Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th, and 27th!) 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.

Aug 24: Red, Ripe, and Roasted

Summer Crops Steal the Show at Phipps’ Red, Ripe and Roasted Celebration
10th annual tomato and garlic festival to benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Come out to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to celebrate two of summer’s most bountiful crops at its 10th annual Red, Ripe and Roasted tomato and garlic festival. Held on the public garden’s sustainably managed front lawn and in the Outdoor Garden, this family-friendly event features cooking demonstrations, a tomato contest, a farmers’ market and activities for kids — all to benefit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
   Always a seasonal highlight, Red, Ripe and Roasted is a foodie’s dream-come-true with a focus on fresh, local produce and its many culinary possibilities. Café Phipps — a 3-star Green Restaurant Certified® eatery — will prepare and share a variety of delicious dishes to sample, there will be cooking demonstrations and a Phipps-grown garlic roast, and a farmers’ market featuring organic and Certified Naturally Grown produce will give guests an opportunity to buy plenty of tomatoes and garlic to experiment with at home. Beloved garden writer and television/radio host Doug Oster — author of Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil — and food writer Miriam Rubin, author of Tomatoes, will also be in attendance to present some of their favorite recipes and sign copies of their books.
   Another popular festival activity is a tomato contest for which home gardeners are invited to enter their ugliest, smallest or largest ripe tomatoes for a chance to win special prizes— among them a membership to Phipps. And, as always, a variety of discovery activities, including a fun food matching game and opportunities to pot garlic cloves to take home, will delight children of all ages. Let’s Move Pittsburgh and several other local organizations will also be in attendance to engage event-goers.
   While highlighting western Pennsylvania’s quintessential crops, the festival also encourages guests to share the season’s harvest with Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. By donating a bag of fresh produce to help community members in need, festival participants will be admitted for free to both Red, Ripe and Roasted and to Summer Flower Show, featuring bright blooms and whimsical model train displays, during event hours. In 2013, the festival resulted in the collection of 2,174 pounds of food.

11 a.m. –  4 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 


About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

Aug 16: Sustainability Salon on Environmental Art

The 31st Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, August 16th (2-10 p.m).  The topic will be Environmental Art. And mark your calendar:  the 32nd Sustainability Salon will be on September 6th, and we'll be hosting a house concert on September 14th.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come...  and read on for important information:  

The 31st Sustainability Salon will focus on environmental art:  art that teaches us about the natural environment, art that makes us think about our relationship to it, and art that is in direct service to the environment -- and thus to humanity, for we are part of it.  We'll hear from three very different Pittsburgh collaboratives.

The passenger pigeon returns -- to Sustainability Salons:  Artist, educator, and writer Ann Rosenthal addresses the local manifestation of global concerns, including climate change, food safety, and nuclear waste.  Her work has been shown at the Andy Warhol Museum and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh;  Exit Art and the Hudson River Museum in New York;  the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia;  and Kunsthaus Kaufbeuren in Germany.  She also directs LOCUS – a creative commons where art, community and ecology meet.
For 2014, Ann and collaborator Steffi Domike are developing Moving Targets, an art installation that links the artists’ shared cultural heritage and family migrations to the story of the American passenger pigeon.  For the centenary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon this year, the artists are working with a coalition of environmental and arts institutions in Pittsburgh to promote a series of regional events.  In case the reference in the title of this section is obscure to you, I'll note that in May, CMNH's Pat McShea brought an actual passenger pigeon to share this century-old cautionary tale of species extinction with salongoers.

Local ecoartists with a global reach:  The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) gathers ideas that seek to create substantive models for change by addressing renewable energy infrastructure within the genre of public art.  The goal of the founders, Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian, is to design and construct a series of large-scale site-specific installations that uniquely combine art with utility-scale clean energy generation.  The artworks utilize the latest in renewable energy science as media for their construction, and help to innovate the application of new technologies. Each land art generator sculpture has the potential to provide power to hundreds or even thousands of homes, while fulfilling its traditional role—public art as conceptually engaging amenity to our common space.
Elizabeth and Rob will discuss the LAGI competitions held for Dubai/Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Copenhagen and the portfolio of ideas that have come from the project. But we will begin the talk by providing a context for LAGI within the history of art and architecture, eco art, sustainable urban planning, and the net positive movement. 

