Week 13, August 21-27, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 13
Aug. 21-27, 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.

GREEN and YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Maxibel French Fillet (very slender green bean with firm texture and good taste) and/or Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery taste). See Week 7 newsletter for storage & usage information.

BROCCOLI (Fri. and Sat. members only): deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems **Due to small amounts available, only part of the CSA will receive Broccoli this week, and the other members will receive Mushrooms. See Week 7 for storage & usage information.

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. See Week 7 for storage & usage 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:
Anise Hyssop (catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea, and in potpourri), Black-stemmed Peppermint (superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems), Italian Flat-leaf Parsley (flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh), Thyme (tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and as teas can soothe sore throats.). *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 (Lacinato Kale): dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed. See Week 1 newsletter for storage and usage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive 1 small head. See Week 1 newsletter for storage and usage information.

MELONS: You may choose from Little Baby Flower Watermelon (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), Sunshine Watermelon (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet), Gold Flower Watermelon (elongated, sausage-like fruit with sweet yellow and orange bicolor flesh and green skin; unusual variety from China), Crimson Sweet Watermelon (large, dark and light green-striped with sweet red flesh), or Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe (sweet, thick, orange flesh with corky net on the skin; medium-sized, oval fruit).
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.

MUSHROOMS (AA & On Farm Wed. members only): You will receive Shiitake (flower-like cracking pattern on brown cap) or Oyster (white, golden, or gray oyster-shaped cap with a mild, anise, earthy odor). **Due to small amounts available, only part of the CSA will receive Mushrooms this week, and the other members will receive Broccoli. See Week 11 for storage & usage information.

ONIONS: You will receive a Yellow and a Red onion. See Week 8 for storage & usage information.

PEPPERS: You will receive Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh) Carmen (tapered fruit ripens from green to deep carmine red; sweet taste for salads and roasting, when fully red-ripe), or Apple Pimento (cylindrical, lobed-end fruits with mild, juicy, sweet fruity flesh).
See Week 12 for storage, usage, and freezing information.

HOT PEPPERS: You may choose from Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red), Serrano (cylindrical fruit with excellent, very hot flavor; usually eaten fresh green not dried), or Shishito (sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 2 to 4 inches with squarish end). See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

POTATOES (Red Dakota): red potato with white flesh that is good for baking, boiling, or frying. 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.

SWEET CORN (Montauk): small, fancy, bicolor kernels on 8” long ears with superior, sweet flavor. 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.

SWEET POTATO LEAVES & STEMS: heart-shaped green leaves with purple markings. See Week 12 newsletter.
How to use: traditionally cooked just like spinach, with a little meat or fish and served over rice; also can be eaten raw in salads or steamed.
How to store: refrigerate in a plastic bag for a few days.

TOMATOES: Very easy to freeze: Cut off bad spots, core big slicing or Roma tomatoes, and put in freezer bags whole or cut up in chunks. Cherry/Grape/Plum tomatoes just need to be washed and frozen whole in freezer bags. Add to soups or make sauces throughout the winter. *Tip: For those who don’t like skins, they come off easily (although the skin has many nutrients) when partially thawed, or dunked in warm/hot water. You may choose several tomatoes from many different varieties this week. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. THANKS FOR COMING TO THE TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP! We managed to put up 36 quarts of canned tomatoes during the workshop on Saturday night! All went home with 1 jar of canned tomatoes. Thanks to Kristen Uthus, who facilitated the workshop and all the hardworking participants.

2. PRESERVING COOKBOOKS FOR SALE: At this time of year, thoughts may turn to freezing, canning, and dehydrating in order to continue to eat local food from your own preserves. If you are interested in a cookbook, we still have some for $20. Please ask for copies at each distribution.

3. RETURN SHARE BOXES: Please return boxes, so that we can reuse them. We are missing several. Thanks.

4. CHANGING PICK UP DAYS: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday of each week, to make changes in pick up days or locations. It is very disappointing to put together a box that is never picked up. Please have the courtesy to make some kind of contact with us, if you can not pick up your box for some reason. We have been having 4 to 7 boxes left over for the past 3 or 4 weeks with no contact.

5. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 31, from 9 AM until noon. At this point, registration is full, but if you are interested in being placed on a “Waiting List” in case of cancellations, please call or e-mail Tantre Farm with your child’s name, age, phone #, & email address. Anyone interested in helping out, please contact Deb.

6. 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.
U-pick Broccoli Florets—$0.50/lb. Good time for freezing.
Already Picked Tomatoes–$2/lb. all varieties. $40 for 25 lbs. Good time for canning, dehydrating, and freezing!
U-pick Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household at no charge as part of your share.

7. 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.

REFLECTIONS ON THE FARM
By Richard and Deb

About 200 red-winged blackbirds collect in a giant flock in the sassafras as the golden rays of the sun lengthen and the shadows grow. The first red leaves are appearing amongst the yellowing walnut branches. Ever-present crickets are singing day and night, looking fat and slow as a chorus of cheerful chirps surge through the air. The tomato vines are tall and hanging heavy with ripening fruit. Melons lay in the cool grass with dew each morning. New beds of turnips, beets, carrots glisten as the sun rises. Mushrooms mysteriously bud in the mosquito-filled shadows of the woods. Peppers turn from deep leafy green to bright Christmas red. The corn fattens on the stalk waiting for the raccoons and deer to come during the night to feast. The new plantings of kale and broccoli are growing very well after all the hard rain. The dried beans have their first pods waiting for fall harvest. Many more generations of basil are still ready for harvest bushing out in the sun, so there’s still time to freeze some pesto.

The crew is thinning as Leanna, Sarah, and Marcus head back to college. We have really enjoyed their positive and supportive efforts on the farm. We’ll miss them in more ways than one from their delicious cooking to their steady, strong hands and feet in the field. The moon was waxing and now is waning into darkness allowing us to see the true brightness of the stars. Our days are getting shorter, and we remember the moments that we’ve shared with those who are leaving and those who are still here as indelible legends in the pantheon of our mind like so many stars in the dark August night.

RECIPES

BROILED MUSHROOMS (from www.recipes.wikia.com) Serves 2 -3
1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms or oyster 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.

CANTALOUPE AND TOMATO SALAD WITH MINT (from Farmer John’s Cookbook by John Peterson) Serves 4.
½ small cantaloupe, balled or cut in 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in halves)
½ cucumber, peeled, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large rip celery, diced (about ¾ cup)
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup chopped fresh mint plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Combine the cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumber, and celery in a large salad bowl. Whisk the yogurt, mint, vinegar, honey, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the melon salad and toss until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with mint leaves.

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