Archive for March, 2011

Market Notes: Carrot & Parsnip Gratin

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


Here’s another way of enjoying those carrots brought home from the fun-filled carrot fest at last weekend’s Winter Farmers’ Market. Paired with some spring-dug parsnips, this Carrot & Parsnip Gratin is easy to assemble and can be served alongside another vegetable or meat dish, or on its own with a tossed green salad. A gratin is simply a shallow casserole that’s been topped with cheese or breadcrumbs, then cooked in an oven or under a broiler until browned and crusty. Once you learn the basic steps, you’ll be able to adapt this recipe to what’s available seasonally.


Carrot & Parsnip Gratin

4 carrots

4 parsnips


Breadcrumbs (homemade)

Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Salt & pepper


– Peel and cut carrots and parsnips into desired shape (matchsticks, rounds or spears)

– Parboil by simmering in salted water until almost tender; drain. Toss with a pat or two of butter, and season w/salt and pepper to taste.

– Spread in a baking dish large enough to hold in a thin layer; sprinkle with a handful of breadcrumbs and Parmesan to cover lightly. Dot with some more butter.

– Broil or bake in 400° oven until golden brown. Makes about 4 servings.


Notes: Depending on size, allow around 1 carrot and parsnip per serving. Use all carrots if parsnips are unavailable; try a mix of different colored carrots when they appear at the farmers’ markets. Any number of herbs and spices — such as thyme, tarragon, marjoram, cumin, coriander, or ginger — can be added to enhance flavor.


Many thanks to Jennifer Purrenhage and Erin Allgood for making it possible for us to include cooking demonstrations at the Winter Farmers’ Market this season — we hope you found it as much fun as they did! Here’s a link to more recipes featuring carrots from Jennifer and Erin, including ones for “Maple-Glazed Carrots with Sea Salt” or “Carroty Candy”, and “Raw Sweet Carrot Salad.” We also want to thank the vendors who generously donated food for demonstrating: Meadow’s MirthNH Cider WorksNew Roots Farm, and Riverside Farm. The results were delicious and disappeared fast!

Farm Tractor Safety Course, April 26–May 24

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

tractor1.jpgIf you, or an employee, or a younger family member you know is in need of farm tractor driving and safety training, the UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Farm Tractor Safety Course is starting up soon:


Farm Tractor Safety Course

Place: Maine Forest Service, Route 26, Gray, ME

Dates:  5 sessions, Tuesday evenings, April 26 – May 24

Cost:  $12.00; must be 13 or older

Instructor/Contact: Richard J. Brzozowski (Bro-zow-ski), Extension Educator, 1-800-287-1471


Farm work can be dangerous, but a University of Maine Cooperative Extension tractor safety course will help reduce risks to Maine farmers and farm workers. A farm tractor safety course will be held on 5 consecutive Tuesday evenings starting April 26, 2011 at the Maine Forest Service Building on Route 26 (356 Shaker Road) in Gray.


“Many of the accidents on farms involve tractors and farm machinery,” says Richard Brzozowski of the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office. “Every farm worker needs to develop good skills and a good safety attitude. This course helps them do just that.”


Individuals will receive practical training in the classroom, in the shop, and on tractors. Participants should be at least 13 years of age to participate in this certified course. Adults are welcome to participate in the practical course. Registration is required, and space is limited to 25 participants.


For more information or to enroll by phone, contact Colleen at 1-800-287-1471 (, or visit

Grow Your Own Organic Garden Workshop, April 6

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

gyog-logo-2009.jpgEach year the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) sponsors this statewide educational event at over 30 different locations in Maine. Classes run from 6 to 9 p.m. The workshops are open to the public and to people of all gardening skill and experience levels. They are designed to provide folks with essential skills and knowledge needed to make a transition from conventional to organic gardening. The workshop is offered in partnership with Maine’s Adult & Community Education program and community sponsors.


Grow Your Own Organic Garden


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

6–9 p.m., unless otherwise noted


Are you concerned about the rising cost of food? Unsure what the term “certified organic” means? Interested in learning how to grow your own vegetables in a sustainable manner?


Join us for an evening long workshop on how to grow your own garden. We’ll talk about the basics of soil science, how to enrich your soil to produce healthy, high-yielding plants. The course will also cover the basics of making and using compost, the principles of crop rotation and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden. Other topics will include how to tell the difference between cultivated plants and weeds, basic weed control strategies and common insect pests and methods of natural insect control. The instructor will be an experienced farmer or gardener from your region.


Participants will acquire an understanding of:

• the basics of soil science, and how to enrich soil to produce healthy, high yielding plants;

• composting methods;

• the principles of crop rotation, and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden;

• the difference between cultivated plants and weeds, and basic weed control strategies; and

• common insect pests and methods of natural insect control.


Classes will be offered at more than 30 locations throughout Maine. Presenters are seasoned MOFGA farmers and gardeners. Please refer to the list available online and register using the contact information given for each location. Nearby locations include:


• Kennebunk, Adult Education Of The Kennebunks & Arundel, Kennebunk High School; Instructor: Helene Lewand, Blackrock Farm

• North BerwickNoble Adult & Community Education, Noble High School, 388 Somersworth Road, North Berwick; Instructor: Jordan Pike, Two Toad Farm

• WellsWells-Ogunquit Adult Community Education, 200 Sanford Rd, Wells High School, Wells; Instructors: Marilyn & Rick Stanley, Chick Farm


For more information:

Seacoast Harvest Fundraising!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

seacoastharvest180px.jpgThanks to the cheerful efforts of a team of volunteers, we are nearly finished with gathering data for the 2011 edition of Seacoast Harvest, the local food guide published by Seacoast Eat Local. This indispensable guide looks better, gets bigger, and becomes more comprehensive every year.Why the Seacoast  loves our Seacoast Harvest guide: we don’t charge farms to be listed, we give it away for free to individuals and organizations, it promotes eating locally and connecting to farms and food, we list every farmer we can in 3 counties, it’s printed with certifiably environmentally sound practices, it lists all farmers’ market for summer and winter, and it’s chock full of inspiration for supporting your local food economy.We are hoping to publish 8,000 copies again this year, but we can’t do it alone! We are seeking sponsorships in order to print Seacoast Harvest. Thanks to the generous donations from Seacoast businesses, organizations, citizens, and farmers, we are close to our goal. However, we have $3,000 left to go before we make our goal.How you can donate (your donation is tax-deductible):As an individual: A $25 donation will get you the 2011 edition mailed to you, hot off the presses in late May! An easy and affordable way to participate in your local food community.As a business: For $100, $250, or $750 we will highlight your business in print, on-line, and through our hoppin’ social media outlets. A great way to connect your business to the local food movement.Please email me for further information. Our deadline for fundraising is April 15. $3000 left to go! Let me know if you would like to help:

High Tunnel Berry Production Workshop, April 26

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

From the UNH Cooperative Extension:


High Tunnel Berry Production Workshop

Manchester, NH

Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time: Registration 8:30; program 9 am–4 pm

Cost: $30, includes lunch


This workshop will provide growers with up-to-date information on producing berry crops in high tunnels, and will provide research and extension personnel with information on grower’s needs. Program includes the following:


• A virtual tour of tunnels used for berries — Kathy Demchak, Penn State University

• How tunnels affect berry plant growth — David Handley, University of Maine

• Growing berries in high tunnels: tricks of the trade — Kathy Demchak

• Grower panel: Experiences with high tunnel berry production

• Berries in tunnels: which ones pay? — Kathy Demchak

• Coping with tunnel insects & diseases — Sonia Schloemann, University of Massachusetts

• Open discussion time & grower input on research and extension needs for high tunnel berry production


Two (2) Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) recertification credits will be offered. Registration deadline is April 19, 2011; online registration is strongly encouraged. To register online, visit:


Questions? Please contact Suzanne Hebert at 603-862-3200 or


Download flyer:  hightunnelberryflier.pdf

Feels Like Spring at the Winter Farmers’ Market

Monday, March 28th, 2011

carroty.jpgA great big giant carrot-sized thank-you to all who came out and joined us at last weekend’s Winter Farmers’ Market in Rollinsford! The final count was 2,239, our largest in attendance yet, making for a wonderfully bustling day filled with great food and good cheer. Extra special thanks go to Brian and his amazing crew at the Wentworth Greenhouses for hosting the markets, and also to Salmon Falls Stoneware for providing much needed additional parking. These farmers’ markets would not be possible without all of their hard work, generosity, and collaborative spirit.


While this was our last market for the year at the Wentworth Greenhouses, Seacoast Eat Local still has two more markets to go for the 2010-2011 winter season. They will both take place at the Exeter High School on Saturday, April 9th and April 23rd. Wentworth Greenhouses will start up their summer season markets outdoors in early June and will run weekly through October.


A glimpse of last weekend’s festivities in Rollinsford can be found here (click upper right-hand corner for slideshow):


We look forward to seeing you all when the Winter Farmers’ Market returns next month in Exeter!

Backyard Chicken Processing Workshop, June 18

Monday, March 28th, 2011

For anyone considering or already raising chickens for meat, the UNH Cooperative Extension is offering a butchering workshop — learn how to kill, de-feather, and process a chicken in a humane and efficient manner. Long-time professional backyard-livestock slaughterer/butcher Victor Huse, and Dot Perkins of the UNH Cooperative Extension will be instructing this hands-on class.


Backyard Homesteading Chicken-Butchering Workshop

Place: Chicester, NH

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2001

2 sessions: 8–11am; 1–4 pm;

Cost: $50, preregistration necessary, space is limited


$50 covers the cost of one live chicken. Pre-registration and a $35.00 non-refundable deposit is required as space will be strictly limited. The $15 balance is due on the day of the workshop. Checks may be made payable to: UNH Cooperative Extension.


Participants should bring a cooler with ice, wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get soiled & wet. No children allowed — this is not a workshop for them and we will need your undivided attention.


We will have two 3-hour sessions on Saturday, June 18th. The first is from 8am to 11am. The second is 1pm to 4pm. Call in soon as there are only 25 slots per workshop. The farm location and directions will be revealed when you call to register for the workshop — it is in Chichester.


Contact: Mary at 603-796-2151 from 8 am to 4 pm, or email at Event flyer >


Addendum: Please note the workshop date has been changed; the new date is Saturday, June 11th.

Help Wanted: Seasonal/Part-time Selling Plants at Farmers’ Markets

Friday, March 25th, 2011

From Catnip Acres Herb Farm:

HELP WANTED: Seasonal/part-time
7 Portsmouth markets on Saturdays 7am-1pm 5/7-6/18, possibly more if it goes well.
6 Exeter markets on Thursdays 2pm-6pm 5/5-6/9.

Must be honest, dependable, on time, able to work in all weather, cold/heat/rain etc. The market goes on unless there’s a hurricane! Must also be strong enough to put up an e-z up tent, must be good with people, have a positive, cheerful, helpful attitude. Experience in retail sales, and/or knowledge of herb and vegetable plants and organic gardening a plus but not necessary.

Pay is: $50 per Saturday Portsmouth Market, $35 per Thursday Exeter Market
pay may be negotiably higher if one were willing to take partial payment in farm products. (seedlings, p.y.o raspberries, basil, tomatoes, etc.)

If interested please email Wende at with your choice of interview day and time. Brief 1/2 hour interviews will be held in the next few upcoming weeks at the farm on 107 High Rd. Epping, NH Available interview times: tues., weds.,thurs.,sats. march 22,23,24,26…29,30,31,april 2… april 5,6,7,9.
times: 10am, 10:30, 11, 11:30, 12, 12:30, 1:00.

directions to the farm and a list of the plants grown can be seen on  fledgling website:

Winter Farmers’ Market in Rollinsford, March 26

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

wfm.jpgOne-stop shopping, all season long!

On Saturday, March 26th, 50+ farmers and food producers will be inside the beautiful Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, NH, from 10 am–2 pm, with an amazing array of locally produced foods to chose from. You’ll find everything from root vegetables to fresh greens; a wide selection of staples such as flour, milk, and eggs; all alongside an incredible variety of meats, cheeses, prepared foods, and baked goods. Come ready to gather everything you need to make spring feel as renewing on your plate as it is in your garden. A full list of participating vendors and their products may be found at Wentworth Greenhouses is located at 141 Rollins Road, Rollinsford, NH, 1 mile past Red’s Shoe Barn in Dover. Here’s a map!


Additional parking and a shuttle will be available from 10 am–2 pm at Salmon Falls Stoneware, just around the corner from the Wentworth Greenhouses. The shuttle will run continuously during the entire market — arrive and leave on your own schedule! The parking and greenhouse are less than a mile apart, making it a quick 4-minute ride each way, with door to door pick-up and drop off. If you like to come early to the market, the shuttle is a great option for parking. Spread the word! Salmon Falls Stoneware is located at 75 Oak St, Dover, NH. Here’s a map!


Credit cards now accepted by 6 farmers and food producers at the market 

While Seacoast Eat Local continues to work toward being able to accept Food Stamps and Debit cards on behalf of all of our vendors, six farmers and food producers are now able to accept credit cards directly at their booth: Harrison’s Poultry FarmHubba Hubba FoodsHurd FarmJenness FarmLasting Legacy Farm, and Red Rover Coffee all accept credit cards for purchases.


Featured Vegetable: Carrots

This week at the market we’ll be featuring carrots! Jen from Get Well Grounded and Erin from Allgood Eats will be demonstrating simple, easy ways to prepare carrots. Carrots are a great source of beta carotene, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They’re naturally sweet when raw; light cooking enhances this sweetness. Carrots lose very little nutritional value through cooking, with some nutrients becoming even more available in the process. Carrots store well, making them an ideal winter crop and ensuring their availability throughout the year. Once you’ve brought them home, they can be stored in cold, humid conditions such as in a bag in the refrigerator. Look for simple, delicious recipes for carrots at the Winter Farmers’ Market!


Even more market fun! 

Look for our free kids craft table and stop and listen to live music while you enjoy a beverage or lunch — live music for March 26th will be Mike & Mike!


Food donations welcome

Slow Food UNH will be on hand to accept food donations from consumers and vendors on behalf of the Cornucopia Food Pantry. Fresh foods are encouraged; consider buying extra potatoes, onions, root vegetables, or winter squash to donate so that all may share in our bounty of local foods. Donations of cash or canned foods are also welcome.


Get involved, become a volunteer

We’re looking for volunteers to help set up, provide information during the market, or clean up afterward. Come early to help unload and you’ll get a sneak peek at the goods before the market opens! Email if you would like to volunteer.


Thank-you Wentworth Greenhouses for a terrific season! 

With three more to go in our 2010-2011 Winter Farmers’ Market season, March 26th will be our last market for the year at the Wentworth Greenhouses. Our two remaining markets will both take place at the Exeter High School on April 9th and April 23rd. Wentworth Greenhouses will pick up their summer season markets outdoors in early June and will run weekly through October. We’d like to thank our partners at Wentworth Greenhouses — these amazing farmers’ markets would not take place without their hard work, generosity, and collaborative spirit!

Localvore Dinners April 8 + April 15

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Get out on a Friday night and enjoy some local fare!  There are 2 Localvore Dinners coming up this month at Chez Bouchon Bistro, 32 Depot Square, Hampton. Chef Ted McCormack of Harvesting Hermit will be the guest chef for these 2 special events.  The four course dinner is $45 per person, served at 6:30pm, community seating.  The menus include lots of food from local farms and fishermen, including locally raised vegetables, meat, seafood, cheeses, and more! To see the menus, click here. To make a reservation call 926-2022.