Spring is almost here — Don’t miss these great March workshops!

March 10, 2014 in Community Events, Community Resources, Uncategorized

 

Seedling_Cyanotype_1-150x150START GROWING WITH PASA’s SUSTAINABILITY  SCHOOL PARTNERS!

PASA’s Sustainability Schools continue through the spring with a great line up up of workshops on American Beef, Bread Making, Charcuterie, Star Gazing and Backyard Mushrooms! Scroll down for a complete listing and register today!

Thanks is due to all our partners: Fair FoodIMBY at Misty HollowChatham University’s Food, Farm, and Field ProgramCountry Barn FarmDickinson College FarmEast End Food Co-op, Eastern PA Permaculture GuildGreener PartnersJennings Environmental Education Center, the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester CountyPennypack Farm & Education CenterSpring 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!

    • April 23, 2014
      • Parenting by Connection @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • April 25, 2014
      • A Week of Vegetables -- Friday Night Out @ IMBY
        Location: In My Back Yard at Misty Hollow Farm -- 1020 East Street Road, West Chester, PA
    • April 26, 2014
      • Wildflower Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp RD, Avondale, PA).
      • Successful Organic Fruit In Your Own Backyard @IMBY Misty Hollow
        Location: IMBYat Misty Hollow Farm 1020 East Street Rd. West Chester, Pa.
      • Shiitake Workshop @ Master of Arts in Food Studies / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham University’s Eden Hall Farm, 6035 Ridge Road, Gibsonia, PA 15044
      • SOLD OUT -- Gnocchi 101 @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
      • Living History Hike @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Starting location: Chandler Mill Bridge (Kennett Square, PA).
    • April 30, 2014
      • Small Space Gardening @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • May 4, 2014
    • May 5, 2014
    • May 7, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 12, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 14, 2014
    • May 17, 2014
      • Open Hive Day @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: New Leaf Eco Center (776 Rosedale Rd, Kennett Square, PA).
    • May 21, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 23, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 24, 2014
      • Cool Season Grass Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve: 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311
    • May 31, 2014
      • Medinal Plant Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA)
      • Stalking Wild Edibles @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • June 1, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 8, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 21, 2014
      • Ladybugs and Toads and Bees, Oh My! Cultivating Biodiversity and Crop Health @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • July 6, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 3, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 9, 2014
      • Simple Salsa in a Jar @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007.
    • September 7, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • September 13, 2014
      • The Skinny on Sauerkraut @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • October 11, 2014
      • Gluten-Free Baking for Beginners @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • November 1, 2014
      • Thanksgiving Centerpieces from your Garden @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007

Partner sites:

Fair Food

IMBY at Misty Hollow

Chatham University Food Farm Field Program

Country Barn Farm

Jennings Environmental Education Center

Pennypack Farm & Education Center

Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County

Greener Partners

Dickinson College Farm

Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild

Spring Creek Homesteading

Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living

2014 PASA Sustainability School Programs — February Update

February 10, 2014 in Community Events, Community Resources, Community Support for PASA, Film Series, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

Scudder_Stevens_-_DSCF0088-225x300Sustain the winter wonder!

PASA’s Sustainability Schools kick off 2014 with a series great work shops, films and more! Scroll down for a complete listing register today!

Thanks is due to all our partners: Chatham University’s Food, Farm, and Field Program, Country Barn Farm, Dickinson College Farm, East End Food Co-op, Eastern PA Permaculture Guild, Greener Partners, Home Grown Institute, 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!

