Sanbornton Public Library Embraces Community Garden

Over 20 students from the Sanbornton Central School After School Program teamed up with Master Gardener Sandy Licata to implement a community garden at the Sanbornton Public Library. The kids enjoyed getting their hands dirty and were enthusiastic to see what they could grow. The 3×3 raised beds included marigolds, kale, cherry tomatoes, peppers, peas, and various herbs, which were available for students to take home. The library embraced the garden and utilized the project to promote programing related to healthy eating and living. A big shout out to all volunteers who planned, planted, watered, and harvested!

 

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit our Local Farmers’ Markets

Find the freshest food in season at our local Farmers’ Markets. You won’t have to travel very far – Farmers’ Markets are springing up in many Belknap County communities.

Stop by a nearby Farmers’ Market to –

  1. Purchase freshly picked, locally-grown vegetables and fruits with excellent flavor and high nutritional value;
  2. Choose from a variety of local produce, meat, baked goods, plants, crafts and more;
  3. Talk with the growers to learn more about what you’re buying, how to prepare it and even how or if you can grow it in your home garden;
  4. Try something new – many farmers grow produce and fruits that you won’t find in local grocery stores;
  5. Support your local farmers, businesses and communities.

And a bonus reason to visit the Farmers’ Markets in Gilford and Laconia Main Street – meet Belknap County Master Gardeners to learn about the services offered by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and pick-up tips for making the best of your gardening.

Barnstead

Held every Saturday morning through October 7 from 9am to noon, the Barnstead Farmers’ Market is conveniently located on the corner of Route 28 and Maple Street in Center Barnstead.

You’ll find fresh produce including heirloom vegetables, assorted bakery goods – including many that are gluten free, herbs, jellies and jams, locally grown meat and poultry, numerous crafts and locally roasted coffee to enjoy while you browse the many choices on offer.

Find more information on the Barnstead Farmers’ Market website.

Belmont

The Belmont Farmers’ Market will be held on July 30, August 27 and September 17 at the Belmont Park and Ride, 798 Laconia Road (Route 106).

A feature of this market is a demonstration event – at the June 25th market, Christian and Colton Workman demonstrated their blacksmith skills for all to enjoy. Fresh produce, baked goods and crafts are featured each month.

Check the Belmont website for updated information on the current month’s features.

Gilford

Learn from and ask questions of Belknap County’s Master Gardeners at the Gilford Farmers’ Market each Saturday from 9am to noon.

Located on the grounds of the historic Benjamin Rowe House, 88 Belknap Mountain Road – just off Route 11A – this market includes tasty fresh vegetables and fruits, baked goods, meat and dairy products, plants, crafts and entertainment.

Laconia

Laconia has 2 Farmers’ Markets – one on Thursday afternoons and the other on Saturdays.

The Laconia Main Street Marketplace is held through September on Thursday afternoons from 3pm to 6m in the Municipal Parking lot between Main and Pleasant Streets.

Stop by to shop for fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, dairy products, maple syrup, meat and herbs. You’ll also find flowers, plants, crafts and tasty baked goods.

As an added bonus, look for the Belknap County Master Gardeners’ table for information on the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension’s programs, soil testing and more!

You can find more information on the Laconia Main Street Marketplace on their Facebook page.

Nearby, at the Laconia City Hall Parking Lot on Beacon Street East, the Laconia Farmers’ Market is held each Saturday morning from 8:30am to 12:30pm.

You’ll find choices to tempt you among the fruits, vegetables, cheese, garlic and baked goods – including gluten-free along with locally-made crafts and soap.

More information can be found on the Laconia Farmers’ Market website.

New Hampton

The Open Air Farmers’ Market of New Hampton is held from 9am to 2pm on the first and third Saturday of each month from July through October on the corner of Winona and Sanborn Roads.

In addition to the offerings from local farmers and craftspeople, you’ll be able to enjoy a grilled lunch, entertainment and discussions with local farmers.

Check the Open Air Farmers’ Market of New Hampton’s website for more information and special events.

Wherever your travels take you in our vibrant county, plan to stop by our Farmers’Markets to pick up good things to eat.

Contributor:  Jeanne Crouse, Master Gardener Intern

3 Reasons for Jumping on the CSA Wagon

Spring is finally here! We may be looking out at a fresh blanket of snow, but farmers across the state of New Hampshire are gearing up for a busy growing season.

Early spring is a great time to get to know your local farmers by inquiring about various Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options. From weekly shares of fresh produce, bouquets, herbs and flowers, to farm fresh eggs and freshly baked bread, CSA farm shares provide patrons with fresh, locally sourced options throughout the harvest season.

If you are new to the CSA concept, here are 3 reasons why you should consider making the investment:

Supplement Your Harvest

Although you may have a few raised beds in your backyard, chances are you lack time, space, or adequate sunlight to reap the benefits of a bountiful garden. By purchasing farm shares from a professional gardener, you are sure to have picture perfect tomatoes, along with enough cucumbers to pickle.

Support Local Farmers

Grocery stores certainly serve a purpose. Without them, we wouldn’t have access to a rainbow of fruits and vegetables over the winter months. With that said, there is something magical about tasting the first farm fresh tomato of the summer.

When you make the choice to buy local, you are making an investment in both your health, as well as the overall economy of your community.

Try Something New

When it comes to farm shares, you never quite know what you are going to get. From spinach, kale, and radishes in the spring, to tomatoes, cukes, and corn in the summer, you will have plenty of opportunities to test out different recipes throughout the season. Once fall arrives, you can experiment with various types of squash and plenty of potatoes for cold storage.

Residents of Belknap County are fortunate to have access to multiple CSA options.   With a variety of options available, there is bound to be a program that fits your lifestyle and budget:

If you like the idea of eating local, but don’t want to commit to a farm share program, make a point of visiting a weekly farmers market or check out a few of the Belknap/Carroll county farms listed in the Lakes Region Local Food Guide.

Contributor:  Sarah Roberts, Master Gardener Intern
Photo: A young Belknap County resident enjoys exploring a farm share basket from Moulton Farm in Meredith.