A Trip to the Bedford Farmers Market

Where is the best place to stop for a great farm to table meal?  How about your local farmers’ market!  Tuesday was a clear beautiful but hot summer day and my little guy and I decided we’d try some local fare. We headed off to the Bedford Farmers’ Market located at 190 Meetinghouse Rd behind St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Bedford, New Hampshire. This was a large sized farmers’ market.  It had several vendors selling produce but it also had a local fish monger (who I’ll discuss more about in my Merrimack Farmers’ Market post) a brewery of beer and hard cider, a craft booth, dairy free frozen treats, fresh pressed olive oil, maple syrup and a food truck. One vendor even mentioned they usually have live music.  I’ll have to go back to check that out.

While we were there we got fresh cherries, blueberries and broccoli to make baby purees. The recipe I used for the blueberry puree is below.  The head of broccoli was so large my husband and I had some with our dinner the next day. We purchased the cherries and blueberries from a farmer called Apple Hill.  They are out of Concord New Hampshire. The fruit was very sweet and tasty. I snacked on them while making my little guy’s purees.  We also acquired broccoli and zucchini from a farm called Rockey Ole Farm also out of Concord.  The veggies were excellent and the folks running the booth were so kind.  They were chatting up my little guy and he was all smile and wiggles in his baby carrier. ❤ Check out Apple Hill Farm at http://www.applehillfarmnh.com/ . Check out Rockey Ole Farm at http://www.rockeyolefarm.com/.

IMG_0745

Another treat as I mentioned above that my husband and I enjoyed was from a local Brewer, Pup’s Cider.  They were selling beer and hard cider.  The hard cider was crisp and dry.  I found it refreshing and a large step away from the commercially produced ciders which can be overly sweet in my opinion. I enjoyed sipping it on the warm evening on our deck with a nice local fish dinner.  My husband had the American Pale Ale.  That was served chilled.  It was refreshing with dinner. It was a bit on the sweeter side but good. More about Pup’s Cider company can be found here http://www.pupscider.com/SHTM/HOME.htm.

Bedford Farmers’ Market was definitely a fun shopping trip for me and my little guy.  There was plenty of shade and lots of nice people out for some local dinner shopping. I can’t wait to go back and grab more goodies! ❤

Check out the Bedford Farmers’ Market and what New Hampshire has to serve up fresh at https://www.bedfordfarmersmarketnh.org/?fbclid=IwAR2mP22tMI6pEpMeNVLaMmyhQ0-5Dd2jpB6DLjxLWaBzNxJ_jEqBBwGJg1A or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BedfordFarmersMarketNH/ .

Blueberry Baby Puree

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 3 cups of water

Directions:

  • Place a sauce pot on your stove and add the water to the pot.
  • Turn the burner on high and add a steaming insert into pot.
  • Wash blueberries. When water is boiling add blueberries to steaming insert.
  • Steam for 5 minutes.
  • Remove berries from insert and place into food processor. Puree till smooth consistency.
  • Divide puree evenly into silicone ice cube tray.
  • place plastic wrap on the top.
  • Freeze over night.
  • Serve completely thawed or frozen in baby fruit pacifier.

To thaw:

  • Thaw by placing in lidded mason jar the night before serving. Ensure completely thawed before serving.

Always supervise baby carefully when they are eating.

Check back in next week to hear about our adventure at the Merrimack Farmers’ Market. If you enjoyed this blog please like, comment or share.  You can also find more from me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Concord’s Bustling Farmers’ Market

Although Farmers’ Market week and month are over I couldn’t pass up writing about Concord’s Farmers’ Market.  This market is open Saturday mornings from 8:30am to 12:00pm. It’s located downtown Concord on Capital Street. This market is the largest market I have been to so far. It claims to have, give or take, forty vendors. This market boasts the oldest farmers’ market in New Hampshire. It was started it 1981.

http://www.concordfarmersmarket.com/Concord_Farmers_Market/Home.html

This market fills Capital Street. Young musician filled the fresh morning air with their sweet melodies. A violinist and mandolin player strummed their instruments extremely well together. Buzzing with eager shoppers, the market busy from the time I arrived till the time I left. This market offered everything a Saturday morning shopper could need, including your morning cups of coffee and a fresh homemade apple cider donut!  Coffee was provided by Granite Ledge Coffee. Fresh brewed was offer for a $1.50 and it was delicious! As for the apple cider donut they were provided by Chichester Country Store. I decided to try the apple cider donut with the maple frosting on top! Yum!! This tasty breakfast, woke me up an really got me ready to enjoy the farmers’ market which had so much to offer.

http://graniteledgecoffee.com/

http://chichestercountrystore.com/

The market offers fresh flower, veggies (organic and conventional), good meat varieties, eggs, baked goods, dog treats, coffee, seasonings, soaps, cheeses really almost anything you can find on the out skirts of you grocery store. As I said it was a large market and the venders were very friendly. Many offered samples of their products and they were excellent.

