Power of Produce Clubs are fun, free, and filled with fresh local food. Fourteen locations are hosting Power of Produce this summer. Visit our POP page or download the schedule here. Kids sign up at the POP Host table and learn about the day’s produce-based activity. It might be a scavenger hunt, a quiz, an easy salad recipe. When they’ve completed the activity (everyone’s a winner!) children receive $2-3 of kids-only market money to spend on produce. Kids can come once or come many times, during the hours listed below. No need to sign up in advance or come at a certain start time. It’s a wonderful way to connect children with healthy eating, healthy shopping, local farms, and fun! Get the details!
Download the printable area Farmers’ Market Calendar! See a full online area market schedule here! Farmers’ markets are truly local, and that’s as true today as it was 20 years ago. You don’t have to worry about reading labels or reading between the lines, because you can talk to the farmer. Get the real story behind your food, learn how it was made and why. These things matter to you, and hearing directly from the producer is best.With over 20 area markets you can meet hundreds of local producers and find the foods that make you smile.
Special activities for kids and the Friend of the Market card are just two of the exciting programs this summer at many markets. You can find details here.
So download the printable area Farmers’ Market Calendar. It’s handy for work, home, car, church, school… share your love of local with your communities.
Beautiful market photo by Molly Drummond!
Re-making our transportation system will shift us toward better, cleaner, and more equitable living.
Imagine useful, affordable, and accessible village centers and downtowns with a variety of services, housing, and jobs. Where many people of all ages, socio-economic classes, and backgrounds could live and work, without needing frequent trips to a commercial strip or school complex accessible only by car and flanked by vast parking lots.
Imagine if cars weren’t king of our downtown streets. Instead, streets were a true common space, where kids could walk or bike to school or sports practice, people could engage with neighbors and nature on foot or human-powered wheels, and where transit, car-share and ride-share would foster strong social ties.
For people who live outside of town, imagine a robust public transit system where vanpools, buses, and trains bring elders, workers, and school kids in and out of village and downtown hubs, reducing our need for parking lots, highway expansion, and fossil fuels.
If that doesn’t sound like a future worth working for, here’s a reminder of what we have now—a system that gives people tough choices with their limited money, time, and mental energy, all causing a vicious cycle of physical and emotional stress and degradation of our Earth.
Our car-dominated transportation system is hard on our wallets. Vermonters collectively spend $1.38 billion on fuel every year – and most of those dollars leave the state. Add car payments, insurance, maintenance, and snow tires to the cost of gas, and how much of your pay goes to your commute, especially if you can’t or don’t live close to town?
Policy makers say there’s not enough funding for a region-wide transit system, but it’s worth looking into how much taxpayers spend on parking lots, highways, and subsidies to the automobile and petroleum industries.
Our car-dominated transportation system degrades our health and wellbeing. Many of us spend an hour or more driving to work plus more time running errands and shuttling kids. Many kids spend an hour on the school bus each way. Time sitting in a motor vehicle is inactive, cloistered, and adds to stress, plus drains time from exercise, healthy eating, and community engagement.
Also, the Upper Valley’s population is getting older. Soon, a large cohort of elders will stop driving. They will need affordable places to live and rides to critical services and social events so they aren’t isolated at home. How will we make this happen?
We hear that bike/pedestrian infrastructure and more efficient land use is too hard and expensive, yet how much money and energy do we spend on fitness regimes, health care, and sub-standard elder care?
Our car-dominated transportation system fuels climate change. Fifty-five percent of household carbon dioxide emissions are from transportation. And worsening climate change will likely contribute to a less stable economy, more volatile gasoline prices, and increased storm damage, exacerbating all the other issues we face.
Some see electric vehicles as a silver bullet for halting greenhouse gases from transportation, but will a new kind of car operating in the same old system just provide a stop-gap while maintaining other deep problems in our society?
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get together to change the future. We frugal people of New England specialize in people-sized solutions, simple, ingenious, and on a shoestring. Let’s get to work to combat climate change using those local values and make our community healthier, more vibrant, more prosperous, and more resilient for everyone. Get started today by checking out these resources:
Then contact the Vital Communities Transportation Team to learn more!
– Bethany Fleishman, Transportation Program Manager
Local First Alliance members really know how to give back to the community. Year-round Local First Alliance members go above and beyond by putting the community and its residents first and giving back in any way they can.
This holiday season support the businesses that help make the Upper Valley so special by patronizing Local First Alliance members. When going out think local first and choose to visit local independent stores and services providers. Anytime of the year it is important to support local businesses but during the holiday season you can make an even bigger impact by also buying your gifts locally. Picking up gifts or gift certificates at Local First Alliance member businesses is easy and rewarding. Make a difference this year and Shift Your Shopping. Think Local First!
Continuing reading to see just how much Local First Alliance members have contributed this year to help make the Upper Valley a better place to live, work, and play.
Co-op Food Stores – Pennies for Change program collected more than $250,000 for area charities,2 tons of food donated each week to Willing Hands, and proudly support organizations like Vital Communities, The Upper Valley Haven, LISTEN, and many more.
Chippers – Vital Communities, David’s House Golf Tournament, Friends of Morrill Homestead, Howe Library, Lake Sunapee Region VNA, Marion Cross School PTO, Montshire Museum , New London Barn Playhouse, New Hampshire Humane Society, Northern Stage, Norwich Historical Society, Opera North, Our Lady of the Snows, Pomfret/Teago Volunteer Fire Department, Prosper Valley School, Thompson Senior Center, Woodstock Union High School teams, Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley Land Trust, VINS, Woodstock Historical Society, Woodstock Recreation Center, Woodstock’s Spectrum Teen Center, Zack’s Place Turkey Trot, Quechee Public Library, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, Hanover Rotary Club, Health Connection of the Upper Valley, Thompson Senior Center, Change the World Kids, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Greeley House, Hanover High School Project Graduation, Make a Wish Vermont, Thetford Elementary, Woodstock High School Project Graduation, Woodstock Food Shelf.
Great Eastern Radio – Central Vermont Salvation Army, Vital Communities, New Hampshire Food Bank, David’s House and Upper Valley Haven, and Lakes Region Children’s Charities.
King Arthur Flour – Hunger Free Vermont, Vital Communities, Upper Valley Haven, and their Bake For Good: Kids program, Vermont WARMTH (Home fuel heating assistance), Vermont Foodbank, Family Place, David’s House, Helping Hands, Vital Communities.
LaValley Building Supply – Northern Stage, David’s House, Upper Valley Haven, Vital Communities.
West Lebanon Feed & Supply – Upper Valley Humane Society, VINS, Lacey’s Fund & the VT Police Canine Assoc., Lebanon Varsity Sports, Willing Hands & Share the Harvest, Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society, Watson Upper Valley Dog Park, Shaker Field Dog Park, Local 4-H & GMHA programs, Local Police k-9 training, Local Boy & Girl Scout Troops, Vital Communities
A.B. Gile – Lebanon Opera House, Northern Stage, Colonial Theater. Staff members serve on the board of Visiting Nurse Hospice VNH, Second Growth, and Cedarcrest of Keene. Staff members volunteer for Lebanon High School Hockey, Special Olympics, and Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl
Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Co. – West Central Services, Special Olympics, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Toys for Tots, Montshire Museum, Kilton Library, Lebanon Opera House, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, David’s House, WISE, AVA Gallery, Skip’s Run, New London Hospital, SPARK Community Center, Zac’s Place, Lebanon CCBA, Karp’s Classic, Visiting Nurse & Hospice for NH & VT, Dartmouth Athletics, Lebanon/Hanover/Hartford/Walpole/Springfield/Andover/New London Schools, Enfield Village Assoc., Upper Valley Haven, Lebanon/Hanover/New London/White River/Bellows Falls Rotary, Friends of Veterans NH & VT, Greeny Golf Tournament, DARE, New England Handicapped Sportsman’s Assoc., Norwich Lyons Club, Local Fire and Police Depts., Upper Valley Trails Alliance
Ledyard National Bank – Ledyard’s commitment to community support encompasses all that we do as bankers and as citizens responsible for the growth and vitality of the areas we serve. Our civic involvement is built upon a well-defined ongoing charitable giving program that allows us to impact our neighbors in ways that go beyond day-to-day business activities. Through both in-kind and cash donations, we help nonprofit organizations throughout the Upper Valley, Concord and Lake Sunapee Regions succeed.
As a community bank, Ledyard is aware of the hardships and challenges facing individuals, businesses and nonprofits. Thus a significant portion of our charitable donations support organizations that address the needs of those in the low-to-moderate income segment of our communities (we allocate at least one-third of our total contributions budget for this purpose).
