Stillman’s Blog Archives

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Week 1, 2017


Stillman’s CSA -Week 1

You MAY have in your box: strawberries, lettuce, kale, chard, beets, arugula, peas.
Welcome back to SO MANY of you and welcome to all of our new members! I usually cover the housekeeping portion of the CSA in the first letter which is long and boring…so this year I covered most of it in the “start Date” email I sent out last week.
Super short recap: as the weeks continue, you will see an increase in variety and quantity …it all works out, no worries. Continue reading

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Week 11, 2015

Paula Red apple harvest has begun! These are the best early apple, nice and crunchy with more sweetness than the Early Macs…and just in time for school.

We are picking a new batch of corn and it is BEAUTIFUL. Yes, it is still best eaten the day you got it (the day we picked it), but you all know that by now 😉

Blueberries and melons have peaked and will phase out, but peaches are going strong and the apple season is really just beginning. This week brings more incredible peppers, eggplants, lettuces, squash and cukes, onions, broccoli or cauliflower, something green, potatoes and more. A kohlrabi might show up in your box or some type of cabbage, but sometimes I do not know these things until after the fact…like when you guys email me or FB post with “what is this?”

The kids are thrilled to have broccoli and they’ll eat that daily. Interestingly, they almost always ask for it steamed and they enjoy it best with a little mayo. That makes my life simple, well, except for Faith asking for broccoli soup! I do have a very simple soup recipe on the blog but have held off making it because it wasn’t really soup weather 😉

This is the best time for making large stir fry and casseroles, freezing the excess. Eggplant can be cooked up (I like it sliced and baked on a sheet) and frozen for later meals; peppers sliced up and frozen in a sealed bag or container are handy for your winter recipes. I freeze mine in larger bags and just take out a handful or two, as needed.

Check out veggie lasagna on the blog. I do love when you can substitute freely, omit at will and still have a good meal – all while using up a pile of veggies in the box 🙂

Member Aimee sent me a couple recipes this week, and coincidentally, we had made a similar tomato salad that week too, though I did not peel my

nectarines 😉 Naturally, peaches would work just as well!

Tomato & Nectarine Salad (adapted from Boston Globe 2 T red wine vinegar Salt and pepper to taste 3T olive oil 2 large tomatoes, seeds squeezed out, chopped 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, chopped 3 nectarines, peeled, chopped 2 sprigs fresh basil, minced In a salad bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, nectarines and basil.

Farm Dirt

School starts for our children this week. Not ready L I am hoping to find the time to get a great deal of our food put by while they are at school and in between shuttling to practices, dance, games, markets and CSA J

Some of it goes pretty quickly like freezing broccoli and other tasks are more of a day long venture, like canning salsa. I will be tackling the zucchini squares and cakes this week, as those are things the kids pack in their lunches all winter. I also need to get busy with the peaches, as that season will come to an end well before the broccoli is done.

This is really the best time of year at the farm for the great bounty coming in. It’s a blast to walk and see those long awaited crops that began as a seed way back in March, actually mature and delicious! Of course, Glenn will tell you it is the worst time to see that farm. I am not sure if that is because there is so much to pick that the weeding gets put on the back burner or if it is because there are crops that have been picked through and on their way out – or all of the above. It certainly doesn’t’ look fresh and new as it does in June. Regardless, I still think it is a perfect time at the farm J

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman


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Week 10, 2015

Coming in this week:

  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers of any color
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli or cauliflower?
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Greens
  • Pak choi or Chinese cabbage

Thankfully, the tomatoes are coming in for real! 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, we have come to accept, at the very least, the “firm” tomato. So, having said that, we grow mostly traditional varieties for flavor, so please don’t squeeze the tomatoes or the peaches, we picked them ripe, today’s squeeze is tomorrow’s bruise 😉

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. BUT, please don’t rifle through a box and not leave it the way you found it 🙂

I am seeing a variety of other greens, including Chinese Cabbage or Napa (large, columnar head, crinkly leaves) and Pak Choi (smooth, large stems with rounded green leaves starting halfway up); there’s also a red pak choi. In addition to the HUGE bell peppers that have been in the boxes. I have also seen some beautiful broccoli and sweet melons. We harvest the melons ripe and melons harvested ripe are MUCH softer than those you find at the supermarket. If you are not going to eat it right away please store it in the fridge.

The peaches are succulent. I hope you are enjoying the fruit. If you have been a member of another CSA before, you realize how special it is to get fruit every week!

We are pretty psyched about the amazing tomatoes being harvested right now. Again, this is the time to get bulk tomatoes or squash if you need them.

The onions are starting to fall, so we’ll be letting them dry off soon and starting the big harvest. I’ve been eating the first apples and that is always the first reminder that school is right around the corner. I’ll miss my great CSA help on Mondays and Glenn will be missing him on Fridays at Quincy J I cannot really believe Reid will be starting Junior year – and to think he’s been going to CSA with me for 17 years – one way or the other!

We’ve watched your kids grow too and it looks like there is a marvelous crop of new CSA members expected in the coming months! Thanks for growing with us!!!!!

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman


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CSA week 9, 2015

Blueberries are fading, but the peaches are getting going…and apples could appear any time!

You MAY have any of these things: Summer squash, or cousa, cukes, pickling cukes, lemon cukes, corn, beans, chard or beets, tomato, potatoes, eggplant, peaches, broccoli, kale, lettuce … There’s an abundance of beautiful, exotic looking eggplants around, enjoy. Also, fresh eggplants have nasty thorns near the stem end, so beware.

Still eating lots of cereal with berries, also salads and stir-fry. I made Swiss chard and cousa (use any summer squash) enchiladas with white sauce for dinner the other night – pretty tasty! I will get it up on the blog for sure.

About Eggplant

We grow a lot of eggplant 😉

Now, right away, I have to tell you if you have never liked eggplant, and never tried ours, you have to try it again. As usual, the freshness and variety of our product simply tastes better than anything you have ever bought at the grocery store. Also, I have found that with eggplants, in particular, most people’s experience involves bitter, old, seedy eggplants that are cooked in a lot of grease. AND, who likes anything that is bitter and old? Thank you to all the members reading this that have humored me in the past and tried eggplant again. For the success stories (which is a large percentage) – yeah! For those who still don’t care for it, thanks for playing and you know you can swap your eggplant out for more greens or potatoes or what have you.

red tomatoes

Varieties: the basic dark purple ‘Classic’, the original white skinned (thus the name ‘eggplant’) ‘Tango’ – a very tender, white fleshed variety; Purple Blush – white to lilac skinned large softballs and a farm favorite; Neon – a magenta skinned elongated egg shape; Zebra/Nubia – a magenta-purple striped with white; Round Mauve an heirloom variety – pinkish-purple skin, Bride – slim, light rose with white stripes; Green Apple- as it name suggests in appearance only, some other elongated white one who’s name escapes me now; Rosa Bianca an heirloom variety- round with rosy-lavender streaks. Then there’s the Asian types: Little Fingers and Orient Express– dark purple skinned, long cylindrical; Machiaw – magenta, very long, and skinny. Well, what’s what? At first sampling, the Purple Blush, Rosa Bianca and the white are distinctly tender and sweet; they also cook faster. The others really have to be sampled side by side, and yes, they are different. We hope you can have fun with them as we do: baking, sautéing, grilling….


Eggplant with Brown Rice Penne

  • 1 (16-ounce) package brown rice penne (or ziti) 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups cubed eggplant
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1½ cups shredded Parmesan, divided
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add eggplant and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until onion is browned. Stir in garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and pasta sauce; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil. Toss eggplant mixture with pasta. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; toss gently. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Serve immediately.
    Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

Farm Dirt

We still need help at the Boston Public Market. If you know anyone who is reliable, has a personality and is a quick study, we’d love to talk with them! It’s a lot of fun and it’s a long day to cover, so even if it was one shift, one day a week, we could use the help.

No one reached out to me about the Open House/Pot luck, so I guess we will forgo that this year. I will inquire again next year to see where people are at. Meanwhile you are always welcome out here and we have had lots of visitors 🙂

Onion harvest will begin in earnest in the next week or so. And, the apple picking has begun! I ate my first Early Mac this past week and it was nice and tart. The early apples tend to be on the tart side and they do not keep well, so store in the fridge and eat them 😉

It is the time of year to get tomatoes and cukes, pickles, and squash for canning or processing. Please let me us know if we should have extra for you at your pickup location. Pickles are $20/box, tomatoes are $25/box.


summer squashes! Zucchini, Golden zucchini and Cousa also some cucumbers in background 🙂

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman

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Swiss chard and Squash Enchiladas with White Sauce and Fresh Salsa

This is what I used, but you modify however based on how many you are feeding and what you have on hand. I used a zucchini, a cousa, a mole, and a  Hungarian wax. The girl child is not a fan of super spicy food, so we added some Alex’s Ugly individually.

Titan loves Swiss chard

Titan loves Swiss chard

  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, remove the bottom few inches of stem and discard, chop the remainder of stem and leaves small.
  • 2 summer squashes, chopped fairly small
  • A medium-small onion, chopped small
  • 1 jalapeño, or other assorted hot peppers to taste, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Shredded cheddar
  • 8 Burrito wrappers
  • Oil to cook with
  • White sauce – recipe below

    Chopped rainbow chard, use the stems too!

    Chopped rainbow chard, use the stems too!

Sauté the squash, pepper, onion, garlic and chopped chard stems for about 10 minutes in a few Tb of oil. When you sense the squash and chard stems are fairly tender, add the chard leaves, tossing as much as possible and cover. Every few minutes toss around some more until the leaves are soft and everything looks cooked. Leave the lid off if you have plenty of liquid so some may evaporate.

The enchilada filling is cooked and ready to go

The enchilada filling is cooked and ready to go

In each burrito wrapper, use ½ cup cheese and 1/8 of the filling, roll up and place in greased 9×15 casserole.

