Pay It Forward With Produce: Where to donate your extra garden greens
Jul28

Pay It Forward With Produce: Where to donate your extra garden greens

Summer is a great time to celebrate the bounty of Pioneer Valley farms, but many households face difficulties — financial and otherwise — in planning meals, feeding mouths, and accessing good nutrition. According to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, about one in eight people living in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties suffers from chronic food shortages or needs emergency food assistance. You can help. Find a...

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Can I Do It? A half-ass guide to canning
Jul28

Can I Do It? A half-ass guide to canning

I always feel bad when the tomatoes from my garden rot on the counter waiting in vain for me to chop them up into salsa or boil them into a marinara. I have the best of intentions in May when I ask my husband to plant boccu tomatoes in our garden, but come the sticky hot months of July and August and the appeal of sweating it in the kitchen has lost its luster. And the rotting tomatoes are attracting flies. So this year I vowed to...

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The Pour Man: The Mystery of Cotes du Rhone
Jul28

The Pour Man: The Mystery of Cotes du Rhone

During a sunny early June gathering, I ran into a friend, who suggested that I try a Cotes du Rhone that I hadn’t come across before. He said the wine, which he buys by the case, is his go-to wine for dinner parties and gatherings. I tried to dissuade him, suggesting others that he might like better, but he would have none of my label-dropping and stuck to his guns about this wine from France’s Rhone River Valley, noting that he...

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13 Things You’ll Actually Want To Do With Kale
Jul22

13 Things You’ll Actually Want To Do With Kale

By Advocate Staff Like an itchy sweater your auntie knitted, you can’t just throw kale out, you have to do something with it. Lord knows eating it is out of the question, so here are some suggestions for how to get the most out of that claw-like green: 1. Hang a sprig over your doorway to ward off prowling rednecks. 2. Scrub with it in the shower — for that fresh exfoliated feel! 3. Use it to make pretentious seasonal solstice wreaths...

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Vegetable Valley: Columnist and author Claire Hopley on what to do with all those local veggies
Jul22

Vegetable Valley: Columnist and author Claire Hopley on what to do with all those local veggies

Many of us have faced an inevitable problem. You bring in the bounty of a farm share. You’ve done the right thing, aided the local economy and your health. You should feel proud — your counter is jammed to capacity with celeriac, beets, radishes, carrots, and a wagonload of kale. But it’s a quiet little secret that, at this point, those of us who don’t do things like knit our own leg warmers or whip up four-course meals in minutes...

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An Open Letter to Kale: What happened to you?
Jul22

An Open Letter to Kale: What happened to you?

Let me tell you a story, kale. My Uncle Dale — his musical world was anchored by the “Moods in Music” LPs from George Melachrino. He loved those mellow vinyl releases, emblazoned with hair-helmeted women lazing around on shiny upholstery and gazing over Atomic Age decolletages like Nancy Reagan on a valium bender. Melachrino’s shmaltzy rambles and easy listening bliss-outs filled Uncle Dale’s split-level ranch at his many neighborhood...

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