Archive for April, 2011

Performance of “FOODPLAY” at Children’s Museum, May 7

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

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The whole family is invited to have fun learning more about healthy eating with a live, outdoor performance of  FOODPLAY on Saturday, May 7th, at the Rotary Arts Amphitheatre in front of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire:

 

FOODPLAY

The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire

Rotary Arts Amphitheatre, Henry Law Park

Dover, NH

Saturday, May 7, 2011

11 a.m. — 12 noon

 

ENJOY A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF FOODPLAY!

 

Families are invited to enjoy a free performance of the Emmy Award-winning show FOODPLAY in the Rotary Arts Amphitheatre right after the 5K Road Race and Fun Run. FOODPLAY is a national award-winning theater show that combines fantastic feats of juggling, captivating characters, music, magic, and audience participation with motivating health messages to help children take charge of growing up healthy and fit. Addressing the major nutrition, fitness, and self-esteem concerns affecting today’s schoolchildren, FOODPLAY provides kids with the practical tools they need to improve their eating and exercise habits—all in a spirit of fun and celebration!

 

This show combines fantastic feats of juggling, music and magic with motivating health messages to help children take charge of growing up fit and healthy. Following the program, there will be a chance to meet the performers and there will be great take-home information. This performance is free for everyone.

 

For more information:  www.childrens-museum.org.

Winter grown greens at the UNH Dairy Bar

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Seacoast Eat Local is happy and proud to be a partner in the winter growing grant that sparked this terrific partnership! It’s great to note this research and know that it is helping to inform winter growing of greens – much of which is also being done in unheated or minimally heated greenhouses in the ground.

UNH Dairy Bar Serving Local Greens With a Side of Science

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire’s Dairy Bar, a restaurant with the tag line “Local, Fresh, Sustainable,” is serving salad greens this spring that couldn’t be more local: they’re grown several hundred yards away in the UNH Macfarlane Greenhouses. And before they’re doused in vinaigrette, the gourmet greens have served science and helped inform New Hampshire growers about a potential new winter crop.

The project represents a collaboration among UNH Dining, which operates the Dairy Bar, and UNH Cooperative Extension and the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH, which spearheaded the research.

“The goal of the research project was to investigate the feasibility of profitably producing greens and herbs in underutilized greenhouses during the winter months,” says Becky Sideman, associate professor and Extension specialist in sustainable horticulture, who is conducting the research with Brian Krug, Extension specialist in greenhouse production.

Greenhouses around the state are often empty between November and February, Sideman says. Yet this time period coincides with the coldest, darkest time of the year. Given energy costs, she and Krug wondered, what are the optimum amounts of supplemental heat and light needed for growers to produce a profitable winter crop of gourmet greens?

The researchers launched their pilot study in September 2010 by planting 12 varieties of greens – including lettuce, endive, arugula, mache, mizuna, tatsoi, and spinach – in two identical UNH greenhouses with minimum temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in one and 40 degrees in another. All were grown in potting mix in “benchtop production” rather than in beds, since that’s the setup of many greenhouses that are empty during this time period.

Calculating growth rate and production costs, the duo refined their pilot for a second planting in March 2011; it’s these greens that are being used by the Dairy Bar. While results are very preliminary, Sideman notes that production during a New Hampshire winter is not cheap.

“The key to any kind of winter production is to have a pretty good market,” she says. “Producers would need to sell these greens direct to consumers who are willing to pay for a local product.” Farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSAs), or perhaps restaurants committed to local procurement are potential outlets, she says.

Primarily supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, the project received additional support from UNH Dining, which is using about 50 pounds week of the greens per in Dairy Bar salads. “We’re hoping it can go from a research project to how we do business,” says Rick MacDonald, assistant director of UNH Dining. “The greens are delicious, and people really like them.”

No stranger to sourcing local food, UNH Dining, through its Local Harvest Initiative, spends more than 20 percent of its budget on items produced within a 250 mile radius of UNH and hosts a popular Local Harvest Feast each fall. It regularly serves apples from UNH’s Woodman Farm and since 2008 have cooperated with professor of plant biology Brent Loy to serve a butternut squash hybrid he was developing for farmers in the Northeast (see news release here: http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2008/oct/bp21squash.cfm).

The Dairy Bar, revamped in summer 2008 with a focus on local foods and sustainable operations, provides the ideal outlet for Sideman and Krug’s winter greens. “They’re as fresh as you can get,” says MacDonald.

“They’re just fantastic,” Sideman adds.

Sharon Astyk in Newburyport, June 2

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Transition Newburyport, along with a host of other great organizations in the area, are bringing Sharon Astyk to speak about creating healthy, resiliant, and equitable food systems. I’ve read a number of her books, thanks to a recommendation from Audrey, and the practicalities alongside the vision help spur concrete action. This event is free and open to the public:

Sharon Astyk, a North Shore native and nationally known energy and environmental writer, will speak about local food resilience on Thursday, June 2 at 7:00 PM.  She will talk about the importance of developing a strong local food system and how we can work toward individual and community food resilience, including eating local food year-round. This is the second event of a local food series organized by Transition Newburyport.

“The structure of our globalized industrial food system is not sustainable or healthy for us or the planet.” says Elizabeth Marcus of Transition Newburyport, “Sharon Astyk is a leader in creating a new approach by showing how we can create sustainable food systems and a vibrant local economy through buying, growing, preparing and eating local food.”

Sharon Astyk is a farmer near Albany, NY, and an expert on building individual and community resilience in the face of an uncertain future. She has authored several books including A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil (co-author Aaron Newton), Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Homefront, and Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation. Ms. Astyk is a member of the Board of Directors for ASPO-USA (Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas-USA) and is a prolific, insightful blogger whose posts regularly appear in the Energy Bulletin and at Science Blogs.

This program to be held at the First Parish Church of Newbury at 20 High Road is sponsored by the Central Congregational Church (UCC), First Parish Church, First Religious Society of Newburyport (UU), New Eden Collaborative, Northshore Permaculture, Pennies for Poverty: 2 Cents for Change, Newburyport Farmers Market and Transition Newburyport.  The program is free and open to the public.

For inquiries please contact transitionnewburyport@gmail.org

Options Abound as CSAs Expand and Grow

Friday, April 29th, 2011

As we head into spring, CSAs are continuing to take sign-ups. If you’re considering joining one, The Wire explores some of the new options available from local farms this year:

 

Way to grow: still more options at CSAs

 

There’s still time to sign up for a community supported agriculture share at many local farms, and this year, there are even more options to choose from.

 

Farms are offering more variety in the food and products available, as well as in the size and seasons of shares.

 

In addition to vegetables, some shares include fruits, herbs, flowers, plants, seafood, meat, dairy, eggs, grain, bread and other homemade goods. Some farms are also starting to allow shareholders to customize their choices.

 

At Brookford Farm in Rollinsford, the four-season CSA includes local grain, raw milk and other dairy products, eggs, pasture-raised beef and pork, and organic vegetables. New this season are broiler chickens.

 

Also new at Brookford is the option of a build-your-own share featuring a quarterly signup system, a la carte registration, and more affordable prices. Shareholders pick two of three base groups—dairy, vegetables, or grains, then can supplement their shares with additions depending on their diet and needs during the season.

 

At Meadow’s Mirth, a certified organic farm in Stratham, one share costing $400 entitles you to $440 worth of vegetables, herbs and flowers throughout the season. Shareholders choose the products at farmers’ markets or at the farm stand. They are also offering a pick-your-own blueberry share.

 

There is a similar, flexible option at Wild Miller Gardens in Lee. Shareholders can get credit for $330 worth of produce, eggs, pork and garlic for $300 up front.

 

Eastman’s Local Catch, a community supported fishery based in Seabrook, lets shareholders decide how many pounds of fish they would like each week for the six-week summer share starting in mid-June. This year, they have added a lobster option that can be substituted for one week.

Carolyn Eastman said a representative from the fishery will be available to talk to shareholders about their food at every pickup location this year.She said people are interested in maintaining a relationship with their food providers and she has seen a 95 percent renewal rate as a result. This is their third season offering a CSF.

 

She said as demand for their fish grows, they’ll add more fishing boats, which is good for local fishermen, like her husband, in a challenging climate…

 

Continue reading about CSAs, including Heron Pond Farm, Riverside Farm, and Two Toad Farm, among others at www.wirenh.com.

 

For more information about CSAs currently offering shares > mm

Exeter Farmers’ Market to Open as Planned May 5th

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

With the Exeter Farmers’ Market set to open in a week, the proposal to move it to another location came to a favorable resolution — thanks to the many who came out and spoke on the Farmers’ Market’s behalf, and showed that there are indeed people who care! From Seacoast Online:

 

Exeter selectmen vote to keep parkway open to farmers market

 

A major victory for the Exeter Farmers Market will provide another twist for travelers this summer.

 

The Board of Selectmen voted Monday night in favor of keeping the farmers market in Swasey Parkway.

 

Under the board’s plan, the current traffic pattern where Swasey Parkway is a northbound one-way road and Water Street a southbound one-way road will remain in effect.

 

However, every Thursday from May 5 until October, Swasey Parkway will be closed down from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., to accommodate the market.

 

On those days, northbound traffic will be advised to take Portsmouth Avenue and Epping Road. The Department of Public Works will be taking care of signage for this latest detour.

 

Going into Monday night’s meeting, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion the farmers market would have to relocate because of the new traffic pattern that went into effect to protect the deteriorating Norris Brook culverts under Water Street and Swasey Parkway.

 

However, after almost two hours of spirited back-and-forth among selectmen and about 30 business owners and farmers market supporters, no one could agree on the three possible relocation sites. Read more…

Local Food Discussion Group: “The Real Dirt”

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

UNH professor John Carroll was a recent guest on NHPR to discuss his book, The Real Dirt, and how New England can become more food self-sufficient. The Real Dirt will also be the focus of a two-part book discussion group hosted by Rye Library, with Professor Carroll joining the second session. Both evenings are free and open to the public — plan to come to one or both!

 

“The Real Dirt” Local Food Book Discussion

A two-part book discussion

Rye Public Library, Rye, NH

Wednesdays, May 11th & 18th, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Meet the Author John Carroll on Wednesday, May 18th

 

Do you want to get your hands in the real dirt of bringing back locally grown food?

 

UNH Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation John Carroll has written three books on sustainable farming in New England. He is the recognized expert in the field and has visited countless local farms and gardens during his extensive research. Come discuss his most recent book, The Real Dirt: Toward Food Sufficiency and Farm Sustainability in New England, which is most relevant to local growing, in the first of a two part discussion on May 11, 6:30-7:30 PM at Rye Public Library.

 

Then come back to the Library on Wed. May 18th, 6:30-7:30 PM when John Carroll will join the second group session to answer questions and continue the discussion! This is a great chance to dig deep in the rich soil of the current renaissance in New England agriculture.

 

Sign up for this two session discussion in the Library and receive a summary of Carroll’s first two books. The discussion book: The Real Dirt ($15) will be available for sale at the library when the sign up roster is finalized.

 

Sponsored by the Rye Historical Society, the Rye Energy Committee, and the Rye Public Library.

 

For further information contact Alex Herlihy, Rye Historical Society, alexherlihy@comcast.net, (603) 997-6742.

Herb & Mushroom Workshops from NOFA-NH Herbal Network

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

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The NOFA-NH Herbal Network has announced their 2011 spring schedule of herb and mushroom workshops taking place statewide. The 17 workshops include ones on “Seaweed As Food & Medicine” and “Art of Goat Milk Soap Making”, and a special series on mushrooms with program partner Wichland Woods in Nelson, NH:

 

The NOFA-NH Herbal Network is Proud to Bring You 2011 Statewide Herb & Mushroom Workshops

 

In-Depth Learning · Open to the Public · Advanced & Beginner Levels

Special Discounts for NOFA-NH Members

Take One or Take Them All!

 

Growing Mushrooms in the Forest: Log & Stump Inoculation with David Wichland

Sunday, May 15, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, $45.

 

Mycological Landscaping: Growing Mushrooms in the Garden & Straw

Inoculation with David Wichland

Sunday, June 12, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, $45.

 

Wild Mushroom Foray & Medicinal Mushroom Tea Party with David Wichland

Sunday, August 28, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, $45.

 

Mushroom workshops held at Wichland Woods in Nelson, NH ~ Program Partner

 

Don’t Forget Your NOFA-NH Member Discounts!

10% off for Basic & Individual Levels

20% off for Family/Farm Level

25% off for Biz/Org, Supporting & Sustaining

Discounts off of listed workshop price; not applicable to materials fees.

 

If you are unsure of your membership level, contact the NOFA-NH office at 603-224-5022.

 

See website for full listing of workshops. Registration, details, and directions: www.nofanh.org/herbworkshopsRegister NOW – Class sizes are limited!

 

Questions? Email nhhn@nofanh.org.

Early Harbingers of the Season: Riverside Farm, Blueberry Bay Farm

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

One by one, local farms and farm stands are also beginning to open for the season. Riverside Farm in North Berwick sends word that they are now open for business, and Blueberry Farm in Stratham will be open spring weekends beginning Saturday, May 7th.

 

From Riverside Farm:

 

We are currently opened daily from 9–12 and 1–4, weekdays only, to celebrate Spring’s arrival! Shelf goods and greenhouse produce, including:

 

Riverside Salad Mix

Beet Greens

Kale

Scallions

Pac Choi

Radishes

Baby Lettuce

 

Plenty of fall dug potatoes and Gregg’s Great Eggs, plus a great selection of hanging baskets and cold tolerant bedding plants are also available at the Farm Stand. April 21st is our official opening when everything will be available. We still have a few CSA shares available. Check out our website for details: www.riversidefarmstand.com for details.

 

From Blueberry Bay:

 

We hope you had a great winter season, and didn’t let the snow dampen your enthusiasm!

 

We are again expecting a productive season in 2011, and are happy to announce that we will be opening on Saturday May 7 for pick-your-own lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, asparagus and chives (we’ll also be selling strawberry plants and pansies). We will be open again the next day, Sunday May 8, and all weekends (Saturdays & Sundays only) therafter until Saturday July 2 when we will start blueberry picking, and, of course, many other berriews, vegetables, cut flowers and herbs, on a 7-day per week schedule. Our weekend hours in May & June will be 9:00AM to 4:00PM.  And as always, all of our crops are grown naturally; that is, no synthetic chemicals are ever used, and we never spray a crop once the edible portion is formed. Remember also, that by picking from a living plant, you get the freshest possible produce, for maximum nutrition and taste.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the farm this spring!

 

For more information: www.blueberrybayfarm.com.

 

Check the Seacoast Eat Local calendar for full listings of events and local farmers’ markets!

Nottingham Farmers’ Market opening May 1!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

It’s a very exciting time of year – lots of weekly outdoor markets are opening all over the seacoast. The trend seems to be that markets are opening earlier this year, speaking to the great season extension work that farmers are doing, working to meet the demand of the public looking for fresh, healthy, locally grown food.

nottingham-farmers-market.jpgThe Nottingham Farmers’ Market is open on Sundays beginning May 1st, from 1 – 4pm, on the lawn of the Blaisdell Memorial Library across from the junction of Rtes  152 & 156.

Participating farmers/vendors will include:

Babcock Farms (produce, honey, maple syrup)
Peter Bock (orchards/produce)
Elderberry Treats (baked goods, produce)
Hayward Natural Farms (eggs, poultry, produce)
Nottingham School Garden (produce)
The Root Seller (produce, maple syrup)
Seth Rowell (berries)
Stage Road Gardens (perennials, herbs, cut flowers)

In addition, occasional participating vendors and new farmers will have herbal products, baked goods, and vegetable plants.

To see a calendar of farmers’ markets in our region, visit our website.

“All About Seeds” for Children at Dover Cassily Community Garden, April 30

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

traci-juliana-willie-bug-id.jpgFrom the Dover Cassily Community Garden:

 

All About Seeds 

“Growing Children” Garden Program

Dover Cassily Community Garden

Hillside Dr, Dover, NH

Saturday, April 30, 2011, 10 a.m.

 

Join us for Dover Cassily Community Garden’s “Growing Children” children’s garden program “All About Seeds” on Saturday, April 30, 2011. We will take a tour the gardens, discover what seeds need to grow and plant “cool” season crop seeds and transplants.

 

This is the first in the summer long Growing Children Activity Series focusing on growing cycles, affinity for planting, caring for, harvesting and eating locally grown organic produce, community building, social interaction, exploration of nature, getting dirty and just plain having fun!

 

Children of all ages and families are welcome to attend free of charge. Much more information (including directions) is available at dovergarden.org or email Traci, Youth Outreach Coordinator, at the.mogget@yahoo.com. All programs will begin at 10am at the DCCG shed and run from about an hour to an hour and a half.

 

Directions from the Spaulding: Take exit 9 toward Rt-9/Dover/Rt-108/Somersworth. Turn left onto Indian Brook Drive. Turn left onto 6th St. Travel about 1.1 miles then turn right onto Hillside Drive.

 

Directions from Downtown Dover: Take Central Ave. northbound. Take a left onto 6th St. Travel for about .5 mile then take a left onto Hillside Drive.

 

Once on Hillside Drive, continue toward the ball fields, through the gate (the road turns to gravel). Pull into the upper parking lot on the right and park near the green DCCG shed.