By ALANA PERSSON, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Frequent farm stand visitors, vegetable gardeners, wildcrafters and farm-to-table goers are invited to take part in the first-ever photo contest promoting local food, held as part of New Hampshire Eat Local month.
The Lakes Region Food Network is collaborating with the Belknap County Conservation District to celebrate local food during the month of August. Rather than just handing out fliers at local farmers markets to explain what New Hampshire Eat Local month is, the Lakes Region team said they wanted to do something that would engage the public, and thus the photo contest was born.
The photo contest is running until the end of August, with the winners of the contest chosen during the Lakes Region Food Network meeting in September. The contest is not limited to people or food in the Lakes Region; however, all photos submitted must be from somewhere within the state of New Hampshire. Wineries and breweries that produce local drinks are also eligible for the contest. The seven categories for photo submission include farmers markets, retail establishments, CSA shares, farm-to-table meals, farm stands, gardens or wildcrafting. Wildcrafting is finding wild sources of food, such as mushrooms or wild berries. Examples of edible weeds are dandelions, chickweed, lambs quarter and violet leaves.
"People can be as creative as they want with their photos," said Karen Barker of the Lakes Region Food Network. "They can brag about their gardens or take pictures at local farm stands, anything is an option as long as it highlights something produced within the state.
There will be one winner awarded to each category of photo submission, and winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate from a local store including Wayfarer Coffee Shop, Local Provisions, Local Eatery, Burrito Me and Laconia Village Bakery.
Freshly picked blueberries at a local farm in New Hampshire were taken by Karen Barker as part of the New Hampshire Eat Local month food contest presently being conducted throughout the state during the month of August. (Courtesy photo)