From the Market Manager
Welcome back to our marvelous market. Today begins our 21st season. We are the largest farmers’ market in this part of the Pioneer Valley. We aren’t large by national standards, but we’re a pretty good size for Massachusetts.
I’m pleased to say that My Main Squeeze and Cathie’s Kitchen are back with us having had a lapse of one year. Cathie’s Kitchen will be different every other week. One week she will have her food truck here, and the other week she will be here with gluten-free baked goods.
We also have a coffee vendor with freshly roasted coffee. Monsoon Coffee is local (although the coffee isn’t of course; it’s roasted locally) and Tim Monson, the owner will sell beans and brewed coffee, and some other items as well.
City Compost will collect food waste from your home, and once it has become compost, can deliver that to your home.
Outlook Farm will be bringing their hard cider and wine to our market this year.
Urban Artisan Farm will have microgreens and mushrooms along with some other products like greens until our produce farmers start to bring theirs to the market. You know them from the winter market. They will also have many varieties of Smyth’s Country Cheese.
We will have 3 places where you can purchase something to eat either at the market,
or to bring home--Cathie’s Kitchen, Sweet Chili’s, and Phuong’s Asian Vegetables. We have a place for you to sit also, right next to the market table.
Remember that we are a rain or shine market. We are here in the rain, and the heat. Our vendors work every day, so we have an obligation to support them.
We are very fortunate to live in an area where we still have so many farms and people willing to do the hard work of farming.
Did you know that you can use your EBT benefits to purchase plants that will produce
food? Herbs also. Seeds too.
Those of you who received HIP benefits because you have SNAP benefits received a letter telling you that due to the program running out of money, we don’t have it right now. It was designed to last for 3 years, but it was so popular, that it ran out of money in one year. The Legislature has been asked to add to the supplemental budget so that it can be reinstituted from now until July, but that hasn’t happened yet. They have also been asked to allocate more money than they initially were going to put in the budget for next year, but we don’t know about that either. Stay tuned.
37,500 households in Massachusetts benefitted from HIP. 50% of those households had elderly folks in them, and 27% had children. There were 170 new authorized farmers who signed up to accept HIP.
Over 200 farmers in all. 66% of the vendors reported a sales increase in 2017 (the only year
that HIP had been in place). One of the farmers at our market told me that he didn’t have to sell
anything wholesale last year.
Recipe—Braised Red Cabbage with Rhubarb and Orange
1 juice orange, 1 cup orange juice, 2/3 cup fruit-only orange marmalade, 2 T. grated fresh ginger
¾ pound fresh rhubarb, thinly sliced
8 cups firmly packed shredded red cabbage (about ½ a medium head)
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup dry red wine
salt and pepper to taste
granulated or brown sugar to taste (optional)
1. Grate the zest from the orange and squeeze the juice.
2. Combine the zest and juice, 1 cup of additional orange juice, marmalade, and ginger in a
large skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until the
mixture is reduced by 1/4th.
3. Add the rhubarb and cook over medium heat, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the rhubarb
softens but does not fall apart. Remove the rhubarb from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set
4. Add the cabbage, vinegar and wine to the skillet and cook over medium heat, partially covered,
for 30-45 minutes, or until the cabbage is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. Stir the rhubarb back into the cabbage, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar, if
using. Serve immediately, or you can reheat it easily.
Use Trafton Road Entrance
Unless you have a park pass, or a handicapped placard, please enter via the Trafton Road entrance otherwise you will have to pay to enter the park. We aren’t going to reimburse entry fees this year; it cost us several hundred dollars last year. You can purchase a park pass at the brick building just after you enter the park from the Sumner Avenue entrance. Bring your
registration form with you. You can pay with cash or a check.
There are a few times each year when gift giving seems to be more prevalent. This time of year, with the school year coming to a close, is one of them. You can either buy non-perishables at the market, or purchase wooden coins, or we can make up a gift certificate for you.
Food Safety Steps
We are very careful at our market to make sure that all of our vendors know what to do to keep
their food safe for you. Here are some steps for you to know yourself.
• Plan ahead—make sure the location meets your needs. Be sure you have enough oven, stovetop,
refrigerator, freezer, and work space. Find out if there’s enough clean water. If not,
bring water for preparation and cleaning.
• Store and prepare food safely
• Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within 2 hours of shopping or preparing; 1 hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees.
• Find separate preparation areas in the work space for raw and cooked food.
• Never place cooked food back on the same plate or cutting board that held raw food.
• Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and work surfaces frequently with hot, soapy water.
• Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
• Cook food to safe minimum internal temperatures; it’s the only way to tell if harmful bacteria
• Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, casseroles, and
other food. Check temperature in several places to be sure food is cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature. Never partially cook food for finishing later because you increase the risk of bacterial growth.
• Transport food safely; keep hot food hot, and cold food cold.
• Need to reheat? Food must be hot and steamy for serving; just warmed up isn’t good enough.
• Keep food out of the danger zone (40- 140 degrees F.)
• When in doubt, throw it out.
Bing Arts Center
We have the schedule for the Bing Arts Center through June at our market table. Pick one up. There is lots going on there. Support our neighborhood arts center.
Mercy Medical Center Community Health Van Back at Market. Each week the van is here at the market. Get your blood pressure checked. There is other health information available there also. We are so grateful that they come to us each week throughout the season.
Indian Orchard Mills Open Studios and Art Show, May 4th and 5th
May 4th, 6-10, and May 5th, 12-4. The studios are located at 34 Front St. in Indian Orchard, and
feature 50+ artists.
Suggested donation is $2 to help defray expenses.