Week 14, August 26-September 1, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 14
Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 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 or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Maxibel French Fillet (very slender green bean with firm texture and good taste) or Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery taste).
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.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, See Week 5 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. Sage–an herb 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.
2. Lemon Balm– these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold; good addition to lettuce or fruit salads and ice cream; nicely paired with grilled fish or lamb and tossed with steamed vegetables; also aids in depression, tension, or nausea.
3. Rosemary—pine needle-like leaves used with potatoes, bread doughs, risottos, mixed vegetables, and meat dishes, especially lamb, as well as in sweet dishes such as lemonade, creams, custards, and syrups.
4. Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.
*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. See “Announcements” for more details.

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.

KOHLRABI: delicious cabbage-flavored bulbs that grow above ground; purple or green skin and crisp, apple-white flesh tubers and leaves. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive Red Cherokee (red, thick, crisp, dark red leaves with good flavor) or French Crisp/Batavia (very crisp, like Romaine or Iceberg lettuce, sweet and juicy without bitterness.). See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

MUSHROOMS (SHIITAKE): You will receive Shiitake Mushrooms (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) or Golden Oyster (golden oyster-shaped cap with a mild, anise, earthy odor). See Week 13 newsletter for usage and storage information.

OKRA: We only have a small sampling of this traditionally Southern plant—Clemson (Light green pods with 5-8 points and a tapered, oblong shape.) or Carmine (Stout, 5-pointed pods, which are deep red when small, then fading to a lighter red/pink with a tapered, oblong shape); contains fair amounts of vitamin A and C.
How to use: Fried okra is a delicious Southern staple in gumbo; also fine stir-fried, braised, baked, or in soups. Known for both its ability to thicken any liquid and its flavor.
How to store: refrigerate okra in a plastic bag for up to 3 days

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.

HOT PEPPERS (optional): You may choose from Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red with medium hot flavor) Korean Red (small, curved, greenish-reddish shape; very hot), or Serrano (cylindrical fruit with excellent, very hot flavor; considered a chili pepper; usually eaten fresh green not dried). See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

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.

SWISS CHARD (Rainbow Mix): close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves. See Week 6 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. 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 have the courtesy to make some kind of contact with us and let us know.

2. KID FARM DAY will be on Wed., Aug. 29, from 9 AM until noon. At this point, there are 5 spaces still available, so contact us by 10 PM tonight, if still interested. 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. More information will be coming about this event to each participant by email before the end of the day.

3. 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.

4. 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!
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 as part of your share. You are invited to donate a $1 or more for seeds and labor.

5. WEEDING HELP NEEDED: Please contact us, if you are able to help. Lots of weeds after all these wonderful rains!

6. PLASTIC OR PAPER GROCERY BAGS NEEDED, if you would like to donate some to the farm or at markets. We are running very low.

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

PRESERVING FOOD BY CANNING
(adapted from Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce by MACSAC)

When compared to other methods of home food preservation, canning foods falls somewhere in the middle with regard to cost and vitamin loss. However, it can take a bit of time for preparation, canning, and clean up. Also, products canned incorrectly can harbor dangerous microorganisms or disease-causing spores. This should not be a problem, if guidelines and proper procedures are followed.

Many different techniques are used for canning, but listed below are two different canning methods. You will need to consult other canning or preserving resources for more specific details. See preserving resources listed in “A to Z Cookbook”.

Water bath canning for high acid foods: This is the method used for most fruits, high-acid tomato varieties and some salsa recipes. The water bath method involves submersing the canning jars in boiling water for specific amounts of time. This kills microorganisms and creates a seal. First of all, you will need a large pot with a tight fitting lid. The pot must be large enough, so that the level of the boiling water can be 2 inches above the top of the canning jars and must have some sort of rack on the bottom, so the jars are not in direct contact with the bottom of the pot. Canning rings can also be used to line the bottom, if needed. The second item that is necessary will be canning jars. Just be sure they are free of cracks and nicks on the lip of the jar. Next you will need lids for the canning jars. These are small disks that fit on top of the jar. You will also need rings that screw on the jar and hold the lid in place. Finally, you should have a jar lifter or canning tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water.

Pressure canning for low-acid foods: Pressure canning is necessary for low-acid vegetables. In order to make low-acid foods safe, the clostridium botulinum bacteria spores must be destroyed by making the foods reach 240 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is achieved by using pressure in a pressure canner. This type of canning uses most of the same equipment as in the water bath method, except that a pressure canner is used instead of a large pot. These are available with either a dial or weighted gauge for indicating when the jars have reached the necessary pressure.

RECIPES

STIR-FRIED KOHLRABI (The Goodness of Potatoes and Root Vegetables)
3 kohlrabi, peeled
3 medium carrots
4 Tbs. peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1-2 fresh chili peppers (serrano hot pepper), sliced
1/2 c. water
salt
4 Tbs. oyster sauce (optional)

Slice kohlrabi and diagonally into thin, elongated ovals. Heat peanut oil in wok or large, heavy skillet; when it begins to smoke, toss in garlic and ginger. Stir once, then add kohlrabi and carrots; toss and cook 2 minutes. Add green onions and chilies; stir-fry 1 minute, then pour in 1/2 cup water. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Remove cover and toss in a little salt and the oyster sauce, if using. Serves 4.

Comments are closed.