2019: Week 11, August 4 – 10

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #11
Aug. 4-10, 2019

	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.  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.

	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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

*GREEN or YELLOW BEANS:  Wed. members ONLY will receive E-Z Pick (a round, tender, dark green, snap bean with good sweet flavor) OR  Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery taste).  See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

*BROCCOLI:  Fri/Sat CSA members ONLY will receive deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems; high in vitamins A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron; known as an anti-cancer vegetable.  See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips. 

CARROTS (Mokum):  a very sweet, slender, "pencil carrot" with edible leaves.  See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

FRESH HERBS:  We are letting our smaller patches of herbs recuperate for a week, so everyone will receive just basil this week. 
	*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 (Green Curly):  well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”.  See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems.  See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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

ONIONS (Ailsa Craig Exhibition): You will receive Ailsa Craig Exhibition (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions) and Red Long of Tropea (specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France).  See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

NEW POTATOES:  You will receive Red Norland (smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted) and Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting).   See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

TOMATOES:  You will receive any of the following: Sakura (bright-red, shiny, medium-large cherry tomato with sweet tomato flavor),  Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange-cherry tomato; less acidic than the red cherry tomato, so slightly less bland in flavor), Clementine (tangerine-colored, oval-round fruits; appealing, sweet-tart flavor; exceptional when halved and roasted), or Mountain Magic (bright red, round tomatoes with very sweet flavor; excellent in salads). Some of you may also receive a slicing tomato, which may be Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are very large, firm, nice red color and good taste) or 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 Starlight (10-12 pound round fruit; deep green with highly contrasting black stripes and pink flesh; excellent flavor with crisp texture), Mini Love (sweet and firm, oval-round fruits avg. 3–5 lb. Distinctive, bright green rind with dark green stripes and dense, bright red flesh), Sunshine (8-10 pound oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet), or Dark Bell (dark-green skin, bright-red flesh, oblong 5-7 lb. fruit with thin rind, and very sweet flavor).  See Week 10 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. APPETIZER COOKING CLASS AUG 14 from 6-8:30pm!  Join us for a cooking class on appetizers using mostly ingredients from Tantre Farm's weekly share box. CSA member, Laenne Thompson, will share a flavorful assortment of recipes for hot summer nights.  We will break into teams to prepare them, and enjoy a feast of our creations! There will be a $10 fee for materials and handouts for each class.  Please register with COOKING CLASS in the Subject Line and your NAME, PHONE NUMBER, and E-MAIL ADDRESS in the body of the email.  We have 15 spaces available, so let us know if you’re interested in joining us for a special night of cooking and eating together at Tantre Farm.   

2. SAVE THE DATE:  KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 28, from 9 AM until noon. This half-day will be for all kids who are 4 years old and older. Activities will include an edible farm walk, a nature craft to take home, and a fun movement activity! Snacks harvested from the farm will be included. Advance registration is required due to limited space and there will be a small fee per kid (between $5-$10), which is still being finalized. Please register by e-mail with KID FARM DAY in the Subject Line with NAMES AND AGES of KIDS, NAME OF ADULT attending, PHONE NUMBER, and E-MAIL ADDRESS.  Anyone interested in helping out, please let us know.

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  We have plenty of weeds to pull.  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, come join us.  Please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark. Thanks for volunteering!

4. WANTED: TOMATO PICKERS!!   Is there anyone interested in helping us pick tomatoes any weekday morning for the next few weeks, but especially on Tuesday and Friday mornings.  We will even feed you a homemade, farm-cooked lunch at 12:30 PM.  We are a little short-handed, so please contact us. 

5. 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.  These sites have less space to drop share boxes at, so are considered “limited”. Please always email ahead 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 A.M. to 12 P.M.
*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) —10 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. 
*Argus-Packard (Sat) (limited site)—10 A.M. to 6 P.M.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
By Deb and Richard

	One of the frequently asked questions of this year has been, “Has the cold, wet spring disrupted your crops?“ Our usual response is “Well, it's actually helped us start all the crops!”  The peas, strawberries, and fava beans were so happy with all the extra rain.  The lettuces, the kale, the cabbages were all planted by hand into 300 ft. beds on a high plateau 20 feet above the swampy water table.  The rains were fairly constant, although for the most part rather gentle and non-erosive in our area. Unlike what we heard about others struggling with flooding along the rivers and lake areas, we actually enjoyed the cold and the wet for the spring crops.  
	However, the summer crops like the sweet corn, the watermelon, the tomatoes have been coming in a little slower. Something that has helped us start bringing in the  tomatoes has been the 9 hoop houses that are keeping the tomatoes warm and dry.  In fact the climate inside these houses is closer to some place like Tuscany perhaps.  
	The other crop that would be affected by the cold and wet are the watermelons, since we planted them in the first week of May, covering them carefully with floating row covers to keep them warm at night and provide a protective insect barrier.  Just as we smiled at our early watermelon punctuality, we noticed week after week under their fleecy gauze that they were not growing.  They were cold and wet.  Such are the plans of mice and men.  They often go astray... or in this case are delayed despite all the best of intentions. As we removed the fleece from the melon beds, we noticed a jungle of weeds and rather spindly watermelon plants.  
	Finally as the weather warmed over these last few months, the melon plants began to grow.  Although their color was kind of anemic, they did make quite a few melons.  Then when it was time to harvest them, we found that some are ripe and sweet and others appear good, but are unripe.  So now the delayed reaction to the initial question, “Has the cold, wet spring disrupted your crops?” is actually “Yes!” as we realize that this first generation of watermelons are deceptively not so sweet.  Fortunately we have a farm crew who were very excited to grow another succession of watermelons, which look excellent as they are sprawling and crawling like watermelon monsters to such a degree that it's almost too scary to walk past a patch with all those vines grabbing at you.  
	So if you were one of the “special” ones to receive an unripe watermelon in your share, please be assured that more ripe ones are coming. Also, fear not, we have tips on what to do with unripe watermelons besides make smoothies with lots of sweetener.  Often the best thing you can do with an unripe melon and avoid composting it, is use the rinds!  See recipe below, and also check out the following website dedicated to Watermelon Rinds:  http://www.watermelonrind.com.

RECIPES

ROAST CHERRY TOMATO SPAGHETTI (from Organic Cookbook by Renee Elliott and Eric Treuille)  Serves 4
1 lb cherry tomatoes (or 8 tomatoes cut into chunks)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb spaghetti
1 handful fresh basil leaves, optional
	Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a roasting pan, combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, oil and vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat.  Roast until soft and wilted, about 20 minutes.  Cook the pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water until firm to the bite.  Drain well and return pasta to the warm pot with the roast tomato sauce and basil, if using.  Toss well to coat.  Serve hot on warmed plates.  

FROSTY BASIL LEMONADE
3 cups water
1 1/2 lemons, peeled, halved, seeded
1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup ice cubes
	Place all ingredients into blender in the order listed and secure lid.  Blend for 1 minute or until desired consistency.

WATERMELON INFUSED SLUSHIES (from www.watermelonrind.com) Serves 4.
2 cups of freshly cubed Watermelon Rind, without peel
1/8 cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
8 Ice Cubes
	Put all ingredients into the blender:  ice cubes, lime juice, watermelon rind, and honey. Blend for 1 minute or until the mixture is nice and slushy.  Serve immediately. 

SALSA NANCITA (from Rolling Prairie Cookbook)  Serves 6
5 medium tomatoes or 1 quart cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 sweet green or red pepper, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 hot pepper, cored, seeded, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey or other sweetener
1-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
	Mix ingredients together well.  Allow to sit for 1-2 hours before serving.