Cheese of the Month: Cranberry Creek Chevre

story by Tenaya DarlingtonWord of a new cheesemaker travels fast at Headhouse Square Farmers Market. There, amid the flowers and fresh vegetables, you’ll find muffins of beautifully-crafted fresh goat cheese by Mary-Jean Bendorf and Jeff Henry. Bendorf and Henry travel from their Pocono farmstead to offer raw goat’s milk and an assortment of raw and pasteurized cheeses, including a tart little natural-rinded goat cheddar. They’re also experimenting with an Appenzeller twinged with blue, for a crazy jackalope of a cheese.
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Dispatch: Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

"The world is flat” is a large map of the world I made of found cardboard. It was originally created for the Chestnut Hill Arts Initiative and exhibited in an abandoned car dealership window as part of a series of installations in public venues. Painted with acrylic, charcoal and pencil, it feels to me more like a found artifact than a painting, with all the characteristics and exuberance of a high school geography project. Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist and grow up.” Perhaps this is my attempt at channeling my child artist.

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So You Want to Be a Farmer? It's hard work - but it's also easier than you think.

At the most fundamental level, food is inseparable from farmers. The richness of our seemingly boundless land beckoned settlers across the continent to build the homesteads, farms and ranches that became the cradle of the first American Dream, literally feeding the growth of a young nation. In 1935, the number of farms in America peaked at 6.8 million, just as the population topped 127 million citizens.

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The Modern Cocktail Garden: Presenting 18 plants to grow (and drink) this summer.

Herbal cocktails have evolved beyond the mojito. Why should the garden be any different? All across town, smart bartenders are mixing sophisticated summer elixirs with leaves, flowers, berries and buds of locally grown flora. Since you, savvy gardener/drinker, already have the mint-and-basil basics mastered, we thought we’d help you diversify your imbibe-able herb portfolio. Muddle 'em. Steep 'em. Soak 'em in gin or freeze 'em in ice. These 18 plants will keep you (and your drink) refreshed all summer long.

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Curd is the Word: You don't need a dairy to make farmer's cheese.

Resembling a pot of creamy, green-flecked pebbles, the addictive herbed farmer’s cheese made by Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills Farm materializes unpredictably enough to make its every farmers market appearance memorable. Sweet, milky and deliciously versatile, farmer’s cheese is just a bottle of milk and a squeeze of lemon away when you can’t get your Birchrun Hills fix.

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Cheese of the Month: Hummingbird

When Kristian Holbrook named his mixed-milk robiola “Hummingbird,” he couldn’t have chosen a more perfect image. Like its namesake bird, this soft cheese is bright and delicate, with a nectar-like flavor profile that calls to mind vanilla and citrus. At one week, Hummingbird has the consistency of airy cheesecake; at three, the center liquefies and gains pungency.

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On Tap: Frecon's Hard Cider

Dry, aromatic and alcoholic, cyser (pronounced sizer) is a type of mead made by fermenting honey in apple cider. According to Hank Frecon, humans have been keen on the stuff since ancient Babylon. His family’s orchards in Boyertown provide the raw material for Frecon’s Hard Cider, an all-local line of fruity ferments made for Kutztown’s Blair Vineyards and sold at Frecon Farms.  
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Recycling Challenge: Cell Phone Chargers

FACT: Globally, 51,000 to 82,000 tons of cell phone charger waste is generated per year.

PROBLEM: One hundred million cell phones become obsolete each year and, in most cases, so do their chargers. The European Commission has recently solved this problem for residents of the European Union by persuading 10 major cell phone manufacturers to sign an agreement that takes effect this year to make a universal charger for all phones. Unfortunately for those of us living on this side of the Atlantic, without governmental pressure to change, cell phone manufacturers are in no rush to provide the same waste-reducing technology to the American market.

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Getting There: Drexel's Ridaroo makes carpool connections.

The brainchild of Drexel grads Aksel Gungor and Andy Guy, Ridaroo is an online application that solves one simple problem: carpool coordination. After spotting an on-campus “ride board” where students and faculty would tack Post-it notes offering and requesting transportation, Gungor had the idea to streamline the process—eliminating the time needed for the board’s one-woman staff to call and coordinate rides, and increasing the comfort level of the carpool-curious.
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Growing Grayer? A crucial state environmental fund is in danger of withering away.

Think of Growing Greener as the massive invisible partner to Pennsylvania’s environmental movement. Hardly anyone has heard of it, and yet the state granting program supports countless local organizations—including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn Future and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council—with thousands of conservation, recreation and educational projects. Now, as the natural gas industry takes hold, making up to 70 percent of state lands potentially vulnerable to fracking, Growing Greener is running dry. The program’s annual investments of $150 million have been whittled away to just $27.4 million for next year.

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