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Greasing the Wheels Behind an innovative cooking oil recycling initiative is a remarkably diverse community

managing editor


t seems that the further you wander from home, the larger your hometown becomes. Visit another city and see someone in a Phillies hat, and you think, “One of us!” regardless of what neighborhood they may be from, or the countless other ways we differentiate ourselves from one another. If you’re overseas, spotting a baseball hat—even a Mets hat—might prompt that same feeling of brotherhood. While we’ve been working on our cover story about Feed the Barrel, South Philadelphia’s innovative oil recycling program, we’ve gotten to learn more about Philadelphia’s thriving Indonesian community. It’s tempting and perhaps somewhat natural to think of this immigrant population as a homogenous group, and even attribute their amazing success with Feed the Barrel to sharing similar backgrounds. That idea was shattered for me when I learned that an Indonesian Mennonite church, one of the 13 Indonesian places of worship in South Philadelphia, was planning to host a Feed the Barrel event. Though largely a Muslim country, Indonesia has significant religious diversity, with pockets of Buddhism, Christianity, Confuscism and Hinduism. Digging a little deeper reveals even more diversity. There are approximately 300 distinct native ethnic groups in Indonesia, and more than 700 different languages and dialects. The geography of the country helps to explain that: Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands, about 6,000 of which are inhabited. No matter how you look at this story, it’s bound to inspire. It’s a grassroots movement based in a community, guided by a government agency (the Environmental Protection Agency) and enabled by the service and generosity of a small business (Eden Green Energy). All three of these partners have dedicated countless hours to educating the young—the people best qualified to change the world. However, none of this is possible without a diverse population uniting and acting as one. Perhaps all of us in Philadelphia, regardless of how long we have lived here, can take the Indonesian national motto to heart: “Many, yet one.”


Alex Mulcahy 215.625.9850 ext. 102 Sara Schwartz 215.625.9850 ext. 103 art director

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Cut Zahara, photographer Sahar CostonHardy, and Grid Art Director Danni Sinisi.

Go West! Craft Fest, May 3 We are thrilled to have partnered with the people behind the Go West! Craft Fest to produce a program guide for the May 3 event, which can be found in the center of this issue. I can’t wait to spend the day at the beautiful Woodlands, checking out the wares of our region’s most talented craftspeople. Stop by the Grid booth and say hello.

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Plain Sights

Wishart St. & Kensington AVE.

King of K&A

The Flomar Building, now home to Esperanza Health Center and the Hispanic Community and Counseling Services, in K&A (Kensington and Allegheny), serves as an example of a would-be eyesore that went from neighborhood burden to neighborhood benefit. The building was built in 1928 for the Northeastern Title and Trust Company. While other banks in the area were building low-slung Neoclassical stone castles, Northeastern opted for a brick high-rise. While it was an ostentatious megalith that represented the company’s success, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 led to Northeastern merging with the Industrial Trust Company of Philadelphia, and taking on its name in 1930. In the 1950s, the Flomar Corporation bought the building and etched its name above the entrance, a legacy still seen at the 3160 Kensington Avenue building today. In the early 1970s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania leased the building and it spent the next two decades as the Community Legal Partners Northeast Law Center. By 1998, the building’s dilapidated condition forced every last office tenant out. Years later, Impact Services was given $1 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s 2003 budget to rehabilitate the building. The local nonprofit commissioned architects to create a modern office with retail space on the ground floor. The building reopened in late 2007 and houses the Esperanza Health Center, a faith-based bilingual health care service, and the Hispanic Community and Counseling Services, a nonprofit that provides mental health support.

The Flomar Building has towered over the Allegheny Station of The El since 1928.

For more on this story, visit the Hidden City Daily, .

In partnership with Hidden City, Plain Sights highlights historic structures with compelling stories hiding in our midst.


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sto ry an d p hotos by b radley maule




Avant Gardener Horticulture educator has been a longtime champion for urban gardeners by emily brooks

fter doris stahl’s two sons had moved out of the house in 1985, she was looking for a change. As a professionally trained fine artist and educator, she taught art sporadically at community centers and summer park programs while raising her two sons. But now that they were grown, Stahl wanted something more full-time. An avid home gardener, Stahl was drawn to accept a position as a horticulture educator with Penn State Extension. Little did she know the change she’d instill by bringing the Master Gardener Program to Philadelphia and building hundreds of urban gardens during her 26-year tenure. The Master Gardener Program, which was established in Seattle in 1972 to meet the demands for urban horticulture and education, provides extensive training to volunteers who then go on to serve their communities through beautification projects, educational workshops, community garden maintenance, and providing gardening advice and education. Penn State adopted the Master Gardener Program in 1982, and implemented it in Pennsylvania counties where farming was already prevalent. But when Stahl came on board three years later, the Master Gardeners were nonexistent in Philadelphia, a city blighted by 33,000 vacant lots and minimal green space. Stahl designed a curriculum that aimed to wean people off food stamps by learning to garden on vacant lots. Loretta DeMarco, a Master Gardener who has worked with Stahl through the years, applauds Stahl for her dedication to bring the Master Gardener Program to Philadelphia. “She grew it from a small group to the amazingly successful program it is today,” DeMarco says. “Doris is our mother.” The curriculum’s “You are what you eat” segment teaches the power of nutrition to combat hunger. “The right plant for the right place” provides instruction to gain a job in groundskeeping and landscaping. “We were there to say, ‘Let us show you a better way; let us empower you to help your community,’ ” Stahl says. She worked with high school dropouts, recovering drug addicts, convicted criminals and struggling immigrants to help them gain new perspectives on their communities and themselves through gardening.

“It’s been such an experience to watch and be a part of a person’s transformation,” she says. “To see someone come from a place of struggle to the realization that, ‘Hey, there may be something more for me.’ I’ve worked with some amazing people who have done wonderful things for their neighborhoods.” Through her work, Stahl has helped establish more than 1,500 community gardens in Philadelphia. The Overbrook Environmental Education Center in West Philadelphia is just one location where Stahl’s horticultural mark has been made. She helped design and establish their environmental program by playing a part in creating a butterfly and urban garden, greenhouse and high tunnel, and improving the center’s stormwater management. Although Stahl retired from the Penn State Extension in 2011, she continues to volunteer at Overbrook, and her past three years are marked by a complete transformation in the center’s garden design and efficiency. Jerome Shabazz, the founder and executive director of Overbrook, has high praise for Stahl: “When I think of someone who is extraordinary, I think of someone who goes beyond their self-interest to the benefit of others. That’s Doris.” In a time when the urban garden is seeing a rise in popular culture, Stahl prides herself in being an “old-timer.” “There are not too many of us around who have been doing this from the very beginning,” she says. “People don’t realize that urban gardening has a long tradition. We were avant-garde back then. But it’s great to see this change, this young interest in urban gardening, because the reality is that the need is still there.”

Doris Stahl, here at the Horticulture Center at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, built hundreds of urban gardens around the city.

Collapse of the dollar

Resources for Human Development announced recently that it could no longer fund the Equal Dollars Community Currency program it founded in 1996. The non-interest-bearing currency, as detailed in Grid's April 2013 cover story, promoted the exchange of goods, services and labor through a membership network in the Philadelphia region. In the past 19 years, through more than 5,000 members and 25 businesses, with 500,000 notes in circulation, Equal Dollars redistributed more than $2.5 million worth of goods and services to individuals who cleaned streets, vacant lots and helped their friends and neighbors, according to Equal Dollars director Deneene Brockington. The program is scheduled to close July 1, giving Equal Dollars members time to spend down their accounts. “We hope this unique concept will continue in the city of Philadelphia as a tool to help revitalize communities and to connect people to resources they need,” Brockington says.

p hotos by da n m u r p h y

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Temple University's solar panels can be seen by approximately 26,000 regional rail riders.

Solar in the City

Customer-backed, campus-based energy system a first in Philadelphia by brian rademaekers


lthough the newly installed solar panels are mounted three stories up on Temple University’s Edberg-Olson Hall, about 26,000 regional rail riders see them daily as they pass through the Temple University Station. The visibility is what the university is hoping will draw attention to the project, so more people see solar energy as viable. “It’s not making a big difference in our energy budget,” says Kurt Bresser, Temple’s energy manager. Of the 44,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity the North Philadelphia campus uses every day, the solar panels kick in just 63. “We did it to demonstrate to our students that it’s feasible. It’s a teaching tool not just for them, but for everybody leaving Center City as they whiz by on SEPTA. It’s a whole lot more powerful than just waving around a certificate saying we support solar energy.” Temple and the company that installed the 4,500 square feet of panels, Radnor, Pa.-based Community Energy, say the array stands out as the first solar power installation on a Philadel-

