Tag Archives: organics

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.
  • One of Peter's homemade "chicken tractor" designs.

  • 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?)
Scusi, but wasn't tug-o-war supposed to be a children's activity?!

This is tug-o-war!

“Earth’s Best Story” authors in Portsmouth, 5/18

Via Seacoast Local and RiverRun Bookstore:

Seacoast Local and RiverRun Bookstore present Ron and Arnie Koss, authors of The Earth’s Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution, in the next lecture of the Making the Connection speaker series on Tuesday, May 18.

The Koss brothers founded Earth’s Best Baby Foods, the first nationally distributed organic foods company, 25 years ago. They describe their book as a how-to of entrepreneurship lessons. At the event, they will talk about ideas, reality, and success in the context of creating a bright and sustainable future.

Earths Best Baby Food

WHAT: Ron and Arnie Koss talk about The Earth’s Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution at RiverRun Bookstore

WHEN: Tuesday, May 18, at 7 pm

WHERE: RiverRun Bookstore, 20 Congress St., Portsmouth, NH (603-431-2100) and webcast LIVE at www.riverrunbookstore.com!

MORE INFO: Visit the RiverRun website for details about the event. Learn more about the book on the Chelsea Green website.

Seacoast Local‘s  Making the Connection series, co-produced by RiverRun Bookstore, serves as a catalyst for continuing education, community connections, and sustainable change for Seacoast residents.

Your Organic Vegetable Garden event, 5/25

Via Seacoast Eat Local:

Your Organic Vegetable Garden: Managing Pests & Diseases

Many home and community gardeners have taken up growing vegetables in recent years. This rewarding pursuit comes with its own set of challenges. Those vegetables we find so delicious can be equally attractive to a wide range of insects. Understanding the difference between beneficial insects and destructive pests is often difficult. In Your Organic Vegetable Garden: Managing Pests & Diseases, Eric Sideman, Organic Crop Specialist for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), will cover the identification of pests and diseases common to growing vegetables. He also will discuss organic methods of prevention and management, with a special focus on identifying and preventing Late Blight.

Late Blight

This event is free and open to the public. It is a collaboration of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Seacoast Eat Local, and Seacoast Community Garden Network.

Space is limited. To RSVP or for more information, please email Debra Kam.

WHO: Eric Sideman, Organic Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)

WHERE: Portsmouth Public Library, Hilton Room, 175 Parrott Ave, Portsmouth, NH

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 6–7:30 pm

Some of you may already know Eric Sideman through his informative Pest Reports for MOFGA. Eric earned a B.S. in agriculture from Cornell University, an M.S. in biology from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of New Hampshire. He moved to Maine in 1982 to teach biology and ecology at Bates College. In 1986 he moved on to MOFGA to become what some call “the nation’s first Organic Extension Agent.” He provides technical support for farmers and gardeners, serves as staff scientist for MOFGA, plans and produces educational events for MOFGA and Cooperative Extension, and serves on various agricultural committees for the Maine Department of Agriculture and the University of Maine. From 1997 to 2002 Eric served a term on the National Organic Standards Board, an advisory board to the USDA National Organic Program. Eric has recently moved to New Hampshire, just over the border from Maine, and now MOFGA has a great opportunity to give support to farmers and gardeners a long way from Unity.