In the news: Seacoast Eat Local and Granite State Market Match

NHPR aired a piece about Granite State Market Match, the NH program Seacoast Eat Local is part of that enables us to offer free fruit and vegetable coupons to SNAP customers. They interviewed Tony, a SNAP customer who has been using the program for years, Jill, our Director of Programs, and John Hutton of Coppal House Farm at the Seacoast Growers Association’s Dover Farmers Market.

Foodstuffs: Giving Food Stamp Recipients a Place at Farmers Markets

 

Tony Kenney holds tokens and coupons from an incentive program to help food stamp recipients shop at farmer’s markets. BEN HENRY FOR NHPR


If you like what you hear, please consider making a donation in support of this program. With your support, Seacoast Eat Local offers SNAP/EBT access at 7 weekly markets, making sure more people like Tony get fresh, healthy, delicious local food while supporting our community’s farmers.

 

 

 

Keep It Fresh at the Farmers’ Markets!

Seacoast Eat Local needs your support! Consider making a tax-deductible contribution that helps Seacoast residents connect to sources of fresh local foods, all year long!



At Seacoast Eat Local, our mission is to connect people with sources of locally grown food and to work for a sustainable local food system that supports the health of our environment, community, culture and economy.

Support Local Foods Now, and for the Future


We live in extraordinary times and the need to support local foods and farms has never been greater. Seacoast Eat Local works year-round to ensure access to local foods. But, we need your help.

As our programs grow and expand to meet rising needs, so do our operational costs. If every person who attends winter farmers’ markets donated $12, just $1 for each market, it would eliminate our anticipated shortfall for the coming fiscal year!

Closing this fiscal year and looking towards the next, we need support from those who enjoy and believe in Seacoast Eat Local.  Contributions of all sizes are tax-deductible and impactful.

Please Make Your Gift Today

How Does Your Contribution Help?

A $12 contribution shows your appreciation for local foods at the winter farmers’ markets

With every $25 contribution, you will provide a local foods demonstration or tasting at one public event

A $50 contribution makes it possible for farmers’ to list for free in Seacoast Harvest

A $100 contribution supports the cost of staff time to operate the SNAP program at summer farmers’ markets

Prefer to Mail it In?

No Problem!

Checks in any denomination may be made payable to Seacoast Eat Local and mailed to the address:

Seacoast Eat Local
ATTN: Fundraising
2 Washington St, Ste 331
Dover, NH 03820

 

Isis’s post: Getting to Know Shelly Smith

By Isis Ulery Chapman, Seacoast Eat Local intern, part of her series getting to know the board members and people behind Seacoast Eat Local

 

I know you just joined Seacoast Eat Local over the summer, could you tell me the story of how you chose to work with SEL?

Jill Hall and Shelly Smith
Jill Hall and Shelly Smith

I never envisioned myself working for a non-profit organization!  I am a scientist, specifically a plant scientist, and once I completed my graduate studies in Plant Biology at UNH, I knew that although I loved the subject matter and research, I couldn’t stand to be cooped up in a laboratory all day long anymore.  I loved teaching – that was my favorite part of graduate school.  I love connecting with people – I love sharing my passion with people.  When my husband and I decided to farm, I realized that I could help on the farm with my baby alongside, and I could connect with customers at farmers’ markets about why we were passionate about growing our own food.   As our farm business grew, we joined more farmers’ markets – including Seacoast Eat Local’s Winter Farmers’ Market.  I was so inspired by the good work SEL was doing to help small farms increase outlets for healthy food, and even more inspired by the SNAP/EBT program that enabled anyone, regardless of income, to have access to healthy food.  We even became authorized to accept EBT in our farmstand because I believe so deeply in equitable food access.  Last spring, when both my children were of school-age, I began looking for off-farm employment and there happened to be an open position within SEL just at that time.  I feel very fortunate that the Board choose me 🙂

 

So far into working with SEL, how would you describe SEL?
Seacoast Eat Local is an amazing organization I’m extremely proud to work for.  We support our local producers, first and foremost.  We advocate for our farmers and believe in creating a community of culture around food produced within our own communities.  We also believe that everyone in our community should have access to that food, regardless of the obstacles and we work to help people in our community overcome those obstacles.  We believe in ecological sustainability, and a community that is able to source its most precious resource – food – from within itself is a community made stronger and more sustainable.  

 

What is your job title at SEL?  What kind of work are you given with that title?
I am the Program Coordinator.  My position entails organization of the Winter Farmers’ Markets, administration of the SNAP/EBT program at area farmers’ markets, and I offer support to our Director of Programs in fundraising efforts, program expansions, and the publication of Seacoast Harvest.  

 

How have you seen SEL grow since you’ve been working with them?
Seacoast Eat Local seems to have grown substantially within the 2015-16 season, even though we are only two staff members in addition to the Board, interns, and many volunteers that are critical to our organization’s success.  Giving our programs full-time attention has enabled us to widen our SNAP/EBT service area to include previously unreached low-income communities, and we have even more ‘tricks up our sleeve’ (stay tuned – exciting growth to follow!)

 

What has been your favorite aspect of working with SEL?
I love, love, love connecting with market customers.  I love helping people get turned onto local food.  Kale grown down the street and picked this morning has far superior flavor and nutrient density compared to that available at the grocery store – and I love knowing that I’m nourishing my own children with foods that support my farmer’s family, my community’s health, and my local economy.  Helping people learn this truth for themselves drives my own enthusiasm.  

 

I love knowing that I'm - Shelly Smith

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to become more involved in the local food community?
Regularly attend farmers’ markets!  Even if you can’t afford to buy all your food at the market – make a habit of attending.  There is so much information to be learned from connecting with our growers.  Your farmer can teach you a lot about what is available and why – depending on our climate, the growing season, the market – and make suggestions about what produce is at its peak and when you can expect others to be available.  You can also learn about a variety of sustainably raised meats and in cuts not traditionally available at the grocery store.  Plus, when you begin eating locally and seasonally, there are constantly new foods available!  

 

What is your favorite vegetable that you can find at markets in the winter?
Yukina savoy!  I love eating it raw – it’s slightly sweeter than baby kale and crisper than spinach. You might find me walking the Winter Farmers’ Market with my hand in a bag – just snacking away!  It’s also easily hidden in smoothies for my kids.  Typically I either toss a handful into a salad, or use it as a bed of raw greens under salmon or chicken.  

 

Are You Sad The Summer Markets Are Over?

Many of our summer markets will soon be coming to a close (here’s a calendar of all the open markets), however, the Winter Markets will be starting up! The Winter Markets are a great place to come during the cold, snowy winters when you are getting cabin fever. Bring the kids, or your friends and come explore what the Seacoast farms have to offer!

There are an abundance of vendors that sell a variety of food; from bakery items to ethnic cooking. The winter produce that is sold at these markets includes: apples, beets, pumpkins, squash, onions, garlic, salad greens, potatoes, etc. These foods are great for soups, stews, or crockpot recipes that will warm you up on a cold fall night.

csashares
Fall and Winter CSA shares are now available!

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For all of our SNAP customers, we will be offering a program that you cannot pass up! Instead of matching up to 10 market match coupons, we will be offering two for one Market Match without a limit! This means that if you swipe your EBT card for 10 dollars, we will give you 20 Market Match coupons. This is a great opportunity that may only be offered this winter, so take advantage of it!

The first Winter Farmer’s Market is on November 21st in Rollinsford and they continue until April. Complete schedule and more information

Welcome Shelly!

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Shelly Smith started last Monday as our Program Coordinator! We’re thrilled to welcome her to Seacoast Eat Local.

Shelly has most recently been farming, and has an educational background in plant biology and ecology.

Our organizational structure is shifting and growing in good ways as Seacoast Eat Local grows, so you will see Shelly working on many different projects, including gleaning, SNAP, Winter Markets, and Seacoast Harvest.

Please say hello and introduce yourself and join us in welcoming Shelly!

SNAP comes to the Durham Farmers’ Market!

by Dyanna Smith, Seacoast Growers Association (SGA)

Happy Shoppers at the Durham Farmers' Market at the Churchill Rink lot in Jackson Landing
Happy Shoppers at the Durham Farmers’ Market at the Churchill Rink lot in Jackson Landing

Get ready for the freshest local produce, prepared foods and beautiful handmade goods to return in June with the start of the Seacoast Growers Association’s Durham and Dover Farmers’ Markets.

Monday, June 1, the Durham Farmers’ Market opens in its location at Jackson Landing across from Churchill Rink. The market will run every Monday, rain or shine, from 2:15-6pm until October 5.

Wednesday, June 3, the Dover Farmers’ Market starts up again in the Chamber of Commerce lot at the corner of Central Avenue and 6th Street. The Dover Farmers’ Market will be open every Wednesday from 2:15-6pm until October 7.

This season, Seacoast Eat Local adds SNAP/EBT services to the Seacoast Growers’ Association’s Durham Farmers’ Market. The program, enables low income customers to use their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits to buy locally grown foods directly from the farmers and food producers at the farmers markets.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Seacoast Growers Association to bring our SNAP/EBT farmers market program to the Durham market this summer,” Sara Zoe Patterson, Board Chair for Seacoast Eat Local, explains. “Our community’s health is improved when customers buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and it benefits the economic viability of local farms.”

Farm fresh asparagus is in season now at the Seacoast Growers Association markets
Farm fresh asparagus is in season now at the Seacoast Growers Association markets

Market customers can also take advantage of the debit service, which acts like an onsite ATM, adding another layer of convenience to the farmers’ market experience.

Find out what’s in season, who will be at market, and what products are available by visiting the SGA website at www.seacoastgrowers.org. Interactive market maps and a product search feature help plan ahead for weekly shopping. To find out about musical guests and special events, check out the home page calendar or sign up to receive the weekly farmers’ market email newsletter.

The Seacoast Growers Association manages four area outdoor farmers’ markets in Portsmouth, Exeter, Durham and Dover. All markets welcome SNAP/EBT customers.

Community Benefit Sunday at 7th Settlement for Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP/EBT Program, March 22

This Sunday, March 22nd, will be a Community Benefit Sunday for Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP/EBT Farmers Market Program at 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover, NH. Come enjoy a meal anytime that day and a portion of the proceeds will help make sure our low income community members have access to farm fresh healthy foods!

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Yoga Mala 2015

Seacoast Yoga Community’s 10 week drive to Raise Money for Food and Fuel Assistance, Yoga Outreach to culminate in a 3 hour yoga celebration!

yogamala2015

The Seacoast’s yoga community is organizing the seventh annual Yoga Mala fundraiser. This event, a three hour yoga class, will be held at Rivermill in Dover, NH on Sunday, March 1 from 9-Noon.

“Last year’s Yoga Mala showed how strongly our yoga community will work for the benefit of others. We raised $57,000, far exceeding our goal, and celebrated with sweat and laughter. We are so looking forward to creating another event to support the underserved,” said Erin Ehlers 2014 event organizer.

“We’re aiming for a big fundraising goal of $60,000,” said 2015 event coordinator, Toni Rose. “Last year we exceeded our expectations because our students were so enthusiastic about supporting charitable work in the Seacoast.” Funds raised at the Yoga Mala support three vital Seacoast non-profits.

The first is SATYA (Seacoast Area Teachers of Yoga in Action), a non-profit in its third year with the mission to provide resources which link qualified teachers to aspiring yogis in a variety of settings and with unique considerations.

“In 2014, yoga teachers affiliated with SATYA provided yoga sessions to the incarcerated, cancer survivors, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities and at risk youth.” Said SATYA founder and President Rochelle Jewell.  “In January 2015, SATYA will expand currently funded programs to include nine weekly yoga classes.  In a partnership with SASS (Sexual Assault Support Services), SATYA will provide trauma sensitive yoga to survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.  The Yoga for Women with Cancer program is expanding to reach more cancer survivors. The successful program for Teens At Risk at Sweetser School in Wells, ME will extend beyond its pilot period to continue to deliver the benefits of yoga to teen girls in challenging situations.”

Yoga Mala from Tom Vatistas on Vimeo.

Secondly, the Yoga Mala supports Seacoast Eat Local, a local non-profit that runs year round farmers’ markets. They have created a program that allows SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients to use their benefits at markets. “The Market Match Program matches SNAP payments up to $10. For example, a SNAP recipient can redeem their benefits for $5, and the market will give them an additional $5,” explained Seacoast Eat Local president Sara Zoe Patterson.

“The Yoga Mala fundraiser by SATYA is the single largest contributor to Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP/EBT farmers’ market program.” says Patterson. “The donation made by this event allows our program coordinator to do the actual work of providing access to SNAP recipients to the locally grown foods at Seacoast area farmers’ markets, including working to improve the health of our community members living in poverty through nutrition outreach.”

Lastly, funds will support fuel assistance programs in Rockingham and Strafford counties in NH, and York county in Maine. These fuel assistance programs, run through Southern NH Services, Community Action Partnership of Strafford County and York County Community Action Corporation respectively, provide assistance toward payment of heating or electric bills, credit with electric or heating companies and assistance with rent costs when heat is included in the rent.