phia campus. The panels were unveiled at the beginning of 2014. Joel Thomas, business development manager with Community Energy, says the project was made possible in part as an agreement that stipulated that Temple would buy the energy from Community Energy for the next 20 years. While the installation, the cost of which Community Energy is not making public, wouldn’t be there if Temple wasn’t buying the power, Community Energy’s Solar Builder customers made it possible by helping to subsidize the upfront costs through their utility bills. When people sign up to use Community Energy as

their electricity provider, the company takes the profits and invests them in solar projects. Thomas says that it took roughly 1,600 customers signing up for Community Energy to help pay for the Temple project, adding that Community Energy doesn’t ask for donations from customers. “It’s like the idea of crowd-sourcing,” Thomas says. “The model works at scale—a large number of households participate and, as a community, solar is built.” Both Temple and Community Energy said covering the initial costs was an essential part of bringing solar to the campus. “We had been looking for ways to incorporate solar into the campus for a few years,” says Kathleen Grady, director of sustainability at Temple University. “[The subsidy] was the carrot that allowed us to get on board with the project,” Bresser says. Grady adds that Temple is the first school in the city to install solar, but she hopes it won’t be the last. “By working with [Community Energy] and partnering with them to implement this financial model, I think other schools are going to take notice and want to do something similar. It really helps us to make the case for solar,” Grady says. For more information on Community Energy projects, visit .

SALUTES Wissahickon Charter School

The Wissahickon Charter School won the 2013 Extreme Makeover Award at the Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference on December 11. With an Industrial Sites Reuse Program grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the school will complete an environmental remediation and hazardous materials cleanup at the site of its new Awbury Campus in Mt. Airy.


gr idph il m m ay 2014

Energy Auditors


In an exciting development for the world of sustainability, two Philadelphians, Dawn Moody and Edgar Encarnacion of the Energy Coordinating Agency, are the first in the nation certified by the Department of Labor as journeypersons in energy auditing. ECA was the first program in the country to offer federally approved apprenticeships—the step before journeyperson—for energy efficiency workers.

Alex Gilliam

& the Building Heroes Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse will give Alex Gilliam and the Building Heroes the 2014 Ida Newman Magic of Play Award on May 14. Gilliam founded the Public Workshop to help youth shape the design of their cities, and the Building Hero Project is the organization's young adult design leadership program. The Building Heroes transformed an underused area at Smith into an imaginative play area as a part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2013 Legacy Project.


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Filmmaker and activist Jamie Moffett harvested Cascade and Nugget hop vines he and neighbors planted in their “Guerrilla Hops Garden” along Rand Street in June 2013.

Beer Garden F

or some beer enthusiasts, hops—pungent, cone-shaped flowers whose acidic resin gives beer bitterness and aroma—are what define a good glass of suds. Many beers use hops that come from European brewing centers, but even the domestic hops in local India pale ales usually arrive from suppliers in the Pacific Northwest. While our region has a burgeoning local brewery scene and the hops can be grown here, the overwhelming majority of the hops in their brews come from far-off places because it’s still cheaper and easier to buy from elsewhere. Victory Brewing in Downingtown, Pa., draws the water for its beer from the state, but its Yakima Glory beer, named after a famous hop-growing region in Washington State, uses mostly Northwest hops. Victory was one of several breweries to explore local hop sources when 12

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Local breweries hop on—and off—the local hop bandwagon by brian rademaekers

a global hop shortage drove up prices and made some varieties impossible to get in 2008. Reports from the brewing industry at the time attributed the shortage to a “perfect storm” of conditions that included actual storms and drought in Europe, long-term market forces such as a stockpiling of hop extract used by huge commercial brewers, and even a warehouse fire that wiped out a chunk of Washington State’s surplus hops. At the peak of the shortage, Brew Your Own magazine noted some hop varieties had jumped in cost from $3 per pound to $26. Because of the shortage, Victory made Vista Farms Harvest Ale using Lehigh Valley hops, which they used again in 2009. But the 20102013 batches of Harvest Ale didn’t contain local hops, spokeswoman Melissa Thomas says. The hop shortage in 2008 also inspired Weyerbach-

er Brewing Company in Easton, Pa., to plant some 1,500 hop vines in Lehigh County. The crop from that hop yard went into batches of its now-discontinued Harvest Ale, but Bill Bragg, public relations and visitors center manager at Weyerbacher, says they’ve since moved back to using West Coast hop suppliers. Dan Weirback, co-owner at Weyerbacher was the driving force behind using local hops, but says they’ve since mowed the vines down because of the hard farm work and long hours needed to tend a hop field big enough to supply a crop for the brewery. “Enormous amounts of sheer back-breaking labor and no return were why we gave it up,” Weirback says. “Sure, we got money for the hops, but after four years we still hadn’t recovered all we had to put into it. Even if we had a picking machine, the amount of manual labor is ridiculous.” p hoto by jam ie moffett

