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Archive for the ‘Discover Local’ Category

Our Discover Local Promotion gives us the opportunity to bite into different parts of our Monadnock Food System, and learn some of the juicy details about each component — from the soil that gives rise to the delectable fruits and vegetables we seek, to the not-so-delectable (but essential) spoiled and discarded food scraps that become compost and are then returned to the soil.  This month, we’re focusing on Farmers, & Producers.

Make a resolution this growing season: Get to know the people who grow and make your favorite local products. How?  By purchasing more of your food directly from the local farmers and producers that grow and prepare it.

Shop at Farmers’ Markets and chat with each vendor at their booth.  Visit a farmstand or “pick-your-own” farm and see for yourself how the food is grown or processed.  Or – engage in the ultimate way to get to know a farmer – join their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

Patti

Patti Powers of Cheshire Garden and Elisa – always quick with a warm smile!

View the links below for a by-county list of farms, farmers’ markets and more near you!

View the most updated lists at NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food

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What are your 2013 Growing Season Resolutions? 

Add your commitments below:

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By Craig Thompson, Mayfair Farm

The thing with pigs is that every sound they make sounds like giving birth.  Or what you might think a sow giving birth might sound like.  When you walk into the pig barn in the morning and wonder if there are any new piglets on the way, the sounds you hear might make you think there are.   Grunts, heaves, barks – all part of the language pigs speak.  But none of them mean piglets are coming.  When piglets are coming, everyone in the pig barn is actually kind of quiet.  Like someone hung out a sign – “Shhhh – piglets coming.  Quiet please.”

Co-op Staff Member, Matt West, traveled to Mayfair Farm this week.

Co-op Staff Matt West met Mayfair Farm’s newest arrivals this week.

A pig that is soon to have a litter will look the part.  Her belly will hang low filled with milk.   She might get a little irritable, short tempered even, towards her barn mates.  Of course she might do this a couple days before giving birth or a couple weeks, so even if she knows when it’s going to happen, she’ll keep you guessing.  Which isn’t such a bad approach on her part, because when she starts to act this way you’ll probably move her to nicer housing, make sure she has lots of clean straw, and probably pick out the best kitchen scraps for her.  Maybe some left over pizza or bananas.

While she’s enjoying her upgraded accommodations you’ll check on her several times a day, handing her that pizza or banana and scratching behind her ears.  And she’ll make sure you get a good look at her profile, sagging low towards the ground, to make sure you don’t forget just how pregnant she is.  She’ll take the treat you offer her and grunt a bit, not in labor but in thanks, and look back over her shoulder at you as if to say, “Soon, but not right now, Mister. Maybe later.”

This will probably go on for several days.  Even weeks.  But it will eventually end.  You’ll know you’re getting close on the day when you look into the pig barn and see that she has rearranged her private accommodations.  The straw will no longer cover the floor in an even yellow carpet, but instead she will have pushed and pulled it into a bed.  Maybe all the straw will be piled in one corner.  Or a mound in the middle of everything.  When you offer her some left over peanut butter toast, she won’t even take a look.  No.  In fact she won’t even come across the stall to see you, but instead will wait quietly – no grunting, heaving or barking – for you to leave.  And you will leave, both because she’s asked you to and because there’s nothing for you to do but wait.

As you go about your day you’ll check in on her and at some point when you look in she’ll be nursing a couple pink little piglets at her side.  And when you stop by again during the day there will be a couple more.  And over the course of several hours they will keep multiplying by her side till there are eight or ten or even 12 or more, all in a jumbled, wiggling row competing for space along her belly.  When you finally get a good look, maybe by going into the stall and sitting at her head to scratch her ears, you’ll see a row of piglets so long the first is nursing between her front legs and the last just visible between her back legs.  And what you’ll hear then won’t be the barking and heaving and grunting of everyday life, but the sound of contentment.

New litter of piglets at Mayfair Farm.

New litter of piglets at Mayfair Farm.

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February Focus: Soil & Seeds

Here’s What You May Win in February:

$50 Gift Certificate to Ideal Compost

$25 Gift Certificate to Solstice Seeds

Jack Discover Local

How to Enter:

Current Member-Owners – Forward our discover local email template to friends, family and neighbors today.

OR

Not-Yet Member-Owners – Join today (or anytime before February 28, 2013)!

Find out more about our Discover Local Promotion

Questions?  Please contact marketing@monadnockfood.coop

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The organizers at TEDxManhattan donated giveaways for our Changing the Way We Eat Viewing Party on Saturday.  Be sure to add your name to the sign up sheet at the event for your chance to win one of the following:

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Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market – CONGRATS JACKIE C.!

While others have identified in the past which wild plants are edible, Tama Matsuoka Wong, the forager for Daniel, the flagship restaurant of renowned chef Daniel Boulud, and Eddy Leroux, its chef de cuisine, go two steps further, setting the bar much higher. First, they have carefully selected only the wild plants that are worth seeking out for their fabulous flavors. Second, after much taste-testing, they have figured out the best way to prepare each ingredient—a key in getting to know these exciting new foods.

 

Sustainable Table Tote Bag– CONGRATS MARY KATE S.

Sustainable Table, celebrates sustainable food, educates consumers about food-related issues and works to build community through food. Their projects include the Meatrix and Eat Well Guide.

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Jack Discover Local

Monadnock Food Co-op Discover Local T-Shirt – CONGRATS JACLYN L., WREN, & MARCUS

Organic t-shirt printed locally at Beeze Tees of Keene.

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Believe it or not, right now is the right time to source your seeds for the coming growing season – but can you source your seeds locally?  The easiest way to source locally is to save your own seeds, and then swap them with neighbors and friends to increase your garden’s diversity.

What if seed saving and swapping isn’t an option for you?  So far, I’ve tracked down one seed saver who commercially sells her seeds – and that’s Sylvia Davatz owner of Solstice Seeds in Hartland, VT.  The challenge of buying seeds locally is not unique to New Hampshire. In fact, the overall number of commercial seed companies nationally dropped 90% since 1981 – making it so important to support Solstice Seeds and any other budding seed business in or near our region.

In New England, one popular seed company is Fedco Seeds  – a 35-year old cooperative based in Maine specializing in cold-hardy plant varieties. They carry a large selection of locally grown, organic and non-GMO seeds.  The Cornucopia Project is selling Fedco seeds at their office in Peterborough, using their own “Cornucopia Seeds” label.

Be sure to check out February’s second Discover Local Theme: Compost.

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CONGRATULATIONS to Our January Discover Local Winners!

A One-Year Family Membership to Stonewall Farm:

  • Wayne & Kate S.Jack Discover Local
  • Thia Z.
  • Zack L.

Discover Local T-Shirt:

  • Richard A.
  • Judy W.
  • Stacey M.

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Our February Discover Local Promotion Includes:

  • $50 Gift Certificates from Ideal Compost
  • $25 Gift Certificates to Solstice Seeds
  • More Discover Local T-shirts (dog not included 😉 )

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Our Discover Local Promotion gives us the opportunity to bite into different parts of our Monadnock Food System, and learn some of the juicy details about each component — from the soil that gives rise to the delectable fruits and vegetables we seek, to the not-so-delectable (but essential) spoiled and discarded food scraps that become compost and are then returned to the soil.  This month, we’re starting at the ground, with a Seeds & Soil theme.   

First let’s look at compost and its role in enriching our soils. Compost closes the loop in our community’s food system: plants grow from the soil, we consume what the plants yield, we throw scraps into our compost pile and then return the finished compost to the soil.

Hopefully you’re already turning your kitchen scraps into compost and adding it to your garden.  If you’re like me, however, your compost bin has a hard time keeping up with your compost needs.  There are a few local suppliers of compost to choose from and support.  Please be sure to call ahead!

  • Ideal Compost, Peterborough
    Mike Lombard makes Ideal Compost from horse letter, cow and chicken manure, spoiled grain, grass, straw, silage and leaves.  They test their compost after months of “cooking” the materials to make sure the compost has decayed enough and ready for your garden and farm beds.  You can purchase their compost in bulk or bagged, and they can deliver to your yard (for an extra fee).
  • Stonewall Farm, Keene
    Starting the end March or early April, Stonewall Farm will sell their compost, made from the farm’s own animal manure. Compost in bags and in bulk will be sold.
  • Tracie’s Community Farm, Fitzwilliam
    Bagged Ideal Compost sold at Tracie’s Community Farm‘s farmstand.
  • Walpole Valley Farms, Walpole
    Bulk compost made from Walpole Valley Farms pasture-raised animals available by the pickup load.

Learn about the second half of our February Discover Local Theme: SEEDS

Discover Local Poster FINAL 2

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