The Food Collaborative Meeting Follow-Up

From the Food Collaborative


On behalf of the core team for The Food Collaborative, I want to express our great appreciation for everyone who was able to participate in our Launch Gathering on October 17th. We also appreciate those who were interested, but not able to attend. We know how busy life can get! We had a great time imagining the exciting community that we can build by strengthening our local food system through infrastructure development. Everyone is invited to join us and invite other interested/curious community members as we take our next steps forward. These steps include:

The community building team (“heart”) will meet on Monday, November 11th at 2 PM in the Buckminster Room at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St in Keene.

The physical and logistics team (“brain”) will meet Wednesday, November 20th at 9 AM in the Vincent Room at the Keene Public Library, 60 Winter St.

These will be our only meetings in the remainder of 2019, but we will get back to work in January and by the end of 2020, we will develop a business plan for our multi-purpose food innovation center for downtown Keene. During our Launch Gathering, we brainstormed about the impacts our business could have on the community. Here is a summary of the the great ideas that were shared:

The Food Collaborative

Launch event at Hannah Grimes Center 10/17/19


Participants’ visions:

●     active teens cooking, culinary career skills

●     more local farms that are supported

●     expanded farmers’ market all year

●     food businesses and farms owned by the younger generation

●     fewer cars, more active transportation

●     pickling emporium

●     agritourism is strong

●     agri-culinary identity in the region

●     more local foods in our restaurants

●     thriving collaboration across existing organizations

●     neighborhood-focused markets

●     annual local food parade

●     local, fresh, healthy food is a right, not a privilege

●     intergenerational food education mentorship

●     hospital food is locally sourced

●     ag/food teaching programs have waiting lists

●     garden tool lending library

●     diverse community where food is a part of new life

●     food co-op and other stores selling 50% local

●     measurably large percent of food in schools is local

●     all schools have their own gardens

●     move toward bulk and away from single-use packaging

●     safe, social space for community meals

●     50% of lawns replaced with gardens

●     people come to tour the cheese caves

●     composting

●     heirloom seed research institute and climate change

●     increase in youth eating healthy

●     decreased homelessness due to rise in employment

●     food-related business incubator

●     ripple effect businesses

●     new jobs for farm to school processing

●     quantifiable decrease in food insecurity and increase in community health

●     Hannah Grimes shop has to expand

●     even more integration with KSC programs

●     students from KSC and AUNE stay in the region

●     internet-based business

●     we grow an expanded pallette of food to appeal to many cultures

●     extended learning opportunities and internships… wait list

●     food gauntlet; place with food trucks, food businesses, music, etc.

●     crickets

●     more microfinancing options

●     at next meeting: 3+ examples of food hubs

●     greenhouses

●     breweries, cideries, meaderies, distilleries, etc.

Resources to check into, recommended by participants:

Microfinance through local banks

Walldogs model


Conferences – Slow Food, Slow Money

food track at Radically Rural


“We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people” – Greystone Bakery, Yonkers


Thank you so much and feel free to keep in touch!

Sarah Harpster (Feel free to email with any questions or to obtain a copy of materials from the launch gathering)

And the core team: Phoebe Bray, Jess Gerrior, Rachel Brice, and Roe Ann Tasoulas
Contact the Organizer

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