From the Market Manager
Have you ever thought about how fortunate we are to live in a region that still has so much agricultural industry? There are no more farms left in Springfield, but we don’t have to travel far to find a farm. Although most states have lost farmland (as have we), Massachusetts has seen an increase in farms in recent years. Not a lot, but some.
Something I have noticed is that the people who are our vendors who are farmers, are very well educated. If you stop and think about it, they have to be. There are so many things that they have to know. It isn’t enough just to know how to grow something. The dairy and meat farmers are on duty 24/7. There are no days off for them unless they make prior arrangements.
I’m not telling you to kiss a farmer (ask first), but appreciate their hard work, and say thank you once in awhile.
We have received a significant contribution from Health New England. Thank you so much!
Every year for over 25 years, on the night before Fathers’ Day, (June 6th this year) the Forest Park Civic Association has a party to which everyone is invited. A band plays, some people on the street where the party is held decorate their porches, refreshments are sold, and a general good time is had by all.
This year Illumination Night is being held on Marengo Park and Bellevue Ave. At 6:30 there is a children’s parade with decorated bikes and costumes (if the children want to wear a costume), at 7 the visiting starts, at 7:30 there is a singalong, and at 8 the band starts playing. Except for the refreshments, it’s all free. Bring a chair and bug spray. Everyone is welcome.
Coming up on June 7th
The Springfield Preservation Trust is having its spring house tour from 1-4 PM. The area to be toured is Forest Park Heights. You can purchase tickets in advance for $15. Get tickets at Flowers, Flowers at 758 Sumner Avenue, or The Flower Box at 596 Carew St., both in Springfield. Or, on the day of the tour for $20 on Maplewood Terrace just off Fort Pleasant Avenue; you’ll see a sign.
The Jewish Community Center is having a program for children and an artisan festival. The children’s program is Touch a Truck and a bounce village from 11-3. The cost for that is $15 per family in advance, or $20 at the door. Park in the Converse St. lot. The artisan festival is from 10-3. There is no entrance fee for that. Please park in the B’nai Torah parking lot for that event.
Ways to Save Energy, Money, etc.
• Don’t let the water run. Every minute your faucet runs about 2.5 gallons of water is wasted.
• The single use pods for coffee makers are mostly non-recyclable. If placed end to end, the billions of single-use coffee pods sold in 2014 would circle the planet at least 10 times.
• Drive more slowly. Doing so really does save gas.
• Turn lights off when leaving a room. Purchase longer-lasting LED lights, which reduce energy costs and consumption by up to 80% compared to incandescent bulbs.
• Use cold water for washing clothes. Wash only full loads. You clothing will get clean in cold water.
• Start using cloth napkins. If everyone used one less paper napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of paper would be kept out of landfills annually.
• Register for opt out services for junk mail. One service is dmachoice.org. This is better than recycling the unwanted mail.
• Use the microwave more. For smaller meals th ey u se 3 0 -8 0 % less energy than conventional ovens. If you do use your conventional oven, keep the door closed. Every time you open it, you lose about 25 degrees.
• Turn off your car engine. Don’t let your car idle. Modern car engines need only 30 seconds or so to warm up, and idling for more than 10 seconds uses up more gas than turning the car off and on does.
Kugel is a German word that means pudding. There are many types of pudding, one that is most well known is a noodle pudding, a sweet concoction made with noodles, eggs, and dairy products. Here’s a recipe for one that isn’t sweet. Cook fresh spinach then squeeze the liquid out, then chop it up.
1 bag of egg noodles 1 stick of butter
2 packages of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry, or cooked fresh spinach, also drained of excess moisture and then chopped.
1 pint sour cream or plain yogurt
2 packages dried onion soup or dried vegetable soup
Cook noodles, drain. Add butter to hot noodles; let it melt. Add dried soups. Add eggs, and yogurt or sour cream. Mix well. Put into greased pan, either 2 8×8 pans, or one 9×13. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour. You want the top to be slightly browned. You can make this in muffin cups for individual kugels. This freezes very well.
Visit a Museum
Many libraries offer free or reduced rate passes to many of the museums in Western and Central Mass. Usually there is a list of what’s available at the circulation desk.
Check out some of the smaller museums in the region; there are plenty of them.
One of my favorites has been Old Sturbridge Village. When I was in 3rd grade, my school took us on a mystery trip, and Sturbridge Village was the destination. I’ve been back many times. I took one of my grandsons there when he was 8. After only a few minutes there he said, “Grandma, I know we’ve only been here a few minutes, but I like this place already.”
WIC and Elder Coupons
These coupons will soon become available. You have to ask for them. The WIC offices want those of you who receive WIC benefits to ask for them because a fairly large percentage of the coupons were never redeemed when they were mailed out.
The senior coupons you also have to ask for. Contact your local senior center and get your name on a list. We do not hand them out here at the market.
WIC farmers’ market coupons are for produce only. Elder coupons are for produce and honey. That’s it. They both have to be used by the end of October.
There are many items that make great gifts at our market. One that is always welcome are our wooden tokens. If you know that someone shops here, or could, think of them as a gift. It is also easy to put together a fabulous basket of items–maple products, honey, relishes, jam and jellies, soap and lotion, sauces, etc.
They hope to return with their wonderful mushrooms. Child care is the issue that is keeping them away for now.
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