Broadcast Sowing – June 25, 2012

Action Alert – Opposing the Toomey Amendment in the Farm Bill

This action alert from PASA Director Brian Snyder hit my Inbox on June 19 but I haven’t had time to post it until now. It may be too late – I don’t know where the Farm Bill currently sits in the legislative process – but please call anyway if you’ve got the time and interest.

TALKING POINTS:

National Organic Certification Cost Share is important for all organic farmers, and:

  • Keeps organic production in the United States — meeting strong US consumer demand for organic with US organic product
  • Keeps a diversity of farms certifying
  • Maintains organic certification as a gateway to the market, as farmers grow beyond direct sales
  • Encourages new entry into certified organic
  • Encourages processors to certify and grow their organic production, providing Value-Added processing infrastructure for farmers

Crop Insurance must be fixed to work for Organic Farmers:

  • The farm safety net should work for diverse sectors of U.S. agriculture, including organic.
  • Organic farmers face unjustifiable barriers to participation in crop insurance which must be removed.
  • The 2008 Farm Bill took an initial step in addressing these barriers — the 2012 Farm Bill must direct the USDA to develop and publish organic price elections.

Home Brew Workshop – Photos

Home Beer Brewing – June 23, 2012

Home Beer Brewing

Other upcoming Spring Creek Homesteading workshops below. Get more info or to sign up by email or phone – 237-0996.

  • Cold Summer Soups Cooking Class – 9 a.m. to noon, July 14 at Friends Meeting House
  • Advanced Home Beer Brewing – 2 to 5 p.m., July 14 and 21. Prerequisite: Basic Home Beer Brewing
  • Beginner Wild Edible Plant Identification – 9 a.m. to noon – July 15 at Greenmoore Gardens.
  • Introduction to Magic: the Gathering – 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., July 15
  • Whole Animal Butchering – 9 a.m. to noon, July 21 at PSU Meats Lab
  • Cooking with Greens – 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. July 22 at Friends Meeting House
  • Beginner Dungeons & Dragons: Character Creation –  2:30 to 5:30 p.m., July 22.
  • Fruits, Berries and Herbs – Use & Winter Storage – 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 4 at Friends Meeting House
  • Clay Oven Building and Bread Baking – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Aug. 5
  • Everything Corn! Cooking Class – 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 11 at Friends Meeting House
  • Building a Rain Barrel System – 2 to 4 p.m., Aug. 12
  • Everything Tomato! Cooking Class – 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 25 at Friends Meeting House

Tonight – Climate Change Meet-Up in Boalsburg – Oceanography Talk by Ray Najjar

(From Ed Perry of National Wildlife Federation Climate Change Campaign)

7 p.m. at the Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 W Pine St.  Boalsburg. The speaker will be Dr. Raymond Najjar, Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State.

Dr. Najjar was appointed by former Governor Rendell to serve on the Science and Technical Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay program. His task is to make sure they are using sound science for Bay restoration strategies. After Dr. Najjar’s presentation, let’s talk about some actions we can take individually, and as a community, to reduce the impacts of climate change, and to call attention to the fact that our elected representatives refuse to pass legislation that will move us to a clean energy future. As usual, feel free to bring your favorite beverage (beer, wine or soda, and some snacks to share).

News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local

  • E-Newsletter, June 21 Edition
  • Crops just coming into season: Raspberries, gooseberries, currants, cucumbers, zucchini, beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, basil

News from Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

June 27 – 28 – Centre Gives – Special Online Matching Fundraiser

From the Centre County Community Foundation’s list of more than 70 eligible organizations, I’ve pulled out a few that focus on food & housing security, conservation, organic agriculture, disaster-relief, historic preservation  and other issues related to local resiliency. If you can give, go to Centregives.org on June 27 & 28 to donate to these and other area nonprofits.

  • American Red Cross – Centre Communities Chapter
  • Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society
  • Centre County Historical Society
  • Centre County Library & Historical Museum
  • Centre Volunteers In Medicine
  • ClearWater Conservancy Of Central Pennsylvania
  • Faith Centre
  • Food Bank of the State College Area
  • Habitat For Humanity Of Greater Centre County Inc
  • Interfaith Human Services
  • Mount Nittany Conservancy
  • Penns Valley Conservation Association
  • Pennsylvania Association For Sustainable Agriculture
  • Pennsylvania Certified Organic
  • Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • State College Area Meals on Wheels

June 30 – Integrated Pest Management for Gardeners Workshop

(From Scott Salesky)

The Penn State Community Garden’s first workshop of the year will take place at the Community Garden (off Pollock Road) on Saturday, June 30 at 10:00 a.m.

The topic of this workshop will be Integrated Pest Management, and it will be led by Dr. Mary Barbercheck from the PSU Entomology Department.

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP using this link. We would like to know in advance how many people to expect, to help us plan for the workshop.

July 6 – Penns Valley Conservation Association Seeking Director – Proposal Deadline

(From Jim Zubler, PVCA President)

The Penns Valley Conservation Association has extended the deadline for receipt of proposals to July 6, 2012.  This Request for Proposal seeks 3-5 pages explaining how the applicant would aid Penns Valley Conservation Association, a 200+ membership organization, in preparing to hire its first Executive Director.  The successful candidate will demonstrate the experience, creativity and entrepreneurial skills required to develop a half-time, one-year paid consultancy into a full time and permanent Executive Director position in order to execute PVCA’s strategic plan.

To see the full RFP and the strategic plan, visit the PVCA website.  Proposals or requests for additional information may be sent to Bill Wolfe.

July 17 – Backyard Chicken Workshop

Great article at Centre Daily Times by Diana Malcom, including workshop announcement:

“…To learn more about raising chickens in your backyard, sign up for Blaire and Diana Malcom’s course, The Joy of Backyard Chickens, which will take place in the borough on July 17 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. To register, contact OLLI at Penn State at 867-4278 or visit www.olli.psu.edu.

OLLI at Penn State is a membership organization that provides affordable educational and social activities for mature adults. Blaire and Diana Malcom have been living in the borough for 12 yearsand enjoy the benefits of their small flock of chickens.”

News from Way Fruit Farm

Currently, we have various summer fruits for you to enjoy at the farm and upcoming farmers markets. Come on out and try: the last of the strawberries for the season, sweet cherries (limited quantities), red eating plums, blueberries, cantaloupe and more.

We also have PA local vegetables in abundance including:  zucchini, cucumbers, organic salad greens, swiss chard, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, sweet peas, and beets. Don’t forget the local beef, pork and wild-caught salmon in our cooler & freezer cases that will help feed the crowd at your next picnic.  We have bags of ice in our freezer now too!  If you need it for a great summer BBQ, you can find it at Way’s!

On a sad fruit note, there will be no Tart Cherries available for U-Pick or pre-pick this year.  The frost took the tart cherry crop completely.  We’ll hope for better next year!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the strawberries as much as we have, and encourage you to stop out at the farm regularly and see what other sweet fruits you can enjoy this summer!

Dirtying Up Our Diets – NY Times Article

(Link forwarded by Tim Robinson)

The New York Times published a piece by Jeff Leach on June 20:

“Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies. This research suggests that reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders…”

Stoneleigh Writing About Shale Gas at The Automatic Earth

Shale Gas Reality Begins to Dawn:

“…Money has been thrown at the industry, but the notion is dawning that the game is up and that returns will never materialize. The ponzi scheme has reached its natural limit, and investors are waking up to the realization that they have been chasing a fantasy. Ironically, just as the washout begins, natural gas prices may have bottomed…”

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