From the Market Manager
Well, here we are at the last market of the 2013 season. This was year 16. We started with 5 vendors in June 1998. Now we’ve become so well known as a successful market that we regularly get requests to join us.
In 2003 I participated in a forum that was discussing the future of food in New England. While some of our findings and recommendations haven’t come to fruition or been strengthened many have.
Where I see great progress is in the economic development of the food system.
We recommended that consumers be educated about:
• Buying locally grown and processed foods
• Where food dollars go, and how locally-spent money strengthens the local economy
• The impact on the local economy of globalization and consolidation
The growth of farmers’ markets and the increase in farm to school, and farm to cafeteria programs has been huge.
Many books, movies, and television programs have educated us about the value of eating locally grown/raised food.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is extremely helpful to farmers and everything having to do with farming including farmers’ markets. I am sure that they aren’t unique, that many other departments of agriculture are equally as helpful.
Young people are going into farming. Look at our own market. I heard a story on NPR last week and think I heard that there are 1300 new young farmers in Iowa. And, if our young farmers are typical, these new young farmers are very well educated. At our market I know that we have graduates of UMASS, UCONN, Hampshire, U. of Chicago, Cornell, and others here.
As I know I have mentioned previously, I have always lived relatively close to farmland. I appreciate the quality of our local farms, and am passionate about doing what I can to preserve them. Obviously you do also otherwise you wouldn’t be shopping here.
So, thanks again for supporting the folks who work so hard for us.
This ‘n’ That
If you like to make stuffed cabbage, here’s a hint on preparing the cabbage for stuffing—freeze it. Yup, that’s right. Put the whole head in the freezer. Let it freeze completely. Then when you want to make the recipe, take it out, let it defrost thoroughly, and then peel the leaves off. It takes quite a while for the cabbage to defrost, so plan accordingly.
You can chop up fresh peppers and freeze those also. It doesn’t matter if they get limp because you’ll be putting them into a recipe where it doesn’t matter.
Do you like smoked fish? Rachael’s Springfield Smoked Fish is open to the public, but only from 9-4 weekdays. Look them up online, RachaelsSmokedFish.com. They are located at 150 Switzer Ave. in Springfield. You will have to look the address up on a map because I couldn’t begin to tell you how to get there. It’s off of a street that’s off of Berkshire Ave.
Don’t store garlic in the refrigerator.
Make your own chicken broth; it is far superior to anything you can buy.
Buy some of Trinity Farm’s eggnog and use it to make French toast. Mmmmm. And, fyi, they don’t re-use the caps on the bottles, so recycle them, don’t return the bottles with the caps on please.
We have had two companies represented here this season. Hopefully any of you who need some energy saving items in your home have signed up, but if not go to MassSave and go from there.
I was told that the reason the energy companies are doing this is that it is less expensive for them to pay for most of the work done than to build new power plants.
Many folks are amazed to learn that there are thousands of varieties of apples in the world. An apple tree is not propagated by seed, it must be cloned. If an apple tree grows from a seed it will be small, green, and misshapen. An apple tree can live for over 200 years. There are many people who look for old varieties of apple trees and who work to reproduce them.
It is very difficult to grow apples organically, as they revert to their wild state easily.
This coming weekend, November 2nd and 3rd, go up to Colrain for Cider Days. You will see (and taste) apple varieties that you may never have seen before.
Go to ciderdays.org for all of the details.
Winter Farmers’ Market
We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there along with some new ones.
Winter markets are an excellent way for farmers (and other vendors) to extend their season.
You can use the wooden tokens there also.
We will have some prepared food for you to enjoy for lunch there.
Did you know that honeybees pollinate more than 100 different crops? We can thank them for some of our favorite foods from fruits and vegetables to nuts and seeds.
Many of you know that there have been problems with bee colonies collapsing in recent years.
In 35 states across American and all over the world, honeybees have been abandoning their hives and dying.
No one knows exactly what causes Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
You can help. Start a garden with bee-friendly plants in your backyard. Lavender, glory bushes, rosemary, violets, and sunflowers are just some of the flowers and plants that attract honey bees.
Read up on it over the winter so that you can make whatever changes you need to make come spring. Systemic pesticide use is thought to be one of the causes of so many bee deaths. That’s one of the things you need to think about this winter—do you need to use systemic pesticides in your yard?
And, last but not least, talk to Tom Flebotte, our honey vendor.
Mitzvahs are most often thought to be good deeds. They don’t have to be big. Here are a few that my rabbi included in a Yom Kippur memorial book.
For the mitzvah we performed by—remembering the good another had done for us even when we were upset with him or her; for not disturbing people around us with cell phones; by stopping our child from teasing or calling another child by a hurtful nickname; by refusing to buy products produced by child labor; by remembering to thank people who have helped us; by refraining from expressions of anger when we were driving our cars; by donating charity cheerfully; by apologizing to one of our children whose feelings we had unfairly hurt; by helping someone find work; for involving ourselves in the life of the community; by staying in close communication with our elderly parents.
Stay in touch on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark