Week 7, July 8-14, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 7
July 8-14, 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

GREEN BEANS: slender green bean with firm texture and good taste.
How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

BEETS with no Greens (Forono): cylindrical, deep purple root; chefs like this one for even slicing for cooking, pickling, and processing with little waste. See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

NAPA CABBAGE: an Asian cabbage with crinkly, thickly veined leaves, which are cream-colored with celadon green tips. Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round cabbage heads, these are thin, crisp, and delicately mild. Napa cabbage is a good source of vitamin A, folic acid, and potassium.
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.

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:
Onion or Garlic Chives—mild, onion-flavored herb with long, hollow, round leaves or mild, garlic-flavored herb with long slender flat leaves; can be added to potato salad, baked potatoes, soups, salads, omelets, dips and spreads, pastas and sauces.
Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems.
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
Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.

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.

LETTUCE: You will receive Red or Green Leaf, Romaine, or Oak.
See Week 1 for usage and storage information.

GREEN ONIONS (baby red onions): young shoots of red bulb onions with long green stalks and milder tasting than large bulb onions. See Week 4 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 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. See Week 4 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. 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 this coming Sunday, July 15 between 1-4 p.m. 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 and harvesting potatoes may be possible too. Kids (and adults) may want to cool down with kid friendly water activities. Also, David Klingenberger (The Brinery), our long-time friend and former Tantre Farmer, will have a snow cone station with flavors directly from Tantre Farm such as raspberry, peppermint, and lavender. Another good friend and local musician, Doug Allen, will spread some summer musical cheer by combining string orchestra elements, hoppy, synthetic beats, and funky, eastern melodies with old time lyrics. This is all about “homegrown music”, so expect songs about chickens and washing dishes, as well as about serious issues like your own happiness. 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 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. HELP NEEDED: Also, we could use some help to “set up” at 11 or 11:30 AM, and “clean up” at the end around 4:30 or 5 PM. Our farm workers work very hard on the farm during the week, and technically it is their day off, so it would be great if some folks could make time to help before and afterwards! Please call or e-mail, if you can help, especially with setting up tables and chairs, etc. We look forward to showing you the farm!

3. 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.

REFLECTIONS FROM THE FARM
By Deb & Richard

“The great way is not difficult for those with no preferences, but to pick and choose is to separate heaven and earth.” Being content with what we get is the deciding factor of our happiness. This summer we have had record heat and dryness. The reprieve from the heat in the last couple of days has been a relief. The much needed minimal rain that we received last week has helped a lot! Our preference would be perhaps to have equanimity in all things regarding the weather. Our saving grace for the vegetables and fruit is that there is such diversity in what we grow. Summer plants love the heat—tomatoes, melons, pumpkins, tomatillos, peppers. They look so content when it’s dry, since there is no fungus from the damp mildew that comes with rain. Their fruits become sweet and concentrated, almost like candy. The sweet potatoes crawl out over the hot baked earth stretching in the sun with the drying heat.

On the other hand, there are other plants that crave the moisture of the rain, such as the cool weather plants like spinach, lettuce, peas, kale, arugula, mustard greens. As a result we’ve been trying to help plants, animals, and people with pumping lots of well water, mulching to conserve moisture, and watering ourselves with showers, swimming in the pond, hosing off, and finding excuses to walk through the overhead sprinklers.

Our preference on the farm right now would be to have more rain. It would be less work for us in terms of having to pump so much water and string irrigation lines, but it might mean more work with lots more weeds. So we get what we get, and try not to carry the added anxiety of what we would have had if things were different. We need to free ourselves from the mental burden of discontentment, reminding us that the great way is not difficult for those with no preferences.

RECIPES
POTATO SALAD WITH GREEN BEANS (from www.cooks.com)
1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1/3 c. dry white wine
1/3 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. dry sherry
*Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe follows)
1 lb. cooked green beans, cut into halves and chilled
Salt and pepper

In covered saucepan, cook potatoes in 2 inches boiling water until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. While potatoes are still warm, cut into quarters. In large bowl, toss warm potatoes with onions, wine, broth and sherry. Set aside 30 minutes. Toss with Vinaigrette Dressing. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Just before serving, add green beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Vinaigrette Dressing:
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp. fresh savory, minced
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 tsp. paprika

NAPA CABBAGE WITH DRIED SHRIMP (AND STRAW MUSHROOMS)
3 cups chopped Napa cabbage
6 straw mushrooms (cut into halves) – optional
3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
2 tablespoons dried shrimp (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained and set aside)
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Make the garlic oil first by stir-frying the chopped garlic with the cooking oil. Dish out half of it when the garlic turns golden brown. With the remaining garlic oil in the wok, add in the dried shrimp and do a few quick stir until you smell the aroma of the dried shrimp. Add in the straw mushrooms and do a quick stir, then follow by the chopped Napa cabbage. Stir fry for 1 minute and then add in the oyster sauce. Stir well and dish out the Napa cabbage when it’s still somewhat “crunchy” and not over-cooked. Top the stir-fried Napa cabbage with the remaining half of garlic oil. Serve immediately.

HONEY THYME VEGETABLES (From Asparagus to Zucchini by MACSAC) Makes 3-4 servings.
4-5 cups fresh vegetables (summer squash, beets, green beans, potatoes, kale, Swiss chard, etc.)
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. honey
1-2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme or ½ to 1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Cut vegetables into 2-inch pieces. Cook vegetables in small amount of water until crisp tender. Drain very well. Combine melted butter, honey, and thyme; toss mixture with the veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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