2019: Week 9, July 21-27

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #9
July 21-27, 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:  You 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.

BEETS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor) AND Golden (orange skin with rich gold interior; mild, sweet flavor when cooked).   See Week 2 & 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser.  See Week 8 newsletter for usage and storage tips on cabbages.

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

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh.  See Feature Article on Cucumbers and Recipe Ideas.  See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

FRESH HERBS:  Everyone will receive a bunch of Genovese Basil (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).

KALE (Red Russian): the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged. See Week 2 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

PEARL ONIONS:  You will all receive these small, white or purple, marble-sized, mild-flavored onion, also known as button or baby onions in the UK or creamers in the US.
-How to use:  most often they are cooked to be served as a side dish or added whole to soups, stews and other dishes.
-How to store:  Store in a cool, dry, well ventilated location, not in a plastic bag and not in the refrigerator.

SWEET ONIONS or SCALLIONS: You will receive Ailsa Craig (a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions) or Scallions (young shoots of red or green bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large bulb onions; full of great fiber and antioxidants). See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SNOW PEAS: “flat” and wavy, crispy pods also known as Chinese pea pods and are used in stir-fries and salads;  snow peas originated in southwestern Asia and can be grown in open fields during winter seasons in some regions, hence its name.  See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips, since same as Snap Peas.

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 temps convert the starch to sugars and may turn dark when 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 7 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CHERRY 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).
-How to use:  sauté, bake, broil, or grill; eat raw in salads or add to soups, stews, or sauces
-How to store: keep at room temperature for up to 1 week

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. EDIBLE & MEDICINAL 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. Kids 12 and under FREE! You may bring cash, check or pre-register at https://squareup.com/store/willforageforfood

2. FAMILY FARM HIKE on Aug. 2: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on Aug. 2, Fri., at 4 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 45 minute hike with CSA member, Sheila Schueller and her daughter, Renia. Sheila has taught ecology and field biology classes at Eastern MI Univ. and the Univ. of MI. Meet by the picnic tables in the backyard at 4 PM. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait.

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED, especially in the HERB Garden & FLOWER Garden:  If you are interested in helping out, please
contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark.   Thanks so much to all those, who have helped out so far!

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.

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

HERB ROASTED POTATOES & PEARL ONIONS (from http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2010/02/herb-roasted-potatoes-pearl-onions.html)  Serves 4
2 pounds red potatoes, well-scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 bunch pearl onions
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dried  or 2 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
2 tsp. dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Boil a pot of water (fill about 2 inches deep). Once boiling, add pearl onions and parboil for 5-6 minutes, or until skins begin to loosen. Drain water, fill pot with cold water and peel skins until you have a tender, translucent onion.

ZUCCHINI CUCUMBER SOUP (from Gourmet, August 2006)
1 lb zucchini or summer squash variety, chopped
3/4 lb cucumber (about 2 cups) or scoop seeds out
1/3 cup chopped  green onion or sweet onion
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp chopped fresh hot green chile
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 cup creme fraiche (4 oz) or plain yogurt
Garnish with fresh basil, dill, or parsley, chopped
    Puree zucchini, cucumber, onion, vinegar, water, chile, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon coriander in a blender until very smooth.  Whisk remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon coriander into creme fraiche or yogurt.  Serve topped with dollops of creme fraiche or yogurt and basil or parsley.  

BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES (from Mad Mares Cookbook)  
1 to 2 qts medium cucumbers (about 3 lb)     
4 small onions
1 green pepper
2 1/2 cups vinegar        
2 1/2 cups sugar        
1 1/2 tsp celery seed            
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp salt        
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
    Slice cucumbers, onions, and pepper.  Heat vinegar, sugar, and spices except turmeric.  Add vegetables to cooking solution.  Don’t allow to boil.  Add turmeric and stir.  Stuff into jars.  Keeps in fridge for 2 weeks.