March 5, 2009

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Get a piece of the farm
CSA: pay now for the summer harvest

By Linda A. Thompson-Odum food@hippopress.com

Even though the state is buried in snow, now is the time to plan ahead for the summer bounty of vegetables and fruits.

Many area farms currently have open enrollment for anyone who wants to participate in their community- supported agriculture programs (CSA). Buy a share now and reap the benefits all summer.

A CSA has customers pay in the winter or spring for a portion of the farm’s harvest. This benefits the farmers because they get money up front to purchase supplies such as seeds, greenhouses, tools, heat and additional labor. In return, customers are guaranteed a weekly supply of fresh-from-the-field locally grown, and probably organic, vegetables and fruits at a stable price. (The weekly size and make-up can vary with the harvest.)

“Customers invest and they get fresh vegetables,” Local Harvest CSA’s member coordinator Elizabeth Obelenus said. “The farmers know who they are growing for and how much they need to grow. It is a sustainable way for a farmer to make a living and be a part of the community.”

 “People get to feel connected to a farm and know where their food comes from,” Patrick Connelly of Field to Fork Farm said.

Connelly offers a year-around CSA that provides meat, eggs and dairy products from his farm. The program is so popular that he has only eight shares available this season, and a waiting list to fill those spots. He said people are welcome to add their names to the list, and he does sell individual products from his farm.

Obelenus belongs to the Local Harvest CSA, which is a cooperative of eight small farms. Customers pick up their box of fresh veggies each week at a church in Concord. Some members buy shares that include a weekly loaf of organic bread from Abigail’s Bakery in Weare. This season they have 275 to 300 shares for sale.

Many CSAs offer family-sized full shares and smaller half shares for individuals and couples, and some even offer discounts if you are willing to put in a little work-time at the farm. They are also happy to give customers recipes and storage suggestions for that week’s produce.

Some of the CSAs’ prices increase at the end of March, so customers can benefit by signing up soon. Most of the farms also have farm stands and sell produce at area farmer’s markets. Here is a list of area farms that will offer CSAs this year. An even longer list can be found at www.localharvest.org.

• Tracie’s Community Farm, 72 Jaffrey Road, Fitzwilliam, 209-1851, www.traciesfarm.com: The 17-week season begins mid-June and continues through the beginning of October. Each week’s basket includes washed vegetables and a newsletter explaining how things are going on the farm, how to prepare and store the vegetables, and what to expect in the next week’s basket. A large family share costs $600, a family share $420, and a single share $300. Shares for mesclun, herbs and greens are sold separately. The price of the share includes delivery, and there is a $50 discount if you pick up your basket at the farm.

• Middle Branch Farm, 280 Colburn Road, New Boston, 487-2540: The season is from June through October. A share is designed for a couple or a family with small children. The farm also has pick-your-own herbs, peas, beans and flowers and offers naturally raised pork and beef to share members. Baskets may be picked up at the farm or a satellite location (see details at www.localharvest.org/csa/M6928). Approximately 300 shares are offered each season. A 16-week summer share costs $465. For satellite pick-up, a share costs $485. Prices may increase after April 1.

• New Hampshire CSA, 24 Haverhill Road, Chester, www.nhcsa.com: A full share costs $535, and a half share $285. Members will receive instructions on how to preserve the vegetables to enjoy all winter. Pick-up locations are at the farm, and in Derry and Londonderry. See the Web site for dates and times.

• Field to Fork Farm, 522 Haverhill Road, Chester, 548-4331, www.fieldtoforkfarm.com: This farm offers a year-round meat, eggs and dairy CSA for families who want a regular supply of certified organic eggs, milk and meats (chicken and pork) from pasture-raised and organically fed animals. Additional options include maple syrup and goat meat. Participation at the farm is encouraged but not required. A subscription costs $125 a month, with a required up-front contribution of 1/4 of the yearly subscription fee (three months/$375) to be put toward organic feed and livestock maintenance. Weekly pick-up at the farm.

• Local Harvest CSA, c/o NOFA-NH, 4 Park St., Suite 208, Concord, 731-5955, www.localharvestnh.com: This is a cooperative of eight New Hampshire organic farms that work together to provide share-members with fresh certified organic products. Weekly pick-up is at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Concord. A single share feeds two people, and a family share is for four people (or two hungry vegetarians). The cost is $495 single; $588 single with weekly loaf of bread; $742 family, and $922 family with two loaves of bread weekly.

• Holland Farm CSA, 269 Osgood Road, Milford, 673-0667, www.hollandfarmcsa.com: This year, membership costs $500 for a full membership, which will feed two adults and two or three children. A half membership, enough for two adults, costs $325. Members choose the vegetables they enjoy, but a weekly limit for each vegetable will apply depending on the membership level.

• Lewis Farm, 192 Silk Farm Road, Concord, 228-6230, www.LewisFarmNH.com: Because of the farm’s extensive greenhouse system, the season will begin in May and run through October. Besides vegetables and herbs, the farm will include fruits and other items from other farms. A full share costs $600. If paid in full at sign-up, there is a 10-percent discount. A three-payment plan is also available: $200 at sign-up, $200 by March 20 and $200 by May 20.



2/26/2009 Before late night eats,an evening at the pub

2/19/2009 Drinks with Dan Akroyd
2/12/2009 Crooked Birch branches out
2/5/2009 Dinner with your sweetheart
1/29/2009 Food for the 50-yard line
1/22/2009 Artisan bread at The Good Loaf
1/15/2009 "Fold, mush, turn"
1/8/2009 Once upon a time at a bistro...
1/1/2009 Zacky's to go
12/25/2008 2008 in small bites
12/18/2008 Manchestert brewing opens in Concord
12/11/2008 Delicious gifts for the foodie
12/4/2008 New chef at UnWine'd
11/27/2008 Corks pops at BVI
11/20/2008 Big plates, big food
11/13/2008 IPA first prize
11/6/2008 You want it? He'll bring it.
10/30/2008 Cooking up a mystery
10/23/2008 Running with the bulls
10/16/2008 Like grandma made it
10/9/2008 The flavor of Concord
10/2/2008 Indie donuts rising
9/25/2008 Buy a bowl, feed the hungry
9/18/2008 Oktoberfest — for a cause
9/11/2008 A slice ofGreece, Asia, France...
9/4/2008 Flavors of Manchester
8/28/2008 D.I.Y. sausage
8/21/2008 Summertime and the living is chilli
8/14/2008 Weekend of festivals
8/7/2008 Going for pizza gold
7/31/2008 Red and juicy, from vine to table
7/24/2008 Meet the Manch-vegans
7/17/2008 Meet the winemaker
7/10/2008 Pupusas, cervesa y batidos
7/03/2008 3C's Cafe opens in Highlander Inn
6/26/2008 Oh, tartar sauce!
6/19/2008 From farm to grill
6/12/2008 450 pounds of lamb
6/5/2008 Travel the culinary world at BVI
5/29/2008 Chocolate throwdown
5/22/2008 Hit the road for some Yum-Yum
5/15/2008 Local, gluten-free and ready made
5/8/2008 The return of brownies and pasta
5/1/2008 Have a fiesta
4/24/2008 Noshing and shopping
4/17/2008 Celebrating with Greek eats
4/10/2008 Drive-ins open for the season
4/3/2008 Noshing for a cause
3/20/2008 The Easter Bunny brings dinner
3/13/2008 The Irish Spirit
3/6/2008 The sweet season
2/28/2008 Cambodian (or Italian) made easy
2/21/2008 Fresh fish comes to Nashua
2/14/2008 Hearts and fibers
2/7/2008 A romantic dinner for two
1/31/2008 Celebrate Mardi Gras
1/24/2008 Morroccan in Milford
1/17/2008 The chef is inn
1/10/2008 Italian street food in NH
1/10/2008 The contorni approach
1/3/2008 Like Disneyland for foodies
12/27/2007 More food and wine events, a menu for the bar
12/20/2007 Lots of dough
12/13/2007 Gifts for gourmands
12/6/2007 Making spirits really bright
11/22/2007 Just don't ask them to cook
11/15/2007 Easy as pie
11/8/2007 Italian eats, bistro style
11/1/2007 Bringing Italia to New Hampshire
10/25/2007 Trick or treat, the grown-up version
10/18/2007 Shop where the pros go
10/11/2007 Enjoy apple season from orchard to plate
10/04/2007 Tradition on the menu
9/27/2007 Meet your pig
9/20/2007 In search of the right meat
9/20/2007 Vegan blogger branches out
9/13/2007 Get ready to eat
9/6/2007 Fifty years of fair
8/30/2007 The buzz about peach fuzz
8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes
8/16/2007 Festival weekend
8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki ó a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
abel
A picnic ó itís romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead ó run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
Itís not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken ó no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: itís whatís for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch