York’s Farm To City Features Food, Wine And Music

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With so many farms just a short drive from downtown York, organizers of this year’s Farm to City Dinner say there’s no excuse for not eating locally grown food.

For the second year in a row, three local nonprofits are teaming up to show how easy and affordable it can be to support local agriculture.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the Horn Farm Center is joining York County Buy Fresh Buy Local and the Healthy World Café in closing off North Beaver Street in York for an afternoon feast, complete with wine and music, showcasing area farms through a sampling of their meat and produce.

At $65 a plate, organizers said it’s cheaper than similar dinners held in other cities; and they noted that purchasing produce and other food from local farms doesn’t have to break the bank.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26649508/yorks-farm-city-features-food-wine-and-music

Pennsylvania Boasts Progressive Movement To Preserve Farmland

Picture 487Before Bill Iams began raising beef cattle and planting acres of hay on a farm in southern Washington County, five generations worked the soil and raised livestock there.

Soon, Iams hopes to ensure the 155 acres in Amwell, which the king of England granted to his ancestors before the American Revolution, remain farmland forever.

“Look around at the changes in this area over the last 50 years, especially in the Washington area. North on Route 19 was all farms,” said Iams, 57, owner of Log Cabin Fence Co., a farming supply business off Interstate 79 in Amity. “Now you’ve got malls and everything else going on but farming.”

Iams awaits approval by a state committee to sell development rights to his farm to Washington County through the county’s Farmland Preservation Program, part of a statewide initiative to make certain that fertile land is used for agriculture.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/washington/6506932-74/farms-county-iams#ixzz39RSdt66P
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York County’s Cherry Crop ‘Almost Non-Existent’ This Year, Growers Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A homemade cherry pie or a warm cherry pudding made with locally grown, fresh picked York County cherries might not be happening this year.

“Almost non-existent,” is the answer from local growers questioned about this year’s crop.

The bad news is there are almost no local sweet or sour cherries to be found.

Blame it on those two nights in April when the temperature dipped to 24 degrees.

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_25986785/york-countys-cherry-crop-almost-non-existent-this

The Lancaster Food Scene, ‘Totally Happening’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LANCASTER, PA – Amish buggies and all-you-can-eat buffets. Those are the images that have long defined Lancaster County for most outsiders – with the added bonus of outlet shopping.

And there is ample truth to feed the cliches along the tourist honky-tonk of Lincoln Highway, where faux windmills spin over signs touting shoofly pies, and seniors come by the busload to gorge on bargain smorgasbords of brown-buttered noodles, gloppy gravy platters, and dry roast chicken.

But there’s another, far more sophisticated food culture finally sprouting through Lancaster’s famously fertile earth. From the Italian red corn and fraises des bois strawberries blossoming on Tom Culton’s farm of rare heirloom wonders in Silver Spring, to the whole-animal cookery at John J. Jeffries restaurant, a thriving beer culture, a bustling historic Central Market, and a growing downtown scene of food artisans, there is a palpable new excitement here when it comes to the pleasures of the table, and the drinks beyond.

“Lancaster is totally happening now,” says Andrew Martin, who in December opened a rye distillery called Thistle Finch in a rehabbed old tobacco warehouse. Set back on an obscure downtown side street, and marked only by a black-painted bird on the building’s exterior, a speakeasy-style bar open three nights a week pours cocktails with the spicy but smooth white liquor made just feet away in Martin’s handmade copper still.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/food/20140424_LANCASTER___TOTALLY_HAPPENING_.html#U7t2kvepWf8Xyclv.99

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2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show Starts January 4th In Harrisburg

The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs Jan. 4 through Jan. 11 at the Pennsylvania Complex & Expo Center, North Cameron and Maclay Streets, Harrisburg.

Show hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 4 through 11 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 12

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140102/live-from-the-2014-pennsylvania-farm-show

New Stink Bug On The Move Toward Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PITTSBURGH, PA - A new stink bug with attitude is heading toward Pennsylvania.

As if farmers and homeowners haven’t been bothered enough by the brown marmorated stink bug that landed in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, a smaller but equally pesky bug is making its march toward the state’s border, experts say.

The Megacopta cribraria, known as the kudzu bug, has an armor-like shell and a beak for ripping into plants and feeding on legumes, particularly soybeans.

They can swarm but not feed on other plants such as grapes, wheat and corn, according to researchers at North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Science.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517334

Western Pennsylvania’s Soggy Summer Ideal For Corn

Picture 486It hasn’t been an ideal summer for sunbathers, swimmers and other creatures who prefer hot, dry weather. But at least it’s been easy on the ears.

Ears of corn, that is.

While farmers have struggled to plant and harvest crops and dry out their hay for baling, the wet weather has been favorable for corn.

“Our sweet corn crop is very good this year,” said Scott Simmons, co-owner of Simmons Farm in McMurray.  “A kind of year like this I’ll take anytime for corn.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/weather/western-pennsylvanias-soggy-summer-ideal-for-corn-699654/#ixzz2cFA3GgRV

Buy Fresh Buy Local invites York County Residents To Discover Locally Grown Food And To Support Area Farmers

"Food. 1-buy it with thought, 2-cook it w...

“Food. 1-buy it with thought, 2-cook it with care, 3-use less wheat and meat, 4-buy local foods, 5-serve just enough… – NARA – 512592 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We here at Roy’s Rants fully support any Buy Fresh Buy Local program!

York County Buy Fresh Buy Local invites you to learn more about the home grown goodness York County has to offer.

Miller Plant Farm will host the Tastes of York event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 15 with sample goods from local vendors and musical entertainment.

BFBL is about supporting local farmers and growers and helping consumers to un derstand the importance of buying locally grown foods and how to find those local growers.

“Nutrition is tied to freshness. Why buy some thing that is shipped when you can find fresh food grown right here in York County?,” Dave Miller said.

The proceeds from Tastes of York go to sup port Buy Fresh Buy Local and to help pay for the food guide for this year, he said.

Read more: http://www.inyork.com/community/ci_23384025/homegrown-goodness

As Honey Bee Numbers Drop, U.S. Sees Threat To Food Supply

A European honey bee (Apis mellifera) extracts...

A European honey bee (Apis mellifera) extracts nectar from an Aster flower using its proboscis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.

Genetics and poor nutrition are also hurting the species, which help farmers produce crops worth some $20 billion to $30 billion a year.

Honey bee colonies have been dying and the number of colonies has more than halved since 1947, said the report by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department.

The decline raises doubt about whether honey bees can fulfill their crucial role in pollinating crops that play a role in about one-third of all food and beverages sold in the United States, the report said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/sns-rt-us-usa-beesbre941139-20130502,0,2103948.story

Pennsylvania Farm Show Celebrates ‘Made In Pa.’ – Starts January 5th

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s not only the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation but it’s probably the only place to see square dancing tractors.

It’s the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show, all set to run Jan. 5-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, where (among other things) two teams of two callers and 16 drivers will maneuver their tractors around the Large Arena in time to music.

It’s just one entertaining attraction during the eight-day event, which will feature some 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.

This year’s Farm Show theme is “Made in PA.  It makes a difference,” a motto designed to drive home just how big a role agriculture plays in our lives and how it is driving the state’s economy.

Read more:   http://www.mcall.com/entertainment/kids/mc-pennsylvania-farm-show-preview-20130102,0,2643314.story

Buy Fresh Buy Local Gaining Traction In Lancaster County

“Fresh” and “local” are buzzwords used by marketers to promote everything from organic produce to fast-food sandwiches.

But the Buy Fresh Buy Local network is distinct from Madison Avenue marketing. It is a grass roots movement aimed at encouraging consumers and businesses to buy foods grown and produced in their immediate regions.

Linda Aleci is the chair of the Buy Fresh Buy Local steering committee in Lancaster County. The network’s state coordinator is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and its national coordinator is the FoodRoutes Network.

Aleci is an associate professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an affiliated scholar with the college’s Local Economy Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/777744_Buy-Fresh-Buy-Local-gaining-traction.html#ixzz2D43yHYKM

Farm Aid Sets The Stage In Central Pennsyvlania

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For just over a quarter-century, Farm Aid has used pop music to try to help fix some of the problems in American agriculture: the disappearance of family farms, the corporatization of food, and the widening gap between producers and consumers.

The nonprofit organization will bring its annual fundraising concert to Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, to once again share its message in a very public way. Performers will include founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as Dave Matthews, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Kenny Chesney, Jack Johnson, Pegi Young & the Survivors, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

The show came to Pittsburgh in 2002, and organizers say they are excited to be bringing it back to Pennsylvania.

