Hello Party People!
Welcome to the Immune Booster Week 52 “Birthday Share” Newsletter. Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun growing wholesome food, working collectively with other farmers, and collaborating with some of the best chefs and food artisans that Ann Arbor and our local surrounding areas have to offer. The concept of the Immune Booster came at the perfect time to help local businesses endure the hardships brought about by the COVID outbreak, and give our local community a safe way to buy fresh, sustainable produce and wholesome in-season prepared foods all sourced and created within a 60 mile radius, give or take. The drive-thru, Immune Booster CSA was born and was an instant hit on all fronts. Patrons enjoyed the refreshing mix of produce and prepared foods, discovering new favorite restaurants and supporting local farms and businesses. The Immune Booster collective of farms and vendors loved to contribute their wares each week and became part of a larger mission to promote the local food movement. Win-win. During our breakout year, we have come a long way in fine-tuning and diversifying the share, and we will continue on this path, raising the bar and welcoming new friends into the Tantre fold. The sky’s the limit! So let’s open this week’s Birthday Box and see what gifts we have inside….
First up, we have organic, hydroponic Lettuce from Sell Farms and Greenhouses. This Ypsilanti-grown lettuce is freshly cut on Friday and looking delicious on your plate Saturday afternoon for lunch. It packs a nice spread of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Vibrant and crisp, this lettuce will spring you forward to a salad a day and help chase the last of those winter blues away.
Next to the birthday party comes our longtime friend and comrade, Goetz Greenhouse and Family Farm with beautiful Rainbow Swiss Chard. These robust, paddle-shaped leaves are nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. Both the leaf and the stem can be consumed, either raw or cooked in a variety of ways. Check out our recipe blogspot link listed at the end of this newsletter for ideas.
Embracing a broad color palette of fruits and vegetables in your diet ensures that you get all the essential nutrients your body needs. That’s why Tantre likes to offer colorful vegetable mixes in your Immune Booster share. Continuing on the food rainbow, we welcome an organic Rainbow Carrot Mix from Second Spring Farm. You may find yellow, orange, purple and white carrots in this mix, each with their own nutritional twist. These carrots should be gently washed and if you can refrain from peeling, their skin is the healthiest part of the carrot to consume. So steam some up, maybe add a touch of butter and honey, and give your taste buds a treat.
The party continues with organic Yellow Onions rolling right on in from Second Spring Farm. Pungent and crisp, these onions contain powerful antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels, all of which help lower the risk of heart disease. Easy to consume in an endless variety of ways, be sure to incorporate them daily into your diet.
Next, we pivot to Wayward Seed Farm, adding to our birthday food rainbow with an organic mix of Red, Gold and Sweet Potatoes. Again, we feature a colorful mix of potatoes to provide you with the biggest nutritional boost we can offer. This is the Immune Booster after all! A delightful melody of tubers that can be boiled, roasted, fried, shredded, grilled, mashed, baked or caked. The options are endless. A true super food that is super delicious and super duper nutritious.
Who’s up for some pin the tail on the Purple Daikon Radish from Tantre Farm? Count me in! These zeppelin-shaped, pastel purple tubers are laced with beneficial enzymes that aid in digestion and ward off free radicals. They are great thinly sliced on salads, cubed and steamed, or stir-fried, but my favorite way to consume them is to quick pickle them. There’s a plethora of quick pickling recipes online, so start with one that awakens your taste buds as you read down the ingredients list. Another great cooking tip recently shared with me by a kind Immune Booster customer is to bread and fry up daikon fritters. I had to give it a try, and they are supremely tasty!
Who let the mushrooms out? Who, who, who, who??? Who let the mushrooms out?? That man happens to be Brian McShane, the proud owner of Detroit Mushroom Company just outside Whitmore Lake, a mere 10 minutes from where you pick up this share. Deep local and picked by Brian and his crew Friday afternoon, this Mushroom Mix will contain any of the following mushroom varieties: Lion’s Mane that is white and resembles a lion’s shaggy mane (hence the name), Golden Chestnut mushrooms that have long and skinny, beige-colored stems and a bright golden cap, Shimofuri mushrooms that tend to be girthy and larger than all the other varieties with thick white stems and a blueish-brown cap, Blue Oyster Mushrooms in tight clusters with smaller bluish-grey caps or Yellow Oyster Mushrooms that are also in tight clusters with a canary yellow cap. Packed with selenium that helps regulate the thyroid as well as fiber, protein and a plethora of anti-cancer antioxidants, these tasty ‘shrooms’ should always be cooked and never eaten raw. They are great in stir fries, omelettes, soups or stews–a culinary winner whichever way you choose.
Wrapping things up for the produce portion of this share, we add a sweet note with organic Fuji and Northern Spy Apples Mix from Almar Orchards and Cidery. Both varieties are packed with last summer’s sunshine and are great for regulating gut health and aiding in cancer prevention. The Fuji Apple is predominantly red with white speckles and the Northern Spy Apple has a green undertone with blushes of red. Slice and consume or cook into sweet treats. The choice is yours!
This week we get the prepared foods ripping and dipping with none other than the Original Sourdough Loaf from Raterman Bread. This loaf is simple, yet satisfying and is the perfect dance partner for the soup and salad or the pesto and pasta still to come. So hold your horses and get ready to dip, swipe, swirl, and twirl this bread across your plates.
Back by popular demand, El Harissa joins the party, bringing their robust Carthage Salad to the table. Crafting master salads is one of El Harissa’s many undeniable talents, and based on other salads we have featured in our previous shares, you are in for a vegan and gluten-free treat! Cleverly created for sheer pleasure, this salad is composed of a young leafy green spring mix, tomatoes, olives, roasted chickpeas, poached figs, pomegranates and a dressing (on the side) that is composed of fig jam, pomegranate molasses, mint, balsamic vinegar, nigella seed and lime. A marvelous melody that will both satisfy and leave you wanting more!
Moving on to a soup to go with our salad, Ginger Deli does not disappoint with a tasty Lentil and Vegetable Soup that is so healthy and hearty, it’s far out! This soup is composed of toasted green lentils, chickpeas, mung bean, Tantre Farm Carrots, celery, yellow onions from Second Spring Farm, garlic, sea salt, cumin, olive oil and topped with a garnish of fresh cilantro, roasted shallot and cherry tomatoes. Pair with the salad and bread for a well-rounded and deliciously satisfying meal.
Next up, we are delighted to feature a Fresh Basil Pesto that is vegetarian and contains nuts from Juicy Kitchen. This is a number one seller week in and week out for Juicy Kitchen and is a dish we have been eager to feature in the share. Now that we have a tried and true local pasta vendor lined up, we jumped at the opportunity to incorporate it into our birthday share. What a treat! This Fresh Basil Pesto contains fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss up a homemade salad from the fresh produce in this share and slice up that bread, while the noodles are boiling and get ready for a feast!
Proudly introducing Al Dente Pasta Company to the Immune Booster family, we debut a vegetarian Egg Linguine Pasta as the perfect match to our pesto. Al Dente is a thriving pasta company based out of Whitmore Lake, offering an array of healthy and colorful pasta varieties, flavor combinations as well as plant based pastas. The Egg Linguine Pasta is composed of durum semolina flour, eggs and water. Simple, yet delicious! Check out Al Dente’s website link below for more information or to try more pasta varieties from their creative line.
What’s a birthday without cake? The one thing we have all been waiting for and the perfect end to this week’s prepared foods… a 2-pack of Carrot Cupcakes! This week, we also have the pleasure of welcoming Zingerman’s Bakehouse to our Immune Booster share once again. I was delighted to meet with Amy Emberling, Managing Partner to Zingerman’s Bakehouse, for an impressive tour of the bakery and delicious samples to try out for future shares. We are in for some treats here folks! Perfect for a birthday party, these are carrot cakes with a difference. Made with freshly grated carrots, toasted walnuts, and freshly milled organic soft white Michigan wheat, and iced in a traditional cream cheese frosting flavored with fresh lemon juice. Mmmm! Good luck resisting these little gems on your way home from picking up your share.
Wait… Aren’t we forgetting something? Of course!! We must have a candle to go with our birthday cake! The last featured item in our Immune Booster Birthday Box is a Beeswax Beehive Votive Candle from MX6 Ranch and Honey Bee Yards, also making their debut in this week’s share. Pam Mackinders, owner, operator and candle maker, uses only one hundred percent raw beeswax and a cotton wick to make these beautifully scented candles. Pam has a true passion for perfection and one by one, mold by mold, she created each one of these candles with precision and care. Beeswax candles burn longer and brighter than any other candle, and their honey scent is perfect for the beginning of spring. Make a wish everyone!
We are forever grateful to all the vendors and farms, who contributed this past year to the Immune Booster share. We also thank YOU, our beloved patrons, for signing up each week, believing in our mission and cheering us with your support along the way. This is a local collaborative effort where many hands share the same mission: sustainable, healthy, local food that is better for you and better for our planet. Pouring revenue back into our own community, supporting our local farmers, entrepreneurs, and artisans. We are honored and grateful to represent all of our vendors, and we hope that you venture outside of the box to discover many other delights that they grow and make.
Don’t forget we have Willy Wonka-style golden tickets hidden in 3 of our shares this week! The lucky winners will receive an extra sweet treat from another one of local food artisans that will be found inside their box attached to the golden ticket. Thank you again for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at the Food Hub pick up or at the Agricole pick up this Saturday. Eat well, do well, be well!
Here’s a link to Tantre’s treasure trove of recipes, where you can get some additional ideas for using this week’s share: http://tantrerecipes.blogspot.com
Keep an eye out for our next email on March 28 regarding Tantre Farm’s Immune Booster CSA Share, Week 53 for pick up on April 3.
All the best,
Ryan Poe and the talented Tantre Crew
**We look forward to hearing your weekly feedback on the shares and welcome any suggestions on how to improve. Please understand that we try to give you an accurate listing of the produce in your box each week; however, since this menu is published before we pack the boxes on Fridays, we may sometimes have to substitute some vegetables for others. Mostly we are able to update you of changes in our Friday newsletter, but sometimes our decisions are made after the newsletter is published. Please let us know whenever you think you are missing anything, and we will try to find some way to make amends. Thank you for your patience and understanding, as we try to keep things as smooth as possible. Please contact Ryan and Zoe with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.