Seacoast Local’s ReRootEd program aims to increase the role local, independent businesses play in building a sustainable local food system on the Seacoast. Our events include the Field & Spoon all-local dinner series, Local Food Network gatherings for non-profit leaders of the local food system, the Matchmaker expo event, and the annual Fishtival celebration in Prescott Park. More information about these campaigns and events follows below. Would you like to be notified of upcoming events and opportunities? Sign up for our newsletter, or email .
We convene the Seacoast’s Local Food Network, a forum of Seacoast-based non-profit organizations working to build a food system that provides local, clean, healthy, and fair food for all on the Seacoast.
Although we each have independent missions and activities, our shared vision is to live in a region where our local foodshed sustains all of us, all year long, and is integrated into our region's economy, institutions, lives and culture, to enhance our quality of life.
Working together, we will get there faster. At our gatherings, we educate ourselves about each others’ work, learn about new rules, and share new opportunities.
- Seacoast Eat Local, connecting consumers with sources of locally grown and locally made food through winter farmers' markets, an annual local foods resource guide, and online media.
- Seacoast Growers' Association, more than 30 years of seasonal farmers' markets across the Seacoast
- Slow Food Seacoast and Slow Food UNH, focusing on the pleasures of good, clean and fair food
- Seacoast Local, working to build an economy that is local, green and fair
- Chef's Collaborative, the local chapter of a national network of chefs that fosters a sustainable food system
- Great Works Regional Land Trust, the local land trust for the Berwicks, Eliot, Ogunquit and Wells, protecting farmlands as a finite and irreplaceable resource
- Granite State FISH, connecting fishermen and community to ensure and promote the future of this local trade
- Food Solutions New England, a UNH-led network that connects local efforts into a regional vision for the food system
- NH Farm to School, a statewide program working to connect NH farms and schools
- Future participants might also include UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Community Seafood, the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group, and more.
Every September at the height of the seafood harvest, we co-chair this waterfront party in Prescott Park for 4,000 people to celebrate our prized local fishing resource and learn how we can make sure it’s still part of our food system for generations to come.
The event: Seacoast Local helped launch N.H. Fish and Lobster in 2009 as one of the nation’s pioneering events to re-direct community attention to local fisheries as part of the buy local/ eat local movement. While both fish stocks and fishing communities are now under greater pressure than ever, small-scale and community-based fishing is increasingly seen as the likeliest source of a long-term solution that works for all stakeholders. N.H. Fish and Lobster Festival, known as Fishtival, aims to be a fun, informative and delicious event where the Seacoast community can gather to honor, celebrate, and rediscover the proud tradition of these small-scale, local commercial ground-fishing boats in New Hampshire while also educating the community about the future of this public resource and its role in our local food system, local economy and local culture.
The impact: The impact of N.H. Fish and Lobster Festival can be measured in several ways:
- Attendance: Almost 4,000 people have attended annually for each of the past five years, as measured by the number of tasting tickets sold.
- Awareness: A non-attending audience of tens of thousands is reached annually through print, television, radio and social media coverage related to the event. Selecting different facets of the festival to highlight each year—boat tours, underutilized species, live cook-off contest, campaigns for the NH Seafood Fresh and Local brand—induces continued media interest and public awareness that extends far beyond visitors or the event itself.
- Familiarity: The event is often referenced throughout the year as a landmark event in the local food/economy movement and as part of the Seacoast’s festival scene
- Partnerships: Longstanding local and regional partners return annually to participate and help promote the message. This year, the uniquely local, grassroots festival drew international attention when it became the site of the first-ever event in Slow Food’s international “Slow Fish” campaign, which ties together like-minded communities like ours from around the globe where people value artisanal fishing, neglected fish species, and the state of the sea’s resources.
- Relationships: Although only a four-hour event once a year, the community bridge-building that takes place in the course of planning Fishtival has seeded new ideas among participants, including an effort by the local chapter of Chef’s Collaborative to make more year-round connections between local chefs and the local fishing industry.
- Education: As a result of all of the above, combined with the efforts of many others throughout our community, we see greater awareness of the status of fish stocks, the concept of “seasonality” when it comes to local fish, and the value of the small-boat fishery in finding sustainable solutions.
- Shifting practices: Moreover, we see a customer base responding to new efforts such as off-the-boat sales and the subscription-based Community Supported Fishery. Fishtival helped lay the groundwork by increasing broad citizen awareness of the story of our local fishery, which had previously been disconnected from the local food movement due to so much ground fish being shipped out of state and not dispersed on local shores.
Learn more at www.fishtival.org.
Elegant four-course dinners in the verdant fields of Seacoast farms, at country inns and in cozy local restaurants connect local farmers, chefs and community. While guests connect with friends and take in the scenery, musicians set the tone of these classic and comfortable dinners with local music, and the chefs prepare food grown right here.
We organize Field & Spoon gatherings as matchmaking, fundraising and joyful events that bring together chefs, farmers, and diners, with a focus on the relationship between our food and how we eat. Two chefs pair with each hosting site to develop a menu, prepare food purchased from local farmers and fishermen, and engage dinner guests in the unique character and atmosphere that each location provides.
It is our hope that we can foster a transparent and long-lasting link between these chefs, the farm and their products, and the guests at the meal. Our emphasis is on the importance of these relationships in building a stronger, more resilient food system.
Our annual winter local-food matchmaker is a business-to-business event that connects the local food service industry businesses and institutions with growers and producers. Stay tuned for news on the 2014 event.