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Connections, community, and compost

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

I love stories about “it’s a small world” connections. Last week, after seeing my column including Beth Gilgun’s information about plum pie recipes, Kemper Carlsen wrote saying she also grew up in Yonkers. And Jeannette Fellows wrote saying she and Beth work in the same office at Warwick Town Hall and had each corresponded with me about plum pie without knowing the other had written to me!

I appreciate the connections I make through writing this column and being involved in community groups and events.

Last Wednesday, I worked at the free community meal sponsored by the Franklin County Community Meal Program every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield. I join other Green Fields Market Co-op members to serve the meal on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Other community groups serve the meal on other Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

We served dinner to 78 people, and Sharon Pleasant, the meal site supervisor, said the number of people coming to the meal is going up. Each month, I run the dishwasher so we can use the church’s “real” plates and flatware instead of using disposable dishes and flatware. Many groups who serve the meal don’t have enough people to run the dishwasher, so they use the disposables. The least expensive disposable plates are styrofoam. Compostable dishes cost a lot more.

Sharon said that if she had volunteers to wash dishes, more groups could use the “real” dishes. She also said they need more forks to serve the increasing numbers of diners. I’m going to wash dishes on some extra days and bring in extra forks from my silverware drawer. Want to help out? Contact Sharon at slp49madison@gmail.com or call (413) 772-1033.

Last Sunday, I served on the “Green Team” at Conway’s Festival of the Hills. Thanks to great vendors and festival-goers, we recycled many bottles, cans, and plastic containers, and sent LOTS of compostable food and paper to Martin’s Farm in Greenfield instead of to a landfill.

Squash Bake-Off, Saturday, Oct. 6, Greenfield Farmers Market, Court Square/Greenfield Town Common. Bring baked goods/recipes to Farmers Market by 9 a.m. Use any variety of locally grown squash. Prizes. For information, email anna.turkle@gmail.com.

Two workshops offered by The Farm Education Collaborative at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence:

Introduction to Canning with Alice Posner, Saturday, Oct. 6, 1 to 4 p.m. $20-35/family sliding scale ($10 per family for Crimson & Clover CSA members). For ages 12 and up. Held at Florence VFW. Learn basics of hot water bath process for preserving food, including safe canning practices.

Fall Beekeeping with Suzanne Stillinger, Sunday, Oct. 7, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., $20-35/family sliding scale, for all ages. Learn everything needed to set up honeybee hives next spring, including beekeeping safely with young children. Beeswax craft activity for children, family attendance encouraged!

For information and to register, visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org or email farmeducationcollaborative@gmail.com

Pig Roast and Hard Cider Harvest Supper, Sunday, Oct. 7, 5 to 8 p.m., The Kitchen Garden’s Hadley farm. A collaboration between The Kitchen Garden and Carr’s Ciderhouse. All local food — meat, cider, vegetables, fruit, cheeses & flour for the cornbread. Visit www.kitchengardenfarm.com for information and reservations. $50 adults; $10 kids 5-12; 5 and under free.

This week we’re eating ...

Now-and-Later Leeks

By Mary McClintock, Conway

I love leeks! I get them at farmers markets, cut off root ends, pull off any withered layers, slice longways down the middle, open up the layers, rinse off dirt, chop finely, and saute in olive oil until they’re soft. I eat them NOW as a side dish, mixed into scrambled eggs, tossed into soups or casseroles, and melted with cheese in quesadillas. I save some for LATER by freezing sauteed leeks in freezer ziplock bags. Later, I open the bag, break off chunks of leeks, and use them as if I’d just sauteed them.

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