2017: Week 7, July 9-15

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #7
July 9-15, 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

ARUGULA or SPICY GREENS : Wed. CSA members will receive Arugula (also known as “wild rocket” with more deeply lobed leaves and a more pungent flavor; an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor) and Fri./Sat. CSA members will receive Spicy Greens (a blend of arugula, Kyona/Mizuna, and red and green mustards). See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GOLDEN BEETS: orange skin with rich gold interior; mild, sweet flavor when cooked; very mild and very delicious, especially for non-beet lovers!
-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.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads. See Week 6 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.

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:
*Oregano: member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.
*French Sorrel: slightly tart, lemon-flavored green shaped like spinach; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, dressings, or cooked as a side dish.
*Curly Parsley: curly, dark green leaves, often used as a garnish, but can be used the same as flat-leaf parsley.
*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.
*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.

**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: 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 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. See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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.

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 starch to sugars and may turn dark if cooked.

ALREADY-PICKED RASPBERRIES: It has been many years, since we have had an abundant summer raspberry crop and enough of a farm crew to harvest! We have enough half pints for all our shares this week to get a half pint at each distribution site. Please keep in mind for sites with no refrigeration that the sooner you can pick up your shares, the better for the raspberries, since we are not able to refrigerate them. We also are open for u-pick raspberries at the farm. See Announcements below for details on u-pick raspberries. Also, keep in mind that this will not be the only chance for u-pick, since there will be another flush of delicious fall raspberries in September.

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 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. 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!

2. U-PICK RASPBERRIES AVAILABLE: Please call or email 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. Red Raspberries— $4/pint for members and $5/pint for nonmembers.

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. Thanks so much to all those, who have helped out so far!

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.

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. 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 if all goes well (Hopefully, no downy mildew like we have had the last couple of years!), you may 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

WARM GOLDEN BEET SALAD WITH GREENS AND ALMONDS (from http://www.thekitchn.com)
1 bunch beets, both tops and roots
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup toasted almond slivers

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan or cake tin with a big square of foil, large enough to complete enclose the beet roots. Place the beets in the foil square and lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil and crease to seal. Bake the beets for 60 minutes or until they can be just pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, chop the beet greens into bite-size ribbons. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook on low for about 5 minutes or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Add the chopped leaves and stir to coat with the garlic. Cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes or until the leaves are soft and tender. Remove from the heat. When the beets are cool, rub them with a paper towel to remove the skin. Then chop into bite-sized pieces and toss with the cooked greens, goat cheese, and almonds. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold. (This also makes an excellent pressed sandwich filling, especially with some extra goat cheese.)

SQUASH AND BASIL SALAD (Serves 4-6.)
3-4 medium summer squash or zucchini, shredded in food processor
2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
3-4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic or leeks, chopped
Dressing:
¼ cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ 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.