Local rivers and pools to beat the summer heat
How to repair your bike without breaking the bank TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE PHILADELPHIA AUGUST 2017 / ISSUE 99.5 / GRIDPHILLY.COM
‘PHILLY VEGAN LADY GANGSTERS’ DISH ON THEIR
Makers and Shakers NextFab connects a creative community The Community Market for Makers and Shakers, at NextFab’s North Philly location, showcases the work of NextFab members and local artisans in a fun venue with music, food, DIY activities and of course, shopping. At this free event, attendees get to experience the space where the work they’re admiring was made and talk to the creators themselves. @lemonsparklefantasy
“We offer tours of the studios during the market and this gives visitors a chance to see other NextFab members hard at work turning chunks of wood into bowls or sheets of metal into jewelry. This is a really inspiring place to work. I love sharing that feeling and empowering the do-ityourself spirit that exists in us all,” says NextFab’s location manager Melissa Guglielmo. Whether you are looking for a unique gift or want to learn more about what goes on at NextFab, the community market will give you a taste of what’s being made right here in Philly and you can even take a piece of it home with you.
Saturday, August 19th from 12-5pm 1227 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia
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HEATHER SHAYNE BLAKESLEE
THE TALK The awkward conversation I’d like to have with my niece
don’t have children myself, nor do I plan to. But kids abound in my life, including the three amazing children that my sister and her husband have ushered into the world. I think about them a lot, and as they get older I wonder when they will start coming to ask questions or have conversations that they don’t want to have with their extremely engaged parents—simply because they are the parents, and I am the crazy aunt who lives in the city. I have also thought about whether it’s appropriate to start a conversation that is probably not at the top of my sister’s list: where most of our meat comes from. I’d like to tell my niece, who is 15 and thinking of becoming a doctor, that when I was growing up, I would ride along on large animal rounds with a local veterinarian, intoxicated by his pipe smoke and our noble charge, considering whether to dedicate myself to that kind of medicine. It was thrilling to get a glimpse behind the scenes: the cow that needed antibiotics for mastitis or manual help removing uterine tissue, a horse with an infection from a run-in with barbed wire, a pig with a stomach ache. All of them were respectfully treated as the individuals they were, whether they were a working animal or destined for slaughter. (Truthfully, the plethora of barn cats likely didn’t get much veterinary attention, but a downed animal in the field was definitely cause for alarm.) My niece should know that there are still good farmers out there, right here in Pennsylvania, who take animal husbandry seriously, some of whom dote on their animals just as she dotes on her dog. I would also tell her how sad I was the day at the Bloomsburg Fair when, petting a giant hog raised by a young girl about her own age who was participating in the 4-H program, I saw a handwritten sign tacked to the door of the pen reading, “Thank you, Hatfield, for buying my pig.” And then, I’d like to show
her footage from inside a place like a Hatfield meat processing plant, or an online video from a confined animal feeding operation, otherwise known as a factory farm. I’d like to watch the compelling, funny and disturbing movie “Okja” with her— an updated “Charlotte’s Web”-esque yarn that features a young Korean girl who heroically protects her giant pig in a chase over two continents and into the bowels of a heartless, multinational corporation that believes, rightly, that the public will eat anything if it’s cheap enough. I’d like to tell her that, unfortunately, the most hard-to-watch scenes in that movie are more fact than fiction, and that every fridge she’s ever known is stocked with animal products produced in exactly that manner. The vegetarian/omnivore debate is complicated, but some complications melt away when you think about how you might explain things to a young child or a young adult. I want to tell her that I’ve oscillated between vegetarianism and omnivorism for decades, and that no matter how much I learn, and how much I entertain different arguments and diets, there is one thing that always remains true for me, and I hope that it will remain true for her and her brothers: If you wouldn’t treat the family dog a particular way, then farm animals, even those who will die on the way to our dinner plate, don’t deserve that treatment either. Just last year at a family picnic that involved a roasted pig, an adult asked me if I was going to partake. I asked if it was one of my uncle Harvey’s pigs, or from somewhere else. “Why does it matter?” was the sincerely befuddled response. But, of course, it matters a lot. Harvey is not Hatfield—and that means everything.
HEATHER SHAYNE BLAKESLEE Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
publisher Alex Mulcahy editor-in-chief Heather Shayne Blakeslee firstname.lastname@example.org 215.625.9850 ext. 107 associate editor Walter Foley copy editor Aaron Jollay art director Michael Wohlberg email@example.com 215.625.9850 ext. 113 writers Brittany Barbato Karen Chernick Kate Jacoby Lauren Johnson Emily Kovach Brian Ricci Devamrita Swami Jerry Silberman illustrators Chris Bernhardt James Heimer Nick Massarelli Natalie T. McGarvey Carter Mulcahy advertising director Allan Ash firstname.lastname@example.org 215.625.9850 ext. 103 account executive Trevor Tivenan email@example.com 215.625.9850 ext. 100 distribution Alex Yarde firstname.lastname@example.org 215.625.9850 ext. 106 published by Red Flag Media 1032 Arch Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107 215.625.9850 G R I D P H I L LY. C O M
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TO-DO LIST 1. protect
2. try a barbecue
3. get inspired
August heat is hard on everyone, but if you have a dog, don’t forget that the blacktop of roads and red brick can get hot enough to seriously burn your pet’s pads.
See Page 27 for a full plantbased menu of delicious recipes, from satisfying burgers and sides to a frosty summer dessert that will beat the heat.
The theme of this year’s BlackStar Film Festival is “resistance,” so if you’re in need of inspiration or energy, check out the roster of great films offered Aug. 3 through 6 in University City.
4. folkies, start your campsites
The mainstage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival may be sponsored by Martin Guitar—but the main event is the campground ruled by factions of folkies who have staked out their ground and created a Brigadoon-like city on the hill. Do yourself a favor and spring for the camp pass so you can enjoy the allnight hootenanny. Aug. 17 to 20.
without the beasts!
5. get out on the water You can always cool off in a neighborhood pool, but we’re a river city—let’s enjoy it! How about a kayak trip in Manayunk? For other water fun, see Page 11.
6. head out to
two street north We all know that the real Philly New Year’s celebration is with the post-parade mummers on Two Street. But during the summer, the 2nd Street Festival will lure you to Northern Liberties for multiple stages of local music and a ton of vendors. Pro tip: If the crowds are too much for you, duck into Heritage for a drink and live music.
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7. start planning
your fringe binge We know, we know! It’s overwhelming to flip through the Fringe show choices, but you’re missing out if you don’t get to one or two of these boundary-pushing performances. They start Sept. 7, so get your tickets now.
IL LUSTRATIO N S BY N ICHO L AS M ASSA RELLI
8. fix up that bike! Still have to go to the bike shop for a flat? It’s time to learn some basic do-it-yourself maintenance to keep those wheels spinning. See Page 17 for advice and tips.
9. get your greens Nothing is more healthful than fresh-from-the-garden greens, and if you planted collards, it’s time to harvest. Zucchini and other veggies are ready to eat, too.
10. try your
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hand at canning You’ve got more tomatoes and zucchini than you know what to do with, so maybe it’s time to learn how to put some away for winter. There are classes all over the city to help you, and you can hit up a foodie friend who may have canning equipment you can borrow for a kitchen project.
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LO SHOP CAL This summer take advantage of the fresh produce, meats, dairy, seafood, spices & baked goods that The Market has to offer. Best time for Locals to shop: 8 am – 11 am & 4 pm – 6 pm Diverse. Charming. Inspiring. Delicious. Shop Reading Terminal Market. All under one roof.
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seum Commission told Billy Penn in late June, however, that paperwork to secure a permanent location for the sign has yet to be submitted. Students from the Jubilee School successfully applied for the marker and held the ceremony at Osage Avenue and Cobbs Creek Parkway.
SUNOCO CONTINUES DAMAGE CONTROL AFTER DRILLING ISSUES IN CHESTER COUNTY
PEACE PARK SETTLES DISPUTES WITH HOUSING AUTHORITY
NEW DIRECTOR NAMED AT FAIRMOUNT PARK CONSERVANCY
North Philly Peace Park, a community garden and activity space in the Sharswood neighborhood, announced an agreement with the Philadelphia Housing Authority to remain at 22nd and Jefferson streets. A Facebook post from July 4 states that the park “has achieved a long-term, multi-decade lease from the Philadelphia Housing Authority and has conclusively secured the park’s recognition as a permanent community-controlled green space in Sharswood, North Philadelphia.” The park was forced to relocate from its original spot on Bolton Street after PHA introduced a plan in 2014 to build 57 affordable housing units on the land. By that time, North Philly Peace Park already had more than 1,400 volunteers, an operating budget of more than $230,000, a staff of eight people, and established educational and food-distribution programs, according to interviews from Generocity. “The Peace Park shall remain strong and will grow and prosper for generations to come as an autonomous urban charitable ecology campus dutifully serving the women, children and seniors of North Philadelphia,” reads the park’s Facebook post.
Fairmount Park Conservancy announced Jamie Gauthier the new senior director of public partnerships. Gauthier has served as executive director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and as a program officer with Local Initiatives Support Corporation. She is also a board member of PennFuture, University City District and Garden Court Community Association. Fairmount Park Conservancy’s previous executive director, Rick Magder, left after nine months. A statement from the organization said that the change in management was a “mutually arrived upon” decision.
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MOVE BOMBING SITE GETS HISTORICAL MARKER, BUT NO OFFICIAL INSTALLATION A ceremony was held June 24 to unveil a historical marker for the site of the 1985 MOVE bombing—where police dropped explosives onto a communal home during a standoff and caused a fire that claimed 11 lives and destroyed about 60 homes. The Pennsylvania Historical and Mu-
Sunoco Pipeline LP will pay to extend municipal water mains to Chester County households whose private water wells were affected by pipeline construction in early July. The Newtown Square-based company’s horizontal directional drilling caused some wells to stop flowing and others to go cloudy, philly.com reported. Sunoco supplied bottled water and paid for some families to stay in hotels after the problems were reported in West Whiteland Township on July 3. After a July 17 spill of 1,500-gallons of bentonite drilling fluid in Middletown Township, state Rep. Leanne KruegerBraneky, D-Delaware, called for a moratorium on further construction of the project. “The repeated, preventable spills illustrate why we need stricter safety standards for pipelines and more timely communication about pipeline activities for homeowners and communities affected by their construction and operation,” KruegerBraneky said in a statement. “We’re witnessing what happens when a pipeline is constructed through a densely populated area without any regulatory agency having to sign off on its path. That is why I have asked [the Department of Environmental Protection] to conduct independent water testing in all potentially impacted private wells, as well as the Chester Creek, so that residents have independent confirmation that their water is safe. I am also working with other legislators on a package of bills to address siting safety and other regulatory gaps.” The $2.5 billion project will deliver natural gas along a 350-mile route.
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WATER STEWARDS TEST SCHUYLKILL RIVER DURING 100-MILE SOJOURN More than 200 people tested drinking water in the 112-mile area spanning Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia during a Schuylkill Action Network scholarship program held June 3 through 9. The Schuylkill River Sojourn provided equipment for “sojourn stewards” to paddle through the river and test the drinking water for nearly 2 million people. The findings were then uploaded to the international, education-based GLOBE program so that users around the world can compare data. “Throughout the sojourn, the water test results showed the river staying within healthy ranges,” said Sarah Chudnovsky of Shillington, Pennsylvania, a sojourn steward who blogged and shared social C media updates during the testing process. M “However, we did see the amount of [dissolved] oxygen decrease as we traveled Y downstream from the forested headwaters CM in Schuylkill County. We also observed theMY levels of pollutants like salts, fertilizers and CY metals increase as we paddled through areas with increasing development, likeCMY Berks and Montgomery counties.” K
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LAWSUIT BROUGHT TO CITY FOR CARS PARKED ON BROAD STREET MEDIAN Political action committee 5th Square is suing the Philadelphia Police Department and the Philadelphia Parking Authority following a campaign by 5th Square to get the city to enforce parking regulations on the Broad Street median in South Philadelphia. People commonly park their cars on the median, but authorities have for many years looked the other way. Advocates for bicycle and pedestrian safety say the jumble of cars in the area is dangerous. “We’ve tried to work with the city and the parking authority to enforce the existing law,” Jake Liefer, co-founder of 5th Square, told PlanPhilly. “They have not done so, but we believe the enforcement of the law will be upheld by the court.”
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TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS
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bartramsgarden.org/what-to-do/field-trips/ or e-mail Leslie Gale at email@example.com
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Summer Water Fun
Rivers, pools and lakes are waiting to refresh your body and spirit by lauren johnson
and the race is on to beat the heat, so pack a picnic, grab a towel and get ready to get wet. Swimming, tubing, kayaking and more are all available as options if you want to leave those hot sidewalks behind, cool down, slow down and reconnect to nature.
Canoeing on Brandywine River West Chester, Pa. Keep cool as you cruise the currents of the scenic Brandywine River. For nearly 40 years, Northbrook Canoe Co. has been leading canoe tours through beautiful Chester County, offering refreshing fun for the whole family. Programs include a canoe basics clinic where folks learn proper grips, steering and how to right your canoe. There are also ladies-only P HOTO BY CA R R IE H U B BA R D
canoeing tours and guided family tours, with plenty of time to play in the water as you watch for wildlife. The river is a “Class 1” waterway, which means the current is gentle and meandering, making it perfect for both beginners as well as those who just want to relax. To further put your cares at ease, the average depth is 3 feet in most places, making it easy to hop out and explore. Customized trips for groups and Scouts are also available.
Delaware River Tubing Milford, N.J. There’s no better way to enjoy the hot, lazy days of summer than floating carefree down the peaceful Delaware River. Tours are unguided, giving you the choice to float the whole stretch or paddle to shore to explore and cool off along the shady banks. The trek starts in Milford, New Jersey, and ends about 6 miles downstream (it takes about three to four hours to complete), where shuttle buses await to bring you back to your vehicle. Tubers have the choice of single-, double- or triple-passenger tubes, and can customize their experience with special tubing hand paddles and straps to keep their group connected. In addition, no tubing experience is complete AUGUST 20 17
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Summer Water Fun Zane and Susan Soderberg participate in Northbrook Canoe's annual charity race on the Brandywine River
without a visit to the Famous River Hot Dog Man—a floating hot dog stand situated halfway down your journey where you can fuel up for the second leg. You can also organize your own tubing trip: Just make sure you have at least one car at the end to take you back!
Delaware River Water Trail Multiple locations If you’re looking to cool off in more ways than one, the Delaware River Water Trail is just the spot. The trail was used in the 19th century as a way to transport coal and supplies to and from the small adjacent river towns. It’s extensive, with more than 70 miles of mainly shaded walking and biking trails, as well as dozens of parks, historic sites and recreation areas along the way, including Washington Crossing Historic Park and Bull’s Island Recreation Area, both of which include parking and amenities. Water lovers can pack up their kayak or canoe and put in at one of the many launch sites along the river. The trail runs through many charming Delaware River towns where visitors can veer off to grab a refreshing snack or drink, or simply explore. 12
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Bellmawr Lake Bellmawr, N.J. For a refreshing summer excursion with the kids, try Bellmawr Lake. A short 20-minute drive from Center City, this family friendly spot makes for an easy getaway to escape the heat of the city. The lake includes recreational activities such as beach volleyball, mini golf, horseshoes and more—not to mention a 100-foot waterslide. Pack a picnic to eat on your beach blanket, stake your claim in one of the many picnic areas, or settle down under the shaded pavilion. For a summertime indulgence, the beach bar and grill serves up classic summertime fare and thirst-quenching beverages.
Quakertown, Pa. A day trip away from the city takes you to Nockamixon State Park, where a glistening 7-mile-long lake awaits. Visitors can bring their own gear or visit the boat rental concession to choose from canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and more. Picnic tables are dotted throughout the park and all along the water, allowing you to take in the endless view.
Though swimming is prohibited in the lake, the park has an impressive pool complex complete with two water slides and a shallow end with fountains for children to enjoy. In addition, the park has more than 35 miles of hiking trails that meander through the woods and along the shoreline, where you can enjoy cool lake breezes while watching for wildlife.
Atsion Recreation Area Shamong, N.J. Located in Wharton State Forest, about an hour drive from Center City, Atsion Recreation Area offers canoeing, fishing, hiking, birdwatching and more. Atsion’s swimming facilities on Route 206 in Shamong Township are open from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day, while lifeguards are on duty. After a long and relaxing soak, visitors can check out the nearby historic Batsto Village, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766 to 1867, with a visitor center, exhibit gallery, museum shop and interpretive center. There are also designated camping grounds and cabins throughout Wharton State Forest, which is the largest single tract of land in New Jersey’s park system. P HOTO BY CARRIE HUBBA RD
Y O U ’ R E
I N V I T E D !
100 ISSUE PARTY TH
TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE PHILADELPHIA
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 | PHILADELPHIA DISTILLING
Grid has reflected the best of the Philadelphia region: our social entrepreneurs, food innovators and wellness advocates; our makers and doers, artists and activists. We are proud to set our sights on our 100th issue this September, and we want to celebrate with you. Please join us on September 14 to raise a glass with Grid readers, advertisers, contributors and staff. Sponsorship opportunities are available—contact Allan Ash at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP is required and tickets are limited. Visit gridphilly.com/grid-magazine/100issueparty to reserve your spot today.
GRID WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR PARTNER
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Summer Water Fun
Swim Philly aims to activate our public pools with water fun by brittany barbato
s I stared out at the water wobbling in front of me, I hugged my yellow and purple towel tight around my body. Should I have shaved my legs? What if my bathing suit doesn’t, you know, keep everything in? Everyone else is wearing sunglasses; should I have brought sunglasses? My mind had been captured by a riptide, dragging with it the confidence in my decision to join a friend for aqua Zumba at the Francisville Playground pool. I’m not even good at Zumba on land... What had made me want to try it in water? Well, for one thing, it was free. Swim Philly, a program initiated by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation last year to increase amenities and attendance at municipal pools, offers the class and other aquatic programming to the public throughout the summer. So there I was, fighting my mental current, when an energetic, athletic instructor assumed her position on deck and motioned for us to get in. Um, if I have to do this in the water, then doesn’t she? My internal resistance was futile; last one in the pool is a rotten egg. I dipped my left big toe into the cool blue and eased myself down the side wall. With a slight head nod to an off-duty lifeguard, the instructor cued the music. We dove into the first routine with the same high-energy steps as regular Zumba—we grapevined and galloped and shimmied and shook—but we were moving at a more elongated pace (think: dancing in Jell-O). Our upper body movements often resulted 14
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in a splash, smack or swoosh. Kids nearby giggled and pointed: There is something silly about adults flopping around like fish in shallow water. We laughed, too. This is good for you. I reminded myself the awkward motion was also a benefit: According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aquatic exercise can be less stressful on joints and muscles, and may improve mental health and mood. When Marc Anthony’s dreamy, strained voice kicked off the next song, we cheered. “Voy a reír, voy a bailar/vivir mi vida la la la la!” He was coaxing us to join him in laughing, dancing and living life. And Alain Joinville, public relations manager for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, says this is exactly what Swim Philly offers the community: a time to have fun exercising and connecting with neighbors. In fact, inspiration for the program originated from a community member who felt that enhancing the pool experience for patrons would also make it more inviting and make neighbors feel more comfortable at the pool. The sun was warm, the music was hot, the water was cool and people were sharing smiles with each other—I definitely felt more comfortable. After class, there was a buzz in the air. Two seniors exchanged phone numbers. A teen who had watched us from afar approached the instructor to ask if the class would be back next week. It would. And so would I, because the water, it turns out, is just fine.
Lawncrest Rec Center Pool 6000 Rising Sun Ave. Aqua Zumba: Monday and Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m.
Pleasant Playground Pool 6720 Boyer St. Aqua Zumba: Thursday, 7 to 8 p.m.
Francisville Playground Pool 1737 Francis St. Aqua Zumba: Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m. Yoga: Tuesday, 7 to 8 p.m.
O’Connor Pool 2601 South St. Aqua Zumba: Monday, 6 to 7 p.m. Yoga: Tuesday, 7 to 8 p.m.
Lee Cultural Center Pool 4328 Haverford Ave. Aqua Zumba: Wednesday, 6 to 7 p.m. Yoga: Thursday, 6 to 7 p.m.
Complete List of Philadelphia Public Pools and Hours: phila.gov/parksandrecreation/placestogo/ facilities/pages/swimmingpools.aspx
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UP YOUR DIY GAME
Regular bike maintenance—and fixing your own flats—is easier than you think by neighborhood bike works staff
o many people, bicycles represent personal freedom. As a means of transportation, biking means self-sufficiency (and in Center City Philadelphia, it usually means getting there faster than by car). Gaining the knowledge and experience to perform basic bike repairs oneself can take that self-sufficiency to the next level: Everyone loves a great bike mechanic, but learning the basics is just common sense. Here’s some expert advice from the staff at Neighborhood Bike Works, which is dedicated to getting more Philadelphians out on two wheels.
FIX A FLAT The key to repairing a flat tire is to be prepared. Whatever type of riding you’re doing, carry a pump, two tire levers, a patch kit and a spare tube when you’re on your bike. Make sure you’re comfortable removing either wheel from your bike, so that you’re not trying to figure it out for the first time on the roadside, in the dark or in the rain. Once the wheel is off, use the two tire levers together to remove the tire from the rim. Hook the first tire lever around a spoke before using the second lever to work the tire off the rim. Once the tire is off, inspect the tire for holes, rips, or shards of glass or metal lodged into the tread. If you carry a spare inner tube, use it so you can patch the old one later, when you’re
not late for work. Before installing the tube and tire back onto the rim, inflate the new tube just enough to give it a round shape. Then place the tube inside the tire, making sure to first insert the inner tube’s air valve into the rim, and then install one bead of the tire. The second bead is trickier to install. Take a moment to ensure you won’t pinch the tube between tire and rim as you push the last bit of the tire onto the rim. Avoid the temptation to use your tire levers for this part—that will often rip the tube. As you inflate the tire, check every few pump strokes to see that the tire is properly seated on the rim. Remember that practicing this skill beforehand will give you confidence to fix a flat later, when you need it.
ADJUST YOUR REAR SHIFTING Being able to adjust your gear shifting while on a bike ride can greatly add to your comfort and confidence. Nothing is worse than failing shifting during a long, hot, tiring bike ride. The good news is that it’s pretty simple once you’ve taken the time to learn the basics. Try riding slowly and looking down at your shifter cables as you shift your rear derailleur up and down through your gears. Notice that when using your right-hand shifter, tensioning your shift cable (or using the shifter to pull the cable toward the front of your bike, to the shifter) will shift your chain into a smaller, easier gear. Now, take a look at your barrel adjusters—you’ll have one, and often two, somewhere between your right-hand shifter and your rear derailleur. If you’re having trouble shifting into an easier gear, that generally means you need to adjust the tension of the cable. Use the barrel adjuster to increase or decrease the distance the cable must travel from the shifter to the derailleur. Try AUGUST 20 17
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BIK ES if the bike is being used for commuting, racing or long-distance riding. And keep in mind that pads will always wear much faster in rain, mud or snow. Tires can wear out in two ways: either from long-term use through which the tire’s tread slowly wears away, or from nicks, cuts or tears that occur from sharp objects on the road or trail. Inspect tires after every ride or so to look for signs of the former (tread marks that are no longer visible, bald spots or threads of the inner casing that show through the tread) and the latter (holes or slices in the tread or the sidewall of the tire). In a pinch, it may be possible to “boot” a tire with a patch or a dollar bill if there’s a small puncture in the tire. But tires with larger cuts or with casing threads visible in the tread should be replaced immediately.
FIND A BIKE SHOP YOU TRUST
Workshops at nonprofit Neighborhood Bike Works teach people how to take care of their bikes
threading the barrel adjuster out (counter-clockwise) by a quarter-turn, and test your shifting again.
MAINTAIN YOUR BIKE CHAIN A bicycle’s chain is easy to maintain, yet is often overlooked. A clean and lubed chain is more efficient, less noisy and will facilitate smoother shifting of your gears. Keep it lubricated by dripping one small drop of chain lube on each and every link of the chain. With the bike on the ground, do this by turning the pedal backward. Apply the slightest drop on each link—the smallest amount you can dispense from the bottle at one time. Once you’ve done the whole chain, then use a rag to wipe off any excess lube. To clean the chain, there are many chain cleaning products on the market. A simple solution, such as a clean rag, also works great. Pedal backward and vigorously wipe away as much grit and grime 18
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as possible. For especially dirty chains, use a degreaser (citrus degreasers are relatively eco-friendly) before relubricating. And don’t forget the pulley wheels of your rear derailleur. These can get caked with grease. Try using a small flathead screwdriver while backpedaling to remove the grease.
CHECK AND REPLACE WORN BRAKE PADS & TIRES Your bike’s brakes and tires are key to your comfort and safety when riding. To identify brake pads that are worn to the point of replacement, look for the wear indicators on the pad. These are notches in the material of the brake pad, found on rim brake pads and on some disc pads, too. When the pad wears to the point that the notch is no longer visible, the brake pad must be replaced. But try to anticipate when pads are about to go. Many bicyclists will replace pads when they’re about 75 percent worn, especially
For any bicyclist, it would take a lifetime’s knowledge of bikes, and a houseful of bike tools, to match the resources of a good bike shop. The best shops will treat you and your bike knowledge with respect, and meet you where you’re at. And whether it means doing the work for you or empowering you to do it, the best shop will help you get your bike safe and performing at its best. Find a shop you trust, where you can develop a relationship with a mechanic who can, in turn, get to know you, your bike and your riding style.
ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD BIKE WORKS For 20 years, the nonprofit Neighborhood Bike Works has educated and inspired youth and adults through bike-mechanics education and bike riding. Located on Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, NBW aims to make bicycling more accessible for everyone—especially for youth, people of color, women and LGBTQ folks. Take advantage of out-of-school-time youth programs, adult bike repair programs and a full DIY bike repair workshop for adults. NBW also operates a community bike shop that sells quality, refurbished used bikes at affordable prices. Find out more at neighborhoodbikeworks.org
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the RIGH T QUE STION
Back to the Land Embrace your natural-born omnivorism. But leave the factory farms behind. by jerry silberman
uestion: Is vegetarianism the right thing to do? The Right Question: Is vegetarianism breaking the chain of life? Voluntary vegetarianism is a relatively recent phenomenon in human society. One of its principal rationales is moral, and insists that killing animals for food is cruel and violent. It also posits that vegetarianism is better for the environment because raising livestock causes air and water pollution, and that it’s wasteful to feed animals food that we could eat ourselves. There are still a lot of hungry mouths to feed. But the rationale says more about the lack of understanding of the individuals putting it forward than the dynamics of the food chain, and it confuses the impacts of the way that animals naturally live and how they are raised in industrial, concentration-camp agriculture that no one can morally justify. Any ecological community that evolves in the absence of human tampering and that survives for any length of time has reached an equilibrium, in which resourc20
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es are continually recycled with the energy input from the sun. Animals of all types eat plants, and each other. Their waste products and corpses release nutrients as they are consumed by other animals and microbes, which break them down far enough to be reabsorbed into green plants. Nitrogen, oxygen and carbon cycles are stable. Particularly in temperate regions, soil— the living bank of nutrients—is continually growing as chemicals withdrawn from the atmosphere join with minerals brought up by roots from bedrock to create steadily increasing organic matter in the soil. That’s how the soil of the most fertile parts of the Midwest was accrued, in some places several meters deep. This fertile soil is a vast bank of organic matter and humus, storing carbon, nitrogen and other minerals in the compounds that are useful to plants. The keystone species in creating this soil were buffalo and the grasses they ate. Modern sustainable agricultural practices, studying the habits of the buffalo and other ruminant grass eaters, has shown that the most effective way we have to se-
quester carbon is to intensively manage grazing. Tons of carbon can be sequestered per acre per year, with little equipment besides some portable fencing to manage the movement of herds. This buffalo-built soil of the Midwest has largely been washed down to the Mississippi delta, and despite recent efforts to change some agricultural practices, continues to erode. While no-till techniques minimize soil disturbance and reduce erosion, they cannot rebuild soil. That requires the presence of grazing animals, a vital link in the chain of soil fertility, soil building and carbon sequestration. Raising animals in feedlots, and feeding them grain, is the worst of all possible regimens. Under these conditions, animals are not healthy, their concentrated wastes become noxious pollutants, and huge inputs of chemical fertilizers, manufactured with huge inputs of fossil fuels, are needed to raise their food, which is limited to corn and a few other species along with huge doses of growth-stimulating and prophylactic antibiotics. IL LUSTRATIO N BY N ATAL IE T. M cGA RVEY
The science of rotational grazing is gaining followers steadily, including ranchers who see that healthier animals, healthier soil and much lower inputs are possible. Many of those livestock farmers also understand and appreciate the broader impact of their work in the sequestration of carbon. Milk produced from cows, sheep and goats raised completely on grass (including stockpiled grasses in the field and in harvested hay) has a dramatically different and superior nutritional profile than that produced from confined cows, which is mirrored in the quality of cheese, butter and yogurt manufactured from it. “100% grass-fed beef” from a Pennsylvania beef ranch, in other words, is one of the best dinners you can have if you are concerned about eating pure, nutritious food, minimizing greenhouse gases, reducing energy consumption and supporting local economies that have a different set of values from the feedlots that supply supermarket shelves and fast food burgers. The differential impact on our health and environment between a McBurger and a local, grass-fed steak could not be more stark, which is why I haven’t had the former, under any brand name, in a few decades. Worried about the cruelty in killing the animals? Think again. Wild herds of ruminants have their population controlled by predators, weather and disease. If their natural predators haven’t been exterminated by man, a significant chunk of calves, fawns, et al., will be taken every spring by them. Aging or injured animals will face the same fate. Blizzards and droughts take their toll. Animals raised in intensive rotation have greater safety, and much less stressful lives, than their wild relatives. Everyone has to go sometime, and modern, humane slaughter is a good bit less painful than being shredded alive by a wolf’s jaws. We must continue to study how nature works in order to understand how we might help feed everyone while managing healthy ecologies that benefit all the species in our ecosystem. And that means starting with the fact that our food chain is a closed loop, with life and death in every link. Jerry Silberman is a retired union organizer who now devotes his time to negotiating a resilient future for all of us.
