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Archive for February, 2010
Despite power outages throughout the state, The Winter Farmers’ Market for February 27 at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford is still on.
If you are without power and would like to go someplace warm and get out of the house for a little while, please come to the market.
One of the easiest ways to begin eating locally and reacquaint yourself with the flavor of real food is with delicious farm-fresh eggs. Direct from the farm, you can actually taste the freshness. Production of eggs fluctuates with the seasons, and availability is again increasing with the approach of spring. Some of the vendors to be on the lookout for fresh eggs at the Winter Farmers’ Market include:
- Brookford Farm
- Field to Fork Farm
- General Butler Farm
- Harrison’s Poultry
- Hickory Nut Farm
- Jesta Farm
- Philip Nugent
- Sugermamma’s Maple Farm
- Touching Earth
- Yellow House Farm
To maintain freshness, bring them home quickly or keep them in a cooler in the car in warm weather. Refrigerate eggs immediately once you’re home. They will age more during one day at room temperature than a week refrigerated. Leave eggs in their carton; the carton helps to prevent moisture loss and absorption of refrigerator odors.
Note: Remember to save your egg cartons — many farmers recycle/reuse them, just ask!
Need some chicks for the spring? Thistle Ridge Hatchery and Farm in Dover is still accepting orders for spring chicks. You can also sign up to be a part of their incubation program allowing you to hatch you own chicks. Thistle Ridge has many breeds and hatch times available. For more information, to get incubation and fertile eggs, and to get chicks call (603) 740-9332 or (603) 767-5298 and ask for Sherri.
According to the NH Coaltion for Sustaining Agriculture’s guide, How to Create an Agricultural Commission in Your Hometown, “The purpose of an agricultural commission is to protect agricultural lands, preserve rural character, provide a voice for farmers, and encourage agriculture-based businesses. For years New Hampshire farmers have served as stewards of land and water resources, and provided habitat for native plants and animals. As New Hampshire communities grow and change, citizens are looking for ways to support local farms, and foster new ones.”
Join us for an in-depth discussion on how to establish an Agricultural Commission, the duties of a Commission, and an explanation of grant funds available to assist in establishing or sustaining an Agricultural Commission. Workshop leaders include Nada Haddad of UNH Cooperative Extension, Erick Sawtelle of the Lee Agricultural Commission, Dick Wollmar of the North Hampton Agricultural Commission, George Malette of the Weare Agricultural Commission, John Lastowka of the Merrimack Agricultural Commission, and Theresa Walker of the Rockingham Planning Commission. Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner of the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food, will join us at the start of the workshop.
When: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 (Snow date is March 17) 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, refreshments provided
Where: Hilton Auditorium Rockingham County Nursing Home 117 North Road, Brentwood, NH
This workshop is targeted at communities in the I-93 corridor, Atkinson, Sandown, Hampstead, Fremont, Danville, and Windham, but is open to all towns in Rockingham County.
Other Regional Planning Commissions will be hosting workshops on Agricultural Commissions as well.
Just in time for CSA Fair Weekend (events in MA, ME, and of course, at the Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday the 27th with us in Rollinsford) LocalHarvest.org has published their own How to Choose a CSA article.
The first section is an important one, which is, knowing yourself and your relationship to things like vegetables and cooking – and then moving on to details of the relationship for the season, with the good advice to ask a lot of questions, “You’re considering making a major investment: go ahead and ask a lot of questions before you join”
Sustainable/Organic Agriculture Position
The New Hampshire Farm Museum in Milton, New Hampshire seeks a full time farmer/grower committed to sustainable/organic agriculture. We are looking for someone with experience and education in the principles of sustainable, organic agriculture to establish this first year, a start-up market garden, care for our heritage breed farm animals and assist with our farm based educational programs. The right person will be enthusiastic, a hard worker and have completed a minimum of one full season internship on an organic farm. This position in 2010 begins in April and runs through December and has the potential to be a one year renewable position if successful. We seek someone who can bring two acres under cultivation with volunteer support. BA or Associates Degree required and relevant experience. The NH Farm Museum offers free housing: a three room apartment in an historic farmhouse, including heat and electric for one person or a couple, no dogs permitted~Kitchen and bathroom are shared with resident intern. This first year we can offer a base salary of $1000. per month, a farm share, and a share of the net profits from sales of farm products. Please send: resume with cover letter and names of three references to: Kathleen Shea, NH Farm Museum PO Box 644, Milton, NH 03851 or email the same to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve been enjoying the honey crisps we got from NH Cider Works at the last market in Exeter (the cider is long gone, this Saturday we’ll have to buy triple!) and can’t wait to buy more this Saturday the 27th in Rollinsford at the Wentworth Greenhouses. Also joining NH Cider Works with more apples with be Merrill Farm from Londondery and Hackleboro Orchards from Canterbury – the surprisingly sweet and snappy taste of these local apples has been a joy to my tastebuds and I’m excited that these orchards are coming our way to share the benefits of their cold storage!
You might have noticed Renee, clipboard in hand, surveying Winter Farmers’ Markets attendees while conducting research for her graduate thesis. At Farm Story, Renee shares some of her insights on the growing network of winter farmers markets in New Hampshire:
“Can New England feed itself?”
The notion wouldn’t leave me alone as I traveled around Tuscany last year drooling over the gastronomic pleasures presented at the many local food shops and trattorias and ogling the vegetable gems that were peaking out from within greenhouses. I was becoming increasingly jealous of their idyllic growing climate, rich soils and a food culture that rests so heavily on fresh, locally grown vegetables and grains as well as regional meats and cheeses. With the question still haunting me nearly six months later, I gave in and decided to focus my graduate thesis on the potentials and barriers facing a regional food system for New England, my home.
Once back in the United States, I discovered that I was not the only one asking this question. Various professors, engaged citizens, nonprofits and motivated farmers are working together to answer this question in the affirmative. Even the USDA is interested. However, my gut feeling is that for lasting change to happen, we need a bottom-up approach. With this in mind, I was curious to find out the motivations and preferences of people in New Hampshire responsible for the growing, selling and buying of New Hampshire (NH) local food.
As luck would have it, this was the first winter that NH has organized a strong network of winter farmer markets, offering consumers the chance to support their beloved farmers year round. If a truly sustainable and self-supportive food system is indeed possible for the state and the New England region, I decided that these public spaces set up to support local food commerce through the lean winter months offered a good starting place. My first winter market experience, held in the Wentworth Greenhouses of Rollinsford, NH, provided a great kickoff for my thesis work as I was instantly motivated by the sheer numbers of people. I was told by the market coordinators to arrive early because it was their experience that customers would be practically beating the door down to get in. These warnings didn’t prepare me for the throngs of people in line with their linen bags and steaming coffee mugs eagerly waiting to pounce on the vendors’ tables before valuable goods in limited quantities were depleted. Live folk music floated around festive poinsettias and through the warm, greenhouse air providing entertainment to chatting new-found friends.
Equally notable was the variety of local items on display – from heaps of shallots and crisp bunches of kale to Tuscan-herb goat cheese. I noted that same diversity in the representation of assembled farmers. Their varied interests and backrounds were mirrored in the items offered: heritage duck eggs; meat from pigs, goats, deer and buffalo; multiple types of fresh cheeses, maple syrup, wine and a cornucopia of vegetables. To read full article >
The Dover Cassily Community Garden will hold a workshop on how to properly prune mature apple trees at the Community Garden on March 8, at 3:30 pm. Pruning experts Bill Lord and Geoffrey Njue, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, Strafford County, will lead the hands-on workshop.
Many topics will be discussed, including disease and pest management, how pruning is an important tool in managing diseases, and demonstrations on how to prune apple trees. The workshop will end with workshop participants getting a chance to practice their new pruning skills on any of the 10 apple trees at the garden.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own pruning sheers and/or loppers. For more information please call (603) 749 4445, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested donation: $5.
Directions: From the corner of Chestnut St. and Sixth St. just north of the train station in Dover, take Sixth St. westbound away from town. After 0.5 miles, take a left onto Hillside Dr. Park in the large dirt parking lot on the right near our green shed in the back. We will meet in the parking lot, then take the trail to the garden field for the pruning demonstration.