Do You Have Leftover Fruits and Vegetables?

By Brianna Bowlan, Seacoast Eat Local intern

Do you have an abundance of fruits and vegetables left from the Farmer’s Markets, or your own garden and don’t know how to keep them for the fall? Have you ever considered freezing them? Freezing fruits and vegetables is a great way to retain their freshness, nutrient content and they won’t go to waste.


You can freeze peas, asparagus, green beans, strawberries, cherries, peaches, etc. The best way to freeze your vegetables is to blanch them first (generally, fruit does not need to be blanched). Blanching is the process of cooking the vegetable and then placing it in ice water to terminate the cooking. This process slows the loss of nutrients and keeps the vegetables more vibrant in color. Next, prep the food and place into a freezer-safe container; Make sure they are not touching each other. After completely frozen, place them into a heavy-duty freezer bag and get as much air out of it as you can. Put them back into the freezer, until you are ready to use them. More details on this process >

When the harsh New England winter hits us, you can still have fresh fruit and vegetables that are full of nutrients and flavor. It’s a nice way to have a little piece of summer while you buried deep in snow.




Johnson, Abigail. “How to Freeze 20 Fruits and Vegetables.” Fine Cooking. Seacoast Eat Local, n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2015.

Photos: Kale, Ali Express

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Welcome Jill!

Seacoast Eat Local Sows Seeds for Growth and Change

Seacoast Eat Local is pleased to share exciting news with you. Our organization is expanding, and we have you to thank.  We are thrilled to announce two important new hires joining Seacoast Eat Local to help us continue to expand our efforts to connect the Seacoast community with local food. Your support for our local food community helped us achieve these milestones this year:

  • Expand our SNAP/EBT token program to a total of six summer farmers markets in 2015, providing a record number of SNAP recipients with access to fresh, healthy local food this summer.

  • Realize an 80% increase in the amount of SNAP tokens and Market Match fruit and vegetable coupons redeemed at summer farmers’ markets

  • Glean and donate over 6,000 pounds of fresh local food to area food pantries

  • Publish the ninth print and online edition of our 36 page Seacoast Harvest food guide, an indispensable resource about local food sources

  • Launch our ninth Winter Farmers’ Market season on November 21st, 2015

Accomplishing these milestones has taken a tremendous amount of work by a limited number of staff members and a dedicated network of volunteers. As we developed plans to grow and strengthen existing Seacoast Eat Local programs and lay the groundwork for new projects, we recognized that the time was right to add two important full-time roles: a Director to lead our work and to manage our development efforts and a Program Coordinator to spearhead our three major programs. We are thrilled to announce that after a rigorous search, we found the ideal individuals to join the organization in these important leadership roles.  This team will increase our outreach to existing and new audiences, expand awareness of our work, spread the story of our mission, and help us tackle even more in the future.


jillJill Hall will join Seacoast Eat Local as our first Director of Programs effective October 26, 2015.  In this newly defined position, Jill is responsible for the operational success of Seacoast Eat Local and will be the key external face of the organization in the community.

Jill brings a breadth of professional experience and education background.  From her work of the past three years as 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator in Strafford County to AmeriCorps VISTA Service and Activism Initiatives Coordinator, Jill’s accomplishments demonstrate both her ability to work with a variety of stakeholders and community partners.  Her commitment to advocacy and education surrounding issues of local food security and availability matches well with Seacoast Eat Local’s mission to connect people with sources of locally grown foods and to advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture, and economy.


photo (12)Jill joins our Program Coordinator, Shelly Smith, who joined Seacoast Eat Local in June.  In this role, Shelly is responsible for the marketing and programming efforts of Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP farmers market program, the Winter Farmers’ Markets, and Seacoast Harvest food guide. Shelly has been doing a fantastic job keeping the SNAP program running at all six markets, expanding outreach to SNAP recipients, and initiating plans for the upcoming Winter Farmers’ Market season.  She is looking forward to having Jill on board to lead this mighty team of two.


Thank you again for your support of Seacoast Eat Local’s work to strengthen our local food community and to connect consumers, farmers, food producers, and chefs.  Our work is possible because you care about what you eat and understand the importance of a strong, vibrant local food network.  All of us at Seacoast Eat Local look forward to bringing you progress updates as Jill and Shelly settle into their new roles.  We want to hear from you, too, about the impact of our work in the community.


At Seacoast Eat Local, our mission is to connect people with sources of locally grown food and to work for a sustainable local food system that supports the health of our environment, community, culture and economy.

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Local Everything – Sunday, October 11th

Learn how climate change and our agricultural system are inherently connected at the Local Everything event sponsored by NextGen Climate NH.  Following an hour of networking/tabling, there will be a panel discussion with local experts from the education, business, agriculture and policy sectors.  The discussion will focus on the connection between climate change and agriculture and address what we can do to lessen our impact through policy, education, and every day consumer decisions.

You won’t want to miss this event if you care about our local environment and economy!  Here are the details:

Date: Sunday, October 11, 1:00-2:00 tabling/networking, 2:00-3:00 panel discussion, 3:00-3:30 Q&A period, 3:30 onward tabling/networking.

Location: Throwback Brewery, 7 Hobbs Rd., North Hampton

Beer specials: A selection of 4 beers will be on special for 3$ for the duration of the event

Speakers: Commissioner Lorraine Merrill of the NH Department of Agriculture, John Carroll of UNH on agricultural education, Clay Mitchell on climate change science, Chuck Cox of Tuckaway Farm on sustainable agriculture, Representative David Borden of Newcastle to discuss policy, Nicole Carrier and Annette Lee, co-founders of Throwback Brewery on sustainable/local business, and Griffin Sinclair-Wingate of UNH representing the millennial voice.

Free admission, but please RSVP here.

NextGen Climate NH            Throwback Brewery

Posted in beverages, events, farms, learning, policy and legislation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Exactly is an Heirloom Tomato?

By Brianna Bowlan, Seacoast Eat Local intern

To understand what an heirloom tomato is, first we have to understand what an heirloom product is. Many people are confused about what the word heirloom means and to be honest, I am not quite sure what it means either. I have heard many different definitions for heirloom and don’t know what to think. After a little research, I found a few terms that might be helpful to know:

  1. Commercial Heirlooms: Any tomato that has been openly pollinated since before 1940, or tomato varieties that have been in circulation for more than 50 years.

  2. Family Heirlooms: Tomato seeds that families have passed down through generations

  3. Created Heirlooms: Crossing two varieties of tomatoes for years to eliminate undesirable traits/characteristics.

  4. Mystery Heirlooms: Tomatoes that result from natural cross-pollination with other heirloom varieties.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge about what an heirloom tomato is, test out some recipes with them. Heirloom tomatoes can be used in many different ways. They can be roasted, broiled, made into a sauce, or chopped up in salsa. They are a unique product that helps to support the local farmers; so head down to your local farmer’s market and see what interesting kind of heirloom tomato you can find!



Ibsen, Gary. “What Is An Heirloom Tomato?” Gary Ibsen’s Tomato Fest. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2015.

Photo: Recipe Geek, Lindsey Evans

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Welcome Brianna, Seacoast Eat Local’s newest intern!

Brianna Bowlan

Hello! My name is Brianna Bowlan and I am the newest Seacoast Eat Local Intern! I am a junior at the University of New Hampshire and have a dual major, Nutrition with a focus in Dietetics and Ecogastronomy. For those of you who don’t know what Ecogastronomy is (which is very common), it is a major that integrates sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and hospitality.

I grew up in Bangor, Maine and love returning for winter and summer breaks. I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities throughout the year such as skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and swimming and hiking in the summer months. I also have a vegetable garden that my family and I pick all summer. I am passionate about all things food and I love being adventurous and trying new foods from other cultures. I am an avid cook/baker and try to use seasonal ingredients to get the best flavor and nutrition out of the food.

I am extremely excited to be apart of the Seacoast Eat Local family and look forward to learning everything I can about the local food in New Hampshire. If you see me at a farmers’ market, feel free to come up and say hi!


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Piscataqua Oysterpalooza, September 11

Piscataqua Oysterpalooza 2015
Coastal Conservation Association of NH
Location: Red Hook Brewery, Portsmouth, NH
Date: Friday, September 11, 2015
Time: 5 – 9pm
Admission: $5, under 12 free


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

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.



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.



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.


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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


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.


If you are interested in volunteering please let us know!

For more information please email

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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:

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