Things Local Foodies Can Do to Strengthen the Local Food System in 2012 & Beyond

Ideas generated at the Nov. 15 Spring Creek Harvest Feast potluck:

  • Launch a food cooperative in downtown State College.
  • Open a downtown hardware store.
  • Work to get a supermarket downtown.
  • Establish a Food Policy Council.
  • Organize workshops in community spaces like the Borough building – cooking and food preservation classes, language partner programs for ESL residents, first aid and computer skills.
  • Set up a community-supported kitchen.
  • Set up a grain mill with a local organic grain CSA farm.
  • Set up a downtown blacksmith shop to make and repair gardening & farming tools.
  • Organize monthly potluck meetings to move these ideas along, and next time, have name tags and sign-up sheets to connect people better.
  • Create a State College area seasonal cookbook
  • Create an information tool to orient new residents about local food resources – farmers markets, farms, cooking programs (for those who don’t get CDT)
  • Build a student-run farm at Penn State.
  • Work to get Penn State to buy food (or more food) from CSAs.
  • Work with Penn State to ensure that Rock Springs crops are consumed locally, not wasted.
  • Organize reskilling workshops geared to university and high school students, especially cooking.
  • Organize gardens at every K-12 school, and cooking programs so kids can cook the food they grow.
  • Organize local organic food days in school cafeterias.
  • Build greenhouses and high tunnels at school gardens.
  • Set up worm composting programs at every K-12 school – use lunch waste for compost and worm bins, market & sell the soil and compost tea produced.
  • Offer training for local teachers to use gardening to teach PA curriculum standards.
  • Organize school field trips for kids to help out at area farms.
  • Set up a summer farm camp for kids.
  • Organize programs in horticulture therapy to help kids with learning difficulties.
  • Set up a local WOOFing (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program to give people “organic farming experience through short-term work in exchange for room-and-board arrangements made through a membership.”
  • Actively promote edible landscaping.
  • Grow food on fraternity lawns during the summer.
  • Grow food on municipal land, with Borough water.
  • Organize community work days to help weed invasive plants from bike paths, plant natives.
  • Organize Borough-sponsored liability coverage for gardening & farming on vacant private land.
  • Expand community gardens to better serve residents who can’t garden where they live.
  • Set up more church gardens, give extra produce to food banks.
  • Organize community, public & private garden tours, fundraisers, and contests (see models in Eugene and Portland, OR)
  • Market to promote “buy local” on radio and billboards, in newspapers.
  • Coordinate with neighboring townships on local sustainability issues; support similar local food projects in surrounding townships; legalize chicken-rearing in College Township.
  • Set up programs to get produce out of town (Philipsburg, Milesburg, Bellefonte) ?
  • Set up a system for GMO labeling
  • Actively promote utility cycling, commuting
  • Improve frequency and routes of buses
  • Organize more mixed-use development (residential, commercial, professional)
  • Promote outdoor sports – biking, hiking, snowshoeing, rock climbing, paddling
  • Improve bike connectedness with winter path maintenance, connecting trails to Rothrock (Tussey & Shingletown), installing recumbent-friendly bike racks.
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