Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market Newsletter- October 14, 2014

October 14th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

The tokens that you purchase at the market table are good all the time; they don’t expire.

The Amherst Cinema is having recorded performances of the Bolshoi Ballet’s 2014-15 season. The series begins on Monday November 3rd. Some are on Mondays, and some are on Sundays. Tickets are $18 each. Go to their website–amherstcinema.org for details. It’s a lovely theater.

Mycoterra Farm has mushroom growing kits that would be a marvelous gift. Each “log” will yield several pounds of mushrooms.

There is another Springfield Public Forum this week on Wednesday. John Hunter will speak about Drafting the Blueprint for Peace. It’s at Symphony Hall at 7:30. As always, it’s free. Go to their Facebook page for details about the final two programs.

I’ve had Khi & Eli’s food twice, and everything I’ve had is excellent. That’s the new restaurant on the corner of White & Sumner. It is mostly for take out. Closed Mondays, open every other day at noon. Locally owned.

Raffle Winner–Michele Schiff

Winter Market

This market is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance; the monkey house is the second building on the left. We will start on November 8th, then the 22nd, then December 13th & 20th. After that it will be the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, NOT every other week, NOT every other week.

Recipe–Applesauce Spice Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Muffins–
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. grated or ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
Topping
2 T. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. grated/ground nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs, add applesauce, then dry ingredients; don’t over mix. Add nuts if using. Put into muffin pan (you can use paper liners if you want to.) Sprinkle topping on each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees on middle rack about 20 minutes.

If you only have sweetened applesauce, that’s fine.

This ‘n’ That

Here’s an easy way to make a winter squash easy to cut and peel. Poke a couple of holes in the squash with the tip of a sharp knife. Microwave it for 5 or more minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, it’s easy to peel and cut.

Make your own macaroni and cheese; there are lots of recipes out there. Buy cheese ends. I know that Big Y sells them. Ask at other grocery stores if they have them.

If you want to make stuffed cabbage, put your cabbage in the freezer. Let it freeze solid. When you take it from the freezer it will take several hours to defrost. You will be able to peel the leaves off the head of cabbage and stuff them easily.

We are fortunate to have lots of ethnic stores in Springfield. Go to an Asian market and buy what you need there; it is much less expensive than grocery stores.

We have terrific Italian and Middle Eastern stores, as well as a Russian one in West Springfield. There’s also a store called Spices of Asia right next to the West Springfield library on Elm St. It’s on the same side as the Majestic Theater. That store has Indian food which is similar to Pakistani and Nepali food. The prices are reasonable also.

Please don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground; the filter isn’t biodegradable.

Meet the Vendors-Velma’s Kettle Corn

Velma is the name of Eric Bickernick’s wife, the original owner of Velma’s; Steve Cary and he worked together when they started here. Eric lives in the Worcester area, so he concentrated on that part of the state and beyond, and Steve became the Velma’s owner here. They have been part of our market for the last 9 years.
Steve has a full-time job as a videographer, but he makes time for our market. In the summer you will see his children, Nolan, Julia and Bridget helping out. His wife Kelly, a mental health nurse, also helps out on occasion.
Steve likes to joke with his customers telling them that the kettle corn is free-range, organic, low-fat, boneless, dolphin-safe, fair-trade, gourmet, microbrew and chardonnay-compatible kettle corn.
It takes 5-7 minutes to make a batch of kettle corn, and everything you buy from them at the market is very fresh.
On the weeks when Steve isn’t there (he actually takes a vacation in the summer) there are many disappointed people walking around.
Steve literally married the girl next door, and they live in the same Forest Park neighborhood in which they grew up.

Farm Vacations

The Boston Globe had an article in Sunday’s paper about farm vacations. It’s a wonderful way to spend a vacation, especially with children.
When my children were 4, 7, & 8, our family went to Rockhouse Mountain Farm in Eaton Center, NH. We were living in New Hampshire at the time, so it wasn’t that far away. While there are all kinds of farms that offer vacations, this one grew hay, had horses, and provided a relaxing way to vacation. They had a lake nearby with a beach. The older children stayed in a bunk house, and everyone else stayed in the main house. Families ate breakfast together, but children and parents ate separately for dinner.
At the time, 1972 & 73 they had no TV, nor phones in the rooms. Of course times have changed, but I’d bet they still don’t have a TV in the common living room.
We played games, some played musical instruments, we sang, and generally enjoyed each other’s company; it was lovely.
We only went twice because my husband died in December of 1973 and I just couldn’t bear going to a place so soon after his death where we had had such fun.
You can look on the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) website for farms that do this in Mass. Check out the Globe also. Farms that do this are all over the country and Canada as well.

Stay in touch with us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark

Market Newsletter ~ October 7, 2014

October 7th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We have 4 more weeks of this market left including this week. We always go to the end of October. I don’t know why so many people think the end of September is our last day. It has never ended in September. There is still plenty of harvesting to be done in the Pioneer Valley.

Apple cider from Outlook Farm will be here this week. It is unpasteurized which is the only kind I buy. I think the taste is much better. You can freeze cider. Pour off some from the container, and freeze it just like that. Or put some in smaller containers; just leave room for it to expand so your container doesn’t break.

A national report said that the number of people getting flu shots is down. Massachusetts still has a higher percentage of people getting shots, but it too is down. The national average is 46% and Massachusetts had 53% of its population getting immunized this past flu season.
I think that even though ebola is not expected to be any kind of problem here in the U.S., many people might have themselves immunized if there were a vaccine available. But, even though influenza can be fatal, and strains of it come around every year, many people don’t bother getting the vaccine. Go figure.

I bought a squash from Phuong’s Asian Vegetables that is different from most. It is an immature winter squash. It looks like a round zucchini, but it is different. You don’t have to peel it, and you eat all of it including the seeds. I sautéed it with some garlic, added a little water, covered it, and then uncovered it for a few minutes.

Skalbite Farm will return in a couple of weeks. He ran out of things to sell.

Raffle Winner–Barbara Parsons

Winter Market

This market is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance; the monkey house is the second building on the left. We will start on November 8th, then the 22nd, then December 13th & 20th. After that it will be the second and fourth Saturdays of each month through April. NOT every other week. NOT every other week.

Recipe–Portuguese Kale Soup

This soup is easy to make. I use a chicken broth base.

Chicken broth, onions, kale, sausage, potatoes, salt/pepper. Chourizo, or linguica sausage are traditional, but you can use kielbasa sausage also.

Sauté onions in a little oil first, add broth, kale and potatoes. Don’t use the stem of the kale, use just the leaves. Put the sausage in last so that the flavor of it isn’t totally gone (although the flavor does go into the broth.) You are done.

Most soup is easy as can be. Use a recipe as a guide; you don’t have to be exact. And, as I’ve said in the past, how much you make depends on how many you are cooking for. Most soup freezes well although potatoes and carrots don’t do so well in the freezer.

This ‘n’ That

PLEASE, put numbers on your house that can be read from the street. If there is an emergency, it will make it easier to find your house. Also, it will be way less frustrating for someone who is looking for your house to find it.

Make fresh bread crumbs in your food processor from the heels of bread, or bread that you aren’t going to use up. Fresh bread crumbs will get moldy if you don’t use them up right away, so keep them in the freezer.

Use the carcass from a rotisserie or roasted chicken to make chicken broth.

Make your own marinades and salad dressings. It’s much less expensive, very easy, and you can vary the flavors.

Don’t throw out a little leftover wine. Put it in a small jar in the fridge and use it when you make a stew, pot roast, or even onion soup.

Ladies, when you go to the store, hang on to your purse at all times. And, after you take something from it, zip it back up immediately. My daughter’s wallet was stolen right after she used her ATM card at a grocery store because she evidently didn’t zip her purse up right away. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Meet the Vendors-Phuong’s Asian Vegetables

Phuong Thach came to the United States from Travinh, Vietnam in 1985. She was married and had 3 children. Initially they went to Richmond, VA, but came to Massachusetts when she was 7 months pregnant with her 4th child. She and her husband had relatives here, and they needed help adjusting to their new country.
Phuong’s husband Reth Son got a job almost right away, then another job as well; he currently works at UMASS. Phuong got a job in 1988 at Hasbro in East Longmeadow and worked there for almost 23 years before being laid off.
Her love of farming began in Vietnam where her family had a big farm. They grew rice and all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
After she was laid off from Hasbro she expanded her garden. She now not only grows her vegetables in her home back yard that is a double lot, she also rents land in Northampton.
She still owns a home in Vietnam and works in the garden there when she visits.

Green Tomatoes

There are lots of things that can be done with green tomatoes. You can fry them after you bread them and they are soft and have an indescribable taste. You can make relishes, you can pickle them, you can make a salsa, or jam, or wrap them individually in newspaper and eat them when they ripen. Everyone who has tomatoes in their garden ends up with some green tomatoes.

U ‘n’ I Coffeehouse

The U’n’I Coffeehouse was started and run by Ed and Beth Brown for almost 30 years. They have retired from that and now someone else has picked up the reins. Folk music concerts will continue at the Unitarian Universalist Society on Porter Lake Drive in Springfield. The concerts will now be known as Unity Concerts and the first one will be held on October 18th at 7:30 PM. Meg Hutchinson is the performer that night. I think the cost is $15 pp. Everyone is welcome.

Majestic Theater

The Majestic Theater is terrific. It is easy to get to, parking isn’t a problem, and the plays that are performed are of excellent quality.
Currently a romantic comedy, “The Last Romance” is playing through October 19th. The next play is an oldie, but goodie, “Harvey” which will be playing from October 30th-December 14th. After that two more plays will be performed; the season goes through the end of May.
Go to their website for all of the particulars–majestictheater.com.

Market Newsletter- September 30, 2014

September 30th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I watched a documentary on WGBY this past weekend. It is called “A Long Row in Fertile Ground.” You can get it online.
It is about farming in Western Mass, specifically the Pioneer Valley. I thought it was extremely interesting and well done.

Some of the things that I learned are:
There are 350 orchards in Massachusetts; we are 12th nationally in amount of apple production.
There are fewer than 150 dairy farms left in Massachusetts, down from 3,000 in 1959.
Since World War 2 the number of farms here has dwindled from 35,000 to about 8,000.
We get about 10-15% of our food from local farmers.
About 5% of the land in New England is farmland.
I know that many of you are regular customers of our farmers’ market. You appreciate and value the hard work that our farmers do. All of us who live here in the Pioneer Valley must recognize that we have a stake in maintaining our farmland. That’s why I always say that it is important to go out of our way to support our farmers.

Something else that was mentioned in the documentary was APR, the Agriculture Preservation Restriction Program. This is a voluntary program which is intended to offer a non-development alternative to farmers and other owners of “prime” and “state important” agricultural land who are faced with a decision regarding future use and disposition of their farms. Toward this end, the program offers to pay farmland owners the difference between the fair market value and the agricultural value of their farmland in exchange for a permanent deed restriction which precludes any use of the property that will have a negative impact on its agricultural viability.
Massachusetts’ APR program began as an act of the Legislature in 1979, and was the first in our nation. It has become the model upon which many other states have built their programs. The Mass APR has permanently protected over 800 farms and a total land area of over 68,000 acres. The primary purpose of the APR is to preserve and protect agricultural land, including designated farmland soils which are a finite natural resource, from being built upon for non-agricultural purposes or used for any activity detrimental to agriculture and to maintain APR land values at a level that can be supported by the land’s agricultural uses and potential.

Springfield Public Forum

October 1st is the first public forum of this year. It is held at Symphony Hall, and this week’s program is at 7:30. This is the oldest free public forum in the country. This week’s speaker is Adam Minter and his speech will be Junkyard Planet: travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade. You may not think that this is interesting, but I saw a movie recently, and it is a fascinating subject.

Winter Market

This market is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance; the monkey house is the second building on the left. We will start on November 8th, then the 22nd, then December 13 and this is different, the 20th of December also. From then on we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.

Recipe–Onion Pie

Once again this is a recipe that depends on what size pan you will use to determine the amount of the ingredients. I have made this in an 8×8” pan, and 9×13” pans, and a rimmed cookie sheet as well as a regular pie plate. You will just have to figure it out yourself.

Ritz cracker crumbs
butter
onions–yellow are fine
butter
cheese
whole milk or half and half (NO skim milk)
eggs
salt/pepper or Old Bay Seasoning
paprika

Mix a stick of butter (or enough to hold the crumbs together) with at least one sleeve of crackers that you have made into crumbs; press into pan, bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
Saute lots of onions in some butter until they are softened and caramelized. This takes quite a while. Put them in the baked crust.
For an 8×8 or 9×9 pan use 4 eggs, mix them with the milk or half and half, about a cup and a half I think. (I’ve been making this for over 40 years, so I eyeball it and don’t measure.) Add the salt & pepper, or Old Bay.
Use a flavorful cheese like cheddar; don’t use a mild cheese; put a cup or two of cheese on top of the onions.
Pour the egg/milk mixture into the pan. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. If you are unsure if it is done, poke a knife into the middle, if it comes out clean, it’s done. This is good hot, or warm. Makes a great appetizer.

Raffle Winner–Marie Spedero

This ‘n‘ That

I don’t understand why some people think we don’t need to expand our bottle bill here in Massachusetts. If it helps to clean up the environment, how can it be bad? Unfortunately many of the non-deposit bottles aren’t recycled. I recycle anything that I can, but a lot of people aren’t as anal as I am.

Gluten & Allergen Free Expo
Mark your calendars for October 25th & 26th for this expo to be held at the Mass Mutual Center. A one day ticket can be purchased in advance for $15, or at the door for $20. For more information go to fgafexpo.com, or contact Laura Gruninger at laura@glutenfreemg.com.

Thanks!
Just as symphonies, museums, and opera companies depend on contributions beyond the cost of tickets, so do we. Thanks to our sponsor, Concerned Citizens for Springfield. And to Robyn Newhouse, the Forest Park Civic Association, TD Bank at the X, and United Bank for financial support. We also get some contributions from customers who love us. So, if you love us, and want to contribute, we’ll take it.

Jewish Community Center
The J is open to everyone, and they have programs for all ages, from the very youngest to the very oldest. There’s a pre-school, as well as vacation day camps, and a summer day camp. There are programs for children with special needs, exercise programs, an olympic size swimming pool, tennis courts, a health spa, raquetball and squash courts, yoga classes, and so much more that there isn’t space to list them.
1160 Dickinson St. in Springfield is the address. Stop in and ask for a tour; you’ll be amazed at what’s available there.

Keep up with us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark

Market Newsletter – September 23, 2014

September 23rd, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Peach and corn season will be over soon, so please freeze or can some. You will be so happy come winter when you have something so sweet and delicious to eat. Corn does best when cut off the cob. I just cut it off and freeze the kernels like that. I always use it in a recipe, so I don’t bother with the blanching, etc. Remember to put the cobs in water and boil for about 10 minutes so you can save the water to use in soup; it’s sweet.

Zoo on the Go was a huge hit last week. I think adults got as much pleasure out of it as the children did. I was standing next to one woman who petted a snake for the first time. One regular customer of our market saw the snake, and jumped about 10 feet to get away from it as fast as possible.

We are making plans to have them come during our winter market a couple of times, and then again for this market come spring. I’m sure they’ll bring some different animals.

If you go on our Facebook page on a regular basis (address above) you will be able to see pictures.
The Jewish New Year starts this week; it is year 5775 on the Jewish calendar. A traditional way to greet the season is to dip apples in honey for a sweet year. Even if you aren’t Jewish I wish you a sweet year.

The winter market begins on November 8th, and will continue on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month through April from 10-2. It is in the old monkey house. Come in the Trafton Road entrance; the monkey house is the second building on the left.

Meet the Vendors-Bay State Fish Share

Ed Struzziero started his business of bringing fresh food directly to people’s homes and some pick up locations 4 years ago. His grandmother grew up on a farm in the Berkshires and was one of the first women to graduate from Mass Aggie, now UMASS; she graduated in 1919. Fresh food was in “his blood.”
Ed lived in Boston and Seattle and now lives in the “Happy Valley” aka the Pioneer Valley.
We know Ed at our market as the “fish guy” because that is what he brings to us. The fish share works just like a farm share because it is paid for prior to the pick up.
Why do it this way? Since Ed’s business is not a store, he has to know how much fish to bring from the docks to us. Those of you who do have a share will have noticed that Ed is sometimes late to our market. That is because he is often held up at the pier waiting for the fish to get off the boat. It doesn’t get fresher than that unless you catch it yourself.
Sustainability is a key element of Ed’s fish business as well. The seafood comes from small boats which use sustainable fishing methods to protect critical fisheries. Ed purchases large amounts of species that are delicious AND abundant, yet not that sought after by the big grocery chains. When they buy 300 pounds of hake, a mild white fish, it MATTERS to the boat that catches it.
Some of the fish species that he has brought to our market are yellowfin tuna, scallops, grey sole, swordfish, bluefish, striped bass, halibut, yellowtail flounder, fluke, hake, ocean perch, barramundi, monkfish, skate, albacore tuna, cod, haddock, scup, pollock and more.
Ed’s business also includes organic vegetables, organic and low spray fruits, free range eggs, grass fed beef, and organic poultry. He delivers to homes and offices.
If you are interested in having his delivery service contact him at Ed@baystatefishshare.com. If you’d like to see what’s included in the boxes of food that he delivers, take a look at thisweeksbox.com.
Ed says that his grandmother would love what he is doing these days.

Recipe–Peach Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup shortening (I use butter)
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups fresh peach puree (6-8 peaches)
2 cups flour, unsifted
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cream sugar and shortening together. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Add peach puree and dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until well blended. Pour into 2 well greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 55-60 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before removing from the pans. Cool on racks. May be better the next day.

Raffle Winner–Juanita Martinez
Thanks to those of you who buy a raffle ticket. All of your contributions help us have this wonderful market. For $1 you can win $5 worth of market tokens.

Energy Efficiency
Talk to Tim at our market and get information on how you can improve the energy efficiency of your house. MassSave helps you pay for it big time.

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. They are open during school hours. 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.

This ‘n‘ That
If you get mice in your house, don’t use poison to get rid of them. They could die within your walls and they do stink even though they’re tiny. If they don’t die in the house, they go outside looking for water, and birds like hawks and owls will eat them and then they become poisoned.
A friend told me that a handyman told her that the only way we won’t get mice in our homes in this climate is to burn the house down. Last winter I had 21 mice. I use traps laced with peanut butter; they LOVE peanut butter.

The Water and Sewer Department wants to remind you that you should NEVER put any oil or grease down your drain; eventually the sewer pipes get clogged up, and it’s expensive to replace them.

Become a School Volunteer

There are lots of ways to help. You can go to a school and read to a class once or more a month. Call 787-7016 for further information.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark

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.

 

Keep in touch with us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark

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 buylocalfood.org 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 torturedorchard.com.

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.

Vote!

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.

Remember to check in with us on Facebook!

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.

peaches

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
Cabbage
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.

Raffle

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.

Gifts

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.

Don’t forget to friend us on Facebook to keep up with daily notices!

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 buylocalfood.org 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.

Raffle

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 redfirefarm.com 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 buylocalfood.org 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. Berkshiregrain.com.

Berkshire Grain Wine Jelly

Berkshire Grain Wine Jelly

Berkshire Grain Granola

Berkshire Grain Granola

Raffle

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 SpringfieldPreservationTrust.org, 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 redfirefarm.com 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

cherrytomatodisplay

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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