PASA’s Good Gifts Guide / Turn Holiday Shopping Green on Black Friday!

November 28, 2014 in Community Events, Community Resources, Community Support for PASA, Local Goods / Good Gifts, Uncategorized

PASA’s Good Gifts Guide

Support Local & Regional Businesses That Support Sustainable Agriculture

Are you looking for great holiday gifts that also support local farms &
businesses? Check out PASA’s Good Gifts Guide! GoodGiftsImage2

 

As always, many thanks to our Sustainability School partners around the state:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Good Food Neighborhood wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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When you are taking a break from your holiday table this weekend, visit the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture to learn more about sustainable agriculture and our local food future. 

Safe travels and happy feasting!

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging: Because there’s nothing like the bonds formed around a good meal!

November 11, 2014 in Author Series, Community Support for PASA, Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging! PASA thanks this volunteer corp of guest bloggers, who have stepped forward to share their experiences, points of view and the goings-on in their communities with the Good Food Neighborhood. We look forward to sharing their fresh perspectives in this blog.


 

Brittany Colatrella / Pittsburgh, PA

Brittany Colatrella / Pittsburgh, PA

Because there’s nothing like the bonds formed around a good meal

A Quick Dig into GFN Blogger Brittany Colatrella’s roots

“The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” my grandmother would often say in imparting her romantic wisdom to me. In my experience, I’ve found this to be a universal truth: there’s nothing like the bonds formed around a good meal.

I am a Pittsburgh-native who is lucky to be raised by a family that nurtured a love of food. And while I have always lived to eat, my parents–both medical practitioners–also instilled in me the principles of eating to live. Good food nourishes the mind, body and soul; so I have always been an adventurous eater with a special appreciation for homegrown and homemade.

Although my career path has not led me to growing and making food for a living (at least not yet), the health and environmental benefits of organic and local are important to me. I am a conscientious consumer who reads labels, pays attention to the supply chain, and follows current issues; and I opt for sustainable produce and independent businesses as much as I can.

Like all PASA members, I am passionate about helping people lead healthier, happier lives. As a marketing professional focused on the health and wellness industry, I blend my creative zeal with my motivation to improve quality of life. Being a PASA volunteer affords me the opportunity to apply these skills to further support the entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who make it possible for consumers like me to enjoy a lifestyle of health and sustainability.

I hope the stories that I have the honor of sharing through GFN bring you moments of cheer, enlightenment, pride, incitement, and inspiration just as the PASA community does for me. What I love most about participating in PASA is getting to know members; so I’ll leave you with a “taste” of some of my favorite foodie delights:

  • Sunday evenings with the family around the dinner table, especially when Mom makes artichoke lasagna or stuffed peppers
  • Traveling to try regional cuisine
  • Learning about family recipes passed down generations
  • Indulging in my favorite treats like cheese, ice cream, dark chocolate and anything ginger
  • And shopping at markets, of course!

 

Is there a farm, supplier, restaurant, business, event or anything else noteworthy happening in the Southwestern PA region that we should highlight here? What topics on growing and making nutritious food deserve attention? Please stay in touch and keep us posted on what you like reading about on GFN!


 

As always, many thanks to our Sustainability School partners around the state:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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PASA Business Member Profile – Adam Seitz of Penns Mault / Spring Mills, PA

October 29, 2014 in Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging! PASA thanks our volunteer corp of guest bloggers, who have stepped forward to share their experiences, points of view and the goings-on in their communities with the Good Food Neighborhood. We look forward to sharing their fresh perspectives in this blog.


 

Adam Sietz

Adam Sietz / Founder of Penns Mault Distillery in Spring Mills, PA

 

“If you malt it, they will come.” 

Adam Seitz of Penns Mault / Spring Mills, PA / Centre County

     By Carrie Neuhard Lyons of State College, PA / Centre County

“Pennsylvania grown, Pennsylvania malted, Pennsylvania brewed.” This is the motto at Penns Mault, a micro-malthouse established by Adam Seitz in Spring Mills, PA.  Their mission is to produce malt using barley and other specialty grains grown exclusively by PA farmers.  Malt is the primary ingredient used to make beer. Pennsylvania hosts a growing collection of breweries, but malt is currently a missing link in the production of a truly local beer.  Brewers currently use malt that is grown and processed in the Western US, Canada, or overseas.

Adam explains, “There is a perception that we can’t make malt using Pennsylvania grown grains because our climate is not as well suited for producing malting quality barley as it is out maultwest, and because PA farmers don’t currently grow malting barley varieties.”  Adam hopes to change this perception, and is currently working with five farmers in the state to grow malting barley to be harvested in 2015.  Once harvested, the grain will be tested for several factors such as germinative capacity and protein content.  Any of the barley not suitable for malting can still be used by farmers for feed.  The barley that does meet required specs will find its way into local pint glasses during the fall of 2015.

