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

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!

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. 

The Chicken Wars

Another confession of a backyard chicken owner: chickens are not for the faint of heart. As a friend said, “humans are cruel, chickens are just chickens.”

Lynette, Bette and Amelia

Part of backyard chicken ownership is succession planning. My quartet of Henny, Penny, Jenny and Louise was now down to just Henny, Penny and Louise. Ask me sometime about the magical and mysterious “dead chicken fairy.” I swear to you, this is a thing. With Jenny gone and Louise aging, it was time to think about a new round of hens.

It’s best practice to introduce new chickens in groups of at least two, that way they have a buddy to be with as they acclimate to the existing flock. So, I found a friend to raise some extra chicks and ended up with Bette the Barred Rock, Lynette the Lace Wing Wyandotte and Amelia the Auracana. They are still about 1/2- 2/3 their adult size, but fully fledged and ready to join the gang.

Let the chicken wars begin.

The girls settle in

I started by separating my hens outside the coop and run in the yard with an extra feeder and waterer. I shut the new hens into the coop and left them there for two hours to acclimate to their new surroundings while my older girls ate grass and hunted bugs (and ran down the sidewalk until my neighbor herded them home).

All was well. I am so good at this. 

That was about 2pm.

co-mingling!

By 4pm I had opened up the coop so that the two groups could mingle with each other in the whole space of the yard and slowly get accustomed with their new flock-mates. Cue the sirens and bombs. Bette, Lynette and Amelia were reluctant to leave the coop where they were relatively comfortable. Henny, Penny and Louise, on the other hand, bowled right into the coop, cornered the young hens and had them literally peeping like little chicks. Every so often Louise sunk a well placed peck until the young hens were finally able to scoot out of the coop. Louise commenced with crowing and guarding the coop for the next two hours, just in case the whole neighborhood failed to get her point.

Well, this was getting stressful for sure, but so far there were no injuries or serious squabbles, just a lot of posturing and noise. Breathe, it’s all going according to plan.

By 7:30pm I was chasing Lynette around the neighbors yard and mentally begging my older gals to just GO TO SLEEP already, so that the new hens could get into the coop without fear and go to bed too. The older hens hung out, casually sauntering around outside the entrance to the coop like bar hoppers reluctant to leave at last call. All the time in the world. The young hens peeped nervously and gathered themselves in all the wrong places, requiring a lot of herding and anxious observation on my part.

7:45…

Phone call: My boyfriend is asking about my day and setting some weekend plans. “I don’t know hun, it’s been a long day and I am waiting for the chickens to go to sleep”

8:00…

no, really, pasta in my couch

“Oh no babe, the dog got anxious while I was out at a dinner meeting and buried a pound of pasta in the couch… and my empty chapstick tubes..” (another story entirely)

8:15 FINALLY, Henny, Penny and Louise head up to bed and I can help Lynette, Bette and Amelia into the coop to go to sleep too.

8:45 The thunderstorms are starting and while I was able to clean up the dry pasta and empty chapstick tubes, the dog is now shaking next to me.

But, the chickens are safe and asleep in their coop, until we start all over again tomorrow. They say the introductory period can last up to a week!

Why the Markets Move Me

In the first few weeks with Seacoast Eat Local as the new Director of Programs, there has been a lot to think about: contact lists, budgets and fundraising, preparation for our winter season, board meetings and action groups- just to name a few. It can be hard to focus my energy in one direction some days.

At the markets, all of that quickly falls away. That’s when I see our real work reforming itself clearly in front of me out of the fog of to-do lists and I-wish-we-hads. It’s the work that we all do together– farmers’, shoppers, staff and volunteers– the work of growing our community around a dedication to locally produced, nutritious foods for all.

Anywhere you look, hundreds of stories abound. There are friends running into each other after months of too busy schedules, kids in carriages holding new-to-them vegetables, first-time shoppers learning the ropes, ‘regulars’ chatting with their favorite grower, farmers swapping stories from the latest harvest and mounds of beautiful soon-to-be meals at dozens of tables across the seacoast region.

It’s also where a new story is beginning to emerge for all of us involved with Seacoast Eat Local- the story of our rapidly increasing SNAP/EBT participation. In our second year of dedicated SNAP programming, including accepting benefits and providing matching incentives, we have seen an astounding 80% increase in our participation levels. We know from our dedicated repeat shoppers that all people, regardless of income levels, are both interested in and deserve access to high quality local foods. I’m proud to put my name to an organization that seeks food equality for all, powered by a community of supporters who understand its importance.

As a regular customer, I always looked forward to and planned my Saturdays around the Winter Farmers’ Market schedule. I’m excited to have this same special experience from the ‘other side of the looking glass,’ so to speak, and hope to get to speak to all of you while you stop in for your shopping and socializing.

Until then,

Jill

 

Jillian Hall,

Director of Programs

To learn more about our SNAP program, visit our website: https://seacoasteatlocal.org/snap/shopwithsnap/

For our Winter Farmers’ Market Schedule:

https://seacoasteatlocal.org/find-local-food/our-winter-farmers-market/