By Laura Keir, Monadnock Localvore Project
Consuming and supporting local food is extremely important for the health of our community, environment, and our bodies- but what about all of the other things we consume besides food? How “local” are those goods?
This month’s newsletter includes great examples of people and businesses within a 150 mile radius of Keene that are creating products from local ingredients. Read about Jenness Farm‘s soaps made from the milk of their own goats, Lorna’s Wool Needle Felting Kits composed of local sheep’s wool, and how to craft a wooden utensil right from the woods.
Beyond those examples, there are many more stories of goods in our region that are created from local materials. The Organic Hound in Swanzey makes organic dog treats using the following ingredients, among others: Pete & Gerry‘s eggs (Monroe, NH), The Royal Butcher beef (Braintree, VT), and Morgan’s Mills oat and rice flour (Union, ME- a bit more than 150 miles away, but still a good effort for flour!). That means that roughly 75% of their dog biscuits are made of local ingredients!
When it comes to wooden products, we have a lot of natural resources in our region. In Westmoreland, Mountain Meadow Woodworks crafts wooden boxes right from the trees on their own farm. Ox Pond Press in Bethlehem, NH prints wooden signs for the home on white pine boards that come from H.G. Wood Industries in Bath, NH; 85% of that white pine is milled from trees grown in New Hampshire, and 13% comes from Vermont.
How about jewelry? Jayelay Jewelers in Westmoreland handcrafts earrings and necklaces composed of 80% gemstones, metals, and other materials (shells, sea glass, etc.) that are found in northern New England. The Village Craftsman in Dublin makes lightweight, laser-cut earrings from local maple and cherry wood.
See the resources section at the end of this newsletter for more goods that are made from local ingredients. And the next time you are shopping, try to figure out where those products really came from- even if you don’t get all the answers to your questions right away, you will be putting this thought in people’s minds:
How can we consume more locally?