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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the seasons: Who’s growing your veggies?

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

Who’s growing the vegetables you’ll eat in coming months? Are you? If so, you’re busy planning your garden and perhaps starting seeds indoors or in a hoophouse or cold frame. Or, you’re considering growing some vegetables this summer and wondering how to get started. World Eye Bookshop and local libraries have LOTS of books about growing vegetables and there are many local sources of seeds and starter plants. Farmers markets are a great source for starter plants. Greenfield Farmers Market opens on April 26 ... Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Court Square/Greenfield Town Common, see:

www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com

Perhaps you don’t have the time or place to grow your own vegetables. Why not buy a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share from a local farm or farm market? CSAs are a great way to get fresh-from-the-field vegetables throughout the growing season and to support local farmers. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture has a list of vegetable farms that sell CSA shares. You can find that list at:

http://www.buylocalfood.org/buy-local/find-local/csa-farm-listing.

Meanwhile, as I ponder veggie sources, I’m taking stock of what’s in my freezer at winter’s end. I found a pound of frozen ground lamb and look forward to trying Kristin Nicholas’ soup recipe (see below).

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop, Saturday, April 26, 9 to 11 a.m. or noon to 2 p.m., Katywil Farm Community, Stetson Brothers Road, Colrain. Sliding scale fee: $35 to $45, registration required. Participants will learn how to graft a fruit tree and take one home. Learn about different types of grafts, scion wood harvesting, caring for your new tree. All necessary tools provided but bring your own pruners or grafting knife if you have them. A limited quantity of root stock, scion wood and grafting knife will be available for purchase afterward. Feel free to bring lunch. For questions, please e-mail Andrew Rebelo at arebelo87@gmail.com.

Raising Your Own Meat & Eggs, Sunday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Just Roots/Greenfield Community Farm. Learn the ins and outs of raising your own meat and eggs, including chickens, turkeys and pigs. This class is geared toward first-time livestock owners. Taught by Jessica Van Steensburg. Cost: $95. For information, call 413-325-8969 or email Jessica at jessica@justroots.org.

This week we’re eating ...

LAMB AND LENTIL SOUP

By Kristin Nicholas, Leyden Glen Lamb, Leyden (www.leydenglenlamb.com)

1 pound lentils (preferably French Le Puy)

¼ C. olive oil

5 cloves garlic

1 medium onion

1 small can tomatoes (14 ounces)

3 carrots

2 bay leaves

½ tsp. oregano

1 pound ground lamb or lamb sausage removed from casings

3 T. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and mince garlic. Chop onions into small dice. Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Brown onions and garlic taking care not to burn garlic. Remove cooked onions and garlic and reserve. Brown lamb in soup pot. Drain off extra fat. Return onions and garlic to pot. Add tomatoes, and lentils and cover by one inch with water. Bring to boil, then turn to simmer adding herbs. Cook for thirty minutes. Peel and chop carrots, cutting on a diagonal so they are largish. Add carrots and cook soup until carrots are done to your liking. Add vinegar. Let soup sit if you have time so flavors will mingle. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Note: Substitute 3 T. wine vinegar and ½ tsp. sugar if balsamic is not available. The key to this soup is the vinegar!

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