Week 2: June 2 – June 7, 2014

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 2
June 2-7, 2014

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. **Also, if you’re having trouble identifying any unfamiliar produce, please look for “Veggie ID” with additional information on our website under CSA INFO or under RECIPES.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

GREENS ADVICE for the entire season: Please keep in mind that greens are especially prominent during this early part of the farm season, so basically, “It’s salad time!” If you’re not sure how best to enjoy your green, taste it. Greens can be eaten raw in a salad or lightly steamed or sautéed with garlic, green onions, or butter in order to mellow their flavor. They can also be tossed into a dish (such as soup or a smoothie) for an extra nutritional and flavorful boost.

ARUGULA (Sylvetta): also known as “wild rocket” with more deeply lobed leaves and a more pungent flavor; an aromatic, bright salad green with a peppery mustard flavor
-How to use: add to salads, soups, and sautéed vegetable dishes
-How to store: very perishable, so use up quickly; store in plastic bag with a paper towel in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

ASPARAGUS: You will receive a bunch of green, purple, or white variety; each contains vitamins A, B, and C, as well as iron.
– How to use: serve raw, chopped in salads, or with dips. You can also steam, roast, grill, or serve “cold” with a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt, and lemon juice.
– How to store: wrap in damp cloth and plastic bag, then refrigerate. Alternatively, bundle spears with rubber band and place upright in container with an inch of water.

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:
Chives—mild, onion-flavored herb with long, slender, hollow leaves; can be added to potato salad, baked potatoes, soups, salads, omelets, dips and spreads, pastas and sauces.; purple, onion-flavored blossoms add an attractive garnish to soups or salads (stems attached to blossoms are often discarded due to toughness).
Lemon Balm– these fragrant lemon-minty leaves make a delicate herbal tea, served hot or cold; good addition to lettuce or fruit salads and ice cream; nicely paired with grilled fish or lamb and tossed with steamed vegetables; also aids in depression, tension, or nausea.
Winter Savory– is a semi-evergreen, perennial herb; its strong spicy flavor goes well with beans and meat; medicinally it has antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, and digestive benefits, as well as relieves bee stings.

BABY LETTUCE MIX (Wildfire): a beautiful bag of dark reds and vibrant greens including Green and Red Oakleaf, Green and Red Romaine, and Redleaf lettuces. Your lettuce has been rinsed once, but needs washing.
-How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days.

HEAD LETTUCE: You may choose from Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine. This will be an option on the side.
-How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days.

GARLIC SCAPES (last minute addition, so not in the paper copy): This popular and highly delectable flower top of a garlic plant has a slender green stem with a slight bulge at the bottom (resemble chives, except for the bulge and often curled); tender and milder in flavor than mature garlic, but can be substituted for garlic cloves in recipes. **Attached recipes to online newsletter.
-How to use: mild garlic flavor, so delicious chopped in salads, roasted, and sautéed.
-How to store: put in refrigerator in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): young shoots of bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large bulb onions; full of great fiber and antioxidants, high in potassium and source of vitamins C and B-6. You will be receiving 2 bunches.
-How to use: the bulb, flowers, and green leaves are edible; can be cooked, grilled, roasted whole as a vegetable; chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor.
-How to store: refrigerate in damp towel/plastic bag for 5-7 days.

POTATOES (Kerr’s Pink): very pale skin and cream flesh; mealy, cooked texture, so makes a good Specialty/Salad Potato variety;
-How to use: good roasted, mashed, or in salads
-How to store: Keep unwashed in cool, dark place in paper bag.

RADISHES: You will receive Pink Beauty (pink-colored root with mild, spicy flavor) or D’Avignon (also called, “French Breakfast”; traditional variety from Southern France; 3-4 inch long root that is part red with a white tip and tapered to a point).
-How to use: raw, roasted, used in soups, sliced in salads, sandwiches, or stir-fries, grated in slaws; Radish greens (excellent source of vitamins A, C, and the B’s) delicious in soups or stir-fries.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag/damp towel for 1-2 weeks.

RAPINI: also called “Broccoli Raab” or Rabe or Rape; leafy green with 6 to 9 inch stalks and scattered clusters of tiny broccoli-like buds (some of ours don’t have buds yet, so just the leaf); traditional Italian specialty combining qualities of broccoli and mustard greens;
-How to use: used for salads or light cooking. To cook simply: Clean rappini with water, oil pan, add garlic and brown. Add 1 cup of water. Put in rappini, season to taste. (Lemon may be used if desired.) Cover pan and steam for thirty minutes. Pepperoni or sausage may be added to rappini after it is fully cooked.
-How to store: wrap in damp cloth in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

RHUBARB: related to a common weed, the dock plant; it is botanically a vegetable, although generally we think of it as a fruit; pinkish-green stalks are extremely acidic and sour; high in vitamins A and C and some minerals, such as calcium.
-How to use: dice young tart stalks into salads or hot /cold cereal, add slices to spring soups, juice it, make a sauce, pie, crisp, or tart.
-How to store: wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. For long-term storage, rhubarb may be frozen as a sauce or after it is washed, chopped, and drained, put in a bag.

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.

