Week 6, July 1-7, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 6
July 1-7, 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.

BEETS & GREENS: medium-tall, red-veined green leaves with beets attached. * The beet greens can be used like spinach or Swiss chard. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

CUCUMBERS: You will receive 1 long, cylindrical, green-skinned fruit of the gourd family with mild, crisp flesh. The thin skin doesn’t need peeling, unless waxed for longer shelf life in stores.
How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sautéed, or baked.
How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week; use up leftovers as soon as possible.

FRESH 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.
You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; high in vitamins A and C, and other minerals, such as iron. See other “Parsley” recipes in “A to Z” cookbook.
Oregano–member of the mint family and is similar to marjoram, but not as sweet and more pungent flavor and aroma; good in soups and tomato-based dishes.
Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems.
Rosemary—pine needle-like leaves used with potatoes, bread doughs, risottos, mixed vegetables, and meat dishes, especially lamb, as well as in sweet dishes such as lemonade, creams, custards, and syrups.

KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”). 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 are good sources of vitamins C and A, calcium, potassium, and fiber.
How to use: good steamed and then mashed with potatoes, added to soups or stews, or delicious sliced and eaten raw with dip
How to store: store in refrigerator for up to a month

LETTUCE: You will receive Red or Green Leaf, Romaine, or Oak.
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. See Week 5 for usage and storage information.

SHELLING PEAS: You will receive Shelling Peas (easy to shell with delicious flavor for fresh eating and freezing) Chew on the pod to test if they are edible pods or tough-skinned shelling pea.
See Week 2 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.

SWISS CHARD (Rainbow Mix): close relative of garden beets; multi-colored, large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor; good source of vitamins A, E, & C, as well as iron & calcium.
How to use: greens can be prepared like spinach, and stalks like asparagus; good steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and in soups.
How to store: wrap in damp cloth in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2-4 days.
How to freeze: Chard leaves freeze easily. Chop leaves, blanch for 3 minutes, dunk in cold water immediately, drain, and freeze in freezer containers/bags.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS without the 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 (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. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE Sunday, July 15 or 22 between 1-4 p.m. We are still deciding on the actual date based on a musician’s availability, possible snow cone maker’s commitment, and other fun activities to take your mind off thoughts of the heat. Feel free to send us your preferred date and we’ll consider that too! With the high temperatures this summer, this particular Work Party will be more of an Open House with more shade-related activities such as cleaning garlic, stringing herbs for drying, or shelling peas. For the hard core gardener types weeding will be possible too. Kids (and adults) may want to cool down with a “flower fountain” sprinkler, wading pool, and possibly even a “Slip and Slide”! Members are encouraged to bring family and friends to Tantré Farm for a wagon ride and getting to know fellow community members. This is a voluntary event with a potluck included. Please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment to pass that folks can feast on throughout the afternoon as well. You can visit the two new baby calves born within the last 2 weeks as well, along with several young chicks. We look forward to showing you the farm!

3. NEW!! Bike-in Movie Nights! We invite you to outdoor movies about FOOD at the Washtenaw Food Hub while eating local food snacks. (Drivers are also allowed and embraced.) Showtime at 9:30. Donations accepted. Bring a chair or a blanket. The next movie showing is on July 13 called “Asparagus: Stalking the American Life”. Visit www.bikeinmovienight.com for all the details!

4. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Thank you to our 10 to 15 minute weeders. They are really making a difference! If anyone else is interested in helping out, just let us know.

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

VISITING THE FARM
BY CSA member, Alisse Portnoy

One really hot day two summers ago, some Tantre workers shared some of their melon with us while we were saying hello to a few calves, and they encouraged my then-two-year-old daughter, Jessica, to feed her rinds to those calves. That week at home, Jess insisted we save our melon rinds for the cows. By the end of the summer, we were saving everything we might otherwise compost “for the cows.” And still, two years later, every week we bring food for the cows. Now, Jess feeds some to the calves and the goat, and some to the big cows. Some food she dumps in so she can pet the cows and scratch around their horns while they eat; the rest of the food she lets the cows eat from her hands (they have very rough tongues and very sweet demeanors). Last summer, the chickens were our first stop. This summer, it’s almost always the cows.

Last summer, Deb gave Jess a project. Would Jess visit with the new chicks each week, hold as many as she could, so they would get used to being held? Yes! We started the day after the chicks arrived, and the following week we brought a wooden sign that Jess painted to welcome the chicks to Tantre. We watched those chicks grow every week – they grew almost as fast as Jess! And now, Jess visits those full-grown chickens each week, picks a few up, feeds them some grain, and collects their eggs (she no longer needs me to help her reach under the hens, and she always says “thank you, chickens!” when she collects them). She’s learned a lot interacting with those chickens. Two summers ago, it was how to stand still and be patient so they would walk up to her and eat greens from her hand. It was being gentle with those eggs and how warm and smooth and wonderful they feel when first collected and how terrific they taste the next day; it was matching feathers on the ground to the chickens from which they had fallen. Then it was returning baskets and closing the gate after our visits, and then deciding whether to brave the chickens’ pecks when they came close. Now it is how to navigate their swarms when she has grain in her bucket and the best ways to pick them up so they (and she) remain calm and comfortable and content. So very content she is, and engaged, and proud, and totally present.

But cows and chickens are maybe an hour or two of the six or seven hours we spend together at Tantre every Friday from April through October (and every few weeks during the winter, too). We also play with Kalli and Dingo, Tantre’s dogs. We harvest some of our food for the week (recently quarts of strawberries and peas, of course, but in the past year everything from spinach to carrots to beets to raspberries to tomatoes to broccoli and more (Jess’s favorite are carrots!), we play on the hay bales and the walnut tree swings (oh those walnut tree swings! giggles and glee every single week). We talk with the farmers and we eat a lot. We sit on the grass and wander the farm and look and listen and get wonderfully dirty. And then we go home, eat food we’ve watch grow, talk about the farmers who grow it and the land that nourishes it, and look forward all week to going back again.

RECIPES

TANTRÉ FARM SLAW (Very refreshing) Serves 4.
2 medium beets, grated
3 large carrots, grated
1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1 medium onion (optional)
sesame or sunflower seeds, toasted
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Grate vegetables into a bowl. Chop onion, if desired, and add to bowl. Toast sesame or sunflower seeds. Add when cooled. Add olive oil and lemon juice as a salad dressing to suit your taste. Be careful of too much liquid. The tartness of the lemon should be prominent. Serve immediately or marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator. Variations: Add grated turnips, mint, parsley, etc.

SHAVED SUMMER SQUASH SALAD (from Bon Apetit June 2011)
3 Tbsp. whole almonds
1 lb. summer squash or zucchini
2.5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 minced garlic clove
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Few handfuls of arugula (or beet greens, kale, lettuce)
Pecorino cheese

Roast almonds and coarsely crush. Meanwhile, trim the ends off the squash/zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste. Pour dressing over squash. Let stand for a few minutes, then add a few handfuls of arugula or other green. Shave a little Pecorino cheese over the squash and toss. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with crushed almonds.

HERB BLENDER DRINK
Wash and remove leaves from 1 bunch of peppermint, anise hyssop, or lemon balm. Blend leaves in blender with 6-8 ice cubes and about 2 quarts of water. Drizzle sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup) to taste. Strain through a sieve into a pitcher. Add some whole ice cubes to a glass. Very refreshing! We HIGHLY recommend it!

HOPE YOU HAVE AN ENJOYABLE 4TH OF JULY!

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