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We’re hiring! Are you Seacoast Eat Local’s next Program Director?

Seacoast Eat Local is hiring a Program Director to oversee the operational success of our mission to connect community members with local food and farms. We are seeking a motivated, energetic, and hardworking person with a strong interest in local food access and community food systems.

Seacoast Eat Local was founded in 2006 with the mission to bring people together with sources of locally grown foods and advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. Our work includes operating a SNAP/EBT Farmers’ Market Program, organizing winter farmers’ markets, running a mobile market, producing our local food guide, sponsoring workshops and events, and providing information through our email newsletter, blog and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org

The Program Director will oversee the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager, as well as provide leadership to our team of interns and volunteers. Serving as the key external face of Seacoast Eat Local in the community, the Program Director will also be responsible for networking with stakeholders, community building, and relationships with donors. They will be expected to demonstrate a knowledge of and passion for a multi-
faceted local food system, while also providing the organization with the fiscal oversight and program delivery that will allow Seacoast Eat Local to continue our work as a strong and robust regional non-profit.

Responsibilities include:

  • – Overseeing the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager to ensure the successful execution of SEL’s core programs
  • – Taking the lead on fundraising and development, including implementing the annual fundraising plan, managing the donor database, planning and executing quarterly events, leading the stewardship of existing donors, and expanding our fundraising presence in the Seacoast
  • – Managing our grant-based funding, which encompasses organizing the annual grant schedule, writing grant appeals, and overseeing fiscal and programmatic reporting
  • – Supervising and implementing our annual budget and working with our bookkeeper and treasurer on accurate reporting and fiscal oversight
  • – Ensuring the implementation and utilization of measures and metrics for program evaluation
  • – Serving as the key contact person and public face of our organization through email communication, marketing, newsletters, social media, attending local events, and relationship building
  • – Carrying out our current strategic plan through 2021 and assisting and advising the board in the development of future strategic plans

 

An ideal candidate will hold a Bachelor’s degree and have worked a minimum of 4-5 years in project management, fundraising, and/or personnel management, and be familiar with the functioning and organization of non-profits. They will be enthusiastic about a position that puts them in contact with many different members of our community and should possess a strong passion for local food and developing robust food systems. Necessary
skills include proficiency in computer use, strong project management, leadership of staff and interns, and a demonstrated aptitude for excellent verbal and written communication. This is a self-driven leadership role within our organization, and the person hired to fill this role will be expected to serve as a supervisor of our staff, contact person with stakeholders, and collaborator with the Board of Directors, to whom they will report.

This is a full time, salaried position that includes healthcare and paid vacation. We offer a flexible working environment and schedule, though applicants must be willing to work some weekends and nights.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to info@seacoasteatlocal.org by April 6.

SEL Announces Departure of Director of Programs

After more than three years of employment, Seacoast Eat Local announces the departure of its Director of Programs, Jillian (Hall) Eldredge. Jill will be leaving her post at Seacoast Eat Local in order to pursue a full-time grants management position with the Foundation for Healthy Communities in Concord, NH. Her last day of employment will be Friday, March 1.

During her tenure with Seacoast Eat Local, Jill oversaw the expansion of the organization’s programs and staff. Most notably, this included the creation of the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM) Program and the hiring of its year-round, full-time coordinator, Celeste Gingras. Other successes included the awarding of the organization’s first federal grant, the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program grant, and the establishment of defined employee evaluation, policies and benefits programs. Among the many joys of her position, Jill most thoroughly enjoyed the depth of the relationships she was able to build with staff, farmers, consumers and others. We know she will not be a stranger at markets or local farm stands!

The entire Seacoast Eat Local team of board and staff members have worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition without interruption of services for staff, farmers, funding partners or consumers. The organization has every confidence in its continued success moving forward and is excited for a new chapter in its development. Please stay tuned for future hiring announcements!

In the interim period, Shelly Smith (Program Coordinator) will be the primary staff contact for Seacoast Eat Local.

