Ideas We Love: Farm to Table

by Melissa Whittemore

It is that time of year when my senses are alive.  The sun sets later, you can hear the  sweet sound of a wood thrush at dusk.  The smell of warm summer nights after a light rain.  You can taste the sun in freshly picked strawberries.


It is that time of year where food is at it’s peak for me.  Tomatoes….lots and lots of tomatoes…drenched in olive oil, and basil.  Fresh corn right from the back of the  pickup truck at the Farmers’ Market in Keene, New Hampshire on Saturday mornings.

Tomatoes by ruthieki

A warm baguette from the Walpole Grocery, in Walpole, New Hampshire, combined with local fresh cheese, and my mother’s fresh pesto.  Bread sliced thin, slightly toasted, with bruschetta paired with olives, and a sweet ice tea with fresh mint.  For dessert, a bowl of homemade ice cream from The Walpole Creamery with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, drizzled with Burdick’s chocolate.

vermont cheese by muckster

I am in awe as I make the drive from Keene to Walpole along the rolling hills that line the back roads.  There are working farms on these roads, and I am humbled by the hard work it takes to bring organic, fresh food to our tables.  When I visit the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings, my straw bag is filled to the brim with goods from the artistic hands of these farmers who have come together to nourish us.

There are so many local markets, restaurants, grocers, and farms within our small community that bring all of these goods to our homes.  Whether you are part of a CSA, hitting the farm stands, or digging in the soil and planting your own food, you are sure to find what your taste buds are looking for right in this small little city of Keene NH. These are a few of my favorite things of the local season.

farmers market by natalie maynor

Beyond Keene, I am inspired by the rich diversity of food-related initiatives we come in contact with through our business. The examples below highlight two women who have sown their seeds of amazing ideas and visions and have turned them into thriving, sustainable harvests following the Farm to Table philosophy.


Joy Pierson is co-owner and nutritionist at Candle 79, called, “NYC’s premiere vegan oasis.” Begun as a health food store in 1984, Candle 79 evolved in a full-scale eatery dedicated to the health of its customers. Since 1994, Candle Cafe has served an organic vegan menu composed of the freshest ingredients available and has been continually rated as one of the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the country by both traditional and holistic communities. To see more more on their philosophy, history, mission and vision check out their website.


Another inspiration is Judy Wicks, social activist and founder of the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.  This restaurant is based on the values of hospitality, environmental sustainability and award-winning, contemporary American cuisine. Since its inception in 1983 it has become a symbol of community and relationships that help the world flourish.  The cafe pursues a three-pronged mission to develop the local economy, preserve the environment and enrich the health of its customers. Learn more at

Chef Eyhab "Happy" Hatab of White Dog Café - Philadelphia, PA

And to see some of our local favorites in New Hampshire’s Monadnock region, check out some of the links below.  Evoke your summer senses!

3 responses. Join the debate.

3 responses to “Ideas We Love: Farm to Table”

  1. Thank you for such beautiful information! Judy Wicks will be speaking at the Monadnock Summer Lyceum on August 18. Find out more:

  2. Hi Melissa

    Dad sent this to me. I loved it!!!! so well written and informative and also pretty to look at as one is reading. Job well done. Love ya

  3. Debbi Fuller says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Beautifully written! I drink ice tea with my own mint everyday, buy the bread from Burdick’s along with some of their amazing cheese selections and get my fresh tomatoes from all the local farmstands. The only thing I was laughing at was the comment about ‘light rain’. All we’ve had our torrential downpours! Summer time is the best!
    Love to you and all of your family,
    Debbi Fuller

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