Welcome Shelly!

photo (12)

Shelly Smith started last Monday as our Program Coordinator! We’re thrilled to welcome her to Seacoast Eat Local.

Shelly has most recently been farming, and has an educational background in plant biology and ecology.

Our organizational structure is shifting and growing in good ways as Seacoast Eat Local grows, so you will see Shelly working on many different projects, including gleaning, SNAP, Winter Markets, and Seacoast Harvest.

Please say hello and introduce yourself and join us in welcoming Shelly!

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Preserving Your Produce

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

With summer upon us, and temperatures rising, local produce is as abundant as ever. Tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, greens, beets, radishes, and many more fruits and vegetables are available at the markets and farm stands. However, it is easy to get carried away when shopping (or berry picking!) and end up with more produce than you know what to do with. Preserving your produce is a great way to be cost-effective and save money by not throwing away spoiled produce.

Produce is not shelf stable and will go bad relatively quickly. There are many ways to preserve fruits and vegetables so that you can enjoy them during their off season, or when you begin to run low. Preserving food through canning, freezing, and dehydrating can make it last much longer while preserving the amazing flavors and nutrients.

Here are the basics:

Canning includes making jams, preserves, jellies and pickling. There tends to be a concern for food safety with canning but there is no reason to worry if you follow a recipe and take the necessary steps. Start with the Home Canning Guide and find plenty of tested recipes at the National Center for Home Food Preservation


canning



Freezing is, in my opinion, the easiest method of preservation. However, not all things can just be placed in the freezer. For example, many greens need to be blanched before freezing. Following this guide will show you how to freeze and then thaw your fresh produce. Frozen berries are a great addition to yogurt and smoothies!



Photo courtesy flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/joe57spike/5707168747/

Photo by Joe Lodge



Dehydrating (drying) is the process of removing water from a food. This is a great method because dehydrated foods require no refrigeration. This guide has great info on how to prep foods for dehydrating, as well as 3 methods: natural sunlight, oven, and electric dehydrator. Kale chips are a great snack for the whole family!



kale

Sources:

https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/348/348-597/348-597.html

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/canning.aspx

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/uga_freeze_veg.pdf

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4th Annual Farm-a-Q at Coppal House Farm, June 28

Farm-A-Q-2014-5045-696x280It’s that time of year again — the days are longer, the crops are growing and the smell of outdoor cooking lingers in the air. Join Slow Food Seacoast and the Heirloom Harvest Project on Sunday, June 28th for the annual celebration of all things summer, Farm-a-Q 2015 at Coppal House Farm in Lee, New Hampshire.

4th Annual Farm-a-Q
Slow Food Seacoast
Location: Coppal House Farm, 118 North River Road/Rte 155, Lee, NH
Date: Sunday, June 28, 2015
Time: 12 – 4pm

This year we look forward to the culinary creations of our old favorites and some new comers as well. Here’s a short list of who will be grillin’ and baking for you on the 28th: Anju, Anneke Jans, Applecrest, Black Trumpet, Block 6, Casco Bay Butter, Fig Tree Bakery, Franklin Oyster House, Grill 28, Hayseed, Joinery, Louie’s, Moxy, Portsmouth Brewery, Roberts Maine Grill, Row 34, Vida Cantina and Wolf Meadow Farm.

The day will feature tastings, demonstrations of oil-seed pressing, a Slow Fish under-loved fish throw-down, children’s nature-based activities by Community Roots, tabling by numerous local community organizations, a wild walk led by White Pine Programs, and best of all, the amazing locally grown, picnic-style meal prepared by our even more amazing local chefs!

Farm-a-Q 2015 is hosted by John and Carol Hutton at Coppal House Farm, a 78 acre mixed power farm best known for their Corn Maze and fall harvest crops. Carol and John also raise grass-fed, hormone free animals and an assortment of vegetables on their beautiful property.

Farm-a-Q runs from 12:00 – 4:00 pm with food served between 1:00 – 3:00. Enjoy workshops, live music and activities all afternoon. Tickets are $25 or $20 for Slow Food members. Youth pay $15 (ages 13 – 20) and children under 12 are $5 (children under 3 are free).

Volunteers get in free! If interested, please contact us at slowfoodseacoast@gmail.com or sign up at our volunteer page.

For more information: www.slowfoodseacoast.org

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

Top 10 Reasons to Shop at a Farmers’ Market

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

Tomatoes by Caitlin Porter

 

1. Fresh produce that is in season

Produce that is in season has better flavor, as well as more nutrition. Farmers’ markets carry a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are at their peak ripeness.

2. Varieties not at the grocery store

Certain types of fruits and vegetables that you see at that farmers’ market aren’t always on the grocery store shelves. Expand your horizons!

3. Farmers have great tips on how to prepare

Farmers’ often have great recipes and ideas on how to prepare vegetables that may seem unfamiliar.

Turnips, photo by Caitlin Porter

4. Use your SNAP benefits!

With the acceptance of EBT cards, now everyone can appreciate what the market has to offer. With our Market Match program, as well as Close the Gap starting this week on the 24th, we help make the market cost effective.

 

5. Fresh produce is high in antioxidants

Antioxidants are your body’s defense against cancer and damage. Local fruits and vegetables have higher levels since they are much more fresh.

 

6. High variety of fruits and vegetables

Different colors and types of produce means a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy diet.

Wake Robin Farm vegetables, photo by Caitlin Porter

7. Fun family activity

People of all ages love to stroll around the farmers’ market. It is a great way to get outside and spend some time with the family.

 

8. Eco-friendly

Local food means less shipping and packaging waste, therefore protecting our environment.

 

9. Support local farmers

Local farmers often only receive a very small percentage of the cost as profit. By shopping directly from the farmers you improve the profit to keep local farms alive.

 

 10Better animal treatment

Meat, eggs, and milk at the market come from farms where the animals are allowed to roam freely, fed the highest quality diet, and given a much better life than the companies that mass produce these products

cow

 

Sources:

Cuesa’s 10 reasons to support farmers markets
Nutrition.gov farmers markets
USDA farmers markets
Mother Earth Living top 1o

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High Tunnel Greenhouse Raising, June 27

High Tunnel Greenhouse Raising
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Location: Goss Farm, 251 Harbor Rd, Rye, NH
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015
Time: 8am – 4pm

Learn how to install a high tunnel greenhouse! High tunnels are used to extend the growing season by providing protection for early or late season production, or they may be used for year-round growing. In this workshop we will install a 20 ft by 48 ft Rimol High Tunnel in one day.

Chris Robarge, former greenhouse manager from UNH, and AJ Dupere from the Urban Forestry Center will guide participants through the steps required to put together a high tunnel from beginning to end.

Please note that this is a hands on workshop and we are looking for participants who feel comfortable using tools, who can help carry and lift, and who are interested in learning this process. Jobs during installation will include hammering posts into the ground, putting together the bows, building the end doors, installing purlins, and finally helping to install the greenhouse plastic over the entire structure once it is all put together.

No prior knowledge of high tunnel installation is necessary. We expect this project will take the majority of the day so hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided for lunch. There is no charge for this workshop but donations toward lunch (both financial and food to share) are gladly accepted.

This event is a joint event between Sidewalk Farms, the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, Rye Conservation Commission, and the Seacoast Permaculture Meetup.

For more information: www.meetup.com/GreaterSeacoastPermaculture/events/223001913/

Posted in farms, grow your own, learning | Leave a comment

What’s In Season (and what to do with it!)

By Caitlin Porter, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

The farmer’s market carries produce that can differ from what we’re used to seeing in the grocery store. Certain vegetables such as bok choy and salad turnips can seem unusual and difficult to prepare. However, several farmers from the Dover Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays 2:15-6 pm) gave their tips on what these vegetables are and how to use them.

photo by Caitlin Porter

Bok Choy

Bok Choy is probably best known for its place in Chinese stir-fries. However, it can be grilled or finely chopped into a salad. Mary Beth from Two Toad Farm, whose bok choy is featured here, gave me a great recipe for an Asian-inspired salad that involves:

  • Finely chopping: bok choy, carrots, and radishes
  • Adding a tablespoon or two of sesame seeds
  • Finishing with a light sesame dressing

 

dandelion greens, photo by Caitlin Porter

Dandelion greens

Dandelion Greens, featured here from Wake Robin Farm, are a leafy green that are packed with vitamin A. They can be eaten raw, but have quite a bit of bitter kick to them. They are usually preferred by most people to be eaten cooked, either caramelized on their own or put into a quiche. Here is a quiche recipe featuring dandelion greens.

Swiss chard, photo by Caitlin Porter

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard, featured here from McKenzie’s Farm, is a leafy green that is very similar to spinach. It is very versatile and one of the most nutrient-packed foods available, since it is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can be eaten raw, but again has a very bitter kick to it. It is good chopped with garlic and soy sauce. It can also be enjoyed in smoothies as well as scrambled eggs.

Here is a recipe for a Pineapple Swiss Chard Smoothie

salad turnips, photo by Caitlin Porter

Salad Turnips

Salad turnips are a vegetable that is usually found next to the radishes since they are similar in appearance. These, featured here from White Cedar Farm, can be eaten raw in a salad or sautéed to bring out their sweetness (similarly to carrots). Their greens can also be eaten in salad or sautéed.

Here is a very simple recipe for Salad Turnips sautéed in butter

 

 

Sources:

Dandelion greens

Swiss chard

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Film: “Growing Local”, June 18

GLposter

Film: “Growing Local”
Great Works Regional Land Trust and Maine Farmland Trust
Location: Hilton Winn Farm, 189 Ogunquit Road, Cape Neddick, ME
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
Fee: Free, reservations requested

As a kick-off for their new partnership, Great Works Regional Land Trust (GWRLT) and Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) will co-host a screening of “Growing Local” on the evening of June 18, starting at 6:30 pm at the Hilton-Winn Farm in Cape Neddick. The film was co-produced by Maine filmmaker Bridget Besaw and MFT, and highlights the growing pains of the local food movement. A panel, moderated by John Piotti, President of MFT, and including Amanda Beal, Debra Kam and other farm and food experts, will lead a community discussion to explore both opportunities and challenges.

A future for farming in York County, Maine is important for securing local food sources. And yet, many local farms are facing transition; irreplaceable farm soils and open fields are at risk for development. GWRLT has a history of protecting farmland that dates back to 1989 when it preserved Backfields Farm, and is accelerating its efforts as agricultural land comes under increasing pressure. GWRLT is working with farm owners, many of whom are aging beyond the desire or ability to continue farming, to protect 1,500 acres of farmland on 13 farms, located in Berwick, South Berwick, North Berwick, Eliot, and Wells.

This year, GWRLT established a partnership with Maine Farmland Trust, a force for farmland protection statewide, to strengthen its farmland protection efforts. Maine Farmland Trust provides technical assistance in project work, and collectively, the two nonprofits are raising $100,000 to fund farmland conservation in the region.

Free admission, reservations requested. Contact: 207-646-3604, info@gwrlt.org.

For more information: www.gwrlt.org

Posted in events, farmland, farms, film | Leave a comment

Movie Night: Brookford Almanac, June 19

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Movie Night: Brookford Almanac
Dig In: Real Food Solutions
Location: Blue Moon Evolution, Exeter, NH
Date: Friday, June 19, 2015
Time: Dig In Informational Meeting at 6:15pm, movie at 7pm

We invite you to join us next Friday night at 7 pm to watch the movie, Brookford Almanac, a story about a year in the life of first generation farmers. This wonderful exploration of local farmers, Luke and Catarina Mahoney, is by filmmaker Cozette Russell whose work explores the relationship between people and land.

Join us at 6:15 before the movie to learn about our Dig In Summer program! Both events take place at the Blue Moon Evolution, 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, NH. Free! Walk ins welcome. Popcorn will be served! To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brookford-almananc-tickets-17367350212

For more information: www.diginrealfood.com

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Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn, June 20

gsdp3Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn
Granite State Dairy Promotion and NH Agricultural Experiment Station
Location: Fairchild Dairy Center, UNH, 36 O’Kane Road, Durham, NH
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Time: 10am – 2pm

The NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Granite State Dairy Promotion invite the public to come “meet your milk” at the UNH Open Barn Saturday, June 20, 2015. The annual statewide event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the UNH Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event gives the public the chance to see a working New Hampshire dairy farm that is representative of a typical New England dairy operation. Free New Hampshire-made milk and ice cream, wagon rides, tours, and visits with the UNH milking cows and calves are the highlights of the day’s activities. Visitors can try their hands at making butter and ice cream, enjoy games and prizes, and learn surprising facts about dairy nutrition and the dairy industry in New Hampshire.

For more information: http://colsa.unh.edu/aes/article/2015gsdp

Posted in animal husbandry, events, farms | Leave a comment

MOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day, June 13

F&H-Day-CollageMOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day: A Hands-on Skill Sharing Event
Location: Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, ME
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Time: 9am – 3pm, rain or shine
Fee: Free and open to the public

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA is a free, volunteer-driven event offering hands-on workshops based on re-skilling for resiliency. If you’re thinking of trying to raise goats for the first time or just want to learn how to make a fence, this is the place to be. The ever-popular fiber-arts area will feature spinning, weaving, carding, and felting, as well as treadle sewing machines. Other workshops this year include splicing rope, tying knots, making round poles, scarfing wood joints, riveting, goat-milking, cheese-making, blacksmithing, knife sharpening, and much more! Please bring a dish to share for the Potluck Picnic Lunch– and something to add to the Stone Soup Kettle (fresh or dry ingredients).

Come dressed to participate and ready to get your hands dirty! 

Bring family and friends! Many activities are kid-friendly or specifically for kids. Learn skills that will allow you to throw off the shackles of consumer dependency and be more self-reliant. Gates open at 7 a.m. for sunrise mowing.
 No pre-registration necessary.

For more information: www.mofga.org

Posted in animal husbandry, events, grow your own, learning, putting food by, workshops for farmers | Leave a comment
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