2015: Week 12, August 9 – 15

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #12
Aug. 9-15, 2015

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 try to keep the printed newsletter to a 2-page maximum, which means that we won’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 (Sylvetta): also known as “wild rocket” with more deeply lobed leaves and a more pungent flavor; an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

BEETS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves). See Week 7 usage and storage information.

GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser; cabbage has a good amount of vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. See Week 10 for usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Romance): blunt-tipped, deep orange roots with impressive flavor for a summer-harvested carrot. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

CUCUMBERS or ZUCCHINI: You will receive Olympian (a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor) or Green Zucchini (uniform cylindrical, green fruits with mild See Week 7 for usage and storage information on Cucumbers. See Week 8 for usage and storage information on Zucchini/Summer Squash.

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, and used as an expectorant or decongestant. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

FRESH HERBS: **Please keep in mind that 1 bunch of herbs does NOT mean 1 of each herb! It means choosing 1 BUNCH out of a selection of whatever is there. We have limited quantities of herbs of certain varieties, so we can’t provide all of them for everyone (although we wish we could!). This means that many times we are SHORT on herbs, since some of you are still mistakenly taking all of the choices, which are meant for other members. You are welcome to come to the farm, if you really need a specific herb. Please follow the directions closely on the whiteboard and ask questions if you are unsure. Thank you for understanding!

*This week members may choose from 5 CHOICES with 4 varieties of Basil or a Cilantro bunch to choose from (not 1 of each!):
–Genovese Basil (with root attached)—an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves; traditionally used in pesto and many types of cooking.
–Cinnamon Basil- small thin serrated green leaves with contrasting purple stems and purple-spiked flowers; savory element to raw dishes, soups, hot drinks, infused oils, and especially suited to fruit dishes. This is delicious as an exotic flavored hot tea!
–Lemon Basil—narrow, ovate, light green leaves producing a lemon scent & strong citrus flavor; use fresh or dried in vinegars, fish, chicken, vegetables and soups; common herb found within Thai, Indonesian and several Middle Eastern region cuisines.
–Thai Basil– has small, narrow leaves, purple stems, and pink-purple flowers; type of basil native to Southeast Asia that has been cultivated to provide distinctive traits; its flavor, described as anise- and licorice-like and slightly spicy and more stable under high or extended cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil.
–Cilantro– the flat, delicate, lacy-edged leaves and stems of the coriander plant, which look a lot like flat-leaf parsley, but has a distinctive, almost citrus fragrance that lends itself to highly spiced foods, such as tacos, salsas, soups, stews, and salads.
**How to store: Typically store herbs in a jar of water or a bag in the refrigerator. Whether the basil this week has a root or just stems, it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or tabletop. Since basil is a hot weather plant, it doesn’t like the cold, so will last longer outside of the refrigerator.

KALE: You will receive Lacinato Kale (dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed).
See Week 2 for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive a head/heads of Green/Red Leaf, Romaine, or Buttercrunch. See Week 2 for usage/storage information.

MUSHROOMS (Shiitake): flower-like cracking pattern on brown cap; edible mushroom native to East Asia; good in sandwiches and cooked; many medicinal qualities too; grown on logs. If you don’t care for mushrooms, then leave them for someone else or gift them!
-How to use: brush off dirt to clean or wipe with damp cloth, do not wash or submerge in water; good grilled, sautéed, steamed, in soups, and in sandwiches
-How to store: place in paper bag or wax bag and keep in refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 days.

SWEET ONIONS: You will receive Red Long of Tropea (specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France) or Ailsa Craig (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions). See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

NEW POTATOES: You will receive both Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting; perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried) and Dakota Red (red potato with white flesh that is good for baking, boiling, or frying). See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

RADISHES or HEIRLOOM TOMATO: Wed. members will receive Cherriette radishes (smooth, bright red roots with short green, edible tops and a sweet/hot taste). See Week 1 for usage and storage information. If we don’t have enough radishes for the end of the week, Fri/Sat members may receive an Heirloom Slicing Tomato (We pick heirloom tomatoes slightly green to prevent splitting and damage, while transporting. Heirlooms are softer and more perishable when ripe. Best to store upside down at room temperature until completely ripe).

PATTY PAN/SUMMER SQUASH: You will receive Patty Pan (looks like a spaceship! tender, rounded scallop, light green squash; nutty flavor) or Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; very small, multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor; good source of vitamins A, E, & C, as well as iron & calcium. See Week 4 for usage and storage information.

TOMATOES: You will receive something of the following: Five Star Grape (oval to oblong, baby red grape tomatoes, which have a chewy texture, sweet taste, and few seeds), Chiquita (deep rose-pink grape tomato with great flavor and pleasant texture), Mountain Magic (bright red, round tomatoes with very sweet flavor; excellent in salads), or Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomato; less acidic than the red cherry tomato, so slightly less bland in flavor; popular as a garnish, in salads, or as a cooked side dish that can be sautéed with herbs). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

WATERMELON: Wed. members will receive Little Baby Flower Red (small, 2-4 lb. round fruit; bright green stripe pattern on shell and dark pink flesh that is sweet and crisp with a high sugar count), and then we need to see if we have enough for the end of the week. See Week 11 for usage and storage information for Watermelon.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. KID FARM HIKE on Aug. 14: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on this Friday, Aug. 14, at 2 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 45-60 minute hike with CSA member, Alisse Portnoy. Meet at the Main House’s Distribution Shed at 2 pm.

2. STILL SPACES LEFT FOR KID FARM DAY on Wed., Aug. 19, from 9 AM until noon. This half-day will be for all kids who are 4 years old and older. Activities will include an edible farm walk, a nature craft, and other activities about animals and plants. Snacks harvested from the farm will be included. Advance registration is required due to limited space with a small fee for materials, which is still being determined. Please register by e-mail to info@tantrefarm.com with names and ages of children, name of adult attending, phone number, and e-mail address. Anyone interested in helping out, please contact Deb as soon as possible, so we can brainstorm and share our ideas.

3. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Saturday or Sunday (NOT in the middle of the week of the switch) to make changes in pick up days or locations.

4. PLASTIC “GROCERY” (ONLY!) BAGS NEEDED: Please feel free to donate used bags for use at the markets or distribution sites.

5. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
MOVE Fitness & Wellness Studio (Wed)—8 AM to 12 PM
Farm (Wed.)–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub-UM employees (Wed)–3 PM to 6 PM
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.)—9 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
By Richard & Deb

The summer of 2015 has seen more water and cool weather than any other year for this area in our memory. This has pushed back the summer harvest for the heat-loving crops such as tomatoes, sweet corn, melons, and peppers. The arid, dry days of July were none or very few. Therefore, this is a season to celebrate the abundance of crops that like cool and wet. Root crops, such as beets, carrots, and potatoes are bursting with vitality. Greens, such as lettuce, arugula, kale, and Swiss Chard are gracing the hills with a rainbow of greens, reds, purples, and yellows. Cabbages, onions, and mushrooms are also swelling with crispy, fat, tender delight!

The mushroom logs are awake with thousands of fruit this week. In general, at this time of year, the second week of August is when we see the heaviest fruiting of shiitake mushrooms in this area. With the abundant cool weather and rain all season, the logs are saturated with mycelium and have begun to fruit like never before! So although corn and the bulk of the tomato crop and red peppers are still yet to come next week, we do have a generous endowment of shiitake this week!

We are looking forward to a delightful last eight weeks of harvest with an abundance of end of summer and fall vegetables and fruit for you to enjoy.

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” with the word “recipe” after it, and many recipe ideas will pop up. Have fun searching! Lots and lots of ideas!

CINNAMON BASIL TIPS: Add chopped fresh cinnamon basil to pumpkin pie filling as an alternative to ground, dried cinnamon. Steep cinnamon basil leaves in water and sugar, bring to a boil to infuse and use this simple syrup to flavor whipped creams or dessert. Puree Cinnamon basil with garlic and olive oil for pesto and use to top fresh pasta. Blend Cinnamon basil leaves with heavy cream and beat until desired whipped cream consistency, then top brownies or pie.

LEMON BASIL TIPS: Chop lemon basil and puree with fresh blueberries and water, then serve as a cold soup. Blend fresh lemon basil with cream, then warm and serve over pasta. Add chopped fresh lemon basil to lemon cookie dough. Puree lemon basil leaves with 1/4 cup water, then mix with sweetened yogurt and freeze and serve frozen yogurt with grilled nectarines. Make lemon pesto.

PESTO SAUCE (The Pleasure of Herbs)
2 c. washed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
4 Tbs. pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor, except the cheese, which is added after the first ingredients are pasty; and then blended again briefly. Serve this on hot pasta, boiled potatoes, green beans, sliced tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, steak, fish, or mix with yogurt as a dipping sauce for vegetables.