Penns Valley, Pa.: A Chain of Tradition

While other communities control raw milk as though it were toxic waste, residents here have access to dozens of raw-milk dairies, thanks to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's work with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

| October/November 2014

  • Several hamlets make up the Penns Valley, Penn, community.
    Photo by Cyndy Engley
  • The Neff Round Barn in Centre Hall.
    Photo by Cyndy Engle
  • Motorists share the road with Amish buggies.
    Photo by Cyndy Engle

Each year, MOTHER EARTH NEWS selects a handful of sustainable communities to highlight in our annual Great Places feature. Check out the other towns featured in our 2014 installment: 8 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of.

Penns Valley, Pennsylvania. This community in central Pennsylvania is not a single city, but a string of tiny towns that dot the valley along the main roadway. Its beautiful ridge-and-valley topography challenged settlers who arrived in the early 1800s, but many of those families remained in the area, forming the communities of Millheim, Centre Hall and Spring Mills.

“The older generations in this area set a tone with their mores and traditions,” says Cyndy Engle, who has lived in the area for 12 years and was attracted to it because of its undercurrent of respect and care, as well as her appreciation of the area’s history. It is, however, a place where a “quick trip” to the grocery store can end up taking an hour, she says. “You see people you know in every aisle and you stop to catch up on their family news. The deli counter person knows what your family likes and also makes recommendations for events going on in the valley. At checkout, the cashier not only knows your name, but also how you like to have your produce packed.



“The grocery shelves are lined with products bearing local family names,” Engle says. “I love knowing that the food I eat was grown in the same soil as that on the bottom of my shoes.”

Brian Snyder of the nationally recognized Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture says PASA works statewide to bring farmers together to learn from each other and to build relationships with consumers looking for fresh, local and sustainably produced food. “Our soils are rich here, and home gardens proliferate — many in the front yard,” Snyder says. “Many gardeners grow their own meat animals alongside their vegetable gardens.”






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters