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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, 38th39th, 51st, and 52nd) 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.

May 13: Urban Tree open house

Join Urban Tree in celebrating 6 years of progress.  Come experience the wood shop, finishing room, design studio and gallery.  Browse completed pieces & new projects underway and learn more about our process. 

11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at 7800 Susquehanna Street, Suite 401.  Open parking lot available at the building.
Be sure to visit our friends and neighbors throughout 7800 Susquehanna - other tenants also holding open studios on May 13 include:
Radiant HallMia TarducciStak CeramicsRyan LammieFoulke Fine Art ConservationAlba Art Conservation and Alexi Morrissey 



May 11: Food & Farming film screening



Under Contract:  Farmers and the Fine Print  

Join  Grow Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Library this growing season for the first ever Food & Farm Film Series, co-hosted by passionate and knowledgeable organizations and individuals involved in our local food systems. 
For the first time in a full-length documentary, contract farmers tell their stories and industry experts reveal how the corporate production model pits farmer against farmer.  Under Contract tells this story through the lens of global poultry farming, providing a timely glimpse into the little-understood fine print of modern agriculture.
6-8 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Homewood branch  (7101 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh   PA  15208).  Free and open to the public.  

May 6: Sustainability Salon on Food

The 64th Sustainability Salon will take place on May 6th, with the second half (or third third, depending on how you count it) of our annual Focus on Food.  Local food, organic food, humane food, seasonal food, growing food, food issues, food education -- be here, and be sated!   Speakers will include Dan Dalton, manager of PASA's Three Rivers Sustainability Hub;  sociologist Alice Julier, director of Chatham University's Food Studies Program at Eden Hall Farm and author of Eating Together: Food, Friendship, and Inequality;  Jonathan Burgess of the Allegheny County Conservation District and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council talking about food policy, urban agriculture, and soil health;  and local permaculture leaders Michelle Czolba and Darrell Frey, with their brand-new book The Food Forest Handbook The next salon will very likely be on June 17th, on the topic of Pittsburgh's Water Future -- the prospect of privatization, and the risk of contamination. 
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, it's a mini-conference, it's 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 particular 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 films on 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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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. 

May 3: GASP Making the Connection on Urban Asthma

Join GASP for our next event in the Making the Connection Series:  Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir will discuss her research and afterwards there will be a panel of health and community experts to respond to her presentation. Networking and refreshments will be from 5pm - 6pm in the Hutchinson and Hayashi Auditorium.

5 - 8 p.m. at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.  Registration is $5 per person. Please sign up online before attending.  Please review Magee parking information.  Visit the the GASP website for the most up to date event information.

Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Pulmonology Division of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY. She specializes in evaluating and treating children with asthma and other childhood respiratory disorders. She is also a physician-scientist that is interested in understanding the complexities of asthma in children living in urban environments. 
Dr. Lovinsky-Desir will address the complex relationship between the health benefits of physical activity and the potential risk of increased airway pollutant exposure during physical activity in urban polluted environments. She will highlight research from her group and others investigating the individual and combined effects of physical activity and pollution on asthma and airway disease. This work ultimately seeks to understand how to keep children living in urban polluted environments active and healthy.


Apr 30: Working For A Future We Can Believe In

A new group, in the wake of November's election, has been seeking to bring people together for positive action in a practical way on pressing issues of our times.   The first meeting brought folks together for reflection;  the second meeting will focus on areas each person feels passionate about, and aims to help all to focus their energies with others of similar inclination for action.  

Join others from around the city of Pittsburgh to reflect, pray, and decide how to act to promote dialogue, compassion, and foster more social justice in our city and our world.  Focus groups on immigration and refugees, the environment, healthcare, interfaith dialogue, and economic disparity will be included

1:30 to 3:45 p.m. 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).  All are welcome!  There is no charge, but registration is requested. Go to http://doodle.com/poll/hxwn2vwb2qqu6nwf  to register.

Apr 29: FutureFest

Want to see the future?   Come to FutureFest 2017, and get a glimpse of the world of tomorrow through art, demonstrations, performance, science, hands-on activities, and fun for all ages.  There’s a bright, sustainable future ahead to create and enjoy.

A large, free, public festival, FutureFest 2017 is the result of collaboration between several stakeholder organizations, led by Communitopia, working across different sectors - with the same goal of celebrating and promoting Pittsburgh’s vision of an achievable, sustainable future.

The event will be an immersive experience, full of performances, food, music, and activities.

10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on the front lawn of Phipps Conservatory.  Free & open to the public;  lots more information is on the event web site!

Apr 27: Going Solar with the FEC

Going Solar with the Frick Environmental Center 
You're invited to join the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, 350 Pittsburgh and Solarize Allegheny at the Frick Environmental Center to learn how to go solar!  Solar energy is the fastest-growing energy source in the world.  While the Pittsburgh region has a reputation as a cloudy place, we receive much more sun than Germany and China - the leading solar nations.  There are already more than 11,000 solar installations in Pennsylvania and they are popping up across southwestern Pennsylvania neighborhoods.  Solar electricity is now as affordable as your electric bill, and can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the system, creating a sound investment for your home.  

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.  Pittsburgh non-profit Conservations Consultants, Inc. will also be on hand to provide information about the Sound Home Plan, a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program, which is a one-stop-shop to help Pittsburgh-area homeowners identify and make their homes more healthy, safe, and energy efficient.  More information on the Sound Home Plan can be found at www.getenergysmarter.org.  You'll also learn about interesting sustainability features at the Frick Environmental Center, their commitment to the Living Building Challenge and their impressive solar array.  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.  More information about Solarize Allegheny can be found at www.SolarizeAllegheny.org, and about this event on its Eventbrite page.   Residents who sign a solar contract by June 16 will receive a $500 discount from participating installers.

6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Frick Environmental Center on Beechwood Boulevard in Squirrel Hill.  Light refreshments will be provided.  The event is free, but please register.  More information and online registration here.

Apr 21: Sustainable Economy summit

The THRIVE: Sustainable Economy Summit will inform you about types of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other aspects of the sustainable economy, and help communities start to plan and implement sustainable development.  

Speakers will include Dr. Terrence Collins on Green Chemistry, a transformation to healthy manufacturing; Allison Rohrs and Michael Sell of PA Wind Maps, St. Francis Institute for Energy;  Hannah Smith-Brubaker Executive Director PA Assn. of Sustainable Agriculture  (former PA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture);  Joe Pizarchik, former Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior; Dr. Patricia DeMarco, author of Pathways to a Sustainable Future; Monaca Borough Manager Mario Leone Jr.; and a Panel on Eco-Tourism.

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (doors open 8:30 am) at the Rustic Lodge, 2199 Oakland Ave, Indiana PA, 15701 

Cost: $10 (includes lunch);  no charge for students.  More information and registration at  http://conta.cc/2mbeixM.

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of PA, in collaboration with League of Women Voters of Indiana County, Center for Community Growth, Evergreen Conservancy, IUP Sustainability Studies Program, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development.




Apr 21: Inhabit: permaculture film screening

Discover the world of permaculture design with an exciting new documentary film.  Inhabit is a feature length documentary introducing permaculture, a design method that offers an ecological lens for solving issues related to agriculture, economics and governance.  The film presents a vast array of projects, concepts, and people, and it translates the diversity of permaculture into something that can be understood by an equally diverse audience.  For those familiar with permaculture, it will be a call to action and a glimpse into what kind of projects and solutions are already underway.  For those unfamiliar, it will be an introduction to a new way of being and a new way of relating to the Earth. For everyone, it will be a reminder that humans are capable of being planetary healing forces.
Post-film discussion will be led by Juliette Olshock of Fourth River Workers Guild.  Juliette designs and manages permaculture landscapes in the Pittsburgh area.  She is a permaculture design instructor and has taught Forest Gardening Design Intensive courses with Dave Jacke in locations as far away as Montana and Oregon and as nearby as Bedford County, Pa.  She loves gardening and is creating her own food forest oasis at her home in Hazelwood.  Fourth River Workers Guild is a Pittsburgh based worker-owned design build cooperative focusing on natural building, construction, ecological design and permaculture.  They utilize a dynamic governance as a means to create a more democratic and inclusive working environment for their members and clients.  Their work is guided by the ethos of promoting and improving our local community and ecology. 
7-9 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory's Botany Hall (the small, grand building to the left of the Conservatory as viewed from the road).  

Phipps' Environmental Film Series is an exciting monthly event inviting community members to come together to view environmental films and documentaries. Each viewing will be followed by a dynamic discussion with film producers, scientists and environmental advocates, enabling attendees to share thoughts, consider various viewpoints and hear the experts’ perspectives. The series aims to raise awareness of our relationship with the natural environment, and to use film as a platform for conversation, education and positive change. Screenings for the Environmental Film Series will take place on the third Friday of every month from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Botany Hall Auditorium at Phipps. Attendance to these screenings is free with regular admission, but tickets are required; please pick up your free tickets in the Welcome Center starting at 5 p.m. on the day of the film.

