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  • September 06, 2020 10:07 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    A Community Response to COVID-19 Business Recovery

    Our first TLC 4WARD crowdfunding campaign raised $14,028 for six locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region, NH.

    "This campaign empowered 253 individuals to support six local businesses that they don't want to live without," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "Our goal was to leverage our technology to help locally owned businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis, meet shifts in community needs and rapidly seize emerging opportunities."

    TLC 4WARD, designed to help rural communities recover more quickly from the COVID-19 crisis, enables residents to contribute to local businesses and organizations through online transactions.

    Participating businesses included:

    Archway Farm in Keene, NH added more offerings to their self-serve farm store in response to COVID-19, which required more storage space. Through TLC 4WARD, the farm raised the funds needed to upgrade their electric service to support this new storage equipment.

    "A big thank you to everyone who has donated," shared Mark Florenz, owner of Archway Farm.


    CC&D's Kitchen Market in Keene, NH met their campaign goal in less than 24 hours. They will purchase essential safety equipment and supplies for the catering arm of their business.

    "There is great kindness in this world and AWESOMENESS in our community," said Denise Meadow, co-owner of CC&D's Kitchen Market. "We thank this amazing community for supporting our local small business, for sharing photos, stories and experiences, for referring us to your friends and families, for donating meals so we can together thank our essential workers and for buying meals for strangers, friends, volunteers and superheroes."

    Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH invested in a refrigerated trailer to expand its Curbside Pick-Up program, launched in response to COVID-19.

    "We are extremely grateful for our community's support of our Curbside Pick-Up infrastructure," said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager. "Our expanded refrigerated storage space will help us serve more customers, helping us better serve our community in the months and years ahead."


    Orchard Hill Breadworks in Alstead, NH will use funds to support small dairy farms and artisan cheesemakers hit hard by the pandemic. They will feature local dairy products on their pizzas, sold each Tuesday to raise funds for local non-profit organizations.

    "A huge thank you to everyone who supported us in this campaign," said Cara Campbell of Orchard Hill Breadworks. "We are so grateful to be able to support small, local producers in this time of so much uncertainty."

    Prime Roast Coffee Roasters in Keene, NH raised 170% of their goal to purchase a second battery to power their electric bicycle used in their new “BySpoke - Beans by Bike” program, a doorstep delivery service. They will donate access funds to Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation to support future bicycle programming.

    "We want to share our community bounty so all funds over our goal will go to the Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST)," said Judy Rogers, owner of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters. "Support will help promote their next Bike to Work Week and Bicycle Month in 2021."

    Village Roots Permaculture Farm in Alstead, NH will purchase and install a walk-in cooler with a cool bot unit boosting their ability to provide fresh, healthy and safe food to their community.

    "Like many local farmers, COVID-19 boosted sales at our farm," said Marty Castriotta, owner of Village Roots Permaculture Farm. "This surge focused our efforts on upgrading our food handling and processing capacity. Thanks to everyone who chipped in, we reached our goal in four days!"

    Visit this TLC 4WARD campaign

  • August 27, 2020 6:23 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    This fall, we will welcome back community economist Michael Shuman for a virtual visit to our region.  In 2016, Michael spoke about pollinator enterprises -- self-financing businesses committed to boosting other local businesses. This time, he’s back to help us invest more of our savings into locally owned businesses and community.

    "When the pandemic recedes, we all will be called upon to take extraordinary steps to revive the local businesses that serve as the foundation of our communities," shared Michael. "One critically important step will be for you and other members of your community to move your investment capital from Wall Street to Main Street."

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock will host an online introductory webinar with Michael called "Rebooting Your Community After COVID - How to Invest Locally Using Self-Directed IRAs and Solo 401ks" on October 15, 2020, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event is free, but registration is required.

    Register today!

    “There are real alternatives [to Wall Street], but few know about or consider them,” said Michael. “In fact, you can invest in everything that matters to you. You can put your money into that neighborhood grocery store you love, your little sister’s first house, or your nephew who needs to pay off high-interest student loans.”

    Michael will offer us a way to make our community more resilient -- to prepare for future global crises -- and help us move more of our dollars into the businesses we don’t want to live without.  While this workshop targets community members with tax-deferred retirement accounts (401k or IRA), we encourage others to attend such as local business owners looking for new sources of capital and individuals looking for new ways to solve our local economic challenges.

    “If you’re smart about local investing, you can do this in a way that provides substantial, stable financial returns and lowers the risk of Wall Street investments,” continued Michael. “Plus, these commonsense local investments wind up strengthening your community, your local resilience, and your tax base.”

    If there’s enough interest generated at our introductory workshop, we’ll work with Michael to offer a full workshop on this topic in our region (hopefully live!).  The workshop would cover the twelve types of local investment opportunities available in almost everyone’s backyard (some that are likely to beat the returns from Wall Street).  It would also highlight what next steps we can take to shift millions of dollars of capital into local businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    “Workshop participants will learn a fundamentally new way of thinking about their world, their community, and their money,” stated Michael.  “And a fundamentally new way of acting.” 

    Michael Shuman, a leading visionary on community economics, serves as Director of Local Economy Programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation and Adjunct Professor at Bard Business School in New York City. He is also a Senior Researcher for Council Fire and Local Analytics, where he performed economic-development analyses for states, local governments, and businesses around North America. His three most recent books include “Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Solo 401ks and Self-Directed IRAs”; “The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity”; and “Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street.”

    Thank you to our event partners: Green Energy Options, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Monadnock Food Co-op, The Local Crowd, Vital Communities and Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship.  We hope you’ll join us!


    Before we close, we wanted to share a few TLC Monadnock updates.  First, a really big thank you to everyone who contributed to our TLC 4WARD crowdfunding campaign that wraps up on August 31.   All six of our participating businesses surpassed their goals.  Collectively, we raised over $14,000 from 253 supporters for Archway Farm, CC&D’s Kitchen Market, Monadnock Food Co-op, Orchard Hill Breadworks, Prime Roast Coffee Roasters and Village Roots Permaculture Farm: tlcmonadnock.com/4ward.

    Two full crowdfunding campaigns ran on TLC Monadnock during the pandemic.  The Keene Sentinel raised $46,986 to help local journalism thrive and Sharing Housing collected $10,203 to support the development of an online course that will teach people how to create healthy, happy shared homes (a great way to boost affordable housing options in our region).  View all our past campaigns at tlcmonadnock.com/tlc.

    Please check out our latest live TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign from Friends of Public Art: http://c-fund.us/qb9.  They’re working to transform a negative space at the Keene Airport into a welcoming sculpture park.   They hope to raise enough funds to purchase their first sculpture, created by local artist Adam Schepker with reused materials from the airport.  They will place this sculpture next to the newly formed Mt. Monadnock Labyrinth by Katie Schwerin.

    Finally, thank you all again for your support for these campaign teams and TLC Monadnock as a whole.  Together, we collected $212,584 for twenty-four crowdfunding campaigns -- campaigns that build a more local, green and fair Monadnock Region.

  • August 09, 2020 6:33 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The City of Keene launched a new website on Keene’s Sustainable Energy Planning process. The website includes a roadmap of pathways, strategies, and tools to achieve Keene’s energy goals, and you can listen to stories to learn more about tools like Community Power.

    The Keene Energy and Climate Committee and City staff are looking for your ideas and feedback. Please, take the survey on how Keene should define renewable energy as the City develops an energy plan, and tell them what you think of the draft vision statement for the planning process. You can visit KeeneEnergyPlan.com to learn more.

  • July 30, 2020 5:44 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    For the eighth 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, 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 this bounty of updates!


    Fertilizing Edible Education

    The Cornucopia Project, based in Peterborough, cultivates community health through edible education at nine elementary school gardens, learning kitchens, and a student-powered educational farm.

    “Learning comes to life in the garden,” shared Lauren Hudd, Programs Director at The Cornucopia Project. “Students who work with [us] show increased interest in nutrition and agriculture, impacting their future choices and vegetable consumption at home.”

    Despite COVID-19, The Cornucopia Project’s educational farm continues to sell organically grown produce to local restaurants, institutions and community members. This year, they have also donated produce to their local food pantry, provided remote lessons to 250 students and grew over 3,000 seedlings for home gardeners.  And their best news of 2020, they just received a two-year Farm to School grant from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to expand their programs to more schools in our region!


    Connecting Markets and Farmers

    This year Food Connects, a food hub based in Brattleboro, VT, built a 1,000 square foot cooler and freezer and completed a crowdfunding campaign for their “Growing Local Food Markets in the Monadnock Region” project. This campaign, run through The Local Crowd Monadnock, raised $10,000 to enhance food safety and expand farmers’ access to markets in the Monadnock Region.

    Due to COVID-19, Food Connects experienced a 200% increase in sales year over year from March to June.  “We are delivering food to local co-ops and markets, hospitals, school meal programs, and buying clubs in record numbers,” shared Alex McCullough, Food Hub Manager.   “This diverse group of customers is allowing us to continue supporting farmers and finding outlets for their food.”

    "We must continue to strengthen our local food system by building regional infrastructure for farmers and other food producers,” said Richard Berkfield, Food Connects Executive Director. “The more resilient our local food system is now, the more prepared we will be to weather future storms."

    Food System Infrastructure

    Stakeholders have come together to envision “The Food Collaborative,” an effort to create a Keene-based business featuring food preparation and storage space, processing equipment, and facilities for food business entrepreneurship and education. This collaborative seeks to enhance food security for all community members while providing opportunities for economic vitality.

    These infrastructure needs were identified through a partnership project between Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) and The Community Kitchen, Inc. (TCK), funded by the You Have Our Trust Fund in 2017. This fund made a second investment in the group in 2020, supporting a collaborative proposal for infrastructure needs, including accessibility signage for the Walpole Farmer’s Market, bottling equipment for the Greater Falls Food Hub, dairy equipment installation and training for Stonewall Farm, and a 12-week farm-to-restaurant-to-pantry project. This last project  involves the purchase of locally grown foods that Machina Arts Kitchen and ArtBar in Keene will prepare and freeze for pantry and hot meals guests at TCK.

    Open meetings are held on Zoom on first Thursdays from noon to 1:30. Anyone interested in participating may contact Sarah Harpster at tckgleaner@gmail.com.


    Growing Gardeners

    Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections in Keene shifted its usual growing season outreach. Instead of supporting partner organizations’ gardening efforts in person, they provided gardening opportunities remotely. They offered container garden kits to their partners, including big buckets of soil (made from Antioch’s own compost), seeds of easy-to-grow plants like beans and step-by-step instructions. Just add water and sunshine. This way, instead of individuals gathering at community garden plots, they could maintain their distance and green thumbs at home.

    Community Garden Connections continues to produce food for the Community Kitchen at various sites in Keene and their Westmoreland garden site.  They also have an extensive collection of free seeds available by request. Just email communitygardens@antioch.edu with the quantity and variety or for more details.

    Boosting Food Security

    This June, the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) launched, "Food & Gardens for a Resilient Monadnock" -- a new website providing gardening and food access resources: sites.google.com/prod/view/foodgardensmonadnock.

    "We are experiencing an unprecedented moment with the COVID pandemic which has made us re-examine our supply chains and how we get our food,” said Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC Director.  “Many people in our region are feeling increased anxiety about how they are going to get food on their tables. Building resilience through gardening and better information on how to access food can help.”


    What’s Your 2040?

    On August 18, 2020, Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock International Film Festival (MONIFF) will co-host a virtual screening of the documentary film 2040. This film explores what 2040 could look like if we embraced solutions like regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, and climate justice. The film asks viewers to explore "What's Your 2040?"

    The film starts at 6:30 p.m. and a live post-film discussion will follow, with Monadnock Region community leaders in the areas of regenerative agriculture, food and farming, energy, transportation and housing, equity and social justice and cooperatives. This event is free, but registration is required.

    “A dose of inspiration and optimism is just what we need right now, and 2040 offers plenty of both,” said MONIFF Board Chair, Deirdre Fitzgerald. “It’s the perfect film to celebrate NH Eats Local Month. Eating local strengthens our communities, nourishes our bodies, and sustains a healthy planet. This documentary shows how, through the power of community, we may already have what we need to tackle climate change head-on.”

    Equipment Rentals for Farmers

    Since 2012 the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD) has offered low-cost farm equipment rentals to area farmers. They expanded their fleet by purchasing three new offerings (no-till drill, vegetable transplanter and 4-row corn planter), plus a walk-behind BCS Tractor to support local gardeners.  Additionally, local dairy farmers will receive equipment rentals for no charge this growing season.


    Dig Deeper

    The Keene Public Library invites new and experienced gardeners to a series of free virtual garden talks hosted by UNH Extension Master Gardeners. “Gardening in a Time of Climate Change” presented by Sandra Pickering on August 6 at 11 a.m. and “Putting the Garden to Bed” presented by Joy Ackerman on August 20 at 11 a.m. Please register online.

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

  • July 15, 2020 8:03 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    This March Keene Housing Kids Collaborative wrapped up a successful TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign to help kids access opportunities in our community -- opportunities that cultivate a successful adulthood.  We wanted to share these updates with you to inspire our community and cheer Kids Collaborative on!


    We send gratitude and hope to all Keene Housing Kids Collaborative (KHKC) supporters.

    Since mid-March, when the realities of Covid-19 forced community activities for kids to close indefinitely, and school switched to remote learning, KHKC worked to re-imagine our role as connector for kids living in Keene Housing.

    • We initiated the Kids Connectivity Project in April, to ensure that every student living in a Keene Housing household has a stable and reliable internet connection at home and a device they can use independently on which to connect to the internet and do their schoolwork.
    • We paid several past due internet bills for families so that they could re-connect their internet. We have so far brought several internet accounts current and purchased 8 Chromebooks ($300 each) and distributed them to families, allowing them to return devices on loan from the school district. Purchase of Chromebooks for students in Keene Housing households will allow distribution of school district Chromebooks to students living in struggling households who do not live in Keene Housing, broadening the availability of school Chromebooks to more students who need them.
    • Also this spring, we started a Zoom tutoring program, connecting Keene Housing students with community volunteers to help with schoolwork via Zoom. This program was very successful and provided a level of flexibility in scheduling for both volunteers and students that made it easy to connect volunteers and students without the need to travel or meet in a designated spot. Zoom tutoring program will continue through the 2020-21 school year.
    • We continue to connect kids with the limited community activities available this summer: MoCo day camp for kids under 9 years old, YMCA day camp, Stonewall Farm day camp, NHDI summer intensive, and True Hope horseback riding.
    • We are coordinating with Jen Dassau of Feeding Tiny Tummies to distribute weekly food boxes to Keene Housing families. Residents can pick up boxes at 3 property sites in Keene and 2 in Swanzey. So far, 53 families with 120 children have signed up to access the boxes. This is a huge increase over the # of kids who took advantage of the sit down, bagged meal USDA summer meals.

    Be well and keep in touch.

  • June 23, 2020 6:25 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    This month, The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock launched a brand new crowdfunding initiative called TLC 4WARD.  The goal: Empowering you to support the local businesses that you don't want to live without.  TLC 4WARD provides participating locally owned businesses with the needed funds to weather the COVID-19 crisis, meet changes in community needs and seize new opportunities to forward a more local, green and fair economy in our region.

    "This is an unprecedented time -- one we could not have imagined even six months ago," shared Diane Sontum, TLC co-founder.  "Yet, what we imagine today gives us the power to change the world of tomorrow into one we want for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and the planet that sustains us."

    We recently launched TLC 4WARD with four locally owned businesses.  Each has a different story to tell.



    Archway Farm

    As demand for local products increased in response to COVID-19, Mark Florenz of Archway Farm in Keene added more offerings to his self-serve farm store, like Edgefield Farm lamb, Crooked Creek Farm eggs and Frisky Cow gelato.  He’s also close to adding his pasture-raised chickens to the store’s inventory.  These additional local products require more storage space, so he installed new display freezers and a refrigerator.  Now, this new infrastructure requires an upgrade to the farm store’s electric service. 


    Monadnock Food Co-op

    Due to COVID-19, demand for curbside pick-up soared at Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.  To quickly meet this need, the co-op launched a pilot curbside pick-up program for seniors and people at risk.  And the orders came in!  Now, their biggest obstacle is finding enough refrigerated space to store these orders until pick up.  They’d like to invest in a refrigerated trailer to allow them to continue offering this vital service.  This trailer will also help them out immensely during the Thanksgiving season and Truckload events.  They turn to our community to help them cover a portion of the cost of this trailer.  Your support will help them keep curbside pick-up available now and into the future. 

    Help Monadnock Food Co-op move 4WARD!



    Orchard Hill Breadworks

    Every Tuesday night in the summer, Noah Elbers and his team at Orchard Hill Breadworks in Alstead welcome a few hundred individuals to their place.  They come for one thing: delicious, wood-fired pizza.  You build your own pie and they bake it for you in their outdoor oven.  Each week, 100% of the profits go to different local non-profit organizations. This year, however, Orchard Hill Breadworks must do things differently.

    While they can't invite hundreds of people into their space to make their own pizzas, they can offer take-away pizzas, made by their hard-working team and baked in their wood-fired oven, available every Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., until August 25, 2020.  Each night will still support a local non-profit, but they want their take-away pizzas to lend a hand in additional ways.

    Small dairy farms and artisan cheesemakers have been hit hard by the pandemic.  Orchard Hill would love to support these businesses by featuring their products on their pizzas this year -- without transferring this increased cost onto all customers or cutting into what they donate.  

    Help Orchard Hill Breadworks move 4WARD!



    Prime Roast Coffee Roasters

    When Prime Roast closed their Main Street coffee shop in Keene due to COVID-19, owner Judy Rogers shifted their business to delivering their freshly roasted beans exclusively by mail order.  They experienced an overwhelming demand for local bean delivery.  Instead of mailing these beans, they wanted to find a way to keep our community caffeinated through in-person roaster-to-home deliveries. 

    Thinking outside the box, they launched “BySpoke - Beans by Bike,” a doorstep delivery service.  They now deliver their coffee beans with a new electric bike, named Iris, to customers who order online and live locally. Iris helps them connect with our amazing coffee community and allows for reduced packaging and a smaller environmental footprint.
    As demand for BySpoke - Beans By Bike continued to grow, they needed a back-up battery for Iris.  With your support, they can keep Iris rolling and our community caffeinated. 

    Help Prime Roast Coffee Roasters move 4WARD!

    Help Businesses Move 4WARD

    There are several ways to support these businesses through TLC 4WARD. One is to give a contribution -- click on the green button on our page to get started.  Then, click on the businesses you'd like to support.

    If you prefer to give "offline," please make your check out to Monadnock Food Co-op (with the business you're supporting in the memo line) and mail it to Jen Risley, Monadnock Food Co-op, TLC 4WARD, 34 Cypress St., Keene, NH 03431.

    Another way to support our campaign is to claim a reward in exchange for your contribution. Rewards for our campaign include a $10 gift card from the Monadnock Food Co-op or CC&D's Kitchen Market, a $25 gift card from Cheshire Garden, and a 30-minute massage at Mudita Massage. For more information, visit this page and scroll down to Rewards.  These rewards are limited, so be sure to check them out today.

    While we launched TLC 4WARD with four locally owned businesses, we invite others to join. Please share this opportunity with others -- businesses that you don't want to live without.

    Let’s move 4WARD together!

  • June 21, 2020 10:00 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Now, more than ever, small businesses need to work together.

    With so much uncertainty around the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on each of our businesses and what this year's holiday shopping season will look like, we will start planning now for this year's Shop Indie Local efforts (Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, Small Business Saturday and more). 

    Please reach out to us with new ideas for how we can better come together to support each other this holiday season.


    Yours locally,
    Jen

    Program Manager

    The Local Crowd Monadnock

    Keene, NH 03431
    603-400-9157


    New this Year: Earn Sponsorship Credits

    Instead of asking you for Shop Indie Local sponsorships in the form of just cash this year, we're pitching a different option -- one that we hope will be a win-win-win.

    Here's how it will work:

    • Your business offers up rewards (products or services) that we will use to drive support for TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaigns this summer and fall.
    • As your rewards are claimed, you receive "credit" towards our sponsorship levels (see below).
    • You'll receive the retail value, in the form of sponsorship credits, for any of your rewards that are claimed.
    • If rewards aren't claimed by November 1, that's okay. These unclaimed products and services are returned to you.

    We will highlight your rewards like this:

    We will feature all rewards on an online marketplace like this:

    Make the Pledge: Shop Indie Local Sponsor

    YOU can help inspire more of our friends and neighbors to support locally owned businesses by shifting more of their holiday spending to independent businesses. 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, 2020.

    With your support, we will continue to build traction -- inspiring more and more AND MORE community participation and media attention. We will really need to come together in unique ways this year.

    With your support and participation, we will:

    • Leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses, like yours and your favorites.
    • Inspire more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses.
    • Show off your dedication to the local economy movement.

    Please consider supporting this year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local campaign at one (or more!) of the levels below.

    Have a different idea?  We're wide open to additional ideas!

    Plaid Friday Rock Star:  $50

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Cider Monday Rock Star: $50

    Your logo will appear in our Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Plaid Friday/Cider Monday Rock Star: $150

    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) AND Monadnock Ledger Transcript (delivered to ~8,000 households).

    Plaid Friday Photo Booth Host: $250

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday Photo Booth in your town or business.

    Plaid Friday Radio Rock Star: $500

    Your business will be mentioned during one week of our Plaid Friday radio ads (2 sponsors highlighted in each ad).

    Plaid Friday Launch Sponsor: $1,000

    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 before October 31, 2020.

    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.


  • June 03, 2020 8:35 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    We're proud to announce the launch of our TLC 4WARD campaign

    This crowdfunding campaign empowers you to support the local businesses you don't want to live without.  TLC 4WARD provides participating locally owned businesses with funds to weather the COVID-19 crises, meet changes in community needs and/or seize new opportunities to forward a more local, green and fair economy in the Monadnock Region.

    Let's Move 4WARD!


    "This is an unprecedented time—one we could not have imagined even six months ago," shared Diane Sontum, co-founder of The Local Crowd.  "Yet, what we imagine today gives us the power to change the world of tomorrow into one we want for ourselves, our children, our neighbors and the planet that sustains us."

    Businesses interested in participating can submit their story online.

    In response to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic, TLC developed 4WARD—a crowdfunding-based initiative that can be rapidly deployed in communities to support recovery. 4WARD enables residents to contribute to local businesses and organizations through online transactions.

    The purpose of TLC 4WARD is to help rural communities recover more quickly and more completely from this crisis.  Funded in part by the National Science Foundation, this initiative is based on TLC’s recent SBIR research project. The research concluded that the TLC crowdfunding platform is an effective tool for stimulating financial and social capital in the communities that use it.

    Submit Your Business Story


     Questions?  Please contact Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager, at jen@thelocalcrowd.com or (603) 283-5401.

  • May 24, 2020 6:42 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    Prime Roast Coffee Co. in Keene launched a new program called BySpoke: Beans By Bike. They now deliver their coffee beans by electric bike to customers who order online and live locally. (Left to right): Devany Pitsas, Valery Cavadini, Emily Lavigne, Judy Rogers and Nicole Melanson. Photo Credit: Beth Pelton.

    May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Since 1956, National Bike Month boasts the benefits of bicycling to encourage more of us to go by bicycle.

    In our region, we’ll gather virtually to mark Bike Month and watch the crowdsourced documentary film MOTHERLOAD on Thursday, May 28 starting at 6:30 p.m.  MOTHERLOAD highlights the story of an overwhelmed mother and how a cargo bicycle brings her freedom and joy (see more about this film below).  This event is free and co-hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock International Film Festival (MONIFF), and Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST).

    A live post-film discussion will follow the film with MOTHERLOAD Director Liz Canning, VBike Director Dave Cohen, Prime Roast Coffee Company Founder Judy Rogers and Keene State College Film Professor Ted White. Event attendees will also have a chance to win one of our event prizes including a pair of VIP tickets to MONIFF, a $25 gift card to Monadnock Food Co-op, a bag of Prime Roast coffee beans delivered to your home by ebike (must live within 3 miles of Prime Roast and delivery date is subject to weather) and an e-bike/cargo-bike consultation from Dave Cohen at VBike. This event is free, but registration is required.

    Register today!

    Why celebrate bicycling during the COVID-19 crises?  “Because bicycling is more essential to our lives than ever,” shared Bike Month organizers from The League of American Bicyclists. “And because we could all use some bike joy to look forward to. Whether you’re riding for fun, fitness or with family, or taking essential trips to work or shop, you are part of a movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet and happier people.”

    Prime Roast Coffee Company in Keene truly seized Bike Month this year.  They launched their new BySpoke: Beans By Bike program. They deliver their coffee beans by an electric bike, named Iris, to customers who order online and live locally.  “Are you wondering why we chose to name our new e-bike Iris?” asked Judy. “Iris was the goddess of rainbows and the messenger of the gods. It just seemed right.”

    Last year, the Monadnock Food Co-op formed a team called the “Co-op Commuters” to participate in the National Bike Challenge.  We kept this team going and have logged 928 miles so far!  Anyone can join our team through at and log their own miles.   New to bicycling?  Watch the League of American Bicyclists’ videos and gain confidence in your riding skills.

    You can also support bicycling beyond Bike Month.  For example, Pathways for Keene opened up registration for their 19th annual Four on the 4th Road Race planned for July 4.  This race will raise funds for the Cheshire Rail Trail, Phase 3 & the Park Avenue Loop project – projects that make our city more walkable and bikeable.

    More About MOTHERLOAD


    MOTHERLOAD follows director and new mother, Liz Canning, on her quest to understand the increasing tension between modern life and our hunter-gatherer DNA, and how cargo bikes offer a solution. As Liz meets the people behind this push to replace cars with purpose-built bikes, she learns about the history and potential future of the bicycle as the “ultimate social revolutionizer.”

    Conflict arises when characters encounter cultural resistance, in particular bikelash, focused on women and mothers. MOTHERLOAD draws connections to the struggle of cyclist Suffragettes and women’s seemingly endless fight for bodily autonomy. Ultimately, Liz’s experiences as a cyclist, as a mother, and in discovering the cargo bike world, teach her that sustainability is not necessarily about compromise and sacrifice. Instead, there are few things more empowering in an age of consumption than the ability to create everything from what seems to be nothing.

    “For seven years, MONIFF has been fortunate to share some of the best independent films with members of our community—during the festival and throughout the year,” said MONIFF Board Chair, Deirdre Fitzgerald. “COVID-19 has made a trip to the movies off-limits for now, so it’s wonderful to be able to bring people together with this free, virtual screening of MOTHERLOAD and help raise awareness about the benefits of bicycling.”

    Now, let’s get rolling!

  • May 15, 2020 6:02 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From Orchard Hill Breadworks

    Hello all!

    Our new mill has been delivered and installed and is running beautifully! Our team voted on a color for the metal framework, and we couldn’t be happier with this bright purple.

    We have switched over to milling all of our rye and spelt flour in house, but we are still searching for a source of organic wheat berries that is able to supply us in quantity in the current climate. Small local mills and growers, as well as larger operations, are experiencing an increased demand for flour and grain due to the pandemic, and are operating either at or over capacity and are largely unable to take on new accounts at this time. We have been able to source small quantities of wheat berries, however, which has allowed us to provide fresh flour for sale in our farm stand and at farmer’s markets as well as at select local retail locations.

    Pizza Night

    In other news, we have made the very tough decision to cancel pizza night for the 2020 season. We feel unable to play host to such an event in a way that would be socially responsible and are unwilling to potentially put our community at risk. We are, however, planning to offer delicious take-away pies, made by our hard-working team and baked in our wood-fired oven, available every Tuesday evening from 5:30pm to 8:00pm, June 3 - August 25, 2020. We will offer 3 pizzas each night: a plain cheese, a vegetarian special and a meat special, which will feature as much local, seasonal produce, along with locally produced meats and cheeses, as we are able to procure.These pizzas will be priced at $16, $20 and $20 respectively. For those of you who have joined us for pizza nights in the past, you’ll notice an increase in price.

    Allow us to explain: The main function of pizza night has always been to serve as both a community gathering space, as well as provide a source of fundraising for local non-profit organizations. In order to make sure these organizations received as large of a percentage of the proceeds as possible, the bakery has always kept its overhead costs very low — sauce, cheese, crusts, and an all-volunteer staff, provided by the benefiting organization of the evening, along with 1 bakery employee. This year’s pizza nights will require significantly more of the bakery terms of financial outlay, in both ingredient cost, as well as staffing.

    For those of you who contributed to the fundraising campaign by purchasing a VIPizza Pass, we are able to offer you the full value of your pass ($125) in credit toward take-away pizza this summer. Stay tuned for details regarding ordering, pick-up and redeeming your credit for this summer’s pizza night. We are endlessly grateful for your support.

    For those of you who contributed to the fundraising campaign by signing up for our Whole Grain of the Month Club, your first pick-up will be May 28 with our 100% freshly milled Whole Spelt bread. It’s become one of our new favorites, and we hope you’ll love it too!

    Whew! That was a long one. If you made it this far, thank you for sticking with it! It has been a wild few months at the bakery, and in the world at large, and we are all feeling incredibly grateful to still be baking bread and pastry. We hope this update finds you safe and well, and we send you our warmest thoughts and wishes.

    Sincerely,
    The Orchard Hill Breadworks Team

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