Tag Archives: Monadnock Farm and Community Connection

Monadnock Menus is Springing into Action!

By Sarah Barkhouse

If you thought we were bringing you local before… just watch out! The Monadnock Menus Program is shifting into high gear this spring with its official kick-off starting April 2011! As a part of Phase II, the local-food loving volunteers of the Monadnock Farm and Community Connection (MFCC) Infrastructure committee are taking to the streets to seek out even more food establishments that are committed to using locally grown ingredients in the meals that they serve to you.

Keep a close watch here on our website, www.monadnockmenus.org, for updates on which restaurants in the region have recently signed the Monadnock Menus pledge (see below), as well as stories and photos featuring each of the new restaurant members. And as you climb out of hibernation from the winter and go out this spring looking for a tasty meal, keep your eyes peeled for our brand new Monadnock Menus membership decals that bears our logo with the word ‘MEMBER’ printed below it on the doors or windows of participating restaurants. When you see that decal, you know that you’re not eating at just any restaurant, but one that is a part of the ever increasing strength of the Monadnock region’s local food system as well as devoted to serving their patrons the finest, freshest, local ingredients that the Monadnock region has to offer.

And remember, you can spring into action yourself in many ways by:

  • Supporting Monadnock Menus member establishments.
  • Filling out and leaving Local Request Cards at restaurants that are not yet members. You can find Local Request Cards for pick up at the following locations:
    Keene Farmers’ Market, Stonewall Farm Farmstand, Keene Public Library , and the Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce offices…   OR download the Monadnock Menus Request cards and print at home. (See our Resources page)
  • Leaving your suggestions for potential Monadnock Menus members on our website.
  • Supporting local farmers yourself by visiting a farmers market, a farm stand or joining a CSA .

Let’s work together to get more Local on the Menu!!

Advertisements

We Feel Inspired

By Jen Risley

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.

Vermont Fresh Network
Founded in 1995, the Vermont Fresh Network (VFN) brings farmers, food producers and chefs together and encourages them to build partnerships.  Participants throughout the state join by making a “handshake agreement” to buy from or sell to a number of VFN members on a regular basis. VFN then fosters these relationships by creating materials to help eaters identify members (a dining guide and window decal), hosting dinners at member restaurants to showcase farmer-chef connections, and offering a Matchmaker Event to introduce more wholesale buyers and sellers to one another.

New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection
In our state, we have the New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection which hosts Growers Dinners highlighting the products grown and processed locally at restaurants throughout the state.  In 2010, there were five dinners including a benefit for the New Hampshire Food Bank.  Wouldn’t it be great if a restaurant in our Monadnock Region hosted a Growers Dinner in 2011?

Monadnock Matchmaker Event
For two years, the Monadnock Matchmaker Event connects local farmers, chefs, retailers and distributors in our region – think of it as speed dating for farmers.  Last year 60 local food wholesale buyers and sellers, volunteers, and interested community members came to the event to develop new and stronger relationships and bring more local food to you.

Now it’s time for Monadnock Menus to move forward using the momentum gained from the work above plus the work of many other individuals, organizations and businesses who make our local food system stronger.  Stay tuned for phase two of Monadnock Menus – and keep your eye out for the Monadnock Menus sticker in some of your favorite restaurants in our region.

Monadnock Menus is a volunteer based program working with the community and local restaurant owners to enhance and establish relationships between consumers, farmers and restaurants to promote the use of locally produced products.