Week 13, August 13-25, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 13
Aug. 19-25, 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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

GREEN BEANS: You will receive Jade (long, slender, deep green, filet bean). See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage information.

RED ACE BEETS: round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor. May be with or without greens. See Week 3 for storage and usage information.

SWEET CORN (Montauk): small, fancy, bicolor kernels on 8” long ears with superior, sweet flavor. See Week 12 for usage and storage information.

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. See Week 6 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. French Sorrel–slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, or cooked as a side dish; leaves are shaped like spinach, but paler green in color.
2. Black-stemmed Peppermint–leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and add a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
3. Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh. See other “Parsley” recipes in “A to Z” cookbook.
4. Oregano–member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.
*Basil—You will receive Genovese (traditional sweet, green leaf) or Purple Opal (rich, dark purple leaf; very mild flavor, best fresh) or Lemon (narrow, light green leaf with lemon scent and citrus flavor). 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.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share, if you can come to the farm and pick it yourself.

KALE: You may receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip” or Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged). See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

MUSHROOMS (SHIITAKE): (We have finally received the big flush of mushrooms that we’ve been waiting for! Last week’s supply for some of you was a surprise.) flower-like cracking pattern on brown cap; edible mushroom native to East Asia; good in sandwiches and cooked—see recipe in newsletter; many medicinal qualities too; grown on thousands of logs in our woods.
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. Easy to freeze (just chop and throw in a freezer bag) and easy to dry!

SWEET ONIONS (Red Long of Tropea): specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

HOT PEPPERS (optional): You may choose from Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red) or Serrano (cylindrical fruit with excellent, very hot flavor; usually eaten fresh green not dried). See Week 10 for storage & usage information. To freeze: Clean and freeze whole. Place in freezer containers or bags to be used later in soups, sauces, or casseroles.

SWEET RED PEPPERS: 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 Purple Viking (deep purple skin dappled with pink splashes and stripes; flesh is bright white and creamy-good, good for baking and mashes perfectly). 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.

TOMATOES: You may choose from the following slicers: Brandywine (heirloom tomato with deep pink skin and smooth, red flesh; delicious flavor and large fruit), Rose (deep pink, heirloom, medium-sized tomato, which is meaty and flavorful), Japanese Black Trifele (unusual pear-shaped, heirloom tomato with burgundy, greenish color and excellent, rich flavor). Buffalo Ruby Red (long popular, Dutch beefsteak, red tomato; good for slicing), Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are very large, firm, nice red color and good taste.), and the unusual, but tasty Green Zebra (ripe as a green fruit with a yellow blush and darker green stripes; delicious, tangy salad tomato; beautiful sliced into wedges for salads). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. SHARES NOT PICKED UP: We have another 8 shares leftover with no contact from CSA members. This is the third week in a row with 6 to 8 shares leftover. Please make contact with us, so we know if we should donate your box, or if you really want it!! We’d rather not make the box up at all, if no one is going to pick it up. We have two more weeks of typical vacation time for people, so please contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations, or just let us know that you will not need a share. If you forgot or your friend forgot to pick up the share, then please let us know that right away too. Thank you for understanding.

2. HELP NEEDED FOR KID FARM DAY! I need 2 more adults interested in helping out, especially if you have experience working with kids. Anyone interested, please contact Deb as soon as possible for some brainstorming ideas. Kid Farm Day is next week, 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 of around $1 to $3 per kid. 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.

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.

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. HARVEST AT THE FARM: Please call ahead if you plan to u-pick or pick up on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. and Fri.), so we can make sure someone is around to help you. There are also some “already picked” options.
Already-Picked Tomatoes–Members– $0.75/lb. Non members–$1/lb. We have a limited supply of romas, but LOTS of other sauce and heirloom varieties. Excellent time for canning, dehydrating, and freezing!
Already-Picked Shiitake Mushrooms–$14/lb. Lots of mushrooms right now. Great time for freezing & drying!
U-pick Green Beans—$1/lb. Easy to freeze & can.
U-pick Red Ace Beets—$1/lb. Excellent pickled & frozen.
U-pick Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household at no charge as part of your share.

6. 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 time)
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

PRESERVING FOOD BY FREEZING
Preserving local foods in your home is a good way to continue eating locally during the cold, winter months and is somewhat inexpensive too. This is also a way to deal with some of the surplus food, which you may accumulate over the season. Please feel free to keep this on file for future reference.

This week’s column will feature information on how to freeze food. This is probably the most common and easiest form of home food preservation, if you’ve got the freezer space. Freezing maintains the vitamin content of food better than most other preserving methods. Also the original flavor and texture of the food, in general, is retained a bit better than other methods of preserving.

Here are some freezing tips that we have discovered. First of all, it is important to use rigid glass or plastic containers, plastic freezer bags, or heavy weight aluminum foil, plastic films, or waxed freezer paper. These containers keep moisture in and air out. When freezing foods that contain liquids, leave at least 1/2-inch of space at the top for expansion. When using bags, press the air out of the unused part before sealing. When freezing food, you should also consider the serving size you would like to pull out of the freezer to avoid chipping away at a big block of frozen food. One way to do this is to place your individual pieces of food on cookie sheets and freeze. Then take them off later and transfer them to plastic bags. This works really well with pesto drop cookies. Another method is to place your food in ice cube trays. Puréed basil in ice cube chunks can be added later to soups or casseroles. Other herbs, pesto, or chilies also can be put in ice cube trays and then transferred to freezer bags.

Most vegetables (except peppers, tomatoes, cooked pumpkin or squash, onions, and herbs) need to be blanched before freezing. Most cookbooks or home food preservation book can help you with cooking times. Blanching involves heating the vegetable briefly in boiling water, cooling immediately in cold or ice water, draining, then packing into freezer containers.

Freezing food can be easier, tastier, and a bit more nutritious, if you’ve got the space. Some CSA members have found that purchasing a small freezer has helped them to have less waste of unused food from the summer share, and they have also retained a tiny bit of summer memories even after the cold of winter has set into their homes.

RECIPES

BROILED MUSHROOMS (from www.recipes.wikia.com) Serves 2 -3
1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 tablespoons flat-leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat the broiler. Clean the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. Save the stems for stock or to flavor sauces. In a small bowl, combine 4 tbsp of the lemon juice, the garlic, 3 tbsp of the parsley, and the oil and pepper. Mix well. Line a 17×11″ jelly roll pan with foil. Arrange the mushrooms, top side up, on the foil, and brush generously with the lemon juice mixture. Place the mushrooms 4 inches from the heat and broil until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. To serve, sprinkle the mushrooms with the remaining 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp of parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

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