you want the good news or the bad news first?
The good news is that a collaboration of the Seacoast Growers’ Association, Slow Food Seacoast, Seacoast Local, and Seacoast Eat Local is bringing fresh food from the farmers’ market each week to Cross Roads House.
Local farmers make post-market donations to homeless shelter, Karen Dandurant
Summer, and farmers, are improving the quality of life at Cross Roads House, at least at dinnertime.
Seacoast farmers are sharing their bounty by donating produce to the homeless shelter. And, the local farmer’s market also has a booth set up for people who buy produce and want to donate a portion of it to the cause.
“It all arrives on Saturdays and they are kind enough to bring it over,” said Cross Roads House Director Chris Sterndale. “Some of the folks selling at the market have produce in excess that they might not be able to sell. It’s hard for us to get fresh anything throughout the year, so it’s great to have this. It’s fresh, healthy and tastes good. It saves us having to go out and buy it. Most of the meals here are prepared by volunteers. Sometimes they cook here but not often. Our kitchen is not sufficient for number people we need to feed. We’re putting out 80 plates of food on average each night. Church groups or families take on a night. We get a great variety of stuff that way. Dinner is probably the only pleasant part of staying here. We always serve balanced meals.”
Each Saturday at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, volunteers from several area organizations gather food donations from farmers who have something abundant to share. The practice, called “gleaning,” makes use of fresh produce that farmers and growers have in excess one week, but would probably not remain fresh for the next week’s market. Rather than see the food go to waste, or store it beyond the peak of freshness, these farmers are happy to see their food served and enjoyed while still at the height of quality, while also helping to relieve the food budget of an important local nonprofit.
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** Everyone is welcome and encouraged to make donations of fresh food at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market – you can buy a few extra tomatoes, a dozen eggs, or some onions and drop them off at the information tent at the front of the market! All food donations are welcome and volunteers will drive the donations straight to Cross Roads House each Saturday.
The bad news is that the Portsmouth City Council upheld the chicken ban …
City Upholds Chicken Ban
Earlier this summer, Kim McNamara prohibited sale of poultry coming from small farms because they are exempt from federal licensing requirements because they have fewer than 1,000 chickens. The health department, she said, can permit only vendors who receive their foods from an approved source.
The ruling was not a popular one among some market patrons who signed a petition requesting a formal legal explanation or that the ban be lifted.
“(McNamara) believes that uninspected poultry creates a risk to public health; that’s the beginning and end of our discussion,” said city attorney Sullivan.
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** Kellie Brook Farm will have fresh, never frozen, chickens for sale from Thursday, August 7 to Saturday, August 9 at the farm at 1024 Portsmouth Avenue (Rte 33), in Greenland, NH. Fresh chickens will also be for sale at the Exeter Farmers’ Market on Thursday, August 7 from 2:15-6pm, in Swazey Parkway in Exeter.
Directions to Kellie Brook Farm (.pdf)