Cooking One-Dish Fall Dinners & Baking Savory Pies

Spring Creek Homesteading Fall Cooking Workshops

Chicken Fricassee with Fall Vegetables, Butternut Squash Curry & More!

  • Cooking One Dish Fall Dinners with Laura Zaino
  • Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 10 a.m. to noon
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, 867 Grays Woods Blvd, Port Matilda, PA 16870

Corn-Kale-Potato Pie & More!

  • Baking Savory Pies with Melanie Rosenberger
  • Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, 867 Grays Woods Blvd, Port Matilda, PA 16870

How to Register

Each class costs $20, to cover instructor teaching fees, kitchen rental fees, and supplies, and includes samples of the cooked dishes at the end of each class, and printed recipe packets.

Registration is limited to 12 people for each class, and the registration deadline is Saturday, November 5.

Reservations are accepted by telephone and paper check. (Spring Creek Homesteading does not have a merchant account to process online payments.)

To reserve your spot, please call Spring Creek Homesteading Fund at 814-237-0996, and send your check registration fee for $20 payable to “Spring Creek Homesteading Fund” to: Spring Creek Homesteading Fund, 156 West Hamilton Ave., State College PA 16801.

Questions? Call 237-0996, or email Program Manager Katherine Watt.

About Your Instructors

Laura Zaino – Laura is a farmer at Zaino’s Specialty Farm, and a cook who enjoys focusing on using seasonal ingredients. She learned cooking in Pennsylvania and honed her skills in Europe while studying agriculture. She has cooked locally at the Penn Stater’s Gardens Restaurant, Legends Bar, and catering division, and also at Sult and Hukkoden, two highly-rated restaurants in Oslo, Norway. Laura has a degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State, with a specialization in biology and ecology, and a Masters in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Life Sciences in Oslo.

Melanie Rosenberger – Melanie received her BFA in Fine Arts from Penn State, worked at several local restaurants, and then moved to New York City to study Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute.) She worked at Perilla in Greenwich Village and Miller’s Tavern in Brooklyn, as well as Great Performances and Peter Callahan catering firms before returning to Central Pennsylvania. She is currently the manager of the Friends & Farmers Online Market.

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Bailiwick News – October 21, 2016

10.21.16 Bailiwick News – Public debate on land development and water protection in Slab Cabin Run watershed continues.

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Taproot Kitchen Winter Food & Craft Fair – December 3


Join Taproot Kitchen, The Meetinghouse on Atherton, Spring Creek Homesteading Fund, and Food Centres as we celebrate winter, local food and help Taproot Kitchen move closer to their goal for a community commercial kitchen in the heart of downtown State College.

Taproot Kitchen is a downtown State College nonprofit organization, creating local food-focused social and learning opportunities for young adults with disAbilities, and working to build a certified community kitchen. Help us celebrate the winter holiday season with local food and crafts. $3 admission benefits Taproot.

Check out the event Facebook page.

There are some open spots for vendors of local foods and handmade crafts (some restrictions apply). Questions or interested vendors please send a message to  Melanie B. Rosenberger.

P.S. Owl & Turtle Press will be there, selling a limited run of letterpress-printed linocut birthday & anniversary calendars for $20 each. 50% of proceeds from sales will go to the Taproot Kitchen fundraiser, and 50% will go to Spring Creek Homesteading Fund.

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Bailiwick News – October 7, 2016

Editor’s Note: 

Keith Nelson, a Penn State psychology professor and faculty senator, contacted me on July 6, 2015, which was the day the Centre Daily Times published an op-ed I had written connecting the dots between Penn State business and finance administrators, Penn State trustees, Ferguson Township supervisors, Centre Region Planning Commission, and ClearWater Conservancy, partially explaining the deafening silence of local water protection organizations surrounding the threats to the Harter-Thomas water wells posed by the Toll Brothers student housing project.

Dr. Nelson explained that he was interested in working with me on another local water-quality story, about independent lab-documented contamination in some State College Borough Water Authority wells, tanks and taps. Thus, during July and August 2015, Dr. Nelson and I researched and co-wrote the following piece, intending to seek publication in one or more of our local mainstream print and online newspapers. In late August, we submitted the report – with the data summary – to John Boogert, editor of the Centre Daily Times; to; and to The Daily Collegian.

Boogert declined to publish our report, and declined to assign a reporter to cover the issues raised. also declined to publish. The Daily Collegian published a shortened version of the story on Sept. 23, 2015. David Yoxtheimer, consulting hydrogeologist for the SCBWA, emailed me shortly after the Collegian story ran, objecting to the piece, and then published a response entitled “Local water safe to drink, no threatening contaminants” on Sept. 30, 2015.

More than year after Nelson and I submitted our piece to local newspapers, the Centre Daily Times has finally published a report on lab-detected water contamination in the SCBWA system, based on the same 2014 data we cited for our report. The CDT piece, by Lori Falce, ran on Sept. 28, 2016.

Local governments need to strengthen and enforce water protections

By Keith Nelson and Katherine Watt

August 28, 2015

As citizens and parents, we share with all members of our community the right to safe, pure water. For drinking water, that right is recognized at the national level. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the key federal law. Under SDWA, the US Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees – and sometimes sanctions – the states, localities, and water suppliers who implement those standards.

Streams and aquifers are protected in multiple, closely related ways, especially through regional plans, such as the Centre Region Comprehensive Plan, that aim to preserve adequate recharge lands zoned by local zoning boards as agriculture and/or open space. If these protections are not implemented and enforced, however, the quality of drinking water will likely be compromised.

EPA guidelines, well-thought-out regional plans and more local master plans will not achieve their aims if they are treated as “merely advisory.” The actual patterns of decisions, and transparency to the public about those decisions, must align with noble plans and guidelines, or else citizens will see that agricultural lands, forest lands, open space, and water quality all disappear at shocking rates.

As required by law, our local State College Borough Water Authority makes available to the public any water testing results upon request. Ideally, those results would be available on the website, to enable free and efficient digital searches. We found instead that a citizen must pay SCBWA for producing paper copies. So we requested “all test results” for 2009 and 2014, and paid for the copies received.

Despite not receiving all such results, the test results we did receive – conducted by Eurofins/Eaton Analytical and Fairway Laboratories – raise some serious concerns, including several test results that showed contaminant levels that SCBWA must report to an EPA database whenever local contamination matches or exceeds the EPA Minimal Reporting Level (MRL).

Lab tests found excess vanadium – associated with altered kidney tissues and kidney function – in 12 different test site samples in 2014. The highest detected level was 0.62 parts per billion, more than three times the 0.20 ppb MRL adopted by the EPA.

Lab tests found excess 1,4-dioxane – a probable human carcinogen in all its forms – in one 2014 test of the Alexander Wellfield.

Lab tests found excess levels of Chromium-6 or Hexavalent Chromium – associated with increased risk of stomach and other cancers and brought to public awareness by the movie Erin Brokovich – in all the 2014 test results we obtained. Twenty samples of water from SCBWA tanks, wellfields and taps (ten in March and ten in September) all fell above 0.20 ppb and far exceeded the EPA MRL level of 0.03 ppb. Four sites showed contamination at levels of 0.57 to 0.60. Even more worrisome, all SCBWA Chromium-6 results exceeded peak levels reported in Hinkley, California in the Erin Brokovich case (0.20 ppb) and all those reported by the Environmental Working Group in a 2010 study of drinking water in 31 cities. In that study, Los Angeles had the highest tested levels, at 0.20 ppb.

At present, neither federal nor state laws require water authorities to address the Chromium-6 problems, but common sense certainly does. We invite all members of local government agencies and boards and all interested citizens to preserve critical open spaces, avoid further contamination of streams and aquifers, and treat/remediate the Chromium-6 and other contamination detected in our drinking water.

In addition, more transparency with the public is in order. To our knowledge, none of our public servants have publicized results we have shared here. The results definitely contradict statements on the SCBWA website in their annual Treated Water Quality reports for 2013 and 2014: “Not listed are the more than 80 other contaminants we tested for and found nothing.”


Bailiwick News sees two main issues in play here. One is the failure of local media leaders to support solid, timely, contextualized reporting on complex, controversial public issues. The other is the important fact that the 2014 lab tests did not, to our knowledge, find reportable contamination in the water at the Harter and Thomas wellfields. Since those two wellfields provide between one-half and two-thirds of the total daily supply, their relatively high quality helps dilute the contaminants entering the system through some of the other wellfields. This is a key reason why it’s important to stop land development activity in the Slab Cabin Run watershed that feeds the Harter-Thomas wells. We do not have other wellfields of equal or greater volume and purity to replace the Harter-Thomas supplies if they are compromised.

IN PROGRESS – Report on Centre Region Act 537 sewage treatment planning.

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Bailiwick News – September 2016 Issues

  • 9.2.16 Bailiwick News – Governing Board of Friends & Farmers Co-op facing key decisions at October Annual Meeting. Update 10.3.16 – Annual Meeting now scheduled for November 5. Location and time still unknown.
  • 9.9.16 Bailiwick News – Court ruling against Ferguson Township student housing development impacts regional planning (Part 1 of 2)
  • 9.16.16 Bailiwick News – Some municipal legislators reluctant to continue investing taxpayer funds in Whitehall Road Regional Park development (Part 2 of 2)
  • 9.23.16 Bailiwick News – Tensions about cutting services, raising taxes, or both, likely to rise during 2017 budget cycle.
  • 9.30.16 Bailiwick News – Municipal leaders quietly wrestling with Whitehall Road Regional Park planning
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Reminder: PCO FarmFest, July 29 – 30


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Victory Garden Posters

I think these World War I and World War II Victory Garden posters are interesting for how the equate home food production, thriftiness, and hard work with patriotism.

It strikes me as very different from today’s message that consumer spending is the way to show patriotism.  “Spend more to spur the economy and support the nation.”

Maybe it would be more patriotic for people to fight poverty and food insecurity in their communities by planting community gardens and having community canning bees, than for them to spend their few hard-earned dollars on consumer goods that they may not need.


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