PASA & Other Sustainable Ag News

Mark Bittman at New York Times: Local Food: No Elitist Plot

“…This kind of approach — grow what you can close to where you live and eat what you can grow — is obviously nothing new. (Even in my lifetime, I can remember seeing asparagus only in late spring, Macintosh apples in the fall and Empire apples — long keepers — through the winter.) What’s new is the lack of farmland, because much has been lost to sprawl or commodity crops, and farmers who can make it happen, farmers working on a scale between sustenance and industrial…” (Thanks to Tim Robinson for sending the link.)

Nov. 16 – Tamworth Tasting Night in Selinsgrove

6:00 to 8:00 pm. – Owens Farm and Emma’s Food For Life Restaurant in Selinsgrove will team up again to give you and your customers a chance to sample pastured Tamworth pork!

Emma will feature this lean, tasty heritage breed in several dishes. Caroline Owens will give a brief presentation on “Why Choose Pastured Pork?”, and offer practical tips for people just venturing into the arena of buying farm-fresh pork. This is a great opportunity for producers considering Tamworths to taste the end product. If you have customers “on the fence” about pastured pork, let them taste the difference in the hands of a professional chef!

You will enjoy a full meal with multiple courses, side-dishes, and even a special dessert:

  • Sausage-stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms
  • Traditional Ham & Green Beans
  • Potatoes and seasonal vegetables
  • Featured Dessert: Maple Bacon Cake, found only at Emma’s!

Tickets are $20. Preregistration is required, as seating is limited. Preregister at If you have questions for either of us, contact Emma Renninger at (570) 374-0178  or Caroline Owens 570 898 6060.

Nov. 17  – Webinar on Business Models & Food Safety Plans for New Farmers 

Time and time again we hear that among the biggest hurdles for beginning farmers are designing a business model which creditors will fund, and creating a comprehensive food safety plan for their farm. Each of the online tools presented on this webinar addresses one of those hurdles.

Farm Credit Council and the National Good Food Network have teamed up to create a website designed to illustrate the myriad ways that farmers have been successful in the “The Field Guide to the New American Foodshed.” Many different routes into many different markets are explained, and then illustrated with case studies of actual farms and other businesses using each model. Designed for farmers and those who might provide credit to farmers, this tool helps people to “speak the same language.”, with support from the Wallace Center, has developed an on-farm food safety tool. By answering a series of questions about their operations, farmers can have this website generate all of the documentation and forms for a complete food safety plan. This is the first tool of its kind.

Learn about these amazing new tools, their background and get a sense for how they start to change the landscape for a regional food system at 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 PM EST on Nov. 17. Register

Action Alerts – Demand Cuts to Corporate Welfare – Not Hunger and Sustainable Ag Programs!

From the Organic Consumers Union (Thanks to Brian Burger for passing this along) – The Big Ag lobby suffered a shock when an amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to cut farm subsidies to anyone with an average income of over $1 million cleared the Senate by a vote of 84-15. This proposal has yet to become law, but it is clear that the momentum is not in Big Ag’s favor. Congress is ready to vote for a fairer Farm Bill in 2012 when the current law expires. Knowing that, corporate lobbyists working for the 1% are trying to prevent any more votes like that one.

Big Ag’s current strategy is for Congress not to vote on a new Farm Bill at all. They’d rather have the Super Committee, set to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal debt in November, shape the bill behind closed doors. Their idea is for the Super Committee to cut $23 billion over 10 years, mostly from conservation and nutrition programs that help the hungry, family farmers, and sustainable agriculture, rather than save more money by adopting the White House proposal to save $50 billion over 10 years by ending all direct payments that go to mega farms growing crops for polluting factory farms and unhealthy junk food.

Ag Committee Chairmen and Super Committee members are currently working on a Secret Farm Bill that by all accounts will favor Big Ag over family-scale organic farmers and the swelling ranks of those who are relying on Food Stamps and school lunch programs to survive during the continuing economic crisis.

Tell Congress: Cut Corporate Welfare – Not Hunger and Sustainable Ag Programs!

More 2012 Farm Bill information and other action opportunities through National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Nov. 17 – Marcellus Citizen Organizer Training at Bucknell in Lewisburg

PennEnvironment has launched a new project to give Pennsylvanian’s, new or experienced, the tools they need to protect their community. Can you join us on Thursday, November 17 from 6-9 p.m. at Bucknell?

  • WHAT: Lewisburg Marcellus Shale Citizen Organizer Training
  • WHERE: Bucknell University,Dana Engineering Building, 580 Longlit Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837
  • WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 6-9 p.m.

Nov. 18 – Eagles Mere Inn‘s annual Food and Wine tasting weekend

The two-day themed affair amounts to two delicious dinners made with local ingredients and paired with complimentary wines. It’s a collaborative effort between Chef/Owner Toby Diltz and local wine expert Ken Phillips.

The Inn is also having a family style dinner for its guests at 3:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, November 24. The meal will feature all the freshest meats and vegetables that the Inn’s local farms have to offer including turkeys from Forks Farm, a house cured and smoked Tamworth Ham from Berryfields Farm, and Jamison Farm Lamb. Of course, this very special meal will be finished off with some fresh made pumpkin and apple pies.

Contact the Inn for reservations and celebrate Thanksgiving while supporting local foods in Eagles Mere! For more information about these events, call (570) 525-3273 or visit the Eagles Mere Inn website.

Dec. 9 – Deadline for NRDC Growing Green Awards Nominations

  • $10,000 cash prize in the Food Producer category
  • $2,500 cash prize in the Food Justice Leader category
  • $2,500 cash prize in the Young Food Leader category

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announces its fourth annual Growing Green Awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated original leadership in the field of sustainable food. Through this national award, NRDC will recognize extraordinary contributions that advance ecologically integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork. Eligibility and other info here.

Dec. 10 – Penn State Extension Workshop – Production of Vegetable Transplants in the Greenhouse – in Bloomsburg

9:00 am to Noon, Bloomsburg Field Office, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg

  • Basic Heating and Cooling Principles
  • Water and Soil Interaction
  • Plant Nutrition and Fertilizers
  • Greenhouse Pest Management
  • Preparing a Plant to Go to the Field

Speaker: John Esslinger, Horticulture Extension Educator

This practical training will focus on production of vegetable transplants in the greenhouse.

Registration: The registration fee is $10.00 (lunch is not provided) if received by December 2 or $15.00 at the door. Please register by December 2 so we have an accurate count.

Flier with registration info: GreenhouseTransplantTraining

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