Celebrating Eat Local Month: A Conversation with One of the Market’s Original Vendors

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August is New Hampshire’s Eat Local Month, and farmers markets throughout the state are celebrating by doing what they do best—bringing high-quality, locally grown, raised and produced foods to market. Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market continues a 15-year tradition of doing just that, and we’re growing each year to meet the demands of an increasingly savvy local foods community.

We’re taking a break this week from highlighting the market’s new vendors, to hear from one of our originals: Wolfeboro’s Crooked Pine Farm. Brenda and Mark Lush joined the market in its first season—back when just six vendors got together in front of Carpenter School to sell their produce, meats and products. The Lush family had been gradually growing their farm (literally, inch by inch, clearing trees and rocks to create garden space) on Browns Ridge Road since about 1990, when they began with a few chickens and pigs. Twenty-six years later, they raise chickens, turkeys, pigs and lambs. Their animals are all raised on pasture, along with natural, non-medicated feed. This year’s turkey flock (70 strong) is being fed a natural and non-GMO feed; customers are encouraged to get their Thanksgiving orders in early! Though Crooked Pine Farm continues to grow an eclectic variety of unusual garden vegetables, which turn up at the market as available, the farm’s specialties include chicken, turkey, lamb and fresh eggs.

Though Mark is a critical force behind the workings of Crooked Pine Farm, you won’t find him most weeks at the market. During the school year, he’s teaching social studies at Kingswood High School, and during the summer season, he’s working as a docent at the nearby Clark Museum. Market customers will find Brenda at the Crooked Pine Farm tent, along with the best seasonal products the farm has to offer.

Brenda’s true passion is in the creation of fresh-baked goods, both for market and to fill an increasing number of special orders. Using locally-produced fruits and other ingredients as possible, Brenda bakes breads, cookies, granola, pies and specialty items just in time for every Thursday’s market. Regular customers head for her oatmeal bread (lightly sweetened with honey and perfect for sandwiches) and her ever-popular bear claws with cream cheese and blueberries. If you’re lucky, you might get there in time to buy a large bear claw ring, to serve the whole family. Though Crooked Pine Farm does produce cultivated blueberries, Brenda prefers to bake with wild blueberries, which she buys from Eastman’s in Wolfeboro. Popular breads also include anadama and cinnamon swirl, along with what she calls “150% whole wheat”—made with whole wheat flour and bulgur. No matter which you choose, you’ll be enjoying a treat made from fresh, wholesome ingredients, straight from the Crooked Pine Farm kitchen. A rotating assortment of sandwiches are usually available, which customers can expect to transition to hot soups and stews as the weather cools this fall.

Customers who’ve worked up a thirst may find Brenda squeezing fresh lemonade at the market—a tradition that began years ago with the Lush children, who served up lemonade at the market to earn their own farm income. Brenda continues the tradition, commenting that people will stay at the market longer if they’re able to get a cold drink to quench their thirst, and it’s a good item for the kids. “If the kids are happy, their parents are happy and are more likely to stay,” she said. As a long-time board member of the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market, Brenda’s concerns extend beyond her own success as a vendor. Making sure the market as a whole runs well, providing a diverse and balanced assortment of offerings, as well as creating a vibrant community gathering spot are all important goals.

Now in its 15th year, the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market has grown steadily and today features more than 30 vendors.

Asked to comment on the changes she’s seen over the years, Brenda talked about the recent addition of lunch vendors to the market. “People are staying longer, sitting at the picnic tables to visit and enjoy lunch, and the live music,” she said. “The market has really good energy these days.”

Our loyal customers, and the always growing tribe of new customers, are an important part of that energy. The community’s commitment to supporting local farms like Crooked Pine Farm continues to grow, with many area residents now heading to the farmers market for fresh staples and specialty items. Though the state may celebrate local food especially in August, the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market keeps that celebration alive almost year round, with the popular summer market and the growing winter market to look forward to in just a few months.

And don’t forget to order that Thanksgiving turkey soon!

The Wood Makes It Good!

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People around town are talking, and word’s getting out that this is the sweetest community farmers market in the area. The concept of planning weekly food shopping around what might be available at the market is catching on, and Thursday afternoons are buzzing with more activity than ever at Clark Park!

Joining the growing ranks of fine vendors this year is Paul Stevens of Wolfeboro, with his Jazzy Chef BBQ. Paul’s secret to the aroma wafting out from his tent? Well, that’s simple! “It’s the wood that makes it good,” he says. Paul uses locally sourced meats, smoking for 10  hours or more over over oak, cherry and apple wood coals. Spices are important (and secret), but there’s no replacement for wood smoke and time, according to Paul Stevens. Texas style brisket, available in sandwiches or by the pound, is his most popular menu item, with Carolina style pulled pork, Memphis style ribs and Alabama smoked chicken close behind.

Of course, we’ve always had delicious foods to offer at the market, but this year is better than ever. Stopping for a yummy lunch, ice cream treat, iced coffee or fresh lemonade is a draw indeed—what’s new is that an increasing number of people are planning their week around taking home something delicious for dinner—already cooked, that is. Jazzy Chef BBQ has a growing clientele who make this their first stop every week for a few pounds of brisket or other meat to take home for dinner.  Add a salad and a loaf of bread, and dinner is made.

Stevens, who grew up in Wolfeboro, was classically trained as a chef, and spent recent years working as an estate chef, including time on private yachts in Florida. Most recently, he traveled throughout the south, sampling down-home cooking and training in BBQ techniques. Though BBQ is clearly his passion, his versatility as a chef is serving him well as he grows his local catering business. Serving groups of any size with a flair comes easily to him. Working alongside him at the market is his mother, Rita Georges, and friend Maureen Bowers.

Cooking runs in the family. “What brought me to cooking was seeing my grandparents Avis Stevens and Paul Stevens around the kitchen and garden,” Stevens said.  His grandmother passed down a tradition of bringing home-baked sweets to family gatherings, with young Paul happy to help out at pie-baking time. His grandfather cultivated a big family garden, and brought fresh food to the table. Together, they inspired Paul as a child to find ways to please others through food. “I have never tasted a tomato as good as my grandfather’s,” he added.

The summer farmers market is continuing to fulfill that dream of bringing pleasure to people through food, and he’s glad he made the decision to participate. “It’s a great community,” says Stevens. “Everyone at the market helps each other out, and it’s been such a welcoming crowd.” Beyond his own work at the market, Stevens has been pleased to see the huge variety of quality products coming from the Wolfeboro area.

Stop by for lunch, or plan to take some meat home for supper. (Or both!) If you’re planning a family reunion or other event, talk to Paul Stevens about his catering services. For more information, visit the Jazzy Chef BBQ website or on Facebook.

We appreciate the community’s welcoming spirit with this year’s market, as we grow and branch out. With each vendor we’ve added, we’ve seen the community’s response grow and strengthen. Thanks for all you do to spread the word, support the vendors and support our local agricultural economy. We’re creating a good thing—and we’re doing it together!

 

Smoke on the Water: Freshly Smoked BBQ at the Market

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Marker shoppers have responded enthusiastically to new food vendors this season; we’re pleased to see the market offering plenty of options for lunching and snacking on the spot, as well as packing some ready-to-eat delicious foods up to take home.

Smoke on the Water brings us freshly smoked barbecue, with a southern flare.

The man behind the smoke is Lee Pollard Sr., a recent retiree from Clemson, South Carolina, now living in Wakefield, New Hampshire. Moving north to be near his son (that’s Lee Pollard Jr., in the photo with him), he was drawn to the friendly, local vibe of the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market. Without missing a beat, he launched Smoke on the Water, drawing on decades of experience as a restaurant owner in South Carolina. His experience shows in so many ways: the welcoming tables and chairs for customers, the heady aroma coming from the grill (aka, “the flat top”) and the colorful, enticing menu boards.SOTWmenu

Weekly offerings are based around smoked fresh pork and beef, prepared as sandwiches and salads, with homemade sauces and toppings. He plans to start offering those secret sauces in jars, as well as his often-asked-about meat rub. Also in the works is a plan to offer chicken tenders, made especially with kids in mind but likely to be popular for all. “They’ll be hand-breaded in a beer batter,” and served with a variety of sauces to choose from. The father and son pair also makes grilled cheese sandwiches for either the kids or adults who are looking for a simple option. Smoke on the Water’s customer favorite, though, is the Smoked Beef Brisket, which is served up with blue cheese crumbles, topped with grilled peppers and onions, all on a brioche roll. All food is cooked fresh every week.

“We’re always listening to our customers,” said Lee Sr., “and we’ll adjust to what people are asking for.”  Always looking to improve on a good thing, Lee Sr. is working with Wotton Farm to bring washed lettuce to market, making Smoke on the Water salads even fresher, while supporting a market farm. Please welcome Lee Pollack Sr. and Lee Pollack Jr., one of the market’s fine new 2016 vendors, and plan to leave with a few to-go containers in your shopping bag!

The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market is more vibrant than ever this year, with more than 30 vendors, live music. And, don’t forget that weekly raffle for a $75 gift certificate and market bag! It could be you this week!

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Delights Market Shoppers

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You’ve walked the ever-growing lawn of market vendors, carefully selecting your week’s items, while stopping to chat more than a few times along the way. Maybe your bags are full and heavy, and perhaps you’re a little parched and weary as well. While we wouldn’t call shopping at the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market hard work, it does take some energy.

But wait, there’s a special treat waiting for you at Dryburgh Coffee, along with a few seating options for enjoying that treat.

With an air of summery, elegant simplicity, the Dryburgh Coffee tent offers one tempting product, and one only: the best cold-brewed iced coffee that’s ever passed your lips. Barista Scott Algate cold brews two varieties of beans every Wednesday evening, refining his 18-hour brew process with every batch. The beans are hand-roasted at Wolfeboro’s Seven Suns Coffee and Tea, before being ground to perfection and brewed for market. A barista for ten years in his now-home town of Melbourne, Australia (a city with a vibrant coffee culture), Scott is passionate about coffee. “It’s the whole process, really,” he said. “The quality of the beans, the farm, the roasting—a lot happens before I brew it.” And then, there’s the cold brew process. Cold-brewing ensures that the familiar bitterness of those franchise coffees doesn’t end up in your cup, according to Scott.

Scott and his partner Yuki (artist and coffee lover) intend to head west after the summer market season, offering their cold-brewed coffee along the way from a mobile coffee shop. Future plans for Dryburgh Coffee include creating a series of artist collaborations, extending both the reach of their coffees as well as that of area artists. Scott grew up in Wolfeboro, and is visiting with family here for the summer; sharing his coffee passion at the market was a natural choice!

Stop by for a delicious iced coffee and join in our appreciation for Scott and Yuki making the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market a stop along their way.

Raffle Winners Enjoy Market Shopping Sprees: Are You Next?

Every week, one of your friends or neighbors wins a $75 gift certificate and market bag at the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market, thanks in part to a generous grant from the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture. For just $1, you can purchase a chance to win; the winner is chosen at the end of each market, and you don’t have to be present to win. Our first and second week winners, above, were:

  • Week one: Katy Peternel of Wolfeboro, pictured with Market Manager Robin Dougherty of Brookfield
  • Week two: Marge Morris of Wolfeboro

Wouldn’t you like to cruise through the market one day soon, filling your new market bag with fresh veggies, meats, fish, cheese, eggs, honey, fruits, beautiful handmade items and maybe even stop for a delicious bite to eat while you’re here? Be sure to pick up your raffle tickets today!

We’ll be at Clark Park from 12:30 to 4:30. Do all of your Fourth of July celebration stocking up in one place!

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The Boys Fresh Catch Brings Premium Fresh Caught Fish to Market

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Something’s fishy at the farmers market these days!

The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market is proud and excited to welcome The Boys Fresh Catch to the summer market. Gaelyn and Mark Plachowicz of Brookfield bring in their catch out of Gloucester, Massachusetts on the Donna Marie, their 40-foot Novi dragger. Have you discovered their delicious fresh fish yet?

Gaelyn hand-picks the best of the best from the catch, which is then filleted and packaged fresh—not frozen—and then transported to market. Customers often remark that they’ve never tasted fish so fresh and flavorful. According to Gaelyn, who sells at the farmers market with her two boys Peter and Luke, fish caught by a dragger is the best possible quality, because the fish is always brought in alive.

The Boys Fresh Catch offers different kinds of fish every week, including flounder (4 different kinds), halibut, monkfish, codfish, haddock, skate, dogfish (a mini shark), whiting and hake. Gaelyn has been fishing with her husband for 11 years and can talk fish with the best of the fishmongers; she’s a wealth of information and is always ready to chat about recipes and cooking methods.

The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market is the only market that the Plachowicz family will vend at this season; we sure feel lucky to have them!

We’re at Clark Park in Wolfeboro every Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30. Be sure to stop by, and remember to pick up a raffle ticket for our weekly $75 gift certificate and market bag!

 

Summer Market Opens with Sunny Weather and 33 Vendors

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The 2016 Summer Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market got off to a lively start next week, with 33 vendors, seven of which are new this season. With an earlier start than ever, shoppers found plenty of fresh produce; fresh fish; farm-raised meats and poultry; fresh eggs; delicious hot prepared foods; local honey; lots of sweets and so much more. Subscribe to updates on this site and on Facebook; we’ll be introducing you to the market vendors throughout the season and sharing news as it happens.

Enjoy this little slideshow of market scenes and be there this week! You could be the winner of the weekly raffle of a $75 market gift certificate and snazzy market bag! Thanks for your support of our community market. We look forward to seeing you and your friends tomorrow, 12:30 to 4:30 at Clark Park in Wolfeboro!

Market Opens Tomorrow: Weekly Raffle for $75

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The Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market will open for the 2016 summer season TOMORROW — Thursday, June 2. The market will be open every Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. through October 6 at Clark Park, 233 South Main Street, in Wolfeboro, rain or shine. We’ll open with 33 great vendors, and we’re still reviewing applications for more!

New this year, is a weekly chance to win a $75 gift certificate! Made possible through a matching grant from the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, shoppers will be offered a weekly raffle this year for a $75 market gift certificate. Raffle tickets will cost just $1 and a winner will be drawn at the end of each market, and you don’t need to be present to win. As an extra bonus, winners will receive a sturdy, cloth shopping bag featuring our iconic rooster logo.

There’s more exciting news! During the winter (when they weren’t busy with the winter market), board members secured 501C(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service, making it possible for the organization to receive tax-deductible donations. Your donation will help us to continue our successful Double SNAP program for EBT card users—they’ll receive $2 worth of market tokens for each $1 withdrawn from their card, providing access to healthy, market-fresh foods to many area residents. Even on the market’s lean budget, the board has made this program a priority since its inception a couple of years ago. To date, the market has given away approximately $1000 in benefits through the Double SNAP program. A donation box will be set up at the weekly market, or you may donate online.

Whether you support us by spreading the news, bringing friends to the market, shopping every week or giving a cash donation, you’re supporting our presence and work in the Wolfeboro community.

Be sure to like us on Facebook and share our news there, too!

See you at the market, Thursdays from 12:30 to 4:30!

Last Winter Market Is Saturday, April 9!

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Winding down and winding up activities have market volunteers, vendors and farmers buzzing this month. Tomorrow (Saturday, April 9) will be the last market of the winter season, open 10 to 2 at the First Congregational Church in Wolfeboro. We’re hoping for a bigger crowd than ever, thanks to Thursday’s great coverage in the Granite State News (see photo of Board Chair Fred Martin above, with the article). It’s not too late to pick up the paper if you missed the article!

The final market will also celebrate area CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), with three farms in attendance offering information and inspiration for potential members. Chat it up with farmers from Mountain Heartbeet in Effingham, New Hampshire; Meadowfall Farm & Forage in Parsonfield, Maine; and Winnipesaukee Woods Farm in Gilford, New Hampshire. Together, they offer three great options for weekly vegetable (and more!) shares, and you can still support the summer market for even more goodness. We’re proud to say that the Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market can meet very close to all of your healthy, local food needs.

Looking forward (always), board volunteers are scurrying to finalize vendors for the summer market, which is set to open earlier than ever this year—Thursday, June 2. We’ll be at Clark Park once again, on Thursdays from 12:30 to 4:30, through October 6. If you’re an interested vendor, be sure to check out our vendor information packet and contact us ASAP to be sure you don’t miss out on getting your name on our promotional materials.

Be sure to stop by at the last market of the year and celebrate a tremendously successful first season by picking up a few things to get you by until June 2. Happy Spring, friends!

Spring Treats at the Winter Market

143ChocolateThe winter market will be in full spring swing this weekend, with at least 12 vendors offering their wares on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Whether you’re planning an Easter dinner and treats or just stocking up on delicious local fare, you’ll find good things at the market.

Absent for a couple of months during the cold of winter, Mountain Heartbeet Farm will join us again this week with some early spring greens and other surprises. And, as a special treat for holiday celebrations, don’t forget the hand-dipped, artisanal chocolates from 143 Chocolate in Gilford, or perhaps some finely crafted soaps from Rosemoon Soap or Back Bay Soap for a hostess gift.

This week’s market is the second to last of a very successful season, with the last winter market happening on Saturday, April 9.

We’re well underway in planning for a better than ever summer season, so stay tuned (like us on Facebook, and subscribe to this site for updates). If you’re interested in being a summer vendor, you’ll find information, here.

In the mean time, see you at the winter market!