Savoring the Seasons

Everyday acts of local choice

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what matters for each of us and how we express what matters by “voting” with our dollars, whether by donating to our favorite local nonprofits or choosing to eat locally grown food or shop at our favorite locally owned and operated stores.

I thought about it when I went to Ashfield Hardware Store last week to get stocking stuffers. Satch and Laura had the perfect gifts for folks on my list, and our conversation was a great treat for me. I thought about it when I had a bad head cold a few weeks ago and got throat lozenges and “easy on the nose” tissues at Deerfield Pharmacy.

And, again when I called up Baker Office Supply, ordered a printer cartridge and a see-a-whole-year-at-once poster calendar, and then walked in a few days later to pick them up. Finding a new bed pillow at Wilson’s, ordering books at World Eye, getting groceries at Foster’s and Green Fields Market and cat food at Greenfield Farmers’ Co-op ... all indications of what’s important to me.

And, of course, I “vote” with my dollars buying locally grown and produced food every week of the year, whether I get it at a farmers market or stopping at Hager’s Farm Market on Route 2 in Shelburne or Atlas Farm’s farmstore on Routes 5 and 10 in Deerfield or Clarkdale or Apex or Pine Hill or Upinngil or Diemand Farm’s farm stores.

What matters to you? What locally owned and operated stores and farms enhance your life? How are you “voting” with your dollars?

Together, each of us taking everyday acts of local choice, we can help our community’s farms and businesses thrive.

I anted up with my dollars at the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market last Saturday (next one is Jan. 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greenfield High School). I bought Gilfeather turnips and spinach from Gloria and Ervin Meluleni of Bernardston’s Coyote Hill Farm. I asked Gloria how she prepares Gilfeather turnips and she said she just boils them, mashes them, adds butter, salt and pepper and enjoys. I agreed that simple is often the best, and I also was curious about other possibilities. She pulled out a nifty cookbook that had a yummy recipe (see below).

What are your favorite recipes featuring locally grown food that you stored or preserved over the summer or get at local farm stores now ? Please share your simple, and not-so-simple recipes.

Eat Up and Take Action for Local Food: Can you use the power of your food dollars and your strength as an active, engaged citizen to create a better world? CISA’s new publication, “Eat Up and Take Action for Local Food,” provides resources and encouragement. Get inspired to take action! The report is available on line at www.buylocalfood.org.

Farm and Food Systems Spring 2014 Courses at Greenfield Community College:

SCI 137 Permaculture Design (4 cr) with Abrah Dresdale

AGR 110 Beekeeping (1 cr) with Cliff Hatch

AGR 111 Four Season Farming (1 cr) with Danny Botkin

EVS 152 Organic Gardening (1 cr) with Tony Reiber

All four classes can be taken for credit 

OR credit-free through Community Education. Contact Abrah Dresdale with any questions at dresdalea@gcc.mass.edu.

This Week We’re Eating ...

SAUTEED TURNIPS WITH SPINACH

By Gloria Meluleni, Coyote Hill Farm (from “Farm Fresh Recipes” by Janet Majure, www.growingformarket.com)

2T. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

3 medium turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks

½ C. raisins

3T. lemon juice

10 oz. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, turnips, and raisins. Cook about 1 minute. Add lemon juice, cover and cook 3 minutes at medium heat. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt and pepper.

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