Week 3, June 12-18, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
June 12-18, 2011
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 usually try to give you a pretty accurate listing of the produce in your box, but since the newsletter is published before the harvest, sometimes we may substitute some vegetables for others.

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.

*ASPARAGUS: *In order to have enough spears, only Friday/Sat. members will receive asparagus this week (it needs to grow!), and Wed. members will receive it next week.
How to use: serve raw chopped in salads or with dips; steam, roasted, grilled, serve “cold” with vinaigrette or with a bit of olive oil and dash of salt and lemon juice.
How to store: wrap in damp cloth and plastic bag and refrigerate or bundle spears with rubber band and place upright in container with inch of water.

GARLIC SCAPES: slender green stems with a slight bulge at the bottom (resemble chives, except for the bulge and often curled); tender and milder in flavor than mature garlic. *See our feature article and Ann Arbor.com article in Announcements about scapes. Additional ideas on ATTACHED recipe sheet. There are also a “ton” of recipes on the internet.
How to use: mild garlic flavor, so delicious chopped in salads, roasted, and sautéed; excellent as a pesto
How to store: put in refrigerator in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks.

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. You may CHOOSE ONE from the following:
Anise Hyssop—soft, sweet, anise-scented leaves are used as a seasoning, as a delicious licorice-flavored tea or herb blender drink, and in potpourri. It was used medicinally by Native Americans for coughs, fevers, wounds, and diarrhea.
Black-stemmed Peppermint—forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, strong minty leaves are good as a hot or iced tea, and adds a delicious flavor when minced and added to cooked peas, carrots, potatoes, salads, and fresh strawberries.
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 Red Russian Kale (the stems are purple, and leaves are deep gray-green, purple-veined, flat, non-curled, and tooth-edged).
How to use: for salads, soups, and light cooking
How to store: keep in plastic bag or damp towel in refrigerator for up to 1 week

LETTUCE: You will receive 1 bag of baby lettuce & 2-4 heads of lettuce, so check out the Lettuce Smoothies in Recipe section.
How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

GREEN ONIONS (also called “Scallions”): See Week 1 for more information.
How to use: can be cooked, grilled, roasted whole as a vegetable; chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor.
How to store: refrigerate in damp towel/plastic bag for 5-7 days.

SHELLING PEAS: easy to shell with delicious flavor for fresh eating and freezing. To shell just bend the stem end down toward the inside of the curve, pull along the seam, & pop out the peas.
How to use: Add shelled peas to soups, stews, sautés, or stir-fries. Blanch or steam for 2-4 minutes only until color is bright green. Try snipping a little mint into your peas for a refreshing flavor.
How to store: Refrigerate in plastic bag for 4-5 days. If kept too long, their sweet flavor and crisp texture diminishes.

STRAWBERRIES: member of the rose family; red, conical fruit with tiny white flowers. *Please return containers. Don’t forget to take 1 quart of strawberries, since it will not be in your box.
How to store: Do not wash until you are ready to consume them. Place them on a paper towel in a tightly-covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
How to freeze: Freeze whole strawberries hulled and washed on cookie sheets and put in freezer bags.

WHITE HAKUREI TURNIPS and GREENS: See Week 1 for more information.
How to use: good in salads and soups, roasted, steamed, sautéed,
How to store: remove greens from turnip root and store separately in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 3 days; roots can last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.

1. CHANGING PICK UP DAYS: Please remember to contact us preferably a week in advance, but at least by Sunday of each week, to make changes in pick up days or locations.

2. PAYMENTS DUE: If you still owe money on your Balance Due, it will be reflected on the check-in sheet, when you pick up your box. Please finalize payments due within the month.

3. NEW SHIPMENT OF PRESERVING COOKBOOKS ARE COMING SOON! 50 additional cookbooks have been ordered if you had your heart set on purchasing “Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything” for $20.

4. ANN ARBOR.COM ARTICLE ABOUT GARLIC SCAPES: Kim Bayer, a free-lance writer and a Tantre CSA member, recently wrote an article about Garlic Scapes and quoted Richard, which is well worth checking out: http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/the-secret-life-of-garlic-green-garlic-and-garlic-scapes/

5. WEEDING VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The rain and the sun have combined perfectly to produce a healthy amount of weeds. 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. We could really use the help with the weeds right now. Thanks for volunteering!

Farm on Wed.–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Farm on Fri.–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

By Leanna (2011 Tantré Farm Intern)

Before I came to the farm I had never heard of garlic scapes and am a little curious how they had e-scaped my attention until now. Scapes are the tender core of the stalk on a garlic plant, and at the top is the beginning of a flower. This flower diverts the plant’s energy away from the bulb, and if it is not plucked this results in bulbs that are approximately 30% to 50% smaller depending on whom you ask.

The scape extraction process has become a source of entertainment. To be properly equipped, two five-gallon buckets are attached by a belt and hang behind the person picking while they straddle each bed of garlic. This is the height of spring fashion here at Tantré. One bucket is for whole scapes that are pulled out in one piece and the other is for the ones that snapped too soon – the rejects. The good ones give an extremely satisfying slurping sound as they slide out of the stalk that can be heard intermittently through the garlic beds. Methods for keeping the scape intact include, but are not limited to: closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, stretching the scape’s neck very slowly, allowing the tension to travel to the base of the stalk where the scape is attached, bending your knees, and pulling with your legs instead of your arms or back. I was highly unimpressed with my success rate and only managed to get four whole scapes in a row. Others gave triumphant shouts of “Twenty!” or “Sixteen!” with no explanation necessary to the rest of the scape crew.

After picking them we had the pleasure of cooking with them, although I admit that I did snack a little bit in the field. Mincing them up and throwing them in fried rice was phenomenal. The scapes are milder than cloves of garlic, so we just used a little more than usual. They are also a treat when pickled with a little dill or cayenne pepper. I heard someone suggest puréeing them with olive oil and salt into a pesto. I hope you have as much fun with them as we have.

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

1 bunch Hakurei Turnips with Greens
1 lb Greens (such as kale, tatsoi, spicy greens, arugula, etc.)
2 tsp oil, divide
½ cup chopped green onion
½ cup water, apple juice or white wine
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Cut the greens from the turnips. Wash and tear all the greens into large pieces and remove the stems. Cut the turnips into bite sized pieces. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the turnips and onion stirring or tossing occasionally until they are crispy outside and tender inside. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a warm plate. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the washed and wet greens, and add to pan in batches. Stir and mix as they wilt. Add the wine or other liquid and cook until it is mostly evaporated. Lay the greens on a plate and arrange the warm turnips on top.

MINTED PEAS AND RICE WITH FETA (from Eatingwell.com)
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup instant brown rice
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (6 ounces), or fresh shelled peas
3/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add rice and bring to a simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in peas and return to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the peas are hot and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions, feta, mint and pepper. Cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.

GREEN LETTUCE SMOOTHIES (contributed by Cher Dowling, who adapted it from Green For Life, by Victoria Boutenko) Additional note: I started out using these recipes and now I just throw anything into the blender and get creative. You can always interchange the greens to whatever’s on hand. Also, you can interchange water for fruit juice. Also pitted dates, apricots, or honey add sweetness.

#1 (yields 1 quart)
1 cup strawberries, 2 bananas, 1/2 bunch lettuce, 2 cups water. Blend well.

#2 (yields 1 quart)
6-8 leaves red leaf lettuce, 1 banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, 2 cups water. Blend well.

#3 (yields 1 quart)
8 leaves lettuce, 5 cups watermelon, 1 cup water. Blend well.

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