Reskilling Workshops, Food Maps, Community Gardens and More

Reskilling Workshops for February – Tentative 

  • Cooking Winter Soups & Stews with Lacreta Holland – 2 hrs
  • Making Sauerkraut – Vegetable Lactofermentation with Scott Diloreto and Matt Sullenberger – 2-3 hrs.
  • How to Make Homemade Lip Balm & Salve with Stephanie Hertel – 3 hrs.
  • Worm Composting with Justin Eleazer – 2 hrs. (Might include building a worm box)
  • Making Yogurt & Granola with Nynke Vanderburg – 1-2 hrs.
  • Silk Scarf Salt Painting Technique with Linna Muschlitz – 4 hrs
  • Building a Cold Frame with Josh Lambert – 1-2 hrs
  • Home Beer Brewing with Ryan Elias – 4 hrs (two sessions)
  • Repurposing Old Wool Sweaters  with Cindy Grosso – 1-2 hrs
  • Cooking Homemade Pasta & Italian Red Sauce with Delali & Anne Burgevin – 2 hrs

We’re working to rent facilities and finalize schedules, so please stay tuned for more details by mid to late-December.

Centre Region Food Map Update – Nov. 29 Meeting Notes:

Link to Central PA Food System Map - Draft 11/28/11

The mapping team’s mission is “to assess the local food needs of Centre County and set goals for our local food future. Our aim is to use less energy and resources in food production, processing and distribution, to become more resilient, and to make our experience with food more pleasurable.” Nov. 29 progress report:

  • Jackie Bonomo is waiting for Centre County crop production/acreage statistics from USDA representative.
  • Bobby Raggazoni will reorganize online map information into category layers.
  • Call for Volunteers to assess the 3-5 blocks or a mile around our own homes and report back with a rough map the gardens, greenhouses, edible tree & bush fruits, etc.
  • Several people are investigating three products for which there’s unmet local demand in Centre county – eggs (Dave Palmer), flour (Sarah Potter) and pork (Dorothy Blair). Findings will be shared in December CDT sustainability page article(s).
  • Four of Dorothy Blair’s nutrition students will call farmers with a questionnaire asking for more complete information to add their farms to the online map.
  • Mark Maloney will to put information (once gathered) into spreadsheet/chart form.
  • Sylvia Neely will investigate 1850-1860s history of local food production in Centre County.
  • Rachel Mateti is gathering information about where food banks procure food for food insecure households, and assessing methods to increase food access. Rachel may write a January CDT sustainability page article on her findings.
  • Jackie Bonomo will look into what ideas for Centre County can be gathered from Sustainable Ithaca‘s food security model.

Next whole group meeting will be in January after classes resume on Jan. 9.

CRPR Tudek Park Community Garden Update:

…All 108 plots were rented for 2011, plus there are currently 52 households on the garden plot waitlist. 2012 fees will be 300 square feet for $27 (9 cents per square foot) and  600 square feet for $50 (8 cents per square foot)

“Since the garden waitlist stands at 52 gardeners, any vacated double-plots will be converted to single-plots to help accommodate the demand for space. Meanwhile, the plans to include a community garden area in the new Whitehall Road Regional Park are moving forward. Hopefully within 5 years that new garden area will be open to assist meeting the demand for community garden plots.”

Full 2012 CRPR Tudek Park Memo from Jada Light at CRCOG

News from Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda:

“We are definitely ready to help you make this holiday season easy, beautiful and delicious.  We now have local wreaths and swags available for decorating your home.  They are beautiful mixed greens and come decorated or undecorated in various sizes.  They are freshly-made locally, so they will last indoors or outdoors for many weeks to come!  Local Fraser Firs are also still available outside the store.  Choose the perfect tree for your home soon.

Way Fruit Farm’s classic fresh fruit baskets are back and ready to go or can be customized while you wait.  They’re great for anyone on your list including friends, family, teachers, co-workers, clients, hostesses and more!  Try a Chocolate Lovers, Morning Sunrise, PA local Sampler and many more specialty baskets for a unique gift this year.  Stop into our store for a full selection and display to browse today!

Do you have someone on your gift list that lives across the miles?  Why not ship them some Pennsylvania sweetness in one of our apple mailer boxes?  You can choose the apple varieties, customize a greeting card and even tuck in some other goodies such as applebutter, honey and more for a wonderful gift you can send to anyone across the country.  Stop in today for pricing information. Please plan ahead as UPS shipping is very busy this time of year and we want to help you get your gift there on time.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to think ahead to your Christmas parties, family gatherings and Holiday meal plans.  The ‘elves” in our bakery are ready to help you with customzied cookie trays, fresh-baked fruit pies, dinner rolls, sticky buns, apple cider donuts & more!  We request 48 hour notice for all orders, but will try to accommodate you as best we can with shorter notice, because we’re always baking up something delicious for you this time of year!  Stop in soon to order goodies for your event!  Local hams are also available for order.  Choose from bone-in (whole or 1/2 hams) or boneless ham nuggets and please specify approximate pounds desired.  Deadline for ham orders is Dec. 21st for Christmas (Dec. 23 or  24) pickup.  We will also have a selection of pork roasts available for New Years meals; just check our cooler case soon.

Happy shopping, baking, decorating, partying and whatever else this holiday season may bring your way!”

Building Greenhouses at the Middle Schools:

  • Penn State Humanitarian Engineering & Social Entrepreneurship students will be developing educational materials and collaborating with middle school students (grades 6, 7 and 8) to design and then build small, indoor greenhouses. A business plan will be developed by the middle schoolers to market and sell the systems. Penn State students will work on a variety of subsystems (structures; water storage, pumping & irrigation; plant & soil biology; energy (alternative energy to power the systems); business/cultural systems) and collaborating with teachers and students. The focus is on the middle school students engaging in engineering to accomplish this effort; at the end of the year, they’ll build, test and market the greenhouses

Book Reviews & News from Bill Sharp at Transition Town State College:.

The Transition Companion is out. (Review here.) It’s an exciting update of the Transition Towns movement, now five years old.  The movement was organized around The Transition Handbook, a wonderful guide to forming grassroots community sustainability organizations. The Transition Companion makes a quantum leap in the presentation of shared experience by drawing on three more dynamic years of development of the model…

Reinventing Fire, by Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute, is a blueprint for totally transforming the American energy economy over the next 40 years.  It calls for the virtual elimination of oil, coal and nuclear energy in the US.  The process is business-driven, as Lovins finds plenty of economic incentive for the private sector to rise to the challenge…

Our local group, Transition Town State College, will meet Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in Room 220 at the State College Borough building (243 South Allen) to continue developing our working team and project groups. The meeting will include a short presentation of a Transition Towns principle from The Transition Companion, continued visioning and organization of projects. We’ll also discuss the next public forum  – scheduled in January – to follow-up the well-attended event last October . Follow us on Facebook. Latest Transition US newsletter is here.

Winter & Spring Activities at Millbrook Marsh – Registration Opens Dec. 18:

  • Winter Tyke Hikes
  • Cabin Fever Walks
  • Organic Gardening Workshops
  • Birds and Bagels Program
  • Birding Identification Class
  • Storytime Fun at the Marsh
  • Puppet Shows at the Marsh
  • And MORE!

News from Clearwater Conservancy:

AWESOME Spring Creek Watershed Map and Guide: Spring Creek Watershed Map

Clearwater Conservancy’s Dec. 1 Newsletter includes information about:

  • Galbraith Gap print raffle
  • Connections funding from CCCF
  • Sponsor For the Love of Art and Chocolate 2012
  • Annual Meeting report
  • Join ClearWater’s Online Community
  • Windsurfing Lessons benefit ClearWater
  • DCNR Super Sleuth Sweepstakes
  • Doin’ The Loop
  • Private Drinking Water Testing Available

Also…the Spring Creek Education Building at Millbrook Marsh is a great space to hold your next event…meetings, parties, presentations, and more. Click here for rental information.

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