Savoring the Seasons: Enjoying Locally Grown Food Year-Round: The Road Less Traveled
The Recorder, July 8th, 2015, by Mary McClintock
If you’re like me, you have your “usual routes” that you use to get from home to work, school, friends’ houses, or the grocery store. Across the county or across town, when I’m out in my car, I normally drive the same roads, past the same stores, farms and farm stands. And, because of my “usual routes,” I frequent my “usual farm stands.” My usual routes include ways to avoid the main roads, especially during busy traffic times.
Even though I’ve lived in Franklin County since 1981, there are MANY roads I’ve never seen.
That’s what I thought while a friend and I followed lovely roads I’d never heard of between the Greenfield Community Farm in north Greenfield and the center of Colrain. We were on our way to southern Vermont to go canoeing. I used the handy Western Mass. Atlas from Baker Office Supply to figure out a route over the hills. I much prefer paper maps and atlases for seeing the “big picture” of where I’m going.
On West Leyden Road, we saw the sign for The Farm Stand, and a driveway up to a lovely farm. I’d never heard of that farm stand, nor had I ever seen Parsons Farm Stand on Route 112 north of Colrain center. Later, on our way back to Conway, we went by Lyonsville Farm’s farm stand on Route 112 south of Colrain center. I regularly shop at Lyonsville Farm’s booth at the Greenfield Farmers Market and we had snacked on their tasty sugar snap peas as we floated around Sadawga Pond. I hadn’t realized they also have a great farm stand. Somewhere along the road we saw a sign for chicken and duck eggs.
Then, back on my “usual route” on Route 116, we went by one of my “usual” farm stands, Batch’s Patch next to Boyden Brothers Sugarhouse. The next day, I stopped at another of my usual farm stands, The Bars Farm in South Deerfield, and learned that they’re growing 34 different varieties of peppers this summer! Wow!
All those farm stands made me think of the tasty dish my friend, Diane, served me when we got together recently to watch the video of Sarah Outen’s 1,500 mile sea kayak trip across the Aleutian Islands (check out www.sarahouten.com).
Diane served me a variation on ratatouille minus the eggplant, a very tasty melange of different vegetable flavors and textures. Now’s the perfect time to get a bunch of vegetables at your usual farm stand or one you’ve never visited. This dish is an easy way to enjoy them, and, if you make enough, you’ll have leftovers for Diane’s tasty breakfast concoction.
What are your usual routes and farm stands? Which routes less traveled will you explore this summer?
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This Week We’re Eating…
Many Veggies Makes Two Meals
By Diane Sievers, South Deerfield (as remembered by Mary McClintock and shared by Diane via email)
Onions, garlic scapes, or scallions
Zucchini or summer squash
(and whatever other veggies you have that play well with these)
Chopped fresh herbs … use whatever combination you like, possibly thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, dill
Olive oil or other oil
Chop all vegetables into small pieces. Saute onions in a little oil until soft, add carrots, celery, peppers. Add herbs. Saute until hard veggies are soft, add zucchini or summer squash. Saute until all veggies soft, then add tomatoes, saute until they’ve disintegrated. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if you like.
From Diane’s email message the next day: This morning I thought of you as I made breakfast. I had the leftover veggies and planned to eat them with some chicken sausage and eggs. But I thought, why not put it all together in a sort of frittata? I did and it was delicious. I’ve never done this before with the leftovers, but there you have two different meals.