From the Market Manager
Good news! From now on any of you who need to use the Sumner Avenue entrance for the market can do so for $1. Then you can come to the market table and get reimbursed. The Trafton Road entrance is still free.
Our market will be open on July 4th for a shorter time, 12-3. Many of our vendors won’t be here, so plan accordingly when buying for July 4th week.
If you have cookbooks you no longer want, bring them to the market and put them in the blue bin at the market table.
I made strawberry jam last week. I like using Ball pectin. I used to make freezer jam that is uncooked, but now I cook the berries with sugar and pectin for a short time, and the color and taste is excellent. I have enough freezer space, so I just put the jam in the freezer, so don’t have to bother canning it.
Please remember to bring your milk bottles back to Trinity Farm. Don’t leave the caps on; they don’t reuse them. The bottles are manufactured in Canada because no-one makes them in the U.S. anymore, so they are precious.
Today is week 9, the end of the second month of the market. So far, we’ve had cold, hot, rain, and some beautiful weather. One week I was wearing long pants, a shirt, sweatshirt, coat and gloves, and the next week is was over 90. Gotta love New England weather.
Market tokens make great gifts. We can also print up a gift certificate if you’d rather do that.
The Caring Health Center is having a Health and Wellness Fair on July 6th from 9-3 at 1049 Main Street in Springfield. They will have confidential HIV and STD testing, blood pressure and glucose screenings, medical and dental check-ins, fitness and wellness resources, behavioral health support, and health insurance enrollment resources. They will also have free refreshments and educational materials for all participants.
If you aren’t already registered to vote, we have the forms at the market table. We will send it in for you.
HIP—Healthy Incentives Program
HIP is Massachusetts’ implementation of a $3.4 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant from the USDA. The program addresses the primary barrier to accessing fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families: the affordability of high quality, nutritious foods. The new HIP benefit will be available to SNAP families statewide beginning this spring for a three-year period. The HIP incentive benefit has a monthly cap based on household size; it’s either $40, $60, or $80. Households will need to spend HIP dollars on fruits and vegetables at one of the four main points of sale to earn HIP incentives.
When a SNAP customer swipes their SNAP/EBT card for fruit and vegetable purchases, an equal amount of incentive funds is immediately and automatically added back to their cards for any future SNAP purchase at any SNAP retailer up to the monthly cap. For example, if a family uses their SNAP benefits to buy $15 of fresh produce at a farmers’ market, a credit of $15 will be immediately returned to their EBT card to use for other eligible purchases.
HIP is only for use at participating farmers’ market vendor stalls, farm stands, mobile markets, and CSAs with customers receiving an instant, dollar for dollar match credited to their EBT card through specially programmed SNAP systems, e.g. EBT terminals up to their monthly maximum for HIP.
If you do not use your HIP benefit each month, you lose it, but if you do use it, the money that goes back to your EBT card can be used up to a year.
3 of our vendors, Rainbow Harvest, Riverbend Farm,and Red Fire Farm have signed up to participate. As of last week, only Rainbow Harvest had all the equipment needed to swipe the EBT cards. Hopefully the others will get theirs very soon.
There should be a listing of the markets and farm stands that will accept HIP. You should have this in the information that was sent to you. You can also call Project Bread at 800-645-8333. They also have translators. I was told that Atkin’s and Randall’s can’t participate because they are too large.
This is a dessert soup. It couldn’t be easier. A blender is best to make this in. Strawberries, half and half or plain yogurt, sugar, nutmeg. Puree the berries and dairy together with a little sugar. Use a little nutmeg as it’s fairly strong. Taste. You may need a little more sugar or nutmeg. Chill. You may want to put a couple of ice cubes in each serving just before you serve it to make it extra cold. You might want to strain this if you want it extra smooth. I don’t bother.
An Instant Dessert
Strawberries, yogurt, or sour cream, brown sugar. Keep the green caps on the berries. Hold berry, dip in yogurt or sour cream then in brown sugar. Enjoy.
Some Vendors on You Tube
Go to You Tube and type in Trinity Farm, or Mt Warner Winery. Jeremy Cole did the fabulous videos that you will see.
Agri-tourism encompasses a variety of activities, including farm tours, farm vacations, farm bed and breakfast accommodations, hiking, nature study, cross country skiing, picnics, hayrides, workshops, free hunting and fishing to name just a few. A farm vacation is a terrific place to go with young children.
Free Fun Fridays this Summer
For 10 weeks this summer, a number of museums, gardens, and other places of cultural interest are open at no charge. Go to the Highland Street Foundation’s website, Highlandstreet.org, to get the full listing.
This coming Friday’s offerings are the Boston Children’s Museum, MIT Museum, Norman Rockwell Museum, Springfield Museums, EcoTarium (science museum in Worcester), Maritime Gloucester, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and The Garden at Elm Banks (Mass Horticultural Society.)
Planting a Pollinator Garden by Charlie Nardozzi
One of the big trends in the last few years in gardening is the interest in pollinator gardens. With all the press that honey bees and monarch butterflies are getting, many groups, farmers and individuals are trying to help the cause to save the pollinators. It's not just a nice idea.
Bees and their friends pollinate 1/3rd of our food supply. Every garden, no matter how small, can help. When planning a pollinator garden find a location in full sun with fertile soil. Consider a spot close to the house so you can enjoy the show, too. Plant a range of flowers that bloom from spring through fall so the pollinators have a constant nectar and pollen source. You can create a separate garden for pollinators, or plant a wildflower area with pollinator seed mixes that are filled with annual, biennial, and perennial flowers that pollinators love. You can even buy regional wildflower pollinator mixes that feature native plants to that area.
Another method is to introduce pollinator friendly flowers into your existing garden. There are many flowers and plants that are helpful to pollinators. Find native or species versions of flowers for the best pollen and nectar. Sunflowers are attractive to honey bees,bumblebees, carpenter bees, and sweat bees to name a few. Flowering thyme and catnip will attract mason bees, digger bees, sweat bees, and bumblebees.
Pollinator gardens aren’t just about flowers, though. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds need water, shelter, and nesting locations. Don’t forget to plant vines, shrubs and evergreens as places where pollinators can hide. Add water sources such as bird baths. Leave snag trees and wild areas for pollinators to nest.
Charlie Nardozzi is the author of several gardening books. He also does speaking engagements, takes groups on garden tours both in the U.S. and overseas, and does podcasts. He is from Vermont.
Jewish Community Center—the J
The J has programs that serve babies to senior citizens. They have excellent physical facilities including an Olympic size pool, tennis courts, racquetball and squash courts, and much more. In addition, there is a summer camp, and vacation day camps during the school year. JArt is a theatre program open to all; they have several performances throughout the year. The J also has programs for special needs children.
Swim lessons are offered to both children and adults. Throughout the year there are activities that can take you to plays, New York City, Boston, and elsewhere. Also, many mini-courses such as The Great Depression, and Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson are offered for a minimal cost.
Except for Jewish holidays, the J is open every day, and everyone is welcome to become a member.
Stop by and get a tour. It’s a terrific place.
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