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Sick of winter yet? Well, we DO live in Central Pennsylvania, where the winters are not exactly mild, but it seems like the last two weeks have been about as rough as it can be around here. Still, the local food community is active, and here’s a few things that are going on:
- The 24th Annual PASA Farming for the Future Conference will be held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in University Park on Feb. 3-7. The event is a great way for those involved in local food to learn more about the latest innovations in sustainable agriculture, while celebrating the past year and looking to the future. For more information including registration, please go here.
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for January 30
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/30, 2015 at 10:33 AM
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):
Continue Reading: 10 great varieties to add to your seed order list
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/27, 2015 at 10:15 PM
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.
Continue Reading: Being a vegetarian in State College
Posted by Local Food Journey on 01/23, 2015 at 10:07 AM
Tags: vegetarian |
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:
Continue Reading: Upcoming events for wine enthusiasts in February and March
Posted by Linda Weaver on 01/20, 2015 at 09:13 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!
Continue Reading: Cream of cauliflower soup fights the winter chill
Posted by LacCreta Holland on 01/16, 2015 at 09:34 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 12:45 PM
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.
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes for January 9
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/09, 2015 at 10:04 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.
Continue Reading: Warm up with some online seed shopping
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/07, 2015 at 10:47 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:
Continue Reading: Six tips for a perfect New Year’s Day pork and sauerkraut dinner.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/30, 2014 at 09:50 AM
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.
Continue Reading: In memory of PASA board member Jerry Brunetti
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/26, 2014 at 01:28 PM
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)
Continue Reading: A great bran muffin recipe to get back on a healthy track
Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/26, 2014 at 10:32 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.
Continue Reading: Head to Boalsburg Farmers Market today for holiday recipe ingredients
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/23, 2014 at 09:05 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…
Continue Reading: Last minute local food gift ideas
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/22, 2014 at 10:25 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.”
Continue Reading: Tradition and Plum Bread
Posted by LacCreta Holland on 12/18, 2014 at 10:55 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.
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 12/16, 2014 at 11:21 AM
There are several holiday events coming up that have a local food angle to them. If you want to celebrate the holiday and support local food vendors, here are several opportunities to do so:
Continue Reading: Holiday events with a local food twist
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/11, 2014 at 11:06 AM
With winter in full swing across the area, it may come as a surprise to many that there are still vegetables and fruits that are “in season” and available via both CSA’s and local farmers markets. Here are some examples of vegetables that are available either due to being able to store them well or because they can be grown in greenhouses:
Continue Reading: Yes, believe it or not, there are still local veggies/fruits ‘in season’
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/09, 2014 at 10:01 AM
With the weather getting cold and miserable, I have to wonder what was I thinking moving from Southern California to Pennsylvania? Of course now they are in monsoon season. I remember when I got to SoCal one of the first things the military had me do was fight brush fires. Then when winter came I was back in the same area filling sand bags to stop the mud and rain from ruining homes since there was no vegetation left from the fires to hold the soil in place.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, cold weather. After trudging through the snow and slush the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is cook. I just want to put on my jammies and settle down in my warm house and let the storms rage outside. So to do this I have become a fan of soups. In particular soups you can make in a crockpot. I put everything in the crockpot, turn it on, and when I get home the house smells wonderful and there is a warm meal waiting to heat me up. Throw in some nice crusty bread and some local butter and I am a happy little camper. I have included below two recipes for my favorite versions of both lentil and split pea soups. I hope they warm you up as much as they do me.
Continue Reading: Two soups to help you fight the winter chill
Posted by James Sechrengost on 12/05, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Continue Reading: PASA gift guide offers great local food gifts for the holidays
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/03, 2014 at 09:18 AM
Annual PASA Conference Feb. 3-7, early Pre-Registration window for discounted registration now open.
You may have received your 2015 PASA Conference brochure in the mail over the holiday weekend. If not, then you can find it at pasafarming.org/conference.
This year PASA will offer a Pre-Registration window where you can get the lowest rate possible for the conference. The deadline for registration to get this discount rate is Jan. 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/01, 2014 at 10:16 AM
After everyone finishes their seconds tomorrow at the Thanksgiving table, you always have to make some room for dessert. After all, dessert is as much a part of the Thanksgiving spread as the turkey.
Back in late October, Way Fruit Farm held their annual Apple Pie Contest. I had the honor of judging around a dozen excellent entries and it was very difficult to decide on a winner. After the contest, I thought to myself, any of those pies would be perfect at Thanksgiving. So, I figured I’d share a few examples of the wonderful pies I sampled.
The winner, Jamie Liner of Port Matilda, and a runner up, Cathy Cohan of State College, were gracious enough to offer their apple pie recipes for you to use if you decide to bake an apple pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Enjoy!
Continue Reading: Winning (literally) apple pie recipes for Thanksgiving
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/26, 2014 at 10:13 AM
It’s likely a bit too late to get a local turkey if you already haven’t, but there are a lot of local food items that you can add to your Thanksgiving table. You still have time to head out and pick them out (although based on the weather forecast might want to do it before Wednesday).
Here are five fine additions to your Thanksgiving table from local food producers:
Continue Reading: Five local food additions to your Thanksgiving table
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/24, 2014 at 09:26 AM
If the brutal cold this week hasn’t got its point across that winter is more or less here, the fact that two outdoor farmers markets having their final day today and tomorrow is the final bit of proof. Soon our stone-faced friend in the picture above will get his winter coat of snow.
Today, the outdoor Downtown State College Farmers Market on Locust Lane closes the season on a chilly note. That market runs today from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Then tomorrow, the Bellefonte Farmers Market will be open from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
Continue Reading: Final day of the season for two popular farmers market
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/21, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Though summer seems like a long way off (and it is, as my newly frozen hair indicates), it’s never a bad thing to plan ahead a few months. For those seeking out a refreshing drink to try at their summer dinner parties—or really anyone just looking to add another item to their drink mix—I introduce you to shrubs. And for most (read: all) of my information on shrubs, I turn to author Michael Dietsch, whose book, Shrubs, was published on October 6 by The Countryman Press.
A shrub, Dietsch tells me (and states in his book), is an acidulated beverage, or a drink made with some type of acid—historically vinegar, lemon juice, or other citruses. This acid is mixed with sugar, water, and sometimes alcohol; then, to give the drink a unique flavor, a fruit or a type of fruit juice is steeped in the mixture. Though the acidic components might seem unpalatable in what would be an otherwise sweet beverage, they were orginially a practical component. “Vinegar used to preserve fruit after the harvest,” Diestch says. “This was in a time before refrigeration.”
Continue Reading: Shrubs are an “old-fashioned drink for modern times”
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/20, 2014 at 09:18 AM
From our friends at Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering:
World Diabetes Day, a day set aside for the global diabetes community to join their voices in order to raise diabetes awareness and advocacy, is Nov. 14.
Dine in at Harrison’s from Nov. 10-Nov. 16 between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and 10% of all lunch, dinner, bar, and carry-out sales will be donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to help support promising diabetes cure research.
Our menu features many low-carb and Type 2 diabetes-friendly selections. You can eat well and…
Continue Reading: This weekend get great local food at Harrison’s and help fight diabetes
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/14, 2014 at 07:00 AM
“Are you sure you want to tip before you eat?”
I had just sat down to talk with Bernd Brandstatter, one of the owners of Herwig’s Austrian Bistro, when he called over to a group of patrons who had ordered their food at the counter and dropped some money into the tip jar. It was then that I had my first inkling that this wasn’t going to be your typical dining establishment.
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 11/12, 2014 at 08:58 AM
“U.S Consumer Prices Barely Rise as Inflation Remains Muted”
This was the title of an article in the NY Times from Oct 22, 2014. Sounds positive, right?
I don’t usually read economic articles but this caught my attention. We are seeing low gas prices. Hurray!! We all want to spend less on gasoline. But that is not all that is happening in the country regarding cost of living. The article goes on to state that although gas prices are going down, the cost of housing and food have offset much of the economic growth lower gas prices would produce.
Continue Reading: Increasing food prices got you down? Here’s some tips
Posted by LacCreta Holland on 11/10, 2014 at 09:42 AM
Celebrate fall and harvest time with the wineries of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail! Their Nouveau Weekend Event, Nov. 8/9 and Nov. 15/16, is your chance to try newly-released and newly-made or “noveau wines” which are fruity and flavorful and meant to be consumed in celebration of the season. There will also be plenty of your current favorites to taste as well.
Continue Reading: Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail
Posted by Linda Weaver on 11/07, 2014 at 09:38 AM
Celebrate fall and harvest time with the wineries of the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail! Their Nouveau Weekend Event, Nov. 8/9 and Nov. 15/16, is your chance to try newly-released and newly-made or “noveau wines” which are fruity and flavorful and meant to be consumed in celebration of the season. There will also be plenty of your current favorites to taste as well.
Continue Reading: Nouveau Weekends on the Susquehanna Heartland Wine Trail
Posted by Linda Weaver on 11/07, 2014 at 09:38 AM
It’s pretty much a no-brainer that it’s healthier to live on a natural diet as opposed to a diet of processed, artificial food. Penn State and other university and government researchers discovered that bees also do better on a natural diet—it makes them more resistant to pesticides.
This is something that’s quite important in light of the recent die-offs of honeybees. As most people know, bees are extremely important to humans for their pollination work. Often, they are exposed to agricultural pesticides, so having a high resistance is vital to their survival.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/04, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Local food lovers in the Central Pennsylvania area have many options when purchasing their groceries. In addition to various local food vendors that occupy downtown locales, farmers markets like the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the North Atherton Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms take advantage of the (relatively) nice fall, spring, and summer weather to grow and sell an even wider selection of local foods.
Friends & Farmers Cooperative will soon add another option to the mix: an online farmers’ market offering locally produced vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs, meats, fish and baked goods for online pre-ordering and one-stop customer pickup. Organizers are aiming to open the market for the first group of participating vendors to update their available inventory on November 19, for customer ordering to begin November 21, with first pickup on Tuesday, November 25– just before Thanksgiving.
Continue Reading: A look at Friends & Farmers Coop’s upcoming online market
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/31, 2014 at 03:00 AM
Winery owners Joe and Betty Carroll invite you to an intimate evening with your friends at the Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery. Our Winemaker’s Harvest Dinner, catered by Brown Dog Catering, is an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the harvest and the company of fellow wine lovers at our beautiful setting on the side of Mt. Nittany. We have selected wines to accompany each course and will discuss the pairings as the evening progresses–hope you will join us!
Continue Reading: Mt. Nittany Winery to hold Harvest Dinner Nov. 8
Posted by Linda Weaver on 10/29, 2014 at 07:00 AM
As I write this we are in the last hours of the fall pledge drive at WPSU. My wife and I renewed our membership this morning (I am not in fact, a greyhound, and if you were listening around 6:30 a.m. you’ll get that). The local food scene and WPSU run parallel to each other…each offer outstanding stuff produced right here in Central Pennsylvania. I think it makes sense to support both.
The similarities run deeper than that, to the point where we support each other. Local food businesses have been underwriters of WPSU and of course, WPSU offers you this very blog. Recently, WPSU’s Anna Foley produced a radio feature that told the story of that amazing El Gringo Taco Truck that serves up remarkable renditions of Mexican classics at area farmers markets. If you’ve had one of Ben Stanley’s delicious creations, chances are you’ve become hooked. But, as you found out by listening to Anna’s story, how El Gringo came about is as interesting as his food is good.
Continue Reading: Support local food by supporting WPSU? Absolutely!
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/24, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery received many entries for their annual Harvest Photo Contest. The First Place winner, receiving a $50 gift certificate, was Tom Gari, and his wife, Dawn Gari, was Runner-Up receiving a $25 gift certificate. There were several Honorable Mentions, all receiving a certificate for a Winery Tour and Wine & Cheese Tasting for Four.
Posted by Linda Weaver on 10/24, 2014 at 08:58 AM
Apple cider is one of those cold-weather favorites: steaming cups of the hot, fruity stuff bring back pleasant memories of many a childhood. I always associate it with my family’s annual Christmas tree outing to a local farm in my hometown, where the drink was made on the spot and given out to patrons free of charge (each subsequent refill costs you a quarter). You can find cider in almost any grocery store throughout the year, but there is absolutely nothing like a freshly poured mug of it to warm your hands (and soul).
Continue Reading: Way Fruit Farm’s apple cider a real cold-weather treat
Posted by Anna Lombardo on 10/23, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Continue Reading: Boalsburg Farmers Market seek administrator to implement key USDA grant
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/21, 2014 at 08:43 AM
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 08:46 AM
If you like, this weekend you can do a mini fall festival tour around the Centre Region. Here’s four fun ones that will make for a nice autumn weekend:
Continue Reading: This weekend, get your fill of fall festivals
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/17, 2014 at 09:55 AM
Fall is officially upon us. The leaves are changing from a verdant green to the many warm shades of red and orange; temperatures are dropping steadily; and, perhaps most importantly, the Downtown State College Farmer’s Market, which is held every Tuesday and Friday afternoon from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Locust Lane and College Avenue, has revealed their many seasonal offerings. Those who are fond of decorating in the autumnal and Halloween-esque styles—and even those who just like a good squash—will be delighted to see what Locust Lane has in store on Tuesday and Friday afternoons in October.
Continue Reading: Lots to discover at our farmers markets in autumn
Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/16, 2014 at 07:00 AM
One of the better garden writers out there is Doug Oster, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Last week, he wrote about tomatoes and how to save them for, believe it or not, Thanksgiving dinner.
That got me thinking; despite our cold morning last Sunday (we got down to 30 degrees in Port Matilda) somehow, someway, my tomato plants survived it despite not being covered. So, this idea of fresh tomatoes in November has a lot of appeal to me and given our mild weather forecasted for the next week or two, any remaining tomatoes can be encouraged to ripen.
Continue Reading: How to extend your garden-fresh tomato season
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/14, 2014 at 08:51 AM
By Anna Lombardo
Free up your schedule, folks—the second annual Millheim Oktoberfest, presented by Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks to benefit the Millheim fire company, is just around the corner. On Saturday, Oct. 11, starting at 11:00 a.m. and lasting until 7:00 p.m., the Millheim fire company grounds will host this family friendly, all-weather event, where they plan to offer traditional German food, drink, music, and dancing—in the spirit of community involvement and kinship.
Oktoberfest, I learn from Elk Creek Cafe head brewer Tim Yarrington (I was pitiably uninformed about the event), dates back to Germany in the early 1800s, when a party was thrown for a young Prince Ludwig, in honor of his marriage. The entire town of Munich, Germany, was invited, and thus Ludwig’s marriage party set epic proportions for this tradition, which would inspire subsequent celebrations all over the world every year for the next several hundred years.
Continue Reading: Millheim Oktoberfest to be held Saturday Oct. 11
Posted by Local Food Journey on 10/10, 2014 at 07:30 AM
Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is opening a member-owned grocery store that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, is holding its inaugural membership meeting this Saturday, Oct. 11, at the State College High School South cafeteria at 2:00 p.m.
The co-op, nearly 300 members strong, will elect a permanent board of directors; hear an update on its progress and future plans, including the upcoming launch of the Friends & Farmers online farmers market; and answer members’ questions.
Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers to hold inaugural membership meeting Oct. 11
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/08, 2014 at 08:00 AM
Tags: FriendsandFarmers |
Salsa verde is a delicious twist on its red cousin, regular salsa. While regular salsa gets its red color from tomatoes, the classic Mexican salsa verde gets its green color from tomatillos (“verde” means “green” in Spanish). Salsa verde gets its tangy-sweet flavor from tomatillos.
If you are not familiar with tomatillos, they are a fruit that’s in the nightshade family. While many hear “nightshade” and think “poison”, other members of the nightshade family include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and ground cherries, all things that are both tasty and good for you. Like ground cherries, tomatillos grow inside thin husks. You may have seen them at grocery stores around the Hispanic produce, but they are also sometimes offered at farmers market. They are simple to grow and do surprisingly well in our climate. Think of them as similar to growing peppers or tomatoes. They offer some pretty spectacular yields.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Roasted tomatillo salsa verde
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/06, 2014 at 09:19 AM
Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Co-op to Launch Online Marketplace
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/02, 2014 at 07:41 AM
Tags: FriendsandFarmers |
Way back when, Swiss steak was a great way for people to use inexpensive cuts of beef to make a great meal. This seemed to be mainly a Pennsylvania thing back in the day as when I got to California I never saw it on any menus. I got a hankering for it one day and made up a batch which I took to work with me for lunch the next day. When I was heating it up in the microwave, yes we had them even back then, my colleagues came wandering in to find out where that heavenly aroma was coming from.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Swiss steak makes for a delicious “retro” meal
Posted by James Sechrengost on 09/30, 2014 at 08:23 AM
By Anna Lombardo
Do you have to avoid gluten? You no longer have to fear pasta.
One of central Pennsylvania’s renowned pasta makers, Fasta & Ravioli Co., recently teamed up with another local food business, Good Seed Baking Co.—exclusive producer of gluten-free items—to begin a new line of their freshly made pastas that cater to those individuals whose gluten allergies likely prevent them from gobbling down plates of spaghetti on a weekly basis like the rest of us do (oh—that’s just me?...okay).
Continue Reading: Bakery focuses on gluten-free options for desserts, pasta
Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/25, 2014 at 08:16 AM
While you can plant garlic in the very early spring, between now and late October is the best time to get your garlic bulbs in the ground. By planting garlic now, you can get bigger, better quality bulbs next summer.
There are several basic types of garlic:
- Softneck: This variety of garlic generally does not produce scapes, those delicious edible flower stalks, but is great for braiding. You have to be cautious when selecting a variety with softneck types as not all varieties can handle our cold climate.
- Hardneck: These do produce scapes, and generally handle our cold climate well. One of my favorite types of garlic, the purple stripe variety, is a hardneck garlic.
- Elephant: This variety of garlic is related to leeks, and is famous for its large, mild cloves. Does need a mulch to make it through the winter.
Continue Reading: Now is the time to plant garlic
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/23, 2014 at 07:29 AM
Summer is still producing my favorite veggies, but with a nip in the air, not for much longer! I shopped at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Boalsburg this week and found very good prices on the last tomatoes of the summer. I don’t look forward to winter, so a basket of tomatoes right now really makes me smile. There are lots of ways I want to use them, now and in the future.
I like to use them fresh in pasta dishes. This angel hair pasta is mixed with grilled shrimp. Garlic and tomatoes sauteed in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil are added and a handful of julienne basil are mixed in. A very fresh tasting pasta for the end of the summer.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Roasted tomatoes offer a tasty way to say farewell to summer
Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/18, 2014 at 11:10 AM
Editor’s note: This is the first of our new Local Food Intern Anna Lombardo’s articles on the local food scene in Central Pennsylvania.
Next time you’re jonesing for that familiar kick of mustard on your hot dog or seeking out a dip for your big neighborhood shindig, set down the Heinz bottle and look no further than a locally brewed and packaged concoction: a jar of Big Al’s Sweet and Spicy Mustards.
You’ll know you have the right product when you find two adorably animated peppers—one yellow, one red—embracing each other as they beam and wave at you from the packaging. Inside the jar, things only get better. Big Al—also known as Allen Weimert, a retired schoolteacher, who makes the mustard right out of his Stormstown home alongside his wife, Maryann—uses only locally grown ingredients, many of which he grows in his own backyard. For example, the red, yellow, and orange peppers you find delectably strewn throughout the brew have most likely been cultivated at the hands of the Weimerts. What they can’t grow, they buy from local vendors. Al tells me that his business both flourishes and is dependent upon the availability of fresh, local foods grown in central Pennsylvania. He says that part of the reason that he and Maryann have been “blessed” with this project is because they have the local resources to do so.
Continue Reading: Beyond yellow: ‘Big Al’ takes mustard to another level
Posted by Local Food Journey on 09/16, 2014 at 10:51 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 08:13 AM
As the leaves turn and the weather cools, our palates start to turn towards more hearty fare. Here’s five outstanding local food items that you can find in the area that are sure to warm you up when those first chilly winds of autumn start blowing…
Continue Reading: Five local food fantastic fall flavors
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/09, 2014 at 07:43 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 08:23 AM
Tags: LocalFoodNotes |
There’s a cider boom going on in America right now. The proof is in the fact that sales of cider (the alcoholic kind) reached $600 million last year, more than tripling sales from 2007, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Adam Redding is getting in on this explosion by founding Good Intent Cider, a new cidery out of both Gettysburg and Bellefonte. Cider making seems to be in Adam’s blood, something that has become a bit more than just a hobby to relax with after his day job as a scientist. “When I was in college we used to make cider in our dorm room. That was pretty rough stuff that we made back then, not anything you’d want to sell,” Redding said. “I didn’t really get back into it until years later. I saw that Cornell offered a cider making course at their ag extension in Geneva, so I talked to my wife about it.”
Continue Reading: Good Intent makes great cider
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/04, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Fall in Central Pennsylvania brings the bounty, beauty, and variety of the late summer and fall harvest. To celebrate it, the Boalsburg Farmers Market in cooperation with the Mount Nittany Winery is sponsoring its “Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner” featuring the vegetables and fruits that ripen as the last of summer’s crops are replaced by those that thrive in the fall. Some of the best chefs in Happy Valley will prepare main dishes from sustainably produced local meat and poultry, soups and side dishes from tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, okra, garlic, onions, melons, acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins, kale, spinach, lettuce, fall greens, and apples. Guests will also enjoy a variety of wonderful deserts.
Posted by James Eisenstein on 09/02, 2014 at 07:40 AM
- 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 08:25 AM
By LaCreta Holland
What is a “tian?”
A tian is “a dish of finely chopped vegetables cooked in olive oil and baked au gratin.” My tian is an adaptation of a Julia Child recipe–it makes a great side dish or you can use it, as I did, as the main course for a meatless meal.
After all, with so many lovely fresh vegetables available right now, why would you need meat?
Continue Reading: Recipe: Zucchini Tian makes a perfect meatless late summer meal
Posted by Local Food Journey on 08/27, 2014 at 08:13 AM
As we wind down a summer that will go in the weather record books as one of the top five wettest summers in the 119-year history of weather records at State College, gardeners face a late-season challenge to their plots. Along with all that rain, we’ve had a cool but humid summer. These are just about perfect conditions for all sorts of garden fungal diseases to lay waste to your remaining garden season.
There are plenty of fungal diseases that can lay a hurt on your home garden production, but I am going to focus on two common and particularly destructive plant illnesses, late blight and powdery mildew.
Continue Reading: How to deal with two devastating late-season garden fungal diseases
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/25, 2014 at 07:50 AM
Downtown State College Farmers Market moves for one week only: As you may have noticed, Penn State students are moving back in. This means the Downtown State College Friday Farmers Market will move to Heister Stree, one block east of Locust Lane, for this week only.
Continue Reading: Local Food Notes, August 22
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/22, 2014 at 07:19 AM
As the summer winds down and we enter fall, the Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery will offer up a variety of events, from a wine and tapas gala, to a harvest photo contest, a Plow-to-Plate Harvest Dinner, and their annual Mt. Nittany Harvest Fest. Details below:
Continue Reading: Mt. Nittany offers full slate of events for wine lovers as we enter fall
Posted by Linda Weaver on 08/21, 2014 at 08:12 AM
Editor’s Note: We will be getting contributions to Local Food Journey from time to time from LaCreta Holland, who runs Happy Valley Learn to Cook, a local food blog, and teaches cooking classes in State College. Her first post offers up a wonderful recipe that will help you use up all those zucchinis that are coming non-stop from your garden.
We visited friends over the 4th of July holiday and they feed us very well. For brunch one morning, we were served Zucchini Egg Bake, a moist and herb-y egg creation that we could not stop eating! I had to get the recipe.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Zucchini Egg Bake a tasty solution to too many zucchinis
Posted by Local Food Journey on 08/19, 2014 at 10:32 AM
After a bit of a hullabaloo yesterday due to visits by the dueling gubernatorial candidates, Ag Progress Days returns to a more normal schedule for its final day. The event goes until 4:00 p.m. today, and up until then the schedule is packed with events, tours, exhibits, and good food. There’s 80+ acres of crop and machinery demonstrations, and 55 acres for indoor and outdoor exhibits, so there’s plenty to do. Here’s a guide to attending the event on its last day:
Continue Reading: Your guide the final day of Ag Progress Days
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/14, 2014 at 07:45 AM
Blueberry season can last well into August here in Central Pennsylvania, and you can still find the little blue globes of greatness at farmers markets, farm stands, and pick-your-own farms like Mountainhome Farm in Julian. Blueberries have a lot of things going for them beyond taste, including lots of antioxidants.
Most people think of blueberries as a dessert food, but blueberries can be a star in savory recipes, such as salads and meat dishes. I have found that blueberries go well with meats such as pork and chicken. With this in mind, this recipe for grilled chicken thighs with honey blueberry sauce is a good introduction to the idea of blueberries as part of an entree.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/12, 2014 at 08:54 AM
So, my only prior knowledge of guinea fowl was via a bait and tackle shop in rural Washington County, which I used to visit when I lived in Pittsburgh. No, they didn’t use them for bait. There were a ton of the noisy things wandering around outside of the shop, and the reason they were there was apparently due to their propensity to control ticks by eating lots of them.
I tried not to think of my previous experience with the critters as Kirsch McMaster, a la cart sous chef at the Nittany Lion Inn, brought out a plate that featured a remarkable dish called “Guinea Fowl, Two Ways” to the judges’ canopy at the annual Boalsburg Farmers Market Golden Basket Award, held Tuesday afternoon. I was one of the six judges seated under that canopy, joined by State College Magazine editor Kate Delano, State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Health and Neighborhood Services Director Kevin Kassab, local food writer and Friends and Farmers Coop board member Michele Marchetti, and WPSU television producer and personality Patty Satalia.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/07, 2014 at 08:42 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 06:00 AM
Editor’s Note: Since the weekend’s local food activities is dominated by Local Foods Week stuff, those looking for Local Food Weekend can find plenty of local food stuff to do this weekend by going here.
It’s the time of year that tomato lovers crave when the snow is flying and the only “fresh tomatoes” are those flavorless waxy things in the supermarket. Tomatoes are everywhere now, fresh and tasty, and can be found at farmers markets throughout the area. To celebrate this annual bounty, the Downtown State College Farmers Market will hold its Tomato Festival today at the market.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/01, 2014 at 10:22 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 09:59 AM
Summer is a perfect time to bake pies, given all the fresh produce available. So many fruits, like peaches, and berries, like blueberries, are in season and can be found in farmers markets, roadside stands, and backyards all across our area. Do you have a pie you are particularly proud of? Then enter it in Friends & Farmers Coop’s “A Slice of Community: People’s Choice Pie Contest”, to be held Saturday, Aug. 2 as part of the 2014 FarmFest from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
“You don’t have to be a professional baker to enter,” said Michele Marchetti, Coop board member. “This is a people’s choice pie contest and another way the cooperative is bringing people together around food.”
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/30, 2014 at 07:00 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 08:37 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
When I was stationed in Southern California I went to my first Renaissance Fair. It was held on the fairgrounds where the US Festival back in the 80s was held in the Cajon Pass near San Bernardino CA. It was later the Blockbuster Pavilion and then something else. It was at the Renaissance Fair that I was introduced to Scottish Eggs.
I know, I know, the recipe is for Armadillo Eggs but you need a little background. This is the first time I ever had anything wrapped in sausage and fried. I mean who wouldn’t like a complete breakfast all in one item. Imagine a hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep fried or baked. So when I was visiting a friend in Texas he took me out to dinner. It was here I was introduced to Armadillo Eggs.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Armadillo Eggs put a deliciously spicy twist on Scottish eggs
Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/24, 2014 at 12:08 PM
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 10:57 AM
Editor’s Note: The following is a letter sent out by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Executive Director Brian Snyder. This is wonderful news for an organization that is a big part of the local food community. The letter was sent July 3 but we figured it was never too late to share such good news!
Every once in a while we get to celebrate the unique character of the PASA community in a special way. This is one of those times. Having been notified in early June of an impending budgetary shortfall and increased annual fundraising goal, our members and other supporters came through in a big way, contributing over $50,000 in the last month of our fiscal year!
Continue Reading: PASA meets fundraising goal for 2013-2014 fiscal year
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/18, 2014 at 07:00 AM
Tags: PASA |
Jason Lilley and Jackie Bonomo demonstrate how to build a hügelkultur garden bed. This type of gardening promotes sustainability, as the beds keep the soil fertile for up to 30 years. Hügelkultur beds need less water and the decomposing organic materials keep the soil warm. Newspaper suppresses weeds and the beds control soil erosion.
Continue Reading: Local Food Video: Building a hügelkultur garden bed
Posted by Danielle Matalonis on 07/16, 2014 at 07:00 AM
Just about everybody knows the health benefits of eating fresh, local vegetables and fruits. But actually eating them is another matter. Often the reason for this is not knowing how to prepare them in creative and easy ways. To remedy this, The Boalsburg Farmers Market is sponsoring a “Vegetable Festable” on Tuesday, July 15 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Boalsburg Farmers Market, located at the Pennsylvania Military Museum on Bus. Route 322 in Boalsburg. The event is designed to demonstrate how to use the fresh vegetables and fruits available at our local farmers markets and to inspire creative cooking at home.
Posted by James Eisenstein on 07/14, 2014 at 07:00 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 07:30 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
Pasta has to be one of my true passions. I love it in all the shapes and forms it takes, from the lowly elbow macaroni to the lasagna noodle. Maybe this is because when I was small child we lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly made up of people of Italian descent. All my neighbors, including the parents of the kids I played with, introduced me to pasta at an early age. I learned all the wonderful things that you could do with pasta from the mighty lasagna to simple, yet elegant, fettuccini carbonara.
One of my favorite and fun pastas has to be the farfalle or bow tie pasta. It is firm and holds up well to cooking and has many hidden creases to hold on to the sauce. I love this pasta for different pasta salads as it holds up to being in dressing for hours without losing any of its chew and texture. Below is a recipe for kale and pasta salad that I hope you will enjoy.
Continue Reading: The perfect summer side: kale and pasta salad
Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/09, 2014 at 08:12 AM
While many of us have a full garden by now, there may still be holes to fill due to rascally rabbits, devious deer, disastrous disease. Or, you just haven’t had a chance to get out and plant certain parts of your yard. No worries, believe it or not, there’s still time to plant summer vegetables (and soon time to plant fall vegetables, more about that in a future post). And there are bargains to be found at local garden centers/greenhouses.
For vegetables, we basically have about 80-90 days left in our growing season, depending on where you live. So, any plant that matures by that time, you can plant and harvest.
Continue Reading: Believe it or not, still time to plant summer vegetables/herbs/flowers
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/07, 2014 at 08:25 AM
I love baked potatoes. I love potato skins. I just don’t love the time it takes to make them when grilling. So my friends and I, while sitting around after a day of grilling, tried to come up with a recipe that would give us what we wanted without the hassle. I don’t drink and they do so as the beer flowed so did the ideas.
Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/03, 2014 at 07:11 AM
WPSU’s recent episode of “Our Town” featured a visit to Ebensburg. Part of the episode looked at the food scene and featured an interview with Penn State Altoona employee and part-time pastry chef Julie Fether. I recently chatted with Julie and learned more about a growing local food movement in Blair and Cambria Counties.