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Consciousness Raising According ancient yogic texts, peace is incompatible with the mass slaughter of animals by devamrita swami
hether it is a new vegetarian restaurant around the corner, a doctor who recommended a vegetarian diet or environmentalists contemplating the growing impact of the livestock industry on the planet, you may have caught yourself wondering—what is vegetarianism all about? What is the full impact of vegetarianism on our lives and society as a whole? The impact is undeniable, most noticeably on the environment. A 2006 United Nations report tells us that the livestock sector plays a greater role in greenhouse gas emissions than driving cars. A recent article in Time magazine, “How a Vegetarian Diet Can Save the Planet,” quoted research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA to show how the widespread adoption of vegetarian and vegan diets could save millions of lives and trillions of dollars. “There is huge potential,” 22
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says study author Marco Springmann, a researcher at Oxford University, “from a health perspective, an environmental perspective and an economic perspective.” Surely the shift to a plant-based diet will be instrumental for creating a healthier planet, but what does a healthier planet truly mean? Are we simply talking about more trees and clean water, or does a healthier planet include higher consciousness? Is there a connection among spirituality, self-realization and a vegetarian diet? Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, the prime yoga text, presents anna-maya—realizing our dependence upon food for existence as the first of five progressive stages of self-realization. Simply put: “I eat well, healthy or organic.” The Bhagavad-Gita also presents the concept of annad bhavanti bhutani, or, “all living bodies subsist on food grains,”
directly acknowledging the value of vegetarianism. However, while recognizing the value of vegetarianism, the yoga texts point out that other species like pigeons and elephants are also vegetarian, but that in-and-of-itself does not guarantee higher consciousness, the real asset of human life. The essential question yoga texts raise is therefore not whether you are vegetarian, but who you are and what is the nature of your connection with the source of all existence. It is this yoga, or connection, with the source that is the quest of human life. While yoga texts recognize the value of vegetarianism in creating fertile grounds for the seeds of compassion and ahimsa (nonviolence) muscles to grow, they also point out that it is not the end of the journey, and that there are much higher stages of consciousness achievable in human life. The yoga texts define “evolution” as “evolution of consciousness,” or a living entity’s IL LUSTRATIO N BY CHRIS B E RNHA RDT
progressive journey from bodies of lower to higher consciousness. Having passed the industrial revolution, we earthlings now live in the era of factory farming, complete with specialized equipment to facilitate the mass slaughter of animals. Not only is the experience painful for the animals and disastrous for the planet, according to yoga texts it has deep consequences on individuals and our society as a whole. How can there be global peace if such mass-scale atrocities are propagated just to sustain the most basic level of our existence? How much do you really understand what you are eating? If we know so little about the food we eat and its effects on our consciousness and society, then why cry for global peace in a world so disconnected from food and its sources? What chance do we have to get a glimpse of the higher stages of self-realization when we have yet
to address the issues at the most fundamental level of our consciousness? So, let’s go beyond the confines of economics and social trends to consider a deeper, more holistic perspective on vegetarianism. Beyond vegetarianism, the Bhagavad-Gita emphasizes the role of consciousness in transforming the quality of our food and society by applied mantra meditation for the distillation of our consciousness. In the world of yoga and meditation, consciousness is understood as the major player on the stage. Your consciousness is deeply influenced by the consciousness of not only the food you eat, but also the cook who makes it. Certainly we have had the experience of food tasting special when made by loved ones. Could it be that the consciousness of the cook somehow transfers to the food? And what, then, about the last conscious feelings of the animal who may have be-
come our food? These questions are at the heart of the ancient yogic texts. The adoption of a vegetarian diet is not the end, but rather is an essential beginning for laying the groundwork in our consciousness for the process of self-realization. Try the ancient yoga technology as presented in the Bhagavad-Gita. We may discover that what we are dealing with is not just a food problem or an environmental problem—but a consciousness problem. Devamrita Swami is a monk in the Krishna tradition, born in New York and a graduate of Yale University. His books include “Hiding in Unnatural Happiness.” He is the director of Philadelphia’s Mantra Lounge meditation studio and Gita Nagari Farm Sanctuary. His pioneering work of building the farm-city connection brings to Philly a working model for sustainable living and spiritual thinking. AUGUST 20 17
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the BIG PICTUR E
To Eat or Not to Eat Meat? A vegetarian philosopher questions his own eating practices interview by heather shayne blakeslee
hilosopher Andrew F. Smith wasn’t prepared for PETA and an army of committed fellow vegetarians to go on the attack when he released his last book, “A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism.” But they did—and he’s still recovering. In the book, he reasons that in the closed loop of our ecosystem it’s impossible to even be a vegetarian: Our soil and plants are made up of the remains of formerly living beings. He also examines the idea that it’s immoral to kill sentient beings for food, and finds a rather large loophole: There is voluminous research to suggest that plants are sentient. “Once we set aside the obvious problems with factory farming,” he writes, “the case for vegetarianism is less cut and dry.” The book also explores the perils and limits of a food system—and economy—based on fossil fuels. You wrote this book both as a vegetarian and as a philosopher, trying to understand a more academic/moral framework for vegetarianism. AS: Philosophers and vegetarians alike don’t really have a sense of the experiences of plants, of the beings who we make our food. People think, “Well, plants are just these, sort of, inert beings. They’re alive, but they don’t have feelings, they don’t have any perceptions or experiences.” But… these things just aren’t true. I found more research than I can possibly digest in a lifetime that suggest plants are sentient, that they have many experiences that count as sentient in the way that we think of animals—human animals and nonhuman animals—as sentient. We want to treat animals well. We don’t want to embrace factory farming. But there are better and worse ways to be a vegetarian. [Plants], too, suffer forms of wounding when raised through industrial process. So, a better way to be a vegetarian is to eat organically, eat locally, know your food better. You look at the transient property of food in our ecosystem—essentially that grass eats animals and animals eat grass, and note that, due to our environment and food system, “We are junk food for the soil.” AS: All of us, omnivores and purported omnivores and purported vegetarians alike, 24
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are “toxitarians,” as [a friend] put it. And I like that phrasing. All of us live in eddies and swells of chemicals and heavy metals. You and I both have had DDT in our bodies, even though DDT—incredibly harmful, incredibly carcinogenic—was banned some 40 years ago from use. So one of the key issues that I focus on in the book is trying to think about ways to improve our relationships with the beings who we make our food through improving our relationships on which both our food and we depend, which is the land, or ecosystems. And if we’re to do that, it’s going to require a bit of cleanup—trying to do a better job of ridding ourselves and the beings who we make our food of exposure to these sorts of chemicals. You argue that even if we go on identifying ourselves by whether plants or animals are the last strand in the web of life that leads to our mouths, we can still have a care-sensitive relationship with our food. AS: I take three basic steps in the book, and I encourage my readers to stick with me until they find a step that they can’t embrace. The first step is to take more interest in plants and to consider the lives of plants. The second step is to develop what I call this care-based relationship with the beings who we make our food, which necessitates a sort of context-specific way of thinking about eating. Thinking about our
relationship with our food in the same way that we think about our relationship with our neighbors—these neighbors being my next-door neighbors and the rowhouses next to me and the trees that are across the street from me. [That] requires having a level of interest in their lives and, again, the land base that we both depend on, that we generally restrict for animal life, or some of us only restrict to human life. The third step is to argue that we can’t be vegetarians—and there’s a bigger context even for that, that we can get into at another point if it comes up. And most readers don’t go there with me, and that’s perfectly fine. You also explore some of the practical, sustainability-based framework around vegetarianism and omnivorism. How does the ever-growing human population play into those discussions? AS: I’m so glad you asked this, because this is all too frequently overlooked when we’re talking about these issues. We eaters, we humans, often forget that we’re part of the equation, too, to the extent that there are more of us, we are going to cut into the amount of biomass that there is on Earth, whether it’s meat or whether it’s plant life. So, one question that I faced in this is, “What do we do about that?” We have an ever-increasing population. Vegetarians and vegans are correct that vegetarianism and veganism is better for feeding the growing world. There’s no doubt about that. There’s excellent research to suggest that. One issue that I wish I would have been clear about, and it gets to this issue of population, [is] “energy dissent,” or the proposition that our ability to use fossil fuels, especially oil, is not something that we can sustain ad infinitum. It’s really difficult to get a sense of how much more oil we have that we can use to sustain the lifestyles that we have now. The latest research that I’ve seen is about 30 to 40 years. But no
matter how long we have, no matter what that number is, energy dissent is going to happen, transitions to alternative fuels are going to happen. Getting to the population issue, here’s why this is important: You often hear the proposition of the idea that human population has exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity—there are more people on Earth than this world can sustain. Well, that’s not true. It can’t be true. Exceeding carrying capacity isn’t possible. Carrying capacity is a limiting factor—for any population. There’s going to be less [human] population, and that also is going to necessitate returning to a focus on a local or bioregional level, since without as much oil around, we’re just not going to be able to sustain a global food network. One of the conclusions that you come to is that embracing vegetarianism is not “unreasonable, nonsensical or crazy, even if it is morally indefensible and ontologically illusory.” You were worried a little bit that some of the arguments in the book might be used against people who had made the decision to be vegan or vegetarian. How much did you worry about that, and how much has it been used against those folks? AS: Being a vegetarian or vegan, given current conditions, is not crazy, by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it makes perfect sense, given the way our food gets to us. And even under the best of circumstances, even under circumstances I would find ideal, the amount of meat that just about anyone would eat would greatly decrease. But, yeah, one thing that I found over and over and over again in the comments on the book was that they sort of corroborated a stark divide. From the vegetarians and vegans, [there was] a real concern that I was giving support to the factory farm industry. And I got a lot of praise, not from industry supporters, but from people who are interested in the paleo diet… which is really sort of a grassfed meat movement. That’s all fine and good, but often the larger point that I was trying to make in the book was missed, and I blame myself for that as much or more than I blame my readers. ILLUST RAT IO N BY JA M ES H E I M E R
If not for us, at least for our children, and certainly our children’s children, they’re going to live in a world in which their eating will depend on being able to find foods relatively close to home. What was that larger point that you want to be clear about? AS: What matters the most for our own health and well-being is understanding how our food lives and dies and recognizing our deep connection to that food. Secondly: If not for us, at least for our children, and certainly our children’s children, they’re going to live in a world in which their eating will depend on being able to find foods relatively close to home. We have the luxury of being able to get foods from distant places. That’s going to
change, and insofar as that changes, we need to create relationships with the land on which we live that sustain that land. One of the best ways to do that is to improve our relationship with the food that’s available here. So it’s a more environmentally focused argument than it is a “which diet is the best?” focus. Andrew F. Smith is a professor of English and Philosophy at Drexel University and is the author of “A Critique of the Moral Defense of Vegetarianism.” AUGUST 20 17
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Celebrate summer with a delicious and satisfying (plants-only) meal by brian
osting a summer barbecue need not mean that you stick to a ho-hum menu of burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Stretch yourself a little, give your taste buds a treat and dive into a meatless menu. It’s easier than you think to create your own delicious veggie burgers, snappy sides and satisfying dessert. Pair these recipes with some local beer and music, and delight in the day—you’re three easy steps away from a barbecue without the beasts.
