As the Valley gives…

The Recorder, December 11, 2013. By Mary McClintock.

If you’re like me, the past few weeks have brought you many reminders that tomorrow, Dec. 12, is Valley Gives, the 24-hour online celebration of generos-ity. For the second year, organizations from all over western Mass are working together to encourage area residents to support their favorite nonprofits.

Last year, more than 6,000 people donated over $1 million during the 24 hours of Valley Gives. This year, the goal is to dou-ble that: twice as many donors giv-ing a total of $2 million to twice as many non-profits. Donating via Valley Gives helps organiza-tions become eligible for prizes totaling $200,000.

Last year, I was intrigued with Valley Gives. I roamed through the information about participating nonprofits and made donations to long-time favorites, as well as organizations I wasn’t as familiar with or hadn’t previously supported. It certain-ly was easy “one-stop-giving” and fun to see how many people were involved.

One benefit of Valley Gives is that it makes something fairly “private” — making donations — more “public.” I don’t remember ever having so many conversations with friends and neighbors about which organizations we support. I’ve enjoyed talking about what matters to us and how we decide what organizations to support.

We also have talked about how there are many ways to support causes we care about, both financially and with our time and energy. As my favorite singer/come-dians, the Topp Twins, say, we can “spend time, not money, ’cuz it’s cheaper.”

Of course, something that matters a lot to me is everyone having enough good food to eat and local farmers and food producers having what they need to grow good food for us all. Tomorrow, my Valley Gives donations will include Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Franklin County Community Meal Program, Stone Soup Café, Just Roots, The Food Bank of Western Mass, the Western Mass Food Processing Center and CISA.

And, education means a lot to me, so my Valley Gives list also includes Greenfield Community College (their Valley Gives appeal focuses on creating a child care center at the college) and The Literacy Project.

Want to find out if your favorite non-profits are participating in Valley Gives? Check out:

What matters to you?

Whether you participate in Valley Gives or give of yourself some other way, I hope you’ll express your values and gen-erosity. We’re all fortunate that there are so many great organizations doing a huge amount of work to make our area a better place for us all to live.

I look forward to the “after Valley Gives” conversations we’ll have in com-ing weeks, including at this Saturday’s Greenfield Winter Farmers Market. Whatever happens on Valley Gives day, I know that as the valley gives, so shall we all receive.

Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Saturdays, Dec. 14, Jan. 4, Feb. 1 and March 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fresh vege-tables, squash and root veggies, apples, cheese, canned preserves and pickles, meat, eggs, bread, baked goods, and more. For information, contact: Market Manager Katia Williford at or visit

This Week We’re Eating …

Farmers’ Market Frittata by Mary McClintock

This frittata includes potatoes, onions, garlic, greens, bacon or sausage, cheese, and eggs from the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market. I generally use left-over potatoes I’ve chopped and roasted for another meal and a few slices of cooked bacon or sausage from a weekend brunch. First, turn on your oven’s broiler.Then, in a cast iron skillet, sauté onions and garlic in some butter or oil. Chop greens and add them to onions/garlic and saute until they wilt. Add pre-cooked potatoes and crumbled bacon or sausage. Whisk together eggs, milk and grated cheese, and pour into skillet. Cook on stove for several minutes until eggs are partly cooked. Sprinkle top with grated cheese, broil a few minutes until brown, let sit for a few minutes, then serve.

Mary McClintock lives in Conway and has been a member of two CSA farms. She’s a long-time vegetable gardener and member of a Franklin County local foods group. She has present-ed workshops on eating locally grown foods and is an organizer of the Free Harvest Supper. Send suggestions and recipes to