Winter CSA 2017-18: February News

February, Winter Newsletter #5

Dear Winter CSA Members,

It may not feel like it, but…spring is right around the corner! Yay!

The February box includes the following items: apples (Macoun, Cortland, Mutsu), pears (Bosc), rainbow carrots, parsnips, radishes (purple and white daikon, watermelon), beets (Forono, Red, or Golden), celeriac, potatoes (white, all-blue), onions (Blush pink, red cippolini), garlic, shallots, sweet potatoes, winter squash (Winter Sweet), popcorn, pea tendrils, and JAM!

If you are having trouble identifying any of the veggies in your box, please reference the blog. I have posted some pictures that I hope will be helpful. As always, if you are stumped in identifying something, or need recipe ideas, do not hesitate to contact us…text, email, phone.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential. Please let us know if have storage questions or problems with your veggies.

This is the final box for Winter CSA 2017-18. We tried to slip in a few goodies not yet distributed this season. In the root veggie bag, you will find parsnips, they look like white carrots. These are super sweet and wonderful roasted, stewed, or pureed. In the same bag you will find radishes. Everyone should have both purple and white daikons, and watermelon radishes (whitish-green on outside, hot pink inside). These are all delicious…my favorite way to eat all the radishes is raw with either hummus or chevre…they are so crunchy and always hit the spot! The box contains celeriac, this is the very ugly brown softball sized veggie in your box. Take your paring knife and cut away the outside skin, underneath lies a white flesh with a delicate celery flavor. Celeriac is great in soups or mashed in with your potatoes. The squash variety this month is Winter Sweet. One of our best storage squashes, this type of kabocha is dry and sweet and wonderful for baking. For something green, we are handing out pea tendrils! These are sweet and mild and really do taste like spring! They should be eaten raw or just barely cooked, as they are very delicate. I love to add them to a hardy winter root salad or mix them into soft scrambled eggs with chevre at the very last moment of cooking…yum!

Curt and I both feel that 2017-18 was a very successful season and we hope that was conveyed to you through the Winter CSA share. Our CSA members are the backbone of our farm! You make it possible for us to “keep crazy and farm on”. You support local business, local economy, community, and local food….values that are so important and so essential to a fulfilled and responsible life. A big thank you to you, our wonderful CSA members. Which brings me to my next point…JAM!

You will be receiving jam in the February box. Every summer I freeze pounds and pounds of fruit, so that in the winter (when I actually have spare time), I can turn the fruit into jam. Hopefully you all enjoy the jam and it sweetens the last few weeks of winter for you. Thank you all for being part of the Still Life Farm Winter CSA!

Warm weather will be here before you know it and it will be time to think about Summer CSA…and tomatoes and peaches! Curt’s parents, Glenn and Genevieve Stillman of Stillman’s Farm, run a fabulous Summer CSA. To sign up, visit “www.stillmansfarm.com”.

Recipe Ideas:

Pear and Celery Root Slaw

1¼ cup mayonnaise
2 T cider vinegar
1 t sugar
½ t caraway seeds
¼ t salt
¼ t ground black pepper
2 slightly under ripe pears, julienned (about 4 cups)
1 small celery root, julienned (about 1 cup)
1 cup carrots, julienned
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

Whisk together mayo, vinegar, sugar, caraway, S&P in a large bowl. Add pears, celery root, carrots, and onion and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

A few important tidbits to note:

Please return all of your empty boxes, either at Winter CSA pick-up or at any Still Life Farm/Stillman’s Farm farmers markets or CSA delivery location. We can also reuse the jam jars.

Find us at your local winter farmer’s markets:
Roslindale Winter Market, Saturdays, 10am-2pm, Jan-Mar, 30 Birch Street
Canal District Winter Market in Worcester, Saturdays, 9am-12noon, Nov-April, 38 Green Street

Sign up for Stillman’s Farm Summer CSA.

Be on the lookout for an email about early registration for next season’s Still Life Farm Winter CSA….we usually offer an early registration discount!

Keep in touch with us, we love to hear from CSA members! Thanks for a fabulous winter season! 😊

Love your food, Halley Terry Stillman

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Find Still Life Farm at the Winter Farmer’s Market!

 

In addition to Winter CSA, Still Life Farm participates in two winter farmer’s markets!

 

Canal District Winter Farmer’s Market

Saturdays, 9am-12noon, November through April

38 Green Street, Worcester, MA

*Located in the White Room at Crompton Collective, under Birchtree Bread Co.

 

Roslindale Winter Farmer’s Market

Saturdays, 10am-2pm, January through March

30 Birch Street, Roslindale, MA

*Located in the Sons of Italy Hall

 

We are accepting SNAP/HIP at both of these locations.

 

Come visit us throughout the winter, we would LOVE to see you!  Love your food! 🙂

Rutabaga Soup

Rutabaga Soup

1 cup roughly chopped rutabaga (or turnips)

1 cup roughly chopped carrots

1 cup roughly chopped sweet potatoes

1 cup roughly chopped apple (preferably tart)

1 cup roughly chopped onion

2-4 Tablespoons butter

1 ½ – 2 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch (or more) cayenne

1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the five cups of vegetables in a heavy pot and ‘sweat’ with the butter. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook at a simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add up to ½ cup maple syrup (try ¼ cup at first and add more if you like). Stir together for one minute. Remove from heat and puree with hand blender (at this point you can sieve the puree for a velvet finish, but this is not necessary). Add cream to taste (1/4 cup +). This is a wonderfully rich soup.

Winter CSA 2017-18: January News

January share 2018

What’s in my share?…(Clockwise starting with greens) Bok choi, Hakurei turnips, Adirondack all-red potatoes, Shallots, Red Norland potatoes, kohlrabi green and purple

January, Winter Newsletter #4

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Happy New Year!

The January box includes the following items: apples (Mutsu, Cortland), pears (Bosc) winter squash (Butternut and other – could be Sunshine, Acorn, or Jester – shoot me a pic if you need help identifying), potatoes (red skinned Norland and all-red Adirondack), sweet potatoes (orange), onions (red and yellow), garlic, shallots, carrots (rainbow varieties), beets (red and golden), turnips (Hakurei), kohlrabi, bok choi, Kalettes (hybrid between kale and Brussels sprouts), and popcorn.

Correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential. At this point in the winter, many of your veggies have been in storage for quite a while and some have had about enough. Please be diligent in checking veggies and using them up if they look like they are going to expire. Email us with ANY questions!

What difference a year makes. I was looking back at the 2017 January newsletter and reminiscing about how mild and lovely last year’s winter was. Last year at this time we had many items that have been wasted by the cold this year. The cold weather from the last couple weeks really took a toll on everything (and everyone). The animals made it through with some extra bedding and heat lamps. The vegetable storage held up reasonably well but needed plenty of supplemental heat and we did loose a few veggies that were too close to the doors and the cement floor, but no significant damage. The greenhouse greens we are still unsure about. Many look wasted, but we are hoping that this mild, wet weather can bring them back!

With the above statement about the greenhouse, you are probably wondering how you have bok choi in your box. This is very special bok choi. Curt was keeping a very close eye on the low temperatures leading up to the mega freeze. The last day we had reasonable temps in Hardwick was Christmas day. So, on Christmas, Curt was out in the greenhouse cutting as much bok choi as he could before our family arrived to celebrate the holiday. As you eat this choi, I want you to remember how committed your farmer is! Had he not gone out to harvest on Christmas we would have no greens in the January box! (And if you are thinking that Christmas was a while ago for picking greens, the hardy winter greens have a very long shelf life and we stored them correctly.)

On to the other items in your box. Kalettes are the fuzzy purple poofs in your share. These are a fairly “new” variety of vegetable, a hybrid between kale and Brussels sprouts that was introduced about five years ago. A quick blanch followed by a sauté over high heat or roasting keeps the centers tender while crisping the outside frills. I have been substituting the Kalettes for everything lately, due to the lack of kale on our farm, try them in soups, salads, etc. The white turnips in the carrot bag are Hakurei turnips. These are super mild and are fabulous raw as well as cooked, try them in salad or slaw. There are shallots in the onion bag for a little upscale addition to some of your more refined recipes. We gave out two similar looking types of potatoes. The red Norland is white-fleshed and round, while the red Adirondack is red-fleshed and oblong. Both have red skin. If you are having trouble telling the difference, scratch a little of the skin and peek at the flesh color underneath. Kohlrabi is the round softball sized veggie in your box, either green or purple. I love kohlrabi, tastes just like broccoli. Great in stir-fry, slaw, or as veggie sticks. Popcorn is always fun! Remove the kernels from the cob, and cook them in the microwave rolled in a paper bag, or traditionally in a saucepan with oil. I am posting a picture of some of the new box items up on the blog. If you are having trouble with identification, take a peek at the blog (accessible through StillLifeFarm.com), or email me a picture.

Recipes:

Kohlrabi Slaw

3 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Coarse salt (like kosher or sea)
Pepper

Shred one kohlrabi, four carrots, and one hakurei turnip with your mandolin. Mix together dressing and fold into shredded veggies. Feel free to play around with the recipe to include other veggies in your box.

Beets and Kalettes with Farro
Dressing: juice of one lemon, equal amount of EVOO, 1 minced shallot, dash of thyme, S&P
Cube and roast beets. Sauté Kalettes until they are just tender and edges are crispy. Cook about one cup of farro. Mix farro, beets, Kalettes, and dressing together while everything is still warm. Enjoy!

Rutabaga Soup
This soup was a huge hit last year with our CSA, so I will post it up on the SLF blog.
*I am recommending substituting Hakurei turnip in place of rutabaga.

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke). 😉

Happy New Year! Here’s to another year of eating well! Cheers!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman

Winter CSA 2017-18: December

 

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What is in my CSA box?…Clockwise: Purple Brussels sprouts, Honeynut winter squash, Adirondack all-red potatoes, Pinto potatoes, Blush onions, Oster grub Rosa radish

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Our best wishes go out to all of you!

The December box includes the following items: apples (Macoun, Mutsu), pears (Bosc), winter squash (Butternut, Spaghetti, Honeynut), onions (red, Blush pink), garlic, leeks, potatoes (Pinto, Adirondack All-red), sweet potatoes (Bonita white), carrots (rainbow varieties), red cabbage, Brussels sprouts (purple), kale (curly Winterbor), and radishes (Oster grub Rosa).
Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential. If you have ANY questions about how to store (or identify) your veggies, email us!

This December CSA box has all the “fun” varieties in it! A few different, specialty varieties that you may not have gotten the chance to play with yet. First, we have the Honeynut winter squash. This is a specialty squash that has been gaining popularity in gourmet kitchens over the last few years. The tiny cousin of the Butternut, this honey-colored squash is very sweet and slightly dryer than its larger namesake. We have the Pinto potatoes, called so because of their speckled pink and gold skin, these are super creamy and versatile…class them up or just toss them into soup. You will also find the Adirondack all-red potatoes, these are great for chips or roasting. We trialed a new variety of onion this year, pink Blush. No, these are not shallots. Blush taste and cook like a mild white cooking onion (but prettier), use them in all the same dishes. The Bonita sweet potato is an all-white sweet potato! Bonita is a little starchier than the standard orange sweet, but just as yummy! This month we also have purple Brussels sprouts, cook them up just like the green ones and have a wonderful conversation piece during dinner! Finally, you will find Oster grub Rosa radishes in the carrot/pear bag. These are the closest storage radish that we can find with a flavor profile like the round red radish popular during summer. Yay, we love to experiment with varieties and “play” with our food!

It’s been a whirlwind here on the farm. At this point in the season I always long for things to slow down, but they just keep going. We are working on final harvest projects; the parsnips are up out of the ground, finished cutting the cabbage and that is resting quietly in storage, working on bulk leek harvest over the next few “warm” days…we’re almost there. Wreath-making season is upon us, we’ve been buzzing away in the wreath room and we’re just about sold out for the season! There’s a cute video up on FB/Insta of Curt making wreaths, check it out! Still Life Farm has also taken on a new winter market! In addition to the Roslindale Winter Market (Sons of Italy Hall, Jan-March, Saturdays, 10-2), we can also be found at the Worcester Canal District Winter Market (Crompton Collective under Birchtree Bread, Nov-April, Saturdays, 9-12). The Worcester Market has been a blast so far, warm and cozy, and filled with lots of fun and friendly vendors. At least Curt and I have something to keep us busy during the winter. Come visit!

