Sat., April 26, 10 to 11 a.m.
Sat., April 26, noon to 2 p.m.
Tues., April 29, 9 a.m. to noon

 

  

 






 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Beer Garden: Local breweries hop on—and off—the local hop bandwagon

Filmmaker and activist Jamie Moffett harvested Cascade and Nugget hop vines he and neighbors planted in their “Guerrilla Hops Garden” along Rand Street in June 2013. Photo by Jamie Moffett.

For some beer enthusiasts, hops—pungent, cone-shaped flowers whose acidic resin gives beer bitterness and aroma—are what define a good glass of suds. Many beers use hops that come from European brewing centers, but even the domestic hops in local India pale ales usually arrive from suppliers in the Pacific Northwest. While our region has a burgeoning local brewery scene and the hops can be grown here, the overwhelming majority of the hops in their brews come from far-off places because it’s still cheaper and easier to buy from elsewhere.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

Avant Gardener: Horticulture educator has been a longtime champion for urban gardeners

Doris Stahl, here at the Horticulture Center at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, built hundreds of urban gardens around the city. Photo by Dan Murphy.After Doris Stahl’s two sons had moved out of the house in 1985, she was looking for a change. As a professionally trained fine artist and educator, she taught art sporadically at community centers and summer park programs while raising her two sons. But now that they were grown, Stahl wanted something more full-time. An avid home gardener, Stahl was drawn to accept a position as a horticulture educator with Penn State Extension. Little did she know the change she’d instill by bringing the Master Gardener Program to Philadelphia and building hundreds of urban gardens during her 26-year tenure.

The Master Gardener Program, which was established in Seattle in 1972 to meet the demands for urban horticulture and education, provides extensive training to volunteers who then go on to serve their communities through beautification projects, educational workshops, community garden maintenance, and providing gardening advice and education. Penn State adopted the Master Gardener Program in 1982, and implemented it in Pennsylvania counties where farming was already prevalent. But when Stahl came on board three years later, the Master Gardeners were nonexistent in Philadelphia, a city blighted by 33,000 vacant lots and minimal green space. 

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Friday
Apr182014

An injured rider finds support from the bicycle community

illustration by Andrew RobertsI could be the safest bicyclist i know. I teach people how to ride bikes in the city as part of my job at two nonprofits—the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Gearing Up. Off the clock, I’m a bicycle evangelist who encourages everyone to give two-wheeled transportation a try. But my enthusiasm was recently challenged. 

Days before Christmas, I was biking home, heading west on Reed Street past the Acme in South Philly. I turned south where the trolley tracks turn north at 11th and Reed, and suddenly, my bike slipped out from under me and I was on the ground. 

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Monday
Apr142014

South Philadelphia recycling program Feed the Barrel transforms used cooking oil into compost and biofuel

Cut Zahara, program director with Feed the Barrel, poses with her daughter, Geubrina Jalil. photos by Sahar Coston HardyWarm, welcoming and barefoot. That is Cut Zahara, owner of Barizkhy Daycare. (It’s still fairly new, come on in and make yourself at home.) Although she’s a petite woman among a sea of children vying for attention, you can’t miss her—she’s the one with the hot pink scarf wrapped around her head.

Zahara (whose first name is pronounced “choot”) is one of the program directors of Feed the Barrel, Philadelphia’s first residential cooking oil recycling program. Members of the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia, a local chapter of the national organization, created the pilot in early 2013 with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Asian Pacific American Council, which serves communities that are typically under-represented. In Indonesia, families have more space—big backyards and gardens—and so dumping used cooking oil outside was never an issue. But in Philadelphia, where open space is limited, many Indonesians resort to throwing away their oil after cooking with it; or worse, pouring it down the drain, where it would block their pipes as well as city-owned water mains, making for some very expensive plumbing fixes.

“We as a community … never dealt with this problem in our country before,” Zahara says. She moved from Aceh, Indonesia, in 2000 and has lived in the U.S. since then. “We [Indonesians] use a lot of cooking oil, we fry everything, so that’s why … after we use it, we just pour it down the sink; that’s how we dealt with it before. [But] now we know how to do it better.”

At a meeting in early 2013, members of the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia decided that Zahara, who has been an activist and a speaker on environmental and human rights issues for 14 years, was the kind of champion that Feed the Barrel needs. Zahara and Merlin Lamson, project manager, were chosen after the community leaders saw “the scope of the project, and realize we need back-up,” says Hani White, chairwoman for the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia.

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Monday
Apr142014

Keep It Fresh: Warmer weather draws an appetite for flavorful spring salads 

 

As the spring days get warmer and evenings stretch out, it’s not all that appealing to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing a big meal. So opt to limit your time in the kitchen by whipping up these easy savory salads. These three colorful alternatives to a big meal don’t even require that you mix up a dressing. 

Pickled shallots lend a punch to roasted beets and show that you don’t need greens to make a gorgeous salad. The earthiness of the beets is punctuated with creamy, salty feta and sweetness from a few of last fall’s lingering apples. Strawberries balance the bite from balsamic and the spicy Asian greens. Slaws may be the easiest of all salads, and this one made with carrots, scallions and lime juice is no exception—even as you quickly caramelize sunflower seeds with a salty slick of soy sauce.

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