This month, we stayed close to home and explored activities in the Seacoast region, also known as the Freecoast of New Hampshire. The Freecoast lies in the Southeast corner of the state, with the Merrimack Valley to the west and the Lakes Region to the north. Along with the charming and historic seaside towns that populate the region, the Freecoast is also home to a flourishing tech and crypto scene. An active region for liberty-minded families, the area boasts a thriving homeschool community and many family-focused events and gatherings.
Our Introduction to the Freecoast Liberty Community
My family moved to the Freecoast in November 2017. The first event we attended was one of the weekly outreach meetings hosted by various Freecoasters. These are rotating events held every Thursday evening in different towns around the Freecoast. They are typically in an accommodating restaurant with space for the adults to have interesting conversation and the kids to entertain each other.
That week it was hosted by Kyle and Tynan Mohney in Hampton, a coastal town that is home to Hampton Beach, a sleepy area turned bustling tourist destination in summer. This was a great chance for us to meet several local Freecoasters and get up to speed on happenings in the region. We quickly learned about weekly/monthly/quarterly events and were introduced to Freecoast.org where an updated calendar keeps everyone informed on upcoming events.
Cryptocurrency Use on the Freecoast
We also got a better understanding of the region we had decided to call home. We knew the area was beautiful and had a lot of activities for families, but we did not realize that our neighboring city Portsmouth, had been labeled one of the "world’s most Bitcoin-Friendly Neighborhoods."
We were originally attracted to the area in part because we knew there are a lot of job opportunities in the region and that tech businesses are flourishing here. Fully realizing the region’s love of and use of cryptocurrency was a wonderful discovery. One of our very own Freecoasters, Joël Valenzuela of Dash Force News, was recently featured on CNN International discussing Dash and the active cryptocurrency community on the Seacoast.
When my husband and I and our 1-year-old daughter came out to visit New Hampshire in October 2015, one trip to the Praxeum showed us the great Free State community in action. The Praxeum is described by one of the founders, Mike Vine, as “a flexible-use space designed for people who think free and live free - including entrepreneurs, artists, and homeschooling families. ” It is home to monthly and quarterly events and is open for members to host additional gatherings.
In any given month, the Praxeum is host to several events. This May there was the monthly market, in which Bardo Farm and a host of vendors participate. There was a quarterly potluck, where friends rang in the spring season with wonderful conversation and delicious food. And there was another monthly event that happens to be a favorite of my kids, the Powwow and Sunschool.
The Powwow is a gathering hosted by Mike Vine where a particular topic is discussed among the group. Local activism and events are also mentioned, and members of the community can share what activities or life events they might be taking part in. Preceded by the Powwow is Sunschool for the youngsters, where a topic is decided (often by the kids the month before) and is discussed and considered in real life as well as theoretically. It is a wonderful opportunity for home schooled and unschooled kids to get together and practice sharing ideas and considering different points of view.
The Praxeum is successfully attracting new movers and growing its membership. It has outgrown its current location, and the search for “Prax 2.0,” as it has been labeled, is ongoing. Mike Vine shared, “Prax 2.0 is our project to purchase a long-term home for The Praxeum, so that we can invest in fully realizing the vision of a home for liberty on the Freecoast.” An impressive crowdfunding campaign has given the members of the Praxeum a wonderful opportunity for the future of this revered space.
When the Snow Melts Away, The Freecoasters Play
When we arrived in New Hampshire towards the end of Autumn, activities in the region were winding down significantly. Something we heard several times after arriving in New Hampshire was, “You guys just missed the Exeter Farmers Market for the season!” Everyone explained to me that due to the weather in New England, people tend to keep indoors and not get out as much. There just is not as much to do during that time of the year.
I wasn't sure what to expect once the snow melted away, because as far as I was concerned, there were still so many activities occurring during those winter months. Friends would host get-togethers at their homes or meet at indoor children's play areas. There were play dates at playgrounds and at the beach. We were more active than we had ever been, but still we were told it was nothing compared to summer.
Now here we are, moving through spring with summer’s imminent return approaching next month, and already I can see what everyone was referring to. We have been to BBQs, a bonfire hosted at the home of some fellow Freecoasters, and we finally attended our first Exeter Farmers Market when it returned this month.
The Farmers Market is a delightful market held near the Exeter River where friends bring blankets and chairs and spend time enjoying the beautiful location, while the kids run around and enjoy the space playing soccer or exploring. Everyone is happy for the wonderful weather and each other’s company, and several people have told me it is the absolute highlight of their summer.
Festivals and More
Festivals also begin to pop up in summer. In addition to the festivals and events held throughout the state by different organizations, the Free State Project runs Porcfest in June. This year, it is being run by the Freecoast’s very own Rodger and Jessica Paxton. This will be my family’s first time attending Porcfest and I cannot wait to share our experience with you next month. The Freecoast is also preparing for their fifth annual Freecoast Festival, taking place September 7-9.
If you are interested in learning more about the Freecoast, please visit Freecoast.org. We love to share our region with other liberty-minded folks and are happy to showcase our home to prospective new movers. You can also find out about attending the Freecoast Festival in September to get a chance to see some great speakers, partake in liberty focused conversation, and get a feel for what life is like on the Freecoast. If you have any other questions about the Freecoast Festival or the Freecoast in general, please reach out to Kyle Mohney and Jessica Paxton who would happily help.
Join me next month for our family’s first Porcfest adventure! Live free, friends!
Molly moved to the Seacoast region of New Hampshire in November 2017 as a participant of the Free State Project. She spends her time attending liberty outreach events and assisting organization efforts for the annual Freecoast Festival. In Free State Family, Molly and her family of five take on a new adventure each month, giving us a glimpse of life in New Hampshire.