Saturday I was on a mission though. My friend, Mel, and I were hosting a local dinner night and we were doing a football/ fall themed food. So we had decided to make nachos, chili, and serve and ice cream dish. So my mission was nachos. I needed some form of chips, and salsa. The cheese and ground meat I had purchase previously from Yankee Farmer’s Market in Warner, NH. Although come to find out I could have purchased these at the market too.

So the chips, I thought would be the hard part, turned out to be the easy part! At the market there was a company called Craquelin. They specialize in artisan flat bread.  These wonderfully tasty cracker/ chips came in a variety of flavors and textures. I decided on the jalapeno cheddar and spicy ten seed. After a sample of each, I couldn’t pass these up as my chips for the nachos.

http://www.crackerlicious.com/index.html

As I said I purchased ground meat from Yankees Farmer’s Market. I had chosen ground bison to offer my guests a change from grocery store ground beef. The bison was excellent but at the market I discover two other sources of meat that would have also worked well.  Cascade Brook Farm offers grass fed Angus Beef as well as their Berkshire Pork which offers a different taste and texture then regular pork. Also available for the adventurous, from Bonnie Brae Farms, is farm raised venison. The meat is tender and delicious.

http://www.cascadebrookfarm.com/

http://www.bonniebraefarms.com/

http://yankeefarmersmarket.stores.yahoo.net/

Of course what would nachos be without salsa?  The market offered a wonderful selection organic produce. I was able to get peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic from two different venders. The one I really got to talk to was the farmer from Vegetable Ranch. He had large beautiful produce in rich colors, smelling fresh and tasty. The farmer was a charming man fill of information about organic farming and farmers’ markets.

http://vegetableranch.com/index.html

Lastly I needed cheese, which I had previously purchased from Yankee Farmer’s Market. It was country smoked pepper jack from Fox Smokehouse in Canterbury, although Concord’s Farmers’ Market also had cheese options. One option I thought would have been fun would have been goat cheese from Heart Song Farm. They offered a variety of flavors and all the ones I tried were very tasty and would have worked well. Check out the recipe below. It’s easy and ingredients are easily substituted.

Salsa:

1 extra large tomato

5-10 cherry tomatoes either red or golden

1 medium onion

1 medium green bell pepper

1-2 red or green jalapeno (Depending on how hot you like it. Red is hot green is mild to medium)

1-3 cloves of garlic

Garlic pepper salt to taste (I like Two Sisters Garlic out of Canterbury.)

Cilantro to taste

 

Nachos:

2 5 oz packages of broken up bags Craquelins

1-2 cups of ground or shredded meat cooked with your favorite taco seasoning

1-2 cups of salsa

1-2 cups of your favorite cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet lay out your Craquelins first, then layer the ground meat out on top of the craquelins, layer the salsa on top of the meat and finally layer the cheese on top of the salsa. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Then ENJOY!!

Exploring the Local Farmers’ Market – Deerfield

My last two farmers’ market week blogs are coming to a close.  Yesterday I attended Deerfield’s Market. Deerfield is a quaint quiet little town nestled just north of Candia and route 101.  If offers a romantically scenic drive through rolling hills and farm yards. As you drive up route 43 toward the farmers’ market, which is located at 8 Raymanod Road, there is a rolling field set off to the right with a large old silo with green vines and blossoms growing up it. It’s a beautiful vision to see on your drive to the market.

The market is held in the parking local outside of the George B. White building. It is a charming little farmers’ market where locals go to meet, chat and buy their local produce and local made products. They offered hand spun wool and artisan crafts made out of the wool.

http://www.farmersmarket.deerfieldnh.us/

As you head into the market two very talented young ladies were playing the violin. These girls were extremely talented and had their violin cases set up to collect tips.

Also a young girl had a homemade lemonade stand set up where her profits were being donated to a cause.

Produce and baked goods were offered from a variety of vendors at the small market. It was bustling with people and liveliness. A grill was going and burgers were part of the offering as well as potted herbs and a woman selling all nature soaps and lotions.

Deerfield is a cute quaint farmers’ market well worth checking out!

Exploring the Local Farmers’ Market – Manchester

I’m now down to my last three days of steady marketing. One thing I’ve learned from this, is local farmers and product creators produce a lot of really great merchandises. From now on I’ll definitely be a regular at the markets. I’ve really enjoyed my time at the markets and the people have been absolutely wonderful!

On to Manchester, this was one of the largest markets I’ve been too. It is held on the Concord Street side of Victory Park.  Victory Park is a charming little urban recreation area bustling with activity. The market moved like rush hour traffic with people weaving in and out of booth. The pedestrian traffic at some booths made them almost unnavigable but they thin out fast as most vendors kept things moving along. The market had something for everyone. Face painting for the kids, a harpist to sooth the weary traveler, snacks for man’s best friend, two wine vendors to help the frazzled unwind, and plenty of tasty dinner options for the famished!

Along my exploration of the market I stumbled upon a few vendors that really made an impression. Both of the wine companies had a wonderful selection of vino. Hickory Nut Farm had an array of goat milk product products to sooth mind and palate. Sharon’s Granola was offering the ever popular high energy snackable granola bars! Blackberry bakery was satisfying the sweet tooth with gluten free and regular goodies! Finally Valicenti Organico was providing the tasty Italian dinners.

Every great day is only made better by a great bottle of wine! Manchester had two wine vendors both offering some great wines. Candia Vineyards had a nice spread of wines out. I’ve found out they offer an excellent ice wine. They offer two, The Ice Storm and Black Ice; both are very sweet and wonderfully bold fruit wines! The also offer the most award Noiret. The other vineyard was the oldest vineyard in New Hampshire, Jewell Towne.  Jewell Towne offers a wonderful variety of very tasty wines. Tonight to go with dinner I brought home a bottle Marechal Foch. It paired well with our pasta sauce really bringing out the sweeter side of both the wine and the sauce!

www.candiavineyards.com

http://www.jewelltownevineyards.com/

Hickory Nut Farm is a goat farm from Lee. “Life changes can be dramatic, exciting and fulfilling. One day, we are husband and wife architects and now we are goat farmers. Our existence is uncomplicated, busy, fun and peaceful, with a new sense of appreciation for God’s creativity.” This quote is from their website and I thought it was awesome! They specialize in goat milk products. Today I experienced a couple of their very tasty goat cheese, fudge and admired their soaps.  I decided dinner wouldn’t be the same without the chive n’ garlic cheese. I was right! What a tasty treat!

www.hickorynutfarm.com

Sharon’s granola is a tasty high energy gluten free treat. Sharon was run the both herself and offering tastes to patrons.  If you’re into hiking or enjoying the outdoors these tasty little treats will fit in any little backpack or bag. When you get tired and hungry you can just whip in out and have a quick snack. I tried the Chamomile Teas & honey Lemon Zest bar. I loved it. Super yummy treat!

www.sharonsgranolabar.com

Blackberry Bakery, out of Londonderry, offered a wonderful variety of tasty treats, from cupcakes to whoopee pies. They also offer gluten free bake goods. I purchased a delicious pumpkin whoop pie from them. It was very tasty!

www.blackberrybakerynh.com

Lastly was Valicenti Organico. Which provided New Hampshire made pasta and sauce. Their sauce was delicious over their lobster raviolis. I enhanced this dish just a slight tweak with a pinch of cayenne pepper, and I sprinkled some chive n’ garlic goat cheese and paired it with Jewell Towne’s wine. It was a great dinner. Absolutely love the pasta and sauce made there!

www.Gimmespaghetti.com

This has been my exploration of the Manchester farmers’ market. It was a great time with great people and great food. Please try to check out your local market! If you have any suggestions for Markets you’d like me to go to shoot me an email or send me a commet.

Exploring the Local Farmers’ Market – Merrimack

In honor of New Hampshire Eat Local Month and NH Farmers’ Market Week, I’m dedicating this weeks’ blogs to New Hampshire’s Farmers’ Markets.  I hope everyone is enjoying my blogs this week and finding their way out to discover their own farmers’ markets!

I’ve journeyed from Salem to Durham and then to Bedford to experience the New Hampshire Farmers’ Markets. Exploring the provisions and the people supplying them has been an adventure and a delight. As we hit the high point in the week I visited the Merrimack Farmer’s Market. The market is held in the Tractor Supply parking lot, 515 Daniel Webster Highway.

Merrimack Farmers’ Market is the smallest market I’ve been to so far but what it lacks in size it makes up for in heart, and innovation. Most of the vendors were warm and friendly interested not just in selling their products but also getting to know their customers. The market was also offering a free raffle for an eco-Merrimack-Farmers’-Market-Bag

The market offered a wonderful selection of produce. Three different vendors were selling a wide variety of fruits and veggies, flowers and plants. Today, the businesses that really caught my attention were Gone Baking, a mobile bakery, The Yankee Cheeseman, and Gunther’s Goodies, a dog treat supplier.

Gone Baking is owned by Jenny Cheifetz. Ms. Cheifetz is a former Massachusetts teacher turned stay at home mom who found a passion for baking and transformed it in to a business. She’s was one of the most friendly people I had met today and then there was her carrot cake cupcake. I love carrot cake so any opportunity to try carrot cake will not be passed up by me. Gone Baking did not disappoint. This cupcake was excellent, soft and moist with rich sweet creamy frosting. It was worth cent! Who doesn’t like friendly people and cupcakes? If you answered ‘You don’t.’ to this question, well you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Check Gone Baking out on Facebook.

www.gonebaking.com

The Yankee Cheeseman was a man who loved his craft and loved to share it. You couldn’t sneak by without a taste and you wouldn’t want to anyway. His cheeses are excellent. I really enjoyed the sharp cheddars and the smoke apple wood. When I first got to the booth it was only a young lady and I tasting, when I left the booth a small crowd was forming around it. I left with a sharp cheese to pair with Fulchino’s, a local winery out of Hollis, Zinfandel. It paired perfectly!

Gunther’s Goodies, out of Machester, are fancy dog treats. I may not have a dog but this place caught my attention.  These gourmet dog treats are made from local ingredients. I love innovation, team work and reusing resources. White Birch Brewing, out of Hooksett, provides Gunther’s Goodies with their spent grains. Spent grains are the byproducts after the grains have been used for brewing. These spent grains are then used to make the dog treats.  Their treats can be purchased at White Birch as well as at the market. So if you are up in Hooksett tasting brews, be sure pick up a treat for man’s best friend to tell him how much you love him and New Hampshire. Check Gunther’s goodies out on Facebook.

That was my adventure in farmers’ marketing! I hope I have inspired some of you to check out your local farmers’ market. Keep on checking out your local scene!

Exploring the Local Farmers’ Market – Bedford

In honor of New Hampshire Eat Local Month and NH Farmers’ Market Week, I’m dedicating this weeks’ blogs to New Hampshire’s Farmers’ Markets.  This way everyone gets a chance to see how great grocery shopping and eating local truly can be!

I’ve start my farmers’ market journey at Salem Farmers’ Market and continued on to Durham’s Farmers’ Market. Durham, which takes place every Monday June through October from 2:30- 5:30 p.m., is held in the parking lot by 15 Newmarket Rd.

Today I decided to explore Bedford’s Farmers’ Market. The market is held at Benedictine Park, which is located off of Wallace Road, signs letting consumers know what is available, line the road just after the turn off. Benedictine Park offers the potential for an array of activities, besides farmers’ marketing, such as hiking, skiing, picnicking, snowshoeing, bird watching or gardening but today I was there to enjoying the farmers’ market variety.

http://bedfordfarmersmarket.org/

The turn off from Wallace Road is a rough dirt road. The parking lot can be either dirt or grass. The first thing I noticed as I pulled into the parking area was the two police officers patrolling the parking lot. Next was the Mitt Romney booth which promoted his presidential campaign. These are touches I haven’t seen at any other farmers’ market. The market is otherwise peaceful and surrounded by lovely greenery.

