What’s In Season: Asparagus!

image1It’s one of the first and most beloved signs that the growing season has begun– bright green spears of asparagus reaching up to the sky in triumph over the long winter. Their season is fleeting and the demand quite high, so how can you make the most of asparagus while it lasts?

Asparagus is a great source of vitamins A-C and also rich in minerals such as potassium and zinc. It is naturally fat-free with a low calorie count for those looking to reduce their intake. To store, wrap in a damp cloth in the vegetable drawer of the fridge, or stand in a vase with one-inch water, also refrigerated.

Usually, simpler is better with the asparagus spear! It can be steamed, grilled, roasted or sauteed (whole or cut) until bright green with minimal add-ons such as salt and pepper, butter, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, or cream/hollandaise inspired sauces. It makes a great stand-alone side or easily mixes in to pasta and grain dishes.


Here are my two favorite ways to use asparagus:

Asparagus Brunch

Assemble enough asparagus for your gathering- approximately 5 to 8 spears per person. Trim woody ends and prepare asparagus as you wish (steamed, roasted or sauteed until a bright and tender green). Top with poached or soft boiled eggs, two per person, and dust with salt and pepper. Consider adding toppings such as shallots, scallions, pickled red onion, parsley or basil. Break the yolks over asparagus just before serving.

Asparagus Pesto

My new obsession this asparagus season! I have used two different recipes, both with success. Originally, this pesto was meant as a sauce for pasta (reserve tips for including in pasta and dilute pesto with a touch of pasta water), but I have been enjoying it as a pizza sauce and on sliced fresh bread from McKenzie’s Farmstand.

  • Several spears asparagus (a good bunch, maybe 4- 8 spears depending on size)
  • one handful grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp (approx) olive oil
  • pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 scallions or one shallot (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice and zest
  • 2 garlic cloves

Roughly chop the asparagus, garlic and scallions/shallot. This is a good opportunity to use less desirable asparagus stalks– ones that are a bit large, slightly woody, becoming limp or are otherwise imperfect. Reserve the tips for another use, such as in pasta. Some recipes call for cooking the asparagus, but I used mine raw both for convenience and for maximum nutritional benefit. Combine in a food processor with the pine nuts until very fine. Add lemon juice and olive oil by sight, a little at a time, until the pesto is the consistency you prefer. Mix in the cheese and lemon zest, as well as a few sprinkles of salt and pepper to taste.

Pine nuts can be expensive and difficult to find, plus it can be limiting to an audience that has nut allergies. I happen to have preferred the nut-free version because it was a bit creamier and had a fresher taste. Including pine nuts means you will use somewhat more olive oil and lemon juice to get a good consistency. This pesto is open to experimentation– add and subtract ingredients at will to find your favorite rendition!

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Help Wanted: Flying Goat Farm

Flying Goat Farm has two seasonal positions available right now! What a great chance to get involved with an amazing farm.

Seasonal Dairy Farm Position: Cheesemaking
Acton, Maine

goatFlying Goat Farm is looking for an Assistant Cheesemaker for our 2016 production season. We will begin cheesemaking in late April and continue to increase production through the end of May. Our production season lasts through Thanksgiving when we dry off our does. Assistant Cheesemaker duties occupy approximately up to 15-20 hours per week during peak production. Weekend and evening flexibility during the transition period of March through May is a plus, but schedule should be steady once the season’s routine is established. Compensation is $15/hr

Flying Goat Farm is a licensed creamery in Acton, Maine. We will be milking 26 does in 2016 and expect to be producing approximately 140-150lbs of cheese weekly. Our customers include local farmers’ markets as well as locally owned and operated grocery stores and restaurants.

* Successful applicant will be trained in all aspects of cheesemaking.
* Sterile technique for handling dairy products
* Pasteurization process and documentation
* Cheesemaking procedures for different types of cheese
* Maintenance of aging cheeses
* Packaging, labeling, logging inventory for all dairy products
* Filling orders for wholesale customers
* Filling and logging cooler contents for farmers’ market days

Applicants should:
Be interested in a commitment through the milking season which lasts from March through November
Be punctual, reliable, observant and detail oriented
Be able to lift a 5 gallon pail of water (50lbs) repeatedly
Be interested in the processes involved in operating a farmstead creamery
Be interested in and committed to the local food movement in New England

Please  email  flyinggoatfarm@gmail.com with your resume, three references that we may contact and a cover letter describing your interest in this position.

Seasonal Dairy Farm Position: Farmers’ Market Sales (Southern ME/NH)

Flying Goat Farm is looking for 2 or more individuals to man our farmers’ market tables at various markets through the year. Successful applicants will be friendly, patient, and willing to learn about what we do at our farm in order to communicate effectively and answer customer questions at markets. We will provide on the job training and a 3 to 4 market trial period to ensure you are a fit for our markets. Availability on Saturday mornings is a must. Total hours per week, approximately 6-12 per position. Compensation: $10/hr

Responsibilities Include:
* Pick up of all farmers’ market supplies at the farm the morning of market.
* Transportation of all market supplies to market location, set up and breakdown of table and running sales in between.
* Answering questions and communicating with customers in a friendly manner while facilitating sales.
* Security of cash box, point of sale equipment, market supplies and product during working hours.
* Return of all market supplies and unsold product directly after market close.

Successful Applicants Will:
Hold a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
Be friendly and customer oriented
Be punctual, detail oriented, reliable and observant
Have an interest in and commitment to supporting the local food movement
Be interested in all aspects of running a farmstead creamery business

Please emailflyinggoatfarm@gmail.com with your resume, three references and a brief cover letter describing your interest in this position.

Visit Flying Goat Farm on facebook and at their website

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Let’s Get Spicy! At Throwback Brewery May 8th

[Reposted from Throwback Brewery’s terrific newsletter, with grateful thanks and yippees and I Can’t Waits!]

Spicy-at-Throwback-Brewery-at-Hobbs-Farm-1024x729We look forward to this every year – the release of Spicy Bohemian, our jalapeño pilesener. We are so excited that, once again, we are throwing a party to welcome Spicy Bohemian to our Summer lineup! Please join us on Sunday, May 8, from 12-7pm at Hobbs Farm, as we celebrate spicy foods and spicy beers. There will also be live music from 1-4pm and a special tie-dye station with proceeds going to support Seacoast Eat Local.


Limited Edition Spicy Beers
In addition to Spicy Bohemian, we’ll be serving up a Thai-Spiced farmhouse ale, Chipotle Dippity Do, a Habanero Pilsener, and a special cask of our Double Dippity (smoked Double Brown Ale) with Ancho and Cayenne Peppers. For those of you wanting to relax in the beer garden, we’ll have our 1963 Divco beer truck right there pouring full pints of the spicy beers.


Spicy Food Specials
Chef Carrie has been dreaming up some delicious food specials to pair with Spicy Bohemian and its friends – like tacos! In addition to the maple-braised carnitas tacos that we have on our regular menu, Spicy Day will feature: Spicy Bohemian beer-battered fried fish tacos, smoked fish tacos, and flank steak tacos with pickled jalapeño relish (the jalapeños in the relish will come right out of the fermenter used to make Spicy Bohemian).

In addition to tacos, spicy fans can look forward to peppery, cheesy hush puppies with poblano goat cheese dipping sauce, grilled chili-marinated pineapple skewers, Kimchachos – Nachos w/kimchi, and chili & chocolate beer-battered fried brownie bites (yes, these are as good as they sound!). Weather permitting, Chef will be outside on her grill and portable fryer making many of these specials right before your eyes!


Tie-Dye Fundraiser
Since we’ve opened our doors here, Seacoast Eat Local has been very supportive of our business, helping us to connect with farmers and to sell our beer at Farmers’ markets. To support this amazing organization, we will have a tie-dye station running from 12-4pm, where you can tie-dye ‘I’m A Little Spicy’ shirts for $20. We’ll have adult and children sizes, so everyone can join in on the fun! All proceeds will go to support Seacoast Eat Local. We’re happy to be able to give back to Seacoast Eat Local, an organization that has done so much for us, and the local food scene and has brought farmers’ markets to towns all over the Seacoast.

We’d love to know who will be joining us! Check out our Facebook event and let us know you’re coming!

–Annette & Nicole

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Kathleen’s Post: Staying Creative, and Local, in the Kitchen

Staff Note: We’d like to thank Kathleen for the incredible passion and dedication that she has shown our organization over 2 semesters!

Since I sadly missed the last winter market a dear friend went in my place and grabbed some goodies for me! Sweet potato, russet potato, onion, garlic, kale, carrots and cheese we my generous gifts.

I had some tomato sauce hanging out in the back of my pantry just waiting to be used, but the time of my cooking adventure was 7:30 in the morning and tomato sauce didn’t seem to fit. But the means of using what I had available convinced me otherwise and into the pan went potatoes (cut into small cubes and cooked first to brown in all sides), carrots (cut in slivers), garlic and onions (minced), kale (shredded) and tomato sauce (whole can dumped into the pan)! Once the potatoes were soft enough I removed the pan from the heat and set it aside. In the oven I heated a tortilla with the cheddar cheese, just enough to melt it. I wrapped up a few scoops of the saucy potato mixture in the cheesy tortilla and called it breakfast.

It’s the meals that encompass your creativity and love that taste the best. A well rounded, nutrient dense meal shouldn’t kblogsmall and doesn’t need to cost incredible amounts of money. Being an intern at Seacoast Eat Local has shown me the passions behind creating equal access to fresh foods for all people and the joys of sharing locally grown foods. This internship has been the experience I have been looking for throughout my college education. I can’t imagine a better way to gain hands-on community nutrition experience than working directly with my own community. I thank Seacoast Eat Local endlessly for making this opportunity part of my college education and for all they do for the NH Seacoast folk!

I cannot wait to see what else this incredible organization brings to our community.

Stay hungry – Stay creative – Stay fresh & Keep local

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Jess’ Post: Food “Waste” Recipes

foodwastesmallStaff/Editors Note: We are going to miss you, too, Jess! Thank you for your wonderful and consistent focus on an oft-overlooked issue- you’ve made a huge impact!

Hello everyone!

This past weekend I did my demo for my internship with SEL at the last Exeter Market, and it was so amazing to see how many people were interested and excited about reducing their food waste! I had multiple folks come up to me throughout the day to say that they had come to the market because they were interested in my demo! Such a cool feeling!

For those of you who were unable to stop by last Saturday, I want to share what I did. Most of you know by now that I’m a food waste freak, and this demo was my last chance as an intern to share this with the public. I set up a table showing how to use parts of veggies that are normally tossed when preparing meals. Due to the constant availability of products in grocery stores and how we have grown up, we as consumers in the U.S. have lost the ‘need’ and drive to use a food item until it cannot be used anymore. Because of this, recipes or ways to use all of a veggie have been lost throughout the years. If a veggie starts to go bad, many of us go to the grocery store and replace it, rather than finding a new way to use it and prevent it from landing in either a landfill or compost pile.

Some items that are usually wasted in the kitchen include: potato skins (just rinse them off before you cook them!), the ends of veggies (just a little crunchier), the insides of peppers (you can eat the white parts!), the stem spots on tomatoes (a little crunchy, but still okay to eat!), the core of an apple (don’t eat the seeds!), carrot tops (use in salads), root veggie greens (saute or stir fry), and much more!

I made two snacks with normally wasted veggie parts for people to try at the farmers market. The first was broccoli chips, which are exactly like kale chips, but with the stalk of the broccoli plant. Growing up I mainly ate the top of broccoli and didn’t really know what to do with the rest of it. Since then I’ve found the stalk to be really tasty in stir fries and as chips. Here’s the recipe I use:


Broccoli Chipsfoodwaste2small

Makes about 1 cup “chips”

  • 2 stems broccoli, coarsely peeled (just trim up a bit)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Thinly slice broccoli stems, using a mandoline if available. Lightly toss slices with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange slices in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly golden-tinged at edges.

Depending on the size of your sheet pan, you may have to roast slices in batches. Also… lightly salting slices and allowing them to sit for 20 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing and drying them, might produce a slightly crisper consistency. I don’t mind the fact that the chips aren’t super crispy. Their flavor more than makes up for this. And, don’t be concerned if some chips char up a bit. They are the best!

The second recipe I shared at market was a swiss chard stem pesto, which really you can use any stem for, be it kale, collards, etc. Here is the recipe for that!

Kale Stem Pesto

Serves: about 1 cup of pesto

  • 1 heaping cup chopped stems from kale, swiss chard, collard greens or other leafy vegetable
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • big handful of parsley and/or basil
  • juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • optional – drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • optional – grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


Place stem pieces in a small pot and fill it with enough water to cover them halfway up. Toss in the garlic and a few pinches of salt. Simmer until the stems become knife-tender (about 20 minutes).

Drain and let cool.

In a food processor, pulse the cooked stems. Add everything else, drizzling in the olive oil at the end. Taste and adjust to your liking.

I can’t believe how quickly this semester has flown by… This is my last blog post as a Seacoast Eat Local intern, and I’m sad to say so. I’m so grateful for every experience I’ve had, and everyone who helped me along the way. Jill and Shelly are AMAZING people, and I’m so proud of everything they do with the SNAP program at markets! With that being said, this is not the last of me that you’ll see. This summer I’ll be working at Wake Robin Farm in Stratham, NH for the 5th year in a row!!! So come visit me at the Portsmouth and Dover farmers markets! Until then- Thanks for reading.

All the best,


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Charlotte’s Post: Thank You SEL!

Staff/Editors Note: We are pretty fond of you, too, Charlotte! We feel lucky to have benefited from your time and expertise and know you are on your way to great things!

CharlotteToday I am writing my last blog for Seacoast Eat Local. It is a bittersweet feeling because this internship has been such a positive experience for me. I will spend my last few weeks wrapping up final projects at school and enjoying the amazing friendships I have made at UNH. My senior year has been one crazy year but I cannot imagine it without Seacoast Eat Local.

Through this experience I was able to broaden my views on nutrition to create a more holistic approach. I was also able to apply some of my skills and knowledge from school to this internship giving me the confidence I need as I graduate and enter the workforce. The support I was given and the support I saw through Seacoast Eat Local markets is unforgettable. The strong bond that this community of local businesses/organizations, farmers and residents is truly remarkable. Seacoast Eat Local and all involved do an amazing job in collaborating to create a healthy and balanced food system through supporting local agriculture/businesses and addressing food security/accessibility in the community.

Seacoast Eat Local supports one of my favorite quotes by Alice Waters, who once said, “Good food should be a right and not a privilege”. The seacoast community is working so hard to do just this and I am happy to now be involved in a community like this.

With all of that said. Thank you to everyone who has made my experience interning at Seacoast Eat Local so positive. I am looking forward to seeing you all at future markets!

Be Well,


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Kathleen’s Post: Engaging Kids with Food!

spinachI am asked this question a lot: “So, what are you going to do after you graduate?”

And although I don’t have any one specific job locked down (yet!), I always say: “I know I’m going to work with kids, food and the community.”

Working with kids and engaging them with healthy eating is one of my favorite things. It’s amazing to watch their faces light up when they try something for the first time. Usually kids are conquering a fear of trying a new vegetable or food and are delighted when they learn they enjoy the taste.

Finding foods that kids will be inclined to try is always the hard part. I sympathize with parents who are trying to provide well rounded meals only to have many of the ingredients picked around, sometimes thrown, or given an unhappy face. Through one of the nutrition courses I am taking currently at UNH called Nutrition Through the Life Cycles, I have gathered some tips that may help encourage your kiddos’ at home to try more things!

