2018: Week 5, June 24 – 30

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #5
June 24-30, 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

**GENOVESE BASIL: Everyone will receive Basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves; traditionally used in pesto; we supply it with root attached, so it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. **You will all 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. See feature article in this newsletter and recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website.

FAVA BEANS: also called faba bean, horse bean, or broad bean; the pod is inedible raw and 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. The pod when young can be cooked, but when mature and firmer, the bean is the edible part. See recipe link below:
-To skin fava beans: Blanch for 1 minute, then drain and cool. With your thumbnail, pull open the sprout end and squeeze the bean out of its skin. This link shows 5 ways to prepare favas: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-fantastic-ways-to-cook-fava-beans-190674
-How to use: Stew skinned beans in a little butter, oil or cream seasoned with savory, thyme or sage. Sauté with other vegetables and toss with pasta. Good in soups. Lots of recipes on the Internet!
-How to store: Store fresh, unshelled beans in the refrigerator up to a week; once shelled, blanched and skinned, favas can be frozen in plastic containers for longer storage; shelled beans are best used within a few days. See “Beans” for recipes in the A to Z Cookbook, if you have it, and also in this newsletter. Delicious!

FRESH GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, bolstering the immune system, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease, used as an expectorant or decongestant, and at least some people believe that it can ward off vampires and insects.
-Cooking tips: To mellow garlic’s strong flavors opt for longer cooking; to enjoy its more pungent flavors and increased medicinal benefit, use it raw or with minimal cooking.
-How to use: minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables; make garlic butter with 1/2 cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic; try roasting garlic by cutting off tops of garlic bulb, so cloves are exposed, brush with olive oil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, squeeze garlic out of skins and spread on a good, crusty bread.
-How to store: fresh garlic can be stored in an open, breathable basket in a cool, dark place for many months.

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.
At most locations you may CHOOSE ONE bunch (NOT one bunch of each) from the following 4 options. Those with prepacked boxes at limited drop off sites will receive any of the following herbs. Please keep in mind that there are a limited amount of each herb, so it is first-come, first-serve:
-Lemon Balm: these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold; good addition to lettuce or fruit salads and ice cream; nicely paired with grilled fish or lamb and tossed with steamed vegetables; also aids in depression, tension, or nausea.
-Parsley: You may choose from “Curly” or “Flat Leaf”, dark green leaves with 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.
-French Sorrel: slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, or cooked as a side dish; leaves are shaped like spinach, but paler green in color.
-Tarragon: its flavor is delicate and almost licorice or anise-like; an essential herb in French cuisine; exceptional in egg dishes, poached fish, chicken, mushrooms, salad dressings and with other vegetables.

KALE: You will receive both Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”) and Red Russian (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged). See Week 4 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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

BABY RED ONIONS: young shoots of red bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large bulb onions; full of great fiber and antioxidants, high in potassium and source of vitamins C and B6. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS: flat-round pod of edible-pod pea; often lighter green than the shelling pea pod.
-How to use: add shelled peas to soups, stews, sautes, or stir-fries; blanch or steam for 2-4 minutes only until color is bright green; snap or snow peas can be eaten raw in salads or cooked quickly as in stir-fries or deep fry in tempura batter.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 4-5 days; if kept too long, their sweet flavor and crisp texture diminishes.

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor; good source of vitamins A, E, & C, as well as iron & calcium.
-How to use: greens can be prepared like spinach, and stalks like asparagus; good steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and in soups.
-How to store: wrap in damp cloth in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2-4 days.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. 4th of July VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Yes, we will distribute as usual on July 4 at all sites, except Pure Pastures site is closed. All Pure Pastures CSA members will need to sign up for other distribution sites and/or days for Week 6 or you can request a Vacation Hold and we will provide your share to a needy family. Please remember to contact us at least by Saturday to make changes in pick up days or locations, especially with the 4th of July vacations coming up. All changes can be made yourself on our website under the sign up link under Membership Actions on the registration page or you can email us with your request using specific dates and locations.

2. FORAGE AND FEAST Cooking Class on June 27 from 6-8:30 PM: Come to this 2-part session with local forager, Rachel Mifsud, from Will Forage For Food (www.willforageforfood.com). The Foraging Walk from 6:00-7:30pm will focus on looking for edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants and mushrooms that are ready for harvest. At 7:30, we will have a Wild Foods Cooking Class. You will learn how to prepare and cook the items we just harvested. You should bring a good kitchen knife and a dish towel for food prep, and your own place setting, so that you can sample the foods that we prepare. This class is limited to 8 participants and Tantre CSA members are offered a discounted price of $25/person. There are still a few spaces, so please register by NOON with your NAME, PHONE, and EMAIL.

3. U-PICK STRAWBERRIES AT THE FARM: If you’re still interested in hunting for berries, you may come to u-pick this week on Wed. or Fri. (10 AM- 7 PM) or Thursday, Saturday afternoon, or Sunday, if you call to schedule your time. Reminder: It’s $4/level qt or $28/flat. Please bring your own containers to transfer them from our quarts, or return our quart baskets to the farm at another time.

4. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
**If you need to switch to different pick up sites throughout the season that usually works for all but the “limited sites”, using the Membership Actions section on the registration page. Please always email ahead about “limited sites” to see if they are at capacity before making any switches on your own.
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 A.M. To 7 P.M.
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.

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.

Fresh basil was also worn throughout the day to help protect, inspire, and elevate the self-esteem of the person who wore it. It protects against contagious diseases and negative influences and is burned as incense and as a disinfectant. 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, if you don’t mind the darkened color. 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. Have fun and enjoy a plethora of basil over the coming weeks!

RECIPES

MOROCCAN BISSARA—or FRESH FAVA BEAN DIP (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs fresh fava beans, shelled, peeled if large
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Pita wedges, raw carrots, or crackers for serving

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Blanch the beans for 2-3 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Peel if the beans are large. In a blender or food processor, combine half the beans, the reserved liquid and the lemon juice. (Add more liquid if you prefer a thinner dip.) Process, scraping down the sides with a spatula, until the mixture is fairly smooth. Add the remaining beans and the oil, and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the salt and cumin. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crackers or veggies for dipping.