Centre County Local Foods Week Preview – July 30, 2013

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 10.18.47 PMAugust 2 – 3 – Pennsylvania Certified Organic FarmFest

FarmFest is a fun and free community-building event that fosters knowledge of organic agriculture and sustainable living through educational opportunities, local foods, lively entertainment, and interactive events. Starts Friday, August 2 at 4 p.m. through Saturday, August 3 at 10:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Spring Creek Homesteading is offering four workshops for the Homesteading Education Track:

  • Cover Cropping with Gene Bazan – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Pollinator Gardening with Justin Wheeler – 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Canning Summer Fruits with Josh Lambert – 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Backyard Chickens with Nellie Bhattarai – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

We’re also donating a Lehman’s beginner home canning kit to the benefit auction, and will have a few copies of the Spring Creek Homesteaders Handbook available at the Friends & Farmers Cooperative table in the exhibit hall. Friends & Farmers has also put up a local foods book display near the reference desk at Schlow Library in State College.

August 2 – Organic Dairy Transition Field Day

(Organized by PCO and the PA Women’s Agricultural Network) 

Field day from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Ben Stoltzfus’s farm in Spring Mills, PA.  Mr. Stoltzfus has been a PCO-certified organic dairy farmer since 2010. Gary Zimmer, a farmer, agri-businessman, author and educator, will be at the field day to lead a pasture walk and discussion on biodiversity and organic practices.  Gary has evaluated farming practices as a consultant, on his family’s southwestern Wisconsin farm, and as president of Midwestern BioAg, a biological farming consulting and products company.

The field day will also include discussions on organic certification by PCO staff and inspectors.  Participants will have an opportunity to speak with inspectors and find out how inspections are conducted and what a farmer might expect.  Andrew Batdorf, a Mifflintown organic dairy farmer, and Ben Stoltzfus, our field day host, will discuss dairying from an organic perspective and provide some insight that only an organic dairy farmer can provide.

To register for this free field day contact Lee Rinehart, 814-470-9734 or.  You can also register online.

August 3 – 10 – Centre County Local Foods Week

(From Kristin Hoy)

Celebrate Summer Sustainably!  Centre County Local Foods Week Activities Connect Eaters with Growers

MILLHEIM, PA [July 25, 2013]. August is a month of cookouts, family gatherings, and finding creative ways to beat the heat. Did you realize that all the ingredients you need for your next summer get-together—mouthwatering burgers, juicy watermelons, crisp salads, and refreshing ice cream—are produced right here in Centre County? They’re closer than you think, and the growers are eager to meet you in person.

Buy Fresh Buy Local® Centre County Chapter is presenting Local Foods Week from August 3rd through August 10th, which will offer events for the whole family to explore and connect with the county’s vast agrarian offerings and sustainability practices. The week’s happenings will appeal to anyone with an interest in local foods at any level, from backyard gardening, homesteading, or cooking with sustainable ingredients right up to larger scale farming. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, Local Foods Week will help you and your family appreciate and understand what it takes to bring your meals from the farmers’ fields to your fork.    

The importance of celebrating our local food economy has long been acknowledged by the Centre County Board of Commissioners, which has officially declared a Local Foods Week each year since its inception. They will announce Local Foods Week 2013 at their meeting on July 30th. This is done in recognition of the abundance of fresh, wholesome food produced in the county and the wish of consumers to access healthy foods while supporting local farmers. By declaring Local Foods Week, the Board of Commissioners helps provide an avenue to build strong relationships between farmers and consumers throughout the county, bringing growers and consumers together to celebrate the harvest and rich agricultural heritage. This year, they will issue in a week filled with lots of great events!

