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This week’s Local Food Notes features two festivals, and a reminder that farmers markets are still going!
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Oct. 21
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/21, 2016 at 10:33 AM
Editors Note: This article was originally written for inclusion in Passages, a journal of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
So, you’re at your favorite farm-to-table/local food hotspot, awaiting your meal. Let’s say you ordered grilled rainbow trout, raised at a fish farm 15 miles down the road. On the side, you got garlic smashed potatoes made with ingredients that first sprouted at a farm 11 miles away, and a mixed sauteed vegetable dish that features veggies from a farmette just five miles down the road.
Sounds good and now you’re hungry, right?
Continue Reading: The work involved getting that great local restaurant food on your fork
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/18, 2016 at 10:59 AM
Aaronsburg Dutch Fall Fest, chicken barbeque, The Farmers Wife Fall Fest, and Apple Cider Demonstration Day are all part of this week’s Local Food Notes.
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept. 30
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/30, 2016 at 09:52 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/23, 2016 at 11:44 AM
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’
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/20, 2016 at 08:34 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/15, 2016 at 05:42 PM
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.
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for Sept 2
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/02, 2016 at 12:48 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/05, 2016 at 10:32 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/29, 2016 at 12:07 PM
Tags: LocalFoodsWeek2016 |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/24, 2016 at 09:34 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2016 at 09:00 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/26, 2016 at 10:38 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/19, 2016 at 11:58 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/12, 2016 at 10:39 AM
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?
Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Continue Reading: We’re looking for volunteer writers!
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/28, 2016 at 12:18 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/08, 2016 at 10:29 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/11, 2015 at 11:06 AM
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?
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/10, 2015 at 12:06 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/30, 2015 at 12:10 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/23, 2015 at 11:13 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/16, 2015 at 10:54 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/04, 2015 at 09:05 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/14, 2015 at 11:25 AM
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
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 07/30, 2015 at 09:45 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2015 at 11:28 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/23, 2015 at 09:14 AM
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:
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/25, 2015 at 09:59 PM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/24, 2015 at 10:00 AM
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
Posted by Local Food Journey on 04/16, 2015 at 11:12 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2015 at 08:32 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03, 2015 at 08:54 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/20, 2015 at 10:24 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/14, 2015 at 01:45 PM
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
Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/20, 2014 at 09:46 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/12, 2014 at 09:13 AM
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
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/05, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
- First off, we’d like to offer our best wishes for a swift recovery to a Rising Spring Meat Company employee named Billy, who was seriously injured on the job this past Wednesday. You can read more about it below, and you can offer good thoughts and best wishes below at the company’s Facebook page. They posted the following on that page:
“So, our jobs are dangerous. There is a careful line of respect and awe one has to have working around large animals. Even with the most caution, things can still happen - like they did yesterday. One of our guys (actually our very first employee) was seriously injured on the job yesterday. It looks like everything is going to be OK, but it was a tough tough day for the whole crew and as you can imagine, we have been very distracted by this. As we were thinking what this means for the team in the coming weeks while he heals, we realized that there is a whole community of people out there following us and that maybe if we posted this you could send some get well messages for him (Billy) and maybe it could help lift his spirits. He is one of the guys, very much behind the scenes, who is responsible for bringing food to your plates - so even if you don’t know him - he’s probably helped to feed your family! Please help us in wishing Billy well in his recovery!!”
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes, Aug. 29
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/29, 2014 at 09:25 AM
Nine of the best local chefs from Central Pennsylvania’s finest restaurants will compete for the Boalsburg Farmers Market Fourth Annual Golden Basket Award on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Part of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)‘s “Local Foods Week,” the event will feature the chefs preparing a main dish and two sides from ingredients produced by Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors.
This will be the largest judged competition among chefs in the State College Area, and it has been described “as the culinary Olympics of Centre County.” The chefs will gather their ingredients at the start of market, then prepare their plates for submission to the judges in front of market guests.
Posted by James Eisenstein on 08/04, 2014 at 07:00 AM
As any reader of this blog is well aware, we live in an area full of fantastic sources of local food. And it’s growing, from new places to find local food to the excitement building around the burgeoning Friends & Farmers Coop and their plans to build a grocery store dedicated to local food. Really, something as awesome as our community of farms, markets, roadside stands, local food restaurants, etc. is something to be celebrated.
