(Thanks to Sylvia Neely for “pastiche.”)
Spring Creek Homesteading News
- March 3 – Felted Wool Toddler Jumpers with Cindy Grosso, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 156 West Hamilton Ave.
- March 6 – CSA Fair, 3 to 7 p.m. at the State College Friends Meeting House, 611 East Prospect Ave.
- March 16 – Mithai: Making Indian Sweets with Lata Anantheswaran – 9 a.m. to noon at State College Friends Meeting House, 611 East Prospect Ave.
- March 22 – Spring Potluck – 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the State College Borough Building, 243 South Allen St.
- March 23 – Heritage Seed Saving, Seed Starting & Seed Swap with Ingrid Fowles, Matt Sullenberger & Ian Gardner – 10 a.m. to noon at State College Friends Meeting House, 611 East Prospect Ave.
- April 20 – Planting Backyard Fruit & Nut Trees & Shrubs with Scott Diloreto, Emily Zink & Jennie Diehl – Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon at 156 West Hamilton Ave.
- June 1 – Planting Pollinator Gardens & Building Native Bee Nesting Blocks with Justin Wheeler, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 301 South Garner St.
- July 6 – Building Rain Barrels with Justin Wheeler, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 301 South Garner St.
Taproot Kitchen Fundraiser Update
If you’d like to support the community kitchen – campaign details – there’s a new PayPal donation option for online giving. Click on the box in the right sidebar. (Please let me know if you have trouble making a donation so I can correct any link problems).
Now Forming – USDA Farm-to-School Grantwriting Team
(From Carolyne Meehan)
Want to see more local foods in our public school cafeterias? Join the effort in making it happen.
The State College Area School District Parent Nutrition Committee is working to incorporate more local and healthy foods in school lunches by applying for a grant through the USDA Farm to School program. These grants help eligible schools improve the health and wellbeing of their students and connect with local agricultural producers. Grant awards are very generous (up to 45,000 for planning grants and $100,000 for implementation grants).
“USDA’s Farm to School grants connect schools with their local farmers, ranchers and food businesses, providing new economic opportunities to food producers and bringing healthy, local offerings into school cafeterias,” said Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “USDA continues to make improvements to the nutrition of food offered in schools, and investing in farm to school programs is yet another important opportunity to encourage our nation’s kids to make lifelong healthy eating choices.”
The committee is looking for interested community members, parents, farmers, chefs and those with grant writing experience to join the team in developing a plan.
To learn more about the grant, click here. Grant proposals are due April 24 and grants will be awarded in October of 2013. To see a snap shot of schools from across the nation who earned Farm to School grant awards in 2013, click here. If you are interested in getting involved, please send an email to Carolyne Meehan.
Springboard Kitchens in Pittsburgh
(From Eric Sauder at New Leaf Initiative)
I learned about this place – Springboard Kitchens – from some Pittsburgh friends. It’s really exciting how they’ve been able to develop a business model to rescue food, train inmates with valuable skills, and still manage to provide food to schools at a cost they can afford to buy.
(From Scot Chambers)
We’ve had some nice turnouts for the first two events in the series and hope to keep the momentum rolling. Andy Lau, Alan Sam and Envinity will be presenting information on exterior projects and design for homeowners, and Gene Bazan and Tania Slawecki of Neo-Terra Experts will be presenting information on their home in Lemont as an example of what can be done in developing a more sustainable living area. Webster’s Bookstore Cafe will be providing light food and drink and we will be giving away some door prizes. 7 p.m. at Schlow Library.
February 28 & March 2 – Two Northeast Grain Production Courses
Two opportunities to get involved in the rapidly expanding Northeast food grains economy:
- Seed Production, Feb. 28, Ithaca, NY: Learn how we can start producing high-quality organic seed of cereal crops right here in the Northeast. More information
- Grain Processing, March 2 , Cold Spring, NY: Get instruction from experts on how to mill, sprout, and malt grain and learn how to start up a grain-processing enterprise. More information.
March 3 – PASA North Central Region Potluck
(From Michele Gauger)
Thanks to PASA Lifetime Members Todd & John Hopkins of Forks Farm for coordinating this event for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Berwick Brewing Company, 328 West Front Street, Berwick, PA (Columbia County) Please bring a side dish or dessert to share! A large room at the brewery has been reserved for this event & kids are welcome to attend! Todd & John Hopkins of Forks Farm are helping to cover costs of ordering flat bread pizzas to be shared. A donation jar will also be available to help cover additional food for the group if needed. For questions or directions, please call 570-683-5820.
March 5 – College Township Chicken Meeting
(From Jackie Bonomo)
Hello Lemont and College Township Friends and Neighbors! I’d like to invite you to participate in the discussion of (and hopefully support of) allowing backyard hens in College Township. Our Facebook page has details about what has happened to date.
I have also attached the proposed College Township Chicken Ordinance Draft. The draft was submitted to the council at the January 24, 2013 meeting; Council members transferred the proposal to the College Township Planning Commission for discussion during the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 at the College Township Building. If you have comments, suggestions, other ideas, please share them either before or at the meeting!
As you may know, many cities and suburbs across the country allow backyard hens and I would like to see this allowed in College Township. Please feel free to share this with others you feel might be interested in supporting College Township Backyard Chickens. Many thanks for your kind attention. – Jackie
March 6 CSA Fair – News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local
CCBFBL E-Newsletter – February 25, 2013 Edition, including preview of the March 6 CSA Fair in State College:
“Get Fresh, Local Food Every Week – Join a CSA! Need more information about CSAs and your options in this area? Come to the CSA Fair! It’s not too early to start planning for the summer. It can sometimes be a challenge to pick the right CSA for you, so we’re making it easier! Join us for the CSA Fair on March 6 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the State College Friends Meeting House. You’ll get a chance to meet with a number of farmers from area CSAs. Learn what they grow, how long their season lasts, what size shares they offer and if they accept work in return for reduced rates. You’ll find the right one for you.”
