Ragout – September 9, 2012

Crowd-Funding Opportunity – Help Rising Springs Meats in Spring Mills Get Organic Certification

(From Matt Soccio)

Rising Springs Meats in Spring Mills is a new slaughter house that wants to serve small, sustainable farmers in the Centre Region. [CDT profile here.] They are looking to rally a small community-backed loan of $2,000 to fund Organic Certification.  If anyone in the Spring Creek Homesteading group may be interested in this type of grassroots project, please contact me or Jay Young. If you want some more details, please don’t hesitate to contact either Jay Young (814-359-6845) or myself (814-308-2042).

News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local

  • CCBFBL E-Newsletter – September 6, 2012 Edition – Fall crops of cabbage, broccoli and kale now coming into season.

News from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

  • PASA E-Newsletter – September 6, 2012 Edition, including the weekly Buy-Fresh-Buy-Local Challenge (with prizes!), upcoming farm-based workshops across the state and more.

September 11 – Tuesday State College Farmers Market Preview

(From Betsy Green)

The Tuesday Downtown State College Farmers Market is open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Locust Lane.

  • Moser’s Produce: New* Peppers with color now available.  Also, NEW varieties of cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage.
  • Larksmirth Manor:  Featuring the plantation lily-a very fragrant Hosta.
  • Hidden Hollow Farm:  Always carrying a huge selection of baked goods: fruit pies, breads, cookies, many, many donuts.  We also have farm raised meats.
  • Green Acres Farm:  NEW variety of sweet corn now available.  Sweet potatoes are here along with many other fall crops.  And, as always, we have honey from our bees, and fresh brown eggs from our free-range chickens.
  • Sweet Heat Gourmet: NEW* Bourbon Apple and Cranberry BBQ Sauce and Pineapple & Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce
  • Sweet Root Orchard:  *NEW apple pie from our own apples; Honeycrisp, Gala, & McIntosh
  • Spring Bank Acres: *NEW Freshly made basil pesto and sauerkraut,  Also, eggs from our pastured hens.
  • Egg Hill Gardens:  NEW* ‘Scotland’ leeks – a rare Scottish heirloom.  Also ‘Bleu de Solaize’ leeks – a hard to find French heirloom.  Beautiful kale, Swiss Chard, and mustard greens for a hardy fall side-dish or for soup.  Still a lovely selection of fresh cut flowers available to create your own bouquet or pick up a ready-made arrangement.

September 11 – Boalsburg Farmers Market Preview

(From Jim Eisenstein)

It will be a wonderful day to shop at the Boalsburg Farmers Market.  Wild for Salmon will have its full array of wild-caught Alaska sockeye salmon.  Here are just a few highlights of what other vendors are bringing.

  • Littlefield Farm –-tomatillos
  • Pipers Peck – 5 types of salsa
  • Way Fruit Farm – fall harvested Honey Crisp, Gala, McIntosh, and Fuji apples
  • Byler Goat Diary — tomato & basil and onion & chive raw goat milk cheese;
  • Clover Creek – fresh, raw, pastured raised cow milk
  • Eden View – frozen chickens, pastured meat pies
  • Stone  Meadow – hot dogs are back
  • Cow-a-Hen Farm  — fresh pork (& geese on the way for goose day)
  • Soap Sprite – lavender soup made with real lavender
  • Clan Stewart – baby beets, 8 oz gabs of basil; patty-pan squash
  • Mothersbaugh Farm – gladiolas, sunflowers, and buttercup squash
  • Beiler Family Farm – Celery
  • Patchwork Farm – raspberries and baby squash
  • Ardry Farm  — broccoli
  • Jade Family Farm – basil, arugula, radishes, & lettuce
  • Gemelli’s and Gaffron’s  — baked goods and bread
  • Fasta Pasta – fresh made Pasta
  • Bee Kind Winery – Bee Berry Blue – 100% blueberry wine sweetened with PA clover honey.

Music will be provided by Biscuit Jam from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Help us celebrate the glory of early fall – the Boalsburg market is open 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays at the PA Military Museum.

News from Way Fruit Farm

We just finished bottling the first pressing of our Apple Cider for this season – sweet, smooth and nutritious. We also have lots of fresh picked apples for sale now including:  Honey Crisp, Gala, Ozark Gold, Fuji, Ginger Gold and McIntosh.

Our plum crop was fleeting this year, but we have good news. After a  bit of a search, we were able to find some Stanley Prune Plums that were grown locally to sell to all of you good customers. These will be sweet, freestone plums that are good for eating, baking and canning.

Fall squash are already abundant this season!  They are early in ripening this year, just like everything else, so be sure to bake and enjoy them while they’re available.  Our squash selection includes: Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, Pie Pumpkins and more!  Decorative gourds for home decorating are also on display and available for sale.  Come on out and enjoy the taste and feel of Fall today!

September 16 – WPSU Wine Festival at the Penn Stater Conference Center

September 20 – Spring Creek Homesteading Fall Potluck

The next quarterly local foodie potluck – informal and family-friendly, sponsored by Spring Creek Homesteading and the Borough of State College Public Works Department – will be Thursday, September 20 at 6 p.m. at the State College Borough Building, 243 S. Allen St.

Friends & Farmers Cooperative members will be joining us to co-host, so come on out to share some great food and learn more about the co-op, and how you can get involved in creating a new, local, member-owned grocery store.

Also please RSVP so we can keep a count and plan accordingly. (Email  or call 237-0996)

September 20 – Clearwater Conservancy’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival at the State Theatre

September 20 – 21- Farm Advocates Meeting and FarmAid in Harrisburg

  • Thursday, Sept. 20 – The 2nd National Meeting of Farm Advocates – 8:30am – 7pm in Purcell Friendship Hall at the Milton Hershey School  – Farm Aid is proud to host the 2nd National Meeting of Farm Advocates, building off last year’s inaugural meeting in Bonner Springs, Kansas. This working meeting will bring together new and established farm advocates and financial, legal and farm policy experts for a day of training and skills development. Register here. Contact Joel Morton with any questions.
  • Friday, Sept. 21 – Farm Aid Forum – Shale Gas Extraction & the Family Farm – 9am – 12pm- Holiday Inn Harrisburg East – Join family farmers, advocates and community members to discuss a range of impacts, protections and organizing efforts for addressing unconventional natural gas extraction on their land or in their communities. Local and national experiences will be explored. This open educational session will be held at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg – East. RSVP required. Please email Alicia Harvie to RSVP.
  • Friday, Sept. 21 – Farm Aid Eve – 6:00 – 8:00pm in Purcell Friendship Hall at Milton Hershey School – Join us on Friday evening for Farm Aid Eve, where we’ll celebrate good food from local family farmers, as well as live local music! Damaged Pies and Hoots & Hellmouth will help us bring together farmers, fans and musicians to support Farm Aid’s mission of keeping family farmers on the land. Register here.

October 1 – Breaking the Self-Imposed Barriers – Workshop for Women Farmers

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Rain date: October 3, 2012) at The Sundance Life Farm, 4563 Lake Road in Towanda

Were you ever told or thought, “That’s a man’s job” or “You might break it” or “You’ll take too long, let me/him do it”? Learn how to overcome the barriers that are created for women on the farm with Julie Perry of The Sundance Life Farm.  After a lifetime of disparaging comments, Julie and her sons had to break through the gender barriers when her husband died suddenly.

With a newly purchased farm in desperate need of repair, two young sons, and equipment that was not familiar, Julie continued with her dream of creating a sustainable farm.  She started to pick up the tools and learned how to use them.  She and her sons read the manuals, asked questions and relied upon neighboring farmers for an occasional bail-out.  The family started breaking the barriers that were internally and externally imposed upon them.

Julie will share her experience about the challenges she and her children faced since her husband’s death in 2008 as she conducts a tour around the farm.  She will describe the efforts made that won her and her family the 2012 Clean Water Award from the PA Association of Conservation Districts for their efforts to preserve the integrity of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Later, Julie, her neighboring farmers, and her new husband Greg will lead the attendees through a cycle of stations for hands-on mini lessons in basic fencing skills and tools, finding zerks to grease equipment, manure management regulations, hand tool needs for small projects, and basic equipment maintenance needs.

This is an excellent opportunity for women to learn from someone who had to overcome the fear of asking or doing and who learned that she had a right and a need to know the answers.

Registration. The $15 registration fee covers the cost of lunch and materials. Registration cancellations must be received one week prior to the event to receive a refund.  All refunds are subject to a $5.00 administrative fee.

October 11 – 12 – Grazing Conference in Indiana County

Southwest Pennsylvania Project Grass is hosting a grazing conference in Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 11 and 12, 2012. The first day of the event will be held at the Kovalchick Complex and will feature speakers that will share their expertise on a variety of subjects relating to grazing. The second day of the event includes a combination of demonstrations held at the Indiana Fair Grounds and tours of local grazing operations and other agricultural interests.

Speakers for day one of this conference are Temple Grandin (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Ben Bartlett (World-Wide Grazing), Jon Hopkins (Diversifying the Grazing Operation), Susan Duckett (Grass Finishing, Meat Palatability), Dr. Robert Van Suan (Parasite Control in Livestock), Lee Rinehart (Transitioning to Organic Farming), Peter Burns (Integrating Poultry in Grazing Operations), Dr. William Wise (Pasture Management for Horses), and Tammy Colt (Wildlife and Grazing).

Register on-line for the conference. A $95 early registration fee covers all events and meals for both days. After September 8 the registration fee will be $130. The deadline to register is October 4th. For Additional information regarding the conference or to sponsor the event, please contact Jim Resh at the Indiana County Conservation District at 724-471-4751 (ext 5). There will be 4 Grazing CEC’s for PA NRCS Certified Conservation Planners and 4 Pennsylvania Nutrient Management re-certification training credits available for attending the event.

Food Issues in the New York Times

(Links sent by Tim Robinson)

Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce, by Kenneth Chang (New York Times)

“…Stanford University scientists…after an extensive examination of four decades of research comparing organic and conventional foods [have] concluded that fruits and vegetables labeled organic were, on average, no more nutritious than their conventional counterparts, which tend to be far less expensive.

The argument that organic produce is more nutritious “has never been major driver” in why people choose to pay more, said [Sonya] Lunder, the Environmental Working Group analyst.

Rather, the motivation is to reduce exposure to pesticides, especially for pregnant women and their young children…”

The Organic Fable, by Roger Cohen (New York Times):

“The takeaway from the study could be summed up in two words: Organic, schmorganic. That’s been my feeling for a while.

Now let me say three nice things about the organic phenomenon. The first is that it reflects a growing awareness about diet that has spurred quality, small-scale local farming that had been at risk of disappearance.

The second is that even if it’s not better for you, organic farming is probably better for the environment because less soil, flora and fauna are contaminated by chemicals…

The third is that the word organic — unlike other feel-good descriptions of food like “natural” — actually means something.”

This entry was posted in Community Resilience-Building. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s