Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market Newsletter – August 25,2015

August 25th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

On Sunday I took a ride and ended up in West Brookfield at Ragged Hill Orchard. I was looking for another orchard where I had purchased a box of white peach seconds* a couple of years ago for only $10, so was hoping that I could get the same deal this year. I make jam and relishes, and freeze some for the winter.

I never found the orchard that I was looking for, but I got a box of yellow peaches for $15, so happily made some jam yesterday, and peach cobbler, and an upside down cake. I also got a big bag of apple seconds so my applesauce making can begin.
We are so fortunate to have so many farms nearby. There is no reason to purchase produce from out of the area at this time of year. I go to Costco on occasion and see some people putting apples from someplace else in their basket. And, for those of you who really know me, yes, I sometimes say something. I tell them to go to a farm stand or a farmers’ market, or an orchard to buy locally grown apples.

Don’t forget to bring us your unwanted cookbooks, or to take a look at the big blue bin at the market table where you can take what you’d like. Anyone who has a collection of cookbooks has some that they never use.

Do you try new recipes? The only way you’re going to determine if you like something is to make it. Same with new to you vegetables. I always say that just because you didn’t like something when you were young, doesn’t mean that you won’t like it now. Our tastes change. Most of us become more sophisticated as we get older.

* Seconds are imperfect fruit or veggies.

Cobbler, Grunt, Etc.

There are several ways to make summer fruit desserts, and they do differ from each other.

• Cobbler–Baked in a casserole dish with fruit on the bottom and biscuit dough in pieces on top. The rounds of dough resemble cobblestones when baked.
• Grunt–Like a cobbler, but made on the stovetop in a skillet with fruit on the bottom, and spooned biscuit-style dough on top. Also called a slump.
• Crisp–A baked dish with fruit on the bottom, and a crispy layer on top. Unlike a crumble, a crisp usually has oatmeal and/or nuts in the topping.
• Crumble–Fruit on the bottom, with a crumbly layer of streusel, usually made from only sugar flour and butter (unlike a crisp which often contains oats.)
• Buckle–Placed in the pan with cake batter on the bottom, and fruit on top. As it bakes, the fruit settles toward the bottom and is suspended in the cake.
• Betty–Traditionally made with layers of fruit (usually apples) and buttered bread pieces or crumbs, and baked. In some areas a crisp is also known as a Betty.
• Pie–Pastry crust on the bottom, fruit in the middle, and usually pastry on top–either fully covering the pie, or in strips woven together in a lattice.
• Pandowdy–A baked dish with fruit on the bottom, and rolled pastry on top. Once out of the oven, the pastry is broken into pieces, allowing the edges to absorb the juices.
• Upside down cake–Fruit sautéed with brown sugar and butter, then yellow cake batter poured over the top. Baked in oven, then turned over onto serving plate when done.

Recipe–Peach upside-down cake

You can use a baking pan or a black cast iron pan to bake this in. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (about 5) peaches, peeled and cut

CAKE
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Melt butter in pan, sprinkle brown sugar in pan and mix it around. Arrange peaches on top of this mixture. For the cake–cream butter and sugar together, add egg. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the mixture with the milk. Pour into pan.
Bake about 35-40 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Whipped cream is fabulous with this.

The issue of food

The August 23rd edition of the Boston Globe had a whole section about food. Not recipes, food. You know that on occasion I put in something from a group that I was part of in 2003 through the University of New Hampshire’s Office of  Sustainability Studies that studied the future of food in New England. Everyone in the group had something to do with agriculture in New England. My connection was this market.
One of the Globe’s articles was about a regional food plan for New England. We talked about this. In this day and age, it doesn’t make sense for every state in New England, given that we are so close to each other, to have duplication of services. Not only is our region relatively compact in comparison to other states in the country, but consider the communications that we have available to us today. Do we need to have 6 people doing the exact same job in all of our states, or can we regionalize some of the work? We only touched on the issue of the seafood industry in New England. The Globe’s editorial only mentions Boston’s seafood industry, but all of New England except for Vermont has a fishing industry. Farms in New England, in comparison to farms in the mid-West and California, are small even if they are a large farm here. Small production farming is always more expensive than large production farming. Part of the reason that organic farming is
pricer than conventional farming is that much of the work is done by hand. What do we need to do to keep our farmers farming when they don’t have economy of scale? What do any of us who aren’t farmers know about how our food is produced? It isn’t just folks who live in big cities who only go to a grocery store who are ignorant of this. Do any of us who complain about the cost of food ever think about all that goes into getting that food to our plate? And, if you are complaining about the cost of groceries, what is in your grocery cart? Potato chips? (very expensive potatoes) Soda and other drinks that have no nutritional value? Processed food where the farmer earns very little of that cost? Paper goods,
pet food, etc.? How much of the groceries that you buy are real food?

A couple of years ago someone from an agency in the North End of Springfield called me asking for help in establishing a farmers’ market because he wanted his clients to eat more healthfully. I told him that another market wouldn’t necessarily do that but if he taught them how to cook they could get much more value from their food. If you cook most of your own food using real ingredients, you will most likely have healthier food on your table. Also, if you already know how to cook, teach your children. When they grow up they will know how to take care of themselves. What a concept.
Look up the UNH study online; it’s still available. It’s called “The Future of Food in New England.” Get ahold of a copy of Sunday’s Globe. It’s online, or at your library. We are in this together.
BECOME A SCHOOL VOLUNTEER. ALL OF OUR CHILDREN NEED OUR HELP. WE ALL BENEFIT FROM HAVING AN EDUCATED POPULACE.

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Peaches

Market Newsletter – August 18, 2015

August 18th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I put this in the newsletter every year because I think it the essence of why local produce is superior to what comes from hundreds or thousands of miles away. When my now 18 year old grandson was 5, he was at my house and I gave him a peach that I had purchased from Outlook Farm at our market. It hadn’t been in the fridge yet. When his 8 year old brother came to my house later that day, I offered him a peach also. He didn’t  want one whereupon Evan said, “Alex, you really should have one. You can smell the inside from the outside.”

Freeze some peaches for the winter to make muffins, or crisps, or whatever. Just peel them, cut them, and put them into a freezer container.
If you add some sugar to the juice, they retain their color better.

A friend was visiting me last week from California. She drinks a lot of coffee. She kept exclaiming how delicious the half and half was that I use. Of course it comes from Trinity Farm. I also think that it makes my coffee taste really really good.

Last week I noticed that some of the bottles that had been returned to Trinity Farm had the caps on them. I mentioned to Mike Smyth, the dairy farmer, that my mentioning in my newsletters that they don’t reuse the caps, so don’t return the bottles with them on, hasn’t been taken seriously, and he said that our market is the best market as far as not having the caps left on. So, you are listening, good. It makes for extra work when they have to take the caps off before washing the bottles.

Recipe–Gazpacho 

Don’t make this soup unless all of your ingredients except for the vinegar and olive oil are native. It just won’t taste the same. Some things should only be eaten in season. There are hundreds of recipes for gazpacho which is considered to be a liquid salad.

Tomatoes
Green/red peppers
onions
garlic
cucumbers, unpeeled if skin is thin
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
hot pepper flakes if you want it spicy

Puree some tomatoes; use as your base. Coarsely chop more tomatoes, and the remaining vegetables either by hand, or by pulsing them in your food processor. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for hours or overnight. This should be served really cold. You will have to let it sit on the counter for a little while so that the olive oil has a chance to melt.

Don’t keep this more than a day because the vinegar changes the flavor if it’s left too long. Make fresh batches. There is a recipe for what I call
confetti gazpacho on our website.

Red Fire Farm’s Tomato Festival

This Saturday, August 22nd from 12-5PM at their Granby farm location, 7 Carver St. $5 adults, kids free. Music, cooking demo, tastings, FUN!

T-Shirts

A few years ago we had market t-shirts. We didn’t have them for a couple of years, but we have a new supply. They’re only $10. Please buy one so that you can be a walking sign for us. They make a good addition to a gift basket.

This ‘n’ That

Please don’t put any fat or grease down your drains. It eventually clogs up the sewer pipes.

The SNAP bonus tokens this year are from CISA and this market. The X tokens are from us. They are ONLY for produce. The purpose of them is to help those who use SNAP to purchase healthy food. The regular EBT tokens can be used for any food.

For 31 years I had a shady back yard in the afternoon. The neighbor’s trees that provided that shade were recently cut down and what a difference
it has made not only to my yard, but my house also. A few of the flowers that I have out there seem to be happier, but the rest of us aren’t. Take care of your trees; they are treasures.

If you want to bake with zucchini in the winter, shred some, measure it by the cup, place on a rimmed cookie sheet and freeze just like that. When
it’s frozen put it into a freezer bag. If you want to make some squash soup, make it through the pureeing of the vegetables and broth and add the
dairy and the seasoning just before you serve it. Good hot or cold.

Someone told me that his mom used to measure out blueberries in the amount that she needed for a pie, and freeze them in individual bags. When she wanted to make a pie, she had exactly what she needed.

Please don’t bring big bills to the market especially if it’s early in the day.

A simple salad is a variety of cut up tomatoes with a little onion and a vinaigrette dressing. It’s pretty and tasty.

Don’t hesitate to try some vegetables that are new to you. I always tell young adults that they might like something as an adult that they didn’t like when they were younger. Our tastes change.

Please do your part in making our environment cleaner; pick up some litter every day.

Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs-2015

There are 3 more fairs in Western Mass in August.

The Heath Fair, August 21-23, heathfair.org; the Westfield Fair on the same weekend, 562-3001, or thewestfieldfair.com; and the Cummington Fair, August 27-30, 634-5091, or cummingtonfair.com.

These are great to take little kids to because they aren’t that big. There are cards at the market table with all of the fair listings. Some have gone by
already.

WIC and Elder Coupons

You use these directly with the farmer from whom you want to purchase produce. You do NOT change them into tokens at the market table. We do not distribute them. The elder coupons come from senior centers, and the WIC coupons come from their offices.

Foreign Foods

It is not sufficient to have a label that tells you that something is distributed by, prepared by, or imported by because that doesn’t tell you what the
country of origin is. I saw a can of something one time that said it was packed in Israel, but the contents were from China. While it is true that we need more inspectors here in the U.S., there have been articles about food coming from some other countries that are way less careful with their food products. Be a smart shopper.

Welcome to Another new Vendor

Barbara Goldstein has opened a new shop in Northampton called Ellie’s Oils. It is located at 6 Service Center Road. She has many varieties of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Stop by for a taste at her stand here at our market. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I have seen recipes that call for fruit drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Barbara has several varieties that are fruit flavored

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peaches

Market News – August 11. 2015

August 11th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager 

Last week a friend who doesn’t come to our market very often posted a picture from our market on Facebook with the comment, “It’s so expensive.”
I responded to him by saying that small production farming is always more costly than large production farming. Also, he was confusing price and value because what you buy at a farmers’ market will last you longer than what you purchase elsewhere; you won’t have to throw it away due to spoilage. And, the picture he posted was from one of our organic farms, so I mentioned that and said that organic products are pricier for many reasons.
Other people chimed in and said that it was important to support local farmers. Even if something is pricier than in a grocery store, supporting local people is extremely important and that your money stays locally when you do so. He thanked me. He hadn’t thought of any of those things.
I know that I have said what I said to him many times. Another line that I use is that if you say “Let’s go for a ride in the country.” that you aren’t saying that because you want to see housing developments; you want to see countryside, and farms are certainly part of what makes countryside beautiful. We all have an obligation to support our farmers. They do very hard work and absolutely deserve to have a good income for what they provide to us. While I know that many people have gardens, almost no one raises enough food to feed themselves and their family 100% of the year. We must not take our farmers for granted.

Recipe–Caponata 

Eggplant absorbs flavor from whatever you cook it with. That is due to its spongy texture. I think folks either love it or hate it. Caponata is served most often as a side dish. It’s great as an appetizer. Don’t leave out the sugar and wine vinegar or capers. Those really add to the flavor.

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 1 large, or 2 small
1 T. salt
2 large red bell peppers
1 large onion
1 large stalk celery
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (or use freshly
peeled ones)
1 large clove garlic
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. sugar
8 Italian or Greek-style black olives
1 T. drained capers

Rinse eggplant; cut into 1” cubes. Place in colander, sprinkle with salt and toss. Let stand,,drain in sink or over bowl, tossing occasionally, 1 hour. Rinse eggplant and drain well. Squeeze in clean kitchen towel to extract moisture. Reserve.
Cut up bell peppers, chop onion, cut celery.

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onion, celery and pepper flakes, sauté 5 minutes.

Add eggplant and tomatoes.

Mince garlic and add to skillet. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Cook about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pit & chop olives, add olives and capers to skillet.

Stir over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated & sauce is thickened.

Serve this hot as a side dish or room temperature. It’s great on an antipasto platter. You can add more of anything if you choose to of course.

Meet our New Vendors 

Last week 4 of our new vendors were featured;here are a few more.

Sweet Cakes by Tanya is a new retail business by Tanya Drapeau. For several years she has made specialty cakes to order. Go to her Facebook page for pictures; they are fabulous. She recently opened a bakery at 672B Dickinson St. where Essen & Fressen used to be. As you can tell from her offerings here at our market, she makes many kinds of baked items. This is her first year with us.

George Duhart has been making his “world famous” George Gee’s BBQ Sauce since 2005 based on advice given to his dad 70 years previously by a friend who told him that if he wanted good barbecue sauce, you had to make it yourself. George lives in Manchester, CT and heard about our market “way down there.” His sauce comes in different flavors and varying levels of heat. His website is Wheelhouse Farm Food Truck is a new venture for Zoe Abram, Jake Mazar, and Will Zan Hduvelen. They feature many gluten-free items. They grow some of what they serve, and purchase as much as possible from local farmers. Check out their new website–wheelhousefarm.com.

Sun Kim Bop is our other new food vendor this year. Sun is a regular in Downtown Springfield and at other venues. Her freshly made Korean food has been a hit at our market. Her website is sunkimbop.com.

Bridget’s Breads
Due to family circumstances, Bridget will no longer be at our market this year. She loves our market, and this is the last one that she gave up. She was told that if/when she wants to come back to us, she will be welcome.

Some August Gardening Tips

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can devastate plants such as lilac, phlox, bee balm,melons, and squash. The leaves turn powdery  white or gray, then yellow and die. If it hits late in summer, it’s usually not too much of an issue; plants are winding down for the season. The problem is if it strikes earlier in the summer. Then the plants really suffer. The key to controlling it are more preventive than curative. Keep plants spaced further apart for better air circulation, grow disease resistant varieties, and spray a variety of organic products. Baking soda sprays work well as does a product called Serenade. Try spraying whole milk on leaves diluted 1 part milk to 10 parts water. These sprays change the leaf surface chemistry so it’s less attractive to the disease spores.

T-Shirts
A few years ago we had market t-shirts. We have them for a couple of years, but we a new supply. They’re only $10. Please buyone so that you can be a walking sign for us.

This ‘n’ That

You don’t have to be a canning or freezing genius to save some of our wonderful produce for when it’s out of season. Blanching and freezing vegetables is really easy. Put the vegetable you are using into boiling water for a couple of minutes, plunge it into ice water, and after a few minutes take it out, drain it, cool it, and put into freezer bags or containers. That’s it. You don’t have to blanch corn. Just cut it off the cobs and put it into a container. It freezes altogether, so don’t put too much into a container if you think you’ll use a small amount in your recipe. There really is a difference if you use native corn vs canned or frozen commercial corn. It’s much sweeter. Remember to put the cobs in water and boil them for about 10 minutes. Freeze that and use in vegetable soup, or in corn chowder.

WIC and Elder Coupons

You use these directly with the farmer from whom you want to purchase produce, and honey in the case of the elder coupons. You do NOT change them into tokens at the market table. We do not distribute them. The elder coupons come from senior centers, and the WIC coupons come from their offices.

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Market News – August 4, 2015

August 4th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters Tags: ,

From the Market Manager

This is both National and Massachusetts’ Farmers’ Market Week. Nationally there are over 7,000 farmers’ markets. We have about 250 summer markets and 40 winter markets in Massachusetts. In 1987, there were 69 farmers’ markets. When we started our market, there were 98 in the Commonwealth. We weren’t totally ahead of the curve, but still….

Massachusetts has 7,755 farms which help to protect over 523,000 acres of open space and produce more than $492 million in agricultural products. At nearly $48 million, direct market sales account for 10% of the state’s total sales of agricultural products. We rank 5th in the nation for direct market sales, and 3rd for direct market sales per operation.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of farmers’ markets accepting SNAP benefits.

MDAR (Mass Department of Agricultural Resources) has a listing of farmers’ markets statewide. Mass.gov/farmers’ markets.

Springfield Preservation Trust Summer Party 

This coming Sunday, August 9th, SPT is having their summer party. It will be held at the home of Anne & Daryl deViller, 110 Atwater Terrace in Springfield. The cost is $40 for non-members, and $35 for members. It starts at 1PM. You can make your reservation by mailing a check to SPT at 74 Walnut St, Springfield, 01105. Reservations are limited. SPT is an all volunteer organization that does valuable work for our city. Please support them.

Recipe–Spicy Tomato & Pepper Dip Ezme

Ezme is a wonderful Turkish dish made with the ripest of tomatoes which give it a deep, sweet flavor to contrast with the fiery kick of chillies and the acidity given to the dish by vinegar and pomegranate molasses. It is served with cacik (a thin yogurt with cucumbers and herbs served cold) and bread. It is a staple when eating Turkish food.

4 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 onion, very finely chopped
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and very finely chopped
2 red chilies, finely chopped
flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp. sumac, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2T. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp crushed sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

If you do this in the food processor, pulse it, don’t puree it. You want texture.
After you put everything together, put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let the flavors blend.
To serve, arrange on a flat plate and flatten with a fork, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a couple of pinches of sumac.
You can purchase sumac and pomegranate molasses at a Middle Eastern store. Lemon juice is a good substitute. If you don’t want it as spicy,usee fewer chilis, or just sprinkle in some dried chili flakes.

This is from “Persiana” Recipes from the Middle East & beyond by Sabrina Ghayour.

Meet our New Vendors 

“Hand crafted wines from hand tended vines” is what Mt. Warner Vineyards Farmer Winery is all about. Located in Hadley, Bobbie and Gary Kamen’s artisan winery produces wines from grapes they grow and harvest in their own one acre vineyard.
The vineyard and winery is the Kamen’s “What’s Next” adventure as they approach the next phase of their lives. Gary retired fromUMASS as a professor of Kinesiology this past May, and Bobbie retired from AARP as Senior Strategic Advisor in 2014.
Their winemaking passion began in their basement about 15 years ago and their grape growing passion began shortly after when they planted about 25 vines from cuttings of wine grapes from their friends at Jewell Towne Vineyards in New Hampshire.
While the short growing season defines the varieties that can be grown here, these cold-climate varieties, developed at Cornell University for the NY Finger Lakes area, and in Minnesota, are well suited to the Hampshire County mesoclimate.

They have continued to experiment with trellising systems and expanded the vineyard to over 725 vines including a number of varietals. In addition to the grape wines, they supplement their own harvest of raspberries with berries from local farms to make their raspberry dessert wine–Raspberry Rhapsody.

In addition to the vineyard and winery, Bobbie is a beekeeper.

You can visit the winery by appointment.
mwvineyards.com, or 413-588-1329.

Our newest vendor is Josh Thomson-Hansen who owns Kiwi Crest Orchard. Last week was his first week with us. Kiwi Crest is a 2 acre backyard orchard in Brimfield that started planting kiwi berries and other unusual fruits in 2013. Josh also specializes in making dried fruits in a unique style called “Fruit Folds”, the ultimate healthy and portable full-flavor fruit snack.

Josh studied a few semesters of business at Northeastern University. He is certified in permaculture design and studied regenerative agriculture while interning for two years at Six Circles Farm in upstate New York. His hobbies include didgeridoo, yoga, windsurfing, and introducing people to new fruits.

White Buffalo Herbs is a small family herb company run by Community Herbalist Carol Joyce and her husband Marty Vogt on their 124 acre
Still Willin’ Organic Farm & Botanical Sanctuary in Warwick, MA. Raising herbs and hand making “All Things Herbal” is a passion that shows in each of Carol’s 100+ organic herb products including aromatherapy, herb teas & extracts, cooking herbs, body care, medicinals, bug repellant, and herb plants.

Carol is also a therapist who started the farm business 29 years ago as a way to unwind and be able to weave herbs into every aspect of her life. She and Marty are stewards of their conservation restriction land and continue to build their beautiful farm/sanctuary  hoping to serve their community for years to come.

Bear Meadow Farm in Ashfield, MA has many components to it. At our market Rick Intres sells his hard cider (both dry and semi-dry) and vinegar.

They also have a growing apiary business that can provide pollination services to growers who do not have their own bees.

They produce honey and pollen and sell at several retail stores and other farmers’ markets. They don’t sell their honey at our market because we already had a vendor who sells honey.

Their New England hard cider is aged in whiskey barrels. It is made from orchard-grown and wild apples. Their semi-dry cider is sweetened with a little bit of honey. Theirs of course.

This ‘n’ That

Do NOT put plastic bags in with your regular recycling; they need to be recycled separately. Save them and put them in the special containers at grocery stores. We throw away billions of these bags each year. Only .06% of all plastic bags are recycled.

Put numbers on your house that are BIG.

Remember to follow us on Facebook! If you have pictures of yourself at the market, feel free to share them on our Facebook page!

www.facebook.com/farmersmarketatforestpark

tomatoes

Market Newsletter – July 28, 2015

July 28th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

This week marks the halfway point of our market this year; we go through the end of October. Years ago there was a movie that said “If it’s Tuesday, this Must be Belgium.” It was about someone’s trip to Europe where they went to lots of countries in a short period of time. I feel like we should say, “If it’s Tuesday, it is going to rain.” It hasn’t rained every week, but almost.

We are a rain or shine market. Our vendors work every day. Stuff grows, animals need to be fed, milk needs to be bottled, etc. You are really good about showing up on rainy and/or hot days because you appreciate the hard work that goes into attending a farmers’ market.

If we have a thunderstorm we will be here unless it’s at the very end of the day in which case, we’ll pack up a little early. Obviously, don’t come during a storm.

Last week I gave you a recipe for zucchini corn bread. It calls for 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. If I were to make it again, I think I’d use allpurpose flour only; might make the texture a little lighter. No problem with the taste.

This ‘n’ That

•The tokens sold at our market do not expire. They can also be used at our winter market. They make excellent gifts.

• We have voter registration forms at our market table. Fill it out, we’ll pay the postage to send it in.

• We have a new supply of tee- shirts. They are $10 each and make excellent gifts.

 Recipe–Summer Squash Greek Style

There are no amounts for this recipe; you decide.

Ingredients–summer squash, olive oil, onions, garlic, basil/oregano/parsley/mint, you choose, canned diced tomatoes with juice (or fresh tomatoes cut up), salt & pepper.

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add cut up squash, one type or a variety, add rest of ingredients and cook until the squash has softened.

Even if the squash gets mushy, it will still taste good.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Late July Garden News

When landscaping, native plants are a wise choice because they are hardy and more likely to withstand extreme weather conditions. When carefully selected, natives can provide natural color and beauty, food and shelter for wildlife, shade, and erosion control, and can attract beneficial insects and birds. Phlox is known for getting mildew. If you are just now going to plant some, buy the mildew resistant varieties. If you already have some, use a horticultural or summer oil spray as a preventative. Phlox are great butterfly attractors.

• Begin planning for fall bulb planting.

• Avoid leaf diseases; water the soil, not the plant leaves.

• Check the sharpness of your mower blade.

• Plant leaf lettuce in the shade of taller plants.

• Harvest beans, summer squash, and cucumbers before they get too large and tasteless.

• Do not use any insecticide that contains neonicotinoid. Many experts believe that these are poisonous to bees. It goes through the whole plant, so the whole plant is poisonous to bees.

Tanglewood on the Radio

Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra can be heard either on the radio, or streamed on your computer. On Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30, WAMC, 90.3FM, broadcasts it. They also broadcast on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 as does NEPR, 88.5FM. I sometimes invite friends over for Tanglewood on the deck/porch (depending on the weather.)

We eat, read, talk only during intermissions, and clap when the audience does. Parking is easy, price is right, and except for the occasional lawn mower, very enjoyable.

Ethnic Stores

I know that I write about this each year, but we get new people to our market all the time, so it’s worth repeating. We are fortunate to live in an area that has lots of ethnic stores. The prices tend to be less than the grocery stores. Some of these stores sell prepared food also.

Italian–Milano’s, 988 Main St., Springfield. Mom & Rico’s, 899 Main St., Springfield. Zonin’s, 18 Winthrop St., Springfield. Frigo’s, 90 William St., Springfield also on Shaker Road in E. Longmeadow. La Fiorentina in East Longmeadow corner of Chestnut and Shaker Road is more than a bakery.

Asian–Food Zone, corner of Oakland St. and Belmont Ave., Springfield. Asian Market, 17 Pomona St., Springfield. Saigon Market, 308 Belmont Ave., Springfield. There is also another one on South Main St. in Springfield. Don’t know the name of it. Spices of Asia, 3 Central St., West Springfield. South Asian groceries, etc.

Middle Eastern–Cedar’s Food Mart & Grill, 405 Armory St., Springfield. Elsafi Supermarket, 532 Main St., West Springfield. There is a new one on Sumner Ave. in the Goodwill building.

Russian/Polish–Victory International Market, 537 Main St., West Springfield. While you are over there, try a new mostly takeout restaurant. Taste of Lebanon at 553 Main St., W.S.

Another Recipe–Corn Pudding

This is the perfect time of year to make this now that corn is in season. It is sweeter with native corn.

3T melted butter, plus more for the pan

2 cups corn

1/3 cup sugar 1 tsp. salt

1 large eggs

2 cups whole milk or half and half (no skim)

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Mix all together and bake in a greased pan (8×8 or 9×9) about 45 minutes.

