Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th27th, 38th39th, 51st52nd, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 74th, 75th, 87th, and 88th) 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.

Nov 20: House Concert with Lui Collins

Putting Down Roots is pleased to announce a house concert with New England favorite Lui Collins!

“… one of New England's clearest and most distinctive folk voices, with unusually piercing lyrical insight..." - Hartford Courant

“Folksinger for our times” - The Boston Herald

“… one of New England’s first and brightest stars.” - The Boston Globe

Folk singer/songwriter Lui Collins has been performing, writing and recording for over 40 years, her early Philo and Green Linnet recordings earning international acclaim and establishing her as a respected voice in the folk world.  Lui has shared the stage with such notables as Pete Seeger, Bonnie Raitt, Stan Rogers, Dar Williams, and John Gorka.  Renowned guitarist Dave van Ronk called her “one of the best guitarist-arrangers I have heard in years.”

“Lui sings my songs better than I do.”  
- Canadian folk icon Stan Rogers

From playful 4-string arrangements of some favorite original songs, to the fabulous jazz chords in American standards and bossa nova, Lui translates her rich and complex guitar arrangements onto her tenor ukulele to create something unexpected and delightful.

"Lui has a gentle way of capturing the hearts of her audience and having what amounts to a musical conversation with them during her performances… No one weaves a spell quite like she can." —Champlain Valley Folk Festival Newsletter

Nov 20, 2020 at 7 p.m. (door 6:30), at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Light fare to share (food contributions appreciated, but not expected).  Suggested donation $15-20.  Directions and other info will come after RSVP -- and please do RSVP even if you know your way!  Email me with "concert" in the Subject line, with name(s) of attendees -- or via Eventbrite 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).  You can also call 412-251-5814 (9-9, please, and do leave a message!)

Previous Putting Down Roots house concerts have included Tom Neilson & Lynn WaldronTwo of a Kind and Brad YoderMike AgranoffSparky & Rhonda RuckerPutnam SmithKen Gaines and the Squirrel Hillbillies, and Randal Bays & Davey Mathias.

Information bringing people together...


Apr 19 & 22: Earth Week Teach-In and Strike

2020, with all its challenges, is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.  Although the movement can't take it to the streets this time around, we'll kick off Earth Week in style with a virtual Teach-in on Sunday the 19th -- please join us to learn about important issues affecting our communities and our region, enjoy live music, and connect with organizations and individuals who are making a difference.  Because environmental and community health are inextricably linked (as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates), we're pleased to have this event raise funds for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  Then on Earth Day itself (Wednesday the 22nd), please join area youth activists for a virtual Climate Strike in the form of a 24-hour telethon.

Teach-in from 1-4 p.m. on your computer, tablet, or smartphone!  The event is free, but you must register in order to participate.  There's also a Facebook page to stay in the loop on these events, and I'll post the Earth Week Pgh web site as soon as it's in place -- lots more details there!  


Apr 6 or 7: ROCIS introduction

While everyone's cooped up at home, it's the perfect time to learn about your indoor air quality, the effect on you and your family, and (most importantly) opportunities for improvement.  ROCIS stands for Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces, which is especially important for people living in polluted places like Pittsburgh.

Are you interested in borrowing air monitoring equipment for a month, while engaging with other cohort participants and the ROCIS team?  Consider joining our first Virtual Cohort!  It'll run from April 16 to May 15, and there will be a webinar to explain the Low Cost Monitoring Project (LCMP).   Lots more information and reflections are here.

The basics:  to join the cohort, participate in the webinar:  either 7 p.m. on Monday April 6th or 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7th.   After the webinar, participants will be contacted to confirm their interest in continuing and their commitment to meet the LCMP expectations for the upcoming cohort.  Interested in learning more?  Take this short survey to get started!

Apr 5 & 19: Green New Deal discussion group

On Fire: The (Burning) Case for the Green New Deal
Air, Water, Soil, Trees, Food, Health, Housing, Transportation, Energy, Education, Jobs, and JUSTICE: Racial, Disability, Gender, Immigrant, Economic, and Environmental 

VIRTUAL EVENT:  
Pittsburgh's discussion group on Naomi Klein's new book continues!  Hear how local people and organizations are addressing the climate crisis.  What could a Green New Deal look like in Western Pennsylvania?  What actions can we take right now?

Every other Sunday from 5-7 p.m. (potluck supper starts at 4:30) at the Human Services Building (One Smithfield St, downtown):  January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19, May 3, 17, & 31.  Location is wheelchair accessible and near many bus lines;  there is also free parking behind the building.  Please register online here, and you can purchase the book with a 20% discount from Classic Lines Bookstore in Squirrel Hill (be sure to register so we order enough books!)  For more details, accommodations, or accessibility information call 412-518-7387 or email GND.discussion@gmail.com.  

Co-sponsored by Extinction Rebellion, Pittsburgh Chapter;  The Izaak Walton League, Allegheny County Chapter;  and The Sunrise Movement, Pittsburgh Chapter.

Each evening will be focused on one or two topics such as water, air, food, energy, health, public transit, housing, jobs, movement building, education, etc.  The first week of January we will email out a schedule of the sessions, including the selected Naomi Klein essay(s), topics, and organizations that will be presenting.  People are welcome to come to as many sessions as are of interest to them.  Each session will include a short presentation on the main points of an essay selected from the book; a discussion of the essay and its relevance for our regional ecology, political conditions, policies, and needs for systemic change;  presentations by 1-3 groups working on the evening's main topic(s) and details of upcoming actions or work that people might want to participate in;  and group brainstorming of policies, practices, or systemic changes to address the climate crisis on the local level regarding that topic.

Session topics and speakers are listed and videos are archived on the group web site.  We have also created a Slack workspace for people and organizations to continue brainstorming and developing the ideas generated in each discussion, and with space provided to create a document outlining our region's specific challenges and possible solutions.  Such a document could be useful for carrying forward future discussions, for building problem-solving networks, and for movement building to address our climate crisis.

Apr 4: Virtual Sustainability Salon on Food

Coronavirus update:   As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Social distancing is the rule for 80% of Americans.  That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the famous curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so!  I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so last month as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space.   It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to April's salon!  (I'm sad, though, that folks will miss the peak of our spring flowers.)  Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.  
For the 99th Sustainability Salon, we will conclude our annual springtime Focus on Food.  Planned speakers include Karen Gardner (Pennsylvania Manager) and Adrienne Nelson (Western Pennsylvania Organizer) of the National Young Farmers Coalition, will talk about the challenges that face young farmers here in Pennsylvania and efforts to address these challenges through state and local advocacy, as well as sharing resources that the Coalition has available for young and beginning farmers.  Erin Hart will share the latest edition of the Local Food Guide for our region and other online resources (and in the meantime, check out the Farm To Table Blog, helping to connect people with food and other resources.   Shelly Danko+Day, Urban Agriculture & Food Policy Adviser for the City of Pittsburgh, will provide an update on land access for urban growers.  Samantha Totoni of Pitt's Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) will talk about the contamination of wild game due to lead ammunition -- and the associated human health risks.  And now that we're remote, we'll Zoom right on up to Massachusetts, where Brandeis professor Brian Donahue -- farmer, woodsman, and environmental historian, will share the New England Food Vision -- how, and how far, we in the Northeast can increase local food production.

The Green New Deal discussion group continues on Sunday the 5th, and this month brings the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!  We can't take it to the streets, but you can bet that there will be virtual events here in Pittsburgh!  Also, the first Virtual Cohort of the ROCIS air monitoring program will begin with an introductory webinar on Monday the 6th.  


Salons usually run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Plan to join the call after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to (virtually) meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.  After the talks and discussion, we'll break for a potluck supper (and more conversation).  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 notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).  

Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.    Be sure to include salon in the Subject line if you email, 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!


Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events, as well as better formatting for this event description) 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 (in this case Zoom instructions), and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before (usually Friday night).  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. 
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;  fit'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 ocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting 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 food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).


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.  If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.

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.  (with a virtual event this is less likely to happen, but we can share music by turns, reminisce, chat online, and look forward to the post-COVID era!) 

Mar 25: Seed-starting workshop

Join the PA Women's Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN) and Grow Pittsburgh for this free workshop on seed starting!  Hanna Mosca, Frick Greenhouse & Shiloh Farm Manager, will share the skills and tools that you need to start your own seedlings at home this year.  Topics will include choosing the proper soil, crops, trays, pots and lighting along with a hands-on seed-planting activity.  Each participant will receive a schedule and instructions for seeding common garden crops.  This event is part of PA-WAgN's Farm Walk Kitchen Talk series which highlights women farmers across Pennsylvania and focuses on creating connections between urban and rural growers across the state.

5:30-7:30pm at Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery (806 Holland Avenue, 15221).
Free, but please register here!  

Mar 24: Penn's Woods webinar

Charles Bier, Senior Director of Conservation Science at the Western PA Conservancy, will present an overview of Pennsylvania's Landscapes and Biodiversity during a webinar on March 24 from Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Pennsylvania was dubbed Penn's Woods early on, and is also known as the Keystone State for its important role in the mid-Atlantic region. 
Spanning from the Ohio River to the Delaware, from Lake Erie sand dunes to the shale and serpentine barrens of the southern counties, the keystone includes enough biodiversity to keep any naturalist and conservationist busy for a few lifetimes.
Using approaches of watersheds and ecoregions, this introduction will provide an overview of our biogeography, flora, fauna and range of habitats, along with a few sidebars of land use history. 
In addition to an overview of biodiversity, examples of Pennsylvania's globally significant role in conservation will be presented along with a summary of how successful biodiversity conservation has been in Pennsylvania to date.
Charles is a western Pennsylvania native and studied ecology at the University of Wisconsin. He has broad experience in regional flora, fauna, ecosystems and conservation issues. Much of his focus has been on rare and endangered species, natural communities and biodiversity conservation. 
Since 1981 he has worked for Western PA Conservancy; first as part of the PA Natural Heritage Program, and now broadly providing science support across programs. He is a Research Associate at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in the Section of Invertebrate Zoology, and serves on several state committees including the Governor’s Invasive Species Council, DCNR’s Ecosystem Management Advisory Committee and technical committees of the PA Biological Survey.
More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events at the Western PA Conservancy website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Conservancy, Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, join them on Instagram, visit the Conservancy’s YouTube Channel or add them to your network on LinkedinClick Here to support their work.

At-Home Environmental Ed
For more At-Home Environmental Edu ideas, visit the PaEN At-House Environmental Ed webpage.  Send Your At-Home Environmental Ed Ideas To: PaEnviroDigest@gmail.com

Mar 22: GND discussion group

On Fire: The (Burning) Case for the Green New Deal
Air, Water, Soil, Trees, Food, Health, Housing, Transportation, Energy, Education, Jobs, and JUSTICE: Racial, Disability, Gender, Immigrant, Economic, and Environmental 

VIRTUAL EVENT:  
Pittsburgh's discussion group on Naomi Klein's new book continues!  Hear how local people and organizations are addressing the climate crisis.  What could a Green New Deal look like in Western Pennsylvania?  What actions can we take right now?

Every other Sunday from 5-7 p.m. (potluck supper starts at 4:30) at the Human Services Building (One Smithfield St, downtown):  January 12 & 26, February 9 & 23, March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19, May 3, 17, & 31.  Location is wheelchair accessible and near many bus lines;  there is also free parking behind the building.  Please register online here, and you can purchase the book with a 20% discount from Classic Lines Bookstore in Squirrel Hill (be sure to register so we order enough books!)  For more details, accommodations, or accessibility information call 412-518-7387 or email GND.discussion@gmail.com.  

Co-sponsored by Extinction Rebellion, Pittsburgh Chapter;  The Izaak Walton League, Allegheny County Chapter;  and The Sunrise Movement, Pittsburgh Chapter.

Each evening will be focused on one or two topics such as water, air, food, energy, health, public transit, housing, jobs, movement building, education, etc.  The first week of January we will email out a schedule of the sessions, including the selected Naomi Klein essay(s), topics, and organizations that will be presenting.  People are welcome to come to as many sessions as are of interest to them.  Each session will include a short presentation on the main points of an essay selected from the book; a discussion of the essay and its relevance for our regional ecology, political conditions, policies, and needs for systemic change;  presentations by 1-3 groups working on the evening's main topic(s) and details of upcoming actions or work that people might want to participate in;  and group brainstorming of policies, practices, or systemic changes to address the climate crisis on the local level regarding that topic.

Session topics and speakers are listed and videos are archived on the group web site.  We have also created a Slack workspace for people and organizations to continue brainstorming and developing the ideas generated in each discussion, and with space provided to create a document outlining our region's specific challenges and possible solutions.  Such a document could be useful for carrying forward future discussions, for building problem-solving networks, and for movement building to address our climate crisis.

Mar 22: PASUP action meeting

IN-PERSON MEETING CANCELLED. POSSIBLE VIRTUAL MEETING(S)

PASUP (Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastic) is meeting to take action once again! Everyone who is concerned about the negative effects of single-use plastic is welcome. We will have a group meeting, then break into action groups to tackle various projects.
Single-use plastic in schools
  Recycling stream
  Giant Eagle follow-up
Legislative & political issues
Community-scale composting

Bring your ideas, motivation, and your friends!

2-4:30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213). Light refreshments will be served; we encourage you to bring your own dishware. There will be online registration, and in the meantime you can find lots of shared information on the PASUP group page.

Mar 14: Sustainability Salon on Food

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
Post-salon update:   The first-ever Virtual Sustainability Salon was a great success.  Thanks to all the participants, and especially to all our speakers!    Pre-salon update:  As the salon date approaches, I have been monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it might mean for our region.  As you've probably heard, events are being cancelled left and right, with universities suspending travel and shifting to remote classes while evacuating as many students as possible.  Rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space, this salon will be done using teleconferencing (via Zoom).  If you have expertise in this realm and would like to help or advise, please email me (with "salon" in the Subject line, natch).  Watch this space for further updates!  I'll put word out via Eventbrite as feasible, but note that there's a limit to how many people I can send to on a single day (which is less than the size of the list, so it takes two days to get a message out that way).  As always, if you RSVP then I can get a message to you directly -- and I'll need to send you the teleconferencing information for you to participate!

A further comment... I've received quite a few responses already from folks happy to have the remote opportunity in this time of uncertainty.  I appreciate the fact that we *can* maintain community connections and sharing of information and insights in this way.  I'm more concerned, however, with problems less easily solved:  people who are elderly or ill (and here in Pittsburgh there are a quite a lot of people with preexisting respiratory conditions), those who can't take their work home or afford to take time off, business owners facing an unknown gap in income and/or supplies, students who are missing out on interactions important to their education, for people who don't have a zillion things they need to do at home, and especially the health-care workers and first responders who put their health on the line every day.  

For the 98th Sustainability Salon, we aim to return to our annual springtime Focus on Food!  Pending remote connectivity... 


1918 propaganda poster
Did you know the average age of farmers in the U.S.?  (58.)  Organic farmer Don Kretschmann will share the experience of transitioning the region's largest CSA farm to the next generation -- while also navigating the challenges of the Marcellus shale gas industry and the evolution of the CSA model.  Expert beekeeper Christina Joy Neumann of Apoidea Apiary will reveal the amazing world of bees, and the Certified Naturally Grown Apiary guidelines that help many beekeepers maintain and demonstrate natural, healthy, and sustainable management practices.  Dan Dalton, the Three Rivers Hub Manager of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), will fill us in on the organization's education and research activities, including his Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship and recent Soil Health studies.  Jonathan Burgess, Programs & Policy Director of the Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD), will talk about preserving farmland to ensure the longterm viability of our region's agriculture -- and will share upcoming soil testing opportunities here in Pittsburgh.  And Maren will provide an update on the new Master Composter training program, the Garden Resource Center (opening for the season earlier in the day!) and other programs of Grow Pittsburgh.  

Earlier in the day, you can learn about beekeeping or seed starting, or join in the opening celebration at the GRC, at events that each slot in perfectly with the salon!  (sorry, you can't do all three!)  The next Sustainability Salon, concluding our annual Food focus, will take place on April 4th.  In the meantime, check out the annual Farm To Table Expo, now in conjunction with the Home & Garden Show.  On March 22nd there's a PASUP action meeting and another session in the GND discussion series.  


Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill (usually).  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m. (this time, please don't arrive at all!  I'll send out teleconferencing details to those who RSVP.) We 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.  After the talks and discussion, we'll break for a potluck supper (and more conversation).  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 notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).  

Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, weather and such (including pandemics!) can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and a trail map 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!

For in-house salons:  Bring food and/or drink to share if you can (see below), along with musical instruments if you play.  If you drive down our street, please park only on the uphill-facing side, and take care not to block driveways on either side of the street.  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 (usually Friday night).  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;  fit'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 ocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting 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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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 sort 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.  Please try to minimize single-use plastic -- if you're thinking of a deli tray of vegetables, just get some whole veggies and we can cut 'em up here!  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 (again, no single-use packaging) and provide a big batch of homemade/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.