From the Market Manager
I am more than ready for cooler weather to start. Although I know that autumn just began, 90 degrees in late September is too hot. I try not to complain too often about the weather because there isn’t anything I can do about it, and as far as our market goes, I don’t do the hard work; the farmers and other vendors do.
The best way to shop at any farmers’ market is to walk around and see who has what. Because we aren’t a producer only market, check the signs at each booth to see if some of what is there comes from someplace else; that is for produce only as all of the other vendors only bring their own products.
Everything that is here is local, but it isn’t all grown by each farmer. We decided not to have a producer only market when we started because we started so small— only 5 vendors. There were some items we wouldn’t have had if we didn’t do that.
If you have young children, go to one of the small fairs that we have in Massachusetts. They will be able to get closer to the animals, and they won’t be overwhelmed by large crowds. I am sure that there are more fairs coming up in October.
If you have young children, plant a garden with some vegetables. It is exciting to see how they grow, and it will give your children a different perspective on where some of their food comes from.
Taking them berry, apple, or peach, etc. picking also gives them knowledge about how some food is grown. Then, a bonus if you also let them help in the kitchen, they may be more likely to enjoy a variety of food.
Recipe—Sweet Corn Risotto
Risotto isn’t complicated, it just takes a while to prepare. This can be made with frozen corn, but it will be best if made with fresh corn.
3 medium ears corn, kernels scraped off the cobs
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 large leek, white and light green parts only
1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
¼ cup dry vermouth or white wine
2 T. butter
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (I just used regular Parmesan)
olive oil, salt and pepper
1. After cutting corn from cobs, put the stripped
cobs in a pot with the chicken broth and bring to
a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15
minutes. Remove the cobs.
2. Coat the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot
with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once
the oil is hot, add the leek and a pinch of salt, and
sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice
and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the wine and
stir until almost fully evaporated, 1 minute.
3. Add a ladle of stock to the rice. Stirring often,
continue adding stock as the rice absorbs each
addition, until the mixture is creamy and the rice
is cooked through but still firm (al dente), about
4. Stir in the butter, cheese, and corn kernels.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve
1. 3 things to remember about the new HIP program. You MUST have a balance in your EBT account or the vendor can’t swipe your card. The money goes back on the card when your HIP transaction is done.
2. It goes from the first of the month to the last of the month. It doesn’t matter when your benefits are applied to your account.
3. The HIP money you don’t use does NOT roll over to the next month. If you don’t use the benefit during the month, it’s gone for that month.
This market is also held here in Forest Park. Enter through the Trafton Road entrance. The old monkey house is the second building on your left. The hours are 10-2, twice a month on Saturdays usually the second and fourth. Our first one is November 11th. The wooden coins are used at this market also. Also, HIP will be available, and we expect to have more produce than we did last year. We hope to have some people who will have prepared food, so you can have lunch there.
This ‘n’ That
You don’t have to spend $8 a pound for flavored cream cheese, or settle for the almost tasteless commercial stuff; make your own.
If you have a food processor, it couldn’t be easier. Start with regular cream cheese 8oz. at least, not whipped as it will become whipped when you are done.
You may have to add a little milk or cream to the mixture when you make it, but if you’re adding a liquid like honey, you won’t need any additional moisture.
Honey/walnut—put walnuts and cream cheese in bowl of processor; pulse a few times. Add some honey to get the texture and taste that you want. You’re done.
Vegetable—Put cream cheese in processor, add a little milk or cream, then add a package of dried vegetable soup. This has to sit awhile in order for the dried vegetables to soften up, a couple of hours at least.
Scallion or chive—Do like the vegetable one, although the scallions won’t be dry. I whip up the cream cheese first then add the scallions or chives. Scallions will give you more flavor than chives.
Sun dried tomato—if you have dry tomatoes, soak them for a while. If you only have the tomatoes in olive oil, you don’t have to soak them. If you do soak them, add a little of the soaking water; it will give the mixture a pretty color. Pulse the tomatoes first then put in the cream cheese. A clove of garlic in this mixture is nice.
Smoked salmon—pulse the salmon a little, then add the cream cheese. You may have to add a little milk or cream.
Jewish Community Center aka The J
First off understand that you don’t have to be Jewish to belong there. Either stop by, or go online to see the wonderful facilities and programs that the J offers.
Toddlers (even babies) to senior citizens have many programs and activities available to them. SpringfieldJCC.org.
Some Eco Tips
Don’t litter—rubbish, including cigarette butts ends up in our streams and lakes. The filter part of cigarettes isn’t bio-degradable.
When camping, hiking, or visiting local parks, always take out what you took in.Before making big purchases, check out the manufacturer.
Watchdog books like Shopping for a Better World, and Internet sites have reports on good business practices
When purchasing gifts, consider the environment. Locally-produced items made with sustainable technology, memberships in environmental groups, donations to local organizations in the individual’s name, and plants or trees all make good eco gifts.
• Work with your family to set and meet energy reduction goals.
• Walk or bike whenever possible; set one day a week to take a bus or car pool.
• Turn off lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use, or use a power strip and then just turn it off when not needed.
• During heating season, lower thermostats and wear sweaters around the house.
• During the summer, open windows during the cool nights, or run fans instead of turning on the A/C.
• Purchase energy-saving light bulbs.
• Purchase appliances and electronics with the highest energy ratings possible.
• Keep your car well maintained to get optimum gas mileage.
• Use tints or shades on windows where the sun shines in.
• Plant trees for shade around your house. • Insulate your home, water heater, pipes and ducts.
• Consider generating your own electricity.
Contact MassSave to get an energy audit of your house. They will replace light bulbs and help you with other things to make your home more energy efficient.
Try to buy products and packaging made from postconsumer recycled material.
All paper, cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and metal cans are recyclable
Some grocery stores have places where you can recycle plastic bags. It’s amazing how quickly they add up. Make sure they’re clean before you save them.
PLEASE PICK UP LITTER WHEN YOU GO FOR A WALK.
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