From the Market Manager
Last week and the previous week I put market signs at the traffic island at Trafton Road and Dickinson Street. They were stolen. What possible use could they have for whomever stole them? Makes me crazy.
As you know by now, the front entrance to the park is closed for 6 months while they repair the road. Evidently water has damaged the underpinnings of the road, so to keep it from collapsing, they are repairing it.
HIP (Healthy Incentive Project) will return next week, May 28th. You can use all of your May benefits that day. However, you MUST have money in your EBT account. Not just a few dollars, but $10 or more so that the vendor swipe your card properly. They do not have time to swipe and swipe and swipe if you have almost no money in your account. If you need to know how much money your account has left in it, come to the market table and we can get that balance for you.
You can use your EBT/HIP benefits for plants that grow food and herb plants as well.
If you have a child with you who didn’t plant a flower in a pot that we provided last week or the week before, stop by the market table, and they can do that. We have about 12 pots left.
I know that life often interferes with plans, but please make it a habit to patronize our market or a farm stand. Our farmers and other vendors work so hard to bring you quality products, and everything they bring is local (I’m including Vermont and Maine in local), so you know it’s fresh.
Did you know that most of the food that we Americans consume comes from about 1500 miles away? Most of it probably comes from factory farms.
Small production farming is costlier because they don’t have the same economy of scale that big farms have. Most of the farms in New England are small by national standards.
When you patronize a farmers’ market, the farmers get retail prices, so they earn more money for their labor. Most of us don’t want to work that hard; let’s support those that do.
Here are some options for getting to our market if you don’t have your own vehicle:
Tri-Town Trolley—For Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, and Hampden residents. The cost is $2 each way for out of town transportation. To schedule a ride, call 525-5412 48-72 hours ahead of when you want the ride.
PVTA—Van service: call 739-7436, 1 to 7 days before you need the ride. You must be dropped off by 4:30, so plan accordingly. I think the cost is $2.50, and it’s for elderly, or disabled.
JCC—call 24 hours in advance to 372-9754. It’s $3 each way. The hours are 9-2, so you must make sure that you’re back home before 2 which is when the driver is done for the day.
We will pay for one way of your transportation; just come to the market table for your reimbursement.
2# green asparagus
1 large onion, chopped
3 T. unsalted butter
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄2 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1⁄2 tsp. lemon juice or to taste
Cut tips from 12 spears, 1 1⁄2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick; reserve for garnish Cut 1” from bottom of spear, peel spear Cut stalks and remaining asparagus into 1⁄2” pieces.
Cook onion in 2 T. butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring until softened. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered until asparagus is very tender, 15-20 minutes. If a piece isn’t tender, throw it away.
While soup simmers, cook reserved asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender, 3-4 minutes, then drain. Puree soup in batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender until smooth and return to pan. Stir
in crème fraiche or cream then add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining tablespoon butter.
Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips.
Become a Sponsor of the Market
Most of the money for our market comes from vendor fees. We have raised the fees several times over the 22 years that we’ve been in existence; We do accept contributions, but now we are going to try for a different level of contributors, mainly sponsors.
Although we’d love it if someone offered us thousands of dollars, we’re realistic and know that that is not likely to happen. However, perhaps some of you could donate $500, or you could ask the business for which you work if they would be willing to do so. Our sponsor, Concerned Citizens for Springfield is a nonprofit. The market is a program of theirs.
Sue Broderick, a very regular customer of our market, has given us a generous contribution. Thank you, Sue.
We also received a grant from United Bank, and Concerned Citizens for Springfield which we have used to give EBT customers who purchased some wooden coins an additional $10 since HIP was temporarily discontinued in February. This is the last week for that.
AARP Safe Driving Course
This course is offered every so often. If you are a member of AARP, it’s $15, otherwise it’s $20. It’s a half a day course and well worth it. Contact the Boston office at 866-448-3621 to find out when it will be offered again.
I’m told they offer it about 3 times a year. You’ll get a slight decrease in your insurance rate after taking the course.
Here’s some information they passed out:
• Each year 37,000 older adults visit an emergency department due to injuries sustained getting into and out of a vehicle.
• The hospitalization rate is 10x higher for those aged 65 or older.
• Injuries are more than twice as likely to occur when a person is getting out of a vehicle than when entering the vehicle.
• BEWARE OF HAZARDS
• Look for hazards on the ground such as curbs, pot holes, or uneven surfaces. Be aware if the ground is uneven, wet or icy. Wear shoes with good support and traction.
• Move the seat back and tilt the steering wheel up. Extra room will make it easier to get legs in and out of the vehicle. Check that the seat belt is clear of your arm.
• Hold on for balance. Put down bags or packages and keep your balance by having 3 or your 4 limbs in contact with the car or ground when you get in or out of the vehicle.
Recycle, dos and don’ts
Save clean plastic bags and bring them to Big Y or Stop and Shop and place in receptacles especially for them. Don’t include them with your regular recycling.
Don’t put small items into recycling. They clog up the machinery. No hangers, no nip liquor bottles, no small bottle caps, etc.
Rinse out your containers before putting them into recycling.
Don’t put any broken glass into recycling AT ALL.
No hoses or items that wrap and tangle like Christmas lights.
No dirty pizza boxes, clean are okay. If there is any grease on any part of the box, discard that portion, and recycle the rest.
Don’t recycle microwavable containers, plant containers, 6 pack rings, (cut them up and put into the trash) Plexiglass, PVC products, compact disks and cases, video & audio tapes, plastic cups, plates, or eating, tubes like toothpaste ones, plastic wrap, Styrofoam, any plastic container that previously held toxic substances like motor oil, egg cartons, packing material, or binders, folders and plastic coated (usually shiny paper.)
And PLEASE, don’t throw your cigarette butts on the ground; the filter isn’t recyclable.
T-shirts and Other Gifts
We have t-shirts at the market table for only $10. We have many sizes available. We are selling them for only $1 above what we pay for them.
Gift giving season is upon us. Give a gift from the market (honey, maple products, tie dye stuff, hot sauce, other sauces,) the list goes on. Or, buy some tokens and give those so that the person to whom you are giving them can choose their own gift.
Most of us have too much “stuff”, so receiving a gift that doesn’t have to be washed, polished, dusted, or cleaned in any way is welcomed. Look around, there’s lots to choose from.
PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT OUR MARKET.