Farmers' Market at Forest Park

A Weekly Newsletter from Belle Rita Novak, Market Manager

Market Newsletter – October 29, 2013

October 29th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Well, here we are at the last market of the 2013 season. This was year 16. We started with 5 vendors in June 1998. Now we’ve become so well known as a successful market that we regularly get requests to join us.

In 2003 I participated in a forum that was discussing the future of food in New England. While some of our findings and recommendations haven’t come to fruition or been strengthened many have.

Where I see great progress is in the economic development of the food system.

We recommended that consumers be educated about:

• Buying locally grown and processed foods
• Where food dollars go, and how locally-spent money strengthens the local economy
• The impact on the local economy of globalization and consolidation

The growth of farmers’ markets and the increase in farm to school, and farm to cafeteria programs has been huge.
Many books, movies, and television programs have educated us about the value of eating locally grown/raised food.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is extremely helpful to farmers and everything having to do with farming including farmers’ markets. I am sure that they aren’t unique, that many other departments of agriculture are equally as helpful.

Young people are going into farming. Look at our own market. I heard a story on NPR last week and think I heard that there are 1300 new young farmers in Iowa. And, if our young farmers are typical, these new young farmers are very well educated. At our market I know that we have graduates of UMASS, UCONN, Hampshire, U. of Chicago, Cornell, and others here.

As I know I have mentioned previously, I have always lived relatively close to farmland. I appreciate the quality of our local farms, and am passionate about doing what I can to preserve them. Obviously you do also otherwise you wouldn’t be shopping here.

So, thanks again for supporting the folks who work so hard for us.

This ‘n’ That

If you like to make stuffed cabbage, here’s a hint on preparing the cabbage for stuffing—freeze it. Yup, that’s right. Put the whole head in the freezer. Let it freeze completely. Then when you want to make the recipe, take it out, let it defrost thoroughly, and then peel the leaves off. It takes quite a while for the cabbage to defrost, so plan accordingly.

You can chop up fresh peppers and freeze those also. It doesn’t matter if they get limp because you’ll be putting them into a recipe where it doesn’t matter.

Do you like smoked fish? Rachael’s Springfield Smoked Fish is open to the public, but only from 9-4 weekdays. Look them up online, RachaelsSmokedFish.com. They are located at 150 Switzer Ave. in Springfield. You will have to look the address up on a map because I couldn’t begin to tell you how to get there. It’s off of a street that’s off of Berkshire Ave.

Don’t store garlic in the refrigerator.

Make your own chicken broth; it is far superior to anything you can buy.

Buy some of Trinity Farm’s eggnog and use it to make French toast. Mmmmm. And, fyi, they don’t re-use the caps on the bottles, so recycle them, don’t return the bottles with the caps on please.

Energy Savings

We have had two companies represented here this season. Hopefully any of you who need some energy saving items in your home have signed up, but if not go to MassSave and go from there.

I was told that the reason the energy companies are doing this is that it is less expensive for them to pay for most of the work done than to build new power plants.

Apples, etc.

Many folks are amazed to learn that there are thousands of varieties of apples in the world. An apple tree is not propagated by seed, it must be cloned. If an apple tree grows from a seed it will be small, green, and misshapen. An apple tree can live for over 200 years. There are many people who look for old varieties of apple trees and who work to reproduce them.

It is very difficult to grow apples organically, as they revert to their wild state easily.

This coming weekend, November 2nd and 3rd, go up to Colrain for Cider Days. You will see (and taste) apple varieties that you may never have seen before.

Go to ciderdays.org for all of the details.

Winter Farmers’ Market

We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there along with some new ones.

Winter markets are an excellent way for farmers (and other vendors) to extend their season.

You can use the wooden tokens there also.

We will have some prepared food for you to enjoy for lunch there.

Honey Bees

Did you know that honeybees pollinate more than 100 different crops? We can thank them for some of our favorite foods from fruits and vegetables to nuts and seeds.

Many of you know that there have been problems with bee colonies collapsing in recent years.

In 35 states across American and all over the world, honeybees have been abandoning their hives and dying.
No one knows exactly what causes Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

You can help. Start a garden with bee-friendly plants in your backyard. Lavender, glory bushes, rosemary, violets, and sunflowers are just some of the flowers and plants that attract honey bees.

Read up on it over the winter so that you can make whatever changes you need to make come spring. Systemic pesticide use is thought to be one of the causes of so many bee deaths. That’s one of the things you need to think about this winter—do you need to use systemic pesticides in your yard?

And, last but not least, talk to Tom Flebotte, our honey vendor.

Mitzvahs

Mitzvahs are most often thought to be good deeds. They don’t have to be big. Here are a few that my rabbi included in a Yom Kippur memorial book.

For the mitzvah we performed by—remembering the good another had done for us even when we were upset with him or her; for not disturbing people around us with cell phones; by stopping our child from teasing or calling another child by a hurtful nickname; by refusing to buy products produced by child labor; by remembering to thank people who have helped us; by refraining from expressions of anger when we were driving our cars; by donating charity cheerfully; by apologizing to one of our children whose feelings we had unfairly hurt; by helping someone find work; for involving ourselves in the life of the community; by staying in close communication with our elderly parents.

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Trinity Farm

Market Newsletter – October 22,2013

October 22nd, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Today is the 80th anniversary of my late husband’s birth. He was 40 when he died, so I am having difficulty imagining him at 80. I have a picture of him from when he was one, and he had an “old” face then; he looked the same when he was 40, so perhaps he would have looked the same with a few wrinkles at 80.

I know that the 80s are different today than they used to be. The 80s are the fastest growing age group in our country. Look at the obits and see how many people were in their 80s when they died. When I was a kid (I’m almost 72) it was ancient. Not any more.

I have friends in their 60s who still have at least one parent. I still chuckle about the birthday party my mom gave for me when I was 60. Whoever heard of their mom giving them a birthday party at 60?

If you are being honored with a party for something, and you know that some people will want to give you a gift, ask them to bring a book that you can donate to a school. I did that for my 60th, and donated 80 books to the Washington School.

Other than a pile of money there really was nothing that I needed, so that’s why I asked folks to bring a book.

