Category Archives: Farms

Pete’s Farm Stand Bio

Pete’s Farm Stand is currently owned and operated by Mike Janiszyn, like his father and grandfather before him.  Mike describes his style as 1930’s farming because he values a more simple way of life and farming that was more prevalent then.  Pete’s Farm Stand has established a dedicated customer base over the 40 years it has been in operation.  The produce is picked from their gardens and brought directly to the farm stand for sale to the customer.  Mike says, “we pick fresh everyday and you can’t beat that.”

Mike admits that farming is a difficult life.  “It’s a tough life to do, the chips are against you” then he adds, “it’s a worthwhile thing to do.  It’s really necessary, I’m sure, to the survival of the community.”  It is his commitment to the community that prompted him to join Monadnock Menus.  He believes that Monadnock Menus will help keep money in the local economy when institutions buy from local farmers.  Furthermore, he hopes that this will create a community network where local farmers and institutions will be able to help each other out.  “When you’re a part of the community, and you do business in the community, money has less of a value and it becomes more of a relationship.”  It is important to work together to gain more flexibility and when farmers have more places to sell to, food will not be wasted.

Pete’s Farm Stand has focused on direct retail sales to the consumer.  Selling wholesale has been a challenge in the past.  Wholesale requires the use of more packaging, processing and uniformity. Mike plans on growing vegetables that can store well so sell through Monadnock Menus, such as carrots and potatoes.

 The ability to use and preserve all food that is grown at Pete’s Farm Stand is part of Mike’s vision of a return to 1930’s wisdom.  If you go back to just your grandparents generation, they had the knowledge for using all of the food a farm grows without waste.  Knowing how to can and process food would make use of such things as oversized zucchini and beets.  Mike hopes that this knowledge can become more mainstream again, not only so people can save some money, but because knowing how to use all the food that our area produces will help us become more self-sufficient.  “This area can feed everyone in the area.  There’s such good farmland, some of the best farmland in the country, in the world, right here.  So…we can feed ourselves.  People just have to know how to do that.”

by: Erika Stimpson

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Echo Farm Puddings

It all started when two sisters showed horses at a 4-H project.  There they met the neighbors’ shows cows and they fell in love.  The sisters convinced their parents to start the dairy farm on their picturesque Hinsdale, NH property in 1990 – just as many other dairy farmers were struggling to get out of the business!

Beyond selling milk, Courtney and Beth decided to produce a value added product in order to make the farm profitable.  After looking at dairy products produced and sold in the area, they realized that pudding had yet to be undertaken.  And so it was that Echo Farm Puddings was created.  Beth says they persued this path because, “it’s not exciting seeing our product leave on a truck.  You produce a quality product and you want to own it all the way down the line, you want to see the person that bought it, you want to know they are excited about what you do.  For us that is definitely important.”  Rather than shipping all of their milk, producing delicious pudding gives them the satisfaction of knowing they produced an excellent product that will be appreciated by those who enjoy it.

Echo Farm Puddings is experienced with selling wholesale.  They work with local distributers selling in parts of New England, New York City, and Rhode Island.  Selling local is important to their business philosophy.  Beth says, “we have to be a community in New England if any of us are going to survive.  We need to survive. I don’t think [the people who live here] should get their milk from Idaho.  We’re right here!”  It is because of this philosophy that Echo Farm Puddings will be joining Monadnock Menus.

Community and school outreach is also important to the sisters.  Their farm is always welcome for people to tour.  In the past they have allowed tour bus groups have stopped to look around at this New England Dairy farm.  For years they have also been giving tours to local school children.  They used to bring in fourth graders, but now they are touring kindergarten students.  This experience for the children has been proven to be memorable.  According to Beth “Right now we have three employees that have told us, ‘I remember touring your farm in third grade!’” Therefore, it is important to educate children about the importance of eating local foods.  Beth believes “putting the infrastructure stuff in place is critical to getting off the ground.”  Monadnock Menus will play a key role in being able to help local farms, like Echo Farm Puddings sell locally, and by selling to school children, a new generation will grow to believe in and support a local food economy.

by Erika Stimpson

Restaurants Serving Local Milk

Thank you Manning Hill Farm for highlighting not only the markets selling your milk (from grass fed cows!), but also the restaurants and coffee shops serving your milk.

Tools for Farmers: Selling to Restaurants, Retailers & Institutions

Keys to a Successful Relationship, Originally Posted on CISA

Selling directly to restaurants, retailers and institutions can be a great way to expand your business and develop a reliable customer base. This tip sheet is part of a series (all available at www.buylocalfood.com) designed to help farmers respond to the unique challenges in reaching out to and maintaining relationships with direct wholesale purchasers. When you approach restaurant owners, chefs, retailers, and purchasers at hospital, college and workplace cafeterias, you need to be prepared and professional. What follows are some tips for getting started and for keeping the relationship going strong over the years. View Selling Tipsheet.

•    Pricing & Invoicing Tipsheet: http://buylocalfood.org
•    Rodale Institute’s Tipsheet: http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org

The berries are BLUE at Monadnock Berries

Interested in extending your berry season?  Monadnock Berries is selling this season’s blueberries frozen for $2.50/lb in 5/lb. & 10/lb. bags.  Find them at http://www.monadnockberries.com/, e-mail them at monadnockberries@gmail.com or give them a call! 242-6417.  Monadnock Berries is located in Troy, New Hampshire.  Have your ever purchased from Monadnock Berries?  Share your experience with us!

Cantine Mexican Restaurant- Getting Local on the Menu

By Jessica Skinner

David Chicane, owner, and Kate Grogan, general manager

“I pledge to serve local food from AT LEAST one farmer within 150 miles of my restaurant, identify items on my menus that are made using local ingredients and set a goal to promote local foods within my purchases, advertisements and conversations within the community.”  As the first official members of Monadnock Menus, Cantine Mexican Restaurant in Peterborough, NH has made this pledge.  Not only have they made the pledge, but they are already moving full steam ahead to let their customers know about their commitment to local as well as socially responsible purchasing.

Cantine, owned by David Chicane and managed by Kate Grogan, has made a commitment to building relationships with local businesses and farmers since their doors opened a year and a half ago.  While glancing at their menu, a few themes popped out at me: fresh, local and free range.  The chicken is free range and their beef is grass fed, which has been proven to have a higher nutritional value.  Cantine seasonally purchases items such as mint and basil from Rosaly’s Farm Stand, just up the street from the restaurant.  “Its hard to keep enough mint around during the off season for our mojito, which calls for fresh mint” says general manager Kate Grogan. “There are times when we have to source our fresh items from outside of the 150 mile radius.  But when its available, we make a point of purchasing it.  At Rosaly’s Farm, we pick up our basil and harvest our own mint.” Currently Cantine is serving local squash, and this summer they served local corn and peaches.  Their meat is purchased from the Northeast Family Farms and is picked up by distributors such as Black River Produce and Dole and Bailey.

Along with seeking out local products, farmers have come knocking on the door asking if they would be interested in produce such as peppers and greens.  This is a growing trend with farmers in the Monadnock Region.  Tracie, of Tracie’s Community Farm in Fitzwilliam NH, sets time aside to call restaurants in the area to ask if they could use any of the extra produce she has that day or week.  This may mean that farmers have to commit more time to sales than to other work around the farm, but Cantine feels that these direct connections benefit both the restaurant and the farm.  “We are making the commitment to buying local because it is important to support the community and be good neighbors.”

What sparked Kate and Dave’s enthusiasm for sourcing locally?  Aside from their initial commitment to their neighbors, about two years ago, Pearl Restaurant and Oyster Bar, previously owned by Dave, organized a Slow Food dinner.  Kate learned more about Slow Food from this event as well as from BenWatson, senior editor for Chelsea Green Publishing and author of The Slow Food Guide to New York City, Cider, Hard and Sweet, and Taylor’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables. “The idea of slow food and supporting local farms is really important to us”.  The idea of joining a CSA both for produce as well as meats and other products, was a very appealing idea that they hope to pursue in the future.

Some of their successes include getting very positive feedback from customers about the food they are sourcing locally.  Many of them are very aware of some of the risks associated with a more global food system, such as the outbreaks with spinach and eggs.  On the other hand, it has been difficult finding farmers to source from.  Hijinks Farm, an organic farm based in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, delivered a “gift” of produce one day, which gave Cantine a taste of what was available to them.  Aside from this, it is difficult to find farmers that have what they need on a daily or weekly basis.

Cantine serves menu items that do require products from out of the 150 mile radius, such as avocados for their housemade guacamole.  “Whatever we can source locally is really helpful, but there are benefits to enjoying the global food system.  On that note, its important to be aware of how its grown and where its coming from.”  We couldn’t agree with you more.

Cantine is not alone in making a pledge to support the local economy and farmers  through sourcing locally, but they are the first to have signed their pledge into writing through our program.  Here are a few recommendations they had for other restaurants interested in making a similar pledge.

  • If you want to want to buy more local products, speak directly to your distributor and make requests for meat, produce or other items from within 150 miles of where you are.  They’re interested in providing you with what you want, so if they can find it, you can still source through the same distributors.
  • Talk to other restaurants about what they’re doing.
  • Try something new, even if it means taking a risk!  Start small and make it work for you.
  • Try starting with a local, seasonal dish for a limited time.

Monadnock Menus is a volunteer based program working with the community and local restaurant owners to enhance and establish relationships between consumers, farmers and restaurants to promote the use of locally produced products.  If you’re interested in learning more about our work, feel free to contact us at monadnockmenus.org or visit our website for additional Local Food stories at  monadnockmenus.org.

News from Tracie’s Community Farm

Tracie’s Community Farm, located in Fitzwilliam, NH is expanding their business in the Monadnock Region.  In her last newsletter, she highlighted the locations where she’s currently selling produce.  Interested in learning more?  Visit her website for up to date information about what is in season, how you can join her CSA and much more.

Story:

“We’ve been making calls to local restaurants, and have been providing vegetables in abundance to The Fitzwilliam Inn, Sunflowers Café in Jaffrey, East Hill Farm in Troy, Fritz’s, and Elm City Brew Pub.

So next time you go out to eat, be sure to order something with veggies from your local farmers!  And if the restaurant doesn’t buy local, ask them to.  It makes a difference.  We have cards in the farmstore you can leave at restaurants from Monadnock Menus, an initiative to get more local food into Monadnock Restaurants by Mondadnock Farm and Community Connection.  It’s more work for restaurants to order from a farmer as well as their regular supplier in their already busy schedules so they need to know you care.”