What does eating local really mean? It means getting to know the PEOPLE who are working hard to provide your meats, produce, and value-added products. It means scheduling a visit to a farm to gain even more understanding about your dinner. It means knowing that your food does not just come from a farm, but from people. People who are not just farmers but fathers, daughters, moms, and sons working as a family in a community of friends.

Faces of Farmers is a project of The Highland Center created to help unite customers with producers in a whole new way. By telling our farmer’s stories, it aims to help market farms in the Allegheny Highlands region and help customers learn more about their food.

Ivan and Sis Puffenbarger.

February Farm of the Month: Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard

Ivan and Sis Puffenbarger have been running Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard since they purchased the business from Ivan’s father, Melvin, in 1959. Ivan grew up helping Melvin run the operation, tapping trees by hand and using a horse to collect sap buckets. Today, they’ve been in continuous operation for over 100 years, and the business has grown considerably- they tap over 2,000 trees with over 11,000 taps. Located in heart of the beautiful Blue Grass valley, 5 miles west of Monterey, the Puffenbarger’s Sugar Orchard is still a family affair, with their children and grandchildren helping out throughout the sugaring season. Read more…