Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
July 28-Aug. 3, 2013
If needed, please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 don’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
APPLES (Yellow Translucent): First time ever for Tantre Farm! We finally have tree fruit to offer. You will receive 2 to 6 yellow apples (depending on the size). This early apple is tender, juicy and mildly tart, making it a favorite for homemade applesauce. Please refer to featured article that describes the purpose of the harmless white clay on the outside surface of the apple. It washes off easily.
How to use: good for drying, freezing, juicing, and applesauce.
How to store: does not store well, so use quickly, but can be stored for longer period of time in the refrigerator; can be sliced into rings and dehydrated for longer storage and eaten as snacks or made into pie or other desserts in the off seasons.
FRESH SHELLING BEANS (Tongue of Fire): Italian heirloom shelling beans are round, ivory-tan with red streaks with stringless, red-streaked cream/green pods–eat the fresh-shelled beans, not the pods; have nutty flavor and creamy texture when cooked; can be substituted in recipes calling for Cannellini, Great Northern, or Pinto beans; contain a fair source of vitamins A & C.
How to use: Fresh, shelled beans are good in soups, stews, and casseroles, but also delicious simply boiled until tender, and served with a little butter or olive oil, salt/pepper or herbs.
How to store: refrigerate fresh beans in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
BEETS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor) or Cylindra Beet (A uniquely-shaped 6” cylindrical beet with especially sweet flavor; this heirloom is a favorite with chefs due to uniform slices and ease of peeling). No greens this week due to some insect damage, so look just for the roots. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.
CUCUMBERS: You will receive either Olympian (considered a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor) and/or Little Leaf (considered a pickling cucumber with blocky, medium-length, distinctively bright emerald green fruits, which are good for fresh eating and pickling) and/or Sultan (small delicate cucumbers with thin skin, a seedless interior, and gourmet flavor). See Week 7 for usage and storage information.
NAPA CABBAGE (cut in half, since so large): crinkly, thickly veined leaves, which are cream-colored with celadon green tips. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round cabbage heads, these are thin, crisp, and delicately mild. Napa cabbage is a good source of vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium. YOU WILL RECEIVE THIS OR KOHLRABI THIS WEEK, SINCE NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE.
How to use: Use raw, sauté, bake, or braised; common in stir-fries and main ingredient in traditional kimchi; also eaten raw as a wrap for pork or oysters; the outer, tougher leaves are used in soups.
How to store: refrigerate, tightly wrapped, up to 5 days.
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.
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:
Anise Hyssop— catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea, and in potpourri. The purple flower spike is favored by bees, who make a light fragrant honey from the nectar. It was used medicinally by Native Americans for coughs, fevers, wounds, and diarrhea.
Lemon Balm– fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold
French Sorrel–slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; shaped like spinach, but paler green in color.
Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers.
*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 Curly Kale (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). See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.
KOHLRABI: delicious cabbage-flavored bulbs that grow above ground; purple or green skin and crisp, apple-white flesh tubers and leaves are good sources of vitamins C and A, calcium, potassium, and fiber. YOU WILL RECEIVE THIS OR NAPA CABBAGE THIS WEEK, SINCE NOT ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE.
How to use: good steamed and then mashed with potatoes, added to soups or stews, or delicious sliced and eaten raw with dip
How to store: store in refrigerator for up to a month
LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems.
Cooking Tip: Slit from top to bottom and wash thoroughly with root facing up to remove all of the dirt trapped between the leaf layers.
See Week 8 for usage and storage information.
SWEET ONIONS (Walla Walla): sweet, mild, juicy, yellow-skinned; nice as a “green top” onion; not for storage
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 (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 9 for storage and usage information.
TOMATOES: You may choose one pint of one of the following 5 different varieties: Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomato), Red Grape (oval to oblong, baby red grape tomatoes, which have a chewy texture, sweet taste, and few seeds), or Chiquita (deep rose-pink grape tomato with great flavor and pleasant texture), Tomatoberry (unique strawberry-shaped, deep red colored fruits with firm, meaty texture and excellent sweet flavor), or Juliet (deep red, plum tomato; good in salads, salsa sauce). See Week 9 for storage and usage information.
1. DILL WEED FLOWERS available: For those of you interested in making pickles, we have dill weed flowers available at the farm and at market. Just let us know, if you need some.
2. U-PICK AVAILABLE: Please call ahead if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri.), so we can make sure someone is around to help you. U-pick Flowers: Some of the flowers are ready in the u-pick flower garden. You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 10 stems per household for “free”. This means that if you are splitting a share, each household can pick a bouquet. If you are able to help us out with our seed costs, we would like to encourage anyone to donate $1 or more when possible. Extra bouquets will cost $4. You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home! We do have many quart-size yogurt containers for flower pickers to use as temporary vases. U-pick Beans: Green and Yellow available for $0.50/lb.
3. “LULU” COOKING CLASS ON July 31 : We have filled up spaces for our cooking class on Wed. We look forward to letting you know how everything turns out. It sounds delectable!
4. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED: If you are interested–even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes before you pick up your box at the farm, come join us.
5. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations.
6. 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.)– 8 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.
THE GIFT OF AN APPLE TREE
(by Deb and Richard)
Before the days of refrigerated, plastic wrap fruit trucked from thousands of miles away that could be purchased from any grocery store any day of the week, farmers planted fruit trees around their farm houses. Pears, plums, peaches, paw paws, and of course, apples could be harvested in the appropriate season. Remnants of these old trees still exist today.
Some of these gnarled fruit trees still remain on Tantre Farm, bent, broken, afflicted by disease with hollow trunks full of ants or other insects seeking shelter or sustenance from it’s decomposing interior, but still after all these years bearing fine, sweet fruits. The soil under these trees is black and fertile from years of shade and many layers of leaves and fruit that drop each year melting into the soil, hosting insect vertebrates and worms of every kind, creating healthy soil and micro life. These trees create their own microclimate system for perennial harvesting. They bear witness to sustainable food production hosting decade long relationships with birds, insects, and many microorganisms, which create a diverse community.
Our old, “yellow translucent” apple tree trunk holds hundreds of apples this year. It is one of the first apples of the season coming to ripen each year in late July and early August. This year we managed to find time to spray Kaolin clay, which is a white clay “frosting” that reduces three principle insects, which devour apples—the plum curculio moth, the apple sawfly, and the codling moth. This clay used by organic orchardists is an effective tool against a variety of petal fall pests that destroy fruit when it’s the size of a marble. The tree was sprayed for several weeks creating a white frosting, which prevented most insect damage. Our newer fruit orchard looked like a winter wonderland laden with artificial snow. This combined with the perfect fruit weather in the spring caused the fruit trees to flourish this year.
This week we decided to harvest 200 pounds of these early, tender, tart apples for our CSA members. This variety of apple, “yellow translucent”, is good for shredded root slaw, thin slices in summer salads, apple sauce, baking, or just plain eating. Even though in order for all shares to have some in their boxes, this might seem like a small amount for each of you individually, please enjoy these apples knowing that these are a selfless gift from an 80-year old fruit tree. Even a very old tree can keep giving the gift of delicious fruit. May we all be as lucky to bring to fruition our life’s accumulated energy in such a delicious way.
TANTRÉ FARM SLAW (This is a good week for this simple, easy salad!) Serves 4.
2 medium beets, grated
3 large carrots, grated
1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated OR 1 cup Napa Cabbage, sliced thinly
1 medium onion (optional)
1 apple, grated
sesame or sunflower seeds, toasted
salt and pepper to taste
Grate vegetables into a bowl. Chop onion, if desired, and add to bowl. Toast sesame or sunflower seeds. Add when cooled. Add olive oil and lemon juice as a salad dressing to suit your taste. Be careful of too much liquid. The tartness of the lemon should be prominent. Serve immediately or marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator.
GREEN KALE SMOOTHIES (yields 1 quart)
2 apples or pears with seeds removed
5 leaves of kale, destemmed
1/2 bunch of mint (or anise hyssop or lemon balm)
2 cups water
Roughly chop and then blend well.
Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter