Jun 29: The Price of Sand film screening

Filmmaker Jim Tittle explores the controversy surrounding frack-sand mining in this documentary.  He became interested in frack-sand mining two years ago after an oil company secretly acquired land near his mother's house near Red Wing, MN to build a 150-acre open pit industrial silica mine.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing a mining boom because both states have plentiful deposits of pure silica sand, a necessary component of fracking.  WIth interviews of more than four dozen business owners, small town mayors, farmers and truckers, The Price of Sand tells the stories of real people and in Tittle's words, explores "the real price of frack sand, not just in dollars, but in lives, communities, and the future of our region."

1 p.m. at the Butler Public Library, 218 N McKean St., Butler, PA 16001.  Presented by Marcellus Outreach Butler.

Jun 27: ACLU workshop on Open Records laws

Your Right To Know:  A Workshop on Requesting Information under PA's Open Records Law
With all the news of government eavesdropping last week, don't you want to know what PA has on you?  Join ACLU Staff Attorney Sara Rose next week to learn how PA's Open Records Law can work for you.

·       Did you hear about the anti-fracking groups that were improperly tracked by PA Homeland Security and thought "Could this happen to me?"
·       Does your community group want to know how your local police department is staffed? 
·       Just want to know more about Open Records Laws?

Join us for a workshop for concerned activists and community members that will walk you through filing your own Right to Know request. 

7 p.m. at the Homewood Library (7101 Hamilton Ave, 15208).  This event is free and open to the public. All materials (except stamps) will be provided. To RSVP or for more information, contact pghinfo@aclupa.org or call 412.681.7736 x 322.

Jun 26: Gun violence talk and panel

David Hickton, U.S. Attorney, Western District of PA will be the featured speaker on 
Gun Violence in Pittsburgh: What's the Federal Government doing about it? 
Followed by a Panel discussion with: security expert Louis Gentile, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, and others.

7 - 8:30 PM at Temple Sinai (5505 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh PA 15217).   

Jun 20: Regional premiere of GASLAND Part II

All are invited to a free screening of the upcoming HBO film “Gasland Part II” at the Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Oakland, Thursday, June 20. The HBO documentary, to be introduced by writer and director Josh Fox, is an objective and factual rebuttal of the criticism of the award-winning film “Gasland”.  Doors open for live music and tabling at 6 pm and the film starts at 7 pm. 

Organized primarily by Marcellus Protest, with help fromPennEnvironment and additional financial contributions from Clean Water Action, Frac Tracker, Sierra Club, Mountain Watershed Assoc., as well asBeaver County Marcellus Awareness, Butler Marcellus Outreach, Center for Coalfield Justice, CURE, East End Food Coop, Green Energy Collaborative, Murrysville Marcellus Community Group, Pittsburgh National Lawyers Guild, SHADD, Southwest PA Environmental Health Project, Three Rivers Community Foundation, and Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens Group.

This major event is also supported by the following partners: 350.org, Buckeye Forest Council, Concerned Citizens Ohio, Defenders of Earth Outreach, Fawn Against Marcellus, Food and Water Watch, Frackfree Geauga, Frackfree Mahoning Valley, GASP, Guardians of Mill Creek, Jefferson County Ohio Citizens for Environmental Truth, People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative, Shadbush Collective, Thomas Merton Center, Three Rivers Waterkeeper, Upper Burrell Citizens Against Marcellus Pollution, and Westmoreland Chapter County Community Rights Network.

Jun 19: GMO film screening and workshop

Seeds of Freedom Film Screening, and a workshop by Kate Safin of Food & Water Watch

This documentary highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, has impacted the agro-biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world. Following the film, Kate Safin will present information on GMOs and discuss the importance of educating consumers about genetically modified food.

6:30 p.m., and free;  call 412-242-3598 to find out more details and reserve your spot.

Jun 14: Paint the town white -- Cool Roofs!

Cool Roofs, a green initiative modeled after a similar one in New York City, aims to paint over 50,000 square feet of roofs on buildings owned by the City of Pittsburgh. The white, reflective paint will keep the building cooler in warm months, which means less energy will be needed to keep the building comfortable.

This will result in less coal or gas burned to cool the building, meaning less air pollution (and lower utility bills for the city).  Join GASP Friday, June 14 for a few hours to help paint our way to cleaner air!  Learn all you need to know here, and RSVP to jamin@gasp-pgh.org.

Shift 1: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Shift 2: 3:30 - 5 PM
Fire Engine 15, 7024 Lemington Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15206

Jun 9: Plant sale in Forest Glen

Putting Down Roots Plant Sale Day

As long as I'm home gardening most of the day, I may as well host another plant sale day... Putting Down Roots, a.k.a. Maren, will be here and welcoming folks interested in seedlings and transplants of myriad vegetables, herbs, flowers, berries, and perennials. I'll also have the CobraHead garden tool available, as well as amazing soil-enriching worm castings made locally, and repackaged seeds for your own plantings.

Get a head start on tomatoes -- some are as big as two feet tall and setting fruit. Strawberry plants will expand in your garden as they send out runners to create daughter plants. Brassicas, cucurbits, annual and perennial herbs, native perennials for sun and shade...

Offerings include but are not limited to asparagus and acorn squash, basil, broccoli and butternut, cauliflower, cucumber, and cilantro, dill, delicata, and dame's rocket, early girl tomato, feherozon pepper, gourds great and small and Green Zebra tomato, Heinz paste tomato, jalapeƱo pepper, kabocha squash, luffa gourds, lacinato kale, mustard greens, nasturtiums, orange blossom tomato, parsley, patty pan and pie melon, rosemary, romanesco and raspberries, seeds, sage, savoy cabbage and sweet woodruff, thyme, tarragon, tools, and trillions of other tomatoes (OK, hyperbole), unguents by Kielan, verbena, walla walla onion and worm castings, yellow squash and yokatta na, and...zucchini.
I will be here most of the time between 10 and 5 (I may have to step out briefly but you can check out the yard in the meantime -- there's plenty to see!).

Again, apologies to the out-of-towners; I finally figured out how to invite all my FB friends to events at once, and it saves a tremendous amount of time. Or maybe it'll inspire a visit...

If you don't know where we are located, or if these times don't work out for you, just touch base (email me with "plant sale" in the Subject line). Or give a call.. in the 'Burgh, 251 and then 5814 (evading info-harvesters). 

Jun 9: Urban Chicken Tour

Chicks in the Hood
The 3rd Annual Chicks-in-the-Hood Pittsburgh Urban Chicken Coop Tour is a one-day, self-guided urban chicken coop tour comprised of volunteers who are enthusiastic about showing how chickens and urban agriculture are thriving in the North Side, West End and East End neighborhoods of the City. The tour seeks to educate visitors about keeping hens and delight them with garden ideas and backyard sustainability projects. Open to adults and children, the tour showcases various styles of chicken coops and breeds. Urban chicken farmers will be on hand at each location to discuss the how-to’s of urban chicken keeping. There will be opportunities to photograph and get to know the chickens up close and personal. A wide-variety of coop styles, as well as the surrounding backyard gardens, makes the tour interesting and fun for the whole family!

Tickets for the tour are $10 - kids are free! A ticket purchase gets you a tour booklet, a map with directions to each participating coop on the tour and an official Chicks-in-the-Hood collectible pin! All proceeds from ticket sale will be donated to Just Harvest www.justharvest.org 

Tickets will be available the day of the tour at (1) The Quiet Stormwww.qspgh.com at 5430 Penn Avenue in Friendship/Garfield; (2) Tazza D’Oro www.tazzadoro.com at 1125 North Highland Avenue in Highland Park; (3) Animal Nature www.animalnature.net at 7610 Forbes Avenue in Regent Square; (4) Thompson 0.08 Acres at 1240 Resaca Place, Pittsburgh 15212; and (5) Choderwood at 7665 Lock Way West, Pittsburgh 15206, located at the Highland Park Dam at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Allegheny River Boulevard. Questions? Contact Jody via email noblechoder@aol.com.
A guided East End Bike Tour is available beginning at 9:15 a.m. at Animal Nature in Regent Square. 

Jun 6: South Hills Forum on Gun Violence

South Hills Forum on Gun Violence  
Featuring our local, state, and federal leaders; community members; experts on gun violence... Attend, participate, learn, contribute, get involved! 

Pre-addressed postcards will be provided to fill out with your requests to legislators, which we will collect and deliver to the respective offices. Bring some of your stick-on address labels!

7 - 9 pm at Bower Hill Presbyterian Church (Just off Bower Hill Road at 70 Moffett St, Mt Lebanon 15243).

Jun 1: Sustainability Salon

The 17th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon & Sing will take place on June 1st.  Rather than our usual series of talks and discussion on a particular topic, this time we'll let the conversation roll on its own, enjoying time together inside and out during this beautiful season!

And if you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden as well as the many other interesting things around our place, from the shiitake logs to the seedling nursery.  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 to RSVP (important for yesses and maybes, please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance (we may need to begin limiting attendance);  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.  If you'd like to start making your own kombucha, please bring a pint jar along.

Note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by Sunday morning if not before.  One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit (assistance would be welcome), 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 basically a house party with an environmental theme -- usually with featured speakers on a particular topic -- accompanied by stimulating conversation, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included green buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees & park stewardshipalternative energy & climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings & discussions (led by the filmmakers) over the winter with both YERT and Gas Rush Stories, and foodfood, 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 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.