Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

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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Market News ~ June 14, 2016

June 14th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

This past weekend I attended what probably is the last high school reunion that my class will have. I graduated from Longmeadow High School in 1959. Ours was the first class to go all the way through the school. Because none of the classes were large in those days, we combined our classes (’57-’60) for reunion purposes a few reunions ago. A few of us from each class have been meeting a few times a year in between reunions. It’s been nice to keep in touch. Longmeadow was a small town, and many of my classmates had lived there since they were very young, myself included.

We didn’t have a 50th reunion so we also billed this one as a collective 75th birthday party.

It was most enjoyable. By this time of life any baggage we’ve been carrying around should be gone.

Our class had a book of essays from most of the classmates that are still alive, and information about some of the ones who have died. Almost everyone has had some difficulty in their lives. That certainly isn’t a surprise.

The father of one of my classmates died while my classmate was in high school. I hadn’t known that. My classmate became a doctor so he could help others not to go through what his dad did. Another classmate had a
second career as a minister. Lots of us have grandchildren which gives us great pleasure. It was nice to catch up.

It’s strawberry season. I hope that if you have never made jam that you will try it this year. It’s easy. If you have enough freezer space, you don’t even have to can the jam after it’s made; you can keep it in the freezer.There are different brands of pectin; I like the Ball pectin best. Make sure that you follow the directions exactly, otherwise it may not jell.

Get some heavy cream from Trinity Farm for your strawberry shortcake. Why not use the very best you can for such a fabulous dessert? Make your own shortcake also.


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.


This vegetable is very popular in Europe, less so here. It is a member of the brassicas family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, etc. It is eaten raw or cooked. It is very crisp so it’s terrific on a vegetable platter to be used with a dip. The flavor is a combination of broccoli stems and a mild turnip. You peel it and then go from there.

1 ½ to 2 pounds kohlrabi
1 T all-purpose or gluten-free flour
salt to taste
2-4 T. neutral oil
chili powder, curry powder, ground cumin, or paprika to taste.
1. Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about
1/3rd to ½” wide and about 2” long.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Meanwhile, plate the flour in a large bowl, season with salt and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated.
3. When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.


Kohlrabi, carrots, scallions, cider or rice vinegar, Asian sesame oil, soya sauce or salt.
1. Peel kohlrabi and carrots, shred. Add scallions. Mix vinegar and sesame oil together, add soya sauce to taste. Mix with vegetables. Don’t drown the vegetables.

Gift Certificates

We have printed up some gift certificates that you can purchase. We don’t have the amount printed on them, so you can get one or more and we’ll write in the amount when you get one. You can also buy tokens and give those instead.

Summer Entertainment

New Century Theatre begins its 26th season this week on the 16th. They have 4 adult plays and one kids’ play. The plays are held at Smith College at the end of Green Street. Go to for details.

Stanley Park in Westfield has begun its Sunday summer concert series. They are held at 6PM in the new Beveridge Pavilion and are free. The park has many other programs also, so go to their website for their details—

The Majestic Theater in West Springfield also has a full summer schedule. Their schedule includes 3 plays for children. They have a café, so you can grab lunch or a light supper before the performance. Their website is

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.
A Poem—What Will Matter?

By Jerry Van Voorhis, Class of ’59, LHS

Our wealth, fame, and temporal power will one day vanish.

It will not matter what we owned, or what we are owed.

Anything we harbor or yet need to make good will finally disappear.

So, too, hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists Expire.

Wins and losses that once seemed so vital—they will pass away.

It won’t matter from where we came, or on what side of the tracks we lived.

It won’t matter whether we were beautiful or brilliant, or our gender, or skin color.

What will matter are our days—their value will be measured

Not by what we bought, but what we built, not what we got, but what we gave.

Not by our success, but our significance.

Not what we learned, but what we taught.

Not our competence, but our character.

Not our memories, but those others have of us.

Not our circumstances, but our choices.Not our sacrifices, but our every act of integrity.

“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

Alfred Lloyd Tennyson

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Market News ~ June 7, 2016

June 7th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Don’t you just love this time of year with all of the colors, and fresh fruit and vegetables coming to the market?
For the most part here in Western Mass, we don’t get lots of severe weather. Our droughts aren’t as severe or long-lasting as those in other parts of the country, we tend not to get 10+” of rain in one day, blizzards are few and far between, and while we get heat waves, they aren’t weeks long, etc.

The several day extreme (for us) cold that we had in February killed most of the peach tree buds, so we will have a very slight peach crop this year. For sure there are repercussions to the weather that we do have such as this, but for the most part that isn’t an every year type of thing.

We humans are good about complaining about weather, but for most of us too hot, too cold, too wet, or too dry is just an inconvenience. But, for a farmer, it is way more than that. I know that there is such a thing as crop insurance. It is a program that protects against crops ruined due to weather, or due to revenue decline for commodities. The weather part we can understand. The revenue part works this way—if a wheat farmer has sold their crop for $3 a bushel, and the next year’s crop drops to $2 a bushel, they can receive an insurance payment to make up the difference. Crop insurance is sold through private companies with a portion of the premium, as well as the administrative and operating expenses of the private companies, subsidized by the federal government.

Welcome to two new vendors, Crooked Stick Pops and Holyoke Hummus. Crooked Stick will be here every other week, and Holyoke Hummus will be here every week.

Wasn’t Zoo on the Go fun last week? The rabbit they brought was bigger than many of the babies that were at the market.

It seems that some weeks we have lots of babies, and some weeks we have lots of dogs. All beautiful and welcome.

Meet the Vendors—Crooked Stick Pops

Crooked Stick Pops began when founder Julie Tuman thought of bringing the creativity and healthy fun of The Hyppo—a gourmet ice pop shop in Saint Augustine, Florida—to western Massachusetts. “When we go to Florida to stay with our close family friend, we literally go to The Hyppo every single day. Sometimes twice!” The Valley has plenty of amazing places to eat and drink. But it didn’t have ice pops. . . until now!

Her vision for Crooked Stick is to use fresh healthy ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible, to make brilliant flavors that are fun for families and creative and surprising enough to fascinate adults. Julie loves that her ice pops are as healthy as they are exciting. Welcome!

For the Garden

Basil is a versatile herb; it’s used all over the world. There are many varieties. Italian Genovese basil is the classic that’s used for Italian cooking and pesto making. Thai basil has an anise flavor, lemon basil tastes like citrus, cinnamon basil has purple flowers and a spicy taste, and spicy globe stays small and compact, perfect for a container.

Plant basil now that the soil is warm, either directly sowing seeds, or transplants. Thin plants so they are at least one foot apart. Pinch the tops when they’re young to stimulate the plant to branch out and get bushy. Eventually your basil will want to flower. You and our bee friends can enjoy the colorful blooms, or pinch the flowers out so the plant produces more leaves.
Harvest branches of basil rather than leaves. This will stimulate fewer, but bigger leaves to form.
Pesto freezes perfectly. Use a little pesto in a dressing for macaroni salad. Nice combination.

Frequent Shopper Cards

If you don’t have one, come to the market table and get one. Each time you’re at the market, stop by the market table and get it signed. After 6 trips to the market you’ll get a gift from the market.


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.


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.

This ‘n’ That

Did you know that beets and Swiss chard are from the same botanical family—silverbeet? Use the leafy part of chard the same way you would use spinach. Cook the stems a little first before adding the leaves. The beet greens can also be cooked. You can make a combination of them and cook together along with turnip greens and collards although collards take a lot longer to cook.

We have voter registration forms at the market table. Please register if you are old enough. You can also put in an address change on these forms. It is a privilege to vote; don’t throw yours away.

I’ve noticed that sweet corn is about a foot high in the fields. Soon, soon.

Make ice cubes with coffee or tea; your beverage won’t get diluted if you do that.

How Much do you Spend on Food?

The U.S. has one of the lowest percentage of family food costs in the world. I’m reading a book called “Material World, a Global Family Portrait” that features families from all over the world. One of the things they list for many families is the percentage of their income that they spend on food. Some listed are; Uzbekistan, 70%, Brazil, 55%, Japan, 30%, Guatemala, 66%, Argentina, 25%, Mexico 57%, and U.S. 11%.
We are talking about food, not all groceries. Take a look at your own basket when you go grocery shopping. How much of it is food, and how much of it is paper goods, cleaners, and all sorts of things that aren’t food.
Our farmers are excellent at providing good food for us. So, please don’t complain if you think your food bill is too high; it’s the rest of what you purchase that probably is.

Recipe—Spinach Pie

You can put this into a pre-baked pie shell, or no pie shell at all.

1# fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry
1 12 oz. carton cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella or Swiss cheese
3 eggs
2 T. oil
1 tsp. onion or garlic salt
ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and pour into a lightly oiled 9” pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Cream of Swiss Chard Soup

1 ¾ quarts hot chicken stock,
¾# chopped chard
3 oz. diced onion, 1 bay leaf, 3 oz. butter
3 oz. flour,
1 pint hot milk
½ pint hot light cream or half and half
salt and pepper to taste, ¼ tsp. nutmeg
Heat stock add chard, bay leaf & onion, simmer ½ hr.
Make roux with butter and flour, don’t brown.
Add stock (remove bay leaf) to roux gradually, stirring until slightly thickened and smooth. Simmer 30 minutes. Blend. Add heated milk and cream. Season & serve.

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Market News ~ May 31

May 31st, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Outside the window where I sit at my computer, is one of my deep pink rhododendrons. I know that they are going to bloom each spring, but every year I find it to be almost miraculous that Mother Nature does “her” thing each year right on time. This year we had an odd winter, and spring has been cooler than normal. Yet, these shrubs started blooming on the same day as they did 3 years ago. I know this because Facebook often puts up a memory from previous postings on your page, and they put up a picture of one of the shrubs just beginning to bloom; the date was the exact date that I noticed that the buds were opening.

Asparagus and rhubarb are perennials, so our farmers don’t have to plant them more than once. But, most everything else needs to be planted each year. Did you know that garlic is planted in the fall? One clove is planted and then a bulb grows from that.

Think of the tiny seeds that ultimately become food that we enjoy. A lettuce seed is miniscule. I often wonder how someone way back when knew to plant something, or that something found in the wild was edible. I have a weed in my yard that has berries that look like blueberries. How did someone know that these weren’t edible, but blueberries were? I know, someone probably got sick after eating the weed berries. But still, I wonder.

What you can and Can’t Recycle

NO: plastic bags (collect and put into special containers at grocery stores), clothing, pots or pans, dishes, leaves, wood, food waste, Styrofoam, hazardous waste, trash, beverage carriers.

YES: paperbacks and phone books, junk mail (windowed envelopes are ok), boxboard (cereal, shoe, cracker boxes, etc.) No waxed paper. Newspapers, inserts, magazines, catalogs, brown paper bags, white and colored paper, computer paper, corrugated cardboard (no waxed cardboard.) Shredded paper—place in paper bags. Glass bottles, jars, all colors and sizes, (discard all caps). No broken or other glass such as light bulbs, window or auto glass, dishes, glasses, Pyrex, ceramics. Aluminum, tin/steel cans and lids, aerosol cans and clean aluminum foil. No paint cans or other metal items. All plastic bottles, jars, tubs and plastic microwave trays/containers. No containers over 2 gallons, motor oil, chemical or foam containers, or flower pots. Milk & juice cartons (tent top) drink boxes.

If you have furniture in good condition, contact Jewish Family Service or Ascentria Care. Both are refugee resettlement agencies. They can use good furniture to help newcomers to our area furnish their new homes.

Meet the Vendors—Outlook Farm

In 1781, Eliza Norton, at the age of 19, built the Norton Tavern at the top of the hill on Rte. 66 in Westhampton. He reportedly built the inn for his bride. The front upstairs was an open dance hall. There was a fiddler’s step built in the middle of the hall from where the music emanated.

The Tavern was on the route of an old stage coach route that guests would use for their travels. The top of the hill was a good spot for the horse to stop for a rest and water.

In 1860 Warner Bartlett bought the Norton Tavern and renamed it Outlook Farm. He ran the farm until 1920 when Will Fiske bought the homestead.

Will Fiske started peddling his farm products through the valley in the 1930s and 40s. He became well known for his chickens, produce and Outlook Farm sausage.

In 1962 Dave and Mary Lee Morse bought the farm from Fiske work the land, and raise their family. Dave had worked summers on a dairy farm while growing up and Mary Lee, who knew little about farming, was enthusiastic. Together they made the commitment to plunge into what would be their lifestyle for the next 45 years.

They cleared land, fixed outdated machinery, planted fruits and vegetables, raised cows and hogs, restored their home and waited on customers at their roadside stand. Though the days were long, they discovered country people could provide their own form of entertainment. Sugar eats, husking bees, and kitchen dances to name a few, were great fun and good excuses to socialize.

In January 1994, Dave and Mary Lee turned the farm over to their eldest son, Brad and his wife Erin.

Under Brad and Erin’s ownership the farm has expanded. They no longer raise pigs and cows, but have hogs brought up from Pennsylvania that are hormone and antibiotic free. They offer pig roasts, and other catering options, as well as a restaurant and bakery, plus lots of produce including apples, plums, cherries, pears, and peaches. Their apple cider is fabulous.

