Archive for the ‘author: Audrey’ Category

Cows and Communities, May 25

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Learn more about cows and the part they play in the rural culture of New Hampshire at this upcoming presentation by Steve Taylor, the former NH Agriculture Commissioner:


Cows and Communities: How the lowly bovine has nurtured New Hampshire through four centuries

A presentation by Steve Taylor, former NH Agriculture Commissioner

Tuesday, May 25, 7:00 PM

The Chesley Library at the corner of Routes 4 and 43 in Northwood, NH


Cattle were essential to the survival of the earliest New Hampshire settlements and their contributions have been central to the life and culture of the state ever since. From providing dietary sustenance to basic motive power, bovines have had a deep and enduring bond with their keepers, one that lingers today and is a vital part of the iconography of rural New Hampshire. Where are New Hampshire’s cows today? What are they doing for us now? Some answers will surprise you. The program will be presented by Steve Taylor: independent scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. Taylor operates a dairy and maple farm in Meriden Village, New Hampshire, and served a quarter century as NH’s Commissioner of Agriculture. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor. He was also the first Executive Director of the NH Humanities Council and is a lifelong student the state’s rural culture.

Co-sponsored by Chesley Library, the NH Humanities Council, The Blaisdell Memorial Library in Nottingham and the Philbrick-James Library in Deerfield.

The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Donna Bunker at (603) 942-5472.

Pizza Cooking Class by Willow Pond Farm

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

TED McCORMACK – July 24th
Sign-up Deadline: July 15
Come enjoy a hands-on fun learning
experience with Ted and others
from our farm community. Make
and eat pizzas with fresh, local
tomatoes, basil, oregano, and other
in-season vegetables. Use mozzarella
and a sampling of other local cheeses
and sausages. Learn to make your
own dough. Enjoy the taste of fresh,
local, and homemade together with us.

Email Ted at

12 person limit/$25.00 per class

Hurrah for Women Farmers!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Here is a front page article from the Washington Post about the increase of women farmers and the direction they are taking agriculture.  I myself am following a similar path now.

Female Farmers Sprouting
Don’t miss the pictures either!  The pigs are soo cute.

Willow Pond Plant Sale

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Looking for organic plants and herbs for your garden this year?

Please stop by the Pilgrim Church on Saturday, May 23rd from 9 am to 12 noon for Certified Organic vegetable seedlings, including 16 varieties of tomatoes. To pre-order seedlings, download and print the pre-order instructions, plant selection and order form and mail the order form in with your payment. Pre-order deadline is May 16th, more plants available day of sale.   To insure you are able to purchase the heirloom or particular plant you would like, make sure you pre-order.  The plants sell quickly.  

The Pilgrim Church is located on Middle Rd., Route 111A, at Haigh Rd. in Brentwood. 

For more information and pre-ordering forms click HERE.

Maple Syrup

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

As the sap is literally running like a stream out of our over 100 year old Sugar Maple tree, damaged from the ice storm this past winter, my family and I headed up to SugarMomma’s for some good old fashioned maple syrup products.  We tried popcorn, ice cream, cotton candy, maple covered nuts, and yes they even served a pancake breakfast… delicious!   The actually Sugar Momma was feeding the fire for the making of the syrup and telling wonderful stories to whoever walked into the sugar shack.  Did you know that Maple Syrup contains vitamins, folic acid and enough calcium to match a cup of milk, unlike it’s copy cat of corn syrup, syrup?

Last night I tried a new recipe with our  maple syrup and I highly recommend it.

Maple Parsnip Soup

3 Tbsp of Butter

1 lb of parsnips chopped

2 medium onions chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

6 cups of chicken or veggie broth

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/2 cup of evaporated milk

1/3 cup of maple syrup

2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

Salt to taste

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts or nut of your choice

Melt butter in heavy bottomed pan.  Add parsnips, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent.  Add stock and nutmeg, simmer until parsnips are soft, about 40 minutes.  Add the evaporated milk, and remove from heat.  Pour into a blender and puree until velvety smooth.  Stir in maple syrup, mustard and a little salt.  Serve with 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts or other nuts.

Serve with homemade baked bread.   ENJOY!

from Simply  in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

For the Shrimp Lovers

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Shrimp Creole Recipe

3/4 lb shrimp, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup butter

3 T. flour

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups canned tomatoes

serve with rice

Saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in butter.  Blend in flour and seasonings.  Add tomatoes and cook until thick, stirring often.  Add shrimp and simmer uncovered about 20 minutes.

I love making this simple quick recipe and On the Vine in Exeter carries local Maine popcorn shrimp that are perfect for this meal.  And all the ingredients, except for rice can easily be grown/found local, especially if you plan ahead for a warm winter meal.

Changes We’ve Made

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

This year my family has been practicing the Red Queen principle from Through the Looking Glass:  “In this place it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place.”   Barbara Kingsolver speaks of this principle used by evolutionary ecologists to explain how plants and animals can stay ahead of the game from disease pathogens and predators.  I think this principle can also be applied to the human race trying to stay ahead of slowing down global warming, ironically though, brought on by themselves. My family of five challenged itself by practicing what we preach, which took a lot of running to stay in the same place, but we did it.

We took on eating locally, making our house and our habits energy efficient, consumed less, recycled, decreased our driving by biking and combining errands.  I took on a new job as a farmer’s assistant at our local CSA, Willow Pond.  We grew a  much larger vegetable garden,  worked towards making room for food storage, and took classes on canning and preserving food.

We erected a fence around our 25×60 foot garden, to insure that our resident ground hog would not be sharing our vegetable loot.   We rehauled our dilapidated greenhouse that came attached to our money pit house we bought 3 years ago, to help keep our tiny seedlings warm. We also had grand plans for a root cellar in our basement, but one large lesson we learned, was, “Wow! you really have to grow a LOT to save for everything for the winter.”  But that did not discourage us, we are proud of our butternut, red kuri and spagetti squash that is 20 deep each that take up a small space next to the 20.3 cubic foot freezer we purchased.    The 50lbs of  yukon gold potatoes we grew were so absolutely delicious, we ate them all already.  At least we have about 40lbs of French fingerlings left.

Our freezer is filled.  Upon opening the door, you see red, mixed with orange, and the occasional green.  The jars of homemade jam from strawberries, raspberries and peaches, stand coldly next to pesto of all kinds including, lime basil and garlic scape.  It’s got local meat, such as bacon (“we treat it like gold”, says farmer Kate from Willow Pond) from Kellie Brook farm,   ground lamb (to go with the Kusa grown in my garden to be eaten with the secret Kusa recipe, please see previous posts) from Riverslea Farm, and free range chickens from Lasting Legacy farm, all sitting aside of homemade chicken stock.  And don’t forget the veggies.  We have many bags of summer squash, corn, green beans, peppers, and green tomatoes.  Yes, mostly green, because our tomatoes and Willow Pond’s did not escape the extreme weather conditions this summer that had tomato plants wilting with humid happy diseases.

We have also been busy making extra large dishes of locally prepared foods and freezing entire ready to eat meals, such as chicken, green tomato, and serrano pepper chili for a cold winter’s day when the kids are screaming and time is short.

In the spirit of community, we decided to share  all this with another family.  We split our gardens, the connections we made, and most importantly the mishaps.  We learned oh so much through the mishaps…  the planting of 100 seedling tomatoes and then realizing only 15 each would actually fit in our gardens (they are so tiny and cute when they are young).  The challenging weather then caused those poor tomato plants to yellow and rot, but not before the alien monster tomato hornworm grew to at least 3 inches long (I swear) devouring them.  The eating of all the potatoes in hash browns, mashed potatoes and potato salad long before the leeks were ready to be added for soup, also will effect how I plan my garden for next year.

My family has come a long way this past year in the changing of our habits.  We hope all around it’s good for us, good for the environment, and good for others, because we love to share a wonderful meal with company we enjoy.

Local Foods Moving to the Big Time

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I found this article front and center, including pictures on the Washington Post website. This is an old haunting ground of mine, and it was great to see local foods moving into the mainstream. A real change from the typical food system.

Polyface Farm supplying large local restaurants

Carrot Soup

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

I just got a postcard in the mail from Stonyfield Farm for carrot soup. Now I hope they don’t mind, but I tried it because it calls for lots of plain yogurt. I just discovered the delicious Brookford Farm plain yogurt and was looking for a way to use it. You can pick some up every Thursday in Exeter from 2-4pm at 9 Newfields Road. Luke Mahoney set up his own farmer’s market once the regular season ended. He didn’t want to stop. It’s great, because you can also pick up fresh organic milk, salad greens, eggs, and occasionally beef. Here’s the recipe:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp rice
1 cup plain yogurt
2/3 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste

Using a small stock pot, heat olive oil over a medium-high flame. Once hot, add ginger, onions, and garlic, and saute until onions begin to soften and turn translucent. Add carrots, vegetable stock, and rice and simmer for 30min or until carrots break apart easily. Using a blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat over a medium flame. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and cornstarch and blend until well mixed. Stir this mixture into the soup, being careful not to bring the soup back to a boil. Season with salt and pepper (I like to add cayenne pepper) and garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt.

I make a lot of soup and this was a particularly good one. Sorry for no picture, we ate it all before I thought of it. And I would recommend doubling the batch.

The Story of Stuff

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I just came across a great little short film about consumerism. It is highly motivating to keep things local once you watch it. Check it out: