Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News
August is New Hampshire Eat Local Month — a time to celebrate our local food and farms, and recognize how a stronger local food system builds healthier citizens, communities and local economies. What’s new in the “Eat Local” movement in the Monadnock Region? Feast on these developments:
Farmers’ Market of Keene adds a New Market Day
There are now three opportunities each week to shop at the Farmers’ Market of Keene. A new Thursday Market time was recently added, from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Colony Mill Marketplace parking lot along Island Street. The Tuesday & Saturday Market days are still at their usual time and place, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Gilbo Avenue. In addition to August being NH Eat Local Month, the first week of August is also National Farmers Market Week. To celebrate both events, why not visit a farmers’ market each day of the week from August 3 – 9? Check out Monadnock Table Magazine’s farmers’ markets list to help you meet this challenge.
Cornucopia Project Plans a Community Garden
The Cornucopia Project plans to grow more local food for the community — with the community — by creating a community garden at the Peterborough Community Center. The garden will feature a spiraling path inviting visitors to stroll past the edible berry plants, herb garden, flowerbeds, greenhouse and mini-amphitheater. All the produce raised by Cornucopia staff and volunteers will go right to the Peterborough Food Pantry and Senior Lunch Program, also housed at the Peterborough Community Center — making the distance between garden to plate incredibly short. Once complete, the Peterborough Recreation Department will offer gardening classes. A fundraising campaign is also underway to renovate the center’s existing kitchen into a full commercial kitchen — which means cooking classes are also in order. Learn more about the Cornucopia Project.
Gleaning Coordinators Help Bring More Local Food to All
Last year, the New Hampshire Farm to School Program launched NH Gleans to support six gleaning coordinators throughout our state. Gleaning means harvesting the surplus produce from farms and gardens and directing it to local pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. We’re incredibly fortunate to have two gleaning programs in the Monadnock Region, one hosted by the Community Kitchen of Keene and another with the Hillsborough County Conservation District. Last year, the Community Kitchen gleaned over 16,000 pounds of produce last year. Learn more about gleaning on August 20, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the Monadnock Food Co-op. Sarah Harpster from the Community Kitchen of Keene’s Gleaning Program will share information about gleaning and how it fights hunger, supports local farmers and reduces waste. She’ll also share how you can get more involved in this effort. Discover more about NH Gleans.
Monadnock Food Co-op Brings More Local Food Choices to Shoppers
Now over a year old, the Monadnock Food Co-op offers the region’s largest selection of local and sustainably grown products together under one roof — making it easier for you to make a choice that supports our local food system. Currently, the Co-op carries products from 177 farmers and local food producers who grow and make their products within 100 miles of the Co-op. This August, the Co-op will serve up a full plate of events, focusing on local food and farms, to celebrate NH Eat Local Month. Learn more about the Monadnock Food Co-op.
Monadnock Region Permaculture Group Launched
The Monadnock Region Permaculture Group, sponsored by The Sustainability Project, offers events and an online forum for permaculture enthusiasts to connect and learn together. Permaculture uses ecological principles to design and regenerate healthy, productive landscapes and communities. The group’s offerings include films and educational speakers, permaculture farm & garden tours, discussion and book study groups, hands on experiences, community garden building, energy conscious living, seed and plant swaps and social events. Learn more at this Meet Up Group.
Finding a Local Farm to Visit Gets Easier
The Cheshire County Conservation District compiled a list of farms in Cheshire County and identified which farms are open to visitors. See their map and guide to local farms.
Now to celebrate NH Eat Local Month — pull out your calendar and go to Yarden of Eatin. This online calendar highlights many Monadnock Region events for August including a farm tour, farm dinners, local food BBQs, canning workshops and more. Looking for local food and farm events throughout New Hampshire? Check out the calendar at NH Farms Network and NH Eat Local Month.