Week 11, August 7-13, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 11
Aug. 7-13, 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
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.

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: 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 3 Herbs:
1. Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh.
2. 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.
3. Sage—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.
*Genovese Basil—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 newsletter for storage and usage information.

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 9 for storage and usage tips.

MUSHROOMS (SHIITAKE): flower-like cracking pattern on brown cap; edible mushroom native to East Asia; good in sandwiches and cooked—see below; many medicinal qualities too; grown on logs. If you don’t care for mushrooms, then leave them for someone else or gift them to a friend! *Wed. farm members received mushrooms last week, so they will not receive them this week.
How to use: brush off dirt to clean or wipe with damp cloth, do not wash or submerge in water; good grilled, sautéed, steamed, in soups, and in sandwiches
How to store: place in paper bag or wax bag and keep in refrigerator for up to 5 to 7 days.

ONIONS: You will receive Super Star (large, white-skinned onion with mild flavor) and Yellow Spanish: (a sweet, mild flavored onion with a yellow skin).
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: See Week 10 newsletter for more information.
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 Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red; hot chile pepper used commonly in Mexican or southwestern cooking), Serrano (cylindrical fruit with excellent, very hot flavor; usually eaten fresh green in sauces, condiments, or as a key ingredient in fiery Mexican 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: You may choose Purple Viking (deep purple skin dappled with pink splashes and stripes; flesh is bright white and creamy-good; good for baking and mashes perfectly. *Interesting note: Most blue fleshed cultivars contain 90 times more antioxidants than white tubers, and the antioxidants in potato tubers are enhanced by cooking them) and Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting). See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share, 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.
See Week 6 for storage & usage information.

TOMATOES: Our tomato season is just beginning, so you may choose from the following: Red Grape (oval to oblong, baby red grape tomatoes, which have a chewy texture, sweet taste, and few seeds) or Juliet (deep red, plum tomato; good in salads and salsa sauce), or Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are very large, firm, nice color and good taste.) or Pruden’s Purple (early Brandywine type; vivid dark pink, heirloom tomato with smooth, crimson flesh; delicious flavor and large fruit–1 lb or larger).
How to use: sauté, bake, broil, stuff, or grill; eat raw in salads or add to soups, stews, or sauces
How to store: keep at room temperature for up to 1 week

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 on Aug. 19 at 4 PM for all ages! We will take a 45 min. hike around the farm with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore its wetlands and forest to discover its many treasures. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you might be interested that might be helpful to see if anyone is planning on it. CANCELLATION: August 26 is no longer an option. August has just become too busy for us.

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 FLOWERS: You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household. Please call ahead if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri.),

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.

HOME-COOKED MEALS
by Leanna Mulvihill—2011Tantre Farm intern

Eating home-cooked meals is one of the reasons I came to Tantré Farm. During the school year I am a full-time college student who does not get to have sit-down meals, mostly microwave leftovers and eating by myself. If there is a project at school that I did not foresee working late on, I have been known to have dramatic battles with uncooperative vending machines for pop tarts. That was no fun at all; I missed the social aspect of eating together. Usually I compensated by spending my weekends making soup and bread for potlucks with my friends. I delighted in the tactile nature of spending Saturday afternoons with stock simmering on the stove, while kneading bread dough – it provided a needed break from school work. Those potlucks kept me grounded with hearty meals that ultimately sparked my interest in farming.

This may seem obvious, but this is a farm that eats well. For those of us that live and work on the farm, our “farmily” eats together three meals a day during the work week. Breakfast is grabbing toast, oatmeal or leftovers, while we figure out our day. Lunch and dinner are cooked in teams of two on a rotating schedule throughout the week and eaten together family style. As you can imagine, we eat very fresh, delicious food, which is fuel that keeps us healthy and energized every day. While cooking together we improvise, solve problems, substitute, and share the glory of a job well done. Eating together is a pause in the day that allows us to commiserate, tell stories and cheer each other on. This is something that I feel fortunate to be a part of.

I hope the abundance of food in your boxes has and continues to inspire you to take the time to make food and eat it with people you love. We also have had a few inspired CSA members gift us with a lunch or supper every now and then throughout the summer. We welcome those who love to cook to share our “farmily” time with us.

RECIPES

BLUE POTATO HASH BROWNS (www.garden-wiki.org/index.php5?topic=BLUE POTATO)
2 large blue potatoes or 3 medium
1 medium sweet onion
1 green bell pepper
Your favorite cheese
Salt
Canola Oil

Dice potatoes with a knife into small cubes (or shred for variety). Dice or slice onions and pepper. Place the above onto a hot skillet and add a few tablespoons of oil. Salt to taste. Cook them until they’ve been browning for a few minutes. Slice or shred cheese and toss onto hash browns just before removing them from the skillet to melt it. That’s it. Eat it. Perhaps next time you can try some tomatoes in the mix!

KALE CHIPS
1 bunch kale (any kind will work, but Curly Kale is a favorite)
Olive oil
Sea salt, soy sauce, or tamari sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Destem kale and chop it into 1-2 inch pieces. Put in bowl and coat lightly with olive oil and sea salt or tamari (soy sauce). Place on cookie sheet and bake for a 3-5 minutes, then flip leaves over and bake another couple of minutes until crispy, but not brown. Keep an eye on it, since it can burn very quickly. Nutritious and delicious!

BASIL PESTO VEGAN (What Do You Do With This Stuff?)
2 c. basil leaves
2 c. tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

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