This Week's Newsletter
Have you noticed, amidst the cacophonous noise of the spring peepers, that high trill: the mating call of Anaxyrus americanus? In marshes and field edges across the Pioneer Valley, the American toad is singing this song, the females laying their eggs in ponds and pools. And unlike frogs (whose eggs are clumped together in sacks), the eggs of the American toad are strung together in long ribbons of jelly, wrapped around twigs and reeds and rocks so they can't be easily washed away.
This year more than ever I've noticed how the mating call of the American toad erupts during the very same weeks all of our markets are starting up. The Greenfield Farmers Market, the Amherst Farmers Market, The Farmers Market at Forest Park, the Springfield Cooperative Farmers Market, the Northampton Farmers Market, Tuesday Market, and numerous others in our cities and towns.
Picture these markets, if you will, like a string of toad eggs stretched across the valley, threaded through its various habitats and municipalities. Consider the life of this place, the fertility of our soils, the determination of our farmers and food-makers, and how all of that fecundity is displayed and dispersed from the makeshift space of these markets. How precarious it is, how temporary, how abundant.
Tuesday Market opens this week, our numerous stands full of food and the people who made it. And we cannot wait to see you there.
The peepers are singing in marshes and field-edges all over this valley. Trays of seedlings are sprouting at farms in Northampton and Amherst and Chesterfield and Granby. Lambs are cavorting in Leyden, and hens everywhere are pecking at whatever green sprouts they can find. The beastly mound of snow has almost melted from our market plaza, and we will be so thrilled to see you again after this long, long winter. Tuesday Market starts in two weeks, on April 28th! We cannot wait to see you there...
Crabapple Farm's Bean Breeding Project!
Old Friends Farm Human Breeding Project!
And here's salad from Old Friends Farm, getting ready for opening day...
Northampton Winter Farmers' Market
Every Saturday 9am - 2pm
November 15th through April 18th
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School
30+ vendors most weeks
Amherst Winter Farmers' Market
December 6th through March 28th (except 1/17)
10am - 2pm
Amherst Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street
Featuring 35 vendors every market