2017: Week 13, August 20-26

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #13
Aug. 20-26, 2017

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

GREEN BEANS: You will receive Jade (long, slender, deep green, filet bean).
-How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems, which are side shoots this week. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SWEET CORN (Vision): exceptionally tender, super sweet, yellow ears; great for fresh eating and freezing. See Week 11 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, and bolstering the immune system. See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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.

KALE (Green Curly): well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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

ONIONS: You will receive Ailsa Craig (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions). See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SWEET RED PEPPERS: You will receive Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh)
-How to use: eat raw for best nutrient retention; can be added to soups, stews, omelets, quiches, stir-fries, etc. Excellent roasted.
-How to store: refrigerate in hydrator drawer for 1-2 weeks.

POTATOES: You will receive Adirondack Blue (round to oblong, slightly flattened tubers have glistening blue skin enclosing deep blue flesh; moist, flavorful flesh is superb for mashing or salads; very high in antioxidants!) and/or Carola (yellow potato from Germany; smooth, creamy texture that is good for baking or frying). See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

TOMATOES: You will receive some of any of the following: 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), San Marzano (early, large classic Italian roma tomato; delicious, balanced acidic flavor and meaty flesh makes for good sauce and paste) 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), or Mountain Magic (bright red, round tomatoes with very sweet flavor; excellent in salads), Sakura (early, delicious, bright red medium-sized cherry tomato with sweet flavor), or Green Zebra (ripe as a green fruit with a yellow blush and darker green stripes; delicious, tangy salad tomato; beautiful sliced into wedges for salads). See Week 9 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. ALINA’s COOKING CLASS on Thurs. Aug. 24 from 6 to 8:30 PM: We are offering another cooking class with CSA members, Alina and Michael Makin, called “Eastern European Seaside Dinner” to show 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.

2. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Saturday or Sunday (NOT in the middle of the same week of the switch) to make changes in pick up days or locations, especially with Labor Day just around the corner.

3. U-PICK BLACKBERRIES 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 $4/pint for members and $5/pint nonmembers.

4. 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.
Pure Pastures (Wed.) –9 A.M. To 7 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 12 P.M.

MONARCH MATING SUNSET
by Richard (and Deb)

At the beginning of August the air was calm and still, and the moon shone bright from dusk until dawn easily guiding the deer to the sweet, fragrant melons and sweet corn. We put a little fence around the melon patch, which kept the deer out for awhile. But deer are clever and especially fond of melons, so soon they were jumping over and finding a sweet midnight snack in the still, misty moonlight, chomping at least ten melons every night. How delicious!! By now we have picked most of the ripe melons and distributed them in the CSA shares over the last few weeks. Over that time we brought up more than 600 melons to the cooler in the Packing Shed, all gently packed into 2-bushel boxes. One long afternoon we even had a moment before the evening chores to sit on the porch and eat some extra broken melons. Ah, such sweetness!

Looking through the tree branches over the neighbor’s bean field, I could see a monarch butterfly dipping, fluttering, and gliding among the oak leaves. I was wondering why this particular butterfly was flying up and around the branches. I didn’t see any nectar-filled flowers for her to hover around. Then I saw it! Another monarch butterfly! They fluttered around each other and then fluttered softly together, holding each other in the amber light of the late hours of the day. It looked like maybe they were mating. I wasn’t sure. Maybe they were just having fun. It was rather interesting at this time of year that they were interacting this way. But who knows, August may afford enough time to lay some eggs and make a caterpillar and a chrysalis before the first frost. Maybe eight weeks is enough time for a young caterpillar to grow into an adult butterfly.

The fourth week of August sparks the season of exaltation. Everything is in full swing. It’s the climax of seasonal abundance. All life forms are riding this wave of maximum photosynthesis. The land is in full bloom. It’s full of seeds. It’s full of fruiting. It’s full of insects. It’s full of amphibians. It’s full of reptiles. It’s full of mice. It’s spilling over. Its brimming. Warm days, not too hot. Gentle, cool nights. We start to see the tomatoes, peppers, melons, sweet corn, and many more mushrooms pop. It is the time for everything to be fully alive and awake. Perhaps the monarch has the same idea. You can see the adult monarchs drinking nectar from the orange butterfly-weed flower and the pink milkweed flower where they grow wild in the pasture. You see them drinking, giving them abundance of high energy. Nectar. Carbohydrates. To fly. To float over the land, over the pasture, over the branches with the energy of eternal delight. Through the woods. Through the tall grasses and orchard. Ah, the undeniable fortitude of the flowers! The pollination to set the seeds for life continues. In this world human beings create a lot of disappointment for themselves. Maybe at this time, it would be important for us to celebrate the green fertile earth. Reminding us that life continues. Reminding us to celebrate the beauty of this great intricate web.

RECIPES

GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL (from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by MACSAC) Serves 4-6
1 1/2 lbs green beans, cooked
1 garlic clove, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tomatoes (or several cherry tomatoes), and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp of dried basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp of dried parsley

Cut beans into 1-inch lengths; set aside. Saute garlic and onion in oil in skillet until soft. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Stir in basil and green beans. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and serve immediately.

ROASTED RED PEPPER PASTA (from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/03/pasta-with-roasted-red-pepper-sauce-groan)
3 red bell peppers
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Flat leaf parsley, finely minced
Fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
1/2 to 1 pound pasta: orecchiette, penne, fusilli, etc.

Roast red peppers, then place in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat. Peel the charred skins from the peppers, then removed seeds. Set aside. Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside. Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt. Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together. Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan cheese.

BLUE POTATO HASH BROWNS (from www.garden-wiki.org/index.php5?topic=BLUE POTATO)
2 large (or 3 medium) blue potatoes
1 medium sweet onion
1 bell pepper
Your favorite cheese
Salt, to taste
Canola oil

Dice potatoes with a knife into small cubes (or shred for variety). Dice or slice onions and pepper. Place the above onto a hot skillet and add a few tablespoons of oil. Salt to taste. Cook them until they’ve been browning for a few minutes. Slice or shred cheese and toss onto hash browns just before removing them from the skillet to melt it. That’s it. Eat it. Perhaps next time you can try some tomatoes in the mix!

VEGETABLE TEMPURA
For 6 meal or 10 appetizer servings, prepare about 60 pieces of vegetable pieces (onion rings, whole green beans, zucchini, broccoli florets, carrots, beets, turnip slices, mushrooms, etc.)

Tempura Batter
2 1/2 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.