When Julie Fether moved back to her hometown of Ebensburg from Oregon, she wasn’t anticipating a thriving local food scene like she had in Oregon. But what she discovered was a growing local food community in her old stomping grounds.
Fether has become part of that local food scene herself. Along with her role as a project coordinator for the Center for Community-Based Studies at Penn State Altoona, she works part-time as a pastry chef at the Ebensburg destination restaurant, Amichi’s Ristorante. She notes that Amichi’s is not only a fantastic fine-dining experience but also a place to eat local. “They work very closely with couple of local farms,” Fether said. “They also buy from the Johnstown Farmers Market and the Ebensburg Farmers Market. The perk of working there is local farmers will come with produce and give out samples.”
Continue Reading: Ebensburg and surrounding area’s growing local food scene
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/01, 2014 at 07:56 AM
Pesto tastings at Tait Farm, a real live bison at the Bellefonte Farmers Market, the final June free wine and cheese tasting at Mt. Nittany Winery, and great live music at Gamble Mill Inn.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 28 and 29
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/26, 2014 at 09:45 PM
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 10:00 AM
When I was stationed in Southern California I became interested in martial arts. In my quest for a good teacher I met a man named Pu Gill Gwon. Now to look at him you would not be impressed. He was barely over 5 feet tall and maybe 110-120 lbs. soaking wet.
But there was something about him though that grabbed my attention. A calm self-assuredness that seemed to express itself in everything he did. I got to know him and the more I knew the more impressed I became. I never became a student I became something better. I became his friend.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Cucumber kimchi a tasty variation on traditional Korean favorite
Posted by James Sechrengost on 06/25, 2014 at 08:00 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 08:44 AM
Three local chefs will demonstrate how to prepare dishes using fresh ingredients obtained at the Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesday, June 24. Mark Johnson, chef at Zola New World Bistro is sharing a pork rillettes recipe whose ingredients can be obtained at the market and that’s easy to replicate. He’s also demystifying pesto making using the wonderful seasonal herbs and produce available. Sc’Eric Horner (Fuji & Jade Garden restaurant) & Chris Young (Happy Valley Brewing) will demonstrate making “Cocktails from the Garden” using garden-fresh and local ingredients to create exciting summer drinks. The demonstrations begin at 2:00 p.m. at the market, which is located on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum on Bus. Route 322 (South Atherton Street) in Boalsburg.
Continue Reading: Learning Kitchen at the Boalsburg Farmers Market June 24
Posted by James Eisenstein on 06/19, 2014 at 09:40 AM
WPSU radio’s Kelly Tunney ran a great story this morning about the importance of native plants in your garden, as they provide an important link in the ecosystem.
Continue Reading: It starts in your backyard: Help the environment via native plants
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/16, 2014 at 10:15 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 08:38 AM
One of the more frustrating things in gardening is taking time to prepare a garden bed, plant seeds, and then have them not germinate. The good news is, you have time to replant many vegetables in the garden.
So, when you do replant, here are some tips to help you avoid germination issues in the new planting:
Continue Reading: Why your seeds didn’t germinate
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/10, 2014 at 08:30 AM
Students from Corl Street Elementary school have been invited to attend a cooking demonstration at the Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesday, June 10. The highlight of the event will be a “learning kitchen” cooking class conducted by Tony Sapia of Gemelli Bakers that will show children how to make simple dishes using ingredients obtained from the market. He will be assisted by noted local food writer and chef Anne Quinn Corr and her students from Penn State’s nutrition program. After the demonstration, the vendors at the market will answer questions from the children about how they grow and make the products sold at the market, and Corl street students will be able to use a voucher worth $5 to purchase items themselves.
Continue Reading: Kids Day Learning Kitchen at Boalsburg Farmers Market June 10
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/09, 2014 at 08:05 AM
This Local Food Weekend features a Pink Day, Millheim Mayfly Festival, wine and cheese at Mount Nittany Winery, and a Friends and Farmers Coop fundraiser at Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for June 7-8
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 06/05, 2014 at 09:04 PM
To celebrate June as “National Dairy Month,” Mount Nittany Vineyard and Winery will host free wine and cheese tastings every Saturday in June from 12 noon until 5pm.
On Saturday, June 7, local cheese artisan Stone Meadow Farm will be available in the winery tasting room to provide samples and sales of their products. Stone Meadow raises milking and beef cattle in the beautiful pastures of Centre County, Pennsylvania. Their cheeses are made directly on the farm from fresh, whole unpasteurized milk which is dense with nutrients due to their farming practices and breed of cows. Stone Meadow makes a variety of hard cheeses: Cheddar, Swiss, Colby and Jalapeno Jack. In addition, seasonally they offer soft cheeses such as Camembert and Taleggio, as well as smoked cheeses.
Posted by Linda Weaver on 06/04, 2014 at 10:42 AM
I love BBQ. I can’t deny it. People will tell you Kansas is best, others will tell you Memphis is best, others will say Carolina is best. You know what? They are all right. Each type of BBQ has its own particular something special to offer. So don’t be afraid to try a type you haven’t before. You may be surprised. I’ve cooked over wood fire, used smokers, gas grills, charcoal grills, you name it. Now I am not going to sit here and tell you one is better than the other. We each have what we have and use what we are used to. The only thing I have to say is don’t be afraid to try something different if you have the chance.
Food should be an adventure. Trying new foods and types of cooking is like a culinary journey. Taking you to faraway lands and experiencing new cultures through their foods and cooking styles. Food is one of the few things I can think of that crosses racial and ethnic boundaries. So go, try, experiment, and enjoy.
Continue Reading: Recipe: BBQ ribs, a summer classic
Posted by James Sechrengost on 06/03, 2014 at 08:54 AM
Eggs are cheap and plentiful in the grocery store, so one might wonder why you’d venture out to a local farmer’s market to buy pastured eggs. An egg is an egg, right? Well, as it turns out, there are vast differences that all go back to how the chicken is raised.
I raise laying hens on pasture just outside of State College, and I just love selling that first pastured dozen to someone who tells me they’ve only bought eggs at the grocery before. I know exactly how much of a surprise they are in for! (I should note that “free-range” at the grocery store means that the hens are not caged and have access to the outdoors at least part of the day. How much space they have outdoors or what the surface is made of is not specified. “Cage-free” hens are raised entirely indoors, but are not confined to cages.) Here are a few surprises you might encounter if you’ve never tried a pastured egg before.
Continue Reading: Five very good reasons to buy pastured eggs at farmers markets
Posted by Kim Chase on 05/29, 2014 at 08:32 AM
I am really fed up. And it isn’t just because I am an increasingly irascible, old curmudgeon.
I’m fed up with the behavior of government agencies like the FDA, the USDA, and the EPA, dancing like puppets in the hands of Monsanto, ConAgra, Dow, Big Pharma and their ilk. The FDA dilly-dallies by continuing to allow antibiotics in animal feed to promote “efficiency” and profits, when it is clear that the practice promotes the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten our health.
I’m fed up with the EPA constantly approving new pesticides that are known to kill pollinators. (Who needs insects anyway?)
Continue Reading: I’m Fed Up With Industrial Food
Posted by James Eisenstein on 05/27, 2014 at 08:52 AM
I love to make beef stew. On a rainy, blustery day, nothing is more comforting than sitting at the table eating beef stew and watching the rain. I used to freeze it so I had some on hand just to cheer me up when it would seem to rain for days on end.
When I used to go camping in the mountains with friends I would take along a big bag of frozen stew. By the end of the day there was nothing to do but throw it into the pot and wait until it had heated.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Beef stew, a great answer for our rainy days
Posted by James Sechrengost on 05/22, 2014 at 06:40 AM
Centre County is the home to five of the country’s almost 2500 craft breweries. Maria Bryant takes us on a video tour of them and finds each one is offering something a little different.
Continue Reading: Local Food Journey Video: A tour of Centre County’s craft brewers
Posted by Maria Bryant on 05/20, 2014 at 08:48 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 08:01 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 08:57 AM
While most of you were able to enjoy winter in February, my wife and I had to go to Mexico for three weeks. I knew we would miss experiencing the well below zero temperatures that promised to devastate our stink bugs population. I also wondered how much I would miss the fresh organic food available here.
But when we arrived in San Jose del Cabo near the tip of Baja California, I was delighted to find the organic food movement thriving. We were able to walk from our motel in the city’s arts district to an organic farmers market, chock full of vendors selling fresh organic vegetables, meat, and eggs. Almost everything you can find at the Boalsburg Farmers Market in mid-summer was available and all of it organic.
Continue Reading: Unpaid Field Hand travels to Mexico and samples their local food scene
Posted by James Eisenstein on 05/14, 2014 at 10:15 AM
When I was a young man I helped a friend build him and his wife a log cabin. It wasn’t one of the sprawling cabins you see on some of these new reality shows but it had three bedrooms, indoor plumbing, and electricity. I did most of the electrical work and a lot of heavy lifting moving the peeled timbers into place. Thank goodness we had chainsaws as I don’t see how those pilgrims ever got the work done using axes and hand adzes.
His wife brought us lunch every day and then stayed around and helped where she could. I look back fondly on that house, which is still standing in the San Bernardino Mountains, and the meals she prepared. One of the dishes she made was potato salad. I never was a huge fan of it, could take it or leave it, but when I tried hers I was hooked. She said to let them steam in the pot, which stopped the potato salad from being soggy and mushy. She gave me the recipe when I left and every time I make it I think of that log cabin and my friends.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Potato salad raises home-building memories
Posted by James Sechrengost on 05/13, 2014 at 08:45 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 07:39 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
While we are most certainly not Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, we here in Central Pennsylvania are not living in a good-food black hole. We have some excellent restaurants and other vendors of prepared meals/snacks using local food ingredients in our area. You can find local food in fine dining establishments, taverns, diners, festivals, and, of course, farmers markets. Here are five great local food items that we think you must try:
Continue Reading: Five must-have local food bites
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/07, 2014 at 07:30 AM
Do you like to write and love local food? Well, we’d love to have you help us tell Central Pennsylvania’s Local Food Stories! We are looking for writers to post on Local Food Journey about anything local food related, including:
Continue Reading: Local Food Journey looking for writers to share their local food stories
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 05/05, 2014 at 07:31 AM
Tags: writerswanted |
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 07:59 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 09:00 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:
Continue Reading: Five tips to help you avoid early season gardening set-backs
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/28, 2014 at 08:43 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.”
Continue Reading: Farmland trust plays crucial role in preserving Centre County farmland
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/23, 2014 at 08:30 AM
Tags: CentreCountyFarmlandTrust |
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.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Dandelion salad with hot bacon dressing a PA Dutch Easter staple
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/18, 2014 at 10:04 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 08:27 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!):
Continue Reading: A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/11, 2014 at 08:30 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 09:07 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.
Continue Reading: Taking back the reputation of fava beans
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03, 2014 at 07:45 AM
One of the best early season treats for the locavore is a fresh salad made with the first greens of the season. While some might be surprised to hear this, there are three farmers markets going on right now that offer delicious and fresh greens: Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesdays 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Boalsburg Fire Hall, the State College Indoor Farmers Market on Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the State College Municipal Building Lobby, and the Millheim Indoor Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Bremen Town Ballroom.
Continue Reading: Early spring is salad time at indoor farmers markets
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/31, 2014 at 08:03 AM
If there’s one piece of advice people get when they visit State College, it’s this: go to the Berkey Creamery. There’s a reason why Penn State fans are lined up around the block during football weekends, willing to wait as long as they must for a cone of Peachy Paterno or a half gallon for the road. In fact, every time I visit home, I bring two half gallons with me; my family and friends can’t get enough of it. While people from across the country can get Creamery ice cream delivered to them, it’s a business that we’ll always be proud to call local.
As often as we visit the Creamery, there’s so much that a lot of people don’t know about it. For instance, the proceeds from all sales contribute toward research, education, and extension programs in the Department of Food Science and the College of Agricultural Sciences. They make all dairy products on site—70 percent of the milk used comes from PSU cows, and the rest is from local farms. The milk arrives via tanker truck, and it is immediately tested for antibiotics, butterfat, and bacteria. Over 4.5 million pounds of milk is used every year on an assortment of cheeses, spreads, milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and of course, ice cream. In order to ensure safety in the plant during any manufacturing process, all employees must follow the Good Manufacturing Practices.
Continue Reading: The story behind your Creamery cone
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/27, 2014 at 08:33 PM
The ongoing debate for all latte-sipping, caffeine-craving coffee snobs (myself included) seems to be “which is better?” Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Coffee has become a necessity for so many people; we wake up, skip breakfast, grab a cup of joe to go, and get on with our day. But if you’re tired of the Starbucks employees misspelling your name, or the line at Dunkin Donuts has you fed up, try a change of pace at Café Lemont. After all, owners Michael Beck and Jodi Hakes McWhirter make it a point to stand out from the rest. “There really isn’t any other place quite like ours around.”
While Café Lemont is unique for its special events and entertainment away from the downtown State College bustle, what makes this café special is its menu. Starting with coffee, they roast organic beans on a weekly basis, and their tea is specially blended with loose leaves by Pantheon Teas, a business nearby. If that isn’t enough to pique your taste buds, their menu features light breakfasts and lunches made with ingredients from several other local businesses including Meyer Dairy, Green Heron Farm, Hogs Galore, Ye Olde College Diner, Gaffron’s Sunrise Bakery, Suzie Wong’s, and Belladonna Herbs. “All the rest is made from scratch by us,” Michael said.
Continue Reading: Cafe Lemont offers local food and great java
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/25, 2014 at 08:30 AM
Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering has established itself as a go-to place for outstanding dining with a local food focus, but they also conduct one of the most-delicious and well-respected fundraising programs in the state. Harrison’s Eat Well Fundraising program has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Good Neighbor Award and the CBICC’s 2010 Philanthropy Award.
State College’s Easterly Parkway PTO and Harrison’s are once again teaming up for an Eat Well fundraiser. From today though Sunday, March 30, if you mention to your Harrison’s server that you are a supporter of Easterly Parkway PTO, Harrison’s will donate 20 percent of your check before taxes and gratuity to Easterly Parkway PTO. But that’s not all.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/21, 2014 at 09:13 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 08:42 AM
Tags: Directlocalfood |
From Friends & Farmers Co-op, an update on their recent membership push and other news:
The Friends & Farmers Co-op membership kickoff was a tremendous success—more than 200 people attended the event. The co-op now has 88 Founding Members and sufficient capital to fund its marketing study.
Membership in Friends & Farmers requires an equity payment (you can read more about that payment under “How and Why of Signing Up” here). The equity payment is not a fee, nor is it dues. It is not an annual charge. It is a one-time investment that brings with it ownership in a community-owned enterprise—in this case, a grocery store—that is democratically controlled.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/14, 2014 at 08:39 AM
Believe it or not, it’s time to plant peppers…indoors, that is. Generally, you want to start pepper seeds inside about 6-10 weeks before last frost to give the plants time to grow and produce peppers. If you haven’t bought seeds yet, area stores have seeds in stock now, and if you want more variety, you can go to any number of online seed vendors to make your order and get the seeds in time to start.
As for what to plant, there are countless varieties of hot peppers out there to try. Here are six varieties that are sure to spice up your life this summer:
Continue Reading: Bring the heat this summer with hot peppers in your garden
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/12, 2014 at 08:47 AM
March is often a tease to those of us weary of winter’s cold, snow, and ice. One day we may have pleasant mild weather, the next, biting wind and snow.
But really, we’re entering the end-of-life phase for Old Man Winter. As the glacier that was covering Central PA continues to shrink, and mild days become more frequent, the harbingers of spring become more frequent. Here are five signs of spring, local food style:
Continue Reading: Five local food related signs of spring
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/10, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Tags: spring |
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 10:46 AM
If you read Local Food Journey, you are probably well aware of the Friends & Farmers Cooperative project, which is a food cooperative in State College committed to showcasing the best local products in support of a strong local economy. The good news is you can finally join Friends & Farmers at the Membership Kickoff Celebration to be held Sunday, March 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. You can RSVP here.
Along with signing up founding member/owners, the Celebration will have a lot to offer attendees. It will feature performances by local musicians including Andy Tolins, Scott Mangene, and Paul Brigman & Friends; opening remarks by State College Mayor and local food advocate Elizabeth Goreham; local food donated by various local vendors such as Webster’s, Harrison’s Wine Grill, Tait Farm, Byler Goat Dairy, Katz Raw Foods, Stone Meadow Farms, and Sweet Sunrise Bakery; kids activities led by the Penn State Community Food Security Club, and more. “The whole setup of this event is ‘drop-in,’ meaning you don’t have to come and be there the whole time,” said Michele Marchetti, local freelance writer and Friends & Farmers board member. “The idea is you come when you want, you hear some music, you get some food, and of course, sign up to be a member.”
Continue Reading: Friends & Farmers Co-op’s next big step
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/27, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Referring to this winter as “freezing” would be an understatement. The snow was relentless, not to mention temperatures were lower than I had ever experienced. Nevertheless, as brutal as Pennsylvania winters may be, I try to remind myself, while laboriously scraping the ice off my windshield, that spring will arrive in just a short while. In fact, farmers in the area are also anticipating warm weather by planting their spring harvest right now! Greenmoore Gardens, an organic farm located just outside of State College, began planting this week in hopes of a healthy spring harvest.
Laura Zaino, an employee of Greenmoore Gardens, gives the ins and outs of preparation. “We seed onions in mid-February, which is the first of the spring crops to get seeded.” Using their own potting mix, the seeds are planted in a greenhouse where the seedlings germinate and begin to grow. “Then we either put them into bigger pots or transplant them outside in the fields. The larger pots are for plants like tomatoes that need warm soil to grow,” explains Laura.
She goes on to further explain that the bigger pots allow for longer time in the greenhouse, hence, more growth before being transported outside. “Other crops, like turnips, carrots and beets, we seed directly into rows in the fields,” she says.
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 02/25, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Despite the relatively mild weather outside melting the snow, if we are being truly honest with ourselves, we know that winter is not over. Far from it, based on where we live. We know that it can snow into late April and even early May here in Central PA.
The good news for gardeners is that despite the snow-covered yards, it’s soon time for us to start gardening. We need to start certain things from seed inside, giving the plants adequate time to sprout, grow, mature, and produce fresh goodness by the time summer ends. In fact, certain things can be started very soon or even right now, depending on your last frost date.
Continue Reading: Believe it or not, gardeners, it’s soon time to start seeds
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/20, 2014 at 01:24 PM
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 09:33 AM
Friends & Farmers Cooperative, which is working to open a member-owned cooperative store that will specialize in local, sustainably-produced products, will begin taking members on March 2 at its Membership Kickoff Celebration at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County.
Founding members will help build a store that will stock produce and products grown and prepared right here in Happy Valley, promote real food, and serve as the central hub of the local food economy. Simply stated, it’s a store that will feed our community.
Continue Reading: Local food fans: Join Friends & Farmers Coop starting March 2
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/14, 2014 at 11:11 AM
Tags: FriendsandFarmers |
For twenty-three years, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, otherwise known as PASA, has been gathering for its very own Farming for the Future Conference. Last week vendors from all over the country congregated at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center to attend workshops, participate in auctions, listen to guest speakers, receive awards, and to simply share their appreciation of farming as a whole.
Lauren Smith, director of development for PASA, says her favorite aspect of the annual conference is that it’s like “a huge family reunion.” Indeed, the majority of farmers and businesses in attendance have previously come to the conference, so many of them are familiar with one another. Lauren explains, “We have an amazing community of farmers. They become a network of ideas and inspiration.”
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 02/10, 2014 at 09:37 AM
With plenty of mornings with temperatures below the zero mark and plenty of snow and ice to go with it, the winter of 2013-2014 has been a fairly harsh one compared with recent years. Such weather calls for a hearty meal, and I have the perfect solution that I brought up to Central Pennsylvania from my childhood growing up in York, Pennsylvania. And it’s easy to prepare, too, and something the whole family will enjoy.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/07, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Winter certainly takes a toll on us here in Happy Valley. From below freezing temperatures to painfully bitter winds, winter weather conditions require us to adapt and prepare accordingly. While you may think that the months of December through March leave local farmers with little to harvest, this is not the case. In fact, farmers throughout Centre County are finding innovative ways to grow vegetables during the winter months, despite the chill that would typically inhibit certain plants to grow. Plus, you don’t have to look far to find these vegetables available to you, for they’re being sold every Tuesday at the Boalsburg Farmers Market!
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 02/06, 2014 at 09:04 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 10:17 AM
Food Entrepreneurs Will Find Wealth of Resources at Annual PASA Conference
Farmers and other food entrepreneurs are set to acquire tools for success at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Feb. 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA.
On Feb. 6, PASA hosts “Raising Dough: Financing Your Food Based Business,” an intensive, day long track aimed at farmers looking to amass capital for farm-based businesses.
Continue Reading: Farmers Get Down to Business
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/30, 2014 at 09:14 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 10:00 AM
The following is a press release for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s 23rd Farming for the Future Conference. Look for more about this event on Local Food Journey in the next several weeks, as this is a major happening for our local food community…
MILLHEIM, PA January 6, 2014 – The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) hosts the 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference next month, February 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. Farmers, foodies, artisans, activists and other members of the sustainable agriculture community will gather around the theme “Letting Nature Lead” as the debate over the future of agriculture continues to garner widespread attention, from dinner tables to the halls of Congress.
Continue Reading: Sustainable Ag Community to Reflect, Rally at Premier Gathering
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/23, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Hosting a dinner party can be a real challenge. You want to hit a home run with your guests, especially with the main course, but what if your cooking skills are limited? You don’t have to look far for a solution; in fact, it’s right up the road near Philipsburg, at one of our region’s local food gems, Hogs Galore.
Continue Reading: Hogs Galore pork loin a dinner party winner
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/20, 2014 at 09:45 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 09:11 AM
The object pictured above doesn’t look much like barbed wire, but if you stretch it a bit, there is a connection.
What you see is an Osage orange I picked up this fall on the road near Jade Family Farm. You can find Osage Orange trees from the Great Plains to here and beyond.
Continue Reading: Osage oranges to provide natural fence for Jade Family Farm
Posted by James Eisenstein on 01/14, 2014 at 09:09 AM
Earlier this week, the coldest air in 20 years overspread Central Pennsylvania, dropping temperatures below zero. While shivering through a cold snap like that, it’s hard to imagine doing garden work. But there are still some chores you can do, either in the comfort of your living room or during one of our inevitable thaws that we have most every winter and will have this weekend. Getting them done now can help ensure a better harvest this spring and summer.
Here’s 10 garden chores you can do this winter:
Continue Reading: 10 garden chores you can do in the winter (and probably should)
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 01/10, 2014 at 08:50 AM
Winter offers unpaid field hands like me respite from the daily toil that spring, summer, and fall days require. It is a good time to reflect on the past year. And when I begin these reveries, the first word that comes to mind is . . . pears.
Continue Reading: Winter is a time of some rest, reminiscing for local farmers
Posted by James Eisenstein on 01/06, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Many people are aware of the New Year’s tradition of eating pork and sauerkraut, including the supposed good luck and wealth it brings. This tradition is part of our Pennsylvania German heritage; the idea of sauerkraut symbolizing wealth for the new year comes from Germany. Before having the New Year’s dinner, each diner wishes the other as much wealth as there are shreds of cabbage in a pot of sauerkraut.
What about pork? Interestingly enough, the actions of a pig give us this New Year’s tradition.
Continue Reading: New Year’s traditions in Pennsylvania: why pork and sauerkraut?
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/31, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I grew up in York, part of the original Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Therefore, there are several things that say Christmas to me that most others have no idea about. One is Der Belsnickel, a sort of nasty fellow who’s job it is to make sure children are good in the weeks before Christmas by, well, beating them with a stick. Think of him as Santa’s muscle.
Another, more benevolent aspect of Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas is some of the traditional cookies that families bake for the season.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas cookies
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/24, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Looking for a perfect last-minute gift for someone on your holiday list, but are stumped as what to get them? Our area’s local food community has a lot of fantastic options. I mean, who doesn’t love a food gift? And thankfully, we have a plenty of local food vendors who provide a lot of wonderful gift options.
Here’s just a few gift ideas, and some places to find them:
Continue Reading: Some great sources for last-minute local food gifts
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/19, 2013 at 10:33 AM
Gemelli Bakers has made a name for itself by baking wonderful bread. However, they also make some fantastic desserts. Gemelli is not as well known as a source for great baked desserts, but more and more people in the area are becoming aware of the sweet goodness that they offer at their downtown State College location, or at area farmers markets.
“We’ve been making desserts from day one,” said Tony Sapia, owner of Gemelli Bakers. “A few examples of what we bake include Italian cookies like biscotti and macaroon, American-style cookies like oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip, apricot fruit bars, pies…there’s quite a list.”
Continue Reading: Sweeten up the holidays with desserts from Gemelli Bakers
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/18, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Editor’s Note: While some of us enjoy snow around the holidays, the recent harsh weather might make some long for warmer times. Local Food Journey writer James Eisenstein takes us back to last spring and summer and shares the beauty he sees around Jade Family Farm.
In my previous life when in worked three jobs rolled into one at Penn State, I was especially attuned to the natural beauty surrounding us. To be sure, I admired the blossoms on my fruit trees at home, appreciated the beautiful flowers on my tomato plants, and admired Mt. Nittany from afar. But for the most part, I was preoccupied with thinking about everything I had to do, and spent more time than I should have staring at computer screens. A colleague with whom I did research brought this lifestyle to my attention when he suggested that an appropriate tombstone engraving would read: “Wishes he had spent more time in the office.”
That all changed when I switched careers to that of an unpaid field hand. I spend close to half of my time outdoors at the farm. I make it a point to stop fairly frequently to appreciate the stunning beauty all around me there.
Continue Reading: The natural beauty of a local farm
Posted by James Eisenstein on 12/16, 2013 at 10:07 AM
This past Tuesday night, the Friends and Farmers Cooperative held a Meet and Greet at Whiskers in the Nittany Lion Inn. The event featured some local food created by Andrew Monk, who is the executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn and big supporter of both local food and the Co-op. The event also was a way to inform the community about the progress the Co-op has been making, including the building of a Co-op grocery store.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/12, 2013 at 11:35 AM
If you love the kind of heat that only a great hot sauce can provide, then Red Hawk Premium Peppers offers your kind of product line. The Reedsville company offers a variety of rubs, sauces, powders, and other condiments such as hot pepper jelly.
The owner of Red Hawk Premium Peppers is Dan Lowenstein. Dan notes that the love of hot spice is in his blood. “I was very fortunate to inherit my love of heat from my little Irish Grandmother,” he said. “She was very well known for carrying her own shaker of red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce in her small purse. Ever since I was a child, I have loved a little fire in my food.”
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/09, 2013 at 09:04 AM
Way Fruit Farm offers all sorts of things that are good to eat; from different types of fruit to a variety of local food products from places like Tait Farm Foods and Hogs Galore. But their bread and butter, what put them on the map, is of course apples.
As a big fan of Way Fruit Farm, I can tell you that I see a lot of people buying huge amounts of apples for all sorts of recipes. I met a woman there last year who was baking apple pies for recipes, planning on giving them as gifts…a total of 25 pies! Apple pies certainly are a great way to use Way’s apple bounty, but I recently had the opportunity to talk to Megan Coopey, who with her husband Jason are co-owners of Way Fruit Farm, about some other recipes for apples. Jason and Megan are two reasons to visit Way Fruit Farm, always friendly and helpful, and Megan was glad to help by giving me several fantastic recipes that would make a fantastic addition (or additions) to the Holiday table.
Continue Reading: Co-owner of Way Fruit Farm shares three favorite apple recipes
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/05, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Special to Local Food Journey by Carolyne Meehan
The Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet at Whisker’s in the Nittany Lion Inn on Tuesday, December 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. will be a fun, delicious, and informational evening. Chef Andrew Monk will be serving up light appetizers prepared with local ingredients and a cash bar will be open for refreshments. Chef Monk has been a big supporter of the cooperative’s goal to make more local produce, meat and dairy more accessible to all. He has been making big changes as the executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn - serving up local grass fed burgers that come from a single steer and introducing folks to local kale and beets as the stars in his main dishes. He is also big into the concept of “nose to tail” cooking, a method that involves serving up dishes to incorporate all cuts of meat.
Continue Reading: Friends and Farmers Cooperative Meet and Greet Dec 10
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 12/04, 2013 at 08:30 AM
Tags: FriendsandFarmersCooperative |
When I was still a young man my father handed me his rifle and one bullet. He said “bring a deer home or don’t come home.” Now to some that might seem cruel. To me it was a challenge. By the time my father said that, I was good with a rifle, actually very good. He was actually kidding. Well, sort of kidding, we really needed the meat.
So I traipsed out into the snow to get some meat. I came home a few hours later dragging a buck behind me. I always enjoyed hunting. The time in the woods by myself, the skill in tracking the game, testing myself, pushing the limits. After I got older and served and did some other things I lost my taste for hunting but not for venison. So when I can get my hands on some I love to make it in new and interesting ways. Here I have included my recipe for venison chili, crockpot style.
Posted by James Sechrengost on 12/02, 2013 at 08:30 AM
Traditionally, unless of course you are vegetarian or vegan, turkey holds top billing at the Thanksgiving table. We’ve all seen the classic “Freedom from Want” painting by Norman Rockwell, an image that quickly became the template for our truly American holiday, Thanksgiving. Grandma lowers the giant golden-brown bird onto the table, as all the relatives ooo and ahh.
But really, the sides are the co-stars of this culinary production, and rightfully so. While there is certainly nothing wrong with tradition, they don’t have to be sugary sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, or “cranberry sauce a la Bart” direct from a can (Simpsons reference). With local ingredients, they can have flair and pizzazz that almost steals the show from the big turkey (not your one annoying uncle, I mean the main course).
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/26, 2013 at 09:25 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 09:46 AM
For me, fall always means changing colors, cooler temperatures, and soups. When my wife was alive we would love putting together a soup or stew, throwing it in a crockpot and heading out to enjoy the fall season. When we got back the whole house smelled of soup. We would warm up by the fire with our bowls of soup and a big slice of bread smothered in butter. To this day those are some of my fondest memories. So to me fall is soup and soup is love and comfort. Here is one of the recipes we used to make on those blustery days, squash and corn soup:
Continue Reading: Squash and corn soup perfect for blustery fall days
Posted by James Sechrengost on 11/18, 2013 at 09:37 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 09:08 AM
The first time I had apple dumplings I was seven. My uncle loved camping and this was the first time he asked me to go along. Now, he was my favorite uncle (shhhhh don’t tell the others) and getting to go with him had me excited for weeks before the trip. It was fall and the weather was turning colder so he wanted to get one last camping trip in before it started to snow. My uncle taught me all kinds of things about the woods and surviving and just enjoying nature. What I didn’t know was he had a favorite uncle too. Uncle Lloyd was old school and knew more about hunting and wood lore than I ever will and I’m a survival specialist. He did things around a camp without thinking that I never would have thought of to make life easier.
So when we went to go camping my uncle always made sure to stop off and visit with Lloyd before and after a camping trip to talk over where he was going and what he had seen. So we stopped off and they visited for an hour then we headed out to go camping. After a week in the woods I was ready to go home. I had learned a lot and had a lot of fun but the rock and twigs under my bed were winning and I wanted a real bed. So on our way home we stopped off to visit Lloyd. Now, I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to not get invited back so I didn’t say anything but I fidgeted a lot, as kids will. Now his wife Dot noticed this and took me out to the kitchen for a bite.
What she sat before me was this large golden brown bowl of pure delight. APPLE DUMPLING! Why had I never seen one of these wonders before or even heard of them? I took my first bite and was hooked. The golden flaky pastry, the sweet glaze, the tender juicy apple and all the spices filled my mouth. Before I knew it my bowl was empty and like Oliver Twist I held out my bowl and said, “Please may I have another?” She laughed and put another in my bowl this time with a scoop of ice cream. How is it possible it was even better? Of course my uncle learned why I had never had one before. That much sweetness and an enclosed car combined with a long trip are not good combinations. I still love them and have included a recipe for them. Enjoy.
Continue Reading: Recipe: Apple dumplings warm the autumn soul
Posted by James Sechrengost on 11/12, 2013 at 08:35 AM
All good things must come to an end, and if you are like many of us local food foodies, tomorrow will be a melancholy day as two of the local Saturday farmers markets end their 2013 run. However, others will soldier on as the cold air blows and the first snowflakes fly.
Continue Reading: Farmers market season not over quite yet
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/08, 2013 at 09:52 AM
When central and eastern Europeans emigrated to Pennsylvania in the 19th and 20th Centuries, one of the dishes they brought with them was haluski (or as some spell it, halusky). The dish is a simple one with some variations. Traditionally, haluski referred to the homemade noodles/dumplings, which were potato based much like gnocchi. However, today you can either purchase dried haluski noodles in any grocery store, or use any medium-wide egg noodle.
Growing up in York County, which is Pennsylvania Dutch country, I had very limited exposure to haluski, but when I went to Pittsburgh for college and eventually to live, I was introduced to the dish at a Polish Catholic church fish fry, which is just about the best place to have your first taste of haluski. Haluski has just a few ingredients, and the one I learned to make includes noodles, cabbage, onion, bacon, butter, salt, pepper..and that’s it. You can also make a vegetarian version by leaving out the bacon and a vegan version by using vegan-friendly noodles and olive oil instead of butter.
The flavors combine to make a fantastic dish, especially if you are a gardener like me and use a fresh-harvested garden cabbage that has been sweetened by frost. And speaking of frosty weather, this is a great cold-weather dish that’s a snap to make.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/06, 2013 at 08:52 AM
A friend introduced me to this grain and I was curious as to what kind of recipes I could come up with. He loves quinoa but how many times can you eat the same thing the same way. I sat down and came up with a few. The first is a version of rice pudding using quinoa. The second is a good vegetarian version of tacos.
Continue Reading: Not sure what to do with quinoa? Here’s two great recipes
Posted by James Sechrengost on 11/04, 2013 at 09:59 AM
A friend introduced me to this grain and I was curious as to what kind of recipes I could come up with. He loves quinoa but how many times can you eat the same thing the same way. I sat down and came up with a few. The first is a version of rice pudding using quinoa. The Second is a good vegetarian version of tacos.
Continue Reading: Not sure what to do with quinoa? Here’s two great recipes
Posted by James Sechrengost on 11/04, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Editor’s Note: The fall season brings food that features flavors and ingredients that are unique to the season, and this may raise some challenges for those who want to pair wine with these autumn dishes. Linda Weaver of Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery has some suggestions to help you make the best wine/food pairing call.
Continue Reading: Wines that match well with the unique flavors of fall
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/31, 2013 at 07:24 AM
Kale is a superstar in the fall garden. The plant is tough as nails, able to take some very cold temperatures. In fact, myself and many other gardeners have harvested kale from under the snow.
Along with its toughness, kale has many other good properties. It’s very easy to grow, can grow in part shade, and is quite tasty. It is best after a couple of good frost/freezes, which give the leaves a sweet flavor and cuts down on the bitterness.
There are many varieties of kale, and here are a few of my favorites:
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/28, 2013 at 07:15 AM
There always seems to be something to do on an October weekend, and this last October weekend is certainly no exception. This weekend you can help make apple butter, meet some retired greyhound racers (and maybe give one a good home), carve a pumpkin at the Central PA Flea & Farmers Market Harvest Season Event, enjoy wine in a beautiful fall setting at the Mount Nittany Winery, and explore the Halloween Trail for kids at the Shaver’s Creek Fall Harvest Festival. Learn more by continuing to read:
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for Oct. 26 and 27
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/25, 2013 at 08:25 AM
The Mount Nittany Winery is holding their annual Harvest Fest Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the winery in Centre Hall. In their beautiful Mt. Nittany-side setting, you can enjoy free wine tastings, take a winery tour, try free samples (and then buy) local food from vendors, and enjoy live music by Richard and Papa (aka long-time State College musicians Richard Sleigh and Gary Brubaker).
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/24, 2013 at 08:06 AM
When you live in Southern California you start to miss some of the things from home. The thing I missed the most was the seasons. So-Cal had two seasons Hot and less hot. For the winter season they had some cooler days with occasional rain. So for Spring we had green. For summer it was brown. For fall more brown. Winter was brown and dreary.
Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to shovel sunshine, so, I was happy for the most part. I did miss fall though. I love fall with its brilliant colors and cooler temperatures. It also has my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN! Now I like the things that become available in fall for making pies such as apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. As you can imagine fresh apples were hard to find.
One day a friend of mine and I were talking about food, of course, when she asked me if I had ever been to Yucaipa. The blank look on my face must have told her everything she needed to know. So the next weekend she drove me over to Yucaipa, CA. Now Yucaipa has grown a lot since but back then they had apple orchards and had a fall festival celebrating apples. I was in my glory. Here was a place close by that had not only apples but seasonal leaf changes. For her help in finding this gem of the high desert I made her my Apple Cheesecake. I have included my recipe below but when ever I look at an apple my mind drifts back to that high desert city and it’s hidden treasure.
Posted by James Sechrengost on 10/21, 2013 at 08:29 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 08:01 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 09:23 AM
Now, you probably shouldn’t ask how these patties came to be. It’s one of those stories that you only tell the people you really know won’t judge you. Let’s just say too much time+ abundance of produce + friends + late night hunger = Spicy Pumpkin Patties
Posted by James Sechrengost on 10/15, 2013 at 10:09 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 07:28 AM
We are getting an extended summer, with temperatures that feel more like August. Looks like our run of summer weather ends today, but the threat of a killing freeze that ends the growing season for tender plants still seems at least a week or more away as per the weather forecast, which is quite unusual for October. Of course, as any gardener in Central Pennsylvania knows, that will not last forever. So, here’s a list of tips to help you prepare for when the ground is coated in frost and your tomato plants finally succumb:
Continue Reading: Take advantage of extra time and plan now for killing frost
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 10/07, 2013 at 07:55 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 07:39 AM
A number of years ago a friend of mine had a daughter who was battling cancer. She was going through a very hard time with treatment and became depressed. Now this young lady absolutely loved the movie “Ratatouille.”
So one day I stopped by with a bag of ingredients and two chef’s hats. On hers I had printed “REMY” with “Little Chef” in small letters right below it like the movie. On mine I had printed “GUSTEAU.” We spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen recreating the recipe for the title “Ratatouille.” Her and her mother both still bring up that day whenever I stop by to visit. So you see, it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a difference to someone. Just some of your time and willingness to make a difference in someone’s life. Here is the recipe that we came up with:
Continue Reading: Rataouille recipe a tribute to a young girl’s cancer battle
Posted by James Sechrengost on 10/02, 2013 at 08:38 AM
This weekend’s local food event list is highlighted by Oktoberfests at Tussey Mountain and Millheim, a new farmers market at the Grange Fairgrounds, Gamble Mill MusicFest, and last but not least, the WPSU International Wine Festival. Quite a slate of things to do! To learn more, keep reading…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for September 28-29
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/27, 2013 at 08:00 AM
September is harvest time in the fields, orchards, and, of course, vineyards in Central Pennsylvania. One of the area’s best-known wineries, Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery, is gathering the grapes that make their variety of signature wines, and each year this is a time to celebrate a good harvest. With this in mind, Winery Owners Joe and Betty Carroll are holding the Winemakers Harvest Dinner Oct. 5 at the Winery.
Continue Reading: Mt. Nittany Vineyard & Winery hosts Winemakers Harvest Dinner Oct. 5
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/25, 2013 at 08:24 AM
With the closing of the recent Garlic Festival in Pocono I was reminded of the many festivals I attended in Gilroy in SoCal. Now I am a garlic lover, not to the extreme I like garlic ice cream, but I do love the pungent little relative to the onion. What you didn’t know that PA had their own Garlic Festival? Check them out at http://www.poconogarlic.com/. We used to load up a van and head to the Gilroy Garlic Festival every year. You could smell the festival miles before you ever got there. Being the foodie I am I headed straight to the food booths. There was always some new and unique recipe I could pick up there.
Continue Reading: Garlic lover? Then try this garlic pot roast recipe…
Posted by James Sechrengost on 09/23, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Even this late in the season, you probably still have tomatoes in your garden, and if you’re not a gardener, probably still see good-looking tomatoes at farmers markets. If you are a serious tomato-lover, you’ve turned them into sauce, whipped up some salsa, canned them, frozen them, made some sort of pasta, made tomato salad, etc. You may think, like I did, that you’ve tried just about every use for those wonderful globes of deliciousness. But, I can recommend one way to use tomatoes that is positively amazing and yes, a revelation of flavor—slow-roasting them.
Continue Reading: Slow-roasted tomatoes are a revelation of flavor
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/20, 2013 at 08:03 AM
When I was but a wee lad…okay, who am I kidding I was never a wee lad. How about…when I was a young child my grandmother used to make pierogi by the dozens. She would make potato and cheese, sauerkraut, ones stuffed with meat, and even dessert ones. Being the ever inquisitive child I was (okay, okay, being the pain in the neck, nosy, kid that I was) I always wanted to help.
Finally, when they thought I was old enough, they put me on filing duty. I was supposed to place one heaping spoon of filling in the middle of each pierogi shell. Well, after the initial “one spoon for the shell, one for me” method I actually managed to do about two dozen pierogi. With my ever expanding stomach and boredom, the filling wasn’t quite in the middle anymore but I was still working at it.
After another dozen, I came to realize this was more like work than play and didn’t want to do it anymore. My grandmother made me stay and finish the job. I got the lecture about not starting something unless I was willing to finish it. I still have lesson ingrained into me.
