2016: Week 5, June 26 – July 2

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #5
June 26-July 2, 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 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.

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
-How to use: add to salads, soups, and sautéed vegetable dishes
-How to store: very perishable, so use up quickly; store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems; high in vitamins A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron; known as an anti-cancer vegetable
-How to use: use raw, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, in casseroles, soups, pizzas, etc.
-How to store: store loosely in plastic bag for up to a week

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads.
-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: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. The thin skin doesn’t typically need peeling, unless waxed for longer shelf life in stores. Some thinner skinned fruits seem to have attracted some insect damage, but just cut off the outer skin and enjoy the inner, juicy parts.
-How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sautéed, or baked.
-How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week; use up leftovers as soon as possible.

FAVA BEANS: also called faba bean, horse bean, or broad bean; the pod 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. See recipe ideas below.
-To skin fava beans: Blanch for 1 minute, then drain and cool. With your thumbnail, pull open the sprout end and squeeze the bean out of its skin. This link shows 5 ways to prepare favas: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-fantastic-ways-to-cook-fava-beans-190674
-How to use: Stew skinned beans in a little butter, oil or cream seasoned with savory, thyme or sage. Sauté with other vegetables and toss with pasta. Good in soups. Lots of recipes on the Internet! See “Beans” for recipes in the A to Z Cookbook, if you have it, and also this newsletter. Delicious!
-How to store: Store fresh, unshelled beans in the refrigerator up to a week; once shelled, blanched and skinned, favas can be frozen in plastic containers for longer storage; shelled beans are best used within a few days.

FRESH HERBS:
*Genovese Basil—All shares will receive 1 basil stem 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 (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.

LETTUCE: You will receive 2 heads of lettuce, which may include Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of red or white 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. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

SHELLING PEAS: small, round green seeds in easy to shell pod with delicious flavor for fresh eating and freezing. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

POTATOES: You will receive Dakota Red (red potato with white flesh that is good for baking, boiling, or frying) and Kerr’s Pink (very pale skin and cream flesh; mealy, cooked texture, so makes a good Specialty/Salad Potato variety; good roasted, mashed, or in salads). These potatoes are some of the last, which have been carefully stored in our root cellar since last fall. Our new potatoes are still sizing up, and will be just around the corner. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

**SAUERKRAUT: All shares should have received 2 jars of sauerkraut over the last couple of weeks, except for the Community High distribution site, who will get their 2nd jar this weekend. We know that some of you have contacted us, because you either forgot yours or it was missing at the Community High location a few weeks ago. We will have a few jars available at each distribution site for those who were missing your jars. Please only take a jar if yours was missing! We are guessing on how much will be needed at each site this week, because many of you have changed your pick up location due to the 4th of July weekend, so please be patient with us, if your site runs out of jars. It would be helpful if you wrote “Missing Sauerkraut” next to your name at your site if this happens. We will make sure you get your jar the following week with your name on it.

SPICY GREENS MIX: a blend of arugula, Kyona/Mizuna, and red and green mustards;
How to use: used for salads and sautéing–cooks up quickly
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 2 to 4 days.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits) or Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture).
-How to use: use in salads, dips, grilled, casseroles, stuffed, or mashed with butter and seasonings
-How to store: store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor; good source of vitamins A, E, & C, as well as iron & calcium.
-How to use: greens can be prepared like spinach, and stalks like asparagus; good steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and in soups.
-How to store: wrap in damp cloth in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2-4 days.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. TAPENADE (and more!) COOKING CLASS for July 14 from 6 to 8 PM: CSA member, Noemi Barabas, will be demonstrating how to use up every last bit of your share. We may be making tapenade spreads for bread, soups, and rice/pasta, so that you can try many ways to use up items that you might not normally think are usable! Please register with your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. $5 fee for materials.

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. 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, we could really use the extra help. Please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark. The weeds are sure enjoying this summer!

4. “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.

5. 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.

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

FAVA BEAN SALAD (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)
1 lb. Fava beans, shelled
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley OR cilantro
pinch ground pepper
Boil the beans in slightly salted water until tender. Drain and cool. Blend oil and vinegar together with salt and pepper. Stir in onion and garlic. Place Favas in serving dish and pour oil and vinegar dressing over them. Sprinkle with chopped herbs.

SQUASH AND BASIL SALAD (Serves 4-6.)
3-4 medium summer squash, shredded in food processor
2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
3-4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1-2 Tbsp. garlic scapes (or minced garlic), chopped
Dressing:
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
Toss together the squash, basil, cheese, and garlic into salad bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Mix, chill 1 hour, and serve. Best eaten the same day. May be served with lettuce and green onions.