Week 12, August 12-18, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 12
Aug. 12-18, 2012

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. 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

ARUGULA : an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor, which is rich in iron and vitamins A and C.
See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

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). See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Nelson): a sweet, blunt root with smooth, crisp texture and deep orange color; excellent in sweet desserts. Greens are delicious in salads and soups. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

SWEET CORN: Corn is often referred to as maize and is an ancient staple food of the Americas. Everything on the corn plant can be used: “husks” for Tamales, the “silk” for medicinal tea, the “kernels” for food, and the “stalks” for fodder; contains a significant amount of vitamin A, B-complex, phosphorous and potassium along with vegetable protein. * We don’t treat our corn with pesticides, so you may find some earworms enjoying the corn too; just break off the damaged part and cook the rest of the ear.
How to use: ears of corn can be steamed in 1-2 inches of water for 6-10 minutes, or drop ears into boiling water (enough to cover) for 4-7 minutes; ears of corn can also be roasted unhusked in the oven or outside grill for about 20 minutes
How to store: refrigerate with husks on, and use as soon as possible to retain sweetness and flavor.

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.

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.
Purple Opal Basil—rich, dark purple colored leaves, milder flavor with hints of clove and ginger—more savory than sweet; excellent in vinaigrettes, as a garnish, in salads, and also used as a purple pesto. Best eaten raw as cooking changes its flavor & color.
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.
How to store: We supply basil with root attached, so 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.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available if you come to the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 10 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.

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.

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. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

SWEET RED PEPPERS (Carmen): You will receive Carmen (6 inch long, tapered fruit that ripens from green to a deep “carmine” red; sweet taste in salads and when roasted and fully red-ripe) or Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

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.

SWISS CHARD (Rainbow Mix): close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor. See Week 6 newsletter for storage and usage information.

TOMATOES: Our tomato season is just beginning, so you may choose from the following “heirloom” tomatoes: Rose (deep pink, heirloom, medium-sized tomato, which is meaty and flavorful), Cherokee Purple (heirloom, medium-large, flattened globe fruit with color as dusky pink and greenish blush), and Japanese Black Trifele (unusual pear-shaped, heirloom tomato with burgundy, greenish color and excellent, rich flavor). 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). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
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. Please let us know if you will not need a share. Typically we have had 6 to 9 shares leftover every August with no contact from CSA members. Last week we had 8! Please let’s not waste these shares! Make contact with us!!

2. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 29, 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.

3. KID FARM HIKE (Last One!): Come join us for the last sensory exploration of Tantre Farm for this season on Wed., Aug. 22 at 2 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: If you noticed that Sept. 14 was a Farm Hike date on our website’s calendar, it is no longer an option due to scheduling conflicts.

4. TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP at Tantre Farm: This workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1, 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. Plan on bringing a quart size canning jar. Please register with your Name, Phone Number, and E-mail Address in the body of the email to us. There will be a small $5 fee for materials. Bulk tomatoes will be available for you to buy.

5. U-PICK FLOWERS: You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 10 stems per household. Please call ahead if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri.). You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home, but we do have donated yogurt containers!

6. ALREADY-PICKED TOMATOES: We have already-picked tomatoes available for canning or freezing. We have a limited supply of romas, but many other sauce and heirloom varieties. Very easy to freeze! Contact us to pick up at the farm or market. Members– $0.75/lb. Non members–$1/lb.

7. 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. (new start time!)
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

FEAST AND FESTIVAL
(by Deb and Richard)

The full glowing August moon marks the time of summer fruiting for many garden plants and trees giving light to the nocturnal mammals. Deer, raccoons, and skunks wander through the woods and on fields looking for food. As the ponds have dried to mud the little handprints of the raccoons tell the story of last night’s dinner–the feast of stranded tadpoles and small fish. The skunk sign is seen at the compost heap as the rearrangement of food scraps and scat piles. The deer have printed meanderings around the sweet corn stalks telling the story of the night’s nibblings. The sandhill cranes feast and devour on the ripe fruits of the cantaloupe and watermelons. The butterflies float and flit in the breeze looking for leaves to lay their eggs and flower nectar to sip. Ancient people considered all of the animals to be the wise elders of the human mammal. Their adaptations and their home in this world have the embodiment of adapted wisdom.

Everybody comes to the full moon feast. The only invitation is the season itself and the abundance of the garden. Of course all look for a free lunch and easy pickings when it comes to the summer’s feast and a farm is just such a place. Some eat small bites on leaves, some eat big bites, some eat fermented scraps as scavengers, and some eat the scat of the other partygoers. It is a festival to which all are invited. The moon glows. The stars shine. The toads fill their plump bellies full of bugs and worms. The bats and birds swoop and swallow flies and mosquitoes in the air. There is a great sharing of food and land.

Self reliance, survival, finding ones’ place in the balance of nature, being comfortable with one’s place in one’s place—these themes of nature are reflected at the feast. Each one of these critters (whether vegetarian or omnivore) find their place at the table and eat the food to sustain themselves from season to season on the land, the air, and the water. Their bodies and minds adapt to the extremes of each context. Our elders teach us not to take more than we use, not to destroy our beautiful home of Earth for selfish, greedy reasons. Just to take what we need to sustain ourselves, rather than being excessive. Wisdom comes in recognizing that maturity and living within that balance. We can and must learn a lot from our elders in becoming native to this place rather than destroy it.

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.

PURPLE BASIL TIPS: Layer slices of ripe, heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with purple basil leaves and top with sea salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Make “Strawberry-Basil Mojitos” by muddling 1 cup of fresh strawberries, ½ cup of purple basil, ¼ cup of fresh mint, and 8 limes (sliced). Then add 1 cup of simple syrup and 2 cups of rum. Serve over ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with more basil. Make purple pesto.

GARLIC, BASIL, CORN ON THE COB: Combine 2 Tbsp. butter (softened), 1 Tbsp. green basil (chopped), and 1 garlic clove (minced) in a small bowl. Place 4 ears of corn into a large saucepan of boiling water; cook 4 minutes. Drain. Spoon 1 teaspoon butter mixture over each ear of corn. Delicious!

Comments are closed.