Spring and summer events highlight Happy Valley’s small farms and vendors

– by Heather Longley

Happy Valley has been rooted in agriculture for generations, and Centre County’s small farms keep some traditions growing. But you don’t need your own plot of land to embrace the region’s agrarian history. Happy Valley Agventures has picked a few spring and early summer events that will appeal to everyone from hardy homesteaders to DIY late bloomers.

Heirloom Farmer Herbs

In addition to workshops, the Spring Forward Homestead Day will feature fresh herb, vegetable and flower seedlings and young plants.

- Photo provided by Heirloom Farmer

Meet friends for a tasting

Mount Nittany Winery
300 T367-1, Centre Hall

Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery is a family farm winery nestled on the side of Mount Nittany, and the only thing better than doing a wine tasting there is to create an entire experience out of it. You can reserve spots beside their pond, in their Vintner’s Loft Tasting Room, outside under their covered deck, or in a private pavilion space with an adjacent fire pit. Gather a few friends, discover some new favorite wines, and catch up in the shadow of Mount Nittany!

Way Art in the Orchard_2021

Visitors to the 2021 Arts in the Orchard at Way Fruit Farm take self-guided tours through the fruit orchard.

- Photo provided by Way Fruit Farm

Have way fun at the farm

Way Fruit Farm
2355 Halfmoon Valley Road, Port Matilda

In addition to holding space for the farm’s fruit and products, seasonal local vegetables and local grocery items, Way Fruit Farm hosts outdoor events throughout the growing season.

Apple Blossom Festival
4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 5
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 6

The farm’s “most low-key” and weather-dependent of its seasonal events features wagon rides, orchard tours, live music, kettle corn and a coffee cart. From owner Jason Coopey’s perspective, it’s the perfect cure for a long winter stuck inside.

Way Art in the Orchard_2021 vendors1

Visitors to the 2021 Arts in the Orchard at Way Fruit Farm line up for food from local vendors.

- Photo provided by Way Fruit Farm

Mother’s Day Craft Show
4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 12
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13
(Rain date, May 19-20)

Celebrate the matriarchy and treat mom to local sweet treats and crafts. At least 40 unique vendors will present hand-made items like soap, artwork, knitted gifts and greeting cards. Food vendors will have BBQ and gourmet pretzels, donuts, kettle corn and shaved ice. Live music is set for each day.

Art in the Orchard
Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 13
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 14–15

This is the third year for the growing open-air craft show. Coopey said he started the event during the pandemic as a way to help local craftisans maintain momentum, and to give the makers and crowds a mask-friendly alternative. Coopey described Art in the Orchard as “the most casual of all the art shows,” and said he’s happy to be able to offer another option to the busy Arts Fest weekend with at least 60 local artists and their affordably priced items, food vendors and live tunes.

Way Art in the Orchard2021 vendors2

Visitors to the 2021 Arts in the Orchard at Way Fruit Farm enjoy some rest and refreshments

- Photo provided by Way Fruit Farm

Taste test artisanal cheese

Goot Essa Cheese
351 Wise Rd, Howard, PA 16841

Goot Essa’s artisanal cheeses are popular with local chefs and on menus at restaurants and wineries throughout the mid-Atlantic. Located on Route 64 just beyond the village of Hublersburg, the Amish cheese shop produces 19 varieties of cow, sheep and goat milk cheese. You can sample them all, plus homemade condiments and fudge, at the cheese shop, which is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Goot Essa cheese

Connecting with agriculture

The Heirloom Farmer
7447 S. Eagle Valley Road, Port Matilda

Spring Forward Homestead Day
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20
(Rain date May 27)

The Heirloom Farmer is dedicated to organic produce grown from seed on farmland that’s been in the family for more than 100 years. Abbie Spackman has been tilling the century farm all her life, but she said starting her stand in 2021 made way for Spring Forward Homestead Day. Local homesteaders and ag community folks will lend their expertise with “hands-on, rustic learning” workshops focusing on the edible garden, sourdough, seed saving, poultry tips and more. The event will also will host garden and farm vendors, and will launch the market’s Perennial Learner Library.

Heirloom Farmer plant vendors

- Photo provided by Heirloom Farmer

Nod to the OG machine tillers

48th annual Nittany Antique and Machinery Association Spring Show
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, June 2–4
Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park grounds, 222 Penns Cave Road, off Route 192, Centre Hall

The Nittany Antique and Machinery Association Show, started in 1975, is one of the country’s largest antique machinery events. It features more than 800 vintage tractors, steam engines and farm equipment on more than 130 acres. The schedule includes a consignment sale, an antique tractor pull, machine displays and demos, food stands, a craft-flea market, parts vendors and a barrel train for kids. NAMA Sec. Sandy Berkey said last summer’s show attracted 275 campers, 174 flea market vendors and thousands of visitors.

NAMA Spring Show Supers Frick

A variety of steam tractors and engines will be on display at the 48th annual Nittany Antique and Machinery Association Spring Show.

- Photo provided by NAMA

Give power to the flower

Rooted Farmstead
138 Scott Ave., Bellefonte (off Jacksonville Road)

Spring Market
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13

Summer Market
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22

Rooted Farmstead can’t think spring fast enough. Falling on Mother’s Day weekend, owner Christie Holloway said Spring Market will feature home-grown tulips, hanging baskets, fruit and veg plants and seeds, and gifts with mom in mind. July’s Summer Market kicks off the farmstead’s pick-your-own-flower season, featuring early bloomers like snapdragon and zinnia. The event will feature live music, family activities, food and a bevy of small businesses. “Our vendor squad is the very best around,” Holloway said.

Rooted Farmstead

- Photo courtesy of Rooted Farmstead

Farmers supporting farmers

Long Lane Farm Stand Outdoor Market
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 13, June 10, July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9
2353 Upper Brush Valley Road, Centre Hall

Long Lane Farm Stand in Centre Hall is already popular for its Cowboy Candy sweet pickled jalapeños, beehive window and Jar Buy Back recycling program. Co-owners Scott Long and Michelle Verge want to put their farm on the agritourism map with a monthly makers market. Visitors can opt for a fresh-grilled Angus beef burger or try their hand at a straw bale toss. Verge said vendors will include photographers, painters, crafters, candy makers and goat-milk skin products.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events