They have several special events through the season including barbecues on the farm. Check at their stand here at the market for the schedule. Outlook Farm is open every day of the year. They are the only vendor that has been at our market since day one.

They are on Rte. 66 in Westhampton.

Bing Arts Center

If you haven’t been to the Bing for any of their performances, you have shortchanged yourself. Throughout the year, Brian Hale brings all sorts of musical performers there. This coming Saturday evening, June 4th, the Eric Hofbauer Quintet Will be performing. They are equally accomplished in the worlds of both jazz and classical music. It’s at 8PM. Tickets are $20, $10 for students. Tickets are available in advance at, or by calling 731-9730. Doors open at 7:30PM, refreshments are available.

Springfield Preservation Trust Spring House Tour—June 12th

The McKnight Local Historic District marks the 40th anniversary of its creation this year, and SPT is celebrating with a house tour. The tour will be between 1 & 5 PM on Sunday, June 12th and will feature 6 homes, St. Peter’s Church and several gardens. The homes will be on Dartmouth St., Worthington St., Florida St., and Ingersoll Grove.

The McKnight District is the largest wood frame late Victorian neighborhood in New England. Most of its 800 houses were built between 1870 and 1900. Many of them are in the fanciful Queen Anne style.

Advance tickets for $15 are available either online, or at Flowers, Flowers, 785 Sumner Ave., or The Flower Box, 596 Carew St. Tickets can be purchased for $20 on the day of the tour from 12:45 until 3PM on Thompson St., just off Worthington St. SPT members receive a discounted price. It is recommended that you start the tour no later than 2:30 in order to see all the houses at a leisurely pace.

Recipe-Cider-braised Chicken

Since Outlook Farm is still bringing some of their fabulous apple cider, here’s a recipe that uses it. By the way, you can freeze cider. Pour some of it out of the container, or freeze it in smaller containers leaving some head room, and you’ll be able to enjoy their cider even when it isn’t apple season.

1 whole chicken, cut up

3 T. olive oil

2/3 cup unfiltered apple cider

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup heavy cream

1 T chopped fresh sage

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper

2. Heat oil in a 12” heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken, skin side down first, turning once, 8-10 minutes total

3. Transfer to a plate discarding oil

4. Wipe out skillet, then boil remaining ingredients until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and braise, covered, turning once until chicken is just cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. Boil sauce to thicken if necessary. Whisk sauce if separated.

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Market News ~ May 24, 2016

May 24th, 2016 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Some of you have asked about The Kitchen Garden, so here is the news once again. They aren’t returning to our market this year. They were invited to the Copley Square market which is also on Tuesdays, so that’s where they are going. Although that market isn’t larger than ours, they get many more customers as you might imagine. So, it’s on to the big time for the KG. However, we are most fortunate to have been able to recruit Rainbow Harvest from Greenfield to join us. Although they aren’t certified organic, they are chemical-free, so you can be assured that you will have the same type of vegetables available to you that you had from the KG.

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find information about Rainbow’s owner and the farm.

Mother Nature is amazing, but we all know that. I have a Facebook page, and every so often they put a posting on it that is a memory of something that was posted previously, usually within the last few years. This week I noticed that my gorgeous deep pink rhododendrons were just beginning to flower. On my page that day was a picture taken 3 years to the day of the just beginning to flower rhodies. Even with the mild winter and the chilly spring, MN does her job right on time.

One of the things that I have hoped to accomplish by writing this newsletter each week, is to emphasize the hard work that goes into farming. I think that we all understand that on some level, but it needs to be a conscious thought for us.

In Sunday’s paper there was an article about the asparagus crop this spring. It hasn’t been as prolific as the farmers would like it to be due to the cool spring. Asparagus grows quickly when the temperature is warm. As I have written many times, weather and labor are two aspects of farming which are the most difficult.

You all know that I love this market. I have conversations on a regular basis that leave me feeling uplifted. Last week I met a woman who lives part time in Longmeadow, and is a judge in Chicago. I don’t know how we got to the subject of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (one of our Supreme Court justices for those of you who don’t know) and she told me that she and RBG have been friends for years. I was star struck. Yes, I know, I’m a geek that I now know someone who is friends with her, and am excited by it.

Meet the Vendors

Rainbow Harvest Farm is a small farm in Greenfield owned and operated by David Paysnick. Rainbow Harvest focuses on growing high quality, ecologically grown vegetables, herbs and plants. They also grow a small amount of mushrooms and small fruits, two enterprises David hopes to grow over the next few years.

