Blackbird Pizzeria serves up 100 percent vegan pizzas

There once was a time in Philadelphia when being vegan meant scanning menus for animal-free options and, all too often, settling for a salad. But times have changed. Blackbird Pizzeria, a small shop at 6th and Lombard, serves a 100 percent vegan menu of sandwiches, wings, salads and pizzas.
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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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Shoots & Ladders: Be the Bee

A guide to helping cucumbers and melons get their groove on
by Char Vandermeer

If summer were a taste, it would surely be cucumber—or maybe muskmelon. They’re both little bursts of sunshine on the vine. While your planting space may be limited to a few pots or a tiny patch in a community garden, that doesn’t mean your taste buds should go unfulfilled. Philly may prove to be a tough habitat for these fussy vines, but that just means they’ll require some extra attention.

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Happy Cat Organics

A local seed company quietly amasses a tomato treasure trove

Hearing Happy Cat Organics’ Tim Mountz talk about tomatoes is enough to make any food-loving soul long for summer. Along with his wife Amy Bloom, Mountz has compiled a seed collection featuring 200 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. If that sounds like a lot, have no fear: Mountz promises to cap the operation at 250.
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Frecon Farms

A third-generation orchard looks to the future

The Frecon family has had a storefront in Boyertown since 1952. Richard Frecon and his family settled in the area in 1944 and began planting fruit—apples, peaches and nectarines. After outgrowing their roadside farmstand, they converted an old restaurant into a permanent retail location where they could sell their goods.

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Lancaster Farm Fresh

Comprised of over 50 local certified-organic farmers, Lancaster Farm Fresh is a cooperative that supports the farm community within Lancaster County and serves the greater Philadelphia region (and they’re featured on pg. 32). They supplied not only the rhubarb for this month’s recipe, but an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables and grass-fed animal product like raw-milk cheeses and yogurts.
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