Local food coming to winter farmers market
Seacoast Eat Local will return to Exeter High School on Saturday to host a winter farmers market, with more than 40 local farmers and food vendors and products ranging from fresh shrimp from the Yankee Fisherman’s Co-op to the cheese of Sandwich Creamery and Brookford Farm.
Community Supported Agriculture is a special focus of the market.
“(Community Supported Agriculture) in its truest essence is a partnership between farmers and customers,” said Maggie Crawford of Maggie Mae Farm in Chester. “A consumer purchases a share of the farm’s production early in the season and in return receives a share of the products as they are produced throughout the growing season.”
By signing up, Crawford said, the consumer knows “exactly where their food is coming from. They know who grew/raised it and what kind of practices were used. Once a week for 16 weeks they’ll come to the farm and pick up a prepackaged basket full of the freshest vegetables and naturally raised meats money can buy.”
One of the earliest instances of a CSA program in the United States was through the creation of Temple-Wilton Community Farm in Wilton, N.H., in 1986.
Jordan Pike, of Two-Toad Farm in Lebanon, Maine, explained, “By shouldering some of the risk that comes with commercial farming in Maine, members ensure local food production is viable and more efficient. Members gain affordable access to organic vegetables in abundance because less food and energy resources are wasted when the farm can accurate anticipate how much to grow each season and harvest each week.”
In short, Pike said, a CSA model “ultimately leads to stable, local farm jobs, feeds more people using less farmland than the market-only style of distribution and helps protect more farmland.”
Join us this Saturday, February 11th at the Exeter High School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — come and fill up your baskets with local food, and find out more about CSA options on offer. For more information about our Winter Farmers’ Markets: www.seacoasteatlocal.org