Most of us probably have more stuff than we need, so receiving something tangible is not necessary. My children know not to give me more “stuff.”

I’m also pretty good about cleaning my cellar and garage on a regular basis. I’m always amazed that even though I clean them fairly often, I always find something to throw away.

My folks moved into our house in Longmeadow in 1949, and my mom lived there for 55 years. I made up my mind a long time ago that I was not going to leave a big job for my children to clean up as was going to be left for us.

Winter Farmers’ Market

We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there. It is NOT every other week; only the second and fourth Saturdays. Many of the vendors who are at this market will also be at our winter market. Every week someone else asks to be there. It is a happenin’ place.

We will have some prepared food for you to enjoy for lunch there.

Forest Park Civic Assn. Halloween Party

Sunday, October 27th at 4PM, the annual Halloween party put on by the Forest Park Civic Association will be held at the triangle at Garfield, Fairfield, and Greenleaf streets. Come one, come all. Free to everyone.

Bay Path Theatre

Into the Woods, a musical, will be presented at Bay Path College in Longmeadow on November 15th, 16th, and 23rd at 8PM, and on the 17th and 24h at 2PM. It will be held in the Mills Theatre, in Carr Hall. They have plenty of parking on campus. Their theatre is lovely. Call them at 565-1307 for tickets.
Jewish Community Center Classes

Check them out online. They have a variety of classes that are always open to everyone. Some have fees attached, some are free. Go to SpringfieldJCC.org for details.

Springfield Public Forum

Tonight, the 22nd of October is another Public Forum program. Pulitzer prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson, will speak on Journeys of the Great Migration when millions of African-Americans fled the rural South in pursuit of prosperity in Northern cities.

The Smithsonian Museum of American History had an exhibit called “From Field to Factory” about this subject, and it was fascinating.

The next program is November 21st.

All forums are held at Symphony Hall and they are always free.

Bernice Karolinski

Who you might say. Bernice was a woman that I knew slightly. I attended her funeral last week on October 13th. I mention the date because her husband died on October 13th 1997.

Bernice was from Poland. During World War 2 she was in Russia and was sent to Siberia with a group of 30 orphans that she and others were taking care of. That’s where she spent the war. After the war she learned that every single member of her family had been murdered by the Nazis.

She met the man who became her husband after the war, and they were married 8 days later. She had a child in the Displaced Persons Camp. In 1949 she and her husband and child came to Agawam because her husband had a cousin here.

They established a poultry farm. Bernice took care of the house, the children, and the farm. Her daughter said that her mother often delivered produce from her garden along with the eggs.

After her husband’s death she moved to Ruth’s House, an assisted living facility in Longmeadow. She thrived there.

She was a lover of jokes and her daughter told some of them at her funeral. She was also wearing one of her mother’s hats as her mom loved hats.

Bernice knew several languages, Yiddish among them. Each year at the Holocaust Memorial Service that we have in Springfield, Bernice sang the Polish Partisan song in Yiddish. Her grandson had a recording of it and played it at her funeral. (She would have loved that.)

Bernice had 3 children, and her children had children. Hitler almost succeeded in wiping out this family, but not quite.

You won’t read her name in any history book, but she overcame great hardship, and brought joy to many throughout her life.

There was a lot of laughter at her funeral; we really did celebrate her life.

Thanks!

Our market is successful because of many people. The Parks and Rec. Department is fabulous to us. They hang up our banners, set up our tables and canopies, empty the trash, and let us use this fabulous space.

Financial contributions help us a lot. Robyn Newhouse, Concerned Citizens for Springfield (our sponsor), and the Forest Park Civic Association give us money. Several of you do also.

TD Bank lets me photocopy our newsletter each week. That saves us hundreds of dollars each year.

Ellen Berry and Dale Zlotnick are very faithful volunteers. This market has gotten way too busy for one person to do it alone.
Our vendors are terrific. They are reliable, they bring fabulous products to our market of the highest quality, and they are pleasant to work with.

And you, our customers appreciate the hard work that goes into having such a successful market. You know the value of buying from local people, that doing so not only helps them, but it helps our local economy also.

We have one more week of this market and then it’s inside as of November 9th with the biggest winter market that we’ve ever had.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Market Newsletter – October 15

October 15th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

I love this market, but you know that. Last week I met the granddaughter of a former neighbor. When I moved to my house in 1984, I met my across the street neighbor, Bart Dowd. Bart had lived in his house since 1936. Bart died in the 90s in his 90s.
His granddaughter, Mary Dowd and I had a lovely time remembering him. Connections.

Another person came up to me and introduced herself as the sister-in-law of a former girlfriend of my son Jeff. She remembered him fondly and wanted me to give him her message. That relationship ended well over 20 years ago. Connections.

Susan Parks, our “soap lady” put a picture of herself on Facebook with Sylvie Fiore, the 3-month-old daughter of Rachel and James Fiore. Rachel comes to our market regularly, she even showed up a week after Sylvie was born. Naturally there was a lot of oohing and ahhing over the baby (then and now.) When Sylvie first came to the market, she was a bulge in her mom’s sling; now we see a leg from the knee down sticking out. Connections.

When I commented on the picture from Susan’s posting, I said don’t you just love the relationships that we’ve made at this market? And she replied that not only did she, but Tuesday was her favorite day of the week.

Every so often there is a problem here, but for the most part it’s problem free. If a customer has an issue, we take care of it right away. Our vendors get along beautifully and are always willing to help each other out.

Someone I don’t know complimented me about our market last week. She said that even her dog (a golden retriever) loved it. She said that he isn’t much of a tail wagger, but as they approach the market, his tail starts wagging.
Some markets don’t allow dogs, and I understand why, but we do. Dogs are great conversation starters. Almost all of the folks who bring dogs here are responsible and have them on a leash, and don’t let them pee on anything that is for sale (like plants for instance.) Just last week someone had a European boxer who was white. A couple of us went up to the owner and asked about him since we’d never seen a white boxer before.

Part of what makes a farmers’ market special is that it is held at the same time each week for a concentrated period of time. You are bound to see people that you know. Conversational groups form. Sometimes folks gather at the table that we have set up and have lunch together. It is a lovely sight to see.

