THE LAST TALE: A Turnip by Any Other Name

lastTaleTurnip

Growing up, our Halloween lanterns were made not from pumpkins— which we didn’t have in Scotland in the 1970s—but from the turnips that my father grew. My husband loves this story, seeing it as an example of bleak Scottish determination: to carve out the flesh of cold, hard turnips purely for entertainment. But of course, there was more to it than that.

The Halloween turnip lantern has its origins in the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain. Held in late October, it marked the end of the Celtic year, the end of crop harvest and the changeover to winter. It was believed that at Samhain, the divide between the worlds of the living and the dead opened up for a night. Bonfires were burned to ward off any emerging evil spirits, and carved turnip lanterns were used to carry embers from the bonfire to the homestead to ensure warmth through the long winter.

As children, we carried the descendants of these ancient turnip lanterns as we went round the neighbors each Halloween “guising,” a Scottish version of trick or treat.

Unfortunately, many turnips I see at the market here are much smaller than the “Swedes” I knew as a child, so the whole idea of a turnip lantern is lost in translation.… Read the rest

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MARKET WATCH: FARM STANDS FALL 2014

Be sure to check their web site or call to confirm time open; some also offer Pick-your-own, ask.

BARTLETT’S ORCHARD
575 Swamp Rd., Richmond;
413-698-2559

BERKSHIRE ORGANICS
813 Dalton Division Rd., Dalton:
BerkshirerOganics.com  

BITTERSWEET FARM
973 Barker Rd., Pittsfield;
413-499-0200

BOARDMAN FARM
64 Hewins St., Sheffield;
413- 229-8554

BRADLEY FARM
Rte. 7, Lanesborough;
413-499-2723

BRATTLE FARM
600 William St., Pittsfield;
413-499-1476

CLOVERHILL FARM
81 State Rd., Richmond;
413-698-3800

CRICKET CREEK FARM
1255 Oblong Rd, Williamstown;
CricketCreekFarm.com

EQUINOX FARM
237 Bow Wow Rd., Sheffield;
413-229-2266

FIX BROS. FRUIT FARM
215 White Birch Rd., Hudson, NY;
FixBrosFruitFarm.com  

GOOD DOGS FARM
334 W Stahl Rd., Ashley Falls;
GoodDogsFarm.com

GOULD FARM’S HARVEST BARN
54 Gould Rd., Monterey;
GouldFarm.org  

HAWTHORNE VALLEY FARM
327 County Road 21C, Ghent, NY;
HawthorneValleyFarm.org  

HILLTOP ORCHARD
Rte. 295, Richmond;
HilltopOrchards.com  

HOWDEN FARM
303 Rannapo Rd., Sheffield;
413-229-8481

IOKA VALLEY FARM
Rte. 43, Hancock;
IokaValleyFarm.com

JAESCHKE’S ORCHARD
23 Gould Rd., Adams;
413-743-3846

JOSHUA’S FARM
Dodd Rd., Sandisfield;
JoshuaFarm.com  

LAKEVIEW ORCHARD
94 Old Cheshire Rd., Lanesborough;
LakeviewOrchard.com  

LOVE APPLE FARM
1421 Rte. 9H, Ghent, NY;
LoveAppleFarm.com  

OVERMEADE GARDENS
940 East Street, Lenox;
OvermeadeGardens.com  

PROJECT NATIVE PLANTS
342 Rte. 41, Housatonic:
ProjectNative.org

RAWSON BROOK FARM GOAT CHEESE
New Marlboro Rd., Monterey:
413-528-2138

SAMASCOTT ORCHARDS
5 Sunset Ave., Kinderhook, NY;
Samascott.com  

SECOND HAND FARM
301 Monument Valley Rd., Great Barrington;
SecondHandFarm.com

TAFT FARM
119 Park St.… Read the rest

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MARKET WATCH: FARMERS’ MARKETS FALL 2014

BERKSHIRES

ADAMS FARMERS’ MA RKET
3 Hoosac Street
Su 11am–2pm, July 13–Sept. 14
Facebook-AdamsFarmersMarket

COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAMS–CHP
442 Stockbridge Rd., Rt. 7, G.B.
Th 3–6pm, June 5–Sept.25
Wic@CHPBerkshires.org

GREAT BARRINGTON FARMERS’ MARKET
Celebrating its 24th season
Fair Grounds, Route 7 south
Sa 9am–1pm, May 10–Oct. 25
GBFarmersMarket.org

LANESBOROUGH FARMERS’ MARKET
Berkshire Mall parking lot
W & Sa 8am–2 pm, May 3–Nov 22
LenitaMarie@comcast.net

LEE FARMER’S MARKET
25 Park Place
Th 2–6pm, June 5–Sept.25
LeeFMarket@gmail.com

LENNOX FARMERS’ MARKET
70 Kemble St.
F 1–5pm, May 16–Oct. 10
RoseMaryLevine.FarmersMarkets@gmail.com

NORTH ADAMS FARMERS’ MARKET
Municipal parking lot on St. Anthony Dr.
Sa 9am–1pm, June 14–Oct. 25
ExploreNorthAdams.com

EAST OTIS FARMERS’ MARKET
2000 East Otis Rd.
Sa 9am–1pm, May 10–Oct. 11
OtisFarmersMarket.Blogspot.com

DOWNTOWN PITTSFIELD FARMERS’ MARKETS
First Street parking lot, across from Commons,
Sa 9am–1pm, May 10–Oct. 25
Info@FarmersMarketPittsfield.org

SHEFFIELD FARMERS’ MARKET
Old Parish Church parking lot, Route 7
F 3–6 pm, June 6–Oct. 10
SheffieldFarmersMarket@gmail.com

WEST STOCKBRIDGE FARMERS’ MARKET
Harris Street/Merritt Way in the village center
Th 3–7pm, May 22–Oct. 9
WestStockbridgeFarmersMarket.org

WILIAMSTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET
Spring Street Parking Lot
Sa 9am–1pm, May 24–Oct. 11(–25, weather permitting)
WilliamstownFarmersMarket.org

PIONEER VALLEY

AMHERST FARMERS’ MARKET
Center of Amherst
Sa 7:30am–1:30pm, April–Nov and
Kendrick Park: Downtown Amherst
W 2–6pm, May 16–Oct.10

NORTHAMPTON
Downtown–8 Gothic St
Sa 7am–1pm, April 26–Nov.8 and
Pedestrian Way behind Thorne’s Marketplace
Tu 1:30–6:30pm, April 22–Nov.… Read the rest

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Postscript from the Future

Ted Dobson of Equinox Farm
Imagines Life in 2044

postscriptFuture

It is with some doubt that I am writing what could easily be a ridiculous and presumptuous editorial—how could anyone know what life will look like 30 years from today? What do we know about tomorrow?

What I do have is a sense of the last 30 years and what has happened, organically speaking, in that time frame: We’ve made it through earthly hell and very high waters.

With that caveat in place, let’s begin. In 2044, capitalism and the carbon-based energy system that supports it has basically been discarded. Ah, sweet relief! Social and ecological capitalism are the new normative structures. The groundswell for a common-sense approach—justice, equality and liberty for all— has religious power that has built tremendous momentum.

Our intimate sense of self and nature, and respect for both, has been re-established. This paradigm shift, while gradual, is major: Communities have re-established healthy working relationships with the air, water and soil that they steward.

We are now the active ecological architects of our mutual destinies. This reality is an interwoven tapestry of all levels of local life interacting to maximize efficiency in an equitable, creative, multi-diverse distribution system.

We have stopped being disconnected consumers of products from elsewhere and have become intimate cultivars, from our immediate environs, of all that we need and desire.… Read the rest

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IN SEASON FALL 2014

seasonFall14 

  SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER
Apples
Peach    
Pears
Raspberries    
Strawberries  
Watermelon  
Arugula  
Beets    
Bok Choy  
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower    
Celery  
Chard  
Corn  
Eggplant    
Garlic
Leeks
Greens
Onions
Peas  
Peppers  
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Spinach  
Squash, Summer    
Squash, Winter  
Tomatoes  
Turnips  

Source: Massachusetts Dept of Agricultural Resources
You can download a full color Produce calendar for year-round availability
from Mass.gov/agr/MassGrown/learn-more

 … Read the rest

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The Surprising Menus of the Berkshire Indians

surprisingBerkIndians
Mortar & Pestle, Stockbridge Munsee Band Mohicans.
The Trustees of Reservations, Mission House, Stockbridg

By David C. King
[Adapted from Indians of the Berkshires and the Hudson River Valley]

The Berkshire Indians lived by farming, hunting, fishing and gathering—a combination that afforded them a tremendous variety of foods. Out of this natural larder they created a large and varied menu.

While the primary goal was survival, the people were also inspired by their passion for good food. Like Indian groups throughout North America, the Berkshire people wanted meals that offered variety, taste and careful preparation with just the right seasoning.

Corn, for example, was the basic staple and was used in a diverse range of meals. Probably the most common meal was a thick soup or stew based on corn, meat and water. The cook, almost always a woman, placed the corn and small pieces of meat with water in a tightly woven basket. (After trade with Europeans began in the early 1600s, iron kettles became the favored cooking utensil.)

As the stew cooked, she added foods that she thought blended in well—green beans, squash, mushrooms and root foods, like wild onions or wild potatoes.

Seasonings could include salt, wild mustard, garlic, dandelions and several herbs.… Read the rest

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The Happy Diet

Embracing Eating as a Spiritual Act
Makes All the Difference

theHappyDiet
Burdock root, daikon radish, mung bean sprouts, ginger, carrot, all available organic, GMO free. Guido’s, G.B.

I know: Food is love. Food is nourishment. I pride myself on cooking for and nourishing my family and friends.

What I learned while doing a 21-day restorative cleanse with local herbalist, private chef and healer Nancy Lee changed my life. No kidding!

How, you ask? It started with a couple of simple principles:

  1. Chew your food.
  2. Thank your food.

Your next question is, “Didn’t you already know that?”

And I would agree with you. Of course I thought I knew these things! After all, food has always been the centerpiece of my existence. I am half Italian. It’s what we talk about. What’s for breakfast? What’s for lunch? What are you cooking for dinner? We always ate together as a family. Everything was cooked from scratch with the finest of ingredients.

Growing up we had a garden and now, solidly in adulthood, I have my own. Food and family were so central to my being that I created Heirloom Meals—a storytelling platform to share our connection with family recipes, heritage, stories and tips. I felt a yearning, a beckoning to return to my roots—to cook the foods that my ancestors ate, or at least the ones that I remember my grandparents eating and making.… Read the rest

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Fry Bread

fryBread
Fry bread, don’t forget some honey or jam!

By David C. King

Fry bread was made throughout North America, with minor variations among the dozens of recipes. Many women found ways to personalize their creations.

2½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup corn oil
Vegetable oil for frying
Confectioner’s sugar
Cinnamon

  1. Place flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.
  2. Make a depression in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk and corn oil.
  3. Mix thoroughly using your hands to form a ball of dough. Cover the dough and let stand 1 hour, it will not noticeably increase in size.
  4. Uncover the dough, sprinkle your hands with flour and shape the dough into about 8 large or16 small round, flat discs.
  5. Heat up to 2 inches vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet or heavy pan. The oil should be very hot. Cook the discs a few at a time, as long as they do not overlap, turning once, and frying about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the pan with tongs and drain on paper towels.
Read the rest
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Fruit Leather

fruitLeather
Mixed berry leather, kid friendly

By David C. King

Indians used a variety of ways to preserve fruits. Some were added to meat and suet for pemmican. Other methods included sun-dried fruits and fruit leather. Fruit leather is tasty, nutritious and long lasting.

2 cups berries, peaches, pears or plums
¼ cup honey

  1. Cover surface of a 12- by 17-inch sheet pan or sided cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside.
  2. Cut, or pulse in a food processor, the berries or other fruit into small pieces; leave skins on, but remove any larger seeds or pits. Continue mixing in food processor until smooth.
  3. Place the berries and honey in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; turn down heat to medium-low to simmer. Continue to simmer until mixture thickens, about 45 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Take care—mixture may splatter.
  4. Using a silicon spatula spread the fruit mixture evenly over prepared pan surface as thin as possible.
  5. Transfer pan to oven (if gas, with pilot light on; if electric, turn on to lowest setting). Leave overnight, 8–12 hours or until barely tacky.
  6. Fold or roll up the leather in its wrap and store in a lidded glass or plastic container.
Read the rest
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Cleansing Green Juice for Two

cleansingGreenJuice
Morning green juice, kale, celery, carrots and ginger. Riverbend Café, G.B.

2 large Granny Smith apples
4–5 celery stalks
5–6 carrot sticks
¼-½ bunch parsley
1 nub of ginger

Clean all with a vegetable brush. Do not peel. Process in a juicer according to your juicer’s instructions. Drink up and feel the healing power of the nutrients being absorbed right into your body.… Read the rest

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