From the Market Manager
Do you ever stop and think how fortunate we are that we can turn on a faucet and clean water comes out? Or that we have indoor plumbing, and don’t have to use an outhouse. And, what about being grateful for the good food that is available to us both in stores and at farmers’
markets and roadside stands?
Most of the people who provide our food are not known to us, but we do have the opportunity to get to know the people here at our market who work hard to bring such good food to us.
Do you ever think of what goes into providing this food? Think of the heat that we’ve had recently (and every summer) and the folks who work in it. They can’t kick back on a really hot day and say, I’ll do it tomorrow. It has to be done on a timely basis otherwise the crop is ruined.
I encourage those of you who have young children to pick some of your own fruit and vegetables. It will give your children a small idea of what goes into getting that food to your table. Outlook Farm has pick your own apples in season. Maple Corner Farm has Granville
Blueberries where you can pick your own berries. It’s a lovely ride to both.
You don’t necessarily have to hug one of our vendors, but please do say thank you for their hard work.
One other thing—if you think that some prices are too high, please remember that small production farming is more expensive than large production farming. Even a large farm in Massachusetts is small by comparison to some others in the Midwest or far West. They don’t have economy of scale like the large farms do. Also, don’t confuse price and value. What you purchase at a farmers’ market will still be fresh next week, and that includes greens.
Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup) is coming soon. You want all of the ingredients to be local so that you get the best flavor. I have two recipes in our archive for this soup, but there are hundreds of recipes for gazpacho, so go online, or look through your cookbooks.
Speaking of cookbooks, bring your unused cookbooks to our market and put them in the blue bin. Someone else will enjoy them.
The Jazz and Roots Festival will be held on August 11th in Court Square in Springfield. Go to springfieldjazzfest.com for information on how you can volunteer. This is its 5th year. They also would like to have more sponsors.
HIP is funded for this fiscal year, so use it if you have SNAP benefits. Make sure you have some money in your EBT account so that the vendor can swipe your card to take money to pay for your HIP produce. Keep about $10 in your account. Remember, the money you spend goes right back into your account, so it’s not as if it’s gone.
You get $40 if you have 1-2 people in your family; $60 if you have 3-5 people in your family, and $80 if you have more than 5 people in your family. You can spend it over the course of the month, or all at once; it’s up to you.
If you check your EBT balance, the HIP money doesn’t show up. Just know that it is there from the first of themonth, no matter when you get your benefits.
We have 5 vendors who accept HIP. New England WildEdibles, Rainbow Harvest Farm, Red Fire Farm,Riverbend Farm, and Urban Artisan Farm. They all have signs saying that they take HIP. Outlook Farm and Phuong’s Asian Vegetables don’t take HIP.
You should walk around and see who has what and what the prices are before you shop.
WIC Farmers’ Market Coupons and Elder coupons can be used whenever you like through the end of October. Both HIP and the WIC and elder coupons are ONLY for produce.
This ‘n’ That
Pull up or knock down the signs that say they will buy your house, help you to quit smoking in one hour, or other signs that mess up where they are put.
If you have a tag sale, please take down your signs when it’s over.
Review your insurances every year to make sure you are covered properly.
Pick up some litter every day.
Don’t throw your cigarette butts out of your car window; the filters don’t biodegrade.
Recycle plastic bags at grocery stores.
Put visible numbers on your house.
Make a new recipe each week.
A Little Night Music
Each Thursday evening in July, Trinity United Methodist Church (big church next to Forest Park) has a musical performance and then dinner. The music, at 6PM, is in the church and it is free, and dinner is outside (weather) for a contribution, $5 suggested. Everyone is welcome.
Highland Foundation Free Fridays—July 20th
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gloucester Stage Company
The Gardens at Elm Bank (Mass Horticultural—Wellesley)
Chatham Shark Center
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association
Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History—Weston
The Hall at Patriot Place—Foxborough
POTATO CROQUETTES—a Sicilian recipe
2# russet potatoes
3 egg yolks
4 oz. grated cheese (Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, or
½ tsp. nutmeg
4 cups breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Cook the potatoes completely before peeling, steaming is best, but boiling is acceptable
2. Let them cool, peel them, but into quarters, and run through a food mill or potato ricer into a mixing bowl. (Don’t use a food processor, you’ll end up with glue.)
3. Use a wooden spoon to blend in the egg yolks, grated cheese, nutmeg, and parsley adding salt and pepper to taste. This should form a stiff dough that can be rolled into a ball; if it is too soft, add more grated cheese, a bit of flour, or some egg white to firm it up.
4. Roll the potato dough into croquettes 2-3” long and about 1” thick. At this point refrigerate them for at least an hour. They can be refrigerated overnight, covered with foil which helps to improve their flavor and firm them up for easier frying.
5. To bread and fry, first beat 2-3 eggs and coat the croquettes by rolling them in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs.
6. Heat the oil to 350 degrees using a pan deep enough to hold 2-3” of oil for deep frying. Fry about 6 croquettes at a time until golden brown using a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil.
7. Serve while still hot. Yields about 30 croquettes.
SUMMER SQUASH BAKED WITH CHERRY TOMATOES, OLIVES, AND FRESH THYME
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 ½ pounds green and yellow summer squash, trimmed and sliced ½” thick
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
12 black olives, pitted and halved (Greek or Italian olives will give the best flavor)
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine the oil, thyme, and garlic in an 8x12” baking dish.
3. Add the squash, tomatoes, and olives, and toss to coat. If using the feta, sprinkle it over the top.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash and tomatoes are thoroughly wilted down, but still hold their shape. Remove and cool enough to handle and then serve.