NH Eat Local Month is Coming!

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What great news! After a few years of stellar local stewardship for an “Eat Local” event by Seacoast Eat Local, the state of New Hampshire has embraced the idea of celebrating local agriculture with a statewide Eat Local Month.  The press release below gives details about the month and its theme weeks, so you can begin planning for how you’ll take part. Discover the amazing bounty of our state by celebrating with us! Since the month begins with “Farmers’ Market Week,” August 2-8, why not get started by venturing out to a brand new weekday market in one of the many Seacoast towns that offer one – you’re likely to be delighted by your discoveries!

August is NH Eat Local Month!

August 2-8 is NH Farmers’ Market Week

By

Gail McWilliam Jellie, Director

Division of Agricultural Development

NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food

Governor John Lynch has proclaimed the month of August 2009 as NH Eat Local Month! Each of the four weeks of the month has a theme: “Visit a Farmers Market”, “Family to the Farm” (visit a farmstand or farm), “Share the Harvest” (providing food for those in need), and “Looking Ahead” (preserving and storing food for the winter). Last year, the first week of August was declared “NH Eat Local Week”, and was marked by local dinners and other events, and more interest is anticipated in this month long celebration of New Hampshire’s farmers and their harvest.

New Hampshire residents and visitors, alike, are showing unprecedented interest in local food, and this month long celebration offers a great opportunity to feature New Hampshire grown foods. Visit www.nheatlocal.org for event and activity information.

As part of the NH Eat Local Month festivities, the week of August 2-8 has been proclaimed as New Hampshire Farmers’ Market Week, by Governor Lynch.  It also coincides with the 10th annual National Farmers’ Market Week, saluting farmers’ markets all across America.

Direct marketing of farm products through farmers markets is an important sales outlet for agricultural producers nationwide. Farmers markets have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. The number of farmers markets in the United States has been growing steadily, according to US Dept. of Agriculture figures, with over 4,800 farmers markets operating in the United States.

New Hampshire has also seen tremendous growth in farmers markets, with nearly 80 markets operating throughout New Hampshire today. The NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food and the NH Farmers’ Market Association support the development and operation of farmers’ markets and other direct marketing activities for agricultural producers.  Farmers’ markets offer products such as farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat and dairy products, baked goods, flowers and much more. Learn more about New Hampshire farmers’ markets at the NH Farmers’ Market Association website: http://www.nhfma.org/. Find a list of New Hampshire farmers’ markets at: http://agriculture.nh.gov/publications/documents/farmersmarket.pdf.

Local farmers’ markets will be celebrating Farmers’ Market Week with a variety of events such as demonstrations, food tastings, music, entertainment, and more. A special kick off celebration for both NH Eat Local Month and Farmers’ Market Week will be held on August 1st, 9 am at the Concord Farmers’ Market. NH Commissioner of Agriculture, Lorraine Merrill will welcome Governor John Lynch and First Lady, Dr. Susan Lynch to the market, along with many other guests, farmers and shoppers.

For more information, contact Gail McWilliam Jellie at the NH Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food, 25 Capitol St., Concord, NH  03302-2042, Tel. 271-3788, email: gmcwilliam@agr.state.nh.us, website: www.agriculture.nh.gov.