Archive for February, 2008

Great Works Regional Land Trust Dinner and Auction

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Great Works Regional Land Trust works to conserve land, including agricultural land a lot of the time, in southern York County – they are on the front lines of making sure there is farm land to grow food for us!

On March 8th they will be holding their very popular dinner and auction in South Berwick. The whole list is quite amazing, and includes plenty of local food highlights including two different beef packages to bid on, lobster dinners, a day with Portsmouth Brewer Tod Mott and wonderful smaller items like pies, preserves, and more.

If you can’t make the date (or the tickets sell out, which they are likely to do!), you can email in a bid before March 7th.

With all the complexities of local food, land use, land availability, and the value of land on the Seacoast is one we have to work together to tackle – thanks go to Great Works and all the other land conservation organizations on the Seacoast, not only for their good works but making it fun and easy to support them with events like this!

CSA Fair

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

The Slow Food Seacoast CSA Fair is on for Saturday, March 15, Noon-3pm at the Strawbery Banke Visitors Center.

This event is an opportunity for people to meet farmers that are selling CSA shares and sign up for the 2008 growing season.

For directions to Strawbery Banke, please visit

http://www.strawberybanke.org/mapanddirections.html

This event is free and open to the public.

Carrot Soup

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

I just got a postcard in the mail from Stonyfield Farm for carrot soup. Now I hope they don’t mind, but I tried it because it calls for lots of plain yogurt. I just discovered the delicious Brookford Farm plain yogurt and was looking for a way to use it. You can pick some up every Thursday in Exeter from 2-4pm at 9 Newfields Road. Luke Mahoney set up his own farmer’s market once the regular season ended. He didn’t want to stop. It’s great, because you can also pick up fresh organic milk, salad greens, eggs, and occasionally beef. Here’s the recipe:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp rice
1 cup plain yogurt
2/3 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

Using a small stock pot, heat olive oil over a medium-high flame. Once hot, add ginger, onions, and garlic, and saute until onions begin to soften and turn translucent. Add carrots, vegetable stock, and rice and simmer for 30min or until carrots break apart easily. Using a blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat over a medium flame. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and cornstarch and blend until well mixed. Stir this mixture into the soup, being careful not to bring the soup back to a boil. Season with salt and pepper (I like to add cayenne pepper) and garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.

I make a lot of soup and this was a particularly good one. Sorry for no picture, we ate it all before I thought of it. And I would recommend doubling the batch.

small, creative dairies in the NYT

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

What we are seeing here on the Seacoast with delicious local dairy products from farms like Brookford Farm, in Rollinsford, NH is also happening throughout New England – instead of trying to survive by competing with generic milk, these dairies are doing what comes naturally to them: creating and selling delicious and unique products, on smaller scales and much more locally.

Read: The Dairies Are Half-Pint, but the Flavor Isn’t, New York Times >

mark your calendars: Maple Weekend Open House

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

March 29th and 30th is New Hampshire Maple Weekend (Maine Maple Sunday is March 23 this year, and here’s a link to a searchable database of open houses and pancake breakfasts!, though since the 23rd is Easter, many producers are holding events on other days. Massachusetts declares all of March “Maple Month” and, well, I’m sure there are good sugar houses there, but I couldn’t find any.)

Sugarmomma’s Maple Farm will be holding an open house!

Maple Weekend – Open House
March 29th & 30th – 10am- 2pm
Sugarmomma’s Maple Farm
213 Ridge Road Northwood, NH 03261
603-942-7005

“While visiting the sugarhouse you will have the opportunity to sample some treats made with our finest pure NH maple syrup. We hope that the weather will be cooperative so that you will be able to experience the sweet process of making maple syrup.

Wendy Berry of Lasting Legacy Farm will be bringing in baby animals to pet and play with!”

in the news: New Vendors Sought For Local Farmers’ Markets

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

If you are a farmer  in Rockingham, Strafford, or York counties looking to expand your sales possibilities, apply for the summer markets! Last year saw record turn outs of customers at all the farmers’ markets, and with all the interest and support we’ve seen of late on the Seacoast, I can only think that this year will be even better. (And to the consumers out there – hold on – May 1 and the Portsmouth Market will be here before we know it):

Seacoast Growers’ Association invites new vendors to its six local farmers’ markets.

The deadline to apply for crafts or prepared food booths is March 1, and the deadline for agricultural producers — including wine, cheese and meat products — is April 1. The requirements are that all vendors must grow, make or produce what is sold, and that participating businesses must be based in Rockingham or Strafford counties in New Hampshire or York County, Maine.

An application form is available online at www.seacoastgrowers.org, and more information is available at seacoastgrowersyahoo.com.

Weekly farmers’ markets are held from May to November in Portsmouth, and from June to October in Dover, Durham, Exeter, Hampton and Kingston. This year’s focus is promoting SGA’s weekday markets, so new vendors are especially invited to apply for these opportunites. In addition to the goods of over 40 member businesses, farmers’ markets feature at-market demonstrations, workshops and entertainments, as well as nonprofit guests every week.

Seacoast Growers’ Association is a state-registered nonprofit organization bringing farmers’ markets to the Seacoast for over 30 years. SGA works closely with Seacoast Local, Slow Food Seacoast and Seacoast Eat Local to promote local agriculture and sustainable food distribution in our region.

Dine Green

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

A really interesting NYT article about restaurants going green, and a Cambridge, MA organization helping them do it and making sure it isn’t a bunch of green-washing.

No restaurants in NH or ME yet, though …

“Oil Before Food? How to Support Local Food from Local Farms” – John Carroll to speak in Rye

Friday, February 15th, 2008

If you’ve missed past chances to hear Professor John Carroll speak, he will be at the Rye Public Library on March 6th (a Thursday) at 6:30pm – free and open to the public.

“Oil Before Food?  How to Support Local Food from Local Farms:

A talk on sustainable agriculture and eating locally”

John E. Carroll is Professor of Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire. He has directed and taught in the university’s undergraduate natural resources and environmental degree programs for many years. In recent years Prof. Carroll has engaged in research in sustainable agriculture and in agricultural ethics and values. In 2005, he published a book “The Wisdom of Small Farms and Local Food: Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and Sustainable Agriculture”

Sponsored by the Rye Energy Committee.

Slow Food Seacoast brings us: The SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) Food Series!

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Slow Food is delighted to join with Kittery Adult Education, Seacoast Eat Local, MACA, and many volunteers from the local food community to present:

The SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) Food Series!

Held at Traip Academy in Kittery but open to all, the six-part series promises to be a great “Food 101,” touching on all aspects of the food awareness movement as it’s happening locally. You may register for single sessions or for all of them! Sign up soon – space is filling up. You may register by mail to: Kittery Adult and Community Education, Kittery School DEpartment, 200 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME, 03904.Please make checks out to “Kittery School Department.” KAE is unable to confirm mail-ins; unless you receive a call, assume you are registered. More information and complete brochure at: http://www.kitteryschools.org/Adult%20Education.

Note: Volunteers welcome! Would you like to speak on one of these panels or help with the program? Please reply and let us know what you’re interested in!

Session1 : The World of Slow Food

Wednesday, March 5, 6 PM

The opening night of the series will be hosted by a panel of members of Slow Food Seacoast. Michelle Moon, Rachel Forrest, Dick and Ursula Bondi, and others will talk about this food movement and its potential for enhancing individual lives. Slow Food sees food as a way of bringing communities together, honoring people who make, raise, and grow it, and joining together to celebrate it. Through discussions and tastings, learn about the new movement toward healthy and joyful attitudes toward food! Fee: $10, $12 nonresident

Session 2: Meat Farmer’s Forum

Monday, March 10, 6 PM

Do you have questions or concerns about where your meat comes from? Do you like the idea of a small, local farm instead of a meat-producing factory? Would you feel more confident about your meat if you knew the famers who produced it? Come meet Jon and Wendy Berry of Lasting Legacy Farm and Robert Gibson and Joseph Marquette of Yellow House Farm for a forum on two local meat producing farms. They will discuss the realities that face the loca farm and why they are indeed so drastically different from the major conglomerates that monopolize the meat market. A unique opportunity to learn about meat from local farms! Fee; $10, $12 nonresident

Session 3: Go Local!

Wednesday, March 12, 6 PM

Members of Seacoast Eat Local, a grassroots group connecting local farmers to consumers, will share their tips and tricks for finding sources of fresh, locally grown foods, getting to know farmers, coming up with creative ideas like mini co-ops, CSAs, and bartering, and more. Find out where to buy meats, dairy, produce, and prepared foods made by the Seacoast’s own farmers and artisans. Leave with local-food recipes and a copy of the Local Foods Resource Guide. Fee: $10, $12 nonresident, plus $3 materials fee

Session 4: From the Ground Up: Farming and Gardening Naturally & Organically

Wednesday, March 19, 6 PM

Organic CSA farmer Andy Gagnon of Andy’s Greens and other local growers discuss the organic movement. Understand some of the complicated factors involved in raising produce and learn why organic and local produce may cost more, but yield better quality. Taste a few samples and go home with resources on gardening organically, finding local organic food, and contacting regional and national organizations that help with organic growing. Fee: $10, 12 nonresident, plus $3 materials fee

Session 5: Cooking with Good Food

Wednesday, March 26, 6 PM

Chef-Instructor Brain Coffey of McIntosh Atlantic Culinary Academy will teach and demonstrate techniques for preparing and storing a variety of seasonal local foods. Master a few methods that will let you use seasonal ingredients to create new tastes year round, and make vibrant varied meals with fresh local foods. Fee: $10 resident, $12 nonresident, plus $7 materials fee

Session 6: What’s the Catch? Sustainable Seafood

Wednesday, April 2, 6 PM

Erika Zollett, UNH PhD student in marine environmental science, leads a discussion on understanding fisheries and choosing fish from healthy, sustainable populations. From farmed salmon to fresh flounder to imported tilapia to native Maine lobster, what should seafood lovers consider when making shopping choices? How can we support the local fishing industry while still caring for the oceans? Take home recipes and useful resources. Fees: Resident $10, nonresident $12, plus $3 materials fee.

Bonus Session 7: Potluck and Celebration!

Wednesday, May 7, 6 PM

Use what you’ve discovered to prepare a dish to share. Highlight the Seacoast’s rich and abundant food sources in a local, organic, homegrown, or seasonal dish while enjoying lively discussion about the worlds of taste, quality of life, and friendship that sharing good good creates. Fee: FREE (registration required!)

Forget to put food by?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

If you want to try eating preserved food this winter but didn’t get any pickling done this summer, today’s Boston Globe has a fun article on restaurants and shops near Boston that offer pickled foods and charcuterie. There’s even a recipe for pickled red onions. Here’s the list:

  • The Butcher Shop, 552 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-4800, thebutchershopboston.com.
  • Craigie Street Bistrot, 5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, 617-497-5511, craigiestreetbistrot.com.
  • Rocca, 500 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-451-5151, roccaboston.com.
  • Sel de la Terre, 255 State St., Boston, 617-720-1300, seldelaterre.com.
  • T.W. Food, 377 Walden St.,Cambridge, 617- 864-4745, twfoodrestaurant.com.
  • WuChon House, 290 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-623-3313, wuchonhouse.com.

And here’s the link:

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2008/02/13/preserving_a_tradition/