Week 10, July 31-August, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 10
July 31-Aug. 6, 2011

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

THIS WEEK’S SHARE
We usually try to give you a pretty accurate listing of the produce in your box, but since the newsletter is published before the harvest, sometimes we may substitute some vegetables for others.

RED ACE BEETS (with no greens): round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor.
How to use: roots good in soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
How to store: store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

BABY CARROTS (Mokum): See Week 9 for more information.
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 (small amount): See Week 7 for more information.
How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sautéed, or baked.
How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week.

GARLIC: See Week 5 newsletter for more information.
How to use: minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables
How to store: fresh garlic can be stored in an open, breathable basket in a cool, dark place for many months

FRESH HERBS: All shares will receive 2 Basil plants this week for your herb. 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. It’s a good time to start making Pesto!

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.) or 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). See Week 1 newsletter on how to use and store.

LETTUCE (small amount): See Week 1 newsletter for more information.
How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

ONIONS: You will receive 2 types of onions: Cipolline (a traditional Italian onion known for its flat, oval shape and delicately mild, sweet flavor; ranges in size from 1 to 3 inches; used for pickling and to season a wide variety of dishes and especially good grilled on a skewer) and Mars Red (purple-red skinned onion with sweet flavor).
How to use: can be grilled or roasted whole as a vegetable or chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor
How to store: wrap in damp towel/bag in fridge for 2-7 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 choose from Padron (heirloom pepper famous in Spain; 2 to 3 inch long red fruit, which are hot; serve sautéed in olive oil with a little sea salt, or chop into many other dishes) 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, stuffed for appetizers, used in jams, salsa, and pickles. See 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 (Yukon Gold): yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting
How to use: perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried
How to store: keep cured potatoes unwashed in cool, dark place in paper bag; if too warm or stored with onions or apples, they will shrivel and sprout; light turns them green; don’t refrigerate, since the starches turn to sugars.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share from now until the first frost, but whenever possible if you can donate $1 or more that will help to pay for some seed and labor costs. More information about u-pick flowers is in the “Announcements” section.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Soleil Yellow Zucchini or Yellow Slick Pik or Plato Green Zucchini. *Keep in mind yellow or green “zucchini” and “summer squash” are basically interchangeable in recipes.
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.

SWISS CHARD (Rainbow Mix): See Week 4 newsletter for more information.
How to use: greens can be prepared like spinach, and stalks like asparagus; good steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and in soups.
How to store: wrap in damp cloth in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2-4 days.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP at Tantre Farm: This workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20, from 3 to 6 P.M. Kristen Uthus (Tantré Farm worker–2002) will teach mostly how to can tomatoes, but also some information will be on dehydrating and freezing them. There will be active participation and “take-home” samples for those attending. Please register with your Name, Phone Number, and E-mail Address. There will be a small $5 fee for materials.

2. KID FARM HIKES: Come join us for a sensory exploration of Tantre Farm! We will take a hike around the farm with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore its wetlands and forest to discover its many treasures. Smell herbs, taste greens and berries, pet a goat, listen for birds and frogs, and be a keen observer of pollinating bees and circling turkey vultures. This is something new we’re trying for the month of August for 2 different Fridays. August 19 will be aimed for younger kids from 3-5 years old. August 26 will focus on kids 6 years old and up. No RSVP necessary. Times will be announced later.

3. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 31, 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, pond exploration, and other activities about animals and plants. A snack 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.

4. U-PICK AT THE FARM: 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.
Green Beans—$1/lb. for members. Good time for freezing.
Tongue of Fire Shelling Beans–$0.50/lb for members. These can be picked as a dried bean for shelling and storing or fresh.
Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 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.

5. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
Farm on Wed.–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Farm on Fri.–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 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

After 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, the toads and tree frogs have been chirping happily in the yard and pasture all night long. The bull frogs make their rubber band “gumping” chorus in celebration of all this water. The stagnant streams are now full—flowing and laughing over logs and stones. The weather has been extremely hot and dry for the last 6 weeks, and it seems that we have been overcompensated very quickly this past week.

Despite the rain, the heat, and the sun, our diligent farm crew has been weeding and harvesting many crops on many long, hot days. Swimming and cold treats have replenished many low energy days. A lot of energy though comes from the rain and the sun at this time of year making it very warm and very humid. With all this recently added moisture, it’s looking a little more promising for the mushroom crop and also various other fungi, which seem to contentedly make their home in our vegetable plants as well. The tomato plants stretch taller and taller seeming to jump right out of their trellis and head back down to the ground. Many of the fat green fruits are just starting to turn red from the heat. We will have plenty for the shares in the coming weeks. Several varieties of potatoes have also reached their climax. The vines are now turning yellow and dying back revealing multicolored root “treasures” buried in the warm, wet, sandy soil. The fruit trees are finally loaded with peaches and pears. The summer squash, melons, and sweet potatoes are carpeting the earth with their winding vines soaking up all the heat, moisture, and fertility. The vines have covered all the dirt with their green blanket of forgetfulness. The lettuce is starting to bolt more quickly now, because of the heat, so you will be receiving smaller and less lettuce over the next few weeks until our next generation is ready. The basil is full and loving the heat, so plenty of that. The onions are growing quite large and voluptuous. The sweet corn is finally filling out, and looks like we’ll have some sweet ears sometime later in August.

Everything has now returned to green as though we’ve had a second breath of spring. The barren, desolate earth is now moist, warm, and fertile with all the rain. We breathe a sigh of relief and welcome the ripeness of summer.

RECIPES

POTATO-CHEESE STUFFED PEPPERS (Mother Earth’s Hassle-Free Vegetable Cookbook) Serves 6.
6 green peppers
Boiling water
1½ tsp. salt
3 Tbs. finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
3 c. diced cooked potatoes
1 c. diced Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
3 Tbs. butter

Wash peppers and cut thin slice from stem end to remove seeds. Place peppers in saucepan with boiling water to cover and 1 tsp. salt. Cover, bring to boil, boil 5 minutes. Remove from water and invert to drain well. Cook onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Add potatoes, cheese, celery, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper. Mix well and spoon into peppers. Mix breadcrumbs and 1 Tbs. butter. Sprinkle over tops of peppers. Place in casserole. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer to brown bread crumbs.

SAUTÉED SHISHITO/PADRONS PEPPERS
1 lb. shishito peppers or substitute with padróns, rinsed
2 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.

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