CSA Week 6

How are the boxes working out? Have you mastered opening and or collapsing them without tearing and destroying? Let’s be nice to the planet by making these boxes last as long as possible, thanks. ☺

Getting ready for the next crop

Harrowing up the first crop to plant another!

Last week was a great example of how I don’t always know what will show up in the box. I was pretty sure there would be potatoes, but I was surprised to see fennel. So, you can never be sure from day to day, or week to week, what is going to magically appear…and who knows when you’ll see fennel again. This week there may be the first apples, called Vista Bella. Eat them right away because they will not hold well. They are fine cooked, but again, not a firm apple. Once we start with potatoes, you will generally see them weekly. Glenn would eat boiled potatoes with butter at every meal, but they will keep in a cool, dark place (not the fridge) for weeks and weeks if you want to save them. Since the moisture content in new potatoes is so high, you have to keep them in something that allows them to breath, otherwise the skin will mold.

But let’s talk about how exciting the first corn and tomatoes are!!!! The corn is looking great and the ears I had for lunch yesterday were fabulous. Yes, we just had corn for lunch and it was a perfect meal. Now that we have started with the corn, we encourage you to plan on corn for dinner/supper on your pickup day. We pick it every day so that you never get a day old ear. We don’t grow any supersweet varieties, as what is offered in every supermarket. Those varieties have been bred to have a hard pericarp so they will maintain a full appearance, and a very high sugar content, so they will remain sweet after a week on the display. These varieties are always tough, seem to need longer cooking and don’t actually “taste” like corn. Yes, I am a corn snob and, as with many vegetables and fruits, the breeding to make them last longer in the store not only ruins the flavor, but ruins people’s tastebuds. Most often when I talk with people who aren’t crazy about corn, or can take or leave a tomato, it’s because they have been brought up on old corn and hard pink tomatoes. Some things are meant only to be enjoyed when they are in season. So, enjoy! Fresh corn (meaning picked today and not a “supersweet” hybrid) cooks  very quickly, check it after 4 minutes. Also, beans are wonderful steamed. You don’t have to feel like you have to boil them as they have not been coated with any paraffin for preservative reasons.

Briefly about potatoes (which are almost always great, even after storage): We grow several varieties;

Superior and Red Norland

  Superior white and Red Norland (red skinned, white fleshed) are our most popular sellers and the least tricky to grow. Historically this has been reflected in the price, as the potatoes of color generally command double. Kennebec is another white variety and easily distinguished by its elongated shape. All Red are just that; Yukon Gold, light brown skinned/yellow fleshed; Blue Peru; purple skinned/blue-purple fleshed; Fingerlings – yep, they look like fat fingers, and there’s more. You can tell the Yukons from Superior by their pink-eye (sounds nice, huh).

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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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