Someone asked me if anyone was going to have native lamb at our market. Lamb is a very seasonal meat. If you go to the CISA website, buylocalfood.org you should be able to look up who has it in the area. Native lamb is very delicate and delicious.

Winter Farmers’ Market

We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there. It is NOT every other week; only the second and fourth Saturdays. Many of the vendors who are at this market will also be at our winter market.

We will have some prepared food for you to enjoy for lunch there.

Friends of the Farmers’ Market

We have lovely sunflower pins that we will give you if you give us at least a $5 contribution. They are at the market table.

Friend of the Market Button

Friend of the Farmers’ Market Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tokens

Once again I’m writing about our wooden tokens. You don’t have to have cash at our market if you have a debit/credit/ebt card. Come to the market table, we’ll swipe your card, and give you tokens. Use them just like cash.
We follow the USDA rules for EBT which means no flowers, plants unless they are food bearing plants, and no prepared food. You can use these tokens for any food, sweet or otherwise. You do not get change back with EBT tokens. We follow these rules so that we are never in jeopardy of losing the right to accept EBT cards. We accept EBT from any state.

Turkeys for Thanksgiving

I know that Diemand Farm in Wendell has turkeys, but don’t know of others. If you are interested in a locally raised turkey, I encourage you to order one now; it isn’t too early. Go to CISA’s website, and find farms that raise turkeys—buylocalfood.org. Or, call Diemand Farm and order one from them.

Stuffed Peppers

Instead of using ground beef in your mixture, try sausage instead. I recently used chicken/garlic sausage, and I have used bulk sausage. I take the sausage out of the links and mix it up with onion, garlic, a little cooked rice, egg, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, and a little water plus some salt and pepper. I cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and stuff them that way. Then I pour some tomato sauce (the kind with flavoring in it, not plain tomato sauce out of the can) cover it with foil, and bake until they’re done about an hour or maybe a little less.

Interested in Helping Refugees?

Jewish Family Service has some volunteer opportunities where you can directly help refugees.

• English language tutor—helping a family read, write and speak better English is crucial to their success in the U.S. Work with a family in their home to improve their English skills and help their children with homework.

• Family Mentor—would you like to help teach a refugee family about living in the U.S.? Be their guide in their new home and connect them to vital community resources. Take your new family shopping, to a movie or out to the park. Take them to the library and help them get a library card.

• Citizenship Tutor—Do you want to help someone become a U.S. citizen? You can prepare individuals for the naturalization test by helping them study civics questions at home or in the classroom.

• Adopt a Family—Organize your network of family, friends, or faith community to mentor a refugee family and help them acclimate to their new life in Western Mass. With JFS staff, be the first to welcome a family when they come to the U.S., support them in their new apartment and teach them about their new community.

• Donate—help us find donated bicycles for new American families.

Donate gently used household items such as flatware, houseware, towels, linens, bedding and small kitchen appliances.
Organize a drive at your school, faith or work-based organization to collect children’s winter coats and/or school bag packs to be distributed to refugee families.

For more information contact: Donna Gordon, MSW, LICSW, Clinical Director at 413-455-1936, ext. 103 or by email at d.gordon@jfswm.org. Learn more at their website, jfswm.org.

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Market News – October 8th

October 8th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

A large manila envelope was delivered by mail to me this past Saturday. There was no name or return address on it. When I turned it over I saw that the sender had put on a P.S. with a quote from Isaiah. All I saw was Isaiah, and I said “ut oh, another one.” I opened the envelope, saw that it was religious junk and threw it into the recycling bin.

This isn’t the first time that someone (I never know who it’s from because they NEVER put their name or address on the envelope) has sent me religious screeds. Evidently my religion (Jewish) and my beliefs or non-beliefs are something the sender believes needs correction.

I wonder why anyone thinks that they need to try to convert someone. Or why they think that either going door-to-door, or sending unsolicited information through the mail will pique someone’s interest.

The only thing about this that makes me happy is that it cost the sender a little bit of money that they wasted.

Can you believe that we haven’t had a frost yet? I know that some crops have slowed or stopped, but others haven’t quit altogether due to the lack of a frost. This mild weather sure is unusual for this time of year.

Each week when Jessica Ripley from Maple Corner Farm shows up, (with some of their blueberries) she says “Enough with the blueberries already, time for them to stop bearing.”

I encourage you to go to the Longmeadow Chamber Music Society’s concerts. They are held at the UCC Church on the green in Longmeadow. Their website is longmeadowcms.org.

U ‘n’ I Coffeehouse

This folk music coffeehouse has been presenting terrific singers for over 20 years. It is held at the UU Church on Porter Lake Drive in Springfield on the second Saturday of each month, September through May. Their next concert is this Saturday, the 12th at 7:30 PM. The cost is $15 at the door. Refreshments are available. This week’s performers are Gordon Bok with Carol Rohl on Celtic harp.

Winter Farmers’ Market

We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there. It is NOT every other week; only the second and fourth Saturdays. Many of the vendors who are at this market will also be at our winter market.

We will have some prepared food for you to enjoy for lunch there.

We do see many of our regular customers at the winter market, and many others who can’t make a Tuesday market as well.

Pies for Thanksgiving

The Kitchen Garden will be selling pies by special order two days before Thanksgiving. They do not know exactly where the pickup will be, but it will be here in Forest Park. We will let you know when the space has been firmed up.

Turkeys for Thanksgiving

I know that Diemand Farm in Wendell has turkeys, but don’t know of others. If you are interested in a locally raised turkey, I encourage you to order one now; it isn’t too early. Go to CISA’s website, and find farms that raise turkeys—buylocalfood.org. I still miss Bennett’s Turkey Farm in Wilbraham.

Organic Foods: Are they Safer? More Nutritious?
By the Mayo Clinic Staff

The word organic refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds, or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weed killers, organic farmers may conduct sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay. Here are other differences between conventional farming and organic farming—

• Conventional—apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth

• Organic—apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost to feed soil and plants

• Conventional—spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease

• Organic—use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease

• Conventional—use chemical herbicides to manage weeds

• Organic—rotate crops, till, hand weed, or mulch to manage weeds

• Conventional—give animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth

• Organic—give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors. Use preventive measures such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing to help minimize disease

Do organic and natural mean the same thing? NO! Only foods that are grown according to the USDA organic standards can be labeled organic. Natural has no specific meaning.

Is organic food more nutritious? Probably not, but the answer isn’t yet clear. A recent study examined the past 50 years’ worth of scientific articles concluded that organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs are comparable in their nutrient content.

Although some farmers may not be certified organic, many use organic farming practices, so it is always helpful to ask how they farm and what they use on their farm if this is of concern to you. There are very specific rules and regulations that must be complied with to become certified as well as a cost to the farmer.

Beet and Apple Soup

I had this the other day at a restaurant and thought it was an interesting soup. Pretty too.

Ingredients, beets, apples, chicken or vegetable broth, apple juice or cider, lemon juice, butter, salt, pepper, sour cream or crème fraiche for garnish.

Peel and cut beets and cover with broth and juice or cider; cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Peel apples, cut up and sauté in butter until caramelized about 10-15 minutes. Puree the apples and beets in a food processor and add broth through the feed tube as necessary. Return the mixture to the pot and combine with the broth. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or hot with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche if desired.

The recommended amounts are—6 beets, 3 apples, 2 cups apple cider or juice, 8 cups broth, 3 T. butter, 3 T. lemon juice. For the best flavor use an unpasteurized cider.

Freeze Cider

You know that cider season isn’t very long. To have it throughout the winter and spring, freeze some. Remove some from the jug and freeze. That’s it. Outlook Farm has superb cider. They won’t be at our winter market at all as Nicki is pregnant. She’s due the end of December.

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Market News – October 1, 2013

October 1st, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

The family of Mark Kaufman (Wild Mtn. Farm) sent me a thank you note for our contribution to the hospice that took care of Mark during the last 2½ weeks of his life.

We only have 4 more weeks left to this market season. It’s been a good one.

Yesterday I cooked a couple of dinners for an elderly couple that I regularly cook for. Almost every ingredient was from the market. I LOVE this time of year!

Our wooden token sales are thousands of dollars ahead of last year’s sales at this time. In these past 5 months we have actually sold more tokens than we did in all 12 months of last year. Since most of the tokens are used on the day that they are purchased, that is a good indicator that patronage is up. Thanks.

I encourage you to go to our local college websites and find plays, musical performances, and lectures that are open to the public. If there is a fee, it is usually very modest.

Another Springfield hazardous waste disposal day is coming up on Saturday, October 12th from 8 AM to noon. Call 787-7840 for an appointment. It is by appointment only. No latex paint.

Go to CISA’s website, buylocalfood.org and find a listing for pick your own apples. Outlook Farm, one of our vendors, has pick your own apples. Check at their stand for the days and times.

Springfield Flu Shot Clinics

October 2nd, from 3-6PM at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 1023 Parker St., and October 4th, from 10-11:30 at Independence House (a senior living facility) 1475 Roosevelt Avenue. There may be others, but they haven’t been announced yet. They request that you wear a short-sleeved shirt, and that you bring your medical cards with you. It isn’t too early to get your flu shot.

Springfield Public Forum

The second FREE Public Forum program will be on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:30 PM at Symphony Hall.
The speaker is Spencer Wells, and his topic is A GENETIC ODYSSEY Tracing the Human Family Tree.

North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival

Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, from 10 AM to 5PM. It’s held at Forsters’ Farm in Orange. Go to Garlicandarts.org for all of the details, or pick up a card at our market table or from The Kitchen Garden’s stand.

Winter Farmers’ Market

We will be going inside the monkey house on Saturday, November 9th. The hours are from 10-2, and we will be there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, November through April. Many of our Tuesday vendors will be there. It is NOT every other week; only the second and fourth Saturdays.

Pies for Thanksgiving

The Kitchen Garden will be selling pies by special order two days before Thanksgiving. They do not know exactly where the pickup will be, but it will be here in Forest Park. We will let you know when the space has been firmed up.

Cooking Hints

If you are new to cooking, and making a savory recipe, make it according to the recipe the first time. If you want to change it, make notations on the recipe so that you will know what to do the next time. Remember that when you bake, you have to be exact.

If you need to bread eggplant for a recipe, here’s an easy way to do it without frying. Use a cookie sheet with sides, put some olive oil on the cookie sheet, and put that in a 400-degree oven.

Take thinly sliced eggplant that you have dredged in flour, then egg mixed with a little water, then seasoned bread crumbs; panko crumbs are excellent for this. When the olive oil is smoking, lay the eggplant in a single layer on the cookie sheet. You can drizzle a little oil over the tops. When the eggplant is a golden color, it’s done. Way less messy than frying.
Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style breadcrumb that makes a very crispy crust.

Use half brown and half white sugar when making an apple pie instead of all white sugar.

Keep several types of vinegar and a variety of oils in your cupboard. With changes in the herbs you put in your salad along with the vinegar and oil, your salads will vary. Making your own salad dressing is so easy and inexpensive compared to the bottled kind.

A tasty way to use up leftover corn on the cob is to cut it off the cob and sauté it in some butter until some of the kernels are tinged with brown.

Don’t store garlic in the refrigerator.

If you have to cut crusts off bread, make them into breadcrumbs, but freeze them. Otherwise fresh breadcrumbs will get moldy.

Trinity Church Crafts Fair

Trinity Church’s congregation is very active. They will be having their annual harvest fair on Saturday, October 19th from 10-3. They will also have food to purchase there. Trinity is the big stone church right next to Forest Park.

Skilled Hands and High Ideals—The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield

The fascinating story of Deerfield artisans who created stunning artwork over one hundred years ago, led by a group of business-savvy women with remarkable skills in promoting it is now open at the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA.
The hours are Tuesdays through Sundays June through October, from 11-4:30. $6 adults, $3 for youth and students 6-21. For more information go to pvmaoffice@deerfield.history.museum.

Winter Squash

Winter squash is a very versatile vegetable. Not only is it good as a side dish, it’s also terrific as an ingredient in muffins, biscuits, soup, cakes and pies.

An easy way to get at the squash is to poke it with the tip of a knife a few times, put it in the microwave for about 6 minutes, then when it cools off, cut it, scoop out the seeds, peel it and proceed with your recipe.

