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.
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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