Discover Local Compost!

From Monadnock Food Co-op’s Website:

Our Discover Local Promotion gives us the opportunity to bite into different parts of our Monadnock Food System, and learn some of the juicy details about each component — from the soil that gives rise to the delectable fruits and vegetables we seek, to the not-so-delectable (but essential) spoiled and discarded food scraps that become compost and are then returned to the soil.  This month, we’re starting at the ground, with a Seeds & Soil theme.   

First let’s look at compost and its role in enriching our soils. Compost closes the loop in our community’s food system: plants grow from the soil, we consume what the plants yield, we throw scraps into our compost pile and then return the finished compost to the soil.

Hopefully you’re already turning your kitchen scraps into compost and adding it to your garden.  If you’re like me, however, your compost bin has a hard time keeping up with your compost needs.  There are a few local suppliers of compost to choose from and support.  Please be sure to call ahead!

  • Ideal Compost, Peterborough
    Mike Lombard makes Ideal Compost from horse letter, cow and chicken manure, spoiled grain, grass, straw, silage and leaves.  They test their compost after months of “cooking” the materials to make sure the compost has decayed enough and ready for your garden and farm beds.  You can purchase their compost in bulk or bagged, and they can deliver to your yard (for an extra fee).
  • Stonewall Farm, Keene
    Starting the end March or early April, Stonewall Farm will sell their compost, made from the farm’s own animal manure. Compost in bags and in bulk will be sold.
  • Tracie’s Community Farm, Fitzwilliam
    Bagged Ideal Compost sold at Tracie’s Community Farm‘s farmstand.
  • Walpole Valley Farms, Walpole
    Bulk compost made from Walpole Valley Farms pasture-raised animals available by the pickup load.

Learn about the second half of our February Discover Local Theme: SEEDS

Farm Partner of the Month: Elm City Restaurant & Brewery

By Jan Sevene, Monadnock Localvore Project

Elm City Restaurant & Brewery
Debra Rivest
Colony Mill Marketplace
222 West Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03431

As purveyors, farmers appreciate support from related businesses-our local restaurants. An increasing number are taking advantage of the wonderful fresh meats and produce available in our community. Elm City Restaurant and Brewery in Keene is proud to be one of them. Owner Debra Rivest claims the benefits work both ways.

“If you do the right thing, it will come back to you,” Rivest says. “It’s worked out for us, as well.” She-who has sought local products for years-believes in buying local for two major reasons: 1) to support other local businesses, and 2) “…a huge reason,” to improve the environment, minimizing the impact of long-distance buying, and supporting those farmers applying sustainable business practices. {Elm City Restaurants is also a member of Monadnock Buy Local -ed.}

Just a few examples of Elm City Restaurant and Brewery’s support: its coffee is purchased at Prime Roast, whose aromatic imported beans are roasted right here in Keene.  “All spreads are made here. Our seasonal berries are from Monadnock Berries in nearby Troy, New Hampshire. “Some are from my own backyard,” Rivest says. She loves hearing from people excited about the food. One usual customer comment is, “I love that maple vinaigrette dressing!” Her standard reply, “You know that was made here with a local product (in this case, syrup from Stuart & John’s Sugar House in Westmoreland).” Peaches and apples are the fall focus. Look for seasonal specials that feature these fruits.

Bo-Riggs/Sullivan, beef burgers; Echo Farm/Hinsdale, pudding; Hijinks Farm/Jaffrey, vegetables; Hodge Podge Farm/Gilsum, eggs; and Tracie’s Community Farm/ Fitzwilliam, herbs and vegetables, are just a few of many farms that supply local restaurants. By supporting these restaurants, you support your farmers and your community. If there is a favorite local food you’d like to see on their menus, let them know.

Other restaurants serving local food:

Fritz Belgian Fries
45 Main Street
Keene, NH 03431

The Fitzwilliam Inn
62 NH Rte. 119 W
Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
(603) 585-9000

21 Main Street
Jaffrey NH 03452

The Inn at East Hill Farm
460 Monadnock St.
Troy, NH 03465