CSA Week 3

Little lettucesI just want to remind you all to try to read through the letters (or the blog) because questions you may have will often be answered – so please try to give them the once over in order to save yourself and me unnecessary frustration. There are handy tidbits in the side-bar too.

Sometimes we like to give you a lot of something, like squash or cukes because we have them and it’s fun. Should you ever feel overrun, just look at it as an opportunity to share with your friends or make something and freeze it.

You should, hopefully, be able to enjoy new lettuce every week…but once and a while we have a gap in production. A member sent me a link last week to a site about how to store various vegetables called Garden Guides http://www.gardenguides.com/419-storing-vegetables.html I thought it was a pretty comprehensive list, though at first glance, it is really for “fresh food snobs” like us. I notice they say a cucumber will keep for a week in the fridge (which is true and when it is best), but the cukes you see in the store are already at least a week old…so, they’ll really “keep” quite a bit longer (wink). I’d be delighted if you all want to post this type of info on the new blog..I think this is helpful info for all who are interested. Thanks!

pink sky over stillman's barn

Random picture of amazing pink sky behind our barn this week

Speaking of cucumbers, we grow regular slicers (and ours, though super fresh, will not keep as well as those from the store because we tend to harvest them when still bumpy and spiny), picklers, which are the shorter, stripy cukes and just as wonderful for salads as they are for pickles, lemon cukes which are small, round and yellow (slice in wedges for the real lemon look), and an almost seedless type named Diva, which look mostly like a regular slicer, but are perfectly smooth skinned.

A footnote to last weeks glimpse of summer squashes is they can all be used interchangeably and I left out the Golden zucchini and the patty pan types. There are never too many of the patty pan or scallopini types, but should you get some, they are squatty, round, kind-of UFO shaped pale green or bright yellow, and very sweet.

I know there is still confusion about the kale varieties so I posted a picture of what we are harvesting right now on the blog. I think everyone is familiar with the regular Winterbor kale with it’s showy frills and very deep green color. There is also a reddish version of called Redbor which I haven’t seen yet this year, but will appear at some point. We also grow the Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale which is long and narrow, lance shaped without frills but nice puckery leaves. Lastly, there is the Red Russian Kale which has a smoother, flatter leaf with deeply lobed edges and a purplish stem.

Delightful snap peas

There may also be snap peas or shell peas this week. Not sure what you’ve got? Bite into one, if it is crunchy and delightful, eat them whole. All you need to so is snap off the top and sometime the side string comes with it and eat raw or steam very briefly. If you cannot chew the pea pod up easily, then it is a shell pea and the peas inside need to be removed from the pod. Enjoy.

Farm Dirt 

picture of Pileated Woodpecker
Our morning visitor

We’ve had several CSA members visiting the farm this week. It is very pretty right now and I am always delighted to have folks see where their food is coming from. We’ll organize a pot luck later in the summer for those who need an invitation. Please shoot me an email the day before you visit so I may leave out a map of the farm in case I cannot be here. You are welcome to pick food while you are here; we ask only that you are considerate and fair with the quantities you take. (No, I am not referencing anything in particular, just trying to head off any confusion).The Pileated Woodpecker was across the street this morning, calling out the nestlings. It was pretty neat to listen to over a cup of coffee. We have numerous new calves this month and they are most delightful running about in the pasture. I am very excited about the potatoes this week, as I Glenn harvest enough for dinner on Wednesday. They are in full blossom and are quite spectacular looking—the first small ones tasted great too!!!

picture of potatoes in bloom

A few rows of potatoes in bloom

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. The farm also has several Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs established in Boston, Lunenburg, Jamaica Plain, Brookline, New Braintree 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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