Be a Friend, Get Sweet Deals

The food is fresh, the market is fun, and the deal is sweet! 

 

Support Your Farmers’ Market with the
NEW Friend of the Market Card! 

Buy a Friend of the Market card ($20) at your participating farmers’ market and take advantage of weekly vendor specials just for Friends.
Lebanon FOM
Visit the market manager booth at your farmers’ market to buy your card. Each week select vendors will offer Friend of the Market specials. Show your card and get a special deal.

Use your Friend on the Market card at any of these markets:

Hanover Area Farmers’ Market
Hartland Farmers’ Market
Greater (Bellows) Falls Farmers’ Market
Lebanon Farmers’ Market
Newport Farmers’ Market
Norwich Farmers’ Market
Royalton Farmers’ Market
Woodstock Market on the Green
 Card valid May-October 2018 

 

Woodstock Market 2015 credit Molly Drummond (2)

Photo credit Molly Drummond

 

 

Celebrate National Farm to School Month in October

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Celebrate National Farm to School Month in October

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools and local food!

Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.

Over the past decade, the farm to school movement has exploded across the United States, reaching millions of students in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Farm to school is an important tool in the fight against childhood obesity and food insecurity. In addition to improving child health, when schools buy local, they create new markets for local and regional farmers and contribute to vibrant communities, a win-win-win scenario!

The 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, will highlight the simple ways anyone can get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country. Join the celebrations by signing the One Small Step pledge and take one small step to support healthy kids, thriving farmers and vibrant communities this October.

Whether you are a food service professional, a farmer, a teacher or a food-loving family, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and get involved in National Farm to School Month! The National Farm to School Network offers a variety of free resources on its website, farmtoschool.org, including posters, stickers and a communications toolkit.

Learn more about National Farm to School Month, how you can get involved, and sign the pledge by visiting farmtoschool.org or vitalcommunities.org

Whole Hog Butchering Class

We’re excited to partner with The Co-op Food Stores to bring you a delicious evening of pork, beer, and cooking—a tasty trifecta!

Trim the fat from your diet—literally!—with a hog butchering demonstration from professional butcher Jeff Withington on September 29 at the Co-op’s Culinary Learning Center in Lebanon.

Observe and learn about pig butchering while sampling various yummy dishes highlighting the different parts of the pig. Find out why a pork butt is really from the shoulder and the leg is called the ham. You’ll also get a chance to sample a local cider and two local beers, too!

Tickets are limited and cost $20. Call the Co-op service desk at 603.643.2667 to reserve your tickets for this tasty event before they sell out!

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Visit to Taylor Brothers Farm 6/28/16

If you follow Valley Food and Farm on Instagram, then you may know that this summer we have been taking time to travel around the NH side of the Upper Valley photographing and profiling farms east of the Connecticut. These road trips are made possible through the New Hampshire Specialty Crop Block Grant Program which we were awarded this spring to create more support and awareness of NH specialty crop farms through promotional events and materials. Specialty Crops include varieties of fruits, vegetables, flowers, nursery trees and shrubs, honey, herbs, and of course, maple. The SCBG Grant itself is designed to provide NH organizations with the funds to conduct projects which benefit NH specialty crop farms under the areas of food safety, pest and disease prevention, research and development, industry promotion and marketing, and technology and innovation. Many of the farms we are traveling too are located in our online Valley Food and Farm Guide

Our goal is to increase support of Upper Valley farms to build healthy communities, markets, and environments for all who live here. This will be done through providing more marketing opportunities, materials, and other such opportunities for NH farms. Taking pictures of these farms is part of that overarching goal. So be sure to keep your eyes out for more pics of NH farms in our website, blog, newsletters, printed materials, Facebook, and Instagram! If you are a NH farm and would like us to come take pictures of your fields or stand please let us know at 802-291-9100 or email kylie@vitalcommunities.org!

One of the first farms I was able to visit was the Taylor Brothers Farm in Meriden, NH. The Taylor Brothers Farm is a four generation family farm started in 1970 by Steve and Gretchen Taylor with sons Jim, Bill, and Rob who now operate the farm. They began by raising cows, sheep, and vegetables. Then in the early 1980’s the farm switched over completely too dairy which today produces 3,000 pounds of milk each day from a herd of 120 Milking Shorthorn and Holstein cows. Up until 2009, all of the milk produced was sent to Cabot and while they still do send some off to be made into Cabot butter, the Taylor Brothers have begun making their own cheese in a creamery located right on the farm. I had the wonderful pleasure to talk with Gary who runs the creamery and makes each of the three varieties Taylor Brothers Farm Offers: Evelyn’s Jack, Cloverfield Colby, and Mill Hollow. These cheeses are aged anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months and are available at the farm store in Meriden, at the online store, and at various food stores throughout the region.

Taylor Brothers Farm 6.28.16 045

 

In addition to cheese, The Taylor Brothers produce maple syrup. This year alone, the Taylor Brothers maintained 6,000 taps and produced 2,400 gallons of syrup! Jim, Bill, and Rob have been sugaring commercially since 1992 though they have been boiling for fun since childhood. Now-a-days, the brothers rely on reverse osmosis to remove most of the water first before boiling it in an evaporator. In addition to syrup, the Taylor Brothers offer maple cream, sugar, and candies for sale.

Taylor Brothers Farm 6.28.16 021

The newest addition to the farm has been the incorporation of Garfield’s Smokehouse which is managed by Bill Taylor and his wife Liz (Garfield). Garfield’s Smokehouse is located right across from the creamery and sugar house and offers a variety of NH hardwood and cob smoked meats and cheeses made in their USDA inspected facility right on the premises.

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One of the biggest highlights of this visit was talking with an Upper Valley farmer who is proud to call NH home and to work so closely alongside his brothers throughout all of the decision making as the farm and family have evolved and grown over the past 35 years. Through creating solutions to overcome economic shifts, building facilities to incorporate value-added products, and merging family businesses, it will be fun to see what the Taylor Brothers have to offer the Upper Valley as their family and farm continue to grow and develop over the years. Be sure to check out their farm stand located about 10 mins south of West Lebanon right below KUA in the beautiful hills of Meriden, NH.

“Love your Farmer” Scavenger Hunt!

Scavenger hunt cover pic“Love your Farmer” Scavenger Hunts at participating farmers’ markets in the Upper Valley, to Celebrate New Hampshire Eat Local Month and Vermont Open Farm week August 15-21.

The “Love Your Farmer” Scavenger Hunt takes kids around the market to find, count, taste, and tell us what they love about farms and farmers at the market. When the child returns from the hunt, every kid gets a small prize for participating and is entered in to a raffle to win a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to Riverview Farm. It’s simple to participate! Visit one of the participating markets near you (see below) and find the Scavenger Hunt table to begin your fun and tasty hunt around the vendor tents.

Eleven farmers’ markets in the Upper Valley are partnering with Vital Communities to host scavenger hunts the week of August 15-21. In New Hampshire, the Lebanon, New London, Hanover, and Canaan markets will host the scavenger hunt. In Vermont, the Bellows Falls, South Royalton, Hartland, Windsor, Norwich, Chelsea, and Barnard markets will host scavenger hunts.

  • New London Farmers Market (NH) – Wednesday 8/17/16Cobb Hill Open Farm Week, cow credit Molly Drummond (5)
  • Hanover Farmers Market (NH) – Wednesday 8/17/16
  • Lebanon Farmers Market (NH) – Thursday 8/18/16
  • Barnard Farmers Market (VT) –  Thursday 8/18/16
  • South Royalton Farmers Market (VT) – Thursday 8/18/16
  • Chelsea Farmers Market (VT) – Friday 8/19/16
  • Hartland Farmers Market (VT) – Friday 8/19/16
  • Bellows Falls Farmers Market (VT) – Friday 8/19/16
  • Norwich Farmers Market (VT) – Saturday 8/20/16
  • Windsor Farmers Market (VT) – Saturday 8/20/16
  • Canaan Farmers Market (NH) – Sunday 8/21/16

New Hampshire Eat Local Month and Vermont Open Farm Week offer many other special events for your family–visit their websites for a full list. Enjoy our local bounty in August!

This project is supported by the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program.

For more information, Contact Beth Roy at Vital Communities: Beth@VitalCommunities.org

CRAFT at Cedar Circle Farm

Upper Valley CRAFT farmers and farm-workers met at Cedar Circle Farm last night to discuss regenerative agriculture and tour the farm with owners Will Allen and Kate Duesterberg. We met at the staff lunch tables where a new kid’s garden has been established as part of the summer camp that is taking place on the farm this summer at part of the education initiatives of Cedar Circle.

In addition to summer camps and workshops, Cedar Circle farmers are taking the lead in the region for experimenting with cutting edge regenerative agriculture initiatives such as no-till and intensive cover-cropping to work towards solving the climate change crisis through soil carbon sequestration and provide a farm model focused on social, ecological, and economic resiliency share with farmers and farm workers in the region. In addition to providing organic produce to consumers within the region, Cedar Circle has a strong dedication to increasing awareness and education around issues related to agricultural impacts (both positive and negative) on the environment.

Since the farm began in 2000, Will and Kate have been working with a non-profit organization in MA to support these initiatives to raise awareness. It is lucky we have such a resource here in the Upper Valley to combine the environmental movement with local food production. Most of all, it seems to me, that Cedar Circle Farm is most interested in taking the lead with experimenting with different regenerative practices designed to build ecosystem health which are new to production-based models of organic farms such as Cedar Circle and many others in the Upper Valley region. This is all made possible with the partnership with the MA non-profit, work with the Rodale Institute, and the support with grants from Dr. Mercola and UVM which have allowed them the time and money to invest in new land and equipment to begin exploring how to implement no-till into Upper Valley production systems.

