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

Can your yard reverse global warming?

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It just might help…if you go 100% organic. Scientists at the Rodale Institute (and other researchers) have found compelling evidence that organic farming helps soil bury (“sequester”) the carbon dioxide (CO2) that contributes to global warming. The same principles should apply to organic gardening and lawn care. That means we all have the power to help address this enormous problem…right in our own backyards. Continue reading

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

Tale of Two Words: Sustainability Vs. Resilience

      A sustainable & resilient rain garden in Washington State

A sustainable & resilient rain garden in Washington State

As words go, “resilience” seems to be the new kid on the block… the new black, today’s “it word”… whatever metaphor you prefer. That’s not to say “sustainability” has disappeared. It’s still being used to describe a host of things, from organic farming to green building to garbage reduction to buying local. And there’s still plenty of “sustainable washing,” like the local supermarket describing how they continually search for ways to make your shopping experience more sustainable.

These days, however, resilience is giving sustainability a run for the money. Maybe it’s something about the (extreme) weather. 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

Green (Old-Fashioned) Popcorn

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With Oscar night upon us, thoughts turn to the movies … and their perfect accompaniment, popcorn. In case you haven’t heard, the microwaveable kind is loaded with health hazards. In addition to the sodium and trans fats in the popcorn itself, the lining of the microwaveable bags contains something called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to infertility and cancer. And a common artificial flavoring agent, diacetyl, has apparently caused lung cancer in popcorn factory workers. 

If you need further convincing that it’s time to change your popcorn habits, check out:

Sustainability as easy as 1-2-3

The good news, of course, is that a much better alternative, old-fashioned (non-microwaveable) popcorn, is easy to find in local food stores. If you’ve forgotten how to pop the stuff on the stove top after years of microwaving, just follow these simple steps. Read more

Organic Seeds Warm Up the Season

winter seeds 5

It’s been a beautiful winter weekend in the Delaware River Valley. Friday night’s light snowfall left a dusting of powder on bare branches, turning stark grey woods into delicate lace work. Seasonally cold, if only for a few days, the weather has been ideal for indoor activities like curling up with a good book…or paging through those organic seed catalogs that always seem to land in the mailbox just as the weather is at its coldest.

Good reading

Full of the brilliant colors and textures sorely missing from the winter landscape, seed catalogs can get us imagining ourselves as flawless gardeners, capable of cultivating the rarest flower or most esoteric vegetable. While reality will check those fantasies in a few months, for now, we can indulge them a bit by choosing from a wide variety of tiny packages. Read more