SPINACH: You will receive a bag of this crisp, dark green leaf– best eaten raw or with minimal cooking to obtain the beneficial chlorophyll, as well as vitamins A & C; delicious flavor when juiced.
– How to use: toss in fresh salad, add to sandwiches, sauté, steam, braise, or add to crepes, quiche, lasagna, and soups.
– How to store: refrigerate with a damp towel/bag for up to 1 week.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS and GREENS: A white salad turnip with round, smooth roots that have a sweet, fruity flavor with a crisp, tender texture. Use the greens as well, sautéed or braised.
– How to use: good in salads and soups, roasted, steamed, sautéed,
– How to store: remove greens from turnip root and store separately in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 3 days; roots can last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. BABY CHICKS HAVE ARRIVED!! We are happy to announce that we are the proud new parents of 25 baby Isa Brown chicks. They are quickly sprouting their adult feathers, so if you’d like to see them as chicks, you probably have a couple of weeks left before they become awkward adolescents.

2. KID FARM HIKES: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm starting next week on Friday, June 6, at 4:30 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 45 minute hike with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore the farm’s fields, wetlands, and forest. Sheila teaches ecology and field biology classes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Meet at the Distribution Shed at 4:30. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait for you.

3. CHANGING PICK UP DAYS: Please remember to contact us preferably a week in advance, but at least by Sunday of each week, to make changes in pick up days or locations. It is very disappointing to put together a box that is never picked up. Please have the courtesy to make some kind of contact with us, if you can not pick up your box for some reason.

4. PAYMENTS DUE: If you still owe money, it will be reflected on the check-in sheet, when you pick up your box. If you believe there has been some mistake, or have any questions, please call or e-mail us. Please finalize payments due within the month of June, unless alternate arrangements have been pre-approved.

5. CSA COOKBOOKS: We will have a handy cookbook for sale this season called “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce”. This $15 book includes an easy-to-follow format with vegetables listed from A to Z. We also have ordered 20 copies of a new cookbook called: “Farm-Fresh and Fast”, which features theme menu ideas, storage tips, and seasonal cocktail recipes for $20. These cookbooks will be available throughout the month of June at each distribution site until they are sold out.

6. MISSED PICK UP: If you don’t pick up or forget to come, you will have one day to come to the farm to get your share before it will be taken apart or donated. Please call or email, so we know what happened, and Deb doesn’t need to call you.

7. 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.)—10 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)—8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

INTRODUCING RICHARD, DEB, AND ARIANA…
Some of our articles may feature some of the regular workers on Tantré Farm throughout the coming weeks. Here are the owners of the farm, Richard Andres & Deb Lentz, and their daughter, Ariana.

Richard and Deb both grew up with a connection to farming and growing food. Richard grew up in Plymouth & Canton, Michigan. He had an early interest in farming, since he worked as a teenager picking corn for a local farmer. Then he started raising and selling strawberries, corn, and muskmelons on his parents’ property. He also worked at his friend’s farm, Garden Works, for a few years. Following that, he tended traditional, Asian-raised gardens at the Ann Arbor and Toronto Zen Buddhist Temples for a number of years. Finally, he bought Tantré Farm in 1993, and proceeded to make it certified organic. After that he began growing organic potatoes, winter squash, and garlic for wholesale orders, besides continuing full-time work as a timber-frame carpenter.

Deb grew up on a 160-acre beef farm in Lake City, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota with an Elementary Education degree. She taught fourth through sixth grades in Central Minnesota and worked as a counselor at a Summer German Camp for the next 10 years. Then she met Richard in 1994, which led to their marriage in July of 1997. After that she taught first and third grade for several years in Napoleon, Michigan, until their daughter, Ariana, was born in 2001.

Richard is working as a full-time farmer now, and continues using his carpentry skills through the many maintenance and building projects of the farm. Now Deb publishes the newsletter and coordinates the communication and bookkeeping of the CSA. She also continues to enjoy teaching to groups who come to the farm for field trips, as well as, in area schools through Farm-to-School programs. Ariana is now completing sixth grade, and she is looking forward to hanging out with lots of kids on the farm this summer! Both Richard and Deb enjoy the sense of community that running Tantré Farm creates for themselves and their daughter, as well as the many young interns/farmers who live and work on the farm, which provides the opportunity to serve the local community fresh, organic food.

RECIPES

RHUBARB SODA
4 stalks rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup (more or less) carbonated water
ice cubes, if desired

In a small pan, bring the rhubarb, sugar, and water to a boil. Lower heat and stir occasionally until the sugar dissolved and the mixture has reduced into a light syrup, about 10 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer and press the rhubarb bits with the back of the spoon to release all the juices into the bowl. Add about a tablespoon of the syrup to the bottom of each cup and top with carbonated water. Serve immediately with ice cubes, if desired.

SAUSAGE AND BROCCOLI RABE (from COOKS.COM)
1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage
1 bunch broccoli rabe (also called “rapini”)

Cut sausage into 1″ pieces and put at the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking pan. Cut stems off broccoli rabe (rapini). Place rabe over sausage and cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Mix sausage and broccoli rabe with the juice at the bottom of pan. Easy and delicious.