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Celebrate National Farmers Market Week 2020

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.”

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Food & Gardens for a Resilient Monadnock

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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 http://keenepubliclibrary.evanced.info/signup/calendar 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 www.keenepubliclibrary.org.

NH Eats Local Month: Call for 2020 Partners

NH Eats LocalIt’s time to start planning this year’s NH Eats Local Month, a month-long campaign in August that celebrates local food and farming in the Granite State.

Each August, over 100 partners throughout the state join together to highlight New Hampshire produced foods, celebrate the power of food to bring us together, and encourage others to purchase and eat local foods. NH Eats Local Month is a month-long celebration of local food in our state, and the hard-working NH farmers, fishers, and food businesses that provide for us all year long.

Join the festivities and become a partner for NH Eats Local Month! Help us celebrate in August by sharing our resources, social media posts, and other tools to get people excited about local foods. We hope the broader NH Eats Local campaign, and NH Eats Local Month, can help partners spread their mission and goals to more Granite Staters.

Partners will receive:

  • A listing on NH Eat Local Month’s Website
  • Ideas on how to celebrate NH Farms & Local Food all month long
  • Event marketing templates — such as a press release, social media posts and support to create targeted messages
  • The chance to be featured on the NH Eat Local Month website by writing a blog post or article

Partners will:

  • Endorse NH Eats Local Month by sharing their business/organization’s name, logo, and website URL with us
  • Provide links to any events or promotions that they are organizing during NH Eats Local Month
  • Spread the word by sharing social media posts, adding a link to nheatlocal.org on their own website and finding other creative ways to engage their network with NH Eats Local Month

How do you sign on as a partner? Send an email to marketing@monadnockfood.coop with an “I’m in!” message and we’ll add you to our list (be sure your business/organization is easy to identify). As always, there’s no cost to you to participate as a partner.