Tasting the local harvest

First Posted: 10/6/2014

Good food, good drink and good conversation — and all for a good cause.

Those were the words attendees used to describe North Branch Land Trust’s Third Annual Taste the Local Harvest held Oct. 5 at Huntsville Golf Club.

Bill and Wilma James, of Idetown, have attended all three events and said it just keeps getting better every year.

“This is always an outstanding affair,” Bill said. “I can’t say I don’t like anything here.”

Bill said he has traveled the world in his lifetime, spending 23 years in the military, and has paid much more for far less quality meals.

“Never have I had food as enjoyable as what is offered here,” he said. “And it’s for an outstanding cause. They outdo themselves every year.”

Barbara Romanansky, spokeswoman for the North Branch Land Trust, said the “awareness event” is a casual, relaxed, fun time to showcase the harvest from local farms. Romanansky said tasting tables included local beers, wines, produce, beef, chicken, turkey, cheese and more.

All the food prepared by TV celebrity Chef Michael Langdon at Huntsville Golf Club came from participating farms: Brace’s Orchard, Creek Side Farm, Darling Farms, Dymond’s Farm, Fertile Grounds, Forks Farm, Golumb Farm, George Burger & Sons Garden Center, Koch Turkey Farm, LeRaysville Cheese Factory and Rowlands Pennsylvania Produce.

As patrons walked through the venue to sample the offerings, they could tap their feet to the bluegrass band, “The Coal Town Rounders,” or watch their favorite football game.

Paul Lumia, executive director of the North Branch Land Trust, said the event honors all the local farmers, brewers and winemakers.

“We get people in the community to recognize all the good products that are produced locally,” Lumia said. “And we at the Land Trust know how important it is that these lands are protected to assure we have these products available going forward.”

One person who enjoyed the food was state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township, who lives in the middle of many of the farms represented.

“I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Land Trust and this great event,” Baker said. “This showcases to the community the outstanding products that are produced right in our backyards.”

Baker said the “Taste the Local Harvest” event allowed people to sample the tasty products and to support the Land Trust.

Romanansky said Chef Michael was impressed with the produce and other products brought to him to prepare for the event.

“He said it was good to know that local people plowed their fields, planted the seeds, cared for the plants and harvested them and now they are brought to the community table,” she said.

Romanansky said the mission of the Land Trust is “to work in partnership with landowners and their communities to conserve the scenic, natural and working landscapes that sustain us.”

Since 2008, the Land Trust has acquired or conserved more than 12,500 acres — 1,250 acres are owned by the trust and open to the public for passive recreation activities. Going forward, the North Branch Land Trust will continue to work to conserve key natural land assets in the region and conduct community outreach in an effort to educate citizens on the importance of natural areas, open space and smart development practices.

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