Annual Farmers’pride Food Festival highlights local growers
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.
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.