Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
July 29 – Aug. 4, 2012
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 minimum, 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. Keep in mind the internet is overflowing with information, including pictures of almost everything that we grow. Also, we have two sections on our website to help you identify unfamiliar produce with color images including descriptions of appearance, taste, nutrition, uses, storage, and seasonal information. You can find this under “CSA Info” on the “Veggie ID” page and also under “Recipes”, the section is called “Produce Information Organized by Plant Part”. We already have some ideas on how to make it easier for you to use (especially an alphabetical tag list of produce), but it’s as good as it gets for this season. Please feel free to pass along any ideas you may have to make it more user friendly.
THIS WEEK’S SHARE
GREEN, PURPLE, or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Provider (a fleshy, tender, round pod green bean) or 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
GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.
CARROTS (Yaya): bright orange root with a blunt tip; extremely sweet and juicy; excellent in sweet desserts. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.
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. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.
GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, See Week 5 for 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. You may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
1. Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; high in vitamins A and C, and other minerals, such as iron. See other “Parsley” recipes in “A to Z” cookbook
2. Tarragon—delicate, licorice or anise-like flavor; an essential herb in French cuisine; exceptional in egg dishes, poached fish, chicken, salad dressings and with other vegetables.
3. Winter Savory– is a semi-evergreen, perennial herb; its strong spicy flavor goes well with beans and meat; medicinally it has antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits, as well as relieves bee stings.
4. Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems.
*Genovese Basil (everyone may take this, if you like)—an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top.
KALE (Green Curly): well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.
MELONS (Wed. distribution sites only) or TOMATOES (Friday and Saturday distribution sites only): Since we don’t have enough melons or tomatoes for both distributions this week, share members who pick up at any location on Wednesday will receive a choice of Melons this week. See Week 8 for information about Melons. Those who will pick up their shares on Friday or Saturday this week will receive Prudence Purple Tomatoes (early Brandywine type; vivid dark pink, heirloom tomato with smooth, crimson flesh; delicious flavor and large–1 lb.+ fruit). How to use tomatoes: sauté, bake, broil, or grill; eat raw in salads or add to soups, stews, or sauces. How to store tomatoes: keep at room temperature for up to 1 week; these should not be stored in the refrigerator.
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.
GREEN BELL PEPPERS: large blocky cells with fruity, sweet flavor; excellent source of vitamin C, fair amount of vitamin A, and some calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
How to use: eat raw for best nutrient retention; can be added to soups, stews, omelets, quiches, stir-fries, etc.; excellent stuffed.
How to store: refrigerate unwashed in hydrator drawer for 1-2 weeks. Peppers can be easily frozen by washing, chopping, and placing in freezer bags. Also, peppers can be dehydrated or dried.
HOT PEPPERS: You may receive Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red; hot chile pepper used commonly in Mexican or southwestern cooking) or Shishito (sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 2 to 4 inches with squarish end; often used in stir-fried dishes, salads, or as a pickled condiment).
How to use: Handle hot peppers with gloves, and cut on glass plate. Often roasted, chopped, or stuffed for appetizers; also used in jams, salsa, and pickles. See today’s newsletter recipes.
How to store: For fresh peppers, store in refrigerator. For drying peppers, place string through the stems and hang in cool, dry, well-ventilated spot.
POTATOES: You will receive either Red Norland (smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted) or Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting; perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried). See Week 8 on storage information.
SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Yellow or Green 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). See Week 5 for usage and storage information.
1. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations. Also keep in mind that changes need to be made within the same week (Sun.-Sat.), not into the next week of distribution.
2. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: With these wonderful rains we’ve been having, we now have more weeds. Please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark, if you are able to help, even for short amounts of time.
3. 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.
(by Renee Bertsch–Tantré Farm “alumnus”)
What does it mean to say that Tantré Farm is organic? To us as farmers, it means we practice stewardship of the land and people. To the USDA, it means something else entirely.
The National Organic Program (NOP), as created by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, shapes the standards for organic food production. The NOP regulates organic crop production, wild crop harvesting, organic livestock management, and processing and handling of organic agricultural products. Approved synthetic materials and prohibited organic materials are reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board and placed on the “National List”. All the NOP guidelines, including the National List, are fully available to the public at the NOP website: www.ams.usda.gov/nop.
Use of the word “organic” in labeling and marketing is restricted via a three-tier outline: 1) “100% Organic” means exactly what it says–the product may contain only organically produced ingredients. These products may display the USDA Organic label and the certifier’s label. 2) ”Organic” permits 5% of the product to be made from non-organic ingredients approved on the National List. These products may also display the USDA Organic label and the certifier’s label. 3) “Made With Organic Ingredients” allows 30% of ingredients to be made from non-organic ingredients on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s label, but not USDA Organic.
Each year an agent from an USDA accredited organization visits Tantré Farm. Certifying organizations sometimes have separate, but not conflicting, standards from USDA regulations. To be certified, Tantré Farm is inspected annually, and we submit information about our practices and plans. Some of this information includes detailed daily harvest and work records, but also includes Tantré Farm’s organic plan. An organic plan is an outline of how we keep the farm “organic” on a daily basis, at several levels of operation. Two major areas of the plan are the substances we use, and how we keep organic products away from non-organic products. We also only use ecologically friendly methods and substances to improve the soil and control pests.
So what’s good about choosing organic food?
1. It provides you with a safer food supply. We don’t use toxic, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, or fungicides, which may remain on foods long after harvest. This could mean a long-term health risk for consumers. A number of pesticides are known or suspected carcinogens, while others haven’t been tested yet as cancer-causing.
2. Organic farming offers a healthy environmental alternative. Instead of causing water pollution and using excess energy and equipment, we use labor-intensive methods that improve soil fertility and biological diversity.
3. Organic farming methods are safer for you, the farmer, and the environment, but it also helps enrich and sustain the health of the soil. Conventional farming can deplete topsoil levels and soil nutrient content over time. This decreases soil fertility and affects the ability for our soil to provide long-term food production. We use various agricultural methods (crop rotation, green manure, mulching, etc.) to help build the organic matter in the soil, so we also see less soil erosion and more variety of animal species and microorganisms in our fields.
*Keep in mind the following websites–www.epicurious.com, www.cooks.com, www.recipes.com, www.tantrefarm.com.
SAUTÉED SHISHITO/PADRON PEPPERS
½ lb. shishito peppers or substitute with padróns, rinsed
1 Tbsp. vegetable or sesame oil
sea salt or coarse salt to taste
In a large, wide frying pan or sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat for a minute or two. Add the peppers and sauté until the peppers begin to soften and cook around the edges (about 3 to 5 minutes). You want a few “burnt” or darkened spots here and there. Season with salt. Stir the peppers, so that they cook evenly. When the peppers have wilted, remove from heat and serve.
CABBAGE-TOPPED TARRAGON POTATOES (adapted from http://www.food.com) Servings: 4
1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon onions, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh chives, snipped
Cook potatoes, covered in boiling salted water until tender; drain and mash (should yield about 1 1/3 cups). Cook cabbage, covered, in small amount of boiling water for 5 minutes, until tender; drain. In a bowl, combine eggs, margarine or butter, flour and seasonings. Add the potatoes; beat until smooth. Generously grease 4, 6 oz. oven-proof custard cups; spooning 1/3 cup mixture into each. Top each bowl with cabbage and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Serve with yogurt and chives.