With that in mind, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is celebrating Local Foods Week August 2-9 with a variety of events, including the Centre County Farm Tour. FYI, this year, folks can buy a farm tour pass on-line or at the farmers markets during Local Foods Week. Purchasing a pass in advance means you can go to some of the farms starting at 10:00 a.m. (please review the list to see which ones open early). Passes will be available only at the North Atherton Farmers Market and the Millheim Farmers Market on the day of the tour.
More details about Local Foods Week, including other events:
Continue Reading: Local Foods Week celebrates our local bounty Aug 2-9
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31, 2014 at 10:59 AM
Sample and learn how to make pickles at Tait Farm, learn how to get your baby started on solid foods at Mt. Nittany Medical Center, see inspirational art of local farmland at Centre Furnace Mansion, and enjoy local food, beer, and great folk-rock at Elk Creek Cafe…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for July 26-27
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/25, 2014 at 09:37 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
Video by WPSU intern Kelly Tunney
Micah and Bethany Spicher Schonberg like to know who their vegetables are going home with. As the founders of Plowshare Produce, a CSA (for community-supported agriculture) near Huntingdon, Micah and Bethany know their members. The farmers greet their members by name; one of them is even the doula who delivered their son Ben.
A CSA is a subscription model for produce. Members pay in advance to have a weekly or biweekly delivery of fresh, organic vegetables. On their appointed day–Tuesday in State College, Friday in Huntingdon–they pick up their share of whatever ripened that week. At a recent distribution in State College, that included kohlrabi, garlic scapes, strawberries, beets, carrots, chard, and sugar peas.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/22, 2014 at 11:57 AM
This weekend, check out the local food part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and the Peoples Choice Arts Festival, enjoy wild blueberries, and discover the local food growing right in the Pennsylvania wilds.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for July 12 and 13
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/11, 2014 at 08:30 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
Two members of the Mount Nittany United Methodist Church have led an effort to create a “Giving Garden” on the church grounds to help address the issue of hunger in our community.
Robert and Joanna Jones of State College got a double dose of inspiration from the documentary “A Place At the Table”, about food shortages in the United States, and a TED Talk by fashion designer and activist Ron Finley about guerrilla gardening in South Central Los Angeles. So, they decided to take action themselves and help address our local food shortages here in Central Pennsylvania with local food from a garden on the church grounds.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2014 at 11:00 AM
This weekend you can enjoy a summer celebration at Tait Farm, experience a garden via your five senses, meet PBS Kids’ very own Daniel Tiger, enjoy free wine and cheese tastings, and go back in time musically with The Dustbowl Revival.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 21-22
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/20, 2014 at 09:44 AM
This weekend, you can enjoy pick-your-own strawberries, a Strawberry Festival in Lemont, wine and cheese tastings, and blues and soul to go with your local beer at the Gamble Mill Inn.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 14-15
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/13, 2014 at 09:38 AM
After our May monsoon, looks like a cool but decent weather weekend coming up. This weekend, there’s two plant sales, the Blair County Arts Festival, The Big Spring Festival, and live acoustic music to be found. Continue reading to learn more and plan your weekend.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 17-18
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/16, 2014 at 09:01 AM
We recently had a story on here about the Penn State Community Food Security Club. The organization is run by Penn State students that has a mission which states that their goal is to “spread conscious eating habits to the Penn State and State College communities, to assist in the support of a local food system, and to raise awareness and support for food security.”
Recently, WPSU ran a radio story during Morning Edition about another Penn State student-run effort that addresses an issue that many may not be aware even exists—University students who struggle to feed themselves.
Continue Reading: Penn State students work to create a food bank for students
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/15, 2014 at 09:57 AM
This weekend features Way Fruit Farm’s Apple Blossom Festival, Centre Furnace Mansion Plant Celebration, Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering special Graduation Dinner, and Webster’s Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 10-11
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/09, 2014 at 08:39 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
This is a really exciting time to be a local foodie, as the warm season is finally here (even though most mornings we still need a jacket). Because this is the time of farmers markets, outdoor festivals, etc. we are bringing back the Local Food Weekend feature. Each Friday we help you plan your weekend by highlighting some of the local-food related events going on Saturday and Sunday.
