From the Market Manager
This has been a lousy year for us weather-wise. Because we are a rain or shine market, we were here last week, but it was awful. It rained ALL day. I think my shoes took 2 days to dry..
As terrible it is for us at the market table to be out in such weather, our farmers in particular are the ones who suffer the most. The two things that are the most difficult for them is weather and labor. Critters also I’m sure.
That’s part of the reason why it’s so important to support our local farmers. They are willing to do the hard work, so that we don’t have to.
I made an apple crisp last weekend that I put fresh cranberries into; it was a great combination.
Every religion has a harvest holiday. It’s really important to acknowledge what comes from the earth. My Jewish harvest holiday ended yesterday; it is called Sukkot. On Sunday evening (our holidays begin the evening before) as I was reading the prayer book, I saw a phrase that spoke to me: “Holiness occurs when goodness and power co-exist in perfect harmony.”
I am not a spiritual person, but that sure resonated with me.
HIP was funded for this fiscal year, however, we have received notice that they will suspend it just before Thanksgiving, and start up again in the spring, so use it if you have SNAP benefits.
Many things that you can buy in the fall stay fresh for a long time like apples, winter squash, onions, potatoes, turnips, beets, and I can’t think of what else.
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, 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. 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.
I have contacted my state senator, and encourage you to contact your elected representatives also. I hope that additional money can be allocated toward keeping HIP year-round. It is a win-win program both for customers and farmers who participate.
This ‘n’ That
• Get your car inspected.
• Put readable house numbers on your house.
• Take down tag sale signs.
• Use your car ashtray; don’t throw butts on the street.
• Pick up litter when you’re out for a walk.
• Bring a new neighbor something to welcome them to the neighborhood, and while you’re at it, tell them about our market.
• Register to vote, and VOTE! It is a privilege that many people in the world don’t have. Don’t throw it away. November 6th is election day.
• Take your children to a library.
• Purchase non-perishable items from our market as gifts
• An easy way to cut open a winter squash is to poke a couple of holes in it and microwave it for about 5 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, you can peel and cut it easily.
• If you use a cane, please put your address label (and phone #) on it so that if you leave it somewhere, they can contact you.
• You can freeze apple cider. Don’t fill your container all the way to the top; leave some room for expansion.
Our winter market begins on the second Saturday of November, November 10th this year. Because we are going to have an extra Tuesday market on November 6th to make up for the one we missed last week, that will be 2 markets very close together. But, some people can’t make a Tuesday market, so hopefully that Saturday will be well attended.
In November, we will have markets on the 10th and 17th due to Thanksgiving being on the 22nd. Please note that at this time the HIP program won’t be in existence after Thanksgiving until the spring. I have contacted my state senator hoping that money can be allocated for the winter also. Some farmers, knowing how popular the HIP program is, have made provisions to sell at the winter markets. This decision will impact their business.
We may have a different location for our winter market due to some construction that will go on near the old monkey house. Stay tuned.
Potato Kugel—kugel is a German word for pudding.
Potatoes—3#--russets are good for this
Onions—1 medium or large
1 tsp. salt
Matzo meal or flour or breadcrumbs—1/3rd cup Oil, or rendered chicken fat—6T. plus more for the pan
Peel the potatoes then put them in water.
Drain the potatoes, and using your food processor, grate them. Add the grated onions and add the oil or chicken fat, then the eggs. Add salt and pepper.
Put oil or fat into a baking dish and put it in the oven until it’s hot, then pour the potato mixture into the pan.
Bake until the top is browned and the middle is creamy, usually under 2 hours.
You can make this in individual muffin cups so that everyone can have some of the crunchy edges.
Winter Squash Soup
You can make this the same way you make summer squash soup. Sauté onions in butter until they’re soft; cut up some peeled winter squash, and put that into the pot; cover with chicken or vegetable broth, cook until soft.
Puree this when it has cooled, then add curry, or allspice and some cream or half and half. You can freeze this before you add the spices or dairy. Some people put apple cider in this
Fennel has a slight anise flavor.
6 small fennel bulbs
3 medium leeks
4 T unsalted butter
salt and pepper
3 sprigs parsley and 3 springs thyme
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the fennel bulbs and split them lengthwise and then cut crosswise into ¼” slices.
2. Cut leeks lengthwise and plunge into a big bowl of water to get rid of any dirt that may be hiding in them. Remove and cut into ¼” slices.
3. Melt 1T. of the butter in a large sauté pan and add half the fennel and sauté until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
and put into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining fennel and add to the bowl. Cook the leeks until they are also soft with the rest of the butter then transfer them to the bowl.
4. Preheat the oven to 375F.
5. Pick the leaves off the parsley and thyme and chop them. Toss with the fennel and leeks. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
6. Put into a baking dish and pour over just enough cream and broth to barely cover them.
7. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour checking every 15 minutes or so to make sure the cream is still covering the vegetables.
8. If the top of the gratin appears to be drying out, push the vegetables down with the back of a spoon drizzling a little more cream over the top.