Archive for October, 2009

Market Notes: How to fillet a fish

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

This week’s demonstration in Gloucester by fishermen protesting federal rules changes, along with a recent visit to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, has me thinking a lot about fish lately. We’re fortunate to have access to two different CSF’s that help support our local fisheries — Eastman’s for fish and the Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative for native shrimp.


Eastman’s shares come as fillets but, for those of you who are interested, here’s a great video (via Diary of a Locavore) showing how to fillet haddock. Added bonus: getting a peek at fish processing.

The Monthly Munch on Dover School Food

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Dover Public School District is trying a new method to communicate positive school food initiatives. UNH Nutritional Science Field Experience student, Erica Siver researches, writes and submits her column titled Monthly Munch to all district school newsletters–most are online editions. The district also posts Erica’s work on the district site and Edline, a parental resource.  

Monthly Munch

by Erica Siver

Dover school food launches forward. The spork is out as dark leafy greens are in! A superior utensil, the fork, is a much needed vessel to get heftier lettuce from plate to mouth. One of our heroic UNH Nutritional Science Field Experience students has been in the trenches with cafe staff, working in unison to assemble a salad bar offered weekly for lunch at Dover High School. The salad excursion will offer healthful greens like spinach, many different vegetable and bean options and a yogurt bar with granola and fruit toppings. The salad bar will be open every Friday. Food service already has a wrap-style bar in place every Thursday and the salad bar is an extension of an ongoing attempt to offer less processed school food. And of note, all schools will be switching to ‘green’ trays and dishes in the next month. The trays are compostable and recyclable. Mark Covell, Food Service Director, is currently applying through the State to institute three after school snack programs. The snacks will be provided to the 21st CCLC Program at Woodman Park Elementary school afternoon program, the General Education Development Options Program at the McConnell Center  and the after school program located at the Seymour Osman Community Center. In total it will provide healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and vegetables, 100% juice products, milk, whole grain crackers and breads for approximately 150 students if approved by the State. Check back next month for more nutritious tidbits.

Sheet mulching workshop rescheduled for November 1

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Due to the rain, the Sheet Mulching Workshop offered by the Dover Cassily Community Garden will be rescheduled for November 1:

Sheet Mulching Workshop on Sunday, November 1, 10-2pm

The Dover Cassily Community Garden is hosting a sheet mulching workshop on Sunday, November 1 from 10am until 2pm. In this hands-on workshop, we will create new garden beds for the Dover Cassily Community Garden to use next spring. Sheet mulching is a quick and easy way to create gardens from lawns without the back-breaking work of digging or rototilling. Furthermore, sheet mulching can be done with readily available, inexpensive (or free) materials. The workshop will be led by “certified permaculture designer” Mary Gilbertson. The workshop is free and open to the public. Whether you are new to gardening or an experienced gardener, please join us in expanding the growing potential of our garden. Community members of all ages are welcome. Please provide your own food and drink. Registration is not required. Donations welcome. The garden is located off of Hillside Dr. near Beckwith Park. For more information or directions, please contact

Author Mollie Katzen Joins University of New Hampshire for a Simply Southern Experience

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Durham, NH, October 25, 2009– Mollie Katzen, award winning author of the famed Moosewood Cookbook, embraces the work of University of New Hampshire (UNH) hospitality management students for Simply Southern, a Gourmet Dinner to be held November 20th and 21st, 2009. The theme reflects the regional distinction as well as the simple, warm pleasure of fine food and drink, hospitality and good company. Mollie’s newest book get cooking. will be available for sale and a book signing will take place during the cocktail hour from 6 to 7 o’clock in the evening.

Mollie Katzen’s visit to UNH combines the Gourmet Dinners, a campus lunch cooking session with University Dining and book signing. She is also a new member of the EcoGastronomy advisory board—the first dual major of its kind offered in the country.

The students enrolled in the Advanced Food and Beverage Management course embrace the challenge of creating a fine dining, nonprofit venture. The time-honored Gourmet Dinners, dating back twenty-five years or more, give students a glimpse of what is to come after graduation, as they take full responsibility for budgeting, service standards, marketing, sustainable practices and ethics surrounding a high-end event. And the students are expected to develop a theme and menu that will capture guest interest within a targeted demographic.

Six of approximately 20 students are chosen for executive leadership and the remaining become mid-level management. The preparatory experience smoothes the transition as students rise to upper management in hotels, inns, food establishments or other hospitality positions. The executive and management teams dedicate an immense amount of time, nearly 15 hours a week outside the classroom—often difficult for a full-time student.

Simply Southern, The Heart of Hospitality will feature six courses of southern-inspired dishes with local ingredients as available, while capturing the excitement surrounding Mollie Katzen’s visit to UNH.

The dinner will take place at Stillings, 20 Ballard Drive, Durham, NH, on November 20, beginning with a cocktail hour and book signing at 6 o’clock and dinner to follow. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at .

The Botany of Desire

Sunday, October 25th, 2009



My introduction to hard cider was through a local farmer who had let a plastic jug of apple cider ferment in his shed. Before letting me taste it, he checked to make sure that I would be driving home directly after. I’d appreciated fresh apple cider well enough but hard cider was another thing altogether — it was surprisingly fizzy, crisp and, of course, alcoholic — a delightful expression of the season. He also recommended that I read the chapter on apples in Michael Pollan’s book, “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World”.

The upcoming PBS television special, “The Botany of Desire“, adapted from Pollan’s book, explores the evolution of apples, tulips, cannabis and potatoes. The website also contains a bonus video featuring Farnum Hill Ciders in Lebanon, NH. If that’s not enough for fans of Pollan, there’s also the TED video, “Michael Pollan gives a plant’s eye view”.


