Fish/farm partnership brings fresh seafood to Concord market
Lydia Harman, right, talks with Raphael Panayotis of Brookford Farm while picking up a cooler full of Cape Shark to deliver to Warner for New Hampshire Community Seafood on August 14, 2014. Harman, who is running for state senate, helped organize the community supported fishery's pickup location at Yankee Farmer's Market in Warner.
(WILL PARSON/Monitor staff)
Raphael Panayotis of Brookford Farm holds up a bag of Cape Shark offered to subscribers of New Hampshire Community Seafood, which offered pickup at the Brookford Farm booth in Concord's Capitol Plaza on August 14, 2014.
(WILL PARSON/Monitor staff)
Walk through Capital Plaza in Concord on Thursday afternoons and you’ll find Brookford Farm’s weekly CSA, where workers hand out vegetables, milk, yogurt, grass-fed beef, eggs – and now fish – to customers.
The addition is the product of a partnership launched this year between the Canterbury farm and New Hampshire Community Seafood, based on the state’s Seacoast.
The fishing cooperative uses the farm’s CSA to distribute its fresh, locally caught fish to Concord consumers in what it calls a CSF, Community Supported Fishery, the only one in the state.
“We’re trying to do something different with the local food system, create a one-stop, pick-up shop for local farms and local fish,” said Josh Wiersma, who manages the New Hampshire Community Seafood cooperative, made up of local fishermen and consumers.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to distribute fish to in-state areas with no access to local fish.”
The cooperative began its CSF share program two years ago, starting with seven pick up locations around the state. This year, the group has doubled to 14 locations, including Concord.
The second, eight-week CSF session began Thursday, but people can sign up until Aug. 23 for the prorated season. A weekly share can includes 2 pounds of filets from a variety of dayboat species, ranging from Gulf of Maine cod and Atlantic pollock to monkfish and Cape shark.
“We’re really trying to open peoples’ eyes to what we catch here,” Wiersma said.
During the first Concord eight-week session, which began in June, the group picked up 12 members and ended with around 18. “We’re still low on numbers in Concord,” Wiersma said.
“People are happy that they have a local place in Concord they can get fresh seafood and farm food,” said Amy Payne, who runs the Brookford Farm CSA. Each week, customers pick up roughly 26 pounds of fish from the Concord stand, she said.
Business is still slow, but Payne is hopeful it will build. The CSA just changed its time from Thursday afternoons to Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “We’re hoping to cross promote and be like a one-stop-shop, where you can get all your diet needs,” Payne said.
(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.)