What Nonperishables can you put into a Gift Basket from the Market

Honey, etc. from The Bearded Bee. Soap, lotion, bug spray, lip balm from Susan Parks. Maple products, jams, canned items from Maple Corner Farm. Jam, salsa, relishes from Crimson Lion. Hard cider, vinegar from Bear Meadow Cidery, Wine from Mt. Warner Vineyards. Seasoning sauces from Tortured Orchard. Mushroom grow kits, soap, etc. from Mycoterra Farm. Wine jellies and whole grain products from Berkshire Grain. Barbecue sauce from George Gee’s BBQ Sauce. Organic herbs, aromatherapy, teas, essential oils, more from White Buffalo Herbs. Kettle corn from Velma’s.

You could always purchase tokens to add to the basket, and/or get a gift certificate from your favorite vendors.

Return your Bottles

Trinity Farm has to purchase their bottles from Canada as there are no milk bottle manufacturers in the United States any more. When they order them, they have to order thousands of dollars worth, so it’s really important that you return your bottles as much as you’d like to keep one or two for flowers. Also, please don’t return them with the caps on. They don’t reuse the caps.

Trinity Farm

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Market Newsletter – July 21, 2015

July 21st, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Once in awhile I get a call telling me that the person calling wants to establish another farmers’ market. (They want my help.) A couple of years ago someone called from an agency in the north end of Springfield. He said that he’d like his clients to eat more healthfully. I told him that just because there was a farmers’ market didn’t mean that his clients would patronize it. I suggested that his agency give cooking lessons.

If you don’t know what to do with it, there’s little chance that you will cook it. Also, if we didn’t like something when we were a child, the assumption is that we won’t like it as an adult. Our tastes change, so I always encourage folks to try what they didn’t like when they were younger because they very well may like it as an adult.

This ‘n’ That

• When using a large zucchini, scoop out the seeds first. The middle of a large zucchini is spongy and will add nothing to your recipe. Keep the seeds in a small zucchini or other summer squash.

• If you have leftover corn, or if your corn on the cob is a few days old, scrape off the kernels and sauté them in butter. Stir often until they have some brown on them. They are caramelized and are delicious.

• You can also use leftover corn in pancakes, or muffins.

• Put the corn cobs after scraping off the kernels in some water and boil for about 10 minutes. Remove them and use the water in a vegetable soup, or corn chowder. You can freeze this for use later on.

• If you go camping, do not bring firewood. Buy it near where you are going. This is to cut down on bringing destructive insects into another area.

• Take down tag sale signs when the sale is over. If it isn’t your sale, take them down anyway.

• Pick up some litter every day; it will make a difference if we all do it.

• Keep flour that you don’t use often, or big bags of anything like rice in the freezer. That will keep pantry moths out of them, and it will be fresher long term, especially things like flour.

Recipe-Zucchini Cornbread
from Epicurious

9x5x3” pan, 350 degrees, about 55-65 minutes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 large zucchini (about 10 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cornmeal
Preheat oven. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until butter solids at bottom of pan turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Scrape butter into a medium bowl. Set aside and let cool. Whisk in eggs and buttermilk.

Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8” rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish.

Coarsely grate remaining zucchini. Add to bowl with butter mixture and sir until well blended.

Sift both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal.

Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick.) Transfer pan to prepared pan (greased) and smooth top. Place reserved zucchini slices atop batter down center in a single layer.

Bake bread until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack. Can be made the day before. Store airtight at room temperature.

zucchini

Sevenars Concerts

There is a fabulous small music festival in Worthington–the Sevenars Concerts. For 6 Sundays (4 more to go) at 4PM, a variety of musical performers grace the stage at The Academy located at the corner of Rte. 112 and Ireland St. You can find what’s coming up by going online, or by picking up a brochure on our market table. The cost is $20, refreshments are included during intermission, and it is air conditioned.

When plans were being made to build Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, some people working on the plans visited The Academy and said the acoustics were like being inside a Stradivarius violin.

Some Things to Remember

• We are a rain or shine market. If it rains, we’re here.
• If you haven’t paid to get into the park, or if you don’t have a sticker, you can only come to the market on your free entry. Please don’t  take advantage of the park’s generosity.
• Elder market coupons are given out at senior centers; we don’t have them.
• The WIC coupons and X tokens that we give out are only for produce. The elder coupons can be used for produce and honey.
• Look on our website under archives to find recipes that have been given out in the past.

Thanks!

Thanks to the following for supporting our marvelous market. Robyn Newhouse, The Enfield Farm Credit Bank, the Forest Park Civic Association, Our sponsor, Concerned Citizens for Springfield, Health New England, and several market customers. We can’t do what we do
without our financial supporters.

The folks from the Park Department are terrific. Not only do they let us have our space at a reasonable price, the guys who set up and take down our equipment make our lives so much easier. Especially now that your manager and our volunteers are old ladies.

Be Very Wary

As you well know, there are many scams “out there.” A friend, who is obviously more gullible than I could have imagined, called me the other day to get my opinion. She was called by a “reverend” who told her that she had won $2 million. All she had to do was pay the taxes on the money that she had “won.” I can’t tell you how many times I told her that this was a scam before it sunk in.
Remember the old saying that if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
Check your credit rating annually. According to law, each of us is entitled to a credit report from each of the major credit reporting companies,
Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. Go online for easiest access to them.

