|By Lori Szepelak
Emily Potorski, a senior at Gateway Regional High School, Huntington, enjoys baking at Outlook Farm in Westhampton. The farm will be among the vendors at the Springfield Farmers' Market at Forest Park starting in May. Potorski is seen holding a farm favorite, Apple Crisp with Walnuts.
Reminder Publications photo by Lori Szepelak
GREATER SPRINGFIELD "It's all good."
That's the motto of Outlook Farm in Westhampton, one of the vendors gearing up for the Springfield Farmers Market at Forest Park this spring.
On a recent late afternoon visit to Outlook Farm, Emily Potorski of Huntington, a senior at Gateway Regional High School, was busy waiting on customers and recommending offerings to patrons considering an evening meal or late-night snack.
Potorski noted that her grandmother, Judy Potorski of East Longmeadow, has been her mentor in the kitchen for many years.
"Each summer growing up I would spend a baking week with my grandmother," she said during an interview with Reminder Publications. "Those summers of baking influenced me to bake."
Potorski also receives inspiration in the kitchen from her stepfather, Joseph McNiesh, a chef at Smith College in Northampton.
"My stepdad is always bringing recipes home for me to try," she said.
The Outlook Farm homestead, built in 1781, once was a tavern, stagecoach stop and dance hall. Today, Outlook Farm is a 55-acre, full-time farm complete with orchards and gardens, a butcher shop, a country store and restaurant, and a bed and breakfast inn. Brad Morse runs the day-to-day operations.
The farm features a variety of unique, full-flavored apples, peaches, cherries, pears and plums, as well as the customary vegetables including beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, leeks, lettuce, peppers, pumpkins, scallions, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes and zucchini.
Potorski said one of the farm's biggest bakery sellers at the farmers market is its Apple Crisp with Walnuts. In addition to breads and desserts, the farm's offering at the farmers market will include the fruits and vegetables of the season.
"Whenever I use one of my grandmother's recipes we label it appropriately," she said, pointing out Grandma's Swedish Nut Cake on one of the wooden counters.
Outlook Farm sponsors a festival series from May through October, celebrating each harvest season with a pig roast and barbecue, a community tag sale and music for all to enjoy. A "Bloom'in Festival" kicks off the season on May 5, followed by a "Strawberry Festival" on June 16, a "Cherry Festival" on July 14, a "Peach Festival" on Aug. 11, an "Apple Festival" on Sept. 15, and a "Pumpkin Festival" on Oct. 20.
The Springfield Farmers Market at Forest Park, 302 Sumner Ave., will be conducted in the Cyr Arena. Market hours are from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays from May 7 to Oct. 29. There is free entry to the park for the market; tell the attendant in the kiosk that you are attending the market. Vendors also expected to visit the market at Forest Park include Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Chicoine Family Farm, Hickory Dell Farm, Red Fire Farm, River Bend Farm, Smyth's Trinity Dairy Farm, The Kitchen Garden and the Maple Corner Farm.
In addition to the Forest Park location, farmers markets are plentiful throughout the valley, including:
• Westfield Farmers Market, Church of the Atonement, 36 Court St., Thursdays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. from June 13 to Sept. 26.
• Hampden Bank Farmers Market, 220 Westfield St., West Springfield, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May 7 to Oct. 29.
• Mason Square Farmers Market, Baystate Mason Square Health Center, 11 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from July 6 to Oct. 26.
• Springfield Cooperative Farmers Market, Avocado Street, Saturdays from 7 to 11 a.m., from May 4 to July 6.
• Hampden Bank Farmers Market, 2005 Boston Road, Wilbraham, Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May 1 to Oct. 30.
• Hampden Bank Farmers Market, 187 Main St., Indian Orchard, Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from May 3 to Oct. 25.
• PeoplesBank Farmers Market, 330 Whitney Ave., Holyoke, Fridays from 11 am. to 2 p.m., from April 26 to Oct. 25.
• Donahue Farmers Market, Donahue Elementary School, 210 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., from July 13 to Oct. 27.
• Holyoke Farmers Market, by City Hall, High and Suffolk streets, Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., from May 2 to Oct. 26.
• Holyoke Open Square Farmers Market, 4 Open Square Way, Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., from June 1 to Oct. 19.
• Chicopee Farmers Market, under I-391 overpass, Chicopee Street and Perrault Street, Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., from July 3 to Sept. 4.
• South Hadley Farmers Market, Town Common, Hadley Street at College Street, Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m., from June 6 to Oct. 10.
For more details on any of these markets, visit www.farmfresh.org/food/farmersmarkets.php?zip=02909.
For more information on the festivals and offerings at Outlook Farm, visit www.outlookfarm.com.