Happy Independence Day! There will not be a CSA pickup on the 4th, but Thursday members will pickup an extra week at the end of the season 🙂
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 on 🙂
I can hardly believe that July is upon us! The fields look great, in spite of the stupid amount of rain we have had. I was looking back at last year’s records, and if you recall, it had been an early Spring, so the crops were WAY ahead of normal last year. We were picking peaches in early July – wow! This year is a little cooler and wetter, so that means we have another week of harvesting strawberries. That is actually a real gift for the berry lovers out there (me)! The same weather will delay the blueberries a little, but they look great and I expect we will begin harvesting some in a couple weeks. The field tomatoes also look substantial right now and we hope to be harvesting them in a couple weeks too. This a great time to visit the farm, so come on out and explore your farm a little, pick your own peas or beans…
You MAY have these things: strawberries, lettuce, beets (Chiogga (red), Forono (long dark), Golden Beets), chard of some color, I saw some shell peas being harvested, so you may have them in your box or as an option, kale of some type, and perhaps something else green. Lots of folks got fennel last week and I imagine it will appear again this week. This fennel is grown for its bulb, which is lovely julienned for a salad or even roasted with your beets. The beets are incredible right now. Did you know beets can naturally lower your cholesterol and blood pressure? Several studies show that drinking beet juice or eating beets can lower blood pressure 5 points for 24 hours. Cool, right? They are high in potassium and nitrates – plus, they are just downright yummy! The greens are high in potassium too 🙂 Try roasting your beets if you haven’t already done so. I quarter mine and toss them in olive oil and a little seasoning. The first of the squash are coming in, though not tons yet, so you might see them as an option. NO worries squash fans, the weeks will come when you’re going to get plenty of squash 😉
More about fennel: It is high in vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber. Sounds like a super combo with beets, eh? Did you know the Greeks called it marathron and it actually was growing in the field where the epic battle was fought? Yep, the Battle of Marathon. It was also awarded to Pheidippides after his long run. And we are not even going to make you fight or run for it! The bulb is good raw or cooked, the leaves are nice for seasoning, the stems not so useful.
We grow A LOT of greens. We have a local guy whose
specific job is to seed the greens and lettuces for transplant. Most everything
is seeded weekly. Everyone has their favorite in our house. Mine is arugula; I
love the peppery bite in every salad, on a sandwich, under a steak, in mashed
potatoes, pretty much with everything. Faith loves kale; sautéed, kale chips,
or in salad. Reid likes spinach sautéed, in salad with bacon maple dressing, in calzones, or frittata. Glenn loves his chard or beet greens with butter and a drizzle of vinegar.
On the blog you can use the search box to find “kale crunch” and lots of other kale recipes, “Rachel’s Red Salad”, ideas on “freezing greens”…
Deb shared “Beet Greens Soup” with me this week. Please share your recipes too!
This week Reid and I watched the cows, trying to match up mothers with calves. While I was standing in the pasture, there were about 15 Bobolinks that gathered near to talk to me, or scold me, not sure which. Anyway, they are remarkable birds that nest in tall grass. When we used to have our fields hayed, we always held off till mid-July to ensure the completion of their nesting cycle. Now we are careful to not let the cows chew the pasture down too much during nesting season.
It will be raspberry season soon and they look wonderful. We welcome you to come and pick some for yourself to enjoy, as we do not include them in the boxes. We encourage you to come to the farm and pick anything you like and only ask you to please be fair if you would like any quantity of anything. In other words, a couple pounds of tomatoes are on the house but bushels may affect our bottom line or what we can offer to the other members 🙂 If you have children, they will especially enjoy seeing how things grow, picking and eating right in the field. Sweet corn is the best experience!