Market Review: Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers Market, New Hampshire
Winter is a long season in the Northeast, possibly the longest of all of the seasons. Not being a fan of the cold temperatures and snow, I always say that winter is really half the year and lasts from the first of November until the first of April. In all actuality, those dates are not too far off in my neck of the woods in southern New Hampshire.
One event that helps break up the long winter months is the Seacoast Eat Local winter farmers market. The markets are held every other week from mid-November until the end of April. Being a localvore, and with fresh food hard to come by during the winter months, I look forward to these markets to get my fix on local food. The market switches locations and is held either at the Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire, or the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, NH.
With over fifty vendors, the Seacoast Eat Local Winter market is one of the largest markets north of Boston, possibly the largest. There is quite a variety of vendors at the markets, making it possible to do one-stop shopping the local way. There are multiple farms offering winter produce like root vegetables, hearty greens such as kale, and multiple varieties of winter squash. A good portion of the farms are certified organic with most of the others practicing sustainable agriculture using minimal pesticides.
If the fresh produce isn’t enough to get you to the market, there are countless other products being sold that might entice you. Multiple farms have fresh eggs along with frozen meats such as chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and deer. There are farms offering dairy products, including raw milk, which is legal to sell in New Hampshire, honey, maple syrup, apple cider, breads, and baked goods. There are also vendors selling handmade products like soaps and lotions, yarn, and clothing. For those of you in need of a caffeine fix, there are vendors who sell freshly brewed coffee and teas that you can enjoy while you shop or purchase for use at home. Make sure to go hungry because there are vendors who prepare foods like soup, wraps, and sandwiches that you can also enjoy while you shop. New to the market this year—beer and chocolate! You can browse the aisles and purchase these items, plus more, all while listening to music being played by local musicians.
A great feature of the market is that they can accept EBT and debit cards. Shoppers can use their EBT to access their SNAP and Food Stamp benefits to purchase food at the market. They can swipe their EBT card, or debit card, and select an amount they would like to use to purchase food that day. They are then given wooden tokens in the amount requested, which can be used to purchase their food from approved vendors.
From produce, to meats, to handmade soaps and chocolate, the Seacoast Eat Local winter farmers markets are the place for local shopping in southern New Hampshire during the winter months. Read more…
You can also check out Andrea’s piece on Holiday Shopping at the Winter Farmers Market, and her recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes. Our next Winter Farmers’ Market will be at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford on Saturday, December 22nd, from 10am to 2 pm. See you at the market!