CSA Begins! June 15

The first CSA delivery requires a great deal of organization and planning. It is also pretty exciting – even for us! Since we have so many drop off locations and members, there is always a little angst about when and where and how many for everyone involved. We are delighted to begin our 16th CSA season and hope all our members take time to enjoy their food and the farm.

strawbs1

Week one Boxletter (as printed this week)

Many of you know what to expect by now; some of you have been with us forever, but for those joining us for the first time, let me tell you a little about this letter: although you will see one of ‘us’ every week, I will try to include a note about what you can expect in your box, what is to come, and perhaps a recipe or two.  I will also try to post what we are harvesting for CSA on facebook. Often, questions you may have will be answered in the letters – so please try to give them the once over in order to save yourself and us unnecessary frustration. Please do ask questions or for help – one of the benefits of CSA is access to the farmer 🙂 If you would prefer to read your letter online or don’t get your box-letter, it’s on our blog—stillmansfarm.wordpress.com (and look, you’re here)

Reminder:  If you know you will not be able to pickup, please login to your farmigo account (you created one when you signed up with us) 48 hours in advance and make changes so we may plan accordingly. It is your responsibility to remember your box. Unclaimed boxes are donated locally, or if it’s been an extra hot day, dumped to the livestock. Asking us to make up a forgotten box is the same as asking for double. BUT, you do not need to pickup your box personally; we just have a simple check off sheet with the names of subscribers. That means ANYONE can check off your name and take the box home. All members need to pickup during their time frame. Be punctual, it took an hour or more for us to get to your location, so be considerate too ;).

 Check out the “Member Connect” page on the blog, a handy place to post if you need help getting your box, helping another member, carpooling to the farm, etc.

Several years ago we started handing out reusable Stillman’s bags to everyone and it made a huge difference! We saved 16,000 bags the first year! Since then we have saved SO much more. Please use it (or any bag) every week so we may keep saving. Most weeks your produce will come packed in waxed boxes that are not recyclable, and we ask that you return them so we may reuse them. They cost $1.50-$1.95 each, so let’s keep the added expenses down by being careful not to tear them. Please ask for box boot camp if you need help 😉

It is always a little bit of a guess what will appear in the box, also, we grow many varieties of each crop, so from time to time I will list the varieties of beets or lettuce, for example, but that does not mean you will get them all that week ;~) You MAY have these things. This week, relish the strawberries (a season which is never long enough), lettuce, beets (Chiogga(red), Forono(long dark, )Golden Beets),  chard of some color, peas of some type (perhaps) and possibly some other green. None of the greens or lettuces have been more than rinsed, so there is still plenty to wash off.  Oh yeah, they haven’t been sprayed either.

arugula Arugula

To reiterate one last time (this week) please pick up your box every week, return your boxes without destroying them, read your letter, email us with questions, login to your farmigo account to make contact and pickup changes, and have fun with all the goodies!

Recipes

The recipe section is where I try to let you know how to treat the contents of your box and, yes, recipes. This would be the part of the box-letter you are not compelled to read, except there might be some useful morsel you might miss out on. If you are one of the people who approach me at the end of the season asking, “What do I do with potatoes?” this section is for you! (That actually happened)

OK, we’re all busy, but it is usually tiredness or laziness that prevents us from cooking – Many recipes require little effort and take less time than running for some take-out or nuking a frozen dinner. Nothing against those types of meals, but our goal here is to eat well, and that means eating what’s in the box; so make a commitment right now to cook all the food you receive. I will try to inspire you to cook things you might not ordinarily eat, and to use up items that may be very plentiful. I will re-run the favorites and special requests are welcome. All last year’s recipes are on the blog—so just do a search for the item you are wishing to use and be sure to send me your great recipes, or post yourself 😉 Also, let us know if you have a food blog, we’ll link you.

Here’s a basic starter for a nice dressing for greens: 2 Tb vinegar (your choice), s & p, and 1 tsp Dijon whisked together or shaken in your cruet; then whisk in 6 Tb olive oil (or shake until well mixed). Alter to fit your mood.

There are some gorgeous greens (Chard and/or Beet-tops) this week which are lovely simply steamed briefly and then tossed with some butter (a drizzle of vinegar is tasty).

Golden beet greens

Golden beet greens

Beets on salad of arugula with citrus dressing

Beets on salad of arugula with citrus dressing

Sautéed Beet Greens (good for Chard too)

Chop your well washed beet greens and stems. Melt 2 Tb butter (yes, olive oil works) in skillet over medium, sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion until tender, add chopped beet greens and stems and sauté until tender. Season with s & p and lemon juice. The kids like feta tossed in.

There are quite a few recipes accumulated on the blog. I try to tag everything so you can search for recipes by typing in the produce ie: swiss chard. Also, we tend to grow several varieties of everything; for example, you will encounter different colors and possible shapes of beets, chard, and kale. I have tried to put lots of pictures of our produce on the blog to help out with any confusion. Once we get going in the season, you may be able to choose what variety you would like form week to week, or you can open your box and see what’s in it before you take it away 🙂

Farm Dirt

This section usually covers what’s going on at the farm, new farm babies, wildlife spottings, etc. Stillman’s is a family farm started by Glenn, my husband, the guy with the handlebar moustache.  Grown children, Kate and Curt, work on the farm and run their own farms and CSA’s, as well. Kate owns two farms in Hardwick (Stillman’s at The Turkey Farm), where she raises hormone free, pasture-raised meats! Curt grows cherry tomatoes and exotic fruits at his own farm in Hardwick (Still Life Farm) and runs the winter CSA. We also have Reid, 14, who helps Glenn at Quincy and me at Southboro/Framingham, and Faith, 8, who is still learning how to help! And I am Geneviève, the website, blog, email, letter writing, phone person 😉 You can read more about us on the About page on stillmansfarm.com

We encourage you to become part of the farm and be connected to your food and farmer; visit, check out the crops, sample in the field, picnic, watch the birds, amphibians, and insects!

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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