Food & Gardens for a Resilient Monadnock


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.

Virtual Garden Talk Series

The Keene Public Library invites new and experienced gardeners to join a four-part Garden Talk series. Dates and topics include:

  • Vegetable Gardening presented by Sarah Marcoux on Thursday, July 09, 2020, at 11 a.m.
  • Saving Seed presented by Joy Ackerman, Thursday, July 23, 2020, at 11 a.m.
  • Gardening in a Time of Climate Change presented by Sandra Pickering, Thursday, August 06, 2020, at 11 a.m.
  • Putting the Garden to Bed presented by Joy Ackerman, Thursday, August 20, 2020, at 11 a.m.

Our series will be presented virtually on Zoom. Please register on the Keene Public Library online calendar at for an invitation.

The Garden Talk Series is co-sponsored by the UNH Extension Master Gardener Program. It is part of the library’s Dig Deeper; Read, Investigate, Discover Summer Reading and Learning Program. Other programs for adults include book discussions, gardening programs, genealogy workshops, and astronomy lectures – all presented on Zoom. To learn more about the summer reading and learning adventure at the library, please call 603-352-0157 or check out the library’s website

‘Monadnock Grows Together’ Assists Local Gardeners in the Monadnock Region

From the Cheshire County Conservation District

Small-scale growers and gardeners in and around Keene, NH will soon gain access to new gardening resources through the Keene Public Library. Monadnock Grows Together is a new regional program that offers a range of education, technical assistance, gardening equipment and more, to residents interested and engaged in backyard gardening and small-scale urban farming.


Monadnock Grows Together is an Urban Agriculture project developed in partnership by the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD), Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections, the Keene Public Library, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Funding for this urban agriculture conservation grant is provided through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost technical capacity nationwide.

Residents are invited to the Keene Public Library on June 23rd between 2pm-6pm for the grand opening of the newly renovated library and launch of the Monadnock Grows Together Seed Library and Garden Tool Lending Library. Representatives from Monadnock Grows Together will be in attendance to answer questions and introduce visitors to the new gardening programs. Take this opportunity to meet your Urban Ag and Gardens Coordinator Rachel Brice, who is available to answer gardening questions, provide 1-on-1 technical assistance, and conduct site visits with local growers.

In addition to the permanent seed and tool libraries, residents are invited to a series of free gardening workshops to be held in Keene and at the Westmoreland Garden Project through the remainder of 2019. Workshops later this month include “Insects in the Garden” with Sam Jaffe on June 13th and “Invasives in the Home Garden” with Jeff Littleton on June 19th. Visit the CCCD’s website for a full schedule of workshops coming this year and additional information on all aspects of the Monadnock Grows Together program:

If you have questions about Monadnock Grows Together contact Rachel Brice, Urban Ag and Gardens Coordinator, by email: or visit Rachel during her open technical assistance hours at the Keene Public Library: Every Friday from 4:00-5:30pm starting July 5th.

2018 Conservation Plant Sale is Now Available

The Cheshire County Conservation District is currently accepting orders for its Annual Conservation Plant Sale. 2018 offerings include a variety of top quality evergreen and deciduous trees, wildlife and landscaping shrubs, tender summer bulbs, perennials and ornamentals, as well as berries and fruit trees.

Many of the species we offer are native, attractive to pollinators, and drought resistant. For this reason they are healthy, hardy plants adapted to our local growing conditions and beneficial to both the grower and wildlife. Once established they require less watering, fertilizers, and pesticides, saving you time and money. This year we are working with Fedco of Maine to bring you top quality plants and bring you mushrooms for your backyard from Wichland Woods of Keene, NH.

All of the proceeds from the sale will benefit conservation efforts in Cheshire County. Thus, in addition to improving your landscape you are helping fund conservation projects in your local community. For more information and to receive order forms, contact the Conservation District office at 756-2988 ext. 115 or send an email to

View the Plant Sale Catalog and order forms online

All orders and payment must be received by the Conservation District no later than March 2, 2018. Plant Sale Pick-Up Day is currently scheduled for April 28, 2018 from 9am-1pm at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole.