Apr 5: Sustainability Salon on Food


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 comments:

Mark Brown said...

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Dr. Maren Leyla Cooke said...

Thanks, Mark! That is very much my intent. Even if someone can't make it to a particular event, or finds it after the fact, I always try to put relevant links so folks can learn about what's going on locally.