Cooking Class, Pumpkin Carving, Baking Contest & More

Cooking Class in Spring Mills:

  • Oct. 22 – Saturday, “Kitchen Basics to Build On” – Kristi Brandstetter, owner of My Foodie Chef, will lead a French-style cooking class, “Kitchen Basics to Build On,” from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Old Gregg School Community and Recreation Center in Spring Mills. Students will learn basic techniques of cooking, so they can develop skills in the kitchen. The cost is $75, including dinner. To register, contact Brandstetter at 769-1608 or

From Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center:

Come celebrate autumn with us this weekend during our annual Fall Harvest Festival, featuring the Children’s Halloween Trail! If you can’t wait until the weekend, though, come out to Shaver’s Creek on Thursday to help us carve pumpkins to use at the festival:

  • Oct. 20Pumpkin Carving at Shaver’s Creek – 6:00–9:00 p.m. Cost: Free –  Join us for a night of fun as we carve Jack-O-Lanterns for our annual Fall Harvest Festival! We’ll provide pumpkins and spooky treats for this family friendly affair, while you provide your creative carving skills. The Jack-O-Lanterns created will be used to decorate the Children’s Halloween Trail during this weekend’s event. Pre-registration is appreciated by calling 814-863-2000 or 814-667-3424.

Then come back out a few days later to enjoy your handiwork:

  • Oct. 22 & 23 – Fall Harvest Festival featuring the Children’s Halloween Trail, 11:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Cost: Festival – Free, Halloween Trail – $5 (Ages 4 and older), Free (Ages 3 and under) – The Shaver’s Creek forest will come alive this weekend with our community Fall Harvest Festival that includes pumpkin carving, live music and entertainment, nature activities and programs, great food, and the Children’s Halloween Trail! On the non-scary Halloween Trail, children (and their families) are led by guides to five different sites along the trail with costumed characters that help children understand the season and the cultural items we use to depict it. This year’s theme for the trail is “Exploring the Night”. It is recommended that you buy tickets ahead of time to ensure your preferred timeslot. Call 814-863-2000 or 814-667-3424 to order your Halloween Trail tickets by phone. For more information or to learn how to enter the festival’s Harvest Baking Challenge, visit

Penns Valley Conservation Association Renewable Energy & Conservation Fair:

  • Oct. 22 – “…This multi-faceted fair will give the public a comprehensive look at the latest renewable energy and energy conservation technology in one afternoon. Vendors of solar, geothermal, biomass and energy conservation products will demonstrate their products. Financial institutions will promote financial incentives to own renewable energy…” More info at Voices of Central PA.

Neighborhood Association Potluck in State College

  • Oct. 25 – Highlands Civic Association Meeting & Potluck, 6 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 208 West Foster Ave., State College. More info.

“The Food Not Eaten” – Talk at Bucknell:

  • Oct. 26 – Journalist Jonathan Bloom  will give the talk, “The Food Not Eaten,”  at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell University. Bloom is the author of American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half its Food (and What We Can Do about It), which chronicles how Americans waste food from farm to fork and examines the impact of this squandering. The book offers suggestions on how individuals and the nation can trim food waste. Bloom, who calls himself “An accomplished eater and mediocre composter,” has covered both serious and quirky topics related to food and the environment. The talk is free and open to the public.

PASA Conference Update:

  • Feb. 1 – 4, 2012 – PASA Conference – Gathering of Groundbreakers

PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference to Celebrate Resilience and Resourcefulness in Sustainable Agriculture Movement

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) announces the 21st Annual Farming for the Future Conference to be held February 1-4, 2012 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA, around the theme, “Breaking Ground for a New Agriculture: Cultivating Versatility and Resilience.”

Over the past two decades, the Farming for the Future Conference has secured a reputation as a premiere gathering place for leaders in the global sustainable food movement. The 2012 conference is expected to attract more than 2,000 farmers, chefs, students, business leaders and others from over 30 U.S. states and several foreign nations. Conference programming is slated to highlight the resilience of the growing movement while taking stock of obstacles that threaten its progress.

“This year, sustainable farmers in Pennsylvania and beyond have endured historic flooding, changing government regulations, and extensive corporate spending aimed at marginalizing their way of producing food,” said Brian Snyder, PASA’s Executive Director. “The 21st annual conference will be a celebration of the spirit of resilience and resourcefulness that permeates this growing movement and propels it through adversity into the future.”

The ethos of innovation that characterizes the sustainable food movement is expressively articulated in the work of the conference’s featured speakers. Keynoter Brian Halweil is a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, editor of Edible East End magazine and co-publisher of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan magazines. Halweil’s Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket, named one of Audubon Magazine’s “Top 10 Sustainable Food Books,” pairs a frank critique of the modern-day food system with profiles of farmers and activists who are changing the way we produce and consume food.

Halweil recognizes that doom and gloom reporting often fails to bring about change. “What does inspire people to change their behavior,” said Halweil in a presentation for TEDxManhattan, “are the glimmers of hope that often show up on the margins.”

Shannon Hayes, main speaker for the PASA-bilities Series Plenary, is also well versed in searching for inspiration at the margins of society. In her most recent book, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, Hayes visits kitchens, root cellars and gardens around the country to interview families who are eschewing mainstream culture in order to pursue lifestyles that increase self-reliance and strengthen communities.

The conference will present numerous other leaders of sustainable agriculture, including holistic orchardist Michael Phillips, homesteading guru Harvey Ussery, bio-extensive market farmers Anne and Eric Nordell, permaculture expert Dave Jacke, organic grain pioneer Mary-Howell Martens, and third-generation farmer of Polyface Farm Daniel Salatin (son of celebrity farmer Joel Salatin). In addition to more than a dozen full-day pre-conference tracks and over 100 conference workshops, Farming for the Future will host a full schedule of events and activities, including a seed swap, live music and a juried exhibition of art inspired by the conference theme.

“The sustainable food system revolution is just now reaching its stride,” said Snyder. “We look forward to the 2012 Farming for the Future Conference as an opportunity for groundbreakers of all kinds to gather, celebrate, learn, and plan together for a sustainable future.”

To learn more about the Farming for the Future Conference, please visit our website.

Contacts: Kristin Hoy, Conference Manager – – (814) 349-9856, ext. 11; Zach Hawkins, Conference Program Assistant – – (814) 349-9856, ext. 27

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