Week 10: July 28 – August 2, 2014

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 10
July 28-Aug. 2, 2014

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.

We also try to keep the formatted 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.

**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

ARUGULA or SPICY GREENS : You will receive Arugula (an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C) or Spicy Greens (an amazing, mildly spicy, leafy mix of greens and reds with a wide variety of leaf shapes and sizes with ingredients such as Golden Frills, Ruby Streaks, Tokyo Bekana, and Red Komatsuna).
-How to use: used for salads and sautéing–cooks up quickly
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 2 to 4 days.

GREEN, PURPLE, or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Maxibel French Fillet (very slender green bean with firm texture and good taste), Royal Burgundy (brilliant purple, smooth, round, meaty pods; add stunning color to salads when used raw; pods turn dark green when cooked; excellent fresh or frozen), or Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery taste).
-How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week

BEETS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves). See Week 7 usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads.
-How to use: Can be used raw as carrot sticks, grated in salads or juiced; steamed or sautéed, in stews, soups, casseroles, stir-fries
-How to store: Remove greens from roots and refrigerate dry and unwashed roots in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks; greens may last up to a week refrigerated in plastic bag.

CUCUMBERS: a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor. See Week 7 usage and storage information.

FRESH HERBS: In general, store 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. *All shares will receive Basil, and you may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with fish & poultry.
Sage–an herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family with long, narrow, grayish-green leaves; a musky aroma and a warm and spicy taste; used in making sausages, stews, breads, and teas; enhances meats, vegetables, salads, pickles, and cheese.
French Sorrel–slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, or cooked as a side dish; refrigerate in bag for up to 3 days.
*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: You will receive Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged). See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romaine or Buttercrunch. See Week 2 for usage and storage information.

SWEET ONIONS (Ailsa Craig Exhibition): a huge, sweet, mild, yellow-skinned, heirloom onion that is well known by British gardeners who grow show-size onions.
-How to use: great for salads, soups, sandwiches, slices, onion rings, & other dishes for flavor
-How to store: not for long storage; wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in fridge for 2 to 7 days.

NEW POTATOES (Yukon Gold): yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting. See Week 7 for storage information.
-How to use: perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits) or Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture) or Patty Pan (tender, rounded scallop, bright yellow squash with a green tip; nutty flavor). See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 27, 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, and other activities about animals and plants. Snacks harvested from the farm will be included. Advance registration is required with a small fee for materials, which is still being determined. Please register by e-mail to tantrefarm@hotmail.com or by sign up at the distribution sites with names and ages of children, name of adult attending, phone number, and e-mail address. Anyone interested in helping out, please contact Deb as soon as possible, so we can brainstorm and share our ideas.

2. LULU COOKING CLASS ON AUGUST 20 from 6 to 8:30 PM! This will be a picnic-themed meal with help from our guest chefs and fellow CSA members, Eric Lundy and Laenne Thompson. There will be a $10 fee for materials and handouts for each class. So now you can check your calendar and register early by sending us 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 picnic-cooking class and meal at Tantre Farm. It’s always a lot of fun and guaranteed to fill your belly with deliciousness!

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Thank you so much to those of you, who continue to volunteer! So much rain has fallen this summer (and continues to fall!) that the weeds are loving it! 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.

4. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations.

5. 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.)—10 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
By Richard and Deb

The full moon is gone. We may not think the deer can see the tender lettuce leaves at night to nibble. Even so, we have been setting our farm dog on guard at the edge of the field to keep them away in the evening hours. It’s interesting to try to grow crops on the edge of what would seem to be some of the last shreds of our native ecosystem. There are diurnal bunnies and ground hogs that nibble each morning and nocturnal mice, deer, and coons to nibble in the evenings. Sandhill cranes stab the corn stalks out of the ground uprooting them to expose the tiny, golden, sweet seed underneath and onto the sweet/sour blackberry bushes. To save the crops we have the dog and pie tins tied on steel fence posts that tinkle in the wind and shine in the sun. It seems to work for awhile—kind of. It holds the animals to a minimum of foraging anyway. All of these creatures are looking for energy to fatten their bellies for the imminently approaching cold season, only a couple of months away (although some of these summer nights feel like fall already). Some burrow down and hibernate. Others will fly away on the southern winds for warmer climates. For now they feast, building strength and reproducing, and life continues summer after summer. Such a mystery to behold! So much impermanence!

With the exceptionally cool, wet weather the tomatoes are taking their good, sweet time to ripen. They are all over the place on the farm—in every greenhouse and on the western hill by the spreading oak tree, along with the peppers and eggplants. This is the first year that we have pulled up and closed the end walls of many of our greenhouses, so the tomatoes will have extra ripening heat. It is the first year that we have been able to start many spring-like crops, such as parsnips, carrots, beets, and spinach, in the middle of the summer without additional irrigation. This is the first year that we’ve grown spinach from spring until fall continuously, as well as starting several new rotations of peas to be ready in September. This is an unusual year, but so it seems is every year these days as well. We are caught in this cycle of unpredictable weather. Call it climate change. Call it global warming. Call it the usual “unpredictable weather”. It is such a mystery, so much impermanence on a micro scale and on a global scale.

Disturbingly confusing, but perhaps just as with the animals learning to burrow into our carrots, into our corn, into our great harvest, into the work that sustains and nourishes us, we can find a sense of a lifestyle–one that respects the balances of native and original flora and fauna and learn to live within the limits of our space and our climate with the sweat of our own brow. This is the accumulated skill of our craft in growing animals and plants for the local community of loving family and friends.

RECIPES

SWEET GREEN BEAN/CARROT/WALNUT STIR-FRY
1 qt. green beans, stems removed
2 carrots, sliced medium-thin
2 cups walnuts (halves or pieces – and feel free to substitute cashews or favorite nuts)
1 cup raisins (optional)
3 T. cooking oil
2 T. tamari
2 T. maple syrup or barley malt or brown sugar etc.
Steam carrots 3 minutes, add beans and steam another 2-3 minutes, then place in pan (cast iron recommended) where oil is already hot.
Saute 3 minutes then make space in the center of the pan and add walnuts, then sweetener and tamari, then raisins if desired (it will already be fairly sweet). If you wished to be slightly more meticulous, you could combine nuts, raisins, sweetener, and tamari in a separate bowl and mix well before adding to stir-fry. Stir-fry another 3-5 minutes and ENJOY!!

SALAD OF GRILLED SUMMER AND ZUCCHINI SQUASH WITH WARM OLIVE AND TOMATO VINAIGRETTE (From Chef Todd English)
4 medium summer squashes-cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise slices
4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch lengthwise slices
1/2 pound of baby greens (arugula, spicy greens, lettuce)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 anchovies, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped (optional)
3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Moroccan dry cured olives, pitted and roughly chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces feta cheese
Prepare grill for medium high heat. In a large bowl toss to combine: squashes, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Place on grill 2-3 minutes each side, or until grill marked. Turn and cook other side. Remove and set aside. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add shaved garlic and anchovies. Cook just until the garlic starts to turn golden brown. This will happen quickly, be sure to watch carefully. Add tomatoes and olives and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. To plate, combine zucchini with greens and place small mound in the center of plate. Spoon tomatoes and olives over zucchini. Roughly grate feta over top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!