Call for Partners: NH Eat Local Month

Yarden of Eatin'

Eat-Local-NH-logoRGB_20101-300x198It’s never too early to start planning this year’s NH Eat Local Month, an annual event in August that celebrates local food and farming in our state.

This year, Monadnock Buy Local is collaborating with the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, Seacoast Eat Local, Seacoast Local and hopefully you to amplify the “Eat Local” message and empower more of us to celebrate the harvest.

We’re looking for partners to help us spread the word and energize all parts of the state to celebrate NH Eat Local Month.

Partners will:

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

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Gecko’s Complaint

Yarden of Eatin'

I recently read a Balinese folktale Gecko’s Complaint and thought of all the businesses, organizations and individuals working to make the Monadnock Region’s communities more vibrant and healthy.  We all, while reaching towards our goals, may unintentionally interfere with one another.

Like the gecko, I have complained about the firefly that keeps me from sleeping.  Could it be that just like the firefly, whomever I am complaining about means no harm and is actually helping me reach my goal?

“So the Chief called Gecko in once more.  In a stern voice he said, ‘Gecko, no more complaining!  We’re all connected in ways we sometimes can’t see.”

We are all connected in ways we can’t see.  What are our common goals?  How can we self-organize and work more synergistically?  Instead of working on our goals in isolation, let us acknowledge our interconnections and create something larger and more beneficial to the…

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A Roadmap to a Sustainable Community: The Keene Comprehensive Master Plan

Monadnock Buy Local

Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

A sustainable community is one that is economically, environmentally and socially healthy and resilient.  It meets challenges through integrated solutions rather than through fragmented approaches that meet one of those goals at the expense of others.  And it takes a long-term perspective — one that’s focused on both the present and future, well beyond the next budget or election cycle. – The Institute for Sustainable Communities

The City of Keene’s Comprehensive Master Plan reflects this call for a long-term perspective — and sets its sight on a vision for Keene in the year 2028.  This plan, based on a shared community vision, is now in its fifth year.  It’s time to collectively assess our progress around implementing this roadmap to a more sustainable community.

One opportunity to come together and reflect on our progress is at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship’s

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Pollinator Enterprises: Growing Jobs and Prosperity

From the Local Economy Solution: By Michael Shuman

A “pollinator” is a self-financing enterprise committed to boosting local business.  Some pollinators are for-profit businesses, some are nonprofits, but all allow a community to undertake one or more of five key economic development functions — planning, purchasing, people, partnerships and purse — with far greater efficacy and at a substantially lower cost than typical, taxpayer-funded programs.  All of the following models deploy business frameworks that ultimately aim to avoid dependency on government grants or charitable contributions: 28 Models of Pollinator Enterprises

local-economy-solution-banner-300x182What Pollinator Enterprises are active (or in the works) in the Monadnock Region? Please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

Here’s what we’ve gathered so far:

Planning Pollinators

Purchasing Pollinators

People Pollinators

Partnership Pollinators

Purse Pollinators

Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration Report

The Hannah Grimes Center released the report, Local Innovators: Leaders in Local & Regional Collaboration, a product of nine interviews with a diverse sampling of local and regional leaders in the Monadnock Region of Southwest New Hampshire.  Included within the report are nine case studies that highlight challenges and innovative solutions for collaborating locally and regionally.  Also included are tips and resources for groups and individuals seeking to improve their own collaborative efforts. This report was produced by Libby Weiland, a recent Antioch University New England graduate who worked on this project as a Hannah Grimes Center intern this past spring. Out of her interviews emerged themes and commonalities that provided insight into the questions:

  • What makes for successful collaboration?
  • What challenges do groups face to successful collaboration?
  • What common needs do groups have?
  • What innovative solutions are being proposed?

Local Innovators interviewed include:

Monadnock Buy Local Hosts Ongoing Online Monadnock Local Living Economy Discussions

Join us on Facebook, where each month Monadnock Buy Local will focus on a different building block of our Local Living Economy– highlighting the businesses, organizations & individuals who are making these components stronger and more resilient in our region.

Read more about this project – Our Local Living Economy: Connecting the Dots

Building Blocks:

Michael Antonucci, Associate Professor, American Studies

When presented with the prospect of providing two Keene State College students majoring in American studies with paid internships at the Hannah Grimes Center, the American Studies Program pursued this opportunity with great enthusiasm. This is especially so given the attention that various types of “engaged learning” continues to receive within conversations about Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century.

Applying for and receiving a Community Partnership Grant from the American Studies Association for academic year 2011-2012 forged a curricular connection linking Keene State’s American Studies Program to the Hannah Grimes Center, marking our mutual interest in mapping various constellations comprising the dynamic cultural, social phenomena that are known as “the Local Living Economy” movement.

 Students in a capstone seminar course are currently developing projects that respond to our common inquiry question, “WHAT IS A LOCAL LIVING ECONOMY?”  Overseeing these projects, I find my self in the midst of conversations concerning food ways, including local agricultural production and distribution, local arts initiatives and strategies for “localizing” learning experiences of pre-schoolers and elementary school students.

 Like my students I am part of an idea flow comprised of the familiar contemporary terms and concepts such as “Green,”  “Global,” “LOCAL,”  “Nation,” “Organic,” “Sustainable,” “Main Street” and “Big Box.” Together we’re analyzing this material and looking to weigh a collection of fieldwork that offers thoughts about our here and now, of Keene, Cheshire County, Monadnock Region, Ashuelot River watershed, New Hampshire. In this respect these sites—at once—become our open laboratory, resource archive and living text to annotate, consider and regard.

At the same time, the course, its students, and our interns extend a series of important collaborations undertaken by Hannah Grimes Center and Keene State College through a set of formal and informal events including panel discussions sponsored by the Keene Is Reading series and Great Topics, a round-table seminar at the 2009 “Local/ Global” Symposium and this spring’s MONDAY MOVIE MEETING SERIES.

 I am honored to be a part of a reciprocal relationship between the College the Center and a larger notion of “COMMUNITY.” As we imagine and enact ways to produce public scholarship and community-based undergraduate research and learning initiatives, I believe we—students, the Center, the College—are blazing pathways for others to follow.

 While this course and its projects offer just one set of possible responses to the prompt “WHAT IS A LOCAL LIVING ECONOMY?” it becomes an instructive: illustrating how interdisciplinary research supported by the School of Arts and Humanities at a public liberal arts college can respond creatively to the kinds of questions that matter, that make a difference.

Mariah Reed, Local Living Economy Intern

My name is Mariah Reed and I am a Keene State College student who will be graduating this spring semester. I have been very thankful for my opportunity to work with the Hannah Grimes Center in discovering more about my local community.

I am working on a project that incorporates the college community and asks them to share their ideas about recycling and what they could do to improve it.  I believe that if we start by going local it could better our community and help our future generations.

For my project I want to make the local community more aware of the steps and tools they need to have a greener economy. I want people to rely more on the natural tools they are given and understand how to use them. I believe that starting with college students we could bring our knowledge into the Keene community.

More awareness of local shopping and home gardens will help us become a stronger community and I hope that many residents see the significance of my project and want to become a part of something good.

Meet Monadnock LLE Intern Samantha Fournier

By Samantha Fournier, Keene State College Student I am thankful to have been given this opportunity to work with the Hannah Grimes Center during the spring semester of my senior year.  Majoring in American Studies and minoring in History and Sociology, I came to Keene State College “hungry” for knowledge.  Upon my arrival in the fall of 2008, it was heavily suggested that incoming freshmen familiarize themselves with Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma.  This was my initial exposure to the politics and controversy surrounding food production/consumption in the world today. After developing this interest, I began taking classes that explored the process of globalization, its associated problems, and the attractiveness, charm, and importance of the local.   Having been raised in a small agriculturally-surrounded region in northern New Hampshire, I have great respect for local food production and locally owned businesses.  Once my senior year came, I felt ready to take my education to the next level and submerse myself in the content I have been engaging with. Another reason I am looking forward to doing this work stems from my love for teaching and guiding others.  Educating people, both young and old, is crucial in developing a sustainable and healthy community.  All around, I am excited for this experience. Let it begin!