Come join Saint Francis Small Business Development Center and the Blair County Conservation District for a free workshop on local food marketing ideas. The workshop will be held TODAY, November 13th, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM at the Penn State Altoona Downtown Devorris Center located at: 1431 12th Avenue, Altoona, PA. Attendees will receive training on marketing and sales strategies.

Who should attend?
Farmers, market vendors, growers, and anyone who is interested in improving their direct market sales.

For more information please contact Beth Futrick at the Blair County Conservation District: 814-696-0877 x5.


Looking for a new favorite seasonal dish? This dish, with simple flavors, tastes like Autumn and is incredibly easy to make!

Rigatoni with Roasted Pumpkin and Goat Cheese


– Coarse salt and ground pepper

– 12 ounces rigatoni

–  2 tablespoons butter

–  5 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

–  Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots and Sage



In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add butter, cheese, and pasta water; toss until butter has melted.


Gently fold in roasted pumpkin; season with salt and pepper. Divide among serving bowls, and serve immediately.




– 1 medium “pie” pumpkin (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks

– 4 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves

– Coarse salt and ground pepper



Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide pumpkin, shallots, oil, and sage between two large rimmed baking sheets; season with salt and pepper, and toss.


Roast until pumpkin is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once and rotating sheets halfway through.


This is a Martha Stewart recipe from: www.yummly.com

Colcannon used to be –and still is– eaten in Ireland on Halloween night, and is one of the most traditional Halloween recipes there is. It is considered a dish concerning the fate of unmarried women. Young women would put the first and last spoonfuls of this Halloween dish into stockings and then hang them on their doors. It was common belief that, once hung, the first man to walk through her door would be her husband.

1 lb. of cabbage or kale, cooked
1 lb. potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 leeks, cleaned well and chopped, or green onions
1 C. whole milk or light cream
1/2 C. butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of ground mace (optional)


1. Boil kale or cabbage in lightly salted water until tender. Chop.

2. Bring milk or cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add leeks and cook until soft.

3. Drain potatoes, add salt and pepper to taste (and optional mace). Beat until fluffy.

4. Return potatoes to pot over a low flame.

5. Add milk with leeks.

6. Beat in cooked kale or cabbage until green and fluffy.

7. Remove from heat and serve. Make a well in the middle of each portion and divide butter evenly among servings, filling each well.

Looking for some spice in your life? Try some seasonal produce from your local farmers market.

When you shop at a producer only farmers market you are not only supporting local businesses, but you are also purchasing directly from the individuals who grew, made, or harvested the products available for purchase. One of the benefits of buying directly from a local producer is that you can ask questions about the products you are buying and learn from people who have worked hard to provide food and handmade goods for their communities. A great question to ask the vendors the next time you visit the farmers market is: “What is your favorite way to prepare this vegetable?” Chances are, the people who grew it also consume it (and have a favorite way to eat it).

This quick combination of thinly sliced bell peppers and a minced Jalapeno pepper. It tastes great alongside grilled meats. It’s also a great way to add some seasonal produce & spice to your dinner table.


Spicy Bell Pepper Slaw



  • 3 bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange, purple or any combination)
  • 1 jalapeño chile, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut out and discard the stem and core from the peppers. Cut the peppers in half and then slice them as thinly as possible. Put the pepper slices in a large bowl.
  2. Mince the jalapeño, if using, and toss it with the peppers.
  3. Toss the mixture with the rice vinegar, adding more to taste, if you like. Sprinkle the slaw with salt to taste. Serve immediately or let sit, covered and chilled, up to overnight.



This article by Theresa Futrick, originally published in the Altoona Mirror, highlights farmers market and agricultural happenings in the Southern Alleghenies Region. Enjoy!


“Are  you organic?” someone asked the pretty girl who was selling flowers.  “Where’s the egg lady?”  “You have any corn still?” are typical questions asked at Blair County’s farmers markets.  Harvest time’s here and what you do now can mean a winter of good eating.  So it’s important to know how to harvest the crops you grow or store the vegetables you buy.  No one knows vegetables better than the people who plant them and cultivate them all summer.