Artists, educators, and activists Tom & Connie Merriman have been working on projects in academia and in the community for decades.  
Constance Merriman creates art works that are made in response to formal issues of art and to the social and environmental impact caused by the worldwide extraction of fuel for energy.  She uses a wide variety of media to create works that have been exhibited in galleries, museums and other public settings.  Connie is an adjunct professor in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University and an instructor at the Carnegie Museum of Art.  She also engages in residencies with communities and schools through the Mattress Factory Museum and The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
Thomas Merriman is a teaching professor in the School of Design and teaches courses in furniture design, form generation, and prototyping.  His primary interest is in the process of reconciling design intent with the constraints of materials and process in the generation of form.  As a fellow at the STUDIO, Merriman, he and Connie studied the role of the natural world in urban environments and the role of humans in the natural world.  Merriman also collaborated with faculty from the School of Psychology at New York University to develop methods and instrumentation for studying motor skill development in infants.  Merriman holds a BFA in Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University and previously worked for the U.S. Steel Corporation and was a partner of The Transit Shop, a co-operative furniture making shop.  He continues to design and build furniture for private clients.

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 interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 2 & 4 p.m. (and perhaps after the talks, since evenings brighten as we move toward the summer solstice).  Plant sales are still going on, but I probably won't be set up for them during the salon proper -- too much going on.  But we can get together at other times... 

2-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 2pm.  We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  With the earlier start time (tested during our recent Sunday salon, when we also ended early) we're going to try really hard to get the talks started in a timely manner while still having enough mingling-time!  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.  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, 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, 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!)
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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 environmental education (Part I)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 foodfoodfoodfood, 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. 

Jul 31 & Aug 1: EPA hearing on climate pollution

The EPA is taking public comment on its proposed rules to control carbon pollution from power plants in order to mitigate climate change.  They will accept written comments and oral comment at four locations (Atlanta, Denver, Washington, and Pittsburgh) -- but all the speaking slots have been filled, despite expanding each hearing to two days.  If you're not already registered to speak, you can still attend as long as space permits, and you can also submit written comments online or by mail.


Jul 31: Peoples Rally for Climate Action

You are invited to join hundreds of citizens from around the tri-state area at a rally and march outside the public hearing on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce climate change emissions.  We need to send a strong message to the EPA and Big Coal that there is overwhelming public support for national climate action.
11:00 am to Noon at the August Wilson Center (980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh 15222)
Big Coal and their climate-denying allies are already trying to weaken the EPA’s historic climate protection efforts. 
We need a massive turnout for this rally to demonstrate tremendous public support for EPA’s historic effort to reduce our nation's greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

For more information contact Rachel Martin at rachel.martin@sierraclub.org.

Jul 26: Green Infrastructure Tour

Green Infrastructure Tour Series with Clean Rivers Campaign and Venture Outdoors
    
Come check out green infrastructure in East Liberty and Larimer! Both neighborhoods are investing in green solutions to help mitigate flooding, deal with vacant lots, beautify the community and address issues of water quality.  We are pleased to partner with Venture Outdoors for an easy and fun walking tour of some great installations including rain gardens, permeable pavement, community gardens and more!  You'll also learn about plans for future green development in these neighborhoods and along our walking route.  

This is the fourth in a series of walking tours that will show what green solutions are doing for different communities throughout the Pittsburgh region. Each tour will happen on the last Saturday of the month throughout the summer. 

9:00-11:30am, Meet outside the Environment and Energy Community Outreach (EECO) Center - 200 Larimer Avenue, 15206 - Street Parking Available.  For questions or to register for this tour or the series, email Sarah by clicking here!





Jul 26: Fossil-free Energy Fair

The theme of the fair is “Energizing for a Sustainable Future,” and it will feature an exclusive video address by Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, a website dedicated to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The keynote speaker is Robert Hinds, professor emeritus from SRU.  He will talk about the move to renewable energy and its importance.

John Golden from the SEA will speak on the economic benefits of sustainable energy enterprises.

Music with T. Mitchell Bell and Sam Gianetti

Children's activities will be provided by the Jennings Environmental Education Center

Entertainment will include films, live music and a clown

Free hot dogs, cooked with solar generated power, will be featured

Exhibitors, such as solar installers, energy choice suppliers, electric cars and others will be on hand to talk about and display their products and services

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Slippery Rock University's Advanced Technology & Science Hall (ATS).  Free and open to the public.  You can RSVP on the Facebook event page.

Jul 24: Green Drinks on Solar Roadways

This month's Green Drinks will feature YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip) filmmaker Mark Dixon joining us to talk about his new feature length documentary project about SOLAR ROADWAYS.  Check out their website (http://www.solarroadwaysfilm.com/)  for more details and a preview of the topic.
   
5:30-8 at the Blue Line Grille (1014 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219).  Complimentary appetizers and drink specials provided by Blue Line Grill (voted Best New Bar in 2014 by Pittsburgh Magazine).   Thanks to BLUE LINE GRILL and UPTOWN, the new Green Drinks hosts! 

Jul 23: Talk on climate model predictions

The Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program presents

          Climate Warming Hiatus?  
A Discussion About What the Climate Models Tell Us

Recent news articles have reported on a "warming hiatus," claiming that there has been little or no warming of the planet for the past 15 years, contradicting predictions of the climate models. Researcher Neil Donahue examines the details of climate models, how they construct predictions about global warming, and whether the warming hiatus is real or imagined. The link between climate and our energy choices becomes clear as each piece of the climate model is examined for its effects on global temperature trends. 
  
This event's featured speaker is Science & Engineering Ambassador Neil Donahue from the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Engineering & Public Policy, and Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Neil is also the director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. 

This is the first in a three-part series called “Climate Change Here and Now.”  Upcoming events will feature Daniel Tkacik and Ellis Robinson, both of whom worked in Neil's lab. They will share their research findings on the drivers of global climate change. 

6 p.m. at Bar Marco's Union Hall (2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222).  Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be provided.  The event is free, but you need to RSVP here.  For more information, contact program director Sam Taylor

The Science & Engineering Ambassadors program—an activity of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). They connect opinion leaders and the public with local experts, building relationships at the community level on the topic of energy.


The NAS and NAE are private, non-profit societies of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the public good.

Jul 19: Sustainability Salon & Sing

The 30th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing will take place on Saturday, July 19th.  Rather than our usual series of talks and discussion on a particular topic (you can find links to past events and speakers below), this time we'll let the conversation roll on its own, enjoying time together inside and out during this beautiful season!  As long as it's not pouring rain, we'll fire up a grill (or two, to separate vegan options) for the potluck, as well as the usual anything-goes (more on that below).  A couple of topics that will probably come up for discussion are the upcoming EPA hearings on proposed regulations for carbon emissions from power plants, and the Marcellus methane compressor station slated to go in next door to our region's largest CSA farm. Don Kretschman (who has spoken at more than one Food salon over the last few years) won't be able to be here, but I'd guess that quite a few of his members will.  Others can learn more on Don & Becky's blog, and advocate as well!


Please mark your calendar for the 31st Sustainability Salon on August 16th, when we'll hear from several environmental artists who are making a difference, and September 14th, when we'll host a house concert with the amazing Sparky & Rhonda Rucker.  The 32nd salon (finally we'll be rid of the date/number ambiguity) will very likely be on September 6th; check back on MarensList to confirm as it gets closer.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come to any of these...  and read on for important information:   And mark your calendar:  the 31st Sustainability Salon will be on August 16th.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come to either...  and read on for important information:  



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 interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 2 & 4 p.m. (and perhaps after the talks, since evenings brighten as we move toward the summer solstice).  Plant sales are still going on, but I probably won't be set up for them during the salon proper -- too much going on.  But we can get together at other times... 

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm.  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.  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, 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, 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;  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 environmental education (Part I and Part II), 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 foodfoodfoodfood, 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. 

