To kick off a summer full of delicious local eats, Berks Agricultural Resource Network (B.A.R.N.) kicked off their B.A.R.N.OPOLY challenge Monday at Rose Lawn Bistro in Reading. Guests Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera, MBA, Bill Evans on behalf of Senator Judy Schwank, and sponsor Scott Hauseman of Fulton Bank joined the celebration, acknowledging that Pennsylvania ranks second in direct farm product sales in the nation and the importance the local food supply has on supporting small businesses and strengthening our Berks County communities.
The two-month challenge encourages shoppers to pick up a game board at participating locations and to visit each of the 39 farms, stores, and restaurants throughout the County, earning a stamp or sticker at each. The challenge runs through Saturday, August 20, at which time registered participants email a photo of their completed (or mostly completed) card to B.A.R.N. to earn prizes. Prizes are donated by the participating farms and stores, including gift certificates, honey, shirts, and experiences including a farm to table dinner.
Pictured below at the ribbon cutting are: B.A.R.N. Director and Marketing Committee Chair Jodi Gauker, Bill Evans, B.A.R.N. President Lolly Lesher, Scott Hauseman, Commissioner Rivera, B.A.R.N. Director Alice Kamp, Local Food Mascot and Calf Feeder Extraordinaire Callie “Cheese” Gauker (age 7), B.A.R.N. Director Lucine Sihelnik, and B.A.R.N. Director and GRCA Government Relations Director Katherine Hetherington Cunfer.
B.A.R.N.OPOLY is made possible thanks to generous donations by Horizon Farm Credit , Fulton Bank , and Ephrata National Bank .
During the kick-off celebration, B.A.R.N. Marketing Committee Chair Jodi Gauker suggested the following challenges while enjoying the travels and good eats around Berks County:
- Enjoy a meal out, and then use local ingredients you pick up during stops to recreate the meal at home
- Buy something for or to share with your pet
- Document your journey and make lots of memories!
Saturday Morning in Shoey:
Start out (after 9 a.m.) with a stop at Bent Limb Farm to visit Pam and learn about the farm’s rotational grazing and livestock care.
Head south to ACEC Farm to learn about how Chad and Alice got started raising pigs and pick up a pack of sausage for Sunday morning breakfast. (Personally I enjoy the maple blueberry but please leave some for me!)
Take the few mile drive over to Americana Farm Apiary and pick up a honey bear for yourself or a friend to help with seasonal allergies or sweeten your morning coffee, tea, or yogurt from Dove Song Dairy during a later stop.
At noon (or after) swing into Deerfoot Vineyards. Dan and Jaime make both sweet and dry wines, and also offer mead, often referred to as “honey wine.” My mom and husband are sweet wine drinkers and will fight over the cherry wine when available.
Looking for more stops to fill your afternoon? Consider a stop at HIVE / Homesweet Homegrown, between July 2 and 10 visit the Kutztown Folk Festival, and head north to Setter Ridge Winery, The Nesting Box Farm and Creamery, County Line Orchard (after opening in July!), and pick up a snack and drink for the ride home from Wanamakers General Store.
For questions, please contact Jodi Gauker, B.A.R.N. Marketing Committee Chair at 724-454-3674 or [email protected]