Week 15, Sept 4-10, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 15
Sept. 4-10, 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.

BEANS (Velour): “extra-fine”, straight, slender, bright purple pods. Turns green upon cooking. See Week 7 newsletter for storage & usage information.

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems. See Week 7 for storage & usage information.

CABBAGE: You will receive Savoy (loose, full head of crinkled leaves varying from dark to pale green; mellow-flavored cabbage considered to be superior for cooking) or Green or Red Cabbage. See Week 9 for storage and usage information.

CUCUMBERS: long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. See Week 7 for storage & usage information.

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit) or Orient Express (long, lavender fruit). See Week 12 for storage & usage information.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves. See Week 9 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:
Parsley (flat, glossy, dark green leaves), Dill (soft, delicate, fernlike, grayish-green leaves), 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.
*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 or COLLARDS: You will receive Green Curly (well ruffled green leaves or green with red stems) or Collards (dark-green, flat, large leaf. May be substituted for kale or other hearty greens recipes. Use blanched, large leaf rolled up as a wrap and stuff with vegetables or hummus). See Week 1 for storage and usage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive 1-2 heads of various kinds of lettuce. 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). See Week 13 for storage and usage information.

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

SWEET RED 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 and usage 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 (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 10 for storage & usage information.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 20 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.

U-PICK RASPBERRIES (only available on the farm): The fall raspberries are ready now, so 1 pint is available as part of your share this week, only if you are able to come out to the farm and pick it yourself. More pints are available for u-pick as well for $3/pint. See u-pick information below in the “Announcements”.

TOMATOES: You may choose several tomatoes from many different “slicing” varieties this week. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. DEB IS OUT OF TOWN THURS (9/8) – SUN (9/11): I will have limited internet and cell phone access, so I will not be able to respond promptly to all emails sent during this time. If you need to reach someone at the farm, please call 734-475-4323.

2. PRESERVING COOKBOOKS FOR SALE for $20. Please ask for copies at each distribution, if you are interested.

3. EXPLORERS had fun on KID FARM DAY! We collected flowers, leaves and edible samples during an edible farm walk. Then we returned to make Herb Pillows/Sachets or Flower Creatures. Following a “Little Creatures” theme, we observed and sorted various creatures in pond water and from shaking a plant. The morning culminated with snacks from the farm. Thanks to all those who participated!

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.
U-pick Broccoli Florets—$0.50/lb. Good time for freezing.
U-pick Raspberries—1 pint free with your share, and $3/pint for additional pints. *Easy to freeze on cookie sheets.
Already Picked Tomatoes–$30 for 25 lbs. (half bushel) Good time for canning, dehydrating, and freezing!
U-pick Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 20 stems per household at no charge as part of your share.

5. 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.

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

PURPLE BEAN AND TOMATO SALAD (adapted from www.grouprecipes.com) Serves 1 or 2.
6 oz green or purple beans, chopped into 1″ pieces
3 tbsp hummus
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp oregano
1 sprig parsley, minced
3 oz Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 plum tomato, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

Steam the bean pieces 4 minutes over boiling water. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together hummus, lemon juice, oregano and parsley. Set aside. Place lettuce in a salad bowl. Top with tomato slices and warm, steamed beans. Season with pepper. Pour hummus mixture overtop of everything, toss lightly to coat. Serve immediately.

PURPLE EGGPLANT, BEAN, AND PEPPER STIR FRY (adapted from www.seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com)
Sauce:
2 teaspoons arrowroot or corn starch
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

Mix ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

Main Ingredients:
1 pound cooked purple potatoes, in chunks
1/2 pound purple beans, (which will turn green when cooked), chopped
1/2 pound or 2 large eggplants, ½-inch slices
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 large red pepper, deseeded & chopped into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon peeled, minced ginger
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 to 4 tablespoons mild vegetable oil

When the potatoes have boiled for 10 minutes, put the beans in a colander, and drain the water from the potatoes over them to blanch them, but keep the potatoes in the pot so they are separate from each other. Rinse them both in cold water, and drain again. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a very large skillet. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minute until they are lightly browned. Add another tablespoon of oil, and add the eggplants. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes. Add the onions, pepper, and beans and a little more oil if needed, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ginger and garlic; stir in well. Then add the sauce ingredients, still stirring. As soon as the sauce thickens – in moments – remove from the heat and serve.

GARLIC CROUTONS (from Farmer John’s Cookbook)
garlic cloves (peeled, top sliced off), stale bread, olive oil, salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Brush both sides of the bread with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the bread on a baking sheet and sprinkle tops lightly with salt. Bake until lightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes, checking frequently to make sure bread doesn’t burn. Remove the bread from the oven and rub all over with the cut side of the garlic cloves. Cut the bread into smaller pieces if desired. The bread is ready to be used or stored.

Comments are closed.