    • April 23, 2014
      • Parenting by Connection @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • April 25, 2014
      • A Week of Vegetables -- Friday Night Out @ IMBY
        Location: In My Back Yard at Misty Hollow Farm -- 1020 East Street Road, West Chester, PA
    • April 26, 2014
      • Wildflower Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp RD, Avondale, PA).
      • Successful Organic Fruit In Your Own Backyard @IMBY Misty Hollow
        Location: IMBYat Misty Hollow Farm 1020 East Street Rd. West Chester, Pa.
      • Shiitake Workshop @ Master of Arts in Food Studies / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham University’s Eden Hall Farm, 6035 Ridge Road, Gibsonia, PA 15044
      • SOLD OUT -- Gnocchi 101 @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
      • Living History Hike @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Starting location: Chandler Mill Bridge (Kennett Square, PA).
    • April 30, 2014
      • Small Space Gardening @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • May 4, 2014
    • May 5, 2014
    • May 7, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 12, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 14, 2014
    • May 17, 2014
      • Open Hive Day @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: New Leaf Eco Center (776 Rosedale Rd, Kennett Square, PA).
    • May 21, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 23, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 24, 2014
      • Cool Season Grass Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve: 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311
    • May 31, 2014
      • Medinal Plant Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA)
      • Stalking Wild Edibles @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • June 1, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 8, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 21, 2014
      • Ladybugs and Toads and Bees, Oh My! Cultivating Biodiversity and Crop Health @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • July 6, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 3, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 9, 2014
      • Simple Salsa in a Jar @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007.
    • September 7, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • September 13, 2014
      • The Skinny on Sauerkraut @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • October 11, 2014
      • Gluten-Free Baking for Beginners @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • November 1, 2014
      • Thanksgiving Centerpieces from your Garden @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007

Partner sites:

Chatham University Food Farm Field Program

Country Barn Farm

Jennings Environmental Education Center

Pennypack Farm & Education Center

Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County

Greener Partners

Dickinson College Farm

Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild

Spring Creek Homesteading

Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living

Reignite your passion for living sustainably in 2014!

December 17, 2013 in Community Events, Uncategorized

Attend PASA’s 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference – February 5-8, 2014

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is hosting its 23rd  annual Farming for the Future Conference at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA. This is PASA’s signature event and widely regarded as the best of its kind in the East. The Farming for the Future Conference brings together an audience of over 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists and business and community leaders annually.

Featured Speakers:

daphne_speaker1Daphne Miller, MD
Opening Keynoter, Friday Morning

In her latest book, Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing, Miller discovers how learning from sustainable farmers can make her a better doctor. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

miguel_speakerMiguel A. Altieri
PASAbilities Main Speaker, Saturday Morning

He is the author of more than 200 publications, and numerous books including Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture and BiodiversityPest Management in Agroecosystems and Agroecology and the Search for a Truly Sustainable Agriculture. Read more…

This is it. Let’s fix FSMA together! — the comment period closes tomorrow at 11:59 pm

November 14, 2013 in Take Action, Uncategorized

(From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)

TWO DAYS LEFT!

That’s how long you have left to make your voice heard on the Food Safety Modernization Act – new food safety regulations that will unfairly burden family farmers, target sustainable and organic farming, and reduce the availability of fresh, local food in our communities.

These rules put us on a path to: 

  • put many farms out of business;

  • reduce the supply of fresh, local produce in schools and hospitals;

  • push farmers to tear out wildlife habitat; and

  • increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers.

The good news is that we’ve got a chance to fix this – the Food and Drug Administration is asking for comments from people like YOU before the rules become final law!  But the comment period closes at 11:59pm this Friday, November 15. We’re running out of time to have an impact on what these rules look like – so don’t delay. Submit a comment to fix FSMA today. Here’s how:

1. Get informed. If you’re new to this issue – or just feeling iffy on some of the details – we’ve got you covered. Read our Top 10 Problems with FSMA, or check out our issue pages for some of the real nitty gritty. Farmers and food entrepreneurs should check out our “am I affected?” information too.

2. Take action. OK, here’s the deal – submitting a comment takes a little longer than simply sending a form email. But FDA will read every single submission, and it takes only a few moments! We’ve put together templates for farmers and consumers to help you customize your comment. Basically, in as few or many words as you like, you’ll want to share your concerns about the rules. You have a story to tell – about your food business, favorite farmer, or the role that local produce plays in your community – and it’s critical to share it with the FDA so they understand how many people from across the country are taking note of these rules and demanding that they work for sustainable agriculture!

