Monday marked the start of New Hampshire Eat Local Month — a month-long celebration of local food and farms, and a time to recognize how a stronger local food system builds healthier citizens, communities and local economies.
There are so many ways to celebrate: Visit nearby farmers markets, farm stands and pick-your-own farms and find out what’s in season; attend an event to meet the farmers, growers and chefs behind your food or learn new skills that keep you eating locally all year long; volunteer with a local gleaning group and help harvest excess vegetables that will go to people who need healthy, fresh food; start a fall garden full of winter crops like carrots, kale and cabbage; choose locally grown options when you shop at your favorite grocery stores, or eat out at a local restaurant — and the list continues at New Hampshire Eat Local’s website.
National Farmers Market Week — also during New Hampshire Eat Local Month — is August 7-13. It’s a time to focus on why we love our farmers markets and acknowledge their role in building community, preserving farmland, stimulating local economies, increasing access to fresh nutritious food and promoting sustainability.
“Farmers markets play a vital role in forming healthy, local food systems,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture, sharing recipes, and exposing them to new foods. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”
Learn more about the importance of farmers markets at farmersmarketcoalition.org and find a market near you.
Here are some of the local food and farm events happening in the Monadnock Region during New Hampshire Eat Local Month.
The Cornucopia Project kicks off the month with their Food for Thought Film Series on August 2 at the Peterborough Community Theatre, 6 – 8 p.m. The film is Growing Local and tells the story of three small farms in Maine and the growing pains of the local food movement.
Thursday nights in August are free Movie Nights at the Barn at the Walpole Valley Farms in Walpole. Walpole Valley Farms will sell their grass-fed burgers and hot dogs, along with fresh popped popcorn and drinks. Food and games start at 5 p.m. and the movie begins at 7 p.m. Discover the movie of the night and more at walpolevalleyfarms.com/movie-nights-at-the-barn.
On August 13, enjoy the Farm & Family Fest hosted by the Cornucopia Project at Four Winds in Peterborough with live music, dancing, farm animals, games, raffle and local food at 2 – 6 p.m. The cost is $12 per person and children under 5 are free.
We’re so excited for NH Permaculture Day at the Orchard Hill Community in East Alstead on August 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The day includes more than 30 hands-on workshops and demos, farm-to-table lunch, community art installation and more. Come learn more about permaculture — an approach that uses ecological principles to design and regenerate healthy, productive landscapes and communities.
On August 21, an annual Farm to Table Dinner for the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition happens at Mayfair Farm in Harrisville, 6 – 9 p.m. The menu includes locally sourced, sustainably grown and ethically harvested cuisine — that will be incredibly delicious, too! Blackjack Crossing will also perform. Tickets are $75 per plate.
To wrap up New Hampshire Eat Local month, be sure to attend the Acworth Locavore Festival behind the Acworth Village Store on August 28, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event will showcase local food and beverage producers and local farm to table restaurants in our region. Stay tuned for more details.
We’ll add more events as we discover them, so please visit our site often to stay up to date on all the happenings in our region.
Dig in and celebrate New Hampshire Eat Local Month!