Monday, April 25, 2016

Community Farmers' Market Meeting

Hello!  Spring is here, and opening day of the farmers' market is just over a month away!  That means it is time for our pre-season community farmers' market meeting.  Vendors as well as interested community members are invited to attend and discuss the coming market season.

Wednesday, April 27th
6:30 p.m.
Pavilion at Getty Heights Park, Indiana

More updates and market information are on the way as we approach the start of our 2016 season.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guest Farm Blogger: Mahoning Creek Farm

For Love of Food

One or two generations ago, many more Americans had a close personal connection to agriculture. Even if you didn’t live on a farm yourself, chances were you knew a farmer, maybe from visiting your grandparents’ farm, or knowing a neighbor or friend who was a farmer. People felt more of a connection to farming, and they were also more likely to grow, preserve, and cook their own food. Then the baby boom generation came of age and both parents went to work, creating a demand in the American food chain for convenient, cost-effective access to food. Farmers responded by embracing technology and specialization (focusing on raising one crop or species of livestock rather than raising many different types of produce and livestock on the same farm). As a result, farm productivity advanced rapidly, and food became more uniform, consistent, and affordable. Restaurant and grocery chains capitalized on this, finding a ready market in American families that were strapped for both cash and time. This system works well.

But it’s not perfect. Food gets recalled. Fast food restaurants are shut down for food-borne illness outbreaks. Animal abuse videos are released. We hear that our children are expected to die sooner than we will as result of obesity. Conflicting studies are published regarding the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO’s). New diets suggest that people should avoid eating certain fats, sugars, carbohydrates, dairy, gluten, etc.(leaving us to wonder what exactly are we supposed to eat?). And the message consumers are hearing is this: “Food is unsafe. You don’t know what’s really in it. You don’t know how it’s made. You can’t know whether it’s healthy for your family or not.” Many consumers are afraid of food. And as a farmer, this breaks my heart. Because I love food. I love growing it, and sharing it with you. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a good harvest, and the anticipation of planning for the next growing season. I love learning how to best work with the land, but always being forced to respect the forces of nature that are out of my control. I love doing this with my family. And increasingly, I’m coming to see you, our neighbors and customers, as our family. We couldn’t do this without you, and I’m proud of the community that we’re building together. 

That being said, I hope we can agree on one thing; there is no place for fear in our community. We are a community built on a passion for good, nutritious, and delicious food, in addition to our love for each other. We believe these two things complement and edify one another. If we have questions or concerns about our food, we ask (with the confidence that we can speak directly to our farmers). Our conversations regarding food are honest, but always respectful. We don’t need to tear each other down or attack other farmers or farming practices because they do things differently from us. We appreciate the farmers for their hard work to bring food to market, and the consumers for choosing to support local farms with their tightly-stretched dollars. We utilize food to sustain ourselves and our families, create memories, unify our town, lift up those in need and support our local economy. We love good food, but we recognize that the Indiana County Farmers’ Market is about way more than food. It’s about building a community who loves food and loves each other. Will you join us?


Morgan Livingston is a 5th generation farmer from Mahoning Creek Farm just outside Smicksburg, PA. Her parents, Bob & Darlene Livingston, raise pigs, sheep, cattle, and chickens, and sell their locally raised meats at the Indiana County Farmers’ Market and at their on-farm roadside stand. You will occasionally see Morgan helping with the MCF stand at the Farmers’ Market throughout the season. Morgan lives in Red Lion, PA, where she is pursuing her Master’s of Social Work at Millersville University and working as a Social Worker in York.



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sept 30 & Oct 3

This week will be bringing that autumn weather that us folks in Western PA are accustomed to, chilly rainy days!  Last week we had amazingly beautiful fall weather however with sunny skies and moderate temperatures, it was a great time to be out at the market!  On Saturday we had some awesome looking fall produce, like brussel sprouts, greens, pears, an assortment of mushrooms, and pumpkins!  You could also find my personal favorite, pumpkin gobs, from Country Bread Barn, a great way to start a fall morning! Much loved musicians, Jenna Vendetta, Texas Ted, and Doc Pober were featured at the market again and our event, Harvest for the Hungry, was a huge success thanks to our many generous customers AND vendors who donated 6 boxes full of fresh produce to the Zion Lutheran Food Bank!!!



This Saturday we will still be at the market even during IUP's homecoming festivities, so stop on by before, after, or during the parade to pick up your favorite goodies!

Tomorrow is our second to last Wednesday market.  October 7th will be our last WEDNESDAY market; however, our Saturday markets will run clear through the end of October!

We will not be scheduling anymore musicians or artisans after this Saturday due to the unpredictable weather October has in store, but we want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our extra tents this season, we love a diverse market that can provide the produce and goodies you love as well as showcase local organizations, musicians, and artisans for free!  Keep us in mind next year if you'd like to come on out to the market!!

This Saturday we will have Chere Winnek-Shawer at the market in our Artisan Tent featuring jewelry and scarves.

See you at the market!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week of September 23 & 26

While the peak of growing season may be behind us, there is still a lot to look forward to at the market!

Last week, we enjoyed the first apples and plums of the season from Sleepy Hollow Orchard, as well as some exotic varieties of wild mushrooms from Healthy Harvest Gardeners.  Also, bacon and Canadian bacon were back from Mahoning Creek Farm!

In addition to all of the tasty market goods, Texas Ted and Jenna Vendetta with guest Doc Pober added some great music to the atmosphere.

This week, we are gearing up for the Harvest for the Hungry event coming up on Saturday, September 26.  We will join with other farmers' markets across the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank service area to collect donations of fresh produce and other market goods.  As you shop the market, you can purchase an additional item (or more if you wish) to donate to the Food Pantry at Zion Lutheran Church.  Volunteers will be on hand to collect donations in the Community Tent to be delivered after the market closes for the day.

In addition to this important event, you can also enjoy music once again from Texas Ted and Jenna Vendetta and stop by to talk with folks from the Food Co-op of Indiana, PA.

The Food Pantry at Zion Lutheran Church relies on donations and volunteers to provide food to individuals and families in need here in Indiana County.  The pantry is open on the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The Food Co-op of Indiana, PA is a group dedicated to bringing a community-owned, locally and regionally-stocked grocery store to Indiana, PA.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week of September 16 & 19



Fall is arriving at the market!  Although Wednesday was quite hot, the weather will soon be cooling, and fall produce is showing up at the farmers’ market.  

Last week we saw pumpkins, gourds, and decorative Indian corn in addition to a variety of winter squashes.  A delicious selection of baked goods helped round out the Saturday market – what a wonderful treat to warm your belly on a rainy day!




 

This week, Texas Ted and Jenna Vendetta will once again spend the morning in our music tent. 




Save the date! Saturday, September 26 is our Harvest for the Hungry event at the market.  Market shoppers can purchase an extra item or two (or however many you choose) to donate to the food bank at Zion Lutheran church.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event.  Volunteer tasks include walking around the market and spreading the word, helping to sort donations, and delivering donations to Zion Lutheran.  If you are willing to help out for a 1-hour shift (or longer if you’d like), please contact us at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com.   


See you at the market!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week of September 9 & 12



Last week, we saw a busy Wednesday with a little extra traffic from the fair, and beautiful, sunny Saturday.  Thank you to artisan Linda Stiteler and musicians Christian and Taylor for sharing their talents at the Saturday market.   

And remember, we are still filling our special tents through the month of September, so if you know a community group, artisan, or musician who is interested in setting up at the market one Saturday, please have them contact us on our Facebook page or at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com!


This week, we are looking forward to the usual fresh, local produce, meats, baked goods, and honey, as well as live music and yoga!

Mahoning Creek Farm has lamb!  Have you wanted to try lamb but not sure what to do with it?  No problem!  Pick up a brochure filled with cooking tips and recipes, or ask Darlene for her recommendations!

Carlos Barata will spend the morning in our music tent.  Julie Means of TriYoga Indiana, PA will occupy our community tent, and she will lead a brief yoga session at 9:30.

TriYoga is a system of postures and movements, breath, and focus that brings health to the body and peace to the mind.  Classes are offered for all skill levels. 

Save the date! Saturday, September 26 is our Harvest for the Hungry event at the market.  Market shoppers can purchase an extra item or two (or however many you choose) to donate to the food bank at Zion Lutheran church.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event.  Volunteer tasks include walking around the market and spreading the word, helping to sort donations, and delivering donations to Zion Lutheran.  If you are willing to help out for a 1-hour shift (or longer is you'd like), please contact us at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com.  

See you at the market!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week of September 2 & 5

 What a great week at the market!  Thank you so much to all who participated in our annual Customer Appreciation Day!  It was a huge success – a very busy market day, and a whole lot of fun!  Special thanks to our vendors, everyone who occupied our special tents, and of course you – our customers!  The market could not succeed without your support, and we are happy to celebrate you all each season.

Special events and demonstrations included music from Christian Jerman, Dancey Pancey dreamcatchers, voter information and registration with the League of Women Voters, a make-and-take meat rub with Mahoning Creek Farm, healthy eating tips and a delicious fruit salsa recipe with samples from Lori Smith of IRMC (scroll down for a copy of the recipe), information on preventing back pain with Chiropractor Kolby Mumau of Indiana Total Therapy, yoga sessions with Ed Stancombe of Sunflower Yoga, and Neal’s Yard Remedies with Amanda Chura.
Congratulations to the winner of our market basket giveaway – Ted Krushinski!  And a special thank you to all of our vendors who donated to this amazing basket!

This week is back to business as usual.  We will be open Wednesday in our regular location even though the County Fair is going on.  Hopefully this will bring some new faces to the market, as well!

We do not have any special tents scheduled for the Saturday market this week, and we do still have openings in our special tents this market season.  If you are interested, please contact us at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com.

Save the date! Saturday, September 26 is our Harvest for the Hungry event at the market.  Market shoppers can purchase an extra item or two (or however many you choose) to donate to the food bank at Zion Lutheran church.  We are currently looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event.  Volunteer tasks include walking around the market and spreading the word, helping to sort donations, and delivering donations to Zion Lutheran.  If you are willing to help out for a 1-hour shift (or longer if you’d like), please contact us at indianafarmmarket@gmail.com.  

See you at the market!

Annies Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips
(Version sampled by Lori Smith on Saturday)

Ingredients:
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
10 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 Tbsp cinnamon sugar

Directions:
1.      In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, golden delicious apples, raspberries, and strawberries.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.      Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter-flavored cooking spray.  Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar.  Spray again with cooking spray.
4.      Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes.  Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges.  Allow to cook approximately 15 minutes.  Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

I imagine you could also probably use cinnamon sugar pita chips in place of making your own.   
Enjoy!