Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market Newsletter ~ August 23, 2016

August 23rd, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

The sound of the rain Sunday evening was wonderful. I fell asleep listening to it. I am sure that as nice as it was for me, it was music to our farmers’ ears.
You probably all know that hay is cut when it’s dry, and expected to stay dry so that it can be baled. But, it has to grow first, and without sufficient water, this year is a bad year for hay. That means that dairy and cattle farmers will most likely have to purchase hay which will drive up their costs.
I don’t know how many of us think about why something costs what it does. I remember years ago when the cost of petroleum products started going up, it seemed as if everything cost more. The cost of transporting goods went up. Plastic,  which has petroleum as an “ingredient,” went up, and we all know how much of our lives includes plastic. Many service businesses started adding a trip charge to compensate for the high cost of fuel. And so on, and so on.
Most of us who own vehicles have one or two. Farmers have trucks, tractors, other farm equipment, greenhouses to heat, workers to pay, supplies to buy, etc. All of these costs must be considered when deciding what to sell their products for.
I don’t like paying higher prices any more than anyone does, but I am so grateful that we live in an area wherehave local farms. I don’t begrudge any farmer whatthey have to charge to make a living. I thank them forraising my food.
Thanks Mayor Sarno for coming to our market last week. I have been nagging him for years to stop by as he hadn’tbeen here since our early years. His wife and daughtersare regular customers here, but he is the mayor, so Iwanted him to see how we’ve grown. We are the largestfarmers’ market in this part of the Pioneer Valley.

Gift Certificates

Would you like to give someone a gift from the market?Give them a gift certificate. Just let us know and we’ll print one up for you.We have many non-perishable items here, so you can also put together a lovely gift basket yourself.

Museum Free Fridays

This summer many museums and gardens in Massachusetts are free on Fridays. It ends on August 26th.

August 26th:
Franklin Park Zoo–Boston
Old Sturbridge Village
Freedom Trail Foundation–Boston
Museum of African American History–Boston
Norman Rockwell Museum–Stockbridge
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum–Lenox
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

On Sunday October 9, 2016 at 3:00 pm, Springfield’s own Mamie Duncan – Gibbs and Vanessa Ford, along with two-time Tony Award Nominee Vivian Reed, will be bringing their Broadway friends to Springfield Symphony Hall for a spectacular performance. All proceeds will go to sustaining the vital youth and adult programs at the Dunbar Community Center. Tickets start at $10 and are available at the Symphony Hall box office and at, and at Broadway
Comes to Springfield EventBrite. Some sponsorship opportunities, starting at $40 are also available. Information can be found on the Broadway Comes to Springfield for Dunbar Facebook page.

August Gardening

• Sow a fall crop of spinach, leaf lettuce, turnips, and kohlrabi.
• Apply organic mulches to vegetable gardens before you go on vacation.
• Check tomato plants daily for tomato hornworms.
• Eat white varieties of onions first since they don’t store as well as yellow onions.
• Sow seeds of basil and parsley in pots for winter use.
• Later summer is the best time to seed a lawn.
• Do NOT store ripe tomatoes in the refrigerator; keep them room temperature.
• Do NOT strip foliage from tomato plants to hasten ripening.
• Immediately harvest tomatoes that are split or cracking.

This ‘n’ That

• Please put your keys in your pocket or purse when you come to the market. It’s too easy to put them down and then walk off and leave them.

• If you lose something here, don’t hesitate to contact us via Facebook in particular, or call the manager; the phone # is on the website.

• Don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground; they don’t disintegrate.

• Libraries loan out e-readers; they are loaded with several books. It’s great for when you travel.

• Bring a new neighbor something home-made to welcome them to your neighborhood.

• Or, bring them something from our market.

• The WIC and elder coupons are only for fruit and vegetables. Same for the X token that you get if you use an EBT card.

• Market tee-shirts have been ordered in sizes medium to extra-large. They should be here soon. They are $10 each, just a tiny bit more than what we pay for them.

Recipe—Summer Spaghetti

1# firm, ripe fresh plum tomatoes
1 medium onion
6 pitted green olives
2 cloves garlic
1/3rd cup chopped fresh parsley
2T. finely shredded fresh basil
2 teaspoons (or more if you wish) capers
½ tsp. paprika
fresh or dried oregano to taste
1 T. red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 # uncooked spaghetti
1. Chop tomatoes, coarsely. Chop onion and olives. Mince garlic. Combine tomatoes, onion, olives, garlic, parsley, basil, 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.
2. Just before serving, cook spaghetti just until al dante, 8-12 minutes. Drain well. Immediately toss hot pasta with cold marinated tomato sauce. Serve at once.

Stuffed Mushrooms 

White or baby bella mushrooms



Corn flake crumbs


Butter or olive oil

1. Clean mushrooms, remove and save stems.
2. Put celery, onion, garlic cloves, and mushroom stems in food processor; process until finely chopped, but not mushy.
3. Sauté in butter or olive oil until done, maybe 10 minutes.
4. Process corn flakes in processor and add to sautéed vegetable mixture.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Fill mushrooms.
7. Drizzle with a little olive oil or butter.
8. Bake at 350 about 15 minutes or so.

Mark Your Calendar

Beethoven’s Wig, Sunday, September 25th, 3PM. $10 adults, $5 children. Beethoven’s Wig is the most honored musical group in family entertainment. The group opens the door to “serious music” in a way that’s fun. This is being held at the Wistariahurst Museum at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke.


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Market Newsletter ~ August 16, 2016

August 16th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager 

Last Friday night I had some of my family to dinner. I used lots of local ingredients for it. I love this time of year when I can be creative (or not) and no matter how complicated or simple a recipe may be; it is enhanced by the very fresh delicious ingredients. I made zucchini fritters, gazpacho, caponata, chicken, cole slaw, corn on the cob, and blueberry cake. Everything except the chicken was local, or had local ingredients.
I almost never can anything because I have 2 big freezers, so even my jam and jellies are frozen. Ditto for the roasted tomato sauce I make each year.
Unfortunately, we aren’t going to have peaches due to the extreme cold temperatures that we had in February, so I’ll have to make do with canned this winter.
We are so spoiled in the U.S. that we have produce from all over the world at all times of the year. Once in a while someone will ask me if we have bananas at the market. I always smile and tell them that bananas don’t grow in New England, but, if and when they do, we’ll have them here. They obviously don’t know where things grow. Also, probably because we have strawberries and other produce in the stores all year, some people ask for strawberries in September. The strawberry season is primarily in June. There are ever bearing berries, but those aren’t too common.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book several years ago called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” which was about her family’s experience eating food from within 100 miles of where they lived in Virginia for one year. They did make some exclusions like coffee and chocolate, but just about everything else was local. It’s an interesting read. Even in Virginia which has a more moderate climate than we have, it was difficult. But, eating as much local food is definitely worth it. First and foremost, it tastes better. Then it lasts longer. Then you know that you are helping the local economy. Win, win, win.

Crimson Lion won’t be at the market for 3 weeks; they are going to be at fairs selling their products.


The only substitution that you can make in this is to use green rather than black olives. Otherwise, it needs all of the ingredients. The amounts don’t matter because you can make a little or a lot.
Ingredients: olive oil, eggplant, celery, garlic, onion, tomatoes, red peppers, red wine vinegar, sugar, capers, Greek or Italian olives.
Cut up and sauté eggplant, onions, garlic, celery, and red peppers until onion and peppers are soft.

Add tomatoes, either fresh, or canned (I like diced ones), and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add vinegar, a little bit of sugar, capers (a lot or a little), and the olives.

Taste. If you think it needs more seasoning, go for it. This is good room temperature. Let it sit for a day in the fridge before serving to blend the flavors. Lasts a long time.

Cantaloupe Soup

Ingredients: Cantaloupe, plain yogurt, fresh ginger, honey, pinch of kosher salt, mint or basil for garnish.

Peel and cut up melon, add 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp. (or more) honey, ¼ tsp. (or more) ground nutmeg, puree.
Chill for one hour or more.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Try to use Roma/plum tomatoes for this. Cut tomatoes, put on rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, bake at 400 degrees until they have collapsed. Puree in food processor or blender. Add fresh basil when pureeing if you want. Freeze.

Meet the Vendors-Bearded Bee

Tom Flebotte is our Bearded Bee. Tom has been keeping bees for about 20+ years. He currently has 30-35 hives spread out over 4 yards. 2 are in Wilbraham and the rest are in Ludlow. Farmers like having bee hives on their farms because they pollinate their crops. Tom is the current president of the Hampden County Beekeepers Association, and he runs 2 booths at the Big E for the club. That is their major fundraiser which helps to pay for the bee school that they run each year to train about 50 new beekeepers.
He owns the house that he grew up in in Ludlow. His family raised sheep. At one time they had a herd of 150 sheep. His parents showed their sheep in all of the local fairs. He and his siblings were active in 4-H. Tom now raises chickens, goats, sheep and cows for his family’s own consumption. He currently has about 100 free-range chickens whose eggs he brings to our market. FYI, the color of an egg shell is determined by the type of chicken that lays the egg.

Concerned Citizens for Springfield

CCS is our sponsor. This organization was established in 1995 primarily by landlords who owned property in the Forest Park neighborhood. They were joined by neighborhood residents who cared about the condition of the neighborhood. Their mission is to enhance the neighborhood through housing restoration and blight remediation. Forest Park is the largest neighborhood in terms of population in Springfield with about 25,000 residents. It has a slight majority of low to moderate income people, and has every type of residence from large apartment buildings to magnificent homes.
Through the years CCS has rehabbed some properties, keeping them from being torn down, torn down distressed properties and built new in their place, landscaped some areas, planted trees, sponsored community fairs, continues to sponsor 2 community gardens, and, of course, this farmers’ market. CCS has sponsored landlord training for new/small scale owners, renovated and donated new playscapes for Johnny Appleseed Park along with the Hampden County Corrections Department and the Springfield Park Department, worked closely with Wynn Development to create affordable housing in the former Longhill Gardens, now Forest Park Apartments, contributed to Sumner Avenue period lighting and gateway signage and much more. They work closely with the City of Springfield’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. It is an all-volunteer organization.

Outlook Farm’s Blueberry Festival

This time of year Outlook Farm usually has a peach festival, but you know there won’t be any peaches, so they are having a blueberry festival instead this coming Sunday, August 21st. From 12-3 PM they are having a barbecue and music. Outlook is located on Rte. 66 in Westhampton. It’s a pretty ride, and they have a lovely store plus a café if you don’t want barbecue.

Gift Certificates

Would you like to give someone a gift from the market? Give them a gift certificate. Just let us know and we’ll print one up for you. We have many non-perishable items here, so you can also put together a lovely gift basket yourself.

Museum Free Fridays

This summer many museums and gardens in Massachusetts are free on Fridays. It ends on August 26th.

August 19th:
The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston
USS Constitution Museum–Boston
The Discovery Museums–Acton
The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River
New England Historic Genealogical Society–Boston
Fuller Craft Museum–Brockton
Griffin Photography Museum–Winchester
August 26th:
Franklin Park Zoo–Boston
Old Sturbridge Village
Freedom Trail Foundation–Boston
Museum of African American History–Boston
Norman Rockwell Museum–Stockbridge
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum–Lenox
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

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Market Newsletter ~ August 9, 2016

August 9th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

This is National Farmers’ Market Week. When we started our market in 1998, there were 98 farmers’ markets in Massachusetts; now there are over 250. In the U.S. there are more than 7,000 markets. Some say that there are too many. If there are too many markets in any area, the farmers have to work harder to make the same amount of money that they used to earn when there were fewer markets. Just because you want a farmers’ market doesn’t mean you should have one. A few years ago a business owner in Agawam told me he thought they should have a market there. I told him that they have 2 very good farm stands in Agawam (Cecci’s and Calabrese’s) and that they didn’t need a farmers’ market there.
Farmers’ markets are lots of work for the vendors, especially farmers. They start early and end late. I once asked a farmer if when it was going to be hot if they started early and worked ‘til noon. He told me that they worked until the work was finished; no special hours for very hot weather.
Sometimes someone says that farmers’ markets are expensive. Just like the prices anywhere, there are many factors that go into pricing. Here in the Northeast, our large farms are small in comparison to farms in many other parts of the country. Small production farming is more expensive than large production farming. They don’t have economy of scale.
Just as we should all try to purchase as much as we can from local businesses, we should do the same with our food. The money that is earned is very often spent locally; it trickles down to the local economy.
I am grateful that there are many people who want to do the hard work of farming.


There are hundreds of recipes for this soup. It is Spanish in origin and is considered to be a liquid salad. Here is my recipe. As with any soup, the amounts of any ingredients are always variable.
Ingredients: Tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, cucumbers, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, hot red pepper flakes if you want it spicy.
Method: Puree some tomatoes to make a base. Rough chop more tomatoes and the remaining vegetables then add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Don’t use too many onions or too much garlic. It should be served very cold, but the olive oil solidifies a little so it needs to melt before you serve it. It will still be cold when it is served. I use my food processor to puree and chop everything, but a blender works also.

Recipe—Zucchini Basil Muffins

2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tsps. salt
1 T. baking powder
2 cups zucchini, grated, squeezed dry
2 T. finely julienned fresh basil
½ cup Parmesan, Romano, or similar hard grating cheese
Mix all ingredients except cheese together. Sprinkle cheese on top of muffins. Fill each muffin cup about ½ full. Bake about 20-25 minutes in 425-degree oven.
Serve warm.

Another Recipe—Tomato Cheddar Pie

Makes a 9” pie
Make a recipe for a one crust pie crust, chill for at least one hour or overnight.
Ingredients: Filling—about 2 pounds of tomatoes sliced ¼” thick
¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
all-purpose flour (for surface)
1 cup finely chopped Vidalia or yellow onions
½ T. unsalted butter
1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar, about 4 oz.)
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. hot sauce
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, parley and/or thyme
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Line a rimmed baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Arrange tomato slices on prepared sheet, sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and cover with more paper towels. Let drain at least 30 minutes.
1. Position rack in bottom rung of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. After the pie crust dough has chilled, lightly flour work surface and roll out dough to a 13” round. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin, then release into pie pan. Trim edges to leave 1” overhang and crimp as desired. Freeze dough at least 15 minutes.
2. Line crust with parchment paper or foil and fill bottom with baking beans or weights. Bake crust, rotating halfway through, 20 minutes. (this is called blind baking.) Remove weights, pierce bottom of crust all over with a fork and bake again until very light brown and dry, about 10 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, butter and ¼ tsp. salt and cook stirring occasionally until onion is softened and just starting to brown, 5-8 minutes. Let cool.
4. Combine cheese, mayonnaise, herbs hot sauce, pepper, onion mixture and remaining salt in a medium bowl. Blot tomatoes with fresh paper towels to remove as much remaining moisture as possible. Arrange tomato slices in pie shell
and top with filling; smooth.
5. Bake pie, rotating halfway through until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.
Israeli Salad

Tomatoes, cucumbers, flat leaf parsley, purple onion, sweet peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper Cut up vegetables into small but not tiny pieces. Make a vinaigrette with lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste. Make this the same day you are going to serve it.

Saving Herb Seeds

This is the time of year to start saving seeds as many herbs are going to seed now. The key is to catch the seeds before they start dropping and self-sowing in your garden. As the seeds mature, cover the seeds with paper bags to collect them. Cut the flower head stalk and move them to a well-ventilated garage or shed to continue drying. Store the seeds in glass jars in a cool, dark place and try to use them up within 6 months. After that they lose their potency.

Don’t keep any herbs or spices near your stove; the heat destroys them.

Meet the Vendors—Red Fire Farm

It took a bit of doing to convince Ryan Voiland to join our market several years ago, but he has been very pleased to be part of our market. Ryan is a graduate of Cornell University and has been farming since he was a boy. He has been growing with certified organic practices since he began RFF in 2001. The farm produces a wide variety of vegetables, flowers, fruit and a quality selection of vegetable and bedding plants in the spring.
In addition to selling at farmers’ markets, RFF sells wholesale, has farm stands in Granby and Montague, and offers Community Supported Agriculture shares (CSAs).
Ryan’s wife Sarah was an environmental studies major at Vassar College. She started a CSA farm in Stafford Springs, CT, her home town. Eventually she handed it over to others and began working at RFF in 2007, and after meeting and dating Ryan for a couple of years, they married. They have 2 little boys, Wally and Chester.
Every year RFF has a tomato festival at the end of August. This year’s festival takes place on Saturday, August 27th, from 12-6, rain or shine. Go to their website for details. There is a fee.

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Market Newsletter ~ August 2, 2016

August 2nd, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager
If you go to our website, (address above) you will find an archive of recipes that have been given out through the years. This is the time of year when you should make recipes with fresh corn; there is a difference; it’s sweeter.
Try corn chowder, or corn pudding. I made corn pudding once for a brunch and one of my friends said that she wanted to lick the pan it was so good.
It is also the time of year for gazpacho. There are hundreds of recipes for this cold Spanish soup. I like the one with tomatoes and other  egetables. I will make it for next week’s market. I always hand out samples. I like it with lots of flavor, so I use red wine vinegar. One time when I was handing it out, a mother said when I offered some to her child that he wouldn’t like it. He did; he asked for seconds.
It’s important to offer children a variety of foods. Some they will like, some they won’t, but you’ll never know unless you offer it. I also tell young adults that if there was something they didn’t like when they were young, that they should try it as an adult. Our tastes change, so there’s a good chance you will like something when you’re older.
I went blueberry picking at West Granville Blueberries last week. That is owned by Maple Corner Farm, and the picking was terrific.
It’s 25 miles from Springfield, but it’s a pretty ride. Go out Rte. 57 to Southwick. Continue on Rte. 57 to Granville. After Prospect Mountain camground signs you will see a sign for Maple Corner Farm; that’s North Road; it’s on your right. Eventually you will see the sign. They’re open from 10-5. You can stop at the Summer House for lunch or ice cream.

Community Preservation Act
Voters may have the opportunity this autumn to decide whether Springfield will adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Since 2000, CPA has been adopted by 161 municipalities including Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Wilbraham, West Springfield, Agawam, and Northampton.
CPA would place a surcharge of up to 3% on tax bills. For example, someone paying $2,000 in property taxeswould pay $60 more if there is a 3% surcharge, $20 if a 1% surcharge. The Commonwealth then provides additional funds to participating communities from the CPA Trust Fund which comes from fees from deed and municipal lien recordings and legislation allocation. A study of CPA from 2002-2007 estimates that $3 million from Springfield recording fees went into the Trust Fund to be allocated to participating communities. Local and state CPA funds can only be used for:
• Historic resources—acquire, preserve, rehabilitate/restore
• Open space—acquire, create, preserve
• Recreational land—acquire, create, preserve, rehabilitate/restore
• Community housing—acquire, create, preserve, rehabilitate/restore, support

Funds can’t be used for maintenance, staffing or programming. A minimum of 10% of funds must be annually allocated each for Open space/recreation, Historic Resources, and Community Housing. An ad hoc CPA study committee has been appointed by City Council President Mike Fenton to make recommendations on the levy percentage and whether any exemptions should be included. CPA may exempt the
first $100,000 of residential valuations, the first 100K of commercial/industrial valuations, all commercial/industrial properties, and/or residences owned and occupied by lower income people. The Committee, which includes former Historical Commission members Bob McCarroll and Ralph Slate, is expected to make its recommendation to the City Council soon. The Council will decide by the end of summer whether to place the question on the November 8th ballot. Once adopted, a CPA committee reviews applications to ensure compliance with state requirements and sends recommendations to the Council. The CPA Committee is composed of members from the Historical Commission, Conservation Commission, Park Commission, Housing Authority, Planning Board, and up to 4 other members if the Council allows. CPA allocations need approval by the City Council. Makes sense to me as a Springfield homeowner.

This ‘n’ That
Would you like a sign to put out on Tuesday mornings? We have a couple of extras. All advertising helps.
You can cook corn on the cob in the microwave if you’re only doing a couple at a time. Leave the husk on. They will steam, so be very careful when you remove them from the microwave. The silk comes right off.

Children’s Theatre
New Century Theatre has 3 more performances of “A Year with Frog and Toad” coming up on August 3rd-6th.It’s only $10 per child. Go to for details.. They are in Northampton.

WIC & Elder Coupons
These are given out at WIC offices and the elder coupons are given out at senior centers. The elder coupons are most likely all gone. If you didn’t get any, contact your local senior center to find out how you can get on a list for next year. There is always a limited supply. These WIC coupons are only for fruits and vegetables.
The elder coupons can also be used to buy honey, but the vendor has to be registered with the state to accept them, and our honey vendor isn’t registered.

Save the Date
The Springfield Preservation Trust will be hosting its annual summer garden fundraiser on Sunday, August 21st at the home of David Hall, 2 Glen Road, in Springfield. The event, which begins at 1PM, is part of the McKnight neighborhood’s celebration of 40 years as an historic district.
The house was built in 1899 in the Colonial Revival Style by Mary McKnight. This charming house is bordered by a dingle on one side, and looks out onto the McKnight neighborhood. It is fitting that the fundraiser is here as Mary McKnight was one of the founders of the neighborhood.
You can reserve a ticket by going to SPT’s website,, or by mailing a check by August 16th to: Springfield Preservation Trust, 74 Walnut St., Springfield 01105. It’s $35 for SPT members, and $40 for non-members.

Recipe—Cauliflower Soup
You can make this with broccoli also, but it is much smoother with cauliflower.
Butter, olive, or salad oil
Cauliflower (use the white or yellow ones only)
Chicken or vegetable broth
Half and half, cream, or whole milk
Curry if you like
Salt and pepper
(you can chop up carrots and celery and sauté them with the onion also)
Remove the hard core of the cauliflower and chop the head into smallish pieces. Sauté the onion, celery and carrots together until they’re soft. Add the cauliflower.
Cover with broth. Cook until soft. Puree until smooth, add curry and dairy. This is good hot or cold.

Meet the Vendors—Velma’s Wicked Delicious Kettle corn
Steve Cary, owner of Velma’s West, started working with Eric Bickernicks at our market in 2006. Eventually Eric stayed in the eastern part of the state with his Velma’s setup although the two of them do work together on
Steve is a videographer and teacher; Velma’s is a side
job. He will tell you that it is dolphin free, organic, and all
sorts of other claims, only some of which you should
believe. (It is dolphin free.)
Now that his children are older (2 are going off to college this fall) they often staff the booth. The Cary family lives
in the neighborhood. He literally married the girl next
door and they have 3 children.
We allow him to go on vacation occasionally, but he has
to notify his customers well in advance so that they don’t
have Velma’s withdrawal.

Market Newsletter ~ July 26, 2016

July 26th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We have voter’s registration forms at the market table.If you aren’t registered, please take one and send it in.The League of Women Voters worked for years to get the Motor Voter Act implemented; it is so easy to register. You need to send in a form if you moved since the last election.  remember how excited I was to register. It was the day before the election; It was my birthday. I was 21 which is what the age was in order to vote in those days. Except for one primary election in 1968 when I was in the hospital having a baby, I have voted in every election;
I don’t take the privilege lightly. People all over the world have risked their lives in order to vote. Please don’t throw your vote away.

This week is the halfway point in our market season. I find that I am seldom in a grocery store at this time of year. When I have friends over to dinner, I use as many local items as possible. I had friends over this past Saturday. The menu was simple, with little fussing involved. I made a Caprese salad, zucchini pancakes, corn on the cob, hot dogs, and blueberry cake.

FYI-Maple Corner Farm, located in Granville is open for blueberry picking 10-5 every day. Ask Jess or Lisa for directions. I know that you drive out Rte. 57 past Southwick, and past the center of Granville. After that I just go by what I remember.

Meet the Vendors—White Buffalo Herbs

White Buffalo Herbs is a small, family run herb company located in Warwick, MA that provides the community with quality organic herb medicines, cosmetics,aromatherapy products, kitchen herbs, and plants. Carol Joyce makes each item by hand and raises most of the herbs that she uses on her farm.
Carol is an organic farmer who is also a social worker with years of experience as a criminal justice specialist including addictions counseling.
White Buffalo has a large array of products including body care, bug repellents, kitchen herbs, aromatherapy and more. Carol also sells a very refreshing herbal tea at the market. Go to their website— for a complete listing of what they offer.

