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    Growing a New Farm

    the Vernon Family Adventure

    The Vernon Family
    Nicole, Magnolia, Jeremiah and Indigo.

    You may have noticed that a new farm sprung up at the markets this year. We asked them a few questions at market this week so we could introduce them to you!

    The Vernon Family Farm of Newfields, NH, is a small, diversified farm that is already thriving – evidenced by the variety of organically raised and responsibly grown chicken products, vegetables, mushrooms and dried flowers at market each week.

    First, a little history.
    Jeremiah Vernon has been farming on the Seacoast of NH for over 7 years, always with the dream of buying his own land to farm and now, he is making that dream a reality. “All of my experiences have helped me become the farmer I am today,” says Jeremiah. “I am sincerely grateful for our partnership with Riverslea Farm, where I was able to begin my own farming endeavors with the Conrads’ guidance, knowledge and support.”

    Vernon Family Farm brings a comprehensive selection of chicken products to market so customers can buy their chicken locally. Vernon Farm chicken is organically grained, pastured and USDA certified. Their offerings include parts (wings, thighs, drum sticks, leg quarters, bone-in breast, boneless breast), sausage (hot Italian, maple, curry), ground chicken, organ meats, backs, bone broth, and broilers (whole chickens).

    They are also currently growing about 2 acres of vegetables and dried flowers.

    Vernon Family Farm specializes in growing much sought after cultivated mushrooms, which are already coming to market. They grow shiitake and oyster mushrooms (seasonally) in a fruiting room on the farm.

    Can you tell us a little more about the fruiting room? 
    “We grow both our oyster mushrooms in the summer and shiitake in the winter in a climate controlled fruiting room we built in 2014. It allows for year round production in ideal conditions.”

    In general, what is a day like on the farm?
    “Following a chat amongst the crew regarding the plan for the day, we share the completion of chicken and mushroom and field chores and then head straight into the tasks for the day.”
    Vernon market sign
    You can’t miss the Vernon Family Farm signage, seen here at the Portsmouth market.

    What is the best thing about being a farmer?
    “Besides the vacation? The relationship you develop with the land and the world you occupy.”

    What was something that surprised you recently? 
    “The size of our spring garlic. Thank you to the last winter for protecting our plants from the frost with all of the snow. At least there was one positive…”

    Find out more about the Vernon’s by visiting them at the Exeter and Portsmouth Farmers’ Markets. And you can keep up with the Vernon Family Farm on their Facebook page:

    Beets and Babies

    Beets and babies, is there anything better?!”

    . . .

    Have a great week & we’ll see you at market.

    June 30th, 2015

    Garlic scapes, a tender garlic addition

    garlic scapes

    Curly, green garlic scapes are now making their brief appearance at market. These sometimes overlooked edibles are the delicate tops of hardneck garlic – cut off early in their growing season to give more energy to the bulb.

    Tasty braised or grilled, they add a light, super-fresh garlic flavor to any meal. If you think pesto can be too strong, then garlic scapes are for you! Chop them up in place of garlic in your favorite pesto recipe. (Great for converting finicky eaters…)

    Find scapes at market now from Two Toad Farm, Black Kettle Farm, New Roots, Meadow’s Mirth, Stonewall Farm/Osprey Cove, Touching Earth Farm, Wake Robin Farm, White Cedar Farm, Shagbark Farm, Mildred’s Drumlin Farm, and Hollister Family Farm.

    Hollister Farm with garlic scapes
    Stephanie at Hollister Family Farm expertly displays their garlic scapes at the Durham market.

    Garlic scapes also freeze very well when pureed. Use the pesto freezing trick and divide it up into an ice cube tray. After they freeze, pop out the cubes and store in another container. One or two cubes will season a meal, and you can have garlic scapes all year long!

    . . .

    $20 in Extra SNAP Benefits
    during the last market of the month

    SNAP booth in Dover

    This week, SNAP customers can get an extra $20 to help “Close The Gap“, thanks to Seacoast Eat Local. The program is designed to help extend the opportunity to buy fresh fruits and vegetables beyond the time when most monthly SNAP funds are depleted.

    So, from tomorrow’s Dover market through Monday’s market in Durham, anyone who stops by the SNAP booth with their depleted card will receive the $20 token bonus! Amazing. This program is in addition to the ongoing Market Match, that matches up to $10 of SNAP benefits.

    Find out more at the SNAP booth located in all four SGA farmers’ markets.

    . . .

    Have a great week & we’ll see you at market.

    Pollinator Appreciation Week in Durham
    Alena Warren with the Strafford County Conservation District helping us get the good word out in support of Pollinator Appreciation Week.

    June 23rd, 2015

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  • SNAP Benefits

    All four SGA farmers' markets now accept SNAP/EBT, thanks to a program by Seacoast Eat Local.

    Check out the details on their website, including a $10 Market Match and $20 month-end Close the Gap bonus!


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