In the news: Seacoast Eat Local and Granite State Market Match

NHPR aired a piece about Granite State Market Match, the NH program Seacoast Eat Local is part of that enables us to offer free fruit and vegetable coupons to SNAP customers. They interviewed Tony, a SNAP customer who has been using the program for years, Jill, our Director of Programs, and John Hutton of Coppal House Farm at the Seacoast Growers Association’s Dover Farmers Market.

Foodstuffs: Giving Food Stamp Recipients a Place at Farmers Markets

 

Tony Kenney holds tokens and coupons from an incentive program to help food stamp recipients shop at farmer’s markets. BEN HENRY FOR NHPR


If you like what you hear, please consider making a donation in support of this program. With your support, Seacoast Eat Local offers SNAP/EBT access at 7 weekly markets, making sure more people like Tony get fresh, healthy, delicious local food while supporting our community’s farmers.

 

 

 

Posted in author: Sara Zoe, InTheNews, SNAP/EBT | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: Meadow’s Mirth Farm

Josh Jennings is the founder of Meadow’s Mirth, a certified organic flower and vegetable farm located in Stratham, NH. Josh started Meadow’s Mirth on his own in 2006, and currently cultivates between seven and ten acres of land each year with two full-time employees. This farm sells its produce both retail at farmer’s markets as well as wholesale to restaurants, grocery stores, and other institutions. Meadow’s Mirth is best known for their carrots, which also happen to be Josh’s favorite food to grow. As he says, “I love the color, I love the taste. I love how something so beautiful can be just below the ground”.

Before 2005, Josh had never planted a seed. He studied history and philosophy in college, but decided not to continue with a career in education. After volunteering for a year at New Roots Farm in Newmarket, NH, he started his own farm. What Josh found most valuable was not in fact learning how to grow vegetables, but how to be a successful business owner. When speaking about this career, Josh said “farming is the whole thing. We are the design, manufacturer, and sales… the whole beginning to end.” In his experience, there is much more time spent developing business plans and other business-related tasks, as opposed to working in the field.

Josh is a huge proponent of cooperation between local farmers. As he said in his interview, “I think farming is so hard, we really need each other. And farming is one of those fields that historically inspires cooperation.” According to him, Three River Farmer’s Alliance was created through that attitude. Started in 2014, this is an alliance between three farms (Heron Pond, Meadow’s Mirth and Stout Oak) as well as many others in the area to pool their produce in order to sell it wholesale to restaurants and other institutions in large quantities. Essentially, these farmers have created a local food distribution system which allows them to work together with chefs, lowering individual costs significantly.

This relationship between farmers is not just professional… Josh acknowledged that some of his closest friends are also farmers. “We care a lot about each other, we help each other, sometimes as a shoulder to cry on,” he said. “Only farmers can really understand what farmers really do, the difficulty and exhaustion and stress. I value very much the market relationships that I have with the other farmers, the trading equipment, as well as being able to just share the stress and talk about things.”

Although admitting that this job was much more difficult than he expected it to be, Josh also identified many reasons why he loves what he does. Among these include his love for food, the community-oriented aspect of the job, and the true joy he gets from riding on his tractor (“I’m immediately five years old again!”). “I love the impact that I have been able to make on my community, changing food systems on the seacoast and hopefully making people healthier,” he said.

You can find Josh at the Portsmouth, Exeter, and Newburyport farmer’s markets every week. Thank you Josh!

Posted in author: Emily B | Leave a comment

Get Your 2017-18 Seacoast Harvest!!

Start looking for the new print copies (8,000 were published this year!) at farmers’ markets near you, as well as at your favorite local foods businesses, municipal offices, health centers and community organizations around the Seacoast!

In our hallmark annual publication, Seacoast Harvest, our mission is to provide the information and resources necessary for consumers to access sources of local foods all year long in a variety of ways. Readers of this publication can find a listing of CSA programs, farm stands, farmers market programs and food businesses that source locally produced food items.

To see the online pdf version, or to search updated listings of farms and farmers’ markets online, please visit our website, www.seacoastharvest.org.

A most sincere thank you to the many personal and business sponsors of this publication. Without your support this project truly would not have been possible. We ask our readers to please consider thanking and frequenting our sponsoring businesses across the Seacoast. For a full list of our sponsors, check your print copies or visit our online sponsor page. 

Posted in author: Jill | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: Meet Lis from White Cedar Farm

Lis Schneider is the co-owner of White Cedar Farm in Kingston, NH, currently in its fourth full season of production. Originally owned by the Bake family (for nearly 200 years), this land was a working dairy farm until about thirty years ago. Now it houses 6-10 acres of no-spray vegetables, 650 laying hens, and close to sixty goats and sheep. Lis and her business partner Dave Smith run the entire operation, with one year-round staff person to help run their farmstand.

Dave and Lis got their start by leasing land on Burnt Swamp Farm, a 12-acre property in South Hampton. At that point they only had fifty laying hens, a couple beds of carrots and some pigs. Purchasing what is now White Cedar Farm (a 202 acre lot, with 50 acres actively used) was a huge expansion for them. They sell their produce and meat through a year-round farmstand, the Portsmouth market during the summer, Seacoast Eat Local’s winter markets, and around 200 CSA shares. They are most well known for their fresh eggs, which are collected and hand-washed every morning.

Lis grew up in a very rural town in the suburbs of Boston, with her mom’s bountiful vegetable garden next to her house, and a community organic farm nearby. She loves being in dirt and watching things grow, passions that have led her to become a vegetable farmer. Although she graduated from UNH in 2006 with a degree in music performance and a minor in literature, she was always drawn back to local farms. “I kept trying to get a real job, and had one for a time, with benefits and vacation time, but even when I was working full time at that job, I was working part time at Blueberry Bay Farm [in Stratham],” Lis said. “I just can’t get enough of it… I don’t want this to just be a part of my life.”

Starting White Cedar Farm has not been an easy process (is it ever?), especially with the drought of the past few years. However, Lis was vocal about her gratefulness for the immense support from friends and family, as well as the local community. “We have an amazing,supportive community who likes what we’re doing and wants us to keep doing it. As long as that’s the case, we can continue to dream and do what we can and see what happens,” she said.

Lis’s one “guilty, girly pleasure” is to grow flowers and make bouquets. She hopes to become a flower farmer, and eventually begin selling to local florists. However, her dreams for the future don’t end there; she has much more in store. As she says, “The ‘someday faraway look in my eye’ plan is to have this incredible farmstand, with a yoga studio downstairs overlooking the fields, a farm store upstairs, walk-in refrigerator unit dug into the hills, and a classroom with spinning classes for the wool and sheep”. She is a huge advocate for community building, education, and nutrition, and hopes to create a space for all of that on the farm.

Being involved with Seacoast Eat Local has really helped White Cedar to grow and sustain itself, especially throughout each winter. “I have had to learn how to be a farmer, an accountant, a businesswoman, an advertising and marketing guru and website designer,” she said. “I don’t thrive on that, I’m not great at it, but what’s been really wonderful about Seacoast Eat Local is that they are so on top of advertising and getting the word out [about us]”.

Lis has a beautiful positive energy and exuberance that she shares with every customer. This stems from her great grandmother Meemaw, who constantly reminded her to appreciate her surroundings. “This is a beautiful world, and we have a responsibility and an obligation to take care of it because it is the only one that we have,” she said. “Even on the worst day, I remember her doing that. Spread the Meemaw love.”

Posted in author: Emily B, Uncategorized | 1 Response

Pizza + Beer = A Night Out for Local Foods

Pizza + Beer = A Night Out for Local Foods!

Join us for a night of local food with pizza from Embers Bakery and a great selection of beer from Garrison City Beerworks!

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

What’s for Dinner?

White Vegetarian Pizza paired with the Synapse Pale Ale.

This pizza is light, colorful, and crispy, highlighting in-season veggies from Brandmoore Farm and featuring a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The Pale Ale with this course (double dry hopped with Mosaic hops) showcases blueberry and citrus notes balanced with a light crisp body.
The Short Creek Special with the Equilateral IPA

Our second course pizza is spicy, savory, and scrumptious. It features cured meats from Short Creek Farm, with a sprinkle of leeks and layer of heirloom tomatoes to give a pop of brightness. The paired IPA is medium bodied with bright and juicy with pineapple notes and orange zest.
**Vegetarian option available**
A special Dessert Pizza paired with the Horachata Box and Whisker White Stout

Our dessert pizza is sweet, fresh, and bright. This pizza will feature a butter-baked pizza dough topped with local mixed berry puree, local blossom honey, and a homemade whipped cream. Our final beer pairing for this course is the Horachata Box and Whisker White Stout. This beer is very pale in color, has a nutty flavor with bakers chocolate and fresh brewed coffee aromatics.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Be a Buddy: Share this flyer!

Would you do us a solid? Share this flyer/image please? Thanks! We’ve got it in image format for your instas and fbs and also as a downloadable pdf file for the bonus point earners who print and post it! Thanks so much for helping us spread the word about local farm food for everyone!

SAMM flyer2017 SAMM Flyer to download and print

Posted in SAMM | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: Making Local Food ‘Less Sexy’ with Heron Pond Farm

Andre Cantelmo is the co-founder of Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, NH, currently in its twentieth season of production. Andre runs the farm alongside Greg Balog. The partners have been friends since their time together at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where they both studied soil science. Due to this background, Andre considers himself a soil chemist by trade, but his passion for farming stems from childhood.

“I began farming as a kid with my uncle, and grew up that way,” said Andre. His mindset in his youth was very unique. “My whole goal from the start was to become a farmer,” Andre said. “I was going to college, so that I could get a great job, so that I could afford to be a farmer and buy my own land”. He spent many years after graduation working at Barker’s Farm in North Andover, MA, and eventually started Heron Pond in 1998.

The farm is spread out throughout the town, with fields being rented or borrowed from neighbors as well as owned by Andre and Greg themselves. As Andre’s wife Anna cleverly phrased it, “it takes a village to run a farm.” They grow hundreds of different vegetables, and they are best known for their heirloom tomatoes. Their produce is sold at the Heron Pond Farm Stand, multiple farmer’s markets, through CSA shares, and wholesale through the Three River Farmers Alliance to restaurants and local supermarkets. Heron Pond Farm is one of the founding members of this Alliance, which brings farmers together in an effort to become part of the local food distribution chain.

This Alliance aligns well with Andre’s personal mission, which is “to make local food less sexy”. He described in detail the role that local food currently has in our community. “Local food is this really chic, sexy thing; going to the farmer’s markets, eating at farm to table restaurants. That’s great, and we needed that because we destroyed the local food system. Those are all important components of having a local food system, but we [as farmers] need to be on the lunch line [of a school]. Not with a sign that says Heron Pond carrots, just carrots.”

This mindset stems from Andre’s dedication and support of localism. He believes that the longer a dollar spends in a community, the more economically sustainable that community is. “It was only a generation ago that the local supermarkets were getting their produce from local farms,” Andre said. “It’s not that far removed. We’re not inventing something, we’re re-discovering something: regional food sovereignty. That’s the goal, and if we attain it it won’t be more expensive [than the produce currently in supermarkets]”.

In terms of farming as a career, Andre quickly learned how difficult a job it truly was. However, there are a variety of things that keep him going. “There’s the love of the land, passion for what I do… that’s the base, but it’s not enough. I make a living farming, but the lifestyle of farming is a perk in itself. It’s an honor to be able to do it, it’s humbling.” He went on to describe the weekly family dinners that his family spends in the fields, and the swimming hole that they enjoy together. “There’s not too many places left that you can take off all of your clothes and jump in the water. Those kinds of things keep you going.”

Andre had an interesting perspective on Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program at the farmer’s markets. “When people see that opportunity, they come, and once they are hooked on local food, the SNAP program helps to benefit both them and the local economy.” He has noticed that SNAP participants who are no longer part of the program are still loyal customers to Heron Pond, which demonstrates the true benefit that this program has on the community.

Posted in author: Emily B | Leave a comment

Shop with SAMM at 7 different locations!

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.

Seacoast Area Mobile Market is on the road for 2017

7 SAMM Stops to Shop

 

The 2017 Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM) season is about to get underway and we hope to see you at one of our seven stops that are open to the public!

Granite State Market MatchCash, check, SNAP/EBT, and Debit cards are all welcome at the stops. SNAP/EBT users will receive 50% off fruits and vegetables!

SAMM carries locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and baked goods all purchased from farmers close to each stop. Support your community farmers with every SAMM purchase!

Tuesdays:

Exeter Hospital
5 Alumni Drive, Exeter, NH
11 – 12:30pm

Wednesdays:

Central Towers
Across from Henry Law Park, Henry Law Ave
11 – 11:30am

Waldron Towers
3 Green Street (out back/access road)
12 – 12:30pm

Thursdays:

Strafford County Complex
County Courthouse on County Farm Rd
11 – 12:30pm

Seabrook Recreation Department
311 Lafayette Road
2:45 – 4:30pm
this SAMM stop brought to you in partnership with Gather and Exeter Hospital

Fridays:

Rolling Green Nursery
64 Breakfast Hill Road, Greenland
11 – 1pm

Goodwin Library
422 Main Street, Farmington
5 – 6pm

To contact the SAMM program or to receive information about volunteering, please contact Celeste Gingras, celeste@seacoasteatlocal.org
Find Out More

Posted in author: Sara Zoe, SAMM | Leave a comment

Emily’s Post: Highlighting Dairy on the Seacoast with Bell & Goose Cheese Co

Anna Cantelmo, the wife of farmer Andre Cantelmo (co-owner of Heron Pond Farm) and mother of two, has recently gained the title of entrepreneur for her cheesemaking business, Bell & Goose Cheese Company. Based out of a small studio on her own property in South Hampton, NH, Anna makes a variety of cheeses including Camembert, Alpine-style, and Tomme. All of the milk she uses comes from Bodwell Farm in Kensington, NH. She sells these products at the Heron Pond Farm Stand at the Exeter, Portsmouth, and Copley Square farmers’ markets, and through the Three River Farmer’s Alliance.

The name Bell & Goose stems directly from the names of her children, a daughter Bell and a son Gus, affectionately called “Goose” by family and friends. Her love for cheesemaking, however, developed before either of her children were born. Anna worked for a cheesemonger at Savenor’s Market in Boston about fourteen years ago, and fell in love with the practice. She has had her own herd of goats, she spent some time as the cheesemaker at Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA), and was able to start a business of her own about a year ago.

As an advocate for female entrepreneurship, Anna credits the design work for Bell & Goose to Kelsy Stromski, who owns Refinery 43 (a boutique brand and design studio) in Newburyport, MA. She receives assistance from her mother and stepfather, and moral support from her husband, but Bell & Goose is first and foremost Anna’s venture; a dream that turned into reality.

One of the most fascinating aspects of cheesemaking for Anna is the science behind aging. She makes both fresh and aged cheese; the aged cheese is set up in a “cheese chamber” as she calls it, which has a dome-like shape to deflect the Ammonium that is released from the cheese during this process. Her favorite cheese to eat is Camembert, although it is one of the most difficult to make.

While I was visiting with Anna at Bell and Goose, I had the opportunity to sneak in a few questions about the impact that Seacoast Eat Local has had on their businesses, especially in respect to the food access work that Seacoast Eat Local engages in. Both Anna and her husband Andre Cantelmo (who owns and operates Heron Pond Farm) have seen the positive effects that participating in Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP Acceptance program has had on their businesses, as well as the community itself. Bell & Goose and Heron Pond Farm have sales that are directly due to SNAP customer access, and it is reversing the stigma that local food is accessible only to the very wealthy. “You never want someone to feel like they cannot afford your food,” stated Anna in her interview. “Farmers just want to feed people… the whole community, for everybody, in whichever way makes that possible. Farmers don’t have the time to figure out these programs or systems or do it on our own (speaking about SNAP Acceptance programs), so to have an organization that has figured it out for us, and we just sign onto it is so so nice.”

Additionally, Anna explained the excitement that her farm and others feel for the gleaning work that Seacoast Eat Local facilitates across the Seacoast, “Now we have all of these food pantries that we work with, providing so much more food to lower income and hungry people than ever before, and because they (the gleaners which SEL organizes) are willing to come and pick it up and organize it where we just don’t have the time. This has been a big change in the farming community that we are really grateful for.”
To learn more about Bell and Goose, visit their webpage.
To understand more about the Seacoast Eat Local SNAP Acceptance and Gleaning Programs, visit our webpage.
Posted in author: Emily B | Leave a comment

Welcome Annette Lee to the Seacoast Eat Local board!

Please join us in welcoming Annette Lee, co-owner of Throwback Brewery, to the Seacoast Eat Local board! Annette brings so many skills and talents and a great perspective to the work of Seacoast Eat Local. In addition to her business ownership, specifically a business with a lot of experience sourcing from local farmers, she is a great systems thinker and has a mindset for solving complex problems! Welcome Annette!

Annette Lee

Annette LeeAnnette Lee is co-owner of Throwback Brewery – a small, inspired brew pub at Hobbs Farm in North Hampton, NH, dedicated to crafting delicious farm-fresh food and beer with ingredients sourced in the New England area. Annette spent close to 20 years working as an environmental engineer before making the jump to a small brewery owner in 2011. An avid gardener with a passion for full circle sustainability, Annette always finds time in her busy schedule to help the farmers at Hobbs Farm. In fact, Annette considers one of her most meaningful achievements to be the restoration and rehabilitation of Hobbs Farm – returning it to a working farm that provides ingredients for Throwback’s food and beer.

Posted in author: Sara Zoe | Leave a comment

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