For the eleventh year, let’s shine a light on local food, farms, and our Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eats Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest in August.
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, farm workers, 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 this year’s bounty of updates!
Walden Mutual Bank, based in Concord, is a new online bank rooted in the regional food system. Individuals and businesses can open an account and the bank lends this money to local food and farm businesses throughout New England. Locally, Walden Mutual helped Oliver Levick purchase Monadnock Berries in Troy from his parents.
“The mutual part of our name means we are cooperative, which means we are owned by our community of account holders and allows us to build a bank for the next 100 years,” said Chloe Wingerter, Walden Mutual Business Development Officer. “We offer customizable loans across the entire value chain, which includes everything from production farms, distributors, processors, co-packers, and consumer trade brands, to even ag-adjacent businesses such as solar energy.”
This August, Round It Up (round up your purchases to donate your change) at Monadnock Food Co-op’s registers to benefit Food Connects, a food hub based in Brattleboro, VT. New this year: The Co-op will pilot an additional way to Round It Up in August, virtually through The Local Crowd Monadnock.
Round It Up
Funds raised will support the Food Connects Farm to School initiative in the Monadnock Region. Their program offers professional development and local food purchasing support to school professionals, grant support for schools, and printed materials, including Harvest of the Month calendars, posters, cookbooks, and other signage to bolster and promote Farm to School initiatives. In partnership with The Monadnock Regional School District and the Cornucopia Project, Food Connects will help the Monadnock Farm to School network thrive and create a new generation of mindful eaters.
“The Co-op’s Round It Up program has proven to be a powerful tool in rallying community support and making a tangible difference in the lives of children in our region,” said Richard Berkfield, Executive Director and Founder of Food Connects. “The support from the Monadnock Food Coop not only helps us foster a healthier and more sustainable food system but also enables us to educate and inspire the next generation about the importance of local agriculture and healthy eating.”
Attend the fifth annual Monadnock Farm Tour and After Party on Saturday, August 19, from 12 – 8 pm. Participating Monadnock farms will open their barns, pastures, hoop houses, flower gardens, and production facilities. The event highlights how farms contribute to our local economy, their role in preserving open space, and how they contribute to our quality of life. The tour runs from 12 – 5 pm and costs $10 per car. The After Party happens at Outlaw Brewing in Winchester from 5 – 8 pm. This free, kid-friendly event offers delicious food from the Outlaw Food Truck, outstanding brews, and live music. A 50/50 raffle will take place to benefit Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC) to keep our local food system robust.
“After a wonderful afternoon of shopping at local farms, visiting the animals, walking the vegetable or flower fields, or learning a bit more about a bee farm, we’re very excited to offer folks a nice, family-friendly evening where you can sit back and eat great food, listen to great music, and imbibe delicious, on-tap brews at Outlaw Brewing,” shared Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC Executive Director. “We are so lucky to be surrounded by such a wide variety of farm experiences, products, and farmers. We hope everyone can get out for a memorable afternoon and evening!"
Join the Monadnock Farm to School Network for a Farm to School Day Camp for Teachers at the Cornucopia Project Educational Farm in Peterborough on Monday, August 21, from 10 am – 3 pm. This free camp will provide teachers classroom-ready curriculum through demonstrations, a farm tour, group activities, and games -- just like a real camp. The event includes a delicious lunch and a chance to win a raised garden bed or compost bin. Professional development credits are available. The Monadnock Farm To School Network members include Cornucopia Project, Stonewall Farm, and Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition.
Stay tuned for part two of this article in August, including local food and farm updates from Acworth Village Store, Cheshire County Conservation District, Cornucopia Project, and more!
Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies, and initiatives that continue to build a more robust local and regional food system in our corner of the state and throughout New England. Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities, and economies.
It's time to start planning for this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local efforts!
We're kicking off our Shop Indie Local planning efforts with a crowdfunding campaign. The more funds we raise, the more we'll amplify our message.
Together, we will:
Show off your dedication to the local economy movement and support our Shop Indie Local efforts today!
Shop Indie Local includes supporting Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, Small Business Saturday, and other promotions happening November 1 - December 31, 2023.
With your support, we will continue to build traction -- inspiring more and more AND MORE community participation and media attention.
Please consider supporting this year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local campaign at one (or more!) of the levels below.
Your logo will appear in our Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).
Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).
Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday AND Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers) AND the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households).
Sponsor a Plaid Friday launch in your town or at your business. Your name and logo will appear on our Launch Event marketing materials and press release. We'll plan this launch together.
All sponsorship pledges are due by October 31, 2023. Send us an email to pledge your sponsorship or click on the button below to purchase your sponsorship through our crowdfunding campaign.
Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for all you do to support our local economy each and every day.
Twenty years ago, locally owned businesses in Tampa, Florida, came together to celebrate the very first Independents Week. Soon after, American Independent Business Alliance helped bring Independents Week to independent business alliances throughout the United States. Now, twenty years later, American Independent Business Alliance invites communities to come together to celebrate Independents Month!
Independents Month is a time to recognize our locally owned and independent businesses and the community values they embody:
Independents Month, part of AMIBA’s Shop Indie Local Initiative, is the perfect time to shine a light on the Local Multiplier Effect and the Monadnock Indie Impact Study. Together, we’ll inspire our communities to take positive action and boost the positive ripple effects our neighborhoods, towns, and cities receive when we spend more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.
Independents Month is a time to reflect on your ability to think and act independently and embrace your part in shaping the future of your community. Choose Indie Local and boost the multiplier effect in your region. Also, take time to acknowledge the independent business owners you know.
Another way to celebrate Independents Month is to take the Indie Challenge. Pledge to make all of your purchases at locally owned businesses for one day, one week, or the entire month. Sign on to the Indie Challenge today!
Traveling during Independents Month? Enjoy what locally owned, and independent businesses have to offer wherever you’re visiting. Ask locals where their favorites are and look for independent business alliances in the areas you’re visiting.
Carla Jimenez, co-owner of Inkwood Books and co-founder of the Tampa Independent Business Alliance, created the first Independents Week in 2001. In 2005, AMIBA began promoting the campaign nationally, providing tools to help communities organize their own Independents Week celebrations.
This July, let’s celebrate our independence and our independents together.
As a parent, I want my children to inherit a vibrant community with real opportunities for work and play,” said Rachel P. from Nelson. “The only real way to do that is to invest in local businesses and people now so that the Monadnock Region is thriving when they are ready to work and live here on their own!”
This July, celebrate Independents Month with The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock -- a time to elevate the importance of independent and locally owned businesses (including all the owners and staff). One perfect way to celebrate is to take our Indie Challenge. Pledge to make all your purchases at locally owned businesses -- for one day, one week, or the entire month of July. You choose!
Sign on to the Indie Challenge today!
“As a Monadnock Region resident, I want to do my part to keep the area thriving,” said Indie Challenge-taker Lora T. from Peterborough.
In addition to the Indie Challenge, take a Staycation. Instead of traveling far from home to get away, vacation here and experience all the Monadnock Region has to offer. You’ll save money at the gas pumps and make new connections to nurture throughout the year. Keep reading for July Staycation ideas.
Where you spend your dollars matters -- your choices create a ripple effect that starts with you and extends out to our entire community and local economy. Choose an Indie Local (independent and locally owned business) and the positive ripple effects magnify.
When you spend your dollars at a locally owned and independent business, instead of a chain store or online giant, your dollars recirculate through our local economy 2-4 times more. As your dollars recirculate through our community, the money generates more local wealth.
One lucky Indie Challenge-taker will win our Independents Month Staycation Giveaway. Our Staycation Giveaway includes a two-night stay for two at the Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy (includes six delicious home-cooked meals, activities, and use of their facilities); one $250 gift card from the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene; two classes at Aloha Keene, a community center for healthy living in Keene with a regular schedule of yoga and more; one $50 gift card from The Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough; one $20 gift certificate from Catbird Flower Farm in Keene (good for their roadside flower stand from May - September); and one $125 gift certificate from Healthy Home Habitats in Keene for a one-hour landscape & garden design consultation.
“A challenge like this makes me think more clearly about supporting local businesses,” said Indie Challenge-taker Sue L. from Keene. “Usually, I don't consider who I'm buying from, and a challenge like this makes me think twice about where I buy what I need.”
We’ll announce the winner in early August.
See All the Details!
Independents Month reminds us to recognize our locally owned and independent businesses for the community values they embody and their spirit of entrepreneurship. Also, we acknowledge all the ways they give back to our community with their time, talents, goods, and services, making us healthier and wealthier. Thank an independent business owner and their staff today!
“I have seen the value and care that locally owned businesses bring to their communities,” shared Nathan B. from Harrisville. “Our local businesses support important work that needs doing and help to provide valuable services and opportunities for our young people!”
Looking for some Staycation ideas? Here are a few events in July to add to your Staycation plans.
“Since 2012, I have been honored to be your ambassador for Find Waldo Local initiatives in over 520 cities across the US,” shared Waldo, the star of the Where’s Waldo book series. “More than 575 indie bookstores have participated, and more than 14,500 local merchants have been involved.”
