Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Plate it Up!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

myplate_green.jpgFrom pyramid to plate, the USDA has introduced a new design of its nutrition guidelines to help consumers think about making healthier food choices. With the new growing season moving into full swing, fulfilling these requirements with local foods is easier than ever. Visit one of our many weekly farmers’ markets or nearest farmstand and fill your plate with local food!


First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.


“This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating and as a mom, I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, a referee, a cleaning crew. So it’s tough to be a nutritionist, too. But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. As long as they’re half full of fruits and vegetables, and paired with lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, we’re golden. That’s how easy it is.”


Balancing Calories

Enjoy your food, but eat less.

Avoid oversized portions.


Foods to Increase

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Make at least half your grains whole grains.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.


Foods to Reduce

Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks.


For more information about filling your plate with local food, visit

Outdoor Summer Film Series at Brookford Farm

Friday, June 3rd, 2011


Brookford Farm launches their Outdoor Film Series this Saturday, June 4th — bring a lawn chair or blanket, treat yourself to a frozen yogurt and enjoy a summer evening at the farm!


Brookford Farm Outdoor Film Series:

“The Plow That Broke the Plains” & “The Greenhorns”

On the Farm at 278 Sligo Rd, Rollinsford, NH

Saturday, June 4, 2011 (Rain date: June 5th)

9 p.m.

Free and open to the public


This summer, we’re delighted to invite you to the farm for a film series which will feature agriculturally-themed documentaries from around the world. We begin in June with two American films, one from the present day, and one from the Dust Bowl era. In July and August, we present films from France and Thailand.


The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) is a short documentary film which shows what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl. It was written and directed by Pare Lorentz. The Greenhorns documentary film explores the lives of America’s young farming community, and shows how a new generation of young agrarians farm with their brains as well as their bodies. These greenhorns are working to reverse negative trends in agriculture in favor of healthy food, local and regional foodsheds, and the revitalization of rural economies, one farm at a time. Directed by farmer/ activist Severine von Tscharner Fleming. Watch a trailer of The Plow That Broke the Plains here, and The Greenhorns here. Screened with permission of the Greenhorns.


All films will be screened in the backyard of 278 Sligo Road, the red house between two hills about a mile south of the Farm Store, but you should park about a quarter-mile before you get to the house, at the gray tunnel barn across the street from a gray house. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and whatever you’ll need to be comfortable at an outdoor event. We’ll have frozen yogurt and other treats for purchase at the screening.


This is a free event – rain date June 5th.


For more information:

Conference: New and Forming Food Co-ops, May 23

Friday, May 13th, 2011

foodconferencelogocorrectsize.jpgIf you’re a member of a potential or new food co-op, buying club or farmer-owned retail store, the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is holding a one-day conference to help you get started:


It Takes Cooperation to Build a Food Co-op:

Start-up Food Co-op Development Conference

Cooperative Development Institute

The Arts Block, 289 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301

Monday, May 23, 2011

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.




Dozens of co-ops and start-ups will gather Monday, May 23rd for a program packed with real-life co-op experiences and practical help for start-ups. This is an opportunity for steering committees, boards and members of emerging and recently opened consumer food co-ops, buying clubs and farmer-owned retail stores in New York and New England to learn best business and organization practices from established co-ops, cooperative development specialists and financiers.


This one-day conference includes:


• Twelve different workshops on key aspects of co-operative development — finances, membership, governance, management, marketing and more. Each person will be able to attend four workshops.

• Lunchtime facilitated discussions on topics such as the 2012 International Year of Co-ops; strategies for reaching diverse urban communities; co-op to co-op cooperation and networking; retirement plans; and more.

• Roundtable conversations with conference presenters on the specific issues facing each co-op.

• Co-operative development exhibits and resource materials.

• A walking tour of nearby Green Fields Market, which is catering the conference.


Online registration is now open. Space is limited so groups should sign up early! Registration fees are designed to encourage groups of at least three people, in order to make the most of the depth and diversity of information, contacts and networking offered by this conference: $100 for 1 person, $25 for each additional person from the same organization. Groups may pay online or by sending a check for total registration to: CDI, PO Box 422, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370.


The conference registration site has workshop descriptions and logistical information, and CDI’s food co-op conference webpage features resources, links, and a press release.


For more information: (413) 665-1271,,

Farmstead Planning Twilight Meeting

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

UNH Cooperative Extension is offering a Farmstead Planning Twilight Meeting on Monday April 18, 6 -8 pm at Riverslea Farm (362 North River Road, Epping NH, off Route 125).

Farmstead planning involves having an overall master plan and then placing buildings on the farm property so they won’t be in the way of future structures and will be located for efficient operation. The basic concepts include: siting buildings, traffic flow, environmental concerns, separating business and personal space, dealing with vehicle and people traffic, allowing for materials handling, etc.

This twilight meeting is a part of a series of agricultural engineering twilight meetings with John Porter, UNH Extension Professor, Emeritus and Stan Weeks, consultant from New York.  Stan is an agricultural engineer who has had a lot of experience in farmstead layout. He is contracted on a regular basis by UNH Cooperative Extension through the Andrew C. and Margaret R. Sigler Foundation. This series is conducted in cooperation with UNH Cooperative Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

For more information contact Nada Haddad, Rockingham County Agriculture Extension Educator, UNH Cooperative Extension at or 679-5616

Seacoast NH Restaurant Survey

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

If you have a moment, please take this short survey from UNH graduate student, Perrin H. Long:


This is a confidential survey for educational purposes as part of a master’s thesis to investigate customer attitudes and opinions with regards to the creation of a sustainable, cooperatively run, nutritionally focused restaurant serving locally sourced foods in the New Hampshire seacoast area.

Maine Farmers’ Market Convention, January 29–29

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

lgo-mfmc.gifThe Down East Business Alliance will be hosting the Maine Farmers’ Market Convention, an annual event for farmers and market managers:


Maine Farmers’ Market Convention 2011

Belfast, Maine

January 28 & 29, 2011


Mark your calendar and tell your friends!

The 3rd Annual Maine Farmers’ Market Convention will be held January 28 and 29, 2011, at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.


The 2011 Maine Farmers’ Market Convention will offer farmers and market managers an intensive two days of workshops, panels and expert speakers providing tools and techniques for financial success with a focus on locally grown food for healthy eating.


Who we are… DBA has been working with farmers and farmers’ market managers for several years in a professional development program to enhance their incomes and increase production capability. DBA organized and presented the first ever Maine Farmers’ Market Convention in March of 2009 and hosted another in 2010.


Registration is available for one or both days; deadline for early registration discount is January 10. For workshop schedule and more information, please visit

Cheese Chicks: Pumpkin Fondue!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

 This time of year brings with it one of my most loved vegetables:  winter squash.  It’s versatile, attractive, and quite delicious!  The variety I think is most versatile is the pumpkin.  I love most anything to do with pumpkins, be they in pie form, carving Jack O’Lanterns, used as decoration… they are beautiful and comforting and essentially usher in the last quarter of the year in one perfect package.

Last month, I headed out to Pickpocket Farm’s Harvest Potluck, bringing with me two Pumpkin Fondues.  Fondue is the perfect social food — everyone gathering around the pot (this pot is actually a baked pumpkin) dipping their fondue forks speared with pieces of baguette into a creamy, melty mess of comforting, warm cheese.  What could be better?  The pumpkins were met with rave reviews, and both were demolished fairly quickly.  One of the pumpkins was on center stage outside on that very cold day, and it stayed hot enough to keep the cheese melted until all of it was gone.  Perfect!

I made the fondue again for a group of friends helping us with our fall chores.  Once again, the pumpkin was hailed as “crazy good,” even by someone who hated fondue.  Enough said.

And now, some notes on the recipe before you actually make it.

The pumpkin you need for this recipe will be any edible variety, and small — we’re talking 4-5 lbs.  I prefer a nice round pumpkin rather than a tall, narrow one because it lets more people get into all that melty goodness at the same time, rather than making people politely wait their turn.  Fondue to me says “DIG IN!”

Garlic is an important part of this recipe.  I grow my own, and the past two years have produced an amazingly pungent garlic.  I am usually forced to reduce the amount called for in dishes that aren’t really cooking the garlic much, but for the fondue I went full strength.  It is much better to go overboard here than not use enough.  If you are using small-cloved supermarket garlic, I would even double the amount. 

fannymason_2041_182779.jpg    And now the cheese.  I typically use Boggy Meadow Farm’s Baby Swiss, which is nutty and melts beautifully.  Sometimes you can only find the smoked variety, so when that happens I use any type of Gruyere, or maybe a mix of Gruyere and Fontina.  You could also try Jarlsberg, if that’s all you have hanging out in your fridge.  The recipe also calls for mozzarella.  If you can make your own like I do, do it!  Fresh, homemade cheese makes an incredible fondue.  Even if your mozzarella comes out drier than you’d like, it’s still perfect for shredding and melting.

Finally, you should make your own bread crumbs.  The canned or bagged supermarket variety will not produce the consistency you need.  Slice up some homemade bread (the recipe calls for white, but I’ve used varieties of wheat with no problem), toast it and process it and within seconds you have exquisite bread crumbs.


1 pumpkin (4-5 lbs), washed and dried

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced (double if using a supermarket variety)

6 oz. Baby Swiss cheese, shredded

2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded

4 slices white (or wheat) bread, toasted and crumbled

1 pint half-and-half

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (Have you ever grated nutmeg yourself?  Heavenly!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a 2-inch slice from top of pumpkin (make sure you’re not cutting straight up and down — you want the top to rest on the pumpkin, shelf-like, as it bakes) and reserve.  Remove seeds and fibers.  Blend oil and garlic and rub into interior of pumpkin.  Place pumpkin in a large roasting pan.

Gently combine the shredded cheeses.  Alternate layers of toast crumbs and cheese inside the pumpkin.  Combine half-and-half, salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour over the layers.  Replace top, making sure stem will fit into your oven.  If not, slice it off.  Bake pumpkin 2 hours, gently stirring contents after 1 1/2 hours.

sel-blog-photo-of-fondue-11-21-2010-6-01-31-pm.jpg    If you can, make your own baguettes to dip into your pumpkin pot.  If not, try to make whatever homemade bread you can, but keep it simple.  You will want to savor every bite of delectable cheese!  The surprise ending to this dish is to make sure your fork scrapes the side of the cooked pumpkin.  Filling your mouth with this mixture of bread, cheese and pumpkin makes for a truly perfect meal — because you will eat so much of it, you will not have room for anything else.  Happy melting!

Job opening at UNH’s Office of Sustainability

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

A part-time Special Projects Coordinator is sought to support the work of the Food & Society and Culture & Sustainability initiatives of the UNH Sustainability Academy. The Special Projects Coordinator will organize and implement key special projects, research, and events related to issues of food, local and sustainable agriculture, nutrition, community, culture, and other related issues.

UNH Office of Sustainability seeks Special Projects Coordinator – 30 hours a week, $15/hour

Job posting:

NH Farm to School Summer Newsletter

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

NH Farm to School Newsletter 

The New Hampshire Farm to School summer newsletter is out. This edition has four great articles in it, as well as some great photos and links. There’s talk of shrimp tasting at Little Harbor School in Portsmouth, building a school garden in Andover, and more. 

To read the newsletter, just go here: 

And don’t forget you can visit the NH Farm to School Project at

Riverslea Farm to Provide Lamb for 400 Guests at UNH Gourmet Dinner Tutto Toscana April 16 and 17, 2010

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The University of New Hampshire Hospitality Management students will host six courses of Tuscan cuisine at the upcoming Gourmet Dinners in April for 200 guests per night. The students have procured such local faire as lamb and mutton, Borealis focaccia, sorbetto and organic salad greens from local farmers and businesses.  

Organized by the hospitality management students at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, Tutto Toscana will be held Friday, April 16, and Saturday, April 17, 2010, at Stillings, 20 Ballard Drive, Durham, NH, beginning with aperitivo at 6 o’clock and dinner to follow. 

“Everything Tuscan” will feature famed Tuscan cookbook author Gina Stipo. The theme is representative of Gina’s life in Tuscany as well as her version of traditional Tuscan fare; where her recipes are noted in her latest cookbook Ecco La Cucina. Stipo lives in Siena, Italy where she teaches cooking classes that are focused on the rich culinary traditions and local flavors of Tuscany. She will sign copies of her latest cookbook available for sale at the dinner.  

Wine pairings will be provided by Banfi Vintners, and beer by Smuttynose Brewing Co.  

Purchase your tickets fast!—Saturday night is already sold out. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to  

The event is nonprofit and the class is based on an experiential learning model where the students create and manage the entire event from marketing to menu design.