Week 9, July 22-28, 2012

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 9
July 22-28, 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 hard copy 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 that the internet is overflowing with information, including pictures of almost everything that we grow. Also, we have two sections on our website to help you identify unfamiliar produce with color images including descriptions of appearance, taste, nutrition, uses, storage, and seasonal information. You can find this under “CSA Info” on the “Veggie ID” page and also under “Recipes”, the section is called “Produce Information Organized by Plant Part”. We already have some ideas on how to make it easier for you to use (especially an alphabetical tag list of produce), but it’s as good as it gets for this season. Please feel free to pass along any ideas you may have to make it more user friendly.

THIS WEEK’S SHARE

PURPLE or YELLOW BEANS: You will receive 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

GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

CARROTS (Mokum): a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot” with edible green leaves. Greens are delicious in soups and also salads.
How to use: Can be used raw as carrot sticks, grated in salads or juiced; steamed or sautéed, in stews, soups, casseroles, stir-fries
How to store: Remove greens from roots and refrigerate dry and unwashed roots in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks; greens may last up to a week refrigerated in plastic bag.

CUCUMBERS: 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, and refreshing m.
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 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. You may choose ONE from the following 4 Herbs:
1. Anise Hyssop— catnip-like, soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea, and in potpourri. The purple flower spike is favored by bees, who make a light fragrant honey from the nectar. It was used medicinally by Native Americans for coughs, fevers, wounds, and diarrhea.
2. French Sorrel–slightly tart, lemon-flavored green; leaves are shaped like spinach, but paler green in color; excellent for salads, soups, and sauces; can be used in omelets, breads, or cooked as a side dish; refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 3 days.
3. 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.
4. Thyme– tiny green leaves used in meat and vegetable dishes and most casseroles, soups, stews, and medicinal teas, which soothe sore throats.
*Genovese Basil—an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. Everyone will receive this. If you’ve had enough from the week before, just don’t take any, or better yet try to preserve it by drying, freezing, or making pesto.

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. See Week 6 for usage and storage information.

MELONS: You may choose from one of the following:
Honey Yellow Honeydew (yellow-skinned fruits with sweet, juicy, orange flesh) or Little Baby Flower Red Watermelon (small, 2-4 lb. round fruit; bright green stripe pattern on shell and dark pink flesh that is sweet and crisp with a high sugar count) or Sunshine Yellow (8-10 lb. oval-rounded fruit; green-striped shell with bright yellow flesh, which is brittle, juicy, and very sweet) or Sweet Favorite (oval-oblong with bright green rind and darker stripes; bright red, sweet flesh) or Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe (sweet tasting, thick, orange flesh with corky net on the skin; medium-sized, oval fruit. See Week 8 for usage and storage information.

ONIONS (Red Long of Tropea): specialty variety of tall, elongated, red bulbs traditionally grown in Mediterranean Italy and France.
How to use: great for salads, soups, sandwiches, slices, onion rings, & other dishes for flavor
How to store: not for long storage; wrap in damp towel or plastic bag in fridge for 2 to 7 days.

POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh.
How to use: great baked, boiled, or roasted
See Week 8 on 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.

GREEN TOMATOES (beefsteak): pleasantly pungent flavor
How to use: fried, broiled, or grilled; makes excellent chutney, sauce, or relish.
How to store: keep at room temperature for up to 1 week

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. KID FARM HIKES: Come join us for our next guided monthly exploratory walk around Tantre Farm on this Friday, July 27, at 2 PM. We’ll use all our senses as we take an approx. 30 minute hike with CSA member, Sheila Schueller, and explore the farm’s fields, wetlands, and forest. Sheila teaches ecology and field biology classes at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Meet at the Distribution Shed at 2 pm. No RSVP necessary, but if you email that you plan to attend, then we know to wait for you. A hike will also be offered on August 31.

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 this Friday, July 27 called “Queen of the Sun”. Visit www.bikeinmovienight.com for all the details!

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.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER
The cucumber, a member of the gourd family, is a distant relative to pumpkins, squash, and melons. It is said to have originated in the Middle East. It has been eaten as an unripe fruit, since Biblical times. As a relative of melons, cucumbers are very high in water and so very refreshing, especially during these hot days of summer. They are 94% water and also contain small amounts of vitamins A, C, and a few minerals. For some, however, cucumbers are hard to digest, so seedless and “burpless” cucumbers have been bred to prevent this problem.

Our cucumbers are not waxed (to keep them from rotting for a longer shelf life) like ordinary cucumbers found in the store, so skin and all can be eaten. The skins are rich in vitamin E, so they are also known as an effective skin conditioner. Also, some of the nutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and potassium are lost when the skin is removed. The cucumber skins, besides being good for human skin, also contain silicon and chlorophyll, making them well worth eating. If you do wish to remove the skins, you may try making “cukesicles” for the kids. At Tantré Farm, sometimes we peel the skins off and slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise making a long, slender, cooling treat we call “cukesicles”.

The cucumber is a non-starchy, alkaline “cooling” vegetable. It is an excellent diuretic, helping the kidneys in waste elimination. Cucumbers contain the enzyme, erepsin, which helps digest proteins and destroys worms. The cucumber’s potassium content makes it useful for high and low blood pressure.

Cucumbers deteriorate very quickly, because of their high water content, so it is important to store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer. Keep them away from tomatoes, apples, or citrus, which give off ethylene gas, and can speed up their deterioration.

Most people enjoy cucumbers raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, but sometimes a cuke can be julienned, sautéed, or baked. Try cucumber rounds topped with egg or tuna salad, or simply with salt. Make refrigerator pickles, which are very simple and delicious. They are featured in a number of ethnic dishes.

Although not as nutritious as most of the garden vegetables, cucumbers are very satisfying and help us replenish fluids and minerals lost in perspiration, leaving us as “cool as a cucumber”. They are very reviving on a hot summer’s day.

RECIPES
*Keep in mind the following websites–www.epicurious.com, www.cooks.com, www.recipes.com, www.tantrefarm.com.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES ( from What Do You Do With This Stuff?)
1 large green tomato per person
eggs & milk (2 Tbsp. milk per egg)
oil for frying
breading (cornmeal, bread crumbs or flour)
salt and pepper or other seasonings (See recipe suggestions)
Parmesan cheese

Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Combine milk and eggs in one bowl and breading and seasonings in another. (Alternate seasonings include: basil, oregano, curry powder, sesame seed, or chili powder.) Dip tomato slices first into egg mixture, then into breading/seasoning mixture, and fry until golden brown on both sides.

BAKED CUCUMBERS IN BASIL CREAM (from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables)
1 ½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sugar
4-5 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, with 1-inch slices
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 scallion or onion, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add the cucumber slices and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Drain the cucumber slices in a colander, then pat them dry with a clean dish towel. Put cucumber slices in a shallow baking dish. Pour the melted butter over them and add the scallion; toss to combine. Bake the cucumbers, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small pot until it comes to a light boil. Continue to cook the cream, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to ½ cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and turn off the heat; let mixture steep for 2 minutes. Pour the basil cream over the cooked cucumber slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

Comments are closed.