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.
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.
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?
Checks in any denomination may be made payable to Seacoast Eat Local and mailed to the address:
Seacoast Eat Local
2 Washington St, Ste 331
Dover, NH 03820
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?
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.
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.
Eating locally has never meant giving up global flavors for me. I just love food from everywhere else too much. Even back in the days of the Eat Local Challenges, spices got special dispensation under “Marco Polo” rules. Bringing local ingredients to the forefront of recipes from all over the world is especially satisfying in a food-nerdy way, confirming my conviction that eating locally and seasonally is good fun in its variety.
I picked up all but my Marco Polo ingredients at the last Winter Farmers’ market in Rollinsford (the next one is February 13th), and made batch after batch of this satisfying soup inspired by the Lonely Planet’s newish Thailand: From the Source cookbook. (Which I’ve had checked out from the public library for, ahem, awhile. It’s excellent.) It’s the lemongrass and ginger and chili combo that really sends this over the top on a dark winter night.
Getting Ready for Market, December 5th, 2015, 3 hours in 3 minutes, Video made by Brendan Cornwell.
Each winter farmers’ market week, we arrive early to start setting up. For almost three hours, there’s a lot of scurrying about, with a terrific crew of volunteers helping over 50 farmers and food producers get ready for the day. In the bright winter sunshine of Wentworth Greenhouses, the excitement is palpable through the opening of the doors.
At every market, the farmers start unloading early in order to be set up and ready when the doors open. In the winter, farmers have an extra distance to the unloading process, they can’t just pull their trucks right up to their spot like they do in summertime. So we gather a crew of volunteers to help them ferry in their goods. Many hands make light work, and it’s a fun way to get going in the morning and see all the food pass through the doors before the rest of the shoppers arrive.
Lifting and carrying not for you? You can spend some time helping out at our information booth or using our click counter as we track the number of people who come to market!
This past Saturday I experienced my first Winter Farmer’s Market at the Wentworth Greenhouses. For those of you who have not been to a Winter Farmer’s Market, I highly suggest you go this winter.
They are full of excitement and have great products for everyone in your family! First of all, the Wentworth Greenhouses are an amazing venue. They have other shops and artisan markets, as well as decorative plants that you can buy! It had a very rustic feel and all the holiday wreaths gave it a joyful atmosphere. The products are also amazing! They have everything from meat and mushrooms to yarn and beer. There are baked goods, pies, jams and even ethnic food.
I also really enjoyed talking with people and helping them out. Everyone was so kind and you could tell they were excited to be at the first Winter Farmer’s Market. So if you haven’t already made plans to go to the next market on December 5th, you definitely should because I’m sure it will soon become a winter tradition that your whole family will enjoy.
Seacoast Eat Local markets are community events and volunteers make them awesome! The morning crew helps with market set-up, assists with vendor parking, and helps unload vendor vehicles. Volunteers during the market help at the info booth and around the market, counting customers and answering questions. Join us for a fun day and make a difference in your community’s health, economy, and environment!
Use the following forms for detailed descriptions of the volunteer shifts and to sign up:
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.
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!