Lakes Region Projects and Initiatives

Current Projects

Back to Farming at Laconia State School
A grassroots initiative to bring agriculture back to some portion of the former Laconia State School property. The group is currently inactive as the state is taking no action at this time regarding the use or sale of the property.

Chicken Keepers
Information for people who are keeping chickens or hoping to do so!

End Hunger Donation Program
A local farm shows the power of One! 

Food on the Move: A Self-Organizing Local Food Distribution System 
This is the title of a New England SARE Sustainable Community Grant written by Carmen Lorentz of the Belknap Economic Development Council, with assistance from Rick DeMark of the North Country Resource Conservation & Development Area Council and Karen Barker of the LRFN. Though the grant was not funded in this round, there are plans to re-submit it to another funding source in the future.

Gleaning Initiative 
The NH Farm to School program has received a grant to coordinate regional gleaning networks in NH. The funding will support regional coordinators and a workshop about how to develop a gleaning network. The Belknap County Conservation Commission is the lead agency in the Lakes Region. Contact Lisa Morin at for more information.

Got Lunch Laconia
Summer meal program for children in Laconia. During the 2015 season GLL partnered with the Lakes Region Agricultural Collaborative to provide a 10 week CSA, which enabled them to include fresh local vegetables to the participating families.

Grow Lakes Region
LRFN is partnering with the Healthy Eating, Active Living Coalition on a planning grant to assess current resources, programs, initiatives, etc. in the Lakes Region. The plan is to better coordinate efforts among all involved parties, to achieve better access to fresh fruits and vegetables by low-income families. We are pleased to report that the grant application was successful and the grant work was completed in May 2015. The Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health has applied for an implementation grant to address some of the issues identified in the planning grant process. LRPPH has also applied to the Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation for additional implementation funds.

Hands Across the Table
Begun as a  grassroots initiative, HATT provides a free meal to community members on Tuesday evenings. Local churches and organizations participate in preparing, serving, and cleaning up after the meal. HATT is a non-profit organization and accepts donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, etc.

Lakes Region Agricultural Collaborative
Facilitated by Karen Barker, Aaron Lichtenberg, and Rick Demark from LRFN, this is a new farmer-led initiative for Lakes Region Farmers. They share equipment, provide technical support, assist each other with deliveries, and hosted 4 twilight meetings at farms. 5 of the farmers participated in the Got Lunch? Laconia CSA program. Karen and Rick are currently involved in a marketing survey project which will look at both buyer interest in local food purchasing and farmer capacity to scale up if demand is there.

Local Food Guide
Coordinated by the Belknap County Cooperative Extension Service, this guide is a wealth of information about local farms, farmers’ markets, and local foods. Be patient when downloading, it is a large file and takes a couple of minutes. For a print copy, visit the Cooperative Extension Service office in the County Courthouse on Court St in Laconia, or Laconia Village Bakery, on Main Street in Laconia.

Organics Management Project
Grant funded project to assist municipalities with management of all types of organic waste materials

Savor the Season – Farmers’ Market Food Demonstration Project
Grant funded project sponsored by Lakes Region Food Network, consisting of monthly food demonstrations with local chefs featuring foods available in the market each month. demonstration-project/

Veggie Roundup Project – Farmers Market Coupon Program
An initiative of LRFN, this project seeks to increase access to fresh local produce by people of limited income in the greater Laconia area.

Veggie Roundup Project – Neighbor Share Day
An initiative of LRFN, Neighbor Share Day will be at the Laconia Main Street Marketplace on August 7, from 3-5pm. The Belknap County Gleaning Coordinator and a representative of the Christ Life Food Pantry will accept fresh produce purchased at the market, or brought from community members’ gardens.

What’s on Your Plate?
An ongoing community conversation about the Lakes Region Food System – updated report now available!

Worm Farming at LHS Daycare
Follow the development of a worm farm at the Laconia High School day care center, supported by an LRFN member and local farmer.

Help us build the list of Lakes Region Food System projects!

Please send us information you have about Lakes Region food system projects that are not listed here. Projects can have a page on this website if they address an item or items listed under one of the 7 issue areas identified in the What’s on Your Plate? report. Commercial ventures are not currently eligible for a page, but may be included on a list or in a newsletter.