Monadnock Localvore E-Newsletter
June 2009
June 2009 Localvore Challenge:
Reclaim Your Food: Compost!

Also In This Issue:

Enjoy the harvest!

Jen Risley
Hannah Grimes Center Program Coordinator
Forward to a Friend
2 Updated Localvore Logo
Resource Swap & Meet-Up
Thursday, June 4, Noon to 2pm , Railroad Square, Keene

Share resources and enthusiasm to eat more locally this growing season with your friends and neighbors:

The Localvore Resource Swap is a chance for you to pass along gardening and cooking supplies that you have too much of and pick-up something new to inspire your passion for growing food and eating in season.
The Localvore Meet-Up is a chance for you to meet the Monadnock Localvore Project Steering Committee members and find out how to become more involved in their efforts. Steering committee members will be at the swap to share ideas and hear about your interests and passions around local food and farming.

Possible items to bring to the Localvore Resource Swap:

  • Perennials from your backyard (no invasives, please)
  • Extra seeds from last year's garden
  • Gardening & cook books
  • Do-It-Yourself Books
  • Gardening & canning equipment
  • Donations of labor or services
  • Other creative ideas are welcome!
For more information, email or call 603-352-5063.


Monadnock Localvore Project
Container Gardening Workshop
Sunday, June 14, 2-4pm, Stonewall Farm, Keene
Container GardenWant to grow vegetables, but feel you don't have the lawn space? Try growing vegetables in a container garden this year.  Find out how at the Monadnock Localvore Project's Container Gardening Workshop. 

Amanda Hopkins, garden manager at Stonewall Farm, will discuss topics such as:
  • Choosing the right containers & vegetables
  • Using Fertilizer/Compost
  • Selecting stoop or porch fruits
  • Growing herbs in the window
  • Trellis ideas for tomatoes & cucumbers
  • Identifying and dealing with common insects & diseases
This workshop is open to 15 participants, so please register early.   You will receive plants, seeds, and containers to put them in.  If you bring your own 5 gallon bucket, Amanda will fill it with Stonewall Farm's compost for you to take home.
Sliding scale fee is $5-10. To register: or call 603-352-5063.

View the 2009 Monadnock Localvore Calendar.
Fertile Fields Farm
Lori Schreier & James Warren
916 River Road, Westmoreland, NH 03467

Any gardener worth his or her salt will tell you that growing the best possible crops begins with dark, healthy soil. Composting by recycling organic household waste can produce such nutrient-rich soil. 

Lori Shreier and James Warren of Fertile Fields Farm in Westmoreland, NH, offer gardeners the means to create their own compost, with the help of earthworms. Vermiculture is the simple and effective process where worms digest organic matter and turn it into what James describes as a nutritious and stable-type of compost (vermicast).  Mixed with the soil, it enhances the beneficial nutrients needed for successful gardening. A major advantage of composting with earthworms is that gardeners can compost in a small space, inside and outside, year-round.

"Composting worms are different from other earthworms," James says. Fertile Fields Farm chose the red wiggler, a type of red worm best suited for the composting process. Their red wigglers sell for $14.00 per half-pound and $25.00 per pound. Fertile Fields also sells their own vermicast, as a soil amendment for potting soil and house plants.

"We can custom-make a worm box, too," James says. "The worm box keeps the worms in a confined area to feed them."

Now in their 5th year, James and Lori have developed a diverse list of offerings. Fertile Fields Farm also offers CSAs (all certified organic produce), classroom workshops (they're hoping to add more workshops on gardening and small-scale farming), provides internships, and offers scheduled farm-composting tours for local school groups. Fertile Fields Farm also sells at the Brattleboro Farmers' Market.

Composting supports a sustainable lifestyle. Call or visit the Fertile Fields Farm website at  for more information on vermiculture.

Other vermiculture sources:
Joan O'Connor
PO Box 387
Henniker, NH 03242

Fresh From the Farm Flyer
June: StrawberriesStrawberries

Strawberries are one of summer's treasures that we get two chances to catch. To make sure you don't miss them while they're around-keep your eyes peeled from mid-June to mid-July and mid-August through September for these fresh, locally grown jewels.

Read more about selecting, storing, & preparing strawberries.  Thank you to Hannah Grimes Center intern, Erica Johnson, for designing this fabulous flyer.  Stayed tuned for more! *This flyer is best viewed using Internet Explorer.
New Localvore Labels at
Hannah Grimes Marketplace
Get Fresh, Pick Local & Help the Monadnock Localvore Project
Look for new localvore shelf labels at the Hannah Grimes Marketplace to highlight products grown within 150 miles of Keene. Each label includes the farm and town where each product was grown or processed.  Look for this logo:

Localvore Label
5% of all Marketplace food profits go to the
Monadnock Localvore Project Education Initiatives

Local Products Available

Transplants For Sale:  Looking for vegetable, herb and flower transplants grown using Ideal Compost potting soil and without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides?  Tracie's Community Farm has a self-serve farmstand open daylight hours stocked with many varieties of vegetable, herb and flower transplants that do well in this area for your garden.  72 Jaffrey Rd., Fitzwilliam, 1/10 mile off rt 12.  Directions at Email or call 209-1851 if you have any questions.

CSA Shares Available:
There are still CSA shares available at Hillside Springs Farm and CSA Garden in Westmoreland, NH.  This biodynamic farm offer both full shares (weekly) and half shares (biweekly). Pick-up is at the farm in Westmoreland (32 Comerford Road), either on Tuesday or Friday afternoon, depending on your choice, and lasts from early June to late November.  A limited CSA share scholarship fund and working shares are also available. Shares offer a wide variety of vegetables (and some fruits and flowers) throughout the year, and members can customize their shares through free-choice items, you-pick opportunities and a share box. For more information, contact Frank Hunter or Kim Peavey at 603-399-7288 or visit their website

CSA Shares Available: Picadilly Farm, in Winchester, NH, offers Community Supported Agriculture shares at the farm in a "Mix and Match" format. Each week, shareholders who come to the farm choose 8 or 9 items from the choices of all of the crops we've harvested. Some items can be limited, while others are abundant, depending on the week and the weather. Shares can also be picked yp in Greenfield, Keene, West Swanzey, and Brattleboro.  For more information:, 603-239-8718

Chicken Swap: June 14th at the Keene Agway.   If you want to keep better track of the chicken swaps join Go into the message boards and scroll down to find the social section. There are chicken stocks, shows & swaps forum. You can post in those threads what you are bringing or looking to buy, it does not have to be chickens, many animals are discussed in these threads though chickens do dominate the discussion. Start time is usually 9am.

Local Products at 24 Carrots: Local GROUND TURKEY - Fresh as can be and a steal at only $6.99 per pound! Fresh mozzarella, pesto, and mushrooms.  Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is back and we have an entire wheel. It will be sliced and ready to go. For more information, visit
Red Hot Chili Pepper & Herb Vinegars
From Katrina Hall,
She's In the Kitchen Blog

It's actually not super hot, but it does have a nice bite to it. I found the peppers I'd dried last fall, and picked out a few nice red ones.

Herb Vinegar

Here are the basics:
Always use glass containers for vinegars - and if they have metal tops, fold a piece of plastic wrap between the cap and the vinegar when you close it tightly. They will rust if they come in contact with the vinegar.  I use half white vinegar, half apple cider vinegar. It's light and doesn't overpower the herb flavors.  Steep vinegar with herbs in sunlight for a week, then strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a very, very clean bottle. Discard the first set of herbs, and, using a chopstick, arrange the herbs as you wish in the bottle before putting the vinegar in. If you use dried spices, like the chili pepper, they will plump up as they soak up the warm-from-the-sun vinegar. I reuse the same chili peppers on the final bottling, but discard the oregano.

To make the chili vinegar:
Fill clean bottle with snips of fresh oregano - both small and long.  Place a few black peppercorns in the bottle, and then drop two chili peppers in.  Slowly fill with vinegar and cork tightly.  Let sit in sun for a week.  Strain the vinegar, using a coffee filter, into a pitcher.  Take a clean bottle and fill with snips of oregano, peppercorns, and the now plumped chili peppers from the first steeping.  Fill with the strained herb vinegar.  Cork tightly and dip into some melted paraffin so it doesn't leak.  Keep in a dark cupboard for best results.

Some other wonderful herb vinegars I've made are:
Chive Blossom - a gorgeous magenta color! You must fill the jar with the blossoms to get that color, and keep in a dark cupboard so it doesn't fade. Purple basil also makes a magenta vinegar.

Borage and Lovage - a nice light cucumber taste for summer salads.
Straight Dill, Rosemary, or Basil vinegars.

Have a favorite recipe to share?
Keene Voices - Unique Natural Environment
Keene Master Plan
Tuesday, June 2, 6 - 8 pm
Herberton Hall, Keene

Join the 2nd community discussion on Keene's Unique Natural Environment. Topics include: climate change, environmental sustainability, parks & green infrastructure, conservation, and farms & food. Participants include residents, community leaders, local officials and business owners who will share the efforts they are undertaking to further the goals that were outlined last Spring.

Help friends, neighbors, and City staff members to create a road map for Keene's future. Let's turn the Vision into a Reality! Anyone who lives, works, or plays in Keene is welcome to participate in this important community event - the more voices, the better.  To RSVP or for more information, email or call Andrea Seddon, Outreach Coordinator at 508-833-6600. More information at and

Mushroom Gardening: Mycological Agroforestry
Mycological Landscaping Workshop
Saturday, June 7, 10am - 4pm
Wichland Woods, Keene
Wichland Woods encourages people to expand their gardening realm into a mycological (mushroom) friendly landscape.  We are promoting the health benefits that mushroom have in the world.  Registration required: 603-357-2758,
Post Oil Solutions Root Cellar Workshop
Sunday, June 7, 1 - 3pm
Putney, VT

Considered a must-have resource for anyone who wants to be a year-round consumer of local food, this workshop will again be presented by Post Oil's garden guru, Robert King. Not only will he explain and exhibit to participants his own magnificent root cellar, but also provide ideas and plans that people can take home with them on how they can root cellar this coming season - even without a root cellar! $5/$10 sliding scale fee per person. Pre-payment & registration is required: 802-869-2141.

Nourishing Your Family From the Inside Out
How to Pick and Prepare Spring Greens:
Earth-friendly Cooking and Wellness Classes

Monday, June 8, 7 - 9pm
Attrezzi Kitchen Accessories, Portsmouth

Not sure what to do with deep leafy green vegetables such as arugula, chard, and kale?  Come and learn some easy and tasteful ways to select and prepare deep rich greens both raw and cooked.  Spring greens are very cleansing and a great way to detox after a long winter. Nothing could be healthier!
 Come hungry and try raw kale salad, arugula pesto, green quiches, some simple homemade dressings to top off your greens and more!  You'll learn about some local and organic farming practices, and what questions to ask farmers so you know what you're getting. 
Fee:  $40.  Includes a full meal of greens, handouts, reference materials, local sources.  RSVP to, 603-380-1080 or, 603-580-5364.

Solidarity Saturday Tour
Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m.-11:30am
No-Till Gardening for Life
Saturday, June 13, 1-3pm
Seeds of Solidarity, Orange, MA

Now is the time to increase food and energy interdependence. Experience the Seeds of Solidarity, home and education center that integrates solar greenhouses, energy efficient buildings, abundant market gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, biodiesel vehicles. Free! After the tour, you're invited to bring a potluck lunch then stay for the afternoon workshop.

Permanent raised beds, mulching and 'the cardboard method' build fertile living soil, produce abundant food and mitigate climate change. Seeds of Solidarity offers this free workshop to support your efforts to Grow Food Everywhere!  For more information about Seeds of Solidarity and directions to the site for this event: or 978-544-9023.

Cooking with Spring Greens:
Dandelions, Sorrel, & Plantain
Saturday, June 13, 10am - Noon
NH Farm Museum, Milton

This weekly Saturday morning workshop/demonstration will focus on traditional rural New Hampshire foodways as passed down by generations of farm women. 
Tour the historic Jones farmhouse and learn about three centuries of rural life in New Hampshire.  Adults $6, Children 3-17 $3, members free. 603-652-7840;;

Post Oil Solutions Food Sovereignty
Wednesday, June 17, 7-9pm
Brattleboro, VT

For our June "Building Sustainable Communities" Forum, members of Post Oil's Food Security Project community organizing team will discuss their effort to cultivate an understanding of food from the ground up to enable consumers to make informed food choices. Call for more information: 802-869-2141.

New Hampshire Dairy Day
Saturday, June 20, 10am - 4pm
NH Farm Museum, Milton

Meet a cow and a dairy goat, churn cream to make butter, learn to make a soft cheese and take a barn tour.  Free New Hampshire Ice Cream served 12 noon-3 pm! $6 adult, $3 child, members free;;; 603-652-7840.

Strawberry Soiree
Saturday, June 20, 2 - 5pm; Dinner, 6pm
Red Fire Farm, Granby, MA

Join Red Fire Farm for a celebration of the strawberry during the peak of picking season! The farm grows nine varieties of strawberries, each with their own flavor.
Come in the afternoon to try a tasting of the many strawberry varieties and enjoy some live music.  Strawberry shortcake for sale in the barn. Also, quarts of our strawberries and local cream to take home.

Later in the afternoon, join us for an elegant meal in the strawberry fields. Mosey on over to the field around 5:30, dinner at about 6pm. Created by our Red Fire Chef with seasonal produce from our farm and featuring local products from other area farms!  Red Fire Members : $20 per person; Non-members: $24 per person; Children 5 - 12 - half of the adult price; Children under 5 free. More information at:

MakeOwnMake Your Own Compost
From Compost Manual - A Complete Guide to Composting
Yard and food waste make up approximately thirty percent of the waste stream in the U.S. If every household participated in composting, it would divert a significant portion of the waste stream from our landfills and water treatment facilities.

General tips for starting a backyard compost pile:
  • Choose a moderately sunny, accessible area for your composter. If you are using a compost bin, turn the soil in your chosen location.
  • Start your green and brown layering process, beginning with a layer of small branches at the bottom that will allow for proper circulation and drainage.
  • Top off your new pile with finished compost or good garden soil to ensure an introduction of bacteria to your waste.
  • Aerate regularly by mixing, checking moisture content.
  • More tips.
TroubleComposting Troubleshooting

What to compost.  And what not to compost.

What to do when your compost pile stinks! Visit

Worm Bin
WormsWhat is Vermicomposting?
From Compost Manual

Vermicomposting uses worms to convert your organic waste to compost rather than the microbial-dependent decomposition process used in backyard composters. The Redworm, also known as the Red Wriggler or Eisenia foetida, is the shining star of vermicomposters, although European Night Crawlers are a fine substitute. When you throw kitchen scraps into a worm bin, what the worms really seek to consume are the nourishing microorganisms decomposing the scraps.

One of the biggest differences that sets worm composting apart is that it can be done indoors, which allows for year-round composting, as well as composting in small places like apartments, classrooms, or homes without large yards. Because worms consume waste so quickly (they eat their weight in bedding and organic waste daily), it is ideal for kitchen scrap disposal, since food would not linger long enough to create an offensive odor. And since the worm compost bin cannot be exposed to extreme temperatures, the ideal storage spot is right in your home. Another winning benefit: as worms move through the bedding and compost, they aerate the pile for you, eliminating the need for manual pile turning.

TeachersResource For Teachers: The Worm Cafe
Mid-Scale Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes
by Paul Bourgeois, Binet PayneWorm Book

The Worm Cafe: Mid-Scale Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes describes how a teacher and her students developed a system to compost lunchroom waste with worms and save their school $6000 per year.

TeaWhat is Compost Tea?
From the Compost Manual

Compost tea is best described as a liquid soil conditioner for your garden and lawn. For the organic gardener, it is just one more way to utilize the compost harvested from your compost bin, compost tumbler or worm compost bin. It can be used either as a spray for leaves or soil, depending on where your plants have problems. Compost tea can also provide a quick boost to ailing house plants or to seedlings and transplants. When you're done with the tea, you can use the dregs as mulch in the garden.

How to make compost tea

ChooseFrom New Composter to Poo Composter:
A Green Garbage Guide, From Chelsea Green's Website

There are a bewildering amount of different composting systems and bins available on the market. This article will help you choose which bin or system suits your lifestyle, your family, your house, or apartment.

Buy a Composter & Support the
Cheshire County Conservation District

The Cheshire County Conservation District has a limited number of compost bins and would love to sell them to interested folks.  The bins are large 80 gallon capacity, made of recycled plastic, 33"x35" and cost $50 (retail price $100).  They also have kitchen pails for $10.  Contact: Amanda Costello, Cheshire County Conservation District, 603-756-2988 ext.116,

compost bin
WasteIs It Waste or An Untapped Resource?
Municipal Composting Gains Acceptance
Provides Relief for Landfills
by James I. Miller, May 2004

Imagine a time when a significant portion of the solid waste stream we create quickly biodegrades into a valuable, new resource. Through the continued success and growing popularity of municipal composting programs, that time may not be so far off.

In spite of the obvious benefit, producing a saleable, organic product may not be the most significant payoff of municipal composting in the long run. In conjunction with curbside or community recycling efforts, successful programs involving composting are becoming an important and beneficial tool for diverting solid organic waste from our nation's landfills.

Among the most successful municipal recycling programs that includes composting is that of the City of San Francisco, where more than 63% of the city's waste - including its bio-waste - was recycled in 2002.

ManureFrom Tons of Manure, a Growth Industry
From the New York Times, By Gerri Hirshey, February 26, 2009

More than a decade ago - she thinks it was in 1998 - Jane Slupecki, a marketing representative for the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, took a group of Litchfield County dairy farmers to a brainstorming dinner at a lovely lakeside inn there. Her agency had a small grant to try to find possible solutions to a big, stinky problem.

"Cow manure," Ms. Slupecki recalls. "Endless tons of it. We were concerned about how farmers returned manure nutrients to their fields, and how we could prevent runoff of excess nitrogen and phosphorus into watersheds." Since farms in riparian areas were of particular concern, most of the dairymen invited to dinner were grazing cows near the Blackberry River, which in turn feeds the mighty Housatonic. Their hostess remembers it as "just a lovely dinner," but we will spare the reader the technical points of the conversation.

"Cow poop is cow poop," admits Ms. Slupecki, who was feeling some frustration at the paucity of workable suggestions by the time they reached dessert and coffee. Half in jest, she blurted, "Can't you guys do something with this stuff - make a flowerpot or something?"

Their answer: cow pots.

Cow Pots

From Worm Poop and Waste to Eco-Capitalism
Watch their story at:

It all started in 2001 when two Princeton University students set out to change the way people do business. Inspired by a box of worms, these students had a dream: a company could be financially successful while being ecologically and socially responsible.TerraCycle produces a potent, all-natural, eco-friendly plant food that is the first mass-produced product in the world to be packaged in used plastic soda bottles.

InnovateComposting Innovation: Bokashi?
From Upper Valley Localvore, Pat McGovern

I am curious to know if anyone has tried or heard reports about Bokashi? It seems as if it might be a good solution for winter composting and good for apartment dwellers especially.

From Bokashi is a new and revolutionary way of fermenting (pickling) your kitchen waste. The method was developed in Japan and when done properly, breaks down the scrap material with many micro-organisms (lactobacilli, yeasts and phototropic microbes) all working together. It's easy to do once you have the right equipment.

HowMuchHow Much Compost Do You Need?

From Ideal Compost's Website: 
Rule of thumb for how much compost to apply to your garden.

1" tilled in to maintain fertility from year to year. This assumes soil which produced a good crop the previous year.

2" tilled in to revitalize a poor garden. For when last year's garden soil lacked "kick".

3" tilled in when you are starting with very depleted soil.

How to figure the volume of compost to order for your garden, visit

LocalCompostDon't Have Enough Compost? 
Buy Locally Made Compost!

IdealIdeal Compost, Peterborough
Mike Lombard, 439 Old Greenfield Road, Peterborough, NH 03458
Hours of operation: M - F by appt. only.
Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m (April, May, June),
Closed Sundays and Memorial Weekend.
Materials accepted: leaves.
Sells compost bulk or bagged, will load trucks for customers, will deliver.

To make our compost, we start out with piles and piles of horse litter, cow and chicken manure, spoiled grain, grass, hay, straw, silage and leaves. We monitor progress with thermometers and moisture meters.After months and months of the slow burning of decay, each compost batch is tested for maturity. When ready, the compost is screened, blended into a range of products, and stacked up, ready for you.

Stonewall Farm, Keene
Amanda Hopkins, Garden Manager 603-357-7278

Rich, Organic Compost - $20/bucket-load (approximately a half-yard). 
Special pick-up times: Every Saturday in May from 2:30 to 5:30 pm, and every Sunday in May from 9 am to 1 pm. Drive past the Learning Center to the greenhouses.

Keene Recycling Center, Keene
Duncan Watson, 603-352-5739 Ext. 2
Hours of operation: M-F 7-3, Sat 8-1
Materials accepted: Leaf and yard waste, small brush.
Compost available free of charge to Keene residents only, one cubic yard limit; product unscreened.

Brookfield Farm, Walpole
Chris Gowdy, Walpole, NH 03608
Hours of operation: Call first.
Sells compost.

Echo Moon Farm, Walpole
Tom & Charlene Beaudry, Walpole, NH 03608
Hours of operation: Call first for bulk compost, bagged materials available anytime on the honor system.
Sells compost bagged and bulk, wholesale and retail.

Are we missing someone?  Email

SurveyEarth Day Festival Buy Local Survey

The Monadnock Farm & Community Connection Co-op Committee surveyed seventy-two Earth Day participants to gauge interest in and demand for local food in downtown Keene.   

Interested in taking this survey too?  Click here.

1)  Are you interested in more year round access to locally grown/produced food?
Not interested:  0%
Somewhat interested:  0%
Interested:  15%
Very interested:  85%

2)  What is the most important characteristic when deciding what food you buy?  (Assign #1-5 to each category:  1 is least important, 5 most important)
Freshness (score calculated by adding up all response values):  210
Distance food travels:  204
Taste of food:  203
Cost of food:  189
Appearance of food:  185

3)  How important is it to you that a local food market be walkable from downtown Keene?
Not important:  7%
Somewhat important:  19%
Important:  26%
Very important:  47%

4)  Are you a member of a community garden or a CSA farm?
Yes:  22.5%
No:  77.5%

5)  How many times do you shop at the Keene Farmers Market?
Never:  14%
Twice a week:  6%
Every week:  33%
Every two weeks:  19%
Every month:  14%
Every other month:  3%
A few times between May and October:  11%

6)  If you are a member of a CSA and/or currently shop at the Farmer's Market, would you still continue to support them if a food co-op existed?
Yes:  100%
No:  0%
Monadnock Localvore Project
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