Cultivating a Taste for Brazil

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					                                                                   T H E            E X T E N S I O N                      Q U A R T E R L Y




                                       In
                                   Common
                                                                                                                                                          PEOPLE
                                                                                                                                   Tradition and revelation: 2
SUMMER 2004




                                                                                                                                                           PLACES
                                                                                                                               Salamanders and bulldozers: 3

                                                                                                                                                           THINGS
                                                                                                                                  Caterpillars and fast food: 4
VOLUME 2 · NO. 4




                   As we focus on aspects of UMass
                   Extension programs that are critical
                   to our constituents, to our communi-
                                                               Cultivating a Taste for Brazil
                   ties and to the research capacity of
                                                               There’s a taste of Brazil in Massachusetts . . .   ing to meet their nutritional needs and to
                   UMass Amherst, we sometimes for-
                                                               in Boston, Whately and Dracut, where you
                   get that our work brings a good                                                                boost the profitability of the state’s farms.
                                                               will find crops like jiló, maxixe, couve and
                   deal of pleasure to our faculty, staff,
                                                               quiabo . . . in Framingham and Hyannis, where      Professor Frank Mangan of UMass
                   partners and participants. Put simply,
                                                               Gol Supermarkets offer new opportunities
                   many of our initiatives are a lot of fun.
                                                               for the distribution of Brazilian crops . . .
                                                                                                                  Extension’s Vegetable Team and the
                                                               and in restaurants like the Midwest Grille in      UMass Amherst Department of Plant,
                   Perhaps we shouldn’t admit it, but
                                                               Cambridge where those crops go into increas-       Insect and Soil Sciences had spent years
                   this issue of In Common has been
                                                               ingly popular Brazilian dishes.
                   fun. It started with immersing our-                                                            researching the cultivation and marketing
                   selves in the sights, sounds, smells        Bringing it all together are 250,000               of a variety of “ethnic vegetables” when
                   and tastes of Massachusetts’ very
                                                               Massachusetts Brasileiros — along with the         he had a chance to import some jiló (gee-
                   vibrant Brazilian culture. In part
                   because of our well-established             UMass Extension team, which is attempt-            LO) seeds in 2001. He had heard about
                   Portuguese-speaking communities,                                                                                           CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

                   the state has seen a steady influx of
                   new residents from South America’s
                   largest country. Frank Mangan and
                   his team are exploring a whole new
                   market in homegrown Brazilian
                   crops, and in doing so, are allowing
                   us to relish and embrace the culture.

                   We also got to spend a day with
                   Carol Childress and Bob Levite wan-
                   dering through one of the state’s
                   most beautiful natural enclaves,
                   just as others will now be able to
                   enjoy it in perpetuity — despite
                   rapid development — thanks to the
                   Opacum Land Trust. Then, of course,
                   there was a rousing community cele-
                   bration with the Kokoski clan; and
                   we don’t think we have ever seen
                   anyone over the age of eight take
                   more joy in discovering new cater-
                   pillars than Bob Childs.

                   We hope you enjoy this issue as
                   much as we have.                                                                                                Silvia Moreira and Maria Da Mota
P E O P L E : T R A D I T I O N A N D R E V E L AT I O N




  People                                                                                                                                               A New Look,
                                                                                                                                                       A New View
                                                                                                                                                       Angelica Paredes calls it
                                                                                                                                                       “The Look.”

                                                                                                                                                       It may be the flash of an
                                                                                                                                                       eye or the flicker of a
                                                                                                                                                       face muscle. But when
                                                                                                                                                       she gets “The Look”
                                                                                                                                                       from a teen in trouble,
                                                                                                                                                       Angelica believes she is
                                                                                                                                                       making progress. And it
                                                                                                                                                       makes her day.

                                                                                                                               As an Extension Educator in the
                                                                                                                               Communities, Families and Youth pro-
                                                                                                                               gram, Angelica runs small-group work-
                                                                                                                               shops in North Adams for people 12 to
                                                                                                                               17 years of age who are under supervi-
                                                                                                                               sion of the juvenile justice system.
Left: John and Elaine Kokoski, with daughters Jessica Dizek and Jennifer Zina    Right: Angelica Paredes
                                                                                                                               Groups meet weekly, focusing on issues
                                                                                                                               ranging from world hunger to anger
                                                                                                                               management. After completing ten ses-

The Kokoski Tradition                                              collaborator through the USDA’s Envi-
                                                                   ronmental Quality Incentives Program.
                                                                                                                               sions on character building, the older
                                                                                                                               teens return for a job readiness workshop
At Mapleline Farm you can’t really separate the                                                                                with the goal of finding a summer job.
individual from the family, the family from the                    “They take care of the land and of the
                                                                                                                               For some, this is a first experience in
farm, the farm from an extended community, or                      cows,” USDA’s Curran added, praising
the community from a long, successful tradition.                                                                               exploring different viewpoints.
                                                                   the Kokoski’s state-of-the-art nutrient
On June 19, the Kokoski family celebrat-                           management system that mixes manure                         “They’ve never been given the chance to
ed the 100th anniversary of Mapleline                              with milk processing wastewater to re-                      contemplate,” says Angelica.
Farm with the inauguration of an on-                               duce both waste discharge and the use of                    During the workshop, the young people
farm milk processing facility. Hundreds                            chemical fertilizers.                                       become more confident and verbal. They
of well-wishers attended the event and                             Doug Gillespie, another old friend, said                    also learn — sometimes with difficulty —
toured the post card-perfect spread on                             the Kokoskis are about to protect 55                        to gain respect for the opinions of others.
Comins Road in North Hadley.                                       acres of prime land under an Agricultural                   Angelica takes a firm stand. “I put my
The people were notable. State Senator                             Preservation Restriction (APR).                             cards on the table and I don’t change.
Stan Rosenberg and Representative John                             Heading it all are John and Elaine                          I’m a constant in their lives,” she says.
Scibak were there. So was Doug Gillespie,                          Kokoski, but family heritage is every-                      Before joining UMass Extension six
state agriculture commissioner, and Cecil                          where. With the exception of the founder,                   years ago, she worked with young
Curran, of the USDA Natural Resources                              John’s great-grandfather Stanley, grand-                    people in residential treatment pro-
Conservation Service, along with UMass                             parents, aunts and uncles still dot Comins                  grams and as an advocate for families
Extension folks. So, too, were hundreds                            Road. Son Paul runs the home delivery                       receiving public assistance. Although
of neighbors and customers of the                                  business, and, most fortunately for                         she is not new to this troubled world,
Mapleline Farm’s home delivery service.                            UMass Amherst, daughter Jessica Dizek                       she admits “the heaviness” sometimes
Most notable, however, was the fact that                           is working as an Extension develop-                         gets her down.
they all came as friends.                                          ment associate.                                             Then she sees “The Look,” and it all
“They treat their customers as friends,”                           “I just look around, and there is my fam-                   makes sense. “My heart goes out to
said Cecil who is a customer, friend and                           ily,” noted Jessica, “I love it.” I                         them. I see hope,” she says. I

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PLACES: SALAMANDERS AND BULLDOZERS




Conservation and Development on the Margin
                                                 Places                                                                             Bob Levite and Carol Childress




The bulldozer that rumbled onto Carol                     UMass Extension’s Natural Resources and                     Extension’s Bob Levite, an attorney, was
Childress’s Sturbridge property in 1998 created           Environmental Conservation (NREC)                           integral to the process that included more
a path that threatened to lead straight to the
                                                          program, who helped bring it all together.                  than a half-dozen public, private and
destruction of hundreds of acres of undevel-
oped old-growth forest and wetland habitat.
                                                                                                                      educational entities, including the Depart-
                                                          The star of the show, however, was
                                                                                                                      ment of Conservation and Recreation, the
Thanks to an unlikely but highly effective                Ambystoma opacum — the Marbled Sala-
                                                                                                                      Natural Heritage and Endangered Species
partnership of talents and interests, how-                mander. When Carol tripped over a rock
                                                                                                                      Program, and the Sturbridge Planning
ever, the path led instead to the protection              along the path left by the errant bulldozer,
                                                                                                                      Board and Conservation Commission.
of 266 acres of that habitat — dubbed                     she discovered one of only 38 breeding
Opacum Woods — and to the creation of                     sites in the state for the threatened species.              “It was Bob’s mediation that brought it
the new Opacum Land Trust, which now                                                                                  all together,” said Carol.
                                                          “In the beginning,” Carol Childress re-
promises to protect even more land in                     called recently, “we knew nothing about                     The project highlighted important les-
a dozen towns along the frontier of dev-                  salamanders, land trusts or vernal pools.                   sons. The town asked Bob Levite to
elopment that stretches out along the                     And the town planning board and con-                        organize a series of five public forums on
Massachuetts Turnpike. It lies at the heart               servation commission didn’t really under-                   planning, smart growth, and biodiversity.
of the Quinebaug and Shetucket River                      stand a lot of what we were trying to do.”                  The series included a presentation by
Valley National Heritage Corridor, which                                                                              UMass Extension NREC director Scott
                                                          Carol Childress teamed up with West-
straddles Massachusetts and Connecticut.                                                                              Jackson, and drew on the resources of
                                                          borough developer Bob Moss who took
Wandering along ancient woodland trails,                                                                              Extension’s partners in Green Valley
                                                          advantage of delays in the golf course
along ponds studded with beaver lodges,                                                                               Institute, including University of
                                                          and offered to buy the entire parcel.
a visitor is only barely aware of the near-                                                                           Connecticut Cooperative Extension.
                                                          Moss won subdivision approval for 70
by turnpike, or the luxury homes that                     half-acre lots at one end of the 300-acre                   “This really has mushroomed, and is a
loom now and then through the trees. It                   parcel — an area that Carol Childress                       great example of developing what should
is even harder to imagine that this nearly                says is “least intrusive in terms of endan-                 be developed, and conserving what
became a golf course.                                     gered species and archeological features.”                  should be conserved,” notes Bob Levite.
Here’s what made the difference: Carol                    Bob Moss donated the rest of the land to                    “It’s one of the largest blocks of protect-
Childress’s anger at being invaded, her                   the newly-formed Opacum Land Trust —                        ed undeveloped land in Central
love of the land, and her determination to                and Opacum Woods was born.                                  Massachusetts. And it all started with
save it; developer Bob Moss, who was will-                                                                            Carol tripping over a rock.”
                                                          The effort earned Bob Moss and Carol
ing to buy into that determination; the                   Childress the 2004 Environmental Award                      For more information, check
talents of a committed board of directors                 sponsored by the Massachusetts Audubon                          <www.opacumlt.org> and
for the new land trust; and Bob Levite of                 Society and Worcester Business Journal.                         <thelastgreenvalley.org/gvi>. I
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T H I N G S : C AT E R P I L L A R S A N D FA S T F O O D




                                                                                                                                  Weighty Research
                                                                                                                                  Adolescents and fast food. They go together
                                                                                                                                  — increasingly, with obesity.

                                                                                                                                  It’s odd, then, how little we know
                                                                                                                                  about what influences teen food
                                                                                                                                  spending, and how to help them
                                                                                                                                  choose wisely, says Professor Jean
                                                                                                                                  Anliker, of UMass Extension’s
                                                                                                                                  Nutrition Education Program.
                                                                                                                                  That may change with a four-year
                                                                                                                                  study, Tween POWER: Preventing
                                                                                                                                  Obesity through Wise Expenditures of




                                         Things
                                             g
                                                                                                                                  Resources, being conducted by Jean and
                                                                                                                                  Professor Elena Carbone of the UMass
                                                                                                                                  Amherst Department of Nutrition
                                                                                                                                  under an $800,000 USDA grant.
                                                                                                                                  Fifteen percent of children and teens
                                                                                                                                  are obese today, double the rate in
                                                                                                                                  1980. Teens spend about $27 billion a
                                                                                                                                                 year, much of that on
Budding Nuisance                                                    trols them here                                                              food and beverages, and
Call it The Year of the Caterpillar.                                naturally.”                                                                   the food industry
                                                                                                                                                  spends $33 billion a
That’s what Deborah Swanson and Bob                                 Dormant oil
                                                                                                                                                   year on advertising and
Childs of Extension’s Landscape, Nursery                            sprays are effec-
                                                                                                                                                   promotions.
and Urban Forestry Team are calling it.                             tive, but only
They’ve been unfolding a detective story                            before the newly                                                               “There has been a lot
that began a decade ago with an outbreak                            hatched inch-                                                                  of finger-pointing at
of what seemed to be fall cankerworms in                            worms make their                                                               fast food without
southeastern Massachusetts, where Deborah                           way into a maple                                                                much data to back it
heads Plymouth County Extension.                                    tree’s bud, where                                                               up,” notes Jean
                                                                    they begin a well-                                                 Anliker. “Nobody has studied what
“Populations have a way of blowing up for                                                                                         teens are buying, or what goes through
                                                                    protected feast. Don’t look for them
a couple years, and then crashing. I told                                                                                         their minds when they make choices.
                                                                    now, though. Having hatched on April
Deborah they’d go away,” recalls Bob.                                                                                             We must know these things to stop the
                                                                    18, the caterpillars have gorged them-
In fact, they weren’t cankerworms, and                              selves and fallen safely into the soil, from                  obesity epidemic.”
they didn’t go away. Instead they re-                               which they will emerge as moths next                          “Tweens” in the study — 11 to 14
turned with a vengeance, and spread,                                fall. And that’s just the beginning.                          years old — will “think out loud”
leaving the May foliage looking more                                                                                              into tape recorders as they make food
                                                                    “Along with seeing many familiar cater-
like December’s. It wasn’t until recently                                                                                         choices. Professor Shirley Mietlicki of
                                                                    pillar species in high numbers this year,
that the pair, working with UMass                                                                                                 Extension’s Communities, Families and
                                                                    there are also a phenomenal number of
Amherst forest ecologist Joe Elkinton                                                                                             Youth Program will help link the study
                                                                    caterpillars in new places this year,” says
and George Boettner of the UMass                                                                                                  with teen participants, and Professor
                                                                    Bob Childs. He adds that it’s likely there’s
Amherst Department of Plant, Soil and                                                                                             Sheila Mammen will collaborate on
                                                                    more than one cause, though wet springs
Insect Sciences, identified the culprit as                                                                                        consumer issues. In a second phase, the
                                                                    may be part of the problem. The solu-
European Winter Moth.                                                                                                             team will develop and test an innovative
                                                                    tion? For now, says Bob, try to avoid
“It was the first time this critter has                             chemical sprays. Biological controls like                     program to improve “tween” buying
been seen east of the Mississippi,” says                            Bacillus thuringiennsis (BT) should con-                      practices. Researchers in Connecticut
Bob. “The problem is that nothing con-                              trol many species. I                                          and Maryland are also participating. I

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C O V E R S T O R Y: A T A S T E F O R B R A Z I L


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1                                                                                                                          bread). A visit turns
                                                                                                                                               into a rapid-fire
the small, slightly bitter                                                                                                                     exchange of recipes,
eggplant from his Portu-                                                                                                                       nutritional tidbits,
guese teacher. Since then,                                                                                                                     geography and lan-
he has visited Brazil,                                                                                                                         guage. Maria Da Mota
learned more Portuguese,                                                                                                                       tells Frank that Gol
honed his taste for things                                                                                                                     has already sold all of
Brazilian, and sparked a                                                                                                                       the jiló seedlings pro-
new interest in Brazilian                                                                                                                      duced by Allandale at
crops around the state.                                                                                                                        its farm stores. She is
                                                                                                                                               looking forward to the
Frank recruited Maria
                                                                                                                                               Brazilian vegetable that
Moreira of Lancaster, a
                                                                                                                                               Allandale will begin
native of the Azores and a
                                                                                                                                               picking in early August.
veteran of UMass Exten-
sion’s effort to help Lao-                                                                                                                  “We’ve been getting
tian Hmong farmers grow                                                                                                                     jiló from Florida. But
and market Southeast                                                                                                                        it’s already yellow and
Asian vegetables, and her                                                                                                                   costs $6.50 per pound,”
                                                                Dave DeWitt and Victor Lopez-Matute of Allendale Farm
sister-in-law, Silvia Moreira of Lowell,                        inspect jiló with Silvia Moreira.                           says Maria Da Mota. “Our customers
who hails from Brazil. Residents from                                                                                       want it green, and they want it fresh.”
Brazil, the Azores, the Cape Verde Islands                                                                                  Harvest Farm in Whately is hoping
and Portugal have made Portuguese the                           “It’s the way to save the farm.                             to forge a similar agreement with a
second language of Massachusetts, notes                             This is the year of jiló.”                              New Jersey supermarket chain.
Silvia Moreira.
                                                                                                                            With a distributor like Gol, the jiló
“Many stay for several years, and return                        Even more important, John Lee found                         grown at Allandale, Harvest Farm,
to Brazil, but they can’t make enough to                        that jiló sold well at several times the                    or Brox Farm in Dracut, may well
feed their families. So they come back to                       50-cents per pound wholesale price of                       find its way into a popular Brazilian
the U.S.,” says Silvia, who is the “eyes                        eggplant. This year, Allandale is raising                   restaurant like the Midwest Grille
and ears of the project.”                                       over 3,000 jiló plants, which will produce                  near Inman Square in Cambridge.
                                                                over 1500 pounds of this type of egg-                       There, surrounded by the sounds of
“Silvia and Maria are key to this project,”
                                                                plant a week. Lee hopes to get as much                      samba and bossa nova, you will find
says Frank Mangan. “Silvia knows the
                                                                as $4.50 a pound.                                           jiló and sautéed couve in an extensive
Brazilian community, and what it wants.
Farmers have to be able to get crops to                         “Success means doing something that                         buffet — which also includes feijoada,
people who want them, and without                               other people haven’t figured out yet,”                      a rich meat and bean stew, which is a
community support, this won’t work.”                            says John Lee. “It’s the way to save the                    Brazilian favorite.
                                                                farm. This is the year of jiló. It’s our first              “It’s really exciting to be able to iden-
At the 130-acre Allandale Farm, the
                                                                big wholesale crop.”                                        tify an opportunity and get Massachu-
only working farm in Boston, manager
John Lee agreed three years ago to grow                         João Araujo and Maria Da Mota are cru-                      setts farmers in at the beginning,”
some of the jiló seedlings that Frank had                       cial to that success. The couple own four                   says Frank Mangan.
started at the UMass Amherst Research                           Brazilian markets, including Gol Super-                     Frank and his team see the success of
Station in South Deerfield. He quickly                          market in Framingham. Their Rainbow                         this jiló growing season to be critical
discovered that jiló grew well and was                          Trading Company is a wholesale distribu-                    to the future of the Brazilian crop mar-
easy to pick.                                                   tor for 150 other markets and restaurants.                  ket in the state. Already, however, they
                                                                Frank Mangan introduced João to John                        are looking ahead. Frank wants to ex-
“Jiló does well in dry soil, and we think
                                                                Lee and helped initiate a promising agree-                  plore the local potential for preserving
it will be great in rotation,” says John
                                                                ment to distribute Allandale’s jiló crop.                   and packaging jiló, and he is hoping
Lee, who also grows couve (CO-vey, a
variety of collard), maxixe (ma-SHE-shee,                       Brazilian culture envelops Gol Super-                       to win federal and state support to
a cucumber), quiabo (kee-A-bo, okra)                            market, from the mural of Ipanima Beach                     explore new trade opportunities
and three varieties of Brazilian squash.                        to the fresh-baked pão de queijo (cheese                    between Massachusetts and Brazil. I

                                    I N   C O M M O N   T H E    U M A S S   E X T E N S I O N   Q U A R T E R LY   [ 5 ]   S U M M E R   2 0 0 4
                                                      Programs:

                                                      • Extension Agriculture and Landscape
                                                      • Extension Communities,
                                                        Families and Youth
                                                      • Extension Natural Resources and
                                                        Environmental Conservation
                                                      • Extension Nutrition Education
                                                      • Massachusetts 4-H
                                                      UMass Extension administrative office:
                                                      Draper Hall
                                                      University of Massachusetts
                                                      Amherst, MA 01003-9244
                                                      413.545.4800 / fax: 413.545.6555
                                                      UMass Extension web site:
                                                      http://www.umassextension.org


                                                      Photography: Nancy Palmieri
                                                                     Bob Childs (Budding Nuisance)
                                                                     Wesley Blixt (The Kokoski Tradition)
                                                      Publisher: Joe Shoenfeld
                                                      Editor: Wesley Blixt
                                                      Writers: Wesley Blixt and Jan Whittaker
                                                      Design & Production Director: Susan Handlen
                                                      Designer: Tekla McInerney




inside In Common
                                                      Layout: Marah Loft
                                                      Copy Editor: Elizabeth Adams

                                                      Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts
                                                      of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the
                                                      United States Department of Agriculture.

                                                      UMass Extension provides educational programs, materials
There’s a taste of Brazil in Massachusetts . . . in   and employment without regard to race, color, religion,
                                                      creed, sex, age, national origin, and mental or physical
Boston, Whately and Dracut, where you will find       handicap.


crops like jiló, maxixe, couve and quilabo...




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