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Cornmeal and oatmeal being packaged at Howell Farm today for delivery to local food pantries.

In keeping with its longtime practice of contributing heirloom and heritage field and garden crops to the community through local food banks and pantries, the Mercer County Park Commission’s Howell Living History Farm is providing wheat flour, cornmeal, oatmeal, fresh eggs and more in support of local initiatives to help those in need during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Besides the half-acre of potatoes it just planted for later distribution through Mercer County food banks, the farm is making weekly donations of eggs, whole wheat flour, cornmeal and oatmeal to local food pantries and community programs. The donations come with recipe cards for making bread, pancakes and muffins. The oatmeal includes instructions for cooking oatmeal as well as for making oat milk.  

To date, the farm has provided food pantries with 150 pounds of its wheat flour, 200 pounds of cornmeal, 275 pounds of oatmeal (all in 2-pound bags) and 150 dozen eggs.

The farm also is providing skeins of yarn to volunteer knitters who are making hats, mittens, socks and scarves for donation to those in need of woolen clothing items. The yarn is spun from wool sheared from Howell Farm’s 30 sheep. Each fleece produces about six, 200-yard-long skeins of wool — enough to make six scarves, a dozen pairs of mittens or a dozen hats.  In addition, members of the farm’s volunteer sewing group are making masks from cotton cloth.    

Submitted by Howell Farm, which is is owned by Mercer County and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. It hosts more than 65,000 visitors annually, offering schoolchildren and members of the public opportunities to learn about past and present farming methods through tours, interactive programs and hands-on experiences. Although the farm is currently closed to the public, it continues to care for the crops, animals and natural resources essential to the community. 

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