1. When introducing one new food, always make sure it is served with a familiar food that the child enjoys. By doing this the child associates the new food with a food they really like. For example, if your child enjoys mashed potatoes and you are looking to introduce a new meat, serve the meat with mashed potatoes!

2. Since kids tend to be fairly sensitive to texture it’s important to provide an array of textures such as 1 soft, 1 crisp and 1 chewy.

3. Color can also be a very useful tool when encouraging kids to try different foods. Green, yellow, orange and pinks are great colors to use when putting together a vibrant dish for kids to try. This also doesn’t have to apply directly to the type of food you are serving, either. By serving foods in colorful dishware, using bright placemats or silverware, you child might be more inclined to want to eat!

4. Encourage kids to pick out their own vegetables while shopping in the grocery store or at the farmers’ market.

5. When making meals at home, ask your child to help to prepare it with you. It’s a learning experience for them and they might be more willing to try the finished product.

6. Introduce them to the “growing” process! Bring them to farms, start a small garden of your own, or even simply place the bottoms of your romaine in a small glass of water for them to watch grow.

Kids do well with engaging in activities, especially those that involve hands-on work. Make eating fun and enjoyable by making your child part of the process!

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Jess’ Post: Shopping Habits for Reducing Waste

Howdy hey!

To go off of Charlotte’s post from yesterday, I’m going to continue with the market/grocery shopping tips. Rather than focusing on reducing the amount of money spent, I’m going to focus on how to reduce the amount of food you waste! Some of these tips are surprisingly similar to Charlotte’s tips, so it’s a twofer! Saving money, and reducing waste!

“We believe it’s cheaper if we buy more now, but we rarely take into account how much we throw out in the end. And if you factor in the cost of what you are throwing away, it is very unlikely that you are saving anything.” (treehugger.com)

Prior to going to the market or grocery store:

  1. Think of what meals you hope to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this week. Plan them out- at least loosely to know what items you need to buy and in what quantities.

  2. Take an inventory of what you have. What do you need to make those meals happen? Do you already have some of the ingredients? A couple of great ways to do this is to have a whiteboard on your fridge to write what you need to buy right when you use it up or to make a checklist for your pantry.

  3. Go through your fridge and observe whether there are certain foods that you don’t eat quick enough. Could you buy less of something to eat it before it goes bad?

  4. Create a list based off steps 1-3, and bring it with you to the market or grocery store. There has to be an app for this, but I know many people who use their notes section for this. Have a dated inventory that you can bring with you when you go shopping.

  5. Be realistic- how many people are you actually buying food for?

  6. Don’t go when you’re hungry.

At the grocery store or market:

  1. Buy only what you need. Rather than buying a bunch of tomatoes, only buy one or two.

  2. Avoid impulse buys, follow your list of ingredients.

  3. Don’t buy things you already have, or things that you don’t know how to use unless you have a recipe or plan to use them up.

Once you’re home again:

  1. Move older products to one side of your fridge to make sure you use them up before they spoil. The more you pay attention to what you have and where it is, the more likely you are to eat it before it goes bad.

  2. Observe what you are throwing into the trash and keep track of it for your next grocery list. Buy less of things you toss out next time.

  3. Have leftover nights where you eat all of the leftovers in the fridge. It’s good food still!

Keep these tips in mind this weekend! Until then-

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Charlotte’s Post: 5 Savvy Spending Tips for the Market


Today I am giving some tips on how to not spend your whole weekly budget at the market. Pricing of products are very reasonable at the markets, especially for the quality of food that you are getting. However, you’ll most likely want everything at the markets… so here are five tips to help you plan accordingly.

1. Make a list:

Just as you would going to the grocery store, make a list of the items you want to purchase but make sure to leave a few extra bucks for that one specialty item that you didn’t plan for. Remember that most vendors are at every Seacoast Eat Local Market so you always purchase from them the next market!

2. Budget yourself:

Try setting a budget for yourself at the market and sticking to it. Bring just enough cash or buy just enough coins to meet your budget. You might be amazed at how much you can get for your money at the markets.

3. Get to know your farmers:

Get to know the farmers/businesses at the markets. Some vendors have money saving deals. For example Coppal House Farm gives you a deal when you need a refill on sunflower oil. (Note, though: Haggling is NOT allowed at Market)

4. More bang for your buck(s):

Spending more money upfront can sometimes be an effective way to saving more money in the end. Look at quantity vs. pricing of items. For example it might be worth spending a little more upfront on a large jar of honey instead of buying a small jar of honey.

5. Plan Ahead:

As most of you know we have a coin system at the market that functions like an “ATM” machine; this is a very efficient system for customers who forget to bring cash to the markets. There is a small service charge for the machines, $1 for debit and $3 for credit. Therefore planning ahead and bringing enough cash to the markets can save you a few bucks (especially if you’re like me and run out of cash having to use the machine more than once).

Use these tips for the next market!

Be Well,


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Kathleen’s Post: Maine Lobster Boys

small lobsterWhen it comes to seeking out different sources of protein yet trying to avoid poultry, beef and pork, it proves to sometimes be challenging when shopping at the farmer’s market. During Seacoast Eat Local’s Winter Market we welcomed the Maine Lobster Boys and their fresh selection of various seafood to our vendor team. As someone who occasionally enjoys the health benefits of seafood, I always try to shop as local as possible. The Maine Lobster Boyshave really help make this happen this year for our Winter Market shoppers!

Eager to learn a little more about what they are all about? Here is my interview with Maine Lobster Boys Captain and owner, Tucker Jordan!

Me: How did the business of Maine Lobster Boys start?

Jordan: “I have been lobster-ing since I was in diapers, but on my own at the age of 13, my dad drove me to the beach and put me in an 18-foot skiff and a 10 horse outboard and pushed me away from land. I had 10 traps to haul by hand that summer and was up to 50 by the end. It was all uphill from there…. I went away to junior hockey in CT in 1999 and started selling lobster to players and coaches, parents and friends. Then in 2003 I went on to play college hockey in Rochester, NY and that’s where Maine Lobster Boys was born in my dorm room!!! I made plans to one day buy my uncle’s boat he built in 2001 to provide lobster tours. I would travel home from college and come back with over 200 lobsters every trip and selling them all. I needed a name that was location sensitive with what I was selling and sounded friendly. MAINE LOBSTER BOYS was born….”

Me: What sustainable/environmental friendly practices are used?

Jordan: “We take great pride in notching* our female lobsters that come up with eggs. We take extra care of the smaller lobsters as they are our future. I always try to help all the younger lobster-boys and lobster-girls with understanding how important the simple little things are that I learned from my grandfather. We have biodegradable escape vents on our traps to allow lobsters to crawl out if we were to lose that trap. “

Me: How do you choose what seafood to harvest and how is it harvested?

Jordan: We take all the lobsters we catch and grade them so only the highest quality goes to the public and others are processed for picked meat. I will acquire haddock or scallops unless it is cut not more than two days prior to my market. We also take great pride in telling our customers, ‘buy our product with the confidence that if you decide not to eat it that night, its going to be ok’ ”

Me: what are some aspects of this company that would appeal to local food lovers?

Jordan: “We are a family owned and operated business and we are 16 generations of lobstermen and lobsterwomen and farmers!”

Me: Does this stand accept EBT tokens?

Jordan: “Yes!!!”

Me: Will the Maine Lobster Boys be at the summer markets?

Jordan: “We are not sure how that works but are looking into it!!”

Me: How can the general public learn more about your work?

Jordan: “By calling my cell number which is on our card and LETS GO BUGGIN!!!”

A huge thank you to the work the Maine Lobster Boys do in protecting the local lobster community and bringing fresh, delicious seafood into our homes! Thank you!

*I later learned that notching a lobster, female lobsters with eggs in particular, is a form of identifying what lobsters to keep from being harvested. A small V-shaped notch is made in their tail which tells other fishermen that this lobster is being protected from harvest.

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