Homesteaders’ Quarto – May 22, 2013

May 22 – 23 – Centre Gives Online Fundraiser

Visit centregives.org between 6 a.m. May 22 through 6 p.m. May 23 from your computer, smartphone or device, browse local organizations and learn how their work is serving Centre County. Make a donation and your dollars will be augmented by a $100,000 pro-rated match from Centre Foundation. Your donation could also qualify your chosen nonprofit for a variety of cash prizes. Minimum donation = $25, all donations up to $10,000 will be matched. Sustainability & Community Resilience organizations include:

  • Clearwater Conservancy
  • Penns Valley Conservation Association
  • Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Pennsylvania Certified Organic
  • Centre County Farmland Trust

Upcoming Workshops – Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network

  • May 29 – Animal Handling Workshop for New & Beginning Farmers May 29, 2013, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the Sundance Life Farm, 4563 Lake Road, Towanda, PA 18848 (Bradford County). This field day will cover basic animal handling for new & beginning farmers, or for anyone wanting to improve upon their animal handling knowledge and skills.
  • June 5 – Twilight Meeting: Tomato Trellising – June 5, 2013, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at  Common Ground Farm, 176 Zuck Road, Spring Mills, PA 16875. Leslie Zuck, owner of Common Ground Organic Farm, has been producing certified organic transplants and produce for more than 25 years. She rotates transplant production with in-ground vegetables in a 20′ by 60′ hoophouse.
  • June 10 – Value-Added Farming at Quiet Creek Herb Farm – June 10, 2013, 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM at Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, 93 Quiet Creek Lane, Brookville, PA. Join Claire and Rusty Orner for a tour of Quiet Creek Herb farm and learn how they have expanded their farm’s product line through value-added products and on-farm education.
  • June 11 – Education as a Value-Added Product Farminar – June 11, 2013, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM online
  • June 14 – Annual Tour of Rodale Institute – June 14, 2013, 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM at Rodale Institute, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530. During this year’s tour, Rodale staff will transport participants via wagon around the farm stopping to describe their current research and projects.
  • June 19 – Twilight Meeting: Cut Flowers and Berries – June 19, 2013, 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM at Pheasant Hill Farm, 3502 Main Road East, Emmaus, PA 18049. George and Melanie Devault have run Pheasant Hill Farm in Emmaus, PA since 1984. High tunnel producers since 1990 they grow vegetables, herbs, cut flowers and berries in their tunnels.
  • June 26 – Urban Farming at Joshua Farm – June 26, 2013, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM at Joshua Farm, 213 South 18th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Join PA-WAgN’s 2013 mentor for Urban Farming and Food Access, Kirsten Reinford of Joshua Farm in Harrisburg, PA to learn how she took her dream of creating an urban farm to fruition.

News from Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local

  • CCBFBL E-Newsletter – May 16, 2013 Edition, including farmers market details.

News from Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

  • PASA E-Newsletter – May 16, 2013 Edition, including regional on-farm workshop dates, Allegheny Bike Fresh Bike Local info and more.
  • June 29 – Forks Farm Tour & Potluck – 5-8 pm Details are available here, please RSVP.
  • July 20 – Joint North Central & South Central Potluck at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center – 5-8 pm. Details are available here, please RSVP.

May 25 – Fiber Arts Fest

The 1st Pennsylvania Fiber ArtsFest will be held at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, on Saturday, May 25. The ArtsFest will feature many aspects of fiber, such as spinning, weaving, embroidery, quilting, felting, rug hooking, knitting, and more!  There will be children’s activities, vendors, educational displays, demonstrations, and classes!

May 31 – FDA Produce Safety Standards Webinar

“Update on the new FDA Produce Safety Standards: Issues of Importance for Pennsylvania Produce Growers”  Speakers: Dr. Luke LaBorde, Associate Professor, Penn State Department of Food Science; Peggy Fogarty-Harnish, Farm Food Safety Program Coordinator. Hosted By: Penn State University Department of Food Science on Friday, May 31, 2013 12:00 PM EST

Presentation Details: On Friday, January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft Produce Safety Rule as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011.  This ruling will set mandatory standards designed to prevent microbial contamination of fresh produce including: use of agricultural water; application of soil amendments of animal origin; worker health and hygiene; the presence of animals in the growing area, and proper use and maintenance of equipment, tools and buildings. We will discuss the highlights of the requirements and important issues to consider in Pennsylvania. There are several considerations that may have a stronger impact on farmers in Pennsylvania compared to other states simply by the nature of how we do business here.  The small family farmer that has a mixed operation of produce and other farm enterprises such as milk, animal, or field crop production or an on-site bake shop, should educate themselves on a few specific issues.

Who should attend? Extension Educators, Industry leaders, Produce Growers, Produce Buyers. There is no cost to participate in this web seminar. The session will be approximately 60 minutes. Please join the webinar site by clicking here.  For More Information: please contact Peggy Fogarty-Harnish

June 1 – Spring Creek Festival & 5K

June 10 – Centre County Climate Change Action Network – Beer & Wine Summit

(From Ed Perry)

On June 10 at 7:00 pm at the Unitarian Church, 780 Waupelani Drive, Pam and Doug Ford will give a presentation on how climate change is affecting the pollinators. They’ll also talk about how climate change is making life difficult for native plants.

June 22 – Summer Potluck Picnic

Spring Creek Homesteading organizes informal, family-friendly quarterly community potlucks bring together people interested in strengthening the local food system to share meals and build friendships. The next one is the Summer Potluck Picnic  on Saturday June 22, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Spring Creek Park, Pavilion #2. RSVP at SignUpGenius.

News from Owens Farm in Sunbury

  • June 1 is the registration deadline for June 8 Piglets On Pasture, a full-day workshop dedicated to the fine art of raising piglets in a natural setting.
  • June 22 – Summer Solstice Farm Dinner – Celebrate Summer Solstice with a unique dining experience at Owens Farm. Our hay meadow transforms into a fresh air restaurant for the evening, amidst rolling hills dotted with sheep. 

Upcoming Workshops at Oyler’s Organic Farm in Biglerville 

At Oyler’s Organic Farms in Biglerville PA:

