Seacoast Eat Local connects people with sources of locally grown foods and advocates eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. We organize winter farmers’ markets, co-produce Seacoast Harvest, sponsor workshops and events, and provide information through our email newsletter, blog and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org
In 2013, we are strengthening and expanding our programs. The Winter Market season has been amazing and we appreciate all of the consumers and farmers who have come and purchased or sold goods this winter. The variety and quantity of foods available for eating locally year round continues to grow, contributing to our community’s health and well being in many ways. The expansion by other market organizations into the winter season is a welcome area of growth in the greater Seacoast area – more options for everyone!
From finding pick your own farms for strawberries in June to farm stands that offers meats year round, Seacoast Harvest enables customers to find the foods they are looking for. The resource is updated annually, and lists over 175 farms. The listings are no cost to farmers but many generously sponsor each year to make this publication possible. We’ll publish 8,000 copies of Seacoast Harvest when it goes to print in May, which we will then distribute all over our region, providing customers with an important tool for connecting with farmers.
Seacoast Eat Local’s newest initiative brings SNAP, or food stamps, access to area farmers’ markets. We now offer SNAP/EBT at the summertime Dover and Portsmouth farmers’ markets, as well as our winter farmers’ markets in Exeter and Rollinsford. We are working hard to expand this program to more area markets. Currently, 1 in 8 Americans receive food stamps, but are not commonly able to use them at area farmers’ markets because the markets lack the equipment and staff to support access. Folks of all income levels want access to the delicious, wholesome foods grown by our area farmers, and the health and economic benefits of having more people eating these foods benefit our whole community. We welcome collaboration and support of all kinds for this project; it will take the community’s support to be successful!
Support the SNAP initiative, and local food and agriculture in the Seacoast region with a donation to Seacoast Eat Local, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Tax-deductible donations can be made through our website or by mailing a check to: Seacoast Eat Local, 67 Airport Rd, Newington, NH 03801. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or ideas.
To learn more about Seacoast Eat Local, sign up for our email newsletter, subscribe to our blog, and follow us on Facebook where we share information about farmers’ markets, farm specials, events and activities, workshops, recipes and much more!
- Eating locally means more money stays within our community and supports our local economy. Farmer’s receive a greater proportion of the price.
- Locally grown food is fresher and more nutritious. Since it doesn’t have to be bred for long-distance shipping and rough handling, local produce can fully ripen, making it much more flavorful.
- Eating locally reduces your second-hand consumption of fossil fuels. The average American meal travels an estimated 1500 miles from farm to plate.
- Supporting local agriculture supports responsible land development. When you buy local, you give those with open space – farms and pastures – an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.
adapted from “10 Reasons to Eat Local Food” Jennifer Maiser, Eat Local Challenge
Brendan Cornwell is a beekeeper with hives at organic farms and suitable honeybee habitat throughout the Seacoast. Brendan focuses on sustainable beekeeping techniques, including top bar, limited foundation, and Warré hives as well as keeping the honeybees chemical free. Brendan is an accomplished artist and earned a BFA from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Brendan’s first book, Aesop in Goudy, was published in 2007.
Kristen Deshaies is a brand and marketing strategist who has contributed to the growth of trailblazing values-led brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and Stonyfield during her 17-year career in Marketing. A lover of food and cooking, she was pleased to find a thriving local food movement in our area when she relocated to the Seacoast two years ago from near Burlington VT. Kristen joined the Board of Seacoast Eat Local in the summer of 2013 to contribute to its continued growth. She lives in Exeter, NH with her husband and elementary school-aged children.
Kate Donald, Winter Farmers’ Market Coordinator
Kate Donald is owner of Stout Oak Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Brentwood, NH. She has been farming for the past 10 years, and is an active member of the Seacoast Growers’ Association and NOFA-NH. Prior to farming, Kate spent 5 years in New York City, where she directed “The City Farms” urban agriculture program, and worked with Just Food, Green Guerillas, and The New York Botanical Garden to develop community gardens, school gardens, and garden-based education programs. She has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Kate has been involved with Seacoast Eat Local since 2006. Her recent work includes coordinating the Winter Farmers’ Markets, developing a SARE-funded project to expand New England winter crop production, and contributing to Land For Good’s Land Access Project.
Andy Gagnon, a software engineer for over 25 years, is a web developer, helping local business and organizations present their unique products and solutions to the world using computer technology. He also was a local organic farmer for 5 years, vending at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, and a board member of both the Seacoast Growers’ Association and the York County Master Gardener program. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and lived in Oregon and California for 14 years. He values good food, healthy living, and is an avid runner. He lives in Portsmouth, NH, and has 2 grown sons, in Americorps, and attending school at RIT. Andy joined the board in the summer of 2013 to help develop a digital strategy to achieve the goals of Seacoast Eat Local.
Audrey Gerkin, Secretary
Audrey Gerkin is currently an organic farmer at Pickpocket Farm, in Brentwood, NH. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Rivier College and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech. She is dedicated to managing her CSA, serving 15 families in the seacoast area. Her goal is to develop a small community of people who are growing, sharing, educating, and eating fresh local organic food. She was a grant recipient for beginning farmers from National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 2010. She lives at Pickpocket Farm with her husband and three girls.
Celeste Gingras is the co-owner of Forty Five Market Street Bakery and Cafe in Somersworth, NH. She has been involved in the food industry in one capacity or another since 1976. She has owned several restaurants throughout the Seacoast. She is very interested in creating fresh foods using local ingredients, eating those creations and educating others to do the same. When she is not working at the bakery or selling at one of many area farmers’ markets, you may find her gardening, swimming, taking photographs, or working on her 1940s bungalow in the great city of Dover, NH.
Josh Jennings, Treasurer
Josh Jennings has been owner of Meadow’s Mirth farm since 2004. He has managed the Exeter Farmers’ Market since 2006. Worked with Seacoast Eat Local since 2006. Been on the board of directors for Seacoast Growers Association since 2008. Appointed to USDA Farm Service Agency state committee in 2009. Appointed to the Seacoast Eat Local board of directors 2011. Volunteer for the Heirloom Harvest Project in 2011 which promotes farmer chef connections and investment in heirloom vegetable and meat production. Josh’s current work with Seacoast Eat Local focuses on winter farmers’ markets, farmer chef connections, building and expanding farmer networks.
Sara Zoë Patterson, Coordinator/Board Chair
Sara Zoë is a librarian and technology integrator for the Portsmouth School District. Involved in social justice advocacy in varying forms for the last 15 years, she now volunteers for several area organic farms in the summer months. Her passions for good food and a better future for our planet come together in her volunteer work with Seacoast Eat Local. In 2009 she was awarded the Andrew L. Felker Memorial Award for leadership in promoting the growth and prosperity of New Hampshire agriculture and named one of the Union Leader’s “40 under 40” young leaders of New Hampshire.
Jean began working on an organic vegetable farm in 2003, and co-founded Meadow’s Mirth farm in 2004. She is an active member of the Seacoast Growers Association, and is on the Winter Farmers’ Market committee for Seacoast Eat Local. A graduate of Houghton College with a B.A. in art, Jean is also a musician who specializes in growing cut flowers and heirloom beans.
Mike Smith is an Investment Advisor Representative with the Progressive Asset Management Group, a network of financial advisors helping clients manage their wealth by investing with their values. Mike was drawn to the socially and environmentally responsible investment field through his background in both ecology and business. This unique combination of experience helped him to recognize the tremendous need for environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices and understand the growing opportunities this presented investors, especially for those interested in matching their wealth and investments with their values. “I see my work as a way to integrate my personal beliefs with my livelihood. It allows me to both help people contribute to creating a more sustainable world as well as bring peace of mind to their financial lives.” Mike is a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), as well as the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA). He lives with his wife, Lenore, and two children in the NH seacoast area.
Progressive Asset Management Group is the socially responsible investment division of
Financial West Group. Representatives of and securities offered through Financial West Group,