Continue Reading: Pierogi memories, plus great potato and cheese pierogi recipe
Posted by James Sechrengost on 09/18, 2013 at 09:08 AM
Working on a farm ties you intimately to the earth’s rhythms like nothing else. Professors begin the new academic year in the fall, then start all over again in January. But what organic vegetable growers do changes dramatically with the seasons.
Usually, farmers are too busy to reflect on much beyond which 20 of the 30 essential tasks that need to be done right away they can do. But I have the luxury of being (supposedly) retired, working only half time, and this allows me to contemplate the passing of the seasons. So as we enter the fall, this is an appropriate time to review this summer, mostly in pictures.
Continue Reading: End of summer reflections…
Posted by James Eisenstein on 09/16, 2013 at 08:32 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 08:44 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
Back in 2002, the wheels were set in motion to create an organization whose goal was to make it easier for people to find, choose, and enjoy great local foods and support the farmers and land that produces them. This organization became the local foodie’s best friend—Buy Fresh Buy Local.
“The process actually began in early 2002, through a “learning community” of partners from across the country assembled by the FoodRoutes Network headquartered in Millheim,” said Brian Snyder, executive director of both the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and also the FoodRoutes Network, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PASA that runs the Buy Fresh Buy Local® program nationally. “At the time, FRN was run by Executive Director Tim Bowser, now of the Elk Creek Café and this particular project was coordinated by Joani Walsh, a Centre County native who is now a Deputy Undersecretary for the Ag Marketing Service at the USDA.”
This meeting was a key moment in the local food movement history not just here in Pennsylvania, but nationally. In fact, the group represented four states—Pennsylvania, California, Louisiana, and Iowa. They wanted to learn more about consumer preference, and come up with a national brand identity for locally-grown food.
Continue Reading: How Buy Fresh Buy Local became a key part of local food scene
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/11, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Fall in Central Pennsylvania brings the bounty, beauty, and variety of the fall harvest. To celebrate the harvest, the Boalsburg Farmers Market in cooperation with the Mount Nittany Winery is sponsoring its “Plow to Plate Harvest Dinner” featuring the vegetables and fruits that ripen as the last of summer’s crops are replaced by those that thrive in the fall. Some of the best chefs in Happy Valley will prepare soups and side dishes from both summer crops, including eggplant, peppers, okra, garlic, onions, melons, and from fall favorites including acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins, kale, spinach, other fall greens, kohlrabi, and apples. They will also offer main dishes using pasture-raised, sustainably produced local meat, and deserts.
The dinner will be held at the beautiful Mt. Nittany Winery on Wednesday, September 11, and will gather a number of our area’s best chefs, including Jamie Steffen (Nittany Lion Inn), Charles Niedemyer (Nola’s Joint), Ben Stanley (El Gringo Tacos), Bob Ricketts (Fasta & Co), Nathan Brungarten (Mount Nittany Inn), Paul Kendeffy (Gamble Mill Restaurant and Brewery), Harrison Schailey (Harrisons), and Andy Rose (Elk Creek Café) to create a variety of dishes from ingredients from the fall harvest of Boalsburg Farmers Market vendors.
Posted by James Eisenstein on 09/09, 2013 at 08:19 AM
Last night was quite chilly for a lot of people in central PA but it seems that many of us escaped frost. However, the slow march of the seasons are inevitable, and eventually there will be frost on the Happy Valley pumpkins. Frost or even temperatures below 40 are very bad for plants like tomatoes, basil, beans, cucumbers, etc. On the other hand, a lighter frost is okay for plants like beets, chard, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, etc.
Here are some tips for both figuring out when your garden might get hit by frost, and what to do when it does.
Continue Reading: How to plan for frost in your garden
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/06, 2013 at 08:49 AM
The Green Bowl is one of those interesting restaurants that let you build your own meal. The concept is simple. You choose your vegetables, fruits, noodles, etc.; then specify what sort of meat you want, if any; pick your sauce; then a staff member stir fries it for you. It’s sort of like being your own prep chef.
Some places refer to this sort of thing as Mongolian barbeque, although there are some difference such as a wider variety of sauce selections at the Green Bowl as opposed to other places like it. Along with the great flavor, one aspect of the Green Bowl that makes it stand out from similar establishments is inclusion of local food ingredients, thanks to owners Scott and Marley Wong.
Continue Reading: Restaurant puts local food in your Green Bowl
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 09/05, 2013 at 07:20 AM
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 08:17 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 07:51 AM
Labor Day already? Seems like the start of summer was about two weeks ago. Time truly does fly, and soon the focus here on Local Food Journey will turn to autumn-y things like pumpkins, apples, winter squash, soups, etc. All the things we like to have when the weather gets frosty and footballs replaces baseballs.
But let’s not bury summer yet. There’s plenty of warm weather to go, including September. Here’s three great recipes that together make for a fantastic Labor Day grill meal.
Continue Reading: Local Food recipes for Labor Day
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/29, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Last night I went to the Grange Fair. One of the more unique events in Pennsylvania, the Grange Fair celebrated its 139th year. The event has humble origins, beginning as a picnic event in 1874 in the rather scarily named Leech Woods just west of Centre Hall. It has evolved into today’s version, featuring an encampment that visitors often find sort of puzzling (but seems like fun for the campers), a dazzling array of food stands that at times makes choosing a snack or meal rather overwhelming, and, of course, various agricultural exhibits. It really is one of those things that offer something for just about anyone in the area. I think if you live in this area it’s something you should attend at least once.
So, what’s the connection that the Grange Fair has with the local food scene? One is, of course, obvious—the focus on agriculture. But there are a few things that seem to be missing as far as local food.
Continue Reading: A visit to the Grange Fair, and the connection to local food
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/28, 2013 at 08:55 AM
Tags: GrangeFair |
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 07:55 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 07:00 AM
Tags: LocalFoodWeekend |
I know that lots of people turn their thoughts to football and raking leaves once the days getting shorter and mornings are foggy and cool, but fall is really a good time to grow certain vegetables. While a lot of vegetables thrive in summer heat, there are a fair amount that prefer fall’s cool weather. And it’s not too late to plant; if you plant this weekend, you have anywhere from 37 to 52 days before this area’s average first freeze, depending on where you live.
Continue Reading: You can still plant fall crops for a tasty end to the garden season
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/22, 2013 at 08:26 AM
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 12:57 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 07:00 AM
Tags: localfoodfantasy |
It’s mid-August already? Don’t lament that we are this late in the summer, celebrate that we are in what I think is the peak period for local food. And there’s lots to do that has a local food angle this week! Go celebrate tomatoes at Tait Farm, attract butterflies at Rose Franklin’s Perennials, get artsy/crafty in Bellefonte, learn how to survive The End with really local food, and/or have a tasty cold one at the State College Brew Fest. Keep on reading…
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for August 17-18
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/16, 2013 at 09:35 AM
When I was a young lad I was in Sicily in the city of Palermo doing the tourist thing checking out the castles. After much walking around viewing the sights my tired feet and grumbling stomach reminded me I had not had lunch. I stopped in a small ristorante and had a dish similar to the recipe below. Years later I remembered the dish and recreated it from what I remembered. This recipe comes from a lot of trial and error, mostly error, until I got it to the point it closely matched my memory of the dish.
Continue Reading: Here’s two recipes to give you something to do with all those zucchinis
Posted by James Sechrengost on 08/15, 2013 at 08:19 AM
Billed as one of the largest outdoor farm-related shows in the East, Ag Progress Days continues today and tomorrow out at the Russell E. Larson Agriculture Research Center on State Route 45 near Rock Spring. The festival of farming runs opens today and tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Today the show runs until 8:00 p.m., giving those of us with a day job an opportunity to head out after work and perhaps have supper at one of the food vendors at the event.
While some may have the idea that it’s just for farmers and farm machinery enthusiasts looking for a Tractorpalooza, Ag Progress Days has something for everyone, including kids’ activities. The event is put on by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Continue Reading: Something for everyone at Ag Progress Days
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/14, 2013 at 07:57 AM
This weekend I was at a very nice event, a barn dance. In between promenades, I was chatting with some people about gardening, one of my favorite small talk subjects. As often happens when talking gardening, tomatoes came up. And as often happens when talking tomatoes, concerns about fruit not ripening came up. So, are there any ways to speed up the process?
Continue Reading: “Why won’t my tomatoes ripen?”
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/12, 2013 at 08:42 AM
A look at various local food-related events being held this weekend around the area. The headline event is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s 2013 Centre County Farm Tour which will be held tomorrow. You can find a four-part preview series on this farm tour here, here, here, and here. To find more local food-related things to do this weekend, keep reading.
Continue Reading: Your Local Food Weekend for August 10-11
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/09, 2013 at 09:44 AM
I recently was asked by the folks at the Boalsburg Farmers Market to serve as a judge for the Market’s Golden Basket Awards, an annual event held as part of Local Foods Week here in Centre County. For those not familiar with the Golden Basket Awards, chefs from the local area compete for the prize by creating a full entree with ingredients found at the Boalsburg Farmers Market. Having to use local ingredients probably is the easy part of the contest. I mean, the chefs do their cooking in an area in the middle of the market and are surrounded by local meats, cheeses, eggs, dairy, sauces, and of course fresh produce. That’s a pretty formidable pantry.
So, I got to judge their end result. It was a challenge to be presented with creative and delicious dishes made by professional chefs and then eat them, but I persevered. Seriously, though, the food coma I was in by the end of the event really was a bit of a challenge, but it was a happy feeling.
Continue Reading: Tough job but someone has to do it: being a local food judge
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 08/08, 2013 at 09:37 AM
This is a very good question, one I was asking myself during three or so hours back in mid-July hand-weeding this year’s patch. It was hot! Last year we had no parsnips to sell or use, so I volunteered to take responsibility (with help from John). Most organic farmers don’t grow them. I have no idea how commercial, non-organic large scale growers grow them for a profit, but they evidently do. While we like to farm, it is necessary from time to time to get more money for a crop than you spend in time, effort, and inputs. If I weren’t unpaid, parsnips wouldn’t make the cut. They still might not.
Continue Reading: Why Do We Grow Parsnips?
Posted by James Eisenstein on 08/07, 2013 at 09:12 AM
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 08:07 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 08:05 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 01:00 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.
Continue Reading: Interview with Jason Coopey of Way Fruit Farm
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 07/31, 2013 at 11:12 AM
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.
Continue Reading: Gazpacho, that famous summery cold soup
Posted by James Sechrengost on 07/28, 2013 at 09:21 PM
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.
Continue Reading: Local Food Video: Fasta & Ravioli Co.
Posted by Jessica Paholsky on 07/26, 2013 at 08:17 AM