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Monday
Dec092013

Seacoast Eat Local - December Farmers' Markets 

Put a local twist in your shopping list


 

Winter may have snuck up on some of us, but at Seacoast Eat Local, they’ve been excited and preparing for months. Their efforts clearly shine through at the annual SEL Winter Farmers’ Markets. Running through April, these markets are hosted between Exeter High School and Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford. Far more than just local veggies, the markets are a great place to finish off your last minute holiday shopping. Over 50 vendors will be bringing local vegetables and meats as well as great stocking stuffers like wool socks, yarn, body care products, locally brewed beer, chocolates and maple goodies to satisfy any sweet tooth. Market tokens are available to buy as gift certificates, good for both winter and summer markets.


The next markets are taking place December 14th at Exeter High School and December 21st at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, both 10am to 2pm. Beyond the amazing selection of local foods and goods, you can also visit the ongoing craft fair hosted concurrently at the greenhouses. In addition to stocking the pantry, the market is a great place to pick up homemade pies, breads or baked goods to round out any meal or holiday potluck. Several vendors have assorted gift baskets ready for any of your last minute needs. The Rollinsford Police Benevolent Association will be in attendance again this year, collecting farm fresh food donations to help fill their holiday food baskets. Pick up a little extra produce to donate while you are there and help put fresh local food on the tables of those in need.


“Coming to the market let’s you put such a fun twist on your typical holiday and grocery shopping!” said Sara-Zoe Patterson, Board President of Seacoast Eat Local. “It provides an opportunity to fill your pantry and finish off your last minute shopping all while supporting our local farmers, fishermen and food purveryors. Plus how often do you get to speak directly to the farmer that grew the food you are eating or raised animals to harvest their wool and bring you yarn and wool socks? It’s such a fun event and when you add in the live music, cooking skill series,and all the friends you end up running into, it becomes a great destination for a fun and meaningful Saturday during the holiday season.”


The markets, now in their seventh season, have indeed become quite a destination. With nearly 2,000 people strolling through any given market, you can feel the strength of the local agricultural community on the seacoast. Sara-Zoe suggests carpooling with friends and taking advantage of the free shuttle running all day between the market and the extended parking area at Salmon Falls Stoneware. To find out more about the market locations, dates and available items visit www.seacoasteatlocal.org and the Winter Farmers’ Market page. Don’t forget to sign up for the e-newsletter to stay up to date with all the market happenings and local food news.


The Winter Farmers’ Markets accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT). This program enables SNAP recipients to use their EBT cards to purchase healthy, fresh, and locally produced food. The Winter Farmers’ Market SNAP/EBT  program offers fresh vegetables, meats, milk and cheese, honey, breads, and baked products. Customers who use their SNAP/EBT card will receive up to an additional $10 in free match to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables. You can now even use your debit card to buy market tokens, accepted by all of the vendors.


Seacoast Eat Local's Winter Farmers Markets are sponsored by season underwriter, The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, market underwriters, Wentworth Greenhouses, Exeter Hospital, The Black Birch, and Blue Moon Yoga as well as Moxy Restaurant, sponsoring this year's cooking skills series. Seacoast Eat Local connects people with sources of locally grown foods and advocates eating locally for the health of the environment, community, culture and economy.  Through advocacy, organizing and education, they work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers.  They organize winter farmers’ markets, produce Seacoast Harvest, sponsor workshops and events, and provide information through their email newsletter, blog, and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org.


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