So far, they have been working on crimp rolling a test field of rye and fixing up a drill seeder and transplanter which will hopefully get used within the next week! I look forward to learning more about Cedar Circle’s experiences with no-till farming and the lessons they can share with others in the region who may be interested in incorporating into their own agroecosystems.

Ryan Andreozzi: Upper Valley Hotshot!

Hotshot Ryan AndreozziName: Ryan Andreozzi

Age: 28-ish

Job: Research Laboratory Technologist

Q: Is it hard being a hotshot?

A: For some, yes, but for me it comes naturally.

Q: How did you become a good cook, anyway?

A: I’ve had a passion for cooking ever since I was 16 years old. I would look up complicated recipes and then ruin my future mother-in-law’s kitchen trying things out.

Q: Favorite recipe (prepared with locally grown food, naturally!):

A: Kale Salad with Maple Vinegar Dressing

Q: Best hotshot recipe when you need to impress someone:

A: Coconut Curry

Q: Favorite person to cook for:

A: My family. My parents and my In-Laws, as well as my siblings.

Q: The most important kitchen gear:

A: Enameled cast iron pot. Sized very large.

Q: Name 5 things in your kitchen, without which you cannot live.

A:

  1. Enameled cast iron pot
  2. Sharp 8” Chef’s Knife
  3. Salt
  4. Fish Sauce
  5. Vinegar

Q: If you were a locally grown food, what would you be and why?

A: Apple: I’m sweet and versatile, and I’m available for action year round (with proper handling).

Q: Best websites or blogs for new hotshot ideas?

A: http://www.seriouseats.com/

Q: Where do you buy the locally grown food for your recipes?

A: Sunrise Farms and the Norwich Farmer’s Market

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring chefs?

A: Try anything, and keep an open mind.

Q: Being named one of the Upper Valley’s Men Who Cook Hotshots makes me feel…

A: Honored.

Grill Season is Here!

Summer is the time for firing up the grill and cooking some local food, because charred grill marks and a smokey taste makes everything better – and there are no pots and pans to clean!

Grilling a grass fed steak

At Valley Farm Fresh you will find great recipes (for grilling meat & veggies), a calendar for the Upper Valley farmers’ market season, and the Valley Food & Farm Online Guide so you can find farmstands,  pick-your-own, and more local food near you.

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And if you are a man who cooks with local foods (grill or otherwise) OR you know a man who cooks with local foods – enter our #MenWhoCookLocal summer competition for a chance to win an 8″ Japanese steel chef knife. Read about our celebration of Upper Valley men who are cooking local with our  #UpperValleyHotShots.

 

CRAFT at Sunrise Farm

It is hard to believe how critical record keeping and financial organization are in the day-to-day routines of owning and operating a farm. Thanks to Chuck Wooster and Jennica Stetler of Sunrise Farm for opening our eyes to the business side of farm management at our most recent CRAFT gathering at their farm in White River Junction, VT. Check out the wonderful resource The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook written by Richard Wiswall for more information. Hope to see everyone on Wednessday 6/22 at Sweetland Farm in Norwich, VT, to discuss topics related to land access.

Feast & Field Market Will Be Rockin’ This Summer!

Barnard’s Feast and Field Market just released it’s summer market schedule – and it’s full of great food and music.
Markets are Thursdays from June 9th through October 20th in Barnard at 1544 Royalton Turnpike, and is hosted by the Fable Collective. Markets run from 4:30-7:30, and feature children’s activities from 4:30-6,  and music from 5:30-8.
Regular Vendors
Heartwood Farm (Vegetable CSA’s and veggies a la carte)
Merrybones Taco Stand
Kiss the Cow (Ice Cream, milk, poultry, eggs)
Abracadabra coffee, locally roasted
Stitchdown Farm ,  flowers
Spirit Bear Farm,  Spiritfire,  and Springbrook Cheese
Chloe Powell art

Feast & Field Summer Line Up
June 9: Carter Glass, rock

June  16: Myra Flynn, soul

June 23: Susan and Dana Robinson, folk

June 30: Lakou Mizik, Haitian world music

July 7:   Spencer Lewis and the Folk Rock Project

July 14: Quincy Mumford and the Reason Why, funk/soul

July 21: Daby Toure’ for Art on the Farm Sculpture Show Opening, (World Music, West-Africa)

July 28:  Starcrossed Losers, alt/folk rock

August 4:  Pete’s Posse, old-timey fiddle

August 11: Haywire, bluegrass

August 18:  Bessette Quartet with Doug Perkins, jazz

August 25: Riddim vigil, reggae

September 1: Francesca Blanchard, French singer/songwriter

September 8:    Bow Thayer, americana

September 15:  Bull and Prairie, americana

September 22:  TOAST, funk

September 29: Leyeux, Jack Snyder

October dates: TBD

Visit www.feastandfield.com for more information

Photos by Molly Drummond

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