CSA Week 5, 2015

You MAY have these things: Summer squash of some variety or color, lettuce (of some variety), beans, cucumbers of some variety, chard or beets, beans of some variety?, kale, peppers? Blueberries?… It is still early in the season, but now that we are picking more variety, you will start to see some of the greens available as a choice.

In the coming weeks you will be seeing peppers and tomatoes. BUT, I am pretty sure you are getting both today. We have just started picking a few, so I cannot be sure when you will first get any in your box.

So we are picking a TON of cucumbers and summer squashes!!! Need some? Need to get a half bushel or more of any of them to make something with? We will give you a wholesale price, so let me know asap so we can get extra on your truck. We have surplus of quite a few things because we had anticipated the Boston Public Market being open by now.

Baked Risotto with Greens

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 3/4 cups low-salt vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (jarred pasta sauce will do)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1 bunch greens such as kale, beet greens, or chard, stems removed, washed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In 1-quart baking dish, combine oil and onion over moderate heat. Cook until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat with oil, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, and greens, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat. Add half the cheese and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes, until rice is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid. Should be moist but not soupy.
I have found with kale I needed to cook on stove top with cover on for another 6 minutes to get the kale to wilt down enough and use additional ½ cup water.

There is an awesome beet risotto I have posted on the blog…if you make it with the Golden beets it looks like saffron rice! My friend who does not eat beets ate it gladly 🙂

Today’s Lunch (Monday)

This ad hoc recipe came together with 2 heirloom tomatoes, about 12 or so basil leaves, a garlic clove, 3 yellow squash, a Cousa squash (the light green one) and some grated parm.

Julienne the squash, salt lightly. I used my mandolin and the julienne was spaghetti size. Chop the tomatoes, chiffonade the basil. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, add garlic, stir around a little, add chopped tomato, stir around a little more, then add the basil. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in sauté pan over medium high, squeeze any excess moisture out of the squash and toss into the pan. Carefully toss squash around (I used some large tongs) for 3-4 minutes. Top with the tomatoes from the saucepot and cheese. Adjusts seasoning to taste. YUM. No leftovers.

Ad hoc lunch of fresh tomato sauce on summer squash noodles

Ad hoc lunch of fresh tomato sauce on summer squash noodles

Farm Dirt

The Bob White continues to parade around the yard and sing his song. Yesterday he walked/skipped in front of my lawnmower and somehow went undetected by the dog. Today (Sunday) he sat one the wall near the barn and called. It really is a joy to see and hear. Faith and I went for a little ride down the river today and saw a pair of Kingfishers. They continued to move ahead of us, chattering the whole while 🙂

We’re digging potatoes and there is hardly anything sweeter than a new potato! I can eat a pound of them boiled up with butter… and to be honest, I have done that for a few lazy dinners. And pulling up potato plants and rooting around for those wonderful tubers, is like finding buried treasure.

Glenn brought in a couple peaches today, so it won’t be long before we see them at markets and CSA. Glenn and I scouted most of the farm the other day and things are looking good. I always appreciate the greens and the onions the most, though tall corn is majestic and there’s something very nostalgic about rows of apples trees covered with fruit.

Eat well, Geneviève Stillman

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CSA week 4, 2015

You MAY have these things: Summer squash of some variety or color, lettuce (of some variety), beans, cucumbers of some variety, chard or beets, beans or peas of some variety, some kind of berries, kale… It is still early in the season, but now that we are picking more variety, you will start to see some of the greens available as a choice.

lettuce and greens growing

lettuce and greens growing

Some of you are asking about coming to the New Braintree farm. Here’s the recap: 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. Please park on our driveway and do not drive into the fields. 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 to the farm if you would like anything in quantity. I had a few members come last week and I think they really enjoyed seeing the farm and how thoughtfully their food is grown. I really enjoyed seeing a very young, sweet face with strawberry juice on it!

This is great salad weather and I find many salads become the full meal when I add a little grilled steak or fish or whatever. I also LOVE kale salad, sometimes with a little quinoa – yum! There are several kale salad recipes on the blog, but oddly, I have never put up the one I make. here it is, but I will post separately too!

