Finding the fun in food
Family Friendly Farmers Market in Nashua
By Madeleine Staub firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Joseph Hospital will show the Nashua community that being healthy can be fun and delicious with a Family-Friendly Farmers Market on Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature local farmers and food artisans, a cooking competition, and games and activities for children. Taking over the Lake Street Parking Lot of the hospital’s campus, at 172 Kinsley St. in Nashua, the free event will provide fun and educational opportunities for all who attend.
“We wanted to create an event to bring the community together and show them different ways they can be healthy,” said Sarah Ward of the hospital.
The Country Dreams Farm of Nashua will sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Ward said that later summer is when many of the best produce items come out, such as corn, cucumbers and zucchini.
Some local food artisans will be at the market to sell products made with local ingredients. Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies will be selling preserves, traditional strawberry jams and grape jellies, exotic kadota fig jam and tarragon wine jelly. Sue Stretch, owner of Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies, also provides interesting recipes that incorporate her preserves on her website, www.laurelhilljams.com, because it just doesn’t seem right to put Port wine jelly on a PB&J.
The Fieldstone Farm of Rindge will sell their maple syrup, which is made in the traditional manner with a wood-fired arch.
LaBelle Winery will sell wines made from local fruits. Amongst the offerings are Riesling, heirloom apple, and blueberry. LaBelle experiments with many flavors, creating wines that range from very dry to very sweet — and even spicy with their jalapeño pepper wine.
A cooking competition will showcase Italian eateries from around the Nashua area in a format somewhat like Iron Chef. Chefs from Florence’s Restaurant in Merrimack, Lucia’s Tavola in Brookline, and Valentino’s Restaurant in Hudson will be informed of a secret healthy ingredient that they must use in their recipe about a week before the event. The chefs will cook live at the event at 11:30 a.m., and visitors can watch and learn how to make healthy Italian meals. The market organizers had hoped to find a total of four chefs so that two could compete in making an entrée and two could make desserts, but they haven’t been able to find a last chef as of yet. After an hour, the chefs will have to turn in their meals to the judges, who will base their decisions on how the food tastes and how healthy it is. The secret ingredient will be something available to purchase at the market, and the competition serves a dual purpose — to teach people how they can make dishes at home and to introduce the community to various restaurants.
“Last year we had chefs from around downtown Nashua, but this year, we found chefs from around the greater Nashua region where people might not go normally,” Ward said.
The third component of the event is the children’s activity area. There will be a bounce house, face painting, a rock wall to climb, spin art and baseball games.
“We wanted to show people different ways they could get moving and stay active,” Ward said.
The event takes place rain or shine, but Ward said organizers are hoping for sunshine. Despite having a rainy day last year and being forced to move the event inside the parking garage, Ward said they had a great response from the community. This is only the second year that the hospital has put on the event, but they saw the growing excitement around farmers markets in the area and wanted to use one as an opportunity to reach out to Nashua.