Snuuts – January 12, 2013

(Thanks to Sarah Potter for “snuuts,” an awesome Pennsylvania Dutch word meaning “a wee bit.”)

News from Spring Creek Homesteading Fund

  • SCHF E-Newsletter – January 8, 2013 Edition
  • NEW WORKSHOP! Winter Garden Sowing: Milk Jug Greenhouses with Justin Wheeler – Saturday, February 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 301 South Garner St. (Covered porch – dress for the weather). Justin writes: “Start your summer garden now! Learn how to use milk jugs and other recycled containers as mini-greenhouses to get a head start on your summer gardening.  The winter sow method produces hardy and healthy plants with Mother Nature doing most of the work. I’ll discuss the basics of winter sowing, plants that are best suited for the method, how and when to winter sow.  Supplies and some flower and vegetable seed will be provided to sow one jug per person, participants should bring additional seed they might like to try.” Sign up by email or phone (237-0996). More workshop listings at the Reskilling Workshops page.
  • NEXT HOMESTEADERS HANGOUT – Saturday, January 19 at 9:30 a.m. at Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in downtown State College. Details. No big whoop.

News from Happy Valley Time Bank

(From Sean Morgan)

Hello timebankers!  Its a great time of year to offer use of your winter sports equipment or offer free lessons for those who do not know how to ski, snowboard, or ice skate.  I have offered free snowboard lessons on the time bank. I also have cross country skis for free rental.  Participation so far in the timebank is on the low side, with most people signing up and not posting. I’m not sure how to engage these members.  Let me know if you have any good ideas.

We do however have a small and active community.  Here are some of the great interactions going on:  I have received a paid job through networking with a time bank member, I have connected with a Reiki instructor, someone is making me a meditation pillow, someone has offered me rides to Harrisburg PA, where I visit periodically, and someone has given me a spirit reading. It was fun helping someone with their website…and I hope to take someone up on the Spanish lessons soon.  State College Magazine will be running a story on the time bank in the March issue, so go out there have fun sharing.  If you have any timebank stories, let me know so I can inform the publication. Happy Sharing! – Sean

News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local

News from Clearwater Conservancy

News from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

  • PASA E-Newsletter – January 10, 2013 Edition
  • Farm Bill & Food Safety Regulations – Update from Brian Snyder – January 11, 2013
  • Info about Philly Farm and Food Fest – If you wish to be part of this incredible event, please submit the application available at Completed applications and a non-refundable $15 application fee must be received no later than January 20. You will be notified by email if your application is accepted. You will then be asked to accept the terms of the Exhibitor Agreement and submit full payment for your booth fee ($225 – $500) by February 4 to guarantee your place in the show.

January 15 – The A to Z on Atrazine: Sex Hormones and One Of America’s Most Popular Pesticides

Webinar starts at 3 pm EST – Despite being banned in Europe due to health risks, atrazine, a hormone-disrupting herbicide, is one of the world’s most largely used pesticides – hundreds of millions of pounds per year. It can be found in our lakes, streams, rain, and drinking water, at levels that make a difference to human health. Scientists link exposure to increased risk of birth defects, infertility and cancer, among other health impacts… Learn more and register.

January 17 – Production Planning & Risk Management through Food Hubs

Webinar starts at 3:30 p.m. EST. “One benefit producers find working with food hubs is the long-term, transparent relationship characteristic of a value chain. Transparency can increase market efficiency by making an effort to find that inscrutable balance between supply and demand. The key to that process is production planning.

A food hub has the valuable position of bring in the middle of the transaction, so they have an understanding of what the buyers want, and the adjustments that producers can reasonably make to meet that demand.

Two food hubs will present their different methods for doing production planning. We’ll also hear from a farmer to share his perspective – what is it like to cede some of the decision making for what to plant to your buyer? ”

Free! Register Now.

News from Penns Valley Conservation Association

Starting January 17 – Farm for the Future Screenings – The Penns Valley Community Learning Garden will present free showings of the engaging film, “A Farm for the Future” to stimulate thought and discussion about food from farm to table in a changing world.  The film follows English wildlife photographer, Rebecca Hosking, as she takes on managing her family’s 200 year-old farm in South Devon. This BBC documentary explores choices for now and the future as farm inputs and outputs teeter at dangerous tipping points. The film will be shown in three locations in Penns Valley:

  • Inglebean Cafe, Millheim, Thursday, January 17, 7:00-8:00 pm
  • Centre Hall Library, Centre Hall, Thursday, January 23, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Old Gregg School Library, Spring Mills, Tuesday, January 29, 7:00-8:00 pm

Apply by January 21 – Environmental Education Coordinator – PVCA seeks a part-time Environmental Education Coordinator to teach collaborative watershed science in the Penns Valley Area School District as well as coordinate community-based restoration projects around the Upper Penns Creek Watershed. For the complete job description visit . To apply please e-mail letter of interest, resume, and references to

Starting January 31 – Menu for the Future Discussion Group – A discussion group using readings from the Northwest Earth Institute book, “Menu for the Future” will also be open to the public.  The 6-session course includes exploring food systems and their impacts on culture, society and ecological systems, insights into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being, and ways to create and support sustainable food systems. Discussions will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 pm Thursdays, January 31 through March 7, at the Inglebean Coffeehouse in Millheim. The book of readings costs $25.  Contact Kat (814) 349-5830 or email to register.

January 18 – Legumes at Work on Organic Farms – Seminar

12:20-1:10 p.m. at 101 Agricultural Science and Industries Building. Speaker is Dr. Julie Grossman, Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University, “Legume cover crops are an important management tool in organic farming systems for nitrogen contributions and soil organic matter maintenance. However controls on nitrogen delivery are poorly understood and depend on both management and environmental factors, requiring research approaches on multiple scales. This seminar will examine existing knowledge gaps with regards to using legumes for nitrogen delivery specifically in organic systems, and present recent research results that further our understanding of how to better manage cover crops to optimize nutrient delivery…Please join us to learn how legumes can be used to contribute to developing productive agroecosystems. For more information, contact Charlie White  (814-863-9922), or visit the Penn State Extension Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.

January 23 – Centre County Black Hops Unit Homebrewers Club Meeting in Millheim

(From Jens Breffke)

I want to send a friendly reminder that we will meet on Wednesday, January 23, at 7 p.m. at Elk CreekCafe + Aleworks in Millheim for our winter stout meeting. Tim Yarrington a.k.a. Brewer Tim will welcome us to show his brewery. Also, small amounts (1-2 bottles p.p.) of Stout will be tasted. We’ll order food from the regular menu. If you are not sure but may make it last minute just join us! Looking forward to see you there and to have some stout tasters but I have to warn you – my oatmeal stout turned out pretty fantastic… -Cheers, Jens

January 31 – Transition Town State College Community Potluck: “Resources for Stewardship of the Earth.”

(From Holly and Jeff D’Angelo)

The Grace Lutheran Church Green Team and Transition Town State College are hosting a potluck dinner and information exchange on January 31, 2013. This will be an opportunity for local and regional groups with a focus on sustainability, stewardship and other environmental issues to display and exchange information about their missions, current initiatives and future plans. The goal is to foster connections between faith-based groups and existing environmental / sustainability organizations, and to provide individuals that have a faith-driven interest in environmental stewardship with opportunities to broaden their involvement. More info.

February 17 – Keystone XL Protest in Washington DC – Bus from State College

(From Ed Perry)

Calling all Climate Change Activists and Concerned Citizens of All Ages for a one day bus trip to Washington DC to protest the Keystone Pipeline and pressure the president to make tackling climate change a priority for his administration on Sunday, February 17. Bus will leave State College early morning and get back late that same day…The National Wildlife Federation and the Moshannon Group of the Sierra Club are working together to make this bus trip possible. Sign up by emailing Ed Perry by February 1 and  make your $25 check ($25 per person), payable to Ed Perry, and send to: Ed Perry/440 Brush Valley Road /Boalsburg PA  16827.

March 9 – Lambing Clinic at Owens Farm in Sunbury

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Owens Farm in Sunbury PA –

“Pack years of lambing experience into one day with small ruminant veterinarian Dr. Jackie Rapp, a panel of shepherds, and a barnful of lambs. Morning session will cover Decision-Making at Lambing, Top Ten Tips for Saving Lambs, and a demonstration of a necropsy to determine “Why Did This Lamb Die?”

Then it’s out to the barn to demonstrate and practice key management tasks such as ear-tagging, tube feeding, tail docking, nursing difficulties, and other common problems. Even more important, you’ll learn to recognize the behavior of healthy newborns who do not need your help! We will be in the middle of a 140+lambing season at the time of the workshop.”

Full details, registration at the Owens Farm website . Program fee $45, preregistration required. Or call 570-286-5309 or 570-898-6060.

You may also be interested in:

  • Jumpstart into Raising Sheep Sat. May 11
  • Pastured Pork Day Sat. April 27
  • Piglets on Pasture Sat June 8
Northeast Organic Farming Association  – Survey About Employment Practices
“…Detractors claim organic farmers are even worse employers than conventional because they demand long hours of hand weeding. Help us find out if this is true! Fill out the organic farmer survey! Please plan to take 20-30 minutes of your precious winter time for this survey on your farm’s labor practices and markets. This survey is meant for all organic farms – certified organic, farmers pledge, or self-declared organic, rural or  urban – regardless of size or crops. The survey results will be confidential, and only shared in summary form. The survey forms an important part of the research for Becca Berkey’s dissertation at Antioch College and is a joint project with the NOFA Interstate Council Policy Committee. No one has ever collected this information before! The results will help guide the policy and technical assistance work of NOFA and MOFGA.”
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