Our first event is put on by one of our hubs of local food, Tait Farm, which is holding their Gardener’s Open House. Click the link below after “Continue Reading” to find out more about that event and others…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for May 3-4
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/02, 2014 at 08:59 AM
Friends and Farmers Cooperative is nearing their goal of 200 Founding Members by Thursday, May 2, but they still need your help if you already haven’t signed up. Please note that you can fill out the member application form online, then mail your check to the Co-op. As long as you fill out the form by Thursday, you’ll be considered a Founding Owner-Member.
One of the first perks of membership is the Local Loyalty program. Owner-members will be able to use their brand-new membership card at 35 local businesses to receive discounts, and this list of businesses is growing and not limited to food!
The Local Loyalty Program includes businesses that offer food, acupuncture, book, clothing alterations, massage, jewelry, and more. Along with this, there are a lot of other benefits of membership. You can find the form to fill out here.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/30, 2014 at 10:00 AM
It seems as though Penn State has a club for everything—The Clown Nose Club, Beekeepers Club, Glee Club— the list goes on. While they all vary in their size, purpose, and popularity, I think it’s safe to say that each club plays a significant part in helping the community. One club I hadn’t heard of, until now of course, is the Community Food Security Club. Their mission “is to spread conscious eating habits to the Penn State and State College communities, to assist in the support of a local food system, and to raise awareness and support for food security.” It’s no surprise that college students don’t have the best reputation for eating habits (Ramen noodles, anyone?), so the Community Food Security Club exists to prevent bad eating habits, not only for students, but for the community as a whole.
To begin, it’s important to address what exactly “food security” is. The club describes it in this way: “Food security is having continuous access to nutritious, affordable food in order to live a healthy life.” The club exists to ensure that dining halls across campus offer an array of healthy options for Penn State students. When it comes to the community, the club promotes the use of farm-grown foods by restaurants as well as people in their homes. Caroline Meehan, the Community Food Security Club president, says, “The club started a few years ago to raise awareness on food insecurity in America and to show support for sustainable agriculture and the local food system.”
Continue Reading: Penn State food security club promotes healthy, local eating
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/15, 2014 at 09:27 AM
In 2011 Fair Food Philly and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) teamed up to create a new annual marketplace for farmers and local food producers. The shared goal was to assist small businesses in growing their bottom line by providing a low-cost venue accessible to a diverse audience of potential customers. The event is the Philly Farm and Food Fest, and it is happening this year on Sunday, April 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex.
Fest is also a fundraising event for Fair Food and PASA, with proceeds going to support our non-profit educational and technical assistance programs for food producers. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Continue Reading: Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Recently, Anne Field, a contributor with Forbes, wrote about a way for restaurants and grocery stores to meet the growing demand for local food.
Direct Local Food is an online wholesale market place for local food. It helps farmers find new buyers, manage their inventory, update buyers on product availability and new products, and track their sales. For buyers like chefs and grocers, it helps them find and order the best products, find special deals, discover and maintain relationships with new farmers, and track their orders.
Continue Reading: Online platform makes it easier for grocers, chefs to source local food
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/18, 2014 at 09:42 AM
Tags: Directlocalfood |
While there are plenty of restaurants in State College that pride themselves in their use of locally-made ingredients, the list continues to grow. Recently, the highly revered Nittany Lion Inn made the switch to use local ingredients in their menu with hopes of supporting other local businesses, expanding their menu, and of course, pleasing the palates of customers.
Andrew Monk, executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn, explains the process that was necessary in order to begin serving local food. “We had to change the thought process on menus and make a list based on our needs,” he said.
Specifically, Andrew addresses the importance in valuing the different needs and preferences of all customers alike, including vegetarians, vegans, and guests visiting the hotel from all over the world. Everyone has their own personal taste, and the restaurant offers an array of options. He stresses, “You want to please their needs, and you have to take as many steps as you can to get there.”
Continue Reading: On the menu at the Nittany Lion Inn: Local food
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/05, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Without a doubt, this has been one really rough winter here in Central Pennsylvania. Below-zero temperatures and lots of snow has made this the worst winter we’ve had in this area in 20 years, and right now it seems like spring will never come.
But we all know that soon enough, we will get warmer, and the grass will reappear and turn green, the flowers will pop out, and all of our moods will likely get better. In the meantime, here are six things that involve local food that can make you perhaps feel a bit better about our current weather situation:
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/17, 2014 at 10:33 AM
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love is certainly in the air at Harrison’s—love for local food, that is! Harrison Schailey, owner of Harrison’s Wine Grill on E. College Ave, came all the way from California as an organic farmer, hoping to bring some Left Coast influence to State College when he opened the restaurant. “After a while, I realized people didn’t go for that.”
What Harrison found was that people didn’t want a taste of California—they wanted a taste of State College. And why wouldn’t they? With the abundance of farms around the area offering a variety of options, it would be a shame not to take advantage. “It just made sense,” he says.
Of course, the winter climate here in Central Pennsylvania is nothing like California, but Mr. Harrison has adapted. When it comes to vegetables especially, winter takes a toll on local produce. “It is difficult during the winter, especially now that it’s been so cold, but we get what’s available.”
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 02/03, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Below is the first of many posts on Local Food Journey by our new intern, Penn State student Jordan Reabold. We’re excited to have Jordan aboard, and in the coming weeks she will be exploring the local food scene, including profiles on local food people, stories about various local food offerings in our area, and more.
One of the things I love most about State College, being that it reminds me of home, is the farmland. I’ve come to appreciate the cultivated fields where wooden barns nestle among the hills of Happy Valley, peacefully enveloping the bustle of the University. While the farms of State College certainly have aesthetic worth, they serve a more practical purpose as well—food, of course! And what better way to show your appreciation for these farmers than to choose local produce over large-scale food systems. In doing so, you support not only the farmers, but the local economy as a whole, and yourself.
Continue Reading: Why Eat Local?
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/28, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Editor’s note: The following is a press release regarding a fundraiser by Friends & Farmers Cooperative. Please help support what is a very worthy cause for our local food community.
Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is working to open a member-owned cooperative grocery that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, is holding a fundraising event at Spats at 5-7:30 p.m, January 26.
Entitled “Local on the Menu,” the event will offer community members a behind-the-scenes look at the local food scene and an opportunity to hear firsthand how Spats owner, Duke Gastiger, and others are turning local into a point of Pennsylvania pride.
Continue Reading: Eat local, support local at fundraiser for Friends & Farmers Cooperative
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/17, 2014 at 10:11 AM
The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced they awarded 71 grants in 42 states to help the schools connect their cafeteria with local farmers. The grants are part of the “Farm to School”
program. In Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia won one of the awards and will use the money to launch a pilot local food project, offering local blueberries to students at two schools. The second year, they will expand this to collard greens.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/20, 2013 at 10:46 AM
As per the weather forecasts, this weekend we end our winter preview and get some mild weather to enjoy. For this Local Food Weekend weekend, we have the Bellefonte Farmers Market, Santa’s arrival plus a chance to unwind at the Winery at Wilcox store at the Nittany Mall, and great music to go with great local food and beer at Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for Nov. 16 and 17
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/15, 2013 at 10:08 AM
This Local Food Weekend includes a few ways to use (or abuse) pumpkins in ways other than eating. Our events for Saturday and Sunday include the Howard Fire Company Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival, the Penn State Arboretum Pumpkin Festival, and the Harner Farm and the Terrace at Brookline Fall Festival. Continue reading to learn more…
Continue Reading: Local Food Weekend for October 19-20
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/18, 2013 at 09:01 AM
On yesterday’s NPR show All Things Considered, correspondent Martin Kaste had a story on a food controversy that is growing—GMO labeling. This idea is growing steam especially in the Northeast, where Maine and Connecticut have already passed laws that require labeling on any foods that contain GMO (genetically modified organisms). From the story:
Continue Reading: How might GMO labeling affect our local food community?
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/17, 2013 at 10:23 AM
It’s fall festival time in Central Pennsylvania, and these events offer fantastic opportunities to sample local food and make some discoveries of new products. This weekend we have the Wasson Farm Fall Fest, Black Moshannon Cranberry Festival, and the Way Fruit Farm Fall Festival to tell you about. Keep reading for more…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 12-13
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/11, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Okay, so the weather right now isn’t exactly fall-like. However, there are still plenty of fall-ish things to do this weekend that are local food related, including the Aaronsburg Dutch Fall Festival, State College’s Fall Fest, and the Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery’s Winemakers Harvest Dinner
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 5-6
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/04, 2013 at 08:39 AM
A quiet local food weekend last Saturday and Sunday, but not so this weekend. Some very cool events to check out tomorrow and Sunday. On a bit different note, you can make your Penn State tailgate or party a local food event by offering up some local food like Hogs Galore bratwursts, drinks mixed with Tait Farm shrub, an apple pie made with Harner Farm apples, etc. Anyway, onto the scheduled events for this week…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for September 14-15
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/13, 2013 at 09:44 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
The Village Eatinghouse has a fairly long history as a stalwart of the central PA food scene. It was originally started in 1985 in Boalsburg by Clay and Melanie Phillips as a small restaurant and catering service. However, in 1996 they decided to focus solely on catering and their line of food products. Then in 2006, they focused on specialty food products and out of catering, but that changed in 2012. “We realized that our lives worked better for us and our marriage when we worked together and we decided to re-open the Village Eatinghouse in the town that we live in, Pleasant Gap, in early Sept of 2012,” Melanie said.
Today, the Village Eatinghosue is a combination restaurant, catering business, specialty food market, and showcase for local artists. In the one year of their existence, they have become a must-go place for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner. And local food certainly plays a part in their business. “The Marketplace and Cafe idea came about through our love of this area and its abundant local entrepreneurs producing everything from homemade salsa and jams to handmade arts and handicrafts,” Melanie said. “We believe in the local economy succeeding by utilizing the local resources and supporting locally owned small businesses.”
Continue Reading: Pleasant Gap’s Village Eatinghouse celebrates local food and art
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/03, 2013 at 09:17 AM
It’s the semi-official end of summer and with it, the end of summer festivals. This week, there are two local festivals to check out that involve local food as part of the attractions.
Continue Reading: Local Food Weekend; Labor Day edition
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/30, 2013 at 08:51 AM
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) may say it’s about imported food, but the new rules proposed to govern the growing, harvesting, shipping, and storing raw fruits and vegetables have raised some concerns for the small farmers who make up the backbone of the local food movement. Recently, FDA representatives have embarked on a multi-state tour to visit farms and to discuss the new rules with the public.
Continue Reading: Will new FDA food safety rules hurt the local food movement?
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/26, 2013 at 08:55 AM
This weekend is a Grange Fair weekend, so that’s what dominates the schedule for our Local Food Weekend. Billed as the “Nation’s Most Unique County Fair”, I’d say it lives up to that title just by the encampment alone, which is a series of large tents where families basically spend a week living at the fair. So, it sort of makes for an interesting version of people watching. I can imagine for the kids, living at the fair is a dream come true.
The Grange Fair is an agricultural event, so if you are a local food enthusiast, it’s definitely worth a trip. Along with livestock exhibits, they also have a variety of produce exhibits, including canning. My wife was mortified by the sight of a whole chicken canned in a large Mason jar. I admit that the sight of a whole chicken in a jar, which is something most of us are used to seeing frozen or in a roasting pan, is rather unusual but this is an old way of preserving meat. You can also find freakishly huge pumpkins, unusual tomatoes, and more.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for August 24-25
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/23, 2013 at 08:00 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
How might the proposed Friends and Farmers Food Co-Op Store contribute to making my local food fantasy a reality? (My fantasy envisions a future in which much of the food we eat comes from local farms and producers. The first four installments include Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four. As a member of the interim board of Friends and Farmers, I’ve been thinking about this question off and on for almost a year.
Continue Reading: Local Food Fantasy Revisited: Part V
Posted by James Eisenstein on 08/21, 2013 at 01:57 PM
I’ve been revisiting my 2011 “Local Food Fantasy” piece describing how much of what we eat could be produced locally. The last installment described how the growing demand for local food can be accelerated. Here I want to explore the question of how supplies might rise to meet increasing demand.
Continue Reading: My Local Food Fantasy Revisited Part IV
Posted by James Eisenstein on 08/19, 2013 at 08:00 AM
Tags: localfoodfantasy |
Eight of the best local chefs from the area’s finest restaurants will compete for the Boalsburg Farmers Market Third Annual Golden Basket Award to be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Part of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s “Local Foods Week,” the event will feature the chefs preparing a main dish and two sides from ingredients produced by Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors. This will be the largest judged competition among chefs in the State College Area, and it has been described “as the culinary Olympics of Centre County.” The chefs will gather their ingredients at the start of market, then prepare their plates for submission to the judges in front of market goers.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/05, 2013 at 09:07 AM
El Gringo’s cook, Ben Stanley, talks about how he uses local foods in Mexican dishes to sell at farmers markets. Stanley uses the seasonal produce of central Pennsylvania to practice what he learned in Mexico about cooking.
Continue Reading: Local Food Video: El Gringo Taco Truck
Posted by Jessica Paholsky on 08/02, 2013 at 09:05 AM
From our friends at Buy Fresh Buy Local Centre County Chapter, an announcement about Local Foods Week, a celebration of the amazing bounty we have right here in the Centre Region
August is a month of cookouts, family gatherings, and finding creative ways to beat the heat. Did you realize that all the ingredients you need for your next summer get-together—mouthwatering burgers, juicy watermelons, crisp salads, and refreshing ice cream—are produced right here in Centre County? They’re closer than you think, and the growers are eager to meet you in person. Buy Fresh Buy Local® Centre County Chapter is presenting Local Foods Week from August 3rd through August 10th, which will offer events for the whole family to explore and connect with the county’s vast agrarian offerings and sustainability practices. The week’s happenings will appeal to anyone with an interest in local foods at any level, from backyard gardening, homesteading, or cooking with sustainable ingredients right up to larger scale farming. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, Local Foods Week will help you and your family appreciate and understand what it takes to bring your meals from the farmers’ fields to your fork.
Continue Reading: Next week is Local Foods Week!
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31, 2013 at 02:00 PM
July is winding down, meaning Local Foods Week will be here in no time! August 3rd-10th will bring a week-long celebration of Centre County’s agricultural bounty. The week will end with the highly anticipated Farm Tour on Saturday, August 10th, a day when 17 farms open their doors to visitors to explore, taste, and experience first hand what each farm grows and produces.
Farm Tour passes are on sale at Buy Fresh Buy Local partners Tait Farm, Webster’s Cafe, Nature’s Pantry, and the IngleBean Coffee House, as well as at farmers markets throughout Local Foods Week. A pass is $15/car or $10/bike, and contain special deals for shopping and dining during Local Foods Week. Passes won’t be available the day of the tour, so be sure to get one soon! If you don’t get a pass—don’t fret! Non-pass holders will be asked to pay $5 at each farm visited.
Here is the last sneak-peek of farms on the tour. If you’d like to read previous previews, you can find them here (link to early previews). Hope to see you on the tour!
Continue Reading: Preview of Local Foods Week Farm Tour, Part 4
Posted by Maya Althouse on 07/24, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Singapore is known for its food. For those who have been there, Singapore is a world of delicious and unique flavors. Much of this food is trucked in, but an entrepreneur has come up with a vertical farming idea that uses limited energy and may enable Singapore to grow more local food for its residents and visitors.
Continue Reading: Local food innovation in Singapore is something you can look up to
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/06, 2013 at 09:13 AM
Post by Jamie Ryan, Wine Consultant & Educator, Mt. Nittany Winery
In wine and food pairing, the fundamental goal is balance. The flavors found in both the wine and the elements of a dish should be balanced and neither should overpower the other. A well-matched pairing should enhance the existing elements of each and ultimately bring out new flavors that are not detected in the wine or food when they stand alone. As a wine educator, the most frequent questions my students always ask how they can make safe pairing choices when they are on their own, either at home or dining out. Here are some basic guidelines that are fairly universal in the world and I find that they are a great place for beginners to dive in and start playing with their pairings.
