Dollops – October 23, 2012

News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local

News from Spring Creek Homesteading Fund

  • SCHF E-Newsletter – October 16, 2012  Edition – The Share-the-Harvest Dinner last weekend at Greenmoore Gardens was a crazy-phenomenal success, complete with auspicious full rainbow. Stay tuned for photos and an event report from Friends & Farmers Co-op organizers.

News from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

  • PASA E-Newsletter – October 18, 2012 Edition including upcoming workshops, social events and more.
  • Also, “Penn State Extension has over 200 livestock drinking water tests available that will be given to Pennsylvania dairy producers, as part of an extension educational program that in part encourages livestock producers to regularly test their water supply. The test kits will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis to dairy producers who register online (preferred method) or call Laurie Porter at 888-373-7232. The registration deadline for this free testing is October 31, 2012 or as long as supplies last…”

News from Clearwater Conservancy

  • Clearwater Conservancy E-Newsletter – October 17, 2012 Edition, including November 13 Annual Meeting announcement, and calls for nominees to the Centre County Conservation District Board of Directors. “This year, one of the Farmer Director positions is open.  If you are a farmer with an interest in volunteering in this way with the Centre County Conservation District, please Click Here to review the position description, details, and the form that needs to be filled out by the nominee.”

October 23 – Boalsburg Farmers Market Preview

(From Jim Eisenstein)

A reminder that the Boalsburg Farmers Market will be outdoors on Tuesday on what is predicted to be a beautiful fall day, open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m at the PA Military Museum.

In addition to our usual fine array of milk, eggs, cheese, bread, salmon, and other products, you will be able to find almost any fall vegetable you can name, both greens and roots.  Enjoy the music of Picker and Papa from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

The Boalsburg Market moves indoors to the Boalsburg Fire Hall on November 13.

October 23 – Tuesday Downtown State College Farmers Market Preview

(From Betsy Green)

The market is open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Locust Lane.

  • BELL AND WHISTLE:  NEW – Pumpkin horchata: a vegan rice milk based hot drink featuring locally grown pumpkin.
  • SWEET ROOT ORCHARD: NEW  – Last new variety of apple for the season –Fuji Apple – Yum…
  • SPRING BANK ACRES: NEW – Feta cheese is back!
  • OAK SPRING WINERY:  Free samples of our wines….you gotta try our Spiced Apple Wine.
  • DN’D FARMS:  NEW – Chicken is back in stock….whole, leg/thigh, wings and boneless, skinless breast.
  • NITTANY VIEW FARM: NEW – Tea Tree soap with apricot seed exfoliate…on sale too.
  • RED HAW PREMIUM PEPPERS:  NEW – Two seasonal sauces will be making their debut and the third, HOTTER version of ‘Grounds for Divorce.’
  • LARKSMIRTH MANOR:  *Featuring winter cactus for indoor beauty and bloom.
  • HIDDEN HOLLOW FARMS:  **This will be our last week – stock up on whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies and our other baked goods.
  • GREEN ACRE FARM:  This will be our last week – stock up for the winter on all our pesticide-free sweet potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, red beets, spaghetti and butternut squash.  Also honey and garlic.
  • EGG HILL GARDENS:  NEW – Pennsylvania Dutch Buttercorn Popcorn;  hang to dry for later popping this winter.  And as always, a luscious assortment of fresh greens:  kale, Swiss Chard, mustard greens, Senposai, Tokyo Bekana.

October 27 – Pumpkin Festival and Apple Pie Baking Contest!

News from Way Fruit Farm. From 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, enjoy a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch as long as the pumpkin supply lasts.  Our Way Cafe will be open with a limited, but delicious menu of local foods for breakfast and lunch, and, new this year, a Make-your-own Caramel Apple Bar!   Children’s Fall-themed storytime will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and our Second Annual Way Fruit Farm Customer Apple Pie Baking Contest will kickoff at 11 a.m., with prizes sponsored again by First National Bank. We hope you will come out and enjoy a beautiful fall weekend with us and take one last chance to get a pumpkin, enjoy some hot cider and a pumpkin donut or maybe compete in our pie baking contest.

If you are a baker, or would like to try and win the title of “Best Apple Pie,” check out the following guidelines:

  • All customers of Way Fruit Farm may enter (no employees may enter)
  • Apple pies must be baked with fresh apples (hopefully from Way Fruit Farm:), no canned pie fillings please
  • Contestants must bake the pie at their home, teams are allowed if that’s how your pie turns out best. 🙂
  • All pies must be submitted either Friday, Oct. 26 by 7 p.m. or Sat.,Oct. 27 by 10 a.m.
  • Prizes will be awarded following the judging (to begin at 11 a.m.) by:  First National Bank representative, Way Fruit Farm owner & a “local celebrity” judge.  Any ties will be broken by a re-taste and then Way Fruit Farm’s own baker  (if needed).
  • Prizes include:  1st place- $50 gift basket to include Way Fruit Farm apples,  goodies and a gift certificate & First National bank goodies; 2nd place- $25 gift basket to include same prizes as above; 3rd place- $25 gift basket to include same prizes as above.