Report Code Violations

In Springfield you can do this anonymously. Call 311 with the information. Make sure you are as specific as possible ie. exact address.
Some people think that it’s none of their business, but when property is well maintained, we all benefit. If property isn’t taken care of, it affects the neighbors, and consequently, the neighborhood. Wouldn’t you rather live someplace that’s nice than dirty or ugly?
New Restaurant in Town

Blackjack’s Steakhouse is across the street from Mom & Rico’s in the South End. Closed Mondays.
Open for lunch Tuesdays-Fridays; dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The food is excellent. Good prices too.

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Market News – July 14, 2015

July 14th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Many of you are regulars at our market, and you have your favorite vendors. Others haven’t  been coming here often enough to do that. I hope that all of you walk around first to see who has what and what the prices are, and then make your purchases.
Remember what I wrote last week: We are not a producer only market. While some vendors only bring their own products, that isn’t true for everyone especially where produce is concerned.

Welcome back to Susan Parks, our soap and lotion vendor. Susan and her wife have been in Italy for the last two months. Tough work, but someone has to do it.

Susan Parks Soap

Eggs have been in short supply at our market.Evidently the ladies haven’t been very prolific in laying this summer. The number of eggs at our market will pick up, but who knows when. Meanwhile, if you’re out, and you see a sign that says fresh eggs, get some.

 

This ‘n’ That

• If you have a cellphone, please empty your voice mailbox. It is frustrating to call someone and find that you can’t leave a message.
• Plastic bags are easily recyclable, but not with your regular recyclables. Save them and bring them to a grocery store; they have special bins.
• Our email and Facebook addresses are at the top of this newsletter.

Tee-shirts
We have a new supply of Farmers’ Market teeshirts.They are $10 each. Great gifts in a gift basket from the market.

What is a Localvore?

In the strictest sense, a localvore is someone who eats only from his or her “foodshed” defined as an area within a 100-mile radius of one’s home.
Acknowledging that tea, coffee, chocolate, nutmeg, and even sugar are not produced in New England, some localvore groups have creatively modified challenges to “eat locally, spice globally.” But, the bottom line is to do the best that you can.
A very good book about a family that did just this is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver.

It Just Keeps Getting Better

CISA, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture has received grant money that is allowing farmers’ markets in Hampden County to
give out additional SNAP (EBT/food stamps) benefits. When someone with an EBT card swipes their card for $5 or more, they will receive an
additional $5 in tokens. We still will give out the extra “X” tokens that can only be used for fruit and vegetables, nothing else.

Revisiting the Citizens Panel on the Future of Food in New England-2

Consumer behavior and citizen action–Findings–
• Media and advertising, tradition, culture, economics, politics and access shape consumer behavior in the purchasing of food.
• Many consumers simply do not buy locally produced food.
• Nationwide, many Americans eat a large proportion of highly processed foods. These habits have led to increased rates of diet-related diseases.
• New England consumers are buying more food through Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), farmers’ markets, farm stands, pick your own and cooperatives. (In 1998, when this market opened, there were 98 markets in Massachusetts; today there are more than 250.) There are many types of CSAs also, vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat, etc.
• Some non-profits and governmental organizations are promoting local/regional products and help local farmers.
• Farm to school initiatives and institutional purchasing programs have expanded greatly.
• Federal and state grants encourage local production and consumer connections with the food system.
Recommendations-
• Support organizations that presently involve citizens in local food systems.
• Provide more support for CSAs, farmers’ markets, farm stands, pick your own, and consumer/ producer connections.
• Urge municipalities and school boards to support relevant nutrition and health education (e.g. school gardens, local food promotion), increase
the use of local products and decrease reliance on corporate funding in schools.
• Support municipal ordinances that support local food systems.
• Advocate at state and municipal levels for the subsidy of Community Supported Agriculture for appropriate recipients.
• Individuals and advocacy organizations should lobby local official, and state and federal legislators and policy makers to support local food systems.

Recipes

Fried kohlrabi–easy
Peel kohlrabi, cut in slices, then cut the slices into approximately 1” strips. Combine flour and curry or chili powder in a bag, and drop the strips into the bag, shake off the extra flour mixture. Meanwhile heat a little oil in a frying pan, and lay the strips in one layer in the pan. Cook until the side is slightly brown, turn over and repeat. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. If you need more seasoning, add it now.

Zucchini Cake–from Maida Heatter’s Cakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
scant teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 packed cups of shredded zucchini
2 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
generous 1 cup walnuts, cut or broken into
medium-sized pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9x5x3” pans. Dust the pan or pans with flour and shake out the excess.
1. Mix together (you can sift if you want) flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, and set aside.
2. Wash the zucchini well, and cut off both ends. Coarsely grate/shred it. Don’t drain.
3. Press firmly into a 2 cup measuring cup. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl beat the eggs just to mix. Mix in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat/stir to mix. Then add the zucchini and any liquid that has accumulated. Stir in nuts (or you can put them on the top.)
5. Bake for about an hour or more.
6. Cool in the pan and then turn it over and let the cake come out.
This can be toasted; the edges become crispy. It’s delicious. Freezes well also.
Greek Style Yellow and/or Green Beans 

