A Decade of Plaid Friday Celebrations in the Monadnock Region

Yarden of Eatin'

For the tenth year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s event falls on Friday, November 29, 2019.

Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses during the holiday season. Last year, nearly 400 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

To amplify this year’s event, Savings Bank of Walpole will host a Plaid Friday Week from Friday, November 29 to Tuesday, December 3.  The bank will set up information tables at each of their branches with Plaid Friday swag to inspire more people to participate in this year’s event.  Community members are encouraged to wear plaid throughout this week and stop by the bank’s Marlboro Street branch to take a selfie in front of the bank’s…

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Monadnock Region Food System Updates

NHEL Month Banner 2018

Each year, we shine a light on local food, farms and our entire Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eat Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest happening each August.

This year, the Monadnock Food Co-op teamed up with New Hampshire Food Alliance to coordinate this statewide promotion — and we’re thrilled to share we recruited over 100 partners to help us spread the word this year. Discover more at nheatlocal.org.

What do we mean by a food system?

Our food system includes all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farmworkers, transportation networks, markets and more — everything needed to grow, harvest and distribute these goods to us.  These pieces come together to form our local food system.

Please dig in and enjoy part one of our bounty of updates!

Regenerating Soil

“Ultimately, the only wealth that can sustain any community, economy or nation is derived from the photosynthetic process — green plants growing on regenerating soil.”

Allan Savory, Co-Founder of the Savory Institute

Stonewall Farm in Keene embraced a new role in 2018 — they are now a Savory Institute Hub. One of 41 hubs globally and 15 in the U.S., Stonewall Farm uses regenerative farming practices to enrich their soil and improve the health of their dairy herd and vegetable crops. They also strive to spread these practices throughout New England by serving as a demonstration site, offering educational programs and supporting the adoption of bills like the New Hampshire Healthy Soil Legislation.

“We are contributing to the growing body of knowledge and new movement in agriculture that promises more than sustainability,” shared Julie Davenson, Executive Director of Stonewall Farm. “It promises to regenerate our degraded land, produce healthier food, build healthy ecosystems, improve our economy and combat the impacts of climate change.”

More than Books

Thanks to a new program called Monadnock Grows Together, you can now check out gardening tools at the Keene Public Library. Available tools include shovels, garden rakes, garden forks, hoes, a broad fork, small hand tools, hand trimmers, a push seeder and more. Borrow a tool for a week at a time.

You can also get FREE seeds from the library’s new seed library made up of nearly 50 vegetables and herbs varieties. Sign up for a membership and choose the seeds you want to grow. To support the continuation of the seed library, collect the seeds from the plants you grow and donate them back to “seed” the seed library for the next growing season! Not sure how to save seeds? Sign up for a free seed saving workshop at the library on September 28. Check out their full schedule of workshops.

Monadnock Grows Together is a partnership of the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD), Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections, the Keene Public Library and the National Center for Appropriate Technology. If you have questions, please reach out to the Urban Ag and Gardens Coordinator, Rachel Brice at rachel@cheshireconservation.org. She will also answer questions at the library every Friday from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

“This is an awesome resource for the community. It directly addresses food security and engages more people in food production,” shared Amanda Littleton, CCCD District Manager. “It comes with weekly ‘office’ hours for one-on-one gardening assistance and a coordinator who is willing to do garden visits and offer advice.”

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Gleaning Program

The Community Kitchen builds the local food system through their six-year-old gleaning project that gathers leftover produce from farms after a harvest — fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. This year, the Community Kitchen will offer a four-part Food Preservation Workshop series to encourage more of us to make the most of our seasonal bounty.

These free workshops take place at their commercial kitchen at 37 Mechanic Street on alternating Sundays from 2-4 p.m. Explore “Zoodles, Purees, and Freezing” on July 28; “The Basics of Canning” on August 11; “Using the Whole Plant” on August 25; and “Drying and Fermentation” on September 8. These workshops are co-sponsored by Jack’s Crackers, a local value-added food business. Space is limited, so reserve your seat with Andrea at 603-352-3200 or tckgleaner@gmail.com.

“From the perspective of a food charity agency, The Community Kitchen recognizes the importance of local food in providing community food security,” shared Gleaning Coordinator Sarah Harpster. “We understand that without a food system that features strong and interdependent ‘nested ecologies’ of food sources, our community will be burdened with more neighbors facing food insecurity.”

Keeping Farmers Farming

Farmers spend their lives providing food and fiber to us. Their ability to do this depends largely on farmers gaining secure access to farmland. However, accessing land that is affordable is a top challenge for beginning farmers in New Hampshire and nationwide. Land For Good, a regional and national leader in farmland access, based right here in Keene, helps address this challenge.

“A strong regional food system and healthy rural communities require that we keep land in farming and continue to grow viable farm businesses,” said Jim Hafner, Executive Director of Land For Good. “If where your food comes from matters to you and your community, then you need to be concerned about keeping the farmers who produce that food on the land in a way that they can plan for the future of their businesses — and for how they will secure their farm’s legacy as a working farm for the next generation.”

Land For Good’s Land Access Project will provide education, training and technical assistance to over 2,500 beginning and established farmers across New England. Land For Good is working locally with the Monadnock Conservancy and other partners across New England.

Feast On This Film Festival Banner

Feast on This Expands

This year, two great events become one — the Feast On This Film Festival and the Monadnock Farm Tour. Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC) and Monadnock Food Co-op invite you to the Monadnock Farm Tour & Film Festival, a 3-day celebration of local food and films on August 23 – 25. Visit 15 local farms and view a variety of films throughout our region including “The Need to Grow” that highlights innovative soil restoration efforts, shown at the Colonial Theatre in Keene on August 23 at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for more Monadnock region food system updates! Great things are happening at the Cornucopia Project, Farmers Helping Farmers, Food Connects, Imagine That Honey, Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock Sustainability Project, The Sustainability Project, Village at Stone Barn, Walpole Mountain View Winery — and perhaps your organization? Please let us know if we missed someone by contacting me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies and initiatives that continue to build stronger local and regional food systems in our corner of the state and throughout New England. Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities and economies.

Are You Ready? TLC Monadnock RFP Period is Open

  • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen — one that would strengthen your business, our community and the local economy — if only you had the funds to make it happen?
  • Is your business a “social enterprise” that addresses social and/or environmental issues?
  • Will your project support community goals, while keeping to a budget of $15,000 or less?

If you said yes to these questions…THANK YOU!  You are part of the emerging Fourth Sector economy — a sector that uses the power of business to do good things for people and the planet.

The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock believes in people like you.  That’s why we’re participating in a new research project in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support Fourth Sector enterprises. We are pleased to invite you to participate in this project.

Learn more and download our Request for Proposals

We will accept proposals until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019.  TLC Monadnock will select up to six local businesses to participate in this pilot study — and the top proposal will receive a free crowdfunding video from 710 Main Films to support their campaign.

Have questions? Please contact Jen Risley at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.

The Local Crowd Monadnock – Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431

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Call for Partners: NH Eat Local Month

Yarden of Eatin'

Eat-Local-NH-logoRGB_20101-300x198It’s never too early to start planning this year’s NH Eat Local Month, an annual event in August that celebrates local food and farming in our state.

This year, Monadnock Buy Local is collaborating with the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, Seacoast Eat Local, Seacoast Local and hopefully you to amplify the “Eat Local” message and empower more of us to celebrate the harvest.

We’re looking for partners to help us spread the word and energize all parts of the state to celebrate NH Eat Local Month.

Partners will:

  • Endorse NH Eat Local Month by sharing their business/organization’s name and website link with us
  • Provide us with links to any events or promotions they are organizing during NH Eat Local Month
  • Spread the word by sharing social media posts, adding a link to NHEatLocal.org on their own website and finding other creative ways to engage…

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Community Transportation Forums

The Monadnock Regional Coordinating Council for Community Transportation (MRCC) invites you to two Community Transportation Forums — one on April 17 in Peterborough and the other on April 18 in Keene.

Join this opportunity for a community conversation around:

How do people get around in rural NH?
If you don’t drive or have access to transportation- then what?
How does your town help residents who don’t drive?
What does the transportation future look like?

Also, learn about our 2018 Coordinated Plan for Community Transportation.

All are invited and encouraged to attend.

Community Members, Municipal Leadership, Elected Town Officials, Chambers of Commerce, Community Groups, State Senators, Representatives, Executive Councilors, Community Volunteers

 

Keene State introduces the Green Building Leadership Institute

From Keene State College Office of Continuing Education

ecovation hubIn response to the movement toward sustainable practices, the recently formed Ecovation Hub Education & Training Consortium is introducing an intensive, two-week program to be held on the Keene State campus from May 21 – June 1. Taught by industry leaders, classes will benefit students and working professionals, as well as community and institutional decision-makers. Courses are being offered in credit and non-credit options.  Learn more.

Village Roots Permaculture’s Barn Raising Crowdfunding Campaign

Yarden of Eatin'

The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock launched its sixth online crowdfunding campaign  called the Village Roots Barn Raising project. Village Roots is a family owned and operated, regenerative farm on the Orchard Hill Community in East Alstead, NH.

Learn more and support this campaign today!

Owners Marty Castriotta and Ellen Denny share, “The beauty of a barn raising is that it is a community endeavor. We’ll mill the wood and cut the timbers. You help by contributing to the campaign that will pay for our roof, siding, sight work, gravel, electric and much needed refrigeration. Then you show up on raising day, if you wish, and we raise the frame together. In return, we will offer you a variety of rewards to reimburse you for your contribution.”

Barnraising image

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