Thursdays are an extraordinary day for farmers’ markets in the greater seacoast, with 7 really terrific markets happening. This past Thursday, we made it to both Lee and Northwood.
B and SZP are challenging themselves to visit all 31 farmers’ markets of Rockingham, Strafford, and York counties in the 31 days of July, and share their discoveries along the way. Previous entries in this series.
The Lee Cooperative Farmers’ Market takes place under the trees at the Old Fire Station on rte 155 in Lee, just north of the Mast Way School (whose address is 23 Mast Road and would get you really close on a GPS).
Even on the hot day we were there, the shade of the trees made the market a great place to shop and talk with folks. There were about a dozen vendors there, selling lots of great vegetables, honey, meats, cut flowers, delicious soups, and baked goods.
There was also a market master gardener! Gael is a master gardener who comes to the market each and every week (that it isn’t raining, she doesn’t have a tent to protect her huge array of materials). Gael Grant has the knowledge and experience to answer any and all questions gardeners have – she was ready with many reference materials on pests, weeds, and diseases and was friendly and knowledgeable. She promised that if she didn’t know the answer off hand, she would look it up and get back to the questioner! What an amazing service provided at the Lee Cooperative Farmers’ Market!
The market also offers really great meat options from local farms. Velvet Pastures sells elk, Pinewoods Yankee Farm sells grass-fed beef, and South Brook Farm sells lamb, including some amazing Greek lamb sausage that we purchased there. There’s cheese from Hickory Nut Farm and honey and maple syrup (as well as more vegetables) from Babcock Farms. Both Mildred’s Drumlin Farm and Wild Miller Gardens had amazing displays of gorgeous vegetables, alongside vendors selling baked good and soups to go.
Lee Cooperative Farmers’ Market
May to September
Old Fire Station, Route 155, Lee, NH map
Cherries! These cherries, the first we’ve seen and eaten this season, are from a farmer at the Northwood Farmers’ Market, located on rte 4. I’m embarrassed to say I was so smitten with the cherries (and banana peppers!) that this farmer had that I failed to get the name of the business. I can tell you that he also sells at the Deerfield Farmers’ Market on Fridays, that he grows everything he sells, and that these cherries are mind blowingly delicious, especially when made into a fruit salad with the last of the season’s strawberries and the first of the season’s raspberries, if you can possible not just eat them all on the car ride home.
The Northwood Farmers’ Market also features Dr. Tomato and his mushrooms, The Root Sellar with vegetables and maple syrup, Red Manse Farm with vegetables, Folsom’s Sugar House with maple syrup and candy, Hayward Natural Farms with eggs and poultry meat, and many more vendors with baked goods, dog treats, and garden plants. There were about a dozen vendors there on the day we visited, along with live music and librarians from the public library talking about their summer programs.
We were excited to sample some delicious foods from Susty’s Cafe, a vegan cafe located just across the street from the market location. I’m always happy to see businesses cater foods to their location, and Susty’s had foccaccias and fritters to go or to eat at the market that were perfect for the day.
The Northwood Farmers’ Market takes place in a grassy spot under trees, next to a very convenient parking lot. There’s a traffic light right there, making it enormously easy to get in and out of the market, whichever direction you are headed.
Farmers’ Market Count: 9 down, 22 to go!