Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
July 6-12, 2014
If needed, please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
**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
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; fresh fava beans should be shelled from pod if skin seems tough, but bean seed can be eaten raw, skin and all, if young enough. Lots of information on the internet. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.
BEETS: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves) or Chioggia (Italian variety with leaves all green and pink-striped stems; root has cherry red, candy-striped flesh and has a sweet flavor). Edible greens!!
How to use: greens can be substituted for spinach and chard in recipes; roots good in soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
How to store: separate roots from leaves and store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; store greens wrapped in damp cloth in plastic bag for up to 1 week.
NAPA CABBAGE: crinkly, thickly veined leaves, which are cream-colored with celadon green tips; good source of vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round cabbage heads, Napa are thin, crisp, and delicately mild.
How to use: Use raw, sauté, bake, or braised; common in stir-fries and main ingredient in traditional kimchi; also eaten raw as a wrap for pork or oysters; the outer, tougher leaves are used in soups.
How to store: refrigerate, tightly wrapped, up to 5 days.
CUCUMBERS: a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor.
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, 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 good cloves and pack into small jar filled with olive oil; then refrigerate (great gift idea!).
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 1 out the following 4 herbs this week:
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.
Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with fish & poultry.
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.
Tarragon—its flavor is delicate and almost licorice or anise-like; an essential herb in French cuisine; exceptional in egg dishes, poached fish, chicken, mushrooms, salad dressings and with other vegetables.
KALE: You will receive Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”) or Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged). See Week 3 newsletter for usage and storage information.
LEEKS: green leaves with white to pale green stems.
Cooking Tip: Slit from top to bottom and wash thoroughly with root facing up to remove all of the dirt trapped between the leaf layers.
How to use: white and lower part of greens can be cooked whole, chopped in slices and substituted for onions; delicious raw in salads or cooked in soups, quiches, casseroles, stews, stocks, or stir-fries.
How to store: refrigerate unwashed for 2 weeks in plastic bag.
SALAD MIX or HEAD LETTUCE: You will receive either Salad Mix (a custom mix of baby lettuces, spicy mix, Asian greens, and arugula) or Head Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red Leaf or Romaine). See Weeks 5 and 6 for usage and storage information.
NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted.
How to use: New potatoes are just young potatoes that haven’t had time to convert their sugar fully into starch and often have a crisp, waxy texture and thin, underdeveloped wispy skins, so are good boiled or pan-roasted, but particularly suited for potato salad, since they hold their shape well after being cut and cooked.
How to store: Refrigerate new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days, but use up sometime during the 1st or 2nd week of receiving them. These potatoes have not been cured, so will not last as long as “cured” potatoes, which should not be refrigerated, since low temperatures convert the starch to sugars and may turn dark when cooked.
SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green/Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits) or Yellow Crookneck (long, curved neck with a sometimes bumpy, yellow skin; buttery flavor and firm texture) or Patty Pan (tender, rounded scallop, bright yellow squash with a green tip; nutty flavor). See Week 6 for usage and storage information.
SWISS CHARD: close relative of garden beets; large veined, semi-crinkly, dark green leaves; mild flavor; good source of vitamins A, E, & C, as well as iron & calcium. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.
1. KID FARM HIKE: Come join us for a guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on Friday, July 11, at 2 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 45-60 minute hike with CSA member, Alisse Portnoy, who teaches at the University of Michigan. She and her daughter are in their fifth year of once-a-week day-long visits to the farm. They look forward to sharing some of its treasures and treasure spots with you. Meet at the Main House’s Distribution Shed at 2 pm. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait for you.
2. “F0RAGE AND PRESERVE” CLASS is full: Local forager, Rachel Mifsud, will be leading this class at Tantre Farm on Sat., July 26 from 3 to 5 PM. More information about the class will come closer to the actual date. We have started a Wait List, if anyone wants to sign up if we have cancellations, so please let us know.
3. SUMMER WORK PARTY/OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, July 20 between 1-4 p.m. This day often tends to be hot and sunny, so we’ll have lots of water play for the kids and shade-related activities for the adults, such as cleaning garlic and stripping herbs for storing. For those more adventurer-gardener types, we will be weeding the herb garden and other patches in the fields, and maybe even harvesting. Members are encouraged to bring family and friends to Tantré Farm to see the farm decked out in its summer finery, for wagon ride farm tours, and getting to know fellow community members. This is a completely voluntary event, so you can also come just for the fun, such as listening to live music, picking a pint of raspberries, which would go nicely with our plans to make fresh, hand-cranked, homemade ice cream! These are further incentives to encourage folks to come out to see the farm. As usual a potluck is included, so please feel free to bring a snack or refreshment. Also, if anyone wants to help “set up” at 11 or 11:30 AM, especially if you have other plans later, please let us know. We look forward to showing you the farm!
4. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Thank you so much to those of you, who continue to volunteer! 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. You are a big help right now!
5. VACATIONS or OUT OF TOWN: Please remember to contact us at least by Sunday to make changes in pick up days or locations.
6. 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.
TART CHERRY SUTRA
(by Richard Andres)
Thirty years ago a raccoon sat high in a large cherry tree and gorged on tart cherries carrying the seeds around in his belly. It “scatted” them around the hedges of our hayfield. These trees grew into the shade of other trees slowly getting light from the setting suns, sheltered by larger trees on the other side of the fence. Throughout the years this tree has borne thousands and thousands of more tart cherries for the birds and raccoons to spread throughout the fields and forests of the neighboring lands.
This evening it was too muddy to plant green beans from all the rain we had this morning. As I spun out and slid off my path with the tractor, I pulled my planter up to the edge of the field in frustration underneath the branches of a small tart cherry tree laden with glowing fruits in the setting sun. The fruits were high and unreachable. There were two old fences and barbed wire around the tree and the base of the tree was wrapped with fat, luscious poison ivy leaves. I climbed onto a strand of the barbed wire and managed to teeter on top of the fence post above the poison ivy to reach one of the lower branches of the cherry tree. Then I climbed up the small, rickety branches to the larger, healthier ones, and found myself surrounded with tart cherries from every stem and branch. I spent the next thirty minutes as the sun set among the last storm clouds filling my mouth with fruit and dribbling the pits out and down my shirt. I marveled at the delicious flavor in this perfect moment of ripeness. This tree was grown with no cultivation under difficult circumstances from seed shaded by larger trees. Last year it went through the hardest winter in one hundred years, and managed to make a hugely abundant amount of fruiting seeds that seemed to go mostly unnoticed by anyone, but a few birds and meandering raccoons. The tree grew without fertilizer, without irrigation, without insecticide. This seemed to afford not only an opportunity to fill up my belly, but also to reflect on how potentially abundant the natural world can be without human domination and extraction. It seemed to be a testimony for *“the genius of the place”.
I climbed down the tree with the last rays of the setting sun, and then I remembered there was a sandier spot to plant my beans tomorrow. I went home and went to bed buzzed on the cosmic contemplations of this cherry tree with a belly full of tart cherries.
*See the book of this title by Wes Jackson, called “Consulting the Genius of the Place”.
**Keep in mind a very easy way to find recipe ideas for almost any combination of share box ingredients is to type the items into your preferred “search bar”, and many recipe ideas will pop up. Have fun searching! Lots and lots of ideas!