CSA Week 10, 2013

Thankfully, the tomatoes are coming in for real! The New Braintree Farm is hopping with beautiful tomatoes this week 🙂 In the next few weeks, if all remains well, you will see more, and if you plan on making sauce or salsa, now is the time. We grow several varieties of red tomatoes, mostly chosen for flavor, but we also grow a couple varieties because they are firmer than the traditional, softer tomato. Interestingly enough, consumers (that’s us) have become accustomed to the hard tomatoes at the supermarket.

 

this is supposed to be the ideal tomato...do you really not want a tomato that won't make your bread soggy eventually?

this is supposed to be the ideal tomato…do you really not want a tomato that won’t make your bread soggy eventually?

 

The tomatoes at the supermarket need to be hard because they must withstand picking, massive washing/packing lines, shipping (while they are being gassed with ethylene to “ripen”), being knocked around at the warehouse then supermarket, and then the final handling and squeezing at the point of purchase. Subsequently, tomatoes have been bred to have hard, thick walls and firm centers—even before GMO. So, after years of buying these, it’s a little like dog training, we have come to accept, at the very least, the “firm” tomato. So, having said that, please don’t squeeze the tomatoes or the peaches, we picked them ripe, today’s squeeze is tomorrow’s bruise 😉

tomatoes draining

These tomatoes are missing the strange pink rubber look…how will we possibly make a sandwich with these juicy tomatoes? Yes, you can lay them on toweling and drain them, OR, you could let them moisten your sandwich without more dressing 😉

We will continue to have lots of eggplant and pepper varieties, and by all means, open your box at pickup to see what kind is in your box…no need to get the same type every week, unless you want to. We are experiencing a little lettuce and corn shortage, but should be back in action soon. The peaches and nectarines have been succulent. I hope you are enjoying the fruit. If you have been a member of another CSA before, you realize how special it is to get fruit every week; I was delighted to have folks have their choice of apples, peaches, nectarines and, of course, tomatoes last week!

check out Simple Fresh Salsa or salsa

Farm Dirt

We are pretty psyched about the amazing tomatoes being harvested right now. Again, this is the time to get bulk tomatoes if you need them. Something you may not consider, but we go through a lot of rubber bands. It is somewhat amusing to me to contemplate how many we actually need to get through a season. But consider for a moment, the weeks you have received a bunch of kale, chard, and beets. That’s 3 elastics times all our membership every week…and then there’s the markets. Anyway, there’s no point to this mental exercise except to say there is a lot of planning and organizing to packaging the boxes every week 
We are still 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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