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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, 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.

Feb 23: PASUP meeting

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 solutions of interest.

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.

Feb 19: Reimagine Shenango site

Community Meeting:  Shenango Coke Works Site Reimagined

Four years ago, DTE Energy shut down its Shenango Coke Works plant, leaving behind a 50-acre brownsfield. While the site undergoes remediation, there is major concern among regional stakeholders and neighboring residents that Shenango will be replaced by yet another polluting facility. This has led to the creation of the Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council, a volunteer body consisting of local leaders and environmental groups seeking to transform the Shenango site through public input and guiding principles.

Which is why we need your help!

The Shenango Reimagined Advisory Council will host a meeting from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 19 at Robert Morris Sports Center on Neville Island to discuss and develop a vision for the reuse of the former Shenango Coke Works site. You’re invited to join elected officials and concerned citizens for an opportunity to influence the reuse of site for the betterment of Neville Township, neighboring boroughs, and Allegheny County. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.

Our democracy is only as strong as our citizenry and we'd love your input so that we may transform this brownfield site into something better and safer -- for you, for our communities and for future generations!

7-9 p.m. at 7600 Grand Avenue, 15225. Hosted by ACCAN (Allegheny County Clean Air Now). Keep up-to-date and RSVP via the Facebook event. Questions? Contact Margaret Renas at mrenas@delta-institute.org

Feb 15: Women's History at Heinz

Women Forging the Way: The Life of Susan B. Anthony & the Story of Pittsburgh Suffragists

Join the League of Women Voters and the History Center for an afternoon of celebrating the stories and successes of women who fought for the right to vote. See the story of Susan B. Anthony come to life and explore the galleries to make connections with important women's stories in Pittsburgh history.
1-3 p.m. at the Heinz History Center (1212 Smallman St, 15222).  Register online here.

Feb 13: Fossil Fuel Divestment Day

Join college students around the globe who are joining together to take action on Fossil Fuel Divestment Day (F2D2).

Here at Pitt, Fossil Free Pitt has been working for over 5 YEARS for the university to put people over profit, to stop making money off the destruction of the planet and to divest from fossil fuels.

Five years is enough! On September 27th 2019, Fossil Free Pitt put forward an official demand that Pitt vote to divest from fossil fuels on February 28th, 2020. Admin has given FFP every possible excuse while they continue to be complicit in the destruction of the planet. It's time to act.

So on February 13th we’re coming together to join the global call for fossil fuel divestment. We believe that students are the most powerful force on every campus, and when we fight together we can win. On F2D2 we’re joining together to demand a transparent and accountable university that acts in the best interest of students and planet.
 

The time is noon; the exact location will be announced *the day of the event* so keep an eye out on the Facebook event for more details!

Feb 6: Jokes and Politics

The Allegheny County Democratic Black Caucus in association with the Pittsburgh Black Comedy Association present
Kickin' It With The Candidates -- Jokes and Politics (it's all relevant)....

8 p.m. (doors at 7:30) at the Savoy Restaurant (2623 Penn Ave. 15232).  Seating is limited (first 50 guaranteed seating).  Tickets $20 for the show, $30 with light refreshments.  For tickets or more information, contact Ma Ec at 412-853-6187.  

Feb 1: Sustainability Salon on Ocean Health

An invasive lionfish on a reef near Grand Cayman.          Photo courtesy of Josh Knauer.
The 97th Sustainability Salon will conclude our annual Wintertime Film Series.  This time, we'll take a refreshing (if imaginary) journey far from our landlocked region, as we take a cinematic dip into the oceans of the world.  From the bottom of the ocean food chain to its tippy-top... we'll look at the state of coral reefs around the world;  ongoing attempts to deal with a venomous, carnivorous, and invasive species in the Atlantic;  changing attitudes about an apex predator (as we saw last month, media can have a profound influence on perceptions);  and some developments in the realm of plastic pollution (partly by way of followup to December's salon on the back end of consumption).  In addition to films (and parts of films), a couple of Pittsburghers who are also ocean divers will be with us to share insights and field questions.  I promise some positive notes to lighten our midwinter blues.  Please mark your calendar to come join the conversation!  
The next salon will take place on March 14th.  This Friday, there's benefit concert for PASUP and CeaseFirePA; as always, visit MarensList for more upcoming events!


Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  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 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!

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 the 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. 

Feb 1: Petition-Palooza

Democratic petition-signing event, with a champagne brunch!  Join local Dems to sign petitions for inclumbents Mike Doyle, Jay Costa, Dan Frankel, Ed Gainey, and Summer Lee -- and feel free to bring petitions for other offices on the ballot.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6101 Fifth Avenue.  Coordinated by Shadyside Dems, and cosponsored by the Democratic Committees of Pittsburgh Wards 4, 8, 12, 13, 15, 31, and Churchill, Edgewood, Munhall, Penn Hills, Rankin, Swissvale, Verona, Wilkins, and Wilkinsburg.  Please RSVP (and address any questions) to JeanForPittsburgh@gmail.com.

Jan 31: Friends Annual Benefit Concert

Join us for an evening of music with Smokestack Lightning, along with the Raging Grannies, GrayScale, the Glass Run Gals, and other special guests.  Proceeds will benefit CeaseFire PA and Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastic (PASUP).

7:30-10 p.m. (doors open at 7) at Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House (4836 Ellsworth Ave, 15213).  $15 donation (cash or check) at the door.  

Jan 26: 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 

Join a discussion group on Naomi Klein's new book!  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. 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.

We have 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.

Jan 26: Forum on the Petrochemical Buildout

The 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club and the Chatham University College Democrats present the 2020 Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum
“The Petrochemical Build-Out: 
Not What It’s Cracked Up To Be

1:30 p.m. (door at 1 pm) at Chatham University's Eddy Theatre.  Free & open to the public; free parking is available in the lots off Murray Hill Avenue.

The 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club is pleased to announce that the Club’s Annual Meeting will host a panel discussion featuring Dr. Erin N. Mayfield and Dr. Patricia M. DeMarco, who have both received distinguished awards for their research.

On December 8, 2019, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured as its front-page story the article: Study: Shale gas job gains don’t offset the damage done: CMU Study finds build-out causes early deaths, affects environment.“ The 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club has invited the authors of the Carnegie Mellon University report to share their findings with the community. Recent analysis has indicated that the proposed building of additional cracker plants in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia may have serious environmental and economic consequences. With regard to the City of Pittsburgh alone, Mayor Bill Peduto in a Public Source interview said “there was no meeting that occurred that shifted our economic future away from the growing eds and meds to cracker plants . . . but that’s what happened.” 
Erin N. Mayfield, Ph.D. is the lead author of the CMU Report.  Dr. Mayfield completed her doctorate at CMU and is now with the Princeton Environmental Institute - Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. 
Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D. is Resident Scholar at Chatham University, and is the author of the recently published Pathways to Our Sustainable Future: A Global Perspective from Pittsburgh. She will be available to sign copies after the Danko Forum.

The Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum is named after the late Allegheny County Council Member Barbara Daly Danko. Ms. Danko, a longtime member of the 14th Ward Democratic Committee and 14thWard Independent Democratic Club, served as the Chair of the 14th Ward Democratic Committee from 2006 until 2012, and served on Allegheny County Council representing the 11th District. The Danko Political Forum provides a venue for candidate debates and discussion of important public policy issues affecting the 14th Ward and the City of Pittsburgh.
This year’s Danko Forum is intended to draw more attention to the trade-offs between the impacts, costs, and stated benefits of fossil fuel development and the expansion of the petrochemical industry in the region. Attendees are encouraged to bring their questions to help clarify the actual community consensus on these trade-offs and, if there is significant divergence from this consensus and current developments, discuss a political response. 
The 2020 Danko Forum is co-sponsored by the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club, the Chatham University College Democrats, and the 14th Ward Democratic Committee.

Jan 24-25: Racial Justice Summit

The 22nd Pittsburgh Racial Justice Summit (formerly known as the Summit Against Racism) is a 1.5-day conference focused on disrupting systemic injustices and building pathways into social action. The theme of this year’s conference is in development; check for updates on the Facebook event page.


Jan 19: PASUP meeting

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 solutions of interest.

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.

Jan 18: Women's March Pittsburgh

Coordinating with the national Women's March, the Pittsburgh march will be on Saturday, January 18th.  More details on the Facebook page.

Jan 12: GND discussion group (first session)

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 

Join a discussion group on Naomi Klein's new book!  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. 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.

We have 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.

Jan 11: Sustainability Salon on the Rise of the Right

Marking eight years of Sustainability Salons, #96 will continue our annual Wintertime Film Series.  This time we'll delve back into politics, taking a hard look at the rise of the radical right through the malign influence of money, media, and disinformation -- and what we may be able to do about it.  Why do so many people seem to vote against their own best interests?  You may have just spent time with extended family over the holidays, and been reminded of the transformation that certain relations have undergone in recent years.  We'll screen The Brainwashing of My Dad, a film exploring the hows and whys on a very personal level;  come join the conversation!  

The next salon will almost certainly be on February 1st.  Other events of note, in the meantime, include the first session of a new discussion group around Naomi Klein's new book and the Green New Deal;  the Women's March (in both DC and Pittsburgh), the next PASUP meeting, the annual Racial Justice summit, and a benefit concert for PASUP and CeaseFirePA.

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  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 discussi
on, 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 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!


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 the 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.