Continue Reading: Fundamentals of Pairing Wine with Food
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/23, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Article by PASA Staff
Back in the early ‘90s a small gathering of Centre County “kindred spirits” came together around the idea of founding an organization that focused on a variety of sustainable farming practices, addressed issues family farmers faced, and filled a need for those who wanted to support “alternative” agriculture, as some may have called it back then. Through the dedicated efforts of this group (many of whom still live, work, and farm in Centre County), the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) took root over 20 years ago and today continues to flourish throughout Pennsylvania.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/20, 2013 at 09:58 AM
Editor’s note: At the Dinner Table is a new series on Local Food Journey. The concept behind this feature is a type of conversation you might have at dinner with a friend. I am sure many of you have talked local food at dinner, while having local food on the table (how meta is that?), so this series will feature members of the local community talking about local food and the role it plays in their lives. This is the first in the series, and in this inaugural At the Dinner Table I talked to Sandra Rosseau, a PhD student at Penn State from France. She came to Penn State in 2007. Her research interests now focus on the roles that humor plays in the context of Franco-Algerian memory. In her free time, she enjoys music, photography, and as you will soon see, cooking.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/02, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Local food has many benefits, from supporting local businesses to just plain tasting good. But did you know that local food has potential to enhance diversity and improve race relations in the local community? A student from Stanford makes his case on the Huffington Post.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/01, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Editor’s note: You can read Part One of this post here.
What would a local food system look like? Unless really hard times come when we are unable to import anything, we are likely to continue to draw upon distant sources for such things as olive oil, citrus fruit, avocados, pistachios, and high fructose corn syrup (just testing to see if you are paying attention on that last one).
Continue Reading: My Local Food Fantasy Revisited: Part Two
Posted by James Eisenstein on 04/19, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Several years ago, I shared what I called my “local food fantasy,” one of the results (besides soreness and sweat) of performing repetitive tasks on the farm that require little thought (think weeding and digging carrots). Could we move to a “local food system” here? We live in a rich agricultural setting, have an educated population and some large institutional purchasers of food (Penn State, the hospital, schools, retirement communities), a supportive media, and a small but growing supply of locally grown food. “Why not?” I concluded But this was, as my title indicated, just a daydream.
Continue Reading: My Local Food Fantasy Revisited: Part One
Posted by James Eisenstein on 04/17, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Some good news to report for those looking for more local food sources. Friends & Farmers, a food cooperative in State College committed to showcasing the best local products in support of a strong local economy, has taken several important steps toward opening a member-owned community grocery store that is open to the public, seven days a week.
Continue Reading: Newly incorporated Friends & Farmers to hold local food potluck April 16
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/05, 2013 at 01:20 PM
The premise behind the Volumetrics Diet, created by Dr. Barbara Rolls, is that people like to eat. Her solution is to eat more food that is less dense, like non-starchy vegetables, and to sneak them in to the dishes we’re already eating. Dr. Rolls is a professor of nutritional sciences and the Helen A. Guthrie chair in nutrition at Penn State. She’s creator and author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet, a #1 New York Times Bestselling Diet book. Listen to her interview with WPSU’s Patty Satalia.
Continue Reading: Sneak More Veggies Into Your Recipes
Posted by Frosty on 03/22, 2013 at 09:46 AM
Love it or hate it? The great cilantro debate heats up as scientists start pinpointing cilantrophobe genes. Read more on NPR’s food blog.
Continue Reading: The Great Cilantro Debate
Posted by Emily Wiley on 09/14, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Tags: food |
Today we are faced with a laundry list of considerations when shopping at the market. Is this an organic apple? Does it come from a sustainable farm? Is this beef from grass-fed cattle, and are these eggs from free-range poultry?
In an attempt to simplify the elusive terminology of the farming world, we have created a what’s what of words and phrases to make your local eating experience a more informed one.
The following ten terms are the most important ones to consider when browsing markets and buying from local farmers.
Continue Reading: A Market Dictionary
Posted by James Gherardi on 08/27, 2010 at 09:34 AM
The first rule of food safety is “keep it clean.” In a close second to that basic food safety tenet is “keep it cold.”
The principles of safe food handling haven’t changed much from the basics my great-grandmother taught my mother. Those tips that were passed down from a 1900 southern Missouri homestead came from a simpler time, before the modern efficiencies of modern agriculture (and their unfortunate associated skepticism) were known.
Continue Reading: Keep it Clean, Keep it Cold
Posted by Chris Raines on 08/23, 2010 at 11:55 AM
Planting and nurturing your own food can be hard work—especially from a canal boat.
Continue Reading: Slow Food on a Slow Boat
Posted by Emily Wiley on 07/13, 2010 at 02:15 PM
Tags: slowfood |
What’s going to end up on your grill this July 4th weekend? We’re having lamb burgers and pork chops at my place.
Continue Reading: What Are You Grilling?
Posted by Chris Raines on 07/02, 2010 at 02:21 PM
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