CSA Week 9, 2011

tomatoes

Thankfully, the tomatoes are coming in for real! In the next few weeks you will see more, and if you plan on making sauce or salsa, please aim for near the end of the month. We grow several varieties of red tomatoes, mostly chosen for flavor, but we also grow a couple varieties because they are firmer than the traditional, softer tomato. Interestingly enough, consumers (that’s us) have become accustomed to the hard tomatoes at the supermarket. The tomatoes at the supermarket need to be hard because they must withstand picking, massive washing/packing lines, shipping (while they are being gassed with ethylene to “ripen”), being knocked around at the warehouse then supermarket, and then the final handling and squeezing at the point of purchase. Subsequently, tomatoes have been bred to have hard, thick walls and firm centers—even before GMO. So, after years of buying these, it’s a little like dog training, we have come to accept, at the very least, the “firm” tomato, though I still have yet to hear a claim or rating other than, “they’re not bad” when it comes to taste. So, having said that, please don’t squeeze the tomatoes or the peaches, we picked them ripe, today’s squeeze is tomorrow’s bruise.

The corn has been good, but it just got better; we are now picking one of my favorite varieties, Mystique. Of course, you still HAVE TO eat it the day we picked it and the day you received it in order to maintain corn snob status :)

We will continue to have lots of eggplant and pepper varieties, and by all means, open your box at pickup to see what kind is in your box…no need to get the same type every week, unless you want to. We experienced a little gap in the lettuce, but are back in action this week.

 This week: tomatoes, blueberries, corn, assorted squash, assorted cucumbers, assorted eggplant, kale or chard, green bell peppers, any number of other sweet or hot peppers, potatoes, lettuce…
Coming up: peaches, melons, onions

Farm Dirt

I have been spending more and more time thinking about finances, wondering how we will pay for our ever increasing health insurance ($630/family plan 6 years ago, $1380/family plan today), the price of fuel to heat the greenhouses we start the vegetable transplants in, the gas to transport produce to our members and markets, andphone and electricity costs…we have no control over all these expenses. With very little to cut as these are necessities to run our business. So, we cut costs on going out to dinner, trips to places that have admission fees, we shop yard sales for our household things and church rummage sales for clothes, and we make fewer donations to our favorite charities.

Thankfully, I worry about food the least. I can’t control the weather, but I have confidence that my husband will have a certain amount of growing success and we will have plenty to eat. Because I put so much food by for the winter, we have good food to eat all year. There is a huge amount of security in my food source in a time when so many other things are wrought with insecurity. I hope, as a CSA member, you feel secure in knowing we will bring a box of good food to you every week. Most of all, I hope you feel comforted in our mutual relationship—your support allows us to provide you with the produce that feeds you and me.

Salsa Jars

Eat well,            Geneviève Stillman

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About stillmansfarm

Stillman's Farm® is a family owned farm in Massachusetts. We currently operate at two locations: a greenhouse/retail business in Lunenburg, and the majority of vegetable production in New Braintree. Glenn Stillman started the business in Lunenburg over 20 years ago and now enjoys the promise of the next generation further expanding the very diverse enterprise. His daughter, Kate, bought her own farm, The Turkey Farm, where she raises animals for meat production and works many of the farmers' markets. His son Curtis is is developing an orchard at the Lunenburg farm and recently bought a farm near his sister in Hardwick. The farms also have several Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs established in Lunenburg, Jamaica Plain, Brookline and the Southborough/Framingham area. In addition, the Stillman's trucks have become a fixture at the Boston Area Farmer's Markets. Our Philosophy Most of Stillman's produce is grown without chemicals. For a few crops this simply is not feasible. For these particular crops, we participate in the State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This entails systematic scouting of fields, protection of beneficial insects, bio-controls, and well-timed applications of only the safest pesticides. With growing concern about genetically modified organisms (GMO), as a patron you can be confident that none of the produce we grow have been engineered, in fact, we often experiment with many heirloom varieties! Conscientiously Grown® The combination of no pesticides, good cultivation management, and IPM practices allows us to offer the widest possible selection of fruit and vegetable varieties and be a thriving sustainable farm. We have developed our own label, "conscientiously grown" to convey our commitment to the safety of our environment, family and customers. All of our hormone free, pasture raised meats carry a conscientiously grown label too!
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One Response to CSA Week 9, 2011

  1. Stephanie says:

    Happy to see a glass of wine in the picture! Cooking/canning is always easier with something to sip!

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