Saute onion and garlic until soft; add beans. Add either cut up fresh tomato, or canned diced tomatoes. Oregano, basil, thyme, or dried Italian season is good in this. Add salt and pepper. Let cook until the beans have softened. Adjust  seasoning

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Market News – July 7, 2015

July 7th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We are not a producer only farmers’ market. That means that we do allow our vendors to bring items from other places. For example, Bearded Bee’s honey sticks are from someplace else. Some of our farmers, but not all by any means, bring food from other farms. Anything that is not from our vendor has to be noted on a sign. And, if something is greenhouse grown, that also has to have a sign saying so. We are also not an all organic farmers’ market.Some in the country are, but we aren’t. We do have two certified organic farms (The Kitchen Garden and Red Fire Farm), and other farms are not certified, but use organic farming practices. By all means, ask the person at each stand what they use if you are concerned about it. The dairy products sold here are hormone free. I know that if Trinity Farm has a sick cow, they throw away her milk; they don’t use it.

This ‘n’ That

• Keep your front light on all night; a lighted neighborhood is a safer neighborhood.
• Drive with your doors locked.
• If you are working in your back yard, keep your front door locked.
• If you have a new neighbor, welcome them with something home made, and make sure you tell them about our market.
• Join your neighborhood association. And, go to the monthly police/neighborhood meetings.
You’ll find out what’s going on, and you’ll meet more people who live nearby.
• If you have stinky garbage, store it in the freezer until trash day.

Rachel’s Table

The mission of Rachel’s Table is “To relieve hunger in Greater Springfield, and to reduce waste of our food resources.”
Except for the director, all of the people who help out are volunteers. If you have a catered function, say at Chez Josef, and there are leftovers, Chez Josef will call Rachel’s Table and tell them what they have. Then RT will call around to different
agencies and ask them if they can use what is being offered. When a match is made, a volunteer driver is called, and they go to the place where the food is, pick it up and deliver it to the agency that can use it.
They also go to farmers’ markets and pick up surplus produce and deliver it to the food pantries. Most of what is at food pantries is non-perishable, so having fresh produce is most welcome. Their number is 733-0084 if you’d like more
information, or would like to volunteer. RT is a project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield, Inc., and WWLP-TV22.

Rachel's Table

Rachel’s Table

It Just Keeps Getting Better

CISA, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture has received grant money that is allowing farmers’ markets in Hampden County to give out additional SNAP (EBT/food stamps) benefits. When someone with an EBT card swipes
their card for $5 or more, they will receive an additional $5 in tokens. We still will give out the extra “X” tokens that can only be used for fruit and vegetables, nothing else.

CISA

Revisiting the Citizen’s Panel on the Future of Food in New England

The Citizen’s Panel on the Future of Food in New England convened in April 2003. It was comprised of 15 citizens from throughout New England. The panel gathered information, engaged in reasoned discourse, reviewed expert testimony, and
deliberated findings and recommendations. It was convened by the University of New Hampshire’s Office of Sustainability Programs.

Some of the findings were–
• Our New England character and landscape depend on agriculture.
• The New England states share important natural advantages, especially water and soil resources.
• 400 years of agricultural history demonstrate diverse, flexible, and resilient farms, farmers, and farm products. We enjoy many regional economic benefits from agriculture.
• We enjoy relatively short distances between producers and markets.
• Two key metropolitan markets–Boston and New York–anchor the region.
• The region embraces a culturally and ethnically diverse population.
• Many non-governmental organizations and state government agencies already collaborate on food system issues.
• The region does not receive a fair share of federal assistance.

Recommendations
• Create and expand regional “buy local” campaigns • Make individual state regulations and statues more uniform within the region.
• Encourage public universities and agricultural extension services to expand and strengthen regional collaboration.
• Investigate and establish regional branded labeling programs. Consider meat and specialty dairy products as pilot programs.
• Encourage states to reduce regulatory barriers to food processors, especially for milk plants and livestock processing facilities.

Economic Development of the Food System
To help build the regional food system and boost economic development, we propose educating consumers and encouraging producers to take advantage of local demand and regional successes.
Findings:
• consolidation continues within the national food system, particularly in the food processing and retailing industries.
• Globalization impacts all levels of the New England food system.
• Consolidation and globalization lessen the number of wholesale markets and weaken the support infrastructure for New England agriculture.
• Increasingly over the last decade, consumers have demanded safer, high quality, local food.
• New England agricultural businesses have established successful local direct marketing ventures and niche markets.
• The number of small-scale processing facilities in the region is inadequate.
• Recommendations:
• Educate consumers about:
• Buying locally grown and processed foods;
• where food dollars go, and how locally-spent money strengthens the local community;
• the impact on the local economy of globalizations and consolidation.
As you read through this part of the report, you will definitely know that some of what was recommended has come to pass. There are more “buy local” programs. There are many more farmers’ markets and CSA’s. There are more farmers raising meat/poultry animals. There is much more in the media about the benefits of buying locally grown/raised food.
Our Mass Department of Agricultural Resources

(MDAR) is very pro-active for our farmers and farmers’ markets. Although I don’t know, I would expect that the other states are also. However, there still aren’t anywhere enough processing facilities in New England. The wait for a farmer to have their animals processed can be lengthy. There is more work to be done.

 

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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.
Congratulations!

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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Kohlrabi

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 ebolamrc.eventbrite.com. 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.

Ingredients–

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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