2015: Week 15, August 30 – September 5

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #15
Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 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: an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

BEETS (without greens): You will receive just the root of Chioggia (Italian variety with cherry red, candy-striped flesh and has a sweet flavor). See Week 7 usage and storage information.

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems; high in vitamins A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron; known as an anti-cancer vegetable
-How to use: use raw, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, in casseroles, soups, pizzas, etc.
-How to store: store loosely in plastic bag for up to a week

CARROTS (Hercules): sweet, orange, cone-shaped roots; good eating quality and stores well. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit), Rosa Bianca (an Italian heirloom; round fruit streaked with white and violet), or Orient Express (dark purple Asian type with long, slender, glossy fruits, which are tender, delicately flavored, and quick cooking). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

SWEET CORN (Vision): exceptionally tender, super sweet, yellow ears; great for fresh eating and freezing. See Week 14 for usage and storage information.

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: This week there will be no fresh herbs, unless you come to the farm and pick your own. Several college students have gone back to school in August, and we just don’t have enough interns to pick the herbs for everyone, while we are transition with new people joining us later in September. Please feel free to come and volunteer any day this week and next week to help us out.

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.

ONIONS: You will receive Super Star (large, white-skinned onion with mild flavor and thick rings; great for salads, slices, onion rings, and frying; not for long storage). See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

SWEET PEPPERS: You will receive Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh) or Carmen (6 inch long, tapered fruit that ripens from green to a deep “carmine” red; sweet taste in salads and when roasted and fully red-ripe) or Glow (bright orange, tapered, thick-walled, fruits are 4-5″ long, and are deliciously sweet and fruity) or Aura (golden yellow, tapered, thick-walled fruits, that are deliciously sweet and fruity). See Week 13 for usage and storage information.

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 Adirondack Blue (round to oblong, slightly flattened tubers have glistening blue skin enclosing deep blue flesh; moist, flavorful flesh is superb for mashing or salads). *Interesting note: Most blue fleshed cultivars contain 90 times more antioxidants than white tubers, and the antioxidants in potato tubers are enhanced by cooking them. See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor). See Week 9 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: The tomatoes are really coming in well with all this warm weather, so you will receive several tomatoes from many different varieties this week, so brace yourselves! We really encourage you to enjoy tomatoes all year long by freezing, canning, or dehydrating them. For example this week you will receive 12 heirloom (see feature article for explanation of “heirlooms”) tomatoes, several sauce tomatoes, and some grape/cherry varieties. If it’s too much, just don’t take as many!
**All tomatoes are very easy to freeze! Cut off bad spots, core big slicing or Roma tomatoes, and put in freezer bags whole or cut up in chunks. Cherry/Grape tomatoes just need to be washed and frozen whole in freezer bags. Add to soups or make sauces throughout the winter. All sauce tomatoes dehydrate (or roast & freeze) nicely if you just cut them in half lengthwise and put on screens or in the oven. *Tip: For those who don’t like skins, they come off easily (although the skin has many nutrients and flavor) when partially thawed, or dunked in warm/hot water. IT IS SO EASY TO FREEZE TOMATOES!!!! See Week 11 for usage/storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. TAPENADE (and more!) COOKING CLASS for Sept. 16 from 6 to 8 PM: CSA member, Noemi Barabas, will be demonstrating how to use up every last bit of your share. We will be making tapenade spreads for bread, soups, and rice/pasta, so that you can try many ways to use up items that you might not normally think are usable! All of these will be pulled together into a special meal to share together. Please register with your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. $5 fee for materials.

2. SAVE THE DATE!! FALL WORK PARTY/END-OF SEASON POTLUCK will be Sunday, Sept. 20, between 1-4 P.M. Please bring an hors d’oeuvre, snack, or refreshment for our end-of-season potluck. Members are invited to bring family and friends to help harvest squash, pumpkins, and potatoes before the first frost. You may come just to enjoy the farm and walk around to see the produce and the animals, listen to music, or just eat at the potluck throughout this time. We also will have sit-down activities, such as onion or garlic cleaning or dried herb stripping. Lots of kid-friendly activities, such as wagon rides, feeding animals, and bubbles. All who come will be able to take something home with them, such as a pumpkin or a winter squash. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

3. U-PICK AVAILABLE: Please call ahead if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri.), so we can make sure someone is around to help you.
–U-pick Blackberries—$3/pint
–U-pick Basil –Free! The basil has downy mildew, so it doesn’t look really well, but if you want to u-pick for pesto or preserving, please come and help yourself.
–U-pick Flowers–You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household for “free” in the u-pick flower garden on the farm. Whenever possible if you can donate $1 or $2 that will help to pay for some seed and labor costs. Extra bouquets will cost $4.
–U-pick Tomatoes—many tomato varieties are ready for picking. Members–$0.50/lb. Non members–$0.75/lb.
–Already picked tomatoes – available for $1/lb. We will have half bushels at market and at the farm for $25/box until we run out, so first come/first serve.

4. 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. With Labor Day weekend coming up, we hope you have made all your changes for this week.

5. BAGS! BAGS! BAGS! Please feel free to donate clean PLASTIC GROCERY bags for use at markets or distribution sites.

6. 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.

WHAT’S AN HEIRLOOM?
(by Joel Heeres, “Tantré alumnus“)

It’s not a loom for your heirs, as you might think. Heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old. Heirlooms differ in shape, color, size, flavor, and storability, but they all share one characteristic– their seeds can be saved one season to plant in the next. Heirloom varieties have been bred by local farmers and gardeners over many generations and have been established as stable varieties that grow “true to seed“. These varieties are special, because they have been adapted to certain climates over a long time.

Heirloom vegetables are often more flavorful than hybrid vegetables. Hybrids are bred for high productivity, disease and pest resistance, drought resistance, and hardiness. While these traits are undeniably helpful, they often come at the cost of flavor. In addition, farmers cannot save seed from hybrid crops, as they are unstable crosses from two different varieties.

In summary, heirloom crops are beneficial to small farmers and home gardeners, because their seeds can be saved to plant again. They have better flavor and are more unique than hybrids, although they can be less hardy and prone to diseases.

At Tantré Farm, we grow both hybrid and heirloom crops. Some of the crops we grow from heirloom seeds are tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, winter squash, potatoes, onions, kale, beans, turnips, and radishes. Sometimes we will have some varieties of heirlooms only on the market tables, since we may not have a lot of them available. We’ll try to let you know when you are getting heirloom produce in your share box.

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!

COUSCOUS WITH TOMATO EGGPLANT SAUCE (Farm-Fresh Recipes by Janet Majure) Serves 6.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, skin on, diced
1 sweet pepper, cut julienne
2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry basil, rosemary, & oregano (or 1 tsp. fresh)
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1 c. water
1 lb. couscous
Cook onion until golden in olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add eggplant and green pepper; cook and stir 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, herbs, and water; stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Mash eggplant, then cook 30 minutes more. Cook couscous according to package directions. Serve sauce over hot couscous.

BLUE POTATO HASH BROWNS (www.garden-wiki.org/index.php5?topic=BLUE POTATO)
2 large blue potatoes or 3 medium
1 medium sweet onion
1 sweet pepper
Your favorite cheese
Salt
Canola Oil
Dice potatoes with a knife into small cubes (or shred for variety). Dice or slice onions and pepper. Place the above onto a hot skillet and add a few tablespoons of oil. Salt to taste. Cook them until they’ve been browning for a few minutes. Slice or shred cheese and toss onto hash browns just before removing them from the skillet to melt it. That’s it. Eat it. Perhaps next time you can try some tomatoes in the mix!