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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.

Aug 12: 67th Sustainability Salon

In a departure from our usual format of talks and discussion focused on a single topic, this month we'll have more informal, free-flowing conversation.  Overall event timing remains the same, but I won't be interrupting the conversations for the presentations!  And if the Right Folks turn up (you know who you are), we'll have a bit more time for music after the potluck supper.

Please check back on MarensList for updates, as the date approaches, and for the date of the September salon.   In the meantime, we'll be having a house concert with Two Of A Kind and Brad Yoder on July 20th.

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 getting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell'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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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. 

Jul 20: House Concert with Two Of A Kind & Brad Yoder

One giant leap for mankind!  At least for those who enjoy a wonderful house concert.  Join us for another great show in the Putting Down Roots Occasional House Concert Series.  


Two Of A Kind is David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans -- joined this time by their sons Ari and Jason (who just finished college).  Best known for their award-winning children's music, they'll present a "grown-up" concert, adding 4-part "family harmony" plus French horn and trombone.  This intimate folk/singer-songwriter concert will include original, traditional and cover songs by the likes of Pete Seeger, Melanie DeMore, Tom Waits, Greg Brown and more, including lots of topical/political material on topics such as climate change, peace and justice, and songs to give you hope in these difficult times.
Opening for the Heitler-Klevans clan will be local singer-songwriter Brad Yoder!  We'll enjoy a taste of Brad’s unique mix of humorous, poetic, political, funky and edgy original songs, covering a musical range from folk to indie rock (with unexpected musical and lyrical twists) which has earned him a loyal following ranging from kids to retirees.  And as a special treat, he'll be joining Two of a Kind on the saxophone for a song or two!

Two Of A Kind will also be doing a couple of free interactive kids' shows at libraries in the area that week, a Summer Reading Program performance titled Building a Better World featuring songs about books, reading, and making the world a better place.  Daytime shows in Butler and New Castle (more details below).

House concert at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) at our home in Squirrel Hill.  Light fare to share (contributions welcome but not expected).  Directions and other info will come after you RSVP -- and please do RSVP even if you know your way!  RSVP by email to maren dot cooke at gmail dot com with "concert" in the Subject line, with name(s) of attendees -- and/or via the Eventbrite notice that will appear closer to the date, if you're on the email list for Sustainability Salons (email me with "salon" in the Subject line if you'd like to be added!)  Suggested donation is $15 (goes to the performers;  we won't use Eventbrite tickets but we will be passing the proverbial hat)

Two Of A Kind's other area performances: 
Wednesday, July 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Butler Area Library (218 N. McKean St., Butler, PA 16001, info at 724-287-1715).  
Thursday, July 20 at 10 a.m. at the New Castle Library, 207 E. North St., New Castle, PA 16101;  info at 724-658-6659).
Possibly also a program at the Carnegie Library/Squirrel Hill branch (412-422-9841) on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning -- still ironing out details.  

Jul 15: Sustainability Salon on Getting STEM into Congress

A reminder:  please remember to RSVP if you might come!  And apologies for the multiple emails this month, what with a salon and a house concert less than a week apart...  


With a flock of science deniers in the White House for the next while, wresting control of Congress back into the world of reality is more important than ever.  The 66th Sustainability Salon will take place on July 15thon the topic of Getting STEM into Congress.  We'll have Duquesne University biologist John Stolz who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 12th District (to replace Keith Rothfus), and Shaughnessy Naughton -- biochemist, former congressional candidate, and founder of 314 Action, which aggressively advocates for a pro-science agenda in D.C.   And local scholar and policymaker, Forest Hills Borough Council member Patricia DeMarcowill discuss the value of citizen scientists in public office, sharing a few instances where being a scientist has aided in the disposition of policy matters in the public interest.  
Please check back on MarensList for updates, as the date approaches, and for the date of the August salon -- which will be our annual no-topic gathering (so that I don't have to interrupt the conversations for the presentations).  In the meantime, we'll be having a house concert with Two Of A Kind and Brad Yoder on July 20th.

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.   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 keeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell'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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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. 

Jul 13: Managing Risk in a Changing Climate

Penn State Center Pittsburgh, WPSU Penn State, Penn State Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA), and the City of Pittsburgh are hosting the Pittsburgh premier public screening of  Managing Risk in a Changing Climate, with a panel discussion to follow.

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Penn State Center/Energy Innovation Center in the Hill (1435 Bedford Avenue 15219;  the Covestro BrightSpace on the first floor.)  Free, but space is limited so you need to register in advance.  For more information and to register online, go here.

Jul 1: Pittsburgh March Against War

The unilateral military actions and proposals of the Trump administration threaten to draw the United States deeper into the cycle of perpetual war.  We believe ordinary people, through bold, nonviolent activism, have the power to stop the next conflict. 

We seek to rebuild the mass anti-war movement by opposing military spending increases, the irresponsible use of force abroad and the outsized role of the military industrial complex, with a large demonstration on July 1 -- the Pittsburgh March Against War. 
Pittsburgh must stand united in its opposition to a growing militarism that has sparked reactionary movements around the world, threatens to slash social service budgets and allows private corporations to profit excessively off of the production, and ultimate use, of destructive weaponry.

Participants will assemble in Schenley Plaza (4100 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15260) at 1 p.m. for a rally under the tent with speakers and music, followed by a march through Oakland at 1:30.  Along the way will be a few tops where marchers will voice disapproval of local institutions that profit from war.  The march will end in front of the Cathedral of Learning, on Bigelow Blvd. 

Featured musical performers include Raging Grannies of Pittsburgh and Dan Schlegel.

For more information, please contact: antiwarpgh@protonmail.com

Jun 28: City Council water votes

The Our Water Campaign is going to Council to support two pieces of legislation that would bring Pittsburgh closer to having safe, affordable water. Council will be voting on a bill requiring mandatory disclosure of lead lines to new homeowners and renters, and another bill that would replace homeowner's private lead lines for free.  Passing these bills would be two huge wins for the Our Water Campaign, and would bring Pittsburgh closer to having safe, affordable water!

10 a.m. in City Council Chambers on the 5th floor of the City-County Building (414 Grant St.). You can learn more and check in on Facebook here. Note that this event shifted from June 21st due to Council postponement. 

Jun 27: Ohio River Watershed vision

Headwaters: A Bold New Vision for the Ohio River Watershed 

In many ways, the Ohio River is an unsung resource.  The Ohio’s near-thousand-mile course flows through Pennsylvania and five other states before emptying into the Mississippi. It’s a source of drinking water for more than five million people.  But its long legacy as a “working river” has also made it the most polluted in the country.  Those living along its banks from Pittsburgh to Louisville are now beginning to realize that reimagining their relationship to the river could prove crucial to the region’s future.


Join WESA's The Allegheny Front for a discussion about the future of the Ohio River watershed, with a keynote talk by Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, followed by a panel discussion 

6-8 p.m. at Point Park University's Center for Media Innovation (305 Wood St. 15222).  Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages provided.  Space is limited, so please register early!  More information and online registration are here.
Hosted by The Allegheny Front to celebrate the launch of their new podcast, Headwaters, which will explore what this new chapter in the river’s history could look like — and how we can get there.

Jun 25: Allegheny SolarFest


Come on out for the third Allegheny SolarFest!  Free admission to the Children's Museum all day.  Ride your bike to the event during OpenStreetsPGH!! 

Solar energy companies will show you how you can go solar, and there'll be an electric vehicle car show, food trucks, music and information on solar, energy efficiency, solar-powered aquaponics, efficient solar home design and more!  

Great music, too!
• 10:15 - 11:45 am: The Chiodi Trio
• 12:15 - 1:30 pm: Buffalo Rose
• 1:45 - 3:00 pm: Brad Yoder


10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Buhl Park, in front of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum (10 Children's Way, 15212).  The event is powered with 100% solar energy!  More information ('cause the flyer at left is too small here) and free online registration are here.  And you can check in on Facebook to see who else is going!

Jun 24: Visit the first oil well

Tour of the Drake Well Museum
Photo courtesy of wiki user Niagara.
Join the Sierra Club PA Legacy Issues Committee on a tour of the site of the first commercial oil well drilled in the United States.  Learn about the birth of the oil industry and its impact to Pennsylvania.  In addition to a tour of the museum, there will also be a presentation on abandoned gas wells and other legacy issues in the state of Pennsylvania.

11 a.m. at the Drake Well Museum, Titusville, PA.  Space is limited, so RSVP online here.

Jun 17: Sustainability Salon on Pittsburgh's Water Future



The 65th Sustainability Salon will take place on June 17th, on the topic of Pittsburgh's Water Future -- the prospect of privatization, and the risk of contamination.  We'll have Alissa Weinman of Corporate Accountability International, based in Boston but working with Pittsburghers to prevent further privatization of Pittsburgh's water system.  The Our Water Campaign is a a collaborative of eight local organizations working for safe, affordable, and publicly controlled water for the residents of Pittsburgh.  We'll have both Tom Hoffman (Sierra Club) and Aly Shaw (Pittsburgh United) to bring folks up to speed on our local water worries and how they're being addressed.  And to help open a window into the government side, City Council member and PWSA board member Deborah Gross will be with us, as well!  Check back on MarensList for any further updates, as the date approaches.


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.   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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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.