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Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

Indie ChallengeAre you ready (insert echo here: ready, ready, ready) for the Indie Challenge (challenge, challenge, challenge)?  Forty-five of your friends, family and neighbors have enthusiastically answered YES!  We invite you to join them.

What’s the Indie Challenge?  It’s a challenge to fulfill all of your needs at locally owned and independent businesses during Independents Week, July 1–7, 2015.  Sign on to the Indie Challenge today.

“I salute our community members and locally owned independent businesses who are integral to the unique flavor of Keene and honor their efforts to make Keene the place we want to live and work,” stated Keene Mayor Kendall Lane in this year’s Independents Week Proclamation.  “As we celebrate Independents Week 2015, we acknowledge that the ability to choose the direction of Keene lies within each of us.”

While Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom, Independents Week is a time to reflect on our interdependence: how locally owned businesses contribute to a healthy community and local economy and how each of us contributes to the success of these businesses.

In addition to taking the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week by participating in a myriad of events offered by locally owned businesses throughout the Monadnock Region:

Start the week out with some homegrown music at Fitzwilliam Inn’s Open Mic on Wednesday, July 1 from 7pm to 9pm.

Celebrate with a laugh or two (or more) at Walpole Valley Farms as they show the movie “The Goonies” in their barn on Thursday, July 2.  The farm’s grassfed burgers and hotdogs will be available for sale, and popcorn too. The movie starts at 7pm and food is available starting at 6pm. Bring your own beach chairs, blankets and beverages.

Go back in time on Thursday, July 2 or Friday, July 3 between the hours of 11am and 4pm.  Take a guided tour of the historic Wyman Tavern Museum and learn what it was like to run a family business in late 18th-early 19th century Keene.  Cost: $3.

There’s a Local Food BBQ at Monadnock Food Co-op on July 3 from 5pm–7pm.   The menu features Italian Sausage (with locally raised pork from John Davis in Surry), house made Beet and Black Bean Burgers, Orchard Hill Breadworks Bread, Salad Greens (from True Nature Garden in Keene), Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto (from Old Athens Farm in Putney,VT) and Pea Salad (from Generation Farm in Concord).  The cost is $9 per plate and there will be live music too.

Friday, July 3 brings fireworks to Rindge and Keene. The Rindge Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Family Festival and Fireworks at the common starting at 5pm with fireworks at 9pm.  Enjoy rock and roll, soul, swing and Cajun music with Tattoo.

The Keene Swamp Bats will offer fireworks at their game against the Sanford Mainers at Alumni Field in Keene. The game starts at 6:30pm with fireworks show to follow.

Race to the finish line on Saturday, July 4 at the “4 on the 4th” Road Race in Keene while supporting a great non-profit, Pathways for Keene — promoting the development, maintenance and use of alternative transportation in our city.

After the race, stroll over to the Farmers’ Market of Keene from 9am–1pm on Gilbo Avenue.  Browse the bounty of locally grown produce and locally made products from local farmers and artisans — and cool down with one of my favorites, a Patti Jazzy Popsicle from Cheshire Garden.

From the Farmers’ Market, head over to the 15th Annual Harrisville Old Home Days and Arts and Crafts Fair, 10am–3pm.  The day includes children’s games and crafts, live music, food vendors, Harrisville mill architecture tours and over 30 local artisans offering photography, jewelry, blown glass, wood products, homemade jams, local syrup, knitted items and more.  Call 603-827-3094 for more information.

On Sunday, July 5, enjoy music from the Westmoreland Town Band 6:30pm–8:30pm at the Town Green Gazebo in Walpole, sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information, call 603-355-1602.

Mondays mean contra dancing!  On July 6, join the Monadnock Folklore Society for their Monday Night Contra Dance 8pm–10:30pm at Nelson Town Hall.  New to contra dancing?  That’s okay!  Just let the caller know. Cost: $3.

Finish Independents Week at Orchard Hill Breadworks Pizza Night in Alstead on Tuesday July 7 from 5pm–7:30pm.  You bring your own pizza toppings, drinks, picnic blanket, dinnerware and $7 per crust. Orchard Hill Breadworks provides the pizza crusts, cheese, and sauce and will cook your pizza in their new outdoor oven.  All profits for this night’s Pizza Night go to Animaterra Women’s Chorus.

Traveling during Independents Week?  Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are.  Ask locals who their favorites are and look for networks like Monadnock Buy Local in the areas you’re visiting at amiba.net/about_ibas/find-iba and bealocalist.org/localist-champions.

As you take the Indie Challenge, we’d love to hear how the challenge is going for you. Email us at monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.  If you get stumped, use our 2,857 Facebook Fans (and your friends and neighbors) to help you brainstorm possibilities.  Another great resource for finding independent businesses is our online directory, listing 310 locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region.  You can search by business type, town or keywords to find what you’re looking for.

Choose the direction of the Monadnock Region, take the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week and shift your spending to locally owned businesses everyday.

Originally posted on "Yarden of Eatin" Blog:

11650721_10206974188337172_671589982_nTEAM Jaffrey‘s Farmer’s Market is BACK for it’s 25th year and happening throughout the month of JULY on Wednesday evenings 6-8:30pm on the town Common! Come for the farmers and STAY for the live concerts at the Gazebo where we’ll feature a different genre of music each week.

Club Soda Band will be performing LIVE from 7-8:30 and the farmers will have their freshest local goods to sell direct from the farm to you!

