Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter WEEK #8 July 18-24, 2021

    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.

    We  try to keep the printed 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. 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 under the NEWSLETTERS tab. **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.


BEETS: you will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall, red-veined green leaves) and Golden Beets (orange skin with rich gold interior; mild, sweet flavor when cooked).  See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CARROTS (Mokum):  a very sweet, slender, “pencil carrot”.   See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

CUCUMBERS:   You will receive Little Leaf (considered a pickling cucumber with blocky, medium-length, distinctively bright emerald green fruits, which are good for fresh eating and pickling)  and/or Olympian (considered a slicing cucumber with dark green, straight 8- to 9-inch fruit; crisp with fresh flavor).  See feature article for more details.
-H ow to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sauteed, 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.

EGGPLANT: You will receive Nadia (slender, purplish-black, glossy-like, bell-shaped fruit), Rosa Biana (an Italian heirloom; round fruit streaked with white and violet), or Orient Express (dark purple Asian type with long, slender, glossy fruits, which are tender, delicately flavored, and quick cooking).
-How to use: may be salted to remove bitterness from old fruit, but also makes it less watery and more absorbent, and can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish; can be baked, boiled, fried, grilled, or can be sliced into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut into cubes for stews and stir-fries.
-How to store: best fresh, but can be stored at room temperature or in refrigerator drawer for up to 1 week.

FRESH GARL IC:  a bulb of several papery white cloves; believed to help in fighting infections and bolstering the immune system; Keep in mind especially because these are “fresh” bulbs, light and moisture can cause mold to grow, so store garlic at room temperature in a dry, dark place that has plenty of air circulation.  See Week 6 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

KALE (Red Curly): hearty green vegetable of the cabbage family ; well-ruffled, curly green leaves on red stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip”.  See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

LETTUCE: rich in calcium and vitamins A and C; you will receive Red or Green Leaf .  See Week 1 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

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 cris p, 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 temps convert the starch to sugars and may turn dark when cooked.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI:  You will receive some variety of Green or Yellow Zucchini (gourmet golden or green zucchini with uniform, cylindrical fruits), Safari (green zucchini with attractive white stripes) , or Zephyr Summer Squash (distinctive, slender fruits are yellow with faint white stripes and light-green blossom ends with a nutty flavor). See Week 5 newsletter for usage and storage tips.

1. WEEDING VO LUNTEERS MUCH NEEDED:  We really have a lot of weeds right now, and we are shorthanded, so we have many weeds to pull!  If you are interested in helping out please contact us any day of the week or evenings until dark even if it’s for 15 or 30 minutes while you’re picking up your share. Thank you if you are able to help!

2. U-PICK RASPBERRIES SCHEDULE:   The first flush of raspberries has already begun at the Honey Bee U-Pick site (5700 Scio Church Rd., Ann Arbor), and will continue into August and September with different varieties.  We are selling them for $4/pint when you pick and $3/half pint if we pick.  Our patch will be open ONLY Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8 AM-7PM.  To keep informed go to https://www.tantrefarm.com/tantre-farm-raspberry-u-pick.  This patch is a bit weedy, so wear pants and closed toed shoes, but the berries are fantastic!  Hope to see you there!!  

3. IMMUNE BOOSTER CSA THIS WEEK:  Please feel free also to sign up for our weekly, collaborative CSA share if you would like to supplement your box or give it as a gift. This week’s menu has gone “southwestern” and is updated  on our website every Monday – Wednesday  http://www.tantrefarm.com/how-does-our-immune-booster-csa-work/.  Still time to sign up this week until midnight!

