Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
July 20-26, 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
GREEN, PURPLE, or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive Maxibel French Fillet (very slender green bean with firm texture and good taste), Royal Burgundy (brilliant purple, smooth, round, meaty pods; add stunning color to salads when used raw; pods turn dark green when cooked; excellent fresh or frozen), or Rocdor (long, slender, yellow bean; meaty, firm texture and no watery 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: You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves). See Week 7 usage and storage information.
CABBAGE: You will receive Gonzales (a sweetly spicy green mini cabbage with 4-6-inch heads) or Red Express (solid, round, 2-4 lb. red heads). Cabbage is considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser. It has a good amount of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A & C.
How to use: good steamed, stir-fried, or chopped raw into salads or coleslaw
How to store: refrigerate for up to 1 month
CUCUMBERS: a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8-9 in. fruit; crisp with fresh flavor. See Week 7 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. See Week 7 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 or wrap in slightly dampened cloth and store in refrigerator. *All shares will receive Basil, and you may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
Anise Hyssop (also called “licorice mint”)— catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning for salads, main dishes, fruits, and desserts, but most commonly used as a delicious licorice-flavored tea. The purple flower spike is edible too. It was used medicinally by Native Americans for coughs, fevers, wounds, and diarrhea.
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.
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; very strongly flavored, so use sparingly, finely chopped, or remove from dish after cooking; considered a memory stimulant and medicinally used for headaches.
Curly Parsley—curly, dark green leaves, often used as a garnish, but can be used the same as flat-leaf parsley, such as with eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces to go with fish, poultry, & pork.
*Genovese Basil—All shares will receive basil this week, an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last up to a week or 2 when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. Do NOT refrigerate! See feature article in this newsletter and recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website.
KALE: You will receive 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. See Week 7 newsletter for usage and storage information.
LETTUCE: You will receive Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romaine or Buttercrunch. See Week 2 for usage and storage information.
NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh; great baked, boiled, or roasted. See Week 7 usage and storage information.
SPINACH: You will receive a bag and a bunch 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. See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage information.
SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow 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) 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. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CAME TO THE SUMMER WORK PARTY on Sunday, July 20. Thanks so much for joining us for delicious potluck food, berry picking, and good companionship. It was so much fun to see so many friends, family and members show up. We clipped and cleaned 34 crates of garlic, stripped dried herbs, harvested potatoes, or just took a stroll or wagon ride around the farm. If you’d like to help out anytime, just give us a call ahead of time.
2. NO COOKING CLASS ON July 23! RESCHEDULED for AUGUST 20 from 6 to 8:30 PM! This will still be a picnic-themed 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. So now you can check your calendar and register early by sending us your NAME, PHONE NUMBER, and E-MAIL ADDRESS in the body of the email. We have 15 spaces available, so let us know if you’re interested in joining us for a special picnic-cooking class and meal at Tantre Farm. It’s always a lot of fun and guaranteed to fill your belly with deliciousness!
3. “FORAGE AND PRESERVE” CLASS this Sat. July 26 from 3 to 5 PM: Local forager, Rachel Mifsud, will be leading this class at Tantre Farm. More information about the class will come this week to those who already signed up. Please feel free to add your name to our Waiting List, and we’ll contact you if someone cancels.
4. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Thank you so much to those of you, who continue to volunteer! So much rain has fallen this summer (and continues to fall!) that the weeds are loving it! 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.
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.
BASIL: MORE THAN JUST A CULINARY HERB
Basil is one of the most sacred plants of India. It has been used to make royal unguents, perfumes, and medicines. A tea can be made to settle the nerves and aids with indigestion. Medicinally, it is used to stimulate perspiration for the treatment of colds, flu, and fevers. The French have used basil to repel mosquitoes and flies, which is why pots of it may be found at sidewalk restaurants in France.
Basil’s most popular use though is as a culinary herb. It is more commonly known for its primary role in tomato sauces, pesto, and salad dressings. It is also popular in Mediterranean dishes and Thai curries. It partners well with almost any summer vegetable, but especially tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, and summer squash.
Fresh basil deteriorates quickly, especially when refrigerated. It is a warm-weather crop and is sensitive to cold temperatures. If leaves are wrapped in a dry towel and kept in an airtight container, it can be kept at about 50 degrees for a few days before leaves start blackening. That is why we provide it with roots attached, so you may retain its freshness for a week or longer by placing the roots in a jar of water, changing the water every few days, and we don’t refrigerate it. You may also freeze fresh leaves in a plastic zip-lock bag, if you don’t mind the darkened color. This is very easy–just wash leaves, spin dry, place in Ziploc bag, remove air, seal, and freeze. Basil can also be dried by hanging in a dry, warm, well-ventilated place for about 2 weeks. If you would like to retain some of the green color, it needs to be dried quickly in a dehydrator or in the oven at its lowest setting with door ajar. The leaves can be separated before drying and stirred often. Remove dried leaves and store in a sealed glass jar—away from light and heat.
Some people make pesto from the basil leaves and freeze it in ice cube trays or drop on cookie trays like “drop cookies”; then bag it when frozen to be used as needed. Others just mix chopped basil with olive oil or water and freeze in ice cube trays. Remove frozen herb cubes and place in freezer bag. One frozen cube is equivalent to 1 tablespoon fresh or about 1 teaspoon of dried herb, which flavors vegetables, meats, stews, and soups all winter long.
**We grow a lot of basil, so you will all receive basil fairly consistently from now until the first frost in September or October, so plan on freezing, drying, or making pesto, so that you will enjoy its summer aroma all winter long. If you don’t think you can use it every week, then just don’t take it. Have fun and enjoy a plethora of basil over the coming weeks!
ANISE HYSSOP SAUCE RECIPE (from Field Guide to Herbs & Spices by Aliza Green) Makes 1 cup.
**A sweet-sour sauce that’s great with lamb, veggies, or risotto.
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup anise hyssop leaves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Combine sugar, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add anise hyssop leaves and flowers and return mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Pour through a sieve, pressing leaves to extract all liquid. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Whisk into strained liquid. Bring mixture to a boil while whisking to thicken the sauce. Serve with roast lamb, veal, veggies, or risotto.
BOWTIES WITH BASIL, CILANTRO, SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE SAUCE (from www.epicurean.com) Serves 4.
1 pound bowtie pasta
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
3/4 cup packed cilantro or anise hyssop or parsley leaves
1/2 cup steamed fresh spinach, well drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 ounces goat cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to your liking. While the pasta is cooking, combine the basil, cilantro, spinach, Parmesan, butter, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the goat cheese and pulse until well mixed with the other ingredients. When the pasta is cooked, drain, but reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Combine the hot pasta with the processed ingredients and the cooking water in a large bowl. Mix until the pasta is coated well. Serve and make sure you have salt and pepper on the table to season to taste.