Mar 21: Sustainability Salon on Food

The 38th Sustainability Salon will focus once again on FOOD -- growing it ourselves, sourcing it locally, and food education and policy.  Join us on March 21st (from 3-10 p.m., with potluck food and drink).  Erin Hagan Hart will talk about the upcoming Farm to Table Conference (the theme this year is Cook At Home -- and Erin will be offering complimentary tickets to Salongoers!).  We'll hear from Rayden Sorock about some of Grow Pittsburgh's amazing programs bringing food-growing to all corners of Pittsburgh through education, youth job development, farm stands, community gardens, and the new Garden Resource Center with its Tool Lending Library.  Dylan Molloy of Just Harvest will talk about their programs including the annual Empty Bowls Dinner (the source of many of the lovely bowls you see serving Sustainability Salon fare).  Greg Boulos of Blackberry Meadows Farm has been involved in Pittsburgh's local food movement for over ten years. From food sovereignty to food deserts, Greg has been working with neighborhoods, nonprofits and his own community of eaters to advocate and ensure "higher octane" meals for better regional nutrition.  In addition to a Community Supported Agriculture program, Blackberry Meadows is now offering a grow-your-own version where they provide seedlings and supplies for backyard gardeners -- Garden Share, a unique way of Supporting Community Agriculture.  Don Kretschmann will bring us up to date on the situation with natural gas facilities in the area surrounding his 80-acre organic CSA farm.  and Erin Kelly will share the East End Food Co-op's Fair Trade practices.  More details may appear here as I finalize the speaker roster.  

The next Salon will be on April 11th, continuing our fourth Springtime Food Focus and also returning to the Revitalizing Communities theme from last fall -- we'll look at developing neighborhood-scale food systems in Hazelwood and Braddock.  A few other events to which I'd like to draw particular attention, as they relate to our Salon topics: 

1.  Earlier in the day on Saturday, there'll be a great Open Space gathering on Urban Farming and Gardening, down at the historic Pump House in Homestead.  (and later in the evening, and Sunday afternoon, there's the local high school musical!)

2.  Although our Wintertime Film Series wound down in February, I wanted to bring your attention to another entry in the CMU International Film Festival.  On March 24th, the IFF will present A Dangerous Gamewhich takes a look at the high environmental and economic costs of golf courses for the 1% (it's a sequel to the award-winning documentary You've Been Trumped, which can be seen online).  Once again, the IFF organizers have offered a generous admission discount to Sustainability Salongoers (just register for the Student/Senior rate), for single films or the full series!

3.  If you care about really really local food, and especially if you want to grow a bunch of it, you may want to attend the public hearing on the proposed Urban Agriculture Zoning changes, earlier on Tuesday the 24th.

4.  Next weekend brings the Farm to Table Conference, a celebration of local food with talks, tastings, demos, and workshops.  

5.  For those who couldn't make it to our packed screening of The Power of One Voice, the film is being shown each Sunday this month at the Carnegie!  

6.  Hearkening back to last November's salon, Betsy Damon -- one of our impromptu speakers at that event, sharing her work in Larimer -- will be back in town and giving a talk at Pitt.  

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We'll aim to start the program sometime around 4, 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.  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.  

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.  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 green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving 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. 

No comments: