2013 Week 6, July 1 – July 6

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 6
July 1-6, 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.

FAVA BEANS: (also called faba bean, horse bean, or broad bean) the pod is inedible and looks like a large bean pod; the bean seed resembles a very large lima bean with a tart, pungent flavor; fresh fava beans should be shelled from pod if skin seems tough, but bean seed can be eaten raw, skin and all, if young enough.
-To skin fava beans: Blanch for 1 minute, then drain and cool. With your thumbnail, pull open the sprout end and squeeze the bean out of its skin.
-How to use: Stew skinned beans in a little butter, oil or cream seasoned with savory, thyme or sage. Sauté with other vegetables and toss with pasta. Good in soups. Lots of recipes on the internet.
-How to store: Store fresh, unshelled beans in the refrigerator up to a week; once shelled, blanched and skinned, favas can be frozen in plastic containers for longer storage; shelled beans are best used within a few days. See “Beans” for recipes in the A to Z Cookbook, if you have it, and also this newsletter. Delicious!

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

FRESH GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, bolstering the immune system, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease, used as an expectorant or decongestant, and at least some people believe that it can ward off vampires and insects.
Cooking tips: To mellow garlic’s strong flavor opt for longer cooking; to enjoy its more pungent flavors and increased medicinal benefit, use it raw or with minimal cooking.
How to use: minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables; make garlic butter with 1/2 cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic; try roasting garlic by cutting off tops of garlic bulb, so cloves are exposed, brush with olive oil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, squeeze garlic out of skins and spread on a good, crusty bread.
How to store: fresh garlic can be stored in an open, breathable basket in a cool, dark place for many months; if cloves begin to get soft or moldy, break off bad clove and chop up others and pack into small jar filled with olive oil; then refrigerate (great gift idea!).

FRESH HERBS: We have many herbs right now ready for harvest, but especially Thyme, so everyone should take a bunch of Thyme (tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.) This wonderful herb is one of our favorites. It’s extremely easy to dry by hanging it upside down or just put it in a wicker basket that breathes. When the leaves crumble to the touch (about a week or 2), strip the leaves, and put them in a jar. That’s it! Ready for winter tea, and soothing your sore throat!
**Once again you get a choice of 1 out of the following 4 herbs too:
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.
Lemon Balm—these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold; good addition to lettuce or fruit salads and ice cream; nicely paired with grilled fish or lamb and tossed with steamed vegetables; also aids in depression, tension, or nausea.
Tarragon—its flavor is delicate and almost licorice or anise-like; an essential herb in French cuisine; exceptional in egg dishes, poached fish, chicken, mushrooms, salad dressings and with other vegetables.
French Sorrel—slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, or cooked as a side dish; leaves are shaped like spinach, but paler green in color; high in vitamin A and contains some calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C; refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 3 days.

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.

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

SUMMER ONIONS: slightly larger bulbs (“baby bulb onions”) than green onions, but both bulb and leaves are still edible (leaves are excellent addition to soup stock); can be prepared like cippolinis.
See Week 5 for usage and storage information.

SNAP PEAS or SNOW PEAS: You will receive Snow Peas (“flat”, crispy, green pods used in stir-fries and salads) or Sugar Snap Peas (“round” pod of edible-pod pea). Both of these peas are meant to eat the pods, so no shelling for these. Just crispy and delicious!! See Week 5 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;
See Week 4 for usage and storage information.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Yellow or Green Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits) or Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture); great source of vitamins A & C, potassium, and calcium; approximately 94% water, so replaces lost fluids during summer heat. *Keep in mind “zucchini” and “summer squash” are basically interchangeable in recipes. See Week 5 for usage and storage information.

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.

YUKINA SAVOY (Asian Green): similar to Tatsoi, but larger; thick, savoyed leaves held upright on pale green petioles; delicious steamed or stir-fried. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED (We are serious!!): With this rain, it has really populated the weeds. We really could use some help. If you are interested–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. This rain has been wonderful, but we could really use the help with the weeds right now. Thanks for volunteering!

2. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations. If someone else is picking up your share while you are out of town, you may want to give them our contact information, so they can let us know if they forgot to pick up or can’t make it at the last minute. Then we will know what to do with the forgotten box.

3. U-PICK AT THE FARM this week: Please schedule an appointment for u-pick on any other day, unless you come during a Farm Distribution Days and regular times on Wed. or Fri. No u-pick available on Sat. mornings, since we are at two Farmers Markets, but starting after 2 PM we’ll be back.
**Strawberries–$4/qt. for members and $5/qt. for nonmembers. You can pick into our quart baskets to measure them, but to take them home, please bring your own containers or transfer them into donated berry containers at the Distribution Shed. The harvest peak is winding down mostly because of the lack of sun, but you can try your luck, if you like.
**Snow Peas–$1/lb. for members and $1.50/lb. for non members. Come and get peas for freezing!

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.

A CRISPY, GREEN MIDSUMMER
By Deb and Richard

The rain patters on the maple leaves as the tree frogs sing all night. The wind blows from the south, the southwest, the southeast, the north, the northwest, the northeast—a giant spiral eddying around the Upper Midwest mixing the cold and the hot air masses into a midsummer meteorological soup producing an overabundance of rain, which has brought a new, crispy greenness to the lands of the Great Lakes Bioregion. The soil in some places washes downhill in ruts to the rivers and streams “nutrifying” the wetlands. This has meant many muddy feet traipsing through the gardens and fields. Sandhill cranes, raccoons, deer, dogs, turtles, and frogs–all show their meandering paths foraging for food, water, and shelter.

Mostly all of the veggies that we’re growing this season are crispy and sweet due to the luscious, sky-dripping raindrops with no shortage of “greens”. Everything has really taken hold unhindered by any sort of drought. The lettuce and peas, kale and chard, green beans and peppers, garlic and onions, zucchini and sweet corn, and also sundry subterranean fungi and innumerable weeds have grown and grown almost bursting into record breaking dimensions.

For many days the sun’s golden complexion has dimmed and given us a new appreciation for its clear, gleaning hue causing us to wonder what kind of a summer is this as compared to last year’s dry, hot weather. We find ourselves ruminating on the old saying, “A dry summer will scare you to death, but a wet summer will starve you to death”. We certainly don’t seem to be starving though….

RECIPES

**Keep in mind a very easy way to find recipe ideas for almost any combination of share box ingredients is to type the items into your preferred “search bar”, and many recipe ideas will pop up. I typed in “fava beans, garlic, thyme, and rapini recipe” and found the recipe below. Have fun searching! Lots and lots of ideas!

RAPINI WITH FAVA BEANS (adapted from “A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen” by Lucy Waverman)
Fava Bean Puree:
1 cup fresh, peeled fava or broad beans, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup Yukon gold, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup olive oil

Rapini:
1 bunch rapini, trimmed (or kale, yukina, Swiss chard, etc.)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Garnish:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Place beans and potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water by ½ in. Add bay leaves, thyme, onions, celery and 2 tbsp oil and bring to a boil. Cover and gently simmer until beans and potatoes are soft and falling apart and water is nearly all absorbed (about 15 min). Mash beans and potatoes mixture, leaving a little texture; add cooking liquid if necessary. Heat remaining oil, add puree and cook until hot and holds its shape. If it’s too dry, add more reserved cooking liquid. It should have the texture of very creamy mashed potatoes; season well. Blanch rapini in separate pot for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and season. Heat oil and sauté rapini and garlic until fragrant; add pepper flakes and sauté another minute. Season as needed. Spread rapini over bean puree and serve. Garnish with olive oil before serving. Treat the rapini as you would spaghetti, twirling the leaves around your fork with some of the fava bean puree.

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