Archive for January, 2008

CSA + Meat CSA shares available –

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Updated 2.11.08: Note – the meat part is not a CSA in that the meat is being bought in from farms in Vermont and the community is not sharing the risk along with the farmer. This model is a buying club.

A new (I believe) farm in Lee, NH is offering CSA shares, cut flowers, and a meat CSA buying club. Yes, folks, that is what you read. Meat CSA. Joshua Learner, owner/farmer of Laughing Seed Farm writes, “All vegetables will be organically grown but not certified organic. Meat is all natural with no growth hormones or antibiotics. The farm also offers eggs cruelty free and cage free.” Memberships in the meat CSA buying club will be based on pounds per month and will include beef and pork. For example, you could sign up for a 6 month meat CSA share membership at 10, 20, 25, or 50 pounds per month.

But don’t forget the veggies! Laughing Seed Farm is also offering a vegetable CSA – CSA shares all over the Seacoast are prized and coveted things. If you’ve been interested in trying one out and Lee is in your general neighborhood, give it a try.

Joshua Learner can be contacted at Laughing Seed Farm by calling 603-502-0643 or emailing joshua @ century21central . com (take out the spaces I added to protect Joshua from spam)

Wondering what in the world CSA stands for? Read more about Community Supported Agriculture >

Winter Farmers’ Market February 9th – help spread the word!

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Winter Farmers’ MarketIf you’ve been looking for an easy way to lend a hand for the upcoming market, here ya go:

Exeter Winter Farmers’ Market pdf

The market poster, as a pdf, to download and print out and hang in your coffee shop, church, place of work, gym, library, fun food store, or where ever you happen to frequent. Thanks!

And, as a special bonus to you just for helping out (kidding, of course), directions to the Exeter Congregational Church and municipal parking lot > 

If you would love to help out even more, we could use a hand in the morning (from 8:30 – 10am) and/or in the afternoon (2pm – 3pm) giving the farmers a hand carrying their goods in and cleaning up afterward. Drop us a line if you’d like to volunteer. 

See you on the 9th!

Challenge pledges

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

In the midst of discussion about when the 2008 Seacoast Eat Local Challenge should take place (leaning toward July or August – comments welcome!), I went back and updated the 2007 pledge page. There had been a few that came a little later in the month that I wanted to add, and I hope others will garner as much inspiration from these diverse and personal challenges as I do – I love reading about how other people approach the challenge, how they think about different foods, and how the challenge can mean so many things to so many people, and yet encourage everyone to add more local food to their lives than the current baseline. I know that my first challenge changed the way I eat forever, and each year’s challenge encourages me to continue to be thoughtful about my food in a way that is not only environmentally sustainable, but sustainable for me as well.

Read the 2007 Seacoast Eat Local Challenge pledges.

In defense of eating locally . . .

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

There’s been a recent rash of eat local criticism in the media, and in response, Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo in California wrote the most straightforward, decent response, which I am going to quote in its entirety because it is so awesome:

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the mainstream is pointing its fat finger and shaking wildly at the Localvore movement. The fact that the a large number of foodies are accepting the Eat Local Challenge and thriving is a source of irritation for a certain type of person. They like to quote studies that somehow show that frozen farmed shrimp from Zimbabwe is somehow more gentle on the planet than buying a local tomato at your farmers market or even foraging your backyard for purslane.

If you are of a certain age, you will remember the beginnings of the feminist movement, which among other things, declared that women really are created equal to men and deserve similar rights across the board. Many, many women who agreed with this basic principal went running the other way. “Oh sure I believe in equal rights for women,” they’d declare, “I just don’t want to burn my bra or any Women’s Lib thing like that.” The whole issue was defined by the opposition, who declared that in order to support the feminist cause, a gal needed to burn her bra.

To support the Localvore movement is not to suddenly stop eating catsup from Ohio or even food from China. It’s not designed to put foreign imports out of business. It’s to encourage local food production, stop suburban sprawl and support traditions that are dying and entrepreneurs who are creating. Take it as far as you can. Don’t bust a gut if you have to crack open a jar of imported capers. Think twice before eating the cherries from South America in the winter. Eat more tomatoes when the days are long and more greens and root vegetables in the winter. Get to know a local hunter. Eating rice from another state is not the same things as Fedex’ing a squash blossom across the country. Do your best but don’t feel guilty or defensive if you can’t get on board with the whole show and don’t act smug and superior if somehow you do.

There is just no data that you can offer that will convince me supporting local food is a bad thing.

Agriculture Commissioner Merrill in Brentwood

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

New Ag Commissioner Lorraine Merrill will be speaking in Brentwood next week.  If you’d like to come hear her or ask her a question, be sure to register ahead of time.  Below is the text of the invitation we received in the mail.


UNH Cooperative Extension of Rockingham County
invites you to meet New Hampshire’s new State Commissioner of Agriculture Lorraine Merrill
Tuesday January 22, 5:00 – 7:00pm
at the Rockingham County Complex
(Nursing Home Auditorium, William Sturtevant Way, off North Rd. in Brentwood).
Registration is required as space is limited. 
To register, please call the Extension office at 679-5616 or email or

Commissioner Merrill will speak about her vision for NH agriculture, followed by time for the audience to ask questions and share ideas.

Truth in labeling –

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

As seen in the December 19, 2007 NH Weekly Market Bulletin:

Markets Fined for ‘Local’ Labeling Violations

The Division of Regulatory Services has assessed and received payment of two administrative penalties of $1,000 each from Market Basket/DeMoulas stores in New Hampshire. The chain grocer was cited for violations of RSA 426:5, relative to the use of the words “native,” “local,” and “our own,” that occurred in October 2007.

