From the Market Manager
Peach season is upon us. When my now 21-year-old grandson Evan was 5, I gave him a peach that I had purchased from Outlook Farm 2 days earlier. Later that day I picked up his brother Alex who was 8, and brought him to my house. I offered him a peach which he refused.
Evan said, “Alex, you really should have one. You can smell the inside from the outside.” That my friends is the difference between a peach from someplace else, and a native peach.
If you want to can or freeze peaches, getting the skin off is easy. Just plunge the peaches into boiling water for a minute or so then into ice water; the skins will slip off.
There are many things you can do with peaches. Make jam, or sauce, or a relish with some red peppers and some spicy peppers if you like spicy, to use with pork or chicken. Or make peach ice cream.
My brother Robert and I visited our grandparents in Richmond, VA when we were kids. I still remember some peach ice cream that we had. Peaches don’t have a robust flavor, but the chunks of peaches in that ice cream were superb, and obviously memorable since that was
64 years ago.
Buy Trinity Farm’s heavy cream for your ice cream. Last week I learned that it takes 12 pounds of milk to make one pound of butter. They didn’t have any last week because the cows haven’t been producing as much due to the heat and humidity, so they don’t have enough milk
to make butter. My grandmother used to say that we learn something new every day. That was new to me.
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 the month, no matter when you get your benefits.
We have 5 vendors who accept HIP.
New England Wild Edibles, 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. Maple Corner Farm doesn’t take HIP, but they do accept WIC for their blueberries. All of the vendors who sell produce accept WIC and elder coupons.
You should walk around and see who has what and what the prices are before you shop. Each vendor sets their own prices.
WIC coupons are NOT HIP coupons. Not everyone who is eligible for WIC qualifies for SNAP benefits. 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.
Highland Foundation Free Fridays—August 10th
The Highland Foundation sponsors free admission each summer for 10 weeks to many museums, etc. throughout Massachusetts.
Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park
The Institute of Contemporary Art—Boston
Cahoon Museum of American Art—Cotuit
Nichols House Museum—Boston
Museum of the National Center of Afro-American
Fuller Craft Museum—Brockton
The Greenway Carousel--Boston
Freedom Trail Foundation--Boston
We have market t-shirts for sale for $10 each, just $1 more than we pay for them. We have all sizes including some children’s sizes. Come to the market table to get one. When you wear one, you are helping to advertise our market.
Jazz and Roots Festival
Saturday, August 11th from 11 AM to 11 PM in Court Square in downtown Springfield. Free! There will be lots of food available for purchase. Bring your own chair as seating is limited.
All of our vendors accept cash. But, if you run out, come to the market table and purchase some either with your credit, debit, or EBT card. They are each $2.50 and they never expire. We follow USDA rules, so you can’t use the EBT coins for alcohol, prepared food, or
anything that isn’t food like soap.
Mass Save has a home energy services program. Call 844-564-SAVE to schedule your no-cost home energy assessment. A Mass Save energy specialist will perform a whole house assessment, provide you with a customized list of energy efficiency recommendations offered by the program, and install various products for instant energy savings at no cost.
During the assessment, the energy specialist will confirm the measures you’d like to install and can schedule your weatherization work the same day.
Installation of improvements generally takes only one to two days, so you can quickly realize the benefits of the Mass Save Home Energy Services Program. After the installation is complete, a Mass Save representative may inspect the work at no cost to you.
Amaranth is a new vegetable to most of us, but it has been eaten for centuries all over the world. Its flavor is somewhat like spinach, but it doesn’t cook down as much as spinach. Unless the greens are small, amaranth is best used cooked. It can be combined with other greens, and used in a pasta dish, or together with the other greens.
You can sauté it with garlic in olive oil, or make it pan-Asian by sautéing it with corn or peanut oil, ginger, garlic, hot red pepper or pepper flakes, and salt.
Phuong’s Asian Vegetables has amaranth.
PORK CHOPS WITH ONION GRAVY
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. each onion and garlic powder salt and pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 bone-in loin or center cut pork chops about ½# each
1/3rd cup unsalted butter
1/3rd cup olive oil
3 chopped onions
2 celery stalks chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1. In a large, lock top plastic bag combine the flour, cornstarch, onion and garlic powders, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, and cayenne. Seal and shake bag to combine. Add the pork chops then seal and shake the bag to coat the chops. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chops (reserving the seasoned flour, and cook, turning once until browned about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate
and keep warm.
2. Add the onions celery and carrot to the frying pan over medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add 1/3rd cup of the reserved seasoned flour, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Reduce the heat to low, stir in any accumulated juices from the chops, and nestle the meat in the gravy.
Cover and simmer over very low heat until the gravy is very thick and the meat is fork tender,about 1 hour.
3. Transfer the chops to a warmed platter. Season the gravy with salt and black pepper. Spoon the gravy over the chops and serve.
This ‘n’ That
Next week around 2 PM, Zoo on the Go will be at our market. They bring different animals for all to enjoy. Rain or shine.