabe, toss with garlic mixture, parsley, salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon rind. Serves 4

CHAMOMILE LAVENDER MINT ICED TEA (from www.myrecipes.com)
1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh or dried chamomile (or 4 chamomile tea bags)

Crush mint leaves and put in a 1-gallon lidded jar. Add lavender and chamomile. Fill jar with water to within 2 inches of rim. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined colander into pitcher for serving.

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