4.  Washtenaw Meats is a unique collaborative effort to bring Southeast Michigan livestock farmers together, help farmers market and sell their products, and educate local consumers to the value and quality of locally produced meats. Meat distributions are held on the second Saturday at the Dexter Mill and the fourth Saturday at the Washtenaw Food Hub in the same area as the Immune Booster CSA distribution. Both distributions are from 9-10 AM. Please visit our website and on-line store to learn more about us and place a meat order: https://www.washtenawmeats.com/

*Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)—7 AM to 12 PM (TANTRE STAFF there  the whole time)
*MOVE Fitness & Wellness Studio (Wed)—8 AM to 10 AM (SARA there the whole time)
*Farm (Wed.)—10 AM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF there with some self check-in)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Wed.) –6 PM to 8 PM (LIZZIE will be  there the whole time)
*Pure Pastures (Wed.) (limited site) —10 AM to 5 PM (JESSICA there from 9 AM – 11 AM)
*Farm (Fri.)—2 PM to 7 PM (TANTRE STAFF there with some self check-in)
*CHANGE: Community High School is now Ann Arbor Farmers Market (Sat.) —7 AM to 12 PM (SHANNON there the whole time)
*Washtenaw Food Hub (Sat.)—9 AM to 12 PM (RYAN and Staff there the whole time)
*Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)—8 AM to 12 PM (DEB and staff there the whole time)
*Argus-Packard (Sat) (limited site)—12 PM to 3 PM (ARGUS STAFF there the whole time)
*RoosRoast-Rosewood (Sat)–9 AM  to 11 AM (DEBRA is there the whole time)

    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 t he 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, sauteed, 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!

**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” with the word “recipe” after it, and many recipe ideas will pop up.  Have fun searching!  Lots and lots of ideas!
This is a creamy soup made without cream, using potatoes instead for body.  For a lighter soup, you can leave out the potatoes.  There are a number of different vegetable variations that are also good!  

2 leeks (white and light green part), cut in half, cleaned, thinly sliced (or 3/4 cup chopped onions, shallots or scallions)
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp oil
1-2 cups potato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cups thinly sliced cucumber
2 Tbsp dill, chopped fine and divided
2 cups broth (should just cover vegetables, may need a little more)
1-2 cups cold buttermilk or plain yogurt

    Saute leeks and garlic in the oil, just until wilted and not yet browned.  Add potato and cucumber.  Stir a bit.  Add 1 tablespoon chopped dill.  Just barely cover vegetables with broth and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer until potatoe s are very tender, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes or so.  When the vegetables are very soft, let the mixture cool.  Once it’s cool, puree vegetables and broth together with an immersion blender, regular blender, food processor, etc., adding the remaining 1 tablespoon dill.  Check the seasoning; add salt and pepper if you like.  Chill the vegetable puree.  Before serving stir in the amount of buttermilk that you like.  I find that 2/3 vegetable puree to 1/3 buttermilk is about right at our house.  Garnish with more dill.

*Summer squash soup: Substitute zucchini or yellow squash or any summer squash for the cucumber and potato combo.  We eat this a lot and love it on hot days.  With some bread and cheese, it makes a great meal.
*Summer borscht: For the main vegetables, use a combination of 1/3 potatoes, 1/3 beets, and 1/3 cabbage (or kohlrabi or chard stems).  C an also throw in a couple of carrots or turnips. I often use leftover beets that I’ve already roasted for this–just adding them at the end of the simmering time. 

PROVENCALE HERO (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)  Serves 6
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
6 (1 oz) slices mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cubed yellow squash
1 loaf French bread, cut lengthwise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cubed tomato
3/4 cup cubed zucchini
1 cup cubed red bell pepper
2 cups cubed peeled  eggplant

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut cubed vegetables into 1-inch cubes.  Combine water, lemon juice, vinegar, rosemary, Italian seasoning, oil, pepper and garlic in a bowl; stir.  Add eggplant, squash, pepper and zucchini; toss.  Place mixture i n pan.  Bake 20 minutes, stirring often.  Combine roasted vegetables and tomato; toss.  Put vegetable mixture on bottom half of loaf, top with cheese slices and top half of loaf.  Place loaf on pan and bake until cheese melts.  Cut into 6 pieces.

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