2016: Week 8, July 17 – 23

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #8
July 17-23, 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. **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. 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).
-How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week

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.
-How to use: good steamed, stir-fried, or chopped raw into salads or coleslaw
-How to store: refrigerate for up to 1 month

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

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. The thin skin doesn’t typically need peeling, but some thinner skinned fruits seem to have attracted some insect damage this season, so just cut off the outer skin and enjoy the inner, juicy parts. These cucumbers are GREAT juiced or blended with lemon juice and a little sweetener! See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information.

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).
-How to use: may be salted to remove bitterness from old fruit, but also makes it less watery and more absorbent, and can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish; can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled, or can be sliced into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut into cubes for stews and stir-fries. Lots of recipes and basic cooking tips in the “A to Z cookbook” and on the internet.
-How to store: best fresh, but can be stored at room temperature or in refrigerator drawer for up to 1 week.

FRESH 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 just receive 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 Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

SWEET ONIONS (Walla Walla): sweet, mild, juicy, yellow-skinned; nice as a “green top” onion; not for storage
-How to use: great for salads, soups, sandwiches, slices, onion rings, & other dishes for flavor
-How to store: not for long storage; wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in fridge for 2 to 7 days.

NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted.
-How to use: New potatoes are just young potatoes that haven’t had time to convert their sugar fully into starch and often have a crisp, waxy texture and thin, underdeveloped wispy skins, so are good boiled or pan-roasted, but particularly suited for potato salad, since they hold their shape well after being cut and cooked.
-How to store: Refrigerate new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days, but use up sometime during the 1st or 2nd week of receiving them. These potatoes have not been cured, so will not last as long as “cured” potatoes, which should not be refrigerated, since low temperatures convert the starch to sugars and may turn dark when cooked.

SPICY GREENS MIX: a blend of arugula, Kyona/Mizuna, and red and green mustards. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

SUMMER SQUASH or 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). See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage information.

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; very small, multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; greens can be prepared like spinach or beet greens. See Week 4 newsletter for usage and storage information.

WATERMELON: You will receive Little Baby Flower (small, 2-4 lb. round fruit; bright green stripe pattern on shell and dark pink flesh that is sweet and crisp with a high sugar count). The deer are invading the patch, so we had to pick them all. Some of the melons might be slightly underripe, but we did our best at culling those.
-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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. INTRO TO MUSHROOMS CLASS on August 1: 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 from June through October. This class will introduce you to the major characteristics to look for when identifying mushrooms, while applying proper vocabulary. The easiest way to learn the vocab is to see examples. So we will be “in the field” for the entire 3 hours, lecturing as we go. Bring water, your harvest basket, bug spray, and your notebook and pen. 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.

2. ALINA’S COOKING CLASS on AUG. 4 from 6 to 8:30 PM: We are offering another cooking class in the beginning of August to show our CSA members other ways to use up produce from your share box and make a healthy and tasty meal to share. More details to come. Please register by email with your NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. $5 fee for materials and other ingredients.

3. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CAME to the TAPENADE CLASS on July 14 and to the SUMMER WORK PARTY on July 17. Thanks to Noemi and those who joined us for the Tapenade Class, where we learned how to use greens, tops and bottom ends of roots, edible weeds, and discarded stems of onions and herbs into a delicious tapenade. We ended up with 8 jars for the Tantre freezer, and everyone else went home with jars of this delectable spread, raspberry salad dressing, and potato tapenade soup. Also, thanks so much for joining us for delicious potluck food, berry picking, and good companionship at the Summer Work Party. We clipped about 32 crates of garlic for drying and curing, weeded the Herb Garden, the Flower Garden, and the entire Kid Garden. Our CSA members are awesome! Thanks soooo much for your interest and support!!

4. PLASTIC “GROCERY BAGS” NEEDED: Please feel free to donate used bags for use at the markets or distribution sites.

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.

LA JOIE DE VIVRE
(From Deb and Richard)

We arise early pretty much every day, work all day, and sometimes stay up late into the night replying to emails and finishing office work. We work in the shivering cold and the intense heat, the dry, finger-splitting days and the muddy days, the hair-whipping days and the balmy, calm days. We get up at 4 AM to load the truck full of freshly harvested produce on market days and unload the truck back at the farm at 4 PM. We feed and water the animals and prepare three home-cooked meals daily for about 10 to 15 people. The question is: What is it that carries us from early in the morning throughout the day to late at night?

What is it that carries us?…. the sunshine? the star shine? the moonshine? Is it the children blowing bubbles, eating freshly picked raspberries and mulberries, or sharing play time with newly found friends? Is it the laborious exercise of repetitive, hard work or the fine meals prepared with loving care and attention shared with one another? Is it the sound of long-awaited rain or morning birds or chattering farm animals? Is it the trees or the grasses that give us oxygen to breathe? Is it the markets and the beloved community that we visit twice a week? Is it the reviving rest that comes from tired bodies? Is it the nutritious food or the healthy soil?

What is it? Is it as simple as air, water, and soil? It seems that we are in danger of losing the fresh air, clean water, and healthy soil that surrounds our planet. How do we conserve and share these things in common? What should we do every day if these are the things that carry us. Plant more trees, cherish the animals, respect all life large and small, take care of each other, seek justice for those who have been wronged? What are we doing to help that which carries us? What can we do today? How fully are we willing to take care of the air, water, and soil that sustains us and the animals and plants around us and each other? What limitations, definitions, and abstractions do we impose? What prejudice and discrimination and judgement do we suffer upon each other?

It is time to come together, to work together every day, “to see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower; hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour”. Every moment is full of infinite potential. We only need to realize and go beyond our concern over our small, little lives. To learn to let go and learn to love again. To drop the guns, tear down the walls, to help those that need resources, and to open ourselves to an unbounded joy of life. It is “la joie de vivre”– the joy of life!

RECIPES

VEGETABLE TEMPURA
For 6 meal or 10 appetizer servings, prepare about 60 pieces of vegetable pieces (onion rings, whole green beans, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli florets,beets, turnip slices, mushrooms, etc.)
Tempura Batter
2 ½ cups sifted flour
3 egg yolks
2 cups cold water
Dash or salt
Oil for frying

Beat the egg yolks with the water and salt. When the mixture is smooth, sift in the pre-sifted flour gradually, stirring as you go. Stir only until the batter is combined. Heat oil in a deep, wide pan. The oil should be at least 325 degrees and not more than 350 degrees. Dip the veggies into the batter and carefully drop them into the oil. Fry until brown and puffy and risen to the surface. Drain on paper towels and either serve immediately, or keep warm in a 300 degree oven on a tray in a single layer.

WATERMELON LEMONADE WITH BERRIES (from Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor) Serves 2.
2 cups seeded, cold watermelon chunks
½ cup frozen raspberries or strawberries
½ cup chilled lemonade
1 to 2 Tbsp. sugar or honey (to taste)
8 to 10 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender until well-blended. Pour into large, frosty mugs.