Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market News – 10-27, 2015

October 27th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Well, this is it; the last day of our 18th year of operation. It has been a good year. We had some issues with weather as we always do, but overall we were okay. I didn’t hear any of our vendors complain about any big issues like fungus on tomatoes, or other major crop issues, so I’m assuming it was a good year for them. I know it was a great year for apples. The hens weren’t laying as many eggs as we could have used, but maybe our farmers will get more chicks next year. We had some new vendors, and some of the ones who were with us in prior years weren’t with us this year. That is the way of farmers’ markets. We have a reputation as being a successful market, so I often receive requests to join us. If we need what they have, and if they are a legitimate business, they are usually let in. Every vendor has to have liability insurance, so it isn’t just on a whim that someone becomes a vendor. Also, the products that are offered have to be theirs; they can’t be a manufacturer’s representative. I let in one vendor who is a manufacturer’s rep. and even though their products are good, I won’t do that again. They have to have a local component to them. The crafters who are here also have to make  their own items, otherwise what’s the point?

Thank you to all of our customers. Many of you have become regulars and that is very much appreciated. All of you have to go out of your way to patronize us. Supporting local agriculture is a big deal. We live in a beautiful part of  Massachusetts, and the farms contribute to that beauty.

If you have any “X” tokens, you have to use them by today’s market. Same thing for WIC and Elder farmers’ market coupons. They don’t carry over to next year’s market.

Trinity Farm, Sweet Pea Cheese, and Outlook Farm have stores on their farms. Trinity’s hours are 6AM to 6PM, Monday through Friday, 6-4 on Saturday, closed Sundays. Outlook is open every day from 7 AM to 7PM. I’m not sure if their hours change for the winter. They also have a restaurant on site where you can get sandwiches, soup, side dishes, and dessert. Sweet Pea is also open 7-7. All of these can be found online for addresses, etc. Go to our website and find their information on the vendor page. Trinity and Sweet Pea will be at our winter market.

Winter Market

We begin our winter market on November 14th.We only have this market twice a month. Usually  we have it the second and fourth Saturdays, but due to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will have our November and December markets on the second and third Saturdays. It is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance. There will be a sign. The hours are from 10-2. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there along with some others. If you do come in the front entrance, make sure you tell the person in the kiosk that you are going to the market so that you get in free.

Forcing Hyacinths

Nothing makes you think of spring more than the smell of hyacinths in winter. It’s easy to force them. Buy the bulbs now, put them in a paper bag in the fridge for 12-14 weeks, pot them up then and place in a sunny window.

Super Tot Swim and Gym

The JCC, 1160 Dickinson St. in Springfield, has many programs for all ages. One that is terrific for 3-5 year olds is the swim and gym class. It’s 45 minutes of physical education play, followed by swim instruction and play in the pool. It is on Tuesdays from 1-2:45, and it has already started.
Call the J at 739-4715, or contact Michael DeCrescenzo, Youth Wellness Coordinator at There is a fee.

This ‘n’ That

Make sure that you contact the 3 major credit reporting agencies and get a copy of your credit report. By law you are entitled to get one each year at no charge. The companies are: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. The reports may vary because not all creditors report their information to every credit bureau.

If you haven’t made your own soup, do so. It is very simple to do, and it’s cheap. Sometimes when I’ve given a recipe for soup I will be asked how much to put in of this or that ingredient. It depends on how many people you’re cooking for and the size of your pot. You can use homemade stock, bullion, or canned broth. Some soups lend themselves better to a beef or chicken broth. You’ll figure it out. Use a recipe as a guideline.

Kohlrabi is a very underused vegetable. It is good raw or cooked. Check out some recipes and try making it different ways. A really easy recipe is to shred it along with carrots, add soya sauce, a dash of sugar, some Asian sesame oil, and perhaps a few hot pepper flakes. Let it set a little while for the flavors to blend. It’s pretty, crunchy, and tasty.

When you make a fruit crisp, you can easily substitute one fruit for another.

hen making winter squash anything, poke a couple of holes in it first and microwave for about 5 minutes. That will make it easy to peel and cut. Don’t do this with the delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash) because it cooks quickly since it’s so small.

I love my electrician, Steve from Community Electric. 782-4885. He is the BEST!

If you don’t have a food processor, get one. I like the Kitchen Aid. It is easy to use and easy to clean.

Amherst Cinema

The Amherst Cinema is a gem in the Pioneer Valley. They have movies that you are not likely to see around here. They also have the Bolshoi Ballet and the National Theatre Live on screen. Go to their website– for the schedule.


If your city or town is having an election next week, VOTE. Do not throw the privilege of voting away. There are places all over the world where
people risk their lives for this privilege. Even when it isn’t an “exciting” election, VOTE. If you don’t, don’t complain about anything having to do with government, you haven’t earned the right.

Recipe–Eggnog French Toast

Trinity Farm has their eggnog this week. Eggs, eggnog, nutmeg or cinnamon. Make it the regular way–mix up eggs, add the rest of te ingredients, soak your bread, and cook gently in butter. Remember, a little nutmeg and cinnamon go a long way. A cranberry sauce (homemade) is excellent on this. I make mine with brown sugar, orange juice, a little cinnamon and nutmeg, and that’s it. Good warm or cold. Serve it warm on French toast.


Yes, I know, there is nothing from the farmers’ market in this recipe, but I always make this recipe and everyone loves it. This makes a fudgey
brownie. Easily doubled or tripled. 8×8” pan for one or one and one half recipe.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate and butter together, add sugar, flour and eggs plus vanilla. Pour into a greased pan. Bake about 25 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
Every oven is different, so you will have to gauge when they are done.


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Market Newsletter October 20, 2015

October 20th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Please return your milk bottles to Trinity Farm; they are in dire need of their bottles. FYI, they have to import the bottles from Canada as no glass milk bottles are manufactured in the U.S. anymore. They cost them more than the $2 deposit that we pay. Remove the caps first.

Mark down November 7th and 8th for Cider Days. Both soft and hard ciders will be available throughout Franklin County. Go to for all of the details. Our “own” Bear Mountain Farm Cidery will be one of the participants at their farm in Ashfield. If you go to Cider Days, you will see many varieties of apples that you’ve never even heard of before.

Make your own barbecue sauce. Depending on whether you want an Asian flavor, or perhaps something more Southwestern, depends primarily on your seasonings. If you keep Asian sesame oil, soy sauce, ketchup, ginger, vinegar, 5 spice seasoning, garlic, and honey or brown sugar in your pantry, you have the makings for an Asian sauce. For a Southwestern flavor use a tomato base, garlic, onion, cumin, sugar or honey, vinegar, salt and pepper, and some hot sauce if you want it spicy. You need to taste it along the way to determine if you need to add something. Making your own sauce is very simple.

Our baker, Sweet Cakes by Tanya, won’t be coming to our winter market, but you can go around the corner to her bakery on Dickinson Street and enjoy her offerings. The shop is right across from Fountain Street.

The CISA bonus for those of you who use your EBT card will continue at the winter market. The “X” tokens will return next summer if we get more grant money.

Skalbite Farms will be at our winter market and he will have chickens.

Winter Market

Our winter market will begin on Saturday, November 14th. We only have this market twice a month. Usually we have it the second and fourth Saturdays, but due to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will have our November and December markets on the second and third Saturdays. It is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance. There will be a sign. The hours are from 10-2.

Unity House Concerts

This coming Saturday, the 24th, at 7:30 PM, the second in this year’s folk music concerts will be held at the UU Church on Porter Lake Drive in Springfield. Mary Lou Lord with Annabelle Lord-Patey, her daughter who will be releasing her own album this year, will entertain us with their singing. The tickets are $15 and $20 at the door.

This ‘n’ That

When looking for a pumpkin that you will be cutting for decoration, look for one with at least one smooth side that will be a good surface for the face. After you purchase your pumpkin soak it overnight; that will make cutting easier. And, after cutting it, rub the cut edges with petroleum jelly to help prevent the pumpkins from drying out. Although it’s a bit of a fuss, take the seeds and put them in a colander, rinse and remove the “strings” from them. If you’d like to have your seeds salty on the inside, not just the outside, boil them in salted water before toasting them. For every 1/2 cup of seeds use 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt; simmer for 10 minutes, drain. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the seeds in a little oil, spread on a cookie sheet, and bake for 5 to 20 minutes until they are toasted to your liking. Small seeds will take less time than large seeds.

Save your chicken and turkey carcasses to use for broth.

Add fruit to a tossed salad; it adds a surprising taste. Grapes, oranges, nectarines, apples, and pears are especially good. They all hold their shape well when tossed.
Cook some Swiss chard, drain it, chop it, and use it in a quiche or a casserole.

The last hazardous waste drop off for Springfield residents is Saturday the 31st.

Poke a couple of holes in winter squash, microwave it for about 5 minutes, and when it is cool enough to handle, it will be easy to peel and cut.


This is a vastly underused vegetable. It looks like a white carrot, but it isn’t eaten raw. It is excellent in chicken or vegetable soup as it sweetens the broth a little. It’s also good roasted. If you buy big ones, cut out the core as it is woody. Peel and cut the parsnips into chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 425 degrees in one layer for about 20 minutes. They are excellent candied also. Cook in water to which you have added a little salt until they are tender, drain. Melt some butter and add some brown sugar, then the parsnips. Delicious!

Recipe–Sausage Patties

1 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped into a paste
1 tsp. onion powder
2 T. finely chopped fresh sage
1 T. finely chopped fresh thyme
2 T. salad oil (not olive)
1. Combine in a large bowl and add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
2. Form the mixture into 8 patties, each 1/2 “ thick. Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until golden brown and just cooked through, about 5 minutes each side.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw
2 pounds green cabbage (about 1 small or 1/2 large cabbage)
4 carrots
1 medium onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 cup sugar (or less)
black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
kosher salt
1. Quarter and core the cabbage. Peel the carrots and onion and cut into pieces that will fit through the feed tube of a food processor. Fit the food processor with the grater attachment and push the cabbage, carrots and onion through the feed tube to grate. Toss the grated vegetables in a large bowl.
2. Prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp. black pepper and the cayenne in a bowl. Toss the dressing with the cabbage mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Springfield School Volunteers Read Aloud Program

They still need volunteers. For 5 months you go to a school and read a book to a class. The books are pre-selected, so all you do is pick up the book and go to the classroom. Contact Judy Kelly at

Gift Certificates

If you’d like to give a certificate rather than tokens to someone, let us know and we will print one for you. It won’t have an expiration date, so they can use it anytime. We will give the holder of the certificate tokens to use at the market. Stock up now for gifts. There are plenty of nonperishable items that you can buy for gift giving later on. Old people in particular love getting gifts that they don’t have to dust or wash.

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Market Newsletter – October 13, 2015

October 13th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We have 3 more weeks left (including this week) for this market. Please use your WIC and Elder coupons by the end of our market. They don’t carry over after the end of October. One of the things that I love about our market is the relationships that we establish. Two weeks ago, a young couple who have been regular customers since before they were married, shared with me that they are expecting their first child. They said that they wanted me to hear it from them. I am delighted for them; they will make wonderful parents.

When one of the sons from Trinity Farm was in Iraq in the Army several years ago many people asked about him, and some even brought things to send to him. Then, when their youngest son had a terrible accident on the farm, we had a fund raiser where more than 200 people attended and gave money to help. We have shared in happy and sad times.

Our market isn’t that big, so it isn’t hard to establish relationships with our vendors and with each other. Some vendors have told me that this is their favorite market.

The SNAP bonus that CISA is giving out when the EBT card is used, will continue at our winter market. If you swipe your EBT card for at least $5, you receive $5 in market tokens to use at our market.

Don’t miss the opportunity to pick your own apples. If you don’t have a Locally Grown brochure from CISA, pick one up at the market table, or go to and you can be connected to the information about where to go.

As of October 6th, we have given out $1652 in X tokens, each worth $2 and used only for fruits and vegetables. We received grant money this year, so we could do this.

Franklin County Cider Days

Mark down November 7th and 8th for Cider Days. Both soft and hard ciders will be available throughout Franklin County. Go to for all of the details. Our “own” Bear Mountain Farm Cidery will be one of the participants at their farm in Ashfield.

Winter Market

This will be in the newsletter each week. Our winter market will begin on Saturday, November 14th. We only have this market twice a month. Usually we have it the second and fourth Saturdays, but due to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will have our November and December markets on the second and third Saturdays. It is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Trafton Road entrance. There will be a sign.

This ‘n’ That

You know instinctively that because you can purchase something in the grocery store, that you might be able to make it yourself. I make my own condensed milk, hot fudge sauce, and pudding. Many years ago I made cream puffs. I was making the filling, and realized that I had just made pudding from scratch. Ever since then, that’s what I have been doing. If you use Trinity Farm’s milk in it, you will have a superior pudding.

Condensed Milk–1 cup dry milk, 1/3 cup boiling water, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 T. butter.

Mix in blender or food processor until smooth. One can of commercial condensed milk is 14 ounces, so you will need a kitchen scale to make sure you add the proper amount to your recipe since most recipes call for one can.

Hot Fudge Sauce–3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, 1/2 cup cream or milk, 4T. butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, pinch salt Mix together and cook very gently until it is thickened. Keeps well in the refrigerator.

Cornstarch Pudding (just like the boxed kind)–Scald 2 cups milk (you can warm in the microwave). Mix 3 T. cornstarch, 1/3 cup (or a little more) sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add 1/4 cup cold milk. Add above mixture to the warmed milk. Cook stirring constantly until the pudding thickens, cool slightly and add 1 tsp. vanilla. If you want chocolate pudding, scald the milk with 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, and proceed from there.

Who Takes Book Donations?

Before you donate any books, get rid of the ones that you really think no-one will want to read. Old mysteries where the cops have to stop to use a pay phone are ones that most people won’t want to read for example.

1. O p e r a t i o n P a p e r b a c k – A non-profit organization that sends gently used books to American troops overseas.
2. R e a d e r t o R e a d e r , I n c .
3. Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept.–
4. Book Sale Finder– Find out about upcoming sales in the area.

What’s Doing at Outlook Farm?

There is lots to enjoy at Outlook Farm in Westhampton. You can pick your own apples every day (except when it rains) through mid October from 10-4. Each Sunday through October 18th they will have a BBQ Smorgasbord where they will grill an assortment of their delicious meats and serve it with a selection of sides, AND they have horse drawn hayrides each Sunday from 1-4 PM. There is a fee for all of these of course. You can get soup, sandwiches, and other items at their restaurant throughout the day.

Junk Mail and Catalogues

Do you get too many of these? Want to know how to get fewer? Here are a few places to contact:–This is a free service to remove your name from commercial mailing lists.–Another free service to stop delivery of unwanted catalogs.–Free service to end pre-approved credit card and insurance offers.

Springfield Preservation Trust Cemetery Tour

The tour of Oak Grove Cemetery will visit graves of interesting nineteenth century Springfield residents where costumed interpreters will speak about that person. Hour-long walking tours will depart every fifteen minutes starting at 3:00PM from the former chapel at Oak Grove Cemetery, 426 Bay Street. Come enjoy the wonderful autumn season with this truly one of a kind event. This will take place on Sunday, October 18th. You can purchase your tickets at Flowers, Flowers, 758 Sumner Avenue in Springfield, or online at

Bay Path University Programs

Bay Path has what they call a Kaleidoscope Series, perspectives on culture, life and learning. The next 3 programs are: “A Tale for the Time Being,” a talk and book signing by author Ruth Ozeki. That’s on Friday, October 16th at 10:30 AM in their Mills Theatre, Carr Hall. Around the World in 90 Minutes, discussion with Marty Easen, author of “Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. That’s on Tuesday, October 20th at 7:30PM in the Blake Student Commons. These two programs need pre-registration. Call 565-1000. On Wednesday, October 21st at 7PM in the Breck Suite, Wright Hall, Writing Fearlessly or Feeling Fear and Writing Anyway is a program by Bay Path’s visiting author, Alexis Paige. All of these programs are free, but please pre-register. If they don’t have enough people attending, they may not have the programs. You can go online to

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eggplant and cabbages

Market News- October 6, 2015

October 6th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Here we are at the last month of our 2015 season. When we have 90+degree heat, it seems to drag, but with this weather it goes quickly Many people ask when we end our market; we always go to the end of October That is fairly typical for markets in this climate. Those of you who use WIC or Elder coupons MUST use them by the end of October. They do not carry into the winter season. Our last day is the 28th, so use them by then please, or you will be throwing money away. The distribion of WIC coupons is different than theElder ones. If you didn’t get the elder ones this year, contact your council on aging and ask how you can get them next year.Several of our Tuesday vendors will attend our Tuesday’s winter market.

We have 2 certified organic vendors.The Kitchen Garden became certified this year. Red Fire Farm has been certified for many years. Please note that Red Fire brings some items that they don’t grow that aren’t organic. They have signs saying that. Our market isn’t producer only, so our vendors can bring another farmer’s products to us. This expands the variety that is sold here.

Recipe—Lazy Stuffed Cabbage

Even though I have given out this recipe several times before, and it is in our recipe archives, many of you don’t seem to know about it, so here it is again. This is a very easy way to make “stuffed” cabbage without the work.

Cabbage, tomato soup, water, vinegar, sugar, meatballs.  Mix tomato soup, one soup can of water, vinegar and brown sugar to taste. bring to a simmer. cut up cabbage and put into the pot, simmer, cover and cook until the cabbage cooks down some. in the meantime, make the meatballs. I make mine with ground beef, onion, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, a little water or tomato juice, and salt and pepper.

Before you put the meatballs into the pot, taste the sweet and sour sauce as the cabbage will have diluted it some. Add the meatballs to the pot, cover and give the pot a little shake to get some of the liquid on them. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are done. This is always better the day after you cook it.

Public Planning Meeting

Tonight at 7PM, at the Forest Park Middle School Auditorium, a meeting to discuss proposed transportation, pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the “X” area in Springfield will be held. This is a cooperative  effort by the  DPW  and the Office of Planning and Economic Developmen t. Representativess from these departments will be in attendance. Everyone is welcome.

National Farm to School Month

National Farm to School Month was designated by congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and teach children about the origins of food. There is a web page if you’d like to get ideas for your classroom, or just for your own children.

Late Gardening

Now is the time to stock uo on your favorite spring bulb varietis. Daffodils are tried and true; squirrels don’t seem to like them as much as they like tulips. You can pot up some herbs now.

Chives, rosemary, and parsley will overwinter indoors. You can put them out again in the spring.

Bing Arts Center

Pick up one of their current brochures at our market table and make it a point to and some of their events. We are fortunate that Brian Hale is willing to put so much of his energy into making the Bing a success. He brings in many
varieties f art to our neighborhood.

 Winter Market

This will be in the newslettr each week. Our winter market will begin on Saturday, November 14th. We only have this market twice a month.
Usually we have it the second and fourth Saturdays, but due to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will have our November and December markets on the second and third Saturdays. It is held in the old monkey house here in the park. Come in the Tra]on Road entrance. There will be a sign.


Our tokens are purchased for when you don’t have enough cash. You can always use cash; you don’t have to purchase tokens instead of cash. Also, if you have WIC or Elder coupons, you use those directly with the farmer who sells what you can purchase with them; you don’t  exchange them for tokens. Gifts from the Market Now that the weather is cooler, thoughts turn to holiday gi] giving. Look around and you will see many things that will keep unti then that will be greatly appreciated. You can also give them tokens that are used all year and never expire, or give a gi] cerMficate that can be exchanged for tokens  when they come to the market. Honey, maple syrup, etc., soap, loMon, hard cider, wine, salsa, jam, relishes, barbecue sauce, and more. Every week we have people who are new to our market, so this is a way to introduce someone who may not be aware of all that we have to offer. Recipe—Onion Soup This is how I make it; you can always add or  subtract to make it more to your liking. Sauté LOTS of onions unMl they are nicely   caramelized in buQer or oil. Sprinkle some isted flour over the onions, (you can use a strainer for this) not too much, maybe ¼ cup. Add either beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, a litle red wine, and some salt and pepper. The key to good onion soup is having enough onions that are cooked properly. Also, if you use a commercial bouillon for this, you may not need extra salt.

This ‘n’ That

Winter squash is hard to cut before cooking. Here’s a hint on how to make it easier. Poke it with a knife and put it in the microwave for a few minutes.

Buttrnut squash makes an excellent soup. You do it exactly the same way as you do the summer squash soup. Sauté some onions, add the cut up squash, cover with chicken or vegetable broth and cook unMl the squash is so]. You can add a peeled cut up apple to this also. When this is done, puree it then add some half and half or apple cider. Cumin, curry, or a liQle cinnamon and nutmeg is a good seasoning for this soup. If you want to freeze it, do so before adding any dairy.

PS: Buy extra onions and potatoes now; they are winter keepers. Keep them in a cool place.


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Market News – September 29, 2015

September 29th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

What I am about to say has nothing to do with agriculture, or our market. It has to do with planning for your family. I don’t know if the reason I read the obituaries every day is because I grew up here, or because I’ve been back in the area since 1981, or what. But, read them I do. I am now in my  70s, and I think that anyone who dies in their 60s or early 70s is “young.” What I do notice is that often, when a person who has young children dies, a request is made to contribute to a fund for the children. Realistically, how much money is going to be contributed? What everyone who has a family to consider should do is buy life insurance. It is less expensive than ever due to life expectancy being longer, and health conditions being managed that contribute to that life expectancy. Get a referral to someone who sells insurance, sit down with them and do some planning. I used to sell insurance. I always told my personal story of being widowed at age 32 with 3 young children. Although my husband had
more life insurance than most people his age, it wasn’t enough for the long term, but what we received made a huge difference in our lives. If your family doesn’t have to worry about money at the same time that they are grieving your loss, you will have given them a huge gift.

This ‘n’ That

The Wheelhouse food truck will not be returning to our market. I did get one response about a hot dog cart, but it would be for next year. I hope that Sun Kim returns to our market, but it would be nice to have some additional choices.

Please take down tag sale signs when your sale is over. Also, if you’re out for a walk take down signs of sales even if they’re not yours. Take a plastic bag with you to pick up some litter also.

You can freeze cider. Just pour some out of the container to make room for when it’s frozen, and freeze. You can use different containers also.

If you purchase lots of winter squash, make sure that you store them where they don’t touch each other. That way, if one of the squashes has a
blemish, it won’t transfer to any of the others. This is a good time of year to lay in a supply of onions also.

Recipe–Carrot/pumpkin Soup


2 T. butter

1 onion
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 cups fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, roasted and diced
1 T. sage leaves
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream
salt and pepper
Sauté onion and carrots, apple, pumpkin and butter ‘til softened. Puree this mixture. Add chicken broth, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream and simmer for 5 more minutes. Don’t let it boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Winter squash is often referred to as pumpkin in other countries.