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he veggie burger can get a bad rap—it can be bland, muddled or (worst of all!) a facsimile of its meaty counterpart. To avoid these pitfalls, let me suggest going for robust flavors and good texture. This you can easily achieve by blending beans, nuts and spices and binding them with egg, but it’s not always necessary. Vegan burger patties require more attention on the grill and are more delicate than their beef brethren—treat them tenderly, but most of all, celebrate them for what they are—not what they are not.
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Bean and Bulgur Veggie Burgers Makes 8 burgers
• 4.3 ounces red onion, chopped • 2.5 ounces carrots, chopped • 4.5 ounces red peppers, deseeded and chopped • 1 clove garlic • 3.5 ounces bulgur wheat, cooked • 5 ounces canned kidney beans, liquid drained • 2.5 ounces raw walnuts, chopped • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, raw • Handful of mixed herbs, chopped (parsley, mint, thyme) • 2.5 ounces breadcrumbs, plus more for dusting • Ground cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste • 8 slices large heirloom tomato • 8 leaves romaine lettuce • 8 burger buns • Condiments: mustard, ketchup, pickles, hot sauce
1. Wash bulgur in cold water and cook 2 ounces in 4 ounces of water lightly seasoned with salt. Gently simmer and allow the bulgur to absorb the water. Cool this down before proceeding. 2. Take all the ingredients and pulse them in a food processor. Do it in 2 to 3 batches so as not to overwhelm the food processor bowl. 3. Put on a pair of food-safe plastic gloves and mix the ingredients by hand while seasoning with salt and pepper. 4. Weigh out into patties about 7 to 8 ounces at most. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow patties to chill and firm. 5. When ready to cook, dust patties lightly with breadcrumbs. 6. Lightly oil a hot grill or grill pan, then place patties on grill to leave marks. Flip with a spatula after about 4 to 5 minutes. Allow to cook a further 5 minutes to cook patties through. 7. Transfer them to a rack above the grill or to a 350 F oven for another 5 to 7 minutes to complete cooking. 8. Place onto a bun, then top with lettuce, tomato, pickle and your condiment of choice.
t’s fun to blend hot and cold with summer food—the ephemeral nature of this dish asks that you keep hot and cold items apart until just before serving. Timing and patience are required. This dish translates well into a warm pasta dish— orecchiette would be my recommendation.
Roasted Chickpea Salad with Pine Nut & Gremolata Serves 4 to 6
• 32 ounces cooked chickpeas, drained • 3 tablespoons cumin seed • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced • 4 cloves garlic, minced • 2 lemons, zested and juiced • Mint, basil and parsley, 5 sprigs each • 1/2 cup pine nuts, gently toasted • On hand: extra virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Drain chickpeas well through a colander. 2. Roughly crush the cumin seed with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, then set aside. 3. Now for the gremolata: Thinly slice your onion and mince the garlic and place into a mixing bowl. 4. Add lemon zest and about 1/2 cup of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. 5. Roughly chop all the herbs and toss into the oil. Mint and basil tend to discolor quickly after they’ve been cut, so I prefer to wait until the last moments if I want to keep their colors bright when serving this salad.
6. Add about 2/3 cup of olive oil to a large sauté pan and place on medium-high heat. (Alternatively, you can roast on high heat in the oven.) 7. When the oil begins to simmer, add chickpeas and let them gently sizzle. 8. After a minute, begin to roll the chickpeas around the pan to ensure they cook evenly. This process will take about 5 to 7 minutes—you are looking for a robust, golden caramel color. 9. Take the chickpeas off the heat and add the cumin and smoked paprika— you can also add the pine nuts at this time. Mix this together in the pan. The residual heat from the pan will bloom the cumin— you should smell the aroma wafting up off the pan. 10. Transfer the warm chickpea mixture to your serving bowl. Gently spoon over the gremolata, then taste again for seasoning and adjust. The reserved lemon juice can be added gradually to increase the brightness. The salad is a mixture of cold and hot and is best eaten immediately.
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Summer Slaw Serves 6 to 8 runchy purple cabbage and green cucumbers make for a bright and colorful slaw base. Made and served the same day, the textures will be firm and the flavors vibrant. As it sits refrigerated, the purple and green colors begin to bleed slightly— and the flavors mellow. This doesn’t make it worse, only different. It serves wonderfully as a side, as well as a potential topping or stuffing for a warm sandwich. • 1/2 head of red/purple cabbage, sliced thinly, with large ribs removed • 2 ounces capers, drained from brine • 1 red onion, sliced thin • 1 English cucumber, split lengthwise and sliced in a 1/2 moon, with seeds removed
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin, preferably toasted • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil • 1 lime, zest and juice • 9 ounces tahini • 1/2 bunch of flat parsley and mint, hand shredded • Salt to taste
1. Mix the cabbage, onion and cucumber together. Add capers, oil and cumin and season with salt. 2. Fold in lime juice/zest, then tahini. Taste for balance of briny/spicy/salty flavors that should be rounded out with tahini. 3. Add herbs just before serving this slaw. Keeps for 7 days refrigerated.
Grilled Mushrooms, Lebanese Style Serves 6
ushrooms are like sponges—they absorb moisture very well. When grilled, they release their moisture, leaving behind their inherent earthy flavors, enhanced by the heat of the grill. Also left are the flavors we impart in our marinades. They tend to become stronger and more concentrated as the water content of the mushroom is expelled. Balancing these distilled flavors is a mild dressing using soy yogurt as the base to “cool” the flavors down. • 6 medium or 3 large portobello mushrooms • 10 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil • 2 lemons, juiced • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground • 2/3 teaspoon allspice, ground • Pinch of cayenne • Salt and pepper to taste Garlic Dressing: • 8 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced • 1 lemon, juiced and zested • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil • Soy yogurt to taste • Salt and pepper to taste • On hand: flat parsley, chopped 30
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1. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel working off any dirt. Remove the stems and leave the caps as whole as possible—they will be easier to manipulate on the grill this way. 2. Mix your garlic along with the rest of the ingredients until well combined. Pour over mushrooms in a large wide pan. Allow them to marinate for at least an hour, turning often to distribute the mix evenly. 3. Over a hot grill, gently place the mushrooms with the cap side up. Let them roast over the grill until they begin to develop discernable marks— about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn them 30 degrees and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
4. Turn over and repeat this process. Use your senses to judge doneness; they will have shrunk by 1/3 and will be tender to the touch. 5. Remove from the heat and let them rest before you portion them. Cut into attractive slices and drizzle the garlic sauce over top, garnish with chopped parsley. For the Garlic Dressing 1. Add garlic and lemon juice inside a food processor. Turn processor on and slowly blend in olive oil to develop a creamy consistency. 2. Remove from processor to a bowl, season and gently whisk in soy yogurt. 3. Finish with parsley and chill until serving.
Watermelon and Lime Granita Serves 6 to 8 n all the heat of grilling and last minute adjustments and mixing, it’s nice to have a finished, refreshing dessert in your “back pocket.” This should be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance so you can take it off the prep list and move on. Just remember not to actually keep it in your back pocket.
• 1 pound ripe watermelon, seeds removed • 1 cup water • 3/4 cup sugar • 2 limes, juiced • 1 pinch salt 1. Purée your watermelon as smooth as you can get it. If it is still lumpy after you’ve blended it, try straining it through a small mesh strainer— the smoother the better.
2. Make a simple syrup by combining water and sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and then cool this down. Then add the watermelon liquid, lime juice and a pinch of salt to the syrup. 3. Use a wide, shallow, freezer-safe container to hold your granita. Place the container in the freezer, and in 1/2 hour intervals, gently rake the top layer of the mixture with a fork. Over the course of a few hours, you will have a delicious, refreshing granita that resembles snow.
This can be kept frozen and covered for 7 to 12 days. Fresher is better, as freezer items will tend to absorb flavor from the freezer. 4. Scoop the granita into a chilled serving vessel or into individual chilled glasses and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh mint. This can also be used as an excellent base for a chilled margarita-type cocktail.
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Expert food recommendations from the ‘Philly Vegan Lady Gangsters’ by karen chernick
The coconut club with fries is a vegan option at Memphis Taproom in Kensington
hen LJ Steinig won her Grand Champion title at Philly MACDown 2016, the city’s first vegan mac and cheese cooking contest, she had the whole group of Philly Vegan Lady Gangsters rooting for her. The gang is a closed Facebook group of more than 500 “vegan women who all work in a variety of ways to make the world a better place for animals and for each other.” Steinig, a high school English department chair for an online school, initially started the group in July 2015 to make more like-minded pals. A small group of her female Facebook friends had been meeting monthly for vegan dinners at Miss Rachel’s Pantry in Point Breeze (a practice that many of the gangsters still maintain), and Steinig turned those dinner parties into an ongoing virtual vegan feast. P HOTO BY C H AUC EE ST IL LM A N
The group also provides a space for the city’s lady vegans to share product recommendations, broadcast which local supermarkets stock plant-based canned tuna, ask for advice about how best to navigate a particular steakhouse’s menu, and vent about recent altercations with omnivores. “Beyond dinner parties and talk of products,” Steinig says, “the gang has really evolved to do some wonderful things together.” The Lady Gangsters often fundraise for Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and the Humane League, volunteer their time and protest for animal rights. Always eager to point a hungry lady (or fellow) vegan toward a worthy dining option, the Philly Vegan Lady Gangsters were happy to share recommendations for some of their favorite and least-known plantbased eats around the city. Below, please find their crowd-sourced advice.
