Week 16, Sept 11-17, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 16
Sept. 11-17, 2011

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.

PURPLE & YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Velour (“extra-fine”, straight, purple filet bean, which turns green upon cooking) and/or Concador (a smooth, straight, thin, yellow filet bean). See Week 7 newsletter for storage & usage information.

BEETS (Chioggia without greens): Italian variety with leaves all green and pink-striped stems; root has cherry red, candy-striped or “bulls-eye” flesh and has a sweet flavor. See Week 5 for storage & usage information.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves. See Week 9 for storage & usage information.

FRESH HERBS: All shares will receive just Basil this week for the herb. 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.

KOHLRABI GREENS: You will receive tender, baby Kohlrabi greens, which can be prepared exactly like kale or collards, since they are all part of the Brassica family. Excellent sautéed or used in salads. See Week 1 for storage and usage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive 1 small head 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 (Yellow Spanish): a sweet, mild flavored onion with a yellow skin. 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 (Red Dakota): red potato with white flesh that is good for baking, boiling, or frying. See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

RADISHES (Amethyst): bright purple skin and crisp, mild white flesh. See Week 1 for storage & usage information.

SPICY SALAD MIX (Spectrum): an amazing, mildly spicy, leafy salad mix of greens and reds with a wide variety of leaf shapes and sizes with ingredients such as Yukina Savoy, Golden Frills, Ruby Streaks, Tokyo Bekana, and Red Komatsuna.
How to use: used for salads and sautéing–cooks up quickly
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 2 to 4 days.

SWEET CORN (Montauk): small, fancy, bicolor kernels on 8” long ears with superior, sweet flavor. See Week 13 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.

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 a few tomatoes from different “slicing” and heirloom varieties this week. Due to the cool nights and rains last week, tomatoes for canning may be limited, but just ask. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. FALL WORK PARTY/END-OF SEASON POTLUCK will be Sunday, Sept. 25, between 1-4 P.M. Our end-of-season potluck will also be at this time, so please bring an hors d’oeuvre, snack, or refreshment to pass. Members are invited to bring family and friends to help harvest squash, pumpkins, and potatoes before the first frost. You may also come just to enjoy the farm and walk around to see the produce and the animals, or just eat at the potluck around 3 or 4 P.M. We also will have sit-down activities, such as onion or garlic cleaning. Lots of kid-friendly activities, such as wagon rides, bubbles, and even a String Petting Zoo from the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (thanks to CSA member, Mary Steffek Blaske). Please dress appropriately for the weather, since it will be scheduled rain or shine.

2. 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 Purple Filet Beans–$1.50/lb. Good time for canning and freezing! These delicate, tender filet beans turn green when blanched and frozen.
U-pick Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 20 stems per household at no charge as part of your share.

3. 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.

MORE THOUGHTS FROM A WAYFARING BUCKEYE…
by Shaun Schoonover (Tantré Farm Intern 2011)

As autumn begins peaking through the waning heat of the solstice I am reminded of one incontrovertible fact of life: that all things come to an end, life inevitably gives way to death. With leaves ablaze with those fiery hues that captivate the eyes, it often slips our minds that autumn heralds the coming death of nature. Though if you keep that realization at the forefront, the visual beauty of the season can assuage that harshness of death so many of us find hard to accept.

Life exists in layers and as those layers peel away you begin to see the depth of creation and when that final veil falls, revealing the core, you see that death is merely life peeled of its layers, but just as life gives way to death, from all that which has fallen new life arises. It brings to mind some words Daniel Quinn once wrote: “To each is given its moment in the blaze, its spark to be surrendered to another when it is sent, so that the blaze may go on. None may deny its spark to the general blaze and live forever. Each is sent to another someday. You are sent; you are on your way. I am sent. To the wolf or the lion or the vulture or the grasses, I am sent. My death is the life of another…”

Living on a farm, being immersed in any experience where one is unisolated from the cycles of the natural world, obliterates the wall our culture has erected between life and death. What was once out of sight and out of mind, kept separate and sanitized, is laid out for you in all its bare immediacy. The sparks of innumerable lives, living under, within, or on top, of the soil, large and small, are continually “surrendered” so that we may continue to breathe, and someday your own spark will be passed on to stoke the fire of new life, of rebirth. When these connections are revealed the appreciation for what feeds you swells, and when your own hand has harvested that which feeds you, you can’t help but feel honored by the valiant sacrifice of life for your own. Once again, the layers are revealed, and the beauty within that often harsh reality trickles out.

Sunday evening, I caught one of several glimpses of such when the Tantré rooster crossed paths with a very persistent mink. As I stood above him, the life gradually unfurling from his body, I felt a broadness of emotion that stretched beyond any black and white thinking over the nature of life and death and the predator/prey relation. I felt sympathy for it, of course, even a connection to it, but I accepted what had happened, then and there in the flash of the moment, knowing that it was simply the result of another animal’s wild instinct.

Life feeds on life, and rather than resisting and moralizing over that severe truth, embrace it, appreciate it even, for this is what keeps the sacred fire burning, and sharing that delicate space between life and death is what keeps us all connected, human and non-human alike. As the rooster took his final breathe, he slowly spread his wings out, like an avian Christ, and I felt not sadness but a flood of respect for his gallant bow. I may have learned more about the stoic acceptance of death from our rooster than from any other moment in my life. As you gaze at the leaves this fall season, remember to look through the layers and plumb the depths, to show your appreciation for life but to pay your respects to death.

RECIPES

POTATO ARUGULA SALAD (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh to You” website) Serves 4-6.
1-1/2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tbs. white wine vinegar or regular vinegar
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. of fresh minced tarragon
1 bunch arugula or spicy greens, rinsed and chopped or torn
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (halved) or slicing tomato (chunked)
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add cubed potatoes and cook until tender, about 12-15 min. In a bowl, mix next 5 ingredients until salt dissolves. Whisk in oil until it thickens. Drain potatoes, return to pot. Toss with dressing, tomatoes, and arugula. Serve at room temperature.

SAUTÉED KOHLRABI GREENS (from www.homemakers.com)
*When young and fresh, kohlrabi leaves can be cooked like kale or collard greens.

1 bunch kohlrabi greens (about 1.5 lb)
1 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil (or peanut oil)
1 cloves garlic, smashed
1/8 to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

From 1 bunch of kohlrabi, strip leaves from the less-tender central stems. Blanch in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 minutes. Chill under cold water and drain; chop roughly. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil; fry garlic cloves and salt until garlic begins to color, about 1 minute. Add greens; sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.

BASIL GRAIN SALAD (Complete Vegetarian Kitchen by Lorna Sass) Serves 4 to 6.
3 c. cooked grains (rice, quinoa, millet, kasha, etc.)
1 lb. small summer squash, halved & cut into 1/4 in. slices
2 c. cooked corn kernels
3/4 c. tightly packed minced fresh basil
1/4 c. thinly sliced scallion greens (or chives or onion)
1/4 c. olive oil
3 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

Place the cooked grains in a large serving bowl. Add zucchini, corn, basil, and scallion greens and toss. In a food processor or jar, prepare the dressing by combining the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the grain mixture and toss well. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt, if needed.

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