Week 11: August 4 – August 10, 2013

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 11
Aug. 4-10, 2013

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, or you may not receive something that may be mentioned below, but please ask, if you are wondering. 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

FRESH SHELLING BEANS (Tongue of Fire): You will receive a bag of these Italian heirloom shelling beans, which 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. Here’s a link to how to prepare the beans: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Tongue_of_Fire_Shelling_Beans_5243.php. See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

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, so look just for the roots. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

BROCCOLI (for Fri./Sat. members): deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems; high in vitamins A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron; known as an anti-cancer vegetable.
How to use: use raw, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, in casseroles, soups, pizzas, etc.
How to store: store loosely in plastic bag for up to a week

GREEN CABBAGE (Gonzales): Wed. share members will receive this sweetly spicy green mini cabbage with 4-6-inch heads AND/OR KOHLRABI. See Week 9 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). You may have noticed that the cucumbers don’t seem to be storing as long this year. We are checking into this, but are assuming it may have something to do with the wet summer we are having. Our recommendation is to try to eat them more quickly, and we’ll keep trying to find ways to make them last longer. See Week 7 for usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with no greens this week. See Week 10 for storage and usage information.

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit), Rosa Biana (an Italian heirloom; round fruit streaked with white and violet), or Orient Express (long, lavender fruit).
How to use: may be salted to remove bitterness from old fruit, but also makes it less watery and more absorbent, and can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish; can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled, or can be sliced into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut into cubes for stews and stir-fries. Lots of recipes and basic cooking tips in the “A to Z cookbook”.
How to store: best fresh, but can be stored at room temperature or in refrigerator drawer for up to 1 week.

FRESH HERBS: *All shares will receive Basil this week. There are about 150 different species of aromatic annual and perennial basils. We grow 3 varieties, which you may choose from this week.
Genovese Basil—an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves; traditionally used in pesto and many types of cooking.
Cinnamon Basil- small thin serrated green leaves with contrasting purple stems and purple-spiked flowers; savory element to raw dishes, soups, hot drinks, infused oils, and especially suited to fruit dishes. Excellent informational link to cinnamon basil: http://flipsidehip.com/cinnamon-basil-a-must-have-medicinal-herb/
Lemon Basil– narrow, ovate, light green leaves producing a lemon scent & strong citrus flavor; use fresh or dried in vinegars, fish, chicken, vegetables and soups; common herb found within Thai, Indonesian and several Middle Eastern region cuisines. Excellent informational link for lemon basil: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Lemon_Basil_152.php
**How to store Basil: Whether the basil this week has a root or just a stem, it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. Since basil is a hot weather plant, it doesn’t like the cold of frosts or refrigerators.

KALE: You will receive Curly Kale (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”). See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

KOHLRABI (for Wed. members): You will receive these delicious cabbage-flavored bulbs that grow above ground; purple or green skin and crisp, apple-white flesh tubers AND/OR CABBAGE. See Week 10 for usage and storage information.

LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems. 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. See Week 10 for storage and usage information.

NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 9 for storage and usage 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.

TOMATOES: You may choose from some of the following different varieties: Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomato; less acidic than the red cherry tomato, so slightly less bland in flavor; popular as a garnish, in salads, or as a cooked side dish that can be sautéed with herbs), 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.

WATERMELON: You may choose Little Baby Flower (small, 2-4 lb. round fruit; bright green stripe pattern on shell and dark pink flesh that is sweet and crisp with a high sugar count) or Sunshine Yellow (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet).
How to use: slice, dice and serve as drinks, salads, or salsa.
How to store: If melon seems not quite ripe, store at room temperature until sweet smell is coming from the soft, stem end; then store in the refrigerator.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 21, 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 ideas.

2. PLASTIC OR PAPER GROCERY BAGS AND YOGURT CONTAINERS (quart-size for u-pick flowers) NEEDED, if you would like to donate some to the farm or at markets. We are running low.

3. 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. Whenever possible if you can donate $1 or $2 that will help to pay for some seed and labor costs. You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home!

4. 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.

REAWAKENING TOTEMIC AWARENESS
(by Shaun Schoonover—Tantre Farmer of 2011, 2012, 2013)

The notion that we can at once revere and honor animals as they take a place on our plates may rustle up a cognitive dissonance that threatens to blow the mind in two. Yet, embracing the death within our food is the very means of honoring the life that feeds us, as living inevitably takes life, directly and on the peripheries, and the severity of this truth is not broken by choosing one road over the other. The fire that animates our individual lives is borrowed and shared through eating — “mutual insparkedness” as the Mayan say. Life feasts and is feasted upon. There is no either-or, only this and that. Such paradoxes, the tension between apparent opposites, are woven into Life. It is that pushing and pulling that creates our reality. It seems our kind once held a deep awareness of this, having not yet elevated themselves above their earthly origins, allowing them to gracefully approach Life on its terms, neither romanticizing nor demonizing the circumstances of their existence, and this included the reality that they had to kill in order to eat. Yet, their thoughtfulness and respect in light of this is evident in physical artifacts left behind. Though we can merely speculate on the full meaning and purpose of the ancient paintings that decorate the cave walls of modern Europe, the artists clearly admired, and were in awe of, their four-legged muses. They inevitably hunted the subject of their admiration as well, but it’s not a stretch to presume that they ate with gratitude and accepted this food as the gift that it is. Modernity has largely failed on this last point, viewing the life that feeds us as mere commodity, an entitlement, which in turn has sparked the sentimentalist notion that death can be completely separated from life and one can eat without the former.

“The knowledge that every animal, plant, [and] person … is indebted to the fruit of everything else is an adult knowledge. To get out of debt means you don’t want to be a part of life, and you don’t want to grow into an adult,” is the elder wisdom quoted by Martín Prechtel in his book, “Long Life, Honey in the Heart”. Only in a culture built on a foundation of forgetting, isolated from its beginnings and split into dualities could such black and white thinking that now exists arise, content in its childishness, as it were. It is ill acknowledged that we are all existing in the same sacred space, that we all share the general essence of Life, and that while individual sparks may extinguish, the fire continues burning. Any living thing that is free to indulge in the wide, wild spaces of its full character, without restraints, does not die in vain, and when we deepen, as well as broaden, our view, we see that there are no true endings, only transitions. One form moves into another: the sun into vegetation, vegetation into beasts, beasts into us, and, inevitably, us into soil. Revolving existence, life lived in multitudes through unbroken change and transformation. What could be more beautiful?

RECIPES

LEMON BASIL TIPS: Chop lemon basil and puree with fresh blueberries and water, then serve as a cold soup. Blend fresh lemon basil with cream, then warm and serve over pasta. Add chopped fresh lemon basil to lemon cookie dough. Puree lemon basil leaves with 1/4 cup water, then mix with sweetened yogurt and freeze and serve frozen yogurt with grilled nectarines. Make lemon pesto from recipe below.

CINNAMON BASIL TIPS: Add chopped fresh cinnamon basil to pumpkin pie filling as an alternative to ground, dried cinnamon. Steep cinnamon basil leaves in water and sugar, bring to a boil to infuse and use this simple syrup to flavor whipped creams or dessert. Puree Cinnamon basil with garlic and olive oil for pesto and use to top fresh pasta. Blend Cinnamon basil leaves with heavy cream and beat until desired whipped cream consistency, then top brownies or pie. Add to fresh fruit salad for interesting flavors.

PESTO SAUCE (The Pleasure of Herbs)
2 c. washed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
4 Tbs. pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor, except the cheese, which is added after the first ingredients are pasty; and then blended again briefly. Serve this on hot pasta, boiled potatoes, green beans, sliced tomatoes, corn-on-the-cob, steak, fish, or mix with yogurt as a dipping sauce for vegetables.

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