How to Eat Local in the Winter

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Right now is the peak of summer produce! Eating locally and in season is easy this time of year, but when the colder months roll in it can get a little more difficult. Planning while most foods are at their peak will make it much easier to enjoy them all year. There is a notion that it is impossible to eat locally in the winter- but that isn’t true! Here are some tips for eating local produce all year round.

1. Winter farmers’ markets!

Seacoast Eat Local puts on two amazing farmers’ markets in the winter. There is one in Exeter and one in Rollinsford. These markets run from November to April and feature so many different vendors. There is produce, meat, eggs, bread, prepared food, and much more! These could be the perfect places to pick up food for all of your holiday meals.

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2. Winter CSA shares

Many farms now offer winter CSA shares that run from October-March. Greenhouses and special growing practices make it possible to get all kinds of local fresh produce during the winter. Check out your local farms to see who offers winter CSAs.

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3. Preserve your summer produce

In a previous post, I explained how to preserve produce. This is a great method if you find yourself with too much fruits and veggies right now, but know that you would greatly enjoy them in the off-season. Freezing, canning, and drying can make it easy to enjoy your favorite fruits and veggies at peak ripeness all year round.

winter3

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Eat Fresher Fish, Support Seacoast Fishermen — Shares Available Now!

NH Community Seafood, a community supported fishery, is now offering shares in their next session, from August 24th to October 4th:

We are a Community Supported Fishery, like a CSA, but for seafood. We offer fresh and local seafood caught in NH or the Gulf of Maine every week, you prepay and we deliver! We fillet the fish and deliver it right to your town! We also have Member Only Add Ons like Lobster Ravioli and NH grown oysters available!

~ Our Sessions run for 6 weeks, with a one week break in between
~ We are in our Third Session for 2015, it runs from August 24-October 4
~ If you are going away, you can HOLD your share and DOUBLE UP another week up to 3 weeks within the 6 week session
~ Our fish is local, sustainably fished, fresh off the boat to your plate and by buying through our Cooperative, you directly support and help local NH Fishermen maintain their dying livelihood!

Sign up today, the new Session starts AUGUST 24!

Thanks for you interest, we are helping our local Seacoast Fishing Community, in dire need, one pound at a time!!

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Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner 2015, September 20

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Don’t delay, tickets to this year’s Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner on Sunday, September 20th are almost sold out!

Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner 2015
Heirloom Harvest Project & Slow Food Seacoast
Location: Meadow’s Mirth Farm, Stratham, NH
Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015
Time: 4 – 8pm

The Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner is a spectacular event that celebrates locally raised heirloom produce and heritage meats, while highlighting the connection between farmers, chefs and consumers. This multi-course dinner is an inspiration and collaboration of local chefs working with beautiful, just harvested heirloom varietals. The Barn Dinner is held at Meadow’s Mirth Farm in Stratham, NH.

This year’s dinner will be highlighting the beauty of heirloom grains, legumes and vegetables. Tickets are $100 per person and available online only; payment can be by credit card or check. The Barn Dinner is organized by Heirloom Harvest Project and Slow Food Seacoast.

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW!

If you are interested in volunteering please let us know!

For more information please email denise@blacktrumpetbistro.com.

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Savor the Season: A Food Preservation Weekend, October 2 – 4

2014_08-Garden-and-orchard-at-Blueberry-CoveMountains of produce at the end of the gardening season? Learn to preserve it at Savor the Season – A Food Preservation Weekend at Blueberry Cove Camp, a fun-filled fall weekend learning traditional home food preservation methods hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, October 2 – 4, 2015:

Savor the Season: A Food Preservation Weekend
UMaine Cooperative Extension and Master Food Preserver volunteers
Location: Blueberry Cove 4-H Camp & Learning Center, 22 Blueberry Cove Road, Tenants Harbor, ME
Dates: Friday, October 2 – Sunday, October 4, 2015
Cost: $325 (includes lodging and meals)

Savor the Season is a weekend event devoted to learning the latest, USDA-recommended methods and techniques of home food preservation. The focus will be on using local, seasonal ingredients and produce from the gardens and orchard at Blueberry Cove Camp and other local purveyors. The weekend features three educational programs, two on Saturday and one on Sunday morning. These programs will include topics and demonstrations which range from making jam to drying fruits for leathers to canning salsas. Handouts will be included.

There is a social hour to meet and gather with other members of the group before dinner on Friday night and Saturday night. Meals include breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. A highlight of the weekend, these homemade meals will feature locally grown, raised, and produced fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, breads, and other seasonal delights.

For more information: http://umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/savortheseason/

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Allagash’s Farm to Face 2015 Launch Party

Celebrate the release of Allagash Brewery’s 2015 Farm to Face beer, made with 9,000 pounds of peaches from Applecrest Farm. Enjoy a selection of Allagash beers and food by Applecrest Farm Bistro’s Chef Patrick Soucy.

Tuesday, August 18th at Applecrest Farm from 6 to 8pm. 100 tickets are available; Less than 50 tickets left!  Tickets are $30 each. All proceeds benefit Seacoast Eat Local.  Buy your tickets online: Farm to Face 2015

FarmtoFaceEvent_2015

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Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-culinary Island Retreat, August 28 – 30

appledore2-420x140The brain child of Chef Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro and sponsored by the Shoals Marine Laboratory, this weekend getaway is not to be missed! From Friday, August 28th to Sunday, August 30th, Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-culinary Island Retreat will bring together ecologists and chefs to interpret the many natural gifts the Isles of Shoals have to offer:

Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-culinary Island Retreat
Shoals Marine Laboratory
Location: Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals
Friday, August 28 – Sunday, August 30, 2015

Ten miles off the New Hampshire coast, the Isles of Shoals have always embodied both opportunity and sense of place. From the cod fishermen of the early 1600’s to the glamorous Appledore House of the nineteenth century to today’s world-class Shoals Marine Lab, Appledore Island in particular has played host to people with a deep connection to their food and the natural world. In this unique retreat, we bring together ecologists and chefs to interpret the many natural gifts the Isles of Shoals have to offer. Come as an individual or as a group to learn about the importance of sense of place, while also protecting a vital resource. And bring your appetite for food and knowledge!

Total cost: $630/person (double occupancy). Includes room and all meals, snacks and beverages, all program activities, and round-trip boat fare between Portsmouth, NH and Appledore Island. A portion of the proceeds will help support the Chef’s Collaborative of New Hampshire.

For more information: http://www.sml.cornell.edu/sml_culinary.html

Posted in events, learning, local food in local restaurants, seafood | Leave a comment

Blueberries are here!

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local intern

If you couldn’t tell, berry season is one of my favorite times of the year! I covered strawberries and raspberries in previous posts, and now we are rounding out the season with blueberries.

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For me, local blueberries are one of the best parts of summer. There is so much more flavor in a blueberry grown/picked close to home rather than one that has travelled 1300+ miles. As if the taste wasn’t enough, blueberries are packed with nutrition and are even considered a “superfood!”

What is a superfood? A superfood is one that can fight off a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

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Blueberries are very high in antioxidants (meaning they fight cancer!) A good rule of thumb is more color a fruit has = more cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Blueberries are awesome at:

  • Boosting brain health

  • Fighting aging

  • Fighting chronic diseases

  • Fighting cancer

Blueberries are an amazing (and easy!) addition to many salads, smoothies, and snacks. If you can picture Victoria Beauregard from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory turning into a blueberry – that will be me come September.

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/superfoods-everyone-needs

http://www.superfoodsrx.com/healthyliving/blueberries-benefits/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php

 

Image source:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Vaccinium_corymbosum(01).jpg

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Slow Food Seacoast: Fat Peach Farm Potluck Supper & Tour, August 8

FatPeachFarm2-300x185Join Slow Food Seacoast for a Potluck Supper hosted by Fat Peach Farm in Madbury on Saturday August 8th — starting at 4pm, farm owners Jennifer Wilhelm and Micum Davis will lead a farm tour followed by a potluck supper at 5:30pm:

Slow Food Seacoast: Fat Peach Farm Potluck Supper & Tour
Location: Fat Peach Farm, Madbury NH
Date: Saturday August 8,
Time: 4 – 7pm

Join Slow Food Seacoast for a Potluck Supper hosted by Fat Peach Farm in Madbury on Saturday August 8, 4 – 7pm. At 4:00, farm owners Jennifer Wilhelm and Micum Davis will lead us on a farm tour. In addition to their gardens, the property features some unique attributes such as a geodesic dome greenhouse and custom lumber products.

The potluck will begin at 5:30. Please a bring your own dining kit, camp chairs or picnic blanket and a dish to share. Your dish should feed 8 – 10 people and have at least 1 locally grown ingredient, although this time of year you could probably do much better than 1!

Fat Peach Farm is a small-scale, mixed production farm growing over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers. The farm practices organic production methods, without the use of synthetic chemicals. Their aim is to promote ecological balance through healthy soils and resource conservation. They sell directly from their farm stand or by special order. Fat Peach Farm is located at 181 Drew Road, Madbury, NH. Please park along Drew Road

For more information: http://slowfoodseacoast.com/fat-peach-farm-potluck/

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How-To Festival, August 1

How To logoLearn 25+ things in 5 hours for free — including vermicomposting, chicken care, rabbit care and making recycled pots — at the How-To Festival at the Portsmouth Public Library on Saturday, August 1st:

How-To Festival
Location: Portsmouth Public Library, Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, NH
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Time: 10am – 3pm
Free and open to the public

Ever wondered how to compost with worms? Or how to dance ballet, swing, or Bollywood? Or how to play chess? Or how to write a poem? Or how to take great photos with your phone? Or how to get the best mortgage or make more money? Or how to do yoga, Aikido or self-defense? Or how to care for a chicken or a pet rabbit? Or how to eat healthier? Or how to make origami, knit or embroider?

We could go on! There’s only one place to learn all these things and more: Portsmouth Public Library’s second How-To Festival, on Saturday, August 1st from 10 AM – 3 PM. It’s free and open to the public.

Supporting the local community is a big part of the library’s mission. The How-To Festival is a celebration of all the skills and talents the Seacoast area has to offer – and a place for community members to connect and share their knowledge and passion with each other! Our community partners are local individuals, businesses, and non-profits.

There will be something for everyone at the How-To Festival – bring the whole family and all your friends! Win prizes, learn new things, meet your neighbors, and have fun. All you’ll need is a plan for lunch – bring your own, visit the Farmer’s Market, or head downtown. The rest is on the library! So mark your calendars for August 1st, and get ready to learn!

Complete 2015 Schedule: http://pplhowtofestival.sched.org

For more information: http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/library/howtofestival.htm

Posted in animal husbandry, events, grow your own, kids, learning | Leave a comment

Fresh Herbs

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Herbs are in abundance right now! Fresh herbs can be used in a variety of ways and there are so many different types available at the markets. They can be easily overlooked, but make a great addition to all different types of food.

Herbs that are in season right now and some ways to use them include:

Basil

  • Tomato, mozzarella, and basil is one of my favorite combinations. Luckily tomatoes and basil are both in season right now, making this combo extra flavorful!

  • Basil can be used for making homemade pesto and sauces for poultry and seafood.

  • Bug bites! I recently found out that if you rub a basil leaf on a mosquito bite it would take away the itch. As someone who cannot leave bug bites alone, I tried it and I can confirm that it works!

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Parsley

  • Parsley is very versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes

  • It pairs very well with all types of meat and protein, as well as a great addition to broth

  • It is high in vitamins, making it a healthy addition to cold salads

  • Parsley can be used to make homemade tabbouleh

parsley

 

Marjoram

  • Marjoram is very sensitive to heat and should be added towards the end of cooking

  • It makes a great addition to roast chicken

  • All sorts of meat and salads can be spiced up with marjoram

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Peppermint

  • Peppermint can be steeped into a homemade tea

  • It makes a great, flavorful addition to smoothies

  • Add it to your glass of water!

  • Add it to salads for a fresh twist. It is especially good paired with watermelon! Check out this recipe

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There are many more uses for all of these herbs, as well as additional herbs that weren’t mentioned. Check out your local market to see what is available!

Sources:

Uses for basil

Plethora of parsley

Use marjoram

Uses for mint

Image sources:

Marjoram

Mint

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