I recently cooked a squash, mashed it, added butter, a little applesauce, brown sugar and cinnamon, and it was delicious.
I make soup similarly to the way I make any creamed soup. I sauté onions, add the vegetable, cover it with chicken or vegetable broth, cook it, then when it cools off I puree it and then add seasoning and either milk or cream. I like curry, so I often use that as my seasoning. I’ve also seen apples or cider as an ingredient. That would go well with curry, or a little cinnamon and nutmeg, or allspice. Be careful when you season because it gets stronger as it sits.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. I know that no one likes to throw away food. But, if you make something and you really don’t like it, throw it away.

You can also freeze the mashed squash before you add anything to it. Freeze it in one cup amounts so that you’ll know exactly how much you have when it comes time to make a recipe.

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Farmers Market at Forest Park

Market News – September 24, 2013

September 24th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

For sure many of you who are regulars at our market have noticed the variety of produce that is sold here. Some of what you see here is never sold in the grocery store. Part of the reason for that is that some produce is too delicate to make the long trip that most grocery store produce makes. It’s said that our food travels an average of 1500 miles to reach our plate.

There are thousands of varieties of apples in the world, but most of us only know about a few. A farmers’ market will carry more varieties than most grocery stores. Become familiar with the types that are here and at orchards that you may visit. Some are better than others for baking; you want them to keep their shape when you bake something. I like using a mix of apples for applesauce, but making sauce with only one kind is fine also. If you do make sauce, keep some unsweetened as there are some recipes that call for it.

You are aware, I hope, that some of our vendors bring produce that they don’t grow. It is all from the Pioneer Valley though. They have signs that tell you what farm grows the produce, and where they are located.

We did not become a producer only market when we started because we wanted to make sure that we had as large a variety as possible at our market. Until last year we had no vendor that grew their own blueberries for example. If we were a producer only market, we wouldn’t have had any blueberries until 2012.

Onions and Potatoes

Did you ever think of the variety of onions that we have at our market? Those that I can think of are chives, scallions, leeks, red, yellow, white, and cipollini. The latter are small and flat with a thin skin that have more residual sugar, so they are fabulous for caramelizing.

Same with potatoes, many varieties—white, russet, red, blue, yellow, small, big, some good for baking, some better for potato salad, etc. Our vendors can guide you with what type to buy for whatever you need.

Tokens

We have been selling wooden tokens at our market since 2008. Yet, once in awhile, someone stops at the market table and doesn’t know anything about them.

We jokingly say that the tokens are to keep you from running out of money at our market. That’s only partially a joke because the reality is that most of us at a farmers’ market will often want to buy more than what we had initially intended to buy.

If you didn’t get a chance to stop at the bank before coming to the market, just use your credit or debit card to buy tokens and use them just like cash.

We also take the EBT card.

Springfield Public Forum

The second FREE Public Forum program will be on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:30 PM at Symphony Hall.
The speaker is Spencer Wells, and his topic is A GENETIC ODYSSEY Tracing the Human Family Tree.

School Tours

The newly remodeled Forest Park Middle School is having a tour TODAY at 6PM.
Longmeadow High School is having a tour this Saturday, the 28th, at 1PM.

North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival

Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, from 10 AM to 5PM. It’s held at Forsters’ Farm in Orange. Go to Garlicandarts.org for all of the details, or pick up a card at our market table or from The Kitchen Garden’s stand.

Benefits to Farmers

In general, farmers and ranchers only receive $1.58 cents of $10 spent on food. The rest goes to marketers, processors, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.
For every $10 spent on local food, farmers get closer to $8-9. Of that $10 studies show that as much as $7.80 is re-spent locally supporting local jobs and businesses.

Leek Soup

2 T. olive oil
3 medium leeks, white part only, thinly sliced, well washed, and drained
small onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/8th tsp. dried thyme (or more if you like)
1 small bay leaf
1 T. fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup milk or cream (optional)

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot. Stir in the leeks, onion, and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the leeks are tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the broth, potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 25 minutes. Cool enough to handle, remove the bay leaf, then puree in a food processor or through a food mill.
3. Return the soup to a clean pot and stir in the milk if using. Gently reheat.
(You can also serve this chunky style mashing the potatoes some.)

Get Organized

All of us save too much stuff. Then, when we think of getting organized, it seems as though it is too much to do. It can be done.
Start small. Take one room at a time. Start in one corner, make some progress, and stay in that room, don’t go to another to start another project. Of course, if you have to do something else, do so. But, don’t start organizing another room until the one you’re working in is done. Seriously.

Be ruthless. If something is not of use to you, and it truly can’t be useful to anyone else, throw it away. If it’s junk to you, it’s junk to someone else also.

Recycle what you can.

After my mother died, I gave away the material that she never used, as well as the yarn and knitting supplies that she had. It took some effort to make sure it went to the proper people, but I didn’t want to just throw that stuff away.

Old towels and blankets can be used at the animal shelters. You may have to do some calling around to find out who can use what, but it’s worth your time.

If you are a “shopper” give or throw away two items for every item that you bring home. Or, don’t buy anything if you really don’t have to.

Many libraries have an annual book sale. They don’t want textbooks, and you can certainly figure out what books might be worthwhile. If a book is musty, or stained, throw it away; no one else will want it either.

In the future, when you are done reading a book, give it away. Chances are you won’t read it again, so why keep it?

Go through your files and shred anything that might have information that you don’t want anyone else to have. You don’t have to keep old insurance bills, just keep the most recent one, and toss that when a new one arrives.

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Newsletter – September 17,2013

September 17th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

A few weeks ago, someone from the Water and Sewer Department was at our market distributing information about proper watering, water saving devices, and FOG.

FOG stands for fats, oil, and grease. It’s a problem in our sewer system because once it’s down the drain it starts to congeal, and eventually clogs up sewer pipes leading to expensive repairs both for municipalities and for homeowners.
The recommendation is that we not use our garbage disposals very much, or even without a disposal, pour any grease down the drain.
I recently caught myself almost pouring some melted butter left over from a lobster dinner down the drain. If I hadn’t read the brochure, I would have done so.

Where does FOG come from? This is from their brochure:
• Meat fats
• Lard
• Cooking oil
• Butter and margarine
• Food scraps
• Baking products
• Milk, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream
• Cream based sauces
• Salad dressings, cheeses, mayonnaise

We all have to become more conscientious about this issue. I had a sewer backup once. Fortunately it only went into my basement set tub, but if it hadn’t done that, it would have been a mess.

Gandara NOEL Program

NOEL stands for Navigating, Outreach, Education, and Linkages. It is a new care-coordination program.
It is a community-based prevention and early detection program for underserved and hard to reach populations.
The program will conduct outreach and education and promote screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal health in these populations in Springfield.

Community health workers will provide on-site educational sessions about the importance of these cancer screenings, and will follow up with participants from the educational sessions who need assistance in accessing screenings.
For more information contact them at 413-788-4649.

Springfield Public Forum

This fabulous speakers’ series beings this Thursday, September 19th, at 7:30 PM at Symphony Hall. It is free. It is the only free speakers’ series left in the U.S.
This week’s speaker is Michael Moss, author of “Salt, Sugar, Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us.”
The Forum is always interesting.

Fish

The fish from Cape Cod Fish Share has been the topic of many conversations that I’ve had this summer. While there have sometimes been glitches with deliveries, there has never been a problem with the fish received. Just the other night someone said that the scallops they bought were the BEST they’d ever had. I tried a couple of fish varieties that I’d never had before, and enjoyed them.
I am old enough to remember when fish was an inexpensive meal. Not so for the most part today due to many reasons, not the least of which is over fishing. The fish that is brought to us here at the market is sustainable which means that it is never from a variety that is in danger.
Prior to our having fish at our market, I’d seen it at farmers’ markets in New York City, and in California. It was always gorgeous as is what Ed brings to us.

Buy Local

Yesterday’s local newspaper had an article about local independently owned bookstores. One of the owners said the “Buy Local” movement has helped their store. While we can’t buy our produce online, we all know that we can go to the Internet to purchase many items.

Why buy from a local business? They live here. They contribute to our local communities. They are the businesses who sponsor local youth sports’ teams. They give to raffles, fundraisers, etc. They are owned by people we know.
You may have to go out of your way a little to shop at a local business, but it’s worth it. Just as patronizing our farmers’ market is worth it.

Chilis

The array of chili peppers that we have at our market is amazing. The colors are gorgeous. I am sure that those of you who love hot stuff are delighted. I like spicy food, but not over the top spicy, so I am not a good critic of which pepper is “best.” Fortunately our vendors who sell them can advise you.

The Chili Fest that The Kitchen Garden put on this weekend was terrific. It’s really nice that some of our farmers have events that get the public to their farms. It connects us.

Recipe—Jalapeno Grilling Glaze
• 1 ½ cups orange juice
• ½ cup fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 T. grated orange rind
• 2 T brown sugar
• 1 T. olive oil
• 1 T. balsamic vinegar
• 1 T. honey
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 T. fresh ginger, minced
• ½ tsp. ground chili pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir often.
Brush glaze on meat. Grill meat to desired doneness.

Emergency Preparedness

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is having several sessions where you can learn how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The dates are:

• September 17th, 11:30-1:30, Court Square Gazebo
• September 18th, 2-3PM, Mason Square Senior Center, 439 Union St.
• September 24th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
• September 25th, Teen Group, 2-4:30, @ Early Childhood Center, 15 Catherine St.
• September 26th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
You don’t have to sign up in advance, and everyone is welcome.

Jewish Community Center

The JCC is a marvelous place. They have programs for infants through senior citizens. Their physical education facilities are second to none; on weekdays they open at 5:30 AM. The pool is Olympic sized. They have a strong swim team program for youngsters.
Just as one does not have to be Christian to belong to the YMCA, one does not have to be Jewish to belong to the JCC. Stop in for a tour.

This ‘n’ That

If you have garbage that will stink (like lobster shells) prior to trash pickup day, put it in the freezer until just before the pickup.

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Market News – September 10, 2013

September 10th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

Isn’t this the most magnificent time of year?! We are surrounded by such abundance. Fairs and celebrations abound. We don’t have to travel far to enjoy so much of what our region has to offer.

I hope that those of you who have young children take them to a farm or orchard to pick fruit or vegetables. Not only is it a wonderful activity, it’s also a terrific way to educate your children about how and where some of their food comes from.

I have been reading that this year’s apple crop is a good one.

If you’ve never made applesauce, do so. It is so easy.

I wash and cut my apples and put them into a pot. I put a tiny bit of water in the pot so that the apples don’t burn when they first start to cook. I cook them covered until they are mushy. Let them cool a little bit then put into a food mill over a deep bowl, and start turning. Add some sugar (or not) and a little cinnamon to taste (or not), and you’ve got home made applesauce.
Since I have two big freezers, I freeze mine, but you can process it. Instructions are easily found online. Don’t be afraid of canning; it’s not that hard. Just make sure you follow the directions exactly.

Chili Fest

Your taste buds are in for a treat this weekend. The Kitchen Garden is hosting a chili fest at 81 Rocky Hill Road in Hadley. The time is from 12-5 both days, and the cost is just $5. There is a chili contest on Saturday. Go to their website, kitchengardenfarm.com for all of the details.
Should be fun and tasty.

Cookbook/Gardening Book Giveaway

Bring your unwanted cookbooks or gardening books to the market. We put them out and anyone can take one or more.

Arts in the Neighborhood

The U’n’I Coffeehouse begins its concert season on Saturday, September 14th at 7:30PM. The featured artist is Hot Soup, Maryland’s hot harmony trio. Tickets are $15 at the door. Refreshments are sold.

On September 20th at the Bing Arts Center will feature Peter Janson, Celtic guitarist. That is at 8PM.

A little farther away than Forest Park is the Women and Food Project. It’s a photo exhibit by Sarah Platanitis featuring a dozen women, many from Western Mass, and from all walks of life including distinguished chefs, urban gardeners, cookbook publicists, comfort food makers, and vegan chocolatiers. The common thread for all of them is their wonderful stories about food.
It’s from September 3rd-30th at the ECA+ Gallery, 43 Main St., Easthampton. Womenandfood project.com for more details.

Taste the View

CISA’s annual spectacular fundraiser will be held on Thursday, September 19th at a farm in Whately. Our own Kitchen Garden will do the catering. Tickets are a minimum of $110 per person, and they are close to being sold out. Go to their website, buylocalfood.org  for details and tickets.

Hazardous Waste Collections—Springfield Only

The Fall 2013 schedule for household hazardous waste collection will be on Saturday, September 14th and October 12th from 8-noon. This is by appointment only. Call 787-7840. No latex paint; it isn’t hazardous. There is a 10 gallon limit per household. It’s on Grochmal Avenue in Indian Orchard. Get directions when you call for your appointment.

Emergency Preparedness

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is having several sessions where you can learn how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The dates are:

• September 17th, 11:30-1:30, Court Square Gazebo
• September 18th, 2-3PM, Mason Square Senior Center, 439 Union St.
• September 24th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
• September 25th, Teen Group, 2-4:30, @ Early Childhood Center, 15 Catherine St.
• September 26th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
You don’t have to sign up in advance, and everyone is welcome.

Recipe-Rumblethumps

This is perfect for this time of year, and so easy.

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
½ large cabbage, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons or more chopped chives or onions
up to one stick butter
milk
1-1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Put potatoes and cabbage in separate pans and cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer until tender. Remove from heat and drain well.

Mash potatoes with salt, pepper, chives (if using onions sauté first). Add enough milk to soften the potatoes. Add the cabbage and mix well. Place in baking dish, cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese has melted and the mixture is hot inside.

Layered Apple Cake—10” tube pan, or 2 loaf pans

5 T. sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon—mix together

2 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsps. baking powder
¼ cup orange juice
2 ½ tsps. vanilla
4-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced.

Grease pan/s. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together until smooth and thick the sugar, oil, eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, juice and vanilla. Into prepared pan place half of batter, then half of the apples, and then half of the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Repeat layers with remaining halves. Bake for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours. Cool in pan until lukewarm. Make sure you don’t undercook this.

From R.F. Kennedy
In 2004, David Sigelman, a pediatrician affiliated with Holyoke Pediatric Associates, died. His staff put this in the paper. I saved it and read it every so often because I think the message is beautiful. I didn’t know him, but wish I had.

“Each time a man stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls.”

 

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Market News – September 3, 2013

September 3rd, 2013 Posted in Newsletters

From the Market Manager

A friend and I went to the Blandford Fair this past weekend. I felt for the folks putting it on because it was rather soggy. I’d been to it once before.

It really is an old timey agricultural fair. There were exhibits of rabbits and chickens, exhibits of baked goods, relishes, jams, hand sewn and embroidered items, a barbecued chicken dinner obviously home made by the volunteers, different kinds of competitions (we saw part of a horse one with kids. One kid looked like he might have been 3 tops.) And, of course, a midway with rides for children. There were other things during the weekend that we didn’t see.
This fair has gone on for over 140 years; there were only 2 years that it wasn’t held, once due to a polio epidemic, and another during the Second World War.

I encourage everyone to attend at least one of these fairs; it encourages those who work so hard to put them on to keep doing so. The Franklin County Fair is this weekend.

Mark your calendars for the Garlic Festival on Saturday and Sunday, October 5th & 6th. It is held in Orange. Pick up a card at the market table, or go online to garlicandarts.org for particular.Cider Days are held in Colrain the first weekend in November. You will be amazed at the variety of apples that are there.I learned years ago that there are about 5,000 varieties of apples in the world. You’d never know that from the small number of varieties that you see in the grocery stores.

Many farmers’ markets in the country are accepting EBT cards. All of them used to be able to do so when food stamps were paper, but now that it’s electronic, there is a cost involved. Many markets are too small to be able to afford the costs.

In 2012, the per capita annual SNAP participant benefit was $1600.92. Farmers’ markets received 36 cents of that benefit, or .02% of all money allocated for that purpose. 99.97776% of the total 2012 SNAP benefits went to other than farmers’ markets.

A few days ago I was at Costco. I saw some people with tomatoes and peaches in their carts. I do not understand why, at this time of the year, in our beautiful New England with so many farmers’ markets and farm stands around, why anyone would buy these items that aren’t native.

Arts in the Neighborhood

The U’n’I Coffeehouse begins its concert season on Saturday, September 14th at 7:30PM. The featured artist is Hot Soup, Maryland’s hot harmony trio. Tickets are $15 at the door. Refreshments are sold.
On September 20th at the Bing Arts Center will feature Peter Janson, Celtic guitarist. That is at 8PM.

Taste the View

CISA’s annual spectacular fundraiser will be held on Thursday, September 19th at a farm in Whately. Our own Kitchen Garden will do the catering. Tickets are a minimum of $110 per person, and they are close to being sold out. Go to their website, buylocalfood.org for details and tickets.

Farm Bureau Is…

• A Volunteer organization of 5,000 paid farm family members and related farm business
• A non-governmental grassroots, and nonpartisan organization
• There are approximately 6.2 million members in American Farm Bureau
• All forms of agricultural farms, aquaculture farms, forestry farms, and supporting industries both owners and employees can join a farm bureau
• Farm bureaus provide comprehensive lobbying efforts, help with regulatory and local issues, provide information on any issue affecting agriculture, aquaculture, and forestry, provide educational workshops and seminars, and much more.
The mission of the Farm Bureau is: To protect the rights, encourage the growth, and be of service to our members, in the best interest of agriculture.

Massachusetts Farm to School Project

The goal of this project is to get more fresh Massachusetts farm products into school cafeterias. To date 205 public school districts across the Commonwealth now preferentially serve locally grown fruits and vegetables. This is more than half of the state’s total districts.
40 colleges and universities, and private school in Mass. are buying local foods for student dining services.
About 60 farms across the state are selling their fresh products directly to schools.

This ‘n’ That

The Forest Park Civic Association will have its September board meeting on Sunday the 8th at 7PM at the Bing Arts Center. Everyone is welcome.
If you want to freeze corn kernels, here’s an easy way to do it. Microwave 3-4 ears of corn in the husk for 5-6 minutes. When they’ve cooled off a little, husk them, and cut the kernels off. An easy way to do so is to use a tube cake pan. Put the narrow end of the ear of corn in the opening, and cut straight down the sides of the ear. The kernels get collected in the pan. Freeze in containers or in freezer bags. Use for soup, pancakes, corn pudding or whatever you want.
Put some of the cobs in water and boil for about 10 minutes. Let it cool then freeze it. It is great in vegetable or corn soup. It’s sweet.
Those of you who are new to cooking might not know this—save celery leaves and either freeze or dry them. Use in soup, or someplace where you want the celery flavor. My mother used to put celery salt in potato salad. This would be a perfect place for the leaves.

Emergency Preparedness

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is having several sessions where you can learn how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The dates are:

• September 17th, 11:30-1:30, Court Square Gazebo
• September 18th, 2-3PM, Mason Square Senior Center, 439 Union St.
• September 24th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
• September 25th, Teen Group, 2-4:30, @ Early Childhood Center, 15 Catherine St.
• September 26th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court

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Market News – August 27 2013

August 27th, 2013 Posted in Newsletters Tags: ,

From the Market Manager

Yesterday morning there was a story on National Public Radio about the excessive rain that has plagued the South this year. One farmer said that they might lose about 20% of their crops.

I remember that one of our farmers said that dry conditions were preferable to wet conditions because they could put the water in, but couldn’t take it out.

I know that because of your patronage at our market, many of you think about what goes into providing some of your food.

Trinity Farm

Trinity Farm

 

For instance, during that extended heat wave that we had, Mike Smyth from Trinity Farm in Enfield, told me that the “girls” don’t give as much milk when it is hot.

A few years ago I asked Tim Wilcox from The Kitchen Garden if, when they knew it was going to be hot, they went out at 5AM and worked until noon. He told me that they didn’t, they worked until the work was done.

I’ve heard that the average age of farmers nationwide is 57.

One of the things I’ve seen here in Western Mass is that some younger people are going into farming. They not only like growing/raising food, they also are concerned about the environment, nutrition, being stewards of the land, and more.

 

 

Red Fire Farm

Red Fire Farm

 

Both The Kitchen Garden and Red Fire Farm, and others I’m sure, hire interns. They work on the farms to learn the business; many of them want to own their own farms someday.

Although we don’t live in the most expensive part of the Commonwealth, farmland is very pricey which precludes many people from buying land. I am sure that the competition for the land is fierce. Developers want it, and the price offered is often more than what someone who wants to farm it can pay. There is always competition from developers.

There are programs in place here in Massachusetts that are for agricultural preservation. And, some communities have voted to tax themselves to preserve land.

It’s complicated, for sure, but many people are thinking about this. We can do our share by being aware, and by supporting our local farmers. After all, they do the hard work.

Women’s Equality Day

Yesterday, August 26th, was the 93rd anniversary of the day that women got the right to vote here in the U.S. If you are not registered to vote, or if you have moved since the last election, take one of the voter registration forms at the market table, fill it out, and send it in. That’s it.

Master Gardeners

If you would like your soil sampled, bring it to our market on September 3rd, and the Master Gardeners will do it for you. They are here from 12-4. Take some soil samples from a few places in your yard/garden, mix them together and bring them here. If you can’t be here between those hours, give the soil to a friend and have them bring it.

This ‘n’ That

Native melons are picked ripe, so don’t leave them on your counter expecting them to get soft. When they get soft, they are almost rotten.

Eggshell color is due to the type of chicken that lays the egg. Nutritionally they are all the same.

Recently I heard an author say that the smaller a tomato is, the more nutritious it was. Who knew?

Congratulations once again to Red Fire Farm on receiving an award at the tomato tasting contest last week in Boston. They consistently win awards there.

If you want to cook with zucchini when it isn’t in season, buy extra now. Shred it, squeeze some of the liquid out, put it in one cup portions on a cookie sheet, freeze, then place in freezer bags.

Emergency Preparedness

The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is having several sessions where you can learn how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. The dates are:

• September 17th, 11:30-1:30, Court Square Gazebo
• September 18th, 2-3PM, Mason Square Senior Center, 439 Union St.
• September 24th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
• September 25th, Teen Group, 2-4:30, @ Early Childhood Center, 15 Catherine St.
• September 26th, 11:30-1:30, Tower Square Food Court
You don’t have to sign up in advance, and everyone is welcome.

Forest Park Civic Association, Etc. Meetings

TODAY at 5PM, the Public Health and Safety Committee of the City Council is having a meeting to discuss crime in our neighborhood. It is at Faith United Church, 52 Sumner Avenue.

Our neighborhood is the size of a small city, and, while some crime is to be expected, any is too much. One of the things that has made our neighborhood so good over the years is that we have had many residents who really care about what goes on. We cannot ignore where we live. Our quality of life demands that we take an interest and do what we can to imrove where we live.

It doesn’t matter whether you own or rent your home; we are all in this together.

The FPCA will have a board meeting to which everyone is invited on September 8th at the Bing Arts Center at 7PM.

 

Summer Spaghetti

Uncooked cold sauce, hot spaghetti—great combination.

 

1# firm ripe, fresh plum tomatoes

1 medium onion

6 (or more) pitted green or black olives

2 cloves garlic

½ cup chopped parsley

2 T. finely shredded fresh basil

2 teaspoons drained capers

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 T. red wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 # uncooked spaghetti

boiling salted water.

 

Chop tomatoes coarsely. Chop onion and olives. Mince garlic. Combine all ingredients together, mix and refrigerate covered at least 6 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water just until al dente, 8-12 minutes; drain well. Immediately toss hot pasta with cold marinated tomato sauce. Serve at once.

 

Pasta with Oil & Garlic

½ # uncooked pasta

boiling salted water

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

salt & pepper to taste

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Cook pasta just until al dente. Drain well, keep warm. Heat oil in 10” skillet over low heat. Add garlic to skillet; cook gently until light gold, 2-3 minutes. Don’t brown garlic. Remove pan from heat. Stir in parsley, cheese, salt & pepper.

We had a guest photographer last week and here is a gallery of things that caught her eye. Thank you to Dot Drobney Photography

 

We would love it if you shared your photos on our Facebook Page or “tagged” us in ones you have on your own page!

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