Market Notes: 31 Days of Summer Bounty

With 31 farmers’ markets now operating in the Seacoast, there’s one happening every day of the week. The Wire reports on Sara Zoe and Brendan’s grand tour spanning the month of July:

31 markets in 31 days

According to the latest tally this summer, there are a record 31 weekly farmers’ markets in Rockingham, Strafford and York counties. Sara Zoe Patterson, coordinator of Seacoast Eat Local, and Brendan Cornwell plan to attend every single one during the 31 days of July.

“We realize this is definitely a challenge,” Patterson said.

The number of markets is up from 26 last year, 24 in 2009, and 20 in 2008.

She said seeing the increase in numbers reminded her that she hadn’t been to some of the markets in a while, since she had settled into a weekly routine of visits to a few regular favorites near home. Also, there are now several new markets to visit for the first time.

She and Cornwell decided to challenge themselves to visit all 31 farmers’ markets in a month and share their discoveries in a blog along the way. Finding new farms and local foods is their motivation.

“July might be the most awesome month ever to do this project,” Patterson said. The season is transforming and peaking, offering more variety, she said.

So far, they’ve seen tender greens, ripe cherries and staple vegetables, and they hope to see corn soon, she said. She even tried mulberries for the first time. Patterson said she’s also found a surprising amount of variety in local meats available, including beef, lamb and elk. Read more…

Follow 31 markets in 31 days on the Seacoast Eat Local blog. To find a farmers’ market nearest you, please visit Seacoast Harvest for listings by day and location, or the Seacoast Eat Local Calendar for listings by date. To entice you, here are just some of the riches to be found at Seacoast farmers’ markets: For slideshow, click here >

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