Posted by: A Part of the Solution | August 11, 2010

Locavore Upgrade

When we moved up here, I promised myself I would do whatever I could to eat more locally. Since we were moving onto a farm and into farming as a profession, we expected that a lot of our local eats would come from our own land and endeavors. This will, of course, be more and more true as time goes by and we put different methods of food preservation into effect–and raise more and more of the kinds of foods we wish to eat. Locavore at its  most basic, if you will.

What surprised me when we got up here was how many local products I found right off the bat in our closest supermarket. There’s a line of jams and jellies from Summer Kitchen Jams. There’s a line of flours and mixes from Burnt Cabins Grist Mill. I’m especially fond of the toasted cornmeal. There’s a line of maple syrup and maple syrup products from one county over, Brennamen’s by name. We had been buying Split Rail Run eggs up in Clearville at Mike’s Place , but now our ‘girls’ are laying three to four eggs a day–that we can find, since at least one egg a day appears in a nesting site located at the back of our compost heap. I wonder how many other non-coop laying sites we have.

Our local cheese line comes from Hidden Hills Dairy. Lori Sollenberger is the artisan in question there, and the Jersey herd from which she gets the milk is a line her parents have been developing for the last sixty years. We also buy our raw, unhomogenized milk at Hidden Hills. The chicken in our freezer comes from our own roosters. The lamb in our freezer was pasture fed over at Split Rail Run Farm, where Janet and Bill Huber are doing more in retirement than most people would undertake in their prime.

And we finally found the place where we can purchase locally raised and cured bacon and local beef as well. It’s the Locker Plant in Everett, back down along the Juniata River on a little alley of a side street. They also make fabulous hot sausage (in casings, or not) on the spot. And they will cut your steaks to your specifications. They handle deer and chickens and pigs as well. And they’re USDA inspected to boot. Sort of the best of every world. AND they have a remarkable flea market table set up at the front of the store front over by the freezer.

More and more of everything we need comes from closer and closer by where we live now. Obviously, we still don’t have a source for local olive oil. Realistically, there’s going to have to be a whole lot more climate change before that’s a possibility. But I’m cooking more with the bowl of bacon grease I keep by the stove, and less with the liter of olive oil I have standing by on the other side.

There’s even a good Pennsylvania made soda pop: Frozen Run Bear Mountain Birch Beer. Come on, all ye who are locavores and we will feed you right up!



  1. Wow, that’s amazing. What you’re writing challenges so many of our society’s notions of what a “good life” is – it’s exciting and a reminder to us urban dwellers to pay attention, too.

    • It’s an experience to meet the people who raise, make and prepare the food one eats. Every mouthful is getting more intentional by the minute. I think I’ve tracked down a source for local dried noodles even.

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