From the Market Manager
Because our market is so successful, I am regularly contacted by people interested in becoming a vendor at our market. This is very different from when we first started when it was difficult getting people to join us. Most often I’m contacted by email. Sometimes they tell me in the email what it is that they have to sell, but sometimes they just want to know how to become a vendor. I always return the email or call. If we need what the person has to sell, we consider them. There are some things that everyone must have in order to become a vendor. Everyone has to have liability insurance. Also, because we are in a city park, and the city doesn’t have insurance, everyone who sells here has to have a certain amount of automobile liability coverage. Then, if they are selling any prepared, or processed food, they have to have a license from their city or town’s health department. Of course the vendors selling alcohol have to go through many more hoops.
This year our market is full, so I am taking information and keeping it for future reference. Every year is different, so it’s helpful to have a list.
Frequent Shoppers’ Card
Pick up a frequent shoppers’ card at the market table, and every time you are at the market, get it signed and dated. Right now we are giving a small gift from the market to anyone who fills up a card. We may go to collecting cards and pulling a couple of names each week for a gift if giving out gifts to everyone becomes too pricey for us. This was CISA’s idea. I wish I could say that all of the good ideas are mine, but, alas, they aren’t.
Those of you who shopped at our market with your SNAP/EBT cards last year, as well as this past winter market, know that you received a bonus when your card was swiped for $5 or more. This year, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) has raised $100,000 so that they can not only increase the bonus to $10, but also make it available in Hampshire and Franklin counties as well. They also expanded their Senior Farm Share program. That program makes produce available to senior citizens at different locations. The cut-off date for that was June 1st.
Meet the Vendors—Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen
Auntie Cathie’s Bakery & Roadside Stand was born back in 2005 when she decided it was time to start her own business doing what she loved—cooking, baking, and spending time with the people who enjoyed what she fed them.
She started with a card table, a beach umbrella and a sandwich board sign by the side of the road and grew into a farm stand after the card table blew away. The rest is history.
In 2008 Auntie Cathie’s was booming in a little barn by the side of the road in Wales, MA, but she wanted more. After landing a job with a place in Springfield, baking all of their allergy-free cakes, and upon the recommendation of a friend, she was directed to the 3 Café for breakfast which was closed, and for sale. The rest is history. She bought the café, and in relatively short order outgrew the space. After a couple more changes, she moved to 217 Elm Street in West Springfield where
she opened Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen where she serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 8AM to 2PM. She specializes in gluten-free baked goods, and does catering as well. This is her first year with us.
This ‘n’ That
Put numbers on your house that can easily be read from the street. It’s frustrating for someone trying to find your home, but extremely important for emergency personnel to find it quickly.
Turn your phone off, or put it in the back seat so you won’t be tempted to text while you’re driving. It’s obvious that many people are texting while they’re sitting at a light, and who knows, perhaps when they’re driving also.
Use your car’s ashtray. The filters aren’t biodegradable, so they make a real mess if you throw them out of your car. Also, conditions are very dry now, so you could start a grass fire.
Please take down tag sale signs when yours is over. Take them down if you see them even if they’re not yours and the sale is over. I truly don’t understand why anyone leaves this visual litter around.
In terms of regular litter, please bring a small plastic bag with you when you go out for a walk. Pick up some litter. You will be doing a good deed.
There is no band concert at Stanley Park on July 3rd.
Don’t forget to go through your cookbooks and bring the ones you don’t use anymore to the blue bin at the market table. Your discards are somebody else’s treasure.
An easy dessert using strawberries—plain yogurt or sour cream and brown sugar. Have a bowl of each, dip the berry into the yogurt and then in the brown sugar. Delicious!
Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli, but with smaller florets, and longer, thin stalks. Often misidentified as young broccoli, it is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli, both members of the brassica family. It was originally developed by the Sakata Seed Company of Yokohama, Japan in 1993. The entire vegetable is edible, including the occasional yellow flower. Common cooking methods include sautéing, steaming, boiling, and stir-frying. Its flavor is sweet, with notes of both broccoli and asparagus, although it is not closely related to the latter. Nutritionally it is high in vitamin C and contains vitamin A, calcium, folate, and iron. It is delicious.
Another vegetable is broccoli rabe. While broccoli, Chinese broccoli, and broccolini are closely related to cabbage, broccoli rabe is closer to turnips. It’s also a little bitter.
Outlook Farm Festival
Every so often Outlook Farm, located on Rte. 66 in Westhampton, has a festival where they have a pig roast and barbecue that features one of their agricultural products. On July 10th, they will have their cherry festival. They also have live music and a community tag and craft sale to browse or sell at. If you want to sell something, contact them directly. They have all the details at their stand.
Trinity Church’s A Little Night Music
Each July (this year it begins on June 30th) Trinity Church, the beautiful church right next to Forest Park, has several concerts. The music is in the sanctuary, and it is followed by supper outside on the lawn, weather permitting.
During supper there is always a carillon concert. The concert starts at 6PM. The music is free, but a $5 contribution is requested for supper. You can bring your own chair for the lawn, or sit at one of the tables that they set up. Everyone i is welcome.
Late June Gardening
When growing cucumbers (or buying them at the market) any young cucumber fruit will do for making pickles. Dill and cucumbers are like bread and butter; they go together. If you let the dill go to flower each year, the seeds will self sow. In the spring you’ll have dill all over, but it’s easy to weed them out. Dill is also an herb that is great for pollinating insects. They love the flat flower head for landing and foraging. If you’re looking for a shorter dill that doesn’t go to seed so quickly, try
Recently, to demonstrate the importance of pollination, a Whole Foods supermarket removed all of the pollinated produce that was in that store. Out of 452 items, 237 were removed.
A few facts I learned from a program about pollination that I went to:
• A queen bee lays up to 2,000 eggs a day
• Almonds are pollinated 100%
• 90% of blueberries depend on pollination
• Bumblebees all die
• Some flies are pollinators
Don’t clean up all of your perennials in the fall; leave some as nests for bees over the winter.
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