2015: Week 8, July 13-19

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #8
July 13-19, 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. **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

FAVA BEANS: also called faba bean, horse bean, or broad bean; the pod is inedible raw and looks like a large bean pod; the bean seed resembles a 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. The pod, when cooked, is edible. This link shows 5 ways to prepare favas: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-fantastic-ways-to-cook-fava-beans-190674. Also, a CSA member passed on this delicious looking Bean Dip recipe with goat cheese: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fava_bean_dip_with_goat_cheese_and_garlic. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

GREEN BEANS (Jade): long, slender, deep green, filet bean
-How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week

BROCCOLI (Wednesday AA Farmers Market and MOVE Wellness members will only receive broccoli this week, since we had a surprise harvest of it last week for all the others): 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 (Nelson): a sweet, blunt root with smooth, crisp texture and deep orange color.
-How to use: Can be used raw as carrot sticks, grated in salads or juiced; steamed or sautéed, in stews, soups, casseroles, stir-fries
-How to store: Remove greens from roots and refrigerate dry and unwashed roots in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks; greens may last up to a week refrigerated in plastic bag.

CUCUMBERS: a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor. See Week 7 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. 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.
You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
–Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; high in vitamins A and C, and other minerals, such as iron; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces.
–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; refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 3 days.
–Tarragon– It’s 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.

KALE: You will receive Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged). See Week 2 for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive lettuce heads, which may include Panisse, Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine. See Week 2 for usage and storage information.

SUMMER ONIONS: larger sweet bulb than green onion with edible green stem attached. See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

*NEW!! SHIRO PLUMS: We are excited to offer you a small amount of our first plum of the season, and it sure is tasty! This is a very early, well-known, Japanese plum with beautiful yellow color and excellent flavor; sometimes a rosy, reddish blush when ripe. Yum!!
-How to use: excellent in tarts, sauces, crisps, etc.; when cooked turns a beautiful, golden-orange color (see this easy jam recipe: http://thewellseasonedcook.blogspot.com/2010/08/shiro-plum-jam-with-vanilla-bean.html)
-How to store: If plum seems firm, just let it sit out for a day or two or in a paper bag until it softens. Good for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted.
-How to use: New potatoes are just young potatoes that haven’t had time to convert their sugar fully into starch and often have a crisp, waxy texture and thin, underdeveloped wispy skins, so are good boiled or pan-roasted, but particularly suited for potato salad, since they hold their shape well after being cut and cooked.
-How to store: Refrigerate new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days, but use up sometime during the 1st or 2nd week of receiving them.
–These potatoes have not been cured, so will not last as long as “cured” potatoes, which should not be refrigerated, since low temperatures convert the starch to sugars and may turn dark when cooked.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow 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) or Patty Pan (tender, rounded scallop, bright yellow squash with a green tip; nutty flavor).
-How to use: use in salads, dips, grilled, casseroles, stuffed, or mashed with butter and seasonings
-How to store: store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE Sunday, July 19 between 1-4 p.m. This day is forecast for clear and sunny, but one never knows this year! We’ll have lots of water play for the kids and shade-related activities for the adults, such as cleaning garlic. For those more adventurer-gardener types, we will be weeding the herb and flower garden and other patches in the fields, and maybe even some harvesting of potatoes! 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 for 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 the Dorkestra perform live music, while you pick a pint of raspberries, which would go nicely with our plans to make fresh, hand-cranked, home-made ice cream! These are further incentives to encourage folks to come out to see the farm. As usual a potluck is included, so please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment. Please feel free to come early at 11 AM to help us set up tables and chairs, etc.

2. “MEDICINAL HERBS” CLASS –Thanks to Rachel Mifsud and all 13 participants, who showed up to learn how to use herbs and lawn weeds to heal and make our bodies feel better. Everyone went home with a container of each of the following: Bug Bite Butter, Headache Tincture, Tummy Tea, Ache Balm, and Cough and Cold Syrup. The bug bite butter has been dipped into many times today on the farm to relieve our poor bodies of all those mosquito bites. We are looking forward to trying the others too in the coming weeks and months.

