Penns Valley area residents already know the valley is a hidden gem.
But earlier this week, it was made official.
Mother Earth News named Penns Valley a “Great Place You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of.”
The magazine focuses on organic gardening, cooking and food preservation, natural health, renewable energy and other homesteading. It chose its list based on natural beauty, local food options, and friendly, slow-paced way of life.
It got help with the “greatest places” list from Millheim-based Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture.
Magazine representatives approached the organization in late spring to find tips on nice areas of Pennsylvania, said Brian Snyder, PASA executive director.
“We sat down and thought about it, and just kind of looked around and thought that right here in Penns Valley is that place,” Snyder said. “There is so much in terms of its environmental and agriculture presence, to the revitalization of Millheim, and the Grange Fair. We really have it all and work to preserve that.”
PASA nominated Penns Valley, and magazine researchers scoped out the area.
“We just thought, ‘My goodness, there is an awful lot that people don’t know about Penns Valley’,” Snyder said.
A release from Ogden Publications, which oversees the magazine, said the article will take a look at PASA, the rolling hills and lush valleys, variety of locally produced food and its people in the valley.
“Care and respect for each other and the environment run deep in Penns Valley, and it shows in friendly encounters across the area and the painstakingly raised and produced local foods,” said K.C. Compton, senior editor for Mother Earth News.
Snyder compared Penns Valley to “a little Asheville, N.C.”
“We don’t want this to be the popular trendy spot in the scale of how we operate, but one of the hidden gems in the country,” Snyder said. “We’re very proud to be here.”
Penns Valley is also the home of Pennsylvania Certified Organic — a Spring Mills-based, Department of Agriculture-accredited nonprofit that educates and certifies growers, processors and handlers of organic crops, wild crops, livestock and livestock products in Pennsylvania.
The feature will be in its October-November issue, on sale Sept. 23.
The list serves as a way to recognize cities and towns that demonstrate “positive civic engagement, invest in the local economy and develop meaningful environmental initiates,” the report said.
Other cities recognized include Ashland, Ore.; Beaufort, S.C.; Bozeman, Mont.; Burlington, Vt.; Evanston, Ill.; Lincoln, Neb.; and Sparta, Tenn.