A Penny Saved: Mindful spending is only some of the good you can do with your money

story by Leah Pillsbury | illustration by Jim TierneyNot all of us have the privilege of a savings or retirement account, but for those that do, how often do you stop and ask: what’s my money up to? 

That’s the question I posed to potential investors during my time as a fundraiser for the Mariposa Food Co-op expansion project. The more I asked this question, the more I began to understand that the money we save can be as powerful a tool for change as the money we spend.

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Bird Bath: Some swallows decide not to leave for the winter

story by Bernard Brown | photo by Christian HunoldI’ve been dazzled more times than I can remember by the high-speed acrobatics of hunting swallows—but never in late December.  ¶  Rough-winged swallows aren’t rare in the Delaware Valley. Like most of our insect-eating birds, the swallows thrive in the Northeast during the summer and in the winter, head south where there’s more to eat. However, when a breeding ground is provided for yummy chironomid midges (small flies) during the winter months, the swallows stick around.
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Oyster Mushrooms: Putting the fun in fungi

story and photos by Grace DickinsonWe can find an estimated 10,000 kinds of mushrooms just in North America. Of these, only 250 are edible, but still—that’s a lot of options. Diversity can be an asset to the typical cook and eater, but what makes the mushroom a staple in the locavore kitchen is its adaptability to be grown outside and inside. Mushrooms are essentially available year-round, making them a popular local ingredient, even in the last few weeks of winter.
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Historical Dispute: Will the stalled designation of Overbrook Farms be resolved?

story by Stefan Kamph  photos by Albert Yee

This article is part of a special editorial partnership with Hidden City Daily on preservation in Philadelphia. Like what you read? Check out the full March 2013 issue and visit Hidden City for more stories on the inspiring preservation work being done in Philadelphia. And for more about Overbook Farms, come back tomorrow to read a new article from Stefan Kamph on measuring the economic impact of historic districts.

Nearly every detail—interior and exterior—of Larry and Jean Andreozzi’s 10-bedroom house is precisely restored, as if time hadn’t touched the home since it was built in 1894. Actually much of Overbrook Farms, the West Philadelphia neighborhood tucked along the city’s border with Montgomery County, feels a lot like it did when tycoons, politicians and industrialists built it as the first Main Line suburb in the late 19th century. Stone houses with gables and manicured lawns sit on quiet, tree-lined streets. “The houses had their own individual architects, marvelous craftsmanship, and marvelous building materials,” says Andreozzi, standing near a door frame of quarter-sawn oak that he’s lovingly restored. Andreozzi is a master woodworker, and for the past 15 years this house has been his hobby.

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Saving Grace: A congregation rolls up their sleeves and saves their church

When we at Grid were planning to tackle preservation, we were immediately drawn to the amazing work already being done by Hidden City Daily, an online news organization that excels in their coverage of the city's neighborhoods and buildings. An idea emerged: Could Grid and Hidden City collaborate? Over the next week, we'll be posting the stories from this preservation section. Like what you read? Check out the full March 2013 issue and visit Hidden City for more stories on the inspiring preservation work being done in Philadelphia.

story by Jacob Hellman | photos by Peter Woodall

Look around us—churches are dropping like flies,” says Lloyd Butler, a deacon at 19th Street Baptist Church in South Philadelphia. It’s a familiar story in a city with some 200 vacant churches; shrinking congregations can’t meet maintenance costs for their old buildings, which sit boarded up until the rare chance they might be reused. In some cases a developer will buy out the congregation, knock down the church and build new housing. Butler says he witnessed four demolitions last year alone.

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