Week 13: August 18 – August 24, 2013

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 13
Aug. 18-24, 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. 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. They 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.

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems; known as an anti-cancer vegetable. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

GREEN CABBAGE (Gonzales): You will receive a sweetly spicy green mini cabbage with 4-6-inch heads. See Week 9 for usage and storage information.

SWEET CORN (Potawatomi): yellow kernels with excellent sweet flavor. 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. See feature article.
See Week 12 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). See Week 7 for usage and storage 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). See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

FENNEL BULBS: specialty European vegetable with fresh, anise-flavored bulb and foliage.
How to use: used in salads or soups, excellent grilled, sautéed, steamed, or baked, can be used raw for dipping; feathery leaves are tasty as an herb on fish or in a salad.
How to store: Detach leaves from bulb, wrap leaves in moist towel and store bulb in plastic bag in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share. See “Announcements” for more details.

GARLIC (optional): a bulb of several papery white cloves. ** It’s been a little too wet for curing garlic well this year, so we have some bulbs, which are perfectly good, but will not store for long periods of time, so we’re offering these “seconds” to members, when we sort them. Easy to freeze: Mince garlic and cover or blend with olive oil, then freeze in air-tight containers. Can also be minced or whole and just put in freezer bags. 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, and you may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
Winter Savory– is a semi-evergreen, perennial herb; its strong spicy flavor goes well with beans and meat; medicinally it has antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits, as well as relieves bee stings.
Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with fish & poultry.
Curly Parsley—curly, dark green leaves, often used as a garnish, but can be used the same as flat-leaf parsley above.
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; refrigerate in bag for up to 3 days.
*Genovese Basil—All shares will receive basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last up to a week or 2 when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. Do NOT refrigerate!

KALE (Red Russian): the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large onions.
See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

PEACHES (Red Haven): Fruit again in your share! This is an early rosy-orange skinned peach with firm, creamy yellow flesh. Mature peaches will continue to ripen after they are picked. Keep in mind the fruit may have the white clay residue of Kaolin (organic spray described in Week 10 newsletter), which can be washed off.
How to store: If the fruit is firm and not quite ready, just set them on your kitchen counter in the sun or in a paper bag to ripen more quickly. The less the fruit is touching each other or at least not too many on top of each other, the longer they will last.

HOT PEPPERS: You may receive Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red; hot chile pepper used commonly in Mexican or southwestern cooking) and/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: Some folks like to handle hot peppers with gloves, and cut on glass plate. Often roasted, chopped, and used to season corn bread and cheese dishes; good for stuffed appetizers, 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 (Red Norland): smooth, red skin & white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 9 for storage & 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 small cherry/grape varieties: Sun Gold Cherry (exceptionally sweet, bright tangerine-orange cherry tomato), Red Grape (oval to oblong, baby red grape tomatoes), or Chiquita (deep rose-pink grape tomato), Tomatoberry (unique strawberry-shaped, deep red colored fruits with firm, meaty texture), or Juliet (deep red, plum tomato; good in salads, salsa sauce). You will also receive Brandywine (large, heirloom, beefsteak tomato–often over 1 lb.–with a deep pink skin and smooth red flesh; known as one of the best-tasting tomatoes).
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) or Sunshine Yellow (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. KID FARM DAY is full for this week, 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 of around $5 per kid.

2. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us preferably a week in advance, but at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations.

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

4. 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 15 stems for “free”. You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home! Extra bouquets will cost $4.
U-pick Tongue of Fire Beans—if fresh, then good for freezing after blanching; if dried pods, then set out in basket for a couple of weeks to thoroughly dry before longer term storage in jars for later use; Cost is $0.50/lb.

5. 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.

CORN LOVERS OF ALL SIZES
Despite the week of corn, we’ve already had, this is the first week we will introduce two fellow corn lovers: the European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and the Corn Earworm (Heliothis zea), which you may have encountered already.

The European Corn Borer has been a resident of the U.S. since the early 1900s. The larvae are grayish-pink caterpillars with dark heads and spots on the top of each segment about 1 inch long. They chew on leaves and tassels of corn, but especially favor the tasty insides of stalks and ears. It is not partial to corn though, since it has been recorded on 200 different plants, including beans, celery, beets, and potatoes.

Despite the fact that we hear much about the corn borer, the earworm is probably the worst pest of corn. It is said that American farmers grow two million acres of corn a year just to feed it. The color of the larvae varies from white to green and even red. They have four pairs of prolegs, are spined, and 1-1/2 inches long. These voracious eaters enter corn ears at the tip and work their way to the kernels.

If you are “lucky” enough to encounter one of these guests in your ear of corn this week, don’t throw the ear away, just break off the offensive part and cook the rest. We are pleased to introduce you to these smaller relatives who share your taste for corn.

RECIPES

FENNEL AND BEAN SOUP (adapted from: Portuguese Homestyle Cooking)
1 1/2 cups dried white beans (or 1 ½ cups Tongue of Fire Beans)
1 pound smoked ham hocks (optional)
8 cups water
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tsp. black pepper
1 cup chopped cabbage (or other greens)
3 cups chopped potato (about 3 large potatoes)
1 bunch green onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound ground pork sausage, cooked & drained

Place the ham hocks, **dried beans** and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour until the pork is tender and the beans can be mashed. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf and pepper to the pot. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the fennel, cabbage, potatoes, scallions, olive oil, and browned sausage. Return the soup to a boil and simmer until vegetables are tender-about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
**If using fresh shelling beans such as Tongue of Fire, then cook for 30 minutes in same amount of water until tender enough to be mashed. Followed by adding other ingredients as described above.

SAUTÉED SHISHITO/PADRON PEPPERS
½ lb. shishito peppers or substitute with padróns, rinsed
1 Tbsp. 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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