Folks, Lakes Region Food Network is currently fundraising for the Veggie Round Up. They did a brief intro last year. The markets we paraticipate in in Laconia will be participating this year. This is similar to the WIC coupons that were distributed through the Dept of Agriculture in prior years. The Veggie Round Up will be supported by donations only. It will benefit low income folks who cannot afford fresh vegetables at our markets. Here is a link if you wish to contribute to this important project.
(not sure how these photos are going to line up on this post) Here is what our R.O. does. The photo on the left (the lower number) is before it goes through the R. O. The middle photo is the water taken out of the sap as it goes through the R. O. The photo on the right (the higher number) is one pass of the sap through the R. O. You’ll see the sugar content on the right reads twice as much as the sugar content reading on the left. Pretty cool huh? This saves us 3 hours of boiling and lots of wood.
This is day 2 of maple weekend. We will be open from 10 to 4 and will be firing up the evaporator within 1/2 hour. Our barn store is open with lots of goodies including maple fudge which is unbelievably yummy and creamy. Stop on by for a visit, a tour, demonstrations and tastings! Hope to see some of you and meet some new faces today.
It has been a huge struggle this season for our maple producing. We have yet to can up one jug of the golden syrup. The weather has been a constant challenge for us and many maple producers throughout the state. We were set to boil today but our tank and pipe was frozen due to the dramatic drop in temperature from yesterday to today. On the bright side it appears Wednesday the weather is turning and it looks like we have a good 5 days of excellent weather. May the sap overflow our tanks and those tanks of the producers throughout the state.
Today, we got some seeds started: 775 tomatoes, 120 eggplants and 377 peppers. Looks like we will be selling some plants come May!
We are now into March. Many other CSAs charge a late fee for joining after March 1st. The ideology behind a CSA is that payment is received up front for vegetables in the summer. The desired payment time is December through February. This allows us the ability to plan ahead, order seeds based on the families who have signed up for the CSA. When payment is received in June, that defeats the purpose of the CSA. As you know, the slowest time for a typical vegetable farmer is the winter months. An income coming in from CSA sign ups assist us during the lean months to order the supplies that we need for the coming months. We do not want to charge a late fee like other CSAs do.
Viewing the Tedx Manhattan Change the Way we Eat program yesterday made us realize that many people cannot afford to purchase fresh vegetables with the piddly amount of money they receive from the government or if they are even lucky to receive any money from the government. Imagine finally getting a job after a year of looking and getting paid $9/hour. You are raising two children on your own. You applied for assistance and are told you make $2/hour more and do not qualify for any assistance. Chef Boyardee in a can is your children’s meal while you eat a cheese sandwich on Wonder bread. We have decided to give a CSA full season share to a needy family in our town this summer. This is insignificant to the amount of hungry people out there but it’s a step in the right direction. In the following years, we may donate a share based on the number of CSA signs up, i.e. for every 25 families that sign up, we donate 1 full season share; for every 50 families that sign up we donate 2 full season shares. Part of life is to give and this is one of the ways we can give. We also want to share our knowledge with people who want to grow the way we do. There are many back yard gardeners who have a simple plot of land to grow some vegetables for their family. We have rock dust available for sale at a very modest price compared to what they sell it for commercially – another way of helping out our community.
We will be having CSA deliveries this year to Nottingham, Concord and the Alton/Barnstead line. A very good friend of ours lives in Nottingham. She travels to the farm and picks up her orders as well as others and delivers them to her friends in Nottingham. Why? Because she believes in supporting us. She loves the taste of our vegetables – they taste the way vegetables should taste. If you live or know of anyone who lives in these towns that may be interested, please forward our information along to them. If you have been thinking about signing up for our CSA or the pay ahead card, we encourage you to do so now. We would like to thank the families that have signed up already. Thank you. Keith and Michelle
Keith and I attended the Tedx Manhattan Changing the Way we Eat Viewing Party today in Concord. It was a free event with donated food for both lunch and dinner. This streamed live from New York City. The event was about what different organizations are doing in the United States from bringing local food to the school system, educating those children on where your food comes from, local food movement, food awareness just to name a few. It was particularly interesting that a community (and I cannot remember what state this was in) instituted a 2% tax on junk food and reduce the tax on organic food by 5%. Many of the talks were very moving. Some of these folks are so passionate about their work on this subject. It is really aspiring. There are many, many organizations that focus their work on the food movement. Some of them that were mentioned: Digital Farm Collective, Living Library, Welcome Table, Environmental Working Group, Food Revolution, food policy action. We admire the many, many people who spoke at this event today and the countless hours they dedicate to this cause. We encourage you to join an organization that resonates with you. Currently in our State, the Granite State Farm to Plate passed the house, next up it needs to pass the senate. Keep an eye out later this year, the Environmental Working Group will be launching a website, specifically a food database which will list toxic free products you can buy. They base it on the ingredients, how processed and nutrition. Currently they have 1,500 brands and they hope to have more before the website goes live. They currently have EWG Skin Deep website which is related to health and beauty products. They will tell you which products are better for you. Imagine actually putting makeup or lotion or shampoo on your skin and not chemicals?
Some of you may know that we began eating gluten free in January, 2013 by choice, not because we needed to. After doing much research, it really is amazing how bad gluten really is for our bodies. Gluten is contained in many forms. Some I am sure you are familiar with, wheat, durum, spelt, barley, rye. There is even gluten products contained in soy sauce. It is hidden in many different things. You really have to read the labels. We started going to a naturopath last year and had our blood tested in May. My thyroid level was very high. It came in at 46. The normal range is below 20. I was five months into eating gluten free. I have to wonder what it was prior to January. I just had my blood retested in January of this year. I’m happy to say it has dropped below 20. I was and continue to take licorice root capsules each day and continue to eat gluten free. I am so pleased that my thyroid is now in tip top shape. It just goes to show you that you don’t always need prescription medicine to make things “right”. Natural remedies work just as well.