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Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th27th, 38th, & 39th) focused on food -- growing it, sourcing it locally, and eating more humanely.  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.

Apr 8: Sustainability Salon: Springtime Focus on Food

The 63rd Sustainability Salon will take place on April 8th, with our annual Focus on Food.  Local food, organic food, humane food, seasonal food, growing food, food issues, food education -- be here, and be sated!  Check back for updates on speakers as the date approaches!  (and an Eventbrite notice will circulate some days before the event, to facilitate RSVPs).
Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site -- but this time there is no program, so come hang out!.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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!).  
July's salon with Bill Peduto
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.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Bring food and/or drink to share if you can (see below), 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.  
As always, 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, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's 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 Shell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).
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:  wine, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

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. 

Mar 29: Solarize Regent Square

Shining Light on Solar Energy in Regent Square

Join Solarize Allegheny for a presentation on solar energy, meet pre-qualified solar installers and solar owners, and get information you need to consider going solar. 

Solarize Allegheny is a project funded by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny County Health Department to expand the use of solar energy in Allegheny County.

6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Wilkins School Community Center (7604 Charleston Ave. Swissvale, Pa 15218).  Free & open to the public;  light refreshments provided.  Sponsored by the Regent Square Civic Association and Solarize Allegheny .

Mar 24-25: Farm To Table conference

Growing Roots for Healthy Communities -- this year, bringing a cultural perspective to Pittsburgh's preeminent local food conference.

With the theme Growing Roots for Healthy Communities, it’s all about celebrating the diversity of farming and traditional cooking methods that make eating local fun, educational and enriching.

The conference provides consumers with two days of networking and educational opportunities. Seasonal cooking demonstrations, gardening, and information about the nutritional value of local food are presented by local experts.

Meet with other Locavores to discuss ideas about where their food comes from and where to find businesses and organizations who can provide them with healthy food and healthy lifestyle choices.

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. both days; additional events before and after each day.  At the David Lawrence Convention Center downtown.  Online tickets here, more information here.  There's also a Facebook event, in case you want to check in with friends!  




Mar 10: Media Literacy workshop

Led by Doubt exhibition curator Nadine Wasserman, this workshop will evaluate sources in order to explore how to use media and information literacy to fact check, verify and monitor news stories. False news, click bait-y and satirical news have proliferated of late, particularly on social media, and it is essential that consumers be able to distinguish between facts and untruths. In this workshop, led by a journalist and a librarian, participants will learn how to distinguish between straight-up fake news and the murky realms of advertainment, opinion masquerading as fact, and reportage that is several steps removed from source material like scientific studies. 

Bill O'Driscoll is the arts and entertainment editor at Pittsburgh City Paper. He has also written extensively about environmental issues. In the area of media literacy, he is concerned about issues of fairness, credible sourcing and the use of the term "fake news" as a weapon to demolish the boundary between truth and falsehood.

Mary Phillips is a reference librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

7-9 p.m. at Space (812 Liberty Ave. Pittsburgh 15222).  This workshop is presented in conjunction with Doubt, currently on view at Space through March 26.   There's a Facebook event here.


Exhibition information:  To doubt is to lack certainty. But beneath an absence of certainty and a hesitance to believe is a question. Neuroscience has proven that what we see is not reality, but what the brain thinks it sees based on a quick mental construction based on sensations, memories and desires. The work included in this exhibition privileges questions over answers in order to reveal the edge between what we see and what we think we see, what we know and what we think we know.

Artists: Lenka Clayton, Lori Hepner, Melinda McDaniel, Gina Occhiogrosso, Diane Samuels, Mary Temple


Mar 4: Sustainability Salon screening Food Systems

The 62nd Sustainability Salon will take place on March 4th, completing our annual Winter Film Series and beginning our annual Focus on Food (tricky, that Maren).  Our trio of winter film salons got a late start this season, and so will continue into March for the first half of our annual Food Focus.  Local documentary filmmaker David Bernabo will join us to share his film series Food Systems.  We'll also have Erin Hagan with the latest on the upcoming Farm To Table Conference.  
The next salon will be on April 8th, with more on food!  Local food, organic food, humane food, seasonal food, growing food, food issues, food education -- be here, and be sated!
Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site -- but this time there is no program, so come hang out!.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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!).  
July's salon with Bill Peduto
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.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Bring food and/or drink to share if you can (see below), 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.  
As always, 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, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's 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 Shell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Plastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).
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:  wine, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

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. 

Feb 19: Reflections on justice, peace and faith.

Working for a Future We Can Believe In 


Because justice, compassion, equality, peace and truth are the core of the Gospel message in every place and time, attendees will ask how faith guides our response to the era we live in.  How do we listen to, affirm, support, and encourage one another when we experience profound uncertainty and challenging transition?  What are our options for political, legislative, and social action in 2017?  How do folks ground themselves in God’s presence and a faith community?  There will be time for sharing, group discussions, and prayer.  

1:30-3:30 (doors open at 1) at Sullivan Hall on Mt. Washington (131 Bigham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15211. Behind the former St. Mary of the Mount School which is on the corner of Grandview & Bigham Avenues).  RSVP required;  please egister via this Doodle poll: http://doodle.com/poll/frserayqd7nyb79q

Feb 11: Sustainability Salon Winter Film Series continues


The 61st Sustainability Salon will take place on February 11th, continuing our annual Winter Film Series.  'Cause it's winter!  (which is supposed to look like the photo at left, in case you forgot.)  (O wait, now it does, for a couple of days!)  But because Pittsburgh keeps ranging into the 60s in January and February (and lots and lots of other reasons), we'll be focusing on climate change -- both mitigation and adaptation.  
On the adaptation front, the film Facing the Surge looks at the situation in Norfolk, Virginia, which like so many coastal cities is already facing substantial sea-level rise and anticipating even more.  How to prevent the worst effects of climate change?  Reduce carbon emissions as fast as possible, primarily by eschewing fossil fuels.  Kirsi Jansa's Sustainability Pioneers has been taking us on virtual tours of people and places near and far, looking at potential solutions.  The eighth episode looks at how utilities are responding to climate change, and the emergence of community solar (our topic at the 20th salon, in 2013) in Boulder, Colorado.  We'll also screen an episode of Years of Living Dangerously that considers the prospects of electric and self-driving cars (featuring Ty Burrell, a.k.a. one of the dads on Modern Family) and also The West Wing's Bradley Whitford joining Citizens Climate Lobby to convince Republican legislators of the need to act on climate -- we'll have local CCL leader Ray Roberts with an update on CCL doings.  We'll also have opportunities for participatory advocacy, from letter-writing right here to connecting with efforts at the national (Carbon Fee & Dividend), state (the PA Solar Jobs Bill), and local levels (signing up volunteers for Mayor Peduto's reelection campaign -- and if you can't make it to the salon, you can also connect with the campaign by email).  And if you have space on your own roof to take very direct climate action, Solarize Allegheny is still on for another few months;  we'll have info on that, as well. 
The next salon will be on March 4th, with David Bernabo's Food Systems.  And in a rare burst of long lead time, the 63rd salon will almost certainly take place on April 8th.
Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site -- but this time there is no program, so come hang out!.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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!).  
July's salon with Bill Peduto
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.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!
Bring food and/or drink to share if you can (see below), 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.  

As always, 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, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's 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 Shell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with Plastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).
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:  wine, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  

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.