Week 20: October 5 -11, 2014

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK #20
Oct. 5-11, 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.

We also try to keep the formatted newsletter to a 2-page maximum, which means that we won’t list all the share items’ descriptions every week, but refer you to previous newsletters for information on items that have already appeared in your shares.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

FRESH SHELLING BEANS (Tongue of Fire): round, ivory-tanned, red-streaked Italian heirloom shelling beans. Makes a great hummus. See Week 19 for usage and storage information.

BROCCOLI or CABBAGE: You will receive Bay Meadows Broccoli (blue green, well-domed heads; tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems) or Ruby Perfection Cabbage (solid, round, 2-4 lb. red heads) See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads. See Week 10 for usage and storage information.

FENNEL BULBS: specialty European vegetable with fresh, anise-flavored bulb and small feathery dark green leaves like dill. See Week 19 for usage and storage information.

U-PICK FLOWERS (only available on the farm): This week you (and your share partner) may pick your last “farewell to the farm” bouquets of up to 15 stems as part of your share.

GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; used in a variety of culinary dishes. See Week 7 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 Herbs: Cilantro (looks a lot like flat-leaf parsley, but has a citrus fragrance that pairs well with highly spiced foods), OR French Sorrel (slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces), OR Peppermint (green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a tea, and good with peas, carrots, potatoes, and salads).

LETTUCE MIX (All Star): a beautiful blend of balanced color and balanced texture of Green and Red Oakleaf, Green & Red Romaine, Lollo Rossa, and Red Leaf lettuces. See Week 3 for usage and storage information.

HOT PEPPERS: You will receive Serrano (cylindrical chili pepper with excellent, very hot flavor) and Poblano (black-green chili pepper, heart-shaped fruit, lightly sweet, medium-hot flavor). See Week 12 for usage and storage information.

SWEET RED PEPPERS: You will receive Red Knight Bell (big, blocky, thick-walled, green-to-red pepper with sweet flesh), or 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). See Week 14 for usage and storage information.

POTATOES: You will receive German Butterball (a round to oblong tuber with lightly netted golden skin that wraps around deep yellow flesh. Slightly dry flesh, this is good for everything – frying, baking, mashing, soups) and Mountain Rose (rosy-skinned inside and out, these versatile, all-purpose spuds are deliciously moist, but not waxy textured. Extra nutritious, and high in antioxidants. Excellent baked, mashed or fried). See Week 7 for storage 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 1 for usage and storage information.

SPICY GREENS MIX (Elegance): a beautiful salad mix ranging in color from dark and bronze red to bluish green; combination of flavors and textures include Pac Choi, Red Mustard, Mizuna, and leaf broccoli. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

SPINACH: a crisp, dark green leaf; delicious flavor when juiced. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.

TATSOI: an Asian green with small, spoon-shaped, thick, dark-green leaves with tangy, sweet flavor. See Week 14 for usage and storage information.

TOMATOES: You will receive Geronimo (newer variety but already one of the most widely used beefsteak varieties; fruits are very large, firm, nice red color and good taste), Juliet–deep red, plum tomato; good in salads, salsa sauce), and San Marzano (early, large classic Italian roma tomato; makes for good sauce and paste). See Week 12 for storage and usage information.

WINTER SQUASH/PUMPKIN: You will receive a choice of some of the following: a variety of Kabocha (flat-round fruits; skin can be gray, dark green, or orange with medium-dry, sweet orange flesh; excellent in soups), Butternut (light, tan-colored skin; small seed cavities with thick, cylindrical necks; bright orange, moist, sweet flesh), Sweet Dumpling (small 4-inch diameter, coloring is like the “Delicata”, but round, flat-topped shape; makes a great bowl for stuffing with rice, breading, or soups), or Baby Bear Pie Pumpkin (deep orange, 1 1/2-2 1/2-lb. fruits are about half the size of a normal pie pumpkin.) See Week 17 for usage & storage information.

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. See Week 3 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. LAST WEEK OF THE SUMMER CSA: That means Oct. 8 (Wed.), Oct. 10 (Fri.), and Oct. 11 (Sat.) are the last distribution days of the summer shares until our fall shares begin next week.

2. BRING BAGS! Please bring bags (cloth for yourself and/or any “grocery-size” plastic and paper to share with others), a cooler, or a box to receive your produce this week, so you can leave the share box behind if we won’t see you again this fall.

3. EXTENDED FALL CSA SHARE REGISTRATION IS OPEN: This share runs from Oct. 12 through Nov. 1 for $100 celebrating all the bounty of the fall vegetables! There is plenty of room and plenty of produce this fall, so you will get in! The link for online registration is http://tantrefarm.csasignup.com which will bring you right to the sign up page. We really appreciate your patience. Please sign up this week, so you won’t miss any of the 3 weeks of produce. We have sent out a separate email notice that registration is active. We are prorating shares these next couple of weeks if you miss the sign up this week, but everyone needs to sign up before Oct. 25, so we have enough notice to make a share for you for the final week.

4. THANKSGIVING SHARES! A more detailed email notice about this will come out to you next week, since we want this week to be devoted to Extended Fall Share registration. A registration link will also be available on our website under “CSA Info”. We are offering a distribution in November for you to stock up on vegetables before the holiday or for winter storage for $115. This share will be available for pick up only on Nov. 22, 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. Full payment is needed by Nov. 15, so we know how many shares to harvest the following week.

5. INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR CSA IN 2015? Summer CSA Shares will be available for $640 for 20 weeks from June through the middle of October. We will be offering “online registration” for Summer Shares as well, but first we would like to sort through the Fall Share registrations, which have opened this week and next. You will all receive a separate email in a few weeks informing you when registration opens.

6. FROZEN LOCAL FRUIT AND VEGGIE SHARES FROM “LOCAVORIOUS” AVAILABLE: Tantre Farm member and Locavorious CSA founder, Rena Basch, provides locally grown, delicious, frozen fruits and vegetables in the winter months as Winter CSA Shares. Locavorious members receive 4 shares of local frozen fruits and veggies, including Tantre’s sweet peppers, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes. Shares are $210. Share pick-up places include Ann Arbor Farmers Market, Corner Brewery, Morgan & York, and the Washtenaw Food Hub. Contact Rena for more information at rena@locavorious.com or 734-276-5945, or visit www.locavorious.com to sign up.

7. 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–You may pick 1 bouquet of up to 15 stems per household for “free”. Extra bouquets will cost $4.
U-pick Shelling Beans–$2/lb. Christmas Lima and Tarbais (Dried beans should be set out to air dry for about a week before shelling and storing the beans in a jar or other container).
U-pick Tongue of Fire Beans–$1/lb.

8. MUSHROOM GROWING CLASS: Rachel Mifsud, who taught our Forage and Preserve class in July, is offering a class about mushrooms in Ann Arbor on Oct. 11 from 1-4 PM in the Common House at Sunward Cohousing Community. The cost is $35/person, 12 and under half-price with a paid adult, plus you can purchase either a $5 or a $20 oyster mushroom kit to grow at home. Must register in advance for the $20 kit. Call/text Rachel at 248.514.6365.

9. PENCILS & PARSNIPS–A Farm to School Fundraiser with Zingermans and Tantre Farm: Join our Tantre Farm crew at Upstairs in the beautiful new space at ZIngerman’s Deli on Wednesday, November 5, 6:30pm, for Zingerman’s annual “Taste of Tantre”. This year the event will celebrate The Agrarian Adventure’s 10th anniversary! Join us for Tantre-produced and inspired foods and drinks in honor of 10 years of edible education in Ann Arbor Public Schools. The funds raised at the event will benefit district-wide school garden outreach, Tappan garden and greenhouse programming, as well as the Farmer in the Classroom program in AAPS elementary classrooms (which Tantre Farm has actively been involved in for the past 7 years). For tickets and more info: http://www.zingermansdeli.com/events/ *Tickets are $100/person ($80 of which is tax deductible!)

10. 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.

REFLECTION ON WINGS
By Deb and Richard

The red-winged blackbirds cloud up in the sky swirling with a soft, thunderous sound as they take off in a large, black, spinning vortex, whirling and flattening again up and over hedge rows and fields–only to gather together again on the earth to glean all the seeds off the soil. The geese glide across the sky honking under the October rain clouds. The sand hill cranes flap their wings as they cross the skies trumpeting their 8 million year old caaar-ar-ar, caaar-ar-ar with their long beaks.

It is good to see these three species gather after a summer nesting and feeding on the ground and in the water. They all have their particular diet. The geese eat beans, grains, and grass. The cranes eat omnivorously—mice, insects, grain, seeds, lizards, frogs, and crayfish. The red-winged blackbird is also a good omnivorous feeder eating mostly insects in the summer, but switching to a seed/grain diet in the winter. These birds will carry the nutrients in their bellies and on their wings to far distant lands across vast regions of the planet using only the wind and their wings. They are the great, ancient teachers showing us how to live together on Mother Earth as a group. They also travel in groups, perhaps because there is safety in numbers. A flock or a herd is more difficult to attack, since it’s harder to single out one individual. Each group, as well as each individual, has their niche and their territory. These birds live with the ecology of the land and find themselves sorted naturally. Their numbers are regulated by the carrying capacity of the ecology. We could learn so much from them.

We also have had this amazing flock of new and experienced farmers settle onto our farm land once again. The men and women, who have come here to work are so much like these great flocks of birds. They come seeking a connection to the earth, growing plants, eating simple foods, cooking, and sharing the harvest. They all have their particular diet. They are vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous, and we all live together as a community. They do all the jobs that take so many long hours from the first light of day until the evening shadows, toiling in groups and as individuals, day after day throughout the seasons of the wet and the dry, the hot and the cold. This great crew that has landed will soon be flying away perhaps to warmer climates, perhaps towards more education and farming, or perhaps to other jobs. We really appreciate all the gifts of stories, laughter, hard work, and dedication to this farm and our community, which they have shared with us. We have learned so much from them. Thank you Chizo, Lizzie, Erin, Dylan, Shaun, Andi, Carly, Shad, Julia, Oscar, Jbird, Lori, Jill, Laurie, Beth, and all the others who have flown away already to other adventures and are no longer with us.

This is our favorite time of year to watch these great flocks gather and migrate to other regions. They have come from so many different places. It’s fun to work on the farm and watch all these amazing beings heralding in the cold, north wind and the changes in the season. It is good to see a healthy change of the seasons.

We will continue harvesting greens, brassicas, root vegetables, squash, and Brussels sprouts to sell at the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the winter! We will continue selling produce at the Chelsea Farmers’ Market until the last Saturday in October. The People’s Food Coop of Ann Arbor has been selling our produce all summer and will continue throughout the off seasons. Finally, for those able to travel to the farm, we will have much of the above bulk produce in storage or in the fields until the end of December, and some things like potatoes, squash, garlic, and spinach will be available in January, February, and maybe even longer into the spring.

Thank you for being members this season, and we hope you liked the variety of food we grew this year. It has been an amazing year that has literally flown by! We’ve had such consistent rain and mild temperatures making the transitions from one season to another very bountiful. Thank you to all who have lived the full life on the land and in the air. This has been an absolutely golden, glorious year of abundance–one that has truly inspired us to look forward to the spring when we start planning for next year. Hope to see many of you this fall and next summer for 2015!