CSA Week 2, 2013

Recap from last week: 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. 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 ;).

Handy info out there: Stillman’s Blog, the Member Connect Page on the blog, Stillman’s Farm facebook page, and my new CSA Pinterest Board that I hope to get lots of pins 🙂

Farming is not a particularly consistent business. It may not be obvious, or something anyone even thinks about, but because we do not control all the factors that affect production, it is impossible to guarantee results. When you consider your favorite coffee shop has an exact formula for how they make their coffee, the results are the same every time. Your farmer knows exactly what everything growing on the farm needs, but there are so many factors out of his control (sun, rain, high wind) that he must constantly make adjustments to ensure a good harvest. If the weather were very predictable (and it’s New England, so it isn’t) we could exercise more control and guarantee consistent results. This is the very reason why I write every week “these are things you may get”.  Also, we could grow all the same variety of lettuce and ensure that every member received the same exact kind as the other member from week to week, but I rather like that you can see some variety, experiment a little, and even encourage you to open your box and take a peek; so you might get a chance to try to the Golden Beets or the Red Romaine, or the Ruby Chard. Also, as we pick every single day of the week, it is possible that on Monday we were not picking peas, but by Friday we were. Or, sometimes, at the beginning of harvesting a particular crop, we choose to bring what we have to share with the CSA members, but there isn’t enough for all the members, that day, or even that week. HOWEVER, in 15 years of CSA deliveries, I have found it magically works out: over the course of 16 weeks, everyone receives the same value. Item for item, there might be variations, different but equal. And, as long as you are not too annoying, we welcome your requests and substitutions to make this your most perfect CSA  🙂

Red French Batavia Lettuce ~ courtesy Erb Photography

Red French Batavia Lettuce ~ courtesy Erb Photography

You MAY have these things: strawberries, lettuce, beets (Chiogga (red), Forono (long dark), Golden Beets,  chard of some color, peas of some type (perhaps), kale of some type, and perhaps something else green. The greens have only been rinsed, and even that is a challenge with the amount of mud clinging to everything! None of them have been sprayed (wait till you see the arugula :{ ).

To reiterate from last week: please pick up your box every week, return your boxes without destroying them, read your letter, email us with questions (after you have read and re-read your letter ;)), login to your farmigo account to make contact and pickup changes, and have fun with all the goodies!

About Lettuce

We grow A LOT of lettuce. I have to tell you, we love our salads and I am one of those greens snobs who really whines all winter when my salad greens don’t taste like anything. All the greens benefit from a brief soak in lightly salted water. The salt will cause any small creatures to let go of your greens. Drain, rinse and spin dry. If you take care of all your greens when you get them, you will be more likely to use them. I keep mine loosely in a bag in the fridge. Varieties to look for: Romaine, Red Romaine, Boston, Simpson, New Red Fire, Waldman’s, French Batavia, Red French Batavia, Red Leaf, Oakleaf, plus mesclun mix and arugula.

lettuce babies

lettuce babies

Farm Dirt

This week has been a tough one with the rain…we had 13 ½ inches in 14 days, which is not our preferred way to make up for low rainfall in April 😉 Anyway, the farm was spared the downpours last Saturday and a few fields are finally draining enough that you can walk up the row without losing your boots!

Pigeon Hawk – GOOD

We were very excited to see a Pigeon Hawk last night. I have never seen one in life, though we have plenty of his smaller cousin, the Sharp-Shinned Hawk hanging about the farm. Also, our nesting pair if Red-Tail Hawks have hatched their young and Mr. & Mrs. can be seen daily, sitting in a nearby dead tree, hunting the orchard. I can’t wait till we see the young out of the nest! After watching countless Bluebirds, Tree Swallows and now the Barn Swallows get ousted from their nests and the young killed by English Sparrows, we have decided to wage war on the English Sparrows…we’ll let you know how it goes.

English Sparrow-BAD

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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