Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the fourteenth and fifteenth!) focused on food -- growing it, and sourcing it locally.  Afterwards, Maren put together a list of many such local sources:  CSA farms, farmers' markets, grassfed and humanely raised meats and dairy, natural foods suppliers, bakeries, and advocacy organizations.  This list now resides on a growing Resources section of the Putting Down Roots Blogger site.

May 4: Sustainability Salon on Environmental Education

Join us on Sunday, May 4th for the 28th Sustainability Salon, this time on Environmental Education.  Lots more information will appear here...

May 2: Farm to Community Conference

Women for a Healthy Environment will host the second annual Farm to Community Conference, featuring a track on Farm to School programs. National, regional and local speakers will address the subject of access to wholesome, fresh, local foods both in urban and rural settings.  We hope you will be able to join us for this dynamic day of learning!



8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Double Tree Hotel in Green Tree.  For more details and to register, click on this linkThere are many CEUs being offered, including Act 48 and SNAPa.

Apr 17: Paul Sabin on Earth's Future

The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future
Paul Sabin, Associate Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will market forces and technological innovation yield greater prosperity?  In this lecture, Yale University Professor Paul Sabin will draw on an iconic story to examine the historical conflict between environmentalists and their conservative critics and trace the origins of the political gulf that separates the two sides.  In 1980, the iconoclastic economist Julian Simon challenged celebrity biologist Paul Ehrlich to a bet.  Their wager on the future prices of five metals captured the public’s imagination as a test of coming prosperity or doom.  Ehrlich, author of the landmark 1968 book, The Population Bomb, predicted that rising populations would cause overconsumption, resource scarcity, and famine—with apocalyptic consequences for humanity.  Simon optimistically countered that human welfare would flourish thanks to flexible markets, technological change, and our collective ingenuity.  Sabin’s lecture will weave the two men’s lives and ideas together with the era’s partisan political battles to show how the clash between environmental fears and free market confidence helped create today’s gaping and rancorous political divide.


4-6 p.m. in Margaret Morrison A14 at Carnegie Mellon University

Apr 15: Public hearing on fracking in County parks

Concerned about having Fracking under Deer Lakes Park?  (and possibly the start of fracking under all of our county parks)?  Rich Fitzgerald wants approval to frack under OUR county parks!  Allegheny County Council will soon vote on Ordinance number 8182-14 (see below) which will grant him that power!

A total of 8 NO votes (or abstentions) are needed to stop fracking from starting in our parks!  There are 15 council members, one from each district and 2 at-large members.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!  Attend and speak at the April 15th County Council public hearing.  You can speak for up to 3 minutes if you preregister by Monday afternoon at 4:30, but even just attending sends a message!

Tuesday April 15th 5pm at the County Courthouse (436 Grant Street Gold Room 4th floor).  You can register online or via phone at (412) 350- 6490 (by 4:30 p.m. on Monday).

Whether or not you can attend the meeting, please make your council member and the 2 at-large members aware of your opposition to fracking under the county parks.  Write or call them.
All Council members email addresses and phone contacts 

Ordinance Number 8182-14:

An Ordinance of the County of Allegheny, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, authorizing the leasing of the County’s interests in the oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons from all formations deeper than six hundred and fifty feet (650’) above the top of the Tully Formation underlying Deer Lakes Park on the condition that no drilling activity to extract oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons shall be conducted anywhere on the surface of Deer Lakes Park.

Apr 12-13: Earth Day in Frick Park



At the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the Frick Environmental Center, every day is Earth Day!
Every year, we welcome the entire community to Frick Park for a free, two-day celebration of international Earth Day. No need to register, but early arrival and sign-up ensures your spot at scheduled events.
All events will start at the site of the former Frick Environmental Center (2005 Beechwood Boulevard). Due to limited parking and in the spirit of Earth Day, we ask that you consider carpooling, walking, biking or busing to these events:
Community Campfire
Saturday, April 12th
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Join us for an all-ages community campfire under the stars on Saturday evening! We’ll provide the fire and roasting sticks, you bring your own hotdogs, veggie dogs or s’more fixings.
Nature Walks and Hikes
Click here for the full schedule of events
Sunday, April 13th
Ever hour between 11:30am - 4:00pm
Get outdoors to enjoy a series of hikes and activities throughout Frick Park led by expert naturalists. Brush up on your tree and mushroom ID skills; learn about 'critters in the litter'; volunteer to remove invasive plants; and much more!

Apr 10: Inspire lecture with the Planetwalker

Changing the world starts with one step...  please join the Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory for an inspiring evening with Dr. John "Planetwalker" Francis, Patty deMarco, Mike Schiller, and students from the Environmental Charter School.  You'll hear a truly remarkable story from environmentalist, author and empowering change agent John Francis.  In response to witnessing the devastating 1971 San Francisco Bay Oil Spill, he set out upon a personal pilgrimage of fundamental protest in which he did not use motorized transportation for 22 years, and spoke not a single word for 17 years!  During his journey, he earned several degrees including a Ph.D. in land management, which positioned him in high demand as an expert on oil spills when the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred.  John walked from Wisconsin to Washington D.C. and broke his vow of silence by speaking at Earth Day in 1990.  As a United Nations Good Will Ambassador, John’s message of listening, caring and collaborating for a better world is a coming-of-age story of how any individual can make a profound difference.  


Joining Dr. John Francis on stage will be local community champions Patty DeMarco, Mike Schiller and a group of students from the Environmental Charter School. 

Dr. Patty DeMarco has spent a 30-year career in energy and environment in both the public and private sectors.  She is the former Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and was the Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University.  Her current research focuses on removing institutional barriers to sustainability.  As a Rachel Carson scholar, hear Patty explain how the legacy of Pittsburgh’s own Rachel Carson is still alive and singing to our region today.

Mike Schiller is the current CEO of the Green Building Alliance, but also has a long entrepreneurial career in Pittsburgh, helping to found Confluence Technologies Inc. (specializing in investment data management) and Venture Outdoors (helping to connect all of Pittsburgh to the outdoors).  Mike will double-dog dare you to care about reclaiming your connection to nature and your role in making our region a healthy and high-performing place to live, learn, work and play.

Students from the Environmental Charter School may be young in body, but they are bold in spirit and resolute in their visions for what is necessary to enable today’s youth to be tomorrow’s transformative leaders.  These strong voices will remind us of the importance of fostering curiosity in our youth, connecting them to their communities, and how we can create better conditions for our students to thrive.  Read a recent blog post as a preview!

5 – 8 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213).  Join us at 5 p.m. to enjoy delicious appetizers, a cash bar, an excellent banjo band, and great networking! Lectures begin at 6 p.m.  Sliding scale registration fee;  learn more and register here.
Click here to find out how you could have dinner with Dr. John Francis after the lecture.

You can also view a highlight reel of the entire Inspire Speakers Series events to date.


Apr 5: Sustainability Salon on Food


 
The 27th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, April 5th.  The topic will be FOOD -- growing it ourselves, and sourcing it locally.  This will be our third annual Food edition, and once again the topic is stretching out into two sessions, because of the wealth of food-goings-on in our region!  This is a good time of year for would-be gardeners to get started, and for urban folks to find their favorite farmers and markets.  


Speakers will include Greg Boulos on the Blackberry Meadows Farm garden share CSA and a produce-to-people program with food banks;  East End Food Co-op manager Justin Pizzella on their local grower/producer program and how it relates to expansion and to ethical and resilient food infrastructure;  local chef Jacob Mains on his innovative traveling Farm Dinner program;  Ian Johnson with a gentle path toward a more plant-based diet called Fooganism;  and organizer Margaret Kran-Annexstein of Food & Water Watch about the new Healthy Farms, Healthy Families initiative to rein in the abuse of antibiotics on factory farms (and the resultant drug-resistant pathogens) here in Pittsburgh and beyond.  Also Marisa Manheim of Grow Pittsburgh;   CSA farmer Don Kretschmann;  CJ Gonzales of Ballfield Farm on the North Side;  T. Lyle Ferderber, farmer, miller, and purveyor of organic & natural foods via Frankferd Farms Foods;  and local rancher Oliver Griswold (who delivers grassfed Scottish Highland beef and pastured heritage Berkshire pork to sites around Pittsburgh, including our front porch).  More speakers may be added;  check back here for updates!

More details will be forthcoming, but c'mon out if you want to find out about how to start seedlings, make compost, get a garden going, grow mushrooms, keep bees and chickens, or ferment food and drink;  learn about food foraging or where to purchase wild edibles;  explore healthier eating, organic gardening, and permaculture concepts;  meet farmers and join a CSA;  connect with PASA, our regional sustainable agriculture organization;  find local farmers' markets, community gardens, school gardens, and volunteer opportunities;  see how grocery stores work with local producers;  think about humane and healthy livestock practices;  hear about other upcoming local food events;  source seeds, seedlings, and gardening supplies;  talk about preserving food at home, or learn about a great local restaurant, bakery, or wholesale supplier…  the list will depend in part on who can come!   Last year, we even had a cameo by Bill Peduto:

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation as well as the many other interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 3 & 4 p.m.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm.  We usually introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

Note once again that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome -- thanks to Beth for her help with the transition to EventBrite), but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  
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For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfood, and more food.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well. 

Apr 4: Charge Car open house

ChargeCar will have an open house to celebrate the installation of a new Tesla HPWC (High Power Wall Connector) at the Electric Garage in Oakland.  Thanks to Dr. Howard Kaplan for the generous donation of installation costs, and to the Tesla Corporation for the donation of their charger.

This is an opportunity to recognize how dramatically the use of the Electric Garage is improving every month, and future plans for the Electric Garage will be discussed.  They have also invited Tesla to come and help to thank them, as well as Solar City.  EV owners are encouraged to bring and brag about their EVs.

4-7 p.m. at The Electric Garage, 4621 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (parking available at the garage).  Free and open to the public.  

Apr 1: Town Hall Forum on antibiotic resistance and factory farms

Food & Water Watch will host a Town Hall Forum with speakers from the agricultural, medical, and political communities talking about the problem of antibiotics resistance due to the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms and it should be very informative!

Come out for an evening of education and empowerment and show your support for Food & Water Watch’s Healthy Farms, Healthy Families Campaign! Learn more about the issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria from guest speakers and experts!

For too long, Big Ag has gotten away with prioritizing profit over public health. We need Pittsburgh City Council to pass a resolution, calling on Senator Casey to support the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act (PARA), which would end the overuse of antibiotics in livestock feed, and safeguard their effectiveness in treating you and your loved ones.

Guest speakers at the Forum will address the issue of antibiotic resistant bacteria and explain what can and must be done to counter this growing threat. The panel will conclude with a Q&A period and information on how you can get involved in this important campaign.


7 p.m. at Bar Marco's community room (2216 Penn Ave., 15222.  Free and open to the public.  The Facebook event for the event is here.  For questions, please contact Margaret at margaret@fwwlocal.org or 513-886-0879

Mar 31: Climate talk and panel


The University of Pittsburgh Honors College in cooperation with Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and The National Aviary presents James K. Boyce on “Climate Policy as Wealth Creation”.

We need to drive investment in renewables and energy efficiency through economic signals, including carbon pricing as well as conventional environmental regulations. If and when we price emissions, via a carbon tax or a cap-and-permit system, a crucial economic and political question is: Who will get the money? Join us for the next Climate Change Lecture by energy economist James K. Boyce from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

a panel discussion will follow the lecture featuring:
    Erica Cochran, Carnegie Mellon University
    Paul Ohodnicki, National Energy Technology Laboratory
    Stephen Rose, Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center
    Moderated by Christina Gabriel, University Energy Partnership

4:30 PM in the University Club (Ballroom B).  For full information about the lecture and to reserve your free seat, go here.

Mar 30: Urban Health workshop


Mar 30: "Out Here" film screening on queer farmers

Do you love queer farmers?  Get ready for a spring-time love-fest that will knock your socks off!

The Queer Video Vault is excited to present Out Here: A Documentary Film About the Hearts and Hard Work of Queer Farmers in the U.S. 

2-5 p.m. at the Melwood Screening Room (477 Melwood Ave. Pittsburgh 15213).  2 p.m. door (mingle, snacks), 3 p.m. film, 4 p.m. panel discussion with the film's director and local queer farmers doing beautiful things.  $5-$10+ sliding scale

You can see the trailer and more info at http://outheremovie.com, and there's a Facebook event page.

Out Here is a full-length documentary film created by the Queer Farmer Film Project. Completed after 4 years in production, it looks at the experiences of queer farmers across the country and asks – what does it mean to be a queer farmer, is agriculture a safe space for queer people, and what are the relationships between food production and queerness?  It is the filmmaker’s dream that this project will give voice and visibility to queer people in agriculture and inspire a flagrant national discussion about gender and sexuality as they are related to our food system.”

You can follow the QVV online:

Mar 29: Women and Biking Forum

Bike Pittsburgh and Chatham University have partnered to host the city's first ever Women's Biking Forum in Pittsburgh!  


A day of facilitated workshops, discussion groups, and keynote speakers aims to provide a space where women can talk about their experiences and gain knowledge and resources. Women of all ages and skill levels will find workshops directed towards basic bike adjustments, upkeep, the fundamentals of riding, and how to choose appropriate layers for all-weather riding. Discussion groups will focus on riding with children and families, navigating bike shops, safety, incorporating bicycling into your life, and experiences (the good, the bad, the silly).
Bike Pittsburgh’s Women and Biking Program works to encourage more women to incorporate bicycling into life in a way that feels comfortable to them.  By opening the discussion about women’s lived experiences and challenges, we can assess how to better provide support and resources for women who want to ride bicycles in Pittsburgh. 
Sliding scale registration can be done online -- space is limited;  please RSVP here.  Build community with other women and enjoy a free catered lunch provided by Marty's Market and Highmark!
Presented by Bike Pittsburgh, transforming our streets and communities into vibrant, healthy places by making them safe and accessible for people to bike and walk. 
Chatham University prepares its students, bachelors through doctoral level, on campus and around the world, to excel in their professions and to be engaged, environmentally responsible, globally conscious, life-long learners, and citizen leaders for democracy.
* Women and trans identified people are welcome.
 

Mar 27: Climate change series at Pitt

The Global Studies Center, University Honors College and the Model UN Club, will present a series of four events to foster understanding and engagement on the urgent topic of climate change, with key participants in the debates at the UN and from major non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  All events start at 4pm and will be held at the O'Hara Student Center, 4024 O'Hara Street, on the Pitt campus.

January 30                  The UN Framework on Climate Change

February 13                Drowning: Climate Change Hits a Small Island

February 27                Outside Pressure: NGOs as Climate Change Stakeholders

March 27                     Making a Difference in Climate Change Discourse: The UN and/or Popular Movements 
           
Guest speakers, participating via video, will discuss the politics of climate negotiations, the possibilities and limitations of the UN in addressing environmental issues, and how civil society groups, from environmentalist to public-health and peace activists, engage the UN.  Recommended readings for each event posted on website. Each session will include time for Q&A and extended dialogue with the guest speakers.
  
The sessions will be moderated by Dr. Roger Rouse, Instructor in Global Studies at Pitt, and by Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, a professional diplomat from Pakistan who is the Founding President of the Ambassadors Club at the UN and a Senior Fellow if the UN’s Institute of Training and Research. 

Speaker bios, relevant readings and more about the sessions are available at the series website http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/global/dialogs/climate-change-talks

Mar 21-22: Farm to Table conference


Farm to Table is all about connecting farms & local food producers to the community.  Eating real food & cooking at home are critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  We hold community events throughout the region to  educate consumers about where they can buy local & how to prepare local foods. 
Friday & Saturday, March 21 & 22, 2014 from 10 am - 5 pm each day at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown.  

Cooking demonstrations, speakers, kids activities and a giant Expo Hall full of local food exhibitors.  Our Keynote Speaker is Judy Wicks, author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business, and founder of the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, PA. 

You will meet farms, wineries, food producers, retailers, non profit organizations, farmers markets, CSAs, media groups and many more.  Check out our website for speaker schedule, exhibitor list and registration links.  Teachers can get free ACT 48 credits & registration. Email ssteranka@american-healthcare.net for details. 
Friday, March 21, 2014 from 5 pm - 8 pm
Join us Friday evening after the Farm to Table Conference to sample both local food & beverages.  Over 50 vendors participate and each supplies a taste of some local drink or dish.  A separate registration is required. 

Background

Farm to Table Pittsburgh encourages Western PA consumers to eat real food from local farms, restaurants, personal chefs, food producers, CSAs, etc.  Farm to Table Pittsburgh started back in 2006 and is the nutrition component of the American HealthCare Group Wellness Program.  We're a family business based in Pittsburgh. Our Farm to Table theme is: Keep it Real, Keep it Local.  Our clients are employers, school districts, community groups and senior high-rise buildings.  We are scheduling Farm to Table School Assemblies.  We have programs for elementary, middle or high school aged children.  Kids learn where food comes from, how to eat healthy and about local farms.    

Mar 20-22: Celebration of Pittsburgh's New Economy

GREETINGS FROM THE NEW ECONOMY!  
The Thomas Merton Center’s New Economy Working Group will convene a Celebration of Pittsburgh’s New Economy.  Learn what other people and organizations are doing to transform Pittsburgh’s economy into one where the rewards and benefits are equitably shared among business employees or employee-owners, stakeholders, and host communities; one that creates strong, nurturing social ties; and which replenishes the natural environment. There's a lot to celebrate!

There are three events slated for the Celebration of Pittsburgh’s New Economy:

Thursday March 20 – The NEWG sponsors Green Drinks, a monthly sustainability networking event.  5-9 p.m. at the Map Room, 1126 S. Braddock Avenue Pittsburgh 15218. 

Friday March 21Seminar on New Economy Solutions with Gar Alperovitz 
2-4:30 p.m. in the Frick Fine Arts Building on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Evening Discussion with Gar Alperovitz 
5-8 p.m. the Adamson Wing of CMU's Baker Hall.

Saturday March 22 – New Economy Market, Gar Alperovitz on New Economy Solutions, local initiative highlights and workshops, New Economy Catalyst Awards. 
8:30-4 p.m. the Adamson Wing of CMU's Baker Hall.

For more information and to register for each of these events, click here.

Gar Alperovitz will first speak on the systemic, political, ethical, and cultural problems that prevent the majority of Americans from benefiting from unprecedented economic productivity and profits among the economy’s largest corporations. Then he will speak on solutions that are emerging from various efforts to make the economy more democratic and to increase economic benefits more broadly in society.
The NEWG is soliciting ideas that demonstrate new economy principles in action - that is, show innovative resource use, repurposing, or "upcycling"; carry out a business idea that creates shared value among the owners and community; or tell the story of an important new economy solution - and will make small awards - to support several ideas' execution as "New Economy Catalysts".                                                                                                                                                                                         Anyone working to bring about or benefit from a shared value, environmentally sustainable, or just economy.  The new economy is happening now;  find out where you fit in!
For more information and specific program times and location directions go to http://www.NEWGpgh.wordpress.com and http://facebook.com/ NEWGatTMC  Participation is open to everyone. 

Molly Rush, a co-founder of the Thomas Merton Center, observes, “I, like millions of others, have come to believe our current global corporate and financial system of control is unsustainable. We must keep working to resolve these issues everywhere: in the streets, in the courts and the statehouses. But we also need to be creating an alternative system, one that is locally based, owned and run by the people, environmentally sound, and just. That new economy is, in fact, emerging; we are just too involved in the fray of everyday life to step back and see what it looks like and how we all fit in.” 
What is “The New Economy?” Definitions differ, but it is the economy of the future: one where economic success means fair and equitable benefits; one that uses of social, financial, and environmental resources efficiently; and where business activity replenishes our environment.   
New economy projects, businesses, and community benefits will be featured, from around Pittsburgh and elsewhere.  We are excited to be soliciting and awarding “New Economy Catalyst Awards”, small grants to projects that practically demonstrate new economy principles of being beneficial to their participants/creators, the community, and the Earth.

Why participants in Pittsburgh’s new economy will want to attend: Spend this time not only learning about the problems we face in an extractive economy but about solutions, meeting other people who are helping to create the economy that works for the 99%, together, build new and stronger ties, and to further cultivate what is already working. Help set in motion an economy that creates shared value – for businesses, employees, owners or employee-owners, and host communities alike.

Mar 20: Green Drinks for a New Economy

Green Drinks for March will be hosted by Pittsburgh's New Economy Working Group, kicking off the New Economy Celebration weekend, March 20-22.  The NEWG weekend will be a chance to learn what other peole and organizations are doing to transform Pittsburgh's economy into one where the reward and benefits are equitably shared among business employees or employee-owners, stakeholders, and host communities;  one that creates strong, nurturing social ties, and which replenishes nature.

5-8 p.m. at the Map Room, 1126 S Braddock Ave. in Regent Square (Swissvale, PA 15218).  Please register here.

Mar 15: Sustainability Salon on Food



 
The 26th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, March 15th.  The topic will be FOOD -- growing it ourselves, and sourcing it locally.  This will be our third annual Food edition;  this is a good time of year for would-be gardeners to get started, and for urban folks to find their favorite farmers and markets.  


The March 15th Salon will feature environmental educator Joylette Portlock with great news about a new Farmers’ Market in Swissvale;  American Healthcare’s Erin Hart on the upcoming Farm to Table Conference;  Trevett Hooper, chef/owner of Legume Bistro, on navigating the balance between the most serious focus on local ingredients you’ll find in our area and the fantastic dining experience Pittsburghers are looking for;  Hannah Reiff of Garden Dreams with a virtual walk through the seasons in the operations of an organic urban farm;  Eryn Hughes on the role of the East End Food Co-op in the cycle of farm to table;  organic farmer Maggie Henry on the challenges of growing food in the face of the ongoing gas rush -- the latest twists in the path being earthquakes and forced pooling (there's a sign-on letter for those who can't make it to the hearings;  Gabe Tilove to talk about the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange, and Cameron Hassanzadeh with an introduction to Social Dish, a new program to connect Pittsburghers with local restaurants while supporting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.   

Seed sharing!  Prior to the Salon, from 1-3 p.m., we'll be hosting a Seed Sharing session, organized by Mary Beth Thakar.  She has already purchased a wide variety of vegetable seeds in quantity, and folks will sit down and chat while while divvying them up.  Should be a blast!  Space for that is quite limited, so be sure to email mbthakar@yahoo.com for more information and to sign up!  

A peek ahead at April 5th reveals Greg Boulos on the Blackberry Meadows Farm garden share  CSA and a produce-to-people program with food banks;  East End Food Co-op manager Justin Pizzella on their local grower/producer program and how it relates to expansion and to ethical and resilient food infrastructure;  Emily Schmidlapp of Just Harvest on EBT (food stamps) at area farmers’ markets;  local chef Jacob Mains on his innovative traveling Farm Dinner program;  Ian Johnson with a gentle path toward a more plant-based diet called Fooganism;  and organizer Margaret Kran-Annexstein of Food & Water Watch about the new Healthy Farms, Healthy Families initiative to rein in the abuse of antibiotics on factory farms (and the resultant drug-resistant pathogens) here in Pittsburgh and beyond.  More speakers may be added in the meantime;  check back on MarensList for updates!

More details about the salon speakers will be forthcoming, but c'mon out if you want to find out about how to start seedlings, make compost, get a garden going, grow mushrooms, keep bees and chickens, or ferment food and drink;  learn about food foraging or where to purchase wild edibles;  explore healthier eating, organic gardening, and permaculture concepts;  meet farmers and join a CSA;  connect with PASA, our regional sustainable agriculture organization;  find local farmers' markets, community gardens, school gardens, and volunteer opportunities;  see how grocery stores work with local producers;  think about humane and healthy livestock practices;  hear about other upcoming local food events like Farm to Table;  find out what's going on up at Eden Hall Farm;  source seeds, seedlings, and gardening supplies;  talk about preserving food at home, or learn about a great local restaurant, bakery, or wholesale supplier…  the list will depend in part on who can come!   Last year, we even had a cameo by Bill Peduto:

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden as well as the many other interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 3 & 4 p.m.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm (unless you're participating in the seed-sharing session).  We usually introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

Note once again that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome -- thanks to Beth for her help with the transition to EventBrite), but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  
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For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfood, and more food.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  


And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well.