Winter News #1
Dear Winter CSA Members,
Welcome to the Still Life Farm Winter CSA. We’re so excited to be bringing our local produce to your table! We’ve worked very hard all season to ensure that this is the best Winter CSA ever. The Winter CSA in the past has been collaboration between Stillman’s Farm and Still Life Farm. This year, we took on full responsibility. We planned and executed all the details; from planning how, when, and how much to grow. This also included soil prep, planting, harvesting, AND building a brand new vegetable storage facility to extend our season into February. That’s all in addition to organizing our membership and pick-ups. All this has been exciting as well as exhausting. Hopefully our end result will be happy CSA members. Curt and I have poured our hearts, souls, and time into this and can’t wait to present the finished product to you! Thanks so much for signing up, we know you’ll enjoy!
Our CSA share is designed around vegetables that New Englanders would traditionally grow to get through the winter. All our veggies are hardy storage vegetables. The vegetables that you will find in your first pick-up inlude: winter squash, apples, pears, carrots, beets, kale, brussel sprouts, onions, parsnips, potatoes, turnips, lettuce, and broccoli. This share will store well for the month if handled correctly. Some things will only keep a few days in your fridge, so should be eaten first, such as broccoli, lettuce, kale, and Brussels. Other veggies will keep in the fridge throughout the month, such as apples, pears, carrots, beets, turnips, and leeks. These items should be kept in Ziplock bags in your crisper. Take the tops off things like beets, turnips, and carrots for better storage. You can eat beet and turnip greens, so nothing needs to go to waste (best to compost the carrot tops). Other vegetables like winter squash, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes need to be kept somewhere cool and dark, like the cellar or a closet. Store them so they have ventilation in something such as a cardboard box or basket. If you have any questions about how to store any veggies please feel free to drop me an e-mail, I would love to hear from you.
You will be getting winter squash each month in your share, so it’s important to know how to cook it. There are a variety of delicious squashes that you will get to experiment with this winter; all can be cooked the same basic way if you aren’t working with a specific recipe. To cook all types of winter squash: 1) Cut the squash in half. This is not difficult as long as you go slowly. Use a large knife and slowly work the blade into the center of the squash and then around the middle. 2) Scoop the seeds and guts out of the squash with a large spoon. Seeds can be separated out and roasted if desired. 3) Take a fork and poke holes in a couple spots on the squash. If this step is forgotten it can occasionally cause a very messy situation in your oven, so, don’t forget. 4) Lay squash, cut side down on cookie sheet or baking pan. I usually add a little water to the pan, it seems to help with moisture. 5) Bake the squash anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on size, until the squash is soft to the touch when poked with your finger. 6) Enjoy!
Billy’s Leek and Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 leeks, including green tops (not too far up)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 1 can coconut milk mixed with 1 can water
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- chili sauce (couple of tablespoons or to taste)
- 2 cubes dry vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp. mild curry powder
- fresh lime juice (secret ingredient, don’t forget)
- 8 Tbsp. butter
- fresh cream
Wash and slice leeks into even rounds. Sweat leeks and diced onions in butter. Roughly dice sweet potatoes and add to leeks. Add curry powder. Stir in coconut milk, water, and vegetable stock cubes. When mixture is simmering, add chopped cilantro and chili sauce. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft. Blend mixture in processor (or use immersion blender). This is a soup base which can keep until required for final blending of equal quantities of fresh cream and water. The texture should be of runny cream. To serve: Heat soup, squeeze a bit of lime juice into bottom of each bowl and carefully pour soup over juice. Do not stir. Delicious and surprising!
We will have recipe suggestions for you throughout the winter, but we would love to hear from you. If you have a great winter veggie recipe that you think everyone must try, please e-mail it to us, we’ll include it in the newsletters.
A few important tidbits you should know for the season:
Our website is www.StillLifeFarm.com. Many of your questions can probably be answered by referencing our website, so please look there first if you have questions or concerns.
Contact information, pick-up dates, locations, and times can be found on the website.
It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. We do not live in Boston and are only in the area once a month. It is your responsibility to pick-up your share each month. If you need to change your pick-up location you can do that by going to our Farmigo site and switching the location, that way your box will be available for you at the new location.
Finally…boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. We will review with everyone how to open your box and break down your box. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. These boxes cost us money and, as a result, cost you money. Please be careful.
Thank you so much for your membership! We are excited to be able to provide our farm’s produce right to your table. Way to eat local!
Love your food.
Curt Stillman and Halley Terry