Another Recipe-Cream of Cauliflower Soup

You can use a white or green cauliflower for this soup. Don’t use the purple one, it will have a peculiar color.

chicken or vegetable broth
curry if desired
salt and pepper
Sauté onion in butter ‘til soft. Add cauliflower, then broth. Cook ‘til cauliflower is soft. Puree. Add cream, simmer, don’t boil. Then add curry if desired, then salt and pepper to taste. If you want a thicker soup when making a soup like this, boil a potato with the vegetables; that will thicken it.

Winter Market
Our winter market begins on November 14th. In November and December, due to the holidays, we will have our market on the second and third
Saturdays. From January through April we will have it on the second and fourth Saturdays. The hours are from 10-2. We are in the old monkey
house. Come in the Trafton Road entrance; the monkey house is the second building on the left.

Local Meat and Poultry

You may have wondered why the cost of locally raised meat and poultry is so much pricier than the grocery store. Economy of scale is one reason. Large companies that raise many animals generally don’t raise their animals the same way that a local farmer does. Local animals are pastured; they don’t live their lives in cages, or in unsanitary conditions. Mike Smyth from Trinity Farm told me many years ago that their cows tend to live considerably longer than cows in large dairies. Also, local farmers don’t have a slaughterhouse that is convenient to them. Our farmers have to make appointments to have their animals processed, and sometimes they have to wait a long time for an appointment. And, the processing plants are seldom nearby.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Dates

There are two more dates for Springfield residents to bring any hazardous waste for disposal this fall, October 10th and 31st. Call 787-7840 to make an appointment. The hours are from 8-noon.


This is a good year for apples. Our local farmers have a good crop. If you’d like to have a book that will give you chapter and verse (plus some  recipes) about them, pick up a copy of “Apples of New England.”) It’s available in paperback. There are more than 200 apple varieties grown in New England. There is no reason at all to buy apples in the fall from someplace else.

Pick up a copy of CISA’s Locally Grown, or go to their website, for information about where you can pick apples. Although  apples are available all year long, you can make apple crisp or pies and freeze them for later use. Perhaps you can get a head start on your Thanksgiving desserts.

Jewish Community Center–The J

There is a treasure just down the street from Forest Park on Dickinson Street. It’s the local J. It is open 7 days a week, and they have programs for babies through senior citizens. Membership is available to everyone. They have daycare and a pre-school. They have after school programs, an olympic-size swimming pool with all sorts of classes available. There is a Cybex center with different types of exercise machines, and you can sign up for individual training as well. The building is clean, everyone is cordial, and it’s a comfortable place to be on a regular basis. There’s a lovely gift shop in the lobby as well as a small coffee shop where you can get something to eat. They have an 8 week summer camp and vacation
day camps as well during the school year. They have some programs that are adaptive for children , so they don’t have to feel left out. Check
it out. You can go for a tour with no obligation.

Market Newsletter – September 22, 2015

September 22nd, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

We have 6 more weeks left in this market season. Where does the time go? On the 90+ degree days, it goes very slowly. I try not to complain about being uncomfortable because I don’t do the hard work; our vendors do. I once asked Tim Wilcox from The Kitchen Garden if, when they knew it was going to be very hot, if they went out very early and quit early. He told me that they didn’t, that they worked until the work was done.

Those of you who are regulars and who have been reading my newsletter for years, know that I emphasize how important it is to support farmers. They work hard 7 days a week to bring us excellent products, so we must support them. I always say that if you say to someone you’d like to go for a ride in the country, you aren’t going to look at housing developments, you’re going because it’s pretty. That actually is one of the subjects that was discussed in the study of the Future of Food in New England that I was part of in 2003. There is an economic benefit to having countryside.

FYI, the mushroom vendor has decided to stop coming to our market for the rest of the season. I don’t know about the winter market though.

We’d like to have a hot dog vendor at our market next year. If you know of one, please have them contact me via our website or Facebook page. Addresses are on the top of this page.

Our Market’s History

Some of you have been coming to our market from day one, and know our history, but others don’t, so here it is. In the fall of 1997 I mentioned to my friend Karen Thomes that it would be really good to have a farmers’ market in our Forest Park
neighborhood. She told me that her husband Michael had recently said the same thing, so the next day I called him, and we were on our way to organizing the wonderful market that we have today. We have been extremely fortunate to have had
excellent cooperation every step of the way. The X Main Street Corporation was our initial non-profit sponsor, and Goodwill hosted us in their parking lot for 8 years. When we needed to move for a variety of reasons, Trinity United Methodist Church agreed to host us. Concerned Citizens for Springfield became our sponsor. That was a terrific location, but we ran out of space, so that’s when we moved to Forest Park. One of the reasons that having a non-profit as a sponsor is important, is that it allows us to apply for grants, many of which only go to non-profit organizations. We started with 5 vendors. Outlook Farm has been with us from day one. While we weren’t totally ahead of the curve (Massachusetts had 98 markets in 1998, now there are over 250), we were on the cusp of the huge increase in markets and the increasing interest in purchasing locally grown/raised food. We currently have the most diverse market in the Greater Springfield area. Since we started, there have been 8 markets that have cropped up. (Pun intended.) Lots of folks want a farmers’ market. In many areas there are too many markets. That’s a topic of discussion among the farmers’ market community nationwide. Just because you want one doesn’t mean that you need one. No market is going to be convenient for all consumers, but it is what it is especially when the market is only once a week. We are fortunate to live in a region that still has lots of farm stands to shop at.

Music at the Market

If you would like to volunteer at our market please let the manager know. You can play for tips, and a gift from the market. Music is a nice addition, so if you or someone you know wants to add to our ambiance please do.

This ‘n’ That

If you want to roast or can tomatoes for sauce, you have to do it NOW. Canning tomatoes are very available, but they are also very ripe. Roasting is easy–375-400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Cut them, put them on a rimmed cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and some kosher salt, and that’s it. When they’re done, put them in a blender or food processor and puree. It freezes perfectly. When you go to use it, it’s good by itself, or as an ingredient in a sauce.

