Thursday, January 10, 2013
Staff at the Mt Washington hotel have been working closely with Charlie Burke of New Hampshire's Farm to Restaurant Connection to put together a menu featuring New Hampshire raised beef, chicken, fish and produce to honor the governor's request. Thanks to an increase in small producers throughout the state as well as the expansion of the use of high and low tunnel technology used to extend the growing season there were numerous options to choose from to create the menu for this black tie event.
Besides our very own pasture-raised chicken other New Hampshire raised foods highlighted at the event will be chickens from Kelley Brook Farm in Greenland, beef from Yankee Farmer's Market in Warner and Otokahe Farm in Jefferson, butter from Contoocook Creamery, aged cheddar from Hatchland Farm in North Haverill, ham, sausage and carrots from Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem, fresh greens from Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton, the Vegetable Ranch in Warner and Lewis Farm in Concord, beets from New Earth Organic Farm in Colebrook, butternut squash from Stockwell Farms in Colebrook, potatoes from Haynes Homestead in Colebrook, shallots from Apple Haven Farm in Stewartstown and Frozen sweet corn from Northern Woods Garden in Groveton. Illustrated table-top tent cards with take-away information on the farms supplying the inaugural ball foods are also being created in hopes of inspiring attendees to seek out local foods for their own future events and programs.
With this one request, Governor Hassan has made a huge public statement in support of New Hampshire's diverse agricultural community. This event not only helps further create demand for an array of local foods but in turn helps support numerous New Hampshire farmers, their families and staff in the process. Using this public event to raise important awareness about the year round availability of New Hampshire grown foods is a big boon to this grassroots movement. With the help of large public events featuring local foods, complimented by its superior freshness, flavor and added economic benefit to our local communities I believe this is a ball that will continue to gain momentum.
If farm fresh food isn't currently available where you live, keep asking. Go out, explore, get to know your local farmers, learn the supply cycles. When there is demand, supply will follow. In the meantime take a break and recharge. Experience a farm-to-table candlelight breakfast as part of a stay at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast, then stock up before you go home with our 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, pasture-raised pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs or raw milk, 200 varieties of fruit, wines & table grapes, honey, maple syrup, a diversity of cheeses, super premium ice cream and world renown handmade Burdick Chocolate all made by our neighbors right here in Walpole, the diversity of which was not available even just a handful of years ago.
Now off to find my little black dress. Do you think they'll let me into the ball??