Local Foods Through the Winter!

As local outdoor farmers markets wind down for the season, here’s how you can continue to eat local, seasonal and sustainably-grown produce and other farm products throughout the winter:

Northwest Pennsylvania Growers Cooperative is a group of 19 farms from Butler, Mercer, Lawrence, Crawford, Clarion, and Venango counties, who raise a full range of organic/natural products. The cooperative offers two wintertime opportunities. Customers can purchase a winter farm share/CSA in which they pre-pay a set amount prior to the growing season, and then receive a share of the harvest every other week. (CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a partnership in which farms and consumers share equally in the rewards and risks inherent in agriculture.) Add-ons are available for local eggs and meats, including ground beef, sausage or chicken. NWPA Growers also offers a Winter Market Webstore, through which customers can place orders online for specific items. There will be 8 pickup dates for shares and webstore orders, beginning November 29 and ending March 14, with nearby pickup sites in Butler, Grove City and Slippery Rock, as well as other sites. Find details about each of these options at http://www.nwpagrowers.com/ or visit NWPA Growers’ Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWPA-Growers-Co-op-362940736424/

“Go Green” Electric Car Show and Festival this Saturday, September 16th!

Free event for all who are interested in clean energy alternatives for transportation and sustainable living. For festival news and related information, go to: https://www.facebook.com/GoGreenFestivalNews/

September 13: Citizens’ Climate Lobby to Inaugurate New Chapter in Slippery Rock

Between two record-breaking hurricanes, amidst one of the worst wildfire seasons in US history, and with concern about other extreme events, as climate change advances, we are sharing the following information:
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will hold an inaugural meeting of a regional chapter that will cover the area of Congressional District 3 (Representative Mike Kelly’s district). The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 13, 5:30 – 8:30 PM at the Robert Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research on Slippery Rock University’s campus (247 Harmony Road, Slippery Rock, PA).
Ray Roberts, Pennsylvania’s State Co-Coordinator for CCL, will lead the discussion during the meeting. Pizza and beverages (water, iced tea and soft drinks) will be ordered, so attendees are asked to bring a few dollars to chip in for the expense, if possible.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a “non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.” Taking a respectful approach to climate education and building on shared values within communities, CCL works toward “the adoption of fair, effective and sustainable climate change solutions,” including a proposed Carbon Fee and Dividend system. All who are interested are invited to attend this meeting to learn more about these efforts, as well as possibilities for our congressional district.
A flyer for the event appears here: PA03_InauguralMeetingFlyer

Slippery Rock Farmers and Makers Market in Full Summer Swing!

Ahhh, summer at the market! Sunshine and ample rains have resulted in a wonderful abundance of seasonal favorites. You’ll find tasty, ripe tomatoes; beans, beets, and potatoes in a variety of colors; peppers, both sweet and hot; freshly cut herbs and flowers; summer squash; garlic and onions; sweet corn, and much more, as each vendor brings their freshest and best offerings to the market.


Visit the Slippery Rock Community Farmers and Makers Market from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon, every Saturday through the end of October at Rock Falls Park, along route 173, two miles south of Slippery Rock. Activities for children and local musicians are also featured on various Saturdays. 

All produce sold at the market is locally grown, often using organic or environmentally-friendly practices. (Growers are happy to answer questions or talk with customers about their growing methods.) Some vendors also offer freshly-baked breads, pastries, fudge, jams and jellies, or eggs. A variety of home and body care products, jewelry, decorative and gift items, and even pet treats and toys are hand-made by regional artists and crafters. While some vendors are “regulars,” appearing every week, others come to market as their seasonal products are available, or in rotation with other markets and events. Come often to see what’s available each week.

