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  • August 23, 2019 5:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Launches September 3, 5 - 7:30 p.m. at a Pizza Night Fundraiser in Alstead

    Help Orchard Hill Breadworks kick-off their TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign to purchase a New American Stone Mill and begin baking with FRESHLY MILLED WHOLE GRAINS.

    For $9 Orchard Hill Breadworks will provide a crust, sauce and cheese plus paper plates and cups for water. You bring your favorite toppings (or pick them from the new Pizza Night garden!) silverware if you want and a picnic blanket/lawn chair. BYOB and rain or shine event.

    RSVP on Facebook


  • August 01, 2019 6:16 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Emphasis on Affordable Housing, Sustainable Agriculture and Equity

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program serving the entire Monadnock region and state, invites emerging and established social enterprises to submit project proposals to TLC Monadnock.

    For this proposal cycle, TLC Monadnock seeks projects focusing on affordable housing, farms & food or living wage jobs & equity.  While all for-profits, non-profits and community initiatives are welcome to apply, projects addressing these community needs will receive extra campaign support and resources -- beyond what is currently provided to all TLC Monadnock campaigns.

    All crowdfunding campaign teams receive hands-on technical assistance to help them launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. Campaign teams also receive a free crowdfunding assessment to ensure that they receive the coaching and training that best fits each team's needs.

    TLC Monadnock will select up to six social enterprises to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community.  Accepted proposals will launch their campaigns in late fall or winter.

    This request for proposals is available online at tlcmonadnock.com/rfp.  All proposals are due before 5:00 p.m. on September 20, 2019.
     
    Crowdfunding is the process in which an entrepreneur, business, or organization asks a large number of people (usually through the Internet) to contribute a certain amount of money for a specific project. By leveraging the power of crowdfunding, TLC Monadnock's fundraising platform  offers an innovative way for community members to support the projects they care about.
     
    For more information, visit tlcmonadnock.com or contact Jen Risley at 603-283-5401.

    TLC Monadnock is one of four communities participating in a new year-long research project with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises -- mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make the world a better place.

    Locally, this program is hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and managed by a team of volunteer community economic development leaders and business advisors.  Program partners include New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.

  • July 30, 2019 5:28 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)
    Each year, we shine a light on local food, farms and our entire Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eat Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest happening each August.

    This year, the Monadnock Food Co-op teamed up with New Hampshire Food Alliance to coordinate this statewide promotion — and we’re thrilled to share we recruited over 100 partners to help us spread the word this year. Discover more at nheatlocal.org.

    What do we mean by a food system?

    Our food system includes all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farmworkers, transportation networks, markets and more — everything needed to grow, harvest and distribute these goods to us.  These pieces come together to form our local food system.

    Please dig in and enjoy part one of our bounty of updates!

    Regenerating Soil

    “Ultimately, the only wealth that can sustain any community, economy or nation is derived from the photosynthetic process — green plants growing on regenerating soil.”

    Allan Savory, Co-Founder of the Savory Institute

    Stonewall Farm in Keene embraced a new role in 2018 — they are now a Savory Institute Hub. One of 41 hubs globally and 15 in the U.S., Stonewall Farm uses regenerative farming practices to enrich their soil and improve the health of their dairy herd and vegetable crops. They also strive to spread these practices throughout New England by serving as a demonstration site, offering educational programs and supporting the adoption of bills like the New Hampshire Healthy Soil Legislation.

    “We are contributing to the growing body of knowledge and new movement in agriculture that promises more than sustainability,” shared Julie Davenson, Executive Director of Stonewall Farm. “It promises to regenerate our degraded land, produce healthier food, build healthy ecosystems, improve our economy and combat the impacts of climate change.”

    More than Books

    Thanks to a new program called Monadnock Grows Together, you can now check out gardening tools at the Keene Public Library. Available tools include shovels, garden rakes, garden forks, hoes, a broad fork, small hand tools, hand trimmers, a push seeder and more. Borrow a tool for a week at a time.

    You can also get FREE seeds from the library’s new seed library made up of nearly 50 vegetables and herbs varieties. Sign up for a membership and choose the seeds you want to grow. To support the continuation of the seed library, collect the seeds from the plants you grow and donate them back to “seed” the seed library for the next growing season! Not sure how to save seeds? Sign up for a free seed saving workshop at the library on September 28. Check out their full schedule of workshops.

    Monadnock Grows Together is a partnership of the Cheshire County Conservation District (CCCD), Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections, the Keene Public Library and the National Center for Appropriate Technology. If you have questions, please reach out to the Urban Ag and Gardens Coordinator, Rachel Brice at rachel@cheshireconservation.org. She will also answer questions at the library every Friday from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

    “This is an awesome resource for the community. It directly addresses food security and engages more people in food production,” shared Amanda Littleton, CCCD District Manager. “It comes with weekly ‘office’ hours for one-on-one gardening assistance and a coordinator who is willing to do garden visits and offer advice.”

    Gleaning Program

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    The Community Kitchen builds the local food system through their six-year-old gleaning project that gathers leftover produce from farms after a harvest — fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. This year, the Community Kitchen will offer a four-part Food Preservation Workshop series to encourage more of us to make the most of our seasonal bounty.

    These free workshops take place at their commercial kitchen at 37 Mechanic Street on alternating Sundays from 2-4 p.m. Explore “Zoodles, Purees, and Freezing” on July 28; “The Basics of Canning” on August 11; “Using the Whole Plant” on August 25; and “Drying and Fermentation” on September 8. These workshops are co-sponsored by Jack’s Crackers, a local value-added food business. Space is limited, so reserve your seat with Andrea at 603-352-3200 or tckgleaner@gmail.com.

    “From the perspective of a food charity agency, The Community Kitchen recognizes the importance of local food in providing community food security,” shared Gleaning Coordinator Sarah Harpster. “We understand that without a food system that features strong and interdependent ‘nested ecologies’ of food sources, our community will be burdened with more neighbors facing food insecurity.”

    Keeping Farmers Farming

    Farmers spend their lives providing food and fiber to us. Their ability to do this depends largely on farmers gaining secure access to farmland. However, accessing land that is affordable is a top challenge for beginning farmers in New Hampshire and nationwide. Land For Good, a regional and national leader in farmland access, based right here in Keene, helps address this challenge.

    “A strong regional food system and healthy rural communities require that we keep land in farming and continue to grow viable farm businesses,” said Jim Hafner, Executive Director of Land For Good. “If where your food comes from matters to you and your community, then you need to be concerned about keeping the farmers who produce that food on the land in a way that they can plan for the future of their businesses — and for how they will secure their farm’s legacy as a working farm for the next generation.”

    Land For Good’s Land Access Project will provide education, training and technical assistance to over 2,500 beginning and established farmers across New England. Land For Good is working locally with the Monadnock Conservancy and other partners across New England.

    Feast on This Expands

    Feast On This Film Festival Banner

    This year, two great events become one — the Feast On This Film Festival and the Monadnock Farm Tour. Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC) and Monadnock Food Co-op invite you to the Monadnock Farm Tour & Film Festival, a 3-day celebration of local food and films on August 23 – 25. Visit 15 local farms and view a variety of films throughout our region including “The Need to Grow” that highlights innovative soil restoration efforts, shown at the Colonial Theatre in Keene on August 23 at 7 p.m.

    Stay tuned for more Monadnock region food system updates! Great things are happening at the Cornucopia Project, Farmers Helping Farmers, Food Connects, Imagine That Honey, Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock Sustainability Project, The Sustainability Project, Village at Stone Barn, Walpole Mountain View Winery — and perhaps your organization? Please let us know if we missed someone by contacting me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

    Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies and initiatives that continue to build stronger local and regional food systems in our corner of the state and throughout New England. Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities and economies.

  • July 15, 2019 5:52 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Interested in investing your retirement savings locally?  Nancy Moore and Janelle Orsi from the Sustainable Economies Law Center produced the  report “How to Invest Your Retirement Savings Locally: The Basics of Solo 401(k) Plans and Self-Directed IRAs.”

    What would it take for you to pull your retirement savings out of Wall Street and invest it in things that enrich your local community, like a local farm, solar project, worker cooperative, or housing cooperative? Below are some of your options for taking control of where you invest your retirement savings. We focus heavily on solo 401(k) plans, which are a particularly flexible, yet underutilized, tool for self-directing retirement savings. Then, we describe self-directed IRAs (individual retirement accounts) to draw comparisons. 

    View the entire report


    Image credit: The Next Egg


  • July 06, 2019 7:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Funds will support Pay-It-Forward Program

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock received a grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund to support its community-based crowdfunding platform and its Pay-It-Forward program that provides extra support to campaigns led by low-income individuals and/or projects focusing on affordable housing, farms & food, living wage jobs & equity.

    Currently, TLC Monadnock is supporting a cohort of seven campaign leaders who plan to launch their campaigns in late Summer to early Fall.
     
    Many studies highlight the positive community impacts of supporting locally owned businesses -- better jobs, more charitable giving, higher civic engagement, and increased prosperity for all.  TLC Monadnock provides an opportunity for social enterprises to raise the capital they need and, with their success, contribute to a stronger, more just and regenerative local economy.
     
    For more information, visit tlcmonadnock.com or contact Jen Risley at 603-283-5401.

    About TLC Monadnock

    TLC Monadnock is one of four communities participating in a year-long research project with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises -- mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make the world a better place.

    The Local Crowd Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding program helping start-up ventures, early-growth stage companies, and community-focused projects find access to capital.  This program is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation

    About New England Grassroots Environment Fund

    The Grassroots Fund is dedicated to co-creating healthy and sustainable communities throughout New England. Grassroots Fund empowers individuals, groups and organizations working across a broad range of environmental and social justice issues. By helping them identify, select and access the specific tools, resources and connections they need to challenge existing systems, they are able to develop lasting solutions to the complex problems affecting the places they live and the health of the people who live there. We're supporting change makers who not only experience marginalization but face systemic and structural barriers to traditional funding. To learn more visit grassrootsfund.org.

  • June 08, 2019 7:08 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

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

    This year, the NH Food Alliance is collaborating with the NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and FoodSeacoast Eat LocalMonadnock Food Co-op and hopefully you to amplify the “Eat Local” message and empower us to celebrate the harvest.

    We’re looking for partners to spread the word and energize their communities to eat local. With your help, NH Eat Local Month will connect more people with local food.

    Partners will:

    • Endorse NH Eat 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 Eat 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 Eat Local Month

    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

    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.

  • May 28, 2019 6:14 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    We asked and you voted! Over 100 community members helped The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program, decide which Local Living Economy building blocks to focus on in 2019. A Local Living Economy is an economy that improves our quality of life, meets everyone’s basic needs and creates an engaged citizenry.

    The top three Local Living Economy building blocks were affordable housing, farms & food, and living wage jobs & equity.  For this month’s article, we’ll dive into the topic of affordable housing and highlight current efforts in our region to address this need.

    First, what is affordable housing?

    Affordable housing means housing that is financially viable for households making a median income or below in their location.  In Cheshire County, affordable housing means housing that is financially in-reach for one person making $45,750 or less annually (huduser.gov).  Affordable housing encompasses all types of housing -- from emergency shelters and transitional housing to subsidized housing, rentals, and home ownership -- for individuals and families.

    Are we providing enough affordable housing?

    There’s rising concern about the lack of access to affordable housing across the U.S. According to a Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 11.4 million households spend more than half of their income on rent -- and rents are increasing twice as fast as incomes.  In rural areas, 25% of households spend over half of their income on rent. 

    A New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority survey conducted in 2018 found that median gross rent for two-bedroom units rose almost 19% over the past five years.  In order to afford one of these units, a renter would need to earn 117% of the statewide median renter income ($47,100 a year).  Our state’s vacancy rate is low -- just below 2% compared to a 7% vacancy rate in the U.S. and 5% in the Northeast.  A vacancy rate between 4% and 5% indicates a balance between rental supply and demand.

    As an indicator of need in our region, four out of five affordable housing applications received by Keene Housing come from the elderly or people with a disability.  Keene Housing’s wait list for appropriate housing for these two populations reaches eight years. As the median age of our region’s population rises, so too will the need for more affordable housing options.

    Who is working to meet affordable housing needs in our region?

    Keene Housing owns or manages over 550 affordable housing units, from homeless shelters to subsidized homes.  In addition to providing affordable housing, Keene Housing also offers programs to residents that support employment, financial resilience, and healthy lifestyles -- from developing food forests that will provide residents with free organic produce to installing solar panels on units to decrease monthly utility bills.  Their Resident Self-Reliance program helps participants reach their goals by providing incentives such as education grants and rent credits.

    Keene Housing Kids Collaborative is a separate nonprofit that partners with community organizations to provide free or low-cost programs and learning opportunities to Keene Housing families.  You can support the Kids Collaborative at a silent auction on June 4 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Marriot Courtyard Downtown Keene.  Find tickets and more information at bit.ly/keenekidsjune.
     
    Southwestern Community Services (SCS) is another organization helping individuals and families find affordable housing in Cheshire and Sullivan counties.  Their Housing Stabilization Service Program offers immediate help to individuals and families facing homelessness.  They also provide grants to eligible low to moderate income families so they can afford to make needed home maintenance updates and repairs.

    Community members, social service staff, and church representations came together in 1987 to form the Cheshire Housing Trust -- a community land trust to address the rising cost of housing in Keene.  They currently own 10 properties that offer single rooms and multi-bedroom apartments in Keene, Marlborough, and Hinsdale for low to moderate income households.

    Individual property owners can also boost affordable housing options in our region.  New Hampshire Housing offers a Housing Choice Voucher program that subsidizes rents for eligible tenants.  New Hampshire Housing also offers financing to affordable housing developers and affordable mortgage loans targeted to homebuyers with incomes up to $126,700: gonewhampshirehousing.com.  

    This article barely scratches the surface of this topic, so we want to hear from you.  What affordable housing efforts in the Monadnock region do you know about? In a future article, we’ll share your answers and highlight innovative affordable housing efforts happening outside our region.  Please contact me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop.  Thank you!

    More about TLC Monadnock

    TLC Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.  Crowdfunding, or the practice of raising funds to support a project from a large number of people, is a viable alternative to recruiting businesses from outside the region to boost economic activity.  Over the past two years, TLC Monadnock raised over $90,000 for fourteen crowdfunding campaigns.  TLC Monadnock gives preference to campaigns that align with their respective city or town's master plan and contribute to a local, green and fair economy.

    TLC Monadnock is currently hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.

    Discover more!

  • April 23, 2019 5:31 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News

    It’s official!  The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program serving the entire Monadnock region, is one of four pilot sites across the U.S. participating in a National Science Foundation research project.  The project will assess the effectiveness of our crowdfunding program as a tool for community building and economic development.  Crowdfunding is the process in which an entrepreneur, business or organization asks a large number of people (usually through the Internet) to contribute small amounts of money to support a new business or project.

    "The National Science Foundation supports startups and small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts," said Graciela Narcho, Acting Director of Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. "We hope that seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology."

    What makes this year’s TLC Monadnock program different from past years?  This year, we’re focusing on social enterprises, mission-driven for-profits and non-profits using business principles to make the world a better place.  Examples of social enterprises include benefit corporations, cooperatives and other triple-bottom line businesses like W.S. Badger in Gilsum and Green Energy Options in Keene.  We’ll continue to build on the power of Internet crowdfunding and provide even more on-the-ground support to our campaign teams.  We invite existing and emerging social enterprises to learn more and apply to our program before May 10, 2019.

    Specifically, we’re looking for social enterprises interested in raising $15,000 or less for their business (larger amounts can work but please reach out to us first before you apply).  Projects need to have simple, achievable goals that will generate real excitement in our community. Proposals can be part of a bigger project but should also have stand-alone value.  Most importantly, potential campaign teams need to demonstrate how their project will deliver economic benefits to both their business and the community they serve.  We’ll give preference to projects that align with their respective city or town’s master plan and strengthen our Local Living Economy.

    Once accepted, social enterprises will receive a free assessment to identify their strengths and weaknesses, helping us match training, marketing and community outreach tools to each campaign team’s unique needs.  Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, you’re not on your own when you launch a crowdfunding campaign with TLC Monadnock.  You will have a community of business advisors, marketing experts, and experienced crowdfunding coaches supporting you. 

    While there are no upfront costs, TLC Monadnock charges a 5% fee that is applied to all contributions.  This fee is used to pay expenses associated with hosting, administering and promoting TLC Monadnock and for providing direct assistance to campaign creators.  Think of this as a “Pay It Forward” fund instead of a fee.

    To view our Request for Proposals, please visit tlcmonadnock.com/rfp or contact me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

    More about TLC Monadnock

    TLC Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.  Crowdfunding, or the practice of raising funds to support a project from a large number of people, is a viable alternative to recruiting businesses from outside the region to boost economic activity.  Over the past two years, TLC Monadnock raised over $90,000 for fourteen crowdfunding campaigns.  TLC Monadnock gives preference to campaigns that align with their respective city or town's master plan and contribute to a local, green and fair economy.

    TLC Monadnock is currently hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.

    Discover more

  • April 22, 2019 5:10 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Thank you to the 100+ community members who helped The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock, a community-based crowdfunding program, decide which Local Living Economy building blocks to focus on in 2019. 

    The top three building blocks were:

    • Affordable Housing
    • Farms & Food
    • Living Wage Jobs & Equity

    We will focus on recruiting projects working on innovations in these building blocks and will also provide these projects with extra support to run successful crowdfunding campaigns.  Know of a social enterprise working to strengthen one of our top Local Living Economy building blocks?  Please share our call for proposals with them today!


  • April 05, 2019 7:04 PM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)
    • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen -- one that would strengthen your business, our community and the local economy -- if only you had the funds to make it happen?
    • Is your business a "social enterprise" that addresses social and/or environmental issues?
    • Will your project support community goals, while keeping to a budget of $15,000 or less?

    If you said yes to these questions...THANK YOU!  You are part of the emerging Fourth Sector economy -- a sector that uses the power of business to do good things for people and the planet.

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock believes in people like you.  That's why we're participating in a new research project in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and The Local Crowd designed to uncover the best ways to support Fourth Sector enterprises. We are pleased to invite you to participate in this project.

    Learn more and download our Request for Proposals

    We will accept proposals until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019.  TLC Monadnock will select up to six local businesses to participate in this pilot study -- and the top proposal will receive a free crowdfunding video from 710 Main Films to support their campaign.
     
    Have questions? Please contact Jen Risley at marketing@monadnockfood.coop or 603-283-5401.

    TLC Monadnock is hosted by the Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by our community partners: Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation. 


The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431

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