From the Market Manager
Outside the window where I sit at my computer, is one of my deep pink rhododendrons. I know that they are going to bloom each spring, but every year I find it to be almost miraculous that Mother Nature does “her” thing each year right on time. This year we had an odd winter, and spring has been cooler than normal. Yet, these shrubs started blooming on the same day as they did 3 years ago. I know this because Facebook often puts up a memory from previous postings on your page, and they put up a picture of one of the shrubs just beginning to bloom; the date was the exact date that I noticed that the buds were opening.
Asparagus and rhubarb are perennials, so our farmers don’t have to plant them more than once. But, most everything else needs to be planted each year. Did you know that garlic is planted in the fall? One clove is planted and then a bulb grows from that.
Think of the tiny seeds that ultimately become food that we enjoy. A lettuce seed is miniscule. I often wonder how someone way back when knew to plant something, or that something found in the wild was edible. I have a weed in my yard that has berries that look like blueberries. How did someone know that these weren’t edible, but blueberries were? I know, someone probably got sick after eating the weed berries. But still, I wonder.
What you can and Can’t Recycle
NO: plastic bags (collect and put into special containers at grocery stores), clothing, pots or pans, dishes, leaves, wood, food waste, Styrofoam, hazardous waste, trash, beverage carriers.
YES: paperbacks and phone books, junk mail (windowed envelopes are ok), boxboard (cereal, shoe, cracker boxes, etc.) No waxed paper. Newspapers, inserts, magazines, catalogs, brown paper bags, white and colored paper, computer paper, corrugated cardboard (no waxed cardboard.) Shredded paper—place in paper bags. Glass bottles, jars, all colors and sizes, (discard all caps). No broken or other glass such as light bulbs, window or auto glass, dishes, glasses, Pyrex, ceramics. Aluminum, tin/steel cans and lids, aerosol cans and clean aluminum foil. No paint cans or other metal items. All plastic bottles, jars, tubs and plastic microwave trays/containers. No containers over 2 gallons, motor oil, chemical or foam containers, or flower pots. Milk & juice cartons (tent top) drink boxes.
If you have furniture in good condition, contact Jewish Family Service or Ascentria Care. Both are refugee resettlement agencies. They can use good furniture to help newcomers to our area furnish their new homes.
Meet the Vendors—Outlook Farm
In 1781, Eliza Norton, at the age of 19, built the Norton Tavern at the top of the hill on Rte. 66 in Westhampton. He reportedly built the inn for his bride. The front upstairs was an open dance hall. There was a fiddler’s step built in the middle of the hall from where the music emanated.
The Tavern was on the route of an old stage coach route that guests would use for their travels. The top of the hill was a good spot for the horse to stop for a rest and water.
In 1860 Warner Bartlett bought the Norton Tavern and renamed it Outlook Farm. He ran the farm until 1920 when Will Fiske bought the homestead.
Will Fiske started peddling his farm products through the valley in the 1930s and 40s. He became well known for his chickens, produce and Outlook Farm sausage.
In 1962 Dave and Mary Lee Morse bought the farm from Fiske work the land, and raise their family. Dave had worked summers on a dairy farm while growing up and Mary Lee, who knew little about farming, was enthusiastic. Together they made the commitment to plunge into what would be their lifestyle for the next 45 years.
They cleared land, fixed outdated machinery, planted fruits and vegetables, raised cows and hogs, restored their home and waited on customers at their roadside stand. Though the days were long, they discovered country people could provide their own form of entertainment. Sugar eats, husking bees, and kitchen dances to name a few, were great fun and good excuses to socialize.
In January 1994, Dave and Mary Lee turned the farm over to their eldest son, Brad and his wife Erin.
Under Brad and Erin’s ownership the farm has expanded. They no longer raise pigs and cows, but have hogs brought up from Pennsylvania that are hormone and antibiotic free. They offer pig roasts, and other catering options, as well as a restaurant and bakery, plus lots of produce including apples, plums, cherries, pears, and peaches. Their apple cider is fabulous.
They have several special events through the season including barbecues on the farm. Check at their stand here at the market for the schedule. Outlook Farm is open every day of the year. They are the only vendor that has been at our market since day one.
They are on Rte. 66 in Westhampton.
Bing Arts Center
If you haven’t been to the Bing for any of their performances, you have shortchanged yourself. Throughout the year, Brian Hale brings all sorts of musical performers there. This coming Saturday evening, June 4th, the Eric Hofbauer Quintet Will be performing. They are equally accomplished in the worlds of both jazz and classical music. It’s at 8PM. Tickets are $20, $10 for students. Tickets are available in advance at BingArtsCenter.org, or by calling 731-9730. Doors open at 7:30PM, refreshments are available.
Springfield Preservation Trust Spring House Tour—June 12th
The McKnight Local Historic District marks the 40th anniversary of its creation this year, and SPT is celebrating with a house tour. The tour will be between 1 & 5 PM on Sunday, June 12th and will feature 6 homes, St. Peter’s Church and several gardens. The homes will be on Dartmouth St., Worthington St., Florida St., and Ingersoll Grove.
The McKnight District is the largest wood frame late Victorian neighborhood in New England. Most of its 800 houses were built between 1870 and 1900. Many of them are in the fanciful Queen Anne style.
Advance tickets for $15 are available either online, or at Flowers, Flowers, 785 Sumner Ave., or The Flower Box, 596 Carew St. Tickets can be purchased for $20 on the day of the tour from 12:45 until 3PM on Thompson St., just off Worthington St. SPT members receive a discounted price. It is recommended that you start the tour no later than 2:30 in order to see all the houses at a leisurely pace.
Since Outlook Farm is still bringing some of their fabulous apple cider, here’s a recipe that uses it. By the way, you can freeze cider. Pour some of it out of the container, or freeze it in smaller containers leaving some head room, and you’ll be able to enjoy their cider even when it isn’t apple season.
1 whole chicken, cut up
3 T. olive oil
2/3 cup unfiltered apple cider
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 T chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper
2. Heat oil in a 12” heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown chicken, skin side down first, turning once, 8-10 minutes total
3. Transfer to a plate discarding oil
4. Wipe out skillet, then boil remaining ingredients until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and braise, covered, turning once until chicken is just cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter. Boil sauce to thicken if necessary. Whisk sauce if separated.
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