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Local Food Journey

Next week is Local Foods Week!

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31 at 02:00 PM

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. 

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Local Food Journey

Interview with Jason Coopey of Way Fruit Farm

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31 at 12:12 PM

Way Fruit Farm apples and apple products are among the Centre Region’s favorite local foods. As something of a cider snob connoisseur due to having grown up in the Appleland that is southcentral Pennsylvania, I am picky about cider but have found Way’s cider to be one of my personal highlights of a Happy Valley autumn. However, Way Fruit Farm is so much more. They offer a wide variety of local fruit, and vegetables, almost year-round. They also have a pleasant cafe for breakfast and lunch, a gift shop, and provide a one-stop shop for other local food items such as meats, cheeses, sauces, etc. You can build a heck of a meal in one visit to Way Fruit Farm.

I recently had the pleasure to talk to Jason Coopey, co-owner of Way Fruit Farm, about what fruits are in season now and in the near future, why local food is so fantastic, and when they will again offer cider this year.

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Local Food Journey

Gazpacho, that famous summery cold soup

Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/28 at 10:21 PM

This is a great farmers market recipe. I got this recipe when I was working in a restaurant in Sun Valley, CA. The restaurant is long gone but this recipe carries on with me.

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Local Food Journey

Local Food Video: Fasta & Ravioli Co.

Posted by Jessica Paholsky on 07/26 at 09:17 AM

Dejay Miller, the pasta maker at Fasta & Ravioli Co., talks about the difference between supermarket and fresh pasta. Fasta & Ravioli Co. offers a variety of pasta types and flavors for easy meals.

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Local Food Journey

Interview with Fred Volz of the soon-to-be Nittany Mountain Distillery

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/24 at 10:31 PM

You may have heard about rumors about a new business called Nittany Mountain Distillery opening up in Happy Valley. You may have even seen and liked their Facebook page. Yes, there really is a spirits distillery coming to Centre County, joining our area brewers as a local source for “adult” beverages.

Of course, our overall region, the Appalachians, has a long history of distilleries, many of them illegal (think: “moonshiners”). But this one is perfectly legal. In fact, the licensing process is one of the reasons they aren’t in operation as yet. To learn more about the future Nittany Mountain Distillery, I recently talked to one of the founders, Fred Volz.

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Local Food Journey

Preview of Local Foods Week Farm Tour, Part 4

Posted by Maya Althouse on 07/24 at 10:23 AM

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!

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Local Food Journey

Tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes: What to do with all those tomatoes

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/24 at 07:56 AM

If you are a gardener, a friend of a gardener, or frequent farmers markets, chances are pretty good that soon you will be awash in tomatoes. It’s that time of the year, and it’s hard to imagine summer without fresh tomatoes. This is, at least to me, the only time to eat fresh tomatoes. Local summer tomatoes are simply the best, and supermarket tomatoes in January with their bland flavor and waxy consistency do not even come close.

Not only are tomatoes tasty right now, they are abundant. So, what to do with all those tomatoes? Here are some recipes.

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Local Food Journey

A startup gardening service makes getting fresh vegetables easy

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/23 at 10:04 AM

Originally published on the WPSU blog and broadcasted on WPSU-FM:

A new gardening concept is sprouting in Central Pennsylvania. Woody Wilson, a graduate of Penn State, took an idea he entered in an agriculture competition and made it his business. Wilson’s Home Farms gives State College area residents another way to bring local vegetables to their kitchen tables. WPSU intern Jessica Paholsky went along with Wilson to find out more.

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Local Food Journey

Fighting the good fight against garden diseases

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/22 at 09:03 AM

This summer has definitely been a wet one so far, and gardeners and farmers alike across Central PA know that wet weather also means plant diseases. Cloudy, humid, and downright wet conditions provide ideal conditions for these diseases to strike. However, if your plants are under the disease gun, there are ways to save your plants and ensure a good harvest, even in a less-than-ideal year like the one we are currently having. Here are some tips:

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Local Food Journey

Local Food Video: Stone Meadow Farm cheese

Posted by Jessica Paholsky on 07/19 at 09:13 AM

Brian Futhey talks about how his method of making cheese benefits him and his cows. Stone Meadow Farm uses seasonal farming to produce raw milk cheeses.

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Local Food Journey

Preview of Local Foods Week Farm Tour, Part 3

Posted by Maya Althouse on 07/17 at 08:45 AM

Farm Tour passes are officially for sale! Look for them at Buy Fresh Buy Local partner businesses: Tait Farm, Webster’s Cafe, Nature’s Pantry, and the IngleBean Coffee House.

There are 17 farms throughout Centre County waiting to show off what they do for consumers like you. For $15 a car (or $10 a bike), get your ticket to spend the day exploring farms around the county. Whether veggies, cheese, fruit, or meat, there are farms that will bring you and your family up close with what you love to eat—growing right here in our county! Mark your calendars for August 10, and get ready to get local.

Added bonus: Buy Fresh Buy Local partner businesses are offering exclusive deals for Farm Tour pass holders. Be sure to check the back of your pass for details, and bring it along when you dine or shop during Local Foods Week (August 3-10) to get the most out of going local.

Here are four more farms that are on the Farm Tour. If this is your first time reading the Farm Tour Previews, be sure to check out the last two installments here and here. (link to Farm Tour Preview Pt1, and Farm Tour Preview Pt2). Check back next week for more!

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Local Food Journey

Corny memories

Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/16 at 10:00 AM

When I was a little kid our family didn’t have a lot of money and things were tight. My mom was a single mother and struggled to make ends meet like a lot of single mothers do. We lived near a farm and the farmer got to know us kids as we wandered over hill and dale exploring and just being kids. Sometimes he would give us odd jobs for which he paid us in eggs and vegetables out of his truck patch. The one thing I remember most was that he grew corn for feed. If he was out plowing and I knew he was going to be in the fields all day I would bring him some iced tea in a thermos or jug if I was heading out that way in my explorations. He started to leave a small corner of his field unplanted with field corn. He instead planted sweet corn or bread and butter corn there. He told us to pick as much as we needed. We never took advantage of his generosity but only took enough corn for a meal or two.

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Local Food Journey

Learning Kitchen Cooking Demonstration at the Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesday, July 16

Posted by James Eisenstein on 07/15 at 08:30 AM

On Tuesday, July 16, two local chefs will demonstrate how to prepare dishes using fresh ingredients obtained at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. Grace Pilato, an accomplished Italian chef, cookbook author, and teacher of popular cooking classes, will be joined by Nate Brungarten, executive sous chef de cuisine at Zola’s New World Bistro, for the event. Pilato, a local cultural food expert, will present “Farm to Fork,” showing how to incorporate unusual vegetables into everyday menu preparation and Brungarten will utilize fresh garden ingredients to make summer entertaining burst with fresh, local flavor.

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Local Food Journey

Local Food Video: The Piper’s Peck offers a year-round fresh flavor

Posted by Jessica Paholsky on 07/12 at 08:26 AM

Janet Robinson talks about how she went from teaching to growing hot peppers in her backyard. The Piper’s Peck uses local produce to make jellies and salsas that provide the tastes of ripeness year-round.

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Local Food Journey

Preview of Local Food Weeks Farm Tour, Part 2

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/10 at 01:00 PM

This is part II of the Centre County Farm Tour preview, by Maya Althouse, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture intern

As Local Foods Week gets closer, it’s time to mark your calendars for August 10th and plan where you want to stop on the Centre County Farm Tour! There are seventeen farms on the Tour, all of which are eager to welcome you to their world and share their livelihood with you. Since most people make it to only four or five farms depending on how long they spend at each location, it’s good to look ahead in order to make the most of the day. To help you out, here is a preview of the next four farms on the tour—check back next week to read about more!

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