March 7 & March 14 – Clearwater Conservancy Vernal Pool Observations
Space is limited and reservations will be assigned by lottery. Details.
“It’s that time again when we head out into the night to see if we can catch migrating salamanders and other amphibians on the move. Offered every spring since 2005 and led by ClearWater volunteer Jim Julian, Ph.D., a lecturer in biology at PSU’s Altoona Campus, the event will be an opportunity for a few small groups to see examples of vernal pools – temporary ponds – and the diversity of rarely seen amphibian species they support, such as dozens, if not hundreds, of migrating spotted salamanders.”
News from Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda
We would like to start by taking a minute to say “Thank you” to all of you loyal customers who have supported us this winter! It is because of people like you, who come out in all kinds of crazy PA weather, that local, family farms like us are able to make a living. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to serving you, your family and friends this month with the following educational opportunities for adults and kids.
- March 15 & March 22 – Kid’s Bakery Workshops – Call our farm by March 13 (692-5211) to register children for the next Kid’s Bakery Workshops. We’re planning two sessions, Fridays, March 15 and 22 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Way Cafe. Drop your little bakers (ages 4-12 only) off at the farm store no earlier than 4:45 p.m., pay the registration fee of $10 and then browse the farm store, or head home for some much-needed peace and quiet. Please pick the kids up at 7 p.m. sharp. Kids will get to measure, mix, stir and taste-test their way to homemade, make-your-own snacks, enjoy cookies and games while our snacks bake and even take home a container of goodies at the end of the night. Space is limited and reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis. (No nuts or peanut butter will be used in the recipes that evening, however, please alert us to any other food allergies your child has and we will do our best to include that in our planning of recipes for the night.)
- March 16 – Apple Tree Trimming Demonstrations – Back by popular demand, our Annual Apple Tree trimming Demonstration will be Saturday, March 16 starting at 10:30am. The workshop is free, but please bring your own set of hand trimmers so you can test your skills by practicing on our trees. We’ll meet in the farm store for a brief presentation and Q&A session and then go to the orchard for you to practice. Please dress for cold and mud. We hope to welcome some newcomers and to see some “veterans” with new questions based on the year of experience you now have trimming your own trees. Tell your friends and neighbors about this opportunity!
- Lent Specials in the Way Cafe & Bakery – Enjoy vegetable-based soups and other meat-free specials. Each Friday of Lent we’ll tempt your tastebuds with tuna salad specials for lunch and dinner. Potato and Macaroni salad are always available with your lunch or grab some “To-Go” containers of them in our milk case. Easter bakery order information will be coming soon…
March 15 – CSA Expert Exchange Online Conference – Discounts & Scholarships
(From Michele Gauger)
Our friends at Small Farm Central are offering all PASA members a $10 discount off registration for the webinar conference – CSA Expert Exchange – An Online Conference coming up Friday, March 15 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST. PASA members use code “PASA2013” during registration.
The CSA Expert Exchange will consist of four sessions, each one hour in length, focusing on:
- CSA Management
- Member Retention & Maintaining a Profitable CSA Operation
- Certifications & Equipment
- Member Education
Small Farm Central is also offering 20 scholarships for new and beginning farmers to help offset costs to participate in the CSA Expert Exchange The deadline for scholarship applications is Friday, March 1.
March 17 – League of Women Voters Climate Change Forum
(From Ann Donovan)
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Patton Township Meeting Room, 100 Patton Plaza.
Charlie Kain & Friends Looking for Rental Apartment
(From Charlie Kain)
The lease for the home we’ve been staying in out in Houserville is almost up, and we’re (Anda, Will, and myself) considering the possibility of still remaining in State College for the coming year. Ideally the place would be close enough to town that we can walk or bike, with yard space for a garden. We’re willing to pay as much as $900 collectively, but the cheaper the better. It would so great if the people we rented from were in the sustainability realm! Email Charlie with housing leads.
News from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
- PASA E-newsletter – February 21, 2013 Edition (farmer education, networking opportunities, sustainability schools and more)
- New Butcher Shop in Loysville – From PASA Member Brooks Miller of North Mountain Pastures: “…some of you may know already that I’ve been working a long time to get a custom shop in Loysville (Perry County) inspected for USDA kill and cut. Our first kill day is finally here….and we need customers! Either Tuesday 2/26 or Tuesday 3/5 will be our first day. Tuesdays are beef days and Wednesdays are sheep/goat/pig days. Of course, we’re not told until the last minute what our first day is, but the USDA expects us to have a full day scheduled. Please spread the word so we can have a full day lined up, and then schedule you kill day with no wait! The contact info for the shop: Kistler’s Butcher Shop, 3692 Sherman’s Valley Rd, Loysville, PA (Perry County), 717-789-4367. You can also call me to schedule animals. Thanks, and please spread the word! – Brooks Miller (717-497-3496)”
- Volunteer Website Administrator Needed for FoodRoutesNetwork, LLC – Have web design experience? Want to use your skills to help develop a web presence that will further the buy local message? FoodRoutes Network, LLC is looking for a volunteer available a couple hours per week to enhance their website presence. Experience in WordPress and/or general website design helpful. Additional skills with graphic design a plus. Contact Julie Inman (814-571-8319), Program Coordinator, FoodRoutes Network, for more information and feel free to pass this opportunity along to others who may be interested.