By: Deb Nevil
I don’t know about you, but this time of year always tugs at my inner gardener. I linger in a space of memories to the joy I find in delicious, locally grown produce and berries. As I watch the birds ready themselves for mating and all that the ritual of spring renewal has to offer, I dream of seeds sprouting, sap running, and the trees budding. In Vermont, we know how quickly things change and that goes for our short growing season. I’m longing for cool misty mornings with my bare feet in the garden, long, steamy days that turn into peaceful evenings filled with music and laughter, and for summer farmers’ markets to open and the connection that brings to abundance and community.
Did you know that starting in July, just in time for peak growing season, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Division is opening up the Farm to Family program to our local farm stands?
This program falls under Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and supplements healthy eating choices of locally produced fruits, vegetables and plant starts for families from birth to age five. Farm to Family was originally only for farmers’ markets, but with this expansion, a broader focus on the importance of starting to eat healthy from the start helps to foster healthy habits for a lifetime. Families receive $30.00 in Farm to Family coupons in $6.00 increments. Here’s who can get support from WIC:
- Pregant Women
- Foster Parents
- Step Parents
“If you’re pregnant, a caregiver, or a mom with a child under age 5, you can get the right personalized support for you and your family. Caregivers with low to medium income and those who are part of other programs such as foster care, medical assistance or SNAP are eligible. Contact your local office for details.” – signupwic.com
This time of year also brings renewal and change. I try to focus on eating healthy and incorporating recipes that are easy, versatile and satisfying. I was on my social media account last night and a good friend, Kim Place-Faucher, posted a picture of a delicious salad.
The funny thing was, her post asked about food blogging! Well
- 1 avocado
- 1 blood orange
- 1 Cara Cara orange
- 1 navel
- A small handful of fresh cilantro
- Dress the salad with fresh-squeezed lime juice and drizzle with local honey.
This season also provides the best local maple syrup, so you could try a variation by changing out the honey with maple. Whatever your choice, I hope this finds you well and wanting to enjoy the offerings of the season. At the very least it might make mud season more tolerable.
Deb Nevil is a Boston native who grew up summering on the ocean in Marshfield, MA. Clamming, blackberry picking, gardening
A mother of 4 with a M.Ed., Deb oversees the after school and summer Enrichment program as the 21st Center for Learning Coordinator at Cambridge Elementary School. Deb understands the importance of a healthy, educated and engaged community to raise positive and productive children. She is a Vermont Farmers’ Market Advisory (VTFMA) Board Member, Brand Ambassador for Kingdom Creamery of VT and coordinates the JFAM Mtn. Jam Music Series in Jeffersonville in July-August.
Deb lives in Cambridge with her family, and babies: her dogs and cats.