Week 16: September 8 – September 14, 2013

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 16
Sept. 8-14, 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.

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

BROCCOLI: deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems. See Week 11 newsletter for storage and usage information.

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.

SWEET CORN (Potawatomi): yellow kernels with excellent sweet flavor. See Week 12 for usage and storage information.

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit), Rosa Bianca (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.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves. See Week 6 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 the common Genovese Basil, and you may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
-Lemon Balm– these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold;
-Curly Parsley—curly, dark green leaves, often used as a garnish, but can be used the same as flat-leaf parsley.
especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with fish & poultry.
-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.
-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; refrigerate in bag for up to 3 days.
*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.

KALE: You will receive Red Russian (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged.) or Green Curly (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.

ONIONS (Red Long of Tropea): specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France. See Week 10 for usage and storage information.

HOT PEPPERS: You will receive Poblano (black-green chili pepper, heart-shaped fruit, which is mildly pungent with a lightly sweet, medium-hot flavor) or Jalapeño (small and conical pepper, ranging from green to red; hot chile pepper used commonly in Mexican or southwestern cooking). See Week 12 newsletter for usage and storage 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).
How to use: eat raw for best nutrient retention; can be added to soups, stews, omelets, quiches, stir-fries, etc. Excellent roasted.
How to store: refrigerate unwashed in hydrator drawer for 1-2 weeks.

POTATOES: You may choose from Red Norland (smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted), All Blue (an heirloom potato with deep blue skin and flesh; moist texture; perfect in salads, baked, or boiled), and Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting; perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried). See Week 9 for storage & usage information.

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor) or Amethyst: bright purple skin and crisp, mild white flesh. See Week 14 for usage and storage information.

U-PICK RASPBERRIES (only available on the farm): The sweet fall red and golden raspberries are just coming in. 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, since it doesn’t last well in storage and takes a long time for us to pick everyone’s .

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.

TATSOI: an Asian green with small, spoon-shaped, thick, dark-green leaves with tangy, sweet flavor.
How to use: commonly eaten raw in salads and in stir-fries/soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag or wrap in a damp towel for up to a week.

TOMATOES: We pick heirloom tomatoes slightly green to prevent splitting and damage, while transporting. Heirlooms are softer and more perishable when ripe. Best to store upside down at room temperature until completely ripe. You may choose from a variety of Heirloom tomatoes such as: Japanese Black Trifele, Pruden’s Purple, Rose, Striped German, Black Krim. You may also choose from sauce or slicing tomatoes such as: San Marzano or Geronimo. Keep in mind these are very easy to freeze. Just throw the tomatoes into freezer bags after cutting off spots or core. See Week 9 for storage and usage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. TOMATO PRESERVING WORKSHOP at Tantre Farm from 1 to 4 PM on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 15. 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. This is a great time for canning, freezing, or dehydrating!

2. SOLD OUT! “FIELD TO PLATE” STROLLING SUPPER: This “Progressive Dinner” at Tantre Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 6 to 9 PM is Sold Out, but if you want to put your name on a Waiting List, please send me an email with your phone number, first and last name, in case someone else cancels.

3. CHANGE IN DATE: FALL WORK PARTY/END-OF SEASON POTLUCK is Sunday, Sept. 22. from 1-4 P.M. 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 or enjoy a wagon ride to see the produce and the animals, or just enjoy good food anytime between 1 and 4 P.M. We also will have sit-down activities, such as onion/garlic cleaning or stripping herbs. All who come will be able to take something home with them, such as a pumpkin or a winter squash.

4. BAGS, BAGS, BAGS!! We still could use some if you have some, but only grocery size please, NOT bread bags or small sizes.

5. HARVEST AT THE FARM: 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—This week you may pick 1 bouquet of up to 20 stems for “free” as part of your share. You may want to bring a vase or a jar to keep your flowers fresher on the ride home!
Already Picked Tomatoes—available for canning or freezing. Many slicer and heirloom varieties. Very easy to freeze! $1/lb. for no blemishes, “perfect” tomatoes and $0.50/lb. for “2nds”.
U-pick Tomatoes—Romas, Sun Gold Cherry, and New Girl tomato varieties are ripening in plentiful amounts. Please feel free to harvest them yourselves this week, especially since they are so productive this year. $0.50/lb. Please call ahead.
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. 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.

WHAT’S AN HEIRLOOM?
(by Joel Heeres, “Tantré alumnus“)

It’s not a loom for your heirs, as you might think. Heirloom fruit and vegetable varieties are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old. Heirlooms differ in shape, color, size, flavor, and storability, but they all share one characteristic– their seeds can be saved one season to plant in the next. Heirloom varieties have been bred by local farmers and gardeners over many generations and have been established as stable varieties that grow “true to seed“. These varieties are special, because they have been adapted to certain climates over a long time.

Heirloom vegetables are often more flavorful than hybrid vegetables. Hybrids are bred for high productivity, disease and pest resistance, drought resistance, and hardiness. While these traits are undeniably helpful, they often come at the cost of flavor. In addition, farmers cannot save seed from hybrid crops, as they are unstable crosses from two different varieties.

In summary, heirloom crops are beneficial to small farmers and home gardeners, because their seeds can be saved to plant again. They have better flavor and are more unique than hybrids, although they can be less hardy and prone to diseases.

At Tantré Farm, we grow both hybrid and heirloom crops. Some of the crops we grow from heirloom seeds are tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, winter squash, potatoes, onions, kale, beans, turnips, and radishes. Sometimes we will have some varieties of heirlooms only on the market tables, since we may not have a lot of them available. We’ll try to let you know when you are getting heirloom produce in your share box.

RECIPES

EIGHT GREAT WAYS TO SERVE SUMMER TOMATOES (Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)

1. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Toss with finely chopped shallots, then splash with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

2. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Remove center of each, and fill with a large basil leaf and a chunk of fresh mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with purchased garlic-infused oil, and wrap in foil. Roast on an outdoor grill for five minutes.

3. Cut tomatoes in wedges. Shower with grated Parmesan cheese. Top with fresh oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

4. Cut tomatoes into chunks, and place in blender. Add a pinch of sea salt, a few fresh basil leaves and several ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy for a refreshing drink.

5. Cube tomatoes and firm ricotta salt or feta cheese. Toss with cooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta), fresh mint and a favorite vinaigrette.

6. For bruchetta, top grilled Italian bread with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, extra- virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

7. Toss arugula with chopped tomatoes, orange segments, basil and toasted pine nuts. Dress with olive oil, orange juice and a splash of wine vinegar.

8. Slather a thick slice of white bread with good mayonnaise. Cover with thick slices of juicy tomatoes. Sprinkle with coarse salt and Szechuan pepper or some cracked mixed peppercorns.

**Additional simple tomato recipes and an interesting related article can be found in Mark Bittman’s New York Times article from August 5, 2011 called “The Proper Ways to Treat an Heirloom”. Well worth trying! http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/08/07/magazine/mag-07eat-recipes.html

TATSOI STIR FRY
Olive oil
1 carrot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch tatsoi
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent. Add carrot slices and sauté 3 minutes. Add sliced tatsoi stems and cook another minute. Salt and pepper to taste. Add mushroom slices and stir fry another minute. Add tatsoi greens and steam with a cover for 3 minutes. Add a little hot water, if necessary.

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