Farmland trust plays crucial role in preserving Centre County farmland

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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{name} Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/23, 2014 at 08:30 AM

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

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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{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/18, 2014 at 10:04 AM

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Penn State food security club promotes healthy, local eating

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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{name} Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/15, 2014 at 08:27 AM

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A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

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!):

Continue Reading: A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch

{name} Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/11, 2014 at 08:30 AM

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