Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter #1 May 27-June 2, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 1
May 27-June 2, 2012

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

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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

GREENS ADVICE for the entire season: Please keep in mind that greens are especially prominent during this early part of the farm season, so basically, “It’s salad time!” If you’re not sure how best to enjoy your green, taste it. Greens can be eaten raw in a salad or lightly steamed or sautéed in order to mellow their flavor. They can also be tossed into a dish (such as soup) for an extra nutritional boost.

ARUGULA : an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C.
-How to use: add to salads, soups, and sautéed vegetable dishes
-How to store: very perishable, so use up quickly; store in plastic bag with a paper towel in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

ASPARAGUS: You will receive green, purple, or white variety; each contains vitamins A, B, and C, as well as iron.
– How to use: serve raw, chopped in salads, or with dips. You can also steam, roast, grill, or serve “cold” with a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt, and lemon juice.
– How to store: wrap in damp cloth and plastic bag, then refrigerate. Alternatively, bundle spears with rubber band and place upright in container with an inch of water.

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. Click for “GARLIC SCAPES (7 Great Ideas)”.
– How to use: mild garlic flavor, so delicious chopped in salads, roasted, and sautéed.
– How to store: put in refrigerator in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

FRESH HERBS: Because of this early warm weather, we have many herbs right now ready for harvest, so everyone will receive a bunch of Oregano (member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.) in your share box. If you would like to try another herb as well, you will be able to make a choice out of 2 other herbs.
– How to store: In general, store fresh herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or wrap in slightly dampened cloth and store in refrigerator. You may also dry these herbs very easily by hanging them upside down from a string until the leaves are crumbly (about 1-2 weeks). Then pull leaves off branches and store in glass jar for use throughout the coming months.
You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
Lemon Balm– these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold; good addition to lettuce or fruit salads and ice cream; nicely paired with grilled fish or lamb and tossed with steamed vegetables; also aids in depression, tension, or nausea.
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.

KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”) or Lacinato Kale (dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed). Kale is high in vitamins A and C, folic acid, fiber, calcium, iron and has the highest protein content of all cultivated vegetables.
– How to use: for salads, soups, and light cooking
– How to store: keep in plastic bag or damp towel in refrigerator for up to 1 week

BABY LETTUCE: a custom mix of baby heads of red and green lettuces such as Rouge D’Hiver, Parris Island, Red Saladbowl, Royal Oak, and Saladbowl; rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C.
– How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
– How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor) and/or D’Avignon (also called, “French Breakfast”; traditional variety from Southern France; 3-4 inch long root that is part red with a white tip and tapered to a point).
– How to use: raw, roasted, used in soups, sliced in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries, grated in slaws; Radish greens (excellent source of vitamins A, C, and the B’s) delicious in soups or stir-fries.
– How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag/damp towel for 1-2 weeks.

SAUERKRAUT: We are pleased to offer 2 types of The Brinery’s sauerkraut in our first week’s CSA share with produce grown by Tantrè Farm and fermented by The Brinery early this past winter. “Tantrific Tantre Sauerkraut” includes green cabbage, carrots, celeriac, and sea salt. “Turnip the Love Sauerkraut” includes 3 types of Tantrè turnips and sea salt. The Brinery is a local foods business, specializing in naturally fermented, local vegetables and operated by former Tantré farmer, David Klingenberger. For more information, please visit www.thebrinery.com. These krauts are raw and unpasteurized.
– How to use: use as a condiment with any dish, especially meat dishes, salads, roasted veggies, or sandwiches.
– How to store: refrigerate up to 3 months or longer depending on how you like the flavor, since it will get stronger with more age. *NOTE: These jars have NOT been canned, so it must be REFRIGERATED.

SPINACH: large, crisp, dark green leaf– best eaten raw or with minimal cooking to obtain the beneficial chlorophyll, as well as vitamins A & C; delicious flavor when juiced.
– How to use: toss in fresh salad, add to sandwiches, sauté, steam, braise, or add to crepes, quiche, lasagna, and soups.
– How to store: refrigerate with a damp towel/bag for up to 1 week.
– How to freeze: Blanch leaves for 1-2 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain well, and pack into containers. Also, spinach can be puréed after cooking, frozen in freezer bags, and used in many recipes.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS and GREENS: A white salad turnip with round, smooth roots that have a sweet, fruity flavor with a crisp, tender texture. Both roots (good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium; good in salads and soups) and greens (slightly sweet and can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and since hairless, are good in salads; excellent source of vitamins A & C and good source of riboflavin, calcium and iron) are edible!
– How to use: good in salads and soups, roasted, steamed, sautéed,
– How to store: remove greens from turnip root and store separately in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 3 days; roots can last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. PLEASE LET US KNOW of any changes in your address, phone, e-mail, or of misspelled names on any mailings or check off lists at Distribution Sites as soon as possible.

2. MISSING E-MAILS: If you didn’t get our most recent e-mail notice called “Tantre Farm CSA 2012 STARTING SOON” and would like to receive future e-mails, please let us know so that we can add you to our e-mail roster.