3. Be sure to submit (or postmark) your comment by the deadline: November 15, 2013. There are two ways to submit:

  • Electronically. Submit one copy of your comments to the Produce Rule and one to thePreventive Controls Rule. We have more detailed instructions online here that walk you through the simple process!

  • Snail mail. Send a hard copy of your comments to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061 Rockville, MD 20852

That’s it! Have last-minute questions? We’re here to help at fsma@sustainableagriculture.net. Two days. This is it. Let’s fix FSMA together. Sincerely, The NSAC Food Safety Team P.S. Have you already submitted a comment? Fantastic! You’re the best! Help us spread the word via Facebook and Twitter, too!

Sustainability Schools — October and November Update!

October 2, 2013 in Community Events, Community Resources, Sustainability Schools

Fall into learning!

fall foliage

Our Sustainability School Partners are offering all sorts of fun learning experiences for kids and adults this Autumn. From Origami Dragonflies with the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County to lessons on Backyard Chickens from Dickinson College Farm  and  the Country Barn Farm, there is something for everyone. Scroll down for a complete listing.

Thanks is due to all our partners: The Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County, Country Barn FarmGreener PartnersDickinson College FarmQuiet Creek Herb FarmSpring Creek HomesteadingEastern PA Permaculture GuildHome Grown InstituteJennings Environmental Education Center and Pennypack Farm & Education Center.

 

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

    • April 23, 2014
      • Parenting by Connection @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • April 25, 2014
      • A Week of Vegetables -- Friday Night Out @ IMBY
        Location: In My Back Yard at Misty Hollow Farm -- 1020 East Street Road, West Chester, PA
    • April 26, 2014
      • Wildflower Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp RD, Avondale, PA).
      • Successful Organic Fruit In Your Own Backyard @IMBY Misty Hollow
        Location: IMBYat Misty Hollow Farm 1020 East Street Rd. West Chester, Pa.
      • Shiitake Workshop @ Master of Arts in Food Studies / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham University’s Eden Hall Farm, 6035 Ridge Road, Gibsonia, PA 15044
      • SOLD OUT -- Gnocchi 101 @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
      • Living History Hike @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Starting location: Chandler Mill Bridge (Kennett Square, PA).
    • April 30, 2014
      • Small Space Gardening @ East End Food Co-op
        Location: East End Food Co-Op, Meade Street, Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    • May 4, 2014
    • May 5, 2014
    • May 7, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 12, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 14, 2014
    • May 17, 2014
      • Open Hive Day @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: New Leaf Eco Center (776 Rosedale Rd, Kennett Square, PA).
    • May 21, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 23, 2014
      • Continuing... Tree Care Series @ Master of Art in Food Science / Chatham University
        Location: Chatham’s Eden hall Campus
    • May 24, 2014
      • Cool Season Grass Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve: 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311
    • May 31, 2014
      • Medinal Plant Walk @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA)
      • Stalking Wild Edibles @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • June 1, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 8, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • June 21, 2014
      • Ladybugs and Toads and Bees, Oh My! Cultivating Biodiversity and Crop Health @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • July 6, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 3, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • August 9, 2014
      • Simple Salsa in a Jar @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007.
    • September 7, 2014
      • Sharing Nature With Children @ the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County
        Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311)
    • September 13, 2014
      • The Skinny on Sauerkraut @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • October 11, 2014
      • Gluten-Free Baking for Beginners @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
    • November 1, 2014
      • Thanksgiving Centerpieces from your Garden @ Dickinson College Farm
        Location: Dickinson College Farm, located at 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007

Partner sites:

Chatham University Food Farm Field Program

Country Barn Farm

Jennings Environmental Education Center

Pennypack Farm & Education Center

Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County

Greener Partners

Dickinson College Farm

Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild

Spring Creek Homesteading

Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living

Welcome Country Barn Farm!

July 31, 2013 in Community Resources, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

CBF_sqare_logo100PASA’s Good Food Neighborhood welcomes our latest Sustainability Schools partner, the Country Barn Farm just north of  Pittsburgh.

The Country Barn Farm is a family farm,  tended by the Zgurzynski family with a keen focus on beekeeping, organic gardening, and sustainable agriculture. Joseph Zgurzynski  is a second generation beekeeper with a lifelong interest in beekeeping and entomology.  He manages beehives on the farm to  produce raw honey that is lightly filtered and never heated, so we are able to offer the sweetest natural food in the world at peak flavor and nutritional benefit.

Joe is certified as a Master Beekeeper, with the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America and a member of Burgh Bees, Beaver Valley Area Beekeepers Association and the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association.  Joe offers beekeeping classes and equipment throughout the year.

 

Learn to “Harness the Sun” — Saturday, July 27th — POSTPONED UNTIL FALL

July 22, 2013 in Community Events, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

Harness the Sun!
July 27th, 2:00-4:00pm

Dickinson College Farm – 553 Park Drive, Boiling Springs, PA 17007

$6 PASA or DC Farm CSA member/$8 non-member

Register: http://harnessthesun.brownpapertickets.com/

Ever dreamed of building your own solar shower? How about a solar oven? Curious how solar panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity? This Saturday, learn homesteading skills that utilize Earth’s most abundant source of energy: the sun!

A complimentary in-depth solar tour of Dickinson College Farm will be led by Assistant Manager Matt Steiman  at the conclusion of the main workshop.

 

An Interview with Shannon Hayes – Radical!

August 9, 2012 in Author Series, Sustainability Schools, Uncategorized

Author Shannon Hayes writes and farms with her family on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in upstate New York. The family raises grassfed lamb, beef, pork, and poultry. She blogs for Yes! Magazine and is the author of Radical Homemakers, Grassfed Gourmet, Farmer and the Grill, and (upcoming) Long Way on a Little.

Earlier this year, Shannon delivered the PASAbilities plenary address at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA’s) Farming for the Future Conference. She wowed us with her thought-provoking message on the concept of radical homemaking. There was such an overwhelmingly positive response to her address, I thought it essential to follow up with Shannon who graciously agreed to be interviewed and offers this additional insight into her life’s work:

Shannon, my first introduction to your work was through friends Jonas and Judy Stoltzfus, farmers who pasture beef cattle in Pennsylvania (JuJo Acres). I remember how excited they were to offer your Grassfed Gourmet cookbook to their customers. With your cookbook as a reference, I learned a great deal about how to prepare grassfed meat in order to end up with something very tender and delicious. One of my favorite things about that book doesn’t actually have to do with the recipes. It’s the “View from the Farm” snippets that appear throughout. It’s unusual for a cookbook to include such treasures. What went into the thinking about including them?
I’m so pleased you thought to ask this question!  I think that now, with the local food movement in full force, such a perspective in a cookbook is not all that unusual.  But back then, it was actually controversial, because there was a clear interest in the publishing world to make sure that Americans didn’t have to draw any connections between the food on their plates and the big brown eyes of the gentle creature that provided it, or the farmer that led that animal to slaughter.  Glossy magazines could snap romantic images of veggie growers and artisan cheesemakers, but livestock folks were just too close for comfort for mainstream press.  Back then, mainstream culture preferred to think of burgers without the beef – or the chicken breasts without the bird.  But I felt that telling the stories of the farmers was essential for people to gain an understanding of what went into good food.  Flavor, nutrition, and healing our land all begins with the farm.  I didn’t feel I could get that message across without first telling the farmers’ stories, and the stories of their animals.

Do you have a favorite recipe or two from your cookbooks that you like to prepare?
My weekly menus all come from my cookbooks.  All the recipes I’ve written were done in the context of a moderately chaotic, home-centered, farm-centered lifestyle.  My family has had to make some dietary adjustments over the years to accommodate for grain/gluten free living, and I’ve had to get more savvy about being less wasteful with my food.  Thus, a lot of what I cook lately comes from “Long Way on a Little” (due out October 12 and available for pre-order) as it contains accommodations for these needs, but there are still fundamental techniques from “Grassfed Gourmet” and “Farmer and the Grill” that will never die.

