Farm to Table Supports Local Western PA Farms

Local farms nourish us with the ingredients we need to make great plates at home. They also keep the communities of our region strong and healthy. As employers, they support local households. As stewards of the land, they safeguard our soil, water, air, and open spaces. Their farm stores and their stalls at farmers’ markets bring us together as neighbors, united around our love of good food and good people. Western Pennsylvania as a region benefits greatly from their hard work, their ingenuity, and their sense of responsibility.

Local nonprofit Farm to Table Buy Local, founded in 2007 by Erin Hart, supports these local heroes by expanding awareness of their essential work to feed our region, by providing education and food information to schools and communities, and by facilitating food relief where it is most needed.

Visit their website for more information on local farms and how to buy from them. They offer a complete county-by-county listing of regional farms to guide your locavore shopping across the year. To get you started, here are just a few of the farms’ features.

Serenity Hills Farms

Sustainable farming methods at Serenity Hills result in delicious, high-quality meats which are antibiotic-free and growth-hormone-free. Practices of crop rotation, composting, biological pest control, and closely watched animal welfare standards, all add up to meats and eggs you can be proud to have on your table. Animals rotate among 140 acres of farmland, grazing freely, and staying healthy. The farm offers Berkshire pork, pasture-raised beef and lamb, cage-free poultry, and (in autumn) pasture-raised turkey.

Susquehanna Mills

Susquehanna Mills is a maker of top-quality canola and sunflower cooking oils, as well as raw apple cider vinegar. The company was born out of its founder’s interest in cost-effective bio-diesel fuels, and they still use waste oil from restaurants and universities to power many of their farm partners’ vehicles and equipment.

Steel City Spore

Located in East Liberty, this urban, women-owned mushroom farm recycles coffee grounds from local cafés. As the mushrooms grow in this recycled medium, the grounds are both broken down and enriched, making them (after mushrooms are harvested) valued donations to worm farms and composting sites. The farm sells fresh mushrooms at local markets, as well as growing kits and mushroom tinctures. They also conduct educational workshops all about making Pittsburgh a greener place. community classes.

Who Cooks for You Farm

Owners Aeros and Chris are first-generation farmers who clearly take joy in both their family life and in growing great food. In the growing season, their website offers detailed lists of what’s-ripe-and-when, and their Instagram feeds allow you to follow along with what’s happening. Plan ahead and join their CSA for 2024.

Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy

Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy sits on 130 acres in northern Allegheny County. This family-owned affair tends to over 100 Alpine and Nubian goats whose milk, along with local cow’s milk, is transformed on-site into scrumptious artisanal cheeses. From simple fresh chèvre to savory Cowboy Coffee and Wild Rosemary cheeses, the range of flavors is an adventure. Visit the goats and see their fun adventures on Instagram.

Soergel Orchards

In the family since 1850, Soergel’s offers the bounty of their own fields and orchards, as well as a full grocery store, a plant nursery, a gift shop, an ice cream store, a bakery, and more. It’s a must-experience gem of Western PA life. Stop in for garden plants and vegetable patch starts in the spring, veggies and herbs in the summer, peaches and apples as the days get a bit shorter, and a warm welcome all year long.

Hannah’s Honey

Starting with two hives in 2009, Hannah’s Honey now works 35 hives in Fox Chapel, O’Hara Township, Indiana Township, Natrona Heights and West Deer Township. The honey from each apiary is bottled separately, so you can experience truly local honey from each location. Beeswax and honey in the comb are usually available.

Story by Keith Recker / With Support from Buy Fresh Buy Local Western PA 

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