Winter Vegetable Highlight and Recipe—Cabbage

Cabbage is one of the most widely available and inexpensive vegetables on the planet. It comes in many varieties and can be grown at different times in the season, which is key to popularity up here in New England, where the weather is so very unpredictable. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but cabbage is very versatile to cook with; it can be eaten raw or cooked, stuffed, baked, sautéed, chopped up into coleslaw, or stirred into hearty soups and stews. It really is only limited by your imagination, as it works well with almost any other ingredient.

Cabbage is also rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and potassium, and can last about a week in the refrigerator by itself. When you’re buying cabbage, you want to look for fresh, crisp-looking leaves, with heads that seem heavy for their size.

A friend of mine recently told me she hates cabbage and can’t seem to find any good way to prepare it, so I thought I would also add a great recipe to either warm you up to cabbage with, or maybe shake up your normal cabbage-preparing routine. Enjoy!

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples        Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red cabbage, cored, quartered, and shredded
  • 4 firm cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine

Instructions:

  1. Combine the cabbage and apples in a large bowl. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss well.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and saute until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and apples, stir well, and add the wine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently under the cabbage is tender, about 40 minutes. Add a little water as needed to maintain a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.

Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook

Aimee’s Post: My First Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market

This past weekend, I attended my first farmers market as a Seacoast Eat Local Intern, and I had so much fun! One component at the market that I loved was the smell of the broth from one of the vendors. The next day I went home and found an incredible soup recipe, and I thought what better thing to write about than how to make homemade soup, particularly in this cold weather. I also am currently fighting an illness, so luckily I had leftovers of this, and I hope it brings comfort to any of you battling illness right now. This is a recipe I found from Taste of Home, and it turned out absolutely delicious for me! Also, I would recommend visiting your next farmers market to pick up some of the ingredients for this soup!

Ingredients:  

  • 2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

1)    Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.

2)    Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.

3)    Transfer chicken to a plate. Remove soup from heat. Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.

4)    Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones.

5)    Shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in parsley and lemon juice.

6)    Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove bay leaves.

(Ultimate Chicken Soup, Taste of Home.)

Melissa’s Post: Slow Roasted Shallots

I had a wonderful first experience at the winter market this past Saturday at the Exeter High School, and it was so lovely to meet with many of you that stopped by the SEL table throughout the day.

One of the very first things I noticed about the environment of the market was the wonderful smell of onions and garlic! It got me thinking about some good recipes to really highlight some of our winter vegetables. I overheard some customers at market saying that they were running out of ideas to work with cold-season gems, so I wanted to share a roasted shallots recipe with you all. This recipe is for a side dish that pairs best with game birds, steak, chicken, and turkey. I can almost smell that deliciousness from here! Enjoy!

Slow Roasted Shallots      Serves: 4

Ingredients:

·      12 shallots, peeled

·      4 cloves garlic, peeled

·      1 cup olive oil

·      4 springs thyme

·      1 tablespoon Kosher salt

·      1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 250°F

2.     Combine all ingredients into a shallow baking dish, toss to mix well.

3.     Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 1 ½ hours, or until shallots are soft, carnalized, and a deep golden brown.

4.     Discard thyme and rosemary springs and serve.

Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook, Sally Ann Berk

SEL Providing Emergency SNAP Support in February

As many people may know, the recent Government Shutdown caused unforeseen adjustments to SNAP disbursement in New Hampshire. All SNAP funding for the state (i.e. the food benefits which eligible families receive) is typically disbursed on the 5th of every month. Due to the Shutdown, benefits for February were distributed early, in late January, but will not be distributed again until March 5, meaning that recipient families must make the same amount of benefits last nearly 2 weeks longer than normal.
Understanding the potential for strain and food insecurity for those receiving SNAP benefits, Seacoast Eat Local mobilized support among its funding partners. We are proud to announce that The Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation have all provided funding making it possible for Seacoast Eat Local to provide SNAP customers extra support at our farmers’ markets in February.
The Program:
SNAP recipients attending the Exeter, Kittery or Rollinsford Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers Markets will have the same opportunity to access any remaining benefits they may have on their EBT cards and receive 1:1 matching fruit and vegetable coupons.
Additionally, any SNAP customer may receive $20 in SNAP tokens and $10 in Granite State Market Match. This program will operate only in February and only at the Kittery, Exeter and Rollinsford Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Markets.
SNAP customers should come to the Seacoast Eat Local token booth at market with their SNAP/EBT card.  Tokens can be used to purchase any SNAP eligible foods, including fruits, vegetables, breads, eggs, meat, dairy, as well as a variety of prepared foods.  Market dates, times, and locations can be found at seacoasteatlocal.org.

Aimee’s Post: Harvest of the Month

Today, for my blog, I thought I would talk about a wonderful program known as “Harvest of the Month.” The goals of this program are very simple- seasonal eating, healthy diets, and supporting the local economy. The harvest for the month of February is cabbage. Despite the fact that it does not sound all that exciting, cabbage packs a wide variety of nutrients- particularly vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate! Therefore, it might be worth trying this month! A simple cabbage recipe, that is one of my personal favorites, is braised cabbage. The recipe below yields four servings, and requires the following:

Braised Cabbage  

  • 1lb cabbage (1 head)
  • 3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste, any herb or spice, or even bacon!

Directions:

  1. Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch-wide ribbons and place into a wide pan with the water.
  2. Cook, covered, over medium heat until the cabbage is tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the cabbage and toss with butter, salt, and pepper.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out how beautiful this vegetable is!

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful vegetable! 

Learn from a “Fungi!”: A Mushroom Workshop!

Join Seacoast Eat Local and Vernon Family Farm for the next installment of our very popular local foods workshop series! 

Come see a small scale commercial mushroom production operation at Vernon Family Farm.  Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working farm and learn about the process of

producing oyster and shiitake mushrooms for a commercial market.  Taste hot mushroom broth, see a fruiting room, and harvest your own fresh cut shrooms to take home with some mushroom broth!  Vernon Family Farm’s store will be open and cozy with a wood stove and warm broth.  Bring an above average attitude and you might just meet some fungies.

 

Saturday, March 16

10:30am-12pm at Vernon Family Farm

$40/pp

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and space for this event is limited! Please contact the staff of Seacoast Eat Local with questions.

Aimee’s Post: Joining the SEL Intern Team!

Hey everyone! My name is Aimee, I am excited to be one of Seacoast Eat Local’s new interns! This is my first time working with Seacoast Eat Local, and I am looking forward to working with a wonderful organization that puts a strong emphasis on healthy and locally sourced foods.

A little bit about my background, I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire of the Nutrition and Dietetics program. I have a dual major in Ecogastronomy, in which I study sustainable food systems and how they impact various aspects of life- including nutritionally and economically. As you can see, I devote my studies to food and sustainability.

My interest in Seacoast Eat Local stems from my desire to work in the field of community nutrition and public health. I have done some work at a local food pantry that puts an emphasis on locally grown food, and I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Through my work at this food pantry, called the Waysmeet Center, I discovered where my strongest interests regarding nutrition were and have been working to expand my experiences in it.

Before college, I grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. I often went to farms to find different vegetables with my parents and friends, and those trips were always enjoyable. I remember being interested by all the types of foods at farms and farmers markets that could not be found in our regular grocery stores (typically Hannafords or Market Basket) and I am excited to work at the farmers markets with Seacoast Eat Local and spread my excitement about food!

If anyone has anything they would like to see on this blog, do not hesitate to reach out! I hope to see you at the markets soon!

Also, this is a picture of me at one of my favorite farms! Parlee Farms, in Tyngsboro, MA, has a pick your own flowers and blueberries in the summer time! I am in their beautiful flower field, and fun fact- it was pouring in this picture!