Greenbriar Farms, McVeytown, is a regular vendor at two of the local farmers markets.  Owner Mike Friday enjoys questions from his many repeat customers.  This summer the questions were always a variation on  “She have that baby yet?”   In August, baby Ella Rose, worked the crowd while her Daddy answered questions.  “What’s that?”  “Bok Choy.” “What do you do with it?”  “You stir-fry it, use it in salads, eat it raw.”  “Maybe I’ll just take those potatoes.”

“My onions have fallen over.  Should I pull them?”   Master Gardeners answer the Garden line 940-5996 Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 to 1 at the Penn State Blair County Extension Office.  If they can’t answer your question, they’ll find someone who can.  But chances are the Master Gardener you’re talking to has had the same experience with the same vegetables you’re trying to manage.  Although you can bring specimens of  plants or insects to the Ag Extension Office at Valley View, the Master Gardeners prefer examining it in sealed containers.  “Do you know what this is?”  “It’s a tick.”

In 2011, Penn State conducted a three day Master Food Preserver training program.  PSU saw an increase in the number of people growing their own vegetables and buying locally grown food.  Jackie Forsht, a Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver, and Sharon McDonald, a Penn State’s Nutrition, Health and Food Safety Educator have been presenting programs demonstrating the correct way to preserve vegetables.  In one hands-on program, the class saw the difference between canning green beans with a canner or a pressure canner.  They did everything from putting the vegetables in the jars, to applying the correct lids,  to listening to the rattle of the control knob. At that class, the exclamations far out-numbered the questions.  “I can’t believe I was doing it wrong all these years.”  “I could have killed everyone with those canned tomatoes!”

It pays to ask questions about the food you eat, whether you’re attending a Food Preservation Workshop, talking to a Master Gardener or at a farmers market.  And sometimes it’s fun just to listen.  “Hey that cheddar I bought last week was delicious.  Oh, that’s soap.  Where are the cheese guys? Will they be here next week?”

COMING UP:  PSU Master Gardener Classes:  Wednesdays, September 25 through October 30.  9:00AM to 3:30PM, St. Bernardine Monastery, (C4C Building) Cost:  $175 includes textbook.  Thomas Ford, Extension Educator, Commercial Horticulture, will be the course instructor.  Call Tom (814) 472-7986 to register.

Contact Teresa Futrick by e-mail at kellygardennotes@hotmail.com

Autumn is a great time of year to wrap up projects and start something new. These events near the Southern Alleghenies Region celebrate the 2013 growing season, teach new skills, and look forward to a new tomorrow.  Sign up for one today!


September 25, 2013- Using Cover Crops in Vegetable Production Systems, USDA/NRCS Webinar

September 25, 2013- Dairying with Heritage Breeds, PA WAgN Event, Mifflin

September 25, 2013- Water Quality in the Marcellus Region, Penn State Cooperative Extension Webinar

September 26, 2013- Renewable Energy Academy: Wind Energy Systems for Homes & Farms, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Westmoreland

September 26-27, 2013- Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) 13th Annual Field Days, Tioga

September 28, 2013- PASA’s Annual Meeting, Cumberland

September 30, 2013- Honey Harvesting Beekeeping, PASA Sustainability School Workshop, Allegheny

October 1, 2013- Pastured Poultry and Conservation Planning, USDA/NRCS Webinar

October 1-3, 2013- Cultured Dairy Products Short Course, Penn State Cooperative Extension Course, Dauphin

October 2, 2013- Landscape Design & Plan Selection Series, Penn State Cooperative Extension Course, Franklin

October 3, 2013- PA Pesticide License Exam, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Monroe

October 3, 2013- Working Lands for Wildlife: Ducks Unilimited’s Winter Wheat Initiative in the Northern Great Plains, USDA/NRCS Webinar

October 3, 2013- Keystone International Livestock Exposition: Livestock and Equine Forum, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Centre

October 3-5, 2013- Pork, Salt & Fire, PASA Field Day, Perry

October 4, 2013- Food For Profit, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Adams

