Dear GRID Reader,
The Community Design Collaborative, like you, believes in building communities with strong futures. In 1991, a group of dedicated and self-described “anarchist architects” created the Collaborative to meet a critical need. In the 20 years since then, we have helped community organizations imagine their highest hopes for their neighborhoods.
Seeds of Discent
by Nic Esposito
(Bobcat Coveside Books, 300 pp., $20, March 2011)
The descent of plant roots into Philadelphia’s trashed soils is the most essential dissent against America’s failing economy, especially when these roots grow food, says author Nic Esposito. A 28-year-old West Philly farmer, Esposito’s first novel, Seeds of Discent, appears inspired by, if not a reflection of, his personal experiences. The fictional story features West Philadelphia Millennials serving the planet by rebuilding cities greenward. They fill vacant lots, roofs and walls with food. They live simply, for this future. Philadelphia’s urban farmers exhibit daily heroism, by defying social pressures to succeed as consumers. Yet instead of becoming competitive, they courageously love one another for their shared vision.
Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm
by Erin Byers Murray
(St. Martin’s Press, 368 pp., $24.99, October 2011)
Boston-based journalist Erin Byers Murray quit her full-time job as a lifestyle reporter to go work on an oyster farm. Shucked is both a personal memoir of the physical, emotional, and mental challenges she faced to succeed at her new job, and a look at the day-to-day, year-round operations of Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, Ma.
Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World
by Emma Marris
Bloomsbury Publishing (2011), $25
"Rambunctious gardening is proactive and optimistic; it creates more and more nature as it goes, rather than just building walls around the nature we have left,” proclaims author Emma Marris in the first chapter of Rambunctious Garden.
Yard waste, consisting of grass, leaves and other garden debris, comprises an estimated 18 percent of the annual municipal waste stream.
Sending yard waste to the landfill puts an unnecessary seasonal burden on the municipal garbage collection system. Leaf waste can account for as much as 60 percent to 80 percent of the waste stream in the fall, and grass clippings can make up 50 percent.
Fear that cooler temps and shorter days will put an end to your garden-fresh produce? Fear no more, my friends, fear no more. The time is ripe for an office garden.