This is also the time of year to make plum jam. Use the Italian prune plums. The skin is purple and the inside is yellow. It cooks into a gorgeous red color, and even with sugar in your recipe, it’s a little tart.

If you are looking for a special occasion cake, check out Sweet Cakes by Tanya’ s website– She has a shop on Dickinson St., so she’s local.

Compliments to CISA from Ellen Berry, one of our volunteers 

Someone from CISA was at our market a couple of weeks ago and asked Ellen to give him her perspective. This is what she wrote. “It was a pleasure to talk to you the other day at our market. As you requested, I am sending you my personal  observations about the bonus program your wonderful organization is sponsoring this season for folks using their SNAP benefits at our market. I think it’s great; it’s that simple.

People of all ages, nations of origin, and financial circumstances, come to our market. Some of them have SNAP support for themselves and their families and I am so happy when they come to our market table to get tokens using their benefit dollars. Some feel awkward about needing help and showing their SNAP card. Arrgghh! I just hate that! As I told you, I am one of the lucky people who have never had to worry about paying for food, shelter, etc. I didn’t have a clear idea of who needed food stamps. Working at the market has opened my eyes to the wide variety of people who rely on this program. There is no reason to be embarrassed about needing some help, and every reason to be applauded for using that extra money to buy healthy food from local producers. I am a friendly and outgoing gal from the Midwest being that way is in my DNA (not that New Englanders aren’t…) – but I am particularly welcoming to those folks who are using their precious benefit dollars to shop at our farmers’ market. So having the incentive, reward, bonus, free money (it’s all of those) to give them is thrilling to me! I have seen so many faces light up with pleasure when I explain that they will have more to spend! So, kudos to CISA for providing this extra spending power. You know I volunteer at this market because it is so satisfying to me personally. I’ve been a patron at the market since its inception. When I was given the opportunity to support it by  participating every week, I jumped at it. Like many, I am a foodie, a locavore, a real food believer, and a community involved person. Community is the key word. Our wonderful market is more than a place to buy things; it is an actual  community. So many people have established long-term relationships, vendors with vendors, customers with vendors, customers with other customers, that it transcends merely a shopping place and has become a kind of town common.”


Many people and organizations help to make our market successful. Thanks to Concerned Citizens for Springfield, our sponsor. To TD Bank at the X who copies our weekly newsletter for us. To Robyn Newhouse for her annual contribution, to Health New England and the Farm Credit Bank of Enfield for providing grant money this year. To the Park Department for providing us with such a beautiful space and for such good helpers every week, and to several customers who give us financial support. It takes lots of people to make a farmers’ market work as well as ours does.

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Market Newsletter – September 15, 2015

September 15th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

This week is the start of the Jewish New Year,year 5776. Every culture celebrates holidays with special food. The first thing we start with is an apple dipped in honey to wish for a sweet year. Sephardic Jews (from the Mediterranean region) have some different customs to greet the new year. Jews have lived and continue to live all over the world. Most Jews who live in the United States have ancestors from Europe, Eastern Europe in particular. They emigrated there many years ago, and there was a huge influx in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from Europe to the U.S. It stands to reason that what is commonly known as Jewish food in the U.S. is from that part of the world. If you stop and think about it, most of us didn’t have rich relatives who came here, so the food tended to be simple with special occasion food only once in awhile. Some of you know that our holiday of Chanukah, which is in the late fall or early winter, has potato pancakes, aka “latkes” as the signature dish here in the U.S. Potatoes are cheap, and I am sure that they were always a significant part of the diet in Europe. But, for the holiday they are dressed up with some additional ingredients and fried. In Israel the special food for Chanukah is jelly donuts, also fried, as oil is a significant part of the Chanukah story. So it is with bread. Our Sabbath bread was made with white flour, very special indeed. We make many dishes for the new year with honey as an ingredient. Also, since it is in the fall of the year at harvest time, we use lots of local fruits and vegetables for our celebration.

Winter Market

Some of you don’t know that we have a winter market that begins in November. It is on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 10-2. We are in the old monkey house which is the second building on the left if you come into the park from Trafton Road. Many of our regular vendors are there with some who are only there for the winter market.

If you have WIC or Elder coupons, you must use them by the end of October. They don’t carry over to the winter market.

Springfield Public Forum

Mark Shields and David Brooks, journalists who are often on PBS, will be at Symphony Hall tonight at 6PM. The Forum is free. Their specialty is politics and they are always interesting.

This ‘n’ That

Don’t forget the hazardous waste collection this coming Saturday. from 8-noon. If you live in Springfield call 787-7840 to make an appointment.

The Bing Arts Center has many terrific musical performances each year. They aren’t expensive at all. Check out their website for schedules. Support local arts venues.

Did you know that there are thousands of varieties of apples in the world? Over 2,000 varieties are grown in the U.S. Judging by what’s available in the grocery stores, you might think that there were 10 varieties in total. Visit a local orchard to find types that you won’t find in the grocery store. They can also tell you how they are best used.

The apple tree is part of the rose family. Only the crabapple is native to North America. An apple tree takes about 3-4 years to produce fruit. They are full of vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients that keep you healthy, especially if you eat the peel. Many of the nutrients and 2/3rds of the fiber in apples are contained in the peel.

Recipe–Potato Kugel

This has the same ingredients that potato pancakes do, but the oil is IN this mixture, not cooked in oil. It is baked. Can be frozen after it is cooked.

Potatoes, onions, matzoh meal or flour, eggs, oil, salt and pepper. Some recipes don’t call for flour or matzoh meal, they just use the eggs to hold it together. Some recipes don’t drain the potatoes, some do.
Use a 9×13” pan

10 potatoes
2 large onions
6 eggs
1/3 cup oil plus a little for the pan
2 teaspoons salt & pepper
Put a little oil in the pan and put it into the oven which you have preheated to 350 degrees. You can use your food processor for this. Puree the onions, place in a bowl with the eggs and oil. Then grate or shred the potatoes. Drain the potatoes in a strainer and discard the liquid and starch. Add everything together. Put into the hot pan and bake for about an hour and a half. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before you cut into it.

10 Good Reasons for Eating Locally Grown 

1. Tastes and looks better.
2. Supports local families
3. Builds trust (you know where your food comes from.
4. Builds community
5. Preserves open space
6. Keeps taxes down (farms pay more in taxes than in services used)
7. Benefits the environment and wildlife
8. Makes a lighter carbon footprint
9. Preserves genetic diversity
10.It’s an investment in our future.


Once in awhile we have someone at our market who gives out information about the MassSave program. It is designed to help lower energy costs. They have many different programs. Some help to pay for improvements to your home to save energy, some are either low or no interest loans for the bigger items like a new furnace or windows. Someone will come to your home to do an analysis of what you need. Initially they will replace light bulbs with low energy ones. Even that can be a couple of hundred dollars worth of savings. Check them out; you will benefit if you do.

Gardening in September

This is a good time of year to plant trees and shrubs. There are sales in garden centers as they try to move their trees and shrubs before winter. Look for plants that are healthy, with little damage to their stems and trunk. As always, dig a hole 2-3 times the diameter of the rootball wide and as deep as that rootball. New research suggests that you wash off all the soil from the rootball and give it a good look even if your tree
or shrub has leaves till on it. If you see tangled roots, prune them so they aren’t circling around the trunk. Circling roots will eventually strangle a tree or shrub and kill it, sometimes years down the road. Tease the roots apart and spread them in the planting hole. Add water as you backfill with native soil. Keep the soil moist all fall. This is also a good time to divide and plant perennials.

Program at Bay Path University

Thursday, September 17th at 7 PM, Debby Irving brings to racial justice the perspective of a community organizer and 25-year classroom teacher. She now devotes herself to working with white people to explore the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving and engaging in racial justice work. She will discuss her book “Waking up White” which tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing. FREE!

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Market Newsletter September 8, 2015

September 8th, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Someone left their shopping bag at The Kitchen Garden’s stand last week. I put the notice on our Facebook page, and I sent an email to those that I have, but no one claimed it. It is at our market table this week. I kept it in the fridge. If that happens to you, go to our website and contact me. I probably will have whatever it is that you lost.

The Kitchen Garden is having its annual Chili Fest this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5PM at Mike’s Maze, 23 South Main Street in Sunderland. Lots of music and good food. There is a fee to get in.

Freeze some corn for the winter. Just scrape it off the cob and use it in soups, or other recipes. What a treat it is to open the freezer and find treasures from the summer in it.

Springfield is having another hazardous waste collection this fall. On Saturday, September 19th and October 10th & 31st from 8-noon, you can bring your unwanted household hazardous items to their Grochmal Avenue location in Indian Orchard. Call 787-7840 for an appointment. For Springfield residents only.

Another new Vendor

Welcome to Fungi Ally, our new mushroom vendor. They cultivate their mushrooms in Hadley and North Amherst specializing in oyster and shiitake mushrooms although they grow other types as well. They also forage for wild mushrooms.
On occasion they offer workshops. Go to their website, They will be at our winter market also.

Reducing Wasted Food Basics (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away every day, from uneaten leftovers to spoiled produce. About 95% of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2013 we disposed of more than 35 million tons of food waste. Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

Benefits of Reducing Wasted Food
• Saves money
• Reduces methane emissions and lowers your carbon footprint
• Conserves energy and resources preventing pollution involved in the growing, transporting, and selling food (not to mention hauling the food waste and then landfill costs)
• Supports your community by providing donated untouched food that would have gone to waste to those who might not have a steady food supply.

Ways to Reduce Wasted Food

• Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
• Plan your menu before you go shopping and buy only those things on your menu. Don’t shop hungry.
• Buy only what you realistically need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you use the food before it spoils.
• If safe and healthy, use the edible parts of food that you normally do not eat. Use stale bread to make croutons, beet tops and turnip greens can be cooked, and vegetable scraps can be made into stock. Use chicken and turkey carcasses for stock also.
• Find out how to store fruits and vegetables so they stay fresh longer inside or outside your refrigerator.
• Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables, especially abundant seasonal ones.
• Compost food scraps rather than throwing them away.
• Nutritious, safe, and untouched food can be donated to food banks to help those in need.
• Take home leftovers from restaurants.
• Take only what you can eat at all you can eat buffets.

Gardening for Pollinators (from Hampden County Beekeepers)

Use a wide variety of plants that bloom from early spring into late fall. Help pollinators find and use them by planting in clumps rather than single plants. Include plants native to your region. Natives are adapted to your local climate, soil and native pollinators. Don’t forget that night-blooming flowers will support moths and bats. Avoid modern hybrid flowers, especially those with “doubled” flowers. Often plant breeders have unwittingly left the pollen, nectar, and fragrance out of these blossoms while creating the “perfect” bloom for us. Eliminate pesticides whenever possible. If you must use a pesticide, use the least toxic material possible. Read labels carefully before purchasing as many pesticides are especially dangerous fro bees. Use the product properly. Spray at night when bees and other pollinators are not active. Include larval host plants in your landscape. If you want colorful butterflies, grow plants for their caterpillars. They WILL eat them, so place them where unsightly leaf damage can be tolerated. Accept that some host plants are less than ornamental if not outright weeds. A butterfly guide will help you determine the plants you need to include. Plant a butterfly garden.

Create a damp salt lick for butterflies and bees. Use a dripping hose, drip irrigation line, or place your bird bath on bare soil to create a damp area. Mix a small bit of table salt (sea salt is better) or wood ashes into the mud. Spare that limb: By leaving dead trees, or at least an occasional dead limb, you provide essential nesting sites for bees.

Recipe–Fresh Corn Soup (from fresh tastes From the Garden State)

This delicious soup is ready in less than half an hour, but its rich broth tastes like you slaved over a hot stove all day. It’s best piping hot.
1 cup leeks, white and light green part only) or onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups clam juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
about 3 cups of fresh corn kernels
1 mild to hot red chile pepper, roasted, chopped
1/2 # small or medium shrimp
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1.Sauté the leeks in butter over medium heat until leeks are soft.
2.Add the clam juice, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
3.Add the corn, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes more.
4.Stir in chile peppers (if using), shrimp, and half and half. Simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes.
5.Add the salt and pepper, adjust to taste; remove the bay leaf.

Springfield Public Forum
–80th Year

This Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be speaking at the MassMutual Center. The doors open at 6:30; program begins at 7:30. On September 15th, Mark Shields and David Brooks, journalists who regularly appear on PBS, will be speaking at Springfield Symphony Hall at 6 PM. The Forum is free, the last public forum in the country to be free.


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Market Newsletter – September 1, 2015

September 1st, 2015 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I went up to Outlook Farm on Sunday. I saw the owners, Brad and Erin Morse whom I haven’t seen in awhile. Outlook is the only vendor who has been with us the whole time we’ve had this market–18 years. I asked Brad about corn and  GMOs. GMO stands for genetically modified organism. Brad said that it is a quick way to develop better seeds, like hybridization, only quicker. It has been in use since 1996, and is primarily used in feed corn (for animals), soybeans, and alfalfa. It isn’t in any corn for human consumption as some people think. And, as you will learn if you go to the website, no traces of any GMO is detected in any meat or milk from any animal who eats GMO feed. Brad said that he seriously doubts that there will be GMO food for human consumption.
I have the utmost respect for farmers and the hard work that they do to provide our food. I know that I have said that the two major concerns are weather and labor, neither of which they have much control over. Brad told me that they have an excellent apple crop, but need people to pick them. There is a special program that allows people from Jamaica to come to the U.S. and work on farms. I’m not sure if it’s just in orchards, or if it’s any farm. But, if a farmer wants to be part of that program, they have to sign up far in advance, so it isn’t as though they can see that they will have a good crop and then sign up.

Go apple picking this year. It’s a great activity, and if you are bringing children, it’s an excellent way to get them to understand how some of the food that they eat is grown and harvested.

Go online, or look in a library book to learn about some of the varieties of apples. There are thousands of varieties, but if you judge just by what is in the grocery store, you might think that there are only 8.

I make applesauce every year. I use a variety of apples. Sometimes I use just one type, and sometimes I use a mixture. I don’t care. It depends on what’s available in the utility grade. There’s no reason to use perfect apples if you’re going to mush them up. Wash them, cut them in halves or quarters, put into a pot with a little bit of water on the bottom, cover and cook until they’re mushy. Then using a food milll over a bowl, put the apples in and turn turn turn. You don’t have to peel or core the apples. Add some sugar (you don’t need a lot) and some cinnamon, and you have fabulous applesauce. It is 1,000% better than what you buy in the grocery store. It freezes very well, or you can can it.



4 tart apples, pared, cored, and cut into small
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 maple syrup, divided
4 cups nonfat milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
frozen yogurt or ice cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 9” square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples and corn starch.
3. Distribute apples evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the syrup.
4. Place the milk in a heavy saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Be sure to watch the pan closely because the milk will quickly boil over.
5. While stirring or whisking constantly, slowly and steadily pour the cornmeal into the boiling milk.

Continue stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. Into the cornmeal mixture, stir the sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Next, stir in 1 cup maple syrup.
7. To keep the eggs from forming lumps in the pudding, temper them by rapidly stirring 1 teaspoon of the hot cornmeal at a time into the eggs until 5 teaspoons have been added. Then, while quickly stirring or whisking the cornmeal mixture, slowly pour the egg mixture into the pan. When all the ingredients are well blended, pour the cornmeal mixture over the apples.
8. Cook in a hot water bath by placing the dish holding the pudding in a larger dish. Place both dishes in the oven and add enough hot water to the larger dish to come with 1/2” of the top of the dish holding the pudding.
9. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a knife tip inserted in the center of the pudding comes out clean.
10. Serve warm or hot with the ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Core, and cut tomatoes in quarters. Put on rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in 400 degree oven and roast until they have collapsed. You don’t want them to get brown. When they have cooled, place in a food processor and puree. At this point you can add fresh basil or garlic. Make sure you label the container properly. This is either a delicate sauce by itself, or the beginning of a sauce or tomato soup. This freezes perfectly.


Israeli Salad

This is a Middle Eastern recipe. If you make it this time of year with local vegetables, it will be excellent.


Purple onion



Sweet bell peppers

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Chop into bite sized pieces. Add lemon juice and olive oil, toss together. Serve right away. If you aren’t going to serve it right away, prepare your vegetables and add the dressing just before you serve it.

Summer Pasta

Tomatoes, onion, green olives, garlic, fresh parsley, fresh basil, capers, paprika, oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, cooked pasta.
Chop vegetables, mix with herbs, capers, paprika and vinegar. Add oil and stir. Refrigerate for several hours then just before serving put cold sauce on top of hot pasta. Mix together. Delicious.

Unity House Concerts

The Unitarian Universalist Church on Porter Lake Drive in Springfield is continuing its series of folk concerts. The first one is September 26th at 7:30. The tickets are $15 or $20 and can be purchased at t h e d o o r.  Go to their website for more details.

Become a School Volunteer

There are many ways in which you can help a child learn. Contact the School Volunteer office at 787-7015 to learn what you can do to make a student or students more successful. It takes a village to raise a child.

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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

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.

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