The folks over at Terra Nova mean business when they make their coffee. This unique brick and mortar roaster and espresso bar on Emerald Street in Keene houses only organic and ethically sourced products, resulting in some of the tastiest beans in southwestern New Hampshire.
There is a particular level of quality, craft, and care that goes into every bag, and it’s evident in each sip. I recently purchased a bag of Guatemalan blend, as well as their Red House coffee, per the knowledgeable barista’s recommendation. Both blends made for extremely smooth and full-bodied iced coffees, and I found myself confirming exactly what all the buzz is about over Terra Nova.
With friendly staff and a simple online ordering process, acquiring the beans is as easy as pouring yourself a cup of coffee. They even threw in a free sticker and thank you note, giving a personalized touch to the overall experience.
The Terra Nova team are firm believers in the good that coffee can do and love sharing their excellently crafted beans with coffee connoisseurs all over. Looking forward to seeing how this uncommon coffee joint develops as its home, the new Nova Arts Block, comes fully into being in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Marian Rogers, Co-Founder of The Common Thread Health & Wellness Education
A little bit of Nashville right here in the Monadnock Region, April Cushman has that southern country sound with northern rock sprinkled in for good measure. On social media, she showcases her bright and honey-sweet voice in countless videos of country hits, but none so lovely and meaningful as her newest single, "In A Small Town."
When it came to choosing a subject for her first single, April said it was a no-brainer. She settled down 11 years ago in her husband’s hometown of Swanzey, NH and knew she had found a special place. Though the title “In A Small Town” might hit home for communities across the U.S., it's about this one right here. The cozy diner that feels more like family? That’s Jeanne’s Family Diner! The football team she’s cheering for? That’s the Monadnock Regional High School (go Huskies!)
One thing this song is sure to drive home—The Monadnock Region isn’t just a place you stop by as you’re passing through. It is warm, welcoming, and will make you fall in love with small-town culture all over again. The Monadnock Region is home.
Every summer, I dream of having a rustic outdoor shower beneath the trees in my own backyard. While I haven't made that happen quite yet, I can conjure up a similar effect with summery scrubs from a few of my favorite local makers. Let me introduce you to three beautiful bars that will make your morning shower a mini vacation.
Green Soap — gorgeous, deeply green (which I just love), and filled with calendula, oats, kelp, and Spirulina. Handcrafted by Mandy Exel, co-founder of Magzalea Farm & Sanctuary in Fitzwilliam. Purchase online and choose shipping or contactless pickup. Proceeds are poured back into the non-profit, home to more than 100 "misfit" animals who found a safe place to land. (Volunteers needed!)
If you'd love to be one with your garden, this Mint Rosemary bar from Holland Homestead Farm in Hillsboro is for you. Its striking, earthy scent makes me want to roll out my yoga mat right next to the green beans. And the goat-milk base, blended with other sumptuous ingredients, is impressively nourishing for skin. Grab your own bar online or find products at several area shops and Farmers Markets (see site for details).
Sophisticated yet SO practical, this Sea Loofa bar from Baudelaire Fine Imported Soaps and Body Care in Swanzey is as beachy as it comes. The thoughtful curved design, tiny flecks of exfoliating seaweed, and inviting scent have made it one of Baudelaire's most popular (and unique) bars. Order online or shop local stores, like the Monadnock Food Co-op and Creative Encounters in Keene or Bowerbird & Friends in Peterborough.
I recently had one of my all-time fave meals dished up by local food truck, Salt & Lime. Though it was my first visit, it will not be my last.
When I came to order lunch, the truck was hopping (physical distancing style 👌). I hemmed and hawed over the menu...Chorizo sloppy joes? Local sausage with smoked paprika and bacon?? PAD THAI FRIES??? I finally landed on Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Salt & Lime-Style Street Corn, and I was NOT disappointed.
The tacos were brimming with slow-roasted, pulled chicken covered in a tangy buffalo sauce, pickled veggies, and the delightful crunch of crumbled Fritos. The corn was equally impressive and perfectly sweet (a feat that is nothing short of witchcraft before July in New England). Roasted to perfection, the kernels were dusted with Korean red pepper flakes and topped with an aioli that I have literally dreamt about since.
Before leaving, I ordered some of their famous street fries to take home and “eat later.” Once again, I was not disappointed and neither were the members of my family who earned the few fries that managed to survive the drive home 😂.
If this writeup makes you want to get #snackedinthemouth (Salt & Lime's awesome handpicked hashtag), it is 100% worth the trip. The perfect takeaway option for a picnic, date night, or lunch by the pool—this food is the real deal. Open weekdays from lunch from 11-3. Check out the menu on their website and find daily specials on social media.
Rin Peterson, Owner of The Simple Nest, A Love of All Things Home
Looking for a meaningful outdoor experience without having to venture too far? Forest bathing is a slow, intentional approach to being outside that awakens and enlivens the senses to the natural world. And you can do it right in your own backyard (no expert guidance needed)!
Susie Spikol, Community Programs Director and Naturalist at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, describes forest bathing as a way of really being in the present moment and opening up all your senses. You slowly look and listen, smell, take deep breaths, feel things. It's an opportunity to balance yourself and open your heart to the natural world.
Forest bathing is known for its exceptional mental health benefits. A blog post titled "There's No Running in Forest Bathing" from REI, notes benefits such as decreased stress, improved mood, better energy, and even "feelings of awe." Don't worry if you try it this summer and fall in love. You can even train to become a Forest Bathing Guide with the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy.
Want to immerse yourself in a guided forest bathing experience? The Harris Center is a great place to go. Check out their website for ongoing programming. You can also find a ton of wonderful resources on their site, especially right now, because 2020 is their 50th Anniversary. Hooray 🎉!
Boho glam is the first thing that comes to mind to describe the style of Rindge jewelry maker Shanna Hazelrigg. Her business jjhazeljewelry, has become known for its enticing blend of designs, often featuring a bohemian touch.
Though pieces range from textured metals to knotted crystals, chunky gemstones to delicate dangles, Hazelrigg focuses on looks that make her pieces easy to wear with anything. Perfect for summer and excellent for a mix-and-match look, her work has grown a long list of followers who purchase for themselves and as gifts. She also sells wholesale, in a handful of boutiques, and for folks doing fundraisers.
In fact, earlier this year, Hazelrigg launched a fundraising effort that sold out and led to a second round of sales, all to benefit a local friend undergoing chemo, Keryn Matson. Half of all proceeds from these simple but evocative hoops have directly supported Matson and her family during an incredibly challenging time.
Whether you like soft, iridescent tones or striking, bold angles, peruse jjhazeljewelry on Etsy to create an ideal summer look or to find gifts for the season of sunshine. Use the coupon code "LOCAL" and get 15% off everything in the shop. Enjoy ❤️!
The spirited spirit-makers of Copper Cannon Distillery in West Chesterfield have become masters of their trade in just a few short years. Blake Amacker and his cousin, Chris, built their first still (which resembled a copper cannon) after being inspired by the distilleries of Ireland. Their own operation is now widely known for its unique take on rum, with special varieties such as chip-aged, maple and pumpkin spice for the fall.
Copper Cannon really stepped up to the plate after the arrival of Covid-19, shifting gears to produce and bottle sanitizer for area families, front-line workers, and local businesses. Through donations, they also raised more than $2,000 for local restaurant and bar employees. This is why we 💗 local!
Now that you know a bit about these awesome makers, let me give you the low-down on my new favorite cocktail, kindly shared by the Distillery for your enjoyment.
The Loose Cannon
*3 Oz Lemonade
*1 Oz Copper Cannon Maple Rum
Add contents to a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice. Shake until combined, and strain into a chilled glass over ice. Can also be served blended. Make by the glass OR pitcher! (Mix 3 parts Lemonade w/ 1 part Maple Rum in any quantity.)
The Distillery is open for pick up Wednesdays through Sundays. See their website for specific hours. This Father’s Day, head on over to the for some fingerlickin’ BBQ (curbside pickup or outside dining) from CC&D's Kitchen and a bottle of rum for your pa!
I never let a summer pass without a truly remarkable read that changes my way of thinking. For 2020, that aim has been easy. The very first title I sat down with, recommended by The Toadstool Bookshops, absolutely took my breath away. I intend to sing the praises of The Bear, crafted by Andrew Krivak of Jaffrey, to anyone who appreciates exceptional storytelling. But this particular book is all the more meaningful for someone from the Monadnock region.
Monadnockers will recognize ties to their NH home from the very first sentence, with reference to the mountain "that stands alone." And to be honest, that insider knowledge of the landscape made immersing myself in this novel feel like a special secret.
"In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain...The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen."
Coming from Krivak, a National Book Award in Fiction finalist, The Bear has been widely noted as a title to pay attention to. Released in February of 2020, it was one of BuzzFeed's "Most Anticipated Books of the Year," and one reviewer wrote: "This book follows you, like a river under ice." It is, in my opinion, quite a perfect book to ponder this year and one absolutely worth adding to your reading list.
What better time for a roadside fix of flowers? Catbird Flower Farm is a small, urban, cut flower farm in Keene. Every absolutely darling bloom is chemical-free and grown with organic farming principles.
Owner, Kristina Wentzell, showcases fresh bouquets at her roadside stand, otherwise known as "Miss Myrtle," a converted 1956 Ford truck trailer located at 87 Ashuelot Street. Since the start of the pandemic, Wentzell has also been sewing and offering cloth masks for free at the stand as a way to support her local community 💗.
Currently, bouquets are available only occasionally until flower season truly gets underway. Typically things kick off in July, and then the season runs through October. During that time, flowers are available daily.
When was the last time you felt tranquil? The last time you experienced inner peace deep in your heart? It's been awhile, right? For all of us, recent months have brought unexpected changes and stressors (for some more than others). This important reminder to simply and SO importantly breathe comes from wellness and healing resource, Sharon Laflamme of Creating Serenity.
Laflamme explains that sending a message to the body that it is safe and not under threat is easy to do using the breath. As each breath leaves the body, it creates a parasympathetic response, telling the autonomic nervous system to relax. After using breath work for 10 breaths or more, the body relaxes and enters a state in which it can rest, repair, and digest.
It's actually the opposite of trauma, during which we experience fight, flight, or freeze. In stressful times (like these), it's easy to get stuck in that kind of response pattern. But being aware of the breath can bring you out. Well-being and health are a balance, and flowing between an activated and relaxed state is one of the key jobs of your nervous system. (Sometimes it needs a little help 😉.)
Right now, Laflamme is offering a FREE Discovery Session for anyone interested in Somatic Experiencing, an alternative therapy that focuses on the sensations of the body to regulate the effects of trauma and stress. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an in-person or virtual session.