Editor’s Note: Seacoast Eat Local has so enjoyed having Margo this summer and has benefited immensely from her work with us during what has been an extraordinarily busy time for us! We wish her well on her impending school year and hope to see her around the markets!
Also, as a former 4-H Coordinator for Strafford County and lifelong member and volunteer, I loved hearing about the roots of Farmer Tom’s in a 4-H Project! 4-H is vibrant in New Hampshire and October marks the beginning of our 4-H year, a perfect time to sign up your children between the ages of 5 and 18! Although the roots of 4-H are agrarian, we now boast a variety of animal, agriculture, science, service, outdoor and crafting clubs! If you can dream it, you can do it in 4-H! For more information on getting involved with 4-H, visit our state website http://extension.unh.edu/4-H-Youth-Family/4-H-Youth-Development
Community – what has made being a part of Seacoast Eat Local so extraordinary. I have looked forward to seeing the welcoming vendors, our new and frequent customers, and of course, members of the SEL staff. This week marks the last week of my internship at SEL for the summer, the week before my semester courses start up once again. Thank you to everyone who has been able to share this experience with me – you have made it special.
Community is also cherished by Lisamarie and Tom Horne of Farmer Tom’s vegetable stand – not only do regulars flock to their stand in Farmington, but also to their stall at the Rochester Farmers’ Market. Lisamarie’s gorgeous glads draw loyal customers to both locations, with vibrant colors ranging from plum purple to variegated yellow and red to salmon pink. Farmer Tom’s range of vegetables is also something to be admired – with large bell peppers, bright orange carrots, large deep purple beets, bright yellow summer squash, and more such as onions, two kinds of potatoes, and corn to come.
As I chatted with Lisamarie, one of her loyal customers examined the freshly dug potatoes and shared stories of her childhood memories of digging for potatoes with her father. Some customers also share their creations that made with Farmer Tom’s produce, such as decadent chocolate zucchini cake or ravioli made with thinly sliced zucchini instead of pasta. It is not uncommon for customers to linger when stopping by – with Lisamarie’s welcoming personality and enthusiasm for great tasting fresh produce, it is easy to get lost in conversation. Lisamarie’s care for others is also evident in how she donates extra produce to the Mustard Seed Café, which makes meals for the needy, as well as donates to the elderly.
Lisamarie also takes pride in the fact that she is able to take part in providing delicious local food for her neighbors for the past 20 years since the farm stand has been around. The farm stand all got started when her daughter Erika, who was in kindergarten at the time, had to complete a 4-H project that taught the skills of counting and record keeping. Lisamarie described how the farm stand, which started out selling tomatoes, “grew and grew and grew,” just like the garden, into what is now today. Along with the farm stand and stall at the Rochester Farmers’ Market (at the Commons from 3:30-6:30 pm), Farmer Tom’s also sells to local restaurants such as Strafford Sub Shop and Strafford House of Pizza.
After surveying the assortment of their beautiful vegetables at the farmers’ market, I settled on the red potatoes. At home, I cut them up, boiled them, then pan fried them with spices to make Moroccan spiced potatoes. To serve with the potatoes, I also made a tahini yogurt sauce (recipe for both can be find below).
Moroccan Potato Recipe:
Tahini Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 4 tsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 ½ tsp. water
- 1 cloves of garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt
In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, tahini, and water. After mixture is well combined add the garlic and salt to taste.