We are proud to announce that the following farms are participating:

Foggy Hill Farm (of Jaffrey)
Holland Homestead Farm (of Hillsborough)
Tracie’s Community Farm, LLC (of Fitzwilliam)
Monadnock Berries PYO and Garden Center (of Troy)
Old Bridge Farm (of Swanzey)
and Little Brook Farm (of Jaffrey)

Inventory will include:

  • Veggies
  • Herbs
  • Berries
  • Breads
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Flower Starts
  • Perennials
  • Alpaca Products
  • Wood Furniture
  • Bird Houses & Bat Houses

Won’t you join us?! RSVP on Facebook and…

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In its sixth year, Monadnock Buy Local experienced an 8% growth rate in its membership. This movement now includes 163 business owners, representing 23 towns and well over 1,000 jobs throughout the Monadnock Region. A notable addition to its membership is its first municipality: the City of Keene is now a member of Monadnock Buy Local.

“Locally owned businesses in communities with Buy Local efforts experienced a 9.3% increase in revenues last year,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Buy Local Executive Director. “That’s double what independent businesses in communities not served by such efforts saw. Efforts like ours are making a difference.”

A recent study found that when money is spent locally in the Monadnock Region, up to four times more of that money recirculates through the local economy generating more jobs, charitable contributions and other community benefits.

independents-comparative-sales-increase-100bill

Help drive the success of two Complete Streets demonstration events happening in Swanzey on August 29th and Keene on September 19th.  A segment of roadway in each place will be temporarily transformed into a safe (and fun!) place for all users, whether walkers, bicyclists, motorists or bus riders.

How can you help?

  • Donate/loan out materials (street furniture, potted plants, pallets, etc.)
  • Organize an activity (pop up retail store, parklet, public art, etc.)
  • Share your ideas
  • Volunteer to help at the event

For more information or to help, contact Tara Germond at 603-357-0557 or tgermond@swrpc.org

View Complete Streets Demo Events flyer.

 Inspiration from The Better Block Project:

On June 2, 2015 Keene Mayor Kendall Lane proclaimed July 1 – July 7 as Independents Week:

I salute our community members and locally owned independent businesses who are integral to the unique flavor of Keene and honor their efforts to make Keene the place we want to live and work.

Independents-Week-2015[1]

Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

One hundred fifty four locally owned businesses fuel Monadnock Buy Local’s efforts. These businesses help spark a movement — one that calls upon each of us to “think local first” and choose to shift more of our spending from national chain stores to locally owned businesses. Together, we’re building a stronger community.

I love how the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies puts it, “[This movement] is about building communities that are more healthy and sustainable — backed by local economies that are stronger and more resilient. It means we use regional resources to meet our needs — reconnecting eaters with farmers, investors with entrepreneurs, and business owners with the communities and natural places on which they depend. It recognizes that not one of us can do it alone and that we’re all better off, when we’re all better off.”

This year, we plan to better promote the impacts of supporting locally owned businesses. Our main mantra comes from a Civic Economics report that found that locally owned businesses in our region return 4x more money to our local economy compared to chain retailers. The study also concluded that shifting just 10% of our purchases from national chains to locally owned retail businesses would keep $27 million in the regional economy — recirculating through the Monadnock Region to create new jobs, more charitable contributions and a better quality of life for more residents.

Monadnock Final Indie Impact Study_Page_4

We also want to inspire more of you to think local first — and buy local, bank local, eat local, drink local and BE LOCAL! And we want to make it easier for you to find what you need at locally owned businesses. In turn, we want to encourage our 150 business members to adopt innovations that forward a local, green and fair economy.

Ideally, we hope to reframe what “value” means to us all — in terms of buying the goods and services we want and need. As the American Independent Business Alliance points out, “Of course, we usually choose to do business where we perceive the best value for our time and money. But in an age where we’re bombarded with thousands of corporate advertisements daily, perceptions may differ widely from reality. The unrelenting emphasis on cheapness above all other values, leads many people to overlook the values independent businesses provide us, both personally and in our communities.”

Thank you to our 154 members: retailers, service providers, chefs, farmers, artists, nonprofit leaders, friends and neighbors. Of those members, 22 have been members for all six years of Monadnock Buy Local’s existence: Cheshire Garden, Deep Roots Massage, Elm City Restaurant & Brewery, Hannah Grimes Center, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Howard’s Leather, Jack Daniels Motor Inn, Keene Fresh Salad, The Keene Sentinel, Keene Sign Worx, Life is Sweet, Monadnock Shopper News, Monadnock Table Magazine, Northfield Drive-In, Peterborough Camera Shop, Picadilly Farm, Prime Roast Coffee, Savings Bank of Walpole, Ted’s Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops, Walpole Mountain View Winery and WiValley. A very big thank you to these businesses for their commitment to our mission.

We expect to release our 2015-2016 Monadnock Buy Local Guide, listing all of our members and more inspiration for thinking local first, by late July. Until then, we invite you to explore who our members are at http://monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Members.

And thank all of you for supporting locally owned businesses and Monadnock Buy Local. We look forward to many more years of contributing to a stronger local economy and more vibrant region.

Help Buy Local Enthusiasts Find You!

Locally owned businesses throughout the Monadnock Region are invited to create a free business listing in Monadnock Buy Local’s online directory. Currently, 300 independent businesses are listed, giving Buy Local enthusiasts a place to go to find the products and services they’re looking for. Users can search for businesses by name, town and offerings.

Eligible businesses can join at the “Online Listing Only” Level to receive their free listing at monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Join.

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