Jul 15: Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

Passenger PIgeonTo mark the 100th anniversary as a teachable moment, the story of the Passenger Pigeon will be retold to the public. Joel Greenburg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction will discuss the causes of the birds extinction, and what lessons can be learn from their passing.

7 p.m. at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, 614 Dorseyville Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15238 (in Fox Chapel).  Free and open to the public.  More information here.

Jul 3: Green (Bike) Lane Project -- Peduto press conference

Mayor Peduto's Protected Bike Lanes Announcement
Over the past decade Pittsburgh's bike infrastructure has greatly improved -- with miles of bike lanes and shared lane markings across the city. Now, after having been accepted into the prestigious Green Lane Project 2.0 program, Pittsburgh will get its first protected bike lanes, physically separated from cars.
Mayor Peduto will hold a press conference to release the details of the city's plan for the new protected bike lanes. Let's show the mayor that Pittsburgh supports his work to bring new ways of improving rider safety to our our streets. Join Bike Pittsburgh at the mayor's press conference to celebrate this historic development.
Come and help make sure that Mayor Peduto knows that you support his efforts to make Pittsburgh's streets safe for all road users.
11a.m. - 12p.m. at the Schenley Park Visitor's Center (101 Panther Hollow Rd, 15213)

Jun 28: Clean & Green Energy Fair

The future of renewable energy is NOW!  Vendors, speakers, and activities to enable you to green your home and everyday life.  Extra fun with children's activities, an iPad raffle, and free solar snow cones

The location of the fair on the Beaver/Allegheny border will enable people from the neighboring communities in Allegheny County to be a part of this event.

This first-ever event is being sponsored by Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee (BCMAC) to raise awareness of the clean and green energy resources available to local communities.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, 624 Park Road, Ambridge, PA, 15003 (parking lot on Rt. 65).  For more information:  http://www.marcellusawareness.com



  

Jun 28: "Resistance" film screening

Worried about where your meat comes from? Worried about antibiotic resistant bacteria (commonly known as "superbugs")? Join Food and Water Watch for a screening of Resistance, a documentary tracing the creation of superbugs and what we can do to stop them.  

These superbugs will infect 2 million people in the USA just this year alone, and kill 23,000 of those people. 

We need to take action now! Come learn more about the FWW campaign, meet other interested folks, and enjoy a delicious lunch catered by Chipotle, who features antibiotic-free meat on every menu! 

1 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill (5801 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217).  The event is free (including a Chipotle lunch!) but please RSVP online.

Jun 27: "Pandora's Promise" film screening

Pandora's Promise features a former EPA official advocating nuclear power as a clean energy solution.  The panel before the film will include representatives of organized labor, the Indiana coal industry, the East End Hellbenders, and environmental experts from IUP.

6:30 - 9:30 PM at the Indiana Theater, 637 Philadelphia St., Indiana, PA  15701  Doors open at 6:30 PM; panel begins at 7:00 PM; film starts at 7:30 PM.  Admission is a suggested donation of $5.  For more information: https://theindianacenter.wordpress.com/whats-new-at-the-center/

Jun 25: Farmageddon author discussion

Join author Philip Lymbery and local sustainability leader Patricia DeMarco in a discussion of his book Farmageddon:  The True Cost of Cheap Meat.  Come and share your ideas about restoring the land, family values, and stopping the chemical poisoning of our food.

Philip Lymbery is Chief Executive Officer of Compassion in World Farming and co-author of the book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. Read more about the book and view a trailer here.


7-9 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon Institute (4400 Fifth Ave; enter on Bellefield Ave.).  Free, but please RSVP to Patricia at demarcop6@gmail.com so we can prepare enough refreshments for everybody.

This event is brought to you by the Environmental Group of the Pittsburgh Section of the ACS , Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon UniversityCompassion in World Farming, and Women for a Healthy Environment

Jun 24: Corporations vs. Democracy potluck

Corporations vs. Democracy and Money in Politics...  Corporations vs. Democracy is an organization working to shrink the powers of corporations will discuss its current goal and strategies in coming potluck dinner.  Corporations control our legislators through campaign contributions  and revolving door promises which offer employment after leaving the government.  However, they do so at the cost of our environment like what happens with gas and oil drillers and campaign contributions, which often equal no taxes on fracking.  But we could stop this by amending the constitution.
Join TMC to hear the latest news and find out how you or your organizations can help! 

