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Market Newsletter ~ August 16, 2016

August 16, 2016

From the Market Manager 

Last Friday night I had some of my family to dinner. I used lots of local ingredients for it. I love this time of year when I can be creative (or not) and no matter how complicated or simple a recipe may be; it is enhanced by the very fresh delicious ingredients. I made zucchini fritters, gazpacho, caponata, chicken, cole slaw, corn on the cob, and blueberry cake. Everything except the chicken was local, or had local ingredients.
I almost never can anything because I have 2 big freezers, so even my jam and jellies are frozen. Ditto for the roasted tomato sauce I make each year.
Unfortunately, we aren’t going to have peaches due to the extreme cold temperatures that we had in February, so I’ll have to make do with canned this winter.
We are so spoiled in the U.S. that we have produce from all over the world at all times of the year. Once in a while someone will ask me if we have bananas at the market. I always smile and tell them that bananas don’t grow in New England, but, if and when they do, we’ll have them here. They obviously don’t know where things grow. Also, probably because we have strawberries and other produce in the stores all year, some people ask for strawberries in September. The strawberry season is primarily in June. There are ever bearing berries, but those aren’t too common.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book several years ago called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” which was about her family’s experience eating food from within 100 miles of where they lived in Virginia for one year. They did make some exclusions like coffee and chocolate, but just about everything else was local. It’s an interesting read. Even in Virginia which has a more moderate climate than we have, it was difficult. But, eating as much local food is definitely worth it. First and foremost, it tastes better. Then it lasts longer. Then you know that you are helping the local economy. Win, win, win.

Crimson Lion won’t be at the market for 3 weeks; they are going to be at fairs selling their products.

Recipe—Caponata 

The only substitution that you can make in this is to use green rather than black olives. Otherwise, it needs all of the ingredients. The amounts don’t matter because you can make a little or a lot.
Ingredients: olive oil, eggplant, celery, garlic, onion, tomatoes, red peppers, red wine vinegar, sugar, capers, Greek or Italian olives.
Cut up and sauté eggplant, onions, garlic, celery, and red peppers until onion and peppers are soft.

Add tomatoes, either fresh, or canned (I like diced ones), and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add vinegar, a little bit of sugar, capers (a lot or a little), and the olives.

Taste. If you think it needs more seasoning, go for it. This is good room temperature. Let it sit for a day in the fridge before serving to blend the flavors. Lasts a long time.

Cantaloupe Soup

Ingredients: Cantaloupe, plain yogurt, fresh ginger, honey, pinch of kosher salt, mint or basil for garnish.

Peel and cut up melon, add 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp. (or more) honey, ¼ tsp. (or more) ground nutmeg, puree.
Chill for one hour or more.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Try to use Roma/plum tomatoes for this. Cut tomatoes, put on rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, bake at 400 degrees until they have collapsed. Puree in food processor or blender. Add fresh basil when pureeing if you want. Freeze.

Meet the Vendors-Bearded Bee

Tom Flebotte is our Bearded Bee. Tom has been keeping bees for about 20+ years. He currently has 30-35 hives spread out over 4 yards. 2 are in Wilbraham and the rest are in Ludlow. Farmers like having bee hives on their farms because they pollinate their crops. Tom is the current president of the Hampden County Beekeepers Association, and he runs 2 booths at the Big E for the club. That is their major fundraiser which helps to pay for the bee school that they run each year to train about 50 new beekeepers.
He owns the house that he grew up in in Ludlow. His family raised sheep. At one time they had a herd of 150 sheep. His parents showed their sheep in all of the local fairs. He and his siblings were active in 4-H. Tom now raises chickens, goats, sheep and cows for his family’s own consumption. He currently has about 100 free-range chickens whose eggs he brings to our market. FYI, the color of an egg shell is determined by the type of chicken that lays the egg.

