Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Feeding LOTS of people


Before we served last Wednesday’s community meal, the Second Congregational Church kitchen bustled with Franklin Community Co-op volunteers slicing watermelon, cutting pizza, pouring juice, and serving chips, salsa, and blueberries as appetizers.

From Beth Weissman’s 7-year-old granddaughter Skylar Alamed to those of us in our 50s and beyond, we chatted as we worked, sharing stories of our lives. Lori and Stephan Gordon’s friend visiting from Virginia joined right in, carrying big trays of food to serving tables. The Mary and Mary dishwashing team (Mary Sirum and I) washed pots, pans, and plates.

FCCMP site coordinator and soon-to-be Executive Director Sharon Pleasant organized, answered questions, and checked the temperature of Eaglebrook School’s food donations heating in the ovens.

I love volunteering at a community meal each month, glad to get my “helping feed LOTS of people” fix during the year between Free Harvest Suppers. The Free Harvest Supper is one of my favorite days of the year. This year it is Sunday, Aug. 18. That day, as if by magic, the Greenfield Town Common and Court Square are turned into a HUGE dinner party and celebration of the abundant harvest of western Mass. farms and food producers.

As if by magic ... but, really, that transformation on the Common happens through the hard, smart, and fun work of a small organizing committee, Maggie Zaccara’s food prep crew, and about 130 volunteers.

At last week’s community meal, I asked Beth what she likes about volunteering at the Free Harvest Supper. She said, “The enormity of it is astounding! I get there early and it looks like a parking lot. I help set up tables and chairs. A half hour later, I look up and there’s seating for hundreds of people. A half hour after that, there are table coverings and flowers on the tables. Soon, there are hundreds of laughing people, music, and lots of great food.”

Free Harvest Supper organizing committee meetings are also fun, and include good food. Marsha Stone and Norm Hirschfeld showed up at the last meeting with cucumber salad they’d just made (see recipe below) and I brought blueberries for snacks as we planned.

What are you doing on Sunday, Aug. 18?

Want to help make magic and feed LOTS of people?

I hope so!

Contact Jennifer Williams at to volunteer at the Free Harvest Supper. Franklin Community Co-op members can get up to four working member hours for volunteering for the Free Harvest Supper. See the Working Member book for information.


LOCAL Apricots and Peaches!

Clarkdale Fruit Farms’ farm stand in West Deerfield is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Apricots, peaches, early apples. Visit or call 413-772-6797.

Apex Orchard’s farm stand in Shelburne is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Apricots, plums, blueberries, early peaches. Visit or call 413-625-2744.


World Eye Bookshop and Free Harvest Supper: The World Eye Bookshop (Main Street, Greenfield) will donate 10 percent of all cookbook sales in August to the Free Harvest Supper and the Farmers Market Coupon Program. For information, visit or call 413-772-2186.


This week we’re eating ...

Cucumber Salad

By Marsha Stone and Norm Hirschfeld, Greenfield, MA



Fresh dill, chopped

Rice wine vinegar


Garlic powder



Slice cucumbers (core, if overripe). Mix other ingredients and toss in cucumber slices. Chill until cold. Serve.

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