Waiting for the summer farmer’s markets can feel like forever especially if you can’t travel to markets that are a little further away. However, in between markets you can still eat local and support local farmers. Eating locally supports the local economy, there is shorter time between farm and table, there is less travel time for the food and less waste due to travel, and it promotes community. The following are three ways you can support farmers and local producers and eat local in between markets:
- Support local restaurants that also support local farmers. A couple that I enjoy and have come to include Laney and Lu, Blue Moon Evolution, and the Portsmouth Brewery. For even more restaurants, Seacoast Eat Local has a large list here: https://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/restaurants-that-use-local-foods/
2. Sign up for a CSA! CSA stands for community supported agriculture and is a “share” of product from a local farmer. These can be purchased from a farm of your choosing and CSAs can offer a variety of seasonal produce, eggs, meat, pork, poulty, fish, or even flowers! For more information about CSAs or if you are interested in purchasing one, more can be found in the Seacoast Harvest and here: https://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/csas/. While Most CSAs have not started yet, a fish share from NH Community Seafood has already begun and many CSA programs extend through the fall and into the winter, providing access to local foods between the summer and winter market season.
3. Many farms also have farm stores and you can shop your favorite farm’s product in between markets. A couple around the area include Brandmoore Farm in Rollinsford, Applecrest Farm Orchards in Hampton Falls, and Emery Farm in Durham. A couple more local shops are listed here as well: https://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/restaurants-that-use-local-foods/
4. Enjoy shelf-stable products from local farms. Have you forgotten about the jar of pickles or jam or sauerkraut that you purchased at a long ago market? What about frozen meats or dried beans? Now is a good time to shop your freezer and pantry to make room for the abundance to come!