Better Living Through Farming: Two DuPont chemists-turned-farmers master the art of growing organic, and authentic Asian produce

Zuohong Ed Yin of Queens Farm in West Chester will gladly explain his scientific reasons for growing organic vegetables and fruit. The DuPont chemist and family farm owner has a Ph.D. in plant physiology, a master’s in chemistry and a longtime interest in Chinese medicine. Stop by his farm stand at Headhouse Square (2nd and South) on a Sunday, and he and his daughter Sarah will show you numerous Asian mushroom varieties, which Yin claims support the health of the kidney, liver, cardiovascular system and immune system. The 200 Asian vegetables he grows on his 38-acre organic farm—including Chinese lettuce, Fava beans, bok choy, Chinese eggplant and Japanese basil—are a reaction to the over-fertilized crops typically found in American supermarkets, packed with more carcinogenic nitrogen dioxide than nutrition.
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All Together Now: Sunday Suppers seeks to revive the lost practice of the family dinner.

It can be tempting to reduce the issue of hunger to a statistics game. For example, the 1st Congressional District (which includes Kensington, as well as parts of North and South Philadelphia and Chester) is the fourth hungriest in the nation, and in 2010, some 31.2 percent of residents reported difficulty feeding themselves or their families. That’s down from 36 percent in 2009, but still much higher than the national average of 18 percent.
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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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