October 4-6, 2013- Life in the Soil, Rodale Institute Class, Berks

October 5, 2013- Porktoberfest: Highland Games, Music & Celebration, PASA Event, Perry

October 5, 2013- Experience Cumberland County Agriculture, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Cumberland

October 5 & 6, 2013- Third Annual MidAtlantic Women’s Herbal Conference, Berks

October 6, 2013- “Wildman” Steve Brill Foraging Walk, PASA Sustainability School, Montgomery

October 7, 2013- Life in the Soil: Compost, Rodale Institute, Berks

October 7 & 15, 2013- ServSafe Certification, Penn State Cooperative Extension Course, Huntingdon

October 8, 2013- Life in the Soil: Compost Tea/Extract, Rodale Institute, Berks

October 8, 2013- Precision Agriculture in Dairy Housing, Penn State Cooperative Extension Webinar

October 9, 2013- Introduction to Livestock GRACEnet and how ARS Research can be transferred to NRCS, NRCS/USDA Webinar

October 9, 2013- Soil Microscopy with Dr. Elaine Ingham, Rodale Institute, Berks

October 10, 2013- Food for Profit, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Dauphin

October 11, 2013- Fall Greenhouse Meeting, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Somerset

October 12, 2013- Backyard Chickens, PASA Sustainability School, Cumberland

October 15-17, 2013- Food Safety and Sanitation for Food Manufacturers, Penn State, Centre

October 16, 2013- Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Phipps Conservatory, Allegheny

October 16, 2013- Best Milking Practices for Hispanics, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Somerset

October 16, 17, 23 & 24, 2013- Arborist Short Course, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Montgomery

October 17, 2013- Food Hubs & Farm to School, National Good Food Network (NGFN) Webinar

October 17, 2013- Organic Cover Crop Workshop and Tour, Penn State Cooperative Extension/USDA/NRCS Event, Big Flats, NY

October 20, 2013- Third Annual World’s Greatest Farmer Showdown, Longview Center for Agriculture, Montgomery

October 22-24, 2013- Pasteurizer Operators Workshop, Penn State Cooperative Extension Workshop, Dauphin

October 22, 2013- Robotic Milking: Housing & Management Characteristics of Diary Farms Using Robotic Milking Technology, Penn State Cooperative Extension Webinar

October 22-24, 2013- Pasteurizer Operators, Penn State, Centre

October 25, 2013- Improve Production using Diary Farm Records, Penn State Cooperative Extension Webinar

October 26, 2013- Backyard Tree Fruit, Longview Center for Agriculture, Montgomery

October 26, 2013- Woodland Owners of the Southern Alleghenies: Golden-Winged Warbler Habitat Demo, Penn State Cooperative Extension Event, Bedford

October 26, 2013- Backyard Fruit Trees, PASA Sustainability School, Montgomery

October 26, 2013- Summer Smiles Honey Farm, PASA Event, Somerset

October 28, 2013- Beef Butchery for Farmers and Chefs, PASA Field Day, Westmoreland

October 28 & November 4, 2013- ServSafe Certification, Penn State Cooperative Extension Course, Cambria

October 29, 2013- Financial Realities, PASA Master Class, Allegheny County

October 30, 2013- Water: A Study of Roadside Springs in Pennsylvania, Penn State Cooperative Extension Webinar




A great fall feast can be made of ingredients straight from the garden or farmers’ market. Green bell peppers, onions & tomatoes come together to make a delicious dinner when combined with a few other ingredients to make stuffed green peppers!


Stuffed Green Peppers


6 green bell peppers

1 pound ground beef

1/3 cup chopped onion

salt and pepper to taste

1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1/2 cup water

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup

water as needed


1.     Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.

2.     In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/2 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.

3.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers.

4.     Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.


* Try a variation on this recipe by substituting fresh tomatoes for the canned whole tomatoes. The skin is easily removed by quickly dipping fresh tomatoes into boiling water and then cooling them. The tomato skin will peel off easily as soon as the tomato is cool enough to touch.  Also, spaghetti sauce or fresh tomato puree is a great alternative to the condensed tomato soup in this recipe.

%d bloggers like this: