Westminster Farmers' Market

  (Westminster, Massachusetts)
Bringing you local food, friends and fun.
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Westminster Farmer's Market Report for 08-28-09

Westminster Farmers’ Market Report from Maple Heights Farm


Tornado watches and Irish Step Dancers, goats, fiddlers and a final washout!








What an outstanding performance we had last week with Lauren Dennen dancing to the music of Susan Nickerson and her husband.  I hope you got a chance to see them.  It was really wonderful.  Even in the awful heat and humidity on Friday, Lauren never broke a sweat!  What a performer!  And the Nickersons’ music just adds so much to the atmosphere in the market!  Thank you to all for making my afternoon so enjoyable!




The market was fantastic last Friday with all the entertainment: music, dancing and Meghan’s goats Echo and Marmalade.  The goats were a great addition to the market and Meghan did a great job keeping them from eating all the beautiful herbs and perennials on display!  If all goes well, she would like to bring them again.  The afternoon ended with a bang as a thunderstorm approached.  As the thunder slowly approached over about 45 minutes, the vendors decided to pack it in.  At as the last containers were being packed away, the sky opened up in a downpour!  And the market came to an end.


School starts next Monday and that has me thinking about lunches.  This not only applies to your students (if you have them) but also to what you may brown-bag for your lunch each day.  In our family I help Sydney (4th grade) pack her lunch.  Meghan (8th grade) gets an allowance that covers school lunches

·        Eggs: Egg Salad or Hard boiled (kids love to bring the green eggs) they are nutritious and make great hand warmers when the thermometer hovers around zero.  (Just don’t try cooking them in the dishwasher.  I’m no different than anyone else, trying to save a bit of time here, a bit of propane there.  And I would have achieved genius status if it worked but kids really seem to have “issues” peeling soft boiled eggs for lunch.)


·        Veges: cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, a bit of ranch dressing helps if your kids don’t already love these veges.


·        Fruit: peaches, apples, melons, berries.


·        Farmers’ Market cheese with crackers – “lunchables” style.


·        Focaccia with warm pizza dipping sauce stored in a thermos (recipe).


·        Celery stuffed with either goat cheese or peanut butter and raisins.


·        Homemade plain yogurt served with slightly sweetened fresh fruit or berries and a sprinkling of granola.


·        Pasta salad loaded with fresh veges and black olives, sprinkled with cheese.


·        Potato salad with red, purple, yellow and white potatoes with added veges.


·        Breads, check with your bakers to find breads that will last until Monday or will freeze well until then.


·        Most fun of all: cold, fresh, corn on the cob.  It is so sweet you can forgo the butter and salt!  Your child will be a trend setter this year!  (Cook it when you get it home on Friday and wrap it up and refrigerate for Monday).


·        Dessert from one of our fine bakers: I’ll get something that freezes well and then cut it into quarters – so they just get enough – not too much.  Going from summer to sitting (in class) they don’t need a 3x3 brownie, but a quarter of one couldn’t be better!




We are looking for “buskers” or street performers to perform during the farmers’ market.  Busking is the practice of performing in public places for tips and gratuities and there are many reasons for this practice, for the love of their art, for fun, for money, for attention, to meet people and socialize, to practice their skills or to try out new material in front of an audience.  If you have a talent and would like to try busking, the Westminster Farmers’ Market will consider any family friendly acts.  Performances may be musical performance, acrobatics, animal tricks, balloon twisting, card tricks, clowning, comedy, contortionist, dance, fire eating, juggling, magic, mime, puppeteering, snake charming, storytelling, recite poetry or prose, street art (sketching and painting), street theatre, or sword swallowing.  And if you don’t have a talent to offer, please consider supporting our local talent by showing your appreciation!




M.L. Altobelli replaced my lost rosemary plant so I had probably the nicest rosemary plant in existence in Westminster at my booth.  If you didn’t get a chance to try the potato recipe, consider it for this week.  My rosemary plant will be at my booth (by the gazebo) and there for the trimming.  Just break off a branch or two – whatever you need.  You don’t need to ask permission, just help yourself.  And you will need it for the most fabulous potatoes that you have ever eaten!




As for Thanksgiving, get the blanched corn into the freezer if you do nothing else.  Beans are great too, but if you don’t have time for that you will thank me for haunting you about the corn.  Do it and do it soon!  If you do have time and your corn is in the freezer and your beans are in the freezer than I have another assignment for you.  Cucumbers.  We always serve a “pickle tray” at our house.  This year we will do several types of pickles for this tray – just to experiment.  But if that is too much, just try a few dill pickles.  This is very easy to do.  Last year Sydney’s pickles were wildly popular within our family and we really regretted not making more – but we were doing it just to see if it was worthwhile so we only made one batch.  It was easy, it was fun and it was very worthwhile… Our pickle recipe… And you can now find dill and garlic at the farmers’ market.




Dean Johnson (chairman of the Ag Commission) has been blogging about our farmers’ market on localHarvest.org (you can see it here).  He has consistently been among the top rated blogs, sometimes even making it to the top 4!  That is thrilling news as our market grows.




Useful items that vendors can use at the market: Berry cartons and Canning jars and coffee grounds.  If you are buying items in canning jars, and you do not need them, please consider returning them to vendors.  If you find it easier, you can place them in the recycle bins and we will get them to where they need to be…




Orders will be closing on Monday at Massachusetts Local Food at www.massfoodcoop.org.  You may want to spend a few minutes browsing through the almost 400 products listed.  You have to eat this winter and you are going to need to find your food somewhere...




Have a good week and see you at the market.




Kerrie Hertel   






Westminster Farmers’ Market: Fridays until until October 30th.


Ashburnham Farmers’ Market: Mondays until


Princeton Farmers’ Market: Thursdays until


Winchendon Farmers’ Market: Thursdays until .




















































so she can decide if she wants to eat her allowance or bring lunch from home for free (you can read our blog to find out more about allowances).  So, what about Sydney’s lunch?  Here are some ideas that come from our farmers’ market:





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