2015: Week 9, July 20-26

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #9
July 20-26, 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

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
-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.

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

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 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:
-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. Medicinally has been proved to chelate toxic metals from our bodies and considered a powerful tissue cleanser.
-Parsley—You may receive “Curly” or “Flat Leaf”, dark green leaves with 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.
-Black-stemmed Peppermint–forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea; adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
*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.

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

LETTUCE MIX (Allstar Gourmet): a bag of ruffled red and green lettuces with unique leaf shapes that provide loft, interesting texture, good shelf life, and fancy appearance; includes Green Oakleaf, Red Oakleaf, Green Romaine, Red Romaine, Lollo Rossa, and Redleaf lettuces. Your lettuce has been rinsed once. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

ONIONS (Red Long of Tropea): specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France.
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 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.

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor).
-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.

PATTY PAN SUMMER SQUASH: You will receive Patty Pan (looks like a spaceship! tender, rounded scallop, light green squash; nutty flavor).
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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CAME TO THE SUMMER WORK PARTY on Sunday, July 19. Thanks so much for joining us for delicious potluck food, berry picking, and good companionship. It was so much fun to see so many friends, family and members show up. We clipped and cleaned 13 crates of garlic and harvested 20 racks cucumbers, 8 bins golden beets, and a couple buckets of patty pan squash for your shares this week! Some just enjoyed a stroll or wagon ride around the farm. If you’d like to help out anytime, just give us a call ahead of time.

2. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Thank you so much to those of you, who continue to volunteer! So much rain has fallen this summer (and continues to fall!) that the weeds are loving it! If you are interested in helping out–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.

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. 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.
unity High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed. UM employees only) –3 to 6 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.)—9 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 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!

BOWTIES WITH BASIL, CILANTRO, SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE SAUCE (from www.epicurean.com) Serves 4.

*Ingredients:
1 pound bowtie pasta

1 cup lightly packed basil leaves

3/4 cup packed cilantro or parsley leaves

1/2 cup steamed fresh spinach (or chard/beet greens), well drained

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6-8 ounces goat cheese

*Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to your liking. While the pasta is cooking, combine the basil, cilantro, spinach, Parmesan, butter, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the goat cheese and pulse until well mixed with the other ingredients. When the pasta is cooked, drain, but reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Combine the hot pasta with the processed ingredients and the cooking water in a large bowl. Mix until the pasta is coated well. Serve and make sure you have salt and pepper on the table to season to taste.

CILANTRO PESTO (from Lena Sanchez, a retired Medical office nurse/administrator & a health and business consultant, http://www.envirodocs.com/experience_and_experiences.htm; Editor of “Natural Environmental Health & Business Facts”)

*Ingredients:

1 clove garlic
1/2-cup almonds, cashews, or other nuts

1 bunch packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice

6 tablespoons olive oil

*Directions: Put the cilantro and olive oil in blender and process until the cilantro is chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process to a lumpy paste. (You may need to add a touch of hot water and scrape the sides of the blender.) You can change the consistency by altering the amount of olive oil and lemon juice, but keep the 3:1 ratio of oil to juice. (It freezes well, so you can make several batches at once.)