Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Creating a food co-op is a labor of love.

“It’s your neighbor who’s the farmer. It's your community, you own it,” says Sarah-Marie Cole, president of the Manchester Food Co-op's board, “It's all the good feel-good things about the community.”

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

When you walk into Willows on South Main Street in downtown Concord, you are greeted by the vibrant purple walls and bright artwork that fills the dining room.

Willows opened up in April and its menu is entirely vegan and organic.

The Littleton Co-op: Buying Where It Sells

Dec 31, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

In 2008, when some North Country residents were trying to start a food co-op in Littleton, one of the goals was to support the region’s economy by buying as much locally as possible.

Six years later, the co-op is buying about $1.7 million a year in the area, says the Co-op’s general manager, Ed King.

“The local food and producer business is probably 25 percent of our business. That is a pretty good chunk of money going back into the local economy," he said.

That money goes to producers like Tim Wennrich.

It all started with a question about food labeling at the Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier this year and Jeb Bush's not-so-humble brag:

"When I go to Publix in Coral Gables after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday in my house ... I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from and I want to know where the onions are from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it."

Sean Hurley

Up in Jackson around this time of year you can climb aboard a horse drawn Austrian sleigh and ride through town collecting handmade chocolates from local merchants.  NHPR's Sean Hurley went along on the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour and sends us this.

Even though Kathleen Driscoll has to sit all day in a gazebo beside a roaring fire she says she has no trouble resisting the bowl of handmade chocolates before her.  "I don't like chocolate," she says, "I'm not a chocolate fan. If it was birthday cake I'd eat it!"

(From El Rincon Colombiano's Yelp page)


Step into the Rincon Colombiano on a Saturday night, and you’ll probably have trouble finding a seat. There’s just a few tables, a long counter—tonight, all full. And in back, Owner Beatriz Delacruz and her two daughters barely have room to move in this tiny kitchen.

There’s lots of different dishes coming out this swinging door. I came for the empanadas.

Looking forward to sipping on spiked eggnog or rum punch while hobnobbing with the boss?

Dipping your cup into the punch bowl at the office holiday party may be festive, but too much alcohol can lead to behavior that might embarrass you later.

Not to fret: The Salt is here with tips to help you stay in control.

There are a couple of things to do before you put on your party shoes.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

When Stephanie Zydenbos started Micro Mama’s – a company based in an old farm-house in Weare which makes sauerkraut and kimchi – she says she made “like 500 bucks” in sales and “that was huge.”

She says year two the company grew “I don’t know, 5,000 percent” and the following year processed 20,000 pounds of vegetables. Next year, she estimates they will be up to nearly 100,000 pounds of artisanally lacto-fermented products.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The City of Concord approved Wednesday Concord Craft Brewing Company’s request to put in a microbrewery and tasting room in the city’s newly renovated downtown. That part of the city can be heated with steam, and that, says brewery owner Dennis Molnar, is a huge advantage when it comes to making beer. 

"So that’s where the steam comes in for this part of the building," Molnar says as he shows off a closet filled with pipes in the back of what will be a beer production room. He says the steam from those pipes will reduce the risk of burning the beer as it brews.

Emily Corwin

  It’s been one year since James Beard award-winning chef Evan Mallett had an epiphany. “We were on a vacation that culminated in a meal at a restaurant called Saturne,” Mallett recalls, “an amazingly expensive meal with the love of my life in Paris.”

Rhett Sutphin via Flickr CC

Your dad made it look easy...maybe. But carving a turkey is a bit more complicated than you might think. It's a big bird, after all, and not every knife is created equal. (Nor is every bird, thanks to the "spatchcock" craze!)

But never fear, humble home-chef, there's somewhere to turn if you're confounded by the prospect of carving: YouTube. 

Listed below are some of the most informative and easy-to-follow turkey carving how-to videos on the site.

Pro Tip: Watch them in advance of the family arriving and you'll look like a turkey carving ninja come dinner time.

For those who like to try new recipes at Thanksgiving, let Clay Dunn and Zach Patton be your guides. They're the couple behind the food blog, The Bitten Word, and every year before the holiday, they scan 10 leading food magazines to identify recipe trends.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Each year Yankee Magazine chooses some of the finest foods of the region - as the magazine puts it, "just in time for holiday entertaining and gift giving."

Jack Rodolico

Behind the counter at Fox Country Smokehouse stands the original smoker from 1969. It’s a wood closet – maybe six by four feet – with metal racks and a light bulb. The walls in there are deep brown, almost black. But they shine. You’d think they were shellacked, but the gloss comes from something else.

"It’s actually the creosote from the smoke," says Bill Annis, smokehouse manager. "This is the original door from day one. It just gets a little heavier every year from the smoke."

Editor's note: A version of this story originally ran in November 2014.

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. And for those of us who already feel short on time during a regular week, the pressure is on to figure out just how to squeeze in all that extra shopping, prep work and cooking ahead of the holiday.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

To put their name on New Hampshire’s primary ballot, candidates for president visit the Secretary of State’s office at the statehouse. Where they go after filing - is often to a restaurant across the street. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Farmers markets are moving indoors for the fall, leaving behind the strawberries of summer and embracing the root vegetables of the colder months. 

Jim Ramanek of Warner River Organics is showing me his wares at a farmers market in Concord. It’s a relatively standard selection for a farmers market in fall, except that for every familiar autumn veggie he rattles off, there’s an alternate variety of it that I’ve never heard of. For instance, there are your classic turnips here, but there are also something called hakurei turnips, too.


There are two pumpkins sitting on the stoop of Amie Lundquist's Nashua home, and she's planned exactly what she's giving out this Halloween. But everything about the holiday scares her.

Via Bonnie's Plants

Diablo…..Falstaff…..Kryptus…Churchill. The names might fit a racehorse, or on the transom of a yacht. But bearers of these names grow in the ground. And in New Hampshire, October is when Brussels Sprouts can achieve their apotheosis.

"They are a good fall treat and a good keeper."

via 2 Teaspoons

Brussels sprouts - talk about a vegetable that gets a bad rap. This cold weather crop is perhaps only second to lima beans when it comes to un-earned disdain. In fact, many people who say they "hate" Brussels sprouts likely haven't eaten them for years, if they've ever eaten them at all.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

As the temperature drops and the leaves begin changing, we know that autumn is finally here. But these days, nothing signifies the start of fall like return of pumpkin flavor.

University of New Hampshire

A lot of people start sentences like this: “ever since I was very small….”  

Few people finish that sentence “… diversity, genetic diversity in plants has been a total driver of my passion.”

That, however, is what Becky Sideman told me, sitting at a lab bench inside of one of University of New Hampshire’s expansive greenhouses. 

Sean Hurley

The Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in Lincoln is exactly that.  Part train, part restaurant, the Cafe rolls down 20 miles of track serving five course meals to passengers over a 2 hour trip. NHPR's Sean Hurley rode along on this moveable feast on rails and sends us this.  

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Apple growers say good growing weather means they are expecting a bumper crop this year, but when the pick-your-own customers get to the orchards they may notice some changes.

NHPR Staff

Autumn in New Hampshire means foliage, fairs, and yes, picking your own apples at one of the state's many orchards. 

At a lot of farms, "pick-your-own" or "PYO" is much more than an opportunity to buy the freshest fruit. It's also a chance to take a hay ride, watch a cider press in action, and perhaps most important, to eat some homemade cider donuts. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Egg is dripping down Jeff Colt’s bare back as he stands in the kitchen of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut just below Mount Lafayette. Such is the peril of carrying about 28 pounds of eggs along with 50 pounds of other food.

But then again, running a restaurant high in The White Mountains is a little different than running one in Portsmouth, Laconia or Colebrook.

Peter Biello / NHPR

In the southwestern United States, the cost of harvesting chili peppers is rising, and competitors in Mexico have the advantage of cheaper labor. Enter Nag Kodali, an inventor from Pelham, New Hampshire. He’s invented a device that could help mechanize the chili harvesting process. 

At a machine shop in North Billerica, Massachusetts, Nag Kodali makes a few adjustments to his creation: a roughly twelve-foot long system of conveyor belts designed to gently remove pepper stems.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

At first glance, Summer Freeze, in the Concord village of Penacook, looks like every ice cream stand you’ve ever seen, with a walk-up counter offering cones, sundaes, banana splits. But look closely at the menu and you’ll find some surprises.

File photos

It's late August, and that means right now, it's the sweet spot for locally grown food. This brief time allows Granite Staters to harvest what's been growing all summer, and we also get to look forward to the fall picking season. Apples, pumpkins, and more.

Joining me now to talk about the state of New Hampshire's agriculture is George Hamilton, with the UNH Cooperative Extension.

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

It’s a hot, sunny day in August and the outdoor courtyard at Elm Street Middle School is hopping with activity. There’s laugher, chatter, almost a playground-like atmosphere. 

But these aren’t kids assembling construction kits. They’re 150 adult volunteers from Fidelity in Merrimack who on this workday would rather hammer nails than manage money. Science instructor Denise Rock is one of the two teachers who raised funds for the micro-garden project.