CSA Week 13

cayenne and serrano peppers

cayenne and serrano peppers

There seem to be an assortment of hot peppers randomly appearing as a choice or actually in the box, so here is a little rundown of varieties: There are the jalapeño you are sure to recognize, then there are Hungarian Wax – 4” horn shaped peppers ranging from yellow to red, Cherry Bomb – a delightfully hot pepper, perfect for stuffing and baking (if you like some heat), Serrano- looking much like a jalapeño but a little smoother and longer, Pablano—looking like a dark green and pointy bell, Cayenne – long red or green, and the Thai- which are smaller than the cayenne, but similar—and smokin’. The habanero are the wrinkly, small balloons in green to orange.

I know the zucchini recipe was untimely last week…we’ve got another crop of squashes behind the one we were picking and I didn’t know the plants were struggling after the last heavy rain. I’ll try to do better this week with apropos recipes!

There aren’t tons of tomatoes at this moment; the rain did a real number on them. This year we had been harvesting tomatoes a lot longer than most of our farmer friends, and I guess the longer the plants have been in the ground, the greater the risk of getting stressed by al the various diseases out there. So, the bad news is the “load up” on tomatoes days are over, but the good news is the late crop is not too far off and we are still picking some tomatoes.

Curt is busily taking signups for the winter CSA. If you were planning on participating (pickups in Lunenburg and JP only), please take a minute to email him and save your spot; space is very limited.

My Mother and I have been having a lovely visit this week and here’s my plug for her children’s book Up in Smoke. Nope, no connection to Cheech and Chong, it’s a story told by a child about the family reunion in Minnesota and how they still thresh oats with a steam engine tractor. If you are interested, here’s a link to her site http://kallanderartgallery.com/

We continued to see Night Hawks all week, as well as masses of Bluebirds with all sorts of Sparrows hanging out with them. Our Carolina Wrens even got Paul (the man who does the seeding in the greenhouse for us) out of the greenhouse yesterday afternoon. Their song is so loud and very different from anything else here that any curious body wants to know who is responsible.

The farm looks pretty good right now and we are all hoping for good fall weather so we can keep it all going until late October.  🙂

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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2 Responses to CSA Week 13

  1. Kristen says:

    I was wondering what the source of Stillman Farm’s seeds is/are? I belong to the CSA and was thinking of saving the watermelon seeds for planting in my own garden next year, so out of curiosity I was thinking about where you get your seeds. There are a few seed companies that I do not support based on their practices and treatment of farmers (especially when it comes to seed saving), so it is a hot button issue for me personally. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristen,
      That’s a tricky topic, and somewhat complicated. But first, to answer your immediate question, we get most of our seeds from Johnny’s and Harris, and then specialty tomatoes and peppers from Tomato Growers, and specialty squash and melons from Seed Savers.
      It is important to know why companies don’t want you saving seed. It could be because the breeder (AKA seed farmer) has patented his/her efforts and is collecting royalties…not really different than buying music vs. downloading it for free off the internet. We run into this with bedding plants as well – especially perennials. Many of the breeders go through a lot of time and expense to develop the next Hosta or Coreopsis and the only way they get paid for it is to collect those royalties…we can’t propagate many Hostas without having a license and then paying the royalties (The Proven Winners line is another classic example of this). The best examples I can think of for vegetables are GMO related, but we don’t grow any… so not a problem here. As for us, we don’t save any vegetable seeds because it is important to have really good germination, as well as a uniform crop. We also sell vegetable plants, which bears a certain responsibility in labeling. Our peppers and eggplants would be a mess anyway -with all those varieties in one field.
      Sometimes seed saving is frowned upon because many hybrids will not come true – so in these cases you can save the seed, but you can’t be sure what you’ll get later. Seedless watermelon are a perfect example of this. Non-hybrid seed COULD come true, but again, on our farm there’s a good chance it will be viable but not true.
      All this said, most folks will recognize the difference between saving seed for your own personal use and saving seed for major distribution – kind of like the warning on home videos/movies 😉
      All in all, sounds like you could use a good conversation with Glenn but, in the meantime, I hope this helps.

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