Meet the CSA Farmers: Brandmoore Farm

courtesy of Brandmoore Farm
courtesy of Brandmoore Farm

It’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

Brandmoore Farm is offering CSA Shares for 20 weeks of certified organic produce available for pick up at the farm in Rollinsford, NH.

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

Our second CSA Day at the Market is coming up on February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses, where over a dozen CSA farmers will be available to talk to you about their options. In anticipation, we asked the participating CSA farms to answer 4 questions. Up next, Brandmoore Farm from Rollinsford, New Hampshire.

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Brandmoore Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

Our CSA provides a variety of fresh, certified organic produce each week with convenient pick up times at the farm. While picking up shares, you can check out the pigs, cows and chickens! You can also visit the farm store and pick up dairy, eggs, pork and beef.

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

We are excited to try a few new vegetable varieties along with our standbys. We are offering a $50 flower share this year to be picked up along with the vegetable CSA.

3.  Why is CSA important?

The CSA is important to our farm because it helps build community and bring healthy food to local families.

4.  Why do you farm?

We enjoy working hard for such a rewarding product- good food!

Meet the farmers at Brandmoore Farm and more CSA farmers during the Winter Farmers Market at Wentworth Greenhouses, February 22nd, 10am to 2pm.

The Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Join a CSA!

It may be only February, but now is the time to sign up for a Spring & Summer CSA share. The days are getting longer  and the planting season is right around the corner…. Before we know it Winter will be a distant memory. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) creates a partnership between grower and consumer that begins before the seedlings are even planted!

Below are my top 3 reasons why you should purchase a CSA share:

courtesy of Brookford Farm
photo courtesy of Brookford Farm

1.) Support your local economy. When you purchase a CSA share from a local farm, you know where your food is coming from…. No mystery off the shelf in the grocery store or a sticker that reads Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, or California. It is coming from right here in New England. Over the course of the season, you get to know the farmers and their employees. You see them on a regular basis and are helping to support their farm and families, a part of your greater community, not a farm that is hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Your hard earned dollars go directly into the hands of a hard working farmer without large percentages lost to packaging companies, large conglomerates, and the transportation industry.

2.) Local food is better for you. When you pick up your weekly CSA share, it is often picked from the field that very same day. It is not picked, put on a plane, train, or truck, carried hundreds or thousands of miles from it’s original destination, sorted, packaged, then finally put on the shelf to sit and wait to be purchased. When you calculate all that time, it can be a week or two from the time the produce is picked to when you purchase it in the store. Produce has its highest vitamin and nutrient content when it is first picked. The longer it takes to get to you, the more nutritional value it loses. Fresh produce = a healthier you.

3.) You get to try new foods. You get to experiment and be creative with the produce you receive each week. Chances are you’ll receive some produce you’ve never purchased before, maybe never even heard of before! Prior to my first CSA experience I had never purchased items like swiss chard, leeks, and kale – now I eat them all on a regular basis. In fact, I’m pretty much a kale-holic. Having a variety of veggies in your diet allows your body to receive a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Having trouble knowing what to make with the goodies you find in your share? Make sure to check out my free recipes – most of which are based on seasonal, local produce.

Want to learn more about CSA shares? Join us at CSA days!

Our next one is at the Winter Farmers’ Market on February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses. In addition to an amazing farmers’ market, we offer the chance to meet farmers who have CSA shares available for the coming season. A CSA share provides lots of great food all summer long, as well as a chance to make a meaningful connection with a farm. Each CSA is unique, offering different pick up locations, diversity of products, and experiences. CSA Days at the market give you a chance to ask questions and find the right CSA for you. Visit the Seacoast Eat Local CSA Page to get an idea of questions to ask and check out all the farms involved this year!

Andrea Hood
Holistic Health Coach 

 

Meet the CSA Farmers: Stout Oak Farm

CSA shares are available from Stout Oak FarmIt’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

Stout Oak Farm offers Certified Organic CSA vegetable shares and Farm Store credit shares with pick-ups at their farm in Brentwood.

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

One of the best parts about our work of connecting farmers and consumers is getting to know farmers. We asked Kate Donald of Stout Oak Farm our 4 questions and here’s her reply:

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Stout Oak Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

Super fresh, high quality food!

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

Our new CSA Survival Guide, which includes recipes, food storage tips, harvest calendar, and strategies for making the most of a CSA share!

3.  Why is CSA important?

CSA is a critical support system for our farm, providing early season income and a steady base of customers who are committed to our farm’s success.

4.  Why do you farm?

To grow food for our community, and spend my waking hours outdoors!

Sign up for a CSA share at Stout Oak Farm. Looking at all your choices? Join us at the next  Winter Farmers Market at Wentworth Greenhouses, February 22nd, 10am to 2pm where we’re hosting a CSA Day at the Market.

Meet the CSA Farmers: Sirois Family Farm

Sirois Family FarmIt’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

Sirois Family Farm offers Meat Shares that include pork, turkey, chicken, eggs, and baked goods, with pick ups at their farm in Lebanon, Maine.

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

Our second CSA Day at the Market is coming up on February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses, where over a dozen CSA farmers will be available to talk to you about their options. In anticipation, we asked the participating CSA farms to answer 4 questions. Up next, Sirois Family Farm from Lebanon, Maine.

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Sirois Family Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

The quality of meat you can’t get anywhere else.

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

New for this year, Family Packs.

3.  Why is CSA important?

CSA is important for people and their families because if helps break the hold that the factory farms have on individuals.

4.  Why do you farm?

We farm because it helps bring the three generations of this family together. We work together and helping each other out as well as other people.

Meet the farmers at Sirois Family Farm and more CSA farmers during the Winter Farmers Market at Wentworth Greenhouses, February 22nd, 10am to 2pm.

Meet the CSA Farmers: Two Toad Farm

Two Toad Farm CSA

It’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

Our second CSA Day at the Market is coming up on February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses, where over a dozen CSA farmers will be available to talk to you about their options. In anticipation, we asked the participating CSA farms to answer 4 questions. Up next, Two Toad Farm from Lebanon, Maine.

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Two Toad Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

The diversity of our products.  We grow over 200 varieties of veggies and herbs.  We also offer early sign-up discounts, pay in full discounts, and returning member discounts!

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

We are once again offering a Seedling CSA where the garden planning is done for you. We are expanding into a new location!  Two Toad Farm has been searching for a permanent home, and this year we will begin farming at historic Red Wing Farm in Lebanon, Maine.  This is a dream come true for us and for our community.

3.  Why is CSA important?

Everyone knows that joining a CSA is great for the shareholders, and it’s great for the CSA farm.  What many folks don’t realize, is that the CSA members make local food and local jobs viable, and available to the greater community.  Without the CSA, we would not have the operating budget to farm.  By joining a CSA, you are doing your part to make local produce available to your community.  A CSA member not only gets great value for their up-front payment for food, it allows a farmer to provide healthy, local options to to the community, and allows a farmer to offer good, honest work to the members of the community.

4.  Why do you farm?

At Two Toad Farm, we farm to bring food to the people.

Meet the Two Toad Farmers as well as a dozen more CSA farmers at CSA Day at the Market, February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, 10am to 2pm.

Find your Farmer at CSA Days at the Winter Farmers’ Market

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We may be in the grips of a cold winter, but Seacoast Eat Local will help you think Spring with our annual CSA Days at the Winter Farmers’ Markets in February. The CSA Day markets will be at Exeter High School on Saturday, February 8th and at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford on Saturday, February 22nd — join us and find the CSA right for you!

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a style of agriculture shaped by the direct link between food producers and consumers. Through upfront payments or ‘share’ purchases, a consumer provides early season capital while the farm is able to plan and plant for a known market, offering fresh produce at allotted intervals throughout the season. With growing interest and participation, CSA programs have significantly expanded and diversified in the past several years — just check our latest CSA Days stats gathered from the 16 participating farms:

• 15 farms offer Vegetable CSA shares
• 7 farms offer Late Season, Winter, or Year-Round shares
• 9 farms offer optional Add-Ons including meat, bread, dairy products, maple syrup, seedlings, flowers, and more
• 5 farms are Certified Organic
• 7 farms offer Fruit in their shares
• 12 farms are in New Hampshire; 4 farms are in Maine
• The 16 farms offer CSA Pick-ups at 37 different locations
• Other options include traditional boxed shares, credit based shares, and local delivery or on farm pick-up

CSA Farms at Exeter High School on February 8th include Applecrest Farm, Brandmoore Farm, Brookford Farm, Heron Pond Farm, Meadow’s Mirth, Mildred’s Drumlin Farm, Orange Circle Farm, Red Manse Farm, Saddleback Mountain Farm, Stout Oak Farm, Wild Miller Gardens, and Willow Pond Community Farm.

CSA Farms at Wentworth Greenhouses on February 22nd include Bartlett Farm, Brandmoore Farm, Brookford Farm, Heron Pond Farm, Meadow’s Mirth, Mildred’s Drumlin Farm, Orange Circle Farm, Red Manse Farm, Saddleback Mountain Farm, Sirois Family Farm, Touching Earth Farm, Two Toad FarmWake Robin Farm, and Wild Miller Gardens.

“Joining a CSA program is a great way to directly connect with the local agricultural community,” said Leo Smock-Randall, Winter Market Manager for Seacoast Eat Local, “it allows you to get the freshest produce while supporting small business and keeping your investment in the local economy. Being a ‘shareholder’, you join in the risks of the season alongside the farmer, yet gain a bountiful bonus of delicious produce at harvest and an added benefit of maintaining open space and active use of our precious local farmland.” Visit the CSA page at www.seacoastealocal.org to learn more about the CSA days and see the guide on questions to ask when picking a CSA that is right for you.

For a preview of CSA Days at the Winter Farmers Market >

Meet the CSA farmers: Mildred’s Drumlin Farm

Mildred's Drumlin Farm CSAIt’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

Mildred’s Drumlin Farm offers Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and strawberries in full and half shares. Add-ons of grass fed beef, goat milk products, and eggs from area farms are available. Delivery is an option if you live within 15 miles of the farm in Lee, or you can pick up at the farm.

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

We’re hosting two CSA Days at the Market on February 8th in Exeter and February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses, where over a dozen CSA farmers will be available to talk to you about their options. In anticipation, we asked the participating CSA farms to answer 4 questions. Here’s what Steve Haendler of Mildred’s Drumlin Farm had to say:

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Mildred’s Drumlin Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

We are small and accommodating with great attention to detail.

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

We will be expanding our CYO culinary herb garden. Members get to pick the herbs of their choice at any time. There is a delivery option now available to any member within 15 miles of the farm.

3.  Why is CSA important?

It’s all about great, healthy food in a vibrant community.

4.  Why do you farm?

For our souls.

Meet the farmers of Mildred’s Drumlin Farm and more CSA farmers during the CSA Days at the Winter Farmers Markets in Exeter on February 8th and at Wentworth Greenhouses, February 22nd, 10am to 2pm.

CSA Day at the Market February 8th

CSA members get the first of everything.

Mildred's Drumlin Farm strawberries
Mildred’s Drumlin Farm strawberries

The first peas, the first tomatoes, the first strawberries. Whatever the farm grows, the CSA members are the ones who the farmer carefully sets aside the best and most beautiful for. When it’s a lean year for cauliflower, and there’s hardly a head at the farmers markets, you can be sure that what was harvested went first to CSA members. 

[New to this whole thing and wondering what CSA stands for and what it’s all about? Start here.]

There’s lots of reasons to join a CSA, from supporting the farm financially at the time of year they need it most to making sure you and your family eat a diverse diet of fresh, nutritious vegetables. But also, you get to be the first. Call it a side benefit.

While our amazing farmers market happens inside the cafeteria of the Exeter High School on Saturday February 8th, these twelve CSA farms will set up tables just to be available to talk to you about their individual CSA options. There’s a lot of options.

February 8th CSA Day Participating Farms

stoutoaktomatoes (1)
Stout Oak Farm tomatoes

Applecrest Farm Orchards

Brandmoore Farm

stoutoaktomatoesstoutoaktomatoesBrookford Farm

Heron Pond Farm

Meadow’s Mirth

Mildred’s Drumlin Farm

Orange Circle Farm

Red Manse Farm

Saddleback Mountain Farm

Stout Oak Farm

Wild Miller Gardens

Willow Pond Community Farm

 

We’ll host another CSA Day at the Market on February 22nd in Rollinsford.

Meet the CSA farmers: Orange Circle Farm

Orange Circle FarmIt’s CSA Sign Up Season, and farms all over the greater seacoast have lots of different choices to offer you in Community Supported Agriculture Shares.

One of our favoritest things is when new farmers find a great spot to start their new businesses. Orange Circle Farm is helmed by Jeffrey Benton, who has worked at several area farms over the past years, and is now starting his own farm in Stratham.

“The Orange Circle Farm CSA includes 20 weeks of fresh produce starting in early/mid June and continuing into October. Shares will be pre-boxed at pickup where there will be additional vegetables available to supplement your share. An egg CSA option is also available. Pick ups are in Kittery or at farm in Stratham.”

(Not sure what CSA is all about? Start here.)

We’re hosting two CSA Days at the Market on February 8th in Exeter and February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses, where over a dozen CSA farmers will be available to talk to you about their options. In anticipation, we asked the participating CSA farms to answer 4 questions. Here’s what Jeff Benton of Orange Circle Farm had to say:

4 Questions (+ their answers) for Orange Circle Farm:

1.  What is the best thing about your CSA?

The best thing about the CSA at Orange Circle Farm is getting to be a part of a new farm and participate first-hand in the growth of local food.

2.  What new, exciting, or interesting thing are you offering in your CSA shares this year?

Everything will be new in this first year of Orange Circle Farm including the eggs, the canning workshops and or course, sweet potatoes (my personal favorite).

3.  Why is CSA important?

The CSA model creates a clear, consistent platform for a sincere relationship between customers, farmers, the land, and the food that is changes hands.

4.  Why do you farm?

I farm because it’s the only way of life that I’ve found continuously challenging and rewarding.

Meet the farmer of Orange Circle Farm and more CSA farmers during the CSA Days at the Winter Farmers Markets in Exeter on February 8th and at Wentworth Greenhouses, February 22nd, 10am to 2pm.

Gift round up: 4 great gifts from the Winter Farmers’ Market

‘Tis the season, but gift giving doesn’t have to be stressful, and it definitely doesn’t need to be devoid of meaning. Here’s 4 great gifts you can buy (there are so very many more) at the Winter Farmers’ Market this Saturday, 12/14/13, at Exeter High School (and again next Saturday in Rollinsford on the 21st.) The market is open 10am to 2pm, but your gift will bring joy to your giftee for much longer than that [cue corny but legit holiday spirit].

Gift the market itself - market tokens

Gift the market itself

Market tokens come in $5 increments and can be spent with any vendor just like cash. They’re gift certificates good throughout the whole market, but a lot more fun. Because they’re wooden tokens! Share your love of the markets and the awesomeness that is our local food scene in the winter with a cute gift bag filled with any quantity of tokens you like.

 

 

New Hampshire Community Seafood - give the gift of fish!

Gift local seafood!

NH Community Seafood will be offering gift certificates at the next two markets (12/14 in Exeter, 12/21 in Rollinsford). You can purchase any cash amount you’d like or purchase a full half or quarter share of fish. Give the gift of 2 months of NH wild caught, dayboat fish. CSF seasons starting June 2014.

 

 

Give the gift of cheese

Give the gift of cheese.

It’s sort of like the gift of life. Because it’s cheese. Wolf Meadow Farm has cheese baskets available, call ahead to place your order (978) 201-1606. They’ve got gift certificates, good in Amesbury at at the markets they attend. They are also offering a cheesemaking class with Luca. This will take place on December 18th at their Italian-style facility in Amesbury. You’ll be making Primo Sale and Ricotta with Luca. $60/person, 6-9pm. Email info@wolfmeadowfarm.com to sign up.

 

gift of tea and coffee

Gift happy mornings.

Both coffee and tea drinkers, basically anybody who has to wake up in the morning, will appreciate a bit of White Heron  in their lives. Cutey gift packs, great unique and new choices, fair trade and awesome people to boot.

 

 

 

gift a tote bag

 

Bonus round! Give a tote bag.

We know, we’re sneaking a 5th idea in here for you. That’s how much we love you. Every year we put out a new design on our super collectible fun tote bags and everybody wants one (limited edition!). Here’s what makes these even more awesome: these tote bags are made right here in NH by a woman owned company out of recycled fiber and recycled soda bottles. Take that plastic!