“We looked at Hershey before,” said Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid’s executive director. “It’s right in the middle of some the best farm country in the region, and the size is perfect. We’re going to change out all the concessions to be homegrown and regional, and it is really going to feel like the venue is ours that day.”

U.S. Farmers Expect Poorest Corn Crop In A Decade

ST. LOUIS – A deepening drought in the nation’s farm states has cut further into this fall’s harvest, with farmers now expected to pull from their fields the lowest corn yield in more than a decade.

But American farmers are still expected to produce their eighth-largest harvest ever, and while there’s sure to be a rise in prices at the grocery stores, there’s little risk of a failed harvest that would lead to shortages on the shelves.

The U.S. Agriculture Department predicted the nation’s biggest harvest ever in the spring, when farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn – the most since 1937. But it cut its estimate a month ago and again Friday, saying it now expects the nation to produce 10.8 billion bushels, the least since 2006.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/us-farmers-expect-poorest-corn-crop-decade-0/1

Record-Setting Rains Hurting NEPA Farmers

 

Editor’s Note: This is a good awareness story during Farm Show Week!

JEFFERSON TWP., PA - Will Keating looked at the depleted hay stockpile in his barn and thought about the impact on his dairy farm.

“It will cost us another $15,000 to $18,000 to get through the winter,” Mr. Keating said as his herd of 38 milking cows lounged in theMountCobbbarn. “The hay took a big hit and quality is down. It’s very frustrating.”

Drenching summer rainfall severely diminished production of forage crops, such as feed corn and hay, on many regional dairy farms. Months after the record-setting rains ceased, the shortfall forces dairy farmers to buy hay and feed they would not need after a normal growing season.

“My hay crop was the worst I ever had,” said Joe Davitt, a Waymart-area dairy farmer. “It’s going to cost me probably $2,000 a month to feed my cattle. In a normal winter, I don’t have any added expenses.”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/record-setting-rains-hurting-area-farmers-1.1255054#ixzz1iygMGUIF

Great Year For York County Apple Crop

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

Considering the earthquake, tornadoes, flooding, drought, excessive heat and stink bugs, York County‘s apple crop could end up having a banner year.  Many fruits and vegetables did not fare well this summer with the erratic weather.  However, the apple crop has been unaffected.  The rain has kept the stink bugs at bay.   One York County apple grower referred to her crop as “tremendous”.

Adjoining Adams County is the number one fruit producing county in the state.  Experts fear that climate change could limit apple production to the northern counties of Pennsylvania by mid-century.

For Berks County Farmers, It’s Location, Location, Location

Unusual strains of maize are collected to incr...

Image via Wikipedia

Who would have ever thought proximity to Route 422 would be a litmus test for a good corn crop?  Certainly not I.  However, that is the case in Berks County.  Farms south of 422 are in good shape and farms north of 422 are suffering. 

July’s above normal temperatures, coupled with a lack of rain has caused tremendous damage to corn crops in Berks County located north of 422.  Farms south of 422 received more rain and the clay-like soil holds moisture better.  Most farms in Berks County do not use irrigation to water crops.

Berks County is not the only place where the corn crop is doing poorly.  Nationwide it is estimated that corn yields will be down 40 percent!  This translates into higher prices at the supermarket for you and I!

Another casualty of the heat has been milk production.  Cows do not like heat (sounds familiar) and when they are hot they eat less and produce less milk!

Urban Farm Proposed In Lancaster

The School District of Lancaster maintains a 21-acre vacant lot across from Wheatland Middle School.  A Lancaster City resident, Ben Weiss, would like to turn 10 of these vacant acres into farms and a garden.  Weiss runs two organic farms in Mount Joy and Millersville.

Weiss would actually farm five acres, four acres will be available as “incubator plots” for other farmers and the last acre would be devoted to a community farm and garden.

To read the entire article, click below:

http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/408596_Farmer-wants-land-near-school-for-crops.html

4-H Helps Urban Areas Go Green – Harrisburg’s Allison Hill Neighborhood

This project is a 4-H educational outreach program of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The program was initiated by Dauphin County cooperative extension to address the specific needs of urban and inner-city youth.