Recipe Ideas:
If you are looking for inspiring recipes check out past newsletters on the blog or the Still Life Farm recipe exchange. Links for both can be found on StillLifeFarm.com.

Quick Pickled Onion
*to break up the richness of the holidays 😉

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt

Place onion slices in a medium bowl. Pour vinegar and 1/2 cup warm water over onion. Stir in sugar and season with salt; let stand until slightly pickled, about 30 minutes. Drain. Let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.

Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
*shared from Smitten Kitchen (cooking spaghetti squash as a squash and not as spaghetti)
This works great as a side, but I tried something different this time and bulked it up with canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed. We had it with couscous but if I had thought of it sooner, it would also be great with some sautéed greens.

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, if you’re cilantro-averse
Roast the spaghetti squash. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is barely golden. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with the spiced butter and cilantro.

Braised Red Cabbage
*one of my favorite holiday dishes, find the recipe on the SLF Recipe Exchange

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman

Winter CSA 2017-18: November

 

November, Winter Newsletter #1

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Happy Thanksgiving! We can certainly give thanks for the bounty of food in the November CSA box AND thanks for eating local with us! 😊

The November box includes the following items: apples (Macoun, Cortland), pears (Bosc), winter squash (Sunshine, Acorn, Jester), potatoes (white, all-blue), sweet potatoes, onions (yellow, cippolini), garlic, leeks, carrots (rainbow), Brussels sprouts, kale (Tuscan), bok choi, broccoli, fennel, and cabbage (Deadon).

This box is packed with an awesome haul of produce! The Sunshine winter squash is one of my favorites. Bright orange, super sweet, and on the dry side; it’s fabulous for baking your favorite pumpkin pie or just serving up with butter and brown sugar as a side. Our all-blue potatoes are a variety called Adirondack Blue; these are nice roasted and make great chips…and they really are blue! We have storage fennel, picked fresh for this box with the fronds. The fronds can be added to a hearty winter salad or stuffed into fish, the bulb is wonderful roasted with your broccoli and/or squash and a drizzle of balsamic. The cabbage variety this month is Deadon. A nice soft variety that makes cabbage rolls easy, and is also mild and crunchy enough for a salad. Cippolini onions are the flat coin-shaped onions, on the sweeter side, great mixed in with a big pan of roast veggies.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your winter CSA share to its fullest potential. Please refer to your quick storage guide that was passed out with the first box. If you cannot find this page, it has also been posted on the Still Life Farm Blog, accessible through StillLifeFarm.com. If you have ANY questions about how to store your veggies, email us!

This month has been crazy busy (as it always is-why am I always surprised?!?!). There is a ton of work to do for our farm in October and November. We try to leave all the storage crops in the ground for as long as possible, so they can size up, but then it’s a mad dash to pick everything before temperatures get too low (like the nightly teens that we are now experiencing…too cold for produce). Busy, busy, busy!

Curt and I did sneak away up to Acadia, ME to pick up the bulk balsam that we use to make wreaths and holiday decorations. The making of these fresh balsam decorations has been a Stillman family tradition for the last 30 years. As I type this newsletter, I can hear the snap of the clippers and the whirring of the wreath machine, the house smells like balsam, and a little trail of needles is left in Curt’s wake, wherever he goes.

Recipe Ideas:
If you are looking for recipe ideas, check out the Recipe Exchange and past newsletters on the Blog, these can both be accessed at StillLifeFarm.com. I will post a few extra recipes on the blog.

Fennel Risotto

6 cups chicken broth
6 Tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
Kosher salt
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, more for serving
2 Tbsp fennel fronds, more for serving
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer; keep warm. In an enameled medium cast-iron casserole, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate high heat. Add the onion and fennel, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to coat the rice with butter. Add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, the 1 ½ cups of cheese, and the 2 Tbsp of fennel fronds. Garnish with more fennel fronds and serve immediately with reserved grated Parmigiano.

