From the Market Manager
I asked Dale Smyth from Trinity Farm about the color of their butter. At this time of year, it’s a nice bright yellow because the cows are grazing on fresh grass. In the winter, when they eat stored hay, it is very pale.
Another time I had purchased some heavy cream from Trinity, but it didn’t whip well. When I said something to Dale the next week, she told me that it was probably too fresh. She said it should be a few days old to whip well.
That still makes me smile.
Outlook Farm has a festival series throughout the growing season. This coming Saturday, the 11th, in the afternoon, they will be having a strawberry festival. They have a pig roast and barbecue. The afternoon includes live music, and a community tag and crafts sale.
Because the new HIP program has been slow to start up, CISA is extending the bonus EBT program where you can get an additional $10 in wooden coins if you swipe your card for $10 or more. Once HIP is finally in place, the bonus will end.
If you’d like to give someone a gift certificate from our market, let us know. We will print one out for you. When the recipient comes to the market, we will give them wooden coins in the amount of the certificate. This would make a great present to teachers at the end of the school year.
Welcome back to My Main Squeeze.
We are trying to get the no free entry through Sumner Avenue reversed, but until we do (hope) continue to enter the park through the Trafton Road entrance in order to enter at no charge.
If it isn’t at our market today, it will show up soon. Kohlrabi is a member of the brassicas family. I think it tastes like a combination of broccoli stems and a mild turnip. You can use it lots of ways.
One way is to peel it (the light green and the purple ones taste the same) and use it as a dipper on a vegetable platter. It’s also good in a salad. Or you can find recipes online where you use it cooked. A favorite way for me is to shred it along with shredded carrots, some scallions for more color, and make a dressing of Asian sesame oil, some soya sauce, a dash of sugar, and some mild vinegar. It’s pretty, crispy, and tasty.
It’s almost strawberry season, and we all know that there are many ways to use these marvelous berries. A very easy dessert is to have plain yogurt or sour cream and brown sugar in separate bowls. Dip your berry into the yogurt first, then the sugar. That’s it. Simple and delicious.
Keep These Plastics out of your Recycling Bin
Some plastic items cost too much to recycle, are unwanted by manufacturers, or are recyclable only through separate recycling programs.
• Plastic bags, plastic wrap
• Black plastic microwavable containers, food trays, etc.
• Forks, spoons, knives and serving utensils
• Plastic cups, plates
• Tubes such as toothpaste, etc.
• Plastic containers greater than 2.5 gallons in size
• Plastic containers which once held toxic substances like motor oil
• Containers labeled biodegradable or compostable
• Foam items, cups, egg cartons, food containers, etc.
• Molded plastic packaging (the type that requires a sharp object to open)
• Binders, folders & plastic-coated paper
• Compact disks and cases, video & audio tapes
• Nursery pots & trays
• 6 pack rings (cut them up and put into the trash)
• PVC products (pipes, siding, etc.)
• Manufactured plastic wood (decking material)
Meet the Vendors— Rainbow Harvest
Rainbow Harvest Farm is a family farm in Greenfield owned and operated by David Paysnick; he has been farming for 15 years. Rainbow Harvest focuses onhigh quality, ecologically grown vegetables, herbs and plants. They also grow a small amount of mushrooms and small fruits, two enterprises Davidhopes to grow more of over the next few years. While the farm is not certified organic, David does not use any materials that would be prohibited by organic standards. Ecologically grown means that the farming principles used are based on a desire to maintain a harmonious relationship between food production and the environment. Even certified organic farms are able to spray a variety of materials that can be toxic to humans and beneficial insects. David does not spray any pesticides on his farm, instead, he relies on creating a healthy balance using soil fertility, beneficial insects (like ladybugs), and row covers (thin woven blankets that cover field crops) to control unwanted pests.
David's favorite crop to grow is chili peppers, which is a key ingredient in the infused sea salts and seasoning blends that he makes and sells alongside his vegetables at farmers’ markets. The salts are infused with ingredients grown on the farm such as chilies, garlic, and herbs. Some of the most popular flavors include chipotle smoked sea salt, rosemary infused sea salt, and garlic infused sea salt. This past winter, Rainbow Harvest began making and selling rubs and popcorn seasonings using farm grown and other local ingredients as well. Currently, David is selling a wide variety of vegetable, herb, and ornamental plants at the market, along with his seasonings, and the first vegetables of the season. Through the month of June, his offerings will transition from mostly plants to mostly vegetables. Check out Rainbow Harvest Farm on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with what’s happening on the farm and see what new items are coming to market each week.
Rainbow Harvest is currently one of the few farms in the area that can process HIP (Healthy Incentives Program) benefits for SNAP card users. If you use your SNAP card their booth, the first $40-80 you spend per month (depending on household size) won't reduce your SNAP
balance at all.
See http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/hip.htm or ask David for more details.
This ‘n’ That
Take down tag sale signs. If you see one for a sale that is done, please take it down even if it isn’t yours.
Make sure the numbers on your house can be read from the street.
Bring a plastic bag with you when you go for a walk, and pick up some litter.
If you see graffiti, call Mike Cass at 750-2110, or email@example.com. He’ll get rid of it.
The Forest Park Civic Association’s Illumination Night will be held at the Garfield Triangle where Fairfield and Garfield streets meet. Free unless you want to purchase something to drink or eat.
One of the neat things about a farmers’ market is that every week is different. I encourage you to try things that you haven’t had before.
Forest Park Summer Concert Series
The Parks Department will be holding a free summer concert series this June. On Thursdays June 1st, 8th, 15th,22nd at 6:30 PM in the Forest Park Amphitheater (near the duck ponds). In case of rain the location willat Central High School. I don’t know if there will be free entry to the park for this series.
• June 8th, Leon Spradley
• June 15th, Dee Reilly
• June 22nd, the Manzi Family
Agricultural Resources Facts & Statistics
There are 7,755 farms in Massachusetts working on over 523,000 acres to produce $492 million in agricultural products. The average farm produces $63,470 of agricultural products on just 68 acres.
Massachusetts farms provide employment to nearly 28,000 workers in the Commonwealth. While nationally the U.S. witnessed a decline in agriculture from 2007 to 2012, Massachusetts was one of the few states that experienced a 1% growth in both the number of farms and acres in farmland.
At nearly $48 million, the state ranks 5th in the nation for direct market sales and 3rd in the nation for direct market sales per operation. Direct market sales account for 10% of the state’s total sales of agricultural products.
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