2020: Week 8, July 12-18

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #8
July 12-18, 2020

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.   You can always find past newsletters on our website at http://www.tantrefarm.com/newsletters/!

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

AMARANTH (RED LEAF): known as “Callaloo” in the Caribbean; medium-green, oval to heart-shaped leaves with splashes of burgundy-red; tastes like spinach and can be prepared like spinach.
-How to use: use in soups or as a cooked green like spinach
-How to store: refrigerate with a damp towel/bag for up to 1 week.

CARROTS (Mokum):  sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves.  Greens are delicious in soups and also salads. See  Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh; the thin skin doesn’t need peeling, unless waxed for longer shelf life in stores.  
-How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sauteed, or baked.  
-How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week; use up leftovers as soon as possible.

GARLIC SCAPES: slender green stems with a slight bulge at the bottom (resemble chives, except for the bulge and often curled); the flower top of a garlic plant; tender and milder in flavor than mature garlic, but can be substituted for garlic cloves in recipes.  See Week 4 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

FRESH GARLIC:  a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, and bolstering the immune system.  See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

FRESH HERBS:  Everyone will receive either of the following randomly placed in your box:  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) or  Parsley (you may receive “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).

KALE: these have a sweet, mild, cabbage flavor and are interchangeable with broccoli, mustard greens, and other hearty greens in recipes; high in vitamins A and C and has the highest protein content of all cultivated vegetables.  You will receive Rainbow Lacinato Kale (unique “purple dino” kale has deeply curled leaves in dusky-green with bright purple stems and veins)
-How to use: for salads, soups, smoothies, and light cooking.
-How to store: keep in plastic bag or damp towel in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

LETTUCE: rich in calcium and vitamins A and C; you will receive Red or Green Leaf or Romaine.  See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

SHELLING PEAS: small, round green seeds in easy to shell pod with delicious flavor for fresh eating and freezing.
-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.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 4-5 days; if kept too long, their sweet flavor and crisp texture diminishes.  

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.

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. ZOOM WALKS: During the walk, Rachel will show you around 15 plants and talk about ID, harvest, use, and preservation of those plants. To participate, you must have Zoom installed on your device. Then you simply copy/paste the link and password shown below for the date you want to attend, and log on at 2 pm that day.  All walks will be live from 2-3 pm and are donation-based.  You are not required to pay to participate, but it is appreciated when you can.  The next one is  July 20: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84454017487?pwd=YmhZSDAyQ1lwRnhBOFgvaU5TUmxXZz09 PW: 121689. More dates will be shared in upcoming newsletters or you can visit the website: https://willforageforfood.square.site/

2. MASKS & GLOVES: We recommend that all come to each distribution site with a mask and gloves to pick up your shares.  We will have hand sanitizer at most sites as well.  

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. IMMUNE BOOSTER CSA:  As some of you know we started a collaborative CSA with several local farms and food businesses that you can opt in or out of each week called the Immune Booster.  If you are interested in supplementing your share with more veggies and other locally produced and sourced value-added products, please go to our website to sign up every Sunday – Wednesday night.  Pick up is from 9 AM to 12 PM every Saturday at the Washtenaw Food Hub:  http://www.tantrefarm.com/how-does-our-immune-booster-csa-work/.  Still time to sign up this week!

5. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER: **Volunteers will be at each site during designated times below, so if you need to come at a different time, please feel free to bring gloves and your own pen to check off your name.
*Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)—7 AM to 12 PM (TANTRE STAFF for check-in from 7-9 AM)
*MOVE Fitness & Wellness Studio (Wed)—CHANGE IN TIME: 8 AM to 10 AM (SARA for check-in the whole time)
*Farm (Wed.)—10 AM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF checking off names from 10 AM-12 PM and from 2-4 PM)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed.) –6 PM to 8 PM (LIZZIE for check-in the whole time)
*Pure Pastures (Wed.) (limited site) —9 AM to 5 PM (JESSICA for check-in from 9 AM – 11 PM)
*Farm (Fri.)—2 PM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF for check-in from 2 to  4 PM)
*Community High School (Sat.) —7 AM to 12 PM (SHANNON & FRAN for check-in for the whole time)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Sat.)—9 AM to 12 PM (PETER & RYAN for check-in for the whole time)
*Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)—8 AM to 12 PM (DEB for check-in the whole time)
*Argus-Packard (Sat) (limited site)—12 PM to 3 PM (ARGUS STAFF for check-in the whole time)
*RoosRoast-Rosewood (Sat)–9 AM  to 11 AM (JONATHON for check-in the whole time)

SIGNS OF SUMMER
by Richard and Deb

The green hillsides seem no longer completely covered with a blanket of spring green, but rather splattered with quilted patches of mottled brown due to this extended dry weather.  The cows stand together as one large, massive, social organism swishing their tails to beat off the biting flies.  The grapevines are full of green clusters weighting down the delicate trellis waving their vine tendrils in all directions looking for something to grow upon.  The green paw paws hang small and fat under their ovoid foliage.  The small, fuzzy peaches, hard and green, slowly develop light pink, cream-colored blushes as the branches sag down with the weight.  The cabbages, fat and round, nest on top of the warm earth.  Potatoes as ruby and gold treasures, are loaded in every mound of soil dug.   Peas and beans hang fat upon the vines.  The carrots deep green feather tops draw the sun energy into the golden orange roots.  Sunchoke stems thrust from their distended, twisted tubers, taller than a human as they enclose the kids’ Sunchoke House.  Basil and parsley fill their bushy stems with tender green leaves.  

The farm crew work all day from the cool morning stringing tomatoes and cutting lettuce to the warm-hot, roasting, afternoon heat, toasting faces and arms to various shades of brown as they weed row upon row of vegetables in the fading light.  As the wind blows the dust, dirt, and pollen in our eyes and mouths, they look forward to an upcoming dip in the neighbor’s pond.  

When this season is over, what will our reward have been?  Is it for the tired backs? The fatigued fingers?  The sun or plant rashes on our arms and legs? Or rather is it for a walk on a starry evening, while we listen to the bull frogs near and far in the swamps, and feel the soft, warm air tenderly enveloping our body and mind, carrying us away in the clouds through the night to hold this moment of sweet delight?  To taste the cold water from the irrigation hose after a hot, dusty afternoon in the sun?  To lay in the grass under the shade of the ripening fruit trees and relax the bent back and knees from a long morning’s harvest? To eat the crispy, sweet, green leaves of lettuce, of amaranth, of chard, of kale fresh in the field? To enjoy the long hours of light that dance upon the green, glowing leaves of the trees?  To fully embrace and to be part of this summer wonder?

Perhaps this is our greatest reward, the pleasant and pleasing beauty of the land basking in the moonlight or dazzled by the sunlight.  To observe all life, growing, eating, reproducing, diseasing, dying, decaying, and beginning anew.  Appreciating and knowing that life will continue.  These are the signs of summer.

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 scallions or 1 small onion
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh basil or parsley, minced
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried 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 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. In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, basil, thyme, paprika, salt, rosemary and pepper. Add potatoes and onions. Toss with your hands to coat lightly with oil and seasonings. Transfer to the cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until potatoes are browned and tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

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.