6 p.m. at the Thomas Merton Center, 5129 Penn Ave Pittsburgh PA 15224.  Please bring a potluck dish to share.
 

Jun 23: Knotweed dinner and demo event

Enjoy some creative, locally-sourced grub from Chef Chad Townsend from Salt of the Earth this Monday at Bar Marco as part of their No Menu Monday series.

This dinner is inspired by GTECH's Knots on Lots project, which experiments with finding a productive, beneficial use for the nuisance, invasive, ever-present plant,  Japanese Knotweed. 

It will be an evening of Knotweed - local fiber artist, Albert Pantone, will be demonstrating paper making techniques, GTECH will have knotweed biochar on display and some knotweed may make it into a dish or two. 

GTECH works to turn waste into assets for communities. Proceeds raised from the evening's sales will go towards funding innovative vacant land projects in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. 

5-11 p.m. at Bar Marco (2216 Penn Ave, 15222).  For reservations for the evening's event, please contact Bar Marco at 412.471.1900.

Jun 22: Summer Solstice Sessions at Legume

Legume Bistro chef/owner Trevett Hooper believes that people who hold useful knowledge should share it.  We should not be end-users. Methods of preparing foods belong to everyone, and these methods should be shared by people who understand them.  The food system as it is right now depends on passivity; it depends on us not being able--or not wanting--to prepare food for ourselves; it depends on us trading our due cultural inheritance--the life skills of self-sufficency learned over long periods of time and history passed down through generations--for convenience. Cooking, growing and preserving foods are something that the vast majority of people knew how to do not too long ago.  Re-learning and sharing these skills with others is one of the most important things we can do.

The Summer Solstice Sessions are about sharing knowledge. They're about exploring and sharing things that compel us to prepare food for ourselves and our community.  Legume is honored to be hosting four very thoughtful guest speakers who will be sharing what they know about this.  These speakers were chosen because they do work that in some way encourages participation in one’s own culinary destiny here in Pittsburgh.  Jake Seltman, Director of Educational Programming for Grow Pittsburgh, will talk about starting a garden in the middle of the growing season (it’s not too late!).  Leah Lizarondo from Brazen Kitchen will discuss strategies of working through one’s CSA box.  Local food and drinks writer Hal B. Klein will discuss ways to engage in contemporary urban permaculture and give people the scoop on who’s doing it in Pittsburgh.  Slow Foods Pittsburgh co-founder and food writer Virginia Phillips will be discussing making vinegar at home, and will generously share some of her own homemade vinegar.  Last but not least, they’ve invited local environmental educator and activist (and MarensList's own) Maren Cooke to speak about ideas about growing and foraging food in the city, important issues for activism, and where to learn more.

From Team 'Gume, current Legume bread baker and floor manager Neil Blazin will be teaching a workshop on sourdough bread.  Butcher Tyler Mossman will be breaking down a side of beef to help de-mystify the various cuts of this large animal, and Butterjoint manager Will Groves will be highlighting local breweries and spirits producers through pairings of local shots with local beers. Trevett will be doing a workshop on easy-to-make wild-fermented meads and country wines.  We’ll start a batch of mead, study one in progress, and taste several batches of house-made alcoholic beverages we’ve been making over the past couple of years—some good, some awful, and all intriguing.

The main event of the day will be the party, which includes a buffet, live music by Arlo Aldo, and dessert.  Tickets for the workshop and the dinner may be purchased separately.  You do not need to attend the workshop to attend the party.  Doors open at 4pm for social hour.  The buffet will begin at 5pm.  After dinner there will be popsicle and ice cream stations by Healcrest Urban Farm and Family Farms Creamery.  The cost for the party is $20 and includes all food.  Drinks may be purchased next door at Butterjoint. 

Jun 21: Allegheny SolarFest


Join SUNWPA, The Sierra Club, and The Borough of Millvale for a celebration of summer and solar energy in Western PA.  There will be educational workshops, live music, live music, solar education, yoga sessions, a rock climbing wall, food trucks, facepainting, and other fun activities for young and old, including test drives in electric cars and bikes!  The entire event will be solar powered! Consider biking to the event, as it is located on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Attendance is free, but please register at the EventBrite page or on Facebook.  

Jun 19: Green Drinks with the Pgh Climate Initiative


The Pittsburgh Climate Initiative (PCI) is a collaborative of multiple partner organizations created in 2008 to guide the implementation of The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan to reduce local greenhouse gases to 20% below 2003 emissions by 2023.

PCI Partners will be on hand to talk about the recently released progress report of the plan, as well as sector-specific emissions reductions activities, like the Green Workplace Challenge, the 2030 District, and local government sustainability initiatives.  

5:30-8 at Uptown, Pittsburgh's Ultimate Rooftop Lounge (unless you count my rooftop garden/farm/apiary/power generating station), 1014 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh 15219.  Free and open to the public;  complimentary appetizers and drink specials provided by Uptown.

Green Drinks Pittsburgh is a sustainability network platform to inspire new ideas and awareness, find out what is happening in Pittsburgh, meet up with friends you haven't seen for a while and make new ones too!  Email Green Drinks with any questions or comments, or find GD on the web.

Jun 14: Rhubarb Social

Join the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange to celebrate the beginning of the growing season (wait a minute, I've been harvesting for months!) with Marisa McClellan, author of the wonderful Food in Jars blog and cookbook and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces.

There will be live music from the May Day Marching Band and DJ Chris Flyer, free food and drink from Wigle Whiskey and Marty's Market, treats from our friends at Legume, canning demonstrations, canning cookbooks for sale and canning-related merch. And more!


Proceeds from the Rhubarb Social will help the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange achieve the goal of providing low-priced canning workshops that make use of local organic produce.  Join PCE to celebrate the return of summer! 

7-10 p.m. at Marty's Market in the Strip.  Tickets are $15 via Eventbrite or $20 at the door. 


Jun 13: Nuclear power film & discussion

Pandora's Promise:  Is nuclear power the key to solving the problem of catastrophic climate change?  This controversial film makes the most compelling argument to date that energy from the atom is the most viable way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in turn, save the planet.

Elnora Balserwho works in the nuclear energy industry, will present the film and then lead a discussion of the issues.

Pandora’s Promise” is essential viewing because it challenges people...to examine their own fears or predispositions." --Andrew Revkin, The New York Times

6:30 (food & socializing), 7 p.m. (screening and discussion) at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room (477 Melwood Ave.  15213).  Click here for complete program information.

Through June 13: Weigh in on transit

Have your say on transit

Transit riders and local citizens are invited to share their vision for the future of public transportation in our region by visiting Port Authority’s new community engagement website at http://paac.mindmixer.com. The site presents a variety of questions on topics including capital projects, barriers to transit use, and accessibility for seniors and riders with disabilities. Participants can share their thoughts or weigh in on ideas submitted by others.

The site will be active through June 13 at a minimum. As a supporter of the recent transportation law that is providing much-needed funding to maintain Port Authority service, Rep. Dan Frankel hopes you will use the new website to make your voice heard.


Jun 11: Three Rivers Timebank initial meeting

  • Timebanks are a way of sharing skills, meeting needs, and meeting new people without the need for currency transactions. They’re a part of many Transition initiatives, and now there’s one in Pgh, run by Holly Eve. The initial meeting will introduce members, give you a chance to ask questions, and help you get started!   
  • 5:30-7:30 at Café Rachel, on Woodland Road at Chatham University.


Jun 11: Land Art Generator Initiative lecture

Pittsburghers Robert Ferry & Elizabeth Monoian are the founding directors of the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI), which gathers ideas that seek to create substantive models for change by addressing renewable energy infrastructure within the genre of public art. The goal of LAGI is to design and construct a series of large-scale site-specific installations that uniquely combine art with utility-scale clean energy generation. The artworks utilize the latest in renewable energy science as media for their construction, and help to innovate the application of new technologies. Each land art generator sculpture has the potential to provide power to hundreds or even thousands of homes, while fulfilling its traditional role—public art as conceptually engaging amenity to our common space.

Elizabeth and Robert will discuss the LAGI competitions held for Dubai/Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Copenhagen and the portfolio of ideas that have come from the project. But we will begin the talk by providing a context for LAGI within the history of art and architecture, eco art, sustainable urban planning, and the net positive movement. 


7 p.m. in the conference room of the Ann Jones Gerace Center—formerly the CCI Center (on the South Side at 64 S. 14th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203).  Free and open to the public.

Jun 8: Plant sales

Putting Down Roots plant sales:
Spring is still springy, and it looks like the weather will be lovely again this weekend! I'll be available here once again, set up for sales from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday (Saturday we'll be busy with the Sustainability Salon). I have grown lots of tomatoes (over 40 varieties), brassicas, cucurbits, herbs, and flowers from seed this winter and spring, and will also have transplants of various perennials from ferns to sweet woodruff as well as black raspberries, strawberries, many members of the mint family, and a wonderfully productive native food-and-flower plant, the jerusalem artichoke. Also bagged worm castings (from local worm-whisperer Matt), floating row cover if you need a moderate quantity (I buy it by the roll), and CobraHead gardening tools, perfect for ground ivy and many other plants-in-the-wrong-place (often referred to as "weeds"). If you'd like to come over, it would be great if you can let me know (RSVP here, and/or email with "plants" in the Subject line and more info about your planned time). Than I can send you directions and other info. Other times are also possible; just contact me and we can set up a meet!  BTW, just as with Sustainability Salons, I need your email address to send some additional information (different from Salons)... so if you haven't received email from me recently, please send your address to me (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com).

Jun 8: Chicks In The Hood



The 4th annual Urban Chicken Coop Tour!

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.  Tickets $10 (kids free);  proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue League.  For more information, email Jody.

June 7: Sustainability Salon on Environmental Education (part II)


The 29th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon (see below if that's new to you) will take place on Saturday, June 7th (2-10 p.m).  The topic will be Environmental Education, the second of a two-parter.  And mark your calendar:  the 30th Sustainability Salon will be open-topic, and will take place on July 19th.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come...  and read on for important information:  


Phipps Conservatory Science Education Specialist Melissa Harding is also the Southwestern PA Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, and will share with us on both fronts.


    As more and more of life so often happens in front of a screen, there is a growing chasm between the world we live in and the natural world outside. This disconnect costs us all in our physical and mental health, as well as our overall well-being, and is especially high in our young people. Reconnecting our young people is an imperative that we all must strive towards if we want a new generation of naturalists, scientists and artists to take our place. Melissa will talk about how Phipps works to support this mission in its Science Education and Research programming.
Molly Steinwald will talk about using the visual arts for environmental education and science communication.  Molly is faculty at Project Dragonfly at Miami University, teaching graduate courses in ecology, community-based conservation, and inquiry learning, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School-Environments, an Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and an internationally-recognized photographer.  An ecologist, her doctoral and other work incorporates imagery to increase people's connection with nearby nature.

Joylette Portlock uses new media to approach the serious topic of climate education with a serious sense of humor.  She produces (and stars in) a series of web videos targeting a general audience with climate science, climate news, and both personal actions and advocacy suggestions that can help. "Don't Just Sit There, Do Something!" is a project of Communitopia, her new nonprofit.  Communitopia recently released its second music parody video, featuring cameos by your friendly neighborhood Salon hosts as well as our honorable Mayor and other local environmental luminaries.

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 interesting things around our place.  That'll mainly be happening between 2 & 4 p.m. (and perhaps after the talks, since evenings brighten as we move toward the summer solstice).  Plant sales are still going on, but I probably won't be set up for them during the salon proper -- too much going on.  But we can get together at other times... 

2-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 2pm.  We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  With the earlier start time (tested during our recent Sunday salon, when we also ended early) we're going to try really hard to get the talks started in a timely manner while still having enough mingling-time!  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.  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, 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, 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!)
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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 environmental education (Part I)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 foodfoodfoodfood, 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.