All Posts by Jamie Oberdick

Six must-have local food items for your Memorial Day table

Six must-have local food items for your Memorial Day table

What a time to be a locavore. The farmers market season is now in full swing and we have the unofficial official start of summer, Memorial Day, coming up. There’s so many things that are grown and produced locally that this list could go on and on, but here’s six items that definitely deserve a place on your Memorial Day table. All of these can be found at farmers markets such as Bellefonte Farmers Market, Friday Downtown State College Farmers Market, North Atherton Farmers Market, and the Millheim Farmers Market.

Continue Reading: Six must-have local food items for your Memorial Day table

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/25, 2016 at 08:59 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | picnic | MemorialDay |

Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market to host Bike Delivery Day on May 24

Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market to host Bike Delivery Day on May 24

Friends & Farmers Cooperative is getting into the spirit of Centre Region’s May Bike Month by offering bike delivery services for some of its Online Market orders on Tuesday, May 24. (See attached flyer)

The Online Market is open noon Fridays to noon Mondays. This week, downtown customers and businesses can opt for bike delivery by adding “Deliver by Bike Please” in the comment section of their order.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market to host Bike Delivery Day on May 24

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/20, 2016 at 09:04 AM

Tags: Friends&FarmersCoop | bicycling | BikeMonth |

Festa-Nic—A Central Pa Food & Beverage Party

Festa-Nic—A Central Pa Food & Beverage Party

Village Eatinghouse, a local producer of Artisan Kitchen Sauces, hosts the 1st Annual Festa-Nic, showcasing the wide variety of local food and beverage producers,  supportive businesses and organizations in Central Pa. Proceeds will benefit Friends & Farmers Cooperative, an organization promoting the production and consumption of locally grown and produced food.

Your $10 admission fee (kids 10 and under are $5)  gets you a locally sourced picnic, tastings from participating local producers (no charge for beer, wine and spirits sampling), seminars from community organizations and businesses, backyard games, live music from local musicians, raffle and door prizes, and opportunities to connect with people and organizations supporting local. Many of these producers will also offer their products for sale at the event.

Continue Reading: Festa-Nic—A Central Pa Food & Beverage Party

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/13, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Tags: Festa-Nic | event |

Farmer survey: Untreated/raw manure use on produce farms

Farmer survey: Untreated/raw manure use on produce farms

Editor’s Note: Recently, PASA sent out a letter requesting farmers to take a survey on how they are using untreated or raw manure on their farm. Given the environmental importance to the local food community (and beyond), we are sharing this letter here. If you are a farmer, please take time to read the following and then participate in the survey. Thanks!

PASA and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) are looking for information to better understand how farmers are using untreated or raw manure on their farms. We’re asking for this now because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently asking for information regarding on-farm use of manure, as well as existing scientific research on the subject.

Continue Reading: Farmer survey: Untreated/raw manure use on produce farms

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/11, 2016 at 09:54 AM

Tags: PASA | survey | farms |

Altoona’s Night Market tonight will celebrate local food with three farmers markets in one

Altoona’s Night Market tonight will celebrate local food with three farmers markets in one

Tonight, Altoona will throw quite a celebration of local food.

From 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Altoona Downtown Night Market will be held on 11th Avenue between 12th and 15th Street. The Night Market will feature three farmers markets, food and other vendors, and live entertainment including a “Kids Zone.”

Continue Reading: Altoona’s Night Market tonight will celebrate local food with three farmers markets in one

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/06, 2016 at 08:00 AM

Tags: Altoona | farmersmarket | event |

Farmers Market Preview: Tuesday State College and Boalsburg Farmers Market

Farmers Market Preview: Tuesday State College and Boalsburg Farmers Market

While there are several farmers markets in this area that run year-round, the first day of outdoor farmers market season is always a reason for celebration. While the first few market sessions may be on the chilly side, it’s the promise of warmer days ahead and the great produce it brings that is a big reason for optimism. Two markets kick off their outdoor season today, the Tuesday Downtown State College one, and the Boalsburg version.

Continue Reading: Farmers Market Preview: Tuesday State College and Boalsburg Farmers Market

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/03, 2016 at 09:27 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | boalsburg | statecollege |

Celebrate National Garlic Day with a classic dish

Celebrate National Garlic Day with a classic dish

Attention garlic lovers: This is your day. Today is National Garlic Day, a celebration that salutes that key ingredient for so many fantastic cuisines. The pungent cloves are crushed, roasted, minced, sliced, and liquefied in a wide variety of dishes, from Thai to Chinese to Italian to Mexican, and everywhere in between. To celebrate here on Local Food Journey, we’ll share some fun facts about garlic and a classic garlic dish, the famous 40-clove garlic chicken. 

Continue Reading: Celebrate National Garlic Day with a classic dish

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/19, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Tags: garlic | recipe | chicken | NationalGarlicDay |

Central PA Tasting Trail broadens concept of tastings beyond wine

Central PA Tasting Trail broadens concept of tastings beyond wine

Tastings are no longer just for wine anymore.

Over the past 10 years or so, a variety of craft breweries, distilleries, and cideries have sprung up in Centre County and become a big part of the local food and beverage scene. To show off this local beverage bounty, the Central PA Tasting Trail was developed out of an initiative by the area’s craft beverage community to unite and promote these businesses to locals and visitors alike, with the goal of gaining exposure for the craft beverage industry within Centre County.

Continue Reading: Central PA Tasting Trail broadens concept of tastings beyond wine

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/15, 2016 at 08:50 AM

Tags: beer | cider | spirits | wine | TastingTrail |

PASA webinar offers information on 0% interest loan for local food entrepreneurs

PASA webinar offers information on 0% interest loan for local food entrepreneurs

Have a local food business such as a farm, production facility, etc. or are thinking of starting one? Learn about Kiva Zip, a 0% interest loan program. Kiva uses crowdfunding to help entrepreneurs who may not qualify for conventional loans gain access to capital. This has caught on with farms across the country, as Kiva loans can help farmers with costs of production in the spring, or another important purchase to grow their farm business. Emily Keebler, who leads Kiva’s Pittsburgh initiative, will host a webinar by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) on Monday April 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to explain Kiva Zip’s loan parameters and requirements, the application and crowdfunding process, and tips on how to quickly and successfully crowdfund a Kiva Zip loan.

Continue Reading: PASA webinar offers information on 0% interest loan for local food entrepreneurs

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/12, 2016 at 09:34 AM

Tags: PASA | farmloans | |

Local Food Notes for April 8

Local Food Notes for April 8

This Local Food Notes features the Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail, World’s Fare Catering food truck, Philly Farm & Food Fest, and the last several weeks of the indoor State College Farmers Market.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2016 at 08:00 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

How to help your garden make it through spring chill

How to help your garden make it through spring chill

While the calendar says it’s April, the weather seems to think it’s February. With low temperatures in the teens and 20s this morning, it may have looked like spring with all the daffodils and green grass, but it felt like winter. It’s times like this that test the patience of a Central Pennsylvania gardener.

The lesson learned here was simple; even if it’s warm in March, that doesn’t mean it can’t get really cold in April. And it’s this reality that really needs to be taken into account when starting a food garden in our area.

In my years of experience gardening in these parts, I’ve picked up a few ideas and tips on how to get through the gardening purgatory that is a mid-state spring. Here’s some things to keep in mind to guide your garden through this challenging time: 

Continue Reading: How to help your garden make it through spring chill

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/06, 2016 at 08:45 AM

Tags: gardening | spring |

Celebrate spring and think of summer with a rhubarb mojito

Celebrate spring and think of summer with a rhubarb mojito

A friend of mine is something of an amateur mixologist, or cocktail creator. A year ago during a visit, I introduced him to shrubs, the delightful fruit/sugar/vinegar concoction that has made something of a comeback. Originally a way to preserve harvests in Colonial times, shrubs are definitely back in Central Pennsylvania thanks to Tait Farm Foods. Tait Farm offers a variety of shrub flavors, such as lemon, ginger, raspberry, apple, and rhubarb. The main purpose of shrubs is as part of a beverage.

Now, you don’t have to drink alcohol to enjoy shrubs; in fact, they are quite nice with just tonic water or ginger ale. However, they make a great mixer for alcoholic drinks, and when my friend was visiting, we brainstormed a drink for rhubarb. It was a warm April day when he was up, so we came up with a sort of rhubarb mojito.

Continue Reading: Celebrate spring and think of summer with a rhubarb mojito

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/30, 2016 at 08:44 AM

Tags: recipe | rhubarb | rum | cocktail | mint | TaitFarm |

Five great local food restaurant items

Five great local food restaurant items

Since this blog has been in existence, the local food restaurant scene in Central Pennsylvania has expanded. Not only have there been some new local food restaurants popping up, there are also some established restaurants that have began serving food sourced with local ingredients.

While there have been an increase in local food options, that has created a bit of an issue…what to choose! The options are many, so it can be hard to pick. To help you decide what to try, here are recommendations for five different items you can find on Central Pennsylvania menus that feature local ingredients.

Continue Reading: Five great local food restaurant items

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/23, 2016 at 08:00 AM

Tags: burgers | CafeLemont | beets | MeyerDairy | Spats |

Seed libraries in Pennsylvania allowed to engage in free seed exchange

Seed libraries in Pennsylvania allowed to engage in free seed exchange

Thanks to a statewide coalition of concerned advocates, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has clarified that seed libraries and other non-commercial seed exchanges are not subject to the cost-prohibitive licensing, labeling and testing requirements required of commercial seed distributors in the Seed Act of 2004 (Seed Act). In providing this clarification, Pennsylvania sets a precedent to protect and encourage seed libraries throughout the commonwealth.

The statewide coalition, led by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), Grow Pittsburgh (GP), the Public Interest Law Center, and members of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council (PFPC), as well as individual growers and organizations, worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) to clarify protocol about the Seed Act.  The Act was originally applied to a seed library at the Joseph T. Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg, PA, which severely limited its operations as a result.

Seed libraries are nonprofit, community-based organizations. Through seed libraries, growers maintain and increase biodiversity, as they save seeds from season to season, and share seeds with one another.  The number of seed libraries has surged in recent years; there are an estimated 26 seed libraries across the Commonwealth, with more than 350 nationwide. Concern about the compliance with the Seed Act has been a deterrent to seed library operations in Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading: Seed libraries in Pennsylvania allowed to engage in free seed exchange

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/18, 2016 at 08:48 AM

Tags: seeds | gardening | PASA | |

Be authentic Irish for this St. Patrick’s Day dinner: Potato and leek soup

Be authentic Irish for this St. Patrick’s Day dinner: Potato and leek soup

If you are looking to have something that’s a traditional Irish food for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner, you probably do not want to serve corned beef. Corned beef is not something many folks in Ireland eat, and at St. Patrick’s Day tables in Ireland, you will find lamb and/or bacon, but not corned beef. Instead, corned beef is more a nod towards the immigrant history of Irish-Americans.

So, you can serve corned beef as a nod to your ancestors if you have Irish blood in you, but what if you want to serve something that Irish people eat? And what if you’re vegetarian?

Well, here’s a recipe that’s based on something Irish people actually enjoy. Potato and leek soup is a traditional Irish comfort food, enjoyed with brown soda bread. Plus, it’s colored green!

Continue Reading: Be authentic Irish for this St. Patrick’s Day dinner: Potato and leek soup

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/17, 2016 at 09:12 AM

Tags: recipe | potato | leek |

Slow your roll, gardeners! Don’t let these warm temperatures trick you

Slow your roll, gardeners! Don’t let these warm temperatures trick you

The weather this week has caused many of us to catch a seasonal illness: spring fever. With temperatures more like May than March, the itch to start the garden may be really tough for some of us to resist. Is it too early to plant? Well, for the most part, yes. However, there are exceptions, but it will mean some extra work.

Continue Reading: Slow your roll, gardeners! Don’t let these warm temperatures trick you

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/10, 2016 at 09:17 AM

Tags: gardening | seeds | spring |

Brian Snyder joins leadership team of OSU’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation

Brian Snyder joins leadership team of OSU’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation

In lieu of our usual Local Food Notes for today, we are going to run this breaking news from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA):

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) announced today that longtime Executive Director Brian Snyder has accepted a position by the same title, leading the Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) at The Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus. The new position will begin in June. The ultimate goal of InFACT is to create sustainable and resilient food systems for Ohio and beyond.  President Michael Drake of OSU has committed a minimum of $100 million over the next ten years to achieve this goal.

Continue Reading: Brian Snyder joins leadership team of OSU’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/04, 2016 at 09:39 AM

Tags: PASA |

What does Penn State Ag Extension do?

What does Penn State Ag Extension do?

As you likely have heard by now, Penn State President Eric Barron told university trustees at the regular meeting last Friday in Hershey that 1,100 agricultural extension employees face potential layoffs if the current Pennsylvania budget fight isn’t resolved. Along with being a tremendous source of stress for those employees, these layoffs would be a blow to Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry.

While you are of course a fan of local food, you may not be aware of exactly what a university extension office does, and why they are important. They offer a variety of services for not just farmers, but for the entire state since a lot of the food you eat is grown, raised, and/or produced in Pennsylvania. These services range from food safety to business support for small farmers to sharing research on health, gardening, and improving our food system with the public.

So, the Penn State Extension is an important part in not just farmers’ lives, but all of our lives. Here are some examples:

Continue Reading: What does Penn State Ag Extension do?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/01, 2016 at 09:49 AM

Tags: extension | farmers | PennState |

Local Food Notes for Feb. 27

Local Food Notes for Feb. 27

Tait Farm has garden seeds (spring!) and a workshop on making tricked-out mac and cheese, the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail month to kick off, and learn how to make beer, all in this week’s Local Food Notes.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Feb. 27

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/26, 2016 at 09:38 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Five great varieties to add to your 2016 garden

Five great varieties to add to your 2016 garden

Back in early January 2015, I wrote about early online seed shopping, and listed some of my favorite vendors. Getting an early start on buying seeds online has its advantages, for example you’re ensured to get them on time for planting since you’re beating the rush, and there are very few seeds that are sold out.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t order seeds now. The earliest seeds that need started inside, such as onions, pansies, and leeks, can be planted as late as St. Patrick’s Day, while nightshade family members like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and ground cherries need to be started by the last week of March. So, if you order soon, you’ll likely get your seed order on time.

One of the advantages of ordering seeds online is greater selection. There are just so many unusual, delicious, and easy-to-grow varieties that you can only find via an online seed catalog.

Continue Reading: Five great varieties to add to your 2016 garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/23, 2016 at 08:58 AM

Tags: gardening | seeds |

Local Food Notes for Feb. 19

Local Food Notes for Feb. 19

Learn how to use all those weird veggies in your winter CSA box, Tait Farm sampling series, Millheim Indoor Farmers Market, and a great night out on a winter’s evening (starting with dinner at Harrison’s Wine Grill)...all in this week’s Local Food Notes.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Feb. 19

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/19, 2016 at 10:58 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Boalsburg Farmers Market now accepts SNAP benefits

Boalsburg Farmers Market now accepts SNAP benefits

The Boalsburg Farmers’ Market is proud to announce that SNAP EBT (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are now accepted at this local year-round market.

This program allows SNAP customers to get fresh local fruits and vegetables along with baked goods, eggs, plants that produce edible foods, honey, meat and more.  It is an all around win for the market, consumers, and farmers.

“We will be the first farmer’s market in Centre County to accept SNAP benefits, but we don’t want to be the last. We are hoping that our program will serve as a successful pilot for other area markets. The goal is that everyone in our community will have equal access to healthy, local foods”, says Sarah Potter, who works with the market to do programming and outreach.

Continue Reading: Boalsburg Farmers Market now accepts SNAP benefits

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/17, 2016 at 09:36 AM

Tags: Boalsburgfarmersmarket | SNAP |

Local Food Notes for Valentine’s Weekend

Local Food Notes for Valentine’s Weekend

Somebody close the fridge door! Winter has definitely sunk its chilling teeth into us and will definitely flex its bitter muscles this weekend. To warm your heart, there are several local-food related Valentines’ events to check out Saturday and Sunday.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Valentine’s Weekend

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/12, 2016 at 09:39 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | Valentines |

A summery soup for a winter evening

A summery soup for a winter evening

Growing up in York, I was exposed to a lot of Amish cuisine. My mother cooked a variety of Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, such as pot pie, pork and sauerkraut, and perhaps my favorite, chicken corn soup.

Believe it or not, chicken corn soup is considered a “summer soup.” Made to take advantage of the bounty of fresh corn in southcentral and southeast Pennsylvania, this corn was a July-August staple in my house as a kid. My mother would make it year ‘round, however, and I always looked forward to it. It’s a simple soup, with subtle flavors.

Continue Reading: A summery soup for a winter evening

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/05, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Tags: recipe | chicken | corn | eggs |

PASA 25th annual Farming for the Future kicks off today, continues through Saturday

PASA 25th annual Farming for the Future kicks off today, continues through Saturday

The 25th Annual Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Farming for the Future Conference is underway starting today and will run through Saturday at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. The event’s theme is “Farming in a Changing Climate”, and will feature climate expert Richard Alley and agricultural sustainability expert and author Laura Lengnick.

If you missed pre-event registration, no worries, as walk-in registration for one, two, or three days of the conference is available starting tomorrow. You can find rates for the event here.

Continue Reading: PASA 25th annual Farming for the Future kicks off today, continues through Saturday

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/03, 2016 at 09:58 AM

Tags: PASA | FarmingfortheFutureconference | climatechange |

We’re looking for volunteer writers!

We’re looking for volunteer writers!

Local Food Journey is putting out the call for volunteer writers. Passionate about putting food on the table grown by people you know from farmers markets, etc.? Make a living as a local food grower or producer and want to share the inside story about how local food is made? Just love to eat local food and write?

Then we’re looking for you. If interested, send a note to editor Jamie Oberdick at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and we’ll get you started. We want as many voices on Local Food Journey as possible, and would love you to be one of them.

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Continue Reading: We’re looking for volunteer writers!

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/28, 2016 at 11:18 AM

Tags: writers | localfoodjourney |

Harvest from your garden in January…in central Pennsylvania?

Harvest from your garden in January…in central Pennsylvania?

After this week’s storm dumped anywhere from an inch in northern parts of central Pennsylvania to two feet in southern portions, gardening may be the last thing on many minds this week. However, on Sunday, I managed to harvest some delicious brussels sprouts. How?

Well, believe it or not, brussels sprouts can take a lot of cold. In fact, when you harvest them now, they are outright delicious. The same is true for a lot of cold-hardy vegetables, the cold ups the sweet factor and they are just plain good. In fact, you can harvest a variety of tasty things to add to your winter table.

How can one manage this in the land of icy winds and snow? With some careful planning in the spring and summer, you can turn gardening into a four-season activity.

Continue Reading: Harvest from your garden in January…in central Pennsylvania?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/26, 2016 at 09:47 AM

Tags: gardening | winter |

PASA Announces Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Awards to be Presented at Conference

PASA Announces Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Awards to be Presented at Conference

Jeff Moyer, Executive Director of Rodale Institute (Kutztown, PA), and Poultry Man, LLC (Mifflinburg, PA) are being honored as leaders in sustainability by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). The awards will be presented during PASA’s 25th Annual Farming for the Future Conference, February 3 to 6 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, Pennsylvania.

“It is an honor to be receiving this award. I look forward to being included with the past recipients, a prestigious group,” says Moyer, recipient of the Sustainable Ag Leadership Award. Moyer is renowned for his expertise in organic crop production systems and has worked with the Rodale Institute for four decades. “The most rewarding part of my work as past farm director and now executive director,” says Moyer, “is working with farmers to transition their farm to organic and being a part of their success.” His dream for the future of agriculture is one where “everyone sees the connection between the soil we farm and the health of our population. Healthy soil is the cornerstone to a healthy, well-fed human population worldwide.”

Continue Reading: PASA Announces Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Awards to be Presented at Conference

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/15, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Tags: PASAconference | award |

Let root vegetables win you over by roasting them

Let root vegetables win you over by roasting them

Well, winter just reminded us this week who’s boss, as we had our first snow (record latest first snow) and bitter chill to go with it. Believe it or not, even in the depths of winter, you can still find local produce, especially root vegetables.

Root vegetables get sort of a bad rap, because many people have a memory of boiled canned beets being forced on them by a well-meaning mother. However, roasted root vegetables are on a different level.

Where to find local root vegetables? Indoor markets like Boalsburg, Millheim, and State College have vendors who sell root vegetables this time of year (they tend to be easy to store). Another good source is the Friends & Farmers online market, which carries a variety of root vegetables by local farmers such as Tait Farm and Jade Family Farm.

Once you acquire them, roasting them is fairly simple. Here’s a recipe that is easy to put together and really brings out the best quality of roasted root vegetables: The sweetness!

Continue Reading: Let root vegetables win you over by roasting them

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/13, 2016 at 09:29 AM

Tags: wintervegetables | recipe | FriendsandFarmers | farmersmarket |

Local Food Notes for Jan. 8

Local Food Notes for Jan. 8

Happy New Year! This week Local Food Notes highlights the Farm Show, indoor farmers markets, how to get Healthy Harvest Farm shares by working the Earth, and PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Jan. 8

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/08, 2016 at 09:29 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | FarmShow | farmersmarket | HealthyHarvestFarm | PASA |

A Farm Show guide for newbies

A Farm Show guide for newbies

Pennsylvania has a long agricultural history. The Nittany Valley was originally settled due to the rich farm land in the area, and Penn State was founded as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania in 1855. In fact, one of the images one thinks of when they think of Pennsylvania is the Amish farmer in Lancaster County, an image exploited by the tourist industry. So, it’s no wonder that one of the main events of the year in our state is the Pennsylvania Farm Show, held Jan. 8-16 in at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. This year is special, as The Farm Show celebrates its 100th year.

If you’ve never been to the Farm Show, it’s definitely worth the trip. You likely have at least a little bit of interest in farming given you’re reading this blog, and the Farm Show basically is all of Pennsylvania’s agriculture world in one place for an entire week. The event is also very family friendly and kids love it; I can remember how much I liked going as a kid, and grew up in an urban environment in York.

It can be a little overwhelming; this is not a small event by any means and the Farm Show Complex is rather sprawling. So, how to tackle a day at the Farm Show? Here’s some tips to help you get the most out of your Farm Show experience:

Continue Reading: A Farm Show guide for newbies

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/06, 2016 at 08:55 AM

Tags: FarmShow | guide |

Five fantastic last-minute local food gift ideas

Five fantastic last-minute local food gift ideas

Uh-oh…up against it for Christmas shopping this year? Don’t panic. Everybody loves good food and drink, right? And we have plenty of options produced right here Central Pennsylvania. Here’s five great gift local food ideas for the last minute shopper.

Continue Reading: Five fantastic last-minute local food gift ideas

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/16, 2015 at 09:53 AM

Tags: holidays | gifts |

Local Food Notes for Dec. 11

Local Food Notes for Dec. 11

This week we have a lot of holiday-themed stuff to do, including a holiday open house at Mt. Nittany Winery, Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, Holiday Fest at McCann School of Art, and yet another great Tait Farm tasting.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Dec. 11

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/11, 2015 at 10:06 AM

Tags: holidays | wine | TaitFarm | Bellefonte | LocalFoodNotes |

Two Thanksgiving recipes from Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers

Two Thanksgiving recipes from Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers

Tony Sapia, the highly skilled baker who brings us Gemelli Bakers, shares with us two things…two styles of holiday baking he’s excited about and two fantastic Thanksgiving side dish recipes, including one you can make ahead of time:

We started our stollen baking.  I learned from a good friend of mine whom is a third-generation German master baker in Cincinnati. This and panettone baking is what I look forward to every year. The two most ethnic diverse breads coming together for one community. It’s what makes me get up in the mornings. The aromas are fragrant with nostalgia and memories of living abroad learning the craft. Bringing it back to my home town of State College, PA, where I was born and now bread…..

Continue Reading: Two Thanksgiving recipes from Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/24, 2015 at 09:42 AM

Tags: recipe | turnip | Thanksgiving | Gemelli |

Local Food Notes for Nov. 20

Local Food Notes for Nov. 20

This week, get local food ingredients to cook your Thanksgiving dinner via Friends & Farmers Cooperative, Tait Farm chocolate and caramel tasting, dinner and music at Websters Bookstore Cafe, and Winemaker’s Harvest Dinner at Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Nov. 20

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/20, 2015 at 09:36 AM

Tags: |

Is it too late to get a local turkey for Thanksgiving?

Is it too late to get a local turkey for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is just over a week away, and many of you who read this blog have already pre-ordered your local-raised Thanksgiving turkey. Most of the local vendors in these parts require you to pre-order a few months in advance to ensure you have a Thanksgiving turkey that’s locally grown. But what if you didn’t pre-order and would like a local turkey?

Well, unfortunately, your options are limited, and after checking around for you, here’s what I found…

Continue Reading: Is it too late to get a local turkey for Thanksgiving?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/17, 2015 at 09:04 AM

Tags: Thanksgiving | turkey |

Can local food still be considered a trend?

Can local food still be considered a trend?

Recently during an interview with Michele Marchetti, the excellent local food writer and Friends & Farmers Cooperative board member, she said something that made me really think. I asked her about whether there was still momentum within the local food movement, and she said “Local food isn’t a trend, it’s something that’s here to stay.”

It sort of hit me…wow, Mchele’s 100 percent correct. Local food really isn’t a thing for “hipsters” or trendy foodies anymore; it’s become more and more established.

Continue Reading: Can local food still be considered a trend?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/10, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Tags: localfood | opinion | trend |

Outdoor farmers markets winding down, indoor markets starting

Outdoor farmers markets winding down, indoor markets starting

Farmers Markets are winding down to a degree over the next few weeks. While outdoor markets will soon go away until next spring, there are several indoor options to get your local food market fix over the winter. Here’s a rundown of our local markets, when the outdoor ones are closing, and which are having indoor winter markets:

Continue Reading: Outdoor farmers markets winding down, indoor markets starting

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/06, 2015 at 08:39 AM

Tags: Fall | farmersmarket | indoormarket |

Five must-do end-of-season garden chores to ensure garden success next year

Five must-do end-of-season garden chores to ensure garden success next year

So, even with this week’s mild weather, the reality is we are staring another Central Pennsylvania winter in its face. With cold, snow, and ice looming on the horizon, many of us are not thinking about gardening, but right now is a vital time for the success of next year’s garden.

There are steps that you can take now to help your perennial herbs survive the winter, ensure your fruit trees produce, prevent pests from coming on strong next spring, and feed your future veggie plants. Here’s five must-do chores to close out the year:

Continue Reading: Five must-do end-of-season garden chores to ensure garden success next year

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/03, 2015 at 09:34 AM

Tags: gardening | fall |

Local Food Notes for Oct. 30

Local Food Notes for Oct. 30

This week we offer a way to eat well and help Friends & Farmers, celebrate 13 years of zany Austrian food experiences at Herwig’s, and how you gardeners can save big at Tait Farm.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Oct. 30

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/30, 2015 at 11:10 AM

Tags: TaitFarm | LocalFOodNotes | Friends&Farmers | gardening |

Future is bright for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

Future is bright for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

On Oct. 16, Friends & Farmers Cooperative had a strong turnout for their second annual membership meeting. While this was great news for Friends & Farmers’ board, the bigger picture is even brighter for the local cooperative, which is still working towards a goal of local food grocery store in the State College area.

For starters, Friends & Farmers received a $93,000 grant for its online market from the United States Department of Agriculture. “The grant will help increase the market share and visibility of local food,” Michele Marchetti, Friends & Farmers board member, said. “Basically, it’s going to support three activities.”

Continue Reading: Future is bright for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/28, 2015 at 07:00 AM

Tags: Friends&Farmers |

Local Food Notes for Oct. 23

Local Food Notes for Oct. 23

This week’s Local Food Notes includes National Cooperative Month, running with wine (no really), Boalsburg Farmers Market holds another Teaching Kitchen, and Way Fruit Farm apple pie contest.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/23, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Recipe: Hog maw…don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it

Recipe: Hog maw…don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it

Last year, on an episode of the Cooking Channel’s “My Grandmother’s Ravioli”, host, humorist, and NPR fixture Mo Rocca went to eastern Pennsylvania to discover Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. They visited local households and got real recipes, like fastnachts, stewed dried corn, and a peculiar-to-outsiders dish known as stuffed pig stomach, or hog maw.

First things first…I know the idea of stuffed pig’s stomach instantly makes some of you recoil, but trust me, it’s delicious. If you’re having a tough time with the idea of a stuffed stomach, here’s a way to look at it; think of it as a giant sausage made with a casing that’s farther away from the, um, end of the pig than regular sausage casings. One thing that’s quite funny…people who enjoy this think of it as simple, down-home fare, and are often shocked to discover people finding it exotic/weird/gross. I grew up with it, so to me, it’s a common thing.

The name of this dish varies depending on region. In my home area, York County, it’s known as hog maw. In Lancaster County, it’s known as stuffed pig stomach. It also has a few nicknames, such as “Susquehanna turkey” or “Dutch goose”, which is due to this being served during holidays. In my family, it was the centerpiece of our harvest dinner, a local southcentral PA tradition of having a family dinner in mid-late October that kicks off the family holiday dinner season.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Hog maw…don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/20, 2015 at 08:00 AM

Tags: recipe | hogmaw |

Local Food Notes for Oct 16

Local Food Notes for Oct 16

This week, check out Friends & Farmers Membership Meeting (open to all), learn more about how our area is celebrating National Cooperative Month, head to the Way Fruit Farm Apple Festival, sip wine among the fall finery at Mt. Nittany Winery, and go pumpkin crazy at the Hollidaysburg Pumpkin Festival…

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Oct 16

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/16, 2015 at 09:54 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | pumpkins | apples | festivals |

Friends & Farmers Cooperative to hold 2015 Membership Meeting on Oct. 16

Friends & Farmers Cooperative to hold 2015 Membership Meeting on Oct. 16

Are you a local foodie who would love it if there was a grocery store in Central Pennsylvania for local products? Then here’s some good news from the Friends & Farmers Cooperative about the perfect event for you, happening this week.:

All are welcome at Friends & Farmers Cooperative’s 2015 Membership Meeting on Friday, Oct. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. Enjoy local food samplings, kids activities from The Makery, silent auction and raffle give-aways, and an exciting update on Friends & Farmers’ progress toward opening a member-owned grocery store with a focus on local products. RSVP for the meeting here.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Cooperative to hold 2015 Membership Meeting on Oct. 16

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/14, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: friends&farmers | membershipmeeting |

Recipe: Baked steel cut oats with almonds and blueberries

Recipe: Baked steel cut oats with almonds and blueberries

Steel cut oats have been a trendy food item for a while now, and with good reason. They have a lower glycemic index, which is good news for diabetics. They are also pretty tasty, more flavor than rolled oats and a chewy texture that many people find appealing.

They are pretty easy to make, as well. Not quite instant, but you can have a hot bowl of steel cut oats in just over a half-hour. While a bowl of steel cut oats with a little salt and brown sugar is very nice, you can do more with them. This is a pretty easy recipe that you can do much of the prep work for the night before, then pop it in the oven for an hour for a nice, hot, and delicious breakfast.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Baked steel cut oats with almonds and blueberries

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/06, 2015 at 09:13 AM

Tags: recipe | steelcutoats | blueberries |

Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market recieves major USDA grant

Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market recieves major USDA grant

The United States Department of Agriculture announced that the Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market received a $92,000 USDA grant to increase local food consumption and production in Centre County.

Friends & Farmers Cooperative plays a vital and growing role in the burgeoning local food movement. In one year, its retail Online Market has sold more than $70,000 worth of locally grown and produced food. The Online Market is a stepping stone to the co-op’s planned brick and mortar store. Owned and financed by the community, this store will source as much as possible from farmers within 50 miles of State College.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Cooperative Online Market recieves major USDA grant

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/02, 2015 at 09:51 AM

Tags: friends&farmers | USDA | onlinebuying | grant |

Five great fall farmers market items

Five great fall farmers market items

We are in the home stretch of the outdoor farmers market season. Soon, the cold winds and snow will make Central Pennsylvania more a place for skiers and snowmobilers than outdoor farmers market browsers. But, for many area markets, we still have about a month or so to go, and you can still find some great local food among the falling leaves and autumn chill. Here’s five examples:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/29, 2015 at 08:58 PM

Tags: Fall | farmersmarket |

Brazilian Munchies is the result of an international love story

Brazilian Munchies is the result of an international love story

Anna Lombardo contributed to this story

Back on Christmas Day 2012, Flavia Barger came to America from Brazil to join her American husband. While it’s quite a good love story, Flavia becoming a resident of the U.S. was also a great thing for local foodies.

Flavia runs Brazilian Munchies, a local food business that specializes in, of course, Brazilian food. You likely have seen them at farmers markets such as the Boalsburg Farmers Market, Lemont Farmers Market, Susquehanna Valley Growers’ Market in Lewisburg, and the Millheim Farmers Market, or at any of a number of local events. If you haven’t tried their food, then you’re definitely missing out on some good eats, especially their main specialty, a cheese bread called Pao de Queijo. “It’s naturally gluten-free, made with manioc starch. Manioc is a root we grow in Brazil,” Flavia said. “I didn’t find manioc starch around here. We can find similar products, tapioca flour, cassava flour, but not the real manioc starch. So I buy online from a company in Florida that imports from Brazil and re-sells to me.”

Continue Reading: Brazilian Munchies is the result of an international love story

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/25, 2015 at 07:00 AM

Tags: BrazillianMunchies | farmersmarket |

Apple salad with feta a great way to celebrate fall’s flavors

Apple salad with feta a great way to celebrate fall’s flavors

I’m from York, PA, which is most definitely part of Pennsylvania apple country. I remember as a kid getting pretty excited about this time of year, because I loved and still love apples. September was the beginning of apple season at the many orchards that dot York, Adams, and Lancaster Counties. I remember the apple cider flowing freely, both the “soft” and “hard” variety (including a variety of moonshine called “apple jack” that I discovered as a grown-up).

There were even apple-focused festivals. My family would drive to the South Mountain Fairgrounds in neighboring Adams County for the Apple Harvest Festival, which attracted thousands of people each October. For an apple lover, this was high paradise time.

Another aspect of my childhood in York was being introduced to Greek culture, via new neighbors from Greece that began showing up when I was in middle school. My Greek friends introduced me to Greek food, including a strange, crumbly cheese I had never seen before…feta.

Continue Reading: Apple salad with feta a great way to celebrate fall’s flavors

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/21, 2015 at 08:35 PM

Tags: recipe | apples | salad |

Five fall festivals featuring fantastic food

Five fall festivals featuring fantastic food

Fall festivals are as much a part of autumn in central Pennsylvania as falling leaves and football. Here’s five festivals for you to mark on your calendar:

Continue Reading: Five fall festivals featuring fantastic food

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/15, 2015 at 09:08 AM

Tags: Fall | festivals | apples | hartslog |

State College startup Green Towers LLC pushes the innovation envelope for local food

State College startup Green Towers LLC pushes the innovation envelope for local food

Note: To support honeybees and Green Towers LLC’s efforts to help pollinator populations that is mentioned later in this article, please go to their KickStarter campaign.

A State College startup company is working on some innovative ideas that are aimed at taking local food into the future.

Green Towers, LLC, is a local food business that was created based on an entry to the Penn State College of Agricultural Science’s Springboard Competition for young entrepreneurs, according to Dustin Betz, founder and president of Green Towers. They won the 2012 competition, and from there created a company with some very innovative ideas on growing food.

Continue Reading: State College startup Green Towers LLC pushes the innovation envelope for local food

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/11, 2015 at 08:23 AM

Tags: GreenTowers | startup | microgreens | bees |

Local Food Notes for Sept. 4

Local Food Notes for Sept. 4

Free doughnuts (gluten-free), jazz at Mt. Nittany Vineyards, the return of fall cocktails, and where to local-food up your Labor Day cookout highlight this week’s Local Food Notes….

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/04, 2015 at 08:05 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Local Food Notes for Aug. 28

Local Food Notes for Aug. 28

Introduction of Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks’ new chef, how to participate in PASA’s Good Gifts Guide, and some tailgate recipe ideas…

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Aug. 28

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/28, 2015 at 08:28 AM

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10 things to know before going to Grange Fair

10 things to know before going to Grange Fair

It’s Grange Fair time again, as the annual event kicks off today and runs through next Saturday. Here’s 10 things I’ve learned about The Grange Fair from attending it multiple times since my wife and I moved here in late 2002:

1) Wear comfortable shoes, but not shoes that are your “good” ones. Leave the wing tips and heels at home. Since this is a fair, there’s a chance you might encounter mud, even if it hasn’t rained for a while (especially around the livestock barns where they hose off the critters). Plus, you likely will have to walk through some uneven ground to get to and from your parking spot, which will most likely be in a field.

Continue Reading: 10 things to know before going to Grange Fair

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/21, 2015 at 01:54 PM

Tags: GrangeFair | 2015 |

Plow to Plate Dinner to be held Aug. 26

The Boalsburg Farmers’ Market and Mt. Nittany Winery present the fourth annual “Plow to Plate”. This local foods dinner is an evening to celebrate food, farmers, and community. There will be a variety of dishes prepared by our area’s best chefs from fresh ingredients obtained at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. Zola’s, Gigi’s and Webster’s chefs will all be there. Wednesday, August 26th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Mt. Nittany Winery, 300 Houser Rd, Centre Hall, PA 16828. The cost for the dinner is $25 per ticket, with kids under 12 are free. Tickets are available at the Boalsburg Farmers Market and Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe.
For questions or further information, contact Sarah Potter at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Continue Reading: Plow to Plate Dinner to be held Aug. 26

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/19, 2015 at 08:46 AM

Tags: PlowtoPlate | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Local Food Notes for Aug. 14

Bellefonte Arts and Craft Fair, State College Brew Expo, Tait Farm’s Annual Tomato Festival, and an award-winning meal at Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering highlight this week’s Local Food Notes.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Aug. 14

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/14, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | TaitFarm | Bellefonte | Harrison's | BrewExpo |

Golden Basket Awards showcases our amazing local food scene

Last week at this time, I was one of several judges at the Boalsburg Farmers Market’s annual Golden Basket Awards. Among the chefs competing included Jeremiah McClanahan of Fasta & Ravioli Co.; Mike Benjamin of Benjamin’s Catering; last year’s champ, Kirsch McMaster of the Nittany Lion Inn; Andrew Hufnagel of Zola Kitchen & Wine Bar; a new-to-the-area chef, Erin Snyder, Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks; and an established innovator in cuisine made with local ingredients, Harrison Schailey from Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering.

I know, tough job, trying all this amazing food made by talented chefs, using the freshest of local ingredients. We chose Chef Harrison as the overall winner, he made us a remarkable grilled filet of beef, with au gratin potatoes from Clan Stewart farm and a fantastic arugula and fresh corn salad. He also made his famous gazpacho; if you’ve never had it, I recommend getting it at your next visit to his restaurant.

Continue Reading: Golden Basket Awards showcases our amazing local food scene

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/11, 2015 at 08:34 AM

Tags: GoldenBasket | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

PA Organic FarmFest and Centre County Farm Tour close out Local Foods Week

Local Foods Week winds down today and tomorrow with two big events…Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest (today, Aug. 7, and tomorrow, Aug. 8) and the Centre County Farm Tour (tomorrow, Aug. 8).

First off, the FarmFest, which will run today from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall. The event will feature a variety of delicious local food (including the chance Saturday to sample and judge Friends & Farmers Pie Contest, live music, 5K run and 1K fun run, a variety of outdoor activities, and plenty of opportunities to learn more about organic agriculture.

Continue Reading: PA Organic FarmFest and Centre County Farm Tour close out Local Foods Week

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/07, 2015 at 10:20 AM

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Calling all pie masters: Friends & Farmers Second Annual People’s Choice Pie Contest Aug. 8

Calling all pie masters: Friends & Farmers Second Annual People’s Choice Pie Contest Aug. 8

If you are always told you should become a professional baker because your pies are so good, or if you actually are a professional baker, then you should sign up to compete in the Friends & Farmers Second Annual People’s Choice Pie Contest, to be held Aug. 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will be part of Pennsylvania Organic FarmFest, held Aug. 7-8 at the Grange Fairgrounds. PLEASE NOTE: You must get your entry form in by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7.

Continue Reading: Calling all pie masters: Friends & Farmers Second Annual People’s Choice Pie Contest Aug. 8

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/06, 2015 at 11:36 AM

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Local chefs + local food = amazing flavors at this year’s Golden Basket Awards

Local chefs + local food = amazing flavors at this year’s Golden Basket Awards

The fifth annual Golden Basket Awards will be held today, August 4, at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. The cooking will start at around 2:15 p.m. and the awards will be given out at around 4:30 p.m.

As always, the chefs will use ingredients found in the market. The event is designed to show off our local culinary creativity, and to inspire the local community to use local ingredients to create their own kitchen masterpieces. To help with the inspiration, there will be a limited supply of samples for market attendees to try.

The chefs competing the event include, in order of when they will start cooking:

Continue Reading: Local chefs + local food = amazing flavors at this year’s Golden Basket Awards

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/04, 2015 at 07:00 AM

Tags: GoldenBasket | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Local Chefs Compete for Boalsburg Farmers Market’s 5th Annual Golden Basket Awards

Local Chefs Compete for Boalsburg Farmers Market’s 5th Annual Golden Basket Awards

Six local chefs from Central Pennsylvanias finest dining establishments will compete for the Boalsburg Farmers Market Fifth Annual Golden Basket Award on Tuesday, Aug. 4.  This event is held by the Boalsburg Farmers Market and is part of PASAs (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) Local Foods Week. The event features chefs preparing a main dish and two sides from ingredients produced by Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors. 

The chefs gather their ingredients at the market, then prepare their plates for submission to the judges in front of market guests. The chefs have only 45 minutes to assemble the dishes. After the judges have tasted and scored all of the chefs offerings, an awards ceremony is held to announce the new Golden Basket winner.

Continue Reading: Local Chefs Compete for Boalsburg Farmers Market’s 5th Annual Golden Basket Awards

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/28, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Tags: GoldenBasket | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Local Food Notes for July 24

Local Food Notes for July 24

Local Foods Week, Mid-Summer Case Sale at Mt. Nittany Winery, and The Seven Mountains Music Fest at Seven Mountains Wine Cellars

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for July 24

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/24, 2015 at 08:03 AM

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Local Food Notes for July 10

Local Food Notes for July 10

Local food at our two arts festivals this weekend, Penn State Berkey Creamery’s 150th anniversary, your favorite produce is now at area farmers markets, where to get fall garden vegetables, and Harrison’s Wine Grill’s herb garden bounty inspires delicious summer cocktails.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for July 10

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/10, 2015 at 08:22 AM

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Cool/wet weather raises risks for garden fungal diseases

Cool/wet weather raises risks for garden fungal diseases

Rain is mostly a gardener’s best friend. While you can water during dry spells to keep plants alive, nothing seems to give them what they need to grow and produce like a good soaking rain. However, too much rain can be harmful to your garden. Along with causing weeds to grow like crazy and keep you away from chores, wet weather is what garden fungal diseases like blights and powder mildew thrive on. Combine that with cooler weather, such as this weekend’s fall feel, and you have the potential for large-scale garden losses.

Without a doubt, it’s a good idea to take steps to prevent fungal diseases before they get established. While some like early blight and powder mildew can be controlled, late blight is a death sentence to your tomatoes and potatoes. I’ve had late blight wipe out my tomato plants in a few days. So what can you do? Here’s a few tips:

- Give them some air: Good air circulation enables plants to dry out properly between rains, sometimes preventing fungal spores to take hold. You can do give them the circulation you need with tomato plants by removing lower leaves and ensuring they get good support. Be sure you do this sort of thing when plants are dry, as you can actually spread disease by fussing around in a wet garden.

- Water properly: If we indeed return to typical summer weather and have a dry spell (which would be a big help in fighting garden diseases), then at some point we’ll have to water. It’s much better to water plants via drip irrigation hoses or by putting a hose at the base of a plant than it is to water from above. Why? Because by wetting the leaves, you’re raising their chances for getting a fungal disease by giving the spores some much needed moisture.

- Keep them fed: Giving plants fertilizers, organic or non-organic, helps keep them healthy and better able to fend off diseases. Also, it’s a good idea to keep weeds under control. Along with hosting diseases, they compete with the good plants for soil nutrients.

- Spray: While many garden diseases are terminal, if you catch them early enough, they can be treated. There are a variety of sprays out there that work, including homemade organic ones that use common household products such as baking soda or even milk. The goal here is to make the environment hostile to fungus without harming plants. One I use is neem oil, which you can purchase at many big-box stores, garden centers, or online. Neem has an added bonus, it also works as an insecticide. Speaking of that, many garden pests such as cucumber beetles transmit garden disease, so be sure to keep them under control as well.

- Mulch ‘Em: Black plastic mulch raises soil temperatures to the point where fungal spores are killed. Mulch such as grass clippings spread around the base of the plant helps prevent soil-born pathogens from being splashed on the plant during heavy rains. And, there’s even reflective mulch out there; the reflected light confuses insects and keeps them away from the plant during early stages of growth.

Be Vigilent:  It’s a good idea to take a walk around the garden and check plants for any changes in leaf appearance or stunted growth. There are several disease databases out there for gardeners that are available via a simple web search. Even if you don’t do anything else in it that day, give your garden a once over.

Continue Reading: Cool/wet weather raises risks for garden fungal diseases

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/02, 2015 at 08:58 AM

Tags: Gardening | diseases |

Local Food Notes for June 26

Local Food Notes for June 26

Find out where to go to learn how to make amazing cocktails, discover the art of ice cream making, buy some of summer’s ever-growing bounty, and find out how to register for PASA’s summer conference:

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for June 26

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2015 at 10:28 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

South Hills Food Festival keystone of Happy Valley Culinary Week

South Hills Food Festival keystone of Happy Valley Culinary Week

By Jeffry P Stachowski, community outreach director, South Hills School of Business and Technology

The Second Annual South Hills School Culinary Week Food Festival will be held on Wednesday, June 24 from noon to 6:00 p.m. on the north lawn of South Hills School, 480 Waupelani Drive in State College. This joint production with the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau was such a hit last year that we have an even bigger festival planned for this year.

Live chef demonstrations, an all-local-foods farmers market, live music, workshops and tours will provide an afternoon of learning, fun, and fabulous food for the entire family. And here’s some food for thought…workshops on starting a small restaurant business, hot careers in Central Pennsylvania, exploring financial aid resources, and much more will also run throughout the day.

Continue Reading: South Hills Food Festival keystone of Happy Valley Culinary Week

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/23, 2015 at 08:14 AM

Tags: HappyValleyCulinaryWeek | SouthHillsFoodFestival |

Help local food, take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Help local food, take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

The buzzing of bees on a warm summer day is more than just a pleasant sound, it’s a signal that things are pretty good for us as humans. Given that, according to the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN), one out of every three bites of food we take every day is due to the work of pollinators, we need to keep them buzzing.

How can you help? By joining the NPGN’s Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The project is designed to accelerate pollinator garden efforts across America in an attempt to reverse the decline of pollinating insects such as honey bees, native bees, and monarch butterflies. While there are nearly a million active gardeners and 15,000 pollinator gardens at schools, the goal of this effort is to have a million additional registered pollinator gardens by the end of 2016.

Continue Reading: Help local food, take the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/16, 2015 at 08:31 AM

Tags: pollinator | gardening |

Lemont Farmers Market offers local food variety in picturesque, friendly setting

Lemont Farmers Market offers local food variety in picturesque, friendly setting

One of the more scenic and interesting communities in Central Pennsylvania is the quaint town of Lemont. Artsy, friendly, historic, and filled with beautiful old houses, it stands to reason that they would have a farmers market. It just makes sense.

The Lemont Farmers Market is a relatively new market in our area, and it’s also one of the most picturesque ones. The market was founded in 2012 by the Lemont Village Association and is located at the John I. Thompson Grain Elevator and Coal Sheds, known to most in the area simply as The Granary. Built in 1885, The Granary was originally constructed for storing grain and for a place for trains to deposit coal. Today, the coal shed part of The Granary makes for a unique and beautiful location for a farmers market. “We have such a perfect site for a farmers market,” said Susan Smith, chair of Lemont Village Association board.

Continue Reading: Lemont Farmers Market offers local food variety in picturesque, friendly setting

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/10, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Tags: LemontFarmersMarket |

Six must-do chores for the June garden

Six must-do chores for the June garden

The idea of no-maintenance gardens is a foreign concept to me. There’s always something to do in the garden. You put in a lot of work leading up to now, with prepping the soil, sowing seeds, transplanting plants, etc.

In June, the frost-sensitive plants in your garden are well on their way to becoming established. However, this is a critical time for them, and for best production, it’s no time to slack off on your hobby. There are key chores in June to carry out that will ensure your garden season is a successful one:

Continue Reading: Six must-do chores for the June garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/08, 2015 at 09:31 PM

Tags: gardening | chores | June |

Local Food Notes for June 5

Local Food Notes for June 5

We are entering prime time for local food; the farmers market vendors are displaying an ever-increasing variety of produce and that will only get better as we head deeper into summer. Here are some highlights for this weekend and beyond:

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for June 5

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/05, 2015 at 08:15 AM

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Recipe: Strawberry mint yogurt smoothie

Recipe: Strawberry mint yogurt smoothie

There are two tasty items that are in season at the farmers markets: strawberries and mint. Finding a use for strawberries is easy: they are fantastic for fresh eating, and there are countless strawberry recipes out there. In my experience, mint is one that stumps people as to how to use it. Sure, it can used in teas and as a garnish, but what about other uses of fresh mint?

One way to use it is in beverages. This recipe for a strawberry mint yogurt smoothie is a great example of how mint can play off other flavors. In this case, it helps to enhance the strawberry flavor with something extra, and the yogurt gives it a nice creamy texture for a refreshing smoothie for those warm June days.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Strawberry mint yogurt smoothie

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/04, 2015 at 08:29 AM

Tags: recipe | strawberries |

Lemony-garlic flavored recipe for all those CSA greens you just got

Lemony-garlic flavored recipe for all those CSA greens you just got

Many CSA’s across the area are ramping up production, with plenty of boxes filled with the best spring produce our area can offer. This includes spring onions, radishes, and of course, spring greens.

