5 Things to Know About Our Winter Farmers’ Market

With the Winter Farmers’ Market about to begin, we’ve been preparing for another fantastic season full of delicious food, good cheer, and warm company. Join us this Saturday, November 19th at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, NH, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in celebrating our local food community. Here are some highlights of this season’s Winter Farmers’ Market:

1. One-stop shopping

Stock your kitchen from the Winter Farmer’s Market — from cheese, milk, eggs, and butter to apple cider, pears, pie pumpkins, and apples — farmers and food producers will be offering a wide variety of foods for a completely delicious and local feast. A sampling of market wares includes potatoes, carrots, winter squash, onions, beets, leeks, broccoli, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and salad greens. A wide variety of beef, pork, and poultry, as well as other meats will also be for sale. Complete your food shopping with dinner rolls, pre-baked pies from locally grown fruit, bread for stuffing, and honey and maple syrup. Then round out your locavore pantry with a visit to the Seacoast Eat Local booth, where we will have regionally produced salt, sunflower oil and cider vinegar for sale, with proceeds going to support the Winter Farmers’ Market.

Area food producers have pledged to a high standard of localism and will be offering ready-to-eat meals, soups and stews, sausages and more, utilizing local ingredients in their recipes. As a producer-only market, shopping at our Winter Farmers’ Market ensures you are buying directly from a local producer.

2. New website makes it easy to shop the market

Seacoast Eat Local has begun using an online resource to manage the Winter Farmers’ Market, providing customers with exciting new ways to get to know participating farmers, what products will be for sale, and even where to find their market booths before arriving at the market. The full list of participating vendors, product search, and interactive market maps are online at www.seacoasteatlocal.org.

3. SNAP/EBT  and debit cards now accepted at the market

SNAP, also known as food stamps, can now be used at our Winter Farmers’ Market. With support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Seacoast Eat Local will be able to offer SNAP beneficiaries a way to purchase delicious local foods directly from farmers. SNAP customers can swipe their EBT cards at the Winter Farmers’ Market, and then use tokens in $1 increments to shop with approved vendors. With 15% of Americans now receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and a crisis in health and obesity, it’s significant to be able to offer access to customers who seek healthful foods for their families.

Forgot your checkbook or find yourself without enough cash? As an added convenience at our Winter Farmers’ Market, customers will also be able to use their debit cards in exchange for tokens in $5 increments. Stop by our token booth to find out more about both these programs!

4. Extra parking and free shuttle

For your convenience, we are again offering a free parking shuttle to the Wentworth Greenhouses. Extra parking will be provided at Salmon Falls Stoneware, 75 Oak Street in Dover, just around the corner from Wentworth Greenhouses. The shuttle runs continuously throughout market hours, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with door-to-door service — arrive and leave when you like!

5. Food donations are always welcomed

We accept donations of food at every Winter Farmers’ Market, and shoppers are encouraged to purchase fresh foods to donate. Pantries are seeing a sharp increase in demand for their services and those in need are also eager to eat wholesome foods. Potatoes, carrots, onions, salad greens – any product available for sale at the market would make a welcome donation. Farmers generously donate hundreds of pounds of foods at each market, and the combined efforts of shoppers and farmers creates a significant positive impact in our community.

For the November 19th market at Wentworth Greenhouses, the Rollinsford Benevolent Police Association will be collecting donations for their Holiday Food Basket program, which last year fed over 200 people and supplied a boost to area food pantries.

Bonus: You don’t have to come early!

The market is bustling at the beginning. For a more relaxed shopping experience, come a little later. The market is open through 2 p.m., and farmers are well prepared with an astounding abundance of foods for you. Every year, the farms are bringing increasingly more food and you can confidently shop later in the day. Worried about missing a particular product? Many vendors accept pre-orders — use the product search and contact farms directly if you need something set aside for you.

Purchasing locally grown food directly from area growers helps ensure our farms stay in business — keeping open space and good food growing in the Seacoast, and keeping dollars and jobs in our community. Market Sponsors for the 2011–2012 Winter Season include Underwriting Sponsor Veris Wealth Partners, LLC, Wentworth Greenhouses, and Exeter Hospital.

For more information, including a complete schedule of area winter farmers’ markets, visit www.seacoasteatlocal.org. See our latest newsletter for market news, or follow us at Facebook for recent updates.

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