Hodgepodge – March 22, 2012

PVCA Meeting Tonight (March 22)

PVCA has scheduled a spring meeting on Thursday March 22nd.  The meeting will be in the Penns Valley High School cafeteria at 7pm and feature a panel discussion on the early successional forest wildlife habitat project in Georges Valley.  A dessert potluck will follow.  If you’d like to make a tasty contribution, feel free to do so, but it is not required.  Just come to our meeting MARCH 22.

Maple Harvest Festival This Weekend – March 24 &25 – at Shaver’s Creek

Shaver’s Creek has held this annual festival since 1984 to celebrate the first harvest of the new year and help people learn about the maple sugaring process — both in colonial times and the present day. At the festival you can:

  • learn how to identify and tap sugar maple trees and visit the Sugar Shack to see sap being turned into syrup!
  • watch costumed interpreters demonstrate sugaring techniques used by Native Americans, pioneers, and modern-day farmers
  • enjoy live music and storytelling
  • see live birds of prey and reptile shows
  • savor all-you-can-eat pancakes and maple syrup

Michele Marchetti

Michele Marchetti on “Wednesday Taste Tests” in State College Schools

(From StateCollege.com): “Last year I wrote a series of columns about the school lunch program, the first of which was admittedly a rant. The tone of the series evolved from anger (thanks for introducing Pop-Tarts to my kid) to sympathy (wow, you have a tough job) to action (what can I do to be a part of the solution?).

Since then, I’ve helped Megan Schaper, food service director for the State College Area School District, recruit parents to a new nutrition advisory board. Schaper had a similar board a few years ago, but it fizzled because of limited attendance and a mostly narrow mindset. The new board is off to a great start, and if you’re a parent in the school district, you may have heard about our initiatives.

On the first Wednesday of every month we’re introducing a new food item at elementary schools. Volunteers recently handed out samples of sunflower butter. The prior month students sampled chickpeas and the first Wednesday in April will feature snap peas…”

Transition Town State College Local Food Forum (April 3)

(From Bill Sharp): Transition Towns State College (TTSC) is kicking off the new growing season with a Local Food Forum:  Developing our Local Food System and Security.  The event will be April 3, 7 pm, room 201, State College Borough Building, 243 South Allen Street, State College.  The format will be open dialog.  An exciting new project, A Guide for the First Year of Local Food, will be launched at this meeting.  The event is free and open to everyone.

New Overview Write-Up

What is Spring Creek Homesteading?

Might be useful for readers trying to explain what we’re all about to curious friends and neighbors…

Switchgrass Bales for Sale in Julian (Pick-up required)

Switchgrass, round bale, from Fifth Estate Farm in Julian

Last weekend, I borrowed Dana Stuchul’s VeggieCommons-mobile to pick up a round bale of switchgrass from Andy Bater at Fifth Estate Growers in Julian; Andy had offered the mulching material to Jackie Bonomo for her upcoming lasagna mulching workshop at Friends Meeting House garden on April 15; we’ll probably buy more for mulching the rest of the garden later.

Andy wrote: “We have a number of 4×4 round bales of switchgrass from our 2010 harvest still available at our farm in Julian.  These bales are probably pretty close to perfect for lasagna gardening, as they are starting to break down. They have also been sustainably raised. We have been selling these older bales for $10 each, which is quite a bargain, since they contain the equivalent of about 8 or more small square bales. We also have quite a few 2011 & 2012 fresh small square bales on hand.”

For more information, to arrange to buy a bale, etc., contact Andy (andrew.bater@verizon.net or 917-270-5193).

Intriguing Photo: Evocative of East Coast Refinery Shutdowns 

March 21, 2012 - North Atherton Sunoco station


(More context, covering the relationship between East Coast closures, Gulf Coast refineries, Keystone XL Pipeline and Canadian tar sands.)

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