Appetizers – May 1, 2013

Redifer Commons Local Foods Dinner – Media Pre-Coverage and Organizer Followup

(From Rachel Hoh)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Local meal in the news!…Congrats, everyone! Looks like 101 students chose to purchase the local meal. A great success! We distributed surveys at the meal in regards to student interest in local food options in the dining halls and pricing they’d be willing to pay for such options. I’ll be working for the Sustainability Institute this summer and my first goal is to compile this data and preparing a report detailing this meal, summarizing the survey data, and discussing “lessons learned” and “plans for next year.”

May 1- Sign Up Deadline for State College Young Professionals May 4 Local Beer Tour

(From Jens Breffke of Centre County Black Hops Unit Homebrew Club)

The State College Young Professionals are organizing a bus tour that will hit Troeg’s, Lancaster Brewing,Appalachian Brewing Company and Al’s of Hampden on Saturday, May 4. Start will be 10 a.m. from the Weis’ parking lot on North Atherton and tickets are $40 ($35 for SCYP Members) and need to get purchased by May 1. More information and tickets available here.

May 2 – College Township Backyard Chickens Ordinance at Council Meeting

(From Scott Stilson of the College Township Backyard Hens Initiative)

We’re on the agenda at the Council meeting on May 2 at 7 p.m.! This meeting and the one after it are the one to attend. Please come if you want the ordinance to pass. And if you can’t make it…

  1. If you know someone who legally keeps chickens in another local municipality, please invite them and their neighbors to come.
  2. If you haven’t written Council yet on the subject of backyard hens, please do! Just send an email.
  3. If you’ve already written Council on the subject but can think of another angle, write them again (briefly)!

May 2 – FossilFree National Day of Action

  • More info about the fossil fuel divestment campaign, planned demonstrations, etc. Nothing is scheduled at Penn State yet, but information is available there about how to organize an event.

Thru May 3 – Online Forum on Vegetables, Flowers and Grains

(From Sophia Ackoff of National Young Farmers Coalition)

On our newly launched Farmer Forum, National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is creating a space for conversation among farmers across the country to troubleshoot farm problems, discuss policy, and share information and opportunities.

This week (April 29 – May 3) Paul Gallione of Johnny’s Selected Seeds will be answering questions on the topic: Vegetables, Flowers and Grains. Head on over to the Forum here to ask any and all questions you have on seedling care, varieties, germination issues, planting, growing under cover, etc.

Paul has 40 years of farming experience, a degree in agronomy, and currently grows hoop house tomatoes, strawberries, and sweet corn, along with a mix of other vegetables and flowers in Waldo, Maine. He serves as Technical Services Technician at Johnny’s, (i.e. he responds to customer technical growing questions and maintains the technical information available to customers!) Paul will be first in a series of “experts” on the forum, bringing you diverse contributors to offer expert advice, in addition to the 24/7 experience and knowledge of your peers!

May 3 – Fun Spring Sewing Classes Starting at Contempo in Boalsburg

(From Amy Frank)

  • The Studio at Contempo E-Newsletter – April 24 Edition – “Frock in Four” and “Young Designers Club” starting soon.

News from PASA

PASA E-Newsletter – April 25 Edition:

News from Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda

Way Fruit Farm E-Newsletter – April 26 Edition, including:

  • May 8 & May 9 – Kid’s Bakery Workshop for Mother’s Day. 5 – 7 p.m. in the Way Cafe. Cost is $10 per child. “You will get to measure, mix, stir and taste-test your way to homemade goodies for Mother’s Day.”
  • May 11 – Apple Blossom Festival – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 11 – Wild Edible & Medicinal Herb Walk in Millheim

(From Kat Alden)

Turn your weeding time into a foraging feast! Penns Valley Learning Garden will present a workshop on “Weed Identification and their Edible and Medicinal Uses” Saturday May 11 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Join renowned herbalist Jennifer Tucker as she walks you through the Penn’s Valley Learning Garden’s herb beds identifying common garden weeds that are edible, medicinal or both. Bring your garden weeds for identification. You may be able to harvest a crop before you plant your first seeds! Jennifer Tucker has been studying and teaching wild edible and medicinal workshops for over three decades. This workshop is free and open to the public and is the first in a monthly series focusing on medicinal plants. The Penns Valley Learning Garden is located at the American Legion Post 444 on Route 45 in Millheim. For more information, contact Kat Alden.

May 11 – Orders due for Chilean Wine Grapes

(From Darrell Furfaro at Nittany Valley True-Value in Bellefonte)

Attached please find an order sheet for several varieties of Chilean Grapes and Juice. Wine Grape Order Form. If I have sufficient orders, I will make the trip to provide you with these quality imported products. Juices will be in sealed 6 gallon containers.  Fresh grapes will be in 18 lb. lugs. Frozen Grapes are also available in 55 lb. lugs – these are crushed and destemmed.  Prices include transportation cost.

I will be picking up Grapes and Juices sometime between May 15 and May 31 (they will be arriving in port approximately May 15.)  I will call you with the pickup date of your order.  All orders must be prepaid by May 11! (Note: 15 pounds of grapes yields approximately 1 gallon of wine.)

May 18 – The Science of Soils Workshop in Millheim

(From Kat Alden)

The Penn’s Valley Learning Garden will present this workshop on Saturday, May 18 from 11:00 a.m.  to 12:00 p.m. at the Millheim Outdoor Farmers Market, located at the American Legion Post 444 on Route 45. Join soil scientist Yuri Plowden and Master Gardener Warren Leitzel as they team up to bring you the research and practical knowledge needed to locate, test and prepare your garden for a bountiful harvest. Learn how to access soil maps online and why and how soils are formed. Learn how to test for soil acidity and take home a Ph test kit.  Get answers to your questions on how to have healthy, fertile soils for gardening. At 12:30 kids and parents are invited to see what a soil scientist sees when she digs a hole. Come prepared to get your hands dirty as we dig for clay and make clay balls. For more information, contact Kat Alden.

June 7 – Silvopasture Field Day in McVeytown

(From Tracey Coulter)

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, June 7, 2013 at Wahler Farm, 1384 Sugar Valley Rd. McVeytown, PA

Silvopasturing is an important new agroforestry system for the Northeast that allows for the sustainable production of timber, forages and livestock on the same land.  Silvopasturing differs from past grazing practices in wooded areas in that the livestock and timber are intensively managed to achieve the desired objectives in a sustainable manner.  New fencing systems, a better understanding of animal behavior, and the evolution of “management intensive grazing” practices have enabled the successful implementation of silvopasturing in the Northeast to provide significant environmental and economic benefits.

In this intensive one-day course, Brett Chedzoy, and Peter Smallidge will teach participants the basic steps and skills needed to evaluate, plan for and implement silvopasture projects on their own land or land that they manage for others. Throughout the day, Norm Conrad and Christopher Lent with the National Center for Appropriate Technology will provide an on-site demonstration of solar- powered fencing and pumps, and information about how NCAT can assist farmers with Sustainable Energy, Farm Energy, Sustainable Agriculture, Information Technology or Business Services needs.

The workshop offers a full day of hands-on instruction and will begin at 9:00 AM and adjourn at 4:00 PM. A registration fee of $10 is payable by check to the Mifflin County Conservation District. Registration includes lunch and training materials.  The course will be taught outdoors rain or shine, in silvopasture settings, so please dress for the weather.  Graziers, foresters and agency personnel are especially encouraged to attend. 5.0 Category 1 CEU credits pending for SAF Certified Foresters™. Silvopasture Registration. Participants are encouraged to watch the archived webinar on silvopasturing prior to the course.

June 22 – Spring Creek Homesteading Tabling at Summer’s Best Music Fest in State College

(From Josh Lambert)

Spring Creek Homesteading Fund will have a table at this year’s Summer’s Best Music Fest.  We would like to invite former workshop instructors, former workshop students, and others that have participated in a homesteading event to help us table.  The event runs from 12 pm – 8 pm on June 22.  Our table will be part of the Calder Way “Community Corridor” which highlights organizations that support the local community.

We would like to get pairs of volunteers to sit for two-hour shifts.  The idea would be for you to help us hand out SCHF literature, answer questions based on your experience, and basically help us show others in the community the impact that SCHF is having toward furthering local community resilience, and having fun doing it.  There is no hard sell.  If you are interested and can help out, that would be great.  Please contact Josh Lambert (237-0996) to sign-up for a time slot.

April 29 – Green Leases Project Update Given to Borough Sustainability Committee in State College

(From Rob Andrejewski)

Undergraduate students in Penn State’s Green Leases Project (Geog 493) presented their findings on energy efficiency in rental units in the State College Borough at a meeting in the Borough Building on April 29. The presentation was framed as the following landlord-tenant conundrum: while many landlords and tenants are interested in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emission, tenants are reluctant to invest in rental property and landlords are reluctant to invest when their tenants pay the energy costs. The presentation described the activities of the students in the project during this term, the greatest challenges to reform, and presented recommendations moving forward for the tenants, landlords, the Borough and the University. This was the first semester of a four semester project to address this issue.  (Blog Editor’s Note: More info to be posted when available.)

Michele Marchetti on CSAs

Spring Creek Homesteading News

  • Spring Creek Homesteading E-Newsletter – April 24 Edition

County Community Bill of Rights Passed in Mora County, New Mexico

(From CELDF)

NEW MEXICO: The County Commission of Mora County, located in Northeastern New Mexico, became the first county in the United States to pass an ordinance banning all oil and gas extraction. Drafted with assistance from CELDF, the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance establishes a local Bill of Rights – including a right to clean air and water, a right to a healthy environment, and the rights of nature – while prohibiting activities which would interfere with those rights, including oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” for shale gas. Read more.

JOB: Part Time Job Opening at Tait Farm

Part-time retail sales position at Tait Farm Harvest Shop: Flexible schedule, including weekends. No evenings. Call 814-466-3411 or e-mail  for more details.

JOB: Community Garden Manager at University of Maryland

(From Mark Stewart, Senior Project Manager at the UMD Office of Sustainabilty)

The Community Garden Coordinator, with a coalition of community partners, will facilitate the creation of an intergenerational training ground for small-scale, intensive, sustainable agriculture. Working with a dynamic team of project leaders, the VISTA will transform an abandoned parcel of land into a garden bursting with nutritious vegetables grown by refugee families, middle school students, and other neighborhood residents.

The Coordinator will:

  1. Collaboratively develop a concept plan for the garden with input and approval from neighborhood residents and partner agencies.
  2. Coordinate the building and development of the garden.
  3. Fundraise $2,000 for garden materials and coordinate installation with volunteers.
  4. Recruit 150 partner agency representatives and neighborhood residents to participate in workdays, educational workshops, and ongoing garden maintenance.
  5. Develop a system for measuring impacts of the garden on participants.

More information.

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