Spotlight: Andy’s Edible Gardens

Microgreens, specialty greens, sprouts, shoots, herbs, and edible flowers are all things you can expect to find at Andy’s Edible Gardens out of Eliot, Maine. You can find Andy at the Portsmouth and Kittery Farmers Markets and some of the Exeter farmers markets this summer. He always has a smile and you can tell he has a passion for sharing knowledge and information about the products he sells. Andy has been commercial gardening for over 10 years, and sells his products to over 30 restaurants all the way from Exeter, New Hampshire to Kennebunk, Maine. You can find his Seacoast Harvest listing here and his Instagram page here.

One of my favorite items you can buy from his stand at market happens to be popcorn shoots. These are super unique and definitely addicting after the first bite. I love these to munch on as a snack but they would also be great on top of a crostini or on a sandwich. They have a bright yellow color and the taste is slightly sour, sweet, and buttery! Make sure you stop by his tent and pick some up at the next market. I also love using the sprouts and microgreens in sandwiches, so if you make lunch for work or school these are a great and nutritious add on to any meal.

Have you tried any of his products? If so, which are your favorites?

Zucchini Falafel

After posting the zucchini information sheet this week, I thought it would be useful to post about one of the recipe ideas listed on the sheet because zucchini will continue to be in season for a while now. These falafel are tasty and perfect for summer dinners and lunches. They are great by themselves but also lend well to wraps and salads.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans

1/2 cup shredded zucchini (about 1-2 small zucchini)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

4 Tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons bread crumbs

1 Teaspoon Cumin

1 Teaspoon Coriander

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil added at end to get the desired texture

Oil for frying (I used coconut oil due to the high smoke point, but vegetable oil, canola, or avocado oil also work.)

You will need

Food Processor

Frying pan

Paper Towels

Directions

  • Open and drain the chickpeas.
  • Add all ingredients except zucchini and oil to a food processor, blend until well incorporated.
  • If the mixture is too crumbly continue to process and add a little bit of olive oil until the mixture resembles a paste.
  • Add the zucchini and pulse until mixed in, don’t chop too finely, you want the shredded zucchini for texture.
  • Form the mixture into small patties or balls.
  • Either fry or bake the falafel until golden brown on both sides.
  • Place the falafel on a paper towel to absorb the oil if you fry them.
  • Enjoy with a tahini dressing or condiment of your choosing.

Spices and Herbs Featuring: Stock+Spice and Heron Pond Farm

With Summer upon us, produce is plentiful and fresh herbs can be found almost everywhere. If you don’t have a small pot of your own growing in your backyard or on a windowsill, don’t worry, the farmers markets on the Seacoast have you covered. From basil to lavender and everything in between, these wonderful additions to summer dishes can be found at the markets. What you may not have known is that spices can also be found at some markets and locally too! 

Sometimes for the at home novice chef it can be confusing when to add fresh herbs or spices to a dish. Herbs are the leaves of a plant and spices are roots, barks, and seeds. An example of this is cilantro is an herb and coriander (the seeds) are a spice. Dried herbs and spices are added during cooking so that the flavor can infuse into what you are preparing, and fresh herbs are added at the end of cooking (with a few exceptions like rosemary). When substituting either in a recipe remember to use less of a dry herb or spice then a fresh herb or spice and vice versa.

Heron Pond Farm has a wonderful selection of potted fresh herbs and recently has been bringing other goodies to markets including but not limited to tomatoes, greens, and strawberries. They are located in South Hampton, New Hampshire, have a farm stand, and can be found at the Exeter, Portsmouth, and Newburyport farmers markets this summer. They farm in all four seasons and grow over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. 

Stock+Spice is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire next to the Black Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, and can be found at some farmers markets including Exeter, New Hampshire through out the summer. The company was created by Chef Evan Mallett and Denise Mallett, the owners of the Black Trumpet Restaurant & Bar in Portsmouth, and is owned by Paula Sullivan, a long-time employee of the restaurant. Both spices and bone broths are sold, and there is also a great variety of Black Trumpet spice blends that all sound delicious.  Stock+Spice offers demonstration cooking classes and recipes using their products, more information can be found on their website

What are your favorite herbs and spices? Let us know in the comments.

Summer Cool Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are finally at market, and let’s just say I’m excited! This recipe is so easy to throw together on a busy day, and is super refreshing when the weather is getting warmer. It can be modified to meet your taste and desires so feel free to change it up how you see fit.

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients

Tahini Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cucumber Salad

  • 2 medium/large cucumbers
  • ½ medium red onion
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Mint for garnish
  • Hemp seeds to top

 

Directions

  1. In a bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Run a fork down the length of the cucumber with medium pressure until you reach the base and repeat around the entire cucumber.
  3. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife slice the cucumber into thin slices ( I used the 3/16” setting on the mandolin).
  4. Repeat step 3 for ½ medium red onion and chop slices in half.
  5. Add olives and mint.
  6. Garnish with mint and top with hemp seeds.
  7. You can also add feta cheese if you desire.

 

Storage: This can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days, to refresh squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and mix well.

Spotlight: Cucumbers are in season May through August.

Do you have a favorite cucumber salad or summer recipe? Please share in the comments.

Photo taken at Portsmouth Farmers Market of Riverside Farm’s cucumbers.

Garlic Basil Pesto

Pesto is one of those recipes that can always be switched up and tweaked for what you have on hand and what’s in season. Right now garlic scapes are in season along with arugula and both make very tasty pesto. Just switch out the basil with either one and for the garlic scapes omit the garlic (unless your a garlic lover). One of my favorite snacks is to add this recipe to a toasted piece of bread and top it with balsamic glaze…yum! You can find the farms that grow basil here, garlic scapes here(recently at the Portsmouth farmers market many other farms had them as well), and arugula here(many other farms have this as well). Make sure you check out your local farmers market for all the seasonal goodies that are starting to pop up!

What is your favorite pesto recipe? Share with us in the comments below. If you try this recipe let us know what you think.

Rhubarb Salsa

Rhubarb may be one of those produce items that leaves some people scratching their heads wondering if it can be used in more than just pie. I’m here to share with you that rhubarb is both a versatile and tasty treat in ways you never expected. This rhubarb salsa is both tangy and slightly sweet (don’t worry it’s not too sweet). This makes enough to serve at a party in my opinion, but you could always just make it for yourself and have salsa for the week. There are many ways to incorporate this into meals, including as a topping to chicken or fish, or you could just be like me, and pair it with some tasty and locally made Vida Tortilla chips.

Rhubarb is in season from April till June and you can find it at your local farmers markets. The rhubarb I purchased for this recipe was from Stout Oak Farm, but I have also seen it at other farm’s including but not limited to White Gate Farm. Rhubarb is a perennial and does contain leaves that are poisonous for human consumption, so make sure you remove those leaves before preparing any recipes. It’s a great source of fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Fun fact: The poisonous leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, and historically, this has been used as a stain remover and cleaner.

Do you have any fun ways to utilize rhubarb? Or do you have a favorite farm you get your rhubarb from? Let us know in the comments below.

Welcome Shawn!

Shawn Menard

Seacoast Eat Local is pleased to announce Shawn Menard as the new Program Director.  Shawn joins us from the Gardiner Food Co-op in Gardiner, Maine, where he was the General Manager.  Shawn received a B.A. from the University of Maine in Farmington and an M.S. is Management with a concentration in sustainability from New England College.

As Program Director for Seacoast Eat Local, Shawn will oversee the operational success of Seacoast Eat Local’s core programs – hosting Winter Farmers’ Markets, operating the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM), supporting SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets year round, and the annual Seacoast Harvest publication.

The Seacoast Eat Local Board of Directors is confident Shawn’s background in sustainability, local food systems, management, and marketing will strengthen our commitment to connecting people with sources of locally grown food and improving the profitability and sustainability of local farmers.  Shawn will be starting this role for us on May 28th.  He is looking forward to working with the board and staff towards meeting existing organizational goals and also developing plans for the future. Please join us in welcoming Shawn to the Seacoast Eat Local community.  He and his wife Caroline are looking forward to settling down in the area.

We’re hiring! Are you Seacoast Eat Local’s next Program Director?

Seacoast Eat Local is hiring a Program Director to oversee the operational success of our mission to connect community members with local food and farms. We are seeking a motivated, energetic, and hardworking person with a strong interest in local food access and community food systems.

Seacoast Eat Local was founded in 2006 with the mission to bring people together with sources of locally grown foods and advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. Our work includes operating a SNAP/EBT Farmers’ Market Program, organizing winter farmers’ markets, running a mobile market, producing our local food guide, sponsoring workshops and events, and providing information through our email newsletter, blog and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org

The Program Director will oversee the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager, as well as provide leadership to our team of interns and volunteers. Serving as the key external face of Seacoast Eat Local in the community, the Program Director will also be responsible for networking with stakeholders, community building, and relationships with donors. They will be expected to demonstrate a knowledge of and passion for a multi-
faceted local food system, while also providing the organization with the fiscal oversight and program delivery that will allow Seacoast Eat Local to continue our work as a strong and robust regional non-profit.

Responsibilities include:

  • – Overseeing the Program Coordinator and Mobile Market Manager to ensure the successful execution of SEL’s core programs
  • – Taking the lead on fundraising and development, including implementing the annual fundraising plan, managing the donor database, planning and executing quarterly events, leading the stewardship of existing donors, and expanding our fundraising presence in the Seacoast
  • – Managing our grant-based funding, which encompasses organizing the annual grant schedule, writing grant appeals, and overseeing fiscal and programmatic reporting
  • – Supervising and implementing our annual budget and working with our bookkeeper and treasurer on accurate reporting and fiscal oversight
  • – Ensuring the implementation and utilization of measures and metrics for program evaluation
  • – Serving as the key contact person and public face of our organization through email communication, marketing, newsletters, social media, attending local events, and relationship building
  • – Carrying out our current strategic plan through 2021 and assisting and advising the board in the development of future strategic plans

 

An ideal candidate will hold a Bachelor’s degree and have worked a minimum of 4-5 years in project management, fundraising, and/or personnel management, and be familiar with the functioning and organization of non-profits. They will be enthusiastic about a position that puts them in contact with many different members of our community and should possess a strong passion for local food and developing robust food systems. Necessary
skills include proficiency in computer use, strong project management, leadership of staff and interns, and a demonstrated aptitude for excellent verbal and written communication. This is a self-driven leadership role within our organization, and the person hired to fill this role will be expected to serve as a supervisor of our staff, contact person with stakeholders, and collaborator with the Board of Directors, to whom they will report.

This is a full time, salaried position that includes healthcare and paid vacation. We offer a flexible working environment and schedule, though applicants must be willing to work some weekends and nights.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] by April 6.