Local Foods Week will kick off with Pennsylvania Certified Organic’s (PCO) Farm Fest on August 2nd and 3rd at the Grange Fair grounds. This community-building event will include educational sessions on organic agriculture and sustainable living, live music, a silent auction, a Homemade & Homegrown market, children’s activities, a 5K Run &  Fun Walk, and delicious local food. Learn from the expert keynote speakers including Gary Zimmer, co-founder of Midwestern BioAg, a consulting company focused on biological agriculture; Jerry Brunetti, founder of Agri-Dynamics, a holistic product supplier and consultant for livestock and crops; and Brian Snyder and Susan Beal of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). Both days of FarmFest are free and open to the public.

After learning about the area’s sustainable and organic environment, see it for yourself—by bicycle! PASA’s Bike Fresh Bike Local will take place here in Centre County for the first time, and you won’t want to miss out. The ride, your choice of 25, 50, or 75 miles, will start and end in Millheim, PA, and encompass the farmscapes, woodlands, and villages of Penns and Brush Valleys. After the ride, sit back and enjoy a sumptuous locally sourced, seasonal lunch provided by event partner Elk Creek Café + Aleworks, including a brew for riders over 21 years of age. Bike Fresh Bike Local will take place on Sunday, August 4th and is open to beginner and advanced cyclists. The cost of this event is $40 for advanced registration, or $45 for walk-ins.

Fresh air and exercise are enough to boost anyone’s appetite, and what better place to stock up on fresh grown foods than a farmers market? If you’ve ever brought home a bag of market goodies but been at a loss for what to make from them, come learn from the experts at the Boalsburg Market Golden Basket Chef Competition. Watch nine chefs from local restaurants compete to prepare the best main dish and two sides out of ingredients they find right there at the market. Judges will score each dish on taste, texture, presentation, and creativity, then declare a champion. Be sure to get there early to watch the chefs at work—and snag some samples! The competition will take place at the Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesday, August 6th from 2:00 to 4:00pm, and is free to the public to watch.

Once you’ve learned about organic farming, pedaled through valleys, and tasted market-fresh culinary masterpieces, it’s time to experience the farms themselves. Join us for PASA’s 8th Annual Farm Tour, when seventeen farms will be open to the public on Saturday, August 10th from 12:30pm to 5:00pm (some farms will be open earlier for visitors who have purchased a Farm Tour Pass, available for pre-sale only and not on the day of the tour). Each farm will offer unique opportunities to get up close and personal with agriculture: meet the farmers, see sustainable growing in action, get hands-on farming experience, interact with animals, and take home tasty items straight from the fields. Stop by the Buy Fresh Buy Local® table at a farmers market or a BFBL partner business to purchase a Farm Tour Pass. Passes are $15/car and $10/bike, are good for entrance at any of the listed farms, and include special deals for dining and shopping at BFBL partner locations. Don’t have a pass? Don’t worry—non-pass holders will be asked to pay $5 per vehicle at each farm visited.

Details about the week’s events can be found online.

August 4 – Centre County Bike Fresh Bike Local

(From Jean Najjar)

Join us August 4th in Millheim for a summertime ride through some of the most beautiful rural landscapes of Central Pennsylvania. This three tier Bike Fresh ride provides opportunities for the beginner and the advanced cyclist to tour the farmscapes, woodland, and villages that populate this sheltered valley region. Pre-Registration Recommended – Deadline August 1, 2013. Cost $40 in advance, $45 walk-in. Event is held rain or shine.



  • Your choice of a 25, 50 or 75 mile bike route on some of the area’s most beautiful roads (all routes begin & end on North Street in MIllheim, PA — just behind Elk Creek Café + Aleworks)
  • Delicious local foods lunch and refreshment provided by Elk Creek Café + Aleworks (including a brew for riders 21+ years of age)
  • Detailed cue sheets, SAG support & friendly volunteer help
  • Well-stocked rest stops
  • A fun day supporting local food & farmers

August 6 – Boalsburg Farmers Market Golden Chefs Competition

(From Jim Eisenstein)

Eight Local Chefs to Compete for Boalsburg Farmers Market Golden Basket Award

Eight of the best local chefs from the area’s finest restaurants will compete for the Boalsburg Farmers Market Third Annual Golden Basket Award on Aug. 6.  Part of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s “Local Foods Week,” the event will  feature them preparing a main dish and two sides from ingredients produced by Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors.   This will be the largest judged competition among chefs in the State College Area, and it has been described “as the culinary Olympics of Centre County.”  The chefs will gather their ingredients at the start of market, then prepare their plates for submission to the judges in front of market goers.

