New Hope Organic Garden Bounty, Mid-Summer

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Weeds, beetles, caterpillars, rabbits, groundhogs, excessive heat, downpours, miscalculations and a few failed crops… .

By this point in the summer, the average organic gardener may wonder (very briefly) if it’s really worth all the effort.

Couldn’t we just frequent the area’s wonderful farmers’ markets or head down the road to None Such, Manoff or Gravity Hill? Continue reading

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Introducing the Doylestown Food Co-Op

Doylestown Co-Op

We recently checked out the Doylestown Food Co-Op, where we found a whole new way to think about local food…and popcorn (more on that in a minute). The co-op opened its doors earlier this month in a storefront at 29 West State Street, Doylestown, Pa. The official grand opening will take place on February 8. For details, check out http://www.doylestown.coop.org.

So, What Is a Co-Op?

A co-op is a business that’s owned and governed collectively by a group of people who are members. While most co-ops start as food businesses, some have eventually branched out, providing other services of value to the community. Like other co-ops, the Doylestown Food Co-Op offers the opportunity to become a member by purchasing equity shares of the grocery. In exchange, member-owners have a say in decisions about the business, receive discounts on some of their food purchases and enjoy a variety of other benefits. Read on

Localism in the DelVal: Two Communities Consider ‘Import Replacement’

 

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If you’re already a locavore, you won’t be surprised to know that eating local is a trend that’s on the rise, as noted by various surveys, including one from North Dakota’s Center for Rural Affairs.*  This is great news for those of us who believe localism can give rise to a greener, lower-carbon lifestyle AND lay the groundwork for a stronger, job-producing economy. But to realize localism’s full benefits, we’ll need to do more than just buy food from neighborhood farms.

According to localists, we’ll also need to adopt something called “import replacement.” While that term may not be as widely known as “sustainable,” two Delaware River Valley towns, Solebury Township, PA, and Lambertville, NJ, are considering sustainably minded proposals that are great examples of import replacement. Read on!

‘Art in the Garden’ Showcases Local Art this Labor Day Weekend

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If you’re committed to keeping things local here in the Delaware River Valley, you may be getting a lot of your food from local sources. But locavorism doesn’t need to begin and end with food. One of our area’s greatest local commodities is art…some of which will be on display Labor Day Weekend at Art in the Garden, the annual art and craft show held at Paxson Hill Farm in Solebury.

The 14th annual Art in the Garden will bring together 60 local artists and artisans, including printmakers, photographers, painters, ceramic artists, jewelry designers and much more. Artists’ booths will be scattered around the beautiful grounds of the Paxson Hill Farm nursery, which offers professional landscaping services and plantings throughout the year. The farm also is home to a menagerie comprising peacocks, emus, llamas and one or two very large pigs.

The beautiful setting and quality artwork lead many to make a day of this wonderful annual event. But it also offers a great opportunity to put the local multiplier effect to work by purchasing a few early holiday gifts for others …or yourself…from local artists and artisans. Remember, dollars spent at independently owned local businesses circulate throughout the community many more times than dollars spent at national chains (whether brick-and-mortar or online). According to one source, 45 cents of each dollar spent locally is reinvested in the community vs. only 15 cents spent at national chains.* Buying anything made locally — food, art, furnishings, clothing, services — can help the local economy survive and thrive… and keep our downtowns independent and interesting.

Freshbyhand
By way of full disclosure, I’m breaking with my usual blog format here for a little self-promotion. My micro-biz, Freshbyhand, will be among the vendors at this year’s Art in the Garden. I’ll be selling the hand-painted and collaged picture frames and mirrors available at my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/freshbyhand… or see link in the right-hand column), along with some new pieces, like these.

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All of these one-of-a-kind pieces are made by upcycling wooden frames left over from a previous business and materials and “outtakes” from my art prints. The prints were made using a variety of techniques — an eco-friendly form of etching, mono print, collograph, linocut, chine colle and stenciling. The imagery is inspired by nature, colorful printmaking remnants and the creative possibilities of paint, ink and glue.

Show Details:

  • What: Art in the Garden art and craft show
  • Where: Paxson Hill Farm, 3265 Comfort Road (off Rt. 263), Solebury Township, PA
  • When: Saturday, 8/31 and Sunday, 9/1, 10 to 4:30, rain or shine
  • Free admission
  • More info at: www.paxsonhillfarm.com.

* http://www.localmultiplier.com

Don’t Miss the Annual Herb Society Sale at Holcombe-Jimison, Saturday, May 18

???????????????????????????????Each May, the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America holds its annual herb sale at the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead Museum, on Route 29 in Lambertville, NJ. Whether you’re just starting an herb garden or adding to one you’ve tended for years, this sale is a wonderful opportunity to find a wide variety of hearty, healthy plants at reasonable prices.

Once you pull into the Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead, you’ll find the herbs on display inside one of the museum’s many historic barns. The plants are arranged in alphabetical order on tables, just in front of a collection of antique farm vehicles. If you have questions about a particular plant, the Herb Society volunteers are always happy to share their substantial knowledge. Read more

Connecting the Sustainability Dots, Part II: Going Local

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Fresh’s March 27 post explored how a single activity, such as edible gardening, can help us become more sustainable in a variety of ways. Something else that connects a lot of sustainability dots is “going local.” 

For some, localism is about “transitioning” to a post-carbon world, buying and making things locally so we don’t need to expend lots of fossil fuel importing and transporting goods from other places. For others, localism is a way to rebuild resilient, people-centered economies in an impersonal globalized world. Still others see in localism an opportunity to create lifestyles that are centered around place and strong, interconnected communities.

Going local can help us do all of those things and more. Here are a few examples. Read more

Connecting the Dots to Live More Sustainably

Culinary herb garden

Culinary herb garden

Note that the article posted a moment ago was published accidentally! Please read this version instead!

Are you a vegan? Do you shop locally? Buy organic food? Belong to a time bank, co-op or informal sharing collective? Avoid plastic? Collect water in rain barrels? Buy electricity from a renewable generator? Use local currency? Commute via bike or public transportation? Live in an eco-friendly home?

There are many ways to live more sustainably today…and many “movements” advocating for one of these ways or another. But in this information-savvy age, with so many opportunities to “follow” those who think just like us, we can easily slip into a “silo” when it comes to our views and actions. Making connections between these silos can open doors to some surprising and innovative ways to live more sustainably.

Just consider some of the doors opened by edible gardening. Read more