In Grassfed Gourmet, you also talk about the social benefits of the grassfed meat movement. For our readers who not familiar with your cookbook, what are some of those benefits? Why should we care about these benefits?
There are so many benefits; it is hard to list them …without writing an entire book on the subject!  Grassfed meats, raised by local farmers, help to protect our landscapes and watershed, they increase the organic matter in our soils, keeping our regions more resilient in times of drought and flood.  The working conditions are better for farmers (and the livestock) because they are out in the open air (rather than in confined settings, as in factory farming).  In these hard economic times, the local grassfed meat movement becomes even more crucial.  We are creating a sustainable economy that is able to function locally outside the whims of the larger global economy.  We are able to be more responsive to people’s needs.  I know a lot of grass farmers who ask for a fair wage for their efforts, but also find ways to share their abundance with those in need – by donating meat to homeless shelters, quietly slipping extra food into the bags of customers who are facing hard times, raising animals and giving them away to good causes.  Local grass farms are fully invested in their communities, making them better environmentally and socially.

One last question on cooking: is there a “cardinal rule” for cooking grassfed meats? If so, what is it?
Don’t over-cook it.  The temperature guidelines I recommend for reliably-sourced grassfed meat are significantly different from the USDA recommended temperatures.  It makes all the difference to have meat cooked to the correct internal temperature!

In your last book, Radical Homemakers, you present a well-argued point that men traditionally played as much of a role in “homemaking” as women. Do you see many young families embracing this approach these days?
Absolutely.  In nearly all the households I visited, if a man was part of the family dynamic, he was doing as much to keep up the home as the woman was.  I don’t think it is even so much a matter of “embracing” it any longer.  I think many young families simply understand this as a given.  If there wasn’t a balance of labor in the household, the marriage wouldn’t still be going on!

Is there a story you’ve heard of homemakers since your book came out that is particularly inspiring or heartening?
That book came out 2 years ago, and I still receive more and more stories every week.  If there is a heartening tale to tell, it is in their growing numbers.  It thrills me to flip on my computer and receive messages from new people every week who are finding ways to make their lives more meaningful, joyful and ecologically sound.

Radical Homemakers also played a prominent role in your talks at the PASA Farming for the Future Conference this year. So many people, particularly male farmers, who weren’t sure what you had to deliver would resonate with them have commented on what an inspiring talk it was. What do you hope farming families take away from your message? What do you hope the non-farming community takes away?
We are facing times of incredible change.  Each of us has come to the earth at this point in time to play a part in this transition; to help the human race become a beneficent species on the planet.  That means we have to adapt to a redefined resource base, to climate change, to limited fossil fuels.  All these things are possible.  And I truly believe that life as human beings can be better than it ever was as a result.  But we will have to endure some pain and make full use of our minds, bodies and spirits to enable this adaptation.  Sometimes we can get swallowed by that pain, and our cynicism and fear can override our hope, paralyzing us from making the progress that is necessary.  We have to keep our attention on the good life that can result from going through this great turning.  That is what will give us the strength to move forward.  If there is something I hope people take away from my talks, whether they are farming or not, it is this.

Something you mentioned in a workshop you led at the Conference had to do with the radical act of hanging a clothesline. Can you talk more about that?
Ah!  For some it is more radical than others!  Out here in the country, you’re thought a fool if you toss your skivvies in the dryer.  But in many parts of this country, clotheslines are considered unsightly and hanging out laundry is against local codes.  Thoreau wrote, “Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”  Obliging citizens to engage in the act of putting their clothes into an electric dryer requires that we harm the earth in order to adhere to the law.  In my estimation, transgression is imperative (as well as endeavoring to make change) – for the folks who face these laws directly, that’s pretty radical and scary.

David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning, reviewed Radical Homemakers as “Brilliant, visionary, and practical. This is a mind-bending book that will forever change your view of human possibility and compel you to rethink your life…” At the end of the day, a day that probably involves any number of responsibilities on your farm that surely stretch you, yourself, in innumerable ways, what are your reflections on the impact you have had on other people’s lives?
Golly.  I guess I don’t think about the impact I’ve had on other people’s lives that much.  I tend to ask myself if I’ve lived each day in accordance with my heart and conscience.  I feel that part of my “life’s calling,” if you will, is to be a storyteller and a communicator, but in that sense, I am merely a conduit for allowing others to think through their own lives.  My raspberry patch, my lamb chops, my life with my parents, my husband and my kids are just a daily life that is uniquely mine.  No one needs to do what I do in the exact way that I do it.  I just hope that my willingness to reflect on it in my writing and my talks inspires people to think about their own daily world, and to make the changes they feel in their hearts are most important.

In 2010, you published an online article titled, “The Work Ahead.” My favorite line from that article is, “It is the physical work that puts us in tune with the rhythms of nature and sharpens our powers of observation to detect problems.” In many ways, for me, this observation speaks to exactly what is necessary to keep us from going awry as humans. Do you feel hopeful or fearful about the direction we are taking as a planet?
I have to feel hopeful.  Hope is a renewable resource, and if we don’t spend it, we will be frozen in place by despair.  And that will only guarantee failure as the human race adapts to these changing times.

 Reaching an online audience clearly has it benefits and limitations. What are your thoughts on the role your blog at shannonhayes.info plays in your ability to connect with the broader community with regard to moving forward and deepening understanding? What are the differences from connecting through other avenues?
I was extremely reluctant to become a blogger.  I didn’t feel I had something to say each week, and I felt that it was better to connect personally with folks.  But I cannot connect personally with folks on any kind of predictable basis and take care of the home/farm/family life I advocate for so strongly.  I’ve learned that if I make the time to blog, my readers fuel my writing, giving me ideas on subjects to tackle and ways that I can expand my thinking.  It also becomes a weekly connection for people, who then use the posts as a platform for engaging in dialog with people who may not have considered some of these ideas yet.  That’s pretty powerful.  At the same time, I am able to keep my attention focused on my roots here.  I guess the blog enables me to team up with readers, and gives us a tool to work together for bringing about greater change and touching more people.

That said, there is nothing that can compare with going out in public and meeting people, getting hugs, hearing their beautiful stories and seeing the light in their eyes as they go after the life they want.  It reminds me that I’m not alone in this work.  Better still, I tend to get a lot of good information from the folks I meet – suggestions on books to read, techniques to try with my kids, in my garden, or on the farm, ideas for doing this differently.  That’s all terrific stuff.  But if I do too much of that, then I am not keeping my own home fires alive.  Thus, the blog has been tremendously helpful to me in maintaining a healthy balance.

 In addition to writing and speaking publicly, farming with your family clearly plays a major role in your life. What does it mean to you to be part of a three-generation farm? What stage is being set for your daughters’ futures with sustaining this commitment?
If we didn’t have multiple generations on this farm, I wouldn’t be sitting here answering interview questions or writing books.  From the time I was very young, my parents recognized that I was a rather communicative artsy-creative type.  I married a communicative artsy-creative type.  Most folks like that don’t find their way to a farm.  But by being part of multiple generations, Bob and I were able to bring our creativity to the enterprise.  We are able to help with the chicken processing, sell the pork chops, and still do creative work like writing and publishing books, weaving baskets, and playing music.  At the same time, if Bob and I weren’t with the farm, my parents wouldn’t be selling meat at the local farmers’ market, they wouldn’t have their vacations, and they’d probably have collapsed from the exhaustion by now.

Three generations on the land gives everyone time to rest and play, and gives everyone an opportunity to take nourishment from the deeply pleasurable work that is involved.  It enables us to have our own creative and intellectual outlets without being swallowed up by a family business.

