An­nual Farm­ers’pride Food Fes­ti­val high­lights lo­cal grow­ers

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca An­to­nioli

Jour­nal Reg­is­ter News Ser­vice Fresh is best. At least that was the phi­los­o­phy at Gen­er­a­tions of In­dian Val­ley’s third an­nual Farm­ers’ Pride Food Fes­ti­val. The food frenzy opened its doors to about 70 food en­thu­si­asts Aug. 29 and fea­tured fresh pro­duce from area farms.

“This fa­mil­iar­izes peo­ple in the area with what’s ac­tu­ally at a farm­ers mar­ket and what’s grown lo­cal- ly,” said Reuben Strawn, a cook at Gen­er­a­tions, which is lo­cated at 259 N. Sec­ond St., Soud­er­ton. His wife, June Strawn, agreed. “It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to get fa­mil­iar with fresh food be­cause when you’re in the store, you don’t usu­ally get to see it like this,” she said.

This year’s food fes­ti­val fea­tured about four dif­fer­ent farms that Gen­er­a­tions uses throughout the sum­mer to stock its pantry with fresh


“It’s some­thing we wanted to do with the farm­ers,” said Kathy Jansen, di­rec­tor of nu­tri­tion at Gen­er­a­tions and or­ga­nizer of the event. “I use my lo­cal farm­ers dur­ing the sum­mer and it’s a way for them to show­case their prod­ucts. It al­lows ev­ery­one to put a face to their prod­uct.”

At­ten­dees ate their way through Wed­nes­day night’s af­fair. Sam­ples in­cluded fresh cut wa­ter­melon, chicken salad, creamed honey, veg­etable and cheese omelets and cap­rese sal­ads with fresh to­ma­toes and basil.

“The food is great. This is the fresh­est food can get,” said Cindy Dembrosky. “The food doesn’t travel 3,000 miles. It’s all lo­cal.”

While a grow­ing na­tional trend fo­cuses on lo­cal and sus­tain­able food, many of the ven­dors who par­tic­i­pated in the farm to ta­ble event have been ad­vo­cates of this phi­los­o­phy for years.

“Lo­cal used to be a catch­phrase and peo­ple used it loosely,” said Tim Es­pos­ito, a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Po­cono Pro­duce Co., who sells food to Gen­er­a­tions. “Lo­cal is here to stay. We al­ways want to show­case OoFDO IDrPs. TKHrH’s GHfinLWHOy D EHnH­fiW wKHn you eat food that was picked within the past day or two.”

Ac­cord­ing to Es­pos­ito, Po­cono Pro­duce Co., of Strouds­burg, Pa., gets all of its food from Penn­syl­va­nia and New Jersey.

Peo­ple lined up to sam­ple some of the omelets Es­pos­ito and Doug Petruzzi, ex­ec­u­tive chef and di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at Po­cono Pro­duce Co., were whip­ping up. The omelets fea­tured eggs from Krei­der’s in Lan­caster County and veg­eta­bles in­clud­ing pep­pers, onions, corn, zuc­chini, spinach, to­ma­toes and mush­rooms.

“No mat­ter where you are in life most peo­ple are aware of sus­tain­abil­ity and want to take care of the earth. Our goal is to sup­port lo­cal famers,” Petruzzi said.

Bob and Mary Lan­dis, 10th-gen­er­a­tion own­ers of 6un­rLsH 6un­flowHr FDrP in Har­leysville, were more than happy to let the food­ies at Gen­er­a­tions ac­cli­mate them­selves with their prod­ucts.

“It gives them a chance to get fresh veg­eta­bles and lets them know where we are,” Bob Lan­dis said. “Lo­cal is best. Ev­ery­thing has its sea­son, and in the gro­cery store it’s com­ing from dif­fer­ent coun­tries if it’s not in sea­son. Our car­bon foot­print is light. TKLs IooG onOy WooN fiYH miles to get here, and it was MusW SLFNHG IroP WKH fiHOG.”

6un­rLsH 6un­flowHr FDrP har­vests the ob­vi­ous — DEouW 15 DFrHs oI sun­flow­ers — but also grows fresh pro­duce.

WKLOH WKLs wDs WKH firsW year Nick Perna, owner of Truly Pure and Nat­u­ral in Telford, at­tended the food fes­ti­val, he said he loves the idea be­hind it. He even let peo­ple taste his new­est cre­ation, raw creamed honey.

“TKLs HYHnW GHfinLWHOy FrHates aware­ness and sup­ports lo­cal farm­ers and pro­duc­ers. If peo­ple don’t sup­port lo­cal farm­ers, their food choices will start lack­ing,” he said. “Lo­cal farms get back to the olden days where food tastes good and not doused with chem­i­cals.

“We’re pro­vid­ing peo­ple healthy choices, and choice has no age, so why not ed­u­cate ev­ery­one?” Pena said.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent photo — SU­SAN KEEN

Mary Lan­dis, of Sun­rise Sun­flower Farm, sells lo­cal pro­duce to Galen and Marie Hos­good dur­ing the Farm­ers’ Pride Food Fes­ti­val at Gen­er­a­tions in Soud­er­ton.

June Strawl sells fresh veg­eta­bles from Liv­ing Hope Farm at the Farm­ers’ Pride Food Fes­ti­val at Gen­er­a­tions in Soud­er­ton.

Liv­ing Hope Farm of­fers gar­lic for sale at the Farm­ers’ Pride Food Fes­ti­val at Gen­er­a­tions in Soud­er­ton.

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