We're on a Boat: Lessons about sustainability taught by a life at sea

story by Kirsten HarperMy boyfriend had always wanted to live aboard, so when he went to school to learn how to build wooden sailboats it seemed an opportune time to begin this adventure. We learned how to sail from scratch and bought a used, 30-year-old boat for a bargain during the height of the recession. When we moved out of our apartment in May 2010, I knew we’d be learning to live very differently. After donating all our furniture and many of our non-essential earthly possessions to friends and Goodwill, I was prepared to get by with less stuff. What I didn’t anticipate was the new way we’d come to view our resources.
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On Tap: T-Rail Pale Ale

story by Lucas HardisonOld Forge Brewing Co., Danville, Pa.

American Pale Ale / 5.5% ABV

In early February, Philadelphia watering holes welcomed Old Forge Brewing Company to their taps with a series of events celebrating the brewer’s newly broadened distribution. Among their suds is a new canning line of 16 oz. Endless Summer and T-Rail Pale Ale.

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Cheese of the Month: Baby Bloomer

story by Tenaya DarlingtonIn France, spring goat cheese is prized for the delicate, vegetal flavor imparted by grass blades the nanny goats nibble. In Philadelphia, you can get a taste of this early succulence when you cut into Baby Bloomer. This aged log of local goat cheese is based on a recipe for Bucheron, a French specialty that looks like a cake roll. Its center is dense and supple, and the surface is covered in “bloom”—a fine layer of snowy mold. Imagine a creamy chèvre with a lemony prickle.
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Solar, DIY: Two Philadelphia handy men take solar into their own hands

story by Bernard BrownYou would think Greg Scott was talking about building bookshelves from a box, not installing a solar array on his roof. “Once you know how to build stuff for a reason, you sort of figure out how to build things,” he explains. Scott, together with his do-it-yourself partner Tom Weissert, thinks we can do it, too.

Scott and Weissert have installed both a solar hot water system, which heats water with solar warmth, and a photovoltaic (PV) array, which converts sunlight into electricity, on Weissert’s house in Narberth, and they are close to installing another PV system at Scott’s house in West Philly.

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Gardening the Skyline: Philly urban agriculture expands to rooftops

story by Lauren Mandel Scanning the puddled, coal tar roof of the SHARE Food Program’s distribution center in North Philadelphia, it’s hard to imagine the expansive space as an active farm. The warehouse sits at the highly trafficked corner of Henry and West Hunting Park Avenues, amidst a tangle of power lines, abandoned buildings and the decommissioned Tastykake factory. But if you were to add a row farm, raised beds and a few greenhouses to the roof, the view might not seem so bad.

Embracing an Ancient Practice

Down on the ground, Philadelphians are enthusiastic about urban agriculture. With a healthy crop of community organizers, food justice advocates and young farming professionals, the city has quickly become a national leader in metropolitan food production. Local trendsetters continue to use diverse urban agricultural techniques, applying them to vacant lots, community garden plots, backyards and balconies. But what about rooftops?

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