From the Market Manager
A picture from last year popped up on my Facebook page. It was of my strawberry jam project. I make jam every year, most of which I give away. I don’t pick berries anymore, because it’s too much work for me, so I pay extra to have other people do the work. I usually go to Meadowbrook Farm on Rte. 83 in East Longmeadow for berries. We are so fortunate to live in a place where there are so many places where we can pick berries and other produce.
I like to use Ball pectin. You can find it either at the grocery store, or the hardware store. I follow the directions exactly and even double or triple the recipe; it always comes out perfectly.
I freeze my jam because I have plenty of freezer space. If you don’t, then you will have to can it. Canning isn’t hard, but you must use jars that are suitable for canning.
Making jam isn’t difficult at all. You will impress yourfamily and friends if you haven’t done it before.
Did you know that beets and Swiss chard are part of the same family? The silver beet family. You can use beet greens in any recipe that calls for greens. Some people like to mix their greens either in salads, or when cooking.
We are all impatient for corn and tomatoes to be at the market. They are both July veggies. The tomatoes that are at the market now, are mostly hothouse ones.
Our legislature allocated some money in the supplemental budget to reinstate it until July 1st, and money in the annual budget that begins July 1st.
Remember to keep some money in your EBT account because the farmer can’t take money out of it if there is nothing in it. Keep at least $10 available for when you want to use HIP. It goes back into your account once your transaction is completed.
Remember that it goes from the first of the month to the last of the month; it doesn’t matter when you get your benefits. And, remember that if you don’t use all of your HIP benefits, they don’t carry over to the next month like your regular SNAP benefits do.
HIP benefits are automatic; they are in your account at the first of each month, but you don’t see that amount in there if you check your balance. It’s there.
The slip you get when you use HIP will tell you how much of your benefits you have used up to that date. $40 for a family up to 2, $60 for a family of 3-5, and $80 for a family over 5. Per month.
You can purchase herbs and plants that will grow food with HIP benefits.
We have 5 vendors that accept HIP. They should all have signs saying so.
Massachusetts is the only state that has HIP; it was implemented with grant money.
Every year the Forest Park Civic Association has a special evening in June—Illumination Night. This year it will be held on June 23rd on Bronson Terrace which is between Dickinson St., and Trafton Road.
• Schedule: 6:30 PM—Children’s Parade. Wear a costume, decorate your bike, wagon, trike, or scooter and join the parade. Fun and prizes.
• 7 PM—Social time. Spend time with neighbors and enjoy the festivities. Bring your own chair.
• 7-10PM Live music—listen, dance, or just sit back and relax to live music.
You can purchase lemonade or strawberry shortcake and/or buy glow sticks and raffle tickets. Rain or shine. Everyone is welcome.
Hilltown Open Studio Tour
This tour, the inaugural Hilltown Open Studio Tour, organized by the Hilltown Arts Alliance, will take place this coming weekend, June 23rd and 24th from 11 to 5.
25+ artists in 20 locations in 4 towns—Plainfield, Cummington, Worthington, and Chesterfield will participate. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Free Summer Concerts
Agawam—Wednesday evenings at 7PM through August 22nd except for August 7th which is a Tuesday. School Street Park, 551 School St., inclement weather cancels the concert.
Chicopee—Aldenville, Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM, Aldenville Commons on Gratten St.
On Thursday evenings in the amphitheater behind the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., 6:30. Concert moves to the Community room in case of rain.
Szot Park—5 Sunday nights at 6:30, July 8, 15,22, & 29.
East Longmeadow—East Longmeadow High School, 180 Maple St., 7PM every Wednesday night from June 27th to August 15th.
Granby—Dufrense Park, 6PM, July 17th.
Holyoke—Wednesdays, 6PM, Heritage State Park, July 18, 25th, August 1st & 8th.
Springfield—June 21st & 28th. 6:30 PM. Park admission is free either through the main or Rte. 5 gages beginning at 5:30 PM.
Trinity United Methodist Church—361 Sumner Ave. July 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th. Music begins at 6 followed by a carillon concert at 7. Dinner is served outside for a contribution, recommended amount is $5, or inside if it rains.
White Lion Wednesdays—3 locations—The Shops at Marketplace, Monarch Plaza, and the 1350 Main Street Plaza. July 25th, Aug. 15th, and August 29th and September 5th at Monarch Place.
Go to springfielddowntown.com for details.
Westfield—Music Fest Westfield, weekends at Park Square Green at 6PM. June 21st, July 19th, and August 16th.
Stanley Park—Sunday evenings in the Beveridge Pavilion, June 17th through August 12th. Chairs are provided.
West Springfield—Summer family concert series.
Locations change with each concert. Inclement weather moves the concert indoors to the W.S. Middle School, 31 Middle School Dr. June 14th—August 30th.
Wilbraham—Fountain Park Concert Series.
Thursday nights at Fountain Park on Tinkham Rd., beginning at 6:30. Though the concert is free, there is a $5 parking charge for those without a season pass. June 28th to August 2nd.
Orchard Valley Summer Concert Series—2387 Boston Road. 6PM. June 20th, 25th, August 15th, & September 8th (2PM). Refreshments.
This is a dessert soup. Fresh strawberries, half and half, or plain yogurt, sugar, nutmeg.
Puree berries, add dairy and sugar to taste and a little nutmeg. Serve VERY cold.
Spinach & Strawberry Salad
1# fresh spinach
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
¾ cup Kentucky salad dressing
Dressing—1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ to ½ cup sugar (to taste)
½ T. minced onion
2 T. sesame seeds
1 T. poppy seeds
dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Put dressing ingredients in food processor or blender and mix until homogenized. Use right away or store overnight.
Kohlrabi is very popular in Europe. It’s in the brassicas family. The texture is crisp, and it tastes like a combination of broccoli stem and turnip, and it’s mild.
Peel and shred kohlrabi. Peel and shred some carrots, cut up some scallions. Make a dressing with Asian sesame oil, soya sauce, some mild vinegar, a dash of sugar, and some garlic. You can add some toasted sesame seeds if you’d like more crunch.
Make a Contribution
This market is sponsored by a non-profit organization. The money we collect goes into running the market. If you’d like to help support us, please do. All contributions are gratefully accepted