Carrot Hummus

2.5 lbs. carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
Fine sea salt
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
Sweet paprika and chopped parsley for garnish
Toasted blue corn chips for serving

Preheat oven to 350oF. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with coconut oil and 1 tsp of salt. Roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once, until tender and starting to brown. In a food processor, combine the warm roasted carrots with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, EVOO, and water. Process until smooth. Season with salt. Garnish and serve with chips.

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke). 😉

We are so excited to be able to provide our farm’s local produce right to your table. We strive to provide a top quality box of vegetables and fruit to keep your winter interesting and tasty. If there is anything you need to make this season the best that it can be, get in touch with us and we will make it happen! Happy Thanksgiving!

Love your food,

Halley and Curtis Stillman

 

Storage Tips for Winter Produce

Storage Tips: How to get the most out of your Still Life Farm Winter CSA:
We offer monthly CSA deliveries during the winter because many of the items you receive in your winter box have come out of our long-term storage facility. These items can just as successfully be stored at your house for the month!
In order to fully utilize your share, it is very important to take time to properly prep and store the veggies and fruits that you receive. Most of vegetables that we are providing have been picked in the summer and fall and stored carefully up to this point. Removing them from storage speeds their respiration processes. This means winter storage produce must be handled carefully to get the most life out of it. Produce does not last forever. Farmers who store produce throughout the winter expect to throw out at least 1/3 of their crop. I cannot impress this enough; your produce will not last forever. Check all your vegetables from time to time. If anything looks like it might be going south, plan a meal around it asap!
We store produce under three separate conditions:
1.) Refrigeration (high humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF)
Most things hold up well in the refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag or stored in an airtight container.
Greens (kale, bok choi, spinach, arugula, beet and carrot tops, etc.)
Root vegetables with the tops removed (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, radishes, celeriac, kohlrabi)
Fruit (apples and pears)
Brussel and kale sprouts removed from the stalk
Leeks

2.) Cool, dry, and dark (low humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF, hallway/closet/porch, paper bag/box)
Irish potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Garlic
Onions, shallots

3.) Warm, dry, and dark (low humidity, warm temp around 50oF, dark area)
Sweet potatoes
All types of winter squash

If you have any questions about how to store anything that you receive, please get in touch with us!
If you have any problems identifying any veggies that you receive, please get in touch with us!
StillLifeFarm@aol.com
(413) 477-8268

Baked Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin

Baked Brussel Sprout Au Gratin

1 quart Brussel sprouts
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
½ slice bacon
1 ½ tsp garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp parsley, chopped
1 cup water reserved from cooking
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ cheddar cheese, grated
2 ½ tsp bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 325o. Wash and X bottom of brussels sprouts. Cover with boiling water, simmer until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup hot liquid. Melt butter in skillet, add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until flour is dissolved – 3 minutes. Add bacon, garlic, and parsley, cook 3 more minutes. Pour in reserved water, add salt and pepper. Bring to boil stirring constantly until thickened to consistency of heavy cream. Remove bacon from sauce. Place sprouts base down into a buttered casserole. Por sauce over. Top with grated cheese then breadcrumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Winter CSA 2017-18: October

October, Winter Newsletter #1

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Welcome to the Still Life Farm Winter CSA! Thank you for your membership. We’re excited to bring our local produce to your table this winter!

Our Winter CSA share is designed around vegetables that New Englanders would typically have access to throughout the winter. You will not see tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers. All of our produce consists of hardy vegetables and fruit that have been grown and stored on our farm. If we can count you among our Winter CSA members, we consider you a true locavore…it’s not easy sourcing locally year-round, but Winter CSA members are committed! We work hard to ensure as much produce variety as possible to break up the monotony of winter. Eating with us will keep your food local, seasonal, and fun!

In the first newsletter, I focus on what to expect in your winter share, as well as how to get the most out of your produce. In order to fully utilize your share, it is very important to take time to properly prep and store the veggies that you receive. In addition to the newsletter, you will receive a page that gives storage tips to maximize the lifespan of the produce in your winter share. Please refer to this page!

