Stillman's Blog

CSA Week 6, 2017

CSA Week 6

You may have these things in your box: lettuce, kale, summer squash, cucumbers (slicing, Kirby, Lemon), beans? berries, tomatoes! Shunkyo radish or Hakurai turnip? Fennel? Corn?
TOMATOES! Woot woot! Nothing like a home-grown tomato 😊 We grow a myriad of red tomatoes and are excited that the weather warmed up to ripen these beauties. Farm snob alert: If you are new to fresh, local tomatoes, you cannot handle them as those rock-hard things masquerading as tomatoes at the supermarket. Be very gentle with them, knowing that they don’t like being squeezed, dropped, or having other produce piled on top of them. Also, wipe from your mind that a tomato is supposed to be firm, or soft for that matter. We have been programmed to squeeze produce to check for ripeness. Just don’t. Also, I have observed people over the years that pick up a tomato and if it gives to the touch (because it’s being squeezed), they put it back, as though it is supposed to feel like a supermarket tomato. Wrong. Just remember that the supermarket tomatoes, even those labeled “vine-ripe” are NOT. Read More

CSA Week 5, 2017

CSA Week 5

You may have these things in your box: lettuce, kale, summer squash, radishes (Cherrybell, French Breakfast, OR Easter Egg), corn, beans? Blue or raspberries?
We are picking blueberries and raspberries now and it looks like some of you may receive them this week for the first time or again. Please refer to last week’s boxletter for how to handle your raspberries, should you receive them. Summer squash season is the time to explore recipes, make good stuff to freeze, gorge on the seasonal freshness! Honestly, I grilled a squash for each person at dinner and it was ALL GONE. Deliciousness!

French Breakfast (pink and white) and Cherrybelle(round red) radishes
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Asian Inspired Lettuce Leaf Wraps

Asian Inspired Lettuce Leaf Wraps – From member Alyssa
I’m sure there is a better name for these, but this is what I came up with. I have done something similar with Mexican inspiration too!

Red French Batavia lettuce leaves

Member Alyssa says: Just thought I would share a really yummy recipe we are having for dinner tonight with tons of fresh produce from our CSA share! This can be varied a million different ways to use whatever is in the box! Read More

CSA Week 4, 2017

CSA Week 4

You may have these things in your box: lettuce, kale, summer squash, beans? Berries? Corn? 😊 Looks like some got radishes and/or arugula.
We are picking blueberries and raspberries now and, though we do not generally put raspberries in the CSA boxes, it sounds like that might be happening this week for some. If you do get raspberries, please note that we do not treat them with anything to extend storage time and due to the damp weather, they will mold very quickly. If you are not going to consume them on the way home from your pickup ;), or that evening, spread them out on a paper towel on a plate in your fridge, you can tent loosely with plastic wrap or a bag to keep them from drying out.
I covered the many summer squashes we grow in last week’s letter, but to recap they come in many shapes and colors and may be used interchangeably.
We started picking corn (first in the state!!! Woo Hoo!) Read More

CSA Week 3, 2017

CSA Week 3

You may have these things in your box: chard, lettuce, kale, beets, peas? Red Mustard? Garlic scapes? Summer squash?  😊

Garlic Scape

If you get your CSA in a box, vs a bag, PLEASE return your undamaged box at the next pickup. They are designed to open and close repeatedly without tearing or ripping.

Strawberries are such a short season and you just never know what you are going to get from year to year. Some years we can pick over an extended time, but often you have a first week of light picking, then two weeks of heavy picking, when there are tons, and then they start to peter out and tend to be small. It takes longer to fill a basket and then it is pretty well over. So, while the berries are pretty much done, we are still picking peas…so hopefully you’ll see them again. Read More

When life hands you strawberries, make frozen yogurt!

A big thank you to CSA customer Debbie who finds our strawberries SO delicious she just had to share a recipe!

beautiful, juicy strawberries

Winona Strawberries

Simply scrumptious strawberry frozen yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries (about 1 quart), or a mix of strawberries and blueberries
3/4 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar depending on your taste and sweetness of berries
1/2 tsp guar gum (optional – makes final product a little softer)
2 c. plain Greek yogurt

Mash strawberries (or run through food processor) with all ingredients except yogurt. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

Blend with Greek yogurt in a food processor or blender. Chill thoroughly and process in an ice cream churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have a churn, put in a bowl in the freezer and mix it well by hand or with an electric mixer every 30 minutes until it’s solid.

note — it tastes distinctly better with very ripe CSA strawberries compared to supermarket California berries.

CSA Week 2, 2017

CSA Week 2

You may have these things in your box: Strawberries, chard, lettuce, kale, beets, peas, radishes? mesclun?…looks a lot like last week 😊

Super short recap from last week: as the weeks continue, you will see an increase in variety and quantity …it all works out, no worries.
If you get your CSA in a box, vs a bag, PLEASE return your undamaged box at the next pickup. They are designed to open and close repeatedly without tearing or ripping.

We are delighted to be picking berries and there are more peas this week, so if you did not get them last week, you should this week. More lettuce, kale, chard, and beets – don’t forget they come in all colors – so ask if you are not sure what you’ve got. If you get radishes with lots of greens, don’t rule out making radish leaf pesto or utilizing them in something. Do remove the tops from the bottom before storing…the leaves suck the moisture out of the roots. Read More

CSA Week 1, 2017

Week 1, 2017

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Stillman’s CSA -Week 1


You MAY have in your box: strawberries, lettuce, kale, chard, beets, arugula, peas.
Welcome back to SO MANY of you and welcome to all of our new members! I usually cover the housekeeping portion of the CSA in the first letter which is long and boring…so this year I covered most of it in the “start Date” email I sent out last week.
Super short recap: as the weeks continue, you will see an increase in variety and quantity …it all works out, no worries.
If you get your CSA in a box, vs a bag,  PLEASE return your undamaged box at the next pickup. They are designed to open and close repeatedly without tearing or ripping. If you have any questions about how to open or collapse your box, please ask anyone. We even have a tutorial on You Tube 😉 If you get your CSA in a bag, please reuse or recycle as you see fit, we do not need it back nor left at your pickup location. Thanks!
Farming is not a particularly consistent business (that’s putting in mildly). As 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 “you may get”.
Please do not rummage through boxes/bags and swap things, but you are welcome to open your box, make sure it actually a CSA and not an entire box of mesclun or squash, and also see what variety of lettuce or beets are inside. If you want to try the Chiogga beets, for example, take a box/bag that has them. If you are unsure what you have, please email or post on fb or instagram @stillmansfarm. Also, as we pick every single day of the week, it is possible that on Friday, when I write the letter, we were not picking peas, but by Wednesday we are. 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, everyone receives the same value. Item for item, there might be variations, different but equal.

So let’s get to the good stuff – FOOD!

The berries are AMAZING, and I’m guessing I don’t need to tell you what they are or how to enjoy them. Swiss chard bunches may be white, yellow, ruby red – there is no rhubarb in your box 🙂 Beets may be purple, bright red, golden, even white. Peas may be snow (flat green or purple pods), sugar snap (edible pod), or English shell. If you  are not sure if you have snap of shell peas, bite one in half, if you can chew it up, it’s a snap pea, if not, get shelling.

We grow A LOT of lettuce. I have to tell you, we love our salads -especially with flavorful greens. All the greens benefit from a brief soak in lightly salted water (small creature let go). Many of your greens have not been sprayed with any chemicals (organic or otherwise) so sometimes you might see small pin holes.. Drain, rinse and spin dry. If you take care of all your greens when you get them, you will be more likely to use them. I keep mine washed and dried, loosely in a bag in the fridge. Varieties we grow: Romaine, Red Romaine, Boston, Simpson, New Red Fire, Waldman’s, French Batavia, Red French Batavia, Red Leaf, Oakleaf.

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Golden Chiogga, Ace, and Forono Beets

Recipes

Check out my blog for lots of ideas, picture and recipes. Simply click the  in the upper right of our website and type in what ever you are looking for, i.e. “chard recipe”
Quick Chard Sauté
Rinse  your bunch of chard (I dunk the whole bunch in large pot of water, shake off water). Cut the stalks into 1″ pieces. Chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Keep them separate. In 2 Tb of olive oil, sauté 1 chopped garlic clove and a pinch or two crushed red pepper flakes on medium high heat for about 30 seconds and the garlic is fragrant. Add the chopped chard stalks, lowering the heat to low, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves, toss with the oil and garlic in the pan. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir the leaves and stalks around in the pan, check for done-ness:)

kale soup  Kale Crunch (and a picture of kale;)  Arugula Pesto

Farm Dirt

There’s a lot going on the farm any given day of the week. This is the section where I try to keep you in touch with happenings at the farm, wildlife sightings, our family, etc. Our farm/your farm is full of mammals, amphibians, insects, flora, and our beloved birds. I typically include the latest sightings and wildlife tidbits that excite us from week to week.
This week I have been busy getting the CSA organized and Glenn has laid miles of plastic to plant in and now has a sore neck – but it is GREAT to get on the fields have some warm weather.
If you are new to the Stillman’s family: Glenn is your farmer, I am the desk jockey, you may know the grown kids, Kate, the farmer at Stillman Quality Meats, Curtis and Halley, the farmers at Still Life Farm, and there’s still two at home, Reid who just graduated from high school and Faith who just 12! We all work together to have one some of the best market offerings in Massachusetts.
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
Next week: strawberries, lettuces, radishes chard, kale, maybe garlic scapes…

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Sick of the news? Here's some eye bleach only good news today: JP market, 1st Cambridgeport market, lunenburg greenhouses open, BPM, plant sale on Hardwick common -go team Stillman! @stillmanqualitymeats @redbeardedfarmer @stilllifefarm @bostonpublicmarket

Sick of the news? Here's some eye bleach  only good news today: JP market, 1st Cambridgeport market, lunenburg greenhouses open, BPM,  plant sale on Hardwick common -go team Stillman! @stillmanqualitymeats @redbeardedfarmer @stilllifefarm @bostonpublicmarket
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