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The opinions expressed in these blogs are solely those of the people who wrote them, and do not represent the views of WPSU or Penn State University.

Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/30 at 10:00 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.

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/28 at 09:43 AM

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

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Local Food Journey

Farmland trust plays crucial role in preserving Centre County farmland

Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/23 at 09:30 AM

State College is chock full of restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and countless other businesses, and it’s become easy to forget that the busy college town is surrounded by vast, peaceful farmland. Thankfully, the Centre County Farmland Trust (CCFT) was formed to preserve this land, ensuring that there will never come a day where green fields become nothing but blacktop and neon lights. Sarah Walter, executive director of the CCFT, puts it this way: “Once farmland has been converted, it is very difficult if not impossible to bring it back into agricultural production, especially if the land has been covered with asphalt or concrete.”

The trust was formed in 1994 as a private non-profit organization to give landowners the opportunity to protect their land, ensuring that it will not undergo any development, despite future owners. The process required to do so is referred to as an “agricultural conservation easement.” Thus far, the CCFT has preserved over 1,000 acres belonging to 11 farms. According to the trust’s president, Pete Schempf, “All landowners need to do to preserve their land is have the desire to never let it be developed. CCFT will take care of all the rest and set up an agricultural conservation easement at no cost to the land owner.”

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/18 at 11:04 AM

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

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

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Events

Heroin: A Commonweath Crisis

Posted by Mike D on 04/17 at 02:54 PM

Be part of a live studio audience as WPSU hosts a call-in community forum. Heroin use in Pennsylvania has reached epidemic proportions, and young people are at particular risk.

The average first-time user is 23 and has likely turned to heroin after developing an addiction to prescription pain medication. On Heroin: A Commonwealth Crisis, experts will discuss what led to this deadly health issue and provide information on prevention and treatment.

Click here to register to be a part of our studio audience.

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Local Food Journey

Penn State food security club promotes healthy, local eating

Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/15 at 09:27 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.”

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Local Food Journey

A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/11 at 09:30 AM

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

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

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

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Local Food Journey

Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08 at 10:07 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.

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Local Food Journey

Taking back the reputation of fava beans

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03 at 08:45 AM

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

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

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