Charlotte’s Post: Chinese Cabbage Salad Recipe

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

Salad  

  • 1 medium sized Chinese cabbage or cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • 1 handful of almonds
  • 1 packet of ramen noodles, uncooked/without the seasoning and cut into small bits

Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Make the salad dressing and place it in the fridge while preparing the rest of the meal.
  2. Chop the cabbage and then scallions placing the ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  3. Roast the sesame seeds and almonds in a pan with butter and sesame oil (optional). Then add the mixture to the salad.
  4. Add the ramen and then toss the salad with the vinaigrette.
  5. Enjoy!
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Morgan’s Post: Seacoast Eat Local’s Newest Intern

Hello everyone! My name is Morgan Lebrun and I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire studying Nutrition and Dietetics. I am excited to have started my internship with Seacoast Eat Local and can’t wait to see what this fall brings. I am eager to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing organization and learn about the local food system and community. Buying locally is so important not only for the environmental implications, but also to support the local economy and farmers.

I am very interested in holistic health and how eating nutritious foods can assist in developing an overall healthier lifestyle. At school, I have learned a lot about the nutrients in foods and how they affect health. I hope to eventually become an endocrinologist, and as a doctor with a nutrition background teach people about the benefits of healthy eating and its role in disease treatment and prevention.

I have been in college for 8 years (yes, that’s not a typo, it has been a while) now, and have experience with the Spanish language, biological sciences, nursing, and nutrition. I am excited to learn more about farming practices and where exactly my food comes from. I do follow a plant-based diet and have a lot of ideas for fruit and vegetable based recipes. I love to cook and experiment with new ingredients and can’t wait to share some of my recipes and ideas of how to incorporate more plant based foods into day to day life. Please don’t be shy, feel free to ask me questions and introduce yourself, I will be at the Saturday Portsmouth Farmer’s markets this fall.

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Sausage Making Workshop with Short Creek Farm

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Charlotte’s Recipe: Grilled Pesto and Vegetable Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza dough
  • 2 cups loose kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 medium summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. pesto
  • Topped with mozzarella or goat cheese

 Directions:

  1. Prep your vegetables. Lightly sauté the summer squash, pepper and kale(add the kale last and sauté it only for a few minutes).
  2. Heat your grill over a medium-high temperature.
  3. Meanwhile place your dough on a large cutting board or a clean kitchen counter surface. Spread enough flour over this surface to make the dough less sticky and easier to stretch out. Stretch the dough using a rolling pin until it’s about two inches thick.
  4. Transfer the dough to the grill cooking only one side of the pizza for two minutes or until the dough is solid and can be removed from the grill. Turn the temperature down to medium once the dough is taken off.
  5. Bring the dough inside, spray olive oil on the uncooked side and then flip the pizza to add the ingredients on the cooked side.
  6. Bring the pizza back to the grill and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  7. Enjoy!
Posted in author: Erin | Leave a comment

Back in Action with Seacoast Eat Local

Meet Charlotte (again)! You may have already seen her handing out samples and recipes at the summer markets. Charlotte is a dietetic intern completing her community nutrition requirements with Seacoast Eat Local. She has worked with us in the past at winter markets while doing her undergrad in Dietetics at the University of New Hampshire. Charlotte will be providing nutrition education at the markets through the fall. She will be offering recipes and tastings on market foods along with sharing the health benefits of eating locally, seasonally and consuming a diet rich in farmers market foods. Stop by our booth at the markets for tastings and to ask Charlotte about:

 

 SNAP match and incentives at markets
 Market shopping and recipes
 Food preparation
 Nutrient content of market foods
 General nutrition education

Posted in author: Jill, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: A Summer Internship Gone By

I had a rough idea of what my internship with Seacoast Eat Local was going to look like when I began working with them at the start of this summer. Working at the Saturday Portsmouth Farmer’s Markets, posting weekly on the blog, and attending a few meetings with Jill and Shelly. What I did not realize, however, is that I was becoming part of a community of strong and powerful women who are running a successful nonprofit. In nearly every encounter that I had with them, they had an unending list of tasks to accomplish, always managing to communicate them effectively and keeping organized amidst all of the craziness. This, I am beginning to learn, is the art of running a small nonprofit.

When in this type of work, it is important to find people that you trust and can rely on, potentially for years to come. I experienced this firsthand by meeting many of the past interns, who now either work for Seacoast Eat Local, help out occasionally, or happily come and visit our booth at the market. In this number is my dear friend Caitlin, who put up with me for seven hours every Saturday in Portsmouth. I will miss that time with you dearly!! That being said, I am very happy to part of the SEL family, and will continue to support them in any way that I can.

Another truly amazing experience for me personally throughout this internship was developing connections with many of the local farmers in the area. These people were kind enough to welcome me into their farms, and spend an hour (or more) chatting with me about their lives and their careers. I have learned so much from them about farming, the local food system, and the type of character and grit it takes to succeed in such a difficult (but rewarding) career. Thank you to Anna, Andre, Lis, and Josh for your time and stories! I wish that I had more time to do this with all of the local farms in the area.

Seacoast Eat Local has transformed me into a local foods activist and avid local farm supporter. I will seek and support this community wherever I land in my travels. Next stop, studying abroad in Ecuador! Thanks again to Jill and Shelly for welcoming me into their world for a summer. I will never forget it!

Posted in author: Emily B | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: What’s with Organic, anyway?

dandelion greens, photo by Caitlin PorterOne of the most important topics of conversation concerning our local food climate today is the commonly heard debate; organic or conventional? Every farmer has a slightly different philosophy and set of growing practices, some of which fall into the USDA certification of organic. However, after speaking with many of the local farmers in the area, it has become clear that farmers and consumers have quite a different perception of this label, as well as what it means to be a ‘conventional farmer.’ For the purpose of this conversation, I focused on local vegetable growers, as the organic conversation becomes all the more complex where fruit, dairy and meat are concerned.

Andre Cantelmo, the co-owner of Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH, is what many consider a ‘conventional farmer.’ He is aware of the stereotype of this type of grower, as he explained in his interview. “There are guys (we call them nozzle heads) that are conventional growers, which is what most people think of… guys on a sprayer, spraying [chemicals] all of the time,” said Andre. “That’s the perception [and those farmers do exist], but that’s not the way that any farmers that I have had the pleasure of being around operate.” 

As soil scientists, both Andre and his partner Greg care a great deal about their land and how they take care of it. Many of their practices are the same as those required under the organic certification. However, based on the scale of their operations, it is important to consider both what is best for their plants as well as what is most economically sustainable. “There is a fungus called late blight that can wipe out an entire crop of potatoes or tomatoes,” Andre said. “These are the biggest money makers of the farm. If I lose those crops, I have to immediately lay off half of my work force, and worry about paying my mortgages.” He uses many non-invasive preventative measures against these types of disease, but would use a spray if this disastrous scenario took place.

Josh Jennings, the owner of Meadow’s Mirth Farm in Stratham, NH, is a certified organic farmer, and has been from the start of his operations. He has a “hierarchy of reasons” for this decision. Primarily, it is because he lives on the land, he has workers on the farm, and he wants to ensure that he is taking care of both himself and those that work alongside him. His second reason is environmental, because he believes his methods of growing are inherently better for the local ecosystem. Lastly, he wants to feed a healthy product to his consumers. 

Josh acknowledges that it is possible to accomplish all of these things without the organic certification, and even identified that he might not maintain his organic certification if he only sold wholesale to restaurants and other institutions. However, it is the positive marketing that incentivizes his continued participation in this federal program, despite high cost of certification and many regulations. “People think a certain thing when they see that you are certified organic,” Josh said. “It is not usually accurate. People have no idea that there are organic pesticides, and that farms use them. But it gives people a sense, which helps people to buy your food [especially in new markets].” 

As Josh said, it is not commonly known that there are many organic pesticides, allowing farmers to use chemical prevention against disease while also maintaining their organic certification. In his interview, Andre Cantelmo went into detail about the most popular organic insecticide, called Entrust (Spinosad is the chemical name). According to him, there is a non-organic product called Blackhawk that is composed of exactly the same chemical. The only difference is that Entrust is the product of bacterial digestion (and therefore organic), while the other is formed by a chemical process. However, both take place in a lab, and are produced by the same company: DOW Chemical.

Lis Schneider, co-owner of White Cedar Farm in Kingston, NH, is a spray-free farmer. Her reasoning behind this is similar to both Andre and Josh; the health of herself, her relatives and her animals is a top priority. Lis also mentioned research she has done on how certain pesticides harm bee populations, which would threaten her entire operation. She doesn’t believe spraying crops is necessary, because she is able to grow a seasonal, balanced diet without it. “People want to know that everything we grow is clean,” Lis said. “There is a want and a demand for it. Lis is not certified organic, and trusts other certifications like NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) and MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) more than the generalized USDA certification, because they put a greater focus on soil health. 

In terms of the work of Seacoast Eat Local, we do not put any preference on a particular growing practice. Our mission is to support local farms and food and to help educate consumers to make their own informed decisions. In the debate about organic vs. not organic, we believe there are many responsible practices across the spectrum. We believe our role is to educate consumers with detailed and accurate information (such as listing growing practices in Seacoast Harvest) and to support farms in their quest to grow food for our region sustainably and responsibly.

I have developed a few main takeaways from my conversations, which are as follows:

  • There is a public perception of organic food that is not necessarily accurate for all organic produce… therefore, being certified organic is not a clear or definitive determinant of growing practices on a farm
  • In general (and in this area specifically), both organic and conventional farmers care about their land, their soil, and their crops — as well as their customers– and try to take care of these things responsibly
  • It is possible to grow and produce high quality crops without the organic certification
  • In terms of sustainability, it is essential to consider both the growing practices of farmers as well as where (geographically) the food is coming from. Local food, due to reduced travel and storage (read: greenhouse gas use) is typically more sustainable than food coming from a non-native source.
  • Most importantly, rather than reading a label, consumers should learn more about the farmers that they are buying from and understand their specific growing practices and philosophy.

This is, of course, not a comprehensive explanation of the debate. However, it is a contribution, which will hopefully encourage those to continue reading on this interesting and highly important topic!

Posted in author: Emily B | Leave a comment

WIN MARKET TOKENS: Selfie with Seacoast Harvest!

#SelfiewithSeacoastHarvest

Where do you pick up your annual edition of Seacoast Harvest? Seacoast Eat Local publishes 8,000 copies of our food guide, Seacoast Harvest, each year and distributes them to dozens of locations across Strafford, Rockingham and York Counties. We want to know where on the Seacoast you have spotted Seacoast Harvest! Selfie with Seacoast Harvest for your chance to win $25 in market tokens!

How to Participate

  1. Pick up a print copy of Seacoast Harvest at one of dozens of locations, including local foods markets, restaurants, libraries, municipal offices and farmers’ markets.
  2. Selfie with Seacoast Harvest!
  3. Post your photo, including the pickup location, to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Tag Seacoast Eat Local and use the hashtag #selfiewithseacoastharvest
  4. We will draw a winner on September 30th who will receive $25 in market tokens!

 

We can’t wait to see all the locations across the Seacoast where you pick up your Seacoast Harvest!

Posted in author: Jill | Leave a comment

5th Annual Durham Farm Day, August 19th

Durham’s 5th Annual Farm Day is full of so many fun options! Rain or shine!

Durham Farm Day

 

Mark your calendars and make the day of it!

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Eat Local with Embers Bakery and Garrison City Beerworks

Enjoy the heart of summer with Seacoast Eat Local! Join us at Garrison City Beerworks for Pizza + Beer Night with Embers Bakery

Two of our favorite local food businesses are teaming up to host a night of food and fun in support of the work of Seacoast Eat Local. Join us for a great evening of specially crafted and paired pizza and beer in celebration of the summer harvest season!

August 20th
5:30PM at Garrison City Beerworks
455 Central Ave., Dover
3 course dinner with locally sourced pizza and beer pairing
$35 per person
See the Menu

Posted in events, fundraising events | Leave a comment

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