Westminster Farmers' Market

  (Westminster, Massachusetts)
Bringing you local food, friends and fun.
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Westminster Farmers' Market Report for 09-25-09

Westminster Farmers’ Market Report
from Maple Heights Farm
Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2009 10:34 AM
September 24, 2009
Parades, Music, Fun, Food, and a Great Raffle!
Plan to spend a bit of extra time at the market this week as you will want to listen to Bart Sides and his band, Dr. B and the Homemade Band.  They will play from 5:00 until 7:00 and you are going to love them.  So, stop by and enjoy the afternoon, grab a cup of coffee, linger with your friends and neighbors (or start your Christmas shopping – ideas to follow).  Please remember that tips are always appreciated for all our performers.
Our 250th Anniversary Parade is this Sunday at 1:00.  Our Agricultural Commission is representing the farmers’ market with a fleet in the parade with the theme, “Growing the Westminster Farmers’ Market”.  That is not a mistake, fleet, not float!  There will be three floats and seven tractors and farm equipment!  And if that is not enough fun, we will be distributing free raffle tickets with a chance at a farmers’ market food baskets and items worth more than $200!  (Note that the actual ticket incorrectly states $50)  So make sure you ask for a raffle ticket when you see the floats go by.  We will put a drop-off box at the farmers’ market where you can leave your entry!  The drawing will be on October 9th which is also the day you will want to come to hear Warren Rasmussen entertain our crowds!
So, what are your parade plans? Tailgating during the parade???  How about a cookout after the parade?  Of course you will want the very best quality for your parade entertaining and we have it for you at the market.  Burgers and sausage or steak with plenty of potatoes and vegetables fit the bill for your grilling needs, and how about salads to bring to those pot-luck after parade parties?  You can find it all at the farmers’ market!
Orders are now open for Mass Local Food and orders will be closing on Monday. We have well over 400 farmers’ market products.  Delivery day will be at the farmers’ market on October 2nd.  This is the last delivery day that coincides with the Westminster Farmers’ Market for this season.  But don’t forget, Mass Local Food will continue throughout the winter (location to be determined).  Deliveries are typically the first Friday of each month.  I realize you may not need Mass Local Food while the markets are open, but consider giving it a look so you know where you can get your farm fresh food this winter.
Great Comfort Food!
Meatloaf.  Comfort food.  Why is it worth making?  Well, because it is delicious and healthy (when made from farmers’ market ingredients, remember those CLAs and health benefits of grass-fed beef?).  It’s a simple meal served with baked potato and corn (or some nice winter squash) and you have great leftovers.  The next day, meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.  What could be better? 
Here is a great recipe submitted by Kelley O’Connor. 
1.5 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 chopped onion
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 15 oz Hunts sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp vinegar
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Mix first five ingredients and 1/4 can Hunts sauce. Form loaf in shallow 7x10 pan. Combine rest for sauce and pour over loaf. Bake at 350 for 1hr and 15 min.  Baste often.  4-6 servings
I love this recipe for its lack of processed food and associated chemicals.  And you can even find the eggs and vegetables at the market, perhaps even check out Patty Hurd’s terrific spice combinations for extra flavor!  If you make three meatloaves you can freeze two.  Then you have convenience food for a meal next week and the week after.  Making three meatloaves is no more work than making one.  You can also vary the size according to your family size (and your desire for meatloaf sandwiches).  Just form the loaf with your hands into the size that you want.  You don’t have to make these in a loaf pan.
Also, now is a great time to be purchasing a winter squash each week.  Try a different one each week and work it into a great recipe.  Roast it, sauté it, or turn it into soup or muffins.  Make this the year where you find your favorite (try them all) because you are going to need it for Thanksgiving.  My personal favorite is probably blue hubbard.  Even my family is not big enough to eat one of those though!  Butternut is delicious and who can resist the beautiful acorn squash roasted with a bit of butter and brown sugar?  Don’t want the endless chore of peeling?  Cut it in half, roast it and scrape it out of the shell.  This won’t work for all recipes, but where it will work, save yourself the effort! 
I have only three free-range chickens left for sale.  These have to be picked up at our farm due to state regulations.  They are $4.00 per pound and range in size from an estimated 3.5 pounds to 6 pounds.  Pickup will be on Sunday (before and after our parade) at our farm on 70 Howard Rd in Westminster.  Email me at MapleHeightsFarm@verizon.net to reserve your chicken.
Entertainment for the Upcoming Weeks
I am thrilled to also have the following appearances scheduled over the next few weeks.  And I so appreciate the performers that take time out of their busy schedules to support our efforts at the farmers’ market:
·        October 2: Ron and Meghan McGuire which promises to be a wonderfully entertaining event.  You saw them in the Westminster 250th anniversary talent show where they won overall!
·        October 9:  Warren Rasmussen (read about him at his website.  He is raising new awareness about ground nuts in this area and will also be selling his book, The Mary Rowlandson Story, which is a piece of local history involving Mary, Wachusett Mountain and Redemption Rock!)
·        October 9: Free raffle drawing for Farmers’ Market Basket!
·        October 16th: Pumpkin Festival.  Art contest, hay rides, prizes, food, fun.  $5 donation for pumpkin art contest.  All proceeds will fund local Ag in the Classroom projects.
For your Christmas shopping pleasure:
Only six shopping days left until Christmas!  Remember, two gifts each week while you enjoy the farmers’ market may make your Holidays stress free!  If you haven’t started shopping yet, don’t worry.  If you start this week you will have TWELVE gifts out of the way by the end of the season!  At our house we have been using reusable shopping bags in place of gift wrap this year and recipients seem to really like it.  So, I suggest to you that you consider purchasing our farmers’ market bags as gift wrap for your farmers’ market gifts.  The bags are perfect for Christmas wrap as they are a Christmas green color and will be perfect tied with a red and/or gold bow!  The bags are on display by the water cooler and can be purchased through Al Magane, our market manager!
·        Jean Keene will be selling adorable baby and toddler hats in the shape of fruits.  I particularly love the strawberry and the pumpkin.  Too cute!  The hat, a dark green sweater and a bale of hay is all you need for an award winning photo! 
·        In addition to hats we have three vendors selling high quality baby clothing and accessories.  Some beautiful hand knits that remind me of what you would find at The Velvet Goose (an upscale children’s store in Gardner) and some embellished clothes that are just a step above adorable!  Look around for those babies on your list.
·        Beautiful Hand Painted Antique and Reproduction pieces by Ann Patsis.  Her work is sought after by Old Sturbridge Village and she produces many antique reproduction one-of-a-kind tin pieces.  The slate pieces are from the roof of a 185 year old barn that was torn down in Templeton.
Have a good week and see you at the market.
Kerrie Hertel    mapleHeightsFarm@verizon.net
Westminster Farmers’ Market at Academy Hill:
Fridays 3:00 until 7:00 until October 30th.
Gardner Farmers’ Market at the Mount:
Mondays 12:00 until 2:00.
Ashburnham Farmers’ Market:
Mondays 4:00 until 7:00
Winchendon Farmers’ Market:
Thursdays 4:00 until 7:00.
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