Feature: The Most Important Meal

A local teen finds success by growing healthy food
by Dana Henry


The school bell rings and teenagers fill the entrance halls of University City High School. Many are running and some are calling out to their friends, relieved from a long day of classes. A young man apologizes to the woman at the front desk who just reprimanded him for cursing. A tall girl with broad shoulders playfully shakes a boy in glasses who looks about half her size. An unplugged metal detector rests beside the padlocked front doors, and several feet away are a few pregnant girls.
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Feature: Will Play For (Local) Food

Philly raconteurs Hoots and Hellmouth promote local farms on tour
by Andrew Thompson


Amid the hustle of touring—going from town to town and not being able to stop for more than a few hours to play a show, fill your stomach at a Cracker Barrel and jet off to the next venue—it can be hard to find a small food co-op, especially when the town you’re playing in doesn’t have one, says Sean Hoots, guitarist/lead vocalist for Philly-based roots rock band Hoots and Hellmouth.
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Feature: Small Is Beautiful

Braving the heat for an intimate seat at Talula's Table
by Jamie Leary


For the staff at talula’s table, a gourmet market and caterer in Kennett Square, hospitality is not perfunctory—it’s heartfelt and natural. Aimee Olexy and Bryan Sikora, the hands-on husband and wife owners (she manages the market, he runs the kitchen), seem to truly enjoy their customers. That might seem like a somewhat tepid compliment, but when paired with their formidable culinary talents, it’s what propels the market in a sleepy Chester County borough into a gastronomenon (consider that term coined).
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Recipe: Guerrilla Ratatouille

Ratatouille is the perfect catchall for spring and summer’s bounty. A staple dish in Provençe, Ratatouille is loved for its versatility, as different chefs have completely different recipes for the dish. Feel free to play around with the proportions of vegetables, depending on what you like and what’s available.
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Recipe: Apple Raspberry Carboholic Cobbler

It seems like everyone these days is counting carbs. Everyone but me, that is! I love carbs so much that I added an extra layer of dough to this sweet and tart cobbler. Since it’s packed with fruit and fiber, it makes a healthy, filling breakfast paired with a steaming pot of tea. But my favorite way to enjoy this cobbler is as dessert, warmed slightly, with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream.
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Recipe: Beet and Lentil Vinaigrette

Courtesy of Pumpkin chef Ian Moroney

Pumpkin is a neat little restaurant where you can have an intimate meal or a quick lunch bite, and then hop across the street to their market for some goodies to make your own feast. Their menu changes every day, so it pays to check back often. Some days they’ll have snails, some days duck and some days they might ask you what you’d like.
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Recipe: Banana Panino

Courtesy of Tria's chef Nick Mezzina

Tria has made a name for itself with what, in retrospect is one of those too obvious kind of ideas: serving really good wine, beer and cheese at the same place. They also manage to pull it off without looking like super-snobs, and by searching out and using lots of great local food and drink.
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Light 'Em If You've Got 'Em

How to recycle light bulbs
by Samantha Wittchen


With energy costs rising, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save us money. It’ll soon be the law, too; beginning in 2012, incandescent bulbs will be banned by Congress. Whether you’re replacing your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs individually as they burn out or in one fell swoop, you’re still faced with the same problem: What do you do with your old light bulbs?
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How-To: Compost

Turn waste into black gold
by Will Dean


If you’re reading this magazine, you probably have at least have a vague idea of what composting is. The natural way to make nutritious (for plants, that is) fertilizer, composting was once a standard practice for every farmer, gardener and consumer.
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Ask Mark

Philadelphia's Director of Sustainability, Mark Alan Hughes, answers our readers

Q: The tax abatement costs the city millions in revenue, and discourages the renewal of existing buildings, thus causing the waste of huge amounts of energy and new construction material, while not requiring any more labor (that is, it doesn’t create jobs compared to restoring existing buildings). It also encourages private automobile ownership in the city, since all new houses are required to have garages. With rising energy costs encouraging people to move back to the city, this unfair subsidy is completely unnecessary. Will you advocate to eliminate the 10-year property tax abatement for new construction in the city?
—Jerry Silberman
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The Sun Also Rises

Three Decades later, Jon Costanza returns to his place in the sun
by Samantha Drake


These days, when Jon Costanza talks to groups about the benefits of solar power, he starts off with his ponytail tucked up out of sight. His audiences, consisting of many people dressed in business suits, often look far more conservative than those he addressed decades ago. Back then, audiences looked a lot more like him, Costanza likes to point out as he lets his ponytail down.
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Lancaster Farm Fresh

Comprised of over 50 local certified-organic farmers, Lancaster Farm Fresh is a cooperative that supports the farm community within Lancaster County and serves the greater Philadelphia region (and they’re featured on pg. 32). They supplied not only the rhubarb for this month’s recipe, but an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables and grass-fed animal product like raw-milk cheeses and yogurts.
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Sun Grab

State rebates create opportunities for solar installations--finally!
by Natasha Chart


Thinking about installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your home or commercial building this year? “There will never be a better time to do it,” says Andrew Kleeman, the managing partner at Eos Energy Solutions.
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Mo' Paper Mo' Problems

Can paperless government work in Philly?
by Brian James Kirk


Long lines and mountains of paperwork await citizens seeking licenses and grants, trying to establish businesses or hoping to renovate their homes. City workers tap away at keyboards full-time, entering the requests into computers. The paperwork is then shipped to storage facilities to gather dust.
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Back Page: Envelopes & Noodles

What we can take from those who make do
by Dee Dee Risher


I leave my friend by the library copy machine while I track down a book. I come back to find her carefully stuffing an inch-thick wad of white bond paper into her tiny bag. She turns to me incredulously. “Some­one threw this away.”
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