Help Needed

Sylvia Staub, a retired therapist, has started another women’s support group for refugees through Jewish Family Service. They would like to expand the service, but need more facilitators. They are trying to identify retired mental health professionals or graduate students who might have an interest in facilitating a group. If you are interested, or can recommend someone, please contact Sylvia at 736-1463 or at

This ‘n’ That

If you make your own vegetable soup, save some of the water that you cook corn in, and use it in the vegetable soup. Or, if you are going to make corn chowder, use it in that.

If you have leftover cooked corn, cut it off the cob and sauté it with butter until some of it is browned (caramelized.) Or, put it into your pancake or wafflle batter. Or, add some to corn muffin batter.

If you’ve never made muffins, do so. They are simple to make. Seriously. Pick extra blueberries and freeze them. Put them on a
rimmed cookie sheet in one layer, and when they’re frozen put them in a freezer bag or another container. They are individually frozen, so are easy to use.

It’s so nice to have warm syrup on pancakes.

If you want to make stuffed cabbage, freeze the head of cabbage. The cells of the cabbage are loosened so the leaves are very pliable.

Warm maple syrup in the pan that you cook pancakes in.

Jewish Community Center aka The J 

Some people think that the J is only for Jews; not so. It is open to anyone. The J has programs from infants to senior citizens. They have a pre-school, a comprehensive physical fitness facility including an Olympic size swimming pool, a summer day camp, vacation day camps, a coffee shop, programs for children and adults who have different types of disabilities, and much more.
Check out their website


SOUR CREAMED CORN from Greene on Greens
4 large ears corn
2 T. unsalted butter
3 whole scallions
¼ cup sour cream (you can substitute plain yogurt)
dash of hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper
chopped fresh parsley
1. Cut the corn kernels from the cob, and place them in a bowl. You should have about 2 cups. With the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the
bowl to extract the juices.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the scallions; cook one minute. Stir in the corn until barely tender, 4-5
minutes. Add the sour cream and hot pepper sauce. Cook until warmed through, don’t boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with

THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS from The New England Inns Cookbook
½ cup butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups blueberries
1. Cream butter and sugar together.
Add all other ingredients except blueberries and stir until just mixed.
Fold in blueberries and spoon into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Yum!

BERRY BANANA MUFFINS also from New England Inns Cookbook
2 eggs
¼ cup oil
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup honey
1 mashed banana
¾ cup blueberries or raspberries
¾ tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
2 cups flour
¾ cup almonds
Beat together eggs, oil, milk, honey, banana, and berries. Add remaining ingredients just to moisten. Bake in greased or paper-lined muffin cups at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

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Market Newsletter ~ July 19, 2016

July 19th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Last week, one of our regular customers brought me a gift from a spice company on Cape Cod. This isn’t the first time someone has brought me a gift over the years, and, of course, it is always appreciated. I mention this, not because I expect more gifts by doing so, but because it demonstrates how our market is like a large family in many ways. (without the bickering I might add.) Although Outlook Farm is the only vendor that has been with us since our first market, many of the other ones have been here for several years. I often hear from the vendors how much they like our market, that it is a pleasure to get along so well with the other vendors (we have almost never had a problem with that) and how many customers have become good friends.

I am sure that part of it is due to our size; we aren’t large. Also, we don’t live in a major metropolitan area where you are unlikely to bump into the same people each week. I see lots of hugging at our market with folks meeting up with friends. I sometimes joke that I’m going to charge rent for those that linger in conversation.

To those of you who don’t come to our market regularly, do so. Don’t just come to use WIC or elder coupons, become one of the regulars, become one of the family.

Meet the Vendors—Sweet Pea Cheese

The House of Hayes Dairy Farm is located in North Granby, CT, a stone’s throw from the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts. This 8th generation farm is run by Stanley and Dorothy Hayes, with help from their 3 children—Daniel Hayes, Samantha Hayes, and Ellen Whitlow along with her husband Brian who works on the farm.

Initially the farm only sold their milk wholesale. Nowadays they have a retail operation on the farm where you can go and purchase their products. They have a herd of goats, so they have goats’ milk, and they make chevre (soft goat cheese) in many flavors, Greek style yogurt, and feta. They sell the extra cows’ milk to Cabot, a wholesale operation in West Springfield.

Their herd of cows number about 65, and the Saanen dairy goats number about 70.

Their address is 151 East Street in North Granby, CT. Their store is open every day from 10-7. They have additional products for sale there that they don’t bring to our market.

What does “all Natural Mean?

Not much. According to the USDA definition, it means that no artificial ingredients, or preservatives have been added to the item being sold, and they have been minimally processed.

However, they may contain antibiotics, growth hormones, and other similar chemicals. Regulations are fairly lenient for items labeled “natural.”

How About Organic? What does That Mean?

Simply stated, organic means that organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, eggs, or milk (including poultry) are not given antibiotics, or growth hormones.

In order to use the word organic, a farm must be certified. That is a lengthy process, and makes sense when a farm is a particular size, as it is also expensive.

In lieu of using the word organic which they can’t, a farmer that isn’t certified can use the words “chemical free” or “organic farming practices.”

SNAP Bonus

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.

Trinity Church’s A Little Night Music

Each July 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 is welcome. This week they are serving hamburgers, and they always have side dishes.


Many of you know what Tanglewood is. For those of you who don’t, it is in Lenox, MA where the Boston Symphony Orchestra has its summer home. In addition, there is a music “camp” where very talented young people can spend their summer learning. They put on concerts throughout the summer.

You can go online to find their schedule. Also, you can listen to the Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performances either on the radio, or streaming online. WAMC broadcasts all three concerts, and NEPR broadcasts the Sunday one.

This is a seriously fabulous way to spend an afternoon or evening. If you can’t make it up to Lenox, invite a few friends over to listen on your porch or deck. Serve some food, tell them to bring something to read, applaud in all the right places, and then send them on their way with no traffic to contend with. Enjoy!

