Volunteer Gleaners needed for summertime farmers’ markets!

lettuceHappy June! Gleaning has begun at the summertime farmers’ markets and Seacoast Eat Local is looking for volunteers to help collect fresh produce from our generous farmers at the end of the market day.

We are looking for volunteers to commit to a month (or longer, up to the entire season) of gleaning at a particular farmers’ market. This entails coming to market (and it can be a market you already attend so you can do your shopping and volunteer all in one trip), walking around the market near closing time and asking vendors for donations (they are expecting this). We then inventory what is collected for donation, and deliver it to a food pantry (we can suggest one or you can choose!).

Please email Shelly if you have any questions, or to signup for any of the following markets:

Durham: 5:30pm Mondays, June-September
Dover: 5:30pm Wednesdays, June-September
Rochester: 5:30pm Tuesdays, June-September
Somersworth: 5:30pm Mondays, June-September
Exeter: 5:30pm Thursdays, June-October
Portsmouth: 12:30pm Saturdays, June-October
Kittery: 1:30pm Sundays, June-September

The time listed is the approximate time you would need to be at market by to glean before closing. This is a great learning experience for children as well, so feel free to bring yours along!

Thanks for ALL your help and we look forward to seeing you at markets!

Shelly
[email protected]

Jill Hall and Shelly Smith

Grow a Row for your local food pantry!

foodCropmobplant

Have a green thumb and a little extra garden space?

New Roots Farm in partnership with Seacoast Eat Local is looking for garden partners to help increase fresh local produce available at our many local pantries. How can YOU help?

Step 1: Pick up free seedlings or seeds available at New Roots Farm in Newmarket this Friday, June 20th from 2-6pm.

Step 2: Plant out your container, row or beds dedicated for donation to a local pantry.

Step 3: Gather your harvest and bring it to a summer farmers’ market in Dover, Exeter or Portsmouth for collection and distribution to local pantries. Alternatively you can coordinate with your own nearby pantry for drop off times available.

Want to learn more? Email [email protected]

 

During the Winter Market season we were able to collect and donate over 2000 pounds of food to local pantries. Help us continue and expand garentomatoesthese efforts by growing extra produce for donation. You can arrange to donate to a pantry in your neighborhood at your convenience or bring your home grown donations to the Seacoast Eat Local tent at the Dover, Exeter or Portsmouth Farmers’ Markets. We will add it to our gleaned food from the market that day and deliver it to a pantry right after market.

Looking for help with your garden? Be sure to utilize the UNH Cooperative Extension Information Line. You can peruse their online resources or give them a call at 1-877-EXT-GROW (1-877-398-4769).

(Read from this site about the best tree removal services in town to make sure that garden and your surrounding is in the best health possible)

Harvest for Hunger: Planning a Donation Garden

Harvest for Hunger volunteers plant a donation gardenPlanning a garden to donate some or all of the harvest is a bit different than planning a garden for personal use. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers some suggestions for your consideration when planning a garden with the purpose of donating food:

  • All donated produce should be of high quality, clean, not over-grown, blemished, damaged or diseased.
  • Ideally it is better to plan to donate rather than donating what you have left over. Very small quantities of produce are difficult to distribute to a large crowd.
  • Contact the organization(s) to which you plan to donate.
    • Note: If you need help in identifying organizations in your area, go to the Maine Harvest for Hunger website and click on Donate Produce. There you will find a link to food assistance programs by town. If by chance the organization is not listed please contact [email protected].
    • Determine if the organization is able to use fresh produce, and if so what would they like you to grow.
    • Determine how much and how frequently they accept deliveries, for example, 10 pounds of beans every other Tuesday. Some food pantries are open on specific days of the week.
    • Determine how they would like the produce delivered (cleaned, bunched, bagged, loose).
  • Remember, some, (but not all), of the clientele may not be familiar with many different types of produce and the volunteers may not have the time to educate people on how to use an unfamiliar vegetable. So, stick with the tried and true. Our experience with the Maine Harvest for Hunger distribution lines has shown that heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs other than basil and dill, Asian greens, and non-standard colored beets and carrots are less preferred than standard varieties.
  • Weigh (or guesstimate) the produce before donating and report it to your local Maine Harvest for Hunger coordinator. Or, you can report it online at the Maine Harvest for Hunger Donate Produce web page.
  • Thank-you for considering a donation garden this growing season. Fresh produce is always in demand and is much too valuable to go to waste.

From “Donation Gardens” by Barbara Murphy, Extension Educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Oxford County, [email protected]. For more information and resources regarding donating food in the Seacoast, visit www.seacoasteatlocal.org, under Food Donations.

Thank you Heron Pond Farm! Thank you volunteers!

gleaning food donations Heron Pond Farm

 

Seacoast Eat Local would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Heron Pond Farm for donating almost one ton of potatoes to area food pantries, and to the volunteers who harvested and washed to make this donation possible! These gorgeous potatoes were gleaned in early November with the help of some very generous farmers and volunteers, and were distributed to families in need in the Seacoast area. Not only did we have a great time harvesting and washing the potatoes, we are psyched to know that these potatoes will fill many bellies this Thanksgiving season! Thanks to all who came out and again a big thank you to Heron Pond Farm.

