Cooking Workshop: Staying Healthy Through the Holidays

Fri. Nov. 21. 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. 

Farm to Table Cupcakes Workshop

Sat., Nov. 22, 12 to 2 p.m. 

Earthship Workshop

Sat., Nov. 22 to Sun., Nov. 23.






Dust to Dust

A local project commemorates the loss
of a beloved home in Mantua

Illustration by Kathleen White

If you’re like me and you live in Philadelphia, chances are you did not build your own home. So, what you call “your” kitchen or “your” bedroom was actually someone else’s kitchen and bedroom before you moved in. Imagine flipping through a complete stranger’s photo album filled with cherished pictures of Thanksgiving dinners and shoveling out the car in front of the house, but the house they’re in front of is now yours. And the Thanksgiving dinner was going on in what is now “your” dining room. 

I think about this a lot: the recycling of our homes and the gradual accumulation of personal histories they have silently sheltered over generations. This simple premise is the basis of a project I’ve been involved in called Funeral for a Home

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Philadelphia Author Nic Esposito to Read from His Newest Book 

The Head & the Hand Press founder and Seeds of Discent author Nic Esposito has turned his tales about living on a small urban homestead in Kensington into his first work of nonfiction—Kensington Homestead, a collection of essays that center around growing food in a city.

After finishing Seeds of Discent in 2011, which chronicles urban farming in Philadelphia, Esposito promised himself that he'd written his first and last book about farming in a city. Then he moved from West Philadelphia to the working class neighborhood of Kensington. There, along with his wife Elisa, they manage the Emerald Street Urban Farm (and a dog, two cats, four chickens and some bees.) He's dealt with rogue bee swarms and chicken kills that have gone awry, but his essays hone in on his rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. It was these experiences that led to his newest venture. 

The Head & The Hand Press, a craft publishing company, is teaming up with Johnny Brenda's to debut the essay collection on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Doors open at 8 p.m. and Esposito's reading begins at 8:30 p.m. After the reading, there will be a Head & The Hand house band lineup led by band leader Rob Berliner of Hoots and Hellmouth. Brave the cold to support a local author and urban farmer. Tickets are $10 at the door and books will be sold for $10 during the show. For more information, visit Head & The Hand Press


"Is Nic Esposito a farmer who writes, or a writer who farms?
Either way, he's a first-rate storyteller,
and you can expect to see his passion for words
and farming on full display
Kensington Homestead." - Alex Mulcahy, publisher of Grid 


We're Hiring a Designer!

Are you a bike-riding, garden-growing, veggie-composting, design enthusiast who has a passion for print? Red Flag Media, a growing independent magazine publisher based in Philadelphia, PA, seeks a talented and versatile designer who will create page layouts for Grid, RFM's award-winning, monthly sustainability magazine.   

The designer will also create a range of marketing materials, including the magazine’s presence online, collateral for conferences and events, and social media. The person in this position is also responsible for designing advertisements for Grid and may be asked to manage additional production work and projects.

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Hard-Working Mussels

A new effort brings the mysterious mussel
back to a Philadelphia waterway

The lack of mussels in the Tacony-Frankford Creek made the stream a desirable target for the reintroduction of the hardy Elliptio complanata species. | Photos by Brian Rademaekers

When you think of mussels in Philadelphia, your first thought might be of ordering moules-frites, Belgium’s signature dish, from Monk’s Café. Ecologist Danielle Kreeger and a team of volunteers is trying to add another association. They want you to think of the Tacony-Frankford Creek, whose swampy terminus is at the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia, where the once plentiful mussel is being reintroduced.

In late August, Kreeger and her helpers took coolers with 50 mussels, scrubbed clean and fitted with tiny radio transmitters, to the creek. Carefully selecting spots along the streambed where they’ll be able to weather storm surges, Kreeger, a scientist working for the nonprofit Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE), and her team gently placed them in small clusters. A GPS location and basic water quality data were recorded at each new mussel bed. The mussels will be monitored periodically. If the mussels survive, Kreeger and others will measure shell growth to determine how healthy the new beds are.

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Bug Net

An innovative project studies urban insect biodiversity

Isabelle Betancourt fished bugs out of Swann Fountain three times a week. | Photos by Jen Britton

"Most of the things I catch are drowning or dead,” says Isabelle Betancourt, curatorial assistant of Entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, as we stood next to Swann Fountain in Logan Circle, surrounded by some of Center City’s great landmarks: the Academy itself, the Franklin Institute, the Free Library and the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

Some may picture entomologists dressed like 19th century explorers, decked out in khaki with pith helmets and butterfly nets. Betancourt was dressed like a casual office worker—sweater and jeans—the day in early October that I accompanied her. As for her sampling equipment, Betancourt carried two collecting vials and “a fishnet that I borrowed from my fish at home.”

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