As for my girls, of course I cannot control their future choices.  But I see a wonderful future for them here.  My oldest is an artist to her core.  I see the farm as a way to support that lifestyle, and we’ve come to see how valuable it is to the land and business to have an artist involved.  She does our wool displays, works with her dad in setting up the retail space so that it is visually appealing, helps with signs, and readily takes any young children who come with customers out to play safely so that their parents can enjoy their visit.  My youngest (who is 5) is already a hard-core salesperson.  She moves so many of my candles, soaps, salves and books that I pay her a commission.  I think she’d sell the meat, too, but she is too short to reach the product display.  It thrills her to engage with people, talk to them about their needs and interests, and to help them find what they are looking for.  She’s also amazingly strong and can carry water buckets like nobody’s business.

That’s a long way of saying that they are already incredibly valuable to us.  So while I cannot control what they will choose to do in the future, I can make sure that they understand the importance of their contributions, and I can take advantage of the three generations we have on this land to take them away on fantastic adventures (we went to Europe for 7 weeks this past winter), so that they fully see and enjoy this world.  My theory on that is that if they see it and know it, and understand that the rest of the world is not denied to them, then the farm becomes the path toward greater enjoyment of their lives…not a prison.

What inspires you?
Ahhh…so much.  Where would I start?  My morning walk with my dog, picking berries, stacking firewood, a phone call from a friend, lunch on the back porch with my parents,  laying my head in my husband’s lap at the end of the day, watching my daughters teach themselves something new…I find inspiration in every little mundane thing. Except traffic.  I don’t find traffic congestion particularly inspiring.  So I try to avoid traffic congestion.

Perhaps mundane, perhaps profound, what is something that would surprise us about your day-to-day life?
If it would be a surprise, then it means I didn’t want you to know about it, right? (she smiles)

Point taken! So, what’s on the horizon for you?
I’m very excited to be bringing out “Long Way on a Little” this fall.  The book has taken me four years to write, and has been the most transformative cookbook in my career.   I’ve had to learn how to eliminate my own kitchen waste by challenging myself to figure out how to use my leftovers. I’ve had to figure out how to make prudent use of the bones and fat on the animals and how to do it all with the myriad dietary restrictions so many Americans are confronting (my family included).  I’ve fallen in love with this book!

How can people find your work and keep an eye out for what you are up to?
People can read my articles and buy books at grassfedcooking.com and shannonhayes.info.  They are also available through Chelsea Green Publishing and they can buy electronic copies of my works through any of the major online venues.

Thanks, Shannon, for giving us some insight into your life and your work.
Thank you so much for taking the time to explore these questions with me.

 

A few notes from Shannon’s website…

Shannon’s essays and articles have appeared in myriad regional and national publications, including The New York Times, The Boston Review, and Northeast Public Radio. Hayes’ quirky lifestyle, her attempts to live a life of personal accountability and sustainability, and her current research and writings about homemaking as an ecological movement have landed her and her family on the pages of the New York Times, Brain Child Magazine, Lancaster Farming, Small Farm Quarterly, Hobby Farm Home Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, Grit, Yes! Magazine, Elle Magazine, the national newspapers of Germany, Turkey and Canada, Arab News and the Pakistan Observer.

Shannon’s newest book, Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lover’s Companion for Enjoying Meat, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously, is due out from Left to Write Press on October 12. Left to Write Press, a company that Shannon and her husband Bob started as a way to enable them to live in Schoharie County without having to sell-out to corporate media, is distributed by Chelsea Green.

 

Books

Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lover’s Companion for Enjoying Meats, Pinching Pennies and Living Deliciously
Whole animal cooking for grassfed lamb, beef, pork and poultry….plus the leftovers.  Includes carbohydrate profiles, guides to grain-, legume-, and dairy-free recipes, color photography and  great information for stretching your food dollars.

Radical Homemakers
Shannon’s controversial best-seller that explores how social revolution and ecological reform begin at home.

The Farmer and the Grill
A guide to grilling, barbecuing and spit-roasting grassfed meat…and for saving the planet, one bite at a time. 

The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook
Finding, selecting, preparing and enjoying the most delicious and healthful meats for your body and the planet.

