Week 3, 2014

Squash and cucumbers are in! 🙂

Remember, these are things you MAY get
Squash – any type, Swiss chard, Lettuce, Beets, Kale, Cukes, Peas (shell or snap), Beans, Basil or fennel or arugula

Picking loads of summer squashes (remember, they include the yellow, zucchini, cousa, patty pan…) and now a lots of cucumbers. Look for the regular slicing cukes, as well as the smooth skinned Divas, small pickling cukes, and lemon cukes (round, yellow heirloom cucumbers named for their looks). All of the cucumbers are equally perfect for snacking, salads, or pickling. If you have any projects that involve a lot of cucumbers, please let us know so we can accommodate you. Pickles, for example, are really not difficult to make and keep forever; also they are a fat free food and very healthful to eat I keep a pickle jar in the fridge and add all sorts of things to it: peppers, any kind of cukes, onions, squashes, beets… When you have them on hand, it is wonderful to add a dish to your table to serve as a condiment or on your salads. I mentioned last week that I made a lot of kale broth for my kids when they were babies/toddlers. Wash the greens thoroughly (I use the stock pot I am going to make the broth in by filling it with water and a little salt. Leave the bunch intact  (not removing the elastic) and immerse the leaves into the water, splosh around, up and down motion to agitate any dirt/dust/creatures off the leaves. Remove the leaves from the pot (in my case I never really let go of them) and pitch the water. Rinse out any dirt that may have clung to the bottom of the pot, remove elastic and drop kale into the pot, cover with new water. Simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes. Discard the greens and strain the broth if necessary. Ready to use once cooled. You will find it is quite sweet and when in a bottle or sippy cup, it goes undetected when mixed with a favorite juice. I dilute it with more water if serving alone. Kale is high in calcium, potassium, vitamin K, C, A, iron… and the broth contains it all! If you think you are not a fan of kale as an adult, you can do this for yourself and use the broth instead of other liquids for making soup, smoothies, rice…. We use the whole leaf for smoothies – see recipe on the blog. And, of course there are kale chips!!! If you find yourself swimming in greens, but like them and hope to enjoy them later, blanch your greens for 2 minutes, drain thoroughly and pack on freezer bags/containers. Or, make a big recipe and freeze the leftover for a quick meal/side dish later. I use mine for calzones in the winter 🙂

Ruby and Golden Chard

Ruby and Golden Chard

Recipes: Pizza Style Greens, Kale Smoothie, Kale Chips/Crunch, Fresh Summer Squash Cucumber and Fennel Salad
Check out http://www.chow.com/recipes/30422-easy-quick-pickles

About Squash

We grow A LOT of squash. (I am hoping by now, you are smiling, because we grow a lot of everything ;))

Eight Ball, Cousa, Golden Zucchini, Patty Pan summer squashes

Eight Ball, Cousa, Golden Zucchini, Patty Pan summer squashes

Summer squashes: zucchini,  golden zucchini, yellow summer squash, Cousa, a light green, Mediterranean summer squash, Romanesco Costata, long, striped and ridged green,  and patty pan. There are never too many of the patty pan or scallopini types, but should you get some, they are squatty, round, kind-of UFO shaped pale green or bright yellow, and very sweet.  I can never be sure which will appear in your box over the season, so now you know. Summer squashes are any of the soft skinned beauties harvested in these months and you may use them interchangeably. We will have many weeks of great squash harvest, and laugh if you must, you will miss it when we stop putting it in your box.

 Farm Dirt

Yep, it’s been hot and dry. We actually like the heat because it is what the corn wants to grow. We like it dry because we have heavy soils up on the hill here and we can always add water but cannot take it away. Also, too much water dilutes the sugars in the produce, making them less flavorful. So, as I write, it rains (cue Glenn saying you never hope to solve one crisis/natural disaster with another one) and brings our dry spell to an end with way too much water. These cycles are perfectly normal…they are just not how we would define perfect.  Meanwhile, everything is growing and looking good. Sadly the strawberries are winding down…but that means we’ll haveblueberries very soon!

Just last week I wrote about having plenty of deer on the property, but never seeing them. Well, this week I looked out my bedroom window to see two lovely deer in the orchard driveway, looking right at the house! It looked like a doe and this year’s fawn. Then the guys told us the deer hang out with them in the strawberry beds – pretty cool.

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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