2019: Week 7, July 7 – 13

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #7
July 7-13, 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

GOLDEN BEETS AND GREENS: round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves.   See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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 recipes 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!  

BROCCOLI: 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 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SAVOY CABBAGE:  loose, full head of crinkled leaves varying from dark to pale green; mellow-flavored cabbage considered to be superior for cooking.  Can be used the same as green cabbage.
-How to use: good steamed, stir-fried, or chopped raw into salads or coleslaw.   
-How to store: refrigerate for up to 1 month.

FRESH HERBS:  Everyone will receive a bunch of Genovese Basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves; traditionally used in pesto, and originally from India where it was traded in ancient times via the spice routes.  This herb does not store well in a refrigerator, since it does not like cold temperatures. It will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top.  See feature article in this newsletter and recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website.  

KALE (Lacinato):  dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed.  See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

LETTUCE:  You will receive Green or Red Leaf lettuce and/or Romaine lettuce.   See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

MUSHROOMS (Oyster): white, golden, or gray oyster-shaped cap with a mild, anise, earthy odor.
-How to use: brush off dirt to clean or wipe with damp cloth, do not wash or submerge in water; good grilled, sauteed, steamed, in soups, and in sandwiches.
-How to store: place in paper bag or wax bag and keep in refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.

SUMMER ONIONS: slightly larger bulbs (“baby bulb onions”) than green onions, but both bulb and leaves are still edible; can be prepared like cippolini onions.
-How to use: can be grilled or roasted whole as a vegetable or chopped in salads, soups, and other dishes for flavor
-How to store: wrap in damp towel/plastic bag in fridge for 2-7 days.

SUGAR SNAP PEAS: flat-round pod of edible-pod pea.  See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

RADISHES: You will receive Bacchus (stunning purple, round radish with white inner flesh. Very good flavor and not too hot.) See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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.  See Week 4 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GREEN or GOLDEN ZUCCHINI:  You will receive Green Zucchini (uniform cylindrical, green fruits with mild flavor) or Golden Zucchini (gourmet golden zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits).
-How to use: use in salads, dips, grilled, casseroles, stuffed, or mashed with butter and seasonings.
-How to store: store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE Sunday, July 14 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 stripping dried herbs. 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, 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 and enjoy the day. As usual a potluck is included, so please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment.  Enjoy!

2. PLANT WALK SERIES July 31 from 6-8 PM (Last Wednesday of every month May through October)
We are offering a monthly plant walk at Tantre Farm with the guidance of our local foraging expert, Rachel Mifsud. On these leisurely walks we will be looking for edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants and mushrooms. The cost is $15 for Tantre CSA members or $20 for nonmembers. You may bring cash, check or pre-register at https://squareup.com/store/willforageforfood

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  Need help any day of the week.  Just contact us!  There are so many, we are drowning!

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.  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.

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 encourage you to store it in water, so you may retain its freshness for about a week, 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

GADEER’S FAVA BEAN RECIPE
A traditional Mediterranean recipe.  Adjust ingredients to taste.
1-2 qts fava beans with pods
3 cloves garlic or 3 summer onions, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh or bottled
1/4 cup olive oil
    Prepare fava pods for cooking, but remove “string” on edge of pod by grasping stem part with a knife and pulling “stringy” part of the pod off.  Chop beans in 1-inch chunks (shell and beans together).  Heat olive oil in pot and add the beans.  Stir occasionally on low heat.  When the beans begin to water, add garlic, cilantro, and lemon.  Beans are ready when they turn a more brownish-green.  Enjoy!

PESTO SAUCE (from The Pleasure of Herbs)
2 cups washed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor, except the cheese, which is added after the first ingredients are pasty; and then blended again briefly.  Serve this on hot pasta, boiled potatoes, green beans, sliced tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, steak, fish, or mix with yogurt as a dipping sauce for vegetables.

MUSHROOMS WITH BASIL (from https://www.marthastewart.com/907432/mushrooms-basil)
10 oz. mushrooms
1 Tbsp. olive oil
torn fresh basil
salt and pepper
    Place mushrooms on a large piece of parchment-lined foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold into a tight packet and grill over medium-high until mushrooms are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.

SAVOY CABBAGE RECIPE
1 Savoy cabbage
2 Tbsp butter
3 or 4 summer onions, finely chopped
3-4 slices of very thinly sliced bacon, finely cut
Salt and pepper, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste
    Cut cabbage into quarters, cut out stalk and cut into strips.  Blanch for 3 minutes in generously salted water; put into ice water to stop cooking.  After this step, cabbage can be frozen, put into fridge, etc. until dinner preparation starts.  Finely chop the onion, sauté in the butter, add the bacon and keep over medium heat.  Add the cabbage.  Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste, cover, and let sauté for a couple more minutes.  Serve with roast, potatoes, or pasta.