Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market Newsletter – September 16, 2014

September 16th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters Tags: ,

Thank you to our generous customers for your contributions to Rachel’s Table last week. The containers that they brought to our market were overflowing when they left.
It’s hard for me to comprehend how anyone who is a regular patron of our market doesn’t know about our wooden token system.
I jokingly say that it is our way to keep you from running out of money here. Having shopped at other farmers’ markets through the years, I know that there is always something I want to buy that I didn’t think of prior to getting to the market.
You can use your debit, credit, or SNAP card at the market table, and then receive wooden tokens that you use just like cash; they don’t expire. You can also use them at our winter market that begins in November. They make wonderful gifts also. The denomination is $2.50. The red tokens are for anything, the green ones are EBT, so can’t be used for some things according to the USDA rules.

It’s applesauce making season. If you have freezer space, freeze it, otherwise can it. It couldn’t be easier, and it is so delicious.
Use utility apples, and use a variety; you can mix them. Wash, cut, and put into a pot with a tiny bit of water on the bottom to keep them from burning when they’re getting started cooking. Cook until mushy. Put through a food mill; the skins and seeds won’t go through. Add cinnamon and some sugar if you want to. You’re done.
Moe’s Donuts will do fairs, events, and private parties. If you’ve purchased any of their donuts since they joined us 3 weeks ago, you know what a good addition they would be to any event.

New Restaurant in the N’hood

Welcome to Khi & Eli’s at 754 Sumner Avenue which is on the corner of White St. and Sumner Ave. They are serving soul food, salads, grinders, sandwiches, and dessert. Their number is 733-0077 or 733-0027. Open 12-8, and 12-7 on Sundays.

This ‘n’ That

Please take your tag sale signs down when it is over.
Use your car’s ashtray; cigarette butts aren’t bio-degradable, plus they make a mess.
Put numbers on your house that can be easily read from the street.
Greet new neighbors with something home baked.
Join your neighborhood association and find out what’s going on in your own neighborhood.
Don’t put any grease down your drain; put it into the trash instead. Grease eventually clogs up the pipes in the street.
Recycling helps in two ways–it keeps trash out of the landfills, and it earns money for your town or city.
Plastic bags can be recycled, but not in the recycling bins. Save them and drop them off at a local grocery store. they add up fast.
Register to vote if you haven’t already; it’s a privilege, and every vote DOES count.
Hard cover books can be recycled.
$1 donated to the W. Mass Food Bank can buy $9-13 worth of food.
If you don’t get a copy of this newsletter, you can always read it online. The web address is on the top of this and all newsletters.

Meet the Vendors-The Crimson Lion

We began our company in the early part of 2009. With the availability of many of our great grandfather John Bono’s recipes, we began making various sauces. My dad’s grandfather was a chef for many years in the Springfield area and left a legacy of recipes behind. Our friends and family were enjoying the recipes so much that my dad decided to start a specialty foods business. My dads late best friend Chuck Rae, AKA “The Viking Chef” of radio talk show fame also contributed several recipes. For many years my dad Bill Corcoran, Chuck Rae, along with their families, experimented with various sauces and grilling. Our dad never at the time realized it would result in a family business. The Crimson Lion now offers a varied selection of gourmet specialty foods including various cocktail drink mixes and coffee latte mixes. We supply hot sauces, bbq sauces, gourmet dip mixes, olive oil bread dips, no bake cheesecake dessert mixes, gourmet soup mixes, jams, condiments such as jalapeno honey mustard, onion relish, fruit salsa and specialty salsa. We have also added products such as apple and pumpkin butters, gourmet cocktail drink mixes, and Sangria ice wine slush. Last year we developed a full schedule of shows and plan on selling again at events this year. We also offer wholesale opportunities and a fundraising program that has been very successful to date. We will also consider applying your own label/name to the product. Contact us at 413-896-1114 or 413-642-5288 for more information. (written by Greg Corcoran.)

The Crimson Lion

Recipe–Summer Spaghetti

1# firm, ripe fresh plum tomatoes
1 medium onions
6 pitted green or black olives
2 medium cloves garlic
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 T. finely shredded fresh basil or 3/4 tsp. dried
2 tsp. drained capers
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 # uncooked spaghetti

Chop tomatoes coarsely; chop onion and olives; mince garlic. Combine tomatoes, onion, olives, garlic, parsley, gasil, capers, paprika and oregano in medium bowl; toss well.
Drizzle vinegar over tomato mixture. Then pour oil over tomato mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate covered at least 6 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water just until al dente, 8-12 minutes; drain well.
immediately toss hot pasta with cold marinated tomato sauce. Serve at once.

Raffle Winner–Maurice Proulx

Thanks to those of you who buy a raffle ticket. All of your contributions help us have this wonderful market.

Donate Cold Weather Clothes for ECOS Program

The Environmental program in Forest Park for grade school students in the Springfield schools accepts used coats, mittens, hats, vests, etc. to loan to children who show up for the program without the proper winter wear. Bring them to the second floor of the Porter Lake Skate House in Forest Park. There is a parking lot across the street. If you don’t have a park sticker, just tell the person in the kiosk where you’re going and they’ll let you in free.


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Market News -September 10,2014

September 9th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Mt. Warner Vineyard was overwhelmed with your response to them last week. Bobbie said that it was the best day they’d ever had at a farmers’ market.

This past Sunday New England Public Radio (NEPR) dedicated its new facility on Main Street in Springfield. All I can say is Wow! It is just fabulous. The UMASS marching band led us from City Stage, where there had been a program, to the new facility. I got choked up looking at all of those beautiful young people playing their instruments.

As a long time Springfield resident I am beyond pleased when a business chooses to locate here. I have lived enough places to know that there is no Utopia–no place that is perfect. If we want improvements (and there is no place that doesn’t need some) then it is up to all of us to do something to improve it.

So many people complain about Springfield, but I wonder if they ever do ANYTHING to make it better. Do they ever pick up litter, or get rid of graffiti, or volunteer in a school?

I wonder if the people who complain all the time have ever lived anyplace else.

I grew up in Longmeadow, moved away when I married, and moved back 20 years later. Had the area changed in those 20 years? Absolutely. Many cities have the same problems that we have. I can’t just whine about how this or that is different than it used to be. I have to accept the changes, and do what I can to improve what we have. We can all do something.

I know many people who live here who could live wherever they chose to because they dwell on the positives of living here, not on the negatives.

We have 7 more weeks of this market after today, and then in November we move into the old monkey house on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month through April.

Next week Zoo on the Go will be here about 1 & 4.

Meet the Vendors–Susan Parks Soap

Susan has been making and selling goat milk soaps since 2000. (She also has lotions, liquid soap, and bug spray.) She and her spouse Jane have kept Nubian goats for 26 years. Right now the herd is down to 3 milkers, one buck and his companion, a wether. They all live on a small farm in West Stafford, CT.

Susan has reinvented herself many times. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke College, she worked as a lab tech at Harvard Medical School. Although she loved Boston, after taking some pottery classes, she went to UMASS Amherst and earned an MFA in ceramics.

She taught ceramics classes there to both undergrads and graduate students until 1983 then quit. She started a handmade tile business making custom decorative tile for kitchen, bath and other uses. When that market fell through in the early 90s, she began producing mosaic garden pottery using leftover tile shards. These products sold like “hotcakes” until everyone on the planet got in on the act. This is when the goats started helping out Susan’s economic situation.

They suggested adding their milk to the soaps she was making instead of water, and BINGO! instant success. They were superior soaps with moisturizing qualities plus unique fragrances including one called dirt. Less known facts about Susan–she attends silent retreats, knits, plays the ukulele, owns a property in Tuscany (Italy) where she and Jane go on a regular basis.

Susan’s favorite author is Alice Monro, her favorite composer is Giuseppe Verdi, her favorite musical group is Sons of the Never Wrong, and her favorite things are contact with old friends, students and colleagues, Jane’s cooking, and our farmers’ market.



Vote Today! 

Today is primary day in Massachusetts. Every vote counts. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, stop at the market table and fill out a form; we will mail it in for you. It is a privilege to vote; don’t throw it away. You can’t vote today unless you’re already registered, but if you register now, you can vote in November.

Recipe–Sicilian Caponata

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small)
1 T. salt
2 large red bell peppers
1 large onion
1 large stalk celery
1/4 cup olive oil
dried red pepper flakes or a small hot pepper to taste
1 can whole peeled tomatoes or peeled fresh tomatoes
1 or more large clove garlic
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. sugar
8 or more Italian or Greek style olives
1 T. drained capers
Rinse eggplant, cut into small cubes, place in colander and sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand and drain in sink or over bowl, tossing occasionally for 1 hour. Rinse eggplant and drain well. Squeeze in clean kitchen towel to extract moisture. Reserve.
Core and seed bell peppers; cut into small chunks. Chop onion coarsely. Cut celery diagonally into small pieces.
Heat oil in 10” skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onion, celery and pepper flakes; sauté 5 minutes. Add reserved eggplant; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Press tomatoes and their liquid through sieve into vegetables in skillet; discard seeds (or not). Mince garlic, add garlic to skillet. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pit and chop olives. Add olives and capers to skillet. Cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated and sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. serve hot as a vegetable side dish, or cool to room temperature and serve as a relish or on an antipasto tray.
(Remember that these amounts don’t have to be exact.)

Chilifest this Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 PM, The Kitchen Garden is sponsoring its annual Chilifest. On Saturday there will be a chili cookoff and contest, and on Sunday there will be a hot sauce competition. There will also be music, fun for kids, cooking demos, and local arts and crafts. This will be held at Mike’s Maze, 23 South Main St. in Sunderland. $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12, and 4 & under free.

CISA’s Taste the View–9/19

CISA’s major fundraiser will be held on September 19th at Quonquont Farm in Whately, MA from 6-9 PM. It is always a lovely evening. There is terrific food, a silent auction, music and a live auction. Go to for further information. It always sells out, so if you’re interested, reserve your space now.

Raffle Winner–Marie Spedero

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Market Newsletter – August 1, 2014

September 1st, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

There is no way that I could ever have predicted how our market would grow when we started 17 years ago. It was difficult to get vendors to take a chance on us. We started with just 5 vendors; Outlook Farm is our only original vendor.

Now I am contacted on a regular basis by vendors who would like to become part of our market. Sometimes I say yes, other times it’s no. If it’s yes it’s because they have something that we don’t already have , and it would benefit us. If it’s no it’s the opposite.

We have two new vendors, one, Moe’s Donuts, started last week with cider and sugar donuts. Oh my, are they ever delicious! And today we welcome Mt. Warner Winery from Hadley.

In 2010 the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) said that it was okay for wineries to sell their wares at farmers’ markets. Of course there is a process, but it’s not that hard, and everyone involved is very cooperative.

Two years ago I asked the Springfield Park Commission if we could have wine sold at our market and they said no. I understand that they don’t want folks getting drunk in the park. But, the wineries are so careful, and the feedback that I got from market managers who do have wine at their markets was so positive, that I thought I would ask again. I gave the positive feedback to our Parks and Rec. Director, Patrick Sullivan, and he said come to the Commission again. This time they said yes.

I was truly amazed at the number of wineries that we have here in Massachusetts. I sent out inquiries to several of them telling them about our market and asking them if they’d like to participate. Mt. Warner said yes, and we have one other who is going through the process to sell at our market.
They are allowed to give samples, so if you are a wine lover, try the samples, and then purchase another Massachusetts agricultural product to enjoy.

Free Ride for Seniors

If you take the PVTA van to our market, we will reimburse you for the cost of the ride which is $5 round trip. You will receive 2 market tokens to use at the market. Van reservations are a must.

This ‘n’ That

On September 20th & 21st, Old Deerfield will be having its Arts and Crafts Fair. The hours are from 10-5 on Saturday, and 10-4 on Sunday. There is an admission fee. Old Deerfield is truly beautiful. Take exit 24 off 91N, and go another 6 miles north on routes 5 & 10.

You know that we ask those of you who use your debit or credit cards to purchase tokens for $25 or more for a $1 contribution to help us defray the cost of the card machine. Just to give you an idea of the cost to us, and why we ask for your help, we paid almost $300 for July’s fees. We are not allowed to ask for anything for EBT.

Next week Rachel’s Table, who always picks up surplus produce at our market each week, is asking that you buy extra and donate it here at the market. They will deliver the donations to agencies that can use it.

Did you know that you can recycle hard cover books? The covers are actually compressed paper. If you have a book that has a plastic or metal binder, remove that if you can before putting into recycling.

Many of the recipes that have been given out throughout the years are archived on our website.

On September 16th Zoo on the Go will be coming to our market a couple of times. We will probably have them here in the early afternoon, and then after school.

Please remove tag sale signs when your sale is over.

Make a tomato salad with different colored tomatoes. Add fresh herbs, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper, and you’ll have a pretty salad that is very tasty. If you add pieces of a crusty bread, you’ll have what’s called panzanella salad. You can add onion, olives, mozzarella cheese, capers, whatever you please. If you add the bread serve the salad within 15 minutes of adding it.

Recipe–Corn Pudding

1/4 cup sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup butter melted
6 cups fresh corn kernels or 6 cups canned or frozen corn when fresh isn’t available

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk together eggs, cream, and butter.
Gradually add sugar mixture, whisking until smooth, stir in corn.
Pour into a lightly greased oblong baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes OR until golden brown and set.
Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Meet the Vendors–Tortured Orchard

The company was created out of a love of natural ingredients and a devout passion for cooking and endless creativity.

Sandra Walley is the founder of Tortured Orchard, and her daughter Amanda (who comes to our market) is director of marketing and sales. Amanda is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Many of you have tried her creatively prepared food that she brings to the market.
Their seasoning sauces are hand-packed and made in small batches. Each batch is carefully watched during the reduction process to assure consistency in both taste and appearance. The sauces are good for both hot and cold applications

In addition to our market, they are in many stores, and you can also purchase their products online at

Trinity Church Block Party

You are invited to attend the neighborhood block party at Trinity Church (big church next to the park) from 12-2:30 on Sunday, September 7th. Everything is free, and this is a wonderful way to meet some of your neighbors.


September 9th, is primary day in Massachusetts. Every vote counts. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, stop at the market table and fill out a form; we will mail it in for you. It is a privilege to vote; don’t throw it away. You can’t vote on the 9th unless you’re already registered, but if you register now, you can vote in November.

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Market Newsletter – August 26, 2014

August 25th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

If you haven’t been up to Outlook Farm recently, take a ride up there. They have a new big barn and more products than ever. They are having a pig roast with music on September 21st. Since all of their other pig roasts have been from 12-3, I assume that this one will be also. Music from 1-3. Don’t know if they will be having pick your own apples by then. Ask at the stand here at the market if they will.

Several years ago when my grandson Evan was 5 (he’s now 17) I gave him a peach that I had purchased from Outlook Farm two days earlier. Later in the day I brought his brother Alex who was then 8 to my house and offered him a peach also. He didn’t want one whereupon Evan said, “Alex, you really should have one. You can taste the inside from the outside.” And that folks is the difference between a locally grown peach, and one from the grocery store.

If you want to freeze peaches peel them and put them into a freezer container. You can add a little sugar, or not. Use them just as is, or in a peach crisp, or pancakes, etc.

I hope that those of you who have never made jam, applesauce, relish, or pickles will try to make something new to you. It isn’t hard, and if you have the freezer or refrigerator space, you don’t even have to can any of it not that that is hard to do. You do need the proper jars and caps for canning though.

Did you know that when you give money to the Food Bank that they can purchase about $13 worth of food for every dollar contributed? Giving non-perishable food is certainly a good thing to do, but money is good also.


Recipe–Lazy Stuffed Cabbage (sweet & sour)

In this recipe the ingredients and the taste are the same as stuffed cabbage, but you don’t have to stuff the cabbage.

Tomato soup, a little water, brown sugar, cider vinegar
Ground beef, onion, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, water or tomato juice

Make your sauce and season it to taste with the brown sugar and vinegar. Cut up the cabbage and add to the sauce. Cook the cabbage until it has softened. You may need to adjust the seasoning in the sauce at this point. Mix up the ground beef mixture and form into meatballs. Drop on top of the cabbage/sauce mixture. Cover pot and give the pot a shake to get some sauce onto the meatballs. Cook until the meatballs are done. You may have to adjust the seasoning at this point also. Serve over rice. Don’t put rice into your meatballs; they will fall apart. This is much better the next day.

If you want to make stuffed cabbage, put your cabbage into the freezer until it is frozen solid. It will take awhile to freeze, and then awhile to defrost, so this is probably a 2 day process. The leaves will be very pliable and easy to stuff. You can add rice to the mixture if you are going to stuff the leaves. How much you use of anything depends on how much you are making. Both the lazy and regular stuffed cabbage freeze well.

Meet the Vendors–Chicoine Family Farm
Bill Chicoine’s dad Henry established the farm as a dairy farm in 1933. Bill began growing their herd in the 1970s so that they could sell grass-fed beef rather than having a dairy farm. The animals eat the grass that grows in their own pastures; they are never fed on corn or grain.
Their beef is free of antibiotics, hormones, and steroids. The grass that they eat has never been treated with pesticides or herbicides. They graze freely all spring, summer, and fall, and in the winter they are fed sun-dried hay that they produce all summer.

The hours for the store at the farm are–Mon. and Wed. 3-9:45, Thurs.-Fri. 7AM-10PM, Sat. 3-10, and Sun. 1-9. You may call them at 413-527-4882 if you’d like to visit the farm, or purchase something outside of their regular hours.

Grass-fed beef is lean, so don’t overcook it or it will be too dry. There IS a difference.

This ‘n’ That

Roast tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet at 400 degrees until they look done. They shouldn’t be crisp. Wash,core, cut into quarters, and place in a single layer on the sheet. Pour some olive oil over them and sprinkle with kosher salt. After they have cooled, puree them in a food processor or blender. 4 sheets made 5 quarts of sauce for me. You can add basil before you puree. This is the beginning of a wonderful sauce, or it’s great in a vegetable soup, or as the beginning of tomato soup. It’s very delicate. If you use plum tomatoes, you won’t have as much moisture, but any tomato is fine.

Rotisserie chicken makes the best chicken salad because it is so moist. Save the bones for soup.

Life Insurance

You are probably asking what this has to do with a farmers’ market or agriculture or anything having to do with what we do here; it doesn’t. But, so often I read an obituary of a youngish person who asks to have contributions made to an education fund for the deceased’s children.
Realistically, how much is anyone going to collect in a fund like that?
If you have people who are dependent upon you then you should have some insurance. It has gotten much less expensive since people are living longer, and many medical conditions are undermuch better control than they used to be.

There is a woman who comes to this market whose husband died recently; there was no life insurance. She is scared about her future and the future of her children.
I always say that if your family doesn’t have to worry about money at the same time that they are grieving your loss, you will have provided them with a gift.


Trudy Devlin is our raffle winner this week. For $1 you can have a chance to win 2 of our red tokens worth $5. This is a small way to earn money for our market. You can always give us a financial contribution; we would be happy to accept anything you’d like to give. It all goes to running this wonderful market.


There are lots of wonderful non-perishable items at our market that make terrific gifts. You can also purchase some of the wooden coins to give as gifts.

Buy an Extra Pound or More to Help the Hungry

Someone from Rachel’s Table will be here on Sept. 9th to accept your contribution of fresh produce to benefit agencies that donate food to folks who don’t have enough.
Purchase at least a pound more than what you would ordinarily buy and bring it to the market table.
Rachel’s Table is an agency whose mission is to relieve hunger in Greater Springfield, and to reduce waste of our food resources. It is a project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield, Inc. and WWLP-TV22.
Some of the agencies that receive food from RT are, ARCH of the YMCA, Marathon House, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Ronald McDonald House, S.A.F.E. Program, Salvation Army, Springfield Rescue Mission, St. John’s Friends’ Place, Chicopee Emergency Food & Fuel, the Community Survival Center, A Better Chance, Inc., Parish Cupboard (W. Springfield/Agawam Open Pantry, Womanshelter Companeras, and many more.

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Market Newsletter – August 19, 2014

August 19th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

The quest for winery vendors is in progress. So far we have 2 wineries who are interested in becoming part of our market–Mt. Warner Winery from Hadley, and Raven Hollow Winery from Westfield.

I was amazed to see how many wineries there are in Central and Western Massachusetts. Most either grow their own fruit, or use locally purchased fruit for their wines. We are only going to have wineries who do that; there is no point in having wine made with fruit from out of state. That wouldn’t benefit our local agricultural industry at all.

Prior to meeting with the park commission, I asked market managers in Massachusetts who have wineries at their market what their experience has been. No market has had any problem at all; it has been overwhelmingly positive. Makes sense as a market isn’t a place where someone will buy a bottle, immediately drink it and get drunk.

We have a new Vietnamese restaurant in the neighborhood. iPho is located at 2 Wilmont St., right at the corner of Dickinson St. Open every day except Monday.

Meet the Vendors–Trinity Farm

Trinity Farm from Enfield, CT has been a vendor at our market for 11 years. They were “discovered” at the Suffield Farmers’ Market by our market manager. Always in pursuit of interesting vendors to increase the products offered at our market, she asked them if they would be interested in being part of our market. It took a little convincing, but they came to us when we were behind Goodwill.
4 generations of the Smyth family have or are working on the farm these days including Dale and Mike’s almost youngest grandchild Beau who is 4. You may have seen him at our market.
They now have 50 cows, and are in the process of having a larger (170’ x 60’) barn built that will eventually hold 70 cows. The current barn will still be used for milking.

They are always looking for new ways to use their milk. They currently offer, skim, 1%, and whole white milk, 1% coffee milk, 1% strawberry milk, whole chocolate milk, plain, vanilla, and fruit yogurts, butter, both salted and unsalted, half and half, heavy cream, and kefir. All of their milk is bottled in glass as it always has been. The fat content of their whole milk is always available; it varies a little every day. If you’re curious, ask.

The milk is hormone and antibiotic free. If a cow becomes ill, her milk is thrown away; it is never used.

The store (4 Oliver Rd.) is open from 6-6 Monday through Friday, and 6-4 on Saturday; closed Sundays. They are at our market each week, and also attend the winter market that begins in November.

Trinity Farms Milk

Trinity Farm Milk

Trinity Farm Yogurt

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe

from Heinz Successful Pickling Guide

This is really easy. If you don’t want to put these in a hot water bath so they can stay on a shelf for a long time, put them in the refrigerator. You must use very fresh cucumbers so this is the time of year to make them.

3 pounds pickling cucumbers
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kosher salt
6 cups water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. tumeric
(or if you don’t have the seeds, use pickling spices)

Wash cucumbers and remove a small slice of the blossom end. Cut into 1/4” slices and measure 10 cups. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, onion, salt and water. Mix well. Cover and let stand for 2 hours. In a 6-8 quart sauce pot combine vinegar and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Drain vegetables and rinse well. Add vegetables to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Immediately fill hot sterilized pint jars leaving 1/2 “ headspace. Carefully run a nonmetallic utensil down inside of jars to remove trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar tops and threads clean. Place hot lids on jars and screw bands on firmly. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. (If you aren’t going to put them in the hot water bath (can them) you don’t have to bother getting the air bubbles out.)

Taste the View
CISA is a terrific organization that strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy.

Taste the View is their major fundraiser for the year. It is a local harvest dinner and auction held each year in September. This year it will be on September 19th at Quonquont Farm in Whately.
Please go to their website for more information. They always sell out, so get your tickets now.

Wooden Tokens

Although we have been selling them since 2008, there are still some customers who don’t know about them. You can use your EBT/debit or credit card at our market table to purchase wooden tokens that you use just like cash at our market. They are only good at our market as all marketsare independent of each other. We make it very easy for you to never run out of money at our market. If you use an EBT card, please understand that we follow USDA rules, so certain items (prepared food, flowers, etc.) can’t be purchased with the wooden tokens.


Peter Lappin is our raffle winner this week. For $1 you can have a chance to win 2 of our red tokens worth $5. This is a small way to earn money for our market. You can always give us a financial contribution; we would be happy to accept anything you’d like to give. It all goes to running this wonderful market.

Candidate’s Night–August 26th

The Forest Park Civic Association invites you to join them on August 26th at 7PM in the Forest Park Middle School auditorium to meet candidates seeking to represent us in the offices of: State Senate, State Representative, Hampden County District Attorney, and Register of Probate.

Please bring a canned good to benefit the Friends of the Homeless.

If you have not yet registered to vote, we have forms at the market table for you to do so. We will send it in for you. Voting is a privilege, don’t throw yours away by not voting.

Red Fire Farm Tomato Fest

August 23rd is the date for this amazing event. It is held at their farm in Granby. Go to for all of the details, or pick up a card here at the market. This is a rain or shine event.

CISA Local Restaurant Days
Today and tomorrow, 54 restaurants in the Pioneer Valley are participating in the Local Hero Restaurant Days. The following restaurants in our area are participating:
A Touch of Garlic and Max’s Tavern in Springfield
Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen, Bottega Cucina, and Lattitude in West Springfield.
Go to for the full listing of participating restaurants.

Stay current with us on Facebook! We would love to see pictures of you at the market, what you make with your purchases. Show off our STUFF!

Market Newsletter-August 12, 2014

August 11th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We have received permission from the Park Commissioners to sell wine at our market. I am working on that now. I have contacted several local (Western Mass) wineries to ask them if they’d like to join our market. In 2010 our Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) ruled that it was okay to sell wine at farmers’ markets. It is an agricultural product after all.

I participate in a list serve for farmers’ markets, and asked anyone in Massachusetts who had wine at their market to send me their experience. No-one has had any problems with having wine sales.

Hopefully we will have a winery here next month.

Last week I received a call from the fraud division of my credit card company asking about some charges. None of them were large, but the activity was different. My daughter uses this card, and it doesn’t have a high limit, but I guess going to 3 gas stations in 2 days was a red flag. (also Chic-fil-A and KFC in the same day.) Fortunately I was able to get her on the phone right away and we determined which were legitimate charges, and which weren’t. If the card had a high limit, they could have done a lot of damage. The bill hadn’t come in yet, so there was no way to know that some charges were not legitimate. Pay attention to your bill when it comes in, and call your company if you have any questions about it.

Bridget’s Breads will return next week; she is on vacation.

Meet the Vendors–Berkshire Grain

Back in 1987, Kevin and Barbara Kirshner left successful corporate careers and NYC behind to take over as innkeepers at The Inn on Lake Waramaug in New Preston CT.

Barbara having been a Test Kitchen Home Economist, was a co-creator of Mars Twix Bars, and Combos Pretzel Nuggets. She was anxious to develop a wonderful low fat granola with a unique taste and light and crisp texture. 25 years ago their first granola was developed. Barbara’s creation was a huge hit and not only was it featured on the Inn’s breakfast menu; people began ordering by phone (no eCommerce at the time.) Cinnamon Toast is still available and one of their most popular varieties.

In 1991 with the inn changing ownership, they headed north and landed in the Berkshires, and started their first full-time food company. Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Lenox became their first commercial customer.

What excites Kevin and Barbara about being a small food company is the magic that food creates. Trying new things, sharing it with others, and learning from their customers.

After being married for 18 yrs and 1 year into their new business Barbara became pregnant, and 2 years later their 2nd child arrived………another joy was having the girls in a pouch on Kevin’s back while he made and packaged granola. He loved the feel of their sweaty head and hands, while fast asleep. As the girls got older many naps were taken on top of the 50 lb. oat sacks they had lying around.

Kevin and Barbara see themselves as innovators. Berkshire Grain was the first company in the US to introduce chia seeds in a breakfast cereal. Kevin was evaluating whether to add hemp to a granola mix and through the magic of the Internet came volumes of streaming information about chia seeds. The decision to use chia was obvious.

Over the years they’ve dabbled in many interesting product ideas–decadent chocolate vegan cupcakes, vegan cookies, chocolate pretzel bark, and most recently wine jellies.

Kevin has been involved in wine tastings and wine education in addition to being a food entrepreneur. With lots of opened bottles of wine around and too much to drink themselves, he started investigating possible uses. His search led him to wine jellies. What is most exciting about the wine jellies is that it allows even people that don’t like the taste of wine to enjoy a whole world of grapes without drinking one glass of wine. The alcohol is mostly cooked out during the process of making jelly.

Kevin and Barbara’s passion for delicious and exciting food, good wine and people, really shines through in many of the wine jelly creations. There’s a Chardonnay with lemon & rosemary, Pinot Grigio infused with sage, Devil’s Fire finishes with a kick from small orange haberneros. Fruit and wine go so well together that there’s always something new happening. Mango Moscato, and Strawberry Summer Blend are lower sugar varieties. These jellies contain extra fruit to make up for the lower sugar.

The jellies are adaptable to a wide range of uses, from baking, flavored drinks iced tea, in sauces, fat-free vinaigrettes, fruit and cheese platters……or why not just a really premium PBJ?There are ten wine jelly varieties.

Berkshire Grain products have been featured in the finest stores, luxury hotels, and universities throughout the US. The last few years Kevin and Barbara have been enjoying reconnecting with their customers at farmers’ markets, fairs, festivals and through the web. It is at these live events meeting and talking with customers and other entrepreneurs that they draw their inspirations.
Both Kevin and Barbara have served in the past on the board for the Massachusetts Specialty Food Association.

Berkshire Grain produces all their own products at the Berkshire Harvest Rental Kitchen in Lee, MA, located directly across from the Lee Outlet Village. There are no regular hours. If you would like to stop by and pick up some jellies, granola, and/or gluten free products call in advance at 413-551-9191.

Berkshire Grain Wine Jelly

Berkshire Grain Wine Jelly

Berkshire Grain Granola

Berkshire Grain Granola


Marie Spedero is our raffle winner this week. For $1 you can have a chance to win 2 of our red tokens worth $5. This is a small way to earn money for our market. You can always give us a financial contribution; we would be happy to accept anything you’d like to give. It all goes to running this wonderful market.

Preservation Trust Fund Raiser

This is a reminder for the fund raiser on August 24th at 28 Ingersoll Grove in the McKnight Historic District. Members are $35 and the general public is $40. Tickets are at, or mail a check before August 18th to SPT, 74 Walnut St, Springfield, 01105. For information go to their website.

This home is magnificent. The funds raised will help with the re-doing of a former girls’ seminary at 77 Maple St.

Candidate’s Night–August 26th

The Forest Park Civic Association invites you to join them on August 26th at 7PM in the Forest Park Middle School auditorium to meet candidates seeking to represent us in the offices of: State Senate, State Representative, Hampden County District Attorney, and Register of Probate.
Please bring a canned good to benefit the Friends of the Homeless.

If you have not yet registered to vote, we have forms at the market table for you to do so. We will send it in for you. Voting is a privilege, don’t throw yours away by not voting.

Red Fire Farm Tomato Fest

August 23rd is the date for this amazing event. It is held at their farm in Granby. Go to for all of the details, or pick up a card here at the market. This is a rain or shine event.

Tomato Fest

Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival


Cherry tomato display

Armory Tours-Free

Every other Sunday at 2PM starting on April 13th through September 28th. Get some history and learn about recent efforts to restore this historic site. Wear comfortable shoes.

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Market Newsletter – August 5, 2014

August 5th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

Meet the Vendors–Dr. Cookie

  Terry Atkinson started Doctor Cookie with Nancy Cleary about 14 years ago.  They both liked to bake, and chose their favorite recipes and tried many recipes trying to decide what people would like. Terry needed a second income that wouldn’t take her away from being home with Kenny when he was little.  Nancy left the business about 4-5 years ago.  Kenny was 2 years old then and is 16 now!  He has been making granola for Doctor Cookie for about a year and is now working with her as an apprentice baker!  He is a quick study, following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps!  His great-grandfather was a baker who came to this country from Lithuania and had a bakery on the Patch, an ethnic neighborhood in Turners Falls, for many years.
 They originally had the notion to deliver cookies to hungry students at local boarding schools and colleges, which they did for awhile, as well as baking and delivering to two stores, but then decided to try selling at farmers’ markets. Before they started coming to the Springfield market, they baked for markets in Greenfield and Turners Falls.  They heard about the Springfield Market from friend and fellow vendor Rick Wysk of Riverbend Farm. They have been vending at the Springfield Market since it was located behind Goodwill and continue to bake for Greenfield Market Saturdays and Springfield on Tuesdays.
 Today Dr. Cookie offers a variety of cookies  and cakes with many recipes to choose from.  Although the offerings vary somewhat from week to week, she always has breakfast fudge and chocolate chip cookies, in order to keep her customers happy.  She also makes granola, pesto, and occasionally, dessert sauces and chutneys.  At the winter market, Doctor Cookie morphs into  Doctor Soupy but still offers desserts!
  Jane Devlin is our raffle winner this week. We are selling raffle tickets for $1 to earn some money for the market. At the very least, we seem to be breaking even.
Blueberries by Robert Frost
“You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!”
“I don’t know what part of the pasture you mean.”
“You know where they cut off the woods–let me see–
It was two years ago–or no!–can it be
No longer than that?–and the following fall
The fire ran and burned it all up but the wall.”
“Why, there hasn’t been time for the bushes to grow.
That’s always the way with the blueberries, though:
There may not have been the ghost of a sign
Of them anywhere under the shade of the pine,
But get the pine out of the way, you may burn
The pasture all over until not a fern
Or grass-blade is left, not to mention a stick,
And presto, they’re up all around you as thick
And hard to explain as a conjuror’s trick.”
“It must be on charcoal they fatten their fruit.
I taste in them sometimes the flavour of soot.
And after all really they’re ebony skinned:
The blue’s but a mist from the breath of the wind,
A tarnish that goes at a touch of the hand,
And less than the tan with which pickers are tanned.”
“Does Mortenson know what he has, do you think?”
“He may and not care and so leave the chewink
To gather them for him–you know what he is.
He won’t make the fact that they’re rightfully his
An excuse for keeping us other folk out.”
“I wonder you didn’t see Loren about.”
“The best of it was that I did. Do you know,
I was just getting through what the field had to show
And over the wall and into the road,
When who should come by, with a democrat-load
Of all the young chattering Lorens alive,
But Loren, the fatherly, out for a drive.”
“He saw you then? What did he do? Did he frown?”
“He just kept nodding his head up and down You know how politely he always goes by. But he thought a big thought–I could tell by his eye–
Which being expressed, might be this in effect:
I have left those there berries, I shrewdly suspect, To ripen too long I am greatly to blame.”
He’s a thriftier person than some I could name.”
“He seems to be thrifty; and hasn’t he need, with
the mouths of all those young Lorens to feed?
He has brought them up on wild berries they say.
Like birds. They store a great many away. They eat them year-round, and those they don’t eat
They sell in the store and buy shoes for their feet.”
“Who cares what they say It’s a nice way to live,
Just taking what nature is willing to give, not forcing her hand with harrow and plow”
“I wish you had seen his perpetual bow–
And the air of the youngsters! Not one of them turned, and they looked so solemn–absurdly concerned.”
“I wish I knew half what the flock of them know of where all the berries and other things grow, cranberries in bogs and raspberries on top of the
Boulder-strewn mountain, and when they will crop. I met them one day and each had a flower stuck in his berries as fresh as a shower;
Some strange kind–they told me it hadn’t a name.”
“I’ve told you how once not long after we came, I almost provoked poor Loren to mirth
By going to him of all people on earth to ask if he knew any fruit to be had for the picking.
The rascal, he said he’d be glad to tell if he knew. But the year had been bad. There had been some berries–but those were all gone.
He didn’t say where they had been. He went on: “I’m sure, I’m sure’–as polite as could be. He spoke to his wife in the door, ‘Let me see, Mame, we don’t know any good berrying place?’ It was all he could do to keep a straight face. If he thinks all the fruit that grows wild is for him, he’ll find he’s mistaken. See here, for a whim, we’ll pick in the Mortenson’s pasture this year.
We’ll go in the morning, that is, if it’s clear. And the sun shines out warm; the vines must be wet.
It’s so long since I picked I almost forget how we used to pick berries; we took one look ‘round
Then sank out of sight like trolls underground,
And saw nothing more of each other, or heard,
Unless when you said I was keeping a bird
Away from its nest, and I said it was you. “Well, one of us is. ‘For complaining it flew around and around us. And then for  a while we picked
Til I feared you had wandered a mile, and I
Thought I had lost you. I lifted a shout too loud For the distance you were, it turned out, for when you made answer, your voice was as low As talking–you stood up beside me, you know.”
“We sha’n’t have the place to ourselves to enjoy–
Not likely, when all the young Lorens deploy. They’ll be there tomorrow, or even tonight. They won’t be too friendly–they may be polite–
To people they look on as having no right to pick where they’re picking. But we won’t complain.
You ought to have seen how it looked in the rain, the fruit mixed with water in layers of leaves.
Like two kinds of jewels, a vision for thieves.”

Market Newsletter – July 29, 2014

From the Market Manager

Can you believe that with today’s market we are halfway through the season? It’s been a terrific year so far. We have such a nice variety of vendors. Thanks for making this such a great market everyone.

A few weeks ago someone lost a hearing aid at the market. It has been found.It is at the market table.

If you go to the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) website, you will find all sorts of resources.

According to the most recent USDA census, all of the New England states had increases in the number of farms.

Ron Starcher from Town Farm Gardens will be back at our market next week.

Welcome to Nu3Kidz. You can purchase pancake mix made with healthy ingredients that are also colorful. There are 3 varieties, beet and quinoa, carrots and quinoa, and spinach and quinoa.

Meet the Vendors–Tom Flebotte, Bearded Bee

Tom grew up in Ludlow. They raised sheep and showed them in 4H sheep shows. In 1992 Tom bought the house from his mother and moved back home. They raised goats and poultry of all kinds. He planted about 40 fruit trees a couple of years later. Someone told him that he needed bees so he bought 2 hives.
Don Mayou, who used to come to our market, became Tom’s mentor. The first year he harvested 135 pounds of honey and he was “hooked.” Two hives turned into 6, 6 to 25 to over 100. He has cut back from that, but with his up and coming band of beekeeper grandchildren he is sure to get back to that number and more. His hives are in several different locations.
In addition to being a beekeeper, Tom works for Solutia.

Tom Flebotte ~ The Bearded Bee


Carolyn Fitzgerald is our raffle winner this week. We are selling raffle tickets for $1 to earn some money for the market. At the very least, we seem to be breaking even.

Recipe–Zucchini Basil Muffins

2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tablespoons finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or similar hard grating cheese.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Grease muffin cups or use paper liners
Combine the eggs, milk, and oil in a large bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in another bowl and add to the liquid mixture in batches stirring to blend; don’t over mix.
Add the zucchini and basil and stir to blend.
Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full. Sprinkle the top with the cheese. Bake for about 20-25 minute for regular size muffins, 15-20 for mini muffins until the tops are golden brown and puffy.

Cook/garden Book Exchange

Bring any unwanted cook or gardening books to the market and leave them at the market table. You can take any that are there, or none at all; it’s up to you.

This ‘n’ That

To save zucchini for use in baking shred it, and squeeze some of the moisture out; don’t totally drain it. Put into one cup measures and freeze on a cookie sheet. When frozen put into a freezer bag. Then, when you want to bake zucchini bread or muffins, just take however much you need from the freezer, let it defrost, and start baking.

When you cut corn kernels off the cob, put the cobs in water and boil for about 10 minutes. Use the corn water for vegetable soup, or in corn chowder. You can freeze some for use in the winter.

You don’t have to blanch corn kernels if you are going to freeze them. Put them in a freezer bag or container and use them for soup, or in pancakes or cornbread.

If you have a de-humidifier, use the water for your plants. It has no chemicals in it. Also, if your de-humidifier is near your washer, pour the water into it before you do your wash.

There are now over 250 farmers’ markets in Massachusetts.

Blueberries, cranberries, and Concord grapes are native to Massachusetts.

If you are going camping, do NOT bring any wood with you; purchase it near your campground.

Everything to make gazpacho is now in season, so make some. It is a liquid salad, and it has vinegar in it, so don’t make more than can be consumed in 2 days tops. The flavor will change.
Go to our market website (address at top of newsletter) and you will find archived recipes including gazpacho.

State Fairs

Massachusetts has over 40 state fairs. They are beginning now with the Adams Fair. Go to the MDAR website and you will find all sorts of information about them. The smaller fairs are terrific for little kids.

What is 4H?

Tom Flebotte mentioned that he participated in 4H when he was a youngster. What is it? Many of us who have been around for awhile think that is is just for farm kids, but is is also for urban, suburban, and rural kids.

The 4Hs stand for:
Head–managing, thinking
Heart–relating, caring
Hands–giving, working
Health–being, living

The 4-H pledge; I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

Corn and Bacon Pancakes

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh corn kernels including the pulp scraped from the cobs (about 2 ears)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus additional, melted for brushing the griddle
5 slices bacon, cooked until crisp
maple syrup

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a food processor puree coarsely the corn. In another bowl whisk together the corn puree, the eggs, the milk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined.

Heat a griddle over moderate heat until it is hot and brush it lightly with some of the additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour the batter onto the griddle by 1/4 cup measures and cook the pancakes for 1 minute on each side, or until they are golden, transferring them as they are cooked to a heated platter and brushing the griddle with some of the additional melted butter as necessary. Serve with the maple syrup.

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Market Newsletter – July 22, 2014

July 21st, 2014 Posted in Newsletters Tags: , ,

From the Market Manager

If you want to pick blueberries locally, go to Art’s Berry Farm (formerly Val’s) at 81 Parker St. in East Longmeadow. They are open every day from 8-noon and from 3:30-6:30. $2.50 per pound. Art has many varieties, so the season goes well into August.

Meet the Vendors–Red Fire Farm

The seeds of Red Fire Farm started growing way back with a few wagon loads of pumpkins, hand-picked berries and other gatherings of the young Ryan Voiland and his crew of siblings. Since then, Ryan has learned many things and been able to grow acres of produce and his organic farm business to a significant source of local food for our region.

Red Fire Farm currently farms two pieces of farmland, one in Granby, MA and one in Montague, MA. The two properties allow more effective soil building and crop rotation than could be achieved on either piece individually. As of 2010 all Red Fire Farm’s vegetable crops are being grown on the Granby farm and the Montague farm is in soil-building cover crops. Each location has a history and story of its own.


Red Fire Farm began on a 50 acre piece of land located in southern Hampshire County on the corners of Taylor and Carver streets in Granby, MA. The land had been fallow for a few years, with some recent use in pumpkins and a distant history as a dairy and potato farm.
In 2001, Ryan Voiland purchased the property from the Hatch/Lyman family. As part of this sale the Commonwealth of Massachusetts purchased the development rights for the farmland, assuring that the property will forever be used as farm land. This also made it affordable for a young and landless farmer to purchase the property and get a start as a full time farmer.

As he started the business, Ryan needed a name. He looked into the history of the place and found that in 1922, a lightning strike fire burned the original barn and farmhouse structures to the ground. Our current barn and farmhouse were rebuilt right after that at the end of the American Chestnut era. The main barn is an impressive structure originally built with dairy cows and hay storage in mind. The beams are made of chestnut and held together with wooden pegs. When naming the farm, Ryan chose “Red Fire Farm” partly to remember that fire event, and also because ‘New Red Fire’ is the name of his favorite red leaf lettuce variety.

Since Ryan purchased the barn in 2001 a slow but steady transformation has occurred. A farm stand area has been added and the cow stanchions replaced with a walk in cooler for storing produce and selling local products like cheese and sauerkraut. Parts of the barn have also been rebuilt into vegetable washing and packing spaces.

The farm also rents several nearby fields for growing vegetables that are within a 1 mile radius of the farm yard. All of the Granby fields are within the Stony Brook watershed with several branches of the Stony Brook running adjacent to the growing fields. Fields of flat vegetable soils and upland pasture make the farm as picturesque as it is productive


Located at 172 Meadow Road in Montague Center this 110 acre farm is in the heart of the rich Montague meadows. The soils in this part of Montague are rich alluvial soils that were deposited by the glacial melt flooding of the nearby Connecticut and Sawmill rivers. The fields are classified primarily as Hadley and Agawam soil series, which are considered to be among the most fertile soils in the world for growing vegetables!

The farm stead dates back to at least the 1800’s. The farm stead consists of a large hay barn with a big vegetable packing wing, two tobacco barns and a classic New England farm house. Until 2009 the farm has been owned by the Tuvek family. The land over the years has been rented out to a variety of farmers including stints growing cucumbers for pickles, tobacco and a multitude of other vegetables. With the sale of the property to Red Fire Farm in 2009, Ryan and Sarah are in the process of transitioning the land to certified organic practices. The farm offers great potential to bring organic farming and local vegetable production to the Montague Center community.


Jan Cartier is our raffle winner this week. We are selling raffle tickets for $1 to earn some money for the market. At the very least, we seem to be breaking even.

Recipe–Goat Burgers

Goat tastes (to me) similar to lamb; it is mild.
1# ground goat meat
1 medium onion
5 or 6 garlic cloves
fresh or dried mint
fresh parsley
garam masala or curry powder
1 egg

Grind onion, garlic, and herbs together if using fresh herbs. Add to ground goat along with other ingredients. This makes 4-5 patties. If you grill these they add another level of flavor.

Springfield Preservation Trust Fundraiser August 24th

The Trust does amazing things to help preserve our city’s history. Help them by attending the fundraiser at the home of Ed Zuckerman on Sunday, August 24th at 1PM. Go to their website for other details closer to the date–
Ed’s house on Ingersoll Grove in the McKnight neighborhood of Springfield was built in 1888 for Dr. Nathan Adams who died before its completion. A subsequent owner was James Gill, president of the Peerless Handcuff Company and police commissioner. The house had become a group home prior to its restoration by Ed and his late partner, Bob Kinder in 1986.

This ‘n’ That

Cook 2 or 3 ears of corn in the microwave with its husk on. Be very careful when you remove it because it has steamed and it’s very hot. If you need to cook more than that, do 2-3 for 3 minutes, remove the husk and then cook it more later in a pot. The silk comes off very easily when you prepare it this way.

The Water and Sewer Department asks that you not put any fat/grease/oil of any kind down the drain. Dispose of it in the trash. Buildups of fat clog sewer pipes which make them less efficient. Get into the habit of throwing fat in the trash.


Corn mazes, visiting a farm, vacationing on a farm–these are all examples of agri-tourism. Many working farms welcome visitors; it is a way for them to increase their income. There are over 400 farm attractions open to the public in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Agricultural Tourism Map will help you and your family plan a trip to a farm destination as well as the opportunity to visit a state park or other state recreational facility.
For a paper version email request to: or go online to the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources to download a pdf version.

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Market Newsletter- July 15, 2014

From the Market Manager

Blueberry season is here! Yay! There are lots of places where you can pick your own. They are easy to freeze. Just lay them on a cookie sheet with sides in one layer, freeze, then place into freezer bags. That’s it.

You know that the tomatoes we have at the market now are greenhouse tomatoes, right? The field tomatoes don’t ripen until later in July at the earliest. While some greenhouse tomatoes don’t have much flavor, Ryan Voiland from Red Fire Farm told me that some of their most flavorful tomatoes are from their greenhouse. That is because they can control the water there. If there is too much water outside, the flavor of the tomatoes can be somewhat diluted. Who knew?

Meet the Vendors–Maple Corner Farm–West Granville Blueberries

Owned by Leon and Joyce Ripley of Maple Corner Farm, West Granville Blueberries is a side business and labor of love in the hills of West Granville. In addition to haying hundreds of acres of fields, which double as pastoral cross country skiing trails during he winter months, the Ripleys tend to a 3 acre berry patch that draws folks from all around the region.

Leon has been involved with the blueberry patch on North Lane since it was first planted. The business was started by Leon’s uncle John Sena. Sena moved to the Granville area in 1959 having decided the dairy business wasn’t for him. Granville was the capital of wild blueberries back in the early 1900s with close to one thousand acres of low bush berries, so John and 9 year old Leon set to work planting between 100-200 plants that first year. More plants followed expanding eventually to 600 bushes. They selected high bush berry varieties for the size, flavor, and ease of picking.

Sena and Leon’s other uncle, Steve Ripley, managed the 3 acres of blueberries for the following 3 decades. In the 90s, Leon, his wife Joyce, and his mother Helen became more involved in the business and they decided to open a pick-your-own operation in the early 2000s. Helen oversaw the marketing and the management of the berry fields, and she staffed the stand from mid-July to early August for nearly 5 years passing out samples of blueberry sauce and recipes for baked blueberry delights. She died in December 2005 at age 92. Joyce Ripley took over her mother-in-law’s post, tending to the picking, marketing and management of the blueberries.

Located in the foothills of the Berkshires, West Granville’s fruits ripen later than their Valley neighbors, but unfortunately, the distance does not protect them from the insect pressures that have spread in the Valley. They have struggled with spotted wing drosophila, an insect that targets soft fruits since it arrived in Massachusetts in 2012 and devastated fruit crops. They lost their whole crop that year.

They are resourceful farmers and now know what they’re up against. This year’s crop is looking very good Leon reports. They should be open for pick-your-own around July 15th.
They will have their annual blueberry tasting the first Saturday in August where you can taste different blueberry varieties, as well as baked goods from Ripley family recipes. Maple Corner Farm also has an extensive maple sugaring operation. You can sample the different grades of maple syrup at their stand here at the market. Leon and Joyce’s son David and wife Jessica are also very involved with the farm. Jess is at our market each Tuesday.



If you take the van to our market, we will give you two market tokens to defray the cost of the trip. You do have to reserve your space several days ahead, so call them early.


Alicia Miles is our raffle winner this week. We are selling raffle tickets for $1 to earn some money for the market. At the very least, we seem to be breaking even. You can also give us a contribution. We’ll even smile when you do so.

Recipe–Curried Cream of Summer Squash Soup

Summer squash (any kind), butter, onions, chicken or vegetable broth, potato if you’d like the soup to be a little thicker, half and half or cream, curry, salt and pepper.
Sauté cut up onion in butter until it is soft. Add cut up squash and potato. Cover with broth and cook until soft. Cool then puree in a blender or use an immersion blender. Add curry powder to taste and half and half. This soup is good warm or cold.

This ‘n’ That

If you have leftover corn on the cob, take the kernels off and sauté them with butter until some of them are brownish (caramelized).
Also, you can use the kernels in pancakes, or add them to a vegetable you might be sautéing. They are also great in vegetable soup. You can also freeze them. After you take the kernels off the cob, put the cobs in some water and boil them for about 10 minutes. Save the water and use it in vegetable soup.
Corn chowder is very easy to make. Just make sure when you are cooking the potatoes and corn that you don’t cover them with too much water otherwise your chowder will be thin. You can always thicken it with some flour and water, but that might make it too thick.

Stanley Park Concert Series

This Sunday at 6PM in the Beveridge Pavilion the Rockin’ Robin Summertime Dance Party will perform a fun, family concert with a variety of enthusiastically sung classic top ten hits from the 50s, 60, and 70s. The concerts are all free. You can bring your supper, or purchase something there.

2012 Census of Agriculture Reveals new Trends in Farming

There are now 3.2 million farmers operating 2.1 million farms on 914.5 million acres of farmland across the U.S., according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture released this past May.
Both sales and production expenses reached record highs in 2012. U.S. producers sold $394.6 billion worth of agricultural products, but it cost them $328.9 billion to produce those products.
3/4ths of all farms had sales of less than $50,000, producing only 3% of the total value of farm products sold while those with sales of more than $1 million–4% of all farms produced 66%.
Much of the increased farm income was concentrated geographically or by farm categories. California led the nation with 9 of the top 10 counties for value of sales. The other 4 top states were Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
87% of all U.S. farms are operated by families or individuals.
Principal operators were on average 58.3 years old and were primarily male; second operators were slightly younger and most likely to be female, and third operators were younger still.
Young beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased 11.3% from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 & 2012.
All categories of minority-operated farms increased between 2007 & 2012; Hispanic operated farms had a significant 21% increase.
Organic sales were growing, but accounted for just 0.8% of the total value of U.S. agricultural production. Organic farmers reported $3.12 billion in sales.

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