Tom forrest, owner of Wills Valley & Forrest Acre Farm in Lancaster, maintains that sauerkraut, done right, doesn’t need refrigeration or a warehouse. “There’s not a whole lot of equipment that we use,” he explains of Wills Valley, his minimalist organic vegetable fermentation production. “We’re taking [the product] right out of the crock, putting it in a jar and putting a lid on it.”
Raw food fermentation, the art of processing using microorganisms, preserves fresh vegetables, dairy, and dried meats by enabling healthful bacterial strands and yeasts to break down food in the absence of oxygen. This process alters flavor and texture while increasing the available nutrient content. The aging process can take weeks – in some cases months – giving craft foods like cheeses, beer and chocolate distinct and subtle flavors.
Glass used in mirrors contains additives that make them unsuitable to throw in the blue bin.
Mario Gentile describes his basic philosophy as a question: “How can the everyday homeowner buy local and afford something that looks really well-designed made out of relatively expensive materials?” His answer: Shift_Design.
Gentile started Shift_Design in 2010, after being laid off from his architecture job. With support from a Temple University business plan competition and GoodCompany Ventures, a nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs launch businesses, Gentile put his idea into action.
Mountaintop removal isn’t happening in Philadelphia, but the controversial mining practice is a major local issue. Philadelphia’s Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) has launched a campaign against PNC Bank for their financing of companies that use mountaintop removal mining practices. This February, EQAT introduced a “Green Your Money” initiative to encourage Philadelphians to pull their accounts from PNC. During the 90-day-or-so campaign, eight EQAT members will also be making a 16-day, 300-mile walk from Philadelphia to PNC’s national headquarters in Pittsburgh. They hope the walk will build statewide commitment for “Green Your Money” and put pressure on PNC to change their practices. To join the walk (which starts April 30) or to learn more about EQAT’s work, visit eqat.wordpress.com.
-story by Liz Pacheco
story by Missy Steinberg
At the Teens 4 Good farm on Eighth and Poplar Streets, growing produce relies on a surprising technology: a stationary bike. The bike-powered watering system is a recent addition to the urban youth farm, which previously used a nearby fire hydrant for irrigation.
The new watering system uses a 500-gallon tank that collects runoff from the farm’s high tunnel and distributes it through two valves: one for drip irrigation and another for a hose. The hose is powered by a stationary bike that must be pedaled at a minimum of five miles per hour.
story by Samantha Wittchen
By mid-2010, news of PECO’s energy rate caps expiring had the media filled with doomsday tales of electricity prices rising 20 to 30 percent by the end of the year. And then, a strange thing happened – or rather, it didn’t happen. As the ball dropped at midnight on January 1, 2011, electricity rates remained stable. In fact, for many customers who took advantage of the opportunity to switch electricity suppliers, their bills dropped. So, what’s the story? Was the fear that deregulation was going to send us to the poorhouse just hype?