Let Them Eat Pie! ❥ Tuesday Market Supporting Food Security.

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 29, We Eat Pie for Good Purposes

Kids ages 13yo and younger interested in culinary arts and local food are invited to bake their favorite fruit pie using local ingredients to submit to the Tuesday Market annual Pie Contest happening on Tuesday, September 10th. ❥ Baking a pie is a great way for food-enthusiastic kids to learn and/or practice kitchen skills, including basic math and kitchen chemistry. Utilizing local foods (berries, apples, peaches, milk, butter, or maybe even local flour!) in a pie can also help to connect youth with the network of local food that surrounds them here in Western MA.

FoodStampsX2 is the brilliant brainchild of Ben James and Oona Coy, farmers (Town Farm) and farmers’ market managers (Tuesday Market) in Northampton (not to be confused with their brilliant children, Silas and Wiley). The idea was pretty simple: make sure that people could use their SNAP (food stamps) benefits at the Tuesday Market. Then, the idea got better: have the first ten dollars’ worth of benefits doubled at the market for those receiving SNAP benefits. The FoodStampsX2 represents win-win: local food to people that may struggle to afford it along with a boost of dollars to hardworking farmers growing food locally.

Enter Gina Hyams, my Berkshires friend (and extraordinary connector; it’s her superpower). Her Pie Contest in a Box inspired my son. The scene went like this:

My son Ezekiel, on couch, examining Pie Contest in a Box: “Let’s have a pie contest.”

Unattributed idea that belonged to one of us: “At the Tuesday Market.”

Me: “To raise money for FoodStampsX2.”

Ezekiel: “Typical.”

Tuesday September 10th, 2013 is the third annual Pie Contest at Tuesday Market to help raise money for FoodStampsX2…

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Tuesday Market in Northampton to Host Pie Contest: Kids Invited!

Youth Invited to Participate in Tuesday Market’s Annual Pie Contest in Northampton
Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2012

Kids ages 13yo and younger interested in culinary arts and local food are invited to bake their favorite fruit pie using local ingredients to submit to the Tuesday Market annual Pie Contest happening next Tuesday, Sept. 11th.

Are your kids precocious in the kitchen? Northampton’s Tuesday Farmers’ Market is holding their annual pie contest, and there’s a special category just for kid-made pies (ages 13yo and younger)! The event benefits the market’s Food Stamps x2 program, which provides community members with SNAP benefits the opportunity to buy delicious and healthy local food straight from local farmers. Entrants may submit fruit pies only, and there are special categories for gluten-free pies and most beautiful pie, too!

Baking a pie is a great way for food-enthusiastic kids to learn and/or practice kitchen skills, including basic math and literacy. Utilizing local foods (berries, apples, peaches, milk, butter, or maybe even local flour!) in a pie can also help to connect children with the network of local food that surrounds them – they can learn about the farms that each different food comes from, and maybe even visit to buy fresh milk or pick apples.

Along with connecting kids to the community, taking part in the contest is a way to help them learn skills for a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. They can learn to appreciate the value of local food, and will begin to acquire the skills necessary to utilize local food to its fullest potential. Visit CISA and Berkshire Grown for farms in Western MA.

Not interested in baking? Just stop by the market to taste some pie!

Entries in the contest should be dropped off at the market (behind Thornes Marketplace in the open space next to the parking garage) between 1 and 2:30pm, and judging will begin at 3, with the kids’ category being judged at 5pm. Steve Herrell of Herrell’s ice cream will be scooping up delicious flavors to accompany pies, too! Yum! For more information, visit www.northamptontuesdaymarket.com.

Looking for inspiration? Check out Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie or Fresh Fruit Pies, Tarts, and Galettes: Every Recipe has a Gluten Free Alternative. And why not take this opportunity to learn about history both through and about pie with Pie: A Global History (The Edible Series).

A Day at the Tuesday Market

The Tuesday Market

Northampton’s Tuesday Market is one of the many things we love about living walking distance from downtown. However, it’s a treat we have to wait for Spring and Summer to bring to us.  In season, I walk over with the kids nearly every week for music, shaved iced in exciting flavors and for artisan cheese. Yes, that’s right local, artisan cheese – best dairy ever, for those that partake, of course (It’s true that if your kids like cheese samples, you will have to watch them closely… I’m just saying.).

Farmers’ Market Season is kicking off, which means pretty soon there will be roadside tomatoes – real drive-thru food.  Pull in, grab a tomato or two, some corn and stick some cash in the box. My kids love this errand – it is the speediest, get them back to playing and swimming soonest, grocery shopping ever.

Northampton’s Tuesday Market we love for the opposite reason.  It is our town square, suddenly come alive with bands, book readings, and occasional side shows of pedestrians turned dancers. It is the most leisurely, communal, let’s stay a while because this is as good as home grocery shop of the summer. The market’s slogan tag line is Live Music, Live Farmers. My kids and I enjoy chatting to the real live farmers about the plants, the veggies, the fruit, the syrup, the cheese and the flowers. Everything tastes good. Everything smells good.

Lux Deluxe was the band this week. Their lead singer had the good sense to admire Theo’s vintage Star Wars t-shirt – over the microphone – making Theo puff up his five year old chest with Star Wars pride.

When I say the Tuesday Market is child friendly, it is an understatement. Every week Tuesday Market staffs its tent with interns who help kids with craft projects so you can shop. This market is not on a street, it’s on the sidewalk between Thorne’s and the garage, set well back from the street. If you are my kids, you will spend time with a rock that draws as well as sidewalk chalk. I brought the sidewalk chalk so you have more than one color (I promise, next time I will remember kids!).

Speaking of others, the market sponsors a program called FoodStampsX2. The market accepts WIC coupons and doubles the value of up to $10 worth food stamps, which are now known as SNAP benefits. Donations to this program are accepted weekly at the market. This week those who donated were treated to a delicious honey miso noodle salad. SNAP benefit customers can head to the friendly Tuesday Market tent  & use the debit swipe machine  – the same one you can use if you forget cash  – to get farmers’ market tokens that can be accepted by every farm for delicious, local, real, live food.

The market is open every Tuesday of the season from 1:30-6:30. We think it is the best thing since sliced bread – and yes, you can get bread from El Jardin there too.  I think you should sign up for the market’s newsletter so you can preview next week’s delicious treats! Go here to find out more, www.northamptontuesdaymarket.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Bayne

Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

Think Globally, Hug Locally ❥ Tuesday Market

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 1, Tuesday Market

Here’s my one-time awkward greeting: I’m a local writer (and blogger) and community-minded do-gooder besotted by so many things about this place I call home. For Hilltown Families, I’ll write a monthly series of mash notes (love letters) focused upon this groovy spot on earth. Here’s mash note numb-ah one.

(Photo credit: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser)

❥ I got an email today from an old friend and this was his sign-off—Think globally, hug locally.

When the global scene—wars, oil spills, religious standoffs, poverty… okay, you get where I’m going—is one that overwhelms, it’s no surprise the sweetest and most tangible victories are just that: so close they are palpable. One of the places I feel most certain hope is the place to dwell is sandwiched between the back of Thornes Market and the parking garage on Tuesdays from May through October.

That’s when Tuesday Market brings its tents and vegetables, bike trailers and musicians out to transform an underutilized bit of not-quite park-like space into a pop-up festival week after week. See the baby goat. Hear the music. Test a broom. Taste some maple cream. Buy berries, greens, jam, cucumbers, and all types of squashes. Cool off with shaved ice. Drink in the flowers’ colors. Ogle the pastel shells of eggs, the shapes of local mushrooms, or the spectacle of chocolate goat cheese truffles. Smile at your friends and neighbors. Be waved at by a small child.

Ben James, old friend and my farmer (we have a CSA share at Town Farm, which he and his wife, Oona Coy, own and run) is the beaming engine behind this swath of lively Tuesday activity. His express goals include creating exactly what I describe—a thriving community—and to make fresh, local food accessible. To that end, Tuesday Market not only accepts SNAP benefits, in conjunction with Grow Food Northampton (another tangible victory to talk about another day) an effort is underway to raise $12,000 so that SNAP benefits at Tuesday Market can be doubled. That’s all good, right?

Maybe because Ben and Oona have young kids—Wiley spent a good deal of last spring and summer and fall’s Tuesdays in a carrier on his papa’s back, there’s a real attentiveness to ensuring that Tuesday afternoons could be fine with small children if your sole “plan” were to be Tuesday Market.

(Photo credit: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser)

❥ I’ve got four kids—15, 12 (almost 13!), eight and three—and sometimes Tuesdays are a family affair. This first week, there was a nap (phew), a playground hang afterschool and the bus ride home to keep three of my kids from the inaugural visit. My eldest and I walked downtown, though, obtained asparagus grown right in town, plus leeks, and burdock root (for stock made by the aspiring tweenage chef) and arugula (for me). I managed to conduct a little interview for a forthcoming story I’m writing (that is some satisfying multitasking), greet friends including farmers I’d missed seeing, snap photos and return to the playground to fetch the second grader.

The tween grilled asparagus and leeks for supper.

No question, Tuesday Market and me, we’re on hugging terms.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

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