Bedford had other offering that made it almost irresistible. The first booth I couldn’t pass up was Tomina’s. Tomina’s offered gluten free, vegan, organic cookie dough. The vendor, Tina Birdsall, provided patrons with a sample of her cookies. They were delicious. As someone who was gluten free for 5 year, to go to a farmers’ market and find someone who specializes in tasty gluten free treat, is great! Tomina’s offers an excellent alternative for vegans and Celiac’s at the farmers’ market.

www.tominascookiedough.com

Another exciting find at the farmers’ market was LaBelle’s Winery. I love my wine and if I can find a tasty local wine you know I’ll love it all the more. LaBelle’s is currently in the process of moving and will be located on route 101 in September.  When they open, they will be available for tastings Wednesday through Sunday. While I couldn’t try a wine at the market I did purchase the Granite State Apple. It is a semi sweet, slightly crisp bottle of wine quite enjoyable with a good sharp cheese.

www.labellewinerynh.com

While I was there I found a wonderful Maple Syrup vendor. He made the best maple cream I have ever had. It was rich like a frosting. It tasted heavenly. Sadly, I assumed when I purchased the cream the business’ name was on the label, it wasn’t. So all I can tell you is if you have a chance to get up to Bedford’s farmers’ market, find the maple syrup vendor and ask for a sample of the cream. Trust me it absolutely delicious! You won’t be able to leave without your own jar.

Laurel Hill is another fun vendor! They sell locally made jellies and jams. They are very tasty. They offer jams and jellies made from wines as well as fruit and veggie jellies. I purchased the “Zetz” Red Pepper Jam because I like a little heat and spice in my life. The two you women running the booth were charming and full of laughs!

www.laurelhilljams.com

Another vendor I really enjoyed was the Rolling in the Dough Bakery. The focaccia bread I was sold was wonderful and made an excellent bruschetta. The man running the booth was lively and passionate about his work. He was kind and attentive to his customers no matter their age. He sold a variety of baked goods from cookies to breads.

The vendors at Bedford were well versed in their crafts and loved talking about them. It was a very charming farmers’ market and I look for to tomorrows.

Exploring the Local Farmers’ Market – Durham

In honor of New Hampshire Eat Local Month and NH Farmers’ Market Week I’m dedicating a week of blogs to New Hampshire’s Farmers’ Markets.

I started my farmers’ market journey in Salem. Where I had the chance to enjoy a friendly crowd, good food and fun New Hampshire made products.  Today I headed out toward the seacoast to the lovely little town of Durham. University of New Hampshire (UNH) calls Durham home. Durham is a bright and cheerful town although sort of quiet when the college kids head home for break.

www.seacoastgrowers.org

A little about the Durham Farmers’ Market; it’s open Mondays, June – October from 2:15-5:30p.m. It’s located in the parking lot behind 15 New Market Road.

Durham is a small farmers’ market with a lot of charm. As you walk over towards the market the smells of fresh baked bread and fresh cut flowers catch your nose. The market is two rows of booths set up with a large isle in the middle for quick social meet ups from the regulars.

I found an a few diversions which were not available at the first farmers’ market. One that I really loved was Jessica Seaton Pottery; this young woman is very crafty with clay. Her bowls and pots, which were on display, were absolutely charming. She doesn’t have a website yet but she does have a facebook page where images of her art can be found and they are very beautiful. Definitely check this girl’s pottery out on Facebook!

Another pleasant surprise was an organic vendor, Stout Oak Farm out of Brentwood run by Kate Donald. She had an amazing selection of tomatoes and some not quite purple eggplants. I couldn’t resist her orange cherry tomatoes. These little beauties are sweeter then red cherry tomatoes and were snackable like berries! I ate half the bag on the ride home!

http://www.stoutoakfarm.com/

I couldn’t pass up the fresh baked banana bread. This was a real treat. Soft, moist and fresh; what more could you ask for in a cake style bread. The breads as well as some coffee cakes and cookies were being sold by Forty Five Market Street Bakery and Café out of Somersworth. I tried the bread, after a local feast of a dinner and it was excellent, one of the better banana breads I’ve had. Check them out on Facebook.

What’s a New Hampshire farmers’ market without maple syrup? Sadly I currently have 3 bottle of maple syrup in my house and don’t need any more for the time being but Sugar Mama’s Maple Farmer came ready for people like me. Not only were they selling Maple syrup but they also had maple candies and maple covered nuts.  So, of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance at some maple cover cashews! I enjoyed that little treat quickly and only have an empty bag to show for it.

http://www.sugarmommasmaple.com/

So that was my farmers’ market adventure for today! Check back tomorrow to see what else I’ll discover tomorrow.