Adam’s experiences with PASA have been instrumental in shaping his business principles.  He says, “I didn’t always think much about who or where my food came from, or how far it travelled.”  After attending his first Farming for the Future conference in 2009 as a junior at Penns State, he began to think differently though. Inspired by the common energy and passion of presenters and others in attendance, as well as by some well-timed courses at Penn State, he began to focus his thinking about food and agriculture in a more sustainable way.  Adam is passionate in his commitment to sustainability, and his business model reflects this passion right down to the wood-fired kiln he’s designing to dry malt.

Penns Valley

View of Penns Valley

 

Penns Mault recently received a USDA Local Food Promotion Program grant in order to help close the farmer to brewer and field to beer malt-processing gap that currently exists in Pennsylvania.  Doing so will help develop the malting industry in PA for other maltsters, and will create a new premium market opportunity for PA small grain farmers.  The grant will be used in part to conduct malting barley variety trials with Penns State, and will also support a PASA field day on malting to be hosted at Penns Mault’s Spring Mills location in 2016.

Let’s lift a glass to Adam and his vision of Pennsylvania grown, Pennsylvania malted, Pennsylvania brewed.  I’ll drink to that!

 

 

As always, many thanks to our Sustainability School partners around the state:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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Good Food Neighbors are Blogging: Local Growers Capture New Markets

October 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging! Over the next few months we will be introducing some guest bloggers to our Good Food Neighborhood. These PASA members are passionate about local foods and sustainable agriculture. They will be sharing their experiences, points of view, and the goings-on in their communities. We want to thank them for their contribution of time and  talent to our Good Food Neighborhood. We look forward to sharing their fresh perspectives in this blog.

If you would like to be a guest blogger in our Good Food Neighborhood, please contact Jean Najjar at jean@pasafarming.org.


Local Growers Capture New Markets

by Carla Snyder

Carla Snyder / Adams County

Carla Snyder / Adams County

Food-based tourism is more popular than ever. Exemplified by TV shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Parts Unknown, celebrity chefs are taking to the tourism circuit around the globe.  Great Britain’s Alan Coxon, a multi-award winning chef and TV show host, named the ambassador of food this month, means he will be promoting Great Britain’s food, beverage and tourism industry as a whole.

Known by many names, Gastronomic Tourism is a measured food trend across the globe.  Once focused solely on the wine industry, food-based tourism, that is travel planning focused on educational, cultural or experiential activities surrounding the local food of each visited region, is now a significant trend in the local food sector.  According to Quan and Wang, 2004, when data was just beginning to be gathered, over one-third of all travel dollars were devoted to food purchases. For many travelers culinary based tourism extends much further from the plate. It includes attendance at local food festivals, tours of local farms, a visit to the farmers’ market and private dining experiences at many of these locations.  According to 2012 Food Tourism Pic 1 (1)
data, eating-related activities are the second most favorite activity of all tourist visiting the U.S.  This translates into a substantial opportunity for agri-tourism farms as well as those selling directly to the public or local foods based restaurants.

Local farmers are cashing in on this trend in a big way, but with one-third of all tourism spending floating around waiting to be captured, the market hardly seems saturated.  If you happen to be located near an established tourism epicenter, like Gettysburg, PA, transitioning to this trend is easy. One small, diversified family farm offered their first on-farm supper in June.  Rettland Farms paired up local Chef Josh Fidler, his 154 Supper Club and Chef Sam Strock to offer a night under the stars.   Seats were opened first to their Community Supported Agriculture members, those who are already local supporters of the farm, and then to visitors at large.  Participants to this exclusive dinner were treated to a tasting menu of 6 local food dishes sure to fill their bellies and provide ample conversational topics for an educational and fun evening on the farm, the makings of a perfect tourism experience.

In New York, already a faFood Tourism Pic 3med destination for wine-focused tourism, growers are taking advantage of the new hard cider trend.  Cider Week, an event brand that has spread across the country celebrates what they deem “America’s oldest libation.”  With events from New York to Washington in the months of October and November 2014, this tourist-marketed experience offers full day celebrations gathering apple growers and hard cider makers from each region to celebrate this hip, ultra- local trend. Events offer demonstrations, tastings, local food pairings and socializing space for foodie tourists and locals a-like.

For agricultural producers, marketing to capture tourism dollars may be easier than you think. Simple changes such as telling your customers where you grow and how you sell your products may make all the difference. Producers have noticed an upswing in restaurant sales after talking to shoppers at their farmers’ market stands about which restaurants buy their products. This enables the foodie driven shopper to not only visit your stand while they take in the scene at the farmers’ market but suggests a restaurant for them to visit while in town. When it comes to tourism, word of mouth says it all.  Be sure to encourage customers that buy directly from you as well as businesses that purchase your product to promote their use of your local products on websites like tripadvisor.com and yelp.com.  One local food comment can go a long way to entice the right food-focused tourist.