The clientele at Kensington’s Memphis Taproom may be mostly bearded and meat-loving, but the gastropub promises that their vegetarian and vegan options will knock your nonleather shoes off. PVLG’s junk food vegans agree. Gloss over the menu’s meaty Mr. American Cheeseburger and McMemphis Chicken, and look for the Spaghetti Sandwich. Complete with lentil meatballs, marinara sauce, vegan cheese and, of course, spaghetti, the sandwich is a perfect precursor to the restaurant’s peanut butter pie (also vegan). If you can convince someone to go halfsies with you, have them order the Smoked Coconut Club with grilled lemon garlic tofu and tomato herb mayo. Better yet, visit the taproom’s summer beer garden and order a jackfruit po’ boy with Creole remoulade (you might also try one of three other types of vegan burgers—or multiple varieties of vegan hot dogs).
This family owned Indonesian restaurant in Point Breeze doesn’t have a website, but somehow word got out among the Lady Gangsters that Hardena/Waroeng Surabaya caters to vegans. Rachel Klein of Miss Rachel’s Pantry recommends trying the vegan sayur singkong—collard greens simmered in a coconut milk broth. Other PVLG members swear by the sweetbraised jackfruit stew (served only on the weekend) and say that any of the tempeh dishes are bound to be delicious.
As befitting a Lady Gangster recommendation, Crust Bakery is owned and operated by a team of self-proclaimed sassy ladies (some of them PVLG members themselves). Since they have no storefront, their subscription boxes offer diners a way to keep abreast of what’s going on in their commissary kitchen. Boxes ($30 each) include an assortment of five mystery desserts, combining both classic items and seasonal favorites. Past AUGUST 20 17
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The confections from Crust Bakery are all completely vegan
subscription boxes have included desserts almost impossible to find anywhere else: vegan twinkies, cannolis, dunkaroos and baklava. Each month is different, and subscriptions can be purchased on a monthto-month basis.
A punky South Street establishment for 20 years, Tattooed Mom’s menu is half-omnivore, half-veg. Steinig and the rest of the gangsters swear by the Vegan Pickled Fried Chickn Sandwich (which washes down nicely with a pickletini cocktail from the bar). The house-brined, fried chickn is topped with fried pickles and hot-sauce mayo in a sandwich that is sour, spicy, crunchy and sweet all at once. Insider tip: Also order the Vegan Chubbsteak. Steinig heard from a friend to ask for it before it finally made it onto the menu, and says the vegan cheesesteak and tater tots in a wrap are pure magic.
Individual vegan Vietnamese dishes are found easily enough all over the city, but a 34
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full, vegan, 16-item pho menu is rare. Head to this mom-and-pop pho shop in East Kensington for vegan shrimp summer rolls, vegan seafood noodle pho, and vegan duck and mushroom egg noodle soup. And it’s all at an affordable price—the vegan beef pho will only set you back $8, cheap enough to order another for tomorrow’s lunch.
PVLG’s answer to the Good Humor truck, this food truck serves a variety of banana whips—all-natural ice cream made entirely from frozen bananas. The whips and other fruit-based treats can often be found in West Philly’s Clark Park and Manayunk. Follow the truck on Facebook to find out where it will park next.
As a restaurant committed to sustainable practices and preserving Philadelphia’s natural resources, it is no surprise that Fishtown’s Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen has a respectable list of vegan and vegetarian options. The retro-American classic menu
includes standard fare such as veggie burgers and plant-based breakfasts, but also boasts barbecue seitan wings served with an apricot horseradish cream and fried brussels sprouts. Cedar Point also serves a twist on the iconic Philadelphian hoagie with its red curry cheesesteak, a sandwich stuffed with grilled seitan tips, red curry aioli, peppers, onions and daiya cheese. (Pairs well with a Beetlejuice cocktail from the bar, a ginbased drink made with fresh beets.)
Martha’s Vegan Jawn Hoagie is a plantbased Philadelphian sandwich at its best: Stuffed with eggplant, carrot terrine, radish and arugula—then dressed with tofu mayo—it is worth the trip to Kensington. If you’re not in the mood for finger food, try the vegan quiche with fermented ramps, chile roasted carrots and a crispy hash brown crust, or sample any of the housemade pickles. PVLG recommends ending your meal at Martha with the vegan blackberry tea cake, garnished with a lemon berry glaze, fresh mint and raspberries. P HOTO BY KATE McCA NN
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Serving the Community, One Espresso at a Time A unique café offers life skills to former foster youth by emily kovach
onsider the archetypal barista: too cool for school, perhaps tattooed, serving and pouring your coffee with no lack of mild disdain. But at The Monkey & The Elephant, a nonprofit coffee shop in Brewerytown, prepare for that image to be shattered. The shop employs former foster youth with the goal of offering job and life skills to adolescents who might otherwise struggle to acquire a foothold in the job market. Founder and Executive Director Lisa Miccolis spent time in her own youth working as a barista, as well as for social engagement nonprofits such as AmeriCorps and YouthBuild. After a trip in 2008 to South Africa, where she met a teenage refugee from Zimbabwe who was faced with a loss of refugee status, Miccolis was inspired to help youth in similar situations in the U.S. The idea of a coffee shop just seemed to make sense, she says, because of the variety of life and job skills that coffee service entails, and “the community element of coffee shops... the community that each café creates naturally.”
Six years and much research, planning and many pop-ups later, Miccolis hosted a pilot pop-up at the now closed Impact Hub in Kensington, which she sees as a touchstone for the development of the The Monkey & The Elephant. She remembers observing the two young men who were working side-byside, making excellent cups of coffee and engaging easily with the customers. She knew she was really on to something. “Watching them then, and even observing our youth employees now as they support one another, get to know our customers and generally build positive relationships within the community is what it is all about,” she says. In 2015, M&E opened as a storefront café on West Girard Avenue in the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Raising the capital for the buildout of the existing space was a feat, and they relied heavily on donations and grant money. A real challenge came in the form of trying to convey to potential donors how powerful their mission of helping foster youth could be. “As a new nonprofit, we had to be able to tell our story and educate people on the importance of investing in former foster youth, and in our organization,” she remembers.
Under the leadership team and a robust board of directors, M&E’s doors have been open for two and a half years. In that time, they’ve seen six youths “graduate” from the program with 100 percent postprogram employment and housing. Miccolis describes the graduation parameters: “Completion of programmatic exercises, which range from crafting and practicing using your personal elevator pitch, to budgeting, to walking around two different neighborhoods and noticing what looks and feels different... all of the exercises are aimed at building hard and soft skills, self-awareness and self-reflection, and creating opportunities for new experiences.” The shop, which serves a rotating list of local coffee roasters as well as standard café fare, is anything but ordinary. Every day behind its counters, lives are being shaped and changed. “We’re really looking at guiding our young people to build a strong foundation for themselves, so the changes we see while they are in the program may seem small to some,” Miccolis says. “We had one young man who was pretty soft-spoken when he started at M&E, and he set the goal of wanting to find his voice and speak up more often. Every time he does, I can’t help but smile.”
Employees at The Monkey & The Elephant get life skills training as part of their employment
PHOTO BY PA L ET T E G ROUP • PA L ETTEGR P.CO M
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Four Walls and a Cup Three coffee businesses go brick-and-mortar by emily kovach
Rival Bros. Coffee, of food truck fame, has opened two physical locations in Philadelphia
BACKYARD BEANS COFFEE CO.
WEST SHORE COFFEE
RIVAL BROS. COFFEE
408 W. Main St., Lansdale, Pa. Since 2013, Backyard Beans Coffee Co. has been roasting high quality coffee in Lansdale for wholesale, always favoring responsibly sourced beans from small farms and co-ops. Owners Laura and Matt Adams began selling their beans at farmers markets and, over time, grew to the level where they were on shelves at retailers such as Whole Foods. In the spring of 2016, they made a splash with their Punch in the Face canned cold brew, in both nitro and dry-hopped varieties. On July 15, the duo celebrated the grand opening of a retail coffee shop, right near the Lansdale train station. This shop is all about coffee, naturally, but the menu also includes beer, wine and cocktails after 2 p.m. The bar program is a collaboration with Round Guys Brewing Co. and showcases local spirits and wines, as well. The new café also houses a production facility, and thanks to the modern open floor plan of the shop, guests are able to see the “behind the scenes” aspects of the business in action. While Backyard Beans has grown in size and scope, it has stayed true to its roots: The bags of beans, in compostable packages, are still available at plenty of local farmers markets.
4600 Woodland Ave. Many coffee shops have lofty goals about serving the best coffee for an ever more educated and adventurous customer base. But for Sochi Thomas, the idea of West Shore Coffee began with a different kind of objective: “I have always hoped to one day be able to create a space that could become a center for my community,” she says. Thomas is a single mom with two young kids, who lives a block away from 46th Street and Woodland Avenue in West Philly, the future site of West Shore Coffee. Thomas felt inspired by the hublike nature of the location, with trolleys whizzing by, and the mix of families, students and neighborhood folks traversing the intersection. She envisions a place where coffee is accessible to everyone regardless of their ability to pay (thanks to a community coffee fund); where quarterly donations are made to local nonprofits; and eventually, a business that is worker-owned. West Shore won’t open until 2018, but Thomas is busy promoting her GoFundMe campaign to raise capital. More info is available at gofundme.com/westshore.
2400 Lombard St. & 1528 Spruce St. After starting up as a coffee truck, Rival Bros. Coffee staked its claim in Philadelphia’s coffee community with a sleek, hip shop at 24th and Lombard streets. Owners Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi recently moved farther east and deeper into the city grid with their second retail shop at 15th and Spruce. While their original shop has a certain wry masculinity, with its matte gray espresso machine, dark wood surfaces and a hand-lettered sign that asks, “You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle dixie?” the new shop could easily be mistaken for a university club, or another place where one might expect to find many dapper people in pantsuits. Black walls are offset by a gorgeously tiled floor, blond wood accents, cream-colored columns, leather-cushioned banquettes and light fixtures that could be borrowed from Jay Gatsby’s parlor. On the no-nonsense menu, discerning coffee drinkers will be happy to find Rival Bros.’ own roasted coffee in blends such as Whistle & Cuss, as well as single origins. Pastries, fancy toasts and weekend collaborations with South Philly favorite Stargazy round out the food menu.
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P HOTO BY JASO N VA RNEY
Seeing Stars Collingswood’s Constellation Collective by emily kovach
aura Rosato, Lindsay Ferguson and Valentina Fortuna met the way so many chance encounters begin: at work. In 2013, they were all employed by The Farm and The Fisherman Tavern & Market, and all felt a natural connection with one another. A year later, Rosato and Fortuna kicked around the idea of hosting a pop-up dinner together, but before long, they were already dreaming much bigger. The idea of opening a café got stuck in their heads, and they set forth to see what was possible. In the beginning of 2015, they signed a lease for a kitchen space at The Factory in Collingswood, New Jersey, a member-based co-op space for artists, and began the slog of converting the zoning to commercial and starting on renovations. On March 27 of that same year, they held a “kitchen warm-
ing party,” which they still consider to be the true beginning of their business. The Constellation Collective brick-and-mortar café in downtown Collingswood came later that year, in October. They’ve been hustling ever since (Ferguson is out on maternity leave “till an unknown date”), doing everything from “the biscuits to the books,” as they put it. Rosato and Fortuna chose Collingswood because they have roots there from growing up in New Jersey, and it appears that the town shares that sense of connection—the spot quickly became a community favorite for coffee, treats, lunch and brunch. Constellation Collective serves a full coffee menu from Revolution Coffee Roasters, another local business, which roasts a custom blend of Ethiopian yirgacheffe
and Papua New Guinea beans specifically for the shop. The duo spends lots of time in the kitchen, cooking and baking everything from scratch, and sourcing from local and responsible farmers and producers as often as possible. “We roll with the seasons, and mostly we like to feature our fave farmer D&V Organics’ produce,” Rosato says. Savory dishes such as hot chicken biscuits, frittatas, waffles and tacos, and sweets including French toast, housemade doughnuts and coconut macaroons are all on rotating offer. What does the future hold? “We definitely have the desire to keep this party going,” she says, “but there’s nothing firm planned yet... We’re open to whatever our fair universe brings us!” 685 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, N.J.
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Nice Ice, Baby
5 café drinks to keep your summer chill by emily kovach
Coffee gets the mixology treatment at Function Coffee Labs. Pictured here, the “That's My (Blueberry Rose) Jam.”
MILKSHAKE LATTES AT RIVER WARDS CAFE
3118 Richmond St. In a stroke of genius, Joe Livewell at Riverwards Cafe in Port Richmond blends three scoops of Bassetts vanilla ice cream with milk and a double shot of espresso to create a creamy, sweet and caffeinated treat. If chocolate is what you crave, try the Mocha Milkshake, similar to the above but with a hefty dose of Ghirardelli syrup.
BARISTA SIGNATURE DRINKS AT FUNCTION COFFEE LABS
1001 S. 10th St. Inspired by a rotating list of of single-origin coffees each week, the coffee geek crew at this Bella Vista shop dream up a special iced beverage to complement the tasting notes. Recent favorites include the creamsicle-esque Orange is the New Black: a citrusy, brown-sugary shot of Colombia El Mirador from NEAT Coffee that is mixed with a splash of cold wa40
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ter, a splash of half and half, and a housemade orange syrup, shaken in a cocktail shaker until frothy and served over ice.
LAVENDER LIGHT & SWEET AT SQUARE ONE COFFEE
1811 JFK Blvd. and 249 S. 13 St. Square One’s hot-bloomed cold brew coffee is as smooth, robust and nuanced as it gets, which makes sense, since the staff roasts all of their own beans from their production space in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In this floral iteration, cold brew, local half and half, and housemade lavender syrup are shaken together and then poured on ice in an adorable, Instagram-worthy “Light & Sweet” banded Mason jar.
THE ELIXIR AT ELIXR COFFEE
207 S. Sydenham St. Wake up on the double with this new specialty drink at Center City’s hippest café.
The Elixir is a fizzy coffee soda made with Ethiopian Konga espresso and housemade syrup made from chamomile, smoked peppercorn and orange—and a splash of soda water. If that didn’t sound “mixologist” enough, the pint glass is garnished with candied orange peel. Don’t wait—the Elixir is only available in the summertime.
CHAI DRAFT LATTE AT LA COLOMBE
Various locations This homegrown (now national) company is back again with another canned drink sure to develop a cult following: the Chai Draft Latte. The “first and only canned chai tea latte in America,” according to La Colombe, this to-go beverage combines cold-brewed chai and a heady blend of herbs and spices, including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Four-packs are available in La Colombe’s brick-and-mortar cafés, in select grocery shops and on its website.
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EVENT S Blue Corn Lifestyle Organic and Green Fest on Sept. 9 will support local farmers and farmers from Mexico
BlackStar Film Festival
2017 New Gravity Housing Conference
Independent black cinema is honored through more than 60 films from five continents in a celebration that Ebony magazine has called “the black Sundance.”The theme for the festival’s fifth year is “resistance,” highlighting films that look at political and social uprisings, including the civil rights events of the 1960s, the Los Angeles race riots of the 1990s and more. blackstarfest.org COST: $6 to $12; all access passes $150 WHERE: Various venues in University City
The reality of climate change will fundamentally alter the way buildings are designed, built and operated in the coming decades. This two-day conference from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council will explore the tools, techniques and practices that the building community is using to address this challenge. dvgbc.org WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. COST: $100 WHERE: Temple University, Science Education and Research Center, 1801 N. Broad St.
Shtetl Skills: Summer Canning with Ari Rosenberg This workshop is the second in Jewish Farm School’s Preservation Series. Gardener and canner extraordinaire Ari Rosenberg
will teach canning basics while making mid-summer salsa and stone-fruit jam. jewishfarmschool.org WHEN: 6 to 8:30 p.m. COST: $10 to $20 suggested donation WHERE: Jewish Farm School, 5020 Cedar Ave.
August 4 Betsy Ross First Friday Movies: ‘Earth vs. the Spider’ Screenings of these vintage horror movies are presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Film Society. A $5 admission includes a tour of the Betsy Ross House, pre-show activities, quizzo and a courtyard movie. Moviegoers are welcome to bring food and wine. historicphiladelphia.org WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m. COST: $0 to $5 WHERE: Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch St.
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EVENT S You can enjoy the Perseid meteor shower at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education on Aug. 11
pre-show activities will begin at 7 p.m., and the featured film will be shown at 8:30 p.m.
Summer Block Party at the Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden All proceeds go directly toward the garden during this day of workshops, music, performances and more. Food and drink will also be available for purchase. Facebook: Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden WHEN: 1 to 8 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: 2239 N. Philip St.
Franklin Square Summer Movie Series: ‘Lego Batman’ Bring a blanket for a screening of “Lego Batman” on the Great Lawn. Games and
WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets
placed under conservation easement by the Brandywine Conservancy. brandywine.org WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. COST: Members $65; nonmembers $75 WHERE: Hill Girt Farm, Chadds Ford, Pa.
August 9 Farm to Table Dinner
‘Forest-to-Plate’ Dinner at Awbury Arboretum
Brandywine Conservancy hosts a farm dinner prepared by Chef MacGregor Mann of Junto BYOB using vegetables grown by SIW Vegetables. This dinner will take place on Hill Girt Farm, one of the first properties
Guests can enjoy a five-course tasting menu featuring a variety of flavors and textures that can be found in Philadelphia’s wild landscapes. The third annual installment of this event is presented by Awbury
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EVENT S Arboretum, Jeffrey A. Miller Catering and Wild Foodies of Philly. BYOB; 50 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Awbury. awbury.org WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. COST: $75 WHERE: Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Road
August Seed Library Open Stop by to pick up some seeds for your garden. Knowledgeable gardeners will be available to answer questions relating to care for your seeds. Facebook: South Jersey Seed Circle Library WHEN: 7 to 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Collingswood Public Library, 771 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, N.J.
‘Putting By’ Bounty of Fresh Herbs This workshop will lead you through the process of drying the herbs from your garden, preserving them in herbal vinegars, and creating herbal salt blends and handmade herbal tea blends. Led by Grid contributor Anna Herman, coordinator of the Penn State Extension Master Gardener Program. weaversway.coop WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Weavers Way Mercantile, 542 Carpenter Lane
August 11 Friday Nights: Rogê Blending bossa nova and samba with sounds from around the globe, this Latin Grammy nominee is traveling with a full band to bring Brazil to Philly. philamuseum.org
Supper Series: Star Party
Jazz on the Ave Music Fest
Riverbend Environmental Education Center hosts an outdoor party and a chance to witness the Perseid meteor shower. BYOB.
This free, outdoor event features a kids’ zone, health and wellness screenings, vendors and live music on two stages. The main stage lineup will include Jeff Bradshaw, Eric Roberson, Frank McComb, Glenn Lewis and Tony Rich, along with Philly’s own Mozaic Flow and Suzann Christine. jazzontheavephilly.com
riverbendeec.org WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. COST: $60 WHERE: 1950 Spring Mill Road, Gladwyne, Pa.
Stars & S’mores The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education hosts an exploration of the summer’s most spectacular meteor shower, the Perseids. Telescopes, star maps and laser pointers will be provided to find constellations, planets and stars. And, of course, what night would be complete without a campfire and s’mores? schuylkillcenter.org WHEN: 8 to 10 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road
August 12 Mighty Mud Come out and splash in a creekside area devoted to getting dirty. Kids and adults are invited to play in the mud: Make pies, roll around in it, cover yourself in it. Relax and enjoy an excuse to get as muddy as possible. natlands.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon COST: Free WHERE: Natural Lands Trust Stroud Preserve, 454 N. Creek Road, West Chester, Pa.
WHEN: Noon to 8:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue
History Lab: Fiction and the Future Learn what imagined future worlds in science fiction can tell us about our present-day hopes and fears, and stretch your creative muscles with a few writing prompts. This afternoon of activities and conversation will enable you to see yourself, your community—and the future—a bit differently. chemheritage.org WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St.
