2016: Week 10, July 31 – August 6

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #10
July 31-Aug 6, 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 often 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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

GREEN, PURPLE, or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive E-Z Pick (a round, tender, dark green, snap bean with good sweet flavor), Royal Burgundy (brilliant purple, smooth, round, meaty pods; add stunning color to salads when used raw; pods turn dark green when cooked; excellent fresh or frozen), or Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery taste). See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

BEETS (Red Ace): topless, round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor when eaten raw or cooked.
-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.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information.

CUCUMBERS or ZUCCHINI: You will receive Olympian (considered a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information for cucumbers) or Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits and some with stripes. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information for zucchinis).

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit) or Orient Express (dark purple Asian type with long, slender, glossy fruits, which are tender, delicately flavored, and quick cooking). See Week 8 newsletter 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 4 herbs:
–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.
–Oregano–member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.
–Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
–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.
–*Genovese Basil—ALL SHARES will receive basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. Keep in mind that this herb is very easy to preserve, so that you can enjoy it’s aroma all winter long. Pluck leaves off stem and put in freezer bags, dehydrate or hang upside down on branches to dry for a week and then remove leaves to store in a jar, and lastly make lots of pesto!! We supply it with root attached, so it will last up to a week when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top.

KALE (Green Curly): well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

KOHLRABI: delicious bulbous member of the cabbage family, that grows above ground and looks like a green apple with green skin and crisp, apple-white flesh; good sliced raw with dips or steamed and mashed or stir-fried. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

MELONS: You will receive any of the following: Sunshine (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet), Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe (sweet tasting, thick, orange flesh with corky net on the skin; medium-sized, oval fruit), or Honey Yellow (yellow-skinned honeydew melon with sweet, juicy, orange flesh).
-How to use: slice, dice and serve as drinks, salads, or salsa.
-How to store: If melon seems not quite ripe, store at room temperature until sweet smell is coming from the soft, stem end; then store in the refrigerator.

ONIONS: You will receive any of the following: Zephyr (purple-red skinned onion with sweet flavor) or Red Zeppelin (medium to large, globe-shaped bulbs with deep red color and will store for six months or more under proper conditions) or Walla Walla (sweet, mild, juicy, yellow-skinned; nice as a “green top” onion; not for storage) or Ailsa Craig Exhibition (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions). See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage information.

PEACHES (Red Haven): an early rosy-orange skinned peach with firm, creamy yellow flesh. Mature peaches will continue to ripen after they are picked. **Some distribution sites did not receive peaches last week due to our inability to keep the peaches from over-ripening too quickly. We are going to try offering them this week again, but please understand that our peach trees have really taken a hit from the storm on Saturday (see the featured article), so we need to harvest some of the peaches a little early. See below for suggestions on ripening them:
How to store: If the fruit is firm and not quite ready, just set them on your kitchen counter in the sun or in a paper bag to ripen more quickly. The less the fruit is touching each other or at least not too many on top of each other, the longer they will last.

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). See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage information.

SUMMER SQUASH: Everyone will receive Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture). See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information.

TOMATOES: You will receive several quarts of any of the following: Red Delight (round, cluster cocktail tomato with firm, deep red, shiny fruits), Verona (similar to Juliet, but with even tastier, somewhat plumper, deep red “cocktail plum” fruits; good in sauces and in salads), 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), Nova (beautiful, bright orangish-yellow grape tomato with excellent, sweet flavor), Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are firm, nice red color and good taste), or Sakura (early, delicious, bright red medium-sized cherry tomato with sweet flavor).
-How to freeze: Just wash and put tomatoes into freezer bags.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. ALINA’S COOKING CLASS is FULL on Thurs. Aug. 4 from 6 to 8:30 PM: There is no more space available for Alina Makin’s class, “Outside the Box: an Eastern-European Summer-House Dinner”. Thank you for those who have registered. An email will be sent out to everyone to remind them what to bring.

2. KID FARM HIKE on Aug. 5 at 4 PM: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on Friday, Aug. 5th. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approximately 45 minute hike with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore the farm’s fields, wetlands, and forest. Sheila teaches ecology and field biology classes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Meet at the Distribution Shed at 4 PM. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait for you.

3. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 31, 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. A small fee 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.

4. 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 is flowering, so the leaves are smaller, but if you want to u-pick for pesto or preserving, please come and help yourself before it gets tilled under.
**U-pick Tomatoes—ONLY these cherry and saladette tomato varieties are available for picking and preserving in HoopHouses 1, 2, and 3: Verona, Sungold Cherry, Sakura. Easy picking and easy freezing in bags. U-pick price is a good deal–$3/quart. Farmer’s Market price– $3/pint.

5. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: 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. The rains have made some weeds grow 4 to 6 inches in one day. Please contact us.

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 (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 1 P.M.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
(by Deb and Richard)

Last Saturday morning a super cell storm blew in from the east over Tantre Farm and dropped close to 7 inches of rain in just a few hours, eroding the fluffy, sandy beds of freshly tilled soil filled with newly planted fall beets and carrots like so much chocolate milk powder off the hillsides, creating gullies and gouges that were over a foot deep. Most of the peach trees heavily laden with fruit were decapitated, tossed, and branches broken back to the trunk, creating a local farm climate disaster.

For the last 2 months, we have had little or no rain. It seems like we got it all in one 2 hour period this past Saturday. Sheets of rain, gully ripping rain, eroding tons of topsoil downhill. Knocking down sweet corn, flowers, tomato trellises, gouging out first year strawberry plantings. Swollen mudslides swallowing up cabbage rows. Broad sheets of water flowing over the dry land, swishing squash tendrils in it’s wake. Exposing gravel and rocks and even pushing the heavy gravel beds out. Battering and beating straight standing flower stems willy nilly, which needed to be individually straightened one by one.

Luckily a lot of the destruction was spotty in places, so most crops in general faired pretty well and just had a good washing. Well, it’s time to pull up our boot straps and start again, ordering more seed, and replanting the fall crops that were destroyed. Only one more example of the extreme weather our dear planet is enduring. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust….

RECIPES

WATERMELON, CANTALOUPE AND RED PEPPER SALSA (Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)
1 pound piece watermelon
1 pound piece cantaloupe
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 small sweet onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 fresh jalapeno chile
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Remove rinds and seeds from melons and cut fruit into 1/4-inch dice. Cut bell pepper into 1/4-inch dice. Finely chop onion and cilantro and, wearing rubber gloves, finely chop jalapeño with seeds. In a bowl toss together all ingredients and season with salt. Salsa may be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about 4 cups.