The vegetables that you will receive in your October share are as follows: winter squash (Spaghetti, Delicata), apples (Mutsu, Macoun), pears (Bosc), carrots (rainbow varieties), onions (yellow, red), garlic, leeks, potatoes (Eva white, Red Norland), sweet potatoes (Beauregard), kale (Tuscan), Napa cabbage (Scarlett!!!), Brussel sprouts, turnips (Hakurei), and fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, or parsley). Please refer to your storage sheet to see how to best store all of your produce. Remember, winter storage produce must be handled carefully to get the most life out of it. I cannot impress this enough; your produce will not last forever, eat it. Eat your greens first (kale, turnip and carrot tops, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, herbs). Spaghetti squash does not have a long shelf life, we recommend eating it early into the share. Very excited to be handing out purple Napa (Chinese) cabbage! Try it in kimchee, spring rolls, or in stir fry with your wonderful Hakurei turnips (not your “grandma’s turnip”, sweet and mild, even try them raw). If you have any questions about how to store any produce, please feel free to e-mail, we love to hear from our members!

Basic cooking tips to get you started:

There are a variety of delicious squashes that you will get to experiment with this winter; all can be cooked the same basic way. To cook winter squash: Do not fear the squash! 1) Cut the squash in half. This is easier than you think. Take your largest knife and slowly work the blade into the center of the squash and then around the middle. 2) Scoop the seeds out of the squash with a large spoon. Seeds can be separated and roasted if desired. 3) Take a fork and poke holes in the squash. If this step is forgotten it can occasionally cause a very messy situation in your oven, so don’t forget. 4) Lay squash, cut side down, in baking pan. Add a little water to the pan. 5) Bake the squash at 350oF for 20-45 minutes, depending on size, until the squash is soft to the touch. 7) Enjoy!
*If you notice your squash going south, bake it up, scrape it out, and freeze the flesh for baking later in the month.

Roasted root vegetables are a quick and easy way to utilize the veggies in your box. Cube roots, toss with olive oil and your favorite herbs, bake at 350oF for 20-40 minutes until fork tender. Greens should never be wasted in the winter; they are few and far between. A quick sauté with garlic and onion is an easy side dish. Make a sweet treat with apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

Some vegetables might be new to you. If you are stumped by an item in the share, send me a picture via text or email. If you have any questions about what’s in your box, or you need recipe ideas, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

I will have recipe suggestions for you throughout the winter, but I would love to hear from you. If you have a recipe that you would like to share, please e-mail it to me.

The Still Life Farm blog is up and running: StillLifeFarm.com under Blog. One of the most exciting things about the blog is the Recipe Exchange! The recipe exchange can be viewed by everyone. If you would like to add your own recipes, you can do so as long as you have a Google account (easy to acquire). Instructions for contributing to the Recipe Exchange can be found on that page. If you would like me to add your recipes for you, email them to me.

Apple and Leek Quiche Start with a standard butter pie dough. Combine 2/3 cup chopped leeks, 2 cups chopped apple with peeling, ¾ of a pound soft goat cheese, 1 cup heavy cream, 3 beaten eggs, and a dash of allspice or nutmeg, and bake until the custard is set-about 40-45 minutes in a moderately warm oven (3250-3750).

Check out the Blog for Baked Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin, shared by one of our wonderful members!

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke). 😉

We are so excited to be able to provide our farm’s local produce right to your table. We strive to provide a top quality box of vegetables and fruit to keep your winter interesting and tasty. If there is anything you need to make this season the best that it can be, get in touch with us and we will make it happen! Thank you so much for your membership!

Love your food,

Halley and Curtis Stillman

Winter CSA 2016-17: February Newsletter

Clockwise: Purple daikon radish, Watermelon radish, Beets, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Winter Sweet winter squash, New puppy Finn “helping” to pack Winter CSA shares

 

Dear Winter CSA Members,

It may not feel like it, but… spring is right around the corner!  J

The February box includes the following items:  apples (Cortland, Gala, Mutsu), winter squash (Butternut, Winter Sweet), potatoes (mix of red skinned, white, all red), sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, beets, radish (watermelon, purple daikon), turnips, kohlrabi, kalettes, red cabbage, greens (kale, bok choi, or spinach), popcorn, hot peppers, and JAM! 