The participating chefs include:   Jamie Steffen (Nittany Lion Inn), Craig Hamilton (Village at Penn State),  Zach Lorber (Penn State Altoona), Sean Kelly (Kelly’s Steak House), Steve Spanelli (Otto’s), Lisa Palermo (Carnegie House), Gus Aranguiz  (American Ale House), and the head chef at the Sichuan Bistro.  The judges, Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Kevin Kassab, Pete Bordi, Michele Marchetti, and Jamie Oberdick, will select the best salad, best side dish, and best main dish, and will choose the best overall submission as the winner of the Golden Basket Award.

Market co-manager Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers, who conceived the idea for this competition, observed that “This will be a great opportunity both for restaurant goers to see the chefs who prepare their meals in action, and for the chefs to meet and talk with their guests.”   He also noted that it provides an opportunity for the chefs to get to know each other.

The event will begin at 2:00 PM and end at 4:00 PM at the regular Tuesday, Aug. 6 Boalsburg Farmers Market at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Business Route 322, Boalsburg.   There is ample, convenient free parking for the event at the market.

For questions or further information, contact Jim Eisenstein.

August 10 – Eighth Annual Centre County Farm Tour 

12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Centre County is bursting with agricultural wonders just waiting for you and your family to discover! Seventeen farms will open their gates to visitors to explore, taste, and experience first hand what each farm grows and produces. Talk with farmers, feed animals, pick your own produce, and learn about sustainability practices on each farm.

Get Your Farm Tour Pass Now! The Farm Tour will be here before you know it, so be sure to get your pass soon! Pass holders can use their pass to get great deals from some of our Partner businesses during Local Foods Week. In addition, you’ll get access to many of the farms on the tour starting at 10 a.m. so you can get to more farms. It’s a great deal! Buy passes at Inglebean Coffeehouse in Millheim, Tait Farm in Centre Hall, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe in State College and Nature’s Pantry in State College and PASA’s office in Millheim. Passes will also be available during Local Foods Week at many area farmers markets.


(From Michele Gauger)

Below is a list of all the events, dates and times for which PASA could use some added support.

Saturday, August 3 – PASA’s Information Booth at Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO)’s FarmFest,  Grange Fairgrounds, Centre Hall

  • We are looking for help at our booth during the following shifts: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm;  12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sunday, August 4 – Bike Fresh Bike Local Centre County – Ride begins & ends in Millheim

  • Maintain our Bike Fresh Rest Stops from 10:00am – 2:00pm; Help our event partner, Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks, serve lunch to our riders 12:00pm – 2:30pm; End of the day clean-up from 3:00pm – 4:00pm. Contact Jean Najjar, 814-349-9856

Saturday, August 10 – Centre County Farm Tour – Various Farm Locations in Centre County

  • Help at our host farms from: 9:30am – 5:30pm; Pick up supplies either Friday, August 9 at the Downtown State College Farmers Market between 11:30am & 5:30pm or Saturday, August 10 at the Millheim Farmers Market at 9am. Contact Kristin Hoy, 814-349-9856.

Tuesday, August 13 – Thursday, August 15 – PASA’s Information Booth at Ag Progress Days – PA Furnace

  • Volunteers are needed for this three-day event, during the following days / time slots: Tuesday, August 13 – 12:00pm – 3:00pm; 3:00pm – 5:00pm;  Wednesday, August 14 – 12:00pm – 3:00pm; 3:00pm – 5:00pm; Thursday, August 15 – 12:00pm – 2:00pm. Contact Michele Gauger, 814-349-9856.
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