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    Greens on Spin Cycle?

    That’s how Stout Oak Farm does it!

    Stout Oak Farm
    Kate Donald setting up Stout Oak Farm for a May Exeter Farmers’ Market

    Kate Donald has been farming on the Seacoast since 2004. She’s learned a thing or two, and is happy to share her wisdom with those who inquire at the Stout Oak Farm stall during Thursdays’ Exeter Farmers’ Market.

    A common question Kate gets at the market is, ‘How do you get your greens so clean?’ Kate’s response: “We harvest carefully so we don’t get any weeds into the mix. We double rinse our baby greens, and then spin them dry using a washing machine on spin cycle.”

    “Many of our conversations with customers at market are about cooking,” says Kate. They often post recipes on their website that help answer questions like the best variety of kale to choose for juicing, the best way to cook Patty Pan squash, or if you eat Tat Soi raw or cooked (or what Tat Soi is?).

    “At this time of year, people are talking about how their vegetable gardens are doing,” she explains. “They bought seedlings at the market in the spring, and now they are comparing notes about how their tomatoes are growing, or which eggplant variety is doing the best.”

    All these welcome questions help the farm to stay connected with customers throughout the season, and help dish up new cooking ideas from the market to the plate. The latest dinner inspiration? Stir fry with Napa cabbage and toasted sesame oil.

    Need details? Just ask!

    . . .

    Sass-A-Frazz Salsa Wins the Durham Salsa Contest

    Salsa Contest Winner Mary Paino of Rye, NH
    Salsa Contest Winner Mary Paino of Rye, NH, with her prize tote full of market goodies

    Congratulations to Mary Paino of Rye, who took the title at Monday’s 4th Annual Salsa Contest at the Durham Farmers’ Market! Mary’s winning salsa was one of six that were sampled.

    Salsa Contest

    Honorable Mention goes to Brenda Pardis of Hampton who generously submitted three different salsas for consideration (one peach, one corn and bean, and one spicy smoky salsa that was a big hit and surprisingly popular with the kids who voted.)

    Mary shares her winning recipe – all ingredients were purchased at Saturday’s Portsmouth Farmers’ Market!

    Winning Salsa Recipe8 cups of tomatoes
    2 jalapeno
    3 limes
    1/2 cup cilantro
    1 cup husk tomatoes
    2 red peppers
    1 hot pepper
    4 radishes
    2 ears of corn
    2 cups of watermelon
    1 1/2 cup tomatillos
    cracked pepper and

    Seed peppers and roast with pepper, coriander and olive oil. Drain and save oil and put the peppers in the fridge, (do this the day before). Remove corn from the cob, add oil saved from the peppers and saute 5 minutes. Put in fridge to cool. Chop onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, and juice the limes. Once all the ingredients are chopped drain and save the remaining liquid, and put the chopped mix in the refrigerator. Put liquid (2 cups) in blender with peeled roast pepper and puree. Put in fridge. Halve the husk tomatoes, chop tomatillos, and thin shred radishes. When ready, mix all ingredients together 1 hour before serving.

    Thanks Mary!

    . . .

    A Loss in the Community Honoring Judy Levis

    With fond memories, the Seacoast Growers Association honors the recent passing of long-time market community member Judy Levis of Maplevale Turkey Farm and Orchard. Judy was an integral part of the farmer’s market for 20 years and served on the SGA Board of Directors. Perhaps best remembered for their turkey pies and chocolate chip cookies, the presence of Maplevale Farm at the market has been missed in recent years. We are sorry to hear of Judy’s passing and send warm wishes to the Levis family.

    Facebook page “honoring her legacy – Family and friends are invited to share memories here”

    Union Leader article, published on August 23.

    . . .

    Durham Closed Monday

    The Durham Farmers’ Market will be closed in honor of Labor Day on Monday, and resume normal operations the following week (September 14th).

    . . .

    Have a wonderful holiday weekend
    & we’ll see you at market!
    (except not on Monday…)

    September 1st, 2015

    A Field Guide to Farmers’ Market Tomatoes

    Hollister Family Farm tomatoes
    Tomato selection from Hollister Family Farm

    This week, we bring you a primer on the abundance and variety of farmers’ market tomatoes, complete with photos and eating suggestions. It’s all part of our cunning plan to inspire creative entries into the 4th Annual Salsa Contest that takes place on Monday at the Durham Farmers’ Market (see details below)!

    Let’s warm up with a classic: the Roma tomato, a plum tomato perfect for homemade spaghetti sauces:

    Vernon Family Farm Romas
    Romas from Vernon Family Farm

    For a lower-acidity tomato, try either the Great White or Pineapple Tomato, like these from Heron Pond Farm:

    Heron Pond Farm Pineapple Tomatoes
    Heron Pond Farm tomatoes

    Both have the mild, tropical fruit taste of pineapple, guava and melon, and are great slicing tomatoes because of their size and how they hold together. Heron Pond carries other heirloom varieties such as Rose, Persimmon and Valencia. Chelsea MacDonald (who runs the Heron Pond market booth in Exeter) recommends using these tomatoes in gazpacho with cucumbers, onion, basil and olive oil, or in a fresh Caprese salad.

    Chelsea also describes this easy tomato jam recipe: Start with 5 lbs of heirloom tomatoes, chopped and seeded. Add 3 quarters of a cup of sugar to the tomatoes and let sit in a medium sized pot for 10 minutes, then bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened, approximately 1 hour. This yields about 2 and a half cups of tomato jam. Use it like ketchup and spread on sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. It has a great flavor and lasts for about one week in the fridge, or longer if canned.

    Stout Oak Farm tomatoes
    Cherry tomato collection from Stout Oak Farm

    Stout Oak Farm offers a delightful assortment of cherry tomatoes, perfect to slice in half and show off their colors in salads and pasta dishes. The elongated cherry tomatoes are called Green Tigers and have a bright lime green interior. Sweet-tasting Pink and Purple Bumblebees are red with colorful striping. Wouldn’t you like a salad with Pink Bumblebees and Green Tigers?

    McKenzie's Farm Favoritas
    McKenzie’s Farm Favoritas

    Favorita is another type of cherry tomato, and McKenzie’s Farm favors it for their own homemade pasta sauce: toss the cherry tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, with a couple of cloves of garlic. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. When still hot, puree the tomatoes and garlic with an emulsion blender or food processor. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, more salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and a little Parmesan cheese. Pour over zucchini noodles or pasta for a delicious market meal.

    Sounds like a good match to Leaven’s rosemary ciabatta! Or if you’d rather leave the cooking to others, Figtree Kitchen makes a lovely roasted tomato feta scone.

    Brandmoore Farm Indigo Apple Tomato
    Indigo Apple tomato from Brandmoore Farm

    Brandmoore Farm’s black Indigo Apple tomato has a deep purple, near black coloration that is high in anti-oxidant. They also carry a Striped German, which is yellow with a beautifully marbled interior, and the dense and juicy Cherokee Purple beefsteak style tomato. Phil and Becky say the best way to enjoy these are in a tomato sandwich with mayo – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    New Roots tomatoes
    New Roots Farm varieties

    Rene Cantara of New Roots Farm specializes in tomatoes. She offers an array of flavors and textures including: Red Beefsteak, Sunkist (a hybrid tomato created at UNH), Cherokee Green, Blue Beauty, Black Krim, and a yellow variety called Flame.

    Rene eats tomatoes with sliced cucumber and a little bit of apple cider vinegar. Celeste Gingrass, from Forty-Five Market Street Bakery enjoys the Black Krim sliced on top of a pumpernickel bagel with chive cream cheese and smoked salmon!

    Last, but never least, are yellow, Sungold cherry tomatoes – a market favorite because of their sweet and tangy flavor. They are joined here by Sweet 100’s from the Vernon Family Farm:

    Vernon Family Farm Sungolds
    Vernon Family Farm salsa ingredients

    Note the peppers in the foreground, just waiting to be combined into salsa and entered into Monday’s Salsa Contest:

    Anyone can enter their homemade salsa, just bring it over to the Durham Farmers’ Market for tasting – early arrivals have the best chance at the most votes, and voting will continue throughout the market day (from 2:15-6pm). The winner gets bragging rights and a gift basket full of market goodies. Check in at the market booth on Monday to participate.

    For even more tomato recipes, check out the latest edition of Edible Seacoast Magazine.

    . . .

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

    August 25th, 2015

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