New and Improved PAVeggies.org Puts Pennsylvania Vegetables, Farmers in the Spotlight

July 13, 2018

The Pennsylvania Vegetable Marketing and Research Program (PVMRP) debuted a new website this July at PAVeggies.org. With PA Produce Month unfolding all August long, the website has wrapped up just in time, and will serve as a perfect place for consumers to discover ways to celebrate one of Pennsylvania’s most delicious months. The new updates will appease the needs of many consumers, from the veggie curious who’s just beginning to dip their toe into the local bounty, to the expert who’s eager to seize the local veggie scene for summer entertaining and winter preparation. It continues to offer annually updated marketing tools and resources for Pennsylvania farmers as well.

Some exceptional new features of PAVeggies.org include:

Recipe Videos

Developed to educate and inspire in less than 5 minutes, these fun instructional videos offer 21 recipe ideas across 7 collections, each with a unique theme, like 3 No Fail Veggies Slaws and 3 Pestos Using Unexpected Ingredients. Find them on the PA Veggie’s Blog and on PA Veggie’s Facebook Page.

Farm Videos

In an effort to bring the farm to YOU, these videos go behind the scenes through on-site interviews with 5 Pennsylvania farmers, featuring footage of operations and first-hand tellings of farm life. These videos will be released intermittently on the PA Veggie’s Blog and PA Veggie’s Facebook Page this August. Check back regularly and follow PA Veggie’s on Facebook to catch them all!

New Blogs

The 2018 blogs give a fresh face to the extensive amount of good reading already present at PAVeggies.org, tempting consumers to explore every recipe, interview, farm glimpse, tip, and beyond.

Local Food Directories

Whether you’re looking in your area for an on-farm stand, neighborhood farmers’ market, or CSA, or hoping to connect with a wholesale farmer or auction, these directories address various needs in one clear, central location.

Vegetable Guide

Keep this guide handy as a perfect quick reference of the when, why, and how of local PA veggies. It outlines seasonality per vegetable, as well as unique tips for selecting and preparing.

Farmer Toolkit

If you’re on the other side of the fence, as a Pennsylvania vegetable farmer, then you’ll want to head directly to the Farmer Toolkit, on the Farmer Resources page, where you’ll find numerous items, instructions, and ideas to assist with your PA Produce Month promotions, and marketing all year long.

Consumer Survey

The PVMRP wants to make this experience as user friendly as possible for YOU. Please consider taking the survey or contacting us with your ideas and feedback.

Consumers can also be on the lookout for PA Veggie brochures, PA Veggies price cards and roadside signs, which serve as trustworthy indicators that local produce is near. If you can’t happen to find what you’re looking for through one of the PA Veggies’ resources, the PA Preferred website at www.papreferred.com; Penn State University’s AgMap at agmap.psu.edu; and the Local Harvest website at www.localharvest.org are all valuable resources as well.

The PVMRP, along with many of the organizations and their corresponding sites mentioned above, lead continued efforts to support Pennsylvania’s largest industry, agriculture. These resources are not meant to solely entertain but, more importantly, to cultivate and nourish new relationships. On-farm stands, neighborhood farmers’ markets, many supermarkets, CSAs, restaurants, and specialty grocers, near you, all throughout the state, are offering fresh, local vegetables through spring, summer and fall, and especially in August. It’s the perfect time to celebrate the state’s successful industry and familiarize with the friendly people who grow your food.

By opting for produce from dozens of CSAs and over 1,000 farm markets and community farmers’ markets in PA, Pennsylvanians support both the environment and economy – reducing their impact of fossil fuels use and keeping money close to home. In fact, for every $100 spent at a farmers market, $62 stays in the local economy, and $99 stays in state. With the new website offering an abundance of easily accessible information and inspiration, both consumers and farmers can enhance their efforts and fortify the local vegetable industry.

Show your support for local by submitting your thoughts and feedback here.

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  • Good Evening from @oaknutfarm ! Thanks for following along today and joining us in celebrating #paproducemonth . We really enjoyed sharing a bit about our farm and are truly honored to be a part of the amazing PA food shed and it’s community of dedicated produce growers. 
#paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • This is Sean and my 5th growing season as @oaknutfarm though we have been doing the organic vegetable farming shindig together since 2006. We met and worked at/managed three other produce farms in PA, NJ, and VA prior to moving back to PA to be closer to family. (Side bar: For anyone considering this line of livelihood—because it’s not just work—we highly suggest being an intern or apprentice first). Our previous experience has guided a lot of our decision making process on what to grow and how to grow it—but our main goal is that it tastes good! We pride ourselves on nourishing our local community with the highest quality produce. Sean and I really enjoy adding a few new crops (and dumping some) each season to our repertoire of 40 different vegetables, fruits, herbs, and specialty items—like log-grown shiitake and oyster mushrooms, fresh ginger and turmeric, and cut flowers.
#paproducemonth #paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • After lunch is always doggie walking time with our sweet rescue “sholly” (Shepherd/Border Collie Mix), Sienna. We usually head out to the farm and on her favorite days she gets to chase down a groundhog. 
Our farm land was originally my parent’s and where we had a family garden growing up. The property is about 18 acres (12 tillable) and located close to the Blue Mountains and Appalachian Trail. We grow on less than three acres and have two passive solar high tunnels.

Our home property is located two doors down from my parent’s home and diagonal from the farm land. Our house was actually my childhood best friend’s house—so I spent just as much time in the house as my own as a kid. 
Our home property is also where we have our On-Farm Farm Stand and where we do our produce washing and packing. This afternoon we were busy doing our final harvesting and prep for our farm stand which is open today from 3-6pm. A big highlight for today was the first official TWO half pints of red raspberries for sale that my husband Sean picked from the raspberry canes he and Ginger gifted me for Mother’s Day last year. We since have added two more beds from that original nurse row for a total of 600 feet of raspberry canes! Next year will certainly be amazing!!! #paveggies #paveggiesguestig #paproducemonth
  • The month of August, for most produce farmers I think, feels like a non-stop marathon. But, instead of running, you’re sprinting the entire way and never quite catching up. This morning was a perfect example—beginning with a computer that refused to turn on so I could send out our weekly farm newsletter—that of course was supposed to be sent out last evening. Once the sun came up and the computer remained asleep—I decided to delay the newsletter (again) and continue to the flower harvesting for today’s on-farm farm stand and for one of our restaurant wholesale orders. After the flowers, it was time to tend to the laying ducks and chickens with our 7-year-old daughter, Ginger. She completes this task often still wearing her pjs—and I don’t mind one bit—as I appreciate the help and the extra snuggles she give the ladies while I’m buzzing around. Then it’s off to town to make our restaurant delivery and pick up some groceries and poultry feed before heading back home for lunch.

#paproducemonth #paveggies #paveggiesguestig
  • Good Morning from @oaknutfarm ! My name is Jennifer and today I’ll be sharing about our small family farm located in northwestern Berks County in our Instagram takeover of #paveggies in honor of #paproducemonth . But first I need to finish harvesting flowers and have some coffee. Thanks for following along!

#paveggiesguestig
  • Today we’re heading to Bethel PA to let @oaknutfarm tell their #paveggies story. Their roots run deep in the good food and farming world so you’ll want to tune in for this special takeover in honor of #paproducemonth #pennsylvania #vegetables #bethel #berkscounty #farmlife #goodfood #localfood #agriculture
  • Thank y’all so much for following along today! There’s so much more to share, so follow along at @kneehighfarm to see how our season grows. Many thanks to @paveggies for hosting these farmer takeovers, and bringing awareness to #paproducemonth ! Take care y’all, and enjoy the late summer bounty! #paveggies #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #igtakeover #localfarms #buyfreshbuylocalpa
  • As of last year, a new addition to the farm was cut flowers. These have proven to be incredible attractants for beneficial pollinators. They are also a profitable option for areas of the farm where growing veggies isn’t ideal due to soil quality. •
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If you drive by the farm, the flowers are the first area you see near our farm stand. We like to think of them attracting and welcoming folks to the farm (just like the bees!) Our farm stand is open to the public, Tuesdays from 3 - 6, and Wednesday - Saturday most of the day (honor system). We’d love to have you stop by and take a peak at what we got growing. #paveggies #paproducemonth #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #farmstand #cutflowers #polinators
  • Growing delicious veggies all starts with the soil. We’ve been experimenting with low-till techniques to reduce compaction and increase soil biology and structure. We farm in a very wet area, with heavy clay as the predominant soil type. It is our top priority to feed and heal the soil, so we can grow the most nutritious and healthiest vegetables. 
#paveggies #paveggiesguestig #kneehighfarm #healthysoil #healthesoil #certifiednaturallygrown #paproducemonth #beyondorganic

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