All prizes include full bragging rights for the contestants to use until next year’s winner is crowned!  We hope you’ll come and join in the fun, if not to bake, then to enjoy seeing the winner crowned!

November 3 – “Native Plants and Rain Gardens”

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State College Borough Building Community Room, 243 Allen Street, State College.  This program, organized by the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society, is free and open to the public. A lunch buffet will be available for $10 per person. The event includes presentations by Muddy Paws Wetland Education Center, ClearWater Conservancy, State College Borough and special guest speaker Claudia West, landscape design consultant at North Creek Nursery. To attend, please R.S.V.P. by Oct. 29 and indicate if you prefer a vegetarian options to Jean Najjar (814-933-6246).

November 4 – Tenth Annual Millbrook Marsh Historic Harvest Festival

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, 548 Puddintown Road, College Township. Visit Millbrook Marsh Nature Center for this popular historically themed harvest festival! In its 10th year, the Harvest Festival provides visitors with a glimpse of what harvest time and community gatherings would have been like in the 1800’s. This event, planned and prepared by Penn State Recreation, Parks & Tourism Management students, offers great fun for all ages. Enjoy food, games, crafts, demonstrations, music, animals and more at this family friendly event with a historic harvest theme. Learn about the history of the area and enjoy the day! The event is free and there is plenty of free parking on site. No advance registration is necessary. Have an old-fashioned skill that you can share at this event? Please contact the Nature Center Recreation Supervisor or call (814) 235-7819.

November 10 – Barter Fair in Williamsport

PASA members from the North Central Region are invited to participate in the First Annual Barter Fair, being held on Saturday, November 10, at the Professional Development Center on the Penn College Campus, from Noon – 3 pm…Each participant will have a 6-foot table space to display their wares for trade. Produce, meat, bakery items, cheese, soaps, canned goods, fiber products, and other farm produced products are welcome. The number of similar goods will be restricted, so variety is encouraged…To reserve your space, contact Leah Tewksbury or call 570-437-2620.

(Update from John Tewksbury)

We have plenty of room for more adventurous individuals. Some of the articles already available:

  • Wool Socks
  • Yarn
  • Blackberry Jam
  • Honey
  • Raw Fleece
  • Hot Pepper
  • Pumpkin Pies
  • Red Onions

Do you like some of the items listed? Can you add some of your own? Send  us an email and tell us what you might be able to bring. Help us make this a fun, successful event.

Oxen in Training – Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell writing at Voices of Central PA

All about Brian Burger’s work at New Harmony Farmstead, training young oxen for farm work.

Job Openings at The Seed Farm in Lehigh County

The Seed Farm is a new farmer training program and agricultural business incubator. Their mission is to start and grow new sustainable farms in the Lehigh Valley, and to facilitate the development of a vibrant local food system. They are currently seeking applicants for Executive Director, Farm Manager/ Educator, and Development Director. For detailed job postings and more information about their programs please visit the Seed Farm website or
call Seed Farm Director Sara Runkel @ 610-391-9583 ex 16.

“Two Farms and Two Harvests”

(Reflections by Alf Bashore, October 17, 2012)

Early this afternoon I went out to a nearby organic PASA farm to check on my honey bee colonies. While there I saw the neighboring conventional farm harvesting soybeans with their huge combine. Clouds of dust and fuel exhaust floated over the 10 acre field as that combine made run after run up and down, back and forth. Occasionally the driver would drive off to offload onto a huge truck.

At the same time I watched my PASA friend drive along his bean field in his small truck, park, and turn of the engine. He climbed out and walked his rows pulling the dried bean plants out. When he had an armful he’d walk to the truck and toss the bean plants on the back. When I was finished at my colonies, I walked over to get a close look at what he was doing. We talked a bit and the harvesting stopped. What next. After being told that the bean pods would be stripped from the plants, they would then be flailed and winnowed. Since we were talking none of those beans still in the field were being harvested. The solution: I told my friend that we could continue talking, but I’d help pull those plants, if he’d show me his process. So we talked and harvested and carried beans to his truck until all was harvested.

The PASA farm used minimal fuel. Created no dust. Created no loud machinery noise. Did not compact the soil with a giant combine. Plus that farmer and I had a very pleasant talk as we worked on a very pleasant afternoon.

That’s what I call farming.

How to Start a Community Currency

A New Prescription for the Local Food Movement

  • Article by Kendra Klein at The Nation, all about creating food hubs to facilitate sales of local food to large institutions.

Everyone Eats There

  • Article by Mark Bittman at the New York Times, about California’s Central Valley growing fields.

Dancing on Planet Earth – Awesome Video

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