2016: Week 1, May 29 – June 4

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #1
May 29-June 4, 2016

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 final 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 (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.

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.
– 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.

BEETS (Red Ace): topless, round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor when eaten raw or cooked that have been stored in our root cellar.
-How to use: roots good in juices, soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
-How to store: store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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 bunch (NOT one bunch of each) from the following:
Chamomile— These small, daisy-like flowers are best known for making a soothing tea; also the flowers make a pretty garnish and a flavorful addition to salads. The whole bundle can be dried upside down for a week or two, and then the flowers plucked and put into a jar for a restful, calming tea for the winter.
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).
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.
** Oregano—ALL SHARES WILL RECEIVE OREGANO THIS WEEK, since we have so much! This member of the mint family is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent, spicy flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.

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.
-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.

KALE (Siberian): tender blue green, curly leaves, with a mildly sweet flavor.
-How to use: for salads, soups, and light cooking in stir-fries
-How to store: keep in plastic bag or damp towel in refrigerator for up to 1 week

LETTUCE: You will receive 2 heads of lettuce, which may include Adriana (heat tolerant, green butterhead lettuce with good flavor) along with New Red Fire (produces uniform, heavy heads of well-covered frilly leaves.
-How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days.

POTATOES (Carola): yellow potato from Germany; smooth, creamy texture that is good for baking or frying. These potatoes have been carefully stored in our root cellar since last fall.
-How to use: good roasted, mashed, or in salads
-How to store: Keep unwashed in cool, dark place in paper bag.

RADISHES (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.

RHUBARB: related to a common weed, the dock plant; it is botanically a vegetable, although generally we think of it as a fruit; pinkish-green stalks are extremely acidic and sour; high in vitamins A and C and some minerals, such as calcium.
-How to use: dice young tart stalks into salads or hot /cold cereal, add slices to spring soups, juice it, make a sauce, pie, crisp, or tart.
-How to store: wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. For long-term storage, rhubarb may be frozen as a sauce or after it is washed, chopped, and drained, put in a bag.

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 Pick Up Lists at Distribution Sites as soon as possible.

2. 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 are made.

3. 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. We will have a limited number of these cookbooks available, so if you are interested in purchasing these books, and they are no longer at your site, please let us know, so we can order more in a bulk order.

4. ECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE FORAGING CLASS: Our local forager, Rachel Mifsud, is offering a different foraging class around the beginning of each month at Tantre Farm from 6 to 9 PM. This class on June 6 will leave you with a basic understanding of ecology and sustainable harvest, which is essential for foragers. In this session you will also learn landscape level foraging principles that will help you find the plants you want and gather them in ways that ensure their continued survival. Cost is $25 per class. You may pay in person or pre-pay online at http://mkt.com/willforageforfood/foraging-chelsea. More info at: http://willforageforfood.com/index.php/classes/foraging-101-series and also on our website on our Events Calendar.

5. 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 after any distribution. Please call or email, so we know what happened.

6. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We have plenty of weeds to pull, especially after this rain. 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. Thanks for volunteering!

7. 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 (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.

CHAMOMILE
Chamomile has long been one of the most popular herbal teas in Europe where it is sometimes served in hospitals to calm patients. Chamomile tea aids digestion, is calming, and sleep inducing. It relaxes nerves and reduces inflammation. The flavor is delicate, soothing, slightly sweet, and pleasantly bitter. The aroma is reminiscent of that of apples.

Chamomile can be dried in the shade in a warm, well-ventilated area on a nylon or stainless steel screen, in a shallow box, or loosely in a paper bag. (If you’re drying the herbs in a paper bag, punch many holes in the bag for ventilation.) Some have found that drying herbs in a paper bag in the backseat of their car to be very effective. You can also tie herbs in small bunches and string them up in the attic or warm room to dry. The flowers will dry in four to seven days. When leaves and flowers crumble between your fingers that is a good indication they are dry enough. If they bend and remain flexible they probably still contain moisture that needs to evaporate.

Before brewing the flowers into tea, crush them a bit – rubbing them between your fingers, using a mortar and pestle or chopping them with a knife. 1 tablespoon of flowers should be steeped no longer than three to five minutes to prevent the development of a bitter flavor.

Clean, dry, glass jars make the best storage containers for herbs. (Plastic does not make a good storage container because it’s permeable and does not protect the flavor of the herbs. Be sure that the jars are completely dry – check for moisture especially under the rims – and remove any cardboard inner lid. Amber colored glass bottles, which protect their contents from light, are great.

Chamomile has many other uses as well. It is excellent in compresses and salves for treating skin inflammation, burns, eczema, psoriasis, insect bites, and external ulcers. It can be used as a gargle to soothe a sore throat, as a mouthwash to treat gingivitis as a poultice to relive a toothache and as an eyewash to treat conjunctivitis and sties. Chamomile can be used as a bath herb to relieve stress, nourish dry skin and calm cranky children. Enjoy chamomile’s many qualities!

RECIPES

CHAMOMILE LAVENDER MINT ICED TEA (from www.myrecipes.com)
1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh or dried chamomile (or 4 chamomile tea bags)
Crush mint leaves and put in a 1-gallon lidded jar. Add lavender and chamomile. Fill jar with water to within 2 inches of rim. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined colander into pitcher for serving.

SIMPLE ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE (from “Detroit Free Press” May 24, 2015)
1 ? lb. asparagus (trimmed & washed)
1 ? Tbsp. olive oil
? tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 to 3 lemon wedges, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place asparagus on large baking sheet, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread out spears on baking sheet, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile to prepare the glaze, mix vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Transfer to serving dish and if desired, sprinkle spears with lemon juice wedges. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.