 

 

 

 

“TV Celebrity Chef Becomes British Ambassador for Food Drink and Tourism”. Food and Beverage Magazine, May 2014. Fb101.com

Quan, Shuai and Wang. “Towards a structural model of the tourist experience: an illustration from food experiences in tourism.” Tourism Management Vol. 25, Issue 3 (June 2004): page 297-305. Web.

World Tourism Organization. “Global Report on Food Tourism.” AM Reports: Volume 4 (2012). Web.

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging: Visiting Green Meadow Farm

October 7, 2014 in Author Series, Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging! Over the next few months we will be introducing some guest bloggers to our Good Food Neighborhood. These PASA members are passionate about local foods and sustainable agriculture. They will be sharing their experiences, points of view, and the goings on in their communities. We want to thank them for their contribution of time and  talent to our Good Food Neighborhood. We look forward to sharing their fresh perspectives in this blog.

If you would like to be a guest blogger in our Good Food Neighborhood please contact Jean Najjar at jean@pasafarming.org.

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Visiting Green Meadow Farm

by Lisa Goodale-Brinton of Chester County

Lisa.head.gfn

Lisa Goodale-Brinton / Chester County

It is a welcome gratification to visit a farm that is thriving both economically and culturally. Green Meadows Farm run by father and son, Glenn and Ian Brendle, respectively, near Gap, PA., is such a model. Green Meadows is one of Pennsylvania’s original farm to table businesses, in existence since 1981. I have wanted to tour the farm for several years, hearing frequent reports from a friend who works there, and who also helps my husband sustainably dig spring ramps, many of which are in turn sourced by Green Meadows for customers in Philadelphia. In particular, I have wanted to see how they grow their fig trees as I have a small portable orchard that spends the winter in the greenhouse and the summer outside.

It is refreshing to find a large scale organic farmer who plants directly in the ground, cultivating between the rows rather than the industrial model of mass plastic smothered fields. The farm utilizes several greenhouses as well that are heated with recycled fryer oil in the winters and cooled with exhaust

The upper gardens looking east

The upper gardens looking east in the summer.

The herb field was plentiful and humming with pollinators, populated by classic herb choices and specialty choices, to please the ever expanding tastes of modern chefs. This theme of providing the unusual, alongside of the dependable choices, pervades all of the growing fields and greenhouses. We enjoyed tasting some items new to us, such as: Shungiku, whose leaves taste like carrots, Papallo, a Cilantro replacement in Guacamole, and the tantalizing leaves of Cardamon. Another cultivar that piqued my interest was Tromboncini squash, which as the name suggests, is shaped like a trombone.

Glenn Brendle

Glenn Brendle: Lifetime PASA Member and owner of Green Meadow Farm

Returning to the farmhouse after our tour, I noticed what looked to be an ancient Asian pear tree. Glenn told us the fascinating story of this tree which turns out to be what is believed to be the oldest surviving Hosenshank Pear, roughly 250 years old. Named after John Shank from the Mt. Joy area, this pear was popularly used for canning and cider, circa 1820. Apparently Mr. Shank always wore britches (or hosens) hence the name Hosenshank. Cuttings from this tree were sent to the University of Michigan where the stock has been revived. These are the kinds of stories that give me faith for a future.

I did not find a magic trick for growing my Mediterranean loving figs in Pennsylvania, in fact Green Meadows has cultivated them in the same manner I have; a few left in the ground that do better after mild winters and are slow to rebound after polar vortexes, or the more reliable survival method of ” in for the winter and out for the summer”. Either way a bumper crop of figs grown in Pennsylvania remains a serendipitous event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainability Schools / October-November

October 2, 2014 in Community Events, Community Resources, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

Check out the Sfall foliageustainability School Programs in October – November:

PASA’s Sustainability School Partners: Quiet Creek Herb Farm, East End Food Co-op, Dickinson College Farm and Country Barn Farm will enrich the season with programs on a variety of topics including: Medicinal Herbs, Exploring Fair Trade, DIY Composting, Organic on a Budget, One Pot Wonders, Thanksgiving Centerpieces, and Backyard Chickens.

 

 

 

Scroll down to see the complete calendar:

As always, many thanks to our Sustainability School partners around the state:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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Savor September with Sustainability Schools and Local Food Celebrations!

September 2, 2014 in Community Events, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

SO MUCH TO DO IN SEPTEMBER!

image002Local Foods Month in Pittsburgh! Celebrate the local bounty in Western PA, with a variety of fun events. Follow this link for more information.

sauerkraut_JoePhoto_flickr-1024x676

Sustainability Schools are offering great programming this month including Beginning Beekeeping at the Country Barn Farm, Sharing Nature with Children at the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County and tsaving the seasonimely workshops on  preserving the season: Get the Skinny on Sauerkraut at Dickinson College Farm or learn about Saving the Season at East End Food Coop. Scroll down to see the whole calendar.

And don’t forget Chester County Bike Fresh coming up on September 21st.

9.24.13 056

 

 

As always, many thanks to our Sustainability School partners around the state:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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Get the Scoop From Your Good Food Neighbors!

August 18, 2014 in Community Support for PASA, Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized

Good Food Neighbors are Blogging! Over the next few months we will be introducing some guest bloggers to our Good Food Neighborhood. These PASA members are passionate about local foods and sustainable agriculture. They will be sharing their experiences, points of view, and the goings on in their communities. We want to thank them for their contribution of time and  talent to our Good Food Neighborhood. We look forward to sharing their fresh perspectives in this blog.

If you would like to be a guest blogger in our Good Food Neighborhood please contact Jean Najjar at jean@pasafarming.org.


 

Hello Fellow Local Foodies!!!

Arlene Thayer / York County

Arlene Thayer / York County

My name is Arlene Thayer, a resident of beautiful South Central Pennsylvania, passionate local foodie, fiber artist and blogger.  I’ve stepped up to the plate to be a regular contributor in the Good Food Neighborhood to share my local food finds, recipes and reflections on the incredible bounty of the region.Chocolate_Mousse.jpg We’re kicking off my contributions here with a little bit about myself and the types of posts that will be coming your way from me.

I’ve loved good food for as long as I can remember born into a family where the women were all very good cooks.

My mother was a rather adventurous cook.  She was an avid reader of cooking magazines and many weekends were spent in pursuit of cooking through a slew of new recipes.  I can remember vividly a series of experiments where we went in search of the perfect chocolate mousse recipe.  There are worse ways to spend one’s time, right?

Now, while my mother would try anything and everything in the kitchen, my maternal grandmother was a different story.  Evelyn Mary pretty much stuck to the basics but oh, they were so good.  And, since she was raised in Delaware, right where Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania converge, her repertoire was heavily influenced by the foods and dishes of the region including favorites like: ham salad, chicken with slippery dumplings, and stewed tomatoes.

Corn.jpg

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from my grandmother was the importance of buying and using locally raised and grown food stuffs.  For example, when corn was in season, she had a particular farm stand where she liked to buy corn.  The corn had to be from THAT farm stand.  The quality of the corn could be measured by what my grandfather put on the corn.  “OK” corn would be eaten with the additions of butter, salt, and pepper.  “Good” corn would be eaten with salt and pepper.  “Very Good” corn would get a dash of salt.  But, the “Best” corn would be eaten without anything else added.

“Best” corn is only possible when you know where THAT farm stand is.  And, so, this is what my type of posts are going to be about.  My husband and I are passionate about exploring and discovering the treasures of our region.  We feel incredibly lucky to live in the South Central Pennsylvania region which is a true treasure trove of wonderful locally produced food products.  Please feel free to share your finds with me too by commenting on the posts and sharing on the Facebook page .  If you are a producer, please email me at arc382001@yahoo.com so I can check you out!

 

July and August – Fun Learning is happening in your Good Food Neighborhood!

July 18, 2014 in Community Events, Community Resources, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

 

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Summer Salsa at Dickindon (JeffreyWW, Flickr User)

Summer is speeding past — don’t miss these great sustainability programs and fun events!

The weather has been fine and PASA’s Sustainability Schools are offering great programs to fill out July and August! Check out what’s happening in your neighborhood!  This weekend Earthen Building Intensive at Quiet Creek Herb Farm and Varroa Mite Treatments at Country Barn Farm. Wrap up July with the Science Behind Raw Foods & Juicing at East End Food Co-op! August brings a continuation of the Sharing Nature with Children Series at the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County. Delve into Wild Edibles, Medicinals, and Mushrooms at Quiet Creek Herb Farm or take a fresh look at Simple Salsa in a Jar at Dickinson College Farm. There are also lots of cool opportunities for kids and the whole family! Check out the programs near you!

 Scroll down for a complete listing of upcoming events and register today!

Thanks is due to all our partners:

 Chatham University’s Master of Arts in Food Study,

 Country Barn Farm,

 Dickinson College Farm,

East End Food Co-op,

Eastern PA Permaculture Guild,

Fair Food,

Glade Run Adventures,

IMBY at Misty Hollow Farm 

Jennings Environmental Education Center,

 the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County,

Pennypack Farm & Education Center,

 Spring Creek Homesteading,

and Quiet Creek Herb Farm.

Visit our main Sustainability Schools page for more information or follow the links above to visit each partner’s page for workshops near you!

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