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Relishes and pickles from Red Fox Farm. Photo courtesy of Concord Farmers Market.




Beyond produce
Find everything from baked beans to baked goods

07/09/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



If you stop by a New Hampshire farmers market this summer, you’re sure to see a wide array of fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers, but that’s not all the food you’ll find. Fresh fish, goat’s milk, artisanal cheeses, gluten-free cookies, gourmet popcorn and specialty relishes are just a few of the other options you’ll find at local farmers markets.

“Not only do we have meats and fishes and produce, we have stuff that will complement that or [can be] made with those items,” Wayne Hall, president of the Concord Farmers Market, said in a phone interview. “It’s nice because somebody can do one-stop shopping.” 
From Granite Ledge Coffee to Nila’s Chutneys, all aspects of daily eating are highlighted at the Concord Farmers Market with dairy products from Catamount Farms, fermented vegetables from Micro Mama’s and pasta and sauces from Valicenti Organico. The idea, Hall said, is to make sure market visitors get a diverse shopping experience.
In some instances, market vendors even use each other’s products, taking locally made to another level. In Concord for example, Bonnie Brae Farm sells venison turnovers that use the farm’s meat but are made by Lala’s Hungarian Pastry, another market member.
While many farmers markets have incorporated much more than produce for some time, many people still come in only expecting to buy their lettuce or tomatoes that day and end up leaving pleasantly surprised.
“I think that’s a welcome sight once they come, too,” Hall said. “The first week may take them by surprise, but the next they’re ready to rock and roll. [People say], ‘I wish I’d brought more money. I didn’t know there were so many neat things here.’”
Some of the neat things you’ll find in Concord are fruit spreads, relishes and specialty pickles from Red Fox Farm.
“I think people like it because it’s something different,” Hall said.
Herbalist and owner of Red Fox Farm Daryl Hoitt first started selling medicinal tinctures at markets and only decided to sell food items because one year she and her husband made too much sweet and hot pepper relish to eat on their own. They brought it to the market and now regularly bring a selection of specialty items.
With the added help of Doug Breed, Red Fox Farm sells 20 kinds of low-sugar and no-sugar fruit spreads and fruit butters, relishes and pickles. They have duck eggs and chicken eggs as well.
“There’s been quite an expansion of farmers markets in the last few years,” Breed said in a phone interview. 
Red Fox Farm products are available at markets in Concord, Laconia, Campton and Canterbury. 
They’re drawn to the farmers market venues because it’s a great way to highlight locally made items.
“[Some products] are newfangled and some of them are old-fashioned and it’s really about bringing these products, made to the extent possible with local and organic ingredients, and sharing them with the people,” he said. “It sort of got a life of its own.”
While having the chance to buy jams and jellies or pasture-raised beef is beneficial, having too many of one type of vendor can get tedious from a customer’s perspective.
Beverly Ferrante, director for the Derry Farmer Market, said in previous years that market had up to 30 vendors.
“I’ve learned in the past when I do have … 20 to 28 [vendors], I do end up with a lot of duplication,” she said in a phone interview. 
This year, on any given week you’ll find 10 to 12 vendors with a selection of goods such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, maple syrup, honey, Italian pastries and wine. 
“So basically they can almost look at it this way: Everyone is bringing their own specialty items,” she said.
Most vendors are returning from last year, with the exception of newcomer Rockingham Brewing Company. 
“They’re all excited about it,” she said, referring to the customer base. “It just gets people to realize, ‘Oh we have a brewing company [in Derry] now.’”  
 
As seen in the July 9, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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