Chase Brook Software – Hanover Conservancy, Hanover Trails Committee, Howe Library, Willing Hands, Hanover Conservancy, Hanover High Field Hockey, Hanover Community Gardens, Hanover Improvement Society, Storrs Pond Recreation Area, Campion Rink, Ford Sayre Memorial Ski Council, Hanover Rotary, Hanover High School Soccer Program
Copeland Furniture Company Store – Montshire Museum, AVA Gallery, Bradford Conservation Commission, Mentoring Project, Make a Wish, Connecticut Valley Fair
Dan & Whit’s General Store – The Norwich Lions Club, Hartford/Norwich Basket Helpers, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Norwich Women’s Club, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Upper Valley Hostel, Upper Valley Reptile Group, COVER Home Repair, Norwich Child Care Center, WISE, AVA Gallery, Bayada Nurses for Veterans, Hartford Historical Society, Special Needs Support Group, Upper Valley Humane Society, Norwich Library, High Horses, The Upper Valley Haven, White River Junction Rotary, VT Prevent Child Abuse, Alice Peck Day Senior Center, Grass Roots Soccer, Upper Valley Aquatic Center, High Horses, Windsor County Partners, Beaver Meadow & Root Dist. Schoolhouses.
ECFiber – Free upgrades to all schools, public institutions, and libraries in its coverage area.
Energy Emporium – Shaker Bridge Theater, Shaker Museum, Whaleback, The Mascoma Music Performing Arts, Upper Valley Robotics Team #95, the Grasshoppers, Lebanon Opera House.
Got Weeds? – Rural Vermont, NOFA VT, VT Food Atlas, 350 VT, VT Food Bank, Royalton Community Radio, Farm to Ballet, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Upper Valley Haven, Vermont Food Bank
Henderson’s Tree Service – Vital Communities
Hubert’s Family Outfitters of West Lebanon – Hubert’s is a big supporter of the communities they serve making annual donations to regional youth sports programs including several soccer programs , Lebanon basketball and baseball, and Hartford, Claremont, New London, Newport, and Peterboro baseball.
Hubert’s is yearly supporter of Lebanon Parks and Recreation program, Newport Recreation Center, Claremont Recreation Centers, Arrowhead, CHAD, the Prouty, Good Beginnings, Valley Regional Visiting Nurses, New London Hospital Days, Valley Regional Hospital Golf Tournament, and many road races to foster the health of community members.
Support for the arts and education include: Lebanon Opera House, Claremont Opera House, New London Barn, Peterborough Players, Newport Art Center, concerts on the common, Newport Winter Carnival, Newport and New London Historical Society. Hubert’s supports library arts centers at Richards, Fisk Free, and Kilton libraries, and a variety of community events such as local school plays, honor society, yearbook, teams, organizations and class fundraisers, and Dollar for Scholars.
We are and have been proud supporters of Grafton County Senior Center, Claremont, Newport Senior Centers Wise, Listen, Turning Point Network, Claremont Soup Kitchen, Newport Food Pantry, United Way, Southwestern Community Services, Shelter From the Storm, Cornucopia, Livable communities, local farmers market, Sargent Land trust, friends of Mt. Sunapee, We have partner with Lebanon, Newport,Claremont Peterboro Rotary and Sunapee lions on specific fundraiser to support local communities
Some of the larger endowment renovation projects include: Twin State Maker Space, Eagle Block, New London Hospital Expansion, Claremont Community Center, The Brown Block, Grafton Senior Center Expansion, Corbin Covered, Newport Railroad covered bridges, Sullivan County Dental Program, Richard Library renovation, Library Arts Center endowment.
The Hubert family have donated countless hours on various committees and boards to support and improve our communities (Richards Library board, NH Fish and Game, Sullivan County Sportsman Club, Economic Corporation of Newport member, New London and Newport Chamber, Newport PTO, Richard School renovations committee, Newport Education Foundation, Citizens Leading for Environmental Responsibility (CLEAR), Newport Recycling Committee, and ACTs.
Janson Law Office – Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon Rail Trail, Shaker Bridge Theater, City Center Ballet, Second Growth, NH Charitable Fund, Vital Communities
Longacres’ Nursery Center – Wounded Warrior Projects
Molly’s Restaurant & Jesse’s Steak House – The Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley veterans
Norwich Bookstore – We support the community in many different ways. Some are ongoing like the 1% of all books purchased through our Rewards Program that is donated to a variety of organizations. Others are event based such as our collaborations with The Book Jam to raise funds for the Norwich Public Library and several area school’s reading programs – Pages in the Pub and mutilple Book Buzz gatherings. Now in it’s 20th year, our Book Angel program collects hundred’s of books annually for local children, some of whom receive their first ever “very own” book. In addition, we donate books and gift certificates to auctions and other fund raisers – Good Neighbor, Norwich Women’s Club, Montshire Museum, AVA, and various libraries throughout the year.