If you are having trouble identifying any of the veggies in your box, please reference the blog.  I have posted some pictures of root veggies that I hope will be helpful.  As always, if you are stumped in identifying something, or need recipe ideas, do not hesitate to contact us…text, email, phone…all methods will work.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential.  Please let us know if have storage questions or problems with your veggies.

February is the final month of the Still Life Farm Winter CSA.  I would say, given the fact that this was an overly-difficult growing season (drought, loss of all stone fruit and numerous other crops, etc.), that Winter CSA 2016-17 was a resounding success!  I have to be completely honest, there were times over this past growing season that I doubted that farming was the correct career choice for me…a few moments found me wracking my brain, asking myself why I thought it was a good idea to marry a farmer.  Then I remembered that I married my husband because he is AWESOME!  And, I decided to go all in with farming because I’m crazy, and I love being challenged every day, and because GOOD FOOD IS WORTH IT.  This was a rough year, but we made it through, because that is what farmers do, because nothing is more important than good food and those you share it with.

That being said, we should definitely celebrate the highlights of this year.  Did you all notice that we had garlic in every single box?!!! This year’s crop of garlic was kick @$$ and a huge victory for me and Curt! Storage fennel…how cool was that!? Brussel sprouts that stored through the January share box.  Very successful harvests of sweet potatoes and winter squash. Our delicious Still Life Farm carrots! Kalettes! And most importantly, quality greens in every month’s box throughout the entirety of the Winter CSA.  A rocky, tumultuous year may have led to one of the most successful Still Life Farm Winter CSA seasons to date, AND made us appreciate the good points all the more!

So, a gigantic THANK YOU to all of our wonderful CSA members.  You make it possible for me and Curt to “keep crazy and farm on”. You make it possible to support local business and economy. You make it possible to protect our environment and be good stewards of the land. You make it possible to have access to good food! So, thank you, our wonderful CSA members.  Which brings me to my next point…JAM!

You will be receiving jam in the February box.  This is our way of thanking you for being part of the CSA this year.  Every summer I freeze pounds and pounds of fruit, so that in the winter (when I actually have spare time), I can turn the fruit into jam.  I shamelessly recruit friends and family to help me crank out multiple batches.  Hopefully you all enjoy the jam and it sweetens the last few weeks of winter for you.  Thank you for being part of the Still Life Farm Winter CSA!

Warm weather will be here before you know it and it will be time to think about Stillman’s Summer CSA…and tomatoes and peaches!  To sign up for Summer CSA visit “www.stillmansfarm.com”.

Recipe Ideas:

If you visit our website, StillLifeFarm.com, and go to the “Blog” page, you will find links to both our blog and our recipe exchange. There are lots of wonderful recipes posted, and you have the ability to contribute your own favorites.  Check out “The CSA Box” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecsabox) where fellow CSA member, Pam, posts her favorite dishes made with ingredients from the box.  Another creative favorite is “Nothing Beets Fresh” (http://www.nothingbeetsfresh.com/), a blog contributed by CSA member, Ellen.  Lots of good ideas, love your food!

Braised Red Cabbage

½ red onion, sliced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small head red cabbage (about 2 lbs)

1 large tart apple, diced ½-inch

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

½ cup dark brown sugar

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, gently cook the onions in vegetable oil until translucent, 5 mins.  Add the cabbage, apple, vinegar, and brown sugar, and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted, about 10 mins.  Cover, lower heat, and cook gently until the cabbage is very tender, about 45 mins, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

Kohlrabi Slaw

3 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Coarse salt (like kosher or sea)

Pepper

Shred 1-2 kohlrabi and 4 carrots (play around with your mandolin slicer; you can get some great textures).  Mix together dressing and fold into shredded veggies. *Feel free to add other cool veggies, like purple daikon and/or watermelon radish.

Please return all of your empty boxes, either at Winter CSA pick-up or at any Still Life Farm/Stillman’s Farm farmers markets or CSA pick-ups. We can also reuse the jam jars.

Be on the lookout for an email about early registration for next season’s Still Life Farm Winter CSA….we usually offer an early registration discount!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman