Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Marklet Newsletter – June 30th, 2015

June 29th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

  On June 9th we had a severe thunderstorm late in the day. The terminal that we use to swipe cards unfortunately got slightly wet, so I wasn’t able to send the batch (end of day) report to the company that handles our transactions. When I called them the next day, I was told that they couldn’t get the batch report, that they could get the individual transactions that I would have to enter manually. They sent them to me and I entered them on the 23rd and 24th. So, for those of you who used a debit or credit card with us on the 9th, please know that the date that shows up on your statement is for the 9th; you didn’t get charged twice. The papers with the card numbers on them have been destroyed.
We got a new terminal that is so much faster than what we used previously. I was also told that when the credit card technology changes to clude a chip on each card, that our machine will be able to handle that also.

This ‘n’ That

• Please have numbers on your house that can be easily read from the street.
• If you have cookbooks that you don’t want anymore, please bring them here and they will be given away.
• Don’t throw cigarette butts out of your car window or on the ground; the filters don’t disintegrate.
• Don’t pour or flush unwanted medications down the drain. You also can’t recycle pill bottles.

Jessica Ripley from Maple Corner Farm had her baby last week. Abigail was born on June 23rd and she weighed in at 8#14oz. Congratulations to the Ripley family. #3 daughter.

Unusual Vegetables

Kohlrabi looks like a small satellite especially when it has its leaves on it. It’s either purple or light green; they taste the same. The flavor is (to me) a combination of broccoli stems and turnip. It can be eaten cooked or uncooked. Peel the bulb, and use it in salads, or as one of the vegetables on a tray with dip, or cook it and make a cream sauce, or just mash it with butter and a little salt.

Radicchio comes in more than one variety, but the flavor is the same. It has a small head like lettuce, or it is more like a hand with longer leaves. I have seen recipes for it grilled, but it is mostly used in salads. It’s very pretty in a salad because it’s maroon and white. It’s a little bitter.

Cucumbers are not unusual for sure, but there are several varieties, so when the different varieties show up at the market, don’t hesitate to try them.

The same can be said for summer squash. There are slight differences in flavor, so try a different variety for a change. The big ones are good for
relishes, or for shredding to use in a recipe. The smaller ones are more tender.

Fennel can be eaten cooked or raw. It has a mild licorice flavor. It is a member of the parsley family. All parts of fennel can be eaten, even the lacy
fronds. To store it, cut off the lacy fronds about 2” above the bulb; it will keep for several days.

Female Farmers

Massachusetts has the most female farmers in New England, 32%, and their ranks are on the rise. As of the 2012 USDA agricultural census, there were almost 8,000 farms in Massachusetts, and of those, over 2,500 had female principal operators. That is up 12.6 percent from 2007.
The top crops for Massachusetts farms with female principal operators (in acres) are hay at 9,434, vegetables, 1,734, berries, 1,020 including
cranberries which are 665 of that number, and cut Christmas trees, 677. 94,598 acres of Massachusetts farmland are farmed by female principal operators.
The majority of the women who are principal operators fall in the 25-64 age group. About 25% are older, and a very small percentage are younger.
The average size of Massachusetts farms run by female principal operators is 38 acres. Farmers from throughout the country get only 20 cents of every dollar that Americans spend on food.

Swiss Chard

I don’t know why it’s called Swiss chard, but it is. It is a member of the silver beet family. You can eat every part of this plant. Just like spinach, it is very versatile. If you sauté it, cut the stems and sauté them for about a minute before you add the leaves. Chard is also good in quiches, or in a soup or casserole. Here’s a recipe for:

Swiss Chard Cheese Casserole

2 bunches of Swiss chard
a few cloves of garlic
1 large onion
about one pound of cheese, all of one type or different varieties
1 dozen eggs
1 pint of half and half or whole milk ( DON ’T USE SKIM MILK IN THIS RECIPE)
dried Italian seasoning, or fresh basil, oregano, maybe 1 T if dried, more if fresh
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Wash chard and chop stems into small pieces. Sauté stems with onion and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the stems are tender, chop the chard leaves and add to pan, sauté until wilted. Add salt and pepper, and oregano or dried Italian seasoning, or fresh herbs. Mix up eggs with milk or cream, add cheese and cayenne pepper. Pour into a greased 9×13” pan; sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. If a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean, it’s done. Good hot or at room temperature.

Prevent Identity Theft

• Don’t give out financial information such as checking and credit card numbers, or your Social Security card number unless you know the person or organization.
• Report lost or stolen checks immediately.
• Notify your bank of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to verify a statement or award a prize.
• Closely guard your ATM personal id number and ATM receipts.
• Shred any financial solicitations and bank statements before disposing of them.
• Put outgoing mail into a secure, official USPO box.
• If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why.

You can get a free copy from each of the 3 major credit-reporting companies each year. Call (877) 322-8228 for information on how to obtain your
free credit report.

WIC and Elder Coupons

These should be showing up at our market just about now. The Elder Coupons have to be picked up at a senior center. You should call your local
center to find out if they’re available now, and if they have any left. The WIC coupons are picked up at a WIC office. All of these coupons are for produce, but the elder ones are for honey also. The expiration date is October 31st.

Recycling Info

1. Recycling the steel from 6 cars can provide enough steel framing for an entire new house.
2. Recycling one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 60-watt bulb for 4 hours.
3. Recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water.
4. If not recycled, one quart of used motor oil could pollute 250,000 of drinking water.
5. Half of all polyester carpet made in the U.S. is made from recycled plastic.
6. Americans represent only 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30% of the world’s garbage.

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Market Newsletter- June 23

June 23rd, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

If you come into the park for our market, please don’t go to any other part of the park unless you have a park sticker. Although we pay the park some rent, they do us a great favor by letting our patrons in free. Please don’t jeopardize our position with the park. And remember when you’re in the park to drive very slowly.

Our market is the largest farmers’ market in this part of the Pioneer Valley. We have many customers, but we can always use more. I am not happy unless our vendors are totally sold out at 6PM; I am seldom happy. Please tell your friends about us. Make sure you tell them that they get into the park without paying.

There will be a FREE paper shredding event on Saturday, the 27th from 10-1 at the Westfield Bank, 47 Palomba Drive in Enfield. That is the road near Costco that has all of the car dealers. You are limited to 3 boxes of papers.

Did you know that Springfield has a centralized call center where you can be connected to city departments, or make a complaint, etc.? It’s 311.

I cooked some spinach that I had bought from Outlook Farm yesterday, and it was perfect. Why is that noteworthy? I bought it 2 weeks ago. I didn’t have to throw any of it away. Local food is different.

Speaking of Outlook Farm, they have several special events throughout the growing season. Check out their stand for details.

Coming Up

Deborah Wilson, RN, will speak about her experience working in a 120 bed Ebola treatment unit in Liberia. In September 2014, Ms. Wilson traveled from Western Mass to West Africa with Doctors Without Borders. The event will take place this Wednesday,   June 24th at the Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. from 6-7:30. Registration is free at This is presented by the Hampden County Medical Reserve Corps.

Come learn about Forest Park architecture, it’s history, styles, and influences, this Thursday, June 25 at 6:30 in the Forest Park Branch Library Community Room. Robert McCarroll, coordinator of the Mattoon Street Arts Festival, and long time member of the Springfield Preservation Trust will be giving this presentation. In addition, there will be an exhibit of this year’s Preservation Awards.

Recipes Using Zucchini/Summer Squash

This is a very versatile vegetable. It is delicious sautéed with garlic and onions, or steamed and mashed with some butter and salt, or used in recipes.

Zucchini Pancakes

Do not make this mixture the day before you are going to cook the pancakes. The salt from the cheese will leach moisture from the squash and the mixture won’t fry up as pancakes.

Ingredients–onion, summer squash, eggs, grated cheese (I like the combination of Parmesan and Romano) flour, pepper. Oil.

Shred the squash and onion. Put this into a clean dishtowel, twist and squeeze as much moisture out as you can. Place in a bowl. Add eggs, cheese, flour and pepper. I don’t measure. You want to use enough eggs and flour so that the pancake holds together when you fry it.

Pour some oil in a frying pan and add a little butter. When hot put a spoonful of the mixture into the oil. Only fry one now to make sure that it will hold together. If it does, cook the rest of them. When it’s brown on one side, turn it over. Serve hot.

Zucchini and Basil Muffins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin pan or use paper cups.


2 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 T. baking powder (3 tsp.)

2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)

2 T. finely julienned fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (or similar hard grating cheese)

Combine the eggs, milk, and oil in a bowl. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in another bowl and add to the liquid mixture in batches, stirring to blend. Don’t over blend.

Add the zucchini and basil and stir to blend. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 cup full. Sprinkle the top with the cheese.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins, 15-20 minutes for the mini muffins, until the tops are golden brown and puffy. Serve warm

. Some Cooking Tips If you are making potato salad, mix your dressing separately from the cut up potatoes, and use a rubber spatula to mix them together. You are less likely to break up any of the potatoes.

You can easily freeze rhubarb. Wash it, cut it into pieces, put it into a freezer bag or container and that’s it. Use right from the freezer for recipes.

If you don’t already have a food processor, buy one. It is such a versatile appliance. Buy one with a big enough bowl, 11 cups is a great size.

When fixing strawberries for strawberry shortcake, cut some up and mash the rest, then mix together.

Ethnic Stores

We are fortunate to live in an area that still has lots of ethnic stores. Just in the last few years we have had Middle Eastern stores open up. Also stores that sell South Asian food. Two have opened in the Forest Park neighborhood. One is on Dickinson St., and one is next to the Goodwill store on Sumner Ave. Another one is called Spices of Asia on Elm St. in West Springfield next to the library. The Italian stores in the South End (Milano’s, Frigo’s, Zonin’s, and Mom and Rico’s) are stores of long standing. We have several Asian stores that feature Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and some other Asian food also. You will find that the prices tend to be considerably less from these stores than the big grocery stores. Let us not leave out the Italian bakeries that have over the top delicious baked goods.

Homeowner Emergency Repair Program

The City of Springfield, through the Office of Housing, has created a Homeowner Emergency Repair Program, using Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development block Grant (CDBG) program.

This program provides income-eligible Springfield homeowners with zero-interest deferred payment loans to pay for the cost of an emergency repair to their home. These loans are recorded as a lien on the property, and repayment is only required when the homeowner sells, refinances, transfers title to the property, or no longer occupies the home as a principal place of residence. Households interested in this program must meet certain requirements. 1. Must be located in Springfield. 2. Owner occupancy must be established for a minimum of 3 years. 3. Title to the property may not have liens other than a 1st or 2nd mortgage. 4. All property taxes, fees, fines or municipal liens must be current. 5. Household income may not exceed 80% of the area median income. For more details call the Office of Housing at 413-787-6500.

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Market Newsletter -June 16, 2015

June 16th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Last week’s late afternoon thunderstorm was an expensive one for some of us. Some of the canopies ended up all twisted and bent. Fortunately, because everyone anchors theirs down well, nothing flew around and no one was hurt. That’s the primary reason for having them so well anchored.

It’s strawberry season. I saw someone buying strawberries at Costco last week, and all I wanted to do was to tell them to put them back and go buy local ones. As you well know, the difference in flavor is huge. Include some in a tossed salad. Not only is this tasty, it’s pretty also. This is the time to make the wonderful desserts with them. Don’t bother when they are out of season; make something else. A chocolate dessert is always in season.

Asparagus season is just about over. Right on the heels of strawberries are blueberries which have a nice long season due to so many varieties and our having growers in the hills nearby with cooler temperatures than we have. I noticed beets here last week. I know a lot of people say they don’t like beets, but if it has been awhile since you had one, try them again. Local beets are so fresh, and there are a few varieties now that don’t taste so “beety.” They can be put into a salad, eaten cold, or hot, pickled, made into a cold soup (beet borscht), etc. Remember, if you didn’t like something as a child, you might like it as an adult. Our tastes change.


I found the raffle tickets I had put away from last year’s market, so we started selling them again last week. For $1 you have a chance to win 2 $2.50 tokens. The raffle helps us raise a little money. You may wonder where the money to run the market comes from. First and foremost, our vendors pay to  be here. Then, our sponsor, Concerned Citizens for Springfield, contributes to our budget. We receive contributions and grants also. If you are inclined to give us money, we won’t refuse.

Lost and Found

If you lose (or find) something at the market, please come to the market table. Last week someone found a fob for a Volkswagon in the parking lot. A few years ago someone left a cane at the market. I kept it hanging on the canopy for months and no one claimed it. Perhaps the market healed the person to whom it belonged. It’s always a good idea to put an address label on a cane, or even a cell phone. Please put your car keys in your purse or pocket. You might be amazed at how often someone comes to us looking for their keys.

SNAP, etc.

We have received some grant money, so for every $5 that someone spends when buying EBT tokens, we will give them an X token that is worth $2 each. These tokens are only to be used for fruit and vegetables. The purpose is to help folks eat more healthful foods.

We ask for a $1 contribution from those of you who use your debit or credit card for more than $25 to help us defray the cost of the machine that we use. It costs us about a thousand dollars a year to have it. Every transaction has a fee, and there is a monthly cost as well. Then, at some point, there is an annual compliance fee that we pay. We paid almost $90 for June. And, for anyone who thinks that we should ask for a contribution for EBT, we can’t. It’s against the law.

Recipe-Strawberry Soup

There are many recipes for this dessert soup. The ingredients for the one I made for samples this week has very few ingredients. As always, when making soup, the amounts depend on how many you are cooking for. I made 13 quarts and I used a flat of strawberries, 6 pint containers of vanilla yogurt, 1 large can of concentrated orange juice that I reconstituted, powdered sugar to taste, and some nutmeg. Nutmeg is strong, so start with a small amount and go from there. Only make strawberry soup at this time of year.


Vanilla yogurt (I used Trinity Farm’s)

Orange juice

Powdered sugar, nutmeg to taste

Puree in a blender, then CHILL. Serve with a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top and a mint leaf for decoration.

What’s the Difference Between Conventional, Organic, and Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options, including the judicious use of pesticides.

In contrast, organic farming practices use many of the same concepts as IPM, but limit the use of pesticides to those that are produced from natural sources as opposed to synthetic chemicals.

There are no national standards for IPM, and you won’t be able to know when buying something if IPM practices have been used. Also, the word natural can be used on anything as there are no standards as to what that word means either.

All farmers identify the pest that they are trying to eradicate prior to spraying, so even the most conventional farmer uses some IPM practices. A conventional farmer will use herbicides and pesticides that will create a sterile growing environment.

Something else that organic farmers do is to develop biological diversity in their fields to disrupt habitat for pest organisms, and the purposeful maintenance and replenishment of soil fertility.

All growers spray. For instance, it is very difficult to grow organic orchard fruit on the East Coast due to the humid summers, mild winters, and dense forests that we have. These create perfect habitats for many orchard pests. Farmers from the West, such as Washington, don’t have the same growing challenges; it’s much drier out West even when they aren’t having a drought.

What separates organic, IPM, and conventional is not who sprays and who doesn’t, but what materials they spray, environmental management methods employed and if those materials and methods are part of a certified organic program, IPM program, or conventional program. The FDA separates chemical classes into those approved in a Certified Organic program and those that fall outside of Certified Organic.

Baking Powder Biscuits from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1959

Make these for your strawberry shortcake. No need to buy them. Makes about 6. Easy.

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 T. butter

2/3 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients.

Add butter, mix in, then add milk until the dough is soft and light but not sticky.

Turn out on a floured board and pat down or knead about 20 strokes until smooth.

Pat or roll to about 3/4” thick.

Cut with sharp cookie cutter, or cut into diamond shapes.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet about 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees.

If you want soft biscuits bake them touching each other otherwise 1” apart.

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Market Newsletter – June 9, 2015

June 9th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I went on a home tour sponsored by the Springfield Preservation Trust this past Sunday. The homes that were on tour were all north of Sumner Avenue in the Forest Park Heights section of our neighborhood. The folks who opened their homes were extremely generous to do so. Some of the people had homes that were in perfect condition when they were bought, and all they had to do was move in. Another home was purchased by a young couple who are rehabbing it little by little. One person on the tour said that he had a house in the McKnight section of Springfield that he’s owned for 25 years, and he was just about done fixing it up. It is truly a labor of love to buy an old home that needs rehabbing. Unless one is made out of money, most of the work is done over time.
There are many beautiful homes in Springfield. If the homes that I toured were in the Boston area, at least a couple of them would be worth millions.
Last week a friend asked me what I said to someone who said that farmers’ markets were expensive. I told her that I tell the person who says that that they are confusing price and value. Produce that is purchased at the market will most often stay fresh longer because it is fresher when you buy it.
I also tell them that small production farming is more expensive than large production farming; they don’t have economy of scale. Even a large farm in New England is small by national standards.
Another thing to consider, which has nothing to do with freshness, is that the money you spend at a farmers’ market stays locally for the most part. In whatever ways that you can, keep your local money local; it helps our economy.
Walk around a farmers’ market, then decide what you will purchase.

SNAP, etc.

We have received some grant money, so for every
$5 that someone spends when buying EBT tokens, we will give them an X token that is worth $2 each. These tokens are only to be used for fruit and vegetables. The purpose is to help folks eat more healthful foods.
We ask for a $1 contribution from those of you who use your debit or credit card for more than $25 to help us defray the cost of the machine that we use. It costs us about a thousand dollars a year to have it. Every transaction has a fee, and there is a monthly cost as well. Then, at some point, there is an annual compliance fee that we pay. We paid almost $90 for June.
And, for anyone who thinks that we should ask for a contribution for EBT, we can’t. It’s against the law.

A Few Cooking Tips

Turn your unwanted bread into bread crumbs by using your food processor. Freeze them because fresh bread crumbs will get moldy if you don’t.

Rhubarb freezes perfectly. Wash it, cut it, and put it into a freezer bag. Use right from the freezer for your recipe.

You can make your own salad dressing very easily; there’s no need to pay high prices at the grocery store. Keep a few different types of vinegar and olive oil in your pantry. Add salt, pepper, and some herbs or spices to taste, and you have salad dressing. Keep kosher salt on hand also; it has bigger grains and isn’t as salty. All good cooks use kosher salt.

Take cookbooks out from the library and experiment with recipes. Follow the recipe exactly the first time, and then change it if necessary (except for baking) the next time you make it. This is how you learn.

This ‘n’ That

Springfield residents get free admission to the museums at the Quadrangle. Just show your identification and you will get in free.
Some libraries have passes for museums in the region; check at your library.

Bay Path University is having its annual authors’ program this coming Sunday, June 14th at 2PM. It is held in the Blake Dining Commons. It’s free. Bring your book group.

“Food Inc.” will be shown at Springfield College’s Brennan Center on Island Pond Road this Wednesday, the 10th at 5:30. A light supper will be served, so reservations are requested. Call 263-6500 ext. 6539 to make yours. It’s free.

If you go camping, don’t bring firewood with you. Buy it wherever you go. This is to keep you from bringing unwanted insects with you.

My eldest grandson Alex, age 21, has spent this semester in Dunedin, New Zealand. With the miracle of the Internet and Facebook, he has kept us apprised of some of his activities. Just yesterday we had a lengthy conversation about a variety of subjects online. He actually posted a couple of pictures of a classroom. New Zealand is a beautiful country. There is a 15 hour time difference between us, so corresponding online is perfect for us.

Early June Garden Chores

Grow different varieties of basil in containers. Give it as much sun as possible, and you’ll have plenty.
Stay on top of the weeding. Weed early and often, mulch, and don’t let any weeds go to seed. If you have an invasive species that you are pulling out, put them in the garbage; don’t compost them.
In your lawn use organic herbicides, remove tenacious weeds, and make sure you reseed.

Minestrone Soup–my way

As I have said in the past, making soup is easy. Sometimes someone has asked me how much to put in of this or that ingredient. It depends on what you like, what you have, and how many you’re cooking for. If you have a freezer, make extra. I made this soup yesterday, and this is what I put in it.

Chicken and beef broth

summer squash (includes zucchini, a summer squash)

onion carrot celery

canned diced tomatoes canned beans, drained potato


salt & pepper

basil, oregano, parsley

Put it all in a pot, wait to put in the salt and pepper especially if you are using commercial bullion, and cook for about an hour. Taste it to see what you think it needs. You’re done. This freezes well.

After it is cooked, put in a couple of handfuls of macaroni, put the cover back on, and the heat from the soup will cook the macaroni.

Cream of Summer Squash Soup

I give this recipe every year. Now that summer squash has come to the market, you can make it. Don’t bother making it with other than native squash; it won’t have any flavor.

Onions, vegetable oil or butter, chicken or vegetable broth, summer squash, curry, half and half or cream, salt and white pepper.

Sauté cut up onions in vegetable oil until soft. Add summer squash. Cover with broth. Cook until soft. you might want to add a cut up potato to add to the thickness of the soup. Let it cool a little then puree in a blender or food processor. Add curry, then half and half. Taste. This soup is good cold or hot. Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top with a basil leaf or some chives.

You can use other vegetables also. I’ve used peas, winter squash, and tomatoes (no curry in the latter.)


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Market Newsletter – June 2, 2015

June 1st, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

MassSave is a program sponsored by the energy companies that can help you get insulation, energy efficient lighting, no-cost sealing of air leaks (as necessary), rebates for high efficiency heating, hot water equipment, and more.
From time to time we have people at our market who can guide you with this process, or call 1-866-527-7283. I was told that the reason the companies are doing this is to keep them from having to build new energy facilities. If enough people save energy, they will save billions of dollars in not having to build new plants.

When you recycle, do not put plastic bags in with your other recycling. Save them and put them in the containers at many grocery stores that are especially for plastic bags.
One of our vendors, My Main Squeeze, is having a fundraiser for the month of June to benefit the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. Any customer who donates something from the Home’s wish list will receive a 10% discount off their order. You can find the wish list on the Home’s web page, or My Main Squeeze’s Facebook page. You can visit them at 48 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow.

Illumination Night–June 6th

Every year for over 25 years, the Forest Park Civic Association has a party to which everyone is invited. A band plays, some people on the street where the party is held decorate their porches, refreshments are sold, and a general good time is had by all.
This year Illumination Night is being held on Marengo Park and Bellevue Ave. At 6:30 there is a children’s parade with decorated bikes and costumes (if the children want to wear a costume), at 7 the visiting starts, at 7:30 there is a singalong, and at 8 the band begins to play. Everyone is welcome. Bring a chair and some bug spray.

SNAP Bonus

We have received some grant money, so for every $10 that someone spends when buying EBT tokens, we will give them an X token that is worth $2. These tokens are only to be used for fruit and vegetables. The purpose is to help folks eat more healthful foods.

New Century Theatre

They are celebrating their 25th year anniversary this year. The season begins on June 18th and runs through August 8th. They have 4 plays scheduled, plus a children’s play.
The 4 plays are all by women, and 3 of them will be having their Western Massachusetts premieres.
Go to their website, or call them at 413-585-3220. The box office opens today. Another theatre in the area is the Chester Theatre. Details about their program soon.

From American Farmland Trust– National Survey Results

Over 1500 ranchers and farmers participated in a survey conducted this year in March. Here are 5 takeaways that they have learned so far:
• There is tremendous diversity in the foods and farm products being sold at farmers’ markets. 69% are selling vegetables, 53% are selling livestock, poultry, or eggs, 47% are selling fruits and tree nuts, and 31% are selling value-added products.
• Farmers’ markets support a diverse range of farmers, especially young, beginning, and female farmers. 16% are younger than 35 years old while

only 8% of all US farmers are younger than 35; 43% have farmed for less than 10 years compared to 22% of all US farmers, and 51% are female compared to 30% of all US farmers.
• Protected farmland is important to farmers selling at farmers’ markets. 26% of farmers selling at farmers’ markets are farming on protected land.
• Farmers’ market farmers are using conservation practices. 48% use integrated pest management. 78% use practices consistent with organic standards, and 81% use soil health practices including cover crops, reduced tillage, soil nutrient testing, and on-farm composting.
• Farmers’ markets are educating consumers about farming and food. Farmers’ market farmers regularly discuss the following topics with their customers–health benefits, farming practices, local food systems, and food prep techniques.
50 acres of farmland are lost to real estate development every hour in the United States.

Homeowner Emergency Repair Program–Springfield

The City of Springfield, through the Office of Housing, has created a Homeowner Emergency Repair Program, using Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
The Emergency Repair Program provides income- eligible Springfield homeowners with zero-interest deferred payment loans to pay for the cost of an emergency repair to their home. These loans are recorded as a lien on the property, and repayment is only required when the homeowner sells, refinances, transfers title to the property, or no longer occupies the home as a principal place of residence.
Go to the City’s website under Housing or call 787-6500 for all of the details. The money for this year is either gone, or almost gone, but they will be taking applications for the next fiscal year this week.

Chard, aka Swiss Chard

If we don’t have it at the market this week, it will be here soon. It is a versatile vegetable. It can be cooked many ways. The leaves can be steamed, parboiled, or sautéed, added to soup, stuffed with meat or vegetable fillings, or used to line a pate mold. The crisp-textured stems are delicious steamed, stewed, or gratineed. Chard and garden beets are in the same family (the silverbeet). Separate the leaves from the stems before cooking.

Sautéed chard with lemon & hot pepper Stem the chard, wash and drain the leaves, and cut them into a rough chiffonade. Sauté in olive oil, covered for 5 minutes or so until the leaves are wilted and tender. Remove the cover and cook away the excess moisture Season at the last minute with a pinch of red pepper flakes according to taste, and with salt and pepper, and squeeze lemon juice over just before serving.

Chard stem gratin

Chard stems are delicious. Remove their strings, if necessary, then par boil until tender (doesn’t take long), drain and arrange in a gratin dish with bits of fried pancetta, some chopped garlic, chopped flat-leaf parsley, and a seeded, coarsely chopped tomato. Cover with a bit of béchamel sauce or cream, and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven, or under the broiler until golden.

Braised chard

Separate the leaves from the stems, cut the leaves into a rough chiffonade. Slice a large sweet onion and sauté it in olive oil. After the onion softens add the chard leaves, add salt & pepper, cover and stew for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often. You can add other ingredients, but this recipe will really let the sweet flavor of the chard stand out. You can cook the cut up stems with the onion before adding the leaves.

Springfield Preservation Trust Home Tour this Sunday, June 7th from 1-4
To get all of the details go to the Trust’s website. All the information is there. The homes are all in the Forest Park neighborhood.



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Market Newsletter – May 26, 2015

May 26th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager 

Have you ever thought about how fortunate we are to live in a region that still has so much agricultural industry? There are no more farms left in Springfield, but we don’t have to travel far to find a farm. Although most states have lost farmland (as have we), Massachusetts has seen an increase in farms in recent years. Not a lot, but some.
Something I have noticed is that the people who are our vendors who are farmers, are very well educated. If you stop and think about it, they have to be. There are so many things that they have to know. It isn’t enough just to know how to grow something. The dairy and meat farmers are on duty 24/7. There are no days off for them unless they make prior arrangements.
I’m not telling you to kiss a farmer (ask first), but appreciate their hard work, and say thank you once in awhile.
We have received a significant contribution from Health New England. Thank you so much!

Illumination Night

Every year for over 25 years, on the night before Fathers’ Day, (June 6th this year) the Forest Park Civic Association has a party to which everyone is invited. A band plays, some people on the street where the party is held decorate their porches, refreshments are sold, and a general good time is had by all.
This year Illumination Night is being held on Marengo Park and Bellevue Ave. At 6:30 there is a children’s parade with decorated bikes and costumes (if the children want to wear a costume), at 7 the visiting starts, at 7:30 there is a singalong, and at 8 the band starts playing. Except for the refreshments, it’s all free. Bring a chair and bug spray. Everyone is welcome.

Coming up on June 7th

The Springfield Preservation Trust is having its spring house tour from 1-4 PM. The area to be toured is Forest Park Heights. You can purchase tickets in advance for $15. Get tickets at Flowers, Flowers at 758 Sumner Avenue, or The Flower Box at 596 Carew St., both in Springfield. Or, on the day of the tour for $20 on Maplewood Terrace just off Fort Pleasant Avenue; you’ll see a sign.
The Jewish Community Center is having a program for children and an artisan festival. The children’s program is Touch a Truck and a bounce village from 11-3. The cost for that is $15 per family in advance, or $20 at the door. Park in the Converse St. lot. The artisan festival is from 10-3. There is no entrance fee for that. Please park in the B’nai Torah parking lot for that event.

Ways to Save Energy, Money, etc.

• Don’t let the water run. Every minute your faucet runs about 2.5 gallons of water is wasted.

• The single use pods for coffee makers are mostly non-recyclable. If placed end to end, the billions of single-use coffee pods sold in 2014 would circle the planet at least 10 times.

• Drive more slowly. Doing so really does save gas.

• Turn lights off when leaving a room. Purchase longer-lasting LED lights, which reduce energy costs and consumption by up to 80% compared to incandescent bulbs.

• Use cold water for washing clothes. Wash only full loads. You clothing will get clean in cold water.

• Start using cloth napkins. If everyone used one less paper napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of paper would be kept out of landfills annually.

• Register for opt out services for junk mail. One service is This is better than recycling the unwanted mail.

• Use the microwave more. For smaller meals th ey u se 3 0 -8 0 % less energy than conventional ovens. If you do use your conventional oven, keep the door closed. Every time you open it, you lose about 25 degrees.

• Turn off your car engine. Don’t let your car idle. Modern car engines need only 30 seconds or so to warm up, and idling for more than 10 seconds uses up more gas than turning the car off and on does.

Recipe–Savory Kugel

Kugel is a German word that means pudding. There are many types of pudding, one that is most well known is a noodle pudding, a sweet concoction made with noodles, eggs, and dairy products. Here’s a recipe for one that isn’t sweet. Cook fresh spinach then squeeze the liquid out, then chop it up.

1 bag of egg noodles 1 stick of butter
2 packages of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry, or cooked fresh spinach, also drained of excess moisture and then chopped.
6 eggs
1 pint sour cream or plain yogurt
2 packages dried onion soup or dried vegetable soup

Cook noodles, drain. Add butter to hot noodles; let it melt. Add dried soups. Add eggs, and yogurt or sour cream. Mix well. Put into greased pan, either 2 8×8 pans, or one 9×13. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour. You want the top to be slightly browned. You can make this in muffin cups for individual kugels. This freezes very well.

Visit a Museum

Many libraries offer free or reduced rate passes to many of the museums in Western and Central Mass. Usually there is a list of what’s available at the circulation desk.
Check out some of the smaller museums in the region; there are plenty of them.
One of my favorites has been Old Sturbridge Village. When I was in 3rd grade, my school took us on a mystery trip, and Sturbridge Village was the destination. I’ve been back many times. I took one of my grandsons there when he was 8. After only a few minutes there he said, “Grandma, I know we’ve only been here a few minutes, but I like this place already.”

WIC and Elder Coupons

These coupons will soon become available. You have to ask for them. The WIC offices want those of you who receive WIC benefits to ask for them because a fairly large percentage of the coupons were never redeemed when they were mailed out.
The senior coupons you also have to ask for. Contact your local senior center and get your name on a list. We do not hand them out here at the market.
WIC farmers’ market coupons are for produce only. Elder coupons are for produce and honey. That’s it. They both have to be used by the end of October.


There are many items that make great gifts at our market. One that is always welcome are our wooden tokens. If you know that someone shops here, or could, think of them as a gift. It is also easy to put together a fabulous basket of items–maple products, honey, relishes, jam and jellies, soap and lotion, sauces, etc.

Mycoterra Farm

They hope to return with their wonderful mushrooms. Child care is the issue that is keeping them away for now.

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Red Fire Farm

Market News- May 19, 2015

May 19th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

My daughter lives in Washington, DC and has been going to one of the local farmers’ markets. there. This weekend she bought strawberries, yellow cherry tomatoes, and some other items that we don’t have just yet. But they’re coming. I love how excited she gets being able to purchase such wonderful produce from a local market.
Each week at a farmers’ market is different. That’s part of why it’s such a good idea to get into the habit of coming each week. I know that we will have baby bok choi, some greens, radishes, green garlic, and scallions this week, along with some cold storage items like apples, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery root.
The new Locally Grown magazine is out from CISA. In it you will find lots of information about who has what in the Pioneer Valley. You will also find information about the approximate harvest dates in Western Mass. If you’ve never had a garden, or don’t think much about it, it’s good information to have, so that you won’t get frustrated waiting for your favorites.
Our market is the largest farmers’ market in this part of the Pioneer Valley. It isn’t large as far as national standards go, but it’s a good size for Massachusetts.
On a totally different subject–a friend and I were talking the other day about not being people who have to buy, buy, buy all the time. We weren’t talking about groceries, just general stuff. I said that we were lucky to have been raised by people who lived through the Depression, and she agreed. We have an appreciation for what we have, and are thrifty people as a result of the lessons we learned from our folks.

Welcome New Vendors!

Last week White Buffalo Herbs was here for the first time. Carol Joyce is a community herbalist and has a line of herbal teas, kitchen herbs, herb extracts tinctures, aromatherapy and more to offer.
George Gee’s All-Purpose Barbecue Sauce has, you guessed it, barbecue sauce for many uses. Stop by for a sample.

One More Household Hazardous Waste Collection in Springfield

Call 787-7840 to make an appointment, and to get directions and details. The date is May 30th from 8 to noon.

Springfield Preservation Trust

The SPT will host its annual preservation awards reception to honor individuals and organizations that help restore and preserve historic places in Springfield. The event is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, May 20th at 6PM in Center Court of Tower Square, 1500 Main Street in Springfield. To be honored are:
• Concerned Citizens of Springfield for restoration of 54 Fairfield St.

• Cross Town Corner LLC for restoration of 22 Winthrop St., 71 Adams St., 93 Pine St., and 116 Hancock St.

• Demetrios Panteleakis for restoration of 83 Bowdoin St.

• DevelopSpringfield for exterior restoration of 83 Maple St.

• Eagle Home Buyers LLC for restoration of 155 Florida St.

• McIntosh Condo Association for exterior restoration of 385 Worthington St.

• Morrell Thomas for exterior restoration of 122-124 Florida St.

• Robert McCarroll for exterior restoration of 44-46 Dale St.

• Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield for exterior restoration of 68 & 78 Elliot St.

• The Edward Sims Award for Stewardship will go to Dieter Lutz for 138 Dartmouth Terrace

• The Robert Holbrook Award for Stewardship will go to Melinda Phelps for 192 Springfield St.

• The George Pooler Award for Stewardship will go to Thomas and Sandra Valentine for 400 Maple St.

Thanks to the Trust for all of their work and to the above organizations and individuals who help to preserve some of the treasures that we have in our city.

When Raw isn’t Always Better

The Boston Globe had an article in Sunday’s paper that said that some vegetables are most nutritious when they are cooked rather than raw. They are:
• Tomatoes
• Carrots
• Asparagus
• Spinach
• Mushrooms
According to Rui Hai Liu, a professor in the
department of food science at Cornell University who has studied how heat affects food, “Many nutrients in fruits and vegetables are bound in the cell walls. Cooking helps release them, so they’re more bioavailable and absorbed by the body.”

How to Make Compost

1. Add 3 parts “browns”–fall leaves, straw, salt marsh hay, shredded paper and cardboard, chipped brush, sawdust, pine needles (should not make up more than 10% of total material in pile.)
Add one part “greens”–grass clippings, weeds, (not laden with seeds), vegetable and fruit wastes, seaweed, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, manure (horse, cow, rabbit, chicken, goat, gerbil, etc.)

2. Mix or layer materials–after every 12” or so, add a few shovelfuls of rich soil or compost.

3. Keep it damp and aerated. Wait a few months and voila…black gold.

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

For the streusel–6 T unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temp. butter for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
For the cake–1/2 pound rhubarb cut into 1/2” pieces
1 T. light brown sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp. 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions–Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8” square baking pan. Line with parchment paper leaving a 2” overhang on 2 sides. Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45-60 minutes. Cool. Using paper overhang (if you don’t have parchment paper, foil works well), lift cake from pan. Cut into 16 bars.

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White Buffalo Herbs

Newsletter- May 12, 2015

May 13th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Master
I will not be surprised when many of you come up to me today and say that you forgot that last Tuesday was the first Tuesday in May, hence the start of our farmers’ market. I bet we’ll be a lot busier today.
Due to the cold spring, asparagus was slow growing. But not now. We should have lots of it this week. It doesn’t matter whether the stalks are thin or thick; it tastes the same. Thin spears tend to be from younger plants, thick spears from older ones.
If you find spears where the top is closed and the bottoms look juicy, it’s fresh. Tops opening and bottoms dry, it isn’t.
Instead of breaking the stalk to get rid of less tender parts, cut off about 1 1/2” of a stalk, or peel it. When you get to the bottom peel a little more aggressively.
Do NOT put the peels down the garbage disposal.
Asparagus cultivation dates back to early Greek and Roman civilizations, but our local fondness began in the 1920s here in the Pioneer Valley. Hadley asparagus became world renowned.
It is recommended that it not be boiled. Cook it other ways to maintain its flavor, and don’t overcook it. Roasting is very popular. Lay the spears flat in a pan, sprinkle it with chopped garlic, sprinkle some olive oil and kosher salt on it, cover. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Stick the tip of a paring knife in a spear. If it goes in easily, it’s done.
Asparagus is also excellent cold with a lemon mayonnaise dressing.

Hard cover books can be recycled. Empty motor oil and anti-freeze bottles can’t be. Ditto brake fluid bottles.
Paper cartons for milk and orange juice, etc. can be recycled with bottles and cans. Don’t include drink pouches.
Never put oil of any kind down the drain. Cooking oil should be discarded in the trash, and motor oil, etc. should be brought to a service station where they have facilities to store used oil before it is picked up by a recycler.
Black plastic is not recyclable.
Tyvek envelopes (you know, the kind that you can’t rip) can be recycled with plastic bags.

Forest Park Civic Association
The FPCA is celebrating its 50th year of operation this week. Actually, it was formed in 1963 as a response to a proposal to enlarge a small shopping center on Sumner Avenue where Friendly’s is now. They wanted to expand in the rear where Spruceland Ave. is. It wasn’t an historical district then, so there was no protection to keep anything from being destroyed.
You can thank the farsighted folks from those days for Sumner Avenue not looking like Boston Road with mostly commercial businesses. We still have many Victorian style houses and lovely old apartment buildings.

This ‘n’ That
In past newsletters I have written about the importance of having numbers on your home that are visible from the street. There is a proposal in our legislature to require just that. Some of thepushback is because some people think that it won’t be attractive. Who cares? Isn’t it better to have big enough numbers that can be read easily no matter what the circumstances are, but especially if an emergency vehicle has to find your house? Don’t put this off.

Please pick up litter when you go out for a walk, and if you are still a smoker, don’t throw your butts on the ground; the filter isn’t recyclable, and it makes a mess.
Please note that the speed limit in the park is 15 miles per hour. Slow down please.

EBT/SNAP Benefits
What can you use your tokens for here at the farmers’ market? Anything that is food including honey and maple products, and plants that will grow food such as tomatoes, basil, etc. You can’t use them for soap, lotion, alcohol, prepared food, or plants that aren’t food plants.
We will be receiving some grant money that will allow us to give extra tokens when you use your EBT card. The tokens will have an X on them and can only be used for purchases of produce. They will be worth $2. We don’t have the money yet, so we aren’t starting this yet.

Libraries are magical places. I remember that when East Longmeadow was proposing to build a new library an old man said he didn’t know what we needed libraries for anymore. I thought that was one of the dumbest things I’d ever heard.
We have a fabulous system here in Western and Central Massachusetts–the CWMARS system. You can order a book, cd, dvd, or other library material, and it will be sent from another library in the system. Some libraries are even loaning out Kindles and iPads. I know that Longmeadow and East Longmeadow do. I took a Kindle on a trip recently and I loved the convenience of having several books with me in a small device.
In addition to having things to borrow, there are often special programs at libraries. On Wednesday, May 20th, at the Storrs Library in

Longmeadow, the Redstone Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is presenting Tea for Three, Lady Bird, Pat & Betty. This is a witty, winning solo show about 3 women who were first ladies. It’s at 6:30. Register online or call 565-4181 x1620. It’s free.

Asparagus Recipes
1# fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5 oz. can) chicken broth
2 T butter
2 T. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt
pinch black pepper
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1. In a large saucepan, combine asparagus, chopped onion, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until asparagus is tender, about 12 minutes. Process the mixture in a blender and set aside.
2. In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining chicken broth and increase the heat to medium. Cook stirring constantly until the mixture boils. Stir in the asparagus puree and the milk or cream.
3. Put the sour cream in a small bowl, and stir in a ladleful of the hot soup. Add the sour cream mixture and the lemon juice to the soup. Stir while heating the soup to serving temperature, but don’t allow it to boil. Serve right away.
************************************** Stir-fried asparagus
Prepare asparagus, cut into 1” pieces. Sauté some garlic, and add the asparagus. Cook ‘til tender. Serve that way with a little kosher salt sprinkled on it, or make a sauce with chicken broth, cornstarch and a little soya sauce.

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Market News – May 5, 2015

May 4th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Welcome to the 18th year of our marvelous market. Throughout the years we have had such terrific cooperation from the very first time that we mentioned having a market in our neighborhood to the present.
Often when I have attended farmers’ market meetings with other managers I have heard stories where the markets have had difficulty doing what needs to be done. We have been fortunate that that hasn’t been the case for us.
In our current location, the park administration and employees couldn’t be more helpful. Everything is done in a timely fashion, and our job is made so much more pleasant.

As always you will find some new vendors here. We welcome Sun Kim Bop with her food truck serving Korean food; Wheelhouse Farm LLC, a new venture for them who also will serve food for lunch and to take home; Bear Meadow Cidery who was at our winter market with hard cider, and is joining our Tuesday market; and Sweet Cakes by Tanya with baked goods. Tanya recently purchased Essen & Fressen on Dickinson St., so if you want some of her baked things in between markets, go over there. She also serves breakfast and lunch. it’s just across the street from Fountain St. We also welcome Francis DiPasquale who is selling plants for your garden.
Anytime you’d like to make a financial contribution to our market, please do so. We operate on a fairly slim budget, so every little bit helps.
Those of you who have purchased tokens at our market know that we ask anyone other than EBT customers to contribute $1 toward the cost of having the credit card machine if they purchase more than $25 in tokens. This helps to defray the cost which is about $1,000 year.

This ‘n’ That
When you return your milk bottles to Trinity Farm, please don’t leave the caps on; they don’t re-use them.
By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the
planet. We’ll have to produce more food in the next 50 years than all of mankind has produced in the last 10,000 years combined.

I recently attended a talk by Charlie Nardozzi, an author and landscaper. He recommends that we landscape our yards with edible plants. Here are some of his suggestions.

Ornamental Vegetables–’Red Bor’ kale; ‘Mortgage Lifter’ tomato; ‘Variegata’ pepper; ‘Golden Sweet’ snow pea; ‘Shiraz’ snow pea; ‘Red Noodle’ asparagus bean.
Edible Trees–‘North Pole’ columnar apple; ‘Liberty’ disease resistant apple; ‘Dwarf Northstar’ cherry; ‘Brown Turkey’ fig; Serviceberry; ‘Meader’ persimmon; ‘Geraldi’ dwarf mulberry.
Edible Shrubs–Blueberries, 1/2 high and highbush; Alpine strawberries; ‘Red Hinnomaki’ gooseberry; ‘Pink Champagne’ currant; ‘Black Lace’ elderberry; Honeyberry.
Edible Shrubs–Somerset Seedless’ grapes; Hardy kiwi.

Charlie also sends out emails with gardening information. If you’d like to receive them, go to and sign up. He has a new book coming out this month. He lives in Vermont and does lots of speaking about gardening.

If you start recycling plastic bags, you will be amazed at how quickly they add up. As long as the bag is clean, it can be recycled. Many grocery stores have containers to receive them. They are eventually melted down. You can also bring clean bags with handles on them to our market and give them to a vendor.
When you put plastic bottles into recycling, keep the cap on.
Don’t recycle metal hangers. Give them back to the cleaners, or throw them away. They mess up the machine that separates the recyclable items.
Only plastic egg boxes are recyclable; foam and paper ones aren’t. You can bring those back to our market and give them to the people who bring eggs. (Actually, you can bring all egg boxes back to the market.
Please remove the greasy part of a pizza box and put the rest in recycling.
I was recently told that only about 35% of all glass is recycled. Most breaks when put into the trash, or the truck, or when it’s off loaded. I suppose the glass that is recycled is from the returns of glass bottles because they are crushed and used in many ways elsewhere.