Greens are a fantastic dish to add to any spring meal, whether it’s a family cookout or a weeknight dinner. They are good for you, and there are lots of ways to cook them, including ways that will even make the most finicky greens-hating member of your family love eating well.

This recipe is makes a nice side dish for an evening dinner on the patio. It’s quite simple to make and combines two things that makes the flavor of greens really pop: garlic and lemon.

Continue Reading: Lemony-garlic flavored recipe for all those CSA greens you just got

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/28, 2015 at 07:59 AM

Tags: recipe | greens | CSA |

Here’s your chance to be a food blogger! Write for PSU’s Local Food Journey

Here’s your chance to be a food blogger! Write for PSU’s Local Food Journey

WPSU’s Local Food Journey is looking for volunteer food writers who have a passion for local food, and would love to share that passion in the form of recipes, views on local food issues, stories about local food businesses, personal local food experiences, restaurant reviews, and more. Here are some examples of what you could write:

Continue Reading: Here’s your chance to be a food blogger! Write for PSU’s Local Food Journey

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/25, 2015 at 08:59 PM

Tags: LocalFoodJourney | writerswanted |

Frost a possiblity for Saturday morning: here’s how to protect your garden

Frost a possiblity for Saturday morning: here’s how to protect your garden

We live in Central Pennsylvania, where the weather can go from July to October in less than a day. This morning, under slate gray skies, a chilly wind blows and it feels more like we are getting close to Halloween than Memorial Day.

As can be the case with these late spring cold snaps, frost is a possibility. Right now, looks like Saturday morning is the best chance for it. This might be bad news for your garden. However, you can take steps to avoid a frost catastrophe that could cause you to replant.

Continue Reading: Frost a possiblity for Saturday morning: here’s how to protect your garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/20, 2015 at 08:16 AM

Tags: gardening | frost |

DIY hipster-style artisan grilled cheese

DIY hipster-style artisan grilled cheese

The comic Eddie Pepitone has a bit where he is complaining about how the hipsters have taken over his beloved Brooklyn, and laments that there’s places like artisan peanut butter and jelly and artisan toasted cheese restaurants. After ranting about ridiculous the concept of artisan kid’s food is, the punchline is that they’re just so delicious.

While State College doesn’t have an artisan toasted cheese cafe (yet), you can get your hipster on at home with a local food version of grilled cheese that is definitely not kids stuff. Think of it as grilled cheese, grown up. All the ingredients can be found at local farmers markets.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/12, 2015 at 08:22 AM

Tags: recipe | grilledcheese |

One great local food weekend on the way

One great local food weekend on the way

With the weather looking downright summery and generally sunny, this weekend looks to be a great time to get out and about to sample some of the best local food in our area. Here are some ideas:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/08, 2015 at 07:41 AM

Tags: weekend | farmersmarket |

Five fantastic farmers market finds

Five fantastic farmers market finds

As more and more farmers markets are opening outdoors for the season, many of us head out to sample the best each farmers market has to offer from the variety of vendors. Each of us have our favorites, and here are five of mine:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/06, 2015 at 09:56 AM

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Mobile app to help local diners find healthy options

Mobile app to help local diners find healthy options

This morning WPSU ran a story by Megan Caldwell about an interesting new app, Undressed Foods, being developed by a Penn State alum that helps people who want to watch what they eat navigate the tricky nutritional seas of restaurant menus.

Jennifer Swistock has worked on developing the app over the last several years, pulling together a wealth of nutritional information on the various places to eat in the State College area. While the app is focused on student diets (along with restaurants it features items found at the Penn State dining halls), since it has a fairly exhaustive rundown of dishes at State College restaurants, it can be useful for everyone in Happy Valley. From the story:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/04, 2015 at 08:05 AM

Tags: mobileapp | nutrition | healthyeating |

Location, location, location: Picking the right spot is a vital first step for new garden

Location, location, location: Picking the right spot is a vital first step for new garden

If you are starting a garden this year in your yard, the first step is definitely the mot important—choosing a proper location. While having the garden close to the house makes harvesting more convenient, the absolute most important thing to consider is sunlight.

Most fruits and vegetable are sun-loving plants, and need full-sun. Full-sun means at least six hours of sun a day. For full-sun plants, sun is the most important factor for successful growth, and no amount of fertilizer can help full-sun plants if they are not getting enough sun.

Next, you want to make sure that the spot you choose has good drainage. Pooling of water is not good for plants, and can lead to problems such as disease and rot.

Continue Reading: Location, location, location: Picking the right spot is a vital first step for new garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/28, 2015 at 09:10 PM

Tags: gardening | location |

Local food notes for April 24

Local food notes for April 24

Farmers markets are opening (despite the chill), Mt. Nittany Winery’s 25th Anniversary Dinner, Wine trail, learn how to grow herbs at Tait Farms, and Friends & Farmers looking for delivery drivers. Read on to learn more:

Continue Reading: Local food notes for April 24

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/24, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | farmersmarket | herbs | gardening | friends&farmers |

Patience pays off later with garden plantings

Patience pays off later with garden plantings

Every year around this time, I hear something that as a fairly experienced gardener, it makes me shake my head…“it was so nice this weekend I planted my entire garden!” Yes, when it was as warm as it was last Saturday, you can certainly be tempted to plant cold-sensitive plants and seeds outside. But, it’s just not a good idea. Here’s why:

- You live in Central Pennsylvania, not central Carolina: Weather here is highly changeable this time of year, and we do not follow a linear increase in daily temperatures in spring. So, while it was near 80 Saturday, guess what? The temperature Thursday and Friday probably will stay in the 40s, and drop around freezing at night. Not good for any tomatoes caught out in that environment.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/21, 2015 at 09:38 AM

Tags: gardening |

A visit to the farmers of Groundwork Farms CSA

A visit to the farmers of Groundwork Farms CSA

On April 2, a day that promised spring with mild breezes after a late-season snow, I visited two eastern Centre County farms at the invite of Nell Hanssen, the coordinator of Groundwork Farms CSA. The farms were Spring Bank Acres and Shady Locust Produce, both located in the beautiful countryside around Mlllheim, Aaronsburg, and Rebersburg.

First, a bit about Groundwork Farms CSA. The CSA offers food from the Penns Creek Watershed region to individuals, restaurants, and grocery stores in Centre and Union Counties. Originally limited to produce, the CSA now offers vegetables, berries, herbs, bread, flowers, dairy products, eggs, and meats. Even in the winter, CSA buyers can receive dairy products, bread, eggs, winter soups, and in-season produce. There are also opportunities to buy local fruit, flour, mushrooms, canned goods, and honey. Really, they offer a complete package of local food.

Among the local food producers in the CSA are Shady Locust Produce, King Family Farm, Halflinger Farm, Crystal Hollow Farm, and Spring Bank Acres. The two farms I visited, Spring Bank Acres and Shady Locust Produce, are Amish-run.

Continue Reading: A visit to the farmers of Groundwork Farms CSA

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/14, 2015 at 08:27 AM

Tags: Groundworks | CSA | farmers |

Opening of outdoor farmers market season nears

Opening of outdoor farmers market season nears

While you can find indoor versions of the State College, Millheim, and Boalsburg Farmers Market still going strong, the mild-ish weather recently has many people pining for the warm season and one big part of the friendly-weather months are farmers markets. Believe it or not, we are mere weeks away from the openings of our selection of farmers markets.

For those of you who want to mark your calendar, here’s a handy list of the markets that have announced their openings:

Continue Reading: Opening of outdoor farmers market season nears

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/10, 2015 at 08:44 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | opening | summer | spring |

Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest: the food itself

Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest: the food itself

This is the second part of a two-part series on local food at South By Southwest, to learn more about the event and read about some programming related to local food at the event, please go here.

I’ve been to Austin twice. The South By Southwest vibe of Austin is quite different than the normal Austin vibe. The normal Austin vibe is laid-back artsy in a folksy Texas style, while the SXSW version of Austin is more frantic and teeming, understandable given the influx of people, including lots of celebrities. But one thing that never changes about Austin, and that’s the fact it is quite a culinary destination. In keeping with the rest of the country, local food is popular in Austin and I found several great examples of regional food in Austin.

Continue Reading: Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest: the food itself

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2015 at 07:32 AM

Tags: SXSW | Austin | localfood |

Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest

Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest

South By Southwest is quite an event. Held each year in Austin, Texas, SXSW is known for technology, music, film, and as a big party. But there’s another facet to SXSW, and that’s local food.

I had the opportunity to attend SXSW last month, and spent part of the time exploring the local food side of both Austin and SXSW. Part of SXSW was SouthBites, a platform of sessions, panel discussions, podcasts, and a food truck food court that enables connections between food artisans, farmers, entrepreneurs, and just plain regular people who love food. There was certainly a local food component to SouthBites, in keeping with the national trend of increased interest in local food. Sessions included discussion about local food from angles such as food production, entrepreneurship, and even new technology to help locavores find all the best local food sources.

Along with the programming, there’s also the food itself. Austin is an incredible town for dining, especially for Mexican, Tex-Mex, and barbeque, and this includes both standing restaurants . The SXSW “Trailer Park” food court featured local food trucks, serving up delicious products which are made with local ingredients in some cases.

Today, I will focus on the sessions, and Wednesday, the local food scene at SXSW and Austin itself.

Continue Reading: Exploring local food at the 2015 South By Southwest

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03, 2015 at 07:54 AM

Tags: SXSW | Austin | localfood |

Apple tree trimming demonstration March 28 at Way Fruit Farm

Apple tree trimming demonstration March 28 at Way Fruit Farm

Those interested in learning how to trim/prune fruit trees can attend Way Fruit Farm’s Apple Tree Trimming Demonstration Saturday, March 28, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the farm located on Route 550 near Stormstown. The workshop is free of charge. 

Attendees will meet in the farm store for a brief presentation and a Q & A session and will then proceed to the orchard across the road from the store for trimming practice. It’s a good idea to prepare for cold and mud as Saturday is forecasted to be pretty chilly. The event is open to both newcomers and previous attendees who find they may have new questions. 

Continue Reading: Apple tree trimming demonstration March 28 at Way Fruit Farm

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/26, 2015 at 08:51 AM

Tags: apples | treetrimming | WayFruitFarm |

Spring farmers market frittata

Spring farmers market frittata

Spring is here! (Sort of) While the weather has been chilly and even occasionally snowy, consistent mild weather will be here soon enough. While we are still over a month away from outdoor farmers market season, the indoor farmers markets in State College, Millheim, and Boalsburg are still operating. In fact, some signs of spring such as early season greens are starting to show up, including perhaps the ultimate spring green, spinach.

This recipe pairs spinach with other items you might find at a farmers market this time of year. Frittatas are an easy meal to make and are delicious for any meal, especially a weekend brunch. This frittata combines ham, smoked gouda, and spinach to make for a tasty and quick meal.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/24, 2015 at 07:46 AM

Tags: recipe | farmersmarket | eggs | cheese | spinach |

Friends & Farmers Cooperative now offering local food delivery via online market

Friends & Farmers Cooperative now offering local food delivery via online market

Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is working to open a member-owned cooperative store that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, began home-delivery service for its Online Market on March 17. Customers in zip codes 16801 and 16803 (State College), 16851 (Lemont), 16827 (Boalsburg) and 16868 (Pine Grove Mills) can pay $5 to have fresh, locally grown and produced food delivered to their doorsteps.

Friends & Farmers opened the Online Market in November, offering consumers an easy way to purchase items from some of the same local producers participating in central Pennsylvania farmers markets. Launched as a stepping stone to opening a brick and mortar store, the Online Market offers tangible progress toward the Friends & Farmers mission: to support and grow the local food economy, while offering consumers convenient, nutritious and delicious locally grown and produced food.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Cooperative now offering local food delivery via online market

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/20, 2015 at 08:00 AM

Tags: Friends&Farmers | delivery |

Five tips to avoid seed starting disasters

Five tips to avoid seed starting disasters

It’s finally time to start seeds indoors! While it’s not very warm out at the moment, certain flowers and vegetables need an early start to ensure they will produce in the summer.

Starting seeds is generally easy but there can be occasional misfires. Here’s five tips to help ensure success as we kick off the gardening season:

Continue Reading: Five tips to avoid seed starting disasters

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/18, 2015 at 08:00 AM

Tags: gardening | seeds | spring |

Local Food Notes for March 13

Local Food Notes for March 13

Here are some local food notes for March 13:

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for March 13

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/13, 2015 at 08:00 AM

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Local Food Notes for February 20

Local Food Notes for February 20

Even with some of the coldest weather ever recorded in Centre County, there are still things happening in the local food world in central PA. While temperatures are subzero, there are some items below that might warm you with spring thoughts, so keep reading…

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for February 20

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/20, 2015 at 09:24 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | CSA | FarmersMarket | PhillyFarmandFoodFest |

Happy Fastnacht Day! Hey, wait…what’s a fastnacht?

Happy Fastnacht Day! Hey, wait…what’s a fastnacht?

Today is Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras. For many people who have grown up in a Pennsylvania Dutch area like myself (York), today is also known as Fastnacht Day.

Why Fastnacht Day? A fastnacht is a type of donut, made with potatoes, flour, sugar, yeast, and eggs. They are fried like a donut and while many are made today with a hole like a regular donut, a “traditional” fastnacht is hole-less and square.

The word fastnacht is German for “fast night” and the tradition of making them began as a way to get rid of lard, sugar, fat, and other stuff that are forbidden during lent. That way there were less temptations left in the pantry to lead hungry stomachs astray.

Continue Reading: Happy Fastnacht Day! Hey, wait…what’s a fastnacht?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/17, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Tags: fastnacht | PennsylvaniaDutch | recipe |

Last-minute local food Valentine’s Day dinner options

Last-minute local food Valentine’s Day dinner options

Uh-oh. Now you did it. You forgot to make dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, didn’t you?

No worries…there are a lot of good options in the Central Pennsylvania area for Valentine’s dinner and other food activities, and that includes those which offer up local food and drink. Here’s several options for you, but keep in mind, there’s no guarantee they have open reservation times…good luck!:

Continue Reading: Last-minute local food Valentine’s Day dinner options

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/13, 2015 at 09:57 AM

Tags: ValentinesDay | hoilday |

Warming greek-style pasta bake uses Boalsburg Farmers Market ingredients

Warming greek-style pasta bake uses Boalsburg Farmers Market ingredients

Farmers market season never really ends in Central Pennsylvania, it just shifts to a different season. The Millheim Farmers Market, Boalsburg Farmers Market, and the State College Farmers Market are all open until the opening of the “regular” summer farmers market hours.

They are, of course, all indoor, so you won’t have to worry about braving snow and bitter winds. Like in the spring and summer, I find it definitely a good idea to plan out your trip and perhaps look for ingredients for a specific recipe.

This particular recipe is for a tasty Greek-style pasta bake that is quite good with some Gemelli Bakers bread on a cold night. This recipe includes ingredients from Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors.

Continue Reading: Warming greek-style pasta bake uses Boalsburg Farmers Market ingredients

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/03, 2015 at 08:36 AM

Tags: recipe | farmersmarket | pasta |

Local Food Notes for January 30

Local Food Notes for January 30

Sick of winter yet? Well, we DO live in Central Pennsylvania, where the winters are not exactly mild, but it seems like the last two weeks have been about as rough as it can be around here. Still, the local food community is active, and here’s a few things that are going on:

- The 24th Annual PASA Farming for the Future Conference will be held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in University Park on Feb. 3-7. The event is a great way for those involved in local food to learn more about the latest innovations in sustainable agriculture, while celebrating the past year and looking to the future. For more information including registration, please go here.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for January 30

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/30, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Tags: PASA | annualconference | event | TaitFarm | Friends&Farmers |

10 great varieties to add to your seed order list

10 great varieties to add to your seed order list

I follow the weather as a hobby, one that admittedly is as much of a passion to me as gardening and cooking. People I know are aware of this quirk in my personality and often ask me about the weather. Recently, they’ve ask if there’s any reprieve in sight from our recent descent into the winter doldrums, and unfortunately for spring lovers, it doesn’t appear that we are heading for mild weather anytime soon.

However, even in the greyest and coldest days of winter, we gardeners can find a reprieve in the seed catalog. Now’s the time to order seeds, as seed companies are becoming very busy with orders. You really want to have the seeds by March, because some varieties require you start them inside in March/April so they create ripe produce for your summer table.

One of the fun things about gardening is trying unusual vegetables and fruits to put on that summer table. Here are 10 varieties of unusual fruits and vegetables to grow this year (not including any vendors, you can find these easily via an online search):

Continue Reading: 10 great varieties to add to your seed order list

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/27, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Tags: seeds | gardening |

Food court featuring local food? Find it at the Farm Show

Food court featuring local food? Find it at the Farm Show

One of the reasons to head down to the Pennsylvania Farm Show is the food. A lot of it is from Pennsylvania sources, so it’s more or less a locavore’s dream: a food court full of local food.

There’s a main food court in the Weis Exposition Hall and an additional food court in the Main Exposition Hall. Both of them have a rather charming town square motive. But what to get?

Well, there’s plenty of choices, and no matter if you are a carnivore, a vegan, or a picky five-year-old, everyone can find something to nosh on. My personal favorites include milk shakes that are ALMOST as good as the Creamery’s; maple sundaes made with real maple syrup from the Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council; an excellent mushroom soup made by the Pennsylvania Mushroom Growers Cooperative; and for those looking for something very healthy, a broccoli-cauliflower salad from the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association. Not only are these things tasty, the money raised by sales of the food items go to good causes.

Here’s the full list of all the amazing selections:

Continue Reading: Food court featuring local food? Find it at the Farm Show

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/14, 2015 at 12:45 PM

Tags: FarmShow | food | vegetables | meat | fruit |

Local Food Notes for January 9

Local Food Notes for January 9

Here’s a quick look at the local food world in Central Pennsylvania on this snowy and cold January Friday morning:

- Tomorrow the Pennsylvania Farm Show kicks off for the public and runs through Jan. 17. The Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural exposition in the nation, with nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits, but one of the biggest attractions is about the best food court you’ll ever visit. It features a variety of foods prepared by various Pennsylvania farming associations using local ingredients, including their famous milk shakes.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for January 9

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/09, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Tags: CSA | FarmShow | fermentation | Notes |

Warm up with some online seed shopping

Warm up with some online seed shopping

Any thoughts that were planted the last few weeks that we will have a warm winter this year are currently lying frozen under a coating of snow. Winter has made itself known once again here in Central Pennsylvania. While flying flakes and howling arctic winds may not put one in a spring-like mindset, you can escape via seed company websites. There, you can have a virtual spring.

But is it too soon to start seed shopping? Not at all! In fact, some seed companies sell out of interesting and rare varieties in January. The time is now to start planning and shopping for your 2015 garden.

Continue Reading: Warm up with some online seed shopping

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/07, 2015 at 10:47 AM

Tags: gardening | seeds | spring |

Six tips for a perfect New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut dinner.

Six tips for a perfect New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut dinner.

Eating pork and sauerkraut for good luck on New Year’s Day is a Pennsylvania tradition based on a few rather rural observations. First, you have pork because pigs root forward, while chickens and turkeys scratch backwards. Therefore, the folk logic goes, eating pork equals progress in the next year.

Then there’s the sauerkraut, which symbolizes prosperity. This is because sauerkraut apparently swells as it ferments.

Whatever the reasons for eating it, pork and sauerkraut is an excellent, hearty meal for a mid-winter day. Here are six tips to help you make the best pork and sauerkraut possible:

Continue Reading: Six tips for a perfect New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut dinner.

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/30, 2014 at 09:50 AM

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In memory of PASA board member Jerry Brunetti

Reprinted from an email, sent out by Brian Snyder, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture:

At a time of year already packed with emotional intensity, it can be especially hard to lose a loved one. This year all of us at PASA are greatly saddened to note the passing of our board member, good friend, mentor and inspirational leader, Jerry Brunetti, who succumbed to cancer this past Saturday, just shy of his 64th birthday.

I refuse to assert that “he lost his long battle with cancer,” as we so often hear being said, because Jerry was nothing if not a winner, in this and other life struggles as well. In facing this disease so courageously over many years, he taught us by example about natural systems for healing, and how to live in general. Jerry will be greatly missed, but will forever be our teacher through the many lessons he has left behind.

Continue Reading: In memory of PASA board member Jerry Brunetti

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/26, 2014 at 01:28 PM

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Head to Boalsburg Farmers Market today for holiday recipe ingredients

Head to Boalsburg Farmers Market today for holiday recipe ingredients

For your holiday dinners, it’s always good to try to serve local food. While it’s cold and gloomy and eating local produce is a lot harder to do than when it’s sunny and summery, but the Boalsburg Farmers Market is open today from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and has some local produce options.

Melanie Rosenberger of the Boalsburg Farmers Market has shared with us two delicious side recipes to complement whatever holiday main dish you decide to make.

Continue Reading: Head to Boalsburg Farmers Market today for holiday recipe ingredients

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/23, 2014 at 09:05 AM

Tags: holiday | squash | kale | recipe | apple | cabbage | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Last minute local food gift ideas

Last minute local food gift ideas

Uh-oh…just realized you forgot to get someone a gift? Delayed your shopping to the last possible moment? Decided to get someone a gift as the last minute? Hard to go wrong with food, especially the local variety. There’s lots of great gift ideas out there in our local food world that are delicious. Plus, if you buy a local food gift, you are supporting the Central Pennsylvania economy. So, everyone wins.

Here’s some great ideas for local food gifts…

Continue Reading: Last minute local food gift ideas

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Tags: holiday | gift |

Holiday events with a local food twist

Holiday events with a local food twist

There are several holiday events coming up that have a local food angle to them. If you want to celebrate the holiday and support local food vendors, here are several opportunities to do so:

Continue Reading: Holiday events with a local food twist

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Tags: holiday | shopping | TaitFarm | Bellefonte | MountNittanyWinery | wine |

Yes, believe it or not, there are still local veggies/fruits ‘in season’

Yes, believe it or not, there are still local veggies/fruits ‘in season’

With winter in full swing across the area, it may come as a surprise to many that there are still vegetables and fruits that are “in season” and available via both CSA’s and local farmers markets. Here are some examples of vegetables that are available either due to being able to store them well or because they can be grown in greenhouses:

Continue Reading: Yes, believe it or not, there are still local veggies/fruits ‘in season’

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/09, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | winter | rootvegetables | brassicas | apples |

PASA gift guide offers great local food gifts for the holidays

PASA gift guide offers great local food gifts for the holidays

Trying to come up with a perfect gift for that foodie in your life? The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) has the solution—the PASA Good Gifts Guide. javascript:nullo();

Continue Reading: PASA gift guide offers great local food gifts for the holidays

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/03, 2014 at 09:18 AM

Tags: holiday | shopping |

Annual PASA Conference Feb. 3-7, early Pre-Registration window for discounted registration now open.

Annual PASA Conference Feb. 3-7, early Pre-Registration window for discounted registration now open.

You may have received your 2015 PASA Conference brochure in the mail over the holiday weekend. If not, then you can find it at pasafarming.org/conference.

This year PASA will offer a Pre-Registration window where you can get the lowest rate possible for the conference. The deadline for registration to get this discount rate is Jan. 5 at 5:00 p.m.

Continue Reading: Annual PASA Conference Feb. 3-7, early Pre-Registration window for discounted registration now open.

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/01, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Tags: PASA | annualconference | event |

Winning (literally) apple pie recipes for Thanksgiving

Winning (literally) apple pie recipes for Thanksgiving

After everyone finishes their seconds tomorrow at the Thanksgiving table, you always have to make some room for dessert. After all, dessert is as much a part of the Thanksgiving spread as the turkey.

Back in late October, Way Fruit Farm held their annual Apple Pie Contest. I had the honor of judging around a dozen excellent entries and it was very difficult to decide on a winner. After the contest, I thought to myself, any of those pies would be perfect at Thanksgiving. So, I figured I’d share a few examples of the wonderful pies I sampled.

The winner, Jamie Liner of Port Matilda, and a runner up, Cathy Cohan of State College, were gracious enough to offer their apple pie recipes for you to use if you decide to bake an apple pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Enjoy!

Continue Reading: Winning (literally) apple pie recipes for Thanksgiving

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/26, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Tags: applepie | recipe | Thanksgiving |

Five local food additions to your Thanksgiving table

Five local food additions to your Thanksgiving table

It’s likely a bit too late to get a local turkey if you already haven’t, but there are a lot of local food items that you can add to your Thanksgiving table. You still have time to head out and pick them out (although based on the weather forecast might want to do it before Wednesday).

Here are five fine additions to your Thanksgiving table from local food producers:

Continue Reading: Five local food additions to your Thanksgiving table

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/24, 2014 at 09:26 AM

Tags: Thanksgiving | gluten-free | wine | beverage | bread | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Final day of the season for two popular farmers market

Final day of the season for two popular farmers market

If the brutal cold this week hasn’t got its point across that winter is more or less here, the fact that two outdoor farmers markets having their final day today and tomorrow is the final bit of proof. Soon our stone-faced friend in the picture above will get his winter coat of snow.

Today, the outdoor Downtown State College Farmers Market on Locust Lane closes the season on a chilly note. That market runs today from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Then tomorrow, the Bellefonte Farmers Market will be open from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

Continue Reading: Final day of the season for two popular farmers market

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/21, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | winter |

This weekend get great local food at Harrison’s and help fight diabetes

This weekend get great local food at Harrison’s and help fight diabetes

From our friends at Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering:

World Diabetes Day, a day set aside for the global diabetes community to join their voices in order to raise diabetes awareness and advocacy, is Nov. 14. 

Dine in at Harrison’s from Nov. 10-Nov. 16 between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and 10% of all lunch, dinner, bar, and carry-out sales will be donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help support promising diabetes cure research. 

Our menu features many low-carb and Type 2 diabetes-friendly selections. You can eat well and…

Continue Reading: This weekend get great local food at Harrison’s and help fight diabetes

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/14, 2014 at 07:00 AM

Tags: Harrisons | fundraiser |

PSU researchers among group that discovered that bees do better on a natural diet, too

PSU researchers among group that discovered that bees do better on a natural diet, too

It’s pretty much a no-brainer that it’s healthier to live on a natural diet as opposed to a diet of processed, artificial food. Penn State and other university and government researchers discovered that bees also do better on a natural diet—it makes them more resistant to pesticides.

This is something that’s quite important in light of the recent die-offs of honeybees. As most people know, bees are extremely important to humans for their pollination work. Often, they are exposed to agricultural pesticides, so having a high resistance is vital to their survival.

Continue Reading: PSU researchers among group that discovered that bees do better on a natural diet, too

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/04, 2014 at 09:11 AM

Tags: bees | research | PennState |

Support local food by supporting WPSU? Absolutely!

Support local food by supporting WPSU? Absolutely!

As I write this we are in the last hours of the fall pledge drive at WPSU. My wife and I renewed our membership this morning (I am not in fact, a greyhound, and if you were listening around 6:30 a.m. you’ll get that). The local food scene and WPSU run parallel to each other…each offer outstanding stuff produced right here in Central Pennsylvania. I think it makes sense to support both.

The similarities run deeper than that, to the point where we support each other. Local food businesses have been underwriters of WPSU and of course, WPSU offers you this very blog. Recently, WPSU’s Anna Foley produced a radio feature that told the story of that amazing El Gringo Taco Truck that serves up remarkable renditions of Mexican classics at area farmers markets. If you’ve had one of Ben Stanley’s delicious creations, chances are you’ve become hooked. But, as you found out by listening to Anna’s story, how El Gringo came about is as interesting as his food is good.

Continue Reading: Support local food by supporting WPSU? Absolutely!

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/24, 2014 at 09:28 AM

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Boalsburg Farmers Market seek administrator to implement key USDA grant

Boalsburg Farmers Market seek administrator to implement key USDA grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Boalsburg Farmers Market $28,171 to increase the sale of local agricultural products. The Farmers Market Promotion Program funds will be used to allow SNAP (food stamp) recipients to buy at the Boalsburg market, increase the number of cooking demonstrations there, expand its school outreach programs, and raise public awareness of the market and the health benefits of fresh local food through increased advertising. The market is seeking a part-time grant administrator, SNAP benefits program coordinator, and publicity director to implement the grant. Persons interested I the grant administrator position can contact the market’s Community Outreach Director, Jim Eisenstein, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Continue Reading: Boalsburg Farmers Market seek administrator to implement key USDA grant

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/21, 2014 at 08:43 AM

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This weekend, get your fill of fall festivals

This weekend, get your fill of fall festivals

If you like, this weekend you can do a mini fall festival tour around the Centre Region. Here’s four fun ones that will make for a nice autumn weekend:

Continue Reading: This weekend, get your fill of fall festivals

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/17, 2014 at 09:55 AM

Tags: fall | festivals |

How to extend your garden-fresh tomato season

How to extend your garden-fresh tomato season

One of the better garden writers out there is Doug Oster, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Last week, he wrote about tomatoes and how to save them for, believe it or not, Thanksgiving dinner.

That got me thinking; despite our cold morning last Sunday (we got down to 30 degrees in Port Matilda) somehow, someway, my tomato plants survived it despite not being covered. So, this idea of fresh tomatoes in November has a lot of appeal to me and given our mild weather forecasted for the next week or two, any remaining tomatoes can be encouraged to ripen.

Continue Reading: How to extend your garden-fresh tomato season

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/14, 2014 at 08:51 AM

Tags: gardening | tomatoes |

Friends & Farmers to hold inaugural membership meeting Oct. 11

Friends & Farmers to hold inaugural membership meeting Oct. 11

Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is opening a member-owned grocery store that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, is holding its inaugural membership meeting this Saturday, Oct. 11, at the State College High School South cafeteria at 2:00 p.m.

The co-op, nearly 300 members strong, will elect a permanent board of directors; hear an update on its progress and future plans, including the upcoming launch of the Friends & Farmers online farmers market; and answer members’ questions.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers to hold inaugural membership meeting Oct. 11

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/08, 2014 at 08:00 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmers |

Recipe: Roasted tomatillo salsa verde

Recipe: Roasted tomatillo salsa verde

Salsa verde is a delicious twist on its red cousin, regular salsa. While regular salsa gets its red color from tomatoes, the classic Mexican salsa verde gets its green color from tomatillos (“verde” means “green” in Spanish). Salsa verde gets its tangy-sweet flavor from tomatillos.

If you are not familiar with tomatillos, they are a fruit that’s in the nightshade family. While many hear “nightshade” and think “poison”, other members of the nightshade family include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and ground cherries, all things that are both tasty and good for you. Like ground cherries, tomatillos grow inside thin husks. You may have seen them at grocery stores around the Hispanic produce, but they are also sometimes offered at farmers market. They are simple to grow and do surprisingly well in our climate. Think of them as similar to growing peppers or tomatoes. They offer some pretty spectacular yields.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Roasted tomatillo salsa verde

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/06, 2014 at 09:19 AM

Tags: recipe | tomatillos | salsa | Mexican |

Friends & Farmers Co-op to Launch Online Marketplace

Friends & Farmers Co-op to Launch Online Marketplace

At the Sept. 3 Friends & Farmers board meeting, the directors reviewed the results of the recent survey and the information gathered by the online market task group, and unanimously voted to launch Friends & Farmers Online as a stepping stone to a brick and mortar store. The task group will determine the operating details and report on progress to the Board monthly, and is authorized to spend up to $6,000 to establish and operate the market for one year. In October 2015 the board will then evaluate the project and determine next steps. The Friends & Farmers Online task group is open to board members, co-op members, and producers; if you’re interested in joining the group to help launch the market, please contact Jim Eisenstein at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). In the near future, we will have more about this on Local Food Journey so stay tuned…

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Co-op to Launch Online Marketplace

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/02, 2014 at 07:41 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmers |

Now is the time to plant garlic

Now is the time to plant garlic

While you can plant garlic in the very early spring, between now and late October is the best time to get your garlic bulbs in the ground. By planting garlic now, you can get bigger, better quality bulbs next summer.

There are several basic types of garlic:

- Softneck: This variety of garlic generally does not produce scapes, those delicious edible flower stalks, but is great for braiding. You have to be cautious when selecting a variety with softneck types as not all varieties can handle our cold climate.

- Hardneck: These do produce scapes, and generally handle our cold climate well. One of my favorite types of garlic, the purple stripe variety, is a hardneck garlic.

- Elephant: This variety of garlic is related to leeks, and is famous for its large, mild cloves. Does need a mulch to make it through the winter.

Continue Reading: Now is the time to plant garlic

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/23, 2014 at 07:29 AM

Tags: gardening | garlic |

Local Food Notes for Sept. 12

Local Food Notes for Sept. 12

For this week’s Local Food Notes….honeycrisp apples are back, your chance to meet a sheep at the Millheim Farmers Market, Tait Farms Foods introduces a fall flavored shrub, and how to store that winter squash purchase you made at farmers market.

- Honeycrisp apples are back: Honeycrisp apples are a much-loved variety, due to their crisp texture, sweet flavor, and juicy mouth-feel. They are back now, and can be found at various Central Pennsylvania orchards, such as Harner Farm and Way Fruit Farm. Get them before the rest of the Honeyheads end up eating them all.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept. 12

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/12, 2014 at 08:13 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | fall | apples | shrub | wintersquash |

Five local food fantastic fall flavors

Five local food fantastic fall flavors

As the leaves turn and the weather cools, our palates start to turn towards more hearty fare. Here’s five outstanding local food items that you can find in the area that are sure to warm you up when those first chilly winds of autumn start blowing…

Continue Reading: Five local food fantastic fall flavors

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/09, 2014 at 07:43 AM

Tags: Fall | Autumn |

Local Food Notes for September 5

Local Food Notes for September 5

September is here, the kids are back to school, and there’s even a bit of color showing up on the trees. Despite our summery heat and humidity this week, cooler days are just around the corner, and fall is a great time for local food. Here’s some quick updates on the local food scene:

- If you are going to the Friday Downtown State College Farmers Market, please keep in mind that you can get up to 30 minutes of parking validated. Please visit Janet at her Piper’s Peck stand to get your parking validated.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for September 5

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/05, 2014 at 08:23 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Good Intent makes great cider

Good Intent makes great cider

There’s a cider boom going on in America right now. The proof is in the fact that sales of cider (the alcoholic kind) reached $600 million last year, more than tripling sales from 2007, according to research firm IBISWorld.

Adam Redding is getting in on this explosion by founding Good Intent Cider, a new cidery out of both Gettysburg and Bellefonte. Cider making seems to be in Adam’s blood, something that has become a bit more than just a hobby to relax with after his day job as a scientist. “When I was in college we used to make cider in our dorm room. That was pretty rough stuff that we made back then, not anything you’d want to sell,” Redding said. “I didn’t really get back into it until years later. I saw that Cornell offered a cider making course at their ag extension in Geneva, so I talked to my wife about it.”

Continue Reading: Good Intent makes great cider

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/04, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Tags: cider | GoodIntent | beverages |

Local Food Notes, Aug. 29

Local Food Notes, Aug. 29

- First off, we’d like to offer our best wishes for a swift recovery to a Rising Spring Meat Company employee named Billy, who was seriously injured on the job this past Wednesday. You can read more about it below, and you can offer good thoughts and best wishes below at the company’s Facebook page. They posted the following on that page:

“So, our jobs are dangerous. There is a careful line of respect and awe one has to have working around large animals. Even with the most caution, things can still happen - like they did yesterday. One of our guys (actually our very first employee) was seriously injured on the job yesterday. It looks like everything is going to be OK, but it was a tough tough day for the whole crew and as you can imagine, we have been very distracted by this. As we were thinking what this means for the team in the coming weeks while he heals, we realized that there is a whole community of people out there following us and that maybe if we posted this you could send some get well messages for him (Billy) and maybe it could help lift his spirits. He is one of the guys, very much behind the scenes, who is responsible for bringing food to your plates - so even if you don’t know him - he’s probably helped to feed your family! Please help us in wishing Billy well in his recovery!!”

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes, Aug. 29

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/29, 2014 at 08:25 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | farmersmarket | TaitFarms | Crickfest |

How to deal with two devastating late-season garden fungal diseases

How to deal with two devastating late-season garden fungal diseases

As we wind down a summer that will go in the weather record books as one of the top five wettest summers in the 119-year history of weather records at State College, gardeners face a late-season challenge to their plots. Along with all that rain, we’ve had a cool but humid summer. These are just about perfect conditions for all sorts of garden fungal diseases to lay waste to your remaining garden season.

There are plenty of fungal diseases that can lay a hurt on your home garden production, but I am going to focus on two common and particularly destructive plant illnesses, late blight and powdery mildew.

Continue Reading: How to deal with two devastating late-season garden fungal diseases

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/25, 2014 at 07:50 AM

Tags: gardening | fungal | disease |

Local Food Notes, August 22

Local Food Notes, August 22

Downtown State College Farmers Market moves for one week only: As you may have noticed, Penn State students are moving back in. This means the Downtown State College Friday Farmers Market will move to Heister Stree, one block east of Locust Lane, for this week only.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes, August 22

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/22, 2014 at 07:19 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | TaitFarm |

Your guide the final day of Ag Progress Days

Your guide the final day of Ag Progress Days

After a bit of a hullabaloo yesterday due to visits by the dueling gubernatorial candidates, Ag Progress Days returns to a more normal schedule for its final day. The event goes until 4:00 p.m. today, and up until then the schedule is packed with events, tours, exhibits, and good food. There’s 80+ acres of crop and machinery demonstrations, and 55 acres for indoor and outdoor exhibits, so there’s plenty to do. Here’s a guide to attending the event on its last day:

Continue Reading: Your guide the final day of Ag Progress Days

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/14, 2014 at 07:45 AM

Tags: AgProgressDays | agriculture | events |

Recipe: It’s still blueberry time! Giving blueberries a chance to shine on the grill

Recipe: It’s still blueberry time! Giving blueberries a chance to shine on the grill

Blueberry season can last well into August here in Central Pennsylvania, and you can still find the little blue globes of greatness at farmers markets, farm stands, and pick-your-own farms like Mountainhome Farm in Julian. Blueberries have a lot of things going for them beyond taste, including lots of antioxidants.

Most people think of blueberries as a dessert food, but blueberries can be a star in savory recipes, such as salads and meat dishes. I have found that blueberries go well with meats such as pork and chicken. With this in mind, this recipe for grilled chicken thighs with honey blueberry sauce is a good introduction to the idea of blueberries as part of an entree.

Continue Reading: Recipe: It’s still blueberry time! Giving blueberries a chance to shine on the grill

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/12, 2014 at 08:54 AM

Tags: blueberries | recipe |

Nittany Lion Inn chef wins the 2014 Golden Basket Award with…guinea fowl?

Nittany Lion Inn chef wins the 2014 Golden Basket Award with…guinea fowl?

So, my only prior knowledge of guinea fowl was via a bait and tackle shop in rural Washington County, which I used to visit when I lived in Pittsburgh. No, they didn’t use them for bait. There were a ton of the noisy things wandering around outside of the shop, and the reason they were there was apparently due to their propensity to control ticks by eating lots of them.

I tried not to think of my previous experience with the critters as Kirsch McMaster, a la cart sous chef at the Nittany Lion Inn, brought out a plate that featured a remarkable dish called “Guinea Fowl, Two Ways” to the judges’ canopy at the annual Boalsburg Farmers Market Golden Basket Award, held Tuesday afternoon. I was one of the six judges seated under that canopy, joined by State College Magazine editor Kate Delano, State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Health and Neighborhood Services Director Kevin Kassab, local food writer and Friends and Farmers Coop board member Michele Marchetti, and WPSU television producer and personality Patty Satalia.

Continue Reading: Nittany Lion Inn chef wins the 2014 Golden Basket Award with…guinea fowl?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/07, 2014 at 08:42 AM

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Head out to the Tomato Festival today (Friday Aug. 1) at Downtown State College Farmers Market

Head out to the Tomato Festival today (Friday Aug. 1) at Downtown State College Farmers Market

Editor’s Note: Since the weekend’s local food activities is dominated by Local Foods Week stuff, those looking for Local Food Weekend can find plenty of local food stuff to do this weekend by going here.

It’s the time of year that tomato lovers crave when the snow is flying and the only “fresh tomatoes” are those flavorless waxy things in the supermarket. Tomatoes are everywhere now, fresh and tasty, and can be found at farmers markets throughout the area. To celebrate this annual bounty, the Downtown State College Farmers Market will hold its Tomato Festival today at the market.

Continue Reading: Head out to the Tomato Festival today (Friday Aug. 1) at Downtown State College Farmers Market

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/01, 2014 at 10:22 AM

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Local Foods Week celebrates our local bounty Aug 2-9

Local Foods Week celebrates our local bounty Aug 2-9

As any reader of this blog is well aware, we live in an area full of fantastic sources of local food. And it’s growing, from new places to find local food to the excitement building around the burgeoning Friends & Farmers Coop and their plans to build a grocery store dedicated to local food. Really, something as awesome as our community of farms, markets, roadside stands, local food restaurants, etc. is something to be celebrated.

With that in mind, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is celebrating Local Foods Week August 2-9 with a variety of events, including the Centre County Farm Tour. FYI, this year, folks can buy a farm tour pass on-line or at the farmers markets during Local Foods Week. Purchasing a pass in advance means you can go to some of the farms starting at 10:00 a.m. (please review the list to see which ones open early). Passes will be available only at the North Atherton Farmers Market and the Millheim Farmers Market on the day of the tour.

More details about Local Foods Week, including other events:

Continue Reading: Local Foods Week celebrates our local bounty Aug 2-9

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31, 2014 at 09:59 AM

Tags: LocalFoodsWeek | 2014 | FarmTour | FarmFest | GoldenBasket |

Get baking: Friends & Farmers Co-op Pie Contest to be held Aug. 2 at 2014 FarmFest

Get baking: Friends & Farmers Co-op Pie Contest to be held Aug. 2 at 2014 FarmFest

Summer is a perfect time to bake pies, given all the fresh produce available. So many fruits, like peaches, and berries, like blueberries, are in season and can be found in farmers markets, roadside stands, and backyards all across our area. Do you have a pie you are particularly proud of? Then enter it in Friends & Farmers Coop’s “A Slice of Community: People’s Choice Pie Contest”, to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 as part of the 2014 FarmFest from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

“You don’t have to be a professional baker to enter,” said Michele Marchetti, Coop board member. “This is a people’s choice pie contest and another way the cooperative is bringing people together around food.”

Continue Reading: Get baking: Friends & Farmers Co-op Pie Contest to be held Aug. 2 at 2014 FarmFest

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/30, 2014 at 07:00 AM

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Your Local Food Weekend for July 26-27

Your Local Food Weekend for July 26-27

Sample and learn how to make pickles at Tait Farm, learn how to get your baby started on solid foods at Mt. Nittany Medical Center, see inspirational art of local farmland at Centre Furnace Mansion, and enjoy local food, beer, and great folk-rock at Elk Creek Cafe…

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for July 26-27

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/25, 2014 at 08:37 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |

Local Food Video: Plowshare Produce offers access to produce with a small environmental impact

Video by WPSU intern Kelly Tunney

Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg like to know who their vegetables are going home with. As the founders of Plowshare Produce, a CSA (for community-supported agriculture) near Huntingdon, Micah and Bethany know their members. The farmers greet their members by name; one of them is even the doula who delivered their son Ben.

A CSA is a subscription model for produce. Members pay in advance to have a weekly or biweekly delivery of fresh, organic vegetables. On their appointed day–Tuesday in State College, Friday in Huntingdon–they pick up their share of whatever ripened that week. At a recent distribution in State College, that included kohlrabi, garlic scapes, strawberries, beets, carrots, chard, and sugar peas.

 

Continue Reading: Local Food Video: Plowshare Produce offers access to produce with a small environmental impact

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Tags: LocalFoodVideo | PlowshareProduce |

PASA meets fundraising goal for 2013-2014 fiscal year

PASA meets fundraising goal for 2013-2014 fiscal year

Editor’s Note: The following is a letter sent out by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Executive Director Brian Snyder. This is wonderful news for an organization that is a big part of the local food community. The letter was sent July 3 but we figured it was never too late to share such good news!

Every once in a while we get to celebrate the unique character of the PASA community in a special way. This is one of those times.  Having been notified in early June of an impending budgetary shortfall and increased annual fundraising goal, our members and other supporters came through in a big way, contributing over $50,000 in the last month of our fiscal year! 

Continue Reading: PASA meets fundraising goal for 2013-2014 fiscal year

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/18, 2014 at 07:00 AM

Tags: PASA |

Your Local Food Weekend for July 12 and 13

Your Local Food Weekend for July 12 and 13

This weekend, check out the local food part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the Peoples Choice Arts Festival, enjoy wild blueberries, and discover the local food growing right in the Pennsylvania wilds.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for July 12 and 13

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/11, 2014 at 07:30 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |

Believe it or not, still time to plant summer vegetables/herbs/flowers

Believe it or not, still time to plant summer vegetables/herbs/flowers

While many of us have a full garden by now, there may still be holes to fill due to rascally rabbits, devious deer, disastrous disease. Or, you just haven’t had a chance to get out and plant certain parts of your yard. No worries, believe it or not, there’s still time to plant summer vegetables (and soon time to plant fall vegetables, more about that in a future post). And there are bargains to be found at local garden centers/greenhouses.

For vegetables, we basically have about 80-90 days left in our growing season, depending on where you live. So, any plant that matures by that time, you can plant and harvest.

Continue Reading: Believe it or not, still time to plant summer vegetables/herbs/flowers

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/07, 2014 at 08:25 AM

Tags: gardening | greenhouse | peppers | tomatoes | vegetables | perennials | herbs |

Ebensburg and surrounding area’s growing local food scene

Ebensburg and surrounding area’s growing local food scene

WPSU’s recent episode of “Our Town” featured a visit to Ebensburg. Part of the episode looked at the food scene and featured an interview with Penn State Altoona employee and part-time pastry chef Julie Fether. I recently chatted with Julie and learned more about a growing local food movement in Blair and Cambria Counties.

When Julie Fether moved back to her hometown of Ebensburg from Oregon, she wasn’t anticipating a thriving local food scene like she had in Oregon. But what she discovered was a growing local food community in her old stomping grounds.

Fether has become part of that local food scene herself. Along with her role as a project coordinator for the Center for Community-Based Studies at Penn State Altoona, she works part-time as a pastry chef at the Ebensburg destination restaurant, Amichi’s Ristorante. She notes that Amichi’s is not only a fantastic fine-dining experience but also a place to eat local. “They work very closely with couple of local farms,” Fether said. “They also buy from the Johnstown Farmers Market and the Ebensburg Farmers Market. The perk of working there is local farmers will come with produce and give out samples.”

Continue Reading: Ebensburg and surrounding area’s growing local food scene

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/01, 2014 at 07:56 AM

Tags: Ebensburg | Potatofest | Amichi's | EverydayGourmet |

Your Local Food Weekend for June 28 and 29

Your Local Food Weekend for June 28 and 29

Pesto tastings at Tait Farm, a real live bison at the Bellefonte Farmers Market, the final June free wine and cheese tasting at Mt. Nittany Winery, and great live music at Gamble Mill Inn.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 28 and 29

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2014 at 09:45 PM

Tags: |

State College couple takes action to help those in need with Giving Garden

State College couple takes action to help those in need with Giving Garden

Two members of the Mount Nittany United Methodist Church have led an effort to create a “Giving Garden” on the church grounds to help address the issue of hunger in our community.

Robert and Joanna Jones of State College got a double dose of inspiration from the documentary “A Place At the Table”, about food shortages in the United States, and a TED Talk by fashion designer and activist Ron Finley about guerrilla gardening in South Central Los Angeles. So, they decided to take action themselves and help address our local food shortages here in Central Pennsylvania with local food from a garden on the church grounds.

Continue Reading: State College couple takes action to help those in need with Giving Garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Tags: gardening | localfood | volunteers | foodshortage |

Your Local Food Weekend for June 21-22

Your Local Food Weekend for June 21-22

This weekend you can enjoy a summer celebration at Tait Farm, experience a garden via your five senses, meet PBS Kids’ very own Daniel Tiger, enjoy free wine and cheese tastings, and go back in time musically with The Dustbowl Revival.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 21-22

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/20, 2014 at 08:44 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | TaitFarm | summer | gardening |

It starts in your backyard: Help the environment via native plants

It starts in your backyard: Help the environment via native plants

WPSU radio’s Kelly Tunney ran a great story this morning about the importance of native plants in your garden, as they provide an important link in the ecosystem.

Continue Reading: It starts in your backyard: Help the environment via native plants

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Tags: WPSU | nativeplants |

Your Local Food Weekend for June 14-15

Your Local Food Weekend for June 14-15

This weekend, you can enjoy pick-your-own strawberries, a Strawberry Festival in Lemont, wine and cheese tastings, and blues and soul to go with your local beer at the Gamble Mill Inn.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 14-15

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/13, 2014 at 08:38 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | strawberries |

Why your seeds didn’t germinate

Why your seeds didn’t germinate

One of the more frustrating things in gardening is taking time to prepare a garden bed, plant seeds, and then have them not germinate. The good news is, you have time to replant many vegetables in the garden.

So, when you do replant, here are some tips to help you avoid germination issues in the new planting:

Continue Reading: Why your seeds didn’t germinate

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/10, 2014 at 08:30 AM

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Kids Day Learning Kitchen at Boalsburg Farmers Market June 10

Kids Day Learning Kitchen at Boalsburg Farmers Market June 10

Students from Corl Street Elementary school have been invited to attend a cooking demonstration at the Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesday, June 10. The highlight of the event will be a “learning kitchen” cooking class conducted by Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers that will show children how to make simple dishes using ingredients obtained from the market. He will be assisted by noted local food writer and chef Anne Quinn Corr and her students from Penn State’s nutrition program. After the demonstration, the vendors at the market will answer questions from the children about how they grow and make the products sold at the market, and Corl street students will be able to use a voucher worth $5 to purchase items themselves.

Continue Reading: Kids Day Learning Kitchen at Boalsburg Farmers Market June 10

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/09, 2014 at 08:05 AM

Tags: BoalsburgFarmersMarket | KidsDay | cookingdemonstration |

Your Local Food Weekend for June 7-8

Your Local Food Weekend for June 7-8

This Local Food Weekend features a Pink Day, Millheim Mayfly Festival, wine and cheese at Mount Nittany Winery, and a Friends and Farmers Coop fundraiser at Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 7-8

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/05, 2014 at 09:04 PM

Tags: |

Your Local Food Weekend for May 17-18

Your Local Food Weekend for May 17-18

After our May monsoon, looks like a cool but decent weather weekend coming up. This weekend, there’s two plant sales, the Blair County Arts Festival, The Big Spring Festival, and live acoustic music to be found. Continue reading to learn more and plan your weekend.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 17-18

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/16, 2014 at 08:01 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | May17-18 |

Penn State students work to create a food bank for students

Penn State students work to create a food bank for students

We recently had a story on here about the Penn State Community Food Security Club. The organization is run by Penn State students that has a mission which states that their goal is to “spread conscious eating habits to the Penn State and State College communities, to assist in the support of a local food system, and to raise awareness and support for food security.”

Recently, WPSU ran a radio story during Morning Edition about another Penn State student-run effort that addresses an issue that many may not be aware even exists—University students who struggle to feed themselves.

Continue Reading: Penn State students work to create a food bank for students

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/15, 2014 at 08:57 AM

Tags: Foodbank | Lion'sPantry | hunger |

Your Local Food Weekend for May 10-11

Your Local Food Weekend for May 10-11

This weekend features Way Fruit Farm’s Apple Blossom Festival, Centre Furnace Mansion Plant Celebration, Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering special Graduation Dinner, and Webster’s Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 10-11

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/09, 2014 at 07:39 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |

Five must-have local food bites

Five must-have local food bites

While we are most certainly not Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, we here in Central Pennsylvania are not living in a good-food black hole. We have some excellent restaurants and other vendors of prepared meals/snacks using local food ingredients in our area. You can find local food in fine dining establishments, taverns, diners, festivals, and, of course, farmers markets. Here are five great local food items that we think you must try:

Continue Reading: Five must-have local food bites

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/07, 2014 at 07:30 AM

Tags: ElGringoTacoTruck | Harrison'sWineGrill | WayFruitFarm | ElkCreek | Gemelli'sBakery |

Local Food Journey looking for writers to share their local food stories

Local Food Journey looking for writers to share their local food stories

Do you like to write and love local food? Well, we’d love to have you help us tell Central Pennsylvania’s Local Food Stories! We are looking for writers to post on Local Food Journey about anything local food related, including:

Continue Reading: Local Food Journey looking for writers to share their local food stories

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/05, 2014 at 07:31 AM

Tags: writerswanted |

Your Local Food Weekend for May 3-4

Your Local Food Weekend for May 3-4

This is a really exciting time to be a local foodie, as the warm season is finally here (even though most mornings we still need a jacket). Because this is the time of farmers markets, outdoor festivals, etc. we are bringing back the Local Food Weekend feature. Each Friday we help you plan your weekend by highlighting some of the local-food related events going on Saturday and Sunday.

Our first event is put on by one of our hubs of local food, Tait Farm, which is holding their Gardener’s Open House. Click the link below after “Continue Reading” to find out more about that event and others…

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 3-4

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/02, 2014 at 07:59 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | TaitFarm | nativeplants | gardening | farmersmarkets |

You have until May 2 to get great benefits by becoming a Founding Member of Friends & Farmers Co-op

You have until May 2 to get great benefits by becoming a Founding Member of Friends & Farmers Co-op

Friends and Farmers Cooperative is nearing their goal of 200 Founding Members by Thursday, May 2, but they still need your help if you already haven’t signed up. Please note that you can fill out the member application form online, then mail your check to the Co-op. As long as you fill out the form by Thursday, you’ll be considered a Founding Owner-Member.

One of the first perks of membership is the Local Loyalty program. Owner-members will be able to use their brand-new membership card at 35 local businesses to receive discounts, and this list of businesses is growing and not limited to food!

The Local Loyalty Program includes businesses that offer food, acupuncture, book, clothing alterations, massage, jewelry, and more. Along with this, there are a lot of other benefits of membership. You can find the form to fill out here.

Continue Reading: You have until May 2 to get great benefits by becoming a Founding Member of Friends & Farmers Co-op

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/30, 2014 at 09:00 AM

Tags: friendsandfarmers | members | localfood |

Five tips to help you avoid early season gardening set-backs

Five tips to help you avoid early season gardening set-backs

It’s almost May, and garden preparations are in full swing. Like anything else, a successful garden can really rely on a good start. There are multiple mistakes that can set your garden back that can be easily avoided. Here’s some tips to help you avoid five of the most common early season garden mistakes:

Continue Reading: Five tips to help you avoid early season gardening set-backs

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/28, 2014 at 08:43 AM

Tags: gardening | earlyseason |

Recipe: Dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing a PA Dutch Easter staple

Recipe: Dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing a PA Dutch Easter staple

To many, the image above may cause anger because the dandelion is considered one of the worst lawn and garden weeds to control. However, to many of the Pennsylvania Dutch persuasion, dandelions are good to eat and are a staple at the Easter table. They are, as we all know, quite plentiful and are ready to harvest right now so you can gather enough for Easter dinner.

There are two key points to remember when harvesting dandelions. First, perhaps most importantly, make sure you are not harvesting greens from ground that has been hard hit with herbicides and other chemicals. In fact, there are cultivars of dandelions that you can grow in your garden. Second, you must harvest the greens before the flower head appears. Once that happens, they become so bitter they are inedible.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing a PA Dutch Easter staple

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/18, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Tags: recipe | dandelion | spring | Easter | bacon |

A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

Tomorrow is practically a Central Pennsylvania holiday—first day of trout season! Our area is known across the country as a prime area for trout fishing, boasting legendary trout streams like Spruce Creek, Penn’s Creek, Bald Eagle Creek, and Black Moshannon Creek. Saturday these streams will be filled with anglers trying their luck.

There are three different species of trout to be caught in our streams, including brook, brown, and rainbow, and all are quite tasty. This recipe allows the trout’s flavor to stand more or less on its own, with assistance of two other tastes of spring, the grill and fresh local spinach.

Here is the recipe for Grilled Butterfly Trout Over Spinach (good luck tomorrow and hopefully you’ll catch something that will allow you to try this recipe!):

Continue Reading: A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/11, 2014 at 08:30 AM

Tags: trout | recipe | fish |

Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food

Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food

In 2011 Fair Food Philly and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) teamed up to create a new annual marketplace for farmers and local food producers. The shared goal was to assist small businesses in growing their bottom line by providing a low-cost venue accessible to a diverse audience of potential customers. The event is the Philly Farm and Food Fest, and it is happening this year on Sunday, April 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex.

Fest is also a fundraising event for Fair Food and PASA, with proceeds going to support our non-profit educational and technical assistance programs for food producers. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Continue Reading: Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2014 at 09:07 AM

Tags: PhillyFarmandFoodFest | TaitFarms | VillageEatinghouse |

Taking back the reputation of fava beans

Taking back the reputation of fava beans

There is no doubt that Anthony Hopkins is one of the finest actors of all time. In fact, he is so good, he actually managed to ruin the reputation of one tasty vegetable—fava beans.

Even if you haven’t seen his role as the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lector in the film The Silence of the Lambs, unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard Hopkins’ character’s infamous quote about one of his devious meals, and how he accompanied it with fava beans and a nice Chianti. To this day, I’ve noticed that whenever you mention fava beans, that scene is mentioned.  However, fava beans are not a horror, they are a tasty vegetable that has a long history as a food, going all the way back to the Romans and Ancient Greeks.

Continue Reading: Taking back the reputation of fava beans

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03, 2014 at 07:45 AM

Tags: recipe | gardening | favabeans | recipes |

Early spring is salad time at indoor farmers markets

Early spring is salad time at indoor farmers markets

One of the best early season treats for the locavore is a fresh salad made with the first greens of the season. While some might be surprised to hear this, there are three farmers markets going on right now that offer delicious and fresh greens: Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesdays 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Boalsburg Fire Hall, the State College Indoor Farmers Market on Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the State College Municipal Building Lobby, and the Millheim Indoor Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Bremen Town Ballroom.

Continue Reading: Early spring is salad time at indoor farmers markets

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/31, 2014 at 08:03 AM

Tags: spring | salad |

Easterly Parkway PTO latest to do fundraising local-food style with Harrison’s Wine Grill

Easterly Parkway PTO latest to do fundraising local-food style with Harrison’s Wine Grill

Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering has established itself as a go-to place for outstanding dining with a local food focus, but they also conduct one of the most-delicious and well-respected fundraising programs in the state. Harrison’s Eat Well Fundraising program has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Good Neighbor Award and the CBICC’s 2010 Philanthropy Award.

State College’s Easterly Parkway PTO and Harrison’s are once again teaming up for an Eat Well fundraiser. From today though Sunday, March 30, if you mention to your Harrison’s server that you are a supporter of Easterly Parkway PTO, Harrison’s will donate 20 percent of your check before taxes and gratuity to Easterly Parkway PTO. But that’s not all.

Continue Reading: Easterly Parkway PTO latest to do fundraising local-food style with Harrison’s Wine Grill

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/21, 2014 at 09:13 AM

Tags: fundraiser | Harrison's | EasterlyParkwayPTO |

Online platform makes it easier for grocers, chefs to source local food

Online platform makes it easier for grocers, chefs to source local food

Recently, Anne Field, a contributor with Forbes, wrote about a way for restaurants and grocery stores to meet the growing demand for local food.

Direct Local Food is an online wholesale market place for local food. It helps farmers find new buyers, manage their inventory, update buyers on product availability and new products, and track their sales. For buyers like chefs and grocers, it helps them find and order the best products, find special deals, discover and maintain relationships with new farmers, and track their orders.

Continue Reading: Online platform makes it easier for grocers, chefs to source local food

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/18, 2014 at 08:42 AM

Tags: Directlocalfood |

Friends & Farmers Co-Op membership kickoff event’s success points to a bright future

Friends & Farmers Co-Op membership kickoff  event’s success points to a bright future

From Friends & Farmers Co-op, an update on their recent membership push and other news:

The Friends & Farmers Co-op membership kickoff was a tremendous success—more than 200 people attended the event. The co-op now has 88 Founding Members and sufficient capital to fund its marketing study.

Membership in Friends & Farmers requires an equity payment (you can read more about that payment under “How and Why of Signing Up” here). The equity payment is not a fee, nor is it dues. It is not an annual charge. It is a one-time investment that brings with it ownership in a community-owned enterprise—in this case, a grocery store—that is democratically controlled.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Co-Op membership kickoff event’s success points to a bright future

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/14, 2014 at 08:39 AM

Tags: |

Bring the heat this summer with hot peppers in your garden

Bring the heat this summer with hot peppers in your garden

Believe it or not, it’s time to plant peppers…indoors, that is. Generally, you want to start pepper seeds inside about 6-10 weeks before last frost to give the plants time to grow and produce peppers. If you haven’t bought seeds yet, area stores have seeds in stock now, and if you want more variety, you can go to any number of online seed vendors to make your order and get the seeds in time to start.

As for what to plant, there are countless varieties of hot peppers out there to try. Here are six varieties that are sure to spice up your life this summer:

Continue Reading: Bring the heat this summer with hot peppers in your garden

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/12, 2014 at 08:47 AM

Tags: |

Five local food related signs of spring

Five local food related signs of spring

March is often a tease to those of us weary of winter’s cold, snow, and ice. One day we may have pleasant mild weather, the next, biting wind and snow.

But really, we’re entering the end-of-life phase for Old Man Winter. As the glacier that was covering Central PA continues to shrink, and mild days become more frequent, the harbingers of spring become more frequent. Here are five signs of spring, local food style:

Continue Reading: Five local food related signs of spring

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/10, 2014 at 09:02 AM

Tags: spring |

Friends & Farmers Co-op’s next big step

Friends & Farmers Co-op’s next big step

If you read Local Food Journey, you are probably well aware of the Friends & Farmers Cooperative project, which is a food cooperative in State College committed to showcasing the best local products in support of a strong local economy. The good news is you can finally join Friends & Farmers at the Membership Kickoff Celebration to be held Sunday, March 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. You can RSVP here.

Along with signing up founding member/owners, the Celebration will have a lot to offer attendees. It will feature performances by local musicians including Andy Tolins, Scott Mangene, and Paul Brigman & Friends; opening remarks by State College Mayor and local food advocate Elizabeth Goreham; local food donated by various local vendors such as Webster’s, Harrison’s Wine Grill, Tait Farm, Byler Goat Dairy, Katz Raw Foods, Stone Meadow Farms, and Sweet Sunrise Bakery; kids activities led by the Penn State Community Food Security Club, and more. “The whole setup of this event is ‘drop-in,’ meaning you don’t have to come and be there the whole time,” said Michele Marchetti, local freelance writer and Friends & Farmers board member. “The idea is you come when you want, you hear some music, you get some food, and of course, sign up to be a member.”

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Co-op’s next big step

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/27, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Tags: Friends&Farmers | event | membership |

Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds

Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds

Despite the relatively mild weather outside melting the snow, if we are being truly honest with ourselves, we know that winter is not over. Far from it, based on where we live. We know that it can snow into late April and even early May here in Central PA.

The good news for gardeners is that despite the snow-covered yards, it’s soon time for us to start gardening. We need to start certain things from seed inside, giving the plants adequate time to sprout, grow, mature, and produce fresh goodness by the time summer ends. In fact, certain things can be started very soon or even right now, depending on your last frost date.

Continue Reading: Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/20, 2014 at 01:24 PM

Tags: seedstarting | gardening |

Six local food things to do to get you through the rest of this tough winter

Six local food things to do to get you through the rest of this tough winter

Without a doubt, this has been one really rough winter here in Central Pennsylvania. Below-zero temperatures and lots of snow has made this the worst winter we’ve had in this area in 20 years, and right now it seems like spring will never come.

But we all know that soon enough, we will get warmer, and the grass will reappear and turn green, the flowers will pop out, and all of our moods will likely get better. In the meantime, here are six things that involve local food that can make you perhaps feel a bit better about our current weather situation:

Continue Reading: Six local food things to do to get you through the rest of this tough winter

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/17, 2014 at 09:33 AM

Tags: winter | cold | localfood | snowcream | farmersmarket |

Local food fans: Join Friends & Farmers Coop starting March 2

Local food fans: Join Friends & Farmers Coop starting March 2

Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is working to open a member-owned cooperative store that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, will begin taking members on March 2 at its Membership Kickoff Celebration at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County.

Founding members will help build a store that will stock produce and products grown and prepared right here in Happy Valley, promote real food, and serve as the central hub of the local food economy. Simply stated, it’s a store that will feed our community.

Continue Reading: Local food fans: Join Friends & Farmers Coop starting March 2

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/14, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmers |

Recipe: Sausage, carrots, and potatoes an easy comfort food solution for cold winter nights

Recipe: Sausage, carrots, and potatoes an easy comfort food solution for cold winter nights

With plenty of mornings with temperatures below the zero mark and plenty of snow and ice to go with it, the winter of 2013-2014 has been a fairly harsh one compared with recent years. Such weather calls for a hearty meal, and I have the perfect solution that I brought up to Central Pennsylvania from my childhood growing up in York, Pennsylvania. And it’s easy to prepare, too, and something the whole family will enjoy.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Sausage, carrots, and potatoes an easy comfort food solution for cold winter nights

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/07, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Tags: recipe | carrots | sausage | potatoes | winter |

Farmers Get Down to Business

Farmers Get Down to Business

Food Entrepreneurs Will Find Wealth of Resources at Annual PASA Conference

Farmers and other food entrepreneurs are set to acquire tools for success at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Feb. 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA.

On Feb. 6, PASA hosts “Raising Dough: Financing Your Food Based Business,” an intensive, day long track aimed at farmers looking to amass capital for farm-based businesses.

Continue Reading: Farmers Get Down to Business

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/30, 2014 at 09:14 AM

Tags: PASA | FarmingfortheFuture | conference | entrepreneur |

Why Eat Local?

Why Eat Local?

Below is the first of many posts on Local Food Journey by our new intern, Penn State student Jordan Reabold. We’re excited to have Jordan aboard, and in the coming weeks she will be exploring the local food scene, including profiles on local food people, stories about various local food offerings in our area, and more.

One of the things I love most about State College, being that it reminds me of home, is the farmland. I’ve come to appreciate the cultivated fields where wooden barns nestle among the hills of Happy Valley, peacefully enveloping the bustle of the University. While the farms of State College certainly have aesthetic worth, they serve a more practical purpose as well—food, of course! And what better way to show your appreciation for these farmers than to choose local produce over large-scale food systems. In doing so, you support not only the farmers, but the local economy as a whole, and yourself.

