|Fall is here, and so is Harvest Hoedown! Thanks to all of you who have already registered. There’s room for more! If you haven’t yet, take a moment to join in by clicking the button below. It’s free to register and the auction items represent our wildest, local Farm to Table dreams! We know you’ll find lots to love here.|
This year, New Hampshire Farm to School and the Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective are highlighting local, indigenous crops with the Indigenous NH Harvest Calendar curriculum. The curriculum is divided up into four seasons and also follows the Abenaki method of measuring time, the 13 Moon calendar. For each season, different ingenious food sources are highlighted as well as recipes and activities.
New Hampshire Eats Local Month joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 2-8.
To celebrate in NH, we invite you to:
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers’ markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food system,” 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 and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”
Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) recently launched Food & Gardens for a Resilient Monadnock — a new website providing gardening training and resources, information on programs making local food more affordable, as well as where to find free meals.
“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. 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,” says Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC Director.
MFCC’s Food Access Working Group (FAWG) is one of three committees meeting regularly to help build the coalition’s mission to “build a sustainable, equitable, and robust local food system” and is the driving force behind the website. FAWG organizational members include UNH Extension Nutrition Connections, Community Garden Connections, Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger (MUCH), Cheshire Medical Center for Population Health, The Community Kitchen, Cheshire County Conservation District, Monadnock Grows Together, The Retreat Farm, and individuals.
The working group’s desire to launch a new gardening and food access site was sparked by a recent survey sent out to participants in the MUCH vacation box program. According to Tasoulas, “the feedback we received underscored the urgent need for individuals and families to have more power over where and how they access food.”
Historically, people often grow their own food in major crises — as evidenced by the onslaught of “Victory Gardens” during World War II in a response to feed both troops and families.
“Our hope is that these new community resources will empower people to feel more food secure long after the pandemic is over by developing our own story of resilience,” adds Tasoulas.