2013: Week 7, July 7 – July 13

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 7
July 7-13, 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. Lots of information on the internet. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

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.

COLLARD GREENS: dark-green, flat, large leaf. May be substituted for kale or other hearty greens recipes. Use large leaf rolled up as a wrap and stuff with vegetables or hummus. YOU WILL RECEIVE Collards OR Curly Kale THIS WEEK.
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

CUCUMBERS: You will receive either Olympian (considered a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor) and/or Little Leaf (considered a pickling cucumber with blocky, medium-length, distinctively bright emerald green fruits, which are good for fresh eating and pickling).
How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sautéed, or baked.
How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week; use up leftovers as soon as possible.

FRESH GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, bolstering the immune system. See Week 6 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 or wrap in slightly dampened cloth and store in refrigerator. *All shares will receive Basil, and you may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
Curly Leaf Parsley—curly, green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; often used as a garnish, but excellent in salads, eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes.
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. You can also chop fresh chives and freeze them with water in ice cube trays to use later when needed.
Dill– feathery green leaves that go well with fish, potatoes, beets, carrots, and yogurt sauces; considered a good luck symbol by early Romans. Dill partners nicely with Cucumbers this week!
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.
*Genovese Basil—All shares will receive basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last up to a week or 2 when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. Do NOT refrigerate! See feature article in this newsletter and recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website.

GREEN CURLY KALE: well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”. YOU WILL RECEIVE Kale OR Collards THIS WEEK. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

HEAD LETTUCE: You may choose from 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.

SNOW PEAS: “flat”, crispy, green pods used in stir-fries and salads. See Week 5 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). *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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE this coming Sunday, July 14 between 1-4 p.m. This particular Open House has a way of creeping up on us every year, so hopefully some of you already had it in your calendar from our mentioning of it in the past. This day promises to be bright and sunny, so we’ll have lots of water play for the kids and shade-related activities for the adults, such as cleaning garlic and stripping herbs for storing. For those more adventurer-gardener types, we will be weeding the herb garden and the asparagus, and maybe even harvesting green beans. Members are encouraged to bring family and friends to Tantré Farm to see the farm decked out in its summer finery, for wagon ride farm tours, and getting to know fellow community members. This is a completely voluntary event, so you can also come just for the fun, such as listening to local musician, Doug Allen, picking a free pint of black or golden raspberries, which would go nicely with our plans to make fresh, hand-cranked, homemade ice cream! These are further incentives to encourage folks to come out to see the farm this Sunday. As usual a potluck is included, so please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment. Also, if anyone wants to help “set up” at 11 or 11:30 AM, especially if you have other plans later, please let us know. We look forward to showing you the farm!

2. 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!

3. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations.

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.

BASIL: MORE THAN JUST A CULINARY HERB
Basil is one of the most sacred plants of India. It has been used to make royal unguents, perfumes, and medicines. A tea can be made to settle the nerves and aids with indigestion. Medicinally, it is used to stimulate perspiration for the treatment of colds, flu, and fevers. The French have used basil to repel mosquitoes and flies, which is why pots of it may be found at sidewalk restaurants in France.

Basil’s most popular use though is as a culinary herb. It is more commonly known for its primary role in tomato sauces, pesto, and salad dressings. It is also popular in Mediterranean dishes and Thai curries. It partners well with almost any summer vegetable, but especially tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, and summer squash.

Fresh basil deteriorates quickly, especially when refrigerated. It is a warm-weather crop and is sensitive to cold temperatures. If leaves are wrapped in a dry towel and kept in an airtight container, it can be kept at about 50 degrees for a few days before leaves start blackening. That is why we provide it with roots attached, so you may retain its freshness for a week or longer by placing the roots in a jar of water, changing the water every few days, and we don’t refrigerate it. You may also freeze fresh leaves in a plastic zip-lock bag, if you don’t mind the darkened color. This is very easy–just wash leaves, spin dry, place in Ziploc bag, remove air, seal, and freeze. Basil can also be dried by hanging in a dry, warm, well-ventilated place for about 2 weeks. If you would like to retain some of the green color, it needs to be dried quickly in a dehydrator or in the oven at its lowest setting with door ajar. The leaves can be separated before drying and stirred often. Remove dried leaves and store in a sealed glass jar—away from light and heat.

Some people make pesto from the basil leaves and freeze it in ice cube trays or drop on cookie trays like “drop cookies”; then bag it when frozen to be used as needed. Others just mix chopped basil with olive oil or water and freeze in ice cube trays. Remove frozen herb cubes and place in freezer bag. One frozen cube is equivalent to 1 tablespoon fresh or about 1 teaspoon of dried herb, which flavors vegetables, meats, stews, and soups all winter long.

**We grow a lot of basil, so you will all receive basil fairly consistently from now until the first frost in September or October, so plan on freezing, drying, or making pesto, so that you will enjoy its summer aroma all winter long. If you don’t think you can use it every week, then just don’t take it. Have fun and enjoy a plethora of basil over the coming weeks!

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

SWISS CHARD AND SUMMER SQUASH FRITTATA (adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, the Moosewood Collective with http://nofearentertaining.blogspot.com)
1 lb. Swiss chard
1 summer squash, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp. olive oil
6 egg whites
2 whole eggs
3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Wash the Swiss chard, remove and discard the large stems, and finely chop the leaves. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, sauté the garlic, summer squash and onions in 1 teaspoon of the oil for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard, stir, cover, lower the heat, and cook for a bout 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain the Swiss chard if juicy.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, eggs, basil, salt, and pepper until blended. Stir in the sautéed Swiss chard. Coat the bottom of the skillet with the remaining tsp. of oil and return it to medium heat. When the skillet is hot, pour in the Swiss chard-egg mixture. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges are firm and the bottom is golden and beginning to brown. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and cook for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are fully cooked. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.

BEET SOUP (shared by Tantre Farm intern, Ellen Scheffer)
1 large onion (or 2-3 summer onions), diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3-4 large beets, diced
1 quart vegetable broth
1-2 cups water, to desired consistency
Salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste
Sour cream

Sauté diced onion, carrots, celery, and beets in a skillet for 10-15 minutes until tender. Add vegetable broth, water, and spices. Simmer approximately 30 minutes. Serve individually and top servings with a dollop of sour cream.

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