2016: Week 11, August 7 – 13

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #11
Aug. 7-13, 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

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.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): The flowers are just starting to swell into rainbows of colorful blooms. A bouquet per household of up to 10 stems will be part of your share, if you are able to come and pick it. This means that if you are splitting a share, each household can pick a bouquet in the u-pick flower garden at the farm. This is a wonderful opportunity to see the farm, and even plan a picnic supper in the backyard at the farm serenaded by the tittering chatter of chickens and ducks! Please call or email ahead only if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri. , when we are here!), so we can make sure someone is around to help you. More information about u-pick flowers in the “Announcements” section.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, and bolstering the immune system. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

FRESH HERBS: We are letting our smaller patches of herbs recuperate for a week, so everyone will receive just basil this week.
*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!

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 1 for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive a head of lettuce, which may include Cherokee Red or Romaine. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

MELONS: You will receive 1 Sunshine Watermelon (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet) and 1 of either Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe (sweet tasting, thick, orange flesh with corky net on the skin; medium-sized, oval fruit) or Honey Yellow Honeydew (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.

MUSHROOMS (Shiitake): flower-like cracking pattern on brown cap; edible mushroom native to East Asia; many medicinal qualities too; grown on logs at Tantre Farm. If you don’t care for mushrooms, then leave them for someone else or gift them to a friend!
-How to use: brush off dirt to clean or wipe with damp cloth, do not wash or submerge in water; good grilled, sautéed, steamed, in soups, and in sandwiches
-How to store: place in paper bag or wax bag and keep in refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 days.

RED 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). 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 if kept outside of the refrigerator. See Week 9 newsletter for usage and storage information.
**Once again we are distributing peaches, but please understand that our peach trees have really taken a hit from the storm a few Saturdays ago, so we are still trying to salvage some of the peaches, so some of them are very small. It would have been a really abundant peach season, if the peaches could have held on for a little bit longer!

POTATOES: You will receive Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting; perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried). 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 orangish-yellow grape tomato with excellent sweet flavor; firm and meaty), Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are firm, nice red color and good taste), Tiren (early, classic San Marzano shaped tomato with same meaty texture and great flavor for sauce), or Sakura (early, delicious, bright red medium-sized cherry tomato with sweet flavor). You will also receive 1 or 2 large Heirloom tomato varieties. We pick heirloom tomatoes slightly green to prevent splitting and damage, while transporting. Heirlooms are softer and more perishable when ripe, but the flavor of each is very memorable. Best to store upside down at room temperature until completely ripe. Very easy to can, freeze, and dehydrate for tomato flavors all season long!
-How to freeze: Core the big ones and cut smaller if you like, but just wash and pop the smaller tomatoes right into freezer bags.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. NICK’S COOKING CLASS on Mon., Aug. 22 from 6 to 8:30 PM: Our next cooking class is being “cooked up” by CSA member, Nick Ringe, along with a few of his colleagues. Nick is a Certified Executive Chef and has worked in the industry teaching classes, catering high-end weddings and private parties throughout Ann Arbor, and most recently feeding the massive student body at the University of Michigan. We will be exploring how we can replace meat-based protein with plant-based proteins. Our tentative menu may include: Blended Mushroom Sliders (our only meat-based dish), Simple Mixed Greens Salad enriched with Farro, Chipotle Marinated Veggies tossed with Quinoa, Green Coleslaw with Mint, and Roasted Tomatoes with Amaranth, and Wilted Greens. More details to come. Please register by email with your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. A small fee between $5 and $10 is being determined to help pay for any materials and extra ingredients.

2. 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 to take home, and a “Farm Olympics” using vegetables! Snacks harvested from the farm will be included. Advance registration is required due to limited space. We are asking for a small fee of $5/child. 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.

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 Flowers– Some of the flowers are ready in the u-pick flower garden. You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 10 stems for “free”. You may want to bring a vase/jar or scissors to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home! Extra bouquets $4.
**U-pick Tomatoes—ONLY these cherry and saladette tomato varieties are ready for picking and preserving in Hoop Houses 1, 2, and 3: Verona, Sungold Cherry, Sakura. U-pick price is a good deal–$3/quart. Farmer’s Market price– $3/pint.

4. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!! We “desperately” could use the extra hands in getting some major weeding done, especially in the strawberries and carrots. The rain has made some weeds grow 4 to 6 inches in one day. Please contact us.

5. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDERS:
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.

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”, and many recipe ideas will pop up. Have fun searching! Lots and lots of ideas!

EIGHT GREAT WAYS TO SERVE SUMMER TOMATOES (Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)
1. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Toss with finely chopped shallots, then splash with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.
2. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove center of each, and fill with a large basil leaf and a chunk of fresh mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with purchased garlic-infused oil, and wrap in foil. Roast on an outdoor grill for five minutes.
3. Cut tomatoes in wedges. Shower with grated Parmesan cheese. Top with fresh oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
4. Cut tomatoes into chunks, and place in blender. Add a pinch of sea salt, a few fresh basil leaves and several ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy for a refreshing drink.
5. Cube tomatoes and firm ricotta salt or feta cheese. Toss with cooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta), fresh mint and a favorite vinaigrette.
6. For bruschetta, top grilled Italian bread with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, extra- virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
7. Toss arugula with chopped tomatoes, orange segments, basil and toasted pine nuts. Dress with olive oil, orange juice and a splash of wine vinegar.
8. Slather a thick slice of bread with good mayonnaise. Cover with thick slices of juicy tomatoes. Sprinkle with coarse salt and Szechuan pepper or some cracked mixed peppercorns. Add some fresh mozzarella cheese slices. Mmmmmm!!!

CHILLED SUN GOLD SOUP (Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating From America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison)
1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes
2-4 shallots (or leeks or onions), finely diced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. Chardonnay vinegar or Balsamic vinegar or red wine
1 tsp. finely diced and seeded Serrano chile, (opt.)
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 firm avocado, finely diced
1 Tbs. chopped basil or cilantro

Pluck the stems off the tomatoes and rinse them. Add them to a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid with half the shallots, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat. Soon you’ll hear the tomatoes popping. Take a peek after a few minutes to make sure there’s sufficient moisture in the pan–you don’t want the tomatoes to scorch. If the skins are slow to pop, add a few tablespoons water. Once they release their juices, lower the heat and cook, covered for 25 minutes. Run the tomatoes through a food mill. You’ll have about 1 cup. Chill well, then taste for salt. Just before serving, combine the remaining shallots in a bowl with the vinegar, chile (if using), oil, avocado, and herbs. Season with a pinch or two of salt and some pepper. Serves 3 as an appetizer.