(To read the older posts in this blog, click here.)
Wednesdays are Wayland Summer Farmers Market days and feast days for local locavores. I am a frequent visitor at the market and I always make it a point to buy something from every vegetable seller: potatoes and onions from Two Field Farm, squashes from Brigham Farm, and from Charlton Orchards I bought apples. Apple season is only just beginning, and I look forward to making and canning apple sauce and dehydrating apple rings.
I visited the Contoocook Creamery from Contoocook, 85 miles from here. As you know from Spotlight on Local Dairy, I like to know where the feed comes from that supplements the cows’ grass diet. The young woman explained it to me in detail: half of what the cows eat is homegrown grass and corn, and the rest is carefully and locally sourced. Their pride in how they feed their cows comes through on their website as well. Though in a different state, Contoocook milk is grown closer to me than High Lawn milk. The former sells mostly cheese, but they would bring milk and eggs to the market for me if I called ahead – most of these farmers will take such orders – but unfortunately they are not at the market every week. Hence High Lawn is still the closest in terms of accessibility. I hadn’t called ahead, hence no Contoocook milk, but I did get some Contoocook cheddar. Boy, I just love writing “Contoocook – Contoocook.” I bet it’s a lovely place to live.
I also bought a leg of lamb from Laszlo Family Farm, 40 miles away, which is home to breeds of livestock and poultry considered threatened or critical endangered by the Livestock Conservancy. They raise Navajo-churro sheep, which is on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste as a heritage food to save, and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs. The sheep are grass fed and this is supplemented with regionally grown grains produced naturally by Inverness Farm in New York, and New Hampshire hay. The hogs are fed garden produce, apples, squash and milk, and allowed to root on pasture and in the woods. They also raise Delaware chickens. In case you want your pet to go locavore too, Laszlo also makes cat, horse and dog treats!
But we were most excited about fish, a major food group that we hadn’t touched yet. I didn’t have to work hard at sourcing fish, because I know that CC Lobster and Fish are at the market every week. This is a small family business that runs their boat out of Hall, MA. They catch mainly lobster but also bring fish caught by their colleagues to market. They also have some non-local fish, but most are fish caught just the day before along our local coast. We got some Arctic char and swordfish to have with our local potatoes, kale and corn.
For lunch we had, among other local things (veggies, eggs, cheese and milk), the last of the homemade bread with my friends’ Wayland-grown, home-made Concord Grape Jelly, already featured in a previous post but well worth a second mention, and High Lawn butter.
This was our last day of the Diet, but I have a couple more posts up my sleeve. One, a wrap up with some last thoughts as well as numbers. And last but not least, an interview with our Wayland Farmers Market Manager, Peg Mallett. If anyone knows about local food, it’s Peg!