Get ready! Waldo begins hiding in Downtown Keene from July 1 to July 31. Pick up a passport at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene and start your search at twenty-five participating stores. Find Waldo (a six-inch version of him, that is!) at ten stores and get a coupon and a sticker. Find him at twenty stores and get entered into a raffle for Waldo books and other goodies supplied by participating stores. Save the date for a party at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene on Sunday, August 6 at 2 pm.
Wizarding Week returns July 26 – 30. What's Wizarding Week? Locally owned businesses in Downtown Keene host the fourth annual Wizarding Week -- bigger and better than ever! So much fun for all ages. “Where magic classes are real, menus are elaborate, and fun is never in short supply.”
Paddle or meander with the Harris Center. Check out their events list and sign up for one (or more!) excursions this month: harriscenter.org/events.
Stroll around downtown Keene’s public art murals painted in 2019 by The Walldogs -- a group of over 200 sign and mural artists from around the world. If you prefer a guided tour, register for the July 1 event at 10 am with the Historical Society of Cheshire County (tickets are $10 per person): hsccnh.org/event/walldogs-mural-tour-july-2023.
Traveling during Independents Month? Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are. Ask locals where their favorite independents are and look for local economy networks at amiba.net/our-network.
Think independently and act locally this Independents Month and beyond. Together, we’ll boost the positive ripple effects our community receives when we spend more of our dollars at locally owned, independent businesses.
Last year, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock launched our first-ever Staycation Challenge. It went so well that we’re bringing the challenge back for another year!
Summer means vacation for many of us. However, taking a vacation doesn’t have to include traveling far from home to get away. Take a Staycation and experience all the Monadnock Region has to offer.
You’ll save money at the gas pumps and make new connections to nurture throughout the year. The money you spend recirculates in our local economy, building more community health and wealth.
Enter TLC Monadnock’s Staycation Challenge by pledging to spend your dollars only at locally owned businesses for one day, one week, or the entire month of July.
Take our pre-survey now and then a post-survey coming in late July. Complete both surveys for your chance to win our Staycation package.
This year’s winner of our Staycation Package will receive a two-night stay for two at the Inn at East Hill Farm, a farm stay in Troy (includes six delicious home-cooked meals, activities, and use of their facilities); two classes at Aloha Keene, a community center for healthy living in Keene with a regular schedule of yoga and more; one $50 gift card from The Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough; One $20 gift certificate from Catbird Flower Farm in Keene (good for their roadside flower stand from May - September); and one $125 gift certificate from Healthy Home Habitats in Keene for a one-hour landscape & garden design consultation.
We’ll announce our winner in mid-August.
Why not start Staycationing now? Here are a few events in June to add to your Staycation plans.
Downtown storefronts will transform into art galleries during Keene ArtWalk on June 2 – 11. Stroll up and down Main Street to view the works of local artists. The Art is Everywhere event will happen on Saturday, June 3 from 11 am – 4 pm, as the ArtWalk expands to Railroad Square with performances and interactive art activities. Also, watch artists paint at different downtown locations from 10 am – 1 pm. Check out all the details here.
On June 3, downtown Keene also comes alive with food! The Keene Young Professional Network will host the third annual Taste of Keene Food Festival at the top of Main Street from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm. Enjoy music at Central Square (from pop covers to classic rock) and street performers hosted by The Colonial Theatre.
Purchase small bites and mocktails from twenty-three local restaurants and food producers. New vendors include Prime Roast Coffee, Jenna’s Market, and Muse Tapas Bar & Lounge. Get your food tokens today and save: tasteofkeene.com.
Don’t forget to visit the Taste of Keene’s local craft biergarten to sip on a selection of our region's best brews and spirits (21 and over). Please bring your ID. Purchase beverage tickets at the event. Stay tuned for the Taste of Keene’s full schedule.
On June 22, from 1 – 3 pm, enjoy Pollinator Palooza -- an afternoon of learning and celebration of pollinators at Ashuelot River Park in Keene. This event coincides with National Pollinator Week. Activities include a pollinator scavenger hunt, creating your own bee box, painting your own pot for a native plant, and more.
Local plant and compost vendors will sell a variety of products, with 20% of sales supporting Cheshire County Conservation District’s programs. Vendors include Fassett Farm Nursery, Thistle Dew Farm, Julie's Garden, Phylicia Roberts, Cook Hill Farm, and Echo Farm Puddings. Learn more.
Gilsum will ROCK the weekend of June 24 – 25 during the Gilsum Rock Swap & Mineral Show at the Gilsum Elementary School and Community Center. Browse tables, tables, and tables of gems, jewelry, and minerals for sale or swap. Grab a meal and pan for minerals. At 1 pm on Saturday, New Hampshire mineral expert Tom Mortimer will present. View the full schedule.
TLC Monadnock will join with the American Independent Business Alliance and partners throughout North America to celebrate LGBTQ+ owned businesses, diversity, and equity. Our regional partners include Keene Family YMCA, Keene Pride, Monadnock Food Co-op, and Prime Roast Coffee Co. Learn more.
Monadnock Food Co-op will launch weekly Round It Up Donation Drives for four organizations focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts this June. The Co-op's Round It Up donation program empowers us to positively impact our community by rounding up our change at the register to support local nonprofits.
June 3 – 9: American Independent Business Alliance
AMIBA provides DEI resources and training for campaigns run locally by The Local Crowd Monadnock. Campaigns include Choose Black-Owned Month, Pride Month, and seven other campaigns.
June 10 -16: The Daily Good
The Daily Good supports food security and diversity through food pantries on local college campuses and other centers.
June 17 – 23: Keene Pride
Keene Pride supports a coalition of services, organizations, and businesses that embrace and serve the LGBTQ+ population.
June 24 – 30: Monadnock Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Coalition
The MDEIB Coalition advocates for and develop DEI initiatives in the region.
We each play a critical role in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive region. Our Co-op is proud to support these four organizations and the work they do collectively to make our community more welcoming.
Stay tuned for Staycation updates. Happy local adventures!
Monadnock Food Co-op is excited to launch weekly Round It Up Donation Drives for four organizations focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts this June.
The Co-op’s Round It Up donation program empowers you to positively impact your community by rounding up your change to support local nonprofits.
June 3 – 9: American Independent Business Alliance
Provides DEI resources and training for Choose Indie Local campaigns run locally by The Local Crowd Monadnock. Campaigns include Choose Black-Owned Month and eight other campaigns. The Local Crowd Monadnock’s June campaign is Pride Month.
June 10 -16: The Daily Good
Supports food security and diversity through food pantries on local college campuses and other centers.
June 17 – 23: Keene Pride
Supports a coalition of services, organizations, and businesses that embrace and serve the LGBTQ+ population.
June 24 – 30: Monadnock Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Coalition
Advocates for and develops DEI initiatives in the region.
“Each of us plays a critical role in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive region,” said Jen Risley, Monadnock Food Co-op Community Coordinator. “Our Co-op is proud to support these four organizations and the work they do collaboratively to make our community more welcoming and strong.”
The Keene Downtown Group recently launched the Building a More Walkable Keene crowdfunding campaign through The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock.
Support this campaign today!
The funds raised will support bringing Jeff Speck, author and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities, to Keene on June 12, 2023. Speck has literally written the book on the subject, the 2012 classic Walkable City, the best-selling city planning title of the past decade.
Speck has helped communities large and small understand how walkability supports common goals like increasing tourism, economic activity, public health, safety, and sustainability. His wealth of experience, knowledge, and vision allows him to serve as an invaluable resource to each community he works with, whether the discussion focuses on big-picture change or targeted incremental improvements.
"As our city grapples with major decisions about public space and infrastructure, there could not be a better time to welcome Jeff to our community and benefit from his perspective," said Todd Horner, Vice-Chair of the Keene Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway Advisory Committee. "We owe it to ourselves and future generations to consider all our options, including ideas that a foremost expert like Jeff can bring to the table. When making tough choices about our world-class city, we should have world-class ideas at our fingertips."
Offline donations are also accepted. Checks can be made out to Keene Downtown Group, PO Box 80, Keene, NH, 03431. Please add "Jeff Speck" to the memo. This crowdfunding campaign continues through May.
“After 50 years of framing work around the automobile, retail analysts in both the private and public sectors are shifting to a new consensus: cars don’t spend money — people do.”
The quote above, taken from the report Protected Bike Lanes Mean Business, highlights a significant shift in thinking. People need access to our locally owned stores, whether getting there by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, bus, or personal vehicle. How can we balance each person’s transportation needs with municipal budgets and businesses’ bottom lines? Enter the bicycle.
There’s growing evidence that encouraging people to go by bicycle boosts the local economy. When done correctly, adding bicycle lanes and other cycling amenities can increase retail sales while decreasing parking pressures.
“Bicycling is more than a practical, cost-effective solution to many municipal challenges,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “When local communities invest in making bicycling safer and a real transportation option for more people, the return on investment is clear for individuals and society at large — from cost-savings on public health to small businesses’ growth and more.”
While bicyclists tend to buy smaller amounts when they shop, bicyclists visit each store more often and spend more money overall compared to those who commute by automobile. Also, providing space for bicycle parking costs municipalities less than vehicle parking. A dozen bicycles can fit into one parking space designed for a vehicle.
May is National Bicycle Month, the perfect time to amplify the benefits of bicycling and take more bike rides. Whether you ride for fun, fitness, or take essential trips to work or shop, be part of the movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people.
Mark your calendar and cycle along! National Ride A Bike Day happens May 7, Bike to Work Week will take place May 15-21, and Bike to Work Day is on Friday, May 19.
The American Independent Business Alliance and partners throughout North America will celebrate Bicycling Means Business Month in May, promoting the connections between bicycling and healthy local economies.
Schools nationwide will celebrate Bike & Roll to School Day on May 3. Over 800 schools will participate to call attention to making routes to schools safer and kids more active.
Track all your bicycling miles on Love to Ride’s website. Create your own goals and connect with other bicyclists. Register today to get started.
Let’s get rolling!
The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) recently changed their Shop Indie Local program to the name Choose Indie Local. While the name change seems subtle, this shift moves us closer to our vision: Community members at all levels participate as investors, creators, and Indie Local champions — inspired by independent businesses’ impact on community health and wealth.
When we Choose Indie Local, we do so much more than just shop – we bank, invest, create, and donate to boost the ripple effect of economic and community benefits we receive when we support our local economy. Together, we build strong local, equitable, and sustainable economies.
This April, celebrate Move Your Money Month with AMIBA and The Local Crowd Monadnock. What’s Move Your Money Month? It’s a time to look at where you deposit and invest your dollars and ask, can you move your money closer to home -- by banking with a community bank or credit union and investing in locally owned businesses in our region?
“Thank you, Silicon Valley Bank, for going belly up just as we at AMIBA prepared for Move Your Money Month in April,” said Michael Shuman, local economist and AMIBA board member. “Seriously, we worried that this slogan, popularized during the 2008 financial meltdown by Occupy Wall Street, might have lost its relevance. But here we are, once again, reminded that the global financial system is too complex, too opaque, and too risky. The solution—as we learned fifteen years ago—is to embrace a localized financial system that is more simple, transparent, and safe.”
When you bank locally at a community bank or credit union in our region, more of your dollars recirculate throughout our local economy -- building more local jobs and prosperity.
Traditional banks, publicly traded and owned by stockholders, exist to provide a return on investment to its owners. Community banks, on the other hand, are privately owned and not publicly traded. While credit unions are cooperatives, meaning the members own it -- the people who use its services and live or work locally.
“Savings Bank of Walpole is a mutual bank [a type of community bank],” shared President Mark Bodin. “Which means we are free of the short-term earnings demands of shareholders, venture capitalists, and other groups of owners. We are owned by our depositors and our community -- and our earnings stay right here with our bank and our community.”
Move Your Money closer to home and closer to your heart by choosing a bank more in line with your values. Who do you bank with now? Search for them at mightydeposits.com and find out what your bank does with your money. Discover how many dollars your bank invests in your community. Want to Move Your Money closer to home?
In addition to moving your money to a community bank or credit union, we encourage you to invest in locally owned businesses. Why? The Monadnock Region Indie Impact Study found that businesses rooted in our region recirculate up to four times more money in our local economy compared to national chain stores. If we invested more capital in locally owned businesses, we’d see a return on investment that included more community health and wealth.
“U.S. households and nonprofits held just over $18 trillion in banks in the form of deposits, checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market funds in 2022,” said Shuman. “But it’s nothing compared to the other securities we hold. Americans now have $71 trillion in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance funds—nearly all of it invested in global corporations. If you and your neighbors could shift even a small amount of that capital from Wall Street to Main Street, your local economy could flourish.”
Ready to learn more? Sign up for The Main Street Journal, published by Michael Shuman, highlighting local investing news and events. Also, we’ll share local investing opportunities on our website throughout Move Your Money Month.
We’ll also celebrate Earth Day in April. “Invest in Our Planet,” this year’s theme, connects perfectly with Move Your Money Month. Find ways to share your time, talents, and treasures with our planet by investing in locally owned businesses, sustainable agriculture, alternative transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and equity.
Need some inspiration? Join us at Monadnock Earth Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 12 pm – 4 pm in downtown Keene. Learn about what others are doing and making to invest in our planet, enjoy performers, and participate in activities from Railroad Square Park to the Monadnock Food Co-op. Hope to see you there!
Here's a summary of our major accomplishments for last year:
TLC Monadnock can't do this work without your support, so again THANK YOU! We can't wait to see what we accomplish together in 2023.
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431