3. CHANGING PICK UP DAYS: Please remember to contact us preferably a week in advance, but at least by Sunday of each week, to make changes in pick up days or locations. It is very disappointing to put together a box that is never picked up. Please have the courtesy to make some kind of contact with us, if you can not pick up your box for some reason.

4. PAYMENTS DUE: If you still owe money on your Balance Due, it will be reflected on the check-in sheet, when you pick up your box. If you believe there has been some mistake, or have any questions, please call or e-mail us. Please finalize payments due within the month of June, unless alternate arrangements have been pre-approved.

5. SPRING WORK PARTY: We would like to thank everyone who came to our Spring Work Party on Sunday, May 20. We spent the afternoon weeding the herb garden, digging invasive weeds out of the chicken yard, hilling potatoes, weeding the Kid Garden, visiting the animals and touring the farm. A lot was accomplished on an enjoyable, sunny day!

6. CSA COOKBOOKS: We will have 2 handy cookbooks for sale this season. The first one is called “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce”. This $15 book includes an easy-to-follow format with vegetables listed from A to Z. We are also offering a preserving resource called “Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything” for $20. It includes instructions for preserving fruits and vegetables. Both cookbooks will be available throughout June.

7. TANTRE FARM CSA HANDBOOK, a handy guide to “Most Frequently Asked Questions” at our farm, will be available at each Distribution Site for June. This has been updated from last year, so it is good for former members to look it over, as well as new members. This was already sent in text copy format in the “Tantre Farm CSA 2012 STARTING SOON” online notice.

8. WASHTENAW FOOD HUB: If any of you joined after April, you may have missed the following description, which gives you more information about this new Distribution Site for Tantre Farm located about 10 minutes north of downtown Ann Arbor: “Some of you may know by now that we have purchased 16 acres of property with several old buildings on Whitmore Lake Road, which is named the Washtenaw Food Hub (4175 Whitmore Lake Road, Ann Arbor, MI). We, along with several community members, have been meeting for the past year to figure out how to best use this space. One way that we have described it to others is the hope that it could become “a bustling network of local, food-based businesses as well as a demonstration site and destination for anyone interested in sustainable food systems and agricultural arts”. Now we are offering a Wednesday night distribution option from 6 to 8 PM at the Food Hub. We also will offer a Saturday morning distribution option between 7 AM and Noon. Please see the Food Hub’s website for more information at www.washtenawfoodhub.com.

9. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 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.
Farm (Fri.)–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Washtenaw Food Hub (Sat.)– 7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

INTRODUCING RICHARD, DEB, AND ARIANA…
Some of our articles may feature some of the regular workers on Tantré Farm throughout the coming weeks. Here are the owners of the farm, Richard Andres & Deb Lentz, and their daughter, Ariana.

Richard and Deb both grew up with a connection to farming and growing food. Richard grew up in Plymouth & Canton, Michigan. He had an early interest in farming, since he worked as a teenager picking corn for a local farmer. Then he started raising and selling strawberries, corn, and muskmelons on his parents’ property. He also worked at his friend’s farm, Garden Works, for a few years. Following that, he tended traditional, Asian-raised gardens at the Ann Arbor and Toronto Zen Buddhist Temples for a number of years. Finally, he bought Tantré Farm in 1993, and proceeded to make it certified organic. After that he began growing organic potatoes, winter squash, and garlic for wholesale orders, besides continuing full-time work as a timber-frame carpenter.

Deb grew up on a 160-acre beef farm in Lake City, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota with an Elementary Education degree. She taught fourth through sixth grades in Central Minnesota and worked as a counselor at a Summer German Camp for the next 10 years. Then she met Richard in 1994, which led to their marriage in July of 1997. After that she taught first and third grade for 6 years in Napoleon, Michigan, until their daughter, Ariana, was born in 2001.

Richard is working as a full-time farmer now, and continues using his carpentry skills through the many maintenance and building projects of the farm. Now Deb publishes the newsletter and coordinates the communication and bookkeeping of the CSA. She also continues to enjoy teaching to groups who come to the farm for field trips, as well as, in area schools through Farm-to-School programs. Ariana is now completing fourth grade, and she is looking forward to playing with lots of kids on the farm this summer! This will be Tantré Farm’s twelfth year as a CSA. Both Richard and Deb enjoy the sense of community that running Tantré Farm creates for themselves and their daughter, as well as the many young interns/farmers who live and work on the farm. They also appreciate this opportunity to serve the local community fresh, organic food.

RECIPES
*Keep in mind the following websites–www.epicurious.com, www.cooks.com, www.recipes.com, www.tantrefarm.com (many other recipes on our website, which are organized based on produce type).

SPINACH AND ASPARAGUS FRITTATA (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” web site)
FILLING:
1 bunch spinach, washed and drained, with stems removed
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic or garlic scapes, minced or mashed

EGG MIXTURE:
8 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons whipping cream or water
1/4 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded
Olive oil, to coat skillet

Preheat broiler. Mix ingredients well and pour into a greased 8-inch skillet and stir until set (about 5 minutes). Place under broiler for 2 minutes until top is golden brown. Cut into slices. Makes 4 servings.

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