By the way, children are welcome at Tanglewood. Many people bring a picnic and sit on the lawn for the concert.

This ‘n’ That

If you shop at a place that is littered, call the company and ask them to clean it up. If they don’t clean it up within a reasonable period of time, call Code Enforcement. In Springfield you can just call 311. I truly don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have their place of business look good all the time. Ditto for where you live whether you own or rent. When you’re out, pick up some litter; it all helps.

Try to pick all summer squash when it’s small. They are more tender when small. Use large zucchinis for relish or pickles.

Recipe—Zucchini Pancakes

Easy, but don’t make these until the day you will make them because the salt in the cheese will leach the moisture out of the zucchini and they won’t come together for pancakes. I am going to give you ingredients, how much you use is up to you.

Zucchini shredded, squeeze as much moisture from it as possible.


All-purpose flour

Parmesan/Romano cheese, shredded

Butter or oil Pepper

Mix all together and test in a frying pan. If it comes together and you like the taste, you’re done. If it needs more egg or flour to hold it together, add it. Or add more cheese if you want it cheesier. You can use other types of cheese, but I like this combination best.

Cream of Summer Squash Soup

Any kind of summer squash cut up

Butter Onions.

Chicken or vegetable broth.

Curry Salt and pepper

Half and half or cream or whole milk

Saute onions in butter until soft Add cut up squash. Add broth, cook until soft Add curry and salt and pepper. (Use white pepper if you have it.) Puree, and add whatever dairy product you are using. Done. Serve warm. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

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Market Newsletter ~ July 12, 2016

July 12th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

Fairly often in this newsletter I mention that two of the things that are most difficult for farmers are weather and labor. On Sunday a friend and I went up to Outlook Farm to their cherry festival where they had a barbecue and a band. I sat and talked at length with Brad Morse who, together with his wife Erin, are the owners of Outlook Farm. We talked about some of his crops, specifically the fruit crops. There won’t be any peaches or nectarines this year due to the exceptionally cold weather that we had in February; it killed the buds. They’re not sure about the apple crop this year. Last year’s crop was exceptional, so they know they won’t be that lucky this year.
Brad said that he’s been working with the UMASS Extension Service on his blueberry crop. There is a fruit fly that is different than the fruit fly that we are familiar with. This one has teeth and will bite into a berry and lay its eggs which will destroy the fruit. So far there hasn’t been any infestation in Western Mass, but Brad just learned that they trapped one, so know they are around, so he will have to spray his crop. He is also going to buy netting to keep the birds away; that will cost about 2K.
In addition to the weather and bug problems, they need help in their kitchen and bakery and on the farm. He said it’s difficult to find people who are willing to work as hard as one has to work on a farm. And so it goes. It certainly takes a lot of resilience to be a farmer.

Meet the Vendors—My Main Squeeze

My Main Squeeze was established by Cassandra (aka Cassie) Cerasuolo in 2014. She started the business based on her own passion for fresh juice. She wanted her establishment to be a place where no matter what you purchase will be good for you. She uses no processed or refined ingredients, nor does she use any additives. Cassie purchases many of her ingredients from local growers, and uses as many other local ingredients such as Tom’s Wildflower Honey (our honey vendor) from Ludlow as possible.
She supports local and independently run businesses, and is part of an organization called Living Local. My Main Squeeze is located at 48 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow. The hours are M-F 7AM to 5PM, and Saturday 9-4. My Main Squeeze is also at our winter market.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a member of the silver beet family. It has had many names throughout the centuries. All of the plant (except for the roots) is eaten. If the stems are large, they should be cooked a little first. Young leaves are often used in salads; older bigger ones are generally cooked. Chard can be sautéed, put into soups, or quiches, or steamed. In South Africa and Australia, it is called spinach.

Sevenars’ Concerts

In 1968 the Schrade family started a music festival in Worthington. The family lived in New York City (some still do) and the parents, some of the children, and now the grandchildren are/were musicians. They have performed all over the world. The parents and one daughter are deceased.
Each week beginning this year on July 10th, and for 5 more Sundays at 4PM, a concert is held. The Academy in Worthington is an all wooden building. When Ozowa Hall at Tanglewood was proposed, some people visited the Academy to hear the acoustics. Mrs. Shrade said that someone had told them that listening to music in that building was like being inside a Stradivarius violin.

It’s easy to get to from our area. Get to Westfield, continue on Rte. 20 to Rte. 112. Continue on 112 for 8 miles. Right at bridge, take a right. They serve free refreshments during intermission. It’s $20 or whatever you can afford. Next week it’s the
Greenwood Chamber Players: Flute and Strings. There are brochures at the market table.

Why Shop at a Farmers’ Market?

1. Real flavors—straight from the farm. No long distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage.
2. Seasonal finds—What you buy at the farmers’ market is fresh, local and flavorful. There is a significant difference in flavor for most of what you find at a fm.
3. Supporting family farmers—Now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S., small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their efforts. Your money stays local, and it filters down to other local businesses.
4. Eco-friendly alternative—On average, food in the U.S. travels about 1500 miles to get to our plates. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources, contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture. Food at a farmers’ market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
5. Variety—you will find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket. Part of the reason for this is that some of these vegetables wouldn’t survive the long distances that they would have to travel to get to us.
6. Promote humane treatment of animals—At the farmers’ market, you can find meats, cheeses, poultry, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have graced on grass and eaten natural diets, and who
have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of large-scale animal agriculture.
7. Know where your food comes from. You get to know some of the people who are growing/raising your food.
8. Learn cooking tips and meal ideas.
9. Connect with your community. Because a farmers’ market isn’t a daily occurrence, you are very likely to see people that you know when you go to the market.

Recipe—Martha’s Blueberry Cake
½ cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 tsps. Baking powder
1 cup milk
3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Topping: ½ cup brown sugar, 1/3rd cup flour ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ cup butter
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, beating after each one. Combine 3 ½ cups flour, salt and baking powder and add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Stir in blueberries and pour batter into a greased and floured 10” tube pan (or 2 9x5x3 loaf pans. Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter and sprinkle over batter. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees.

