CSA Week 7, 2014

I am so sorry for all the typos and weird issues with the box letter. I confess to being weary, but also had recovered a VERY messed up letter that must have been edited by our cat, The Bear, who enjoys standing on my keyboard. Once I removed the column of plus signs, I assumed I was all set.

It’s anyone’s guess what’s in the boxes now J I see lots of squash, cukes and eggplant this week. Let the ratatouille making begin!

 

You MAY have any of these things: Summer squash, zucchini or cousa, cukes, pickling cukes, lemon cukes, corn, beans, chard or beets, tomatoes, blueberries, potatoes, eggplant, greens…

I am thrilled about the bean harvest and hope you have delighted in yours – most CSA do not include beans and if they do, it is PYO. Another great thing about Stillman’s CSA! Tomatoes! Need I say more? Start planning your canning because it is almost time to order your bulk tomatoes.

Some of you are asking about coming to the farm. Here’s the recap: Everything is in New Braintree. You are welcome most anytime. Please email me in advance, if you can. I will try to leave a farm map out for you – that way you can navigate to the crops of your choice. Otherwise, you can roam freely and happen upon what you like 😉 As I said last week, you can pick anything you like and only ask you to please be fair if you would like a quantity of anything.

About Eggplants

We grow a lot of eggplant 😉

Zebra, Classic, Tango white, Rosa Bianca, Machiaw (skinny magenta)and Orient Express (skinny dark purple) Eggplants

Zebra, Classic, Tango white, Rosa Bianca, Machiaw (skinny magenta)and Orient Express (skinny dark purple) Eggplants

Now, right away, I have to tell you if you have never liked eggplant, and never tried ours, you have to try it again. As usual, the freshness and variety of our product simply tastes better than anything you have ever bought at the grocery store. Also, I have found that with eggplants, in particular, most people’s experience involves bitter, old, seedy eggplants that are cooked in a lot of grease. AND, who likes anything that is bitter and old? Thank you to all the members reading this that have humored me in the past and tried eggplant again. For the success stories (which is a large percentage) – yeah! For those who still don’t care for it, thanks for playing and you know you can swap your eggplant out for more greens or potatoes or what have you.

Varieties: the basic dark purple ‘Classic’, the original white skinned (thus the name ‘eggplant’) ‘Tango’ – a very tender, white fleshed variety; Purple Blush – white to lilac skinned large softballs and a farm favorite; Neon – a magenta skinned elongated egg shape; Zebra/Nubia – a magenta-purple striped with white; Round Mauve an heirloom variety – pinkish-purple skin, Bride – slim, light rose with white stripes; some other elongated white one who’s name escapes me now; Rosa Bianca an heirloom variety- round with rosy-lavender streaks. Then there’s the Asian types: Little Fingers and Orient Express– dark purple skinned, long cylindrical; Machiaw – magenta, very long, and skinny. Well, what’s what?  At first sampling, the Purple Blush, Rosa Bianca and the white are distinctly tender and sweet; they also cook faster.  The others really have to be sampled side by side, and yes, they are different. We hope you can have fun with them as we do: baking, sautéing, grilling….

Baked Eggplant

Click on the link above for the recipe. This is the house fall back method for cooking eggplants. Even the 14 year old prepares this and everyone loves it.

Beet Cake from member Wendy

She says, “It is really good.  I find I like it better without the chocolate.  It ends up tasting similar to zucchini bread.” 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped              1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup butter, softened, divided                      
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pureed cooked beets
  • Confectioners’ sugar

In a microwave, melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream the remaining butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla. Beat into creamed mixture (mixture will appear separated). Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Farm Dirt

We are picking such a wonderful bounty right now and everyone is working so hard here. It’s great! The tomato harvest is looking good and Glenn and the crew have been trying to keep up with adequate protection on everything that is disease prone. Our neighbor stopped by (he has a CSA too) and said his tomatoes were lost to late blight. It is tragic and also super annoying to worry about late blight this early in the season.

 

Tomatoes newly picked

Tomatoes newly picked

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Kate saw a bear cub in her flower patch this week. Some of you may

remember that we had a bear in our pepper field last year…the flowers are in that location now. I guess Mama had a successful growing season last year here too! J

The potluck is coming up this month…looks like August 17th will be the day. As usual, I will slice tomatoes and steam corn for the pot-luck at noon. You may bring a dish to share or pack your own picnic and we can walk around the farm together J

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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