Essays

Homespun Mom Comes Unraveled
A little reality check about the glories of the good life…

The Smell of Mud Season
Featured on Northeast Public Radio

The West Fulton Turkey Supper
Featured on Northeast Public Radio

Emboucher
Featured on Northeast Public Radio

Peaches
Featured on Northeast Public Radio

A big “welcome” to our newest Sustainability Schools Partner: Eastern PA Permaculture Guild

May 7, 2012 in Sustainability Schools

We are proud to announce our newest Sustainability Schools partner: Eastern Pennsylvania Permaculture Guild (EPPG).

Organized as a Meetup Group, the EPPG focuses on Permaculture design for creating more-sustainable human environments. The group’s coordinator, Melissa Miles, says, “Permaculture offers practical solutions to many of the problems facing the world by using ecology as the basis of organizing systems of food production, housing, technology, economics and community.”

Many of the group’s workshops are sponsored by the Permanent Future Institute and are brought to EPPG and PASA members, as well as the Good Food Neighborhood, at a reduced rate. Check out their new page on our site and sign up for a workshop today!

We are so pleased to welcome the Eastern PA Permaculture Guild to our complement of Sustainability Schools workshop providers!

You can follow the EPPG on Facebook or on Twitter

PA: Philadelphia – Philly Farm & Food Fest April 1, 2012

March 14, 2012 in Community Resources

The very first Philly Farm & Food Fest opens Sunday, April 1, 2012 from 11am to 4pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex, Hall G.

A collaboration between Fair Food and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture), Philly Farm & Food Fest will feature many regional farmers, food producers, artisanal food businesses, and other providers of sustainable goods and services from across our region.

If you’re a passionate foodie (and who isn’t?) Philly Farm & Food Fest is a great opportunity to connect with farmers, artisans and food businesses – everyone dedicated to producing and preparing unique, delicious, and wholesome local foods.

It’s part education. Part community support for the people who produce our food. And 100% delicious fun.

We’ll have question and answer sessions on sustainable food and lifestyle topics.  And lots of events and activities for the whole family.

So bring the family. Bring your friends. Bring your appetite. And your best bib!

(Overalls optional)

CONTEST: Win Amazing And Delicious Prizes In the Philly Farm & Food Fest Contest!

Share photos of your “food family” for a chance to win a TREK bike or other prizes from the first Fest on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Philadelphia is known for cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and water ice – but also some of the nation’s greatest sustainable produce and agriculture. Philly’s richness in regional farming and artisanal food motivated local leaders to create the Philly Farm & Food Fest. This year marks the inaugural Philly Farm & Food Fest (PF3), a celebration featuring unique suppliers, extraordinary foods from regional farmers, food producers, and artisanal food businesses.

“I think Philly is primed and ready for the Philly Farm and Food Fest!” Ann Karlen, Executive Director of Fair Food Philly and Fest project partner.

“You’ll be amazed when you see and taste the extraordinary food from our region—it’s way more than fruits and veggies in the summer,” adds Marilyn Anthony, Eastern Regional Director for PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture), and Fest project partner.

To kick off this event, the organizers have designed an interactive contest to encourage gourmands from all walks of life to share their love of good grub. The photo contest asks people to submit the best image of their “food family,” depicting local eats, by highlighting a sustainable community and family from around the region. Finalists will be posted on March 19th for a public voting, and winners will be announced on March 28th. The grand prize for the best photo of food and fun is a TREK bicycle, donated by Subaru of America. Second prize is a Philly Farm & Food Fest goodie basket, complete with “Zip Code” honey, charcuterie, handmade biscotti, and artisan cheeses!

Contenders can submit entries from now through March 17th on the PF3’s Facebook page. Aside from the photo contest, PF3 brings together a community of farmers and enthusiastic eaters to celebrate, learn about, and enjoy the tasty variety the local food scene has to offer. Families with children are especially welcome.

“The Fest will feature the region’s finest food artisans –from established businesses like Capogiro Gelato to up-and-comers such as Market Day Canele,” says Karlen. “We’ve been plugging away for over a decade to connect local farmers to the Philly marketplace, and we are finally experiencing a change in awareness about local food and farming.”