2017: Week 6, July 2-8

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter

WEEK #6
July 2-8, 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

FAVA BEANS: 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. See Week 5 for usage and storage tips.

RED ACE BEETS AND GREENS: round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves.
-How to use: greens can be substituted for spinach and chard in recipes; roots good in soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
-How to store: separate roots from leaves and store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; store greens wrapped in damp cloth in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

RED CABBAGE (Wednesday CSA members only): You will receive Ruby Perfection (fancy fall storage red head; medium-sized, dense, and a uniform high-round shape with good wrapper leaves)
-How to use: steam, stir-fry, chop 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.
-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. *See feature article.
-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.

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

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 1 week or wrap in slightly dampened cloth or plastic bag and store in refrigerator.

You may CHOOSE ONE bunch (NOT one bunch of each) from the following 5 options:
*Bronze-leaf Fennel – anise-flavored, feathered foliage; can be used for garnish or flavor enhancer for salads, soups, and egg dishes; rich in vitamin A and contains calcium, and phosphorous.
*Italian Flat-leaf Parsley: flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; high in vitamins A and C, and other minerals, such as iron; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with meat dishes.
*Marjoram: a small and oval-shaped leaf, which is light green with a greyish tint. When fresh it is spicy, bitter, and slightly pungent with camphor-like notes, so often added to fish sauces, salads and dressings, tomato-based sauces, grilled lamb and other meats; goes well with vegetables including cabbages, potatoes, eggplant, and beans. It is usually added at the end of cooking to retain its delicate flavor or as a garnish. Traditionally, it was used in tea to cure headaches, head colds, calm nervous disorders, and to clear sinuses.
*Cilantro: the flat, delicate, lacy-edged leaves and stems of the coriander plant, which look a lot like flat-leaf parsley, but has a distinctive, almost citrus fragrance that lends itself to highly spiced foods, such as tacos, salsas, soups, stews, and salads; medicinally has been proven to chelate toxic metals from our bodies and considered a powerful tissue cleanser.
*Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats. Some of the herb has gone to flower, so some leaves are small, but the flowers are dainty and delicious for salads.

KALE (Lacinato) for Fri./Sat. CSA members only: dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems.
Cooking tip: slit from top to bottom and wash thoroughly with root facing up to remove all of the dirt trapped between the leaf layers.
-How to use: white and lower part of greens can be cooked whole, chopped in slices and substituted for onions; delicious raw in salads or cooked in soups, quiches, casseroles, stews, stocks, or stir-fries.
-How to store: refrigerate unwashed for 2 weeks in plastic bag.

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

SPINACH: You will receive a bag of this crisp, dark green leaf– best eaten raw or with minimal cooking to obtain the beneficial chlorophyll, as well as vitamins A & C; delicious flavor when juiced. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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). See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS and GREENS: A white salad turnip with round, smooth roots that have a sweet, fruity flavor with a crisp, tender texture. See Week 2 for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. FAMILY FARM HIKE on July 7: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on Friday, the 7th, at 4 PM. We will have a guided tour for about a 45-60 minute hike around the farm for kids and adults. We will meet behind the Main House at the picnic tables in the back yard.

2. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE Sunday, July 16 between 1-4 p.m. This day often tends to be hot and sunny. However, we’ll have lots of water play for the kids and shade-related activities for the adults, such as cleaning garlic. For those more adventurer-gardener types, we will be weeding the herb and flower garden and other patches in the fields, and maybe even some harvesting! Members are encouraged to bring family and friends to Tantré Farm to see the farm decked out in its summer finery, for wagon ride farm tours, and for getting to know fellow community members. This is a completely voluntary event, so you can also come just for the fun, such as listening to live music or picking a pint of raspberries. As usual a potluck is included, so please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment. More details to come!

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. 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.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER
The cucumber, a member of the gourd family, is a distant relative to pumpkins, squash, and melons. It is said to have originated in the Middle East. It has been eaten as an unripe fruit, since Biblical times. As a relative of melons, cucumbers are very high in water and so very refreshing, especially during these hot days of summer. They are 94% water and also contain small amounts of vitamins A, C, and a few minerals. For some, however, cucumbers are hard to digest, so seedless and “burpless” cucumbers have been bred to prevent this problem.

Our cucumbers are not waxed (to keep them from rotting for a longer shelf life) like ordinary cucumbers found in the store, so skin and all can be eaten. The skins are rich in vitamin E, so they are also known as an effective skin conditioner. Also, some of the nutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and potassium are lost when the skin is removed. The cucumber skins, besides being good for human skin, also contain silicon and chlorophyll, making them well worth eating. If you do wish to remove the skins, you may try making “cukesicles” for the kids. At Tantré Farm, sometimes we peel the skins off and slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise making a long, slender, cooling treat we call “cukesicles”.

The cucumber is a non-starchy, alkaline “cooling” vegetable. It is an excellent diuretic, helping the kidneys in waste elimination. Cucumbers contain the enzyme, erepsin, which helps digest proteins and destroys worms. The cucumber’s potassium content makes it useful for high and low blood pressure.
Cucumbers deteriorate very quickly, because of their high water content, so it is important to store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer. Keep them away from tomatoes, apples, or citrus, which give off ethylene gas, and can speed up their deterioration.

Most people enjoy cucumbers raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, but sometimes a cuke can be julienned, sauteed, or baked. Try cucumber rounds topped with egg or tuna salad, or simply with salt. Make refrigerator pickles, which are very simple and delicious. They are featured in a number of ethnic dishes.
Although not as nutritious as most of the garden vegetables, cucumbers are very satisfying and help us replenish fluids and minerals lost in perspiration, leaving us as “cool as a cucumber”. They are very reviving on a hot summer’s day.

RECIPES

COLD CUCUMBER LEEK SOUP
This is a creamy soup made without cream, using potatoes instead for body. For a lighter soup, you can leave out the potatoes. There are a number of different vegetable variations that are also good!

2 leeks (white and light green part), cut in half, cleaned, thinly sliced (or 3/4 cup chopped onions, shallots or scallions)
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 cups potato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
2 Tbsp dill or fennel, chopped fine and divided
2 cups broth (should just cover vegetables, may need a little more)
1-2 cups cold buttermilk or plain yogurt

Saute leeks and garlic in the oil, just until wilted and not yet browned. Add potato and cucumber. Stir a bit. Add 1 tablespoon chopped dill. Just barely cover vegetables with broth and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until potatoes are very tender, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes or so. When the vegetables are very soft, let the mixture cool. Once it’s cool, puree vegetables and broth together with an immersion blender, regular blender, food processor, etc., adding the remaining 1 tablespoon dill. Check the seasoning; add salt and pepper if you like. Chill the vegetable puree. Before serving stir in the amount of buttermilk that you like. I find that 2/3 vegetable puree to 1/3 buttermilk is about right at our house. Garnish with more dill.

Variations:

*Summer squash soup: Substitute zucchini or yellow squash or any summer squash for the cucumber and potato combo. We eat this a lot and love it on hot days. With some bread and cheese, it makes a great meal.

**Summer borscht: For the main vegetables, use a combination of 1/3 potatoes, 1/3 beets, and 1/3 cabbage (or kohlrabi or chard stems). Can also throw in a couple of carrots or turnips. I often use leftover beets that I’ve already roasted for this–just adding them at the end of the simmering time. Even people who don’t like beets love this soup.

***Vichyssoise: You can use just potatoes and leeks as the vegetables to make French vichyssoise. Don’t use a food processor to puree it though as it will become gluey. You may want to use chives instead of the dill and replace the buttermilk with either milk or half and half.