Friday, April 11, 2014

Sustainable Agriculture

Last night, a fellow council member and I attended a sustainable agriculture workshop. It was held at the senior center and sponsored by Temple University. The students there are undertaking a study about how a community can improve sustainability and picked Norristown. On one hand. I was thrilled that they picked us, and on the other hand. I was sad they picked us.

I met some very interesting people who are very interested in making Norristown better and it was good to be in a room with kindred spirits. These people understood that access to fresh produce and a variety of good quality food is important to the health of the community. However it is frustrating to note that there was not a large showing.

There are some places where people can get fresh produce, but it may not be organically grown produce, and they are few. We discussed things like CSAs (of which there is one really close), community gardens, education opportunities, and getting children involved. The students will go back and do their analysis and come back to us with suggestions. I will post when that happens.food

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little Fightening

Last night I attended a viewing of GMO OMG. I came home more disturbed about this country than ever. The powerful people at Monsanto, along with other chemical companies, are not only destroying our health but our environment all in the name of money. I am not surprised, necessarily, but shocked at the gall.

If you have an opportunity to see it, please do. I did not stay for the panel discussion but I am sure it was interesting. There were several people there who are doing what they can making sure we are educated, informed consumers and know that our food items have GMOs in them by labeling them. This is something that Monsanto and the other do not want. They interviewed a European scientist who said that they have been labeling for a while and no one wants the GMO stuff. All we are asking for is the choice and the knowledge that we are putting quality - or not quality - food in our bodies. What could be wrong with that?

I'll tell you what's wrong. The more educated a consumer we are, the less likely we are going to purchase their product  and the poorer they will be. I am sorry, I am all for the rights of workers, but companies who make this stuff are criminals in my book, and all they are doing is making their employees accessories to the crime.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Winter Garden

Over the weekend I started my first piece of yard work for the season. We had a tree fall just before winter hit and had not had the chance to stack the wood better.  I love this time of year when you can see the new plants poking their heads above the sol to make an appearance for the new season. It is so exciting to push aside some brown dead leaf and se something green. It makes you aware of the circle of life.

After working for about two hours I then sat back and surveyed the property. There are a few things that I definately want to get, plant-wise as well as otherwise. I would like to get a piece of sculpture for the new tranquility garden, and of course this year I will be needing to lay down the flat stones and get to planting the creeping thyme or other fragrant plant between them. 

I am getting very excited for the start of planting season. I do have some things started in my little basement greenhouse with the grow lights. I swear the neighbors must think there is some funny business going on down there. But there really isn't unless eggplant and veggies are illegal. Spring is here even though snow happened yesterday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Global Climate Change

I follow a vegan cook named Christina Pirello. I have blogged about her before and shared recipes with several people. I am truly inspired by her story; curing herself of cancer after following a vegan diet. It truly points to the fact that we are what we eat and what we eat impacts us and our surroundings.

Her March newsletter went so far as to talk of this global climate change we are experiencing and the fact that even though we are currently shivering through a very snowy and cold winter, our earth is getting warmer. You see as the atmosphere contains more greenhouse gases, some areas are getting wetter and others drier.

While it is hard for us individually to change the use of fossil fuels, there is one thing we can do and that is to eat less meat. I did read elsewhere that raising cattle, and even poultry to some extent, does contribute to methane gas production and that there are more heads of cattle now than ever. Makes sense to me and one reason why I am going to stick to eating less, or even no, meat. Not only is it good for my health, it is good for the planet.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day

I had a snow day as the place where I am working now closed because of the snow and the dangerous roads this morning.  At first it was a two hour delay and then it closed.  This is the second time since I have been working that it has happened.  The first time (Monday), I was actually sick and was going to call in and then got the call so it was actually a good thing.  Today, I am better but it is nice to be able to take it easy and continue to rest.

I kind of liked having a snow day today because there were some house things that needed to get done, but I am a little sick of the snow now and am anxious for spring.  I looked at the forecast and it says that starting this weekend, we have another storm system coming our way.  Some people have indicated that it is a big one and we are due for either 3 or 30 inches.  That's right, 30.  I don't know if it is a scare thing or real, but it could be.  More snow days.

Snow removal is getting to be a full time occupation.  Our municipality is short on salt as is many others.  There was an accident at a salt mine and OSHA shut the place down for four days, so that results in the salt delivery being late and we are low. I hope that we will get the tonnage we are due shortly in time for this upcoming deluge if that is indeed the case.  Next week looks like snow and frozen mix forecast nearly every day. Global warming?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ceasefire PA

I had the opportunity to attend a house party the other night given by a friend of mine. The topic of conversation was about HB 1010 and the SB 1010 corresponding bill, which is all about background checks. They are looking for additional cosponsors so that it can get out of committee. It currently has 50 and they are looking for 63. Very close.

At the meeting were two gun owners who spke about their feelings on the bill as well as the changes to the NRA since they have been owners. It was very interesting to hear their input as I have always been hearing most gun  owners are so against any bill aimed toward gun violence prevention. According to one owner, the agency has changed from one that was very concerned about gun safety to basically a lobbying organization that pushes against any legislation that even mentions the word gun at all.

This bill is so important toward prevention especially to make sure background checks are done for the purchase of long guns, which is the weapon of choice in domestic abuse situations, according to CeasefirePA. Now anyone can purchase a long gun without a check which seems to be a bad thing. Please check with your legislator to make sure they are supporting this important bill.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Garden Started!

Started my garden today.  I am using my little greenhouse that I purchased a few years back (this picture is from back then).  The gardening app told me that it was time to start the celery.  I also started some lettuce, parsley, basil, kale, and spinach so that I could have those on hand for salads growing inside.  I really should have started them earlier, so that I would have the stuff to eat, but I didn't think of it.

Gardening is such a great way to help with gratification, sustainability, and satisfaction. It is also a way to help get rid of the winter blues when the weather is so horrible so much of the time.  By growing things inside, you have something that takes a little of your attention and know that spring is coming soon and there will be a time for you to get the outside gardening started.

I am really psyched this year for some reason.  I have my garden fence up, the beds are waiting there for me, and I have big plans for the outside.  Starting these little seedlings inside means that those plans are just a little closer to becoming a reality. As one of the people I follow on YouTube says: keep on growing!