New Hampshire is known for its lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, small coastline, and perhaps not as well known, for its farming and agriculture. At many New Hampshire Bed & Breakfasts, you’ll find fresh local produce and other farm products incorporated into breakfast fare.
“Agriculture in New Hampshire has a long history.. from the mid 1700s, small farms were sprinkled in townships through much of the area, usually along river valleys. Most farmers had small subsistence operations. Those who wanted to make money commercially focused upon sheep, dairy, and orchards… Today, most farms in New Hampshire are small, averaging 30-40 acres, while some are larger, ranging from 150 to 300 acres. Flowers and shrubs from greenhouses and nurseries are the largest agricultural products. Others include milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables (strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, corn, pumpkins, squash, herbs, etc.), hay and forage, horses, livestock (beef, sheep, swine, and poultry), Christmas trees, maple syrup, and honey.” [https://www.nh.gov/folklife/learning-center/traditions/agriculture.htm]
New Hampshire has many farm stands sprinkled throughout the state as well as farm markets, farmers markets, and food cooperatives. It should come as no surprise that innkeepers, who take great pride in their property and in their breakfasts, use fresh local, New Hampshire products whenever possible, such as eggs, maple syrup, herbs, vegetables, fruit, and breakfast meats.
In addition to getting fresh food from local farmers and food coops, many B&Bs produce some of the food they use in breakfasts, a few of which are featured below.
Canterbury Center Bed & Breakfast (Canterbury, NH) with four guest rooms, each with private bathroom, will treat you to healthy, farm fresh, local and seasonal Canterbury produce. All the herbs grown come from Canterbury Plantation, and purchased at the Canterbury Country Store to further support the store. The spearmint is truly perennial, and Lois uses it in table water with lemon. This year she planted several rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil plants, along with chives and scallions and Swiss chard. She had read that diversity is good so the herbs are mixed in with flowers too. Copious watering has been necessary! But many breakfasts now have featured a mix of her herbs in scrambled eggs and frittatas. It is real joy to slip outside before the sun is risen, to snip some herbs for that morning’s guests. There are organic apple trees in a field out back but they will not yield until late September.
The Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House (Swanzey, NH) with five guest rooms, each with private bathroom, has gardens tended to by Susan and David. David has been primarily responsible for planting the gardens with herbs (basil, mint, chives, rosemary, cilantro, and dill, to name a few), rhubarb, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and cucumbers. The herbs and vegetables are incorporated into breakfast dishes, particularly egg dishes such as frittatas and crustless quiches. The basil has been made into pesto and frozen for use in breakfasts throughout the year. David has also planted raspberries and blueberries, and this year was the first time there were enough blueberries to use in breakfasts. Our blueberry muffins are a favorite!
Stonewall Farm Bed & Breakfast (Hillsborough, NH) has six guest rooms, each with private bathrooms, and is furnished with beamed rooms and open kitchen area. Innkeepers Meg and Ed use their own blueberries, eggs, fruit, and herbs in their breakfasts.
Innkeepers take pride in the breakfasts that they serve and invite you to stay at one of the NHBBA B&Bs to experience their great hospitality. To find a B&B in New Hampshire, click here.
By Susan Karalekas, Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House, Swanzey, NH.