From the Market Manager
I catered a dinner after a funeral the other day, and for the vegetables just sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. At this time of year, they are so delicious that we don’t need complicated food to enjoy it. A really pretty salad is to take different types of tomatoes, make a simple dressing, and you’re done.
If you have a new neighbor, instead of baking something to welcome them, bring them something from the farmers’ market along with directions on how to find us.
Do you ever think about why the land in our Connecticut River Valley is so suitable for farming? Think about the river. Although there are ways to prevent flooding in modern times (sometimes) think of all the years when the river would flood. When the river went back into its channel, it would leave silt behind. Over the years that built up into the soil that we now have. We are most fortunate to live in a place that still has so much agriculture, and that has so many people willing to do the hard work of farming.
CISA—Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture
This organization has been committed to supporting local agriculture in the Pioneer Valley for 25 years. Thousands of people in our region have contributed to their success and impact. More than 250 farms participate in their programs, and the number of residents who are committed to supporting local agriculture grows every day. Their “Be a Local Hero, Buy Locally Grown” program is the longest-running agricultural buy local campaign in the country. It connects farmers and the community, improving farm business viability and enhancing the quality of life for residents across the region. Additional programs include Senior Farm Share, technical assistance for farms and food businesses, and research and support for local food and farm businesses of all kinds including processors, distributors, and producers of value-added products like jams, cheeses, and pickles.
Their work focuses on:
• Growing resilience in farming
• Growing resilience in the local food economy
• Growing resilience in our organization
CISA has one main fund raiser each year called “Taste the View.” This year it will be held on September 20th at Valley View Farm in Haydenville. Contact CISA to make a reservation—buylocalfood.org. A live auction will be held that evening also.
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, and no matter how much you get from SNAP. Even if you only get $15 a month, you still get $40 in HIP.
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 24th
The Highland Foundation sponsors free admission each summer for 10 weeks to many museums, etc. throughout Massachusetts.
Harvard Museums of Science and Culture—Cambridge
Buttonwood Park Zoo—New Bedford
Mass MoCA—North Adams
Heritage Museums & Gardens—Mashpee
Cape Cod Children’s Museum—Mashpee
Smith College Museum of Art—Northampton
The Old Manse, The Trustees—Concord
Emily Dickinson Museum—Amherst
Hull Life Saving Museum—Hull
Museum of African American History—Boston & Nantucket
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.
¾ to one cup sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
24 halves pitted purple plums (prune plums) or if you don’t have those, use other plums
cinnamon and sugar
You can use a pie plate, or a spring form pan, or an 8” or 9” layer cake pan for this. It’s not a big cake.
1. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl.
2. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
3. Spoon the batter in the pan. Place the plum halves skin side up on top.
4. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and sugar.
5. Bake for approximately one hour. Remove and cool.
6. If you use a pan other than a spring form, you will have to turn it onto a plate and then put your serving plate on top of that and turn it over. Serve slightly warm if you can. This cake is absolutely delicious.
This ‘n’ That
Don’t forget to get your car inspected. It is for your safety. Also, if you get stopped, it is an expensive ticket plus it goes on your record.
Next week Rachel’s Table will be here collecting food for them to give to needy organizations. They call it “Buy an extra pound day.” We’ve done this for a few years and you all have been extremely generous.
Whatever’s Ready to Harvest Soup
This recipe is from a woman who said her mom would put small amounts of leftover vegetables in a bag in the freezer, and then when it was full, would make soup. What a good idea!
INGREDIENTS: dried shitake mushrooms, 2 T. olive oil, 2 large leeks, washed, trimmed, & finely chopped, 1 large onion, 2 shallots, 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 tsp. salt, 2 carrots, scraped and finely chopped, 2 celery ribs, trimmed and finely chopped, 1 cup fresh corn kernels, 1 T. chopped fresh parsley, 1 ½ tsp, fresh thyme, 1 tsp. fresh sage leaves, 1 ½ tsps., soy sauce, 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds.
1. Place the mushrooms and 5 cups of tepid water in a bowl and set aside until softened, about 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Stir in the leeks, onion, shallots, garlic and salt and sauté over medium heat until almost caramelized, about 10 minutes.
3. Strain the mushroom water into the pot. Use a coffee filter or cheesecloth because you don’t want any sand. Remove and discard the stems from the shitakes (they are tough) and slice the caps into ½” strips. Add to the pot. Add the carrots, celery, corn, parsley, thyme, save, soy sauce and enough extra water to cover the vegetables by ½ “. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the carrots are barely tender, about 8 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the scallions over the top and serve right away.