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Local Food Notes for Sept. 23

Local Food Notes for Sept. 23

The first Local Food Notes of autumn 2016 features the Millheim Oktoberfest, wine glass painting, fall cocktails, and the Milesburg Museum Apple Harvest Festival and Car Show.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept. 23

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/23, 2016 at 11:44 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | autumn |

Coca-Cola and ice; exploring what it means to be ‘local food’

Coca-Cola and ice; exploring what it means to be ‘local food’

Recently, the Lexington Herald-Leader did an investigative reporting piece on the University of Kentucky’s dedication to local food that included something that raised a lot of eyebrows.

As part of a $245 million contract, the university’s food vendor, Aramark, is required to spend 20 percent of the food and drink budget for the university from Kentucky farmers and local food producers. Curiously enough, more than $1 million of that was spent on two things that don’t really jump out when one thinks of local food—Coca-Cola and ice.

Okay, so it’s pretty obvious ice and Coca-Cola really do not fit the definition of local food (the argument was Coca-Cola had a distributor nearby). But the question here is what, exactly, is the criteria for local food?

Continue Reading: Coca-Cola and ice; exploring what it means to be ‘local food’

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/20, 2016 at 08:34 AM

Tags: localfood | definition |

Local Food Notes for Sept. 16

Local Food Notes for Sept. 16

Local Food Notes for Sept. 16 features Mt. Nittany Vineyard and Winery’s September photo contest, apple cider’s back, and fast bluegrass at Elk Creek Cafe.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept. 16

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/15, 2016 at 05:42 PM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | applecider | fall | wine | music |

Oven eggplant fries offer big flavor, low calories

Oven eggplant fries offer big flavor, low calories

This recipe combines two great things about September. First, one of my favorite vegetables, eggplant, are widely available at farmers markets right now. This is due to the fact that they tend to need longer growing seasons, so August-September are peak times for them.

Second, with the cooler weather starting up, it’s easier to use the oven without running up a higher air conditioning bill or heating up the house.

Eggplants can be fried, stir-fried, sauteed, baked, or grilled, but this recipe turns them into a nutritious and tasty version of fries. Breaded but baked, these are lower in fat than fried eggplant.

Continue Reading: Oven eggplant fries offer big flavor, low calories

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/14, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Tags: recipe | eggplant | healthy |

Six things that are great about local food and fall

Six things that are great about local food and fall

It’s going to feel more like July 8 as opposed to September 8 today, but the cooler weather of autumn really is just about the corner. Soon we will break out the fleece and start taking in the beauty of changing leaves in our pretty part of the world. And local food goes through a transition as well.

You can still find the stars of summer at the farmers markets and roadside stands, like tomatoes, peaches, and peppers, but produce like apples and pumpkins are slowing taking over. It’s truly a great time to be a locavore, and here’s six things that are great about local food and fall in Central Pennsylvania:

Continue Reading: Six things that are great about local food and fall

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/08, 2016 at 10:51 AM

Tags: fall | autumn |

Local Food Notes for Sept 2

Local Food Notes for Sept 2

Happy Labor Day weekend! This edition of Local Food Notes is wine event heavy, but we also highlight Bee Tree Berry Farm and the annual Crickfest. Keep reading to learn more.

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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/02, 2016 at 12:48 PM

Tags: LocalFoodnotes | wine | berries |

Penn State Student Farm Fall Festival coming Sept. 7

Penn State Student Farm Fall Festival coming Sept. 7

The Penn State Student Farm is quite an endeavor; we wrote about them on Local Food Journey and WPSU did a radio piece on them. Tucked away just off I-99, you’ve probably have driven right past the farm and never knew it.

Well, here’s your chance to visit the farm on Wednesday, Sept. 7 for the Penn State Student Farm Harvest Festival. The event will be held at the farm from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Continue Reading: Penn State Student Farm Fall Festival coming Sept. 7

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/31, 2016 at 08:42 AM

Tags: farming | PennState | StudentFarm | sustainability | event |

Restaurant review: Reedville’s Revival Kitchen lives up to that hype you may have heard

Restaurant review: Reedville’s Revival Kitchen lives up to that hype you may have heard

Earlier this month at the Boalsburg Farmers Market’s Golden Basket Awards, an upstart restaurant and its chef took the event by storm, wowing the judges with a chicken dish and a coffee-roasted beet dish that landed the Golden Basket. That restaurant was Revival Kitchen, the chef was Quintin Wicks, and I was one of the judges.

Inspired by this experience, I pitched Revival Kitchen as a place for us to go for our August 19 16th anniversary dinner. After hearing me rave about Chef Wicks’ food, she agreed, and last Friday we took the trip down to Reedsville to celebrate at the Kitchen. And just like at the Golden Basket Awards, they did not disappoint. Yes, if you heard people hyping Revival Kitchen and ever wondered if it was worth the trip, they really do live up to it.

Continue Reading: Restaurant review: Reedville’s Revival Kitchen lives up to that hype you may have heard

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/24, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Tags: review | RevivalKitchen |

Evening hours at Ag Progress days tonight; here’s ideas on what to do

Evening hours at Ag Progress days tonight; here’s ideas on what to do

Penn State is a land grant university, and for three days in August, the University really hearkens back to its roots as the Farmers High School with Ag Progress Days. This year’s Ag Progress Days is Tuesday-Thursday of this week. In the past the event was held during the day and closed during the evening, leading to some complaints from those of us with day jobs about there being no evening hours. Well, recently that changed, so one Ag Progress Day has evening hours, and that’s tonight.

Ag Progress Days will run this evening until 8:00 p.m., giving area residents the opportunity to spend a few hours checking out various agriculture displays, seminars, and great local food. While it is an agricultural event, it has something for just about everyone. Here’s some things to do tonight at Ag Progress Days:

Continue Reading: Evening hours at Ag Progress days tonight; here’s ideas on what to do

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/17, 2016 at 09:47 AM

Tags: AgProgressDays |

So you grow the best tomatoes ever, eh? Here’s your chance to prove it

So you grow the best tomatoes ever, eh? Here’s your chance to prove it

Nothing beats homegrown tomatoes, and of course, everyone thinks they grow the best ones. Really, the argument is sort of moot because any garden tomato is pretty great, but here’s your chance to prove to central PA who has the best. This Saturday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Tait Farm Foods will hold their annual Tomato Festival, featuring a variety of tomato contests, including a home-grown tomato taste-off.

Continue Reading: So you grow the best tomatoes ever, eh? Here’s your chance to prove it

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/16, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Tags: tomato | cooking | TaitFarm |

Tips to help your garden get through drought

Tips to help your garden get through drought

As a glance at most lawns will tell you, we’re currently in a drought. The data backs that up. State College is currently experiencing its third-driest summer, second-driest year, and is in a moderate drought area as per the United States Drought Monitor.

A drought is about the biggest challenge a gardener can face, with few exceptions. Drought-stressed plants are not healthy plants, so along with the real danger of them dying, they also have reduced yields and are susceptible to disease. Water is vital, and if your garden isn’t getting it naturally, you need to take steps to make sure it gets what it needs. Here’s some tips to help your garden quench its thirst on dry days…

Continue Reading: Tips to help your garden get through drought

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/09, 2016 at 09:51 AM

Tags: gardening | drought |

Local Food Notes for August 5

Local Food Notes for August 5

Local Food Notes today include the Centre County Farm Tour, the State College Brew Expo, and how your herb garden has a secret—it’s also a spa!