The Demoulas store at 265 S. Broadway, Salem, was found to have advertised “locally grown picked fresh daily sweet corn.” An investigation by the division found tha the corn was grown in Florida.

The Market Basket store at 108 Ft Eddy Rd, Concord, was found to have advertised “Locally Grown Romaine Lettuce.” An investigation by the division found that the lettuce was grown in California.

Market Basket/DeMoulas had previously been warned regarding similar labeling violations at these and other locations in New Hampshire, and failed to make corrections.

The intent of the law is to assure New Hampshire consumers who seek out native and local produce of truthful labeling. In addition, the law provides a fair marketing environment for sellers of farm products. The division rigorously enforces this truth in labeling law.

Women’s Retreat at Lasting Legacy Farm

Monday, January 14th, 2008

An Invitation to a Women’s Retreat

at Lasting Legacy Farm, Barrington, NH

Saturday, January 26th ~ From 10 am to 4 pm

~ Give a gift to yourself and spend some time in an intimate setting with women in your community

~ The day will include workshops presented by four local women and a scrumptious lunch


The Sugar Blues – Alison Kober Dean from Inside Out Nutrition, Holistic Health Counselor

Better Foods, Better Environment, Better You – Wendy Berry from Lasting Legacy Farm, Provides Naturally Raised Meats to the Community

Nurture Yourself in Nature – Debra Marcotte, Graduate from Institute of Natural Learning, Vermont

Positive and Powerful Intentions – Sue Stibler from Inner Peace Healing Arts, Intregates mind, body, emotion, and spiritual healing, to her clients

Please register early as enrollment is limited to ten women

You may pre-register by e-mailing Wendy at wberry AT

Cost is $25, to be paid in full upon registering

Presenter Bios

Alison Kober Dean is a holistic health counselor who strives to be a personal advocate for her clients. What began as a personal journey has become a business – Inside Out Nutrition. Her goal is to help people to make healthy, nourishing decisions about their diets that will enable them to live a more balanced, energetic and fulfilling life. At this retreat, she will be speaking about the Sugar Blues and why women are so prone to them.

Sue Stibler is a licensed independent clinical social worker and Inter-nationally registered yoga teacher. She assists her clients to integrate mind, body, emotional and spiritual healing through her business – Inner Peace Healing Arts. She will be presenting a workshop on creating Positive and Powerful Intentions for our lives.

Wendy Berry and her husband Jon began Lasting Legacy Farm because they wanted to provide quality food for their children. Their family project has evolved into a full time business, providing naturally grown meats for their customers. Their venture is ever-expanding to provide more local products for the community. Wendy will be speaking at this retreat about the foods for our own health as well as our planet.

Debra Marcotte is a recent graduate of the Community Nature Awareness Program at the Institute for Natural Learning in Vermont.Her focus is to help children and adults develop a renewed sense of place by employing the core routines of nature awareness in daily life. At this retreat, she will be speaking about those core routines and their benefits for our physical and mental well being.

Farmers’ Markets on the brain

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I finally managed to get just a few (there are many more to come!) of the pictures from the December Holiday Farmers’ Market up – in time to be helping plan, organize, and publicize another market! On February 9th, the Congregational Church in Exeter (21 Front Street) will be home to 14 farmers and food producers with such foods as salad greens, dried beans, milk, cheese, eggs, and plenty of locally and humanely raised meat including beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. The market will be from 10am – 2pm. Best bet for parking is the municipal lot in Exeter, just across Court Street from the Church. Spread the word! More successful farmers’ markets lead to more successful farmers’ markets . . .

Mark your calendar – Food Security talk offered by the South Church

Friday, January 11th, 2008

As seen in the Portsmouth Herald:

“Oil Before Food” will be the topic of a talk by John Carroll on Sunday, January 20 from 11:30am to 12:45pm in the Sanctuary at South Church, 292 State Street, Portsmouth.

Carroll, a professor of Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire, is a well-known researcher and speaker on topics related to sustainability. He will discuss the fact that in our current system of agriculture and food, we must have oil before we can eat.  More than 98 percent of all the energy contained in our food system comes from oil and natural gas. That includes the 1,500 miles that our food must travel before we have anything to eat.

Without oil (and natural gas) we can’t produce or transport any food. We only have three days of food supply in New England. We depend, therefore, on a steady flow of food into the region to feed people. New Hampshire is no more than 3 percent self-sufficient in food, according to our Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Taylor. [note from Sara Zoe – our agricultural commissioner is now Lorraine Stuart Merrill]

And while you are marking your calendars, here’s a way to start changing that 3 days food supply/3% self-sufficiency ratio: The Congregational Church of Exeter is hosting a Winter (mini) Farmers’ Market (Seacoast Eat Local is lending a hand to this terrific event) on February 9th in their building on Front Street in Exeter, from 10am – 2pm. 14 vendors will have everything from fresh (fresh! local!) salad greens, to dried beans, to eggs and cheese, with plenty of good, local meat as well.

Shopping Habits and Annoying Siblings

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Here’s an interesting blog post I found through about the ubiquitous organic and/or local discussion.  You’ll notice I didn’t say organic versus local debate.  That phrasing gives the appearance of a dichotomy which does not exist, thankfully.  It also involves the even more ubiquitous fighting with a family member about what to serve at a holiday dinner.