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Introduction: This handbook is built on the understanding that economic contraction, rising energy costs and destabilized climate are not temporary setbacks, but permanent structural challenges leading communities and families to increasingly rely on their own skills and labor, and good social connections, to meet basic needs for food and shelter, companionship and fun.
Anticipating a growing demand for physical places and social networks in which to learn traditional skills and obtain sturdy tools and high quality supplies, we thought it would be helpful to compile information about those things in a handheld reference book. We’ve focused on providing business and organizational names, the names of contact people, physical addresses and telephone numbers, to promote personal contact and encourage readers to call the farmers and chefs, and go visit the farms, restaurants and markets.
Those people and places are the living web of our local food system.
There are two main groups of intended readers. The first includes current and prospective urban and suburban homesteaders in the Centre Region. The second group includes local government officials who recognize a public health stake in food security, and might find in the handbook a preliminary assessment of current food system resilience in Central Pennsylvania, as they work toward filling gaps to strengthen that food system.
This is a first edition and we’ve tried to be as accurate as possible, but the local food landscape is complex and ever-shifting terrain. Please call (237-0996) with corrections, updates, additions and other revisions so that future editions can be better. We also hope to add new sections to future editions, including a directory of independent contractors who can help with home-and neighborhood-scale gardening and construction projects, public gleaning locations and resources for fiber crafts.
Thank you to Spring Creek Homesteading Board President Joshua Lambert, Secretary Dana Stuchul, and to Kent Becker and Diana Malcom for editorial assistance.
The handbook includes:
- Central Pennsylvania Homesteader’s Year
- Central Pennsylvania Harvest Calendar
- Idea Bank from November 15, 2011
- Community Resilience Inventory
- Eating Local Food – Restaurants and Cafes
- Cooking Local Food
- Processing Local Food
- Buying Local Food
- Growing Local Food – Farms
- Growing Local Food – Gardens
- Growing Local Food – Suppliers
- Growing Local Food – Homesteading Education & Advocacy
- Food Security
- Other Resources
- Local Food System Case Studies
- Key Local Food System Gaps
- Farmers Market Maps
Centre Daily Times Sustainable Centre County Pages
From July 2010 to June 2012, the Centre Daily Times published a monthly collection of columns by and about local sustainability leaders and their projects.