CSA Week 9, 2013

Blueberries are fading, but the peaches are getting going…and apples could appear any time!

Lady Bell green peppers on left, Bianca and Islander bell peppers on right

Lady Bell green peppers on left, Bianca and Islander bell peppers on right

You MAY have any of these things: Summer squash, or cousa, cukes, pickling cukes, lemon cukes, corn, beans, chard or beets, tomato, potatoes, eggplant, peaches, turnips, broccoli, kale, lettuce … There’s an abundance of beautiful, exotic looking eggplants around, enjoy. Also, fresh eggplants have nasty thorns near the stem end, so beware. Oddly enough, there seems to be a dearth of zucchini, we’ll see how the fall crop does. I guess it didn’t appreciate the weather the way the yellow summer squash did. At least they are fairly interchangeable  🙂 Also, we are experiencing some expected gap in the corn. The heat pushed the staggered plantings to mature at the same time and now we are having cool evenings. Yes, the cool evenings are delightful to sleep in, but ripening of everything slows down. HOWEVER, things should settle out with the greens (they don’t like the heat) and I ate my first apple this week!

peaches

 

About Peppers__________________________________________________

from upper left: Poblano, Hungarian Wax, Cayenne, and Mole  (bottom left)

  from upper left: Poblano, Hungarian Wax, Cayenne, and Mole (bottom left)

Yep, we grow a lot of peppers too. The peppers are coming along, so you’ll be seeing theregular green bell peppers, but you will surely see some other varieties during the season. There are lots of ways to categorize peppers: sweet peppers, hot peppers, specialty hot, specialty sweet, ethnic peppers and of course, ornamental. What’s what? Just put the ornamental peppers out of mind for now, other than to imagine exotic looking plants in containers and bouquets. For sweet bell peppers, we have green, lavender, purple, chocolate, ivory, orange, gold and red. Most of the bell peppers will ripen to red (there’s no strictly red pepper). We do grow a pimento shaped sweet pepper that ripens red very early, the rest of the colored peppers come along later in the season. There are also several long sweet peppers: Cubanelle (aka: banana pepper) which are long and light green, turning orange and then red, and Spanish Spice, which are long and medium green. The hot pepper lineup is a little more complicated: Mole are long, skinny, very mild heat and very dark green; Pablano(green)/Ancho(red) are medium hot, heart shaped and very dark, shiny green (pablano) and turning brick red later (ancho); Hungarian Wax are medium hot (but hotter than the pablano), elongated and smooth yellow-dark orange; Cherry Bomb are hot green to red and cherry shaped; Jalapeno are hot, dark green-purple-red, pointy sausage shaped; Serrano are hotter, smoother and more elegant looking than the Jalapeno; Cayenne are hot-hotter, very long, slender, wrinkly, green-red; and Habanero are super hot, wrinkly lantern-shaped, lime green-orange-red. There’s probably a few I am missing, because we love to experiment and we also trial plants for a few seed companies. *The hotter and sunnier the weather, the hotter the peppers.

Cubanelle Peppers at Stillman's Farm, courtesy Erb Photography

Cubanelle Peppers at Stillman’s Farm, courtesy Erb Photography

Freezing stuff I like to keep a bag of chopped hot pepper in the freezer to add to stir fry. Yes, it’s that simple, chop or mince and stuff in a freezer container. This works for sweet pepper, as well. Last week, I had several members tell me they tried my baked eggplant recipe for the first time and really liked it. If you are going to make it, use all the eggplant you get and freeze what you don’t use on the baking sheet. Once frozen, remove from the sheet to a freezer bag or container. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350 for some winter meal, or use as is for eggplant parm.

Farm Dirt

**RECAP: Potluck coming up: August 18 at noon. Bring yourselves and something to share. If that is too intimidating, just come and hangout, pack your own picnic or you can always eat corn and tomatoes from us 😉 We’ll walk a little of the farm and be available for questions.
Faith will be on hand to drag your children (or you) off to catch frogs and get muddy, Glenn and I can lead you to some far corner of the farm 😉 and if you have a special interest in birds, wildflowers, bugs, chemistry, botany, historic houses, trees, farming….we’ll be happy to engage you in conversation. 
We also have areas for small people to play, raspberries to pick, lawn to lay on, road to bike on, onions to peel (just kidding)…
Put it on the calendar.

In other news, we are looking for some strong people to work at some Boston Area markets. Looks like we have 5 days available, but any day would help. The job would involve meeting our market truck at location and helping unload, set up, restock, pack up. If you like sales, that’s a bonus. The strong back is the most important. Please email me for more info if you are interested.

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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