In August, look for:

  • David Byler of Riverside Farm near New Castle, who offers ultra-sweet, organically-grown corn.
  • Joe Repucci of Big Rock Farm near Boyers, with his specialties: freshly harvested garlic, onions and potatoes.
  • Barnhart’s Blueberries of Chicora: While it may be a bit late for their blueberries, they grow shiitake mushrooms, as well as a variety of tasty, colorful, summer vegetables.
  • Common Sage (Joan Hutzley) of Butler, who brings bedding plants, flowers, vegetables, herbs, and hopes to soon be harvesting honey from her own beehives.
  • Normand Homestead of Slippery Rock, with fresh vegetables; fresh-baked breads, granola bars and pastries; goat milk fudge; and soaps, lotions, balms and other body care products.
  • Sutton Farms of Butler, who appear at market about every other week with their own grass-finished beef.
  • Fairy Gifted, The Merry Faun, From the Earth, Paws in the Sand, and DelRay.S, who offer hand-crafted items as their summer event schedules allow. Jewelry, suncatchers, candles, bookmarks, pet treats and other unique items appear from these vendors and other artisans through the market season.

Climate Change Educational Program this coming Sunday!

Climate Change and Penn’s Woods:
What Might the Future Hold?

Sunday, June 25, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
at Jennings Environmental Education Center
2951 Prospect Road, Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Free, public program. Preregistration NOT required.
How might climate change affect us here in Pennsylvania? Find out during this presentation by Greg Czarnecki, Climate Change and Research Coordinator with Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

As the climate changes, plants and animals have three options – adapt, move, or die. This is already beginning to happen in many places across the globe, including Pennsylvania. Mr. Czarnecki’s presentation will look at the current and projected impacts of climate change on our native species and forests, and the challenges and opportunities conservationists face in helping to ensure their survival.

Slippery Rock Community Farmers and Makers Market Opens for the Season May 6th!

Slippery Rock Community Farmers’ and Makers Market will open for the 2017 season on Saturday, May 6th at Rock Falls Park (on Route 173 just south of Slippery Rock). Get to know the folks who grow your food and create various handmade items, each Saturday from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon through the end of October.

Because all produce offered at the market is locally grown, shoppers might expect to find asparagus, rhubarb, herbs, and early spring greens, as these become available during the month of May. Vegetable, fruit, and flower seedlings and plants for transplanting into gardens and landscape beds will be featured at the beginning of the market season. Vendors also will offer a variety of fresh and preserved foods, including grass-finished beef, goat milk fudge, jellies, breads and other baked goods. Unique handcrafted items, such as natural soaps, hair and skin products, knit items, jewelry, and decorative pieces will be available as well.  New vendors are welcome and are encouraged to contact srcfarmersmarket@gmail.com for more information.

In addition to products for sale, the market schedules live music; informative speakers and displays; and activities for children throughout the season. Keep up with what’s happening at https://www.facebook.com/SRCFM. Call the farmers’ market hotline with questions: 724-374-3276. Better yet, come see for yourself what the market has to offer.

Local Climate March April 29

The Peoples Climate Movement will hold a march on Saturday, April 29th in Washington, DC for “climate, jobs and justice.” If you are not able to go to DC, there are local “sister” marches listed on the website, including one in Butler, PA on the same day.  See the flyer image below or the event Facebook page.



Sustainable Slippery Rock and SRU Invite Community Participation in Earth Month

April is Earth Month in Slippery Rock! Sustainable Slippery Rock is partnering with Slippery Rock University in encouraging community members to be part of the events happening throughout the month. 
Here’s a look what’s happening. More details and updates will be available on SRU’s Sustainability website. (Keep checking, as ongoing plans are being made.) *Note that parking is FREE, with no permit required, after 5:00 PM on SRU’s campus.
1. The first event will be a keynote presentation by Chad Pregracke on Tuesday, April 4th at 6:00 PM at SRU’s Smith Student Center Theater. Learn a little more about Chad and his efforts to clean up some of America’s greatest waterways here.
2. On Thursday, April 6th at 6 PM at SRU’s McKay Building the film “No Impact Man”will be shown. See the trailer here. (Note: there is some minor language in this film, so use your best judgement as to whether or not to bring your kiddos along.) Dr. Shawn Davis, professor in the Parks and Recreation Department will introduce the community wide “No Impact Week” Experiment, in which all students, faculty, staff, community members and families will have the opportunity to participate during the week of April 9th. After the film, an optional, informal mixer will offer a chance to meet others who are committing to the experiment, and perhaps arrange to share experiences.
3. On Sunday, April 9th the “No Impact Week” Experiment begins. Everyone will have the opportunity to register to be a part of this experiment. Your experiment is specific to you; the great thing is that you can tailor and adjust the level of challenge for yourself. SRU will have a Facebook page set up, so that participants can post, share ideas, and ask for help among their fellow community experimenters! We’re eager to see whether this challenge will help people make small, simple, permanent changes to their everyday lives, that will help make a positive change for our community, natural environment, and our overall quality of life. For more information on experiment details click here. SIGN-UP EARLY for the No Impact Experiment HERE.
4. April 22nd, Earth Day, will feature a variety of opportunities for learning and action on campus and within the broader community: 
  • EarthFest will be held at the Macoskey Center on campus 12 – 4 PM. (Find details here when they are available). 
  • Jennings Environmental Education Center invites volunteers to participate in “Take Back the Woods: Battling Invasive Species,” to help remove invasive plants from the park on the same day 9 AM – 1 PM. (Registration is required through DCNR’s Calendar of Events.)  
  • “Go Green” festival will take place at Clearview Mall near Butler, 11 AM – 5 PM. This free, public event will feature displays and information about “green” products and services, home improvement businesses, conservation organizations and electric vehicles. Find details here

“Communicating Climate Change” in Butler This Weekend AND Future Action Opportunities

Saturday, March 11, 12:30 pm at the Butler Public Library (218 N. McKean St. Butler, PA)

Marcellus Outreach Butler presents another opportunity to learn about climate change:

The presentation by Dr. Shawn K Davis will focus on how to discuss climate change and other environmental issues in persuasive ways, in order to influence peoples’ beliefs, attitudes and actions. It will cover the importance of knowing the audience, how to frame environmental issues, and potent communication tools, such as stories. Part talk, part workshop, come ready to discuss, learn and practice these environmental communication techniques. The program is free and open to all.

Dr. Davis is an  assistant professor in the Parks and Recreation Department at Slippery Rock University. He completed a master’s degree in human dimensions of natural resources through a fellowship program with Walking Mountains Science Center in Colorado. Shawn’s Ph.D. research at Colorado State University involved investigating place-based educational strategies for communicating climate change in America’s National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. His current research involves a collaborative project that partners rock climbers with bat biologists to discover roosting locations in Colorado.



Get sociable! Meet up at the Brick House for Climate Cocktails
Thursday, March 16, 7:00 PM

Consider joining other local people who are concerned and motivated to be active about climate change. They will be getting together in the private banquet room of the Brick House in Butler for “Climate Cocktails” (118 North Main Street). Here’s a chance to connect with folks in a social atmosphere – food, drinks, conversation.

Climate March and Rally in Butler
Saturday, April 29, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
This will be a “sister march” to the Peoples Climate Movement march in Washington, D.C. on the same day. Find details here.

Solar Energy Presentation February 24th

Join Sustainable Slippery Rock for a presentation by Greg Winks, Solar Energy Consultant for SolarCity, on Friday, February 24th, 7:00 PM at the Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation’s building* in Slippery Rock. The presentation will cover the state of the solar industry in the U.S. and in Pennsylvania; how solar energy works; why someone would choose to “go solar”; financing options; and the timeline for converting to solar energy. This will be an informative presentation, not a sales pitch for any particular company or product.

Mr. Winks’ background includes educational outreach related to solar energy, assistance to homeowners, and consulting with commercial, municipal and institutional organizations in order to incorporate solar options into their long-term energy strategies. SolarCity is a “national leader in clean energy services, working toward efficient and affordable solar solutions for homeowners, businesses, schools and government organizations. http://www.solarcity.com/ 

*Ginger Hill Unitarian Universalist Congregation is located at 174 South Main Street, just behind the buildings facing South Main Street along “Grange Alley.”  Parking is available in the public lot along Elm Street. https://www.google.com/maps/ place/41%C2%B003’46.8%22N+80% C2%B003’21.6%22W/@41.062987,- 80.0566242,18z/data=!3m1!4b1! 4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41. 062987!4d-80.055992 )