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Susquehanna Life

2015 Summer Organics Guide, Brought to You by Evangelical Community Hospital

Jul 16, 2015 11:30AM ● By Kevin
It's summertime and there's much to do before school begins again. From family vacations to major projects around the house and enjoying the warm weather before the cold winter returns, we here in Central Pennsylvania are blessed with many beautiful sights and sounds when the seasons change.

One thing we can all look forward to each summer is fresh, local foods, offered to us by nearby farms and other small businesses. Whether it's a restaurant, a butcher, or a farmer's market, there are plenty of foods that just taste better than the stuff you have normal access to in the grocery store.

That's right, we're talking about home-grown, organic foods. There's just something about them that tastes so much better! In light of that, we decided to put together a guide, sponsored by our friends at Evangelical Community Hospital - Lewisburg, PA, to explain the benefits of organic foods and where to get them around here. Bon appetit!

The Skinny on Organics

According to the USDA (1), "Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics. USDA organic standards describe how farmers grow crops and raise livestock and which materials they may use.

"Organic farmers, ranchers, and food processors follow a defined set of standards to produce organic food and fiber. Congress described general organic principles in the Organic Foods Production Act, and the USDA defines specific organic standards. These standards cover the product from farm to table, including soil and water quality, pest control, livestock practices, and rules for food additives."

Organic farms and processors:

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
  • Support animal health and welfare
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
  • Only use approved materials
  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food

The Health Benefits

While the Mayo Clinic reports no clear indicator (through scientific studies over the past 50 years) of major nutritious benefits to eating organic vs. non-organic, there are some health-related considerations consumers should know.

These health concerns, according to the Mayo Clinic (2), include:
  • Pesticides. Conventional growers use synthetic pesticides to protect their crops from molds, insects and diseases. When farmers spray pesticides, this can leave residue on produce. Organic farmers use insect traps, careful crop selection (disease-resistant varieties), predator insects or beneficial microorganisms instead to control crop-damaging pests. Some people buy organic food to limit their exposure to these residues. Organic produce typically carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce. However, residues on most products — both organic and nonorganic — don't exceed government safety thresholds.
  • Food additives. Organic regulations ban or severely restrict the use of food additives, processing aids (substances used during processing, but not added directly to food) and fortifying agents commonly used in nonorganic foods, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate.
  • Environment. Some people buy organic food for environmental reasons. Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.

Local Options

Check out these nearby spots to buy certified fresh organics! (3)

Paradise Valley Organic Farm 

Located in central Pennsylvania in the scenic Susquehanna Valley. We offer PCO certified organic pasturedchickens, turkeys, lamb, pork, and eggs.

Chickens are available from June through October. Birds may be purchased whole or cut-up. Frozen, vacuum-packed whole birds can be shipped. Fresh turkeys are produced for the Thanksgiving holiday. Grassfed and finished lamb are born in April, in synch with nature. All they eat is green forage and mother's milk. The lambs are available at the farm starting in October, by the whole or half, ready for your freezer. Pigs are born on pasture and supplemented with our own organic grain to finish in the fall and to be available at the farm in November and December. Eggs are always available.

Our news letter and order form can be sent on request. We are committed to the family farm and want to provide wholesome products. Farm visits are welcome, but Sunday sales are discouraged.

Paradise Valley Organic Farm, Bucky and Sherry Ziegler, 51 Ziegler Road, Milton PA. (570) 437-2156.

Farmstead Fresh, Inc

My names is Eldore Hanni. I was born and raised in the cheese business in Wisconsin. Over a period of 50 years, I established several large cheese factories.

About 5 years ago, I repented of making cheese from force fed dairy animal milk. I now only work with sustainable agriculture family dairy farms who only feed their cows grass, hay, and sprouts. I help them build miniature cheese making facilities on their farms and train them in making fome of the world's most delicious and nutritious health producing grass fed raw milk cheese products.

We ship these products across the nation under our Farmstead cheese label. We welcome wholesale orders of 20 pounds or more. All buying clubs qualify for wholesale shipments.

Farmstead Fesh, Inc., Eldore Hanni, 7171 County Line Road, Winfield PA 17889. (800) 780-7303.

Owens Farm 

Offers grass-fed/finished lamb, pastured pork, meadow-raised chicken, and happy veal raised on momma cows. Our customers reserve their meat in the spring with a deposit and pick it up at the farm cut, wrapped, and frozen at a USDA facility.

Lamb and pork come in the fall. Chickens come in 3 or 4 batches throughout summer and fall. Veal is ready at various times during the year, so interested folks email us to get on the Veal List.

Our production philosophy is to raise our animals under as natural conditions as possible. The sheep are on pasture except for 6 weeks before lambing, when they come inside for shearing and close observation. We may feed a small amount of grain at this time, if the hay is not providing enough energy for fetal growth and milk production. The pigs live outside and move through new paddocks frequently. The chickens live on grass with portable shelters. Our veal calves roam the meadows with their Jersey momma cows, forming the cutest cow herd you've ever seen. Our health care focuses on prevention and homeopathic remedies when needed.

Check out our website or come visit!

Owens Farm, Caroline Owens, 2611 Mile Post Road, Sunbury PA 17801. (570) 286-5309.

Forks Farm 

Supplies pasture-finished beef, pastured pork, grass-finished lamb, and pastured chickens and turkeys for over 100 families.

Our beef is from prime, young Angus/Hereford cattle that are allowed to grow naturally on protein-rich forage. The beef is available in wholes, halves, and quarters. Order enough to get you through the year.

Chickens are available in the summer months.

Turkeys are available in early November.

Lambs are processed in September and beef are available from mid October until early November.

Join us for our market season—lots of vendors, music, food, and fun! June-October, 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, 10am–3pm.

Forks Farm, The Hopkins Family, 229 Covered Bridge Road, Orangeville PA 17859. (570) 683-5820.

Over the Moon Farm

Over the Moon Farm is a small, grass-based organic farm in the Ridge and Valley Province of Central Pennsylvania. We raise hay, rotationally-grazed dairy heifers, pastured chicken, turkeys and pigs. We also have a lovely little Cottage getaway at the farm and a beautiful barn available for group events.

Our meats are processed under USDA inspection by local butchers and marketed locally mostly as frozen cuts, direct to our customers in the State College area. Fresh chicken is available by pre-order on specific dates throughout the summer and fall. 

Over the Moon Farm, 190 View Drive, Rebersburg, PA 16872. (814) 349 - 2697.

Plus, here's an extensive list of stores here in Pennsylvania where you can buy organic foods:

About Evangelical Community Hospital

Evangelical Community Hospital – a non-profit, independent community hospital in Lewisburg – has provided convenient, accessible and affordable healthcare for nearly 90 years. The Hospital offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including joint replacements through the Center for Orthopaedics, women’s care through OB/GYN of Evangelical, the Center for Breast Health, and The Family Place, interventional cardiovascular care, and advanced surgical services.

Evangelical’s commitment to providing outstanding patient care is evident in the growth and expansion of its services. In addition to continually adding new medical specialists, the Hospital is opening a new Heart and Vascular Center in the summer of 2015.

One of the county’s largest employers, Evangelical is licensed to accommodate overnight patients and acute rehab patients. Around 1,000 babies are born each year at The Family Place and the Hospital includes a primary stroke center, diabetes center, community health and wellness program, and more. The Hospital serves residents of Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties and their surrounding areas.

For more information visit or follow





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