2018: Week 14, August 26 – 31

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #14
Aug.26-31, 2018

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.

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. If you are new to our CSA, since you signed up with a prorated share, you can find all past newsletters on our website under the NEWSLETTERS tab.

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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

ARUGULA or SPICY GREENS: You will receive either Arugula (known as “wild rocket” with more deeply lobed leaves and a more pungent flavor; an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor) OR Spicy Greens (gourmet-quality greens for quick cooking; includes Kale, Tatsoi, Hon Tsai Tai, Green and Red Mustard). See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GREEN BEANS (Cosmos): fancy, dark green bean with superior eating quality. See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CARROTS (Carakas): sweet, orange, 4-4 1/2″ long, wedge-shaped roots with broad shoulders like a baby Chantenay, so easily diced for canning or prepared foods. See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SWEET CORN (Potawatomi): yellow kernels with excellent sweet flavor. *We don’t treat our corn with pesticides, so you may find some ear worms enjoying the corn too; just break off the damaged part and cook the rest of the ear. See Week 12 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:
1. 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.

2. Marjoram: a small and oval-shaped leaf, which is light green with a grayish tint; 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. Traditionally, it was used in tea to cure headaches, head colds, calm nervous disorders, and to clear sinuses.

3. 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; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes.

4. Sage–an herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family with long, narrow, grayish-green leaves; a musky aroma and a warm and spicy taste; used in making sausages, stews, breads, pickles and teas.

5. Red Rubin Basil – dark purple, Italian large leaf type; slightly stronger flavor than sweet basil with hints of clove and ginger, more savory than sweet; excellent in vinaigrettes, as a garnish, or in salads, and also used as a purple pesto; best eaten raw as cooking changes its flavor and color. How to use: layer slices of ripe, heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with purple basil leaves and top with sea salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Make “Strawberry-Basil Mojitos” by muddling 1 cup of fresh strawberries, 1/2 cup of purple basil, 1/4 cup of fresh mint, and 8 limes (sliced), then add 1 cup of simple syrup and 2 cups of rum. Serve over ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with more basil.

*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 Rainbow Lacinato Kale (unique “purple dino” kale has deeply curled leaves in dusky-green with bright purple stems and veins). See Week 4 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 Exhibition (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion) or Red Long of Tropea (specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France). See Week 10 for usage and storage tips.

CHILI PEPPERS (Shishito): sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 2- to 4-inches with squarish end; often used in stir-fried dishes, salads, or as a pickled condiment.
-How to use: Often roasted, chopped, and used to season corn bread and cheese dishes; good for stuffed appetizers, jams, salsa, and pickles.
-How to store: For fresh peppers, store in refrigerator.

SWEET RED PEPPERS: You will receive Carmen (6 inch long, tapered fruit that ripens from green to a deep “carmine” red; sweet taste in salads and when roasted and fully red-ripe), Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh), or Lipstick (sweet, cone or heart-shaped peppers with juicy, thick flesh; delicious in salads and salsas, but also great for roasting)
-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 (Mountain Rose): rosy-skinned inside and out, these versatile, all-purpose spuds are deliciously moist, but not waxy textured; extra nutritious, and high in antioxidants; excellent baked, mashed or fried. See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

TOMATOES: You will receive a variety of tomatoes, which may include any of the following: Mountain Magic (bright red, round tomatoes with very sweet flavor; excellent in salads), 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), Clementine (tangerine-colored, oval-round fruits; appealing, sweet-tart flavor. Exceptional when halved and roasted!), Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are very large, firm, nice red color and good taste), Tiren (classic San Marzano shape developed in Italy; produces meaty fruit; great flavor for sauce), Brandywine (large, heirloom, beefsteak tomato–often over 1 lb–with a deep pink skin and smooth red flesh; known as one of the best-tasting tomatoes). See Week 9 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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) or Dark Belle (dark-green skin, bright-red flesh, oblong 5-7 lb. fruit with thin rind, and very sweet flavor). See Week 11 for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Saturday or Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations. With Labor Day weekend coming up, we hope you have made all your changes for this week and next week. If you have forgotten to let us know and you can’t find someone to pick up your share, please let us know if you want to cancel your share with a Vacation Hold or donate to a needy family.

2. TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP on Sept. 9: This workshop is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9 from 1 to 4 PM. Former Tantre intern, Noelle Dronen, will teach mostly how to can tomatoes, but also some information will be on dehydrating and freezing them. There will be active participation and “take-home” samples for those attending. Plan on bringing a Quart Size Canning Jar. Please register with your Name, Phone Number, and E-mail Address in the body of the email to us. There will be a small $5 fee for materials. Bulk tomatoes will be available for you to buy. Lots of tomatoes are available to take home! This is a great time for canning, freezing, or dehydrating.

3. FALL WORK PARTY/END-OF SEASON POTLUCK will be Sunday, Sept. 23, between 1-4 P.M. Our end-of-season potluck will also be at this time, so please bring an hors d’oeuvre, snack, or refreshment to pass. Members are invited to bring family and friends to help harvest squash, pumpkins, and potatoes before the first frost. You may also come just to enjoy the farm and walk around to see the produce and the animals, listen to music, or just eat at the potluck anytime between 1 and 4 PM. All who come will be able to take something home with them, such as a pumpkin, a winter squash, and/or a flower bouquet.

4. U-PICK 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.
–U-pick Tomatoes – many tomato varieties are ready for picking. Members–$0.50/lb. Nonmembers $0.75/lb.
–Already Picked Tomatoes – available for $0.75/lb. We will have half bushels at the farm, the Hub, and the market for $15.
–U-pick Flowers – You may pick 1 bouquet of 16 stems per household for “free” in the u-pick flower garden on the farm. Whenever possible if you can donate a few dollars that will help to pay for some seed and labor costs. Extra bouquets – $4.
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.
Pure Pastures (Wed.) (limited site) –9 AM to 7 PM
Farm (Fri.)–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (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.
NEW! Argus-Packard (Sat.) (limited site)–10 A.M. To 12 P.M.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
by Deb and Richard

Groves of milkweed bend along the edges of the farm road with the weight of their pink fragrant blossoms attracting the monarch butterflies to lightly perch or flutter as they stick their long tongues into the flowers for a sugary delight; then to flutter skyward with their brilliant orange, kite-like wings on a summer’s breeze. What a gift to behold!

The last couple of months have been a bit dry on the farm, so that when the rain comes, it feels so luxurious and quenching down the dusty farm lanes and garden beds. The plants have been conserving moisture as best they can and finding what little there is by growing deeper and deeper into the earth. Looking over the carrot beds with their green, feather leaves, we can see as they draw moisture from below that the soil crust actually cracks around the base of each carrot stem to the crunchy, sweet red, orange, and purple roots. It is exciting to see how resilient garden vegetables can be in conserving when there is so very little. Perhaps we too can learn to appreciate simple, basic needs from these simple plants and also from the beautiful orange and black monarchs as they float in the breeze.

The corn field is also another resilient crop with the dry, crumbly dirt around each stalk. It almost looks like these green stems are growing in chocolate powder to bring forth the sweet, juicy kernels, which nourish our bodies and minds with very fine carbohydrates. The yellow kernels almost seem to be a solid materialization of the sunshine and heat of the night that comes from the full summer. The corn is always supporting such a wealth of interests of all creatures great and small. From the deer who come crashing through the stalks of corn to the raccoons that peel and gnaw on the cobs to the moths that fly through the night and lay their eggs in between the green shucks and the golden kernels only to finally awaken many weeks later as a fat moth again in the night perhaps to lay more eggs or to be caught in the needle-sharp fangs of the brown bats that inhabit many of the hollow places of the trees, barns, and sheds.

This is a time to find our place. To find our home. To know what our home is. For each of these elders in our community can teach us. There is no question. Perhaps we can learn from them.

RECIPES

SAUTÉED SHISHITO PEPPERS
Ingredients:
½ lb. shishito peppers
1 Tbsp. vegetable or sesame oil
sea salt or coarse salt to taste

Directions: In a large, wide frying pan or sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat for a minute or two. Add the peppers and sauté until the peppers begin to soften and cook around the edges (about 3 to 5 minutes). You want a few “burnt” or darkened spots here and there. Season with salt. Stir the peppers, so that they cook evenly. When the peppers have wilted, remove from heat and serve.