Week 5 – June 25-30, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 5
June 25-30, 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.

We also try to keep the formatted newsletter to a 2-page minimum, which means that we don’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. Keep in mind the internet is overflowing with information, including pictures of almost everything that we grow.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

FAVA BEANS: (also called faba bean, horse bean, or broad bean) the pod is inedible and looks like a large bean pod; the bean seed resembles a very large lima bean with a tart, pungent flavor). See Week 4 for usage and storage information.

BABY BEETS & GREENS (mostly): medium-tall, red-veined green leaves with small beets attached. * The beet greens are especially delicious right now, and can be used like spinach or Swiss chard. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

FRESH GARLIC: a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, bolstering the immune system, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease, used as an expectorant or decongestant, and at least some people believe that it can ward off vampires and insects.
Cooking tips: To mellow garlic’s strong flavor opt for longer cooking; to enjoy its more pungent flavors and increased medicinal benefit, use it raw or with minimal cooking.
-How to use: minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables; make garlic butter with 1/2 cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic; try roasting garlic by cutting off tops of garlic bulb, so cloves are exposed, brush with olive oil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, squeeze garlic out of skins and spread on a good, crusty bread.
-How to store: fresh garlic can be stored in an open, breathable basket in a cool, dark place for many months; if cloves begin to get soft or moldy, break off bad clove and chop up others and pack into small jar filled with olive oil; then refrigerate.

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
Anise Hyssop— catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea, and in potpourri. It was used medicinally by Native Americans for coughs, fevers, wounds, and diarrhea.
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. You can also chop fresh chives and freeze them with water in ice cube trays to use later when needed.
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.
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; leaves are shaped like spinach, but paler green in color; high in vitamin A and contains some calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C; refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 3 days.

KALE: You will receive Fizz Kale (A new, unique kale with finely lobed, deep emerald green leaves; ideal stir-fry greens with a delightful zing and texture) or Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged.) See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

LETTUCE: You will receive Red Cherokee or New Red Fire lettuce.
See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

SUMMER ONIONS: slightly larger bulbs (“baby bulb onions”) than green onions, but both bulb and leaves are still edible; can be prepared like cippolini onions.
-How to use: can be grilled or roasted whole as a vegetable or chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor
-How to store: wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in fridge for 2 to 7 days.

SHELLING or SNAP PEAS: You will 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 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.
-How to freeze: Peas freeze well, but will lose their crunchy texture. Blanch for 2 minutes (shell peas must be shelled first), rinse with cold water, drain, and pack into freezer containers.

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); great source of vitamins A & C, potassium, and calcium; approximately 94% water, so replaces lost fluids during summer heat. *Keep in mind “zucchini” and “summer squash” are basically interchangeable in recipes.
-How to use: use in salads, dips, grilled, casseroles, stuffed, or mashed with butter and seasonings
-How to store: store in plastic bag in refrigerator 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. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations, especially with the 4th of July vacations coming up (yes, we do have pick up on the 4th!). Also keep in mind that changes need to be made within the same week (Sun.-Sat.), not into the next week of distribution.

2. U-PICK AT THE FARM: Please contact us ahead of time by e-mail or phone unless you are picking on a Farm Distribution Day (Wed. or Fri.). Best days to come for u-pick are Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, since our workers have not picked as much on those days. No u-pick available on Sat. mornings, since we are at two Farmers Markets then.
Strawberries–$5/qt. You can pick into our quart baskets, but to take them home, please bring your own containers or transfer them into donated berry containers at the Distribution Shed. This is slowing down, but you can try your luck, if you like.
Shelling & Snap Peas–$1/lb. Come and get peas for freezing.

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

REALIZING REALITY
By Shaun Schoonover (2012 Tantre Farmer)

For the bulk of our civilized life, humans have found themselves sucked into a distracting game of heaven and hell, as we unwittingly fashioned our own hell on earth through a thousand missteps and once realized pulled an about face to scramble for a redemptive heaven through utopian backpedaling, never realizing that both are endpoints to oblivion, fully removed from here and now, this world. There is a working paradigm that exists, one that we are free to draw from, from which others still do, if only we are willing to forget what we think we know and throw out our domesticated blinders.

Richard often speaks of balance in our day to day scrambling, and though it has slipped from the lips of a thousand sages and New Age “propheteers” and at risk of becoming just a chattered banality, it is a sensible road to walk down. Frequently, we find ourselves split into two insensible polarities as it regards “nature”: the cynic that sees it through the eyes of Hobbes as “nasty” and “brutish,” in need of a conquering and taming touch, and the sentimentalist that embraces it as a nurturing yet fragile mother, tucking away any of the severe truths that mar that idyllic whimsy, such as the reality that living takes life, that death is part and parcel of Life. These are both unfortunate views, sprung from a culture that has nearly detached itself completely from its earthly home. Life is, paradoxically, both and neither of those aforementioned. It is the slight tension, the pushing and pulling of these opposites, that creates our reality. Some people see only chaos because the only order they know is the one imposed by us, but the world does not need us to tame it. The world does not need us to save it or steward it, either. It was here ages before us, functioning quite swimmingly, and will likely remain so for some time to come after our kind has passed. What the world needs more than anything is for us to once again live like we belong to it and not it to us. There is no “nature,” no “out there.” We are inextricably imbedded into this community of life, and our daily lives resonate through it all like the ripples broadcast from a stone tossed in the pond. To be mindful of this, to be humbled by this, may just serve to alter the course of our careening vehicle and steer us from the edge of oblivion.

Sustainable food does not need idealism for it to succeed. It needs clarity and common sense, something that the sparring factions of either side of the divide are often lacking. Ideals can quickly rot into hollow idols that easily shatter under the hammer of reality. I say this not to discourage lofty aims but to merely warn that there is a difference between reaching for the stars and simply having one’s head in the clouds. Our ancestral heritage, all that lies behind and precedes that moment the first seed was sown and cultivated, can teach us much, despite what our vanities wish to believe. These days, we could benefit from less doing and again live up to our title: human being. Perhaps, then, we can come to our senses and recover “from centuries of taming.”

RECIPES

SUMMER SQUASH AND EGGS (Mad Mares Cookbook)
2 cloves garlic, minced
butter or olive oil
2 medium squash, sliced into thin rounds
3 eggs, beaten

Sauté garlic over medium heat in skillet with olive oil. Add squash before garlic browns, sauté covered for several minutes, flipping squash to cook all sides. Squash should be translucent and soft. Add eggs and scramble with a spoon, until eggs are just cooked; do not overcook. Salt and pepper to taste.

THE VERY FRESHEST GREEN DRESSING (from The Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor)
1 bunch sorrel for tangy, lemony flavor (or parsley)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small shallot (or summer onion), chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to create a smooth sauce. Allow to sit several hours before serving, so that flavors have time to blend. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Although best used when fresh, this dressing will keep for 5 to 6 days covered in the refrigerator.

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