Apr 20: "Living Downwind" Neville Island air stories

Allegheny County Clean Air Now has gathered a collection of stories from residents living downwind of Neville Island and the impact of air pollution on their health and quality of life.  After years of work, the book is finished, and it looks amazing!

To celebrate the completion of the book there will be a launch party and community meeting in Ben Avon.  Not only can you pick up your very own copy, but you can hear firsthand from some of those who are featured in the book.  There will be some snacks and the opportunity to buy drinks from the Anchor & Anvil coffee bar.

This event is the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day as we will also be discussing how the air has improved since the closing of Shenango and how we can keep it that way by replacing the plant with a solar farm.

6:30-8:30 p.m. at Anchor & Anvil, 7221 Church Ave., Ben Avon 15202.  For more info or to RSVP please visit the Facebook event or contact Cassi via email or phone at 412-765-3053 ext. 240

Apr 20: Inspire Lecture with the Planetwalker

At the age of 27, Dr. John Francis stopped talking. A few months prior, an oil spill prompted John to stop using motorized vehicles, and his quiet act of defiance set his town into a roaring debate. In the clashing of voices, John lost his own, and took the next 17 years (no, that’s not a typo!) to simply listen, and walk. His feet traveled through Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and the US, and eventually came upon the beating heart of environmentalism. More than 20,000 miles and a doctorate later, this Planetwalker has devoted his life to civic engagement and sustainability, and understands preservation as the interplay of human rights, gender, race and economic equality. Join the Green Building Alliance to experience Dr. Francis’ Planetwalk firsthand, and gain perspectives from Khalif Ali (Pittsburgh Foundation), Evaine K. Sing (GTECH), Joan Haley (Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows) and Jason Beery (UrbanKind Institute) about civic conversation in Pittsburgh.

4:30-7 p.m. at the Elsie Hillman Auditorium at Hill House Association (1825 Centre Avenue, 15219), starting with food, drinks, and networking.  Admission on a sliding scale, $10-40;  please register here.


Apr 13: PA DEP Listening Session on Environmental Justice

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be hosting a nine-stop “listening tour” to hear residents’ perspectives on environmental justice (EJ).  These sessions begin in the western part of the state on April 12th and 13th.  The dates and locations of these meetings can be found here. The DEP will also be accepting written comments, which can be either mailed or emailed to DEP-OEJ@pa.gov by the end of May.
The Center for Coalfield Justice and FracTracker Alliance have collaborated to summarize current EJ policies in Pennsylvania.  This is an excellent primer for the listening sessions -- come and testify!  

4-6 p.m. at the Blakey Center, in the Hill District (1908 Wyle Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219). RSVP online. More details and talking points here.



Apr 9: Town Hall with Senator Bob Casey

As we face some of the most significant setbacks to climate action we've ever seen, it's more vital than ever that our representatives are loudly fighting back.
Here in Pennsylvania, we have one Senator who is speaking out against the Trump Administration's attempt to gut and revoke every ounce of progress we have made on climate.

Show up this Sunday at the town hall to show Senator Casey that we appreciate his actions, and ask him a question!
3-4:30 at Pitt's Alumni Hall (4227 5th Avenue in Oakland, 15213).  More info and RSVP on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/390893707976287/

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!   We'll hear from Grow Pittsburgh's new executive director Jake Seltman about the organization’s many programs providing education and other resources to enable Pittsburghers to grow their own food.  Hannah Ridge is CEO and co-founder of the Ethical Farming Fund, a local nonprofit that promotes ethical animal farming by addressing producers and consumers alike, from helping local farmers improve animal welfare to connecting Southwestern Pennsylvanians to ethical farms.  Hannah will discuss the role of meat-eating in a sustainable food system.  And you may well recognize Mick Luber, who successfully fended off a gas pipeline project from his 60-acre Bluebird Organic Farm in eastern Ohio — he appeared at last month’s screening of Food Systems (both on and off-screen), and is a regular at several area farmers’ markets.  He'll be talking mainly about soil building and soil health.  Note that we're also hosting a house concert the night before, on the 7th -- and the next salon will be on May 6th, concluding our Food series.  
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, it's a mini-conference, it's 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 particular 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 films on 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.