Room Needed

Does anyone have a room to rent? A man from Vermont who comes highly recommended, has taken a job in Springfield. He only needs the room from Monday to Thursday nights. If you have one available, call Belle Rita at 737-1724, and she will connect you.

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Market Newsletter ~ July 5, 2016

July 5th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Can you believe that this is already week 10 of our market?

I know that we all get into somewhat of a rut as far as what we make for meals, but I hope that you all try something different from the market. It makes meals more interesting when you add something new, or cook something a different way than you usually do.

Lots of people are roasting vegetables these days. Doing so conserves the flavor because none of the flavor gets dissipated in water. If you have freezer space, I recommend that you roast tomatoes once they are abundant. I wash them, quarter them, put them on a rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle kosher salt on top. Bake at 400 degrees until they’ve collapsed (you’ll know when they’re done.) Then puree them (sometimes I add fresh basil) and now you have the start of a wonderful sauce. If you use a regular tomato rather than a Roma one, you will have to pour some of the liquid off before pureeing them.

Blueberry season should be starting any day. Those also freeze beautifully. Lay them out in one layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, freeze, and then put into a freezer bag. A friend’s mother used to freeze exactly the amount that she needed for a blueberry pie, so that when the time came to make one, all she had to do was open a bag; she always had the proper amount for her pies.

Corn season has started. YAY! If you are only going to cook a couple of ears, use your microwave. Don’t husk the corn, put it into the microwave as is. The strength of your oven determines how long you have to cook them for; I do mine for 6-7 minutes. Be very careful when you take them out because they have steamed, and they are VERY HOT. The silk comes right off.

I think someone from WIC will be here next week to hand out WIC coupons.

Meet the Vendors—Grace Hill Farm

Grace Hill Farm is run by Max and Amy Breiteneicher. The farm grew out of their shared interests and value— a love of good food and a desire to produce food that is delicious and made with integrity; a love of nature and of living and working closely with animals and the land, and, of course, Max’s great passion for cheese.

Max was taught cheese making and animal husbandry over the years by a series of true professionals at Jasper Hill Farm, Chase Hill Farm, and Sidehill Farm. After many years of searching they found just the right spot in Cummington. The land had belonged to the Dawes/Thayer family since the 1700s. They sold it to Max and Amy in 2012. Within living memory, it had been a sheep farm and a dairy farm. There are lots of stone walls running through their woods that attest to the pasture that used to be everywhere. (When clearing the land, stones were dug up, and walls were built.)

They make several types of cheese, all of which, when ready, are sold at our market.

• Cheesecake—a soft, mold-ripened cheese with a delicate white rind and a deep, slightly tangy flavor and cheesecake texture. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk, and aged 60 days.
• Hilltown Blue—a creamy and mostly-mild blue with a natural rind and rich flavor. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cows’ milk, and aged 120 days.
• Wild Alpine—a gruyere-style hard alpine cheese with a natural rind and buttery texture that gives way to a slightly nutty, earthy flavor with fruit notes. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk, and aged 9 months.
• Clothbound Cheddar—an English farmhouse cheddar wrapped in cloth and aged for roughly one year. It is sharp without being overpowering, slightly dry with a buttery texture. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk and aged at
least 9 months.
• Valais—a Raclette style cheese with superb melting qualities. Fruity and slightly pungent. In the Swiss and French Alps, this cheese is traditionally melted atop new potatoes, toasts and, vegetables. Perfect for grilled cheese. Made by hand from their grass-fed raw cow’s milk and aged at least 3 months.

What’s Happening?

The Armory National Park has some fun things coming up this weekend. On July 9th they have a full day of programming. From 2-5 enjoy a fun packed day interacting with Armory workers and their families. There will be story telling booths, tours of the buildings and grounds, talks from the curator on preserving and protecting Armory history, and a special Armory worker exhibit full of memorabilia. From 5:30-6:30 PM there will be dance lessons, and a big band concert from 6:30-8:30. Spend the evening on their historic grounds listening to Dan Gabel and the Abletones, an 18-piece big band.

Trinity United Methodist Church, the big church right next to Forest Park, has started its summer series, “A Little Night Music.” Each Thursday evening at 6PM throughout July, there is a concert in the sanctuary. Afterwards supper is served; each week it is different. The concert is free, but they ask for a contribution for the food. This week they will be serving grinders. They always have ice cream with toppings for dessert. While you are having supper there is a carillon concert. Bring your own chair, or sit at one of the tables that they set up. In case of rain the food is served inside the church in Asbury Hall.


Each time you use your SNAP/EBT card at our market for $10 or more, you will get a bonus of $10 plus a $2 token from us. The $2 token is only to be used for produce, nothing else. The other EBT tokens can be used for food, or for plants that will grow food. We don’t sell seeds here, but you can use EBT for food seeds also.

Thank You

We always have many to thank for supporting this market. United Bank, the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Concerned Citizens for Springfield (our sponsor), Robyn Newhouse, the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department, TD Bank at the X, the Forest Park Civic Association, and individual donors. As some say, it takes a village…

Recipe—Sugar Snap Peas with Toasted Almonds and Feta

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 T. olive oil
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 or more garlic cloves
1 # sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
2 T. water
salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, add almonds and toast until golden brown, 5-6 minutes, set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. When it sizzles, add scallions. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add peas, water, salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes shaking skillet occasionally until peas are tender and water has evaporated.

Gift Certificates

We can print one up for you if you’d like. Or, just purchase wooden coins to give as a gift. A regular customer who is a Realtor, likes to give them to people who have bought a house through her. Great idea. Good for lots of other scenarios also. Many older people have all the stuff they need, so a gift to the market is perfect.

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Market Newsletter ~ June 28, 2016

June 28th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

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.

SNAP Bonus

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!