Seacoast Eat Local’s gleanings and farmers market food donation programs are supported by a grant from NH Farm to School. Stay tuned for future gleaning opportunities, or email [email protected] to get on our volunteer email list.

Volunteers Needed for Gleaning at Heron Pond Farm, Nov 3

Heron Pond Farm Gleaning this Sunday!

Volunteers: We need you! Heron Pond Farm has potatoes that need harvesting. Once harvested, they will be delivered directly to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Wouldn’t you love to participate in connecting low-income families to local produce? Come join us on the farm, get some sun, get your hands dirty, and make fresh food available to everyone in our community!

Our last gleaning session was REALLY fun, and this time we are doing it on a Sunday so you can join us.

Thanks to a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local is able to coordinate gleaning projects in the Seacoast region! Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms, gardeners, and other producers, and the many food pantries in our area.

Where: Heron Pond Farm, 299 Maine Ave, South Hampton, NH
Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Time: 11 am  [ Note: We need to do it midday so that the ground can warm up.]
Volunteers Needed: We need 4-5 people to help us harvest potatoes from the fields. [Next week we’ll transport the potatoes to the food pantries after they’ve been cleaned and bagged.]

RSVP to Caty at [email protected]  (you will be emailed more details and directions), or cell: (603) 568-4874.

Gleaning at Brandmoore Farm, September 6

Gleaning with Seacoast Eat Local! We have been invited to Brandmoore Farm to glean tomatoes and eggplant this Friday (9/6/13)! Once harvested, this fresh produce will be delivered directly to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Come join us on the farm, get your hands dirty, and make fresh food available to everyone in our community!

Brandmoore Farm Gleaning this Friday!
Brandmoore Farm, 70 Sligo Rd, Rollinsford, NH
Friday, September 6, 2013
8 am – 12 pm

Due to a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local will be coordinating gleaning projects in the Seacoast region! Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms, gardeners, and other producers, and the many food pantries in our area.

Volunteers Needed: We need 10-15 people to help us harvest tomatoes and eggplants from the fields
We need 1-3 people to help us wash and bag up the swiss chard
We need 1-2 drivers who can help us deliver this delicious food to local food pantries.

RSVP to Caty at [email protected] (you will be emailed more details and directions). Cell: (603) 568-4874

Home Gardeners & Community Gardens — Share Your Bounty!

Calling all Home Gardeners & Community Gardens! Don’t let all those extra cucumbers and squash go to waste this year!

Due to a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local is coordinating gleaning projects in the Seacoast region! Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms and the many food pantries in our area. Gleaning, or harvesting surplus produce, is also one of the most significant ways we can reduce food waste and provide fresh food to the needy families in our community. 

This is truly a community effort, and Seacoast Eat Local is calling on home gardeners to get involved! Anyone with a private garden, a community garden plot, or overly abundant CSA share can donate food through this program.

Seacoast Eat Local can help connect you with a local food pantry or soup kitchen that would gladly accept your fresh food donation. If you have a large amount of produce to donate, Seacoast Eat Local can schedule a time to pick up your bounty and transport it to a nearby food pantry.

Contact [email protected] for more information or to schedule a pick-up!

Photograph: Swiss chard gleaned this season from Heron Pond Farm!

Gleaning at Heron Pond Farm, July 26

We’ve been invited to Heron Pond Farm to glean swiss chard this Friday morning, July 26th! Once harvested, this fresh produce will be delivered to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Come join us on the farm, get your hands dirty, and make fresh food available to everyone in our community!

Due to a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local will be coordinating gleaning projects in the Seacoast region. Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms, gardeners, and other producers, and the many food pantry’s in our area. We’ll need harvesters, washers, and drivers — please join us and spread the word!

Heron Pond Farm Gleaning This Friday!
Where: Heron Pond Farm, 299 Main Ave, South Hampton NH 03827
Date: Friday July 26, 2013
Time: 8am-Noon
Volunteers Needed: We need 10-15 people to help us harvest Swiss Chard from the fields
We need 1-3 people to help us wash and bag up the swiss chard
We need 1-2 drivers who can help us deliver this delicious food to local food pantries.

RSVP to Sarah at [email protected] (you will be emailed more details and directions), or phone 607-275-7499.

Lets’s Start Gleaning — Join us at Meadows’ Mirth Farm this Friday!

Gleaning with Seacoast Eat Local!

Due to a new grant from NH Farm to School, Seacoast Eat Local will be coordinating gleaning projects in the Seacoast region! Through this work we aim to make a critical connection between local farms, gardeners, and other producers, and the many food pantry’s in our area.

We are very excited to announce that we have been invited to Meadows’ Mirth farm to glean kale! Once harvested, this fresh produce will be delivered to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Come join us on the farm, get your hands dirty, and make fresh food available to everyone in our community!

Our First Farm Gleaning This Friday!
Where: Meadows’ Mirth Farm, 61 A Stratham Heights Rd, Stratham, NH
Date: Friday July 5, 2013
Time: 9am-Noon
Volunteers Needed: We need 10-15 people to help us harvest Kale from the fields
We need 1-3 people to help us wash and bag up the kale
We need 1-2 drivers who can help us deliver this delicious food to local food pantries.

RSVP to Sarah at [email protected] (you will be emailed more details and directions)
cell – 607-275-7499.