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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Cherries and chatting


It’s the time of year when I get treats at the Greenfield Farmers Market to share with friends at the weekly peace vigil on the Common next to the market. With snap peas, strawberries, or cherry tomatoes, we stand on the Common and munch. Last Saturday, it was first-of-the-season sweet cherries from Clarkdale Fruit Farms. Wow, those were tasty cherries!

Ben Clark from Clarkdale says he doesn’t know if he’ll have cherries at the July 12 market, because he may sell cherries at a July 11 rally against the proposed natural gas pipeline that he is hosting. Clarkdale’s orchards are on the pipeline’s proposed route. See information below.

I learned about Clarkdale’s cherries and the rally from Clarkdale’s email newsletter. I also follow Clarkdale and other local farms on Facebook.

One of my favorite ways to hear updates on local crops and news is face-to-face from folks I see in the community. Recently, I talked with Mike Haley, one of the organizers of Conway’s Chesbro Challenge. Mike, who has a great sense of humor, said “Suppose you’re having 220 close friends over for burgers. Here’s the World War I recipe for the buns.” (See below). Mike isn’t setting up field ovens to make the buns for the Chesbro Challenge, but now we know how much local flour it would take to make buns for a big crowd!

I often get recipes and local news while shopping at Green Fields Market. Recently, Stan Bernstein told me about “The Science of Good Cooking” cookbook and how it appeals to him as a retired chemistry professor who has turned his talents to the kitchen. He sent me this roasted beet recipe which solves the problem of roasting vegetables so they are chewable but not wrinkled and dried out (see recipe below). I love roasted beets chilled in salad at this time of year. Look for this book at World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and local libraries.

Rally Against Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline, Friday, July 11, noon to 5 p.m., Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Upper Road, Deerfield. Farm Tour at 1 p.m. with Tom Clark discussing impact on Clarkdale and area farms. Rally will feature speakers, legislators, and musicians, including Kris Delmhorst. 3 p.m. arrival of marchers walking relay legs of protest along pipeline route. Co-sponsored by MassPLAN (Pipeline Awareness Network). For information, contact Jim Cutler, info@massplan.org

Chesbro Challenge, Saturday, July 12, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Conway Town Ballfield (behind Town Hall off of Route 116). Wacky baseball, games, drawings. Chairs, shade, food, drink, and community spirit provided! For information, contact Mike Haley, verybratty@aol.com.

This week we’re glad we’re NOT cooking…


By Mike Haley, Conway (from a World War I Army cookbook)

165 pounds of flour

3 pounds of dried yeast

2 pounds (each) of salt, sugar, and lard

12 gallons of water

You’ll need five bakers working in two, 12-hour shifts, and a field oven.

This week we ARE eating ...


By Stan Bernstein, Greenfield (adapted from “The Science of Good Cooking” by America’s Test Kitchen and Guy Crosby)

1 T. olive oil

1 t. ground rosemary leaves

¼ t. garlic granules

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1½ lbs. beets

Preheat oven to 425° F. Combine olive oil, rosemary, garlic granules, salt and pepper in large bowl. Cut ends from beets. Peel beets and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Add beet pieces to bowl and stir until all pieces are uniformly coated. Transfer beets to baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer and cover dish with foil. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, remove foil, and continue baking for another 40 minutes or until al dente.

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