Unusual vegetable—Broccolini

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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Market Newsletter ~ June 21, 2016

June 21st, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I read an essay recently about the power of hand written recipes. I am sure that those of you that have recipes handed down to you by a parent or grandparent, can recognize the handwriting instantly; I sure can. I might never make the recipe, but just looking at it brings back memories.
Perhaps the recipe was something you particularly liked, or perhaps it was one that was always at a family holiday dinner.
I make a cookie called Starlight Mint Surprise (capitalized because it is in the cookbook) that my grandmother used to make. Until the last several years of her life, she lived way out of town from us. She must have found the recipe in a newspaper because it was a prizewinner in the Pillsbury Best of the Bake-off contest sometime in the 50s. I know this because I have the Pillsbury Best of the Bake-off cookbook published in 1959 and that recipe is in there.
Whenever I make that recipe I think of my grandmother who was a wonderful cook. You can find the recipe online I’m sure. It is basically the chocolate chip cookie recipe with ½ cup more flour with a solid mint chocolate candy in the middle. I get the candy at Michael’s in the section that has cake pans, etc.
I sent these cookies to my grandson Evan who was in his first year at the University of Colorado this year, and I gave him the history also. Grandmas making Starlight Mint Surprise cookies. Gotta love it.
Garlic scapes are at the market now. They are the top of the garlic plant that are cut off so that the energy goes into the garlic bulb. You can use the whole thing. Sauté them with olive oil and use to complement potatoes or another vegetable.
Meet the Vendors

Trinity Farm is in its 4th generation of dairy farming. The Smyth Family has produced milk and dairy products since great-grandfather Richard Smyth began farming in 1912. The original farm was on Hazard Avenue (Rte. 190) in Enfield, CT. They grew tobacco, raised poultry and housed 46 milking cows. Approached by a local physician in response to a TB outbreak, Richard was one of the first dairy farmers in the state to begin bottling pasteurized milk.
Since 1984, the present farm has been located at the southern tip of the Enfield Historic District on Oliver Road. Purchased in 1984, it includes 20 acres for pasturing and hay, along with 2 cow barns, hay/equipment storage building and the dairy processing plant.
Michael and Dale Smyth (Mike is Richard’s grandson) added the milk processing plant to the farm in 1995, and have passed the operation to their children, the 4th generation of Smyths to continue to farm.
All of the milk and milk products (yogurt, butter, etc.) that they sell are from their own milk; they don’t mix their milk with anyone else’s.
They milk mostly Holstein cows which produce a larger volume of milk compared to other breeds. The barn was built specifically to comfortably house their large frame says Anne Dugas, a Smyth daughter.
The farm sells whole, 1%, and skim milk along with half and half, and heavy cream, chocolate, coffee and strawberry milk, butter, 5 flavors of yogurt, and kefir, a creamy, fermented milk drink.
The milk is bottled in glass bottles which keeps the milk colder, and fresher. They also offer home delivery in Windsor Locks, Enfield, Ellington, Suffield, Somers, CT and Longmeadow, MA.
Two facts that I’ve learned along the way—their cows live longer than most cows in large dairy farms, and the butter is yellower in the months when the cows are outside eating fresh grass. Also, if the heavy cream is too fresh, it won’t whip well. Needs to be about 2-3 days old to whip well. Who knew?
In addition to the farmers’ markets that they go to, they have a store on the farm that is open M-F from 6 to 6, and Saturday from 6-4, closed on Sundays.

What’s Happening?
Stanley Park is having its free Sunday night concerts each week at 6PM. Bring a picnic and enjoy both.

The Armory National Park is having a few upcoming events. This Saturday, the 25th, at 2PM, a program, Backyard Pollinators, with Ranger Susan Ashman and Old Sturbridge Village garden volunteer Charlie Peters, will discuss the importance of backyard pollinators. Learn what you can plant in your own garden to help these pollinators. The park is on State Street in Springfield.

On July 9th they have a full day of programming. From 2-5 enjoy a fun packed day interacting with Armory workers and their families. There will be story telling booths, tours of the buildings and grounds, talks from the curator on preserving and protecting Armory history, and a special Armory worker exhibit full of memorabilia. From 5:30-6:30 PM there will be dance lessons, and a big band concert from 6:30-8:30. Spend the evening on their historic grounds listening to Dan Gabel and the Abletones, an 18-piece big band.


If you have cookbooks you no longer use, bring them to the market to give away. We have a blue bin at the market table to put them in. Bring cooking magazines also.


Each time you use your SNAP/EBT card at our market for $10 or more, you will get a bonus of $10 plus a $2 token from us. The $2 token is only to be used for produce, nothing else. The other EBT tokens can be used for food, or for plants that will grow food. We don’t sell seeds here, but you can use EBT for food seeds also.

WIC and Elder Coupons

We accept these coupons at our market. The elder coupons are distributed through senior centers, so call the one you have in your neighborhood and find out if you can still get some. There are never enough for everyone who wants them, so it’s important to call a senior center.

Please make sure that if you have any left over from last year that you throw them away; they expire at the end of October and aren’t good the next year.

Register to Vote

We have forms at the market table that you can send in to your town/city clerk to register to vote. If you have moved since the last election, you need to change your address which you can do with this form. I know that there are people who are so cynical that they don’t think that their one vote counts; all votes count. You know that there are countries in the world where people don’t have the freedom to vote, or if they can vote, sometimes their vote isn’t really free. Don’t throw away this privilege that we have in the U.S.

Almost anything can go into a salad. Try combining some vegetables like cooked beets with carrots, some goat cheese (a very popular combination), a little bit of lettuce or other green like arugula, scallions, a homemade vinaigrette dressing, and you are good to go. It’s pretty, you have different textures, and in a fine restaurant you would pay $10 or more for it. Toasted walnuts or pecans are also nice. You can dip the nuts in a simple syrup solution (boiled water and sugar), let them dry and voila, now your salad is $12.50.

Put some fruit in a salad. I like nectarines when they’re in season. Strawberries and blueberries are always good. They hold their shape, and they’re a little sweet which is a nice complement to the non-sweet ingredients. Use oranges in the winter.

When tomatoes are in season, use different colored ones. You don’t need more than that although some scallions are always good with tomatoes. Mix up your greens also. If you look around our market you will see many types of lettuce, far more than you will find in a grocery store. Use radicchio also. The maroon and white looks so pretty in the mixture.

Consider a Farm Vacation

There are many farms that have accommodations for overnight stays. This is a great type of vacation to take with children. Go online and you should find many places through`out the country. I took my children to Rockhouse Mountain Farm in Eaton Center, NH. FUN!

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