  • June 15 – Simply Spelt-  9am-12pmTrying to incorporate whole grains into your diet for extra fiber?  Come learn how to easily incorporate spelt into your meals.  Participants will make a delicious spelt pound cake, spelt onion crackers, and a savory spelt kernel salad.  Spelt used in the class is from local certified organic Small Valley Milling. $35
  • June 22 – Kids in the Kitchen- 9:30am-12pm -Children will learn the basics of measuring while cooking and safety in the kitchen while making some yummy snacks!  Everyone will be involved in making apple cinnamon granola and warm muffins.  Don’t wear your favorite shirt, it might get messy!  We suggest that kids ages 8 to 12 will enjoy this class.  $18
  • July 11 – Water Bath Canning – 6pm-9pm  – Learn to preserve food safely and correctly.  This will be a hands-on workshop where you will learn the basics of home canning and practice your canning skills as a beginner or experienced preserver. $25
  • July 18 – Freezing for Winter – 6pm-8:30pm Want an easy way to preserve your summer bounty?  Join us to learn the basics of freezing fruits and vegetables quickly and safely for a high quality product to enjoy during the winter months.  $25
  • July 20 – Canning Under Pressure – 9am-12pm – Ever wonder why foods such as beans, corn, and meats, need to be preserved in a pressure canner?  Come learn the safe techniques and the basics to preserving healthy food using a pressure canner.  Participants will go through the hands on steps of pressure canning green beans.  Bring your own green beans from your garden or use our fresh green beans!  $35
  • July 26 – Perfect Pickles – 9:30am-12:30pm – Do you have an abundance of cucumbers or just want to learn how to make your own bread and butter pickles?  This class will go over the basics of quick pickle processing and will have you adding pickle products to all your meals!  $35
  • July 27 – Totally Tomato  – 9am-12pm – Learn how to can your ripe tomatoes during the summer so you can enjoy them all winter long.  After canning your tomatoes, learn how to make some scrumptious tomato basil soup, tomato juice, and spaghetti sauce.  $35
  • August 1 – Simple Salsa – 6pm-9pm – Nothing can compare to the taste of homemade salsa!  Learn how to make our family’s all time favorite salsa recipes.  The class will preserve them using the hot water bath method.  You’ll never want to buy salsa from the store again!  $35
  • August 3 – Farm Fresh Pizza for Kids  – 10am-12:30pm-  Kids will help create their own personal pizza with ingredients direct from the farm.  While the dough rises, kids will venture out into the garden to harvest ripe tomatoes and herbs for their pizza sauce.  We suggest that kids ages 8 to 12 will enjoy this class.  $18
  • August 10 – Peaches Please!- 9am-12pm – Home canned peaches win the taste test every time!  In this class, participants will learn how to can peaches using the hot water bath method.  Participants will also learn how to make simple peach syrup that goes perfect with pancakes and French toast.  $35
  • September 21 – A is for Apple –  9am-12pm – Would you like to enjoy your apples even after fall harvest is over?  Come join us for hands on experience on how to make applesauce, pie fill, and freezer pack apples.  Everyone will take home their preserved apple products from that day! $35
  • November 2 – Fermented Foods – 9 am -12 pm – Join Maureen Diaz, local food preserver and local chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation, as she teaches the art of fermentation. Maureen will demonstrate how to ferment various types of foods including fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
  • November 21 – Savory Winter Soups – 5:30pm-8:30pm- Interested in creative ways to use your root or winter vegetables? Come learn some great recipes and enjoy your vegetables all winter long including Roasted Vegetable Soup, Apple Squash Soup, and Creamy Bacon Cabbage.  $35
  • December 7 – Christmas Cookies for Kids – 9:30am-12:30pm- Nothing tastes better then Christmas cookies made with pastured eggs and local ingredients.  A variety of Christmas cookies will be made and kids will learn will their local ingredients came from.  Every young cook will take home a sampling of their Christmas creations.  We suggest that kids ages 8 to 12 will enjoy this class.  $18

Brush Available for Hugelkultur

A blog reader writes: “I have a rather large supply of old brush/wood that I am using to construct my first hugelkulture and will have lots left over.  I wonder if anyone you are in touch with would be interested in using it?  I live 15 minutes north of State College.  I would really love if someone else of like mind could put it to use in their own garden.” Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll forward your email to the reader.

Help out in the Sustainability Psychology Lab over the summer!

Are you looking for something to do over the summer which will build research skills and experience while making a positive difference in people’s lives and toward the future of our planet?  Come help out in the Sustainability Psychology Lab!  Many of our current projects are applied projects that seek to directly promote pro-environmental behavior and civic engagement, while the remainder of our projects will contribute to a basic understanding of how to conduct new types of behavioral sustainability projects in the future. If interested, please contact Nathan Geiger.

Open Letter to Glenn Thompson on King Amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill

(From Brian Burger of New Harmony Farmstead)

Folks who care about their food system need to ask “why” to Mr. Thompson and they need to ask Senators Toomey & Casey to squash the King Amendment as the Senate reviews the House’s Farm Bill.

Mr. Thompson –As my congressman and a member of the House Agriculture Committee I want you to know how very displeased I am over the committee’s approval of the pending 2013 Farm Bill “King Amendment” offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). REP King is a known proponent of “Big-Ag”.  The King Amendment is popularly interpreted as a legality that will PROHIBIT STATE SOVEREIGNTY IN REGULATING OR LABELING GMO FOODS!! Maybe that works for REP King and his constituency.  It won’t work in PA, and it won’t work well for you.

I am a small-scale organic farmer.  Pennsylvania is a state proud of its heritage in small family farms.  There is also a growing interest and broad support element of the public at large to small-scale organic and sustainable agriculture and local food systems.  I would like to hear your explanation of the King Amendment, how you voted on that and where you believe this is going with the pending 2013 Farm Bill.

In all honesty, it is important that you know my family and our support-chain and advocates will look dimly upon your candidacy if “Big-Ag” is your allegiance over small family farms.

Sincerely yours,

Brian Burger, Coburn

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