Category Archives: Author-Michelle

Public Forum on Dairy Initiative, Dec 8

Senator Deb Reynolds, chair of the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund (MPERF) Board, invites legislators, farmers, conservationists and consumers to a public informational forum on the Keep Local Farms initiative. The forum will be held in Representatives Hall of the State House in Concord on Tuesday, December 8 at 10:00 am. Keep Local Farms is a new voluntary program that is a joint effort of New England dairy farmers and the six New England state departments of agriculture, with the goals of stabilizing New England’s dairy farms and ensuring residents of a continuing supply of fresh, locally produced milk and dairy products. The December 8th forum will explain how the program works.

The forum is for anyone interested in New Hampshire’s milk supply and where it comes from, and where it will come from in the future. It is also for all those interested in maintaining the dairy farms that provide additional benefits of the scenic working landscape and rural character to New Hampshire communities, protect ground and surface water supplies, wildlife habitat and open lands enjoyed by outdoors enthusiasts of all kinds.

While the MPERF Board has determined that the state’s dairy industry is in need of assistance due to the depression of farm milk prices throughout 2009, (where farmers have been paid half of their costs to produce milk), the state’s revenue and budget shortfalls have left the fund established by the legislature in 2006 unfunded. The MPERF board is hosting this public forum on the Keep Local Farms initiative to raise awareness of the situation caused by the unprecedented, low milk market prices, and of this new opportunity to compensate farmers more fairly for what they produce and contribute to their communities and region.

The Keep Local Farms program connects consumers with dairy farmers through education and direct support. This is an opportunity for consumers who are interested in purchasing local foods to support local dairy farmers, their community and the local economy. For more information or to contribute, go to the website:

Great Food Events at the NH Farm Museum

New Hampshire Farm Museum Presents Thanksgiving on the Farm – Saturday, November 21st 10am to 3 pm
Take a horse drawn ride through the farm fields to Grandmother’s farmhouse for a taste of a Victorian Thanksgiving on the farm.   Hear the stories of Thanksgivings past from costumed guides on a special tour of the historic Jones farmhouse.  Meet the farm animals and our heritage Naragansett Turkeys, the first American turkeys.  Explore the barns filled with agricultural implements and try the big yellow barn hunt.  Enjoy hot cider and pumpkin pie in the farmhouse kitchen and warm up by the campfire with roast chestnuts and popcorn. Museum Country Store will be open for Holiday shopping.  $10. adult/ $5 child.

Nov. 22nd NH Farm Museum Annual NH Wine & Cheese Tasting, Sunday 4-6 pm at the Plummer Homestead

Join us for a great evening of wine and cheese made in our state. Learn about New Hampshire wines, taste some delicious cheese from New Hampshire Farms and meet the cheesemakers from Via Lactea Farm in Brookfield. Cheese will be available for purchase or place an order for the holidays. You can also bid on some great silent auction items for holiday giving. Space limited please reserve ~ call 652-7840 $10. per person

Sustainable Portsmouth

Sustainable Portsmouth Initiative is opening a “visioning dialog” to everyone who lives, works or plays (!) in Portsmouth and the Seacoast. The results of citizen input will be the basis for an economic, environmental and community sustainability plan to guide Portsmouth’s future. The City Council asked for this to be done, and here is your opportunity to be part of the solution!
There is a Community Conversation to start the dialog on Nov. 21. Anyone and everyone can register at There will be many more conversations based on what comes out of this first one.

New Sustainable Seafood Training Program – Free and Online

From our friends at Chefs Collaborative comes the following announcement:

We’re excited to share our new online sustainable seafood training program, Green Chefs, Blue Ocean, with you! We’ve been working hard with the Blue Ocean Institute over the past year to develop this exciting resource. Green Chefs, Blue Ocean equips members of the culinary community to purchase, prepare, and promote sustainable seafood in their kitchens and restaurants.  The online course is made up of seven lessons (about 15 minutes each) and intended for culinary schools, restaurant owners, chefs and their staffs.

Green Chefs, Blue Ocean is:

  • Comprehensive: from catch methods to menu specials, the course covers the what and how of sustainable seafood.
  • Flexible: Seven modular lessons designed with busy culinary students and chefs in mind.
  • Dynamic: Interviews with leading chefs and interactive exercises keep users engaged.
  • Available at no charge in the first year.

The program will help users:

  • Understand what makes seafood ocean-friendly.
  • Implement sustainable seafood programs in restaurants.
  • Stand out among their peers as leaders in responsible culinary practices.
  • Guide sourcing to ensure fish on restaurant menus, now and for generations to come.

We’ve also developed a website, that houses the program along with further resources to learn about sustainable seafood. You can also link to it via our website, If you’re interested in using the tool to train your staff or your students, please contact me at Thanks for your interest!

Volunteers Wanted for Winter Farmer’s Markets!

From our friends at Seacoast Eat Local comes the following request. We hope you can take part!


The Portsmouth Farmers’ Market is open through November 7 and the Kennebunk Market will be open through November 14, and indoor winter farmers’ markets are coming soon!

Seacoast Eat Local has organized a total of 11 winter farmers’ markets for the 2009-10 season, ensuring you can buy local food from your farmers all winter long. The first market is just three weeks away, on November 21 at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford from 10am-2pm.

We’re looking for volunteers!

Volunteers play an important role during our winter farmers’ markets. From helping unload and carry foods, to making sure the customers coming in know about the next markets and have answers to their questions, to clean up, volunteers make sure the markets are the best possible for farmers and customers.

Some of the volunteer roles include:

Coming before the market to help unload and carry products for vendors. (2 hours before the market)
Staying during the market to help with information booth activities, fundraiser table sales of books and totebags, food donations etc. (1 or 2-hour shifts during the market)
Arriving near the end of the market to help carry goods back out, sweep, and tidy up. (2 hours after the market)
Driving food donations to a food pantry drop off spot after the market. (1 hour after the market)

In addition to these jobs, we’re also looking for a volunteer who might want to take on a larger, organizing role. We’d like to set up a simple area for families to take a break and relax with their kids and we’re looking for someone who has a vision for what that might look like, to be implemented with volunteer support.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Erin Ehlers at Mention the date(s) that you are available, and preferred volunteer role if you have one.

Market dates/locations: (All markets are Saturdays with hours of 10am-2pm)

November 21 – Wentworth Greenhouses, 141 Rollins Rd, Rollinsford, NH
December 5 – Wentworth Greenhouses
December 12 – Exeter High School, 1 Blue Hawk Drive, Exeter, NH
December 19 – Wentworth Greenhouses
January 9 – Exeter
January 23 –
Wentworth Greenhouses
February 13 – Exeter
February 27 –
Wentworth Greenhouses
March 13 – Exeter
March 27 –
Wentworth Greenhouses
April 10 – Exeter

No matter your availability to volunteer, we hope to see you at the markets!

Sara Zoe Patterson, on behalf of Seacoast Eat Local

Seacoast Eat Local welcomes donations in support of the winter farmers’ markets. Your donation supports the growth of these markets, enabling a more sustainable, self-reliant food system in our region. Donate online via PayPal, or contact us to send a donation by mail.