This Isn’t Goodbye
From the get-go, Fiddlehead has been about living local – supporting our neighbors and our neighborhood businesses, celebrating our local heroes and pointing out places where community is celebrated.
And no one could argue that these times have proved just how important community is.
We know you’re out there helping each other. Buying a meal for the health care workers on the front line at our local hospitals, making masks for those who can’t get them, helping friends’ children with their homework, and, most importantly, wearing masks and keeping your distance to protect others.
We want to support our friends and neighbors and stay safe while we negotiate the new normal. And importantly, we want to make sure all the independent shops, entertainment venues and independently owned businesses we love are still there when this existential fog lifts.
So, what’s a Fiddlehead to do?
We can start by having something to eat. Remember, food is love. If your favorite restaurant is offering curbside or takeout service, go for it. If the restaurant is open and social distance is being practiced, bon appetite. It’s like hitting the trifecta: you get a good meal, you don’t have to cook and you put some bread in the pockets of the staffs of a local restaurant.
Plenty of us are getting deliveries from large chain stores but think about your local Mom and Pops like Jeanotte’s Market in Nashua, Moulton’s Market in Amherst and the Monument Square Market in Hollis, which are far less crowded and make safety a priority.
Sign up for a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture offers farmers a reliable source of income and gives you some skin in the local agriculture game. In addition to helping finance a local farmer, you help him or her have a guaranteed market by receiving a share of the meat or veggies they produce. Some CSAs also offer eggs, cheese, bread and other products they create. The state Department of Agriculture has a list of CSAs at agrulture.nh.gov.
Got milk? Why Not? Local dairies were struggling even before the pandemic began. Get a bottle of “moo juice” from a local producer before “Cow Hampshire” loses its favorite farmyard animal.
In the immortal words of John Lennon, “I read the news today, oh boy.” Tell us about it. But it’s news we need to keep abreast of developments. Buy a newspaper, they’re struggling. Better yet, get a subscription or make a donation to your local news outlet.
George Bernard Shaw said, “without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” So, now there is more reason than ever to support a local artist, musician and crafts person. You can still maintain social distancing – many have websites – or participate in Etsy or other internet sales outlets.
Tupelo Music Hall in Derry has spent a good deal of the past few months responding to the needs of the community, offering food and supplies and lots of positive thoughts. Just recently, they have turned their parking lot into a drive-in style music hall with patrons enjoying performances from their cars.
Groucho Marx famously said, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member,” but it’s not all about him, sometimes it’s about the organization. You can help a nonprofit through a tough time by becoming a member. Think of arts organizations like the Capitol Theater in Concord, the Palace in Manchester and Symphony NH or other groups struggling to stay afloat while weathering the new abnormal. You can also become a member of the Red River Theatre in Concord, but even if you don’t, you can support them by buying a ticket to one of the first-run indie films that can be streamed directly to your home.
If you missed a concert or play that was canceled due to the pandemic, think about donating your refund to your local venue or promoter.
Buy a CD or vinyl recording by your favorite local musical artist, rather than streaming music, so more money will go to the act.
Buy a book at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, The Bookery in Manchester, the Water Street Bookstore in Exeter and the Toadstool bookstores in Keene, Peterborough and Nashua, which have made arrangements to deliver books by mail, courier or curbside service.
You can even support local when it comes to meds – prescription, homeopathic or over the counter can be delivered curbside at Medicine World and Whole Health Center in Nashua. And you’re in good hands. The founder and owner of the 35-year business, Carmina Lolley, is a registered nurse and herbalist.
If you’ve canceled guitar and piano lessons, or put the housekeeper on hiatus, it doesn’t mean you should stop paying them. And you don’t even have to dirty your hands with money. Venmo is no-contact and germ free.
Gift certificates are as good as gold for local businesses too. Many can be purchased online.
And finally, tip like a Rockefeller. For obvious reasons it’s a trying time to be a server or delivery driver. They are working fewer hours and putting themselves in harm’s way to make life easier for us. So, dig deep, and it wouldn’t hurt to write a favorable review of your favorite establishments on your preferred social networks.
Speaking of which, two thumbs up and five stars to all our readers for supporting your neighbors, educators, health care workers, food pantries, local businesses and us.
Sadly, we are announcing that Fiddlehead will go on hiatus for at least two issues with the hopes that we can be back with you around the holiday season.
We’ve been committed to offering our publication at no cost to our readers, but that meant we relied on advertising for financial support. Many of the local businesses that have provided support in the four years we’ve been around are suffering from disruption caused by COVID-19.
In many cases, these businesses are closed; in others they are open but in limited fashion; and in still other circumstances they have experienced a downturn in patronage due to the understandable fears of their customers going out in public. It is a most tenuous time.
But we haven’t given up, or given in. It’s our hope and goal to be back on the shelves in better – and safer – times.
We love local.
We love you.
– Fiddlehead Staff