Friday, June 19, 2015

Call out for Volunteers at the Shaker Organic Gardens

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors and working in your community? Do you have a few spare hours during the week to get your hands dirty? The Co-op's Organic Garden Manager, Stacey Cooper is in need of more active volunteers to keep up with the demands of the Co-op gardens at historic Canterbury Shaker Village.
If you can stick to a weekly schedule and can apply yourself to assigned tasks independently, Stacey is looking for you! In return you will learn valuable gardening skills to apply to your own home garden and the opportunity to take home some fresh produce when available.
Watch the video below as Shane, Co-op Outreach Coordinator lists what volunteer opportunities are needed.

For more information send an email to

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This Summer at the Farm, to the Co-op

A Letter from Our General Manager, Paula Harris

Welcome to summer, the season of perfection when it comes to local produce! Our produce team is always dedicated to finding the freshest, most local, and preferably organic produce we can for  you to buy. We are incredibly grateful for the many local farmers who sell to us – from well-known New Hampshire organic farmers to Concord-area favorites and small backyard gardens.

In spite of all of these great farmers, it’s still a challenge to meet the demand of our veg-hungry customers with local goods. That’s why this year we’re positively thrilled to add our very own organic gardens to the local farm roster in our produce department

As you probably know by now, the Co-op has teamed up with Canterbury Shaker Villages to farm its certified organic land. Our Organic Garden Manager Stacey Cooper has been hard at work in the greenhouse and fields getting spectacular farm-fresh goodies to our shelves. While farming in New Hampshire can sometimes be unpredictable, here’s a list of some of the produce you can expect to see on our shelves this summer from the Co-op’s Shaker Organic Gardens.
  • In June, look for our very own spinach, lettuce, pac choi, scallions, radishes, arugula, and mustard greens.
  • We plan to have more lettuce and scallions in July as well as chard, kale, fresh beans, beets, summer squash, cucumbers, basil, parsley, cabbage, and broccoli.
  • Check out carrots, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, shell beans, potatoes, and rutabaga in August in addition to lettuce, scallions, chard, kale, fresh beans, beets, summer squash, basil, parsley, and broccoli.
  • We plan to harvest traditional fall crops in September alongside the last of the summer crops, including parsnips, winter squash, pie pumpkins, and leeks.
You might be wondering if, with all this new produce, we’re giving our regular farmers the boot. Hardly the case! In our goal of sourcing as many of our products from local farms as possible, we’re working with our regular farmers to bring in even more of their goods than in previous years.
Generation Farm (Concord, NH) salad mix will be in higher volume this year, so we should have it in the produce case all week.

Kearsarge Gore Farm (Warner, NH) will continue provide us with some of the most beautiful greens in the state, including their unmatched dandelion greens. (Hooray for the dandelion-pumpkin seed pesto that nutritionist Traci Komorek got us all addicted to!!)

Look for The Vegetable Ranch (Warner, NH) van with its cartoon farm animals printed on the side. We will continue getting wonderful produce from them as well as eggs and some meat products new to the Co-op this year.

We expect a high volume of beautiful broccoli to come from Harvest Hill Farm (Walden, VT) this year. 

We are also very excited to be expanding our relationship with Fred’s Farm (Alexandria, NH). They will provide us with some amazing lacinato kale and will also supply us with carrots deep into winter.

Unfortunately, this summer we will also bid adieu to our awesome Produce Manager Shawn as he follows his dreams to move back to his former home in Maine. He will be a department manager at the Gardiner Food Co-op, a new Co-op opening in June. He is excited to have the opportunity to help it get off the ground and help build the local food community in that area. They’ll be lucky to have Shawn, and we’ll miss him!

Please welcome Jay as he steps into Shawn's role as Produce Manager. You'll already recognize Jay as he has worked as both a produce clerk and in our marketing department prior to taking on the management role. He was eager to step up to the plate, and we're glad to have him!

Paula Harris

Friday, June 12, 2015

A little rain and help from Volunteers at Shaker Organic Gardens

An update from the Co-op Organic Gardens Manager, Stacey Cooper at Canterbury Shaker Village...

"Crops are looking great. Some initial pest pressure is starting to ease off as the plants are sizing up and able to hold their own for now.
Intermittent rain has helped cut down on irrigation time.
Zukes have set fruits, ancho peppers have set fruit, scallions are sizing up, kale and chard are almost in full swing.
The fields are about 95% full of crops at this point with just a bit of space for lettuce and bean successions.
Next week we will have available: parsley, basil, green kale, red kale, chard, lettuce, radish, beets, beet greens, arugula, and spinach.
We have good crops of dry, shell and fresh beans germinated.  So far, no one is eating them =)  A few of the kale on the orchard end have been nibbled (deer), but nothing serious so far.
Kenn, our new volunteer helped me fix the walk behind tiller and we were able to till between the crop aisles.  The fields are looking pretty tidy at this point.
I was able to rake up the field that Ray mowed last week and then collected the hay and used it to hill the potatoes and mulch the kale and chard rows.  Very helpful for weed suppression and moisture conservation.  It would be great to grow a grain crop in the empty portion of the field next year for this purpose, grain threshing and then use stalks for mulching.
I've been using fish/ kelp emulsion on some of the plants that are getting plagued by early fungus and pest problems, it seems to be fortifying them and making them a nice dark green.
I consolidated the compost piles at the hoophouse and turned them over.  It helped to tidy up the front of the hoophouse."