Buffalo bill has some farmers at odds

By on Mar 23, 2016 in Stories |

When it comes to raising bison, things can get a little tricky. That’s not just because they’re big or can easily toss a 500-pound bale of hay or have horns. In fact, some bison are quite friendly – several of Brian Farmer’s buffalo in Warner at Yankee Farmer’s Market will let you pat them and scratch their thick hair. If you’re lucky, one may lick you. The challenge arises when someone wants to process those bison, and the meat. Under New Hampshire law, almost all livestock intended for commercial sale – including domesticated bison – must be examined by a state-certified inspector before and after they enter any slaughtering facilities in the state. And while food safety is a priority, these regulations also create difficulties for aspiring local meat producers, like bison rancher Nick Vailas. Vailas, a health services professional from Bedford, keeps 36 bison as well as 30 elk with...

A Pig’s Life: From piglet to pork-chop, Week 5

By on Mar 16, 2016 in A Pig's Life |

This past Sunday, I somehow found myself sitting on the floor of Carole Soule’s pig pen, squirting blue Gatorade from a baby bottle into Pink 2.0’s mouth. It was pretty dang cute. With morning sunlight streaming through the open shed doors and highlighting his little bristly hairs, Pink 2.0, plus his seven brothers still living at the farm, jostled and bumped me with their wet noses. They gently chewed on my boots, my jacket, and, after Soule told me to hold out my hands, they sucked on my fingers. “This is the joy of raising pigs,” she told me. You may be thinking, why Gatorade? Soule said the pigs were experiencing some minor stomach upset in the beginning stages of being weaned from their mother, Sarah, and receiving their first small amounts of grain. The sports drink helps replace lost electrolytes. In between sips of Gatorade and chewing my clothes, the piglets bounced around...

PHOTOS: Maple syrup season starts with a tap in Bow

By on Mar 8, 2016 in Multimedia |

Gov. Maggie Hassan commemorated the start of maple syruping in New Hampshire at Treat’s Sugarhouse in Bow on Monday afternoon. She spoke about the importance of agriculture in New Hampshire’s economy, culture and environment.    

Successor to Corner View Restaurant, Tucker’s hopes to be a ‘classic neighborhood eatery’

By on Mar 6, 2016 in Stories | 1 comment

After years in the industry, Hale Cole-Tucker and his wife, Erica, thought they wanted to get out of the restaurant business. So in 2013, they sold their breakfast-and-lunch place, Maddie’s in Salem. With a young family, the couple turned that venture over to a beloved employee and moved on. “We were out of the business for like six months and knew we wanted to get back in it,” Hale Cole-Tucker said. Most of all, after years of working in restaurants, the couple missed the camaraderie. So in 2014, they opened the first Tucker’s in Hooksett. They followed quickly in 2015 with a second location in New London, and now Tucker’s will open in the former Corner View Restaurant in Concord. Art Thomas, who ran Corner View at the intersection of South and Clinton streets, closed it last weekend when he decided to retire after 20 years. “Our goal is to be able to bring Tucker’s to Concord and to...

Food Fight: A look at the Market Basket model

By on Mar 4, 2016 in Stories | 1 comment

There was an air of pleasant routineness amid the hustle and bustle at the Fort Eddy Road Market Basket on Monday. Just as the sun poked through some rain clouds, 85-year-old Kay Helms exited through the store’s automatic door, her cart pushed and eventually emptied by employee Daniel Beldin. The two had just met that day. “I just had a big order,” said Helms, who lives in Bow. Moments later, 88-year-old Fred Pilch, a Havenwood-Heritage Heights resident, crossed the parking lot to enter the supermarket he’s been shopping at for 20 years. He crisscrossed the aisles alongside people like Alton mother Jenn Carter, who pushed her cart and scanned the aisles with her two young kids, and 51-year-old Mourad Lakhdarr, a Concord resident loading up on onions and zucchini in the produce section. The everyday scene was a far cry from the chaos and uncertainty that followed what is considered the...