The Botany of Desire

PBS (check for local station)

Wednsday, October 28 at 8 p.m


Featuring Michael Pollan and based on his best-selling book, this special takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world, seen from the plants’ point of view. Narrated by Frances McDormand, the program shows how four familiar species – the apple, the tulip, cannabis and the potato – evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.

Food for Thought

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The Portsmouth Historical Society, as part of their “Sunday Salons” series, presents Michelle Moon, of Slow Food Seacoast, in “Food for Thought”:


Food for Thought

Sunday, October 25 at 2 p.m.

Discover Portsmouth Center, corner of Middle & Islington Streets, Portsmouth, NH

Tickets: $10 ($7 for PHS members) and may be purchased at the door


Organic. Conventional. Eat Local. Free-range. Food Miles. Grass-fed. Slow Food. These and other buzzwords are popping up more and more, as Americans reflect upon the sources of food and its journey to our plates. It’s a current topic — but it has roots in our past. Join Slow Food Seacoast co-Leader, Moon, to discover how and why our food system has developed as it has, and how new partnerships among local museums, historic sites, and food organizations are helping people learn from the past to build a healthier food future. 

Moon has been interested in food history and folklife since she learned to cook in the kitchens of her two grandmothers, one Yankee and one Texan. As director of education at Strawbery Banke, she oversaw the development of the Foodways Program, in which a team of skilled interpreters researches and prepares dishes dating from the 1790s to the 1950s. She is co-leader of Slow Food Seacoast, an active community group seeking to promote good, clean, and fair food on the Seacoast and worldwide. A graduate of Connecticut College, she has worked in museums and educational settings for more than 15 years.

For information, contact the Portsmouth Historical Society:, (603) 436-8420, 

Holiday Turkeys from Thistleridge Farm

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Thistleridge Farm is now taking orders for holiday turkeys! Call Sherri at 603-740-9332

Served in a barn, a menu fit for kings

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Anne and Leigh at Chefs Collaborative have blogged about the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner that took place at Berry Hill and Meadow’s Mirth Farms in Stratham earlier this month. This special celebration was sponsored jointly by Chefs Collaborative and Slow Food Seacoast, and featured courses prepared by seven local chefs as a showcase for this year’s RAFT Grow-Out project. Thanks, Anne, for sharing the menu as well as posting photos of some of the delicious-looking dishes served!

Great Maine Apple Day

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Great Maine Apple Day is an annual event sponsored by MOFGA, and is a very fun way to celebrate all things apple. We attended last year, and brought samples from several apple trees we needed help identifying. Best of all was the opportunity to taste the many varieties of apples particular to our region! For full schedule, please see MOFGA’s website:


Great Maine Apple Day

Celebrate the History, Flavor and Tradition of Maine Apples

Sponsored by MOFGA, Fedco, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Saturday, October 24th, 12 noon – 4 pm

Admission: $4, $2 for members of MOFGA & Maine Pomological Society

Common Ground Education Center, 294 Crosby Brook Rd, Unity, Maine

Educational Workshops & Talks * fruit tree pruning * cooking with old time apple recipes * Maine’s rich apple history * wine & cider making * organic tree care *

See & Taste Rare & Heirloom Apples * Bring your own varieties to show and taste *

Identifying your Mystery Variety * Our Dream Team of Maine Apple Identifiers will help you identify your apples *

Vendors * Local and organic apples, apple products, cheeses and other local handmade products *

350 SPECIAL Cider Pressing * 350 Apples from 350 Trees in celebration of our awareness of and commitment to reducing carbon in the atmosphere to 350 ppm. * Please bring one, clean apple from each tree in your yard or neighborhood, you need not be able to identify them! *

Apple Pie Contest * Bring your apple pie to share! Tasting will be at 3:30 pm *

Cooking with Heirloom Apples begins at 12:15 pm * This year’s cooking workshop will again feature several varieties of heirloom Maine apples and “pies” from around the world. Tarte Tartin, Bavarian Apple Torte, Indian Apple Pudding, Apple Pizza, Apple Crumb Pie and Apple Danish.” ** This workshop is FREE for MOFGA members, $5 to the general public. Please email to pre-register.

Farmer Workshop: 10 Marketing Strategies & Tips for Selling Farm Produce

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

UNH Cooperative Extension will be offering a workshop on November 2 featuring a panel of expert growers talking about potential farm markets for next season and the importance of branding and pricing products, along with different views on the pros and cons of crop insurance.

The full day workshop will take place in Brentwood at the Rockingham County Complex and will cost $15.

~ Agenda & Speakers ~

8:30am – Registration and refreshments

9:00am – Introduction by Nada Haddad, UNH Cooperative Extension

9:05am – Marketing Strategies – Growers Panel

Richard Bonanno, Pleasant Valley Garden, Methuen, MA
Josh Jennings, Meadow’s Mirth Farm, Stratham, NH
John Moulton, Moulton Farm, Meredith, NH
Anna & Bill Spiller, Spiller Farm, Wells, ME

Panel will be moderated by Becky (Grube) Sideman, Extension Professor, UNH Cooperative Extension

11:00am – Branding to Engage and Empower the Customer, Michelle Chambers, “Red Tomato” Trade Team

Noon – Lunch provided with pre-registration

1:30pm – The Pros and Cons of Crop Insurance, A farmer’s viewpoint and insurance agent’s perspective

2:00pm – Which Crops Are Making Money? Michael Sciabarrasi, Business Management Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension

2:30pm – Pricing Your Products, Michelle Chambers, “Red Tomato”

3:30pm – Adjourn

Download the full brochure and registration information >