From the Market Manager
Last week, one of our regular customers brought me a gift from a spice company on Cape Cod. This isn’t the first time someone has brought me a gift over the years, and, of course, it is always appreciated. I mention this, not because I expect more gifts by doing so, but because it demonstrates how our market is like a large family in many ways. (without the bickering I might add.) Although Outlook Farm is the only vendor that has been with us since our first market, many of the other ones have been here for several years. I often hear from the vendors how much they like our market, that it is a pleasure to get along so well with the other vendors (we have almost never had a problem with that) and how many customers have become good friends.
I am sure that part of it is due to our size; we aren’t large. Also, we don’t live in a major metropolitan area where you are unlikely to bump into the same people each week. I see lots of hugging at our market with folks meeting up with friends. I sometimes joke that I’m going to charge rent for those that linger in conversation.
To those of you who don’t come to our market regularly, do so. Don’t just come to use WIC or elder coupons, become one of the regulars, become one of the family.
Meet the Vendors—Sweet Pea Cheese
The House of Hayes Dairy Farm is located in North Granby, CT, a stone’s throw from the border of Connecticut and Massachusetts. This 8th generation farm is run by Stanley and Dorothy Hayes, with help from their 3 children—Daniel Hayes, Samantha Hayes, and Ellen Whitlow along with her husband Brian who works on the farm.
Initially the farm only sold their milk wholesale. Nowadays they have a retail operation on the farm where you can go and purchase their products. They have a herd of goats, so they have goats’ milk, and they make chevre (soft goat cheese) in many flavors, Greek style yogurt, and feta. They sell the extra cows’ milk to Cabot, a wholesale operation in West Springfield.
Their herd of cows number about 65, and the Saanen dairy goats number about 70.
Their address is 151 East Street in North Granby, CT. Their store is open every day from 10-7. They have additional products for sale there that they don’t bring to our market.
What does “all Natural Mean?
Not much. According to the USDA definition, it means that no artificial ingredients, or preservatives have been added to the item being sold, and they have been minimally processed.
However, they may contain antibiotics, growth hormones, and other similar chemicals. Regulations are fairly lenient for items labeled “natural.”
How About Organic? What does That Mean?
Simply stated, organic means that organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, eggs, or milk (including poultry) are not given antibiotics, or growth hormones.
In order to use the word organic, a farm must be certified. That is a lengthy process, and makes sense when a farm is a particular size, as it is also expensive.
In lieu of using the word organic which they can’t, a farmer that isn’t certified can use the words “chemical free” or “organic farming practices.”
Those of you who shopped at our market with your SNAP/EBT cards last year, as well as this past winter market, know that you received a bonus when your card was swiped for $5 or more. This year, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) has raised $100,000 so that they can not only increase the bonus to $10, but also make it available in Hampshire and Franklin counties as well. They also expanded their Senior Farm Share program.
Trinity Church’s A Little Night Music
Each July Trinity Church, the beautiful church right next to Forest Park, has several concerts. The music is in the sanctuary, and it is followed by supper outside on the lawn, weather permitting. During supper there is always a carillon concert. The concert starts at 6PM. The music is free, but a $5 contribution is requested for supper. You can bring your own chair for the lawn, or sit at one of the tables that they set up. Everyone is welcome. This week they are serving hamburgers, and they always have side dishes.
Many of you know what Tanglewood is. For those of you who don’t, it is in Lenox, MA where the Boston Symphony Orchestra has its summer home. In addition, there is a music “camp” where very talented young people can spend their summer learning. They put on concerts throughout the summer.
You can go online to find their schedule. Also, you can listen to the Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon performances either on the radio, or streaming online. WAMC broadcasts all three concerts, and NEPR broadcasts the Sunday one.
This is a seriously fabulous way to spend an afternoon or evening. If you can’t make it up to Lenox, invite a few friends over to listen on your porch or deck. Serve some food, tell them to bring something to read, applaud in all the right places, and then send them on their way with no traffic to contend with. Enjoy!
By the way, children are welcome at Tanglewood. Many people bring a picnic and sit on the lawn for the concert.
This ‘n’ That
If you shop at a place that is littered, call the company and ask them to clean it up. If they don’t clean it up within a reasonable period of time, call Code Enforcement. In Springfield you can just call 311. I truly don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to have their place of business look good all the time. Ditto for where you live whether you own or rent. When you’re out, pick up some litter; it all helps.
Try to pick all summer squash when it’s small. They are more tender when small. Use large zucchinis for relish or pickles.
Easy, but don’t make these until the day you will make them because the salt in the cheese will leach the moisture out of the zucchini and they won’t come together for pancakes. I am going to give you ingredients, how much you use is up to you.
Zucchini shredded, squeeze as much moisture from it as possible.
Parmesan/Romano cheese, shredded
Butter or oil Pepper
Mix all together and test in a frying pan. If it comes together and you like the taste, you’re done. If it needs more egg or flour to hold it together, add it. Or add more cheese if you want it cheesier. You can use other types of cheese, but I like this combination best.
Cream of Summer Squash Soup
Any kind of summer squash cut up
Chicken or vegetable broth.
Curry Salt and pepper
Half and half or cream or whole milk
Saute onions in butter until soft Add cut up squash. Add broth, cook until soft Add curry and salt and pepper. (Use white pepper if you have it.) Puree, and add whatever dairy product you are using. Done. Serve warm. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
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