Continue Reading: Why Eat Local?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Tags: JordanReabold | localfood | |

Sustainable Ag Community to Reflect, Rally at Premier Gathering

Sustainable Ag Community to Reflect, Rally at Premier Gathering

The following is a press release for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s 23rd Farming for the Future Conference. Look for more about this event on Local Food Journey in the next several weeks, as this is a major happening for our local food community…

MILLHEIM, PA January 6, 2014 – The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) hosts the 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference next month, February 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. Farmers, foodies, artisans, activists and other members of the sustainable agriculture community will gather around the theme “Letting Nature Lead” as the debate over the future of agriculture continues to garner widespread attention, from dinner tables to the halls of Congress.

Continue Reading: Sustainable Ag Community to Reflect, Rally at Premier Gathering

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/23, 2014 at 09:15 AM

Tags: PASA | conference | FarmingfortheFuture |

Hogs Galore pork loin a dinner party winner

Hogs Galore pork loin a dinner party winner

Hosting a dinner party can be a real challenge. You want to hit a home run with your guests, especially with the main course, but what if your cooking skills are limited? You don’t have to look far for a solution; in fact, it’s right up the road near Philipsburg, at one of our region’s local food gems, Hogs Galore.

Continue Reading: Hogs Galore pork loin a dinner party winner

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/20, 2014 at 09:45 AM

Tags: recipe | hogsgalore | pork | pineapple |

Eat local, support local at fundraiser for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

Eat local, support local at fundraiser for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

Editor’s note: The following is a press release regarding a fundraiser by Friends & Farmers Cooperative. Please help support what is a very worthy cause for our local food community.

Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is working to open a member-owned cooperative grocery that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, is holding a fundraising event at Spats at 5-7:30 p.m, January 26.
Entitled “Local on the Menu,” the event will offer community members a behind-the-scenes look at the local food scene and an opportunity to hear firsthand how Spats owner, Duke Gastiger, and others are turning local into a point of Pennsylvania pride.

Continue Reading: Eat local, support local at fundraiser for Friends & Farmers Cooperative

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/17, 2014 at 09:11 AM

Tags: Friends&Farmers | fundraiser | localfood |

10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)

10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)

Earlier this week, the coldest air in 20 years overspread Central Pennsylvania, dropping temperatures below zero. While shivering through a cold snap like that, it’s hard to imagine doing garden work. But there are still some chores you can do, either in the comfort of your living room or during one of our inevitable thaws that we have most every winter and will have this weekend. Getting them done now can help ensure a better harvest this spring and summer.

Here’s 10 garden chores you can do this winter:

Continue Reading: 10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/10, 2014 at 08:50 AM

Tags: gardening | winter | chores |

New Year’s traditions in Pennsylvania: why pork and sauerkraut?

New Year’s traditions in Pennsylvania: why pork and sauerkraut?

Many people are aware of the New Year’s tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut, including the supposed good luck and wealth it brings. This tradition is part of our Pennsylvania German heritage; the idea of sauerkraut symbolizing wealth for the new year comes from Germany. Before having the New Year’s dinner, each diner wishes the other as much wealth as there are shreds of cabbage in a pot of sauerkraut.

What about pork? Interestingly enough, the actions of a pig give us this New Year’s tradition.

Continue Reading: New Year’s traditions in Pennsylvania: why pork and sauerkraut?

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/31, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Tags: recipe | NewYears | PennsylvaniaDutch | sauerkraut | pork |

Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas cookies

Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas cookies

I grew up in York, part of the original Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Therefore, there are several things that say Christmas to me that most others have no idea about. One is Der Belsnickel, a sort of nasty fellow who’s job it is to make sure children are good in the weeks before Christmas by, well, beating them with a stick. Think of him as Santa’s muscle.

Another, more benevolent aspect of Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas is some of the traditional cookies that families bake for the season.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas cookies

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/24, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Tags: recipes | PennsylvaniaDutch | Christmascookies | cookies |

Some great sources for last-minute local food gifts

Some great sources for last-minute local food gifts

Looking for a perfect last-minute gift for someone on your holiday list, but are stumped as what to get them? Our area’s local food community has a lot of fantastic options. I mean, who doesn’t love a food gift? And thankfully, we have a plenty of local food vendors who provide a lot of wonderful gift options.

Here’s just a few gift ideas, and some places to find them:

Continue Reading: Some great sources for last-minute local food gifts

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Tags: |

Sweeten up the holidays with desserts from Gemelli Bakers

Sweeten up the holidays with desserts from Gemelli Bakers

Gemelli Bakers has made a name for itself by baking wonderful bread. However, they also make some fantastic desserts. Gemelli is not as well known as a source for great baked desserts, but more and more people in the area are becoming aware of the sweet goodness that they offer at their downtown State College location, or at area farmers markets.

“We’ve been making desserts from day one,” said Tony Sapia, owner of Gemelli Bakers. “A few examples of what we bake include Italian cookies like biscotti and macaroon, American-style cookies like oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip, apricot fruit bars, pies…there’s quite a list.”

Continue Reading: Sweeten up the holidays with desserts from Gemelli Bakers

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/18, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Tags: Christmas | holidays | Gemelli | dessert | cake | pie | cookies |

Friends and Farmers Cooperative grocery store getting close to becoming reality

Friends and Farmers Cooperative grocery store getting close to becoming reality

This past Tuesday night, the Friends and Farmers Cooperative held a Meet and Greet at Whiskers in the Nittany Lion Inn. The event featured some local food created by Andrew Monk, who is the executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn and big supporter of both local food and the Co-op. The event also was a way to inform the community about the progress the Co-op has been making, including the building of a Co-op grocery store.

Continue Reading: Friends and Farmers Cooperative grocery store getting close to becoming reality

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/12, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmers | retail | grocerystore |

Reedsville man turns his passion for spicy heat into Red Hawk Premium Peppers

Reedsville man turns his passion for spicy heat into Red Hawk Premium Peppers

If you love the kind of heat that only a great hot sauce can provide, then Red Hawk Premium Peppers offers your kind of product line. The Reedsville company offers a variety of rubs, sauces, powders, and other condiments such as hot pepper jelly.

The owner of Red Hawk Premium Peppers is Dan Lowenstein. Dan notes that the love of hot spice is in his blood. “I was very fortunate to inherit my love of heat from my little Irish Grandmother,” he said. “She was very well known for carrying her own shaker of red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce in her small purse. Ever since I was a child, I have loved a little fire in my food.”

Continue Reading: Reedsville man turns his passion for spicy heat into Red Hawk Premium Peppers

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/09, 2013 at 09:04 AM

Tags: |

Co-owner of Way Fruit Farm shares three favorite apple recipes

Co-owner of Way Fruit Farm shares three favorite apple recipes

Way Fruit Farm offers all sorts of things that are good to eat; from different types of fruit to a variety of local food products from places like Tait Farm Foods and Hogs Galore. But their bread and butter, what put them on the map, is of course apples.

As a big fan of Way Fruit Farm, I can tell you that I see a lot of people buying huge amounts of apples for all sorts of recipes. I met a woman there last year who was baking apple pies for recipes, planning on giving them as gifts…a total of 25 pies! Apple pies certainly are a great way to use Way’s apple bounty, but I recently had the opportunity to talk to Megan Coopey, who with her husband Jason are co-owners of Way Fruit Farm, about some other recipes for apples. Jason and Megan are two reasons to visit Way Fruit Farm, always friendly and helpful, and Megan was glad to help by giving me several fantastic recipes that would make a fantastic addition (or additions) to the Holiday table.

Continue Reading: Co-owner of Way Fruit Farm shares three favorite apple recipes

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/05, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Tags: recipes | apples |

Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet Dec 10

Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet Dec 10

Special to Local Food Journey by Carolyne Meehan

The Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet at Whisker’s in the Nittany Lion Inn on Tuesday, December 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. will be a fun, delicious, and informational evening. Chef Andrew Monk will be serving up light appetizers prepared with local ingredients and a cash bar will be open for refreshments. Chef Monk has been a big supporter of the cooperative’s goal to make more local produce, meat and dairy more accessible to all. He has been making big changes as the executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn - serving up local grass fed burgers that come from a single steer and introducing folks to local kale and beets as the stars in his main dishes. He is also big into the concept of “nose to tail” cooking, a method that involves serving up dishes to incorporate all cuts of meat.

Continue Reading: Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet Dec 10

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/04, 2013 at 08:30 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmersCooperative |

Local food sides share a rightful place next to turkey star on Thanksgiving stage

Local food sides share a rightful place next to turkey star on Thanksgiving stage

Traditionally, unless of course you are vegetarian or vegan, turkey holds top billing at the Thanksgiving table. We’ve all seen the classic “Freedom from Want” painting by Norman Rockwell, an image that quickly became the template for our truly American holiday, Thanksgiving. Grandma lowers the giant golden-brown bird onto the table, as all the relatives ooo and ahh.

But really, the sides are the co-stars of this culinary production, and rightfully so. While there is certainly nothing wrong with tradition, they don’t have to be sugary sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, or “cranberry sauce a la Bart” direct from a can (Simpsons reference). With local ingredients, they can have flair and pizzazz that almost steals the show from the big turkey (not your one annoying uncle, I mean the main course).

Continue Reading: Local food sides share a rightful place next to turkey star on Thanksgiving stage

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/26, 2013 at 09:25 AM

Tags: Thanksgiving | recipe | squash | cabbage | sandwich |

USDA awards grants to school districts to integrate local food into cafeteria offerings

USDA awards grants to school districts to integrate local food into cafeteria offerings

The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced they awarded 71 grants in 42 states to help the schools connect their cafeteria with local farmers. The grants are part of the “Farm to School”
program. In Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia won one of the awards and will use the money to launch a pilot local food project, offering local blueberries to students at two schools. The second year, they will expand this to collard greens.

Continue Reading: USDA awards grants to school districts to integrate local food into cafeteria offerings

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/20, 2013 at 09:46 AM

Tags: schools | localfood | USDA | grant |

Your Local Food Weekend for Nov. 16 and 17

Your Local Food Weekend for Nov. 16 and 17

As per the weather forecasts, this weekend we end our winter preview and get some mild weather to enjoy. For this Local Food Weekend weekend, we have the Bellefonte Farmers Market, Santa’s arrival plus a chance to unwind at the Winery at Wilcox store at the Nittany Mall, and great music to go with great local food and beer at Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks.

Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for Nov. 16 and 17

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/15, 2013 at 09:08 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | ElkCreekCafe | Bellefonte | farmersmarket | Christmas |

Farmers market season not over quite yet

Farmers market season not over quite yet

All good things must come to an end, and if you are like many of us local food foodies, tomorrow will be a melancholy day as two of the local Saturday farmers markets end their 2013 run. However, others will soldier on as the cold air blows and the first snowflakes fly.

Continue Reading: Farmers market season not over quite yet

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/08, 2013 at 09:52 AM

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Recipe: Haluski brings a real old-country flavor to chilly fall Pennsylvania nights

Recipe: Haluski brings a real old-country flavor to chilly fall Pennsylvania nights

When central and eastern Europeans emigrated to Pennsylvania in the 19th and 20th Centuries, one of the dishes they brought with them was haluski (or as some spell it, halusky). The dish is a simple one with some variations. Traditionally, haluski referred to the homemade noodles/dumplings, which were potato based much like gnocchi. However, today you can either purchase dried haluski noodles in any grocery store, or use any medium-wide egg noodle.

Growing up in York County, which is Pennsylvania Dutch country, I had very limited exposure to haluski, but when I went to Pittsburgh for college and eventually to live, I was introduced to the dish at a Polish Catholic church fish fry, which is just about the best place to have your first taste of haluski. Haluski has just a few ingredients, and the one I learned to make includes noodles, cabbage, onion, bacon, butter, salt, pepper..and that’s it. You can also make a vegetarian version by leaving out the bacon and a vegan version by using vegan-friendly noodles and olive oil instead of butter.

The flavors combine to make a fantastic dish, especially if you are a gardener like me and use a fresh-harvested garden cabbage that has been sweetened by frost. And speaking of frosty weather, this is a great cold-weather dish that’s a snap to make.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Haluski brings a real old-country flavor to chilly fall Pennsylvania nights

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/06, 2013 at 08:52 AM

Tags: recipe | garden | haluski | cabbage | vegetarian | vegan |

Wines that match well with the unique flavors of fall

Wines that match well with the unique flavors of fall

Editor’s Note: The fall season brings food that features flavors and ingredients that are unique to the season, and this may raise some challenges for those who want to pair wine with these autumn dishes. Linda Weaver of Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery has some suggestions to help you make the best wine/food pairing call.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/31, 2013 at 07:24 AM

Tags: fall | autumn | recipe | wine | winepairings |

Able to take a freeze, hardy kale supplies fresh garden greens well into fall/early winter

Able to take a freeze, hardy kale supplies fresh garden greens well into fall/early winter

Kale is a superstar in the fall garden. The plant is tough as nails, able to take some very cold temperatures. In fact, myself and many other gardeners have harvested kale from under the snow.

Along with its toughness, kale has many other good properties. It’s very easy to grow, can grow in part shade, and is quite tasty. It is best after a couple of good frost/freezes, which give the leaves a sweet flavor and cuts down on the bitterness.

There are many varieties of kale, and here are a few of my favorites:

Continue Reading: Able to take a freeze, hardy kale supplies fresh garden greens well into fall/early winter

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/28, 2013 at 07:15 AM

Tags: recipe | garden | kale |

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 26 and 27

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 26 and 27

There always seems to be something to do on an October weekend, and this last October weekend is certainly no exception. This weekend you can help make apple butter, meet some retired greyhound racers (and maybe give one a good home), carve a pumpkin at the Central PA Flea & Farmers Market Harvest Season Event, enjoy wine in a beautiful fall setting at the Mount Nittany Winery, and explore the Halloween Trail for kids at the Shaver’s Creek Fall Harvest Festival. Learn more by continuing to read:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/25, 2013 at 08:25 AM

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Local food, free wine tastings highlight Saturday’s Mount Nittany Winery Harvest Festival

Local food, free wine tastings highlight Saturday’s Mount Nittany Winery Harvest Festival

The Mount Nittany Winery is holding their annual Harvest Fest Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the winery in Centre Hall. In their beautiful Mt. Nittany-side setting, you can enjoy free wine tastings, take a winery tour, try free samples (and then buy) local food from vendors, and enjoy live music by Richard and Papa (aka long-time State College musicians Richard Sleigh and Gary Brubaker).

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/24, 2013 at 08:06 AM

Tags: MountNittanyWinery | HarvestFestival | wine | festivals |

Local Food Weekend for October 19-20

Local Food Weekend for October 19-20

This Local Food Weekend includes a few ways to use (or abuse) pumpkins in ways other than eating. Our events for Saturday and Sunday include the Howard Fire Company Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival, the Penn State Arboretum Pumpkin Festival, and the Harner Farm and the Terrace at Brookline Fall Festival. Continue reading to learn more…

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/18, 2013 at 08:01 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | fall |

How might GMO labeling affect our local food community?

How might GMO labeling affect our local food community?

On yesterday’s NPR show All Things Considered, correspondent Martin Kaste had a story on a food controversy that is growing—GMO labeling. This idea is growing steam especially in the Northeast, where Maine and Connecticut have already passed laws that require labeling on any foods that contain GMO (genetically modified organisms). From the story:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/17, 2013 at 09:23 AM

Tags: GMO | NPR | AllThingsConsidered | foodlabeling |

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 12-13

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 12-13

It’s fall festival time in Central Pennsylvania, and these events offer fantastic opportunities to sample local food and make some discoveries of new products. This weekend we have the Wasson Farm Fall Fest, Black Moshannon Cranberry Festival, and the Way Fruit Farm Fall Festival to tell you about. Keep reading for more…

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/11, 2013 at 07:28 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | autumn | fall | festival | cranberries |

Take advantage of extra time and plan now for killing frost

Take advantage of extra time and plan now for killing frost

We are getting an extended summer, with temperatures that feel more like August. Looks like our run of summer weather ends today, but the threat of a killing freeze that ends the growing season for tender plants still seems at least a week or more away as per the weather forecast, which is quite unusual for October. Of course, as any gardener in Central Pennsylvania knows, that will not last forever. So, here’s a list of tips to help you prepare for when the ground is coated in frost and your tomato plants finally succumb:

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/07, 2013 at 07:55 AM

Tags: garden | frost | autumn |

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 5-6

Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 5-6

Okay, so the weather right now isn’t exactly fall-like. However, there are still plenty of fall-ish things to do this weekend that are local food related, including the Aaronsburg Dutch Fall Festival, State College’s Fall Fest, and the Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery’s Winemakers Harvest Dinner

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/04, 2013 at 07:39 AM

Tags: LocalFoodWeekend | fall | autumn | festivals |

Your Local Food Weekend for September 28-29

Your Local Food Weekend for September 28-29

This weekend’s local food event list is highlighted by Oktoberfests at Tussey Mountain and Millheim, a new farmers market at the Grange Fairgrounds, Gamble Mill MusicFest, and last but not least, the WPSU International Wine Festival. Quite a slate of things to do! To learn more, keep reading…

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/27, 2013 at 08:00 AM

Tags: events | weekend |

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