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal in Springfield
On May 9th and 30th, you can bring hazardous waste to Grochmal Ave. in Indian Orchard. There is a 10 gallon limit per household. Call 787-7840 for more details and an appointment. Springfield residents only.

Coming up at Stanley Park
May 6th–How to care for your roses in the fall and winter from 10-11. Use gate 2 or 3 for parking and easy access to the rose garden.
A nature workshop , “Enjoy the Birds of Spring” from 8-10 AM, will be held on Sunday, May 17th. Bring binoculars if you have them.

This includes a walk through a variety of habitats in the sanctuary during the height of spring migration, stopping to enjoy both resident songbirds and tropical migrants as they feed and sing. Meet at the main entrance sign to the Frank Stanley Beveridge Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary. Heavy rain cancels.
All of these programs are free.

Trickle Down Effect
When you shop at a farmers’ market, you are helping money trickle down into the local economy. The vendors overwhelmingly shop at local businesses, etc.

Ramps & Fiddleheads
Ramps are a wild member of the lily family, and fiddleheads are the unfurled tips of the ostrich fern. Ramps have a slight oniony/garlic flavor, and the only word I can use to describe the taste for fiddleheads is green. Fiddleheads are always eaten cooked; stir frying works best for both. Outlook Farm had them last year.

Recipe–Maple Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg
1 cup maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream the butter and brown sugar; add the egg, syrup, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir into mixture until well blended. Shape into 1” balls and roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets about 2” apart and flatten slightly.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.
Cool on wire rack.

PS: Use grade B syrup for these; more flavor.


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Market News – October 28, 2014

October 28th, 2014 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Well, this is it, the last day of our 17th year of operation, and it’s been a fabulous year. As I said last week, the weather has been cooperative, even last week when rain was supposed to be on and off all afternoon. It never rained, we had blue skies, and the temperature was moderate.
Thanks to all of you loyal customers. I suspect that some of you shop here not only because the food and other products are so good, but also because you know how important buying locally is. As I often say, if you want to go for a ride in the country, you aren’t going so that you can look at housing developments; you’re going to look at the beautiful countryside.

Concerned Citizens for Springfield is our non-profit sponsor. This organization was established in 1995 by some owners of rental real estate because they didn’t like the way our neighborhood of Forest Park was heading. Eventually neighborhood residents and others became involved with it. In the almost 20 years of its existence, CCS has rehabbed several properties, built new housing, eliminated graffiti, established community gardens, landscaped areas of the neighborhood, improved Johnny Appleseed Park with new playground equipment, hosted landlord training sessions in cooperation with the Rental Housing Association and HAP Housing, worked closely with Wynn Properties to improve the apartments on Longhill Street, (Forest Park Gardens) and much more. 340 Dickinson Street was their first rehab project. They have also done 46 Forest Park Avenue, and 115 Sumner Avenue among others. All of these properties were very distressed before CCS became involved.
This all-volunteer organization continues to improve our neighborhood at every turn.

Two weeks ago one of our regular customers gave me a card with a sheet of the new farmers’ market stamps in it along with a note thanking me for all that I do for the market. It is truly a labor of love, and I thank everyone, customers, vendors, donors, & volunteers for helping to make our market so successful.

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–Cauliflower with Olives and Rosemary

1 head cauliflower
2 T. olive oil
20 +/- Mediterranean-style black olives
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Cut the cauliflower into florets about the size of a silver dollar.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the florets and blanch until almost cooked, but still a little crunchy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl filled with iced water to stop the cooking. Drain and let dry
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat; add the cauliflower and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the olives and sauté until the cauliflower colors lightly, another minute or two. Add the rosemary and cook 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper; drain off the oil.
Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil.

Meet the Vendors– Moe’s Donuts

Moe’s is one of our two most recent vendors. Al Fini, a well known farmer in the region and Maureen’s father, came by the market table several weeks ago with a dozen donuts in hand, 6 cider, and 6 raised yeast which they gave to me to try at the same time saying that they’d like to be part of our market. The donuts were delicious! I did share them and asked the opinions of the people with whom I shared them. All opinions were positive.
Maureen and Mark Weiner have been part of each other’s lives for over 30 years; they were high school sweethearts. Maureen learned the ins and outs of working at farmers’ markets from her dad, and Mark learned the nuances of baking from his grandmother Edith who had worked in a Central Massachusetts bakery during the Depression.
Maureen and Mark raised two daughters, Lauren and Allison. After they went off to college, they looked for an innovative way to help cover their daughters’ student loans–Moe’s Donuts was born.
Their business is relatively simple; there is no storefront, no shop, and no regular business hours. They only cook at fairs, markets, and other events. The products are relatively simple also–2 or 3 varieties of donuts, and a couple of beverages, and that’s it.
Their website is MOESDOS.COM. They will be at the winter market.

Flu Shot Clinics

Every town/city has these clinics. Springfield has another one on Thursday, November 6th at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 915 Plumtree Road from 1:30-3:00 PM. It’s free. Last year 33,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu.

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!

The turnout for voting in our country is pitiful. It is a privilege to vote, so please do. The general election is Tuesday, November 4th. Please don’t throw away your vote; every vote does count.

Your Fairy Godmother

Many people ask what I do during the off season. Although we do have a winter market, and I do work on both markets all year long, I do have other things that I do as well.
I have a little business that I call Your Fairy Godmother. I cook, elder sit, baby sit, drive, organize kitchens and offices, and do other things as well. Pick up one of my brochures here at the market.

This ‘n’ That

Pickled beets are very easy to make. Boil then peel, then cut into slices or chunks. Add some vinegar, a teeny bit of sugar, mix together and every so often turn the closed container upside down to marinate the beets, and in a day or so, they’re done. You can add onions also.

Please make it your project to pick up some litter every day.

Check out what the Bing Arts Center has to offer and attend some of the events. Brian Hale in particular has worked very hard for several years to open the Bing and to keep it running. He has to have community support to keep it going. Nothing is expensive; most events are on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Used mashed vegetables–potatoes, carrots, parsnips or onions to thicken soups and gravies. They add flavor and texture without almost no calories. You can also use instant mashed potatoes as a soup thickener. That’s the only thing I think they’re good for.

If you haven’t already contacted MassSave, do so. They can save you many dollars on your energy bills.

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