While the farm is not certified organic, David does not use any materials that would be prohibited by organic standards. Ecologically grown means that the farming principles used are based on a desire to maintain a harmonious relationship between food production and the environment. Even certified organic farms are able to spray a variety of materials that can be toxic to humans and beneficial insects.

David does not spray any pesticides on his farm, instead, he relies on good soil fertility, beneficial insects (like ladybugs), and row covers (thin woven blankets that cover field crops) to control unwanted pests. David’s favorite crop to grow is chili peppers, and last year he began making a line of infused sea salts which he also has available at the market. The salts are infused with ingredients grown on the farm such as chilies, garlic, and herbs. Some of the most popular flavors include chipotle smoked sea salt, habanero smoked sea salt, and garlic infused sea salt.

David grew up in the Springfield area, and is excited to be returning to sell his farm products.

More on Asparagus

It is normal to have bunches with different size stems, and colors in them. Don’t wash the stalks before using them. Wet asparagus wilts much faster than dry. Wrap the entire bunch in a damp paper towel, seal in a plastic bag, and store in the fridge. It should stay crisp for several days. If it gets a bit limp, you can restore its crispness by standing the bunch upright in a bowl of water in the fridge for about a half hour. Washing asparagus is easy; just submerge in cold water, rinse and pat dry. The lower white part of each stalk is typically woody and tasteless. Bend the stalk and snap it at the border where the white begins to turn green. If the stalk is very thick, consider peeling it as well. You can use the discarded stalks and peels for soup stock. There are many ways to cook it–stir-fry, roasting, steamed, all are good.

Serve it drizzled with olive oil or butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. That’s what you roast it with also, nothing more.

Senior Farm Share Lottery

CISA’s Senior Farm Share program offers low-income seniors access to low cost, fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at the height of the growing season. Applications will be accepted until June 1st.

Eligible seniors can apply to participate at one of 14 distribution sites throughout the Pioneer Valley, and participants will be chosen by lottery. The program is based on the CSA model, so participants receive a share of produce, delivered weekly by a local farm for pickup at a set time.

Participants pay a $10 cost per share and receive $125 in produce; the program runs for 10 weeks beginning in July. Eligible seniors must be over the age of 60, and have an income below $23,540 or a combined income below $31,860. Distribution sites are in Athol, Charlemont, Greenfield, Turners Falls, Shelburne Falls, Chesterfield, Huntington, Northampton, Chicopee, Holyoke, Palmer and Springfield.

To find contact information for each of these sites in order to request an application, visit the website,, or call Brian Snell at CISA (413) 665- 7100.

Senior Farm Share is one of the “Local Food for All” programs, and representative of the agency’s commitment to making local food available to the most vulnerable members of the community.

Now in its 12th year, Senior Farm Share will distribute $60,000 in vegetables to 475 seniors in 2016. Funding for the Senior Farm Share program is provided by the state Executive Office of Elder Affairs, individual contributions, and by grants from church communities.

CISA is also the sponsor of the $10 bonus for those of you who use an EBT card at the market.


This market primarily runs on vendor fees, but we also receive contributions and grants. As it is said for many things, it takes a village. Thanks to Concerned Citizens for Springfield, our sponsor. And to Robyn Newhouse, The Forest Park Civic Association, Berkshire Bank Foundation, United Bank, individual contributors, and, of course our wonderful Park Department for all of their help.

We pay rent to use this space, but they go above and beyond to help us.

Zoo on the Go

Next week, here at the market, Zoo on the Go will be here about 3 o’clock for a couple of hours. The last time the adults enjoyed it as much as the children did.


The Jewish Community Center offers transportation on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9-2 and Friday from 8:30-1. Call 739-4715 for more information or for reservations. Cost is $2 per ride or buy a card for 12 rides for $18. Use them to come to the market.

This ‘n’ That

• About 1/3rd of the U.S. is covered by forests.

• Trees increase the property value of homes by 10-20% and attract new homebuyers.

• Trees can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30%, and heating by 20-50%.

• If you have Netflix, watch “Cooked”, a 4 part series based on the book by Michael Polan. Our own Berkshire Mountain Bakery is part of it. Richard Bourdon, the owner of BMB said they spent 3 ½ days at their bakery filming them. It is a terrific series, very interesting. Polan said that he didn’t think that we became human until we started to cook.

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