Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

While the history of Earth Day is about the protest of environmental atrocities, I believe we're a kinder, gentler more euphemistic society. Now we plant trees and clean up spoiled areas with the spirit of mother love. I do enjoy a rousing protest but I admit that I like the idea of cleaning your own corner of the globe with a "can do" attitude and a "pat yourself on the back" sense of accomplishment.
As someone said to me recently, and you know who you are, "I live earth day everyday so doing something for April 22nd is a non-issue". And so probably do most of us reading these kinds of blogs. Earth Day to me is a lot like St. Patty's Day, at least back when I was childless, in that I leave the drinking on holidays to the non-professionals. It's strictly amateur day. So it goes with Earth Day, I sit back and relax knowing that the part timers are picking up the slack for the day. So for those of us that live and breathe environmentalism and sustainability, go have a beer.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Earth Day Recycling

I just got back from Whole Foods and on Earth Day, April 22nd, they will be collecting plastics #1- #7. Hurray! If you're like me, your pantry is full of yogurt and take out containers that now have a place to go. Remember to bring along batteries and plastic bags for recycling as well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Let's Talk More Trash

Mark your calendar--our next seminar will be Thursday April 30th from 6-8pm with speakers Matt Colip and Mike Giuranna of the EPA. Matt is an expert on water conservation and Mike will speak about composting. Want to know how to divert garbage from the trash can? Mike's your man! And also presenting Lee Meinicke, co-founder with Meenal Raval of Philly Compost, Inc. They will provide a local composting service for restaurants and small grocers in NW Philadelphia. Philly Compost will turn food and yard waste into compost for use by local gardeners and farmers. They are seeking customers for the service and a location to house our system.

Location TBD.

Urban Girls Produce and SCEE

News - Urban Girls Produce

Farmer and Urban Girls Produce founder Gina Humphreys comes from a rich farming tradition. Gina’s grandparents were farmers; with the help of her father and his three siblings, Gina’s grandparents farmed 110 acres organically, and without machinery. In 2003, after being away from her family’s farm for 20 years, Gina once again began farming. She started by retilling her grandmother’s garden, and enjoyed it so much that she expanded the garden, was joined by another farmer, and started selling veggies at the Clark Park Farmers Market a year later. Urban Girls Produce (UGP) was born, and now has three markets in Philadelphia.

Urban Girls is devoted to two things: bringing beautiful, nutritious, affordable, organically grown produce to the city, and treating farming as a sound, financially sustainable business. For UGP farmer Mildred Conklin, whose past work as a farmhand often resulted in little or no pay, this mission is especially important:

“I am very grateful to have found Urban Girls. Finally, someone else who believes farming (the labor we love) can and should be a viable business, a way of life that has little to do with hobbies, luxuries, or sacrifices. The profit share arrangement that we use helps to establish locally produced food as a viable business, a valuable part of the community; sustainable for both the environment and for society. For me, it means that I can settle in one place and produce wonderful, affordable food for my community without sacrificing my own basic needs. In other words, work I can believe in that allows me to eat and pay rent.”

This season UGP is embarking on a new partnership with The Schuylkill Center. Gina and the UGP farmers are thrilled with the rich soil, biodiversity, and beauty of their new location. This year, UGP is relying on succession planting to create a longer, more fruitful farming season. Cabbages, broccoli, onions, and more are currently being seeded into flats. In early April, potatoes, lettuces, and cooking greens will be planting directly in the field. These early-season crops will be followed with Urban Girls’ most popular varieties: okra, tomatillos, lima and pole beans, basil, a rainbow of tomatoes, and more. With good weather and a bit of luck, the season will continue through Thanksgiving, with more greens, late-season potatoes, celery, and a variety of storage crops.

By early summer, you’ll be able to find Urban Girls’ produce at the Clark Park , Northern Liberties, and Parmer Park farmers’ markets (and, with luck, here at the Schuylkill Center).

Penn State's Composting Schedule

Below is the schedule - see end of post for registration info:
April 18, 2009 The Wyck Association Wyck Home Farm 6026 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144 1:00 pm. – 4:00 pm., Tel: 215-848-1690
April 25, 2009 Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education 8480 Hagy's Mill
Road Philadelphia, PA 19128 10:00 – 11:30 am., Tel: 215-482-7300
May 2, 2009 Awbury Arboretum Association Community Garden Club Ardleigh &
Washington Lane (entrance on Ardleigh ) Philadelphia, PA 19138 10:00 – 11:30 am
June 6, 2009 Pennypack Environmental Center 8600A Verree Road Philadelphia, PA
19115 1:00 – 2:30 pm., Tel: 215-685-0470
June 27, 2009 Bartram's Historic Garden 54th & Lindbergh Blvd. Philadelphia, PA
19143 10:00 am. – 11:30 pm., Tel: 215-729-5281
Please pre-register by calling the Penn State Extension Horticulture Department at
link: http://backyardcomp ost.cas.psu. edu/countiespage s/philadelphia. html

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Keeping the Earth Film

Keeping the Earth Film at St. Paul’s Chestnut Hill April 19

In anticipation of Earth Day 2009 St. Paul’s and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Churches, Chestnut Hill, will co-host a showing of the film Keeping the Earth: Religious and Scientific Perspectives on the Environment. This award winning inspirational film calls on all Americans to serve as good stewards of the natural world. Prominent scientists and religious leaders offer their perspectives on the need to protect our environment and the diverse species that share it. The film is narrated by James Earl Jones and produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.

Keeping the Earth will be presented on Sunday April 19, 2008, as part of an Earth Day program from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. in St. Paul’s Parish Hall located at 22 E. Chestnut Hill Ave., Philadelphia. The 30-minute film will be followed by a discussion with local environmentalist Richard Whiteford. Admission is free. For more information or directions please call 215-242-2055 or visit