Savoring the Seasons: Parsnips! Perfect for… tacos?!?

I don’t get many text messages, so I was surprised last Friday to find a message when I opened my phone to make a call. I didn’t recognize the number, but once I read the message, I knew immediately who sent it: “Hi Mary. Hope you are well. We started digging parsnips yesterday. Spring is here. Sorry for the late notice. We weren’t sure it was ever coming.”

Of course, it was one of my favorite signs of spring, my annual “the parsnips are dug!” message from Michael Docter of Winter Moon Roots in Hadley. The next day, when I walked into Green Fields Market, there they were with their big “Spring-Dug Parsnips” sign on the produce shelves. Pavlov may have rung a bell to make his dogs salivate, but for me, a “Spring-Dug Parsnips” sign works as well as that bell. As I filled a bag of the long, creamy-colored, sweetened-by-spending-the-winter-in-the-ground roots, I imagined that first taste of peeled-sliced-then-sauteed-in-butter sweetness and grinned. Yum!

I thanked Michael for his message and asked where to get his parsnips in Franklin county and for his current favorite parsnip recipe. Here’s what he said: “In Franklin county, in addition to Green Fields Market, they can be eaten at Hope and Olive and Magpie. My favorite recipe … Well, we eat just about everything these days on Mi Tierra tortillas. Here was a recent and quite delicious Parsnip Taco.”

Parsnip tacos! Brilliant! Check out Michael’s recipe below.

I chuckled when I saw Michael’s comment about Mi Tierra tortillas, because I, too, find myself eating just about everything on them. Have you tried them? They’re fresh, local tortillas made in Hadley from local organic corn and Hadley-grown heirloom corn (two different varieties of tortillas). All of the tortillas are made the traditional way with just corn, water and lime, no preservatives or additives (which is how those other cardboard-flavored tortillas stay “fresh” for so long on the shelf).

In Franklin County, you can find Mi Tierra tortillas at Atlas Farm Store in South Deerfield, Food City in Turners Falls, Green Fields Market, Brass Buckle, and Mesa Verde in Greenfield, McCusker’s Market in Shelburne Falls, and Millstone Farm Market in Sunderland. When the Greenfield Farmers Market re-opens at Court Square on Saturday, May 2, you’ll be able to get Mi Tierra tortillas at the Kitchen Garden booth. Check out to learn more.

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World Eye Bookshop Supports Meals on Wheels. When I was at Green Fields Market, I ran into Jessica Mullins, owner of World Eye Bookshop. She reminded me that during April, World Eye’s monthly “10% of sales of a category of books goes to a local nonprofit” donations are going to Meals on Wheels. So, now’s the time to buy cookbooks for yourself and for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation gifts. Volunteer Meals on Wheels drivers braved ice and snow to bring hot meals to hundreds of homebound elders across our community all winter long. SPRING has finally returned, and World Eye Bookshop is celebrating the dedication of those drivers. Throughout April, World Eye will donate 10% of cookbook sales to Meals on Wheels. For information about the Saturday, May 2 Meals on Wheels Walkathon at Franklin County Technical School, visit or contact Lisa Middents at 413-773-5555, ext. 2225 or

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This Week We’re Eating …

Parsnip Tacos

By Michael Docter, Winter Moon Roots, Hadley

1 pound parsnips

6-8 Mi Tierra tortillas

2 medium onions

Half pound of Gruyere cheese (or cheddar ) shredded

A few squirts of Kitchen Garden Sriracha Sauce (or some other salsa)

3-4 T. butter

Caramelize the onions in butter and set aside. Slice parsnips thinly and cook on skillet in butter on medium heat until golden brown and soft. Remove from heat. Heat tortillas on skillet on one side. Flip tortillas over and add onions and parsnips. Top with cheese and cook until just heated and cheese is melted. Now add your sriracha or salsa