South Royalton Market – Donates about $4,000, including fresh summer produce, to community meals and local organizations in the White River Valley.
Three Tomatoes Trattoria – CHaD, Vital Communities, Montshire Museum, LISTEN, AVA Gallery, Upper Valley Haven,Change the World Kids, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Lebanon Opera House, Opera North, VINS, Lebanon Farmers’ Market, West Central Behavioral Health Lebanon, Northern Stage
U.K. Architects – Owner is a board member of Plan New Hampshire (a statewide advocate of good planning, design, and responsible developement) and member of the West Wheelock Gateway Committee. Staff member is starting a nonprofit trails advocacy group in Woodstock
Woodstock Insurance – Annual donations to non-profits is about $10,000 including the food shelf, the Woodstock Sr. Center, Pentangle Council on the Arts, Project Graduation, Billing Farm & Museum, The Union Arena, The Library and many others. Serves on Boards for Woodstock Rotary and Thompson Senior Center.
Billings Farm & Museum
COVER Home Repair
Enfield Shaker Museum
North Road Sugar Works
Town of Hanover
Giving Tuesday is a one-day annual campaign that encourages people to contribute to their local communities. Celebrate #GivingTuesday this Tuesday, November 28, by making a donation or volunteering for an Upper Valley organization you believe in. Appreciate, support, and celebrate what makes the Upper Valley such a special place to live, work, and play.Look for #GivingTuesday posts on our Vital Communities Facebook page, where we’ll share some of our work from the past year and celebrate the impact of the community members who make it possible. Leading up to and on November 28, look for the #GivingTuesday hashtag for ideas on how to get involved and use it to share what you’ve done this year for your community.
Learn more about #GivingTuesday.
Leasing Your Land to a Farmer Workshop
Join Vital Communities and Land For Good to learn about leasing your land to a farmer. This workshop is for private landowners interested in making their land available to farmers for agricultural production, for members of community organizations interested in assisting local farmland owners to keep agricultural land in active production, and farmers interested in leasing issues. Assessing your land, crafting leases, legal, financial, tax, insurance, liability, and finding a farmer are some of the topics that will be covered in a panel discussion.
November 15, 2017
Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon, NH
Questions? Email Nancy@VitalCommunities.org
The Upper Valley Housing Coalition Fall Business Leaders Breakfast is being held on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon. Registration and a full breakfast buffet will begin at 7:30am followed by presentations from 8:00am to 9:00am. A very special thank you to Lake Sunapee Bank (a division of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust) and Vermont Housing Finance Agency for sponsoring this important event!
Participate in an interactive panel discussion on The Future of the Upper Valley Housing Coalition, featuring Tom Roberts, Executive Director of Vital Communities; Clay Adams, CEO of Mascoma Savings Bank and Chair of the Corporate Council; Kyle Fisher, Executive Director of Listen and Upper Valley Housing Coalition Board Member; and Rob Schultz, Area Director of the Upper Valley Region of Granite United Way.
You will also hear the latest on the Upper Valley rental and home purchase markets from Buff McLaughry of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty and Lynne LaBombard of Housing Solutions Real Estate.
We’ll have the informative presentations and great networking opportunities that you have come to expect from this event!
Please RSVP by Friday, October 27 to Rachel@VitalCommunities.org.
A $10.00 donation at the door is encouraged.
The following opinion article appeared in the Valley News last week after the closing of Everything But Anchovies, a local Hanover restaurant that had been feeding Dartmouth and our larger community for 38 years. You can also read the May 17 Valley News article about the restaurant’s closing.
Local First Alliance supports independent locally owned businesses by promoting shopping local in the Upper Valley. Scroll down to learn the benefits to our community when you keep it local!
We’re Losing More Than EBA’s Pizza
Thursday, June 8, 2017 — The closing of Hanover’s Everything But Anchovies has left us with more than just hunger pangs. The shuttering of a local business — be it a restaurant like EBAs or any other enterprise — weakens our regional economy in ways not easily corrected.
Hardest hit are the workers. Even a short disruption in cash flow makes it hard to retain housing or buy necessities. These neighbors deserve our empathy and encouragement as they hustle to replace lost income. When we choose to do business with locally owned businesses, our patronage lowers the risk of layoffs and creates more jobs.
Chain restaurants, stores and franchises do have considerable impact on local employment. These firms employ our neighbors, who offer friendly service and work hard to earn our business and trust. National and international chains have deep pockets, but their owners and shareholders live outside our region, so more of their profits flow out of the Upper Valley.
Locally owned businesses “play a key role in forming the foundation of community life,” notes Judy Wicks in her book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business.
Owners of local businesses make extraordinary contributions to social programs, the arts and charitable organizations. While some businesses based far away make generous contributions to local needs, some have policies that restrict giving.
Small businesses are the “best contributors to economic development,” adds Wicks, an entrepreneur and founding member of the localism movement. According to a 2010 Michigan State University Study, $73 of every $100 spent at local businesses stays in local economies. By contrast, only $43 of $100 spent at non-local businesses stays close to home. Local businesses and local patronage power local economies.
If we all did at least 10 percent of our shopping at locally owned businesses, we’d give a substantial financial boost to them. The negative effect on big chains would be slight. But — as the closing of Everything But Anchovies demonstrates — if customers shift 10 percent of their dollars away from locally owned businesses, the impact can be disastrous.
Spending locally may ask us for an added measure of faithfulness. Our loyalty may mean driving a little farther, or spending a bit more on goods and services. But shopping locally supports a vibrant business landscape. Only local spending can ensure us access to local goods and services, from the service station that keeps your car running to banks committed to local investment.
As we lament the loss of Everything But Anchovies, let’s use its closing as motivation to increase our patronage of local businesses. At our Co-op, we know that businesses, farms, food producers and service providers nourish community by cultivating cooperation. It takes work and commitment from all involved, but we all share in the long-lasting benefits of homegrown prosperity.
Bill Craig, President,
Ed Fox, General Manager
Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society
A Strong Economy and Vibrant Community
When you patronize a local business instead of a chain store or shop online, you are helping to keep our community economically strong and diverse. Here are just some of the benefits:
BUILD COMMUNITY! The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood–scale businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness. They’re the ultimate social networking sites!
STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY! Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (almost 50 times more than buying from an online mega-retailer) — a benefit we all can bank on.
SHAPE OUR CHARACTER! Independent businesses help give your community its distinct personality and character.
YOU CAN BUY IT WHERE YOU TRY IT! Local stores enable you to try on and try out items before you buy — and get real expertise — saving your time and money.
CREATE A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT! Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution.
GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY! Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.
LOWER TAXES! More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses keeps your taxes lower.
ENHANCE CHOICES! A wide variety of independent businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates greater overall choice for all of us.
CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES! Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
Keep it local and look for the logo!
The 10th Annual Trek to Taste—a celebration of local food and local trails—is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. This free family event is co-sponsored by more than 30 area organizations and is one of the most popular events in the Upper Valley with over 500 people in attendance.
This year’s Trek will feature some familiar elements and introduce some new ones as well. Guided hikes will begin at the Forest Center at 10:30 a.m. Walkers of all ages are invited to join knowledgeable area guides for treks to the park’s Horse Shed Meadow (1/4mile), the Nordic Hut (1 mile) and Mount Tom’s South Peak Summit (2 miles).
Five “hubs” of activities will draw visitors through the park’s amazing trail system. Under the big tent at the Forest Center, visitors will find the Upper Valley Farm to School Network showcase, organized by Vital Communities. Area school teams will exhibit exciting projects related to local food and farms, and provide tasty food samples. Student presenters will share fruit and vegetable juices made from local ingredients, a presentation about their expanded gardens and storage crops, and how they created a cooking class for preschoolers.
ArtisTree is joining the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) at the terminus of the shortest hike, to the park’s Horse Shed Meadow, to feature kid-friendly activities including a visit with a live raptor, art activities and a smoothie bike!
The Woodstock High School and Middle School Farm to School program is preparing wood-fired pizza at the Nordic Hut, using many locally sourced ingredients cooked in the Park’s own mobile wood-fired oven. You will also find various lawn games to play as you nibble on your pizza.
Sustainable Woodstock is gathering gourmet food from area farms and establishments, providing well-deserved tastes by hikers who make it to the Summit of Mount Tom. Many activities, such as making walking sticks and a local Valley Quest guided by Vital Communities staff, will be organized for trekkers young and old. The day includes music by the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra and an ice cream social sponsored by the Billings Park Commission with homemade ice cream from the Woodstock Creamery. Learn more about this fun and tasty day at trektotaste.info.
Do you work or live in Barnard, Bridgewater, Pomfret, Reading, or Woodstock? Vital Communities is teaming up with Sustainable Woodstock to assess transportation needs in these communities. You have the chance win a $50 gift card to a LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESS of your choice if you complete a 10-minute transportation survey. Click here to take our survey.