Peeping in the Brooder Box – Issue #2

State College Food Cooperative

Building on the energy generated at the January 26 potluck, Sarah Potter and Greta Righter have organized a small group discussion “to begin planning for how (and if) we will start a food coop in State College. Also, we can determine the role that PSU Community, Environment & Development students in Clare Hinrichs’ class will play in this process.”

Sarah Potter

Greta Righter

Greta writes:

“…we’ve set the date for our next food coop planning meeting for tomorrow –Tuesday Jan 7th, at 6:00 pm.  We’ll be gathering at the Schlow Library Community room (1st floor, turn right when you enter the building).  I expect the meeting will run about an hour, or slightly more, if we stay on task.  There is free wi-fi internet if you wish to bring your laptop as a resource…I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and hopefully having some fruitful discussions! Please feel free to contact me ( or Sarah Potter ( with any questions.  See you all tomorrow night!  – Greta”

CHILD CARE AVAILABLE – I think about 10 people are already planning to come to this discussion meeting, and it’s open to anyone interested in the food co-op idea. If you need child care, I’m available to babysit at my home, which is just a few blocks from the library. Email ( or call (237-0996) to make arrangements.  – KW

Permaculture Guild

Jackie Bonomo was super-inspired by a PASA workshop (Applying Permaculture Design to Rural and Urban Landsacapes), and is forming a permaculture guild in the Centre Region. She’s set up a DoodlePoll to schedule a meeting in the next two weeks. DoodlePoll link.

Matt Soccio writes:  “Hey, I did Dave Jacke’s workshops at PASA on Saturday about Edible Forest Gardens, and they shifted my thinking. Get the ecosystem functioning, and then figure out what yields you can get. I can’t do any of those dates on the doodle poll, but if we want to pool tree orders for things like paw paw, hardy kiwi or persimmon, start a scion/perennial exchange, or start some roving work parties we’d be on board.”

Cooking Classes for Food Bank Clients

Gay Dunne

LaCreta Holland

Gay Dunne of the Bellefonte Gardening Club and the Edible Garden at Tallyrand Park (which supplies fresh produce to area food banks), and LaCreta Holland of Happy Valley Learn to Cook, have been corresponding by email to explore setting up cooking classes in the church kitchen at the Faith Centre Food Bank in Bellefonte. Stay tuned…

Garden Installation & Maintenance

Spring Creek Homesteading Fund is working with Doris Malkmus at the State College Friends Meetinghouse to explore possible management arrangements for the Meeting’s community garden plot off Prospect Ave. We’ve put forward a proposal to have a 4- to 5-member volunteer team commit to managing the community garden for the 2012 growing season, from site preparation and expansion in March and April, through recruiting neighborhood gardeners, rounding up tools, helping with planting, and then making sure beds are regularly weeded until late fall. I think a group of PSU students are also putting in a proposal. More info when available.

Tudek Park Community Garden, photo by Trish Meek

In related news: Jada Light at Centre Region Parks & Rec (the Tudek Park Community  Garden manager) writes:

“Dr. Gene Bazan of Neo-Terra in Lemont will be conducting two Organic Gardening Workshops again this year. The workshops will be held at the Millbrook Marsh at 7 p.m. They are the same class but one is offered February 29 & the second workshop is March 28. The cost is $6 for residents and $9 for non-residents. Call the CRPR office to register. 814-231-3071. Thanks. – Jada L. Light”

Public Orchards

Dana Stuchul of VeggieCommons met with Alan Sam, Joyce Eveleth and Courtney Hayden of the State College Borough Public Works department, and they’re planning to prepare a joint application for the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation‘s grants to plant community orchards.

A few days later, Jackie Bonomo did a walk-through of the apple tree orchards with Alan and Joyce at Orchard Park, and made arrangements to teach a pruning workshop there on Feb. 18. There’s space already there to add more public fruit and nut trees as organizers gather funding & train volunteer maintenance crews , and potential for expansion into areas currently taken over by invasive species.

Saturday Feb. 18 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Reclaiming Old Fruit Trees – Lessons in Pruning Apple Trees, with Jackie Bonomo of Healing Ground Permaculture. (Rain Date – Sunday, Feb. 19th 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.). This class will meet at Orchard Park (near Blue Course Drive) in the parking lot on Bayberry Drive and then walk to a small orchard planted in the park by the Borough about 15 years go.  Six older apple trees will be discussed and pruned, and students will receive a “pruning basics” handout. If you have loppers, hand pruners or sharp pruning saws, please bring them, but extra tools will also be available, provided by the Borough of State College Public Works Department. Space limited to 20 people. (15 people already signed up as of Feb. 6.)

Three ways to register:

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