Kale Salad

  • one bunch of kale cleaned, ribs removed, and chopped fairly small.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coarse salt (start with less if that sounds like a lot)
  • At least 1 clove of garlic
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • Whisk the above together and pour over kale. I mix it well with my hands to make sure everything is well coated. It is best if it can rest for a little bit before eating and the kale gets all soft and wilty. Sometimes I add a cup or so of cooked quinoa. It is even better the second day, but it has never lasted beyond that 😉

Farm Dirt

Purple beans..taste like the green ones but don't cook them for too long ;)

Purple beans..taste like the green ones but don’t cook them for too long 😉

It is a joy to be harvesting wonderful beans now – and SO early! This is the time for cucumber or squash preserving, so let us know if you need a case; we will give you a hefty CSA break 🙂 I make a lot of chocolate zucchini cake, zucchini squares, and zucchini bread and freeze it…so handy all winter. My kids pack zucchini squares in their lunch – what a great snack! Speaking of snacking, I want your recipes! Please let me know if you have your own blog, Pinterest, etc for me to link to. Your fellow members may really enjoy your personal CSA experience. Also, don’t be shy about asking out loud what to do with something…you’ll find fellow members will pipe up and give you advice.

We’ve been seeing bear tracks, but not the bear…good thing the bee hives are surrounded by electric fence 🙂

The Barn Swallows fledged last week and are already looking to nest again. We counted 6 male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at the feeder yesterday! That was amazing!!! The most exciting wildlife last week was listening to the Bob White Quail sounding around the house – we had not heard one for 15 years or so. Then he even made an appearance on the 4th, walking right along the back yard! So sweet 🙂


picture from ALLABOUTBIRDS.ORG ..I did not have my camera

Geneviève Stillman

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CSA Week 3, 2015

Squash and cucumbers! 🙂 If you get a bunch of small greens with the little roots attached, it is arugula.

member Kelly holding her mystery green

member Kelly holding her mystery green

Picking loads of summer squashes, see the other side for varieties, and now 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. Start planning now if you will be putting food by and watch for my posting when to bulk order a particular crop. 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.

Meanwhile, all I want this week are kale chips. One of our members said she was making beet green chips for her kids and they refer to them as green potato chips. I like it!

If you find yourself swimming in greens 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 🙂
Check out Pizza-Style Greens (my kids love this) on the blog

Also Fresh Summer Squash and Cucumber Salad (do you have a mandolin?)

Check out beet burgers with caramelized fennel or Zucchini Bread with Oats on the CSA pinterest board. 

Be sure to send me what you’ve been cooking…your fellow members can benefit from your good recipe experiences 🙂

Farm Dirt

OK, it can stop raining now. I am writing my letters on Sundays this year, as the week begins Mondays now. We’ve had some heavy rains that are wreaking havoc with the berries. We also seem to be in a cycle of nasty, windy rain on Sundays…so at least I am not missing anything fun outside while I sit at my desk J We have started picking beans and raspberries. Unlike so many other CSA programs, we pick your beans for you and you will be seeing them soon! Raspberries are one of those items you will not see in your box, as they are so dear, BUT, we encourage you to venture out to the farm, where you can pick yourself some berries and some beans too. We get calls all the time for you pick, but we are not open to the public – that’s just one of the fun perks of being a CSA member. Please let me know if you are coming and new to the farm, so I may leave you a map.

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I finally started getting up to date on the blog, so you can find these letters here, as well as pictures and access to other recipes.

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman

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CSA Week 2, 2015

Handy info out there: Stillman’s Blog, the Member Connect Page on the blog, Stillman’s Farm facebook page, and my CSA & recipes Pinterest Boards.

