From the Market Manager
Congratulations to Smyth’s Trinity Farm. They have been named the Connecticut Dairy Farm of the Year by the New England Green Pastures Program.
Each year, a van of judges travels the state touring outstanding dairy farms recommended for the award according to a news release from UCONN Extension System in Brooklyn (CT). The judges are past winners of the award which is sponsored by the Extension System as well as members of the dairy industry. Trinity Farm has progressed over the years as a farm that markets 100% of its milk directly to consumers, either by home delivery, the retail store on the farm, or farmers’ markets in Ellington and New Haven, CT and here in Springfield.
Mike and Dale Smyth and their family handle the three layers of management of the farm—herdsmanship, dairy processing, and product marketing. They work long hours (some start at 4AM) and the need for multiple areas of expertise.
Fluid milk, butter, yogurt, kefir, and cheese curds are processed at the farm plant built in 1995, which Mike manages; Dale handles the farmers’ markets.
A recently built bedded pack barn provides comfort for the herd between time on the pasture and time for milking in the older barn. The pack barn was built with assistance from a USDA contract to keep the exercise area covered as a win-win for the environment and the animals, the UCONN release says.
Siblings Sam Smyth and Anne Dugas have co-owned the farm since taking over from their parents in 2010 though their parents are still very much involved in the day to day operation of the farm.
We’re honored said Anne. “We love this industry. It’s something we grew up in, and we’ve learned many things from different people along the way.”
The award was received on September 16th at the Big E.
We are so glad that they are part of our market family.
This ‘n’ That
We have 6 more weeks of the market including this week. Our last day is October 25th. If you have WIC or Elder market coupons, you must use them at our market by that date; they expire at the end of October. If there is another market before the 31st that takes the coupons, you can use them there.
Wooden coins are sold at our market if you use a credit, debit, or EBT card. We have been doing this since 2008. If you swipe your debit or credit card for more than $25, we charge $1 to help us pay for the terminal that costs us about $1,000 a year.
The bonus program that CISA has implemented this year for SNAP/EBT customers has been a huge success. We have many more EBT customers this year. If an EBT card is swiped for $10 or more, the customer gets a $10 bonus. So far this season over $5,000 in EBT bonuses have been given out. That’s 5K that has been spent at our market that wouldn’t have been spent otherwise. Although a customer can only get the bonus once each week, they can get it each week, so that certainly expands their buying power.
SNAP benefits aren’t generous at all, so anything that can expand buying power is good.
Although we are almost 2 months from the start of our winter market, it isn’t too soon to start talking about it. Our first date is November 12th. It is on a Saturday, twice a month. Usually we are there on the second and third Saturdays of each month, November through April, but due to Thanksgiving, we will be there on the second and third Saturdays of November. Also, we will only have one date in April, as the 4th Saturday in April is only 3 days before we open our Tuesday market.
The market is held in the old monkey house which is the second building on your left when you come in the Trafton Road entrance.
Many of our Tuesday market vendors are there plus we always have some others as well.
The aroma of fennel is sweet and green and anise like. The flavor of fennel is similar to anise, though more full and earthy, sweet and herbaceous. The fruits (commonly called seeds) of fennel are traditional in Italian sweet sausage. Northern Italians often add the seeds to their tomato sauce, and it is used in biscotti and other baked goods. The aromatic blue-green foliage and crisp stems, particularly the bulblike leaf base, are also sliced and used in a variety of dishes, especially seafood preparations, salads, and vegetables. It is also good roasted. You will often find fennel seeds with a candy coating at Indian restaurants as a sweet ending to a meal. The classic method for its cookery (like celery) is braising. That is, cooking the slices, covered, on top of the stove or in the oven, with a smallish amount of liquid until the fennel is tender and its surface can be easily pierced with a sharp knife.
POACHED FENNEL AND PARSLEY
2 medium heads fennel (about 1 ¼ pounds)
2 cups chopped fresh parsley
4 T. unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream 1/8th tsp. ground nutmeg salt and pepper
1. Trim the stems from the fennel and peel the bottoms. Discard any tough outer stems.
Separate the bulb into pieces. Cut the large ones in half lengthwise. Chop the fronds (leafy green tops) and reserve.
2. Place the fennel pieces with the parsley in a medium saucepan. Cover with water; heat to boiling and boil until tender about 8-10 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add the onion, cook 5 minutes. Add the cream; cook until fairly thick, about 5 minutes. Toss in the fennel and parsley. Cook until warmed through. Add the nutmeg, and salt
and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped fennel fronds. Serves 4.
Quick Pickled Vegetables
SWEET AND SPICY PICKLED RED ONIONS
1 red onion, halved and sliced thin through root end
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/3rd cup sugar
¼ tsp. canning and pickling salt (kosher) 2 jalapeno chilies, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into thin rings
1. Place onion in medium bowl. In small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, salt and peppers to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
2. Pour vinegar mixture over onion, cover, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
3. When cool, drain vegetables in colander and serve. Pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; onions will turn soft and harsh after 1 week. Garnish a taco, serve alongside grilled sausages or burgers, sprinkle over a green salad.
VIETNAMESE PICKLED DAIKON RADISH AND CARROTS
8 oz. daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2” matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2” matchsticks
¼ cup bottled lime juice
1 ½ tsp. fish sauce
1 ½ tsps. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, cover and let it sit at room temperature for one hour.
2. Drain vegetables in colander and serve. Can be refrigerated for one day. The daikon radish will begin to taste bitter after 1 day.
Serve with Asian dumplings, roll into spring rolls, stir into cold noodle salads, layer onto a sandwich.