Week 14, August 25 – August 31, 2013

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 14
Aug. 25-31, 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.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

ARUGULA: an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.
To Freeze (not recommended by some): Blanch for 30 seconds, dunk in ice water, drain, or spin dry, then pack into freezer bags. Use in soups or stews or make into an arugula pesto and freeze.

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. See Week 10 for storage & usage information.
To Freeze: Shell beans. Blanch briefly in boiling water, dunk in ice water, and pack in freezer bags. Use in soups, stir fries, sautéed, etc.

BEETS: round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor. No greens this week, so look just for the roots. See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.
To Freeze: Boil beets covered (20 min. for small beets & 40 min. for large beets) until fork-tender. Dunk in ice water to cool. Slice, chunk, puree, or freeze whole in freezer bags. Good in soups, cakes (pureed), stews, side dish.

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems. Some of these will be bagged as florets and others will be in heads. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.
To Freeze: Cut broccoli into florets and blanch for 5 minutes. Dunk in ice water to cool. Drain. Put in freezer bags. Good in soups, sautéed, side dish, stews.

GREEN CABBAGE: You will receive Gonzales (a sweetly spicy green mini cabbage with 4-6-inch heads) or Red Express (solid, round, 2-4 lb. red heads). See Week 9 for usage and storage information.
To Freeze: Generally cabbage stores for long periods of time in cool storage, so freezing is often not needed, but if desired here’s how. Cut into coarse shreds and blanch for 2 minutes. Dunk in ice water to cool. Drain and put in freezer bags. Excellent in soups, etc.

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 Week 12 for usage and storage information.
To Freeze: Husk corn and blanch cob of corn for 4-6 minutes. Cool quickly in ice water, then drain. Cut kernels off cob and pack into freezer containers or plastic bags. Good in soups, side dish, etc.

CUCUMBERS: You will receive Sultan (small delicate cucumbers with thin skin, a seedless interior, and gourmet flavor). See Week 7 for usage and storage information.
To Freeze (not recommended by some): Cucumbers can be frozen or canned with a brine. Look online.

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.
To Freeze: Can be frozen, but look online, since several steps.

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:
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.
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.
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.
Sage–an herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family with 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—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!
To Freeze herbs: Pluck leaves off stems, wash, spin dry, chop, and put into freezer bags or mince in water in ice cube trays. The frozen leaves are easily crumbled into all sorts of sauces, soups, stews.

GREEN CURLY KALE: well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.
To Freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, and pack into air-tight containers, or just destem, chop, and freeze in bags. Used in soups and stews especially.

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.
To Freeze: Chop into desired pieces, either lay on parchment paper on cookie sheets, or just put in freezer bags. Used in everything you’d put a bulb onion.

CHILI PEPPERS: You will receive Poblano (black-green chili pepper, heart-shaped fruit, which is mildly pungent with a lightly sweet, medium-hot flavor) and Shishito (sweet, mild, slender Japanese chilies about 2 to 4 inches with squarish end; often used in stir-fried dishes, salads, or as a pickled condiment). See Week 12 newsletter for usage and storage information.
To freeze: Clean and freeze whole. Place in freezer containers or bags to be used later in soups, sauces, or casseroles.

POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin & white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 9 for storage & usage information.
To Freeze (not recommended by some): Boil potatoes, cube, grate (can be raw), and julienne (can be raw) into French fries, then place on cookie trays, and transfer to freezer bags.

RADISHES(D’Avignon): also called, “French Breakfast”; traditional variety from Southern France; 3-4 inch long root that is part red with a white tip and tapered to a point.
How to use: raw, roasted, used in soups, sliced in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries, grated in slaws; Radish greens (excellent source of vitamins A, C, and the B’s) delicious in soups or stir-fries.
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag/damp towel for 1-2 weeks.
To Freeze (not recommended by some): Slice the radishes into medallions, this will protect the texture of the vegetable when the cells undergo freezing. Blanch the medallions for 2-3 minutes and then submerge in ice water. Drain well, package in an air tight, air free container or bag, and then freeze. Now take your radish greens and blanch for ten seconds, drain well, package, and freeze.

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.
To freeze: Wash and cut summer squash into 1/2-inch slices, or grate flesh for baking use. Add no more than 1 pound of squash (4-6 cups) to 1 gallon of boiling water. Blanch squash for 3 minutes. Cool quickly in ice water, then drain. Pack into freezer containers or plastic bags.

TOMATOES: You will receive several tomatoes from many different varieties this week, so we really encourage you to enjoy tomatoes all year long by freezing them.
To Freeze (highly recommended): Wash, 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. IT IS SO EASY TO FREEZE 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.
To Freeze (not recommended by some): Cut into chunks. Put on cookie sheets and freeze. Remove and put in freezer bags. Perfect in watermelon smoothies or if you can also make little frozen watermelon balls for treats! Frozen watermelon is best eaten frozen, not thawed!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. KID FARM DAY was a blast! Every kid took home a flower snowflake or a corn husk doll. They also explored the farm and observed lots of critters. The morning ended with snacks from the farm as veggie and fruit kebobs. Thanks to all who participated, but especially to CSA members, Sheila Schueller, Christine Law, and Sandi Little, who planned and/or helped kids the whole morning.

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. If you can not pick up your box for some reason this Labor Day weekend, please be kind enough to make some kind of contact and let us know.

3. 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—You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems as part of your share each week. 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.
Already Picked Tomatoes—available for canning or freezing, especially this week. Many slicer and heirloom varieties. Very easy to freeze! Members– $1/lb. Non members–$1.25/lb.

4. PRESS COVERAGE: We sometimes shy away from tooting on our own horn, but several interesting articles have been written about Tantre Farm in the past few months. We thought it might be time to share with our CSA members in case you haven’t seen them and to offer gratitude to the authors, who created these enticing articles. See Nick Roumel’s article in April’s issue of CURRENT MAGAZINE: http://www.ecurrent.com/April-2013/Tantre-Farm/. See Patrick Dunn’s article in CONCENTRATE MEDIA: http://concentratemedia.com/features/Tantr%C3%A9FarmInternship0247.aspx. And most recently see Rachel Urist’s article about us in the Sept.- Dec. 2013 issue of CRAZY WISDOM COMMUNITY JOURNAL (free copies are available at the farm, at the Hub, and at the AA market): http://www.crazywisdom.net/assets/tantre.pdf. Also, this past Saturday Tantre Farm was awarded the 2013 Local Hero Award (sponsored by edibleWOW Magazine) for local organizations who grow our food, feed our families and strengthen our communities! What an honorable spring/summer it has been! Thank you for your constant encouragement, enthusiasm, and support.

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.

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. Make sure to check out all the freezing suggestions for each vegetable and fruit in This Week’s Share column too.

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

GOLDEN SUMMER SQUASH & CORN SOUP (from Eatingwell.com)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot (or 2 green onions), chopped
2 medium summer squash, (about 1 pound), diced
3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or oregano, divided
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add squash and 1 teaspoon herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft and mostly translucent, about 5 minutes more. Puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and stir in corn. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 teaspoons herbs and feta. Enjoy!

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