Fill enchiladas with  cheese and filling

Fill enchiladas with cheese and filling

I packed the 8 enchiladas into a 9x15 baking dish

I packed the 8 enchiladas into a 9×15 baking dish

Cover with white sauce, edging enchiladas so sauce will get down between and around. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.
white sauce on enchilada

White Sauce

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 mole pepper minced
  • 1 cherry bomb minced

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stock, stirring until nice and thick. Add the sour cream and peppers. Set aside while you assemble your enchiladas.

All done golden and delicious

All done golden and delicious

I made a nice fresh salsa to go on top by dicing 2 tomatoes and two cherry bombs, adding a little salt, basil, and lime juice.

Enchilada with fresh salsa and side of Cheddar cauliflower and brown rice

Enchilada with fresh salsa and side of Cheddar cauliflower and brown rice

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CSA Week 8, 2015

The bounty has been so wonderful Glenn has wanted to share it with you all! The weekly boxes are exceeding the value of your CSA subscription and making it such an awesome value this year. Yeah! This week we continue to enjoy the corn, blueberries, tomatoes, lettuce, cukes, squashes, eggplants, peppers, peaches, your choice of greens, potatoes, onions… There may be a little gap in the lettuce, so it may or may not be in your box. If not, I will try to send it along as an option. I think our son Reid would go into withdrawal if there was no lettuce in the house for a week;) Sunday night I returned home from BPM at 11:30 to find a nice salad, complete with lemon cukes, waiting for me in the fridge. Good boy!

The eggplants are coming in and you may see the long, skinny Asian types first. These are marvelous grilled or sautéed up with some summer squash and a tomato. We grow dark purple, magenta, white and green and all of them are lovely.


About Peppers

We grow a lot of peppers. The peppers are coming along, so you’ll be seeing the regular green bell peppers, but you will surely see some other varieties during the season. There are lots of ways to categorize peppers: sweet peppers, hot peppers, specialty hot, specialty sweet, ethnic peppers and of course, ornamental. What’s what? Just put the ornamental peppers out of mind for now, other than to imagine exotic looking plants in containers and bouquets. For sweet bell peppers, we have green, lavender, purple, chocolate, ivory, orange, gold and red. Most of the bell peppers will ripen to red (there’s no strictly red pepper). We do grow a pimento shaped sweet pepper that ripens red very early, the rest of the colored peppers come along later in the season. We also grow those adorable lunchbox, snack size bell peppers J

There are also several long sweet peppers: Cubanelle which are long and light green, turning orange and then red; Spanish Spice/Carmen which are long and medium green then turning a vibrant red; and Mama Mia a Golden yellow Italian fryer.

The hot pepper lineup is a little more complicated: Mole are long, skinny, very mild heat and very dark green; Pablano(green)/Ancho(red) are medium hot, heart shaped and very dark, shiny green (pablano) and turning brick red later (ancho); Numex Joe Parker an Anaheim; Hungarian Wax are medium hot (but hotter than the pablano), elongated and smooth yellow-dark orange; Cherry Bomb are hot green to red and cherry shaped; Jalapeno are hot, dark green-purple-red, pointy sausage shaped; Serrano are hotter, smoother and more elegant looking than the Jalapeno; Cayenne are hot-hotter, very long, slender, wrinkly, green-red; Thai Dragon are smaller than cayenne, slender and about 3” long, Habanero are super-hot, wrinkly lantern-shaped, lime green-orange-red, and finally, the Ghost pepper, the hottest of the hot. There’s probably a few I am missing, because we love to experiment and we also trial plants for a few seed companies. *The hotter, drier and sunnier the weather, the hotter the peppers.

Uncle J’s Super Roasted Tomatoes (from member Debbie)

Cut ripe tomatoes into halves (small tomatoes) or thirds (large tomatoes) along the midline, not through the stem.
Arrange tomatoes on cookie sheet and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt, some thyme and some rosemary. Drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add a thin slice of fresh garlic clove on each.
Roast at 325 degrees for about 1.5 hours, or until they shrink in half and look done. They will be very soft and extremely delicious.
You can line the cookie sheet with parchment paper to make it easier to clean.

Vegetale al Forno this is a super yummy and a nice one dish meal of squash, eggplant and tomato. It is a great side dish with meat.
*this is delicious! A couple notes, it really needs to cook for a good long while, to ensure everything is super soft and tender and it is not soupy. I advise against using skim Swiss because it will remain tough and rubbery after this baking process 😉 I use Gruyere 🙂

Farm Dirt

We usually have a potluck at the New Braintree farm August 17 at noon. After last year, I had considered dropping it, because, though there seems to be a lot of interest, the turnout is not very significant considering the size of our membership. Lots of members do show up at some point during the season, just not necessarily for the open house/potluck 🙂

Glenn suggests I leave it up to you! Please weigh in if you were planning on coming to the potluck. If you have never been, we cook corn, slice tomatoes, hang around and visit, walk the farm a little, pick berries… It’s pretty low key.

Meanwhile, Glenn is out scouting the farm right now and I look forward to the update about what’s coming and what’s new for this week. The onions they are pulling are gorgeous and plentiful. The apples are sizing up, and I saw some melons come through the other day and the one I ate was delicious!

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman

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