The month of June has flown by and I find myself not current with the blog at this point. Truth be told, it’s been a little crazy around here. BUT, this a great time to visit the farm (because the weeds are still under control ;)), so come on out and explore your New Braintree farm a little, pick your own peas, greens, berries…

You MAY have these things: strawberries, lettuce, beets (Chiogga (red&white), Forono (long dark), Golden, White, Ace(dark red)), chard of some color (white, yellow, pink, red), 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 summer squash are coming in, so expect to see them in several forms. All the tender squashes, harvested now, are referred to as summer squash: we grow yellow straight neck, zucchini, golden zucchini, the light green cousa, patty pan (little UFOs) and Costata Romanesco, a ridged green variety. Use them interchangeably in most any recipe calling for anyone of them 😉

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

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

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 marathon 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. The bulb is good raw or cooked, the leaves are nice for seasoning, the stems not so useful.

We could use some volunteer help at several of the CSA locations. I will try to get a sign up sheet going. It is not hard and it’s fun to help other members and it helps us a lot. It is also good perspective 🙂

To reiterate from last week: please pick up your box every week, return your boxes without destroying them, read your letter, email us with questions (after you have read and re-read your letter ;)), login to your farmigo account to make contact and pickup changes, and have fun with all the goodies!

Farm Dirt

Tons of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks around! So lovely! The hawks have been busy on the farm and Mr. Red Tail took our oldest hen last week…serves us right for letting them out to play 😦

The corn is in silk, so that is pretty exciting around here! The tomatoes are ripening and Faith asked for a grilled tomato and cheese yesterday and I was able to give her one 🙂

We have gotten some timely rain and are watching the crops grow.

purple snow peas

purple snow peas

I have been traumatized this Father’s Day by the blue screen of doom on my computer. Painfully long story short, I had to wipe down my computer and start over today, so I am in a super good mood 😉 If I missed you somewhere along the way, it was unintentional. I am sure it will help to tell you neither Dell nor Microsoft have any idea what happened.

Hey, we’ve made it to week 2!!! AND the veggies and berries are AWESOME! So, we’ll take the computer nonsense in stride 🙂

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman

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Chard and zucchini casserole

20150616_161602

Chopped chard and summer squashes cooking in my huge skillet.

 I somewhat manufactured this the other night: I used chard, but kale would work, I used cream cheese and farmer’s cheese, a summer squash and zucchini. It is almost like Alfredo…If you don’t want pasta, use more chard and squash 🙂 Have fun with this idea!!!!!

1 bunch chard                                     8 oz cream cheese or other soft cheese

2 squash                                              4 oz mozzarella, shredded

1 small onion                                       8 oz small pasta, cooked

¼ cup parmesan                                  s&p to taste

Minced garlic to taste                         some kind of oil

Chop the chard, very finely, without any heavy stems, dice two of any summer squash/zucchini, mince the onion. Heat a few TB of oil in sauté pan, add onion and garlic, then squash, then chard. All should be fairly tender before taking of the heat. In a greased casserole, add cooked (and drained) pasta, cooked veggies, stir in all the cheeses. Bake for 10-20 minutes at 350 degrees…it will be bubbling.

swiss chard casserole

chard and squash casserole with a side of snow peas

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CSA week 1, 2015

Sorry for taking so long to get this up 🙂

Welcome! I know there is a lot of writing here, but it is week 1 😉

Here’s a recap from the email I sent out last week: If you know you will not be able to pickup, please login to your farmigo account (you created one when you signed up with us) 48 hours in advance and make changes so we may plan accordingly. It is your responsibility to remember your box. Unclaimed boxes are donated locally, or if it’s been an extra hot day, dumped to the livestock. Asking us to make up a forgotten box is the same as asking for double.

Please pick up during your time frame ;). Asking for another box because you forgot is the same as asking for double. I know that might sound rough…but it is true and it has happened.

Handy info out there: Stillman’s Blog, the Member Connect Page on the blog, Stillman’s Farm facebook page – where I generally post what might be in the box at the top of the week, Instagram, and the CSA Pinterest Board where I pin recipes I like and your pins too J

The following is directly out of last year’s letter…but I liked it J Farming is not a particularly consistent business. It may not be obvious, or something anyone even thinks about, but because we do not control all the factors that affect production, it is impossible to guarantee results. When you consider your favorite coffee shop has an exact formula for how they make their coffee, the results are the same every time. Your farmer knows exactly what everything growing on the farm needs, but there are so many factors out of his control (sun, rain, high wind, and worse) that he must constantly make adjustments to ensure a good harvest. If the weather was very predictable (and it’s New England, so it isn’t) we could exercise more control and guarantee consistent results. This is the very reason why I write every week “these are things you may get”. Also, we could grow all the same variety of lettuce and ensure that every member received the same exact kind as the other member from week to week, but I rather like that you can see some variety, experiment a little, and even encourage you to open your box and take a peek; so you might get a chance to try the Golden Beets or the Red Romaine, or the Ruby Chard. Yes, switch boxes to try something different or new! Also, as we pick every single day of the week, it is possible that on Monday we were not picking peas, but by Friday we were. Or, sometimes, at the beginning of harvesting a particular crop, we choose to bring what we have to share with the CSA members, but there isn’t enough for all the members, that day, or even that week. HOWEVER, in 15 years of CSA deliveries, I have found it magically works out: over the course of 16 weeks, everyone receives the same value. Item for item, there might be variations, different but equal. Within reason, we welcome your requests and substitutions to make this your most perfect CSA J

You MAY have these things: strawberries, lettuce, beets, chard of some color, peas of some type, and perhaps something else green. We grow many varieties of lettuce, beets, kale, etc. Check out the blog for details, or post to facebook, if you are unsure. The greens have only been rinsed, but we leave the fine cleaning to you! None of them have been sprayed (this will be obvious at times with little pinholes from the flea 2qA@QqbeetlesL).

Please pick up your box every week, return your boxes without destroying them, read your letter, email us with questions (after you have read and re-read your letter ;)), login to your farmigo account to make contact and pickup changes, and have fun with all the goodies!

Farm Dirt

Farm Dirt is where you will read about what is happening at the farm, wildlife sightings, our family, etc.

Bears, bobcats, many bluebird families, turkeys and deer are busy on the farm. The tree frogs pipe up at any time of the day and sometimes are deafening. The toads and all the other frog sounds fill the late afternoon and night. Butterflies and assorted wasps and bees are everywhere. It’s awesome.

The hops are at the top of the wire and growing; we added a few more varieties this year and have quite a bit ready to use in the freezer (please ask if we should send some into you). The row crops are looking awesome and I could not help but take pictures of the lettuce in the field yesterday. There is TONS of stuff planted all over the farm and all we can do now is pray for normal (read not extreme) weather.

I have been entrenched with planning for the BPM and am happy for the stability of CSA starting J

We encourage you to become part of the farm and be connected to your food and farmer; visit, check out the crops, sample in the field, picnic, watch the birds, amphibians, and insects!

 

Eat well,

Geneviève Stillman

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Roasted Beets and Fennel Salad

  • 1 bunch of beets (about 1 pound)
  • 1 fennel bulb 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil mixed greens/lettuce/arugula

Yes, wash everything 😉 Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and trim the beets. Chop in halves or quarters if the beets are large. Place the beet pieces in roasting pan. Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the pan. Drizzle a tablespoon olive oil on the beets and sprinkle with coarse salt if you like. Cover the pan with foil and put into the oven. Separate the fennel bulb from the stems. Thinly slice the fennel into 1/8th inch slices. Place the slices into another roasting pan. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil on the fennel. Cover the pan with foil and place into the oven. Bake fennel for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered. The slices should start browning at the edges. Bake the beets till they are easily pierced by a knife; about 30 – 45 minutes. Chop up the leaves of the fennel – about 1/2 cup. Mix the cooked fennel and beets together with the dried thyme. Place beet mixture on top of a bed of mixed greens or lettuce. Sprinkle the fennel leaves on top. Serve with a vinaigrette dressing, like: ½ cup balsamic vinegar, ½ cup olive oil,1 TB Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. This is great with oranges and or goat cheese too!

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