2014: Week 1, May 25-31

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 1
May 25-31, 2014

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 for “Veggie ID” with additional information on our website under CSA INFO or under RECIPES.

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 with garlic, green onions, or butter in order to mellow their flavor. They can also be tossed into a dish (such as soup or a smoothie) for an extra nutritional and flavorful boost.

ARUGULA : an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C. You will receive Astro (less deeply lobed leaves and milder flavor) in a bag and Sylvetta (also known as “wild rocket” with more deeply lobed leaves and a more pungent flavor, which is heavily sought after by chefs) banded in a bunch.
-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.

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.
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.

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. You will be receiving 2 bunches.
-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.

PARSNIPS: frost-sweetened winter parsnips, barrel washed; long, cylindrical, creamy-white roots with sweet flavor; contain small amounts of iron and vitamin C.
How to use: can be baked, boiled, sautéed, steamed. Our favorite way to prepare them is to roast with olive oil and fresh herbs.
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

POTATOES (German Butterball): a round to oblong tuber with lightly netted golden skin and deep yellow flesh. Slightly mealy.
-How to use: excellent for roasting, frying, baking, mashing, soups
-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.

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.

SAUERKRAUT: We are pleased to offer The Brinery’s “Galaxy Rose Sauerkraut”, which is a Watermelon Radish (an heirloom Chinese radish with unique dark magenta flesh and light green/white skin along with a remarkably sweet, delicious taste) 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, so be sure to refrigerate your jar.
– 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.

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 Yukina Savoy, Golden Frills, Ruby Streaks, Tokyo Bekana, and Red Komatsuna.
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 2014 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 25. We spent the afternoon weeding the herb garden, planting in the Kid Garden, harvesting asparagus, 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. We also have ordered 20 copies of a new cookbook called: “Farm-Fresh and Fast”, which features theme menu ideas, storage tips, and seasonal cocktail recipes for $20. These cookbooks will be available throughout the month of June at each distribution site until they are sold out.

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 2014 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.)—10 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

THE GATHERINGS
By Deb and Richard

The moon is as thin as it can be, as it rises just before the sun on the eastern horizon. The trees have magically regained their leaves. The birds and tree frogs have also returned with their rhythmic singing, especially in the early morning and evening. The grass and pastures have been green and lush for many weeks now, absorbing all the rain to make leaves and flowers. The trees, especially the cherry, are in full bloom. And the bees, wild and domestic, buzz on every branch licking nectar and carrying it back to their communities. If we could only be as harmless in our gatherings as the bees, the birds, and the frogs.

We have gathered many young people to the farm to harvest and grow a good variety of garden vegetables. We have the remnants of last year’s gatherings in the root cellar: the potatoes! the parsnips! Each day whether it’s windy, rainy, sunny, cold or hot, we go to gather. Together we gather the rather diverse array of vegetative matter. There have been great gatherings of asparagus and gatherings of radishes, which we’ve had to sort carefully, because of the multitude of root fly larvae, which have descended into our community. Most have been culled out and brought to the hungry bovines. Occasionally there will be one in a bunch. But not to worry, this is part of the organic farming process. It demonstrates the process of sharing food with some of the smallest members of our ecological biome. If we are to live within an intact ecosystem, we must remember to share our bounty with all of our members of our ecological biome, which teaches us to love, endure, and let go.

There are many blossoms in the strawberry patch and on the smallest pea vines. Soon we are hoping for some nice treats for everyone, in addition to a lush bounty of spinach, arugula, Hakurei turnips, baby lettuce and head lettuce, so please be advised to stock up on your favorite dressing or read your newsletter to make your own!! Additionally we have some of the wonderful sauerkraut that our dear David Klingenberger made last October to provide literally tons of crispy red watermelon radishes for you, thanks to the Brinery crew as they shredded, fermented, and overwintered produce at the Washtenaw Food Hub. This spring we are reminded of all kinds of “gatherings”–gathering as a community of eaters around the dinner table and the gatherings of the harvest that are coming and going every day and every night.

RECIPES

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

THE VERY FRESHEST GREEN DRESSING (from The Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor) Makes 1 ½ cups.
1 ½ cups packed parsley (or sorrel for tangy, lemony flavor)
2 garlic cloves, chopped (or 2 garlic scapes)
1 small shallot (or 1-2 green onions), chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to create a smooth sauce. Allow to sit several hours before serving, so that flavors have time to blend. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Although best used when fresh, this dressing will keep for 5 to 6 days covered in the refrigerator.