August 12 & 13 Bug Fest Celebrate the 10th annual Bug Fest with hundreds of live insects, conversations with entomologists, bug tastings and activities that museum visitors have picked as their favorites over the years. ansp.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. COST: $16.95 and up WHERE: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
WHEN: 5 to 8:45 p.m. COST: Free after admission WHERE: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
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Learn how to forage and cook with wild edibles at Cherry Grove Farm on Sept. 16
Cycle en Couleur
August 16 Bee Healthy! Understanding the Products of the Honeybee Hive This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the delicious and medicinal products of the honeybee hive, including a varietal honey tasting, recipes for healthful creations and more. Led by beekeeper Stephanie Bruneau, author of “The Benevolent Bee” (Quarry Books, July 2017). weaversway.coop WHEN: 7 to 8:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 542 Carpenter Lane
August 17 Green Challenge Film Fest— ‘Seed: The Untold Story’ This film explores how farmers and others battle to defend the future of food from huge agrichemical companies, which control over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Sponsored by GMO Free PA, Oaklyn Green Team, Sustainable Collingswood and GMO Free NJ. gmofreenj.com WHEN: 6:30 to 9 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Collingswood Community Center 30 W. Collings Ave., Collingswood, N.J.
Organizers from OpenRidePHL and Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride present a mass human-powered ride that aims to celebrate community and inclusiveness with style. Cycle en Couleur is envisioned as a “spring fling” in late summer, and attendees should feel free to wear whatever colors they’d like, and if the spirit moves them, to dress up. Music will be provided courtesy of bike-towed speakers, and flashing lights, glowsticks, and decorations are officially encouraged. The ride will start from the steps of the Art Museum and wind its way through the city. In the spirit of the evening, the ending location is being kept a secret. Bikes, skates, boards, scooters, sneakers— all are welcome. Facebook: Cycle en Couleur WHEN: 8 to 11:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Meet at the Museum of Art steps, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
August 18 Kidchella Music Festival 2017 Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse’s fourth annual festival includes a Youth Arts Zone on the playground’s front lawn, in addition to the main stage concerts featuring six nationally acclaimed children’s music artists. smithplayground.ticketleap.com WHEN: 4 to 7:30 p.m. COST: Members $5; nonmembers $10 WHERE: Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse, 3500 Reservoir Drive
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August 19 Good Libations Market Ploughman Farm Cider, Commonwealth Cider and Kurant Cider join Greensgrow Farms on the third Saturday of each month through October, alongside Greensgrow’s farm stand and CSA pickup. greensgrow.org WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Greensgrow Farms, 2501 E. Cumberland St.
‘More Stately Mansions’ Zine Launch This exhibition discusses the class divide and the wage gap through a self-published zine, curated and edited by Veronica Cianfrano of Champions of Empty Rooms. There will be zine giveaways, live readings of original poems and short stories by zine contributors, refreshments, as well as opportunities for one-to-one philosophical conversations on the topic of free speech, hate speech and how thoughts are generated. kitchentablegallery.com WHEN: 4 to 9:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Kitchen Table Gallery, 1853 N. Howard St.
EVENT S Farm Fun Day and Public Tour Each of these hourlong tours is designed to highlight a different aspect of Cherry Grove Farm and offer new information about the land, local history, flora and fauna. cherrygrovefarm.com WHEN: 7 to 8 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Franklin Square Summer Movie Series: ‘Finding Dory’ Bring a blanket for a screening of “Finding Dory,” on the Great Lawn. Games and pre-show activities will begin at 7 p.m., and the featured film will be shown at 8:30 p.m. Parks on Tap Jr. will provide a beer garden and other specialties. historicphiladelphia.org WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets
August 26 United by Blue’s Darby Creek Cleanup at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge Please join United by Blue to clean up Darby Creek at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. United by Blue will provide all of the cleanup supplies, and volunteers will have the chance to win prizes. Please be sure to wear closedtoe shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. unitedbyblue.com WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon COST: Free WHERE: 8601 Lindbergh Blvd.
S ep tember 10 Permaculture Workshop Designing your garden with permaculture can transform any space into a sustainable ecosystem. Once the class has learned the fundamentals, instructor Ari Rosenberg will help them build their own backyard conversion plan, including a personalized fruit and vegetable list to help their gardens flourish. greensgrow.org WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. COST: $15 WHERE: Greensgrow West, 5123 Baltimore Ave.
S ep tember 16 Foraging and Cooking with Wild Edibles Learn how to identify some of the more common wild edibles and turn them into tasty bites and drinks. You’ll go home with recipes and the knowledge to dig up your own dinner. cherrygrovefarm.com WHEN: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. COST: $65 WHERE: Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrence Township, N.J.
Roots and Bluestems Live music, craft beer and delicious food truck treats amid Stroud Preserve’s rolling hills and butterfly-filled meadows. Featured acts include Man About a Horse and Sparkle Pony—high energy, newgrass Americana. natlands.org
S ep tember 9 Blue Corn Lifestyle: Organic and Green Fest This festival is a gathering of agriculture experts, market owners, restaurateurs, artists, musicians and tribal groups to support farmers local to the area and from Mexico. bluecornlifestyle.com WHEN: 1 to 6 p.m. COST: Pay as you go WHERE: Walnut Plaza, 101 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.
Beats and Brews Natural Lands Trust hosts a late-summer evening of live music and craft beer amid the landscape of Binky Lee Preserve. MiZ & Friends will jam through the evening in celebration of 50 years of the Grateful Dead. natlands.org
WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. COST: $30 to $40 WHERE: Natural Lands Trust Stroud Preserve, 454 N. Creek Road, West Chester, Pa.
S ep tember 19 Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s Groundbreaker Awards DVGBC hosts a celebration of green building leadership and innovation in the region, honoring recent projects that emphasize leadership, innovation and commitment to sustainability in the built environment. This event will be held at The Atrium, a commercial office property that utilizes green practices in lighting, waste management and promoting transportation alternatives. dvgbc.org WHEN: 6 to 9:30 p.m. COST: Members $100, Nonmembers $150 WHERE: The Atrium, 1900 Market St.
WHEN: 6 to 9:30 COST: $50 WHERE: Natural Lands Trust’s Binky Lee Preserve, 1445 Pikeland Road, Chester Springs, Pa.
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Celebrating V-Day From a chance meeting at a D.C. metro stop to the James Beard House in New York, a lifelong vegan journey to save animals and the planet by kate jacoby
ne evening in 1999, I ascended the monster of an escalator out of the Dupont Circle Metro in Washington, D.C., fresh from my idealistic internship at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, African Subdivision. I was definitively out of breath because my angsty, prove-something-to-the-world, late-teen self would never just stand on the right. After a huge, deep breath to mask my heavy breathing, I caught a leafleter out of the corner of my eye, and for some long-forgotten reason, I walked over to engage. The 20-ish, shaved-head, punkish, white man in front of me spoke: “Ever think of going vegan?” My eyes lit up, I cracked a big smile, I accepted his “Compassion Over Killing” leaflet with great joy and said, “As a matter of fact, yes!” We spoke for a few moments, indulging in a solidarity that, at that time, was quite rare. See, I was a regular at Horizons café back home in the Philly suburbs, and I logged quite a few hours chatting with my local DC Natural Foods store manager on P Street about the benefits of organic grains 48
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in aiding digestion and how best to incorporate some Bragg amino acids into my stir fries. But this was back at the birth of the Atkins diet, and many of my acquaintances were subsisting on beef jerky, peanuts and Cool Whip. What I was consuming the most of was more and more information. The animal rights issues that originally caught my attention were merging in a perfect storm with revelations about human health and the veil lifting on the environmental degradation that stems from our factory farms. Ignorance was not an option. Vegetarianism wasn’t enough. My only way forward was vegan. That was a long time ago, and a lot has happened since. Heated discussions with friends, embarrassing moments at holiday meals centered around Tofurky, the pitfalls of detecting shredded pork in a tamale after the food truck chef assured me that what I’d ordered was vegetarian. I never thought that in just 20 years, there would be such a transformation in our culinary landscape, that “vegan” would be printed on so much packaging
and that so many dishes would be stamped with a little “v” on restaurant menus. I definitely would not have believed you if you told me I would marry the best vegan chef in the world and that together we would cook the first vegan dinner at the James Beard House and co-author vegan cookbooks that would be top sellers. I would have raised an eyebrow at the notion of entire schools and cities embracing Meatless Monday, let alone the idea of my own hometown mayor citing Vedge, the vegan restaurant I run with my husband, in his proclamation that Nov. 1 is now Philly Vegan Day. I’m thankful for countless wonderful and fortunate experiences I’ve had in my life, but I’ll forever be grateful for that day in Dupont. The day I took the leaflet will always stand out as the day I really dug my heels in for the long haul. The day I never looked back. You could call it my own personal V-Day. Kate Jacoby lives in Philadelphia with her 9-year-old son and her husband, Richard Landau. Jacoby and Landau are the team behind the city’s top-rated restaurant, Vedge. IL LUSTRATIO N BY CARTE R MULCA HY
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The bright side
One Penn alumnus helps Philadelphia flip its energy switch
Dom McGraw Master of Environmental Studies ’13, University of Pennsylvania Read more about Dom’s citywide energy reduction projects at www.upenn.edu/grid
“I love the career I am in now. During my first class in the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program, I read about sustainability, and the ideas behind ‘people, planet, profit,’ and my head almost exploded. I knew this was it,” shares Dom McGraw (MES ’13), a former IT specialist and current Energy Project Coordinator for the City of Philadelphia’s Energy Office, housed within the Office of Sustainability. In his role, Dom manages the Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Fund, which supports projects such as reducing energy use in municipal buildings and increasing composting initiatives. One of Dom’s favorite projects was helping
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Fire Engine 69 in South Philadelphia completely replace its lighting with LED fixtures. “I’m now a huge nerd about occupancy comfort beyond financial savings,” he adds, “It’s a 24/7 building, so the ROI was fast, and the firefighters are happy to work in a brighter space.” Earning his MES at Penn not only gave Dom a foundation in energy and sustainability, but it also opened up his career possibilities. “The program enabled me to network and absolutely helped me to get to where I am now.”
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Eat Your Greens: 'Philly Vegan Lady Gangsters' Dish on Their Favorite Dishes