2018: Week 7, July 8 – 14

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #7
July 8-14, 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: Fri/Sat CSA members will receive Arugula (also known as “wild rocket”; an aromatic, bright salad green with more deeply lobed leaves and a peppery mustard flavor) and Wed 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.

YELLOW BEANS or BROCCOLI: Wed. CSA members will receive Isar (beautiful, yellow, fillet bean with excellent flavor; use raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.) and Fri/Sat CSA members will receive Green Broccoli (deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems. See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.). We just didn’t have enough of both.

BEETS AND GREENS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves) or Chioggia (Italian variety with leaves all green and pink-striped stems; root has cherry red, candy-striped flesh and has a sweet flavor) or Golden Beets (orange skin with rich gold interior; mild, sweet flavor when cooked). 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 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.
-Marjoram: a small and oval-shaped leaf, which is light green with a grayish 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; goes well with vegetables including cabbages, potatoes, eggplant, and beans.
-French Sorrel: slightly tart, lemon-flavored green shaped like spinach; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces.
-Chives: mild, onion-flavored herb with long, slender, hollow leaves.
-Italian Flat-leaf Parsley: flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh.
*Genovese Basil—All shares will receive 1 basil clump 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: Wed. members will receive Red Curly (well ruffled green leaves with red stems) and Fri/Sat. members will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”). 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.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of yellow bulb onions with long green stalks and milder taste than bulb onions 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.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits) or Slick Pik Summer Squash (long, yellow straight neck with good flavor). See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor.
-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. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE Sunday, July 15 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 may weed and harvest some produce. Members are encouraged to bring family and friends to Tantré Farm to see the farm with wagon rides and farm tours. 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. Please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment to pass. More details to come!

2. KIDS’ COOKING CLASS on JULY 22 from 1 to 3 PM: PLAY with your FOOD! Leave behind the summer bustle to celebrate summer produce with your child. Personal Chef Allison Anastasio Zeglis, from www.lastbitechef.com, will show you how to approach a CSA box, family style. Using a few classic techniques that can be adapted to a variety of vegetables, cook your way through a share box with your child. Get hands on experience as a dynamic duo tackling cooking projects and then enjoy eating them together at the end of the class. Please register with your NAME and your child’s NAME, child’s AGE, PHONE, and EMAIL ADDRESS. Please bring $10/person, but if financial difficulties, please let us know, and we can try to help. More details coming!

3. 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.

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. See variations below.

3/4 cup chopped onions or scallions, thinly sliced
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, 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.

Recipe variations follow:
*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, 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.

SQUASH AND BASIL SALAD (Serves 4-6.)
3-4 medium summer squash, shredded in food processor
2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
3-4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1-2 Tbsp. minced garlic, 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.