3. “A TO Z COOKBOOKS” AVAILABLE! Each distribution site will have a few cookbooks for sale for $15 (retail value $19.95). If we run out at your site, please send us an email.

4. FARM TRUCK NEEDED: Our truck’s frame has cracked (see feature article for the story), but is fixed for the moment with a temporary welding job. We are looking ideally for a used 3/4 ton, 4 wheel drive, pick up truck that can handle some bumpy fields and field roads for sale or donation. If not exactly that though, we still would consider other types of trucks. Call Richard at 734-385-6540 or email us.

5. BAGS NEEDED: If anyone has any clean, paper or plastic, grocery bags we could use some donations at any of the distribution sites, since we are running low. Also please consider bringing your own cloth bags, coolers, tubs, etc. to take your shares home. We can still use the extra bags though, especially at the farmers markets. Also, please return any berry baskets that you may have at home. Thanks for those of you, who remember to return your boxes every week!

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 P.M.
Farm (Wed.)–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed.) –6 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed. UM employees only) –3 to 6 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.

SPRING IN JULY
By Richard and Deb

The cow pasture is green and lush for mid July. The clover is really enjoying this cool, wet weather, and the cows are in “clover heaven”. Actually most everything on the farm looks green and healthy. Sometimes it seems like we are still in April, even though we are three weeks past the Solstice.

As most of you know, the cool wetness creates perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes though, so we have earned many badges of honor in the field as we battle the buzzing and biting in our face and ears as we harvest. Thanks to our good neighbor though, we have borrowed stylish mosquito head nets to wear.

Because of the constant water and high humidity, it’s been easy to start some of the most demanding crops, such as carrots and parsnips. Along side that, the weeds are also growing very easily and take much of any of the extra time we have to subdue them. The strawberries are gone, and the Heritage raspberries are trickling in. These are a fall variety of raspberry, so we won’t have much for u-pick just yet, but we will have them at the market tables if you’d like to taste them as a summer berry. They are best when they return in Sept. though, when the cool weather makes them sweet.

We lost four plum trees and a peach tree this past winter due to winterkill, but the remaining fruit trees are coming in strong. You will see some golden, sweet/tart, hardy Japanese yellow plums as part of your share this week! We are so pleased to see the fruit on all the trees filling up with all the rain. Hopefully the insects will not have done too much damage to the remainder of the fruit.

The fava beans are hugely lush and are continuing to make more blossoms, which is unusual, because they usually shut down in mid July. All the tomatoes and peppers are growing well, and we should see some in the shares towards the end of July or beginning of August. The sweet corn is healthy and green, and will be ready in a few weeks as well. Many melons are sprawling and swelling into small fruits. The onions are bulbing, fat, and happy. The potatoes are flowering and sizing up with a rainbow of color. It’s a little difficult to get to the fields sometimes, since we have to steer around all the mud puddles, which keep getting bigger and deeper. The holes and ruts have caused our farm truck’s frame to crack, which led to a few hours making a temporary welding fix one day. If anyone has an old pick up truck for farm use, please let us know!

With the abundance of rain come abundant vegetables, so we are looking forward to a great harvest season. Even though the weather is challenging, there is so much food! It is not difficult to find great abundance of nourishment on this earth.

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!

PLUM OATMEAL BREAD (from – See more at: http://waywardseed.com/products/recipes/detail-plum-oatmeal-bread.html#sthash.mM0av3Jt.dpuf)

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons white vinegar
milk
2 cups flour
1/2-cup brown sugar
2 1/2-teaspoon baking powder
3/4-teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon salt
1-cup quick oats (not instant)
1 cup chopped plums
1/2-cup chopped nuts
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions: Pour vinegar into a 1-cup measure. Add milk to make 1 cup total and let stand 10 minutes. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in oats, plums and walnuts. Beat egg and add soured milk and oil. Pour all at once into dry ingredients and stir to moisten. Pour into bread pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.