Archive for April 14th, 2011

South Berwick’s Community Garden Partners with Food Pantry

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

bilde.jpegApril is National Garden Month and a great time to get ready for the coming season. In anticipation, we’ve begun updating our Community Gardens resource page and hope it will be ready in time for the relaunch of the Seacoast Eat Local website. In the meantime, read about the South Berwick Community Garden and the fresh food they help provide to local organizations, at Seacoast Online:

 

South Berwick’s Community Garden a Growing Success

 

Nestled in the heart of town, off Willow Drive near the soccer fields, is a small parcel with 32 raised-bed garden plots. It is the site of South Berwick’s community garden, started by master gardener Cindy Kimball in 1999 and managed today by Mimi Demers, master gardener and Planning Board member.

 

In addition to the beds utilized by residents to grow food for themselves, two beds are set aside to be grown cooperatively, providing produce donated to local organizations like the South Berwick Food Pantry and the Senior Center. Demers estimates that during growing season, at least 12 to 15 pounds of produce per week are harvested by volunteers and donated to local organizations.

 

“But for a small-scale operation, poundage is not the most salient piece of information,” she said. “You can pick lettuce all day long, but pound for pound it will not compare with a bushel of corn, for example. But there has to be a method of capturing donations, and overall it is a good one.”

 

Demers said the vegetables change from year to year. “You have to stay tuned in to what people really want to eat,” she said. The gardens are operated “mostly organically.”

 

To read more about South Berwick Community Garden, including the possibility of forming a new one in town, visit: www.seacoastonline.com. Learn more about where to find a community garden or how to donate fresh food at our resource pages: www.seacoasteatlocal.org.

Interview with Dan Winans, EcoGastronomy Program at UNH

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

picture_62.pngTaylor Cocalis and Dorothy Neagle, co-founders of the gastro-job search tool Good Food Jobs, recently spoke to University of New Hampshire students about how to make the most of summer work experience. In turn, this gave them the opportunity to interview Dan Winans, the director of the EcoGastronomy program at UNH, about his own experience in finding a good food job. From the Good Food Job blog, The Gastrognomes:

 

What attracted you to a good food job?

 

My earliest childhood memories all revolve around food. My family had a huge garden, which often felt like a work camp, but produced the most delicious vegetables. At age eleven I started my first business, baking and selling bread to my neighbors. By the time I went to college I knew I wanted to be in the restaurant business, so I went to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and studied Hotel Administration (the program is now called Hospitality Management). After College I cooked, I went to Culinary School, I ran the food service in a nursing home, I managed a small catering company, I ran a large catering department for ARAMARK, I opened two café bakeries, and I sold two café bakeries. Along the line I had lost sight of what was truly important to me: family, friends, and good food.

 

After selling the restaurants, my wife Amy and I moved from New England to Portland, Oregon and I found a job teaching at a culinary school. Prior to our move I had only briefly visited Portland, but when we began to settle in I felt like I had moved home. The local food community was so vibrant and omnipresent it was inspiring. After three years of teaching, Amy convinced me to apply to the University Of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy. In 2006 we sold our condo in Portland and took a giant leap of faith. We moved, with our eight month old daughter Annabelle, to Parma, Italy so I could pursue a degree in Food Culture.

 

How did you get your current good food job?

 

While I was in Italy I sent an email to Joseph Durocher, my mentor and professor from UNH. My intention was just to catch up and let him know how I was doing.  His response was short and to the point: he thought I should come back to UNH to teach culinary labs to the Hospitality Management students. I had my doubts about doing that, and was hoping for a more exciting option. But I figured it would not hurt to get my resume out there. Within days of sending my resume, the Hospitality Management Chair contacted me to talk about a new program he was helping to start at UNH: EcoGastronomy.

 

Before I knew it I had accepted a job at UNH teaching food culture and culinary labs. I was also on my way to join the committee working to develop and implement a (first of its kind) Dual Major in EcoGastronomy. I spent my first year at UNH scrambling to keep up with my teaching duties and working on EcoGastronomy. In June of 2008 we had final approval to go ahead with the program and I was asked to take the position as director of the program.

 

How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?

Virtually all the jobs I have had were related to food, but not always good food. Some of those good food jobs helped me to learn about how the “conventional” system works and what we are up against in trying to reshape our food system. Over the past decade I have spent a lot of time meeting people who care about good food. Through Slow Food, Chefs Collaborative, school, teaching and more I have become part of a network of people who really care about food. Read more

 

And while you’re there, check out the education page, as well as their internship/apprenticeship and job listings, and be on your way to your own Good Food Job! For more information: www.goodfoodjob.com.

 

*Excerpt and photograph courtesy of Good Food Jobs — thanks!

2011 Annual Lobster Trap Clean-Up Day Saturday, April 23

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

From the NH Commercial Fishermen’s Association:

Calling all NH Lobster Fishermen and friends – In Conjunction with the NH Fish & Game Department, the NH Commercial Fishermen’s Association will conduct the Annual Trap Clean-up, Saturday, April 23, 2011

If you hold a NH Lobster trap license of any kind please do your part to attend and participate in our industry responsibility to keep the NH coast clean.

Please meet Rye or Hampton Harbor at 8am

Bring gloves, a sharp knife, helpers and friends as the more that show up the quicker the job is accomplished. It really is a good time, very rewarding, and a collective effort.

Any questions, contact:

NH Fish & Game: 868-1095

Erik Anderson – 431-1779 or 234-7038

Jim Willwerth– 765-5008