Patte Ardizzoni, Administrator in Rockingham County, looks to donations from groups like Yoga Mala to be able to offer help to those individuals and families facing crisis. Ardizzoni explains, ‘Fuel assistance is exactly that…assistance. It’s not meant to cover the entire cost of heating a home for the winter. Many times we see people who are just over eligibility, or who have already expended their benefit. Without the donations given by Yoga Mala we wouldn’t be able to offer the level of help that we’re able to offer.’

Yoga Mala organizer Toni Rose explained, “All of our fundraising is done by participants reaching out to family and friends to support them with a donation.  Join your friends for a morning of yoga fun and support your community. Help us reach our goal and be a part of this amazing event.”

Over 20 area yoga studios support the event, which is run entirely by volunteers. The event space is donated by Rivermill (Dover, NH), and posters are donated by New England Copying and Printing (Portsmouth, NH).

Registration opened December 15 and is ongoing. Register through the Yoga Mala website.

For more information contact event organizer Toni Rose seacoastyogamala@gmail.com

November 15: Drink a new Allagash beer at the Black Birch, give yourself a pat on the back

Be part of the fun November 15th at Black Birch in Kittery, 1:30 to 3pm, when Allagash Brewery celebrates their new Farm to Face beer, made with 3,000 pounds of Applecrest Farm Peaches. Rob Tod, found & brewer from Allagash, and Todd Wagner, farmer & owner of Applecrest Farm, will be on hand. Since all proceeds from this event will benefit Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP/EBT farmers market program, which enables food stamp recipients to use their federal benefits at area farmers’ markets, you’ll be increasing the health of our community and supporting local farmers, all while drinking beer.

Farm to Face Allagash event

The Winter Farmers’ Markets are just around the corner!

CarrotsJust a month from now Seacoast Eat Local will be bringing back our annual Winter Farmers’ Market series. We are so excited to be working with Wentworth Greenhouse and Exeter High School once more! We’ll be offering 11 markets from November through April. Come on out and bring your friends and family to nourish bodies and minds while supporting the region’s agricultural community and economy.

It can be hard to move on from outdoor summertime markets, but just imagine coming in from the crisp winter air, entering a warm sunny room filled with tables loaded high with fresh vegetables. Piles of carrots, potatoes, shallots and squash are nestled up to local jams, breads and eggs. A variety of New Hampshire musicians will be back to entertain families and friends. With different cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities and market features, each event is a vibrant scene offering an incredible selection of locally produced food.

 

 

Market Schedule

Saturdays, 10am-2pm

November 22 – Rollinsford
December 6 – RollinsfordSeacoast women farmers
December 13 – Exeter
December 20 – Rollinsford
January 10 – Exeter
January 24 – Rollinsford
February 14 – Rollinsford
February 28 – Exeter
March 14 – Rollinsford
March 28 – Exeter
April 11 – Exeter

Exeter High School

1 Blue Hawk Drive, Exeter, NH
Route 101 to exit 9, follow route 27 west 1.8 miles.
10am to 2pm

Wentworth Greenhouses

141 Rollins Rd, Rollinsford, NH
1 mile past Red’s Shoe Barn of Dover
10am to 2pm
Rollinsford market hosted in collaboration with Wentworth Greenhouses
Craft Market: Wentworth Greenhouses hosts a Select Winter Crafts Market that takes place simultaneously with the Winter Farmers’ Market, open 9am-2pm

SNAP/EBT
We are continuing to offer the SNAP/EBT token program at our winter markets. SNAP benefits can be used to make purchases at the winter farmers’ markets. SNAP recipients choose how much they would like to spend that day on food purchases. A market staff member will then swipe their EBT card for that amount. The customer is then given wooden tokens, that are used just like cash, and can be used to buy food at the market. Learn More about shopping with SNAP. We will again be offering the Market Match Incentive Program. Up to $10 of funds taken from your EBT card will be matched dollar for dollar to use on purchase of fruits and vegetables.

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Please help ensure these markets continue to thrive by sharing the information with your friends, family, coworkers, and community. Download and print a Winter Farmers’ Market poster to hang in your workplace, library, church, coffee shop, or storefront. Willing to hang six or more posters? Send an email to leo@seacoasteatlocal.org and we’ll mail them to you to post around town.

Already excited to start planning your shopping list for the first market? Check out our Product Search feature to see who will be bringing your favorite local foods!