Many of you know what to expect by now; some of you have been with us forever, but for those joining us for the first time, let me tell you a little about this letter: although you will see one of ‘us’ every week, I will try to include a note about what you can expect in your box, what is to come, and perhaps a recipe or two. We know how hectic things can be, so I hope this serves as a convenient way to communicate in case we missed the opportunity to visit. Often, questions you may have will be answered in the letters – so please try to give them the once over in order to save yourself and us unnecessary frustration. Please do ask questions or for help – one of the benefits of CSA is access to the farmer. If you don’t get or forget your box-letter, it’s on our blog—right here!
Reminder: If you know you will not be able to pickup, please login to your farmigo account (you created one when you signed up with us) 48 hours in advance and make changes so we may plan accordingly. It is your responsibility to remember your box. Unclaimed boxes are donated locally, or if it’s been an extra hot day, dumped to the livestock. Asking us to make up a forgotten box is the same as asking for double. BUT, you do not need to pickup your box personally; we just have a simple check off sheet with the names of subscribers. That means your neighbor, cat-watcher, or even your mother-in-law can check off your name and take the box home. All members need to pickup during their time frame. We are all busy, so let’s all be punctual. Check out the “Member Connect” page on the blog, a handy place to post if you need help getting your box, helping another member, etc.
Three years ago we started handing out reusable Stillman’s bags to everyone and it made a real difference! We saved 16,000 bags the first year! Please use it (or any bag) every week so we may keep saving. Also, we use waxed boxes that are not recyclable, and we ask that you return them so we may reuse them. They cost $1.40-$1.85 each, so let’s try to keep the added expenses down by being careful not to tear them.
About week 1: We feel it is important to get started for strawberry season and it is only a matter of weeks before there is a great deal of variety to choose from. When there is more variety, we will pack your produce at the farm and bring ‘extras’ for you to customize your own box.
It is always a little bit of a guess what will appear in the box, also, we grow many varieties of each crop, so from time to time I will list the varieties of beets or lettuce, for example, but that does not mean you will get them all that week ;~) You MAY have these things. This week, relish the strawberries (a season which is never long enough), lettuce, beets (in a variety of colors), and possibly spinach for the big boxes. None of the greens or lettuces have been more than rinsed, so there is still plenty to wash off. Oh yeah, they haven’t been sprayed either.
To reiterate one last time (this week) please pick up your box every week, return your boxes without destroying them, read your letter, email us with questions, login to your farmigo account to make contact and pickup changes, and have fun with all the goodies!
This section usually covers what’s going on at the farm, new farm babies, wildlife spottings, etc. The following will catch you up about us: Our family: Stillman’s is a family farm started by Glenn, my husband, the guy with the handlebar moustache. We have two farms: Lunenburg, where we have the stand and plant nursery, and New Braintree, where we live, and grow most of the produce. We have a herd of Belted Galloway cattle at the New Braintree farm, which you may hear about from time to time. Grown children, Kate and Curt, work on the farm and run their own farms and CSA’s, as well. Kate, graduate of UMASS in Agribusiness and horticulture, grows cut flowers and is the mover and shaker at most of the markets we attend. She has a beautiful little boy, Trace, and two farms in Hardwick (Stillman’s at The Turkey Farm), where she raises heritage breed sheep, pigs, turkeys…all hormone free, pasture-raised and fantastic! Curt is also a graduate from UMASS and grows cherry tomatoes and exotic fruits at his own farm in Hardwick (Still Life Farm). He also runs the winter CSA. We also have 13 year old Reid, who helps Glenn in Quincy and me in Southboro/Framingham, and the youngest, 7 year old Faith, who is still learning how to help!
We encourage you to become part of the farm and be connected to your food and farmer; visit, check out the crops, sample in the field, picnic, watch the birds, amphibians, and insects!
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman