Farm Picnic Recap

The consensus is that the 4th Annual Slow Food Seacoast Down-on-the-Farm Picnic was a great success! More than 80 people—singles, couples, and families—joined Slow Food Seacoast at Dalton’s Pasture, the Rowells’ homestead in Nottingham, NH, to learn about permaculture, homesteading, and living simply and to enjoy a lovely summer afternoon with like-minded people.

Host canines Finnegan and Sparky greeted each arriving party at the Welcome tent. On Saturday, Peter Rowell had prepared a pot of baked beans and cooked it in a fire pit overnight, so just after 12 noon, he unearthed it with a crowd watching to see whether they were going to be edible. Luckily for us, they were very much so, and they joined the rest of the delicious dishes on the potluck table!

After lunch, Lauren Chase-Rowell led her largest tour group ever around her farm, introducing them to permaculture principles along the way—how to not disrupt the site’s ecology, work efficiently, and use resources wisely. Next, John Forti led a wild and medicinal edibles walk on the property while Peter simultaneously showed a group his “chicken tractor” designs for keeping his pastured chickens safe in the field.

This event could not have taken place, never mind have been successful, without the planning and communications expertise of the Slow Food Seacoast board: Alison Magill, John Forti, Jenny Isler, Amy Pollard, Erin Jenkins, Pam Angulo, and Laura Spelke. (A few years of farm picnic experience doesn’t hurt!) In addition, the board extends a heartfelt and humongous thank-you to everyone else who helped make the event a success:

  • Our most gracious and hospitable hosts, Lauren Chase-Rowell and Peter Rowell, who allowed us to march on their mulch, trample their thyme, and cackle with their chickens.
  • All of the Slow Food Seacoast board members, chapter members, and other volunteers who collectively performed as planners, site-scouting crew, event-day signage team, set-up crew, sound engineers, food tent crew, kid’s activities director, event photographer, and clean-up crew.
  • Daryl and Douglas, who staffed the Northeast Organic Farming Association, New Hampshire Chapter (NOFA-NH) table.
  • Jenny Isler, who staffed the Seacoast Community Garden Network (SCGN) table.
  • Heather Fernald, who staffed the Seacoast Eat Local table.
  • Amy Antonucci and Steve Dimond, who staffed the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group table.
  • Amy Winans and Dan Winans, who organized the UNH EcoGastronomy table and Italian food tasting.
  • Ali, who helped staff the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) heirloom and wild edibles info and tasting table.
  • Michael Sterling—who never appears in photos because he’s always behind the camera!—for taking pictures at the event. Check out our latest Flickr photo sets when you have a chance.
  • Deb Locke of Sugarmomma’s Maple Farm, who donated the cutest and most delicious maple candies as prizes for the children’s activities.
  • Everyone who talked up the event, handed out flyers, forwarded emails, or shared Facebook updates with people who otherwise might not know about Slow Food Seacoast and this wonderful annual event. (Thanks for getting the word out!)
  • All the attendees who dared to venture out of Portsmouth … and drive down 3 miles of sometimes washboard dirt road to get to the property. (Wasn’t it so worth it?)

This is tug-o-war!