Monadnock Menus Feels Inspired

We feel inspired – inspired by you: the eaters of the Monadnock Region.  Three-quarters of you answered our 2010 survey and said supporting local businesses and agriculture is very important to you.  This inspired us to move forward with a program that will empower you to put your money where your mouth is: The Monadnock Menus Program.

The Monadnock Menus Program has a full plate of goals – to create a community where local food is easy to find, increase the number of restaurants and cafeterias serving local food, and encourage more of us to choose local food wherever we happen to eat.  As we develop this program we glean ideas and resources from other programs such as the Vermont Fresh Network, New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection, and Monadnock Matchmaker Event.

Read more on the Monadnock Menus Blog!

Fat Toad Farm


From Fat Toad Farm’s Website: Fat Toad Farm is a small family-run goat dairy located in the hills of Central Vermont. It is run by our family, Steve Reid, Judith Irving, and Calley and Josey Hastings. Our goal is to work closely with the land and our animals in order to produce healthy local food for our customers. Our family has spent the last several years building a high quality Alpine goat herd. This past year, we took a major leap and became a certified goat dairy producing fresh goat cheese, goat milk caramel, and farm fresh and pasteurized goat milk.  Our twenty does are rotationally grazed during the pasture months and are fed grain and local hay to supplement their diet.

The process for making caramel from goat milk is quite different than making cheese. It’s more like making maple syrup. We hand-stir fresh goat milk and organic cane sugar over the stove for about four hours. During this time, the sugars in the milk and the sugar caramelize and produce the most incredible creamy caramel sauce. Rest assured that a lot of deep thinking and bad singing to the blasting boom box go into this caramel!


We sell our caramel in single 8 oz jars or in a one-of-a-kind wooden box with sliding top, made locally by Vermont Wooden Box Company, which features one jar of each flavor.  Visit our website at

Fat Toad Farm Caramel is available at the Hannah Grimes Marketplace!

What Does a Local Living Economy Mean to Us?

In November 2009, a group of community members gathered to explore the concept of a Local Living Economy.  The BALLE Network has its own definition, but what does it mean to us – citizens of the Monadnock Region?

Here is a small sample of ideas to describe a Monadnock Local Living Economy – What would you add?

The Monadnock Local Living Economy is a place where:

  • All citizens can have a great quality of life.
  • Our basic needs are met within our community and region.
  • Individuals realize that they are beyond the worth of their jobs.
  • Leadership helps identify common ground and overarching community goals.
  • Citizens are creating a new definition of what our needs really are.
  • Individuals and banks are investing in social capital.
  • We are working cooperatively and collaboratively.
  • All citizens are engaged and feel included.
  • Celebrating our community.
  • We are thinking of our community as a system.

Monadnock Buy Local Grows Regional Effort to Support Local and Independent Businesses

Monadnock citizens and local business owners are invited to help grow a grassroots movement in our region: Monadnock Buy Local (MBL).

A MBL Steering Committee is forming and current members are reaching out to towns beyond Keene to make this truly a regional effort.  For more information, contact

Monadnock Buy Local’s roots lie with the Keene Buy Local Initiative – a project of the Keene Downtown Group.   The Keene Buy Local Initiative launched a 10% Shift Challenge the week of July 1-7, 2009, to coincide with other nationwide celebrations of “Independents Week”.  For more information visit

The Keene Downtown Group is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to insure the vibrancy and vitality of Downtown Keene: