Happy CSA Week!

CSA Week: February 20 – 26, 2022

The CSA Innovation Network, a national network for local CSA farms, is excited to announce CSA Week, taking place from February 20th through February 26th to promote CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA is a farm membership system that allows consumers to sign up to receive a season’s worth of a farm’s products (veggies, eggs, meat, etc) every week. Along with getting to enjoy fresh, delicious, and local food, being a CSA member is an excellent way to support and get to know your local farmers. During this special week, farmers, farmer support organizations, and CSA enthusiasts across the country will be working together to raise awareness of CSA and promote CSA signups.

Join us in promoting CSA Week as we celebrate our relationship with local agriculture and lift up local CSA farmers who work hard to produce the season’s best food. Historically, this event has been called “CSA Day” and it was started by Simon Huntley and Small Farm Central years ago. Last year, the CSA Innovation Network extended it to last an entire week so that more people hear about the event and have the ability to connect with their local CSA farms during this time.

“There has never been a better time to connect with fresh local food while helping to make our local farmers and communities more resilient,” said Carrie Sedlak of the CSA Innovation Network.

The CSA Innovation Network is providing a free packet of digital tools to help farmers promote their CSA during this special week, which is available to people who sign up for CSA Week on the Network’s website. And the CSA Week Participant map, also located on the Network’s website, will provide a visual of all the participating farmers and farm support organizations across the country.

You can play an important role in CSA Week by highlighting your local CSA farmers and spreading the word that this is the most popular time to sign up for a CSA share. Folks won’t want to wait long to sign up, as shares sell out quite quickly! CSA is more than food – it’s about directly impacting your local food system and bridging community relationships, and we hope you will join us.

There are several farms that offer CSA memberships in the Monadnock Region. Below is a short list.

Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden in Westmorland offers vegetables, herbs, berries, and flowers from Early June-late Nov.  Select a Full or Half Share CSA. Frank Hunter & Kim Peavey run a hand and horse-powered farm, using only sustainable and biodynamic farming methods.

Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden
Frank Hunter & Kim Peavey
32 Comerford Road, Westmoreland

Village Roots Permaculture Farm in East Alstead is a small, diverse, regenerative family farm offering the following CSA shares:  small and large poultry shares, small and large pasture shares (a mix of chicken, lamb, beef, and pork), and Spring greens shares.  Marty Castriotta and Ellen Denny sell turkeys, whole lambs, and whole and half pork and beef.  They also offer permaculture site consults, installations, design courses, and workshops.

Village Roots Permaculture
Marty Castriotta
134 Old Settlers Road, East Alstead

Seven Generations Farm in Gilsum is a small-scale herbal farm and homestead, practicing permaculture and herbalism. They offer a bi-monthly Full Moon Herb Share. Each share includes a variety of apothecary items and medicinal plant products. Half and Full shares are available.

Seven Generation Farm
Eric and Nicole Zablowsky
Alstead Hill Road, Gilsum

Jenny and Bruce Wooster of Picadilly Farm in Winchester grow certified organic produce. They offer various types of CSA shares that are available June-December, with share pick up at the farm or in sites in Keene or Brattleboro, VT.

Picadilly Farm
Bruce and Jenny  Wooster
264 South Parrish Road, Winchester

Stonewall Farm in Keene grows certified organic vegetables using regenerative practices.  They offer a full-season CSA from May through October.

Stonewall Farm
242 Chesterfield Road, Keene

Abenaki Springs Farm grows a wide variety of certified organic produce, small fruit, flowers, and pasture-raised poultry and pork in Walpole. Their market-style CSA runs from May through the end of October. Pick out weekly shares at the Keene Farmers Market or at their farm stand in Walpole.

Abenaki Springs Farm
Bruce Bickford
188 Upper Walpole Road, Walpole

Sun Moon Farm in Rindge is an intentionally small vegetable, herb and cut flower farm with a focus on community. From mid-June through October, friends can pick up their shares in the farm’s barn while visiting with their farmers and other neighbors. Members also have an opportunity to purchase fresh greens and storage crops throughout the winter.

Sun Moon Farm
Craig and Megan Jensen
121 Thomas Road, Rindge
603-899 2806

Tracie’s Community Farm in Fitzwilliam offers spring, summer, and fall CSA shares in a variety of sizes and with the option of home delivery to Keene and the surrounding areas. Shares are harvested, washed, and packed the day of delivery, and include a large variety of ripe, in-season produce.

Tracie’s Community Farm
72 Jaffrey Road, Fitzwilliam

About the CSA Innovation Network: The CSA Innovation Network is a national community of practice led by farmers and farmer support organizations who are dedicated to unifying and strengthening the CSA movement. Our mission is to serve as a resource base of programs and tools that facilitate idea-sharing and promote the value of CSA in order to support stronger local food systems across the country. Learn more at https://www.csainnovationnetwork.org/

Community Supported Solar for Farms

New Hampshire farmers face significant energy expenses. The Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar Project supports local farmers by ensuring a bright future in the face of climate change.

Farmers are the heart of our region: providing fresh produce, caring for the land, and nourishing our community. With farmers being key to our local food system and conservation priorities, it is crucial that they too are supported.

The Cheshire County Conservation District recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to support this program. All proceeds will go directly to making solar more accessible to local farmers.

Your donation today, increases the viability of local farms, advances the sustainability of our region, and in turn, strengthens our local food system!

To learn more about Community Support Solar, visit https://cheshireconservation.org/solar.

Thank you for helping us support those who grow the food on our plate!

Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Program

Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement Program Information Session and Live Q & A with State Legislators

A Free and Virtual Event

Friday, January 21, 2022 | 12 – 1 PM


Join NOFA-NH and the NH Farm to School Network for a virtual information session and live Q & A to learn more about the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement program, a bill submitted to the NH state legislature, on Friday, January 21st from 12 – 1 PM.  

The reimbursement program will incentivize NH school districts to purchase locally grown and produced food for breakfast and lunch services in cafeterias across the state, boosting youth health and wellness, agricultural viability by: 

  • Providing New Hampshire students access to fresher, nutrient dense local foods. 
  • Injecting $1.8 million federal and state funds into New Hampshire’s farm and food economy annually. 
  • Educating New Hampshire students about the variety of fruits, vegetables, and other products grown and produced both locally and regionally. 

Learn more about this exciting opportunity to support NH students and our state’s food system from Rep. Alexis Simpson (primary bill sponsor) and Rep. Megan Murray (bill sponsor). Hear about how similar programs are working in our neighboring states, the efforts of the NH Farm to School Network, and how you can help ensure this vital bill becomes a law.  

This is a free online event. Register Here.

Learn more about the Reimbursement Program, access resources, and sign up for Bill action alerts here.

Sign on to support the bill as an Individual or Organization.

View / Download the full infographic here.

2021 Monadnock Region Food Access Report

A Comprehensive Gaps and Asset Analysis in Children’s and Families’ Food Security Programs in the Monadnock Region

The Monadnock Region Food Access Analysis (MRFAA) was conducted by Southwest Region Planning Commission during the spring of 2021 on behalf of the Monadnock Children’s Food Access Alliance (MCFAA), led by the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC).

Several findings include:
– Childhood food insecurity rates in Cheshire and Sullivan counties are higher than the state average
– Lower-income food insecure people who are not eligible for SNAP have difficulty buying food
– Lack of transportation, specifically, lack of a car, is the number two risk factor for food insecurity. The towns of Keene, Peterborough, Alstead, Sullivan, and Swanzey have the highest percentages of households without vehicles

“We knew prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that food security and access programs in our region were underused,” says Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MCFAA coordinator. “The pandemic accelerated the need for a gap and asset analysis of all food access programs, and to connect directly with individuals and families experiencing food insecurity to better increase opportunities to access affordable, healthy food and participation in programs.”

View Report

The MCFAA is a diverse network of partners committed to improving the overall health of children and families in the Monadnock Region through increasing access to affordable, healthy food. Partners include: farm service organizations, extension educators, food pantry managers, public health representatives, food policy experts, and educators.

The County of Cheshire worked with the MCFAA to submit a grant proposal to the NH Children’s Health Foundation to implement a food access analysis in Fall 2020. The grant was awarded and the SW Region Planning Commission was chosen to implement the analysis. The MRFAA is the resulting report.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to identify and analyze the prevalence of household food insecurity. Over 196 participants were interviewed or surveyed to gather relevant data. Food access points, programs, and services, and the connection between them were mapped, and food system models and best practices were included in the report.

“The food access analysis revealed that poverty is far and away the number one predictor of food insecurity for children and families” states Terry Johnson, Southwest Region Planning Commission. “Prior to the pandemic, 40% of food insecure children living in poverty in Cheshire County didn’t qualify for federal food assistance because they didn’t meet the eligibility requirements.”

The MCFAA will use report findings to develop a 2022-2023 Food Access Plan that addresses key findings and identified gaps in programs and services. “With both poverty and food insecurity rates increasing during the pandemic, creative solutions are needed more than ever,” continues Johnson.

To receive a copy of the MRFAA report, download it here or email coordinator@mfccoalition.org.

The public is invited to attend “2021 Monadnock Region Food Access Report Virtual Community Forum” on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Participants will become familiar with the key findings from the MRFAA report, hear feedback from individuals experiencing food insecurity, and provide input on projects that best address gaps for 2022-2023 implementation. 

Register today!

To register by phone, call (603)852-3198. Following the forum, a recording of the keynote speaker will be uploaded to: http://mfcommunitycoalition.org.

Funding for the MRFAA report was provided by the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation.