PHAIR Philadelphia’s Maker Market

Saturdays through Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fair Food’s 2014 Member/Buyer Farm Tour 

Sun., Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Grow It Yourself (GIY) Workshop Series

Wed., Oct. 29, 5 to 7 p.m. 

 

  






 

 

Saturday
Oct252014

Built to Suit

Stephen Bilenky works on a bike at his shop Bilenky Cycle Works. | Photo courtesy Bilenky Cycle Works

Custom bike building sees a resurgence in Philadelphia

While all bikes are good, some are extra special. At Firth & Wilson, the Spring Garden bike shop Simon Firth co-owns with David Wilson, the two will happily fix a flat, adjust a derailleur or upgrade a set of handlebars. Under the name Hanford Cycles, Firth also builds custom bikes, and is one member of a growing community of craftspeople doing so here in Philadelphia.

Custom bike-building, like fitting a suit, begins with a person and a specific set of measurements. While standard bikes are built to bear the weight of the heaviest potential person the manufacturer anticipates will ride them, Mark Weaver, of Weaver Cycles in Collingswood, New Jersey, says that he, and other bike builders, take into consideration a person’s height and weight, as well as the length of their torso, arms and inseam to determine frame shape and size, and the gauge of the tubing for the frame, whether it be steel, aluminum or titanium. Some materials are lighter, some heavier, but just as a suit can be made of wool or linen, “it’s all about the fit,” according to Weaver.

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Friday
Oct242014

Baby on Board

Most cyclists prefer to have their children in a rear bike seat but a growing number of people are keeping their children in front, as shown. | Photo by Joanna Goddard

Kidical Mass gives families biking in Philadelphia a boost

For parents in the city who can’t drive, or avoid driving as much as possible, transportation can be tricky. How do you get your brood and all their belongings to and from places outside of your neighborhood? A growing community of families in Philadelphia are answering that question by turning to bicycles.

Dena Driscoll and Marni Duffy both bike frequently, placing their kids at the front of their family cargo bikes. Driscoll, 30, a mother of a 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter, commutes into Center City most days from Manayunk to her son’s preschool. Duffy, 31, a Fishtown resident, has ridden as far as Chestnut Hill with her three kids (ages 3, 6 and 8). Hauling their kids around via bike isn’t always easy, but, according to Driscoll, “If you’re in a car, you’re part of the pollution problem.” Duffy adds that for her, there’s a self-care aspect, too. “When we’re in the car, I’m miserable and the kids are miserable. I just feel so much better on the bike.”

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Thursday
Oct232014

The Spice Between

Skip the typical sage and thyme for Thanksgiving and instead opt for Chai-Spiced Apple Crisp, Pumpkin & Coconut Thai Curry and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Tahini and Za’atar. | Photo by Emily Teel

Skip the usual suspects for Thanksgiving fare
and give late autumn produce a kick 

The momentum around food in november all leads up to one day: Thanksgiving. The butter-laden Thursday with its repetitive flavor profiles, celebrates all things autumnal. But for all of the fanfare around the day itself, Thanksgiving represents but one dinner ... and maybe a few turkey sandwich lunches afterwards.

To ensure a full month of exciting seasonal eats, skip the sage and thyme that appear so heavily in the Thanksgiving menu and use other aromatics to dress up produce. You’ll never miss the nutmeg with pumpkin when it’s in a fragrant Thai-style curry. Enjoy a chunky, charred broccoli salad with tahini dressing and za’atar. Save pie-baking for the holiday and make a weeknight dessert of gluten-free apple crisp fragrant with clove and cardamom.

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Wednesday
Oct222014

Bee Afraid

Philadelphia author educates and entertains with his latest eco-thriller, Deadout

Too often, the message of sustainability is delivered in a heavy-handed and humorless way. That’s why Jon McGoran’s delightful books with doomsday plots are so welcomed. Drift and Deadout, the first two books in a trilogy about the adventures of Doyle Carrick, a good-hearted but reckless detective, fall under the category of “eco-thriller.” At their core, the books offer the pure entertainment of a “good guys vs. bad guys” story, but McGoran manages to introduce ideas about food safety and sovereignty in a gentle way, and from the differing perspectives of fully-fleshed characters. In Deadout, released in August by Forge Books, the plot revolves around the disappearance of native honey bees, and a corporation with a genetically modified bee ready to come to the rescue. Grid caught up with our former editor in chief to discuss his latest work. 

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Tuesday
Oct212014

Plugged In

Mark McGee organizes electronics recycling events several times a year. | Photo by Megan Matuzak

Mark McGee, Kensington's undisputed electronics recycling champion 

The average American throws away approximately 62 pounds of electronics a year, says Kensington resident Mark McGee, citing a WHYY podcast on electronics waste. “I don’t think people realize there is a lot of toxic stuff out there when they throw a TV away,” McGee says.

McGee helps promote electronics recycling in Kensington, an area he's lived in for over 50 years, through his volunteer work with Sustainable 19125 & 19134. The resident-driven organization was created by the local Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) and the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) with the support of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to promote sustainability, and aims to make the two zip codes the greenest in the city.

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