No, I don’t mean the new brewery at Turkey Hill in Bloomsburg, though that certainly is worth writing about as well. I mean our recent but overdue decision to stop importing water from Italy for our dinners at Old Tioga Farm. Some might find it absurd that we were ever importing water from Italy in the first place. After all, for a business dedicated to local eating to be buying water flown in from 4,000 miles away does seem a bit silly.

But our aim with the restaurant has always been to recreate the experience of dining in Italy, and dining in Italy universally involves bottled mineral water. To Italians, water is a real ingredient and its quality matters. Italians understand that mineral water from natural springs provides the best flavor and greatest benefits for health. In seeking out the best for our customers, we too have always striven for the finest ingredients available, which are almost always local ones. But in the case of water we always made an exception and were proud to offer both Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino to our guests.

Still, our carbon footprint needled us. The idea of using our own still water while continuing to purchase sparkling water seemed untenable. But finally we came across a simple machine for sparkling water at home, and we were sold. After some trials and comparisons, we’ve been thrilled to serve our own well water for the past few weeks to rave reviews. Our own well water is of excellent quality and flavor and blind taste tests compared with imported bottles have vindicated our decision. At least until the budding fracking industry destroys our well water, we’re very pleased to have reduced our carbon footprint while providing our customers the most excellent, and the most local, dining experience possible.

– Justin