Week 16, September 9-15, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 16
Sept. 9-15, 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.

FLAT BEANS: You will receive Northeaster (also known as Italian or Romano beans; huge, wide, flat, buttery, 8 inch long pods with delicious, rich, sweet flavor; they are good sources of fiber and vitamin C. Serve them with beef, lamb, seafood or poultry, or as a healthy appetizer, together with other seasonal vegetables. Sauté with olive oil and garlic for a quick and easy side dish.) See Week 7 newsletter for storage information.

BEETS (without tops): You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor) or Forono (cylindrical, deep purple root; chefs like this one for even slicing for cooking, pickling, and processing with little waste) or Chioggia (pink-striped stems; root has cherry red, candy-striped flesh and has a sweet flavor). See Week 3 for storage and usage information.

SWEET CORN (Montauk): small, fancy, bicolor kernels on 8” long ears with superior, sweet flavor. Remember to break off the tips of the corn if damaged with the corn borer or the corn earworm. See Week 12 for usage and storage 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. You may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
Parsley –flat, glossy, dark green leaves, 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, Spearmint– leaves are bright green with mild flavor and fragrance; used in both sweet and savory dishes and in alcoholic drinks, such as Mint Juleps or Mojitoes; good as a hot or iced tea, or Dill– feathery green leaves that go well with fish, potatoes, beets, carrots, and yogurt sauces; considered a good luck symbol by early Romans.
**NO BASIL THIS WEEK.

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.

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), Serrano (cylindrical fruit with excellent, very hot flavor; considered a chili pepper; usually eaten fresh green not dried), Padron (heirloom pepper famous in Spain; 2 to 3 inch long red fruit, which are hot; serve sautéed in olive oil with a little sea salt, or chop into many other dishes), or Shishito (sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 2 to 4 inches with squarish end; often used in stir-fried dishes, salads, or as a pickled condiment). See Week 10 for storage & usage information.

POBLANO PEPPERS: You will receive about 3 of these hot peppers, known as “poblanos” when black- green; popular in Southwestern recipes; heart-shaped fruit, which is mildly pungent with a lightly sweet, medium-hot flavor). See Hot Pepper storage and 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 Colorado Rose (large, oval, smooth, rose-red-skinned tubers with white flesh; all purpose potato; great roasted with rosemary or sage or in potato salad). See Week 8 on storage information.

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

SWEET POTATO LEAVES & STEMS: Leaves are variable in shape, size, and color but more or less heart-shaped and green with purple markings; commonly used in African and Asian cooking with a mild, but dense flavor, which stand up very well to cooking, maintaining their dark green color and a pleasantly easy texture; good source of vitamins A and C. *Please refer to this week’s feature article for more information on sweet potato leaves.
How to use: traditionally cooked just like spinach, with a little meat or fish and served over rice; also can be eaten raw in salads or steamed.
How to store: refrigerate in a plastic bag for a few days.

TOMATOES: You may choose from a variety of tomatoes, which will include the following: San Marzano (early, large classic Italian roma tomato; delicious, balanced acidic flavor and meaty flesh makes for good sauce and paste) or Mountain Magic (bright red, round tomatoes with very sweet flavor; excellent in salads). See Week 11 for usage and storage information.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): A bouquet per household of up to 15 stems will be part of your share. This means that if you are splitting a share, each household can pick a bouquet.

U-PICK 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.

WINTER SQUASH: You will receive Acorn (small, green ribbed squash with pale yellow flesh; great stuffed with rice, breading, or soups).
How to use: Slice in half, scoop seeds out and bake with a little water in baking pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender; boil or steam chunks for 15-20 minutes, or until tender (peel skins off “before” or “after” cooked, but “after” is easiest when it’s cooled); mash cooked squash with butter; purée cooked squash for creamy soup, or add chunks to soups.
How to store: Keep for several months (depending on the variety) in a dry, moderately warm (50-60 degrees), but not freezing location with 60-75% humidity; will also store at room temperature.

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. EXTENDED FALL CSA SHARE AVAILABLE FOR 2012: We are offering an Extended Fall CSA Share for $96 for 3 weeks from Oct. 14 through Nov. 3. All forms will be attached to a more detailed email notice this week, and also will be available at every distribution site. If you’re interested you can return your registration form by e-mail, send it in the mail, or put it in the labeled envelope at the distribution sites. Registration and payment due by Oct. 13. Non-members are welcome, so encourage others to register now. **Chelsea Farmers Market will not have a distribution on Saturdays though for the Fall Shares. The other distribution sites and days are the same.

3. THANKSGIVING SHARES! We are offering a distribution in November for you to stock up on vegetables before the holiday or for winter storage for $108. This share will be available for pick up only on Nov. 17, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, at the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market from 7 A.M. until noon or at Tantré Farm from 2-5 P.M. A $50 deposit can reserve your share, but full payment is needed by Nov. 10. All forms will be attached to a more detailed email notice this week, and also will be available at every distribution site. Non-members are welcome, so encourage others to register.

4. HARVEST AT THE FARM: Please call ahead if you plan to u-pick or pick up on other days besides Wed. and Fri., so we can make sure someone is around to help you.
Already-Picked Tomatoes–Members– $0.75/lb. Non-members–$1/lb.
U-pick Golden/Red Raspberries—1 pint free. Extra $4/pint
U-pick Fresh Flowers– You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household as part of your share. Extra bouquet: $4

5. 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.

ANOTHER NUTRITIOUS GREEN TO TRY: SWEET POTATO LEAVES
Sweet potatoes are not yams. They are a member of the morning glory family, a family with beautiful trailing vines that hug the ground. Sweet potatoes are one of only a few cultivated vegetable crops that originated in the Americas. They are said to be native to Central America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man.

The sweet potato is one of the world’s most cultivated crops, and now is grown all over the world, but especially in Asia and the Pacific. China is the largest grower of sweet potatoes, providing about 80% of the world’s supply. The leaves are good forage for domestic animals, and also are high in protein and calcium. Chinese herbalist lore says that the leaves can improve the respiratory and renal system function. According to new research from the University of Arkansas, sweet potato leaves are chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants as well. In total, they contain 15 different compounds that could help prevent heart disease, diabetes, infection and some types of cancer.

Although usually the roots are eaten, young leaves and the tips of vines can be harvested, washed, and boiled as a green vegetable or added to stir-fries. Separating the leaves from stems for some bunches of leaves can be a tedious chore, so some people may use scissors or stack the leaves in a pile and slice through all at once next to the stem with a knife. If the stem is not too woody, it can also be tossed into a stir fry, steamed along with the leaves, used in soups, and of course, eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. Sweet potato leaves are a staple green in third world countries, and many recipes can be found online.

We enjoy many varieties, textures, and flavors of greens in our share box. The sweet potato leaves are just another variation of our rich, diverse consumption of greens. Hope you enjoy the simple nourishment and unique flavors of these sweet potato tops.

RECIPES

SWEET POTATO TOPS A LA KUWAGO (from www.happycow.net)
dash of Asafetida (a Persian spice, which can be replaced with 2 cloves minced garlic or 4 Tbsp. minced leek)
1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 Tsp. of Mustard Seeds
4 potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch squares
4 large Tomatoes, diced finely or 1 small can crushed tomatoes
3 cups of Water, Vegetable Stock or Rice Washing
1 large bunch of Sweet Potato Tops, hard stems removed & washed
Dash of Cumin Powder
Sea Salt to taste

In a deep pot, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Fry them until they start to pop. Add the asafetida (or garlic). Add the cumin. Add the potatoes and stir fry them until the outer parts start to change color. Add and sauté the tomatoes until they become tender. Add the water and allow it to boil. Add your sea salt. Add the Sweet potato tops. Continue to boil, around 5 minutes, until the potatoes are tender enough, mixing them once or twice to ensure that all the ingredients are cooked evenly. Serve warm.

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