Sustainability News from All Over

Sustainable Centre County Page – Feb. 2, 2012 Centre Daily Times

Next Potluck is Tuesday, February 28

The featured idea is “Community Kitchens.” Three ways to sign up:

  • Online at SignUp Genius
  • By email:
  • By phone: 237-0996

Winter 2012 Reskilling Workshops

Enrollment Numbers as of Feb. 7, 2012:

  • Cooking Winter Soups & Stews with LaCreta Holland – DONE
  • Making Mittens & Scarves from Old Wool Sweaters with Cindy Grosso – DONE
  • Home Beer Brewing with Ryan Elias – FULL
  • Making Yogurt & Granola with Nynke Vanderburg – DONE
  • Making Lip Balms & Salves with Stephanie Hertel – FULL
  • Painting Silk Scarves – Salt Technique with Linna Muschlitz – FULL
  • Building a Cold Frame with Josh Lambert – 2 spots left
  • Making Sauerkraut with Scott DiLoreto and Matt Sullenberger – FULL
  • Worm Composting with Justin Eleazer – 6 spots left
  • Restoring Old Fruit Trees with Jackie Bonomo – 4 spots left
  • Homemade Pasta & Authentic Red Sauce with Delali Agawu and Anne Burgevin – FULL

Three ways to register:

Resource Links from Cindy Grosso

  • The first link is to Storey Press, a Massachusetts publishing company with a focus on local economy, nature, arts and crafts, and community.
  • The second link is to an article by Crispina French – an upcycling artist and founder of the Alchemy Initiative – “group of four women working to develop a former church, rectory, and convent previously owned by the Roman Catholic diocese in the heart of Pittsfield, Massachusetts…Our idea is to grow healthy food on our urban property, teach workshops, and offer after-school programs on subject matter related to our mission. We plan to finish the church kitchen into a viable commercial kitchen for classes, community cooking, and rental for commercial food manufacturing. We have a reading room full of books to borrow or buy. There are artists’ studios that house my studio and a painter/jewelry maker…We host events that include workshops, live music, film screenings, studio sales, book signings, art openings, and readings. Our plans go on and on…”

Alchemy Initiative

Resource Link from Kate Elias

  • Shop the Northwest – An online Farmer’s Market for “a collective of farmers and vendors from the Mid-Columbia region…giving these vendors a way to stay connected to local buyers throughout the year as well as expand sales to customers across the country.”
  • At the PASA conference last week, I talked with Amy McCann of Local Food Marketplace, a web platform for running online farmers markets based in Eugene, Oregon. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are using the program, which seems to be very flexible and user-friendly system and could be a good stepping stone toward a brick-and-mortar food market downtown, and an alternative for shoppers who might prefer online ordering. – KW

Educating for Sustainability

The Feb. 5 edition of the New York Times Chronicle for Higher Education has a really excellent article by Scott Carlson: The Future of Higher Education May Lie, Literally, in Students Hands.

Thomas Maughs-Pugh, dean of the faculty and a professor of education at Green Mountain, connects the attention to practical skills to John Dewey, another Vermonter. Dewey was well known for advocating the incorporation of practical skills, like cooking or sewing, into everyday education. He was hoping to produce not chefs or tailors, but people who could grasp the bigger picture.

“If you are going to understand the world you live in, you need to understand how it got that way in a very practical way—you need to solve the problems that humans have been trying to solve for 10,000 years,” Maughs-Pugh says. “The goal was to engage people with addressing the fundamental occupations of humanity—dealing with food, shelter, heat—and gain insight into how humans have solved these problems or addressed these problems, and what the limitations are.”

Anne Burgevin sent in some related links:

Antioch University New England – Educating For Sustainability MEd Program – announces two new ways to join the Educating For Sustainability conversation: subscribe to AUNE Educating for Sustainability Blog and follow AUNE Educating for Sustainability on Facebook.

For teachers, social activists, environmentalists, administrators, entrepreneurs, and anyone who believes teaching and learning are key to sustainable change. On the sites you will find:

  • Updates about schools and sustainable practice
  • Links to organizations and conferences
  • Resources for teaching and learning
  • Discussions about the emerging field of Educating for Sustainability

Educating For Sustainability (EFS) is an exciting, innovative topic in the field of education. It’s all about traditional and new ways of teaching that are designed to make a difference today and tomorrow. If we are going to make a sustainable world for future generations we have to start now and we have to start here. Visit the new sites, contribute suggestions, links, or resources, and join the conversation.

Job Opening in Southwest PA

Sent in by Josh Lambert:

Fayette County Community Action is seeking candidates on behalf of Republic Food Enterprise Center, Inc. for the position of General Manager.  The Center will be the first commercial food hub in southwestern Pennsylvania and specialize in the processing of locally grown produce.  This represents a unique opportunity to be an important part in the local food movement.

The manager will lead in the development and launch of the center and work alongside a team of professionals.  Candidates who are interested in this position should have a minimum of five years of direct management experience with P&L responsibilities in the food processing, production or co-packing industry as well as knowledge of how to handle fresh produce distribution and wholesale.  A thorough understanding of processing equipment and machinery is important.  Training in the culinary arts is important due to the complex nature of the food products to be developed.  Expertise and training in food handling and food safety is required.  The general manager will have to be able to relate to suppliers and local growers of fresh produce and an ability to work with customers in the food service industry.

Excellent Salary and Benefits commensurate to experience and industry knowledge of the qualified candidate.  Please e-mail resume to

Audio Recording of “How to be a Farmer-Advocate – Beyond the Farm Bill”

  • A recording of “How To Be a Farmer-Advocate – Beyond the Farm Bill,” the panel discussion held at the Annual Future Harvest CASA Conference and moderated by public radio host Marc Steiner and including PASA Executive Director Brian Snyder.  Podcast for streaming or downloading.

Pig & Sheep Activities at Owens Farm in Sunbury

Tamworth Piglets for Sale – Owens Farm in Sunbury PA is now taking reservations for Tamworth piglets expected to be born in April, weaned in June. Will be farrowed in huts on pasture, and castrated within first week. We do not give iron shots or cut milk teeth. $120 per piglet, $25 deposit. Contact Owens Farm 898-6060 or email

March 9/10 and March 30/31 – Lambing-Time Slumber Parties – Looking for a taste of what lambing will be like when you get your sheep farm set up? Up for an adventure? Come to one of our Lambing-Time Slumber Parties. Ages 7 to 70. We are expecting over 100 Katahdin and Coopworth lambs to be born throughout March.

We’ll gather at the farm Friday around 4:00 for introductions, lamb “processing” (eartags, etc on newborns), and evening chores. We will probably also have piglets either on the ground or on the way. After supper and a sheep moviefest, we’ll check the barn again. There will be another check at midnight for those who care to join me, then the predawn check before a big pancake breakfast. Yes, there will be a bottomless pot of coffee!

Sleeping arrangements are very casual: sleeping bags on the floor inside either the house or the barn-loft. The event ends 9ish on Sat morning. There are two dates still available. March 9-10, and March 30-31. The number of people is limited to 16. Fee is $25 per person. For info/registration, visit our website

April 28 – Pastured Pork Workshop – Thinking about raising pigs outdoors? Will they ruin your pasture? Will they escape? How will you get them in the trailer? What to feed? Three pastured pork producers and a nutritionist will share their experience on the day-to-day realities and challenges of raising pigs outdoors at Pastured Pork Day Saturday, April 28. The guest speakers, all members of PASA, include Jeff Mattocks from Fertrell Co., John and Todd Hopkins from Forks Farm in Columbia Co., Lynn Garling from Over The Moon Farm in Rebersburg, and David and Caroline Owens. Preregistration is required. Time 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, covered dish lunch. For more information, visit or call 570-898 6060.

Mother Jones Article About Campaign Spending in PA by Fracking Magnate

“…TREVOR REES-JONES SPENT NEXT to nothing on politics prior to 2008, but he has since emerged as one of the nation’s leading GOP spenders. In Pennsylvania alone, he and his wife and employees donated $72,500 to pro-industry Republicans during the 2010 election cycle; all told, they gave at least $1.3 million to state and federal candidates and $400,000 to state-level political groups, including nearly $150,000 in political donations this fall.

All of this giving coincides with a growing public backlash against fracking in the shale regions of Appalachia and Texas. Rees-Jones’ contributions have flowed to Republicans likeTexas Gov. Rick Perry, who accuses the Obama administration of “trying to scare people” away from exploiting gas reserves; Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who wants to eliminate “unnecessary rules and regulations” limiting gas development; and Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia, an outspoken foe of the Environmental Protection Agency. He also was among the top early contributors to dark-money outfits that sprang from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision—groups that can raise and spend unlimited sums on political advertising…”

Action Alert from Elizabeth Crisfield

Former Monstanto VP Michael Taylor was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Food at the FDA last summer. There’s a sign-on petition to try to get the appointment reversed.

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