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Local Food Journey

10 great varieties to add to your seed order list

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/27 at 10:15 PM

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):

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Local Food Journey

Being a vegetarian in State College

Posted by Local Food Journey on 01/23 at 10:07 AM

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. 

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Local Food Journey

Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March

Posted by Linda Weaver on 01/20 at 09:13 AM

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:

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Local Food Journey

Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill

Posted by LacCreta Holland on 01/16 at 09:34 AM

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!

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/14 at 12:45 PM

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:

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Events Our Town

Our Town Project Announces Upcoming Community Visits & Programs for 2015!

Posted by Mike D on 01/12 at 11:38 AM

The Our Town project will be visiting EVERETT, GEISTOWN, PORT ALLEGANY, SOMERSET, and BROCKWAY this season.

You can be a part of your town’s story by collecting video and being one of the storytellers! Help document the people, places and happenings in your community. Spread the word to the local organizations. No experience is required—just enthusiasm! WPSU is ready to spotlight your town, but we need YOUR help. For information about joining the project in your town, call Producer Whitney Chirdon at 814-863-6634 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Local Food Journey

Local Food Notes for January 9

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/09 at 10:04 AM

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.

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Local Food Journey

Warm up with some online seed shopping

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/07 at 10:47 AM

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.

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/30 at 09:50 AM

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:

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Local Food Journey

In memory of PASA board member Jerry Brunetti

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/26 at 01:28 PM

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.

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/26 at 10:32 AM

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)

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Local Food Journey

Head to Boalsburg Farmers Market today for holiday recipe ingredients

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/23 at 09:05 AM

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.

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Local Food Journey

Last minute local food gift ideas

Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/22 at 10:25 AM

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…

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Local Food Journey

Tradition and Plum Bread

Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/18 at 10:55 AM

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.”

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Local Food Journey

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

Posted by Anna Lombardo on 12/16 at 11:21 AM

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.

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Most recent entries

Jamie Oberdick's avatar 10 great varieties to add to your seed order list
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
By Jamie Oberdick in Local Food Journey
Local Food Journey's avatar Being a vegetarian in State College
Friday, January 23, 2015
By Local Food Journey in Local Food Journey
Linda Weaver's avatar Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
By Linda Weaver in Local Food Journey
LacCreta Holland 's avatar Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill
Friday, January 16, 2015
By LacCreta Holland in Local Food Journey



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