Women works to preserve indigenous foods, Native American culture

By on Nov 23, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

Liz Charlebois is bringing indigenous food traditions back to the community, one seed – dried on an old pizza box – at a time. Seeds sat in one such container in Charlebois’ office at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum last week, surrounded by their source: massive, orange, Buffalo Creek squash. They were grown and harvested last month on the grounds of the Warner museum, where Charlebois works as education director. Charlebois, 41, grew up in Harrisville and is Missisquoi Abenaki. While she was raised in Native American culture, she said she’s taken a special interest in indigenous foods only recently. She’s particularly concerned about preserving indigenous seed varieties in the era big agriculture and access to healthful, nourishing foods for existing native communities. Charlebois also treasures this remnant of indigenous life when so many other native cultural practices have been...

A taste of indigenous foods

By on Nov 23, 2016 in Recipes, Stories | 0 comments

When she handed me the innocent, white piece of paper, Liz Charlebois did so with a little hesitation, and with an air of gravity. “This is very, very sacred,” she warned me. It was, after all, her original, homemade, squash soup recipe, perfected over the years. The squash she recommends for the soup is homemade too in the deepest sense of the word. Buffalo Creek squash, or winter squash, is an indigenous food, Charlebois explained. It’s a gourd that is native to North America and is also a traditional food for people who, like her, are indigenous, or Native American. “It definitely originated here,” she said. “It was brought from the Seneca people here traveling – they brought it to the settlers.” Charlebois, who is Abenaki, is helping others access this and other indigenous foods through her position at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, where she is the education director. “We talk...

Life and Death On Stage and On the Farm

By on Nov 22, 2016 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

The music was lively, the cast enthusiastic and the play was inspiring. It was also about death. Death that generated hope but still death.  I want to be entertained the same way I want to eat; locally, so I took my husband on a date to see Once On this Island, a musical put on at the Concord City Auditorium (The Audi). The play was about sacrifice for a higher good and it was about death. I’m a farmer surrounded by death and life. When piglets are born on the farm, some die, some live. In the past, of the 20 or so calves born each year, one might die. A chicken occasionally dies and the three turkeys we didn’t process for food were all killed and eaten by coyotes or foxes. We’ve seen skunks in the chicken coop and bears in the woods. Death and life are part of farming. Then there are the animals we ship to be processed for food. Some are my friends. Some I...

A Drift of Piglets?

By on Nov 19, 2016 in Carole's Corner | 0 comments

Our first batch of fall piglets have arrived. Pinky had her first litter of piglets. She started with seven. One was found dead the morning that they were born so now we have six healthy little piglets. Do you know that name for a group of pigs depends on the animal’s age? A group of young pigs is called a drift, drove or litter. Our little drift of squiggly piglets is thriving and would love to squeal into your life. Stop by Miles Smith Farm to see our latest drove or litter of babies. Pinkey is a good mother.  Check out how she calls her babies to breakfast here.

Finding food in the woods

By on Nov 16, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

On Monday morning, Concord resident Mark Beauchesne went hunting for his family’s New Year’s Eve dinner. He loaded up his truck with his smooth bore shotgun and his neon orange vest. His 8-year-old English Setter, Avery, panted excitedly from his crate in the back seat. And after a quick swing across Sewalls Falls Bridge to pick up a reporter, Beauchesne set off for his “secret spot” in Andover, where he would continue a tradition he first learned as a Concord kid. “Hunting is something that’s a family thing,” he said. “Grandfather, uncle, dad . . . it’s just what you do.” As the oldest of four siblings, Beauchesne said he’s the only one who has kept at it. And over the course of his 50 years, he’s seen the New Hampshire population, plus the state’s landscape, change drastically. A state where just over 800,000 people lived in the 1970s now has more than 1.32 million residents. “That...

Bringing wild meat home

By on Nov 16, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

There is, as Concord hunter Mark Beauchesne says, “no free-er ‘free range’ ” meat than wild game. Beauchesne, who is also the advertising and promotions coordinator for New Hampshire Fish and Game, gave me a short lesson on hunting and eating wild game Monday. First point: you have to find said wild game. We gave it our best shot Monday morning in Andover, tromping through swamp lands and pushing past branches of a young-growth forest with Beauchesne’s dog, Avery. Though we managed to “flush” five grouse – scaring them and sending them flying away with a light “drumming” in the trees – we didn’t get a chance to shoot any. Avery, who is an English Setter, was “lit up,” Beauchesne said, and was mostly running circles around the birds’ scent, instead of finding them, standing still, and pointing his nose until we came along. I didn’t get the chance to watch Beauchesne field dress a bird,...

TEDx Talk – Tazzy Steals the Show

By on Nov 14, 2016 in Carole's Corner | 2 comments

The topic of my recent TEDx talk was, “Every Steak Has a Story,” and my point was that whether you buy meat from a factory farm or from a small farm, like mine, we should honor the animal that gave its life to create food. I decided to bring my “porch pig,” Tazzy, a 30 pound mini pig that is mostly house trained, on stage with me. Tazzy is an “ambassador pig” who I bring with me to help illustrate that farm animals have personalities. Well during that TEDx talk Tazzy proved she had a personality. Remember I said she was “mostly” house trained? If you’ve seen any TEDx talks you’ll have noticed that the speaker stands in the middle of a circular rug. We can walk as we speak but must stay on the rug which is plush and red. I knew that Tazzy had a thing for plush rugs. Around the house we’ve gotten rid of all our plush rugs because Tazzy usually makes a “mistake” on plush...

Dairy farmers: “We are an endangered species. . .worth preserving”

By on Nov 2, 2016 in Stories | 0 comments

Chichester dairy farmer Gordon Jones approached the hotseat at Tuesday’s Dairy Farmers Task Force meeting carrying a plastic bag. Out of it he pulled two T-shirts he said he was debating to wear. “Farmers: Someone has to feed you people,” he read off of one shirt. Then the other: “Plays well with udders.” Jones garnered some chuckles at what was an otherwise serious three-hour session between legislators and those in the dairy industry. In contrast to the first, sparsely attended meeting, almost every seat was full in the Legislative Office Building room Tuesday. Many of those seats were taken by dairy farmers. They faced the seven-member task force, testifying and answering questions as legislators considered this year’s drought and the affect on the industry. Combined with federally set, low milk prices, the lack of rain and resulting feed losses puts many of the state’s 101 or so...