2016: Week 12, August 14 – 20

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #12
Aug. 14-20, 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

ARUGULA: an aromatic, bright green, salad green with a peppery mustard flavor; rich in iron and vitamins A and C. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GREEN BEANS: You will receive E-Z Pick (a round, tender, dark green, snap bean with good, sweet flavor). See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser; cabbage has a good amount of vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage information.

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

SWEET CORN (Potawatomi): yellow kernels with excellent sweet flavor. Corn is often referred to as maize and is an ancient staple food of the Americas. Everything on the corn plant can be used: “husks” for Tamales, the “silk” for medicinal tea, the “kernels” for food, and the “stalks” for fodder; contains a significant amount of vitamin A, B-complex, phosphorous and potassium along with vegetable protein. * We don’t treat our corn with pesticides, so you may find some corn borers enjoying the corn too; just break off the damaged part and cook the rest of the ear.
-How to use: ears of corn can be steamed in 1-2 inches of water for 6-10 minutes, or drop ears into boiling water (enough to cover) for 4-7 minutes; ears of corn can also be roasted unhusked in the oven or outside grill for about 20 minutes
-How to store: refrigerate with husks on, and use as soon as possible to retain sweetness and flavor.

CUCUMBERS: 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.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): 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.

FRESH HERBS: We are letting our smaller patches of herbs recuperate, 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 (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.

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 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.

POTATOES: You will receive Mountain Rose (rosy-skinned inside and out; these versatile, all-purpose spuds are deliciously moist, but not waxy textured. Extra nutritious, and high in antioxidants. Excellent baked, mashed or fried) and/or 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), 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 a few 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.

ZUCCHINI: gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits and some with stripes. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. NICK’S COOKING CLASS next 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. STILL ROOM FOR KID FARM DAY REGISTRATIONS– 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.

THE CORN FEAST HAS BEGUN!
By Deb and Richard

By the third week of May the untreated, organic corn seed was ready to plant in the warm soil. After it sprouted eighty days later, we are now harvesting. It grew slow in the warm soil without much water, but it still grew. The sandhill cranes came to visit almost daily to pull out the little corn seedlings to get at the corn kernel that had sprouted, but some still continued to grow. We put up some scarecrows made of shiny pie tins and the cranes seemed to lessen their voracious appetite, and more corn continued to grow. The rows were long, and although we raked them several times with the tine weeder, we had many lambs quarters and pigweed growing from last year’s overgrown potato patch. So we put on our straw hats and chopped at the weeds with the hoes, so the plants could find enough sun, and more corn grew.

As the corn tasseled, in came the deer in the early morning to bite the sweet stalks and sweet stems. Eventually the stalks made ears, and then we were visited by the raccoons and deer for night-time desserts. Late at night we trapped the coons and relocated them, and continued to try to scare the deer off. This seemed to help. Finally we picked the full, firm ears of corn, but we found many small holes, so we peeled back the husk to find fat, juicy caterpillars—the corn borer had arrived! You may have some in your share, but hopefully not too many! We just break off the tip when we find the offensive worm and eat the rest of the delicious, juicy ear of corn that we have been waiting for all year.

Organic sweet corn brings a healthy reminder that we don’t live alone, that we must share our meal with all beings great and small—from the microscopic to the megafauna. It is a great celebration of the community of life. We hope you will enjoy this feast of corn with all beings, past and present.

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.

GOLDEN SUMMER SQUASH & CORN SOUP (from Eatingwell.com)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot (or onion), chopped
2 medium summer squash, (about 1 pound), diced
3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (like basil), divided
2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add squash and 1 teaspoon herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft and mostly translucent, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pan and stir in corn. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 teaspoons herbs and feta.