Week 4: June 15 – June 21, 2014

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 4
June 15-21, 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

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.

GARLIC SCAPES: 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 paper newsletter. This didn’t work online last week, so just on paper copies unless you email me individually requesting the “7 Garlic Scape Ideas”.
-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.

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Black-stemmed Peppermint–forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers; leaves are good as a hot or iced tea; adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
Sage–an herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family with long, narrow, grayish-green leaves and a musky aroma and spicy taste; vibrant, edible blue flowers with a subtler sage flavor than the leaves; leaves used in making sausages, stews, breads, and teas; enhances meats, vegetables, salads, pickles, and cheese.
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats. The flowers are edible and make nice garnishes.

KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”).
See Week 2 or 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.

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 probably needs more 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 will receive 2 heads of Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine in your box with an optional extra head 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.

RED SPRING ONIONS (or “Green” Onions): young shoots of red 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.
-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 2-5 days.

SHELLING or SNAP PEAS: You may receive Shelling Peas (easy to shell with delicious flavor for fresh eating and freezing) or Sugar Snap Peas (“round” pod of edible-pod pea). Chew on the pod to test if they are edible pods or tough-skinned shelling pea.
-How to use: Add shelled peas to soups, stews, sautés, or stir-fries. Blanch or steam for 2-4 minutes only until color is bright green. Snap or snow peas can be eaten raw in salads or cooked quickly as in stir-fries or deep fry in tempura batter.
-How to store: Refrigerate in plastic bag for 4-5 days. If kept too long, their sweet flavor and crisp texture diminishes.

POTATOES: You will receive Dakota Red (red potato with white flesh that is good for baking, boiling, or frying) or Désirée (a red-skinned potato originally bred in the Netherlands with yellow flesh; very versatile with a waxy, firm texture for cooking from roasting to mashing and 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 Amethyst (bright purple skin and crisp, mild white flesh).
-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.

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.

STRAWBERRIES: You will receive 1 quart this week of this member of the rose family; red, conical fruit with tiny white flowers. You know “how to use” strawberries, yum!!!
-How to store: Do not wash until you are ready to consume them. Place them on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
-How to freeze: Freeze whole strawberries hulled and washed on cookie sheets and put in freezer bags.

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.

SCARLET QUEEN TURNIPS: large, flat-round, sweet, crisp, white flesh with spicy, red skin. Greens are excellent 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. U-PICK AT THE FARM for “members only” this week: Please come during our Farm Distribution Days and regular times on Wednesday or Friday. If you want to come on any other day of the week, then please schedule an appointment for u-pick. No u-pick available on Sat. mornings, since we are at two Farmers Markets, but starting after 2 PM we’ll be back.
**Strawberries–$4/qt. for members. You can pick into our open quart baskets to measure them, but to take them home, please bring your own containers or transfer them into donated berry containers at the Distribution Shed.

2. “LULU” COOKING CLASS ON June 25 with still spaces left! We will be offering “Cooking Classes” once a month at Tantre Farm. We will be offering tips and recipes on what we are preparing, using mostly ingredients from Tantre Farm’s share box. The first class is on Wed. June 25 from 6 to 8:30 PM. We will be helping prepare a delicious 4-course meal with help from our guest chefs and fellow CSA members, Eric Lundy and Laenne Thompson. There will be a $10 fee for materials and handouts for each class. Please register by contacting us soon with your NAME, PHONE NUMBER, and E-MAIL ADDRESS in the body of the email. More details about the meal will follow in the coming weeks.

3. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: There are always a generous amount of weeds on the farm. If you are interested in helping out–even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes before you pick up your box at the farm, come join us. Please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark. We could really use the help with the weeds right now. Thanks for volunteering!

4. 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. You will have 1 extra day to retrieve your box at the farm before we donate it.

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

100% ORGANIC!
(by Renee Bertsch–Tantré Farm “alumnus”)

What does it mean to say that Tantré Farm is organic? To us as farmers, it means we practice stewardship of the land and people. To the USDA, it means something else entirely.

The National Organic Program (NOP), as created by the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, shapes the standards for organic food production. The NOP regulates organic crop production, wild crop harvesting, organic livestock management, and processing and handling of organic agricultural products. Approved synthetic materials and prohibited organic materials are reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board and placed on the “National List”. All the NOP guidelines, including the National List, are fully available to the public at the NOP website: www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

Use of the word “organic” in labeling and marketing is restricted via a three-tier outline: 1) “100% Organic” means exactly what it says–the product may contain only organically produced ingredients. These products may display the USDA Organic label and the certifier’s label. 2) ”Organic” permits 5% of the product to be made from non-organic ingredients approved on the National List. These products may also display the USDA Organic label and the certifier’s label. 3) “Made With Organic Ingredients” allows 30% of ingredients to be made from non-organic ingredients on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s label, but not USDA Organic.

Each year an agent from an USDA accredited organization visits Tantré Farm. Certifying organizations sometimes have separate, but not conflicting, standards from USDA regulations. To be certified, Tantré Farm is inspected annually, and we submit information about our practices and plans. Some of this information includes detailed daily harvest and work records, but also includes Tantré Farm’s organic plan. An organic plan is an outline of how we keep the farm “organic” on a daily basis, at several levels of operation. Two major areas of the plan are the substances we use, and how we keep organic products away from non-organic products. We also only use ecologically friendly methods and substances to improve the soil and control pests.

So what’s good about choosing organic food?
1. It provides you with a safer food supply. We don’t use toxic, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, or fungicides, which may remain on foods long after harvest. This could mean a long-term health risk for consumers. A number of pesticides are known or suspected carcinogens, while others haven’t been tested yet as cancer-causing.

2. Organic farming offers a healthy environmental alternative. Instead of causing water pollution and using excess energy and equipment, we use labor-intensive methods that improve soil fertility and biological diversity.

3. Organic farming methods are safer for you, the farmer, and the environment, but it also helps enrich and sustain the health of the soil. Conventional farming can deplete topsoil levels and soil nutrient content over time. This decreases soil fertility and affects the ability for our soil to provide long-term food production. We use various agricultural methods (crop rotation, green manure, mulching, etc.) to help build the organic matter in the soil, so we also see less soil erosion and more variety of animal species and microorganisms in our fields.

RECIPES

RADISHES AND GREEN ONIONS WITH FETA CHEESE (from Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor) Serves 6 to 8.
2 c. thinly sliced radishes
3 or 4 green onions, chopped
4 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
10 to 12 Kalamata olives, pitted, and chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Toss together the radishes, green onions, Feta cheese, olives, and mint. Season with the salt and pepper. Toss again. Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together and pour over the vegetable mixture. Toss to coat vegetables with dressing.