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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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

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

Greening Your Cleaning

Eco-friendly household cleaning products

Eco-friendly household cleaning products

If you’re trying to stay on top of warnings about various household toxins, you may sometimes get a mild case of green exhaustion. It’s tempting to tune it all out for a while and bask in denial. But you know that’s not the healthiest choice for you, your family or the planet.

Another option is to think incremental and choose one small area of your life to tackle today — putting off all the others, Scarlett O’Hara-style, for another day. An easy place to start is with your household cleaning products. Read more

Greening the Lunchbox: Six Easy Steps

green lunchbox 1

Whether you’re packing school lunches or brown-bagging it to your job, the lunch box can be a Pandora’s box of environmental hazards.

Here are a few alternatives for making lunch more sustainable.

1. Reusable sandwich bags. If you or your kids eat sandwiches, you may want to consider this popular green alternative to plastic wrap or freezer bags. Of course, you can also use the bags to hold pretzels, carrots, cookies or any other dry food item you pack each day. Read more

Sustainable resolutions for 2013

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Every year at this time, thousands of writers are tasked with finding a fresh spin on the annual New Year’s Resolution article. Meanwhile, those of use who still believe in resolutions make lists that we know will soon be misplaced or, worse, become painful reminders of what we could have accomplished…if only. Read more