Category Archives: Seacoast Eat Local

Coming soon: The meaning of RAFT

Photo: Chefs Collaborative

Photo: Chefs Collaborative

This September, Slow Food Seacoast is planning an exciting and elegant educational component to the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner to demonstrate what RAFT really means and why it’s an important initiative. Our hope is that diners will take away from this fabulous fine-dining experience a full tummy, a contented smile, and an appreciation of not only what RAFT is but also what it means.

The goal is to bring each diner’s attention back from the plate to the chefs in the kitchen, to the farmers in the field, and to those who have come before as a way of connecting the dining experience to the significance of the “at-risk” produce varieties featured in the RAFT Alliance and, hence, on the Barn Dinner menu.

Diners approaching the barn at Meadow’s Mirth/Berry Hill Farm for the 4 pm cocktail hour will be greeted by tables displaying the very RAFT varieties that will grace their dinner plates an hour later. They can learn where those produce were grown and by whom, why those produce are historically interesting or significant, and who will be preparing that food for the dinner. RAFT seeds also will be available as give-aways to attendees, who can learn how to save the seeds from one year’s harvest for the next year’s planting—which is not only a frugal practice but also an essential step in preserving the best heirloom varieties.

In the barn, displays will illustrate the many connections underlying the dinner. They will feature photos of the 2010 RAFT Grow-Out farmers, chefs, and produce varieties, accompanied by relevant quotes (from farmers and chefs) as well as descriptions and the significance (historical, agricultural, and gastronomical) of the varieties to us New Englanders. In other words, why have people in New England bothered to save these seeds, grow these crops, eat these foods … then start the process all over again for generations? And in this so-called modern age, why should we continue to do so?

Slow Food Seacoast and co-organizers of the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner are excited to collaborate on this project and look forward to making the event successful in so many ways! Visit the Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner page for event details and purchase your tickets.

Your Organic Vegetable Garden event, 5/25

Via Seacoast Eat Local:

Your Organic Vegetable Garden: Managing Pests & Diseases

Many home and community gardeners have taken up growing vegetables in recent years. This rewarding pursuit comes with its own set of challenges. Those vegetables we find so delicious can be equally attractive to a wide range of insects. Understanding the difference between beneficial insects and destructive pests is often difficult. In Your Organic Vegetable Garden: Managing Pests & Diseases, Eric Sideman, Organic Crop Specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), will cover the identification of pests and diseases common to growing vegetables. He also will discuss organic methods of prevention and management, with a special focus on identifying and preventing Late Blight.

Late Blight

This event is free and open to the public. It is a collaboration of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Seacoast Eat Local, and Seacoast Community Garden Network.

Space is limited. To RSVP or for more information, please email Debra Kam.

WHO: Eric Sideman, Organic Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)

WHERE: Portsmouth Public Library, Hilton Room, 175 Parrott Ave, Portsmouth, NH

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 6–7:30 pm

Some of you may already know Eric Sideman through his informative Pest Reports for MOFGA. Eric earned a B.S. in agriculture from Cornell University, an M.S. in biology from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of New Hampshire. He moved to Maine in 1982 to teach biology and ecology at Bates College. In 1986 he moved on to MOFGA to become what some call “the nation’s first Organic Extension Agent.” He provides technical support for farmers and gardeners, serves as staff scientist for MOFGA, plans and produces educational events for MOFGA and Cooperative Extension, and serves on various agricultural committees for the Maine Department of Agriculture and the University of Maine. From 1997 to 2002 Eric served a term on the National Organic Standards Board, an advisory board to the USDA National Organic Program. Eric has recently moved to New Hampshire, just over the border from Maine, and now MOFGA has a great opportunity to give support to farmers and gardeners a long way from Unity.

Summer Markets Opening This Weekend!

The first summer farmers’ markets of the season usually feature early spring greens and locally grown plants to decorate your flower beds, create a vegetable garden, and add color to your life after a long winter. Other food and nonfood products will be available, too. Come see what they have to offer.

Farmer Dave's carrots

Farmer Dave's carrots, courtesy Seacoast Eat Local

For More Information

Heron Pond Farm Radish

Meadow's Mirth turnips, courtesy Seacoast Eat Local

Want to know which vendors are scheduled to be at the market, check a venue address, or get directions? Go straight to the source!

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Farmers’ Markets: As Winter Turns

It’s less than 2 months until the the first Seacoast Growers Association summer farmers’ market opens in Portsmouth, and the winter farmers’ markets in Newburyport, MA, and Northwood, NH, have finished for the season. But thanks to the efforts of local consumers, craftspeople, food producers—bakers, beekeepers, farmers, ranchers, vintners, and more—and the fabulous local organizations that bring us all together, we in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire are fortunate to have several more winter markets to get us there.

Final Winter Markets

Come check out what the vendors have to offer at the last indoor markets of the season.
Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers' Market, Rollinsford, 12/5/2009

Spring Markets

Summer Markets Opening Soon!

The first summer farmers’ markets of the season usually feature early spring greens and locally grown plants to decorate your flower beds, create a vegetable garden, and add color to your life after a long winter. Other food and nonfood products will be available, too. Come see what they have to offer.

For More Information

Want to know which vendors are scheduled to be at the market, check a venue address, or get directions? Go straight to the source!

Follow SloFoodSeacoast on Twitter Follow Slow Food Seacoast on Twitter