From the Market Manager
I love the change of seasons. I have lived someplace where we didn’t have such drastic changes as we have in New England. Winter is my least favorite season, although for my son Jeff, who is an expert skier, it is his favorite.
Since I no longer have little children, if the weather isn’t to my liking, I can just stay home. Our farmers don’t have that luxury.
Animals must be taken care of every day of the year. This summer, due to the intense heat, the cows at Trinity Farm (and elsewhere I’m sure) didn’t produce as much,so they didn’t have some of the products that they usually do. They even missed a week of our market.
Farmers who grow fruits and vegetables have to go out in uncomfortable weather to get their work done. We may put off going to the grocery store if the weather is too hot, or too rainy; they don’t have that luxury.
That is part of the reason why those of us who aren’t farmers need to make the effort to support them. As I always say, they do the hard work so that we don’t have to.
I read Sally Fuller’s column in the newspaper yesterday. She wrote about the importance of reading and talking to your children. I have often noticed that when a child is being pushed in a baby carriage, that the person pushing is often on their cell phone. That is a missed opportunity to talk to their child, to point things out on the walk.
I remember years ago (since all my children are in their 50s) explaining to one of my children why a house being built was built from the ground up. Don’t miss opportunities to teach your children.
There is a 4-part documentary on Netflix called, “Fat, Salt, Acid and Heat.” I had no idea that there were so many types of salt in the world. And, I think I gained 5# just watching the one on fat.
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.
Things to Know About Eggs
Shell color is determined by the breed of hen and does not contribute to quality, nutrients, flavor, or cooking characteristics. White-shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers; brown-shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes.
In New England, brown-feathered hens such as the Rhode Island Red and its hybrids are hearty birds for our climate. Hence the jingle, “brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh.”
A large egg weighs 2 ounces. Most recipes for baked dishes such as custards and cakes are based on the use of large eggs.
The average hen requires 24-26 hours to produce an egg. They produce all year but shorter days result in lower productivity. Many farmers use lighting systems to boost egg production during winter months.
When poached or fried, the fresher the egg, the more it will hold its shape rather than spread out in the pan. On the other hand, hard-cooked eggs are easier to peel when at least a week old.
Eggshells are porous and therefore can lose flavor and moisture or pick up strong odors if left uncovered in the refrigerator. It’s best to keep them in their original cartons which keep them completely covered.
Protect Yourself from Consumer Scams (thank you Berkshire Bank)
Anyone who requests or demands payment by gift card is always a scammer. Gift cards are for gifts, not payments!
Scammers can call or email you, claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a supposed family member in need. Scammers are really good at convincing you there is an emergency, persuading you to rush to the store and buy gift cards for payment causing you to lose your hard earned money.
Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. Remember, never give your online banking log-in information to anyone.
Scammers may call claiming to be tech support associated with well-known companies as Microsoft or Apple. Other scammers may send pop-up messages that warm about computer problems. Once contacted, they will claim to be tech support and request remote access
to your computer, sometimes asking you to log in to your online banking account.
If you get a check in the mail for being a secret shopper, and then are told to wire or send the money back, it’s a scam.
Scammers might send you a check in the mail with a job offer as a secret shopper. You deposit the check and the funds become available. Your first assignment may be to test the money transfer service in a store by sending some of the money you deposited. In many cases, when
the bank finds out the check is a fake, the scammers will be long gone.
If you get a check for an item you are selling online, (i.e. Craigslist) first verify that it is legitimate. Scammers may send you a fake check for an item you’re selling online. Sometimes they may send you a check for more than the selling price, asking you to send the overage back to them, or asking you to pay for their shipping costs. You can always bring the check in to your local branch to verify its legitimacy. Remember to deal locally, face-to-face, and you will avoid most Craigslist scams.
HIP is being suspended for the winter after Nov. 17th. 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.
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.
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.
The t-shirts come in many sizes and are just $10 each, one dollar more than what they cost us.
Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips
Use purple top white turnips.
3 cups water, 1/3 kosher salt, 1 bay leaf, 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 pound turnips, peeled, 1 small beet, 3 cloves garlic.
Heat about 1/3rd of the water add salt until it is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the rest of the water.
Cut the turnips and beets into pieces about the size of French fries. Put the beets, turnips and garlic slices into a large, clean jar, then pour the salted brine over them including the bay leaf.
Cover and let sit at room temperature in a relatively cool place for one week.
Once done they can be stored in the refrigerator. They should be enjoyed within 6 weeks.
They’ll be strong at first, but will mellow. Don’t keep too long. If you want them longer than that, make more.