Week 15, September 2-8, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 15
Sept. 2-8, 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.

Keep in mind that the internet is overflowing with information, including pictures of almost everything that we grow. Also, we have two sections on our website to help you identify unfarmiliar produce with color images including descriptions of appearance, taste, nutrition, uses, storage, and seasonal information. You can find this under “CSA Info” on the “Veggie ID” page and also under “Recipes”, the section is called “Produce Information Organized by Plant Part”. We already have some ideas on how to make it easier for you to use (especially an alphabetical tag list of produce), but it’s as good as it gets for this season. Please feel free to pass along any ideas you may have to make it more user friendly.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

ARUGULA: an aromatic, bright green, salad green with a peppery mustard flavor; rich in iron and vitamins A and C. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

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.

SWEET CORN (Montauk): small, fancy, bicolor kernels on 8” long ears with superior, sweet flavor. See Week 12 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).
How to use: may be salted to remove bitterness from old fruit, but also makes it less watery and more absorbent, and can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish; can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled, or can be sliced into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut into cubes for stews and stir-fries. Lots of recipes and basic cooking tips in the “A to Z cookbook”.
How to store: best fresh, but can be stored at room temperature or in refrigerator drawer for up to 1 week.

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:
Parsley (flat, glossy, dark green leaves), Anise Hyssop— edible purple flower spike with catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea, and in potpourri), 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), or Black-stemmed Peppermint–leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and add a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries. *Genovese 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. 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.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share. No Sunflowers this week please. See “Announcements” for more.

KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”) or Lacinato (dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed). 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 or Green Leaf. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

ONIONS (Big Daddy): Spanish type yellow onion, delicately textured flesh is superb raw, and makes magnificent French onion soup; may last 8-10 months in storage. 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 All Blue (an heirloom potato with deep blue skin and flesh; moist texture; perfect in salads, baked, or boiled) *Interesting note: Most blue fleshed cultivars contain 90 times more antioxidants than white tubers, and the antioxidants in potato tubers are enhanced by cooking them. See Week 8 on storage information.

U-PICK RED & GOLDEN RASPBERRIES (only available on the farm): 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 $4/pint. See u-pick information in the “Announcements”.

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 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.

2. KID FARM DAY was delectable! We toured the farm by tasting several types of veggies and fruits on the way. Then we made “crazy veggie critters” to take home followed by a Farm Scavenger Hunt. The morning culminated with snacks from the farm. Thanks to all those who participated!

3. THANKS FOR COMING TO THE TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP! We managed to put up 52 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, who now will have at least 1 jar of tomatoes put up for the winter.

4. U-PICK FLOWERS: You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household as part of your share. Extra bouquets will cost $4. You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home! PLEASE DO NOT PICK ANY SUNFLOWERS JUST THIS WEEK! We have been asked to provide 75 sunflowers for the Ozone House’s annual fundraiser event on Friday called “An Evening at the Farmers Market”. This sold-out, open air dinner celebrates local chefs, local businesses, and Ozone House’s service to youth in our community with local food, wine, beer, live entertainment, and a silent auction. Our flowers will be decorating the tables adding to the ambience of this elegant dinner with over 300 guests.

5. 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 & Yellow Beans—$1/lb. Easy to freeze & can.
U-pick Red Ace Beets—$1/lb. Excellent pickled & frozen.
U-pick Golden and Red Raspberries—1 pint free with your share, and $4/pint for additional pints. *Easy to freeze on cookie sheets.

6. WEEDING HELP NEEDED: Many weeds are appearing in the gardens and the fields. Please contact us, if you can.

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

8. 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.

CORN LOVERS OF ALL SIZES
Despite the weeks 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

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 or minced fresh hot peppers
Mix ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.

Main Ingredients:
1 pound cooked purple potatoes, in chunks
1/2 pound purple (or green) beans, 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.

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