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for August 5

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/05, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

Revival Kitchen lives up to the hype and takes the Golden Basket Award

Revival Kitchen lives up to the hype and takes the Golden Basket Award

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed a steady building of buzz about a restaurant down in the Amish country of Reedsville. Revival Kitchen, a farm-to-table spot over the ridge down 322 from State College, has steadily built a reputation as a go-to location for excellent, creative food made from local ingredients.

And all that growing chit-chat about a small restaurant that is a must-try was backed up at yesterday’s Golden Basket Awards, as first-timer Quintin Wicks of Revival Kitchen took the top prize at the event held at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. As a four-time judge of this six-year-old showcase of both local food and local chefs, I can attest that his win was during one of the toughest years for judging this contest, as all of the dishes were first-rate.

Continue Reading: Revival Kitchen lives up to the hype and takes the Golden Basket Award

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/03, 2016 at 11:35 AM

Tags: GoldenBasketAwards | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Five things to do for Local Foods Week

Five things to do for Local Foods Week

Local Foods Week, Centre County’s annual celebration of bounty of delicious food produced right here in Centre County, runs from July 30 to August 6. What we have here really is reason to celebrate; the local food scene has exploded over the last decade or so. So, how can you celebrate? Here’s five things to do during Local Foods Week:

Win a pie contest: Once again, Friends & Farmers Coop is holding a pie contest at the Pennsylvania Certified Organic 5th Annual FarmFest. The deadline for entry is 5:00 July 29 (that’s TODAY), and you can learn more about the pie contest and how to enter here. Don’t want to bake a pie? Then be a judge! That means showing up at the Organic FarmFest. Speaking of…

Continue Reading: Five things to do for Local Foods Week

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/29, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Tags: LocalFoodsWeek2016 |

6th Annual Golden Basket Chef Competition at Boalsburg Farmers’ Market

6th Annual Golden Basket Chef Competition at Boalsburg Farmers’ Market

Local chefs from Central Pennsylvania’s finest dining establishments will compete for the Boalsburg Farmers Market Sixth Annual Golden Basket Award on Tuesday, Aug. 2 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This event is held by the Boalsburg Farmers’ Market and is part of PASA’s (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) “Local Foods Week.” The event features chefs preparing several dishes 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 chef’s offerings, an awards ceremony is held to announce the new Golden Basket winner. While the chefs are preparing, market-goers can watch them work and enjoy free samples.

Continue Reading: 6th Annual Golden Basket Chef Competition at Boalsburg Farmers’ Market

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/27, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Tags: GoldenBasketAwards | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Upcoming events at Mt. Nittany Winery, with the harvest in mind

Upcoming events at Mt. Nittany Winery, with the harvest in mind

Editor’s Note: While it’s hot and humid outside and autumn may seem a long time away, the Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery has a variety of events as we transition to the cooler days ahead. If you love local wine, please mark your calendars for these fun happenings.

Glass Painting—Uncorked
Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 (7:00-9:00 p.m.)
Instructor: Nancy Alpago

With step-by-step instruction guided by Nancy Alpago, an experience instructor and former art teacher, you will learn to use a one-stroke painting technique to create two hand-painted wine glasses. This two-hour class is the perfect creative outlet for you and a friend. Come for an evening of fun, relaxation, and creativity and leave with two beautiful hand-painted wine glasses.

Continue Reading: Upcoming events at Mt. Nittany Winery, with the harvest in mind

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 07/25, 2016 at 09:35 AM

Tags: event | wine | Mt.NittanyVineyard&Winery |

Penn State Student Farm grows awareness of sustainability, local food

Penn State Student Farm grows awareness of sustainability, local food

Editor’s Note: Local Food Journey was experiencing tech issues, but we are back after our unscheduled break. Thanks for your patience.

One of Penn State’s best kept secrets is the fact that the University has a student-run farm. Located near where Fox Hollow Road runs under US 322, this summer is the first growing season for the Student Farm Club.

This season marks the return of the student run farm after a few decades, as the previous student farm was transferred to a faculty-led program in 1989. The farm features tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, basil, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Continue Reading: Penn State Student Farm grows awareness of sustainability, local food

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/20, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Tags: farming | PennState | StudentFarm | sustainability |

Five mid-season gardening tips

Five mid-season gardening tips

Early July is sort of a gardening doldrums period for many. We’re right on the edge of harvesting a lot of vegetables, such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, etc. But we’re not quite there yet, so we wait.

While things may seem slow, this is an extremely important time for gardening, a key period where if you are too lax, issues can arise in your garden that cut down on production. Here are five tips to help your garden roar through the doldrums to a big finish for the season:

Continue Reading: Five mid-season gardening tips

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/06, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Tags: gardening | tips |

Friends & Farmers Cooperative finds out how the cheese is made

Friends & Farmers Cooperative finds out how the cheese is made

You might love cheese, but do you know how it’s made? Ever wonder how the process goes that changes milk into delicious cheese, and how that process is done safely?

Our local food pals over at Friends & Farmers Cooperative recently visited Clover Creek Cheese Cellar LLC down in Morrison’s Cove region of Blair County, and posted a photo essay that gives you a behind-the-scenes peek of the cheese making process from cow to counter.

Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Cooperative finds out how the cheese is made

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/28, 2016 at 09:53 AM

Tags: Friends&FarmersCoop | cheese | CloverCreek |

Local Food Notes for June 24

Local Food Notes for June 24

Pick-your-own raspberries and strawberries, Tait Farm Foods cocktail session, Caitlin’s Smiles benefit at Big Springs Spirits, and Elk Creek’s Sunday music series, all in this week’s Local Food Notes

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for June 24

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/24, 2016 at 09:34 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | strawberries | raspberries | TaitFarm | ElkCreek | BigSpring |

Strawberry shortcake, PA Dutch style

Strawberry shortcake, PA Dutch style

It’s still strawberry season, but it’s on the wane. You can still find fresh, local strawberries at places like your local farmers market or favorite roadside stand.

What about pick-your-own? There are a few opportunities for pick-your-own strawberries, including the following (make sure to call ahead to confirm there are still strawberries):

Continue Reading: Strawberry shortcake, PA Dutch style

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/23, 2016 at 10:32 AM

Tags: recipe | strawberries |

Tips to gardening on the cheap

Tips to gardening on the cheap

About 10 years ago, one of the most ridiculous books ever published on gardening, The $64 Tomato, hit the bookstores. Basically, it was a tale that was less about gardening and more about how bad of a gardener its author, William Alexander, was at that time (no idea if he got any better).

While much of the book was written in jest, soon afterwards I’d hear people refer to it as a cautionary tale that gardening is a super-expensive endeavor. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth; gardening doesn’t have to be expensive (no, Mr. Alexander, spending $700 and $1900 for steel edging is not a necessity for growing tomatoes). With a little bit of know-how, the desire to recycle, and modest effort, you can grow a garden without breaking your bank. Here’s some tips:

Continue Reading: Tips to gardening on the cheap

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/31, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Tags: gardening | cheap |

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 09:59 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 10:04 AM

Tags: Friends&FarmersCoop | bicycling | BikeMonth |

The Who, What, When, Where: Festa-Nic Central Pa Culinary Showcase

The Who, What, When, Where: Festa-Nic Central Pa Culinary Showcase

By Melanie Phillips, Village Eatinghouse Artisan Foods

It’s the WHY…that makes Festa-Nic special.

Central Pennsylvania has an abundance of large and small specialty food and beverage manufacturers making high quality consumer goods that help to fuel our local economy and support our families and our communities. Friends & Farmers Co-op is our non-profit fundraiser partner and they are helping to fuel the excitement and participation in Festa-Nic.   

Continue Reading: The Who, What, When, Where: Festa-Nic Central Pa Culinary Showcase

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 05/18, 2016 at 09:49 AM

Tags: Festa-Nic | event | Friends&FarmersCoop | VillageEatinghouse |

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 11:30 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 10:54 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 09:00 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 10:27 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | boalsburg | statecollege |

Unique wine events on spring calendar at Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery

Unique wine events on spring calendar at Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery

This Sunday kicks off several spring events at Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery, including ones that involve running, cupcakes, and pizza. Intrigued? Read on…

Continue Reading: Unique wine events on spring calendar at Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 04/29, 2016 at 09:43 AM

Tags: event | wine | Mt.NittanyVineyard&Winery |

Taproot Kitchen’s community garden enriches lives, provides healthy food

Taproot Kitchen’s community garden enriches lives, provides healthy food

A true community garden, that will enrich the learning of adults with disabilities and provide healthy organic food for them and their families, is what can be found at Taproot Kitchen’s Mazza Community Garden.

Taproot Kitchen was founded about a year ago. Sharon Schafer dreamed up the idea for Taproot Kitchen, but she wants credit given to everyone who is involved, including Jackie Bonomo, Woody Wilson, and Spring Creek Homesteading, who have all played important roles. They also received a lot of advice from Cutting Edge Tree Professionals.

Continue Reading: Taproot Kitchen’s community garden enriches lives, provides healthy food

Posted by Alexandrea Scott on 04/27, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Tags: TaprootKitchen | gardening |

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 11:26 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 09:50 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 10:34 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.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for April 8

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2016 at 09:00 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 09:45 AM

Tags: gardening | spring |

How Plowshare Produce prepares for a new season

How Plowshare Produce prepares for a new season

Plowshare Produce is a farm located in Huntingdon County. Michah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg have been fortunate to be a part of this business for the last eight seasons. They are able to use the land her parents own, and it is meaningful to the family. To get started they begin planting broccoli, tomatoes, and pepper seeds in the greenhouse, and since it has been nice they were able to plant spinach outside.

This is the time of year where they also begin gathering old and new members. Each member is asked to pay $625 in May, to receive weekly vegetables, May through November. To sell their produce, they set up tables at their church each week, and people bring their own bags and pick what they want. As of now, they have around 100 customers.

Continue Reading: How Plowshare Produce prepares for a new season

Posted by Alexandrea Scott on 04/01, 2016 at 10:08 AM

Tags: PlowshareProduce | farm |

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 09:44 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 09:00 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 09:48 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 10:12 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 10:17 AM

Tags: gardening | seeds | spring |

Elk Creek Fish Hatchery: 30 years and still hatching

Elk Creek Fish Hatchery: 30 years and still hatching

Dan Brigham has been the owner of the Elk Creek Fish Hatchery for about 30 years, in recent years with his loyal dog and co-owner, Rusty, by his side. It all started when Dan originally wanted to seek out a career in oceanography, but realized that there probably weren’t many related jobs he can do in a field around Millheim, Pa. So a fish hatchery it was!

After a nice scenic drive through the country, you reach the hatchery. I have to add that I have never been to one before, so I was really curious as to what it would look like. When you pull up look for the Alaskan license plate, that’s when you know you are at the right house. When I arrived the friendly Rusty, and Captain Dan, greeted me. He started to tell me how he just got back from borrowing some fish food from a fellow hatchery.

Continue Reading: Elk Creek Fish Hatchery: 30 years and still hatching

Posted by Alexandrea Scott on 03/08, 2016 at 12:28 PM

Tags: ElkCreek | fishhatchery |

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 10:39 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 10:49 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 10:38 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 09:58 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 11:58 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 10:36 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 10:39 AM

Tags: LocalFoodNotes | Valentines |

Chef Erin Snyder gives Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks a new flavor

Chef Erin Snyder gives Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks a new flavor

By Alexandrea Scott

The New Elk Creek Café & Aleworks is a great source of local grown food, house brewed ales, and live music to kick off the weekend. This unique stop in the little town of Millheim, Pa. will definitely bring you back for more.

They recently just remodeled and have a fresh new logo. They changed their approach because they wanted to update the café with the hopes of becoming the weekend hot spot for locals and people passing through. Every weekend they have live music from local bands for their customers to enjoy.

Continue Reading: Chef Erin Snyder gives Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks a new flavor

Posted by Alexandrea Scott on 02/09, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Tags: ElkCreekCafe |

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 12:08 PM

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 10:58 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 12:18 PM

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 10:47 AM

Tags: gardening | winter |

State College winter farmers market an oasis from winter chill and gloom

State College winter farmers market an oasis from winter chill and gloom

Editor’s note: This is the first piece by our new Local Food Journey intern, Alexandrea Scott, a Penn State communications major.

If you’re the type of person who prefers fresh grown vegetables, homemade jam, organic beauty products, or in the mood for some Alaskan salmon, this is the place for you. The Winter Farmers Market, in downtown State College, takes place every Friday at the State College Municipal Building, located on 243 Allen St. It starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes all day till 5:00 p.m.

Continue Reading: State College winter farmers market an oasis from winter chill and gloom

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 01/20, 2016 at 10:33 AM

Tags: winter | farmersmarket |

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 11:20 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 10:29 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 10:29 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 09:55 AM

Tags: FarmShow | guide |

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family friendly pineapple, lime, coconut, and mint ‘mocktail’

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family friendly pineapple, lime, coconut, and mint ‘mocktail’

December 31 always brings First Night to State College, complete with ice sculptures, music and the State College Burning Man. It’s a festival for all ages throughout the day until the fireworks light up the sky at midnight. In keeping with a family-friendly aspect of the evening. I present to you a family friendly mocktail for the celebration!

Continue Reading: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a family friendly pineapple, lime, coconut, and mint ‘mocktail’

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/31, 2015 at 01:21 PM

Tags: recipe | mocktail | NewYears |

Attention: Berkey Creamery to close Dec. 23 until February, ice cream still available online

Attention: Berkey Creamery to close Dec. 23 until February, ice cream still available online

Normally you don’t think about ice cream in December, although the temperatures recently here in Happy Valley have been almost ice cream eating weather!

We are having a gang of friends and family at our home this holiday season. The BEST and easiest dessert, and one that my children, who live far away, count on each year, is Penn State Creamery Ice Cream. It is rich and creamy, deliciously filled with calories—-just right for holiday decadence. And despite the urban legand that Creamery Ice Cream is only sold on campus because it does not meet FDA standards regarding it’s fat content, the people at Berkey say that is not true. The FDA only has standards for minimum fat content in ice cream, not maximum! And while you probably should not eat it every day, for a holiday treat, it is a delight. My granddaughter, Alice, gave her approval this summer!

Continue Reading: Attention: Berkey Creamery to close Dec. 23 until February, ice cream still available online

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/22, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: Creamery | icecream | closure | recipe |

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 10:53 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 11:06 AM

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

Holiday recipes and wine pairings

Holiday recipes and wine pairings

Whether you have a houseful of friends and family dining with you this holiday season or are looking for some tried and true favorites, we’ve come up with some cold-weather recipes that are easy to prepare and go well with some of our best-selling wines.

Continue Reading: Holiday recipes and wine pairings

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 12/09, 2015 at 12:46 PM

Tags: wine | holidays | recipe | Mt.NittanyWinery |

Two great holiday events for wine-lovers

Two great holiday events for wine-lovers

Here’s two wine-related holiday season events from Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery:

A Heartland Christmas with the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail, various locations, Dec. 5-6

Take a trip back in time to when Christmas was a wonder to behold. As part of this wine tour, enjoy handmade gifts, family time, and drinks to celebrate this festive time of year. A Heartland Christmas celebrates the season with a different ornament from each of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail wineries.

Continue Reading: Two great holiday events for wine-lovers

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 12/03, 2015 at 12:22 PM

Tags: wine | holidays | Mt.NittanyWinery |

Consider donating to PASA on this Giving Tuesday!

Consider donating to PASA on this Giving Tuesday!

On this Giving Tuesday, here’s an opportunity to support a great local food organization with a donation…please see below a note from Jaunette Matis, annual giving manager for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA):

PASA’s mission to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment means a lot to me. I’m not a farmer, and not a great gardener, so I recognize the need for farmers. Having been a dairy farm laborer’s wife for over 16 years I also know the hardships and sacrifices farmers face. Farming is not always an easy life, but it can be so very rewarding and it’s something that I am committed to support in every way I can. I support PASA because I want healthy food produced via sustainable farming practices to fuel a vibrant life. Don’t we all want that? Won’t you help on this Giving Tuesday?

Continue Reading: Consider donating to PASA on this Giving Tuesday!

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 12/01, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Tags: PASA | GivingTuesday |

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 10:42 AM

Tags: recipe | turnip | Thanksgiving | Gemelli |

It’s Time to Plant Garlic

It’s Time to Plant Garlic

Late fall is hardly the time you think about gardening. Usually you are putting your garden to bed by cleaning up the remnants from the summer’s growing season. But as you clean up, remember that planting small cloves of garlic will yield big garlic bulbs next summer!

Garlic is probably the easiest plant to grow. I was told by a vendor from the Downtown State College Framers Market (the one on Fridays) that NOW is the time to plant garlic. She grows organic garlic and sells bags of bulbs (about 10 in each bag) for $6. That was more than I needed to plant, but since I forgot to plant garlic last year, I am using the rest for cooking this fall.

Continue Reading: It’s Time to Plant Garlic

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 11/23, 2015 at 10:07 AM

Tags: gardening | garlic |

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 10:36 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 10:04 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 12:06 PM

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 09:39 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 10:34 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 12:10 PM

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 08:00 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.

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Oct. 23

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/23, 2015 at 11:13 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 09:00 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 10:54 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 10:00 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 10:13 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 10:51 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:

Continue Reading: Five great fall farmers market items

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/29, 2015 at 09:58 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 08:00 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 09:35 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 10:08 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 09:23 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….

Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept. 4

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

Tags: LocalFoodNotes |

How your favorite peppers get from farm to market is trickier than you think

How your favorite peppers get from farm to market is trickier than you think

Have you ever thought about how the beautiful peppers you see at farmers markets got there? 

“The farmer brought them in his van” isn’t the sort of answer I’m looking for. I got to thinking about this the other day as I was harvesting peppers. Unless you are a home gardener or your parents had a garden (that you undoubtedly refused to help weed) when you were growing up, you may well have little idea. This serious deficiency is about to be remedied, thanks to the ole’ Unpaid
Field Hand.

Continue Reading: How your favorite peppers get from farm to market is trickier than you think

{name} Posted by James Eisenstein on 09/02, 2015 at 08:52 AM

Tags: UnpaidFieldHand | peppers | JadeFamilyFarm |

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 09:28 AM

Tags: |

Recipe: Via Sexy Crumbs blog, a great recipe for Cucumber and Onion Salad

Editor’s Note: Shannon Ritter works at the Penn State School of Theater in undergraduate admissions and recruitment, and when she’s not at work, she is a master cook and baker. Fortunately for the rest of us, she shares the creations that come out of her Boalsburg kitchen via her excellent food blog Sexy Crumbs. An example of what you will find there is this wonderful recipe for cucumber and onion salad, which is perfect for using up the last of the summer’s cucumbers, or for a real winner of a Labor Day picnic dish. The salad is based on an old family recipe. Shannon shares her version of the recipe and the story behind it below, reflecting on how food can connect us to our past:

Continue Reading: Recipe: Via Sexy Crumbs blog, a great recipe for Cucumber and Onion Salad

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 08/25, 2015 at 08:54 AM

Tags: recipe | cucumbers | onion | summer |

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 02:54 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 09:46 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 11:25 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 09:34 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 11:20 AM

Tags: |

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 12:36 PM

Tags: |

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 08:00 AM

Tags: GoldenBasket | BoalsburgFarmersMarket |

Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

The 10th annual Local Foods Week, organized by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), will be held during the upcoming week. Beginning on Sunday August 2, and running through Saturday, August 8, a host of events—all focusing on local food—will take place in the State College area.

Participating restaurants will offer deals and specials throughout the week. According to PASA’s website, Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering, located at 1221 E. College Avenue, will donate 20 percent of a customer’s check when they mention PASA. Harrison’s is a Buy Fresh Buy LocalⓇ partner, which means that they have “made a commitment to feature local foods and to support local producers,” according to the organization’s website. PASA coordinates the efforts of Buy Fresh Buy LocalⓇ in Pennsylvania. 

Continue Reading: Celebrate our area’s tasteful bounty during Local Foods Week Aug. 2-8

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/30, 2015 at 09:45 PM

Tags: LocalFoodsWeek | FarmTour |

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 11:34 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 09:03 AM

Tags: |

Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

30 days of rain: when my sister, a rising freshman at Penn State, arrived for her orientation during the first weekend of July, this is what they told her. While since that weekend State College has had some relief from the wetness—notably, Arts Fest weekend saw sunny skies and high temperatures—since then, some inevitable showers and storms have passed through the area. The continual precipitation not only poses problems for those people worried about a potentially frizzy hair day (me), but also for another, unexpected group: farmers.

It seems strange that too much water could be an issue for food growers, but in fact it is a serious threat. Certain crops are susceptible to unusually wet weather, and depending on what a farmer grows, excess rain can destroy an entire yield. Kim Tait, from Tait Farm Foods in Centre Hall, tells me that when there is a lot of rain, tomatoes in particular are a cause for concern. 

Continue Reading: Rainy summer leads to challenges for growers at Tait Farms

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/23, 2015 at 09:35 AM

Tags: TaitFarms | summer | farming |

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 09:22 AM

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Attention to detail in local food and drinks sets Liberty Craft House apart

Attention to detail in local food and drinks sets Liberty Craft House apart

If you’ve visited any one of a number of popular restaurants in State College—including, but certainly not limited to, The Deli, The Saloon, and Bar Bleu—then you’ve had a taste of the Dante’s Restaurants and Nightlife experience. Since the founding of Hi Way Pizza, which opened over 50 years ago under the precocious expertise of Andrew Zangrilli, Dante’s has seen significant growth in town, most recently with the establishment of Liberty Craft House at 346 E. College Avenue. Since its opening in February of this year, managers J.P. Mills and Jennifer Zangrilli report that business has been “nonstop,” news they shared with much satisfaction and maybe a hint of exhaustion.

