From the Market Manager
Apologies for putting the wrong date in last week’s newsletter for Outlook Farm’s next festival. It’s a Pumpkin Festival, and it is on October 21st; it starts at noon. FYI, I purchased a bottle of Riesling wine from them last week, and the people who drank it said it was good.
Thanks to the Western Mass Master Gardener Association for testing soil today. Fall is a really good time to do this.
If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener, you can contact them. The training begins in January and consists of 70 hours of weekday classroom and hands-on education. Then, when you have finished that, you will give 60+ hours of public education and service-related
gardening in more than 40 WMMGA projects in Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties.
Visit wmmga.org to learn more.
Big news! Our winter market that starts on November 10th will be in a new location here in the park. Come in the front entrance (you won’t have to pay) and take your first right. It’s right behind the tennis courts. Go around until you come to a brick building; that’s where we will be.
We will have more space, the heat works all the time, and the bathrooms are clean and modern. Our hours are from 10-2. In November, because of Thanksgiving, we are having the market on the 10th and 17th, then the second and fourth Saturdays through April. HIP will work through the 17th.
This ‘n’ That
Tomorrow, October 17th , is the last day to register to vote here in Massachusetts for the November 6th election. I sincerely hope that everyone who is eligible votes. It is a privilege to be able to vote; don’t throw it away. Many people have died here in the U.S. during the
suffragette period and the civil rights era fighting for that right. Every vote counts; don’t think it doesn’t. Several elections through the years have been decided by one vote. We have forms for registering at our market table.
If you don’t vote (shame on you) don’t complain about anything having to do with government; you forfeit the right.
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 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.
It doesn’t 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. It is there from the first to the last of the month.
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.
Do you Need Gifts?
Look around the market and find many items that are perfect for gifts. We have lots of non-perishable items to choose from including a market t-shirt.
Most of us have enough “stuff.” If you buy someone something that they can consume, they don’t have to polish, or wash, or take care of it in any way. Just consume it and enjoy.
If you put together your own gift basket, you know that the person to whom you give it will enjoy it because YOU have done the choosing.
What does IPM Mean?
Sometimes you will see IPM on a sign at the market. That means integrated pest management. To simplify it, it means that farmers are using good bugs to kill bad bugs. It’s a process that can be used to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. IPM aims to suppress pest populations below the economic injury level.
Special Forest Park Civic Association Meeting—10/16
Attend this special meeting at Faith United Church from 6-8 PM tonight to address concerns regarding crime and quality of life. The church is located at 52 Sumner Avenue across from Friendly’s. Everyone is welcome.
Microgreens Salad with Sweet Carrot Dressing
Yields about 1 cup dressing; about 8 cups salad
SWEET CARROT DRESSING
1 cup shredded carrots
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 T. peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 T. rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
2 T. chopped scallions
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt
2 tsps. brown sugar
2 T. mirin (optional)
2 cups microgreens (about 1 ounce)
1 cup pea shoots
4 cups tender lettuce such as Boston, Bibb, or oak leaf mixed with watercress or mesclun
1 cup small sprouts, such as radish, alfalfa, sunflower, or a mixture
4 thinly sliced radishes
1. Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender and whirl until smooth and thick.
2. Prepare the salad greens. The microgreens are perfect as they are. You may wish to cut the pea shoots in half if they are too long to be bitsize.
Lettuce should be cut or ripped to bit-size pieces. The small sprouts should be pulled apart so they are not in clumps and can be distributed through the salad. Toss everything together.
3. Heap the salad onto individual plates, top with sliced radishes, and pass the dressing.
Use a nonstick pan if you have one.
2 T. butter
1 generous cup diced onions
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups water (or chicken broth)
1 ½ cups whole wheat or plain orzo
¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 T. minced fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a 1 quart saucepan on medium-high heat.
2. Add the onions, thyme, and salt and cook stirring often, for about 5 minutes. When the onions are lightly browned and softened, add the water and the orzo and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed, but the pasta is still creamy. Stir in the cheese, basil and parsley.