Farm to chef: Increasing farmer and chef capacity for marketing and purchasing agricultural products in western Pennsylvania

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $96,571.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $70,023.00
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
David Eson
PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, corn, rye, soybeans, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, apples, apricots, berries (other), cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs, ornamentals
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, rabbits, swine, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, free-range, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, stockpiled forages, watering systems, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, marketing management, agricultural finance, market study, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: hedges - grass, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, compost extracts, cultural control, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, physical control, mulching - plastic, precision herbicide use, row covers (for pests), sanitation, soil solarization, trap crops, traps, mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: permaculture
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, composting, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, public participation, urban agriculture, analysis of personal/family life, employment opportunities, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    The purpose of the project is to facilitate the selling and purchasing of agricultural products between farms and restaurants. Farmers will learn how to sell to restaurants, where to find interested chefs, and what products to grow. Chefs will learn what type of products are available, where to buy these products, and when to buy them. PASA will design and produce farmer and chef surveys, promote the project to farmers and chefs in western Pennsylvania, design and implement networking and learning opportunities for farmers and chefs, list interested farms and chefs in the Farm Fresh Guide and Sheet, and provide technical assistance. An evaluation will focus on both the successes of our engagement activities and farm sales to participating restaurants.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Of the 500 farmers and 200 chefs who learn about the project, 70 farmers will open new markets by selling at least $5,000 of their products to 50 chefs by 2008.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.