Concerned Citizens for Springfield

CCS is our sponsor. This organization was established in 1995 primarily by landlords who owned property in the Forest Park neighborhood. They were joined by neighborhood residents who cared about the condition of the neighborhood. Their mission is to enhance the neighborhood through housing restoration and blight remediation. Forest Park is the largest neighborhood in terms of population in Springfield with about 25,000 residents. It has a slight majority of low to moderate income people, and has every type of residence from large apartment buildings to magnificent homes.
Through the years CCS has rehabbed some properties, keeping them from being torn down, torn down distressed properties and built new in their place, landscaped some areas, planted trees, sponsored community fairs, continues to sponsor 2 community gardens, and, of course, this farmers’ market. CCS has sponsored landlord training for new/small scale owners, renovated and donated new playscapes for Johnny Appleseed Park along with the Hampden County Corrections Department and the Springfield Park Department, worked closely with Wynn Development to create affordable housing in the former Longhill Gardens, now Forest Park Apartments, contributed to Sumner Avenue period lighting and gateway signage and much more. They work closely with the City of Springfield’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. It is an all-volunteer organization.

Outlook Farm’s Blueberry Festival

This time of year Outlook Farm usually has a peach festival, but you know there won’t be any peaches, so they are having a blueberry festival instead this coming Sunday, August 21st. From 12-3 PM they are having a barbecue and music. Outlook is located on Rte. 66 in Westhampton. It’s a pretty ride, and they have a lovely store plus a café if you don’t want barbecue.

Gift Certificates

Would you like to give someone a gift from the market? Give them a gift certificate. Just let us know and we’ll print one up for you. We have many non-perishable items here, so you can also put together a lovely gift basket yourself.

Museum Free Fridays

This summer many museums and gardens in Massachusetts are free on Fridays. It ends on August 26th.

August 19th:
The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston
USS Constitution Museum–Boston
The Discovery Museums–Acton
EcoTarium-Worcester
The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River
New England Historic Genealogical Society–Boston
Fuller Craft Museum–Brockton
Griffin Photography Museum–Winchester
August 26th:
Franklin Park Zoo–Boston
Old Sturbridge Village
Freedom Trail Foundation–Boston
Museum of African American History–Boston
Norman Rockwell Museum–Stockbridge
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum–Lenox
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

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From the Market Manager 

Last Friday night I had some of my family to dinner. I used lots of local ingredients for it. I love this time of year when I can be creative (or not) and no matter how complicated or simple a recipe may be; it is enhanced by the very fresh delicious ingredients. I made zucchini fritters, gazpacho, caponata, chicken, cole slaw, corn on the cob, and blueberry cake. Everything except the chicken was local, or had local ingredients.
I almost never can anything because I have 2 big freezers, so even my jam and jellies are frozen. Ditto for the roasted tomato sauce I make each year.
Unfortunately, we aren’t going to have peaches due to the extreme cold temperatures that we had in February, so I’ll have to make do with canned this winter.
We are so spoiled in the U.S. that we have produce from all over the world at all times of the year. Once in a while someone will ask me if we have bananas at the market. I always smile and tell them that bananas don’t grow in New England, but, if and when they do, we’ll have them here. They obviously don’t know where things grow. Also, probably because we have strawberries and other produce in the stores all year, some people ask for strawberries in September. The strawberry season is primarily in June. There are ever bearing berries, but those aren’t too common.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book several years ago called “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” which was about her family’s experience eating food from within 100 miles of where they lived in Virginia for one year. They did make some exclusions like coffee and chocolate, but just about everything else was local. It’s an interesting read. Even in Virginia which has a more moderate climate than we have, it was difficult. But, eating as much local food is definitely worth it. First and foremost, it tastes better. Then it lasts longer. Then you know that you are helping the local economy. Win, win, win.

Crimson Lion won’t be at the market for 3 weeks; they are going to be at fairs selling their products.

Recipe—Caponata 

The only substitution that you can make in this is to use green rather than black olives. Otherwise, it needs all of the ingredients. The amounts don’t matter because you can make a little or a lot.
Ingredients: olive oil, eggplant, celery, garlic, onion, tomatoes, red peppers, red wine vinegar, sugar, capers, Greek or Italian olives.
Cut up and sauté eggplant, onions, garlic, celery, and red peppers until onion and peppers are soft.

Add tomatoes, either fresh, or canned (I like diced ones), and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add vinegar, a little bit of sugar, capers (a lot or a little), and the olives.

Taste. If you think it needs more seasoning, go for it. This is good room temperature. Let it sit for a day in the fridge before serving to blend the flavors. Lasts a long time.

Cantaloupe Soup

Ingredients: Cantaloupe, plain yogurt, fresh ginger, honey, pinch of kosher salt, mint or basil for garnish.

Peel and cut up melon, add 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp. (or more) honey, ¼ tsp. (or more) ground nutmeg, puree.
Chill for one hour or more.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Try to use Roma/plum tomatoes for this. Cut tomatoes, put on rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, bake at 400 degrees until they have collapsed. Puree in food processor or blender. Add fresh basil when pureeing if you want. Freeze.

Meet the Vendors-Bearded Bee

Tom Flebotte is our Bearded Bee. Tom has been keeping bees for about 20+ years. He currently has 30-35 hives spread out over 4 yards. 2 are in Wilbraham and the rest are in Ludlow. Farmers like having bee hives on their farms because they pollinate their crops. Tom is the current president of the Hampden County Beekeepers Association, and he runs 2 booths at the Big E for the club. That is their major fundraiser which helps to pay for the bee school that they run each year to train about 50 new beekeepers.
He owns the house that he grew up in in Ludlow. His family raised sheep. At one time they had a herd of 150 sheep. His parents showed their sheep in all of the local fairs. He and his siblings were active in 4-H. Tom now raises chickens, goats, sheep and cows for his family’s own consumption. He currently has about 100 free-range chickens whose eggs he brings to our market. FYI, the color of an egg shell is determined by the type of chicken that lays the egg.

Concerned Citizens for Springfield

CCS is our sponsor. This organization was established in 1995 primarily by landlords who owned property in the Forest Park neighborhood. They were joined by neighborhood residents who cared about the condition of the neighborhood. Their mission is to enhance the neighborhood through housing restoration and blight remediation. Forest Park is the largest neighborhood in terms of population in Springfield with about 25,000 residents. It has a slight majority of low to moderate income people, and has every type of residence from large apartment buildings to magnificent homes.
Through the years CCS has rehabbed some properties, keeping them from being torn down, torn down distressed properties and built new in their place, landscaped some areas, planted trees, sponsored community fairs, continues to sponsor 2 community gardens, and, of course, this farmers’ market. CCS has sponsored landlord training for new/small scale owners, renovated and donated new playscapes for Johnny Appleseed Park along with the Hampden County Corrections Department and the Springfield Park Department, worked closely with Wynn Development to create affordable housing in the former Longhill Gardens, now Forest Park Apartments, contributed to Sumner Avenue period lighting and gateway signage and much more. They work closely with the City of Springfield’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. It is an all-volunteer organization.

Outlook Farm’s Blueberry Festival

This time of year Outlook Farm usually has a peach festival, but you know there won’t be any peaches, so they are having a blueberry festival instead this coming Sunday, August 21st. From 12-3 PM they are having a barbecue and music. Outlook is located on Rte. 66 in Westhampton. It’s a pretty ride, and they have a lovely store plus a café if you don’t want barbecue.

Gift Certificates

Would you like to give someone a gift from the market? Give them a gift certificate. Just let us know and we’ll print one up for you. We have many non-perishable items here, so you can also put together a lovely gift basket yourself.

Museum Free Fridays

This summer many museums and gardens in Massachusetts are free on Fridays. It ends on August 26th.

August 19th:
The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston
USS Constitution Museum–Boston
The Discovery Museums–Acton
EcoTarium-Worcester
The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River
New England Historic Genealogical Society–Boston
Fuller Craft Museum–Brockton
Griffin Photography Museum–Winchester
August 26th:
Franklin Park Zoo–Boston
Old Sturbridge Village
Freedom Trail Foundation–Boston
Museum of African American History–Boston
Norman Rockwell Museum–Stockbridge
Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum–Lenox
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

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