I soon understood the fatigue, as Mills and Zangrilli related to me what they called the sometimes “painstaking” efforts that go into putting together and running a place like Liberty. From the brickwork that lines the front of the restaurant (the bricks come from Chicago); to the iron railings surrounding the outdoor seating area (they were re-purposed after originally being used in the former location of another Dante’s establishment); to meats and cheeses that the Liberty staff cuts to order (neither is ever pre-cut, and the restaurant does not use auto-cutters); Liberty explicitly takes pride in their “passion for knowledge, skill, and small-batch artisan goods,” no matter what it might cost them in weariness.

Continue Reading: Attention to detail in local food and drinks sets Liberty Craft House apart

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/09, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Tags: LibertyCraftHouse | beer | wine | HogsGalore |

These berries are a well-kept, delicious local food secret

These berries are a well-kept, delicious local food secret

I’m passionate about all things relating to local food (a shocking surprise to folks who know me), including eating it. And if it is organic even better. And if its fruit better still. And if it is the fruit pictured above, well it’s a toss-up between them and raspberries in my book. 

From our experience displaying them at the Jade Family Farm stand at local markets, most people have never tasted one. In fact, most don’t know what they are. The most common answer for the uninitiated is “grapes?” People who lived in Europe or England recognize (and prize) them instantly. And for good reason. They are absolutely wonderful, with a complex blend of sweetness and tartness that make them a delight to eat raw or in jams or pies or as a sauce for fowl, beef, or pork, or to spice up a salad, or…well, the list goes on. I can’t think of a more spectacular food that is virtually unknown here, though currants, paw paws, and persimmons would all be runner ups.

Continue Reading: These berries are a well-kept, delicious local food secret

{name} Posted by James Eisenstein on 07/07, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Tags: gooseberries | JadeFamilyFarm |

Double Berry Bundt Cake a red, white, and blue July 4th treat

Double Berry Bundt Cake a red, white, and blue July 4th treat

The berries have arrived in Happy Valley! 

We have lots of raspberries on our bushes in the backyard; the June rain has helped them grow as large as we have ever seen! The blueberries arrived from the Kiwanis Club last Tuesday, so now I have 30 pounds of blueberries to find wonderful recipes for. Yes, some of them have been eaten out of hand, as well as freezing many for winter oatmeal.

But I love to try new blueberry recipes.

This Double Berry Bundt Cake is an adaptation from a recipe I just received from smittenkitchen.com and it is SO GOOD! Easy to make and very moist. Your family and holiday guests will rave about this cake that you can eat for breakfast/brunch/dessert. It’s a red, white and blue treat.

Continue Reading: Double Berry Bundt Cake a red, white, and blue July 4th treat

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 07/03, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Tags: bundtcake | recipe | July4th |

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 09:58 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 11:28 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 09:14 AM

Tags: HappyValleyCulinaryWeek | SouthHillsFoodFestival |

Local food part of Happy Valley Culinary Week June 22-28

Local food part of Happy Valley Culinary Week June 22-28

The Third Annual Happy Valley Culinary Week is here, starting today, June 22, and running through Sunday, June 28. There are 18 restaurants in Happy Valley offering special menus, but there’s special events as well. Learn more about Happy Valley Culinary Week by reading the post below, written by Lori Miller, director of visitor and member services with the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau. Then tomorrow here on Local Food Journey learn about one of the major highlights of the week, the South Hills Culinary Week Food Festival which will be held on Wednesday, June 24.

By Lori Miller, Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau

We’re very happy to be celebrating our 3rd Annual Happy Valley Culinary Week! It’s a great way to celebrate the dining scene in Centre County. We have a lot of familiar as well as unique dining options with some great chef talent. We hope to encourage people to try a new place and hopefully discover a new favorite.

Continue Reading: Local food part of Happy Valley Culinary Week June 22-28

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 06/22, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: HappyValleyCulinaryWeek |

Strawberry season nearing end, but there’s still time!

Strawberry season nearing end, but there’s still time!

It’s strawberry season and I could not be happier! The strawberries in my garden are ripe enough to pick everyday, despite the chipmunk that wants to eat them—he sometimes sneaks under our chicken wire fence to sample a few! The strawberries look lovely at the various farmers markets and the PA strawberries that are being sold in local grocery stores are plump and juicy!

Way Fruit Farm is a great place to take the family for strawberry picking. But with all the rain, the strawberries might have a shorter season this year, as a recent e-mail from them informed. So get there soon for the best berries.

Continue Reading: Strawberry season nearing end, but there’s still time!

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 06/19, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Tags: recipe | strawberries | WayFruitFarm |

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 09:31 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 11:50 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 10:31 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 09:15 AM

Tags: |

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 09:29 AM

Tags: recipe | strawberries |

Spring veggie breakfast casserole - great for potlucks!

Spring veggie breakfast casserole - great for potlucks!

Memorial Day is over. The Northern and Southern guns at the Boalsburg Cemetery are silent, the homemade pies are eaten, and the carnival rides are gone out at Boalsburg’s Memorial Day celebration. But summer is coming with all its fun and wonderful garden bounties.

As spring fades into summer, be sure to make this easy breakfast casserole filled with healthy veggies from the local farmers markets before all the fresh spring vegetables are gone. Try this for your next large group gathering, family reunion, or anytime there are lots of people (or a few teenagers) to feed!

Continue Reading: Spring veggie breakfast casserole - great for potlucks!

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 06/02, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Tags: recipe | eggs | spring | vegetables |

Strawberry time is just around the corner

Strawberry time is just around the corner

You scream, I scream, we all scream for…STRAWBERRIES! Yes, it is almost that time of year again! One of the greatest aspects of living in Centre County is all the fantastic fresh fruit and vegetables we can get all summer long. And it starts with strawberries.

There are strawberries we can pick at a U-pick farm such as Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda. They are expecting their berries to be ripe anytime from June 1 to June 8 this year. A fun family activity is picking berries together—-make it a game and find out who can pick the biggest bucketful. Call Way to find out specific dates, or better yet, sign up for their emails at http://www.wayfruitfarm.com/mail.php.

Continue Reading: Strawberry time is just around the corner

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 05/29, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: 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 08:59 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 09:59 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 09:16 AM

Tags: gardening | frost |

Recipe: Asparagus, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese Pizza

Recipe: Asparagus, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese Pizza

As spring is quickly making way for summer, there is still wonderful asparagus at the farmers markets. You may have already been using asparagus in many ways: in salads, as a side veggie (grilled is especially yummy!), or in delicious pasta dishes like Pasta Primavera.

Here is a new way I discovered to use asparagus.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Asparagus, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese Pizza

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 05/18, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: recipe | pizza | asparagus |

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.

Continue Reading: DIY hipster-style artisan grilled cheese

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/12, 2015 at 09:22 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:

Continue Reading: One great local food weekend on the way

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

Continue Reading: Five fantastic farmers market finds

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/06, 2015 at 10:56 AM

Tags: |

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:

Continue Reading: Mobile app to help local diners find healthy options

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/04, 2015 at 09:05 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 10:10 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 10:00 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.

Continue Reading: Patience pays off later with garden plantings

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/21, 2015 at 10:38 AM

Tags: gardening |

Gigi’s offers Southern-style food and cocktails with a local twist

Gigi’s offers Southern-style food and cocktails with a local twist

By Emily Edling, Local Food Journey intern

Gigi’s Restaurant and Wine Lounge, located just two miles outside of downtown State College, gives its guests something different by offering a wide variety of menu items that take advantage of local food sources. I spoke with manager Rebecca Larsen to find out what local companies Gigi’s uses and how this affects the development of their menu.

Both Larsen and the chef are relatively new to the restaurant, coming in last year with a vision to create a southern inspired restaurant and bar. She said that her and the chef work together with local providers to see what fruits or vegetables they have and then figure out how they can incorporate that into a menu dish. For example, Tait Farm is one of Gigi’s food providers, and has had a lot of spinach lately. So a couple of weeks ago, the menu featured a petite filet with spinach.

Continue Reading: Gigi’s offers Southern-style food and cocktails with a local twist

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 04/16, 2015 at 11:12 AM

Tags: Gigi's | southernfood |

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 09:27 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 09:44 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 08:32 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 08:54 AM

Tags: SXSW | Austin | localfood |

Jade Family Farm gets spring planting season underway

Jade Family Farm gets spring planting season underway

By Emily Edling, WPSU Local Food Journey intern

While it hasn’t been feeling much like spring, warmer weather is surely on its way, and the staff of the Jade Family Farm is hard at work to prepare for the spring season.

Even though it still feels like winter some days, especially with the snowstorm on the first day of spring, that doesn’t mean that farmers get to take a break. There is much preparation that goes into a farm having a successful growing season.

Continue Reading: Jade Family Farm gets spring planting season underway

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 03/31, 2015 at 09:10 AM

Tags: JadeFamilyFarm | spring | EmilyEdling |

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 09:51 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.

Continue Reading: Spring farmers market frittata

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/24, 2015 at 08:46 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 09:00 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 09:00 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 09:00 AM

Tags: |

Aardvark Kafe offers vegans a hidden treasure for casual dining

Aardvark Kafe offers vegans a hidden treasure for casual dining

By Emily Edling, Local Food Journey Intern

The Aardvark Kafe is one of the hidden treasures for the vegetarian community in State College. Located on the 900-block of West College Ave, it is just out of reach of the downtown area, but is well worth the trip. Owners Karen and Les Urbanski opened Aardvark Kafe three years ago, transforming the former OIP (Original Italian Pizza) into a combination cafe and antique shop.
In keeping the original OIP menu and adding a whole new menu consisting entirely of vegan dishes, the Aardvark Kafe offers an environment in which vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike can dine together in perfect harmony.

Continue Reading: Aardvark Kafe offers vegans a hidden treasure for casual dining

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 03/11, 2015 at 08:54 AM

Tags: AardvarkKafe | vegan |

Penn State club offers support for those leading the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle

Penn State club offers support for those leading the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle

By Emily Edling
WPSU Local Food Journey Intern

The Penn State Vegetarian Club is just one of the 900-plus student organizations on campus, but they are doing some interesting things both on campus and throughout the State College community. They offer social support for those leading a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, sponsor food giveaways, host speakers from groups such as PETA, The Humane League and Vegan Outreach, and are currently working with the dining commons to get more vegan options on campus.

I spoke with President Keegan O’Donnell to get the inside scoop on where the best vegetarian options are both on campus and around State College. For on campus dining, he recommends West Commons, which features an entire vegetarian section, Veg Works, and Redifer in South Dining Commons, which offers a good selection of á la carte options. The HUB also offers some impressive vegetarian cuisine with the tofu bowls at Sushi by Panda Express and of course there is always Mixed Greens for a good salad (although they don’t label vegan salad dressings so vegans be wary).

Continue Reading: Penn State club offers support for those leading the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 02/25, 2015 at 09:00 AM

Tags: vegetarian | PennState |

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 10:24 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 11:04 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 10:57 AM

Tags: ValentinesDay | hoilday |

Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe offers up local food options for the literary inclined

Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe offers up local food options for the literary inclined

By Emily Edling, Local Food Journey Intern

Webster’s Bookstore Café is known for its cozy atmosphere of used book and a broad selection of café drinks. But what sets them apart from the other coffee shops of downtown State College is their wide range of food, especially their vegetarian and vegan options, utilizing local sources to make these tasty meals.

Aside from specialty coffee and tea drinks, Webster’s does a lot of things with vegetarian ingredients such as hummus, paté, and portabella mushrooms all of which can be made in the form of sandwiches, salads, paninis, or wraps and that are all vegan unless you choose to add cheese. They also offer a soup of the day and other daily specials, which offer even more vegetarian options.

For non-vegan’s there are also many egg sandwiches and burritos available, each with a literature-themed name. In fact, with the exception of about two or three items, the entire menu at Webster’s is vegetarian friendly—it’s a dream come true! My personal favorite is the Spicy Bean Chili, which is a vegan dish that has the perfect amount of spice to warm up on these cold winter days.

Continue Reading: Webster’s Bookstore and Cafe offers up local food options for the literary inclined

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 02/06, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Tags: vegetarian | vegan | Webster's |

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 09:36 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 11:33 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 11:15 PM

Tags: seeds | gardening |

Being a vegetarian in State College

Being a vegetarian in State College

Local Food Journey has a new writing intern, Emily Edling. She’s a Penn State English major, and is also a vegetarian. Her first contribution to Local Food Journey is a piece on her experiences being a vegetarian in State College.

Being a vegetarian can be difficult regardless of where you live. When I first made the decision to give up meat I was in my hometown of Boyertown, PA, where I was struggling to find options that were both delicious and adequate substitutes to meat. Along with this, I also had the burden of enduring endless discussions with friends and family members in defending my choice to abstain from meat, in assuring them that it doesn’t offend me when they eat meat, about where I am getting my protein from, and so on. 

Continue Reading: Being a vegetarian in State College

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 01/23, 2015 at 11:07 AM

Tags: vegetarian |

Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March

Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March

On Saturday, Feb. 7, Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery will hold a Walk-Around Tasting from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. During this special wine and food pairing event, we will be featuring gourmet appetizers by Brown Dog Catering paired with our award-winning wines.  And while you sip and savor, enjoy the soulful acoustic guitar music of Laura Boswell. Cost is $25/person; a credit card number will hold your reservation. You can make a reservation by calling (814) 466-6373. This is just one event at the Winery in February and March, keep reading for a few more:

Continue Reading: Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 01/20, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Tags: wine | Mt.NittanyWinery |

Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill

Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill

The weatherman says there will soon be a “January thaw.” Really?? Somehow I don’t believe it as I wake up to the temperature, yet again, in the single digits or teens. That’s when I know that I will make soup for dinner!

I have read a lot of blogs and Facebook pages about soups lately. So many look so good and I want to try them all. Maybe that is how I will make it through until spring this year. We do like soup in our house.

But for now, I will tell you of a soup that has a long history in our family. Yes, another food/family story! When my husband and I were dating we decided to spend the weekend at his childhood home for me to “meet the parents.” My future mother-in-law, a wonderful cook, served us Cream of Cauliflower Soup on a hot summer day. She said it was a new recipe that she wanted to try. Was she trying to impress me? She did not have to—-I liked her right away!

Continue Reading: Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 01/16, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Tags: recipe | soup | cauliflower | winter |

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 01:45 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 11:04 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 11:47 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 10:50 AM

Tags: |

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 02:28 PM

Tags: |

A great bran muffin recipe to get back on a healthy track

A great bran muffin recipe to get back on a healthy track

These bran muffins are dense. They are so good in that healthy sort of way. And after a holiday season with too much candy, we can all use some of these!

Classic Bran Muffins (from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham)

Continue Reading: A great bran muffin recipe to get back on a healthy track

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/26, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Tags: |

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 10:05 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 11:25 AM

Tags: holiday | gift |

Tradition and Plum Bread

Tradition and Plum Bread

Phyllis Richman, the former food critic of The Washington Post, wrote a beautiful article published in the Post in November 1992, that I keep in my files and read at this time of the year. She focused on the rituals of her family:

“It’s about ritual. Once upon a time, rituals grew from childhood and developed naturally throughout a lifetime. These days there is seldom time for that. Repetition makes the various parts of the holiday familiar. That’s what creates the bonds: recognition, memory. The beauty of a family ritual is that even if you are not there, you can imagine what is going on. You can evoke the rhythm..the smells, the conversations. One ‘holiday’ is linked to another.”

Continue Reading: Tradition and Plum Bread

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Tags: |

Lots of smells, tastes, and sights to behold at the State College Indoor Farmers Market

Lots of smells, tastes, and sights to behold at the State College Indoor Farmers Market

When I opened the doors to the State College Municipal Building last Friday, it was a cold, clammy day. I hadn’t seen the sun in what felt like weeks. And yet, as I entered the building and made my first trip to the State College Winter Farmers’ Market, I felt that familiar coziness (perhaps a mixture of good food, electric heat, and pre-holiday cheer?) come over me. It was the indoor market’s first gathering of the season.

Continue Reading: Lots of smells, tastes, and sights to behold at the State College Indoor Farmers Market

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 12/16, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Tags: farmersmarket | winter |

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 12:06 PM

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 11:01 AM

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

Two soups to help you fight the winter chill

Two soups to help you fight the winter chill

With the weather getting cold and miserable, I have to wonder what was I thinking moving from Southern California to Pennsylvania? Of course now they are in monsoon season. I remember when I got to SoCal one of the first things the military had me do was fight brush fires. Then when winter came I was back in the same area filling sand bags to stop the mud and rain from ruining homes since there was no vegetation left from the fires to hold the soil in place.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, cold weather. After trudging through the snow and slush the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is cook. I just want to put on my jammies and settle down in my warm house and let the storms rage outside. So to do this I have become a fan of soups. In particular soups you can make in a crockpot. I put everything in the crockpot, turn it on, and when I get home the house smells wonderful and there is a warm meal waiting to heat me up. Throw in some nice crusty bread and some local butter and I am a happy little camper. I have included below two recipes for my favorite versions of both lentil and split pea soups. I hope they warm you up as much as they do me.

Continue Reading: Two soups to help you fight the winter chill

{name} Posted by James Sechrengost on 12/05, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Tags: recipe | soup |

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 10:18 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 11:16 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 11:13 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 10:26 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 11:15 AM

Tags: farmersmarket | winter |

Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”

Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”

Though summer seems like a long way off (and it is, as my newly frozen hair indicates), it’s never a bad thing to plan ahead a few months. For those seeking out a refreshing drink to try at their summer dinner parties—or really anyone just looking to add another item to their drink mix—I introduce you to shrubs. And for most (read: all) of my information on shrubs, I turn to author Michael Dietsch, whose book, Shrubs, was published on October 6 by The Countryman Press.

A shrub, Dietsch tells me (and states in his book), is an acidulated beverage, or a drink made with some type of acid—historically vinegar, lemon juice, or other citruses.  This acid is mixed with sugar, water, and sometimes alcohol; then, to give the drink a unique flavor, a fruit or a type of fruit juice is steeped in the mixture. Though the acidic components might seem unpalatable in what would be an otherwise sweet beverage, they were orginially a practical component. “Vinegar used to preserve fruit after the harvest,” Diestch says.  “This was in a time before refrigeration.”

Continue Reading: Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/20, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Tags: shrub | MichaelDietsch |

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 08:00 AM

Tags: Harrisons | fundraiser |

Herwig’s: Incredible Austrian food served in an even-more incredible atmosphere

Herwig’s: Incredible Austrian food served in an even-more incredible atmosphere

“Are you sure you want to tip before you eat?”

I had just sat down to talk with Bernd Brandstatter, one of the owners of Herwig’s Austrian Bistro, when he called over to a group of patrons who had ordered their food at the counter and dropped some money into the tip jar. It was then that I had my first inkling that this wasn’t going to be your typical dining establishment.

Continue Reading: Herwig’s: Incredible Austrian food served in an even-more incredible atmosphere

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/12, 2014 at 09:58 AM

Tags: |

Increasing food prices got you down? Here’s some tips

Increasing food prices got you down? Here’s some tips

“U.S Consumer Prices Barely Rise as Inflation Remains Muted”

This was the title of an article in the NY Times from Oct 22, 2014. Sounds positive, right?

I don’t usually read economic articles but this caught my attention. We are seeing low gas prices. Hurray!! We all want to spend less on gasoline. But that is not all that is happening in the country regarding cost of living. The article goes on to state that although gas prices are going down, the cost of housing and food have offset much of the economic growth lower gas prices would produce.

Continue Reading: Increasing food prices got you down? Here’s some tips

{name} Posted by LacCreta Holland on 11/10, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Tags: |

Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

Celebrate fall and harvest time with the wineries of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail! Their Nouveau Weekend Event, Nov. 8/9 and Nov. 15/16, is your chance to try newly-released and newly-made or “noveau wines” which are fruity and flavorful and meant to be consumed in celebration of the season.  There will also be plenty of your current favorites to taste as well.

Continue Reading: Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 11/07, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Tags: winetrail | wine | holidays |

Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

Celebrate fall and harvest time with the wineries of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail! Their Nouveau Weekend Event, Nov. 8/9 and Nov. 15/16, is your chance to try newly-released and newly-made or “noveau wines” which are fruity and flavorful and meant to be consumed in celebration of the season.  There will also be plenty of your current favorites to taste as well.

Continue Reading: Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 11/07, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Tags: winetrail | wine | holidays |

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 10:11 AM

Tags: bees | research | PennState |

A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market

A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market

Local food lovers in the Central Pennsylvania area have many options when purchasing their groceries. In addition to various local food vendors that occupy downtown locales, farmers markets like the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the North Atherton Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms take advantage of the (relatively) nice fall, spring, and summer weather to grow and sell an even wider selection of local foods.

Friends & Farmers Cooperative will soon add another option to the mix: an online farmers’ market offering locally produced vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs, meats, fish and baked goods for online pre-ordering and one-stop customer pickup. Organizers are aiming to open the market for the first group of participating vendors to update their available inventory on November 19, for customer ordering to begin November 21, with first pickup on Tuesday, November 25– just before Thanksgiving.

Continue Reading: A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/31, 2014 at 04:00 AM

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Mt. Nittany Winery to hold Harvest Dinner Nov. 8

Mt. Nittany Winery to hold Harvest Dinner Nov. 8

Winery owners Joe and Betty Carroll invite you to an intimate evening with your friends at the Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery. Our Winemaker’s Harvest Dinner, catered by Brown Dog Catering, is an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the harvest and the company of fellow wine lovers at our beautiful setting on the side of Mt. Nittany. We have selected wines to accompany each course and will discuss the pairings as the evening progresses–hope you will join us!

Continue Reading: Mt. Nittany Winery to hold Harvest Dinner Nov. 8

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 10/29, 2014 at 08:00 AM

Tags: Mt.NittanyWinery | events |

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 10:28 AM

Tags: |

Mt. Nittany Winery’s Harvest Photo Contest captures beauty of autumn at the Winery

Mt. Nittany Winery’s Harvest Photo Contest captures beauty of autumn at the Winery

Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery received many entries for their annual Harvest Photo Contest. The First Place winner, receiving a $50 gift certificate, was Tom Gari, and his wife, Dawn Gari, was Runner-Up receiving a $25 gift certificate. There were several Honorable Mentions, all receiving a certificate for a Winery Tour and Wine & Cheese Tasting for Four.

Continue Reading: Mt. Nittany Winery’s Harvest Photo Contest captures beauty of autumn at the Winery

{name} Posted by Linda Weaver on 10/24, 2014 at 09:58 AM

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Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat

Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat

Apple cider is one of those cold-weather favorites: steaming cups of the hot, fruity stuff bring back pleasant memories of many a childhood. I always associate it with my family’s annual Christmas tree outing to a local farm in my hometown, where the drink was made on the spot and given out to patrons free of charge (each subsequent refill costs you a quarter). You can find cider in almost any grocery store throughout the year, but there is absolutely nothing like a freshly poured mug of it to warm your hands (and soul).

Continue Reading: Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat

{name} Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/23, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Tags: WayFruitFarm | apples | cider |

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 09:43 AM

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World Food Day speaker raises modern food issues

World Food Day speaker raises modern food issues

By LaCreta Holland

October 16, 2014, was “World Food Day,” a day for “action against hunger,” proclaimed by the United Nations.

On World Food Day, I attended a very interesting lecture by Bryan McDonald, assistant professor of history at Penn State. His lecture, “Dinner for Seven Billion:  Food Issues for the 21st Century,” was held as part of Schlow Library’s Research Unplugged series.

Continue Reading: World Food Day speaker raises modern food issues

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/20, 2014 at 09:46 AM

Tags: WWI | foodtalk |

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 10:55 AM

Tags: fall | festivals |

Lots to discover at our farmers markets in autumn

Lots to discover at our farmers markets in autumn

Fall is officially upon us. The leaves are changing from a verdant green to the many warm shades of red and orange; temperatures are dropping steadily; and, perhaps most importantly, the Downtown State College Farmer’s Market, which is held every Tuesday and Friday afternoon from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Locust Lane and College Avenue, has revealed their many seasonal offerings. Those who are fond of decorating in the autumnal and Halloween-esque styles—and even those who just like a good squash—will be delighted to see what Locust Lane has in store on Tuesday and Friday afternoons in October.

Continue Reading: Lots to discover at our farmers markets in autumn

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/16, 2014 at 08:00 AM

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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 09:51 AM

Tags: gardening | tomatoes |

Millheim Oktoberfest to be held Saturday Oct. 11

Millheim Oktoberfest to be held Saturday Oct. 11

By Anna Lombardo

Free up your schedule, folks—the second annual Millheim Oktoberfest, presented by Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks to benefit the Millheim fire company, is just around the corner. On Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at 11:00 a.m. and lasting until 7:00 p.m., the Millheim fire company grounds will host this family friendly, all-weather event, where they plan to offer traditional German food, drink, music, and dancing—in the spirit of community involvement and kinship. 

Oktoberfest, I learn from Elk Creek Cafe head brewer Tim Yarrington (I was pitiably uninformed about the event), dates back to Germany in the early 1800s, when a party was thrown for a young Prince Ludwig, in honor of his marriage. The entire town of Munich, Germany, was invited, and thus Ludwig’s marriage party set epic proportions for this tradition, which would inspire subsequent celebrations all over the world every year for the next several hundred years.

Continue Reading: Millheim Oktoberfest to be held Saturday Oct. 11

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/10, 2014 at 08:30 AM

Tags: Oktoberfest | Millheim | ElkCreekCafe |

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 09:00 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 10:19 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 08:41 AM

Tags: FriendsandFarmers |

Recipe: Swiss steak makes for a delicious “retro” meal

Recipe: Swiss steak makes for a delicious “retro” meal

Way back when, Swiss steak was a great way for people to use inexpensive cuts of beef to make a great meal. This seemed to be mainly a Pennsylvania thing back in the day as when I got to California I never saw it on any menus. I got a hankering for it one day and made up a batch which I took to work with me for lunch the next day. When I was heating it up in the microwave, yes we had them even back then, my colleagues came wandering in to find out where that heavenly aroma was coming from.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Swiss steak makes for a delicious “retro” meal

{name} Posted by James Sechrengost on 09/30, 2014 at 09:23 AM

Tags: recipe | beef | swisssteak |

Bakery focuses on gluten-free options for desserts, pasta

Bakery focuses on gluten-free options for desserts, pasta

By Anna Lombardo

Do you have to avoid gluten? You no longer have to fear pasta.

One of central Pennsylvania’s renowned pasta makers, Fasta & Ravioli Co., recently teamed up with another local food business, Good Seed Baking Co.—exclusive producer of gluten-free items—to begin a new line of their freshly made pastas that cater to those individuals whose gluten allergies likely prevent them from gobbling down plates of spaghetti on a weekly basis like the rest of us do (oh—that’s just me?...okay).

Continue Reading: Bakery focuses on gluten-free options for desserts, pasta

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/25, 2014 at 09:16 AM

Tags: GoodSeedBakery | gluten-free |

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 08:29 AM

Tags: gardening | garlic |

Recipe: Roasted tomatoes offer a tasty way to say farewell to summer

Recipe: Roasted tomatoes offer a tasty way to say farewell to summer

By LaCreta Holland

Summer is still producing my favorite veggies, but with a nip in the air, not for much longer! I shopped at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Boalsburg this week and found very good prices on the last tomatoes of the summer. I don’t look forward to winter, so a basket of tomatoes right now really makes me smile. There are lots of ways I want to use them, now and in the future.

I like to use them fresh in pasta dishes. This angel hair pasta is mixed with grilled shrimp. Garlic and tomatoes sauteed in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil are added and a handful of julienne basil are mixed in. A very fresh tasting pasta for the end of the summer.

Continue Reading: Recipe: Roasted tomatoes offer a tasty way to say farewell to summer

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Tags: recipe | pasta | tomatoes |

Beyond yellow: ‘Big Al’ takes mustard to another level

Beyond yellow: ‘Big Al’ takes mustard to another level

Editor’s note: This is the first of our new Local Food Intern Anna Lombardo’s articles on the local food scene in Central Pennsylvania.

Next time you’re jonesing for that familiar kick of mustard on your hot dog or seeking out a dip for your big neighborhood shindig, set down the Heinz bottle and look no further than a locally brewed and packaged concoction: a jar of Big Al’s Sweet and Spicy Mustards.

You’ll know you have the right product when you find two adorably animated peppers—one yellow, one red—embracing each other as they beam and wave at you from the packaging. Inside the jar, things only get better. Big Al—also known as Allen Weimert, a retired schoolteacher, who makes the mustard right out of his Stormstown home alongside his wife, Maryann—uses only locally grown ingredients, many of which he grows in his own backyard. For example, the red, yellow, and orange peppers you find delectably strewn throughout the brew have most likely been cultivated at the hands of the Weimerts. What they can’t grow, they buy from local vendors. Al tells me that his business both flourishes and is dependent upon the availability of fresh, local foods grown in central Pennsylvania. He says that part of the reason that he and Maryann have been “blessed” with this project is because they have the local resources to do so.

Continue Reading: Beyond yellow: ‘Big Al’ takes mustard to another level

{name} Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Tags: mustard | condiments |

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 09:13 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 08:43 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 09:23 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 11:16 AM

Tags: cider | GoodIntent | beverages |

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