Most farmers want to plant corn and get paid for it that year. It takes a special kind of farmer to take a risk and get involved with [hops].” — Matthew Gouwens

Owner of Hop Farm Brewing Company

Although the Philadelphia area doesn’t fall into the 48th latitude—a band of geography that stretches from New York to the Pacific Northwest with the ideal amount of sunlight for hops—many local homebrewers with robust hop gardens can attest to our climate’s compatibility with hop vines. The Oregon Hop Commission, a group of farmers that helps set hop prices in that state, say that hops are limited to latitudes between 35 and 55 degrees, an area that covers Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Key is a wet spring followed by a warm summer, which helps fight off root rot and powdery mildew. Considering that’s normal weather for the area, it’s not a surprise to see plenty of healthy local hop vines. Weirback estimates his annual harvest from 2008 to 2011 yielded 500 pounds of fresh hops. One of the few places to get a taste of local hops is not from the Pennsylvania hinterlands, but from Kensington. Philadelphia Brewing Company co-owner Nancy Barton says the bulk of the hops that go into their Harvest From the Hood beer come from hops grown in the brewery courtyard, from nearby Greensgrow Farms, and from vines planted at Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Episcopal Church and O’Neals Pub in South Philadelphia. Since 2008, PBC harvested the urban hop collections as the flowers begin to dry on the vine in October. Unlike most hops, these aren’t preserved for later use, but are thrown fresh into the boiling beer, which is only brewed in the fall as the hops are picked. “The day we are going to brew, we go around and pick the hops,” Barton says. “The beer is super hoppy, and you can really taste that fresh hop flavor.” She adds that the two batches of Harvest From the Hood beer— sold in kegs and 22-ounce bottles—sell extremely quickly, in part because a truly local harvest ale like theirs is such a rarity. Last summer, filmmaker and activist Jamie Moffett harvested from the rows of Cascade and Nugget hop vines he and some neighbors planted in their “Guerrilla Hops Garden” along Rand Street in June 2013. In an effort to raise money to buy the lot and pay for upkeep, Moffett plans to sell the hops through Greensgrow Farms and the nearby Philly Homebrew Outlet. Because they planted too late in the year, their 2013 harvest was just a few ounces, but they’re hoping for better results when the plants have their first full season this year. In Bucks County, the Free Will Brewing Co., now in its second year, is looking toward the future after planting 40 hop vines in 2013. Because it takes several years for hop vines to mature and begin producing heavy yields, the brewery says their first limited harvest won’t be until next year. Like PBC, co-owner Dominic Capece envisions making a small batch of harvest ale using the fresh local hops, but doesn’t see using them for more than that. “Overall, what we can produce is a pretty trivial amount compared to what we need to make most of our beers,” Capece says. Matthew Gouwens, owner and brewer at Hop Farm Brewing Company outside Pittsburgh, has been growing his own hops and making beer as a home-brewer for seven years. After opening the brewery in September 2013, he spent months trying to convince local farmers to dedicate acreage to hops. While he did get one grower to plant hops that will go into his beers, he says many are reluctant to get on board because of the years-long wait for a bumper crop and the need for specialized equipment, such as pickers and dryers. “Most farmers want to plant corn and get paid for it that year,” Gouwens says. “It takes a special kind of farmer to take a risk and get involved with this.” Still, he hopes to have his brewery using all local hops within the first 10 years, and says a number of his beers are already using about a quarter

of their hops from local sources. He also thinks that, as local breweries become more established, they will drive up the demand for people to grow hops locally. “People want to drink local, and I think more and more that desire is going to extend to what the beer is made with just as much as where it’s made,” Gouwens says. To learn more about the "Guerrilla Hops Garden" and other projects visit .


BECOME A MEMBER IN 2014! usive than other “The food variety is more incl tables. The regular vege ly most CSA’s that contain protein is great!” addition of fruit, dairy, and


“Love the variety— honey, ” beer, breads are great fun!


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story and photos by emily teel

Keep It Fresh

Warmer weather draws an appetite for flavorful spring salads


s the spring days get warmer and evenings stretch out, it’s not all that appealing to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing a big meal. So opt to limit your time in the kitchen by whipping up these easy savory salads. These three colorful alternatives to a big meal don’t even require that you mix up a dressing. Pickled shallots lend a punch to roasted beets and show that you don’t need greens to make a gorgeous salad. The earthiness of the beets is punctuated with creamy, salty feta and sweetness from a few of last fall’s lingering apples. Strawberries balance the bite from balsamic and the spicy Asian greens. Slaws may be the easiest of all salads, and this one made with carrots, scallions and lime juice is no exception—even as you quickly caramelize sunflower seeds with a salty slick of soy sauce. emily teel is a food freelancer dedicated to sustainable, delicious food in Philadelphia. See more of her work at .


Landisdale Farm May brings the return of green in full force to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, and with good reason. Many farms, including Landisdale Farm in Jonestown, Pennsylvania, only operate CSAs in the main growing season (mid-May through Thanksgiving), so May is the kickoff to a new vegetable year. Landisdale CSA members can expect a healthy dose of chlorophyll (punctuated by the sweetness of strawberries!) in their diets each week. . »» Spring onions »» Spinach »» Head lettuce »» Spring garlic »» Garlic scapes »» Sugar peas


»» Strawberries »» Green beans »» Swiss Chard »» Kale »» Collard greens

gridph il m m ay 2014

Beet & Apple Salad with Feta and Pickled Shallots 1

pound baby beets (red or an assortment) 1 small golden beet 1 Pink Lady apple 1 Gold Rush apple 3 ½ ounces feta, cubed 3-4 shallots (about 2 oz), peeled and thinly sliced

For brine: ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water 1 Tablespoon honey 5 black peppercorns 2 pinches salt pinch of dried thyme Olive oil



˜˜Preheat oven to 375 de˜˜When beets grees. Wash beets are tender, , and trim remo ve from the pack scraggly stems an et d roots. and allow to cool Arrange beets on en ou gh to a sheet handle. Once co of foil and drizz ol, peel and le with quarter. olive oil. Crimp foil edges ˜ ˜Core apples an together to seal d cut the beets in to chunks the sa in and roast (45 me size minutes to as beets. an hour, depend ing on size) ˜˜ In a large bowl, until beets can be combine easily beets, apples an pierced all the wa d feta. Rey through mo ve peppercorns with a paring kn from the ife. sh all ot brine and add ˜˜While beets them, roast, heat along with any re brine ingredients ma in in a small ing brine, to the bowl saucepan until it with comes to the beets. Toss to a simmer. Pour br gether, ine over dr izzling with olive shallots in a heatp oil to roof bowl moist en the mix. and massage toge ther. ˜˜Wash remain ing beet and quarter it. Sli ce thinly and sprinkle piec es over top of the salad.

Asian Greens & Strawberries with Balsamic and Goat Cheese 5

oz. bag Asian greens mix (tatsoi, mizuna, spinach, etc.)

1 2

pint fresh strawberries oz. fresh goat cheese

˜˜Wash, slice and toss strawberries in a small bowl with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Set aside. ˜˜While strawberries macerate, wash and dry greens and add to a wide, shallow bowl.

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper Pinch teaspoon salt Balsamic vinegar Extra virgin olive oil

˜˜When ready to serve, crumble goat cheese, salt, pepper, strawberries and any accumulated juices over greens. Drizzle with olive oil, toss gently and serve.

Carrot Slaw with Soy Sunflower Seeds ¾ pound carrots, washed and peeled 2 scallions, washed and thinly sliced ½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons soy sauce Juice from half a lime

˜˜In a wide frying pan over medium heat, toast sunflower seeds until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove pan from heat and add soy sauce, stirring seeds constantly until all moisture has evaporated and seeds appear coated in the soy reduction. You may have to return the pan to the stove over low heat to continue cooking until all moisture has evaporated. ˜˜Using either a box grater or a food processor with a julienne blade, grate carrots into a fine shred. ˜˜Wrap grated carrots in a clean kitchen towel and wring out some of the moisture. ˜˜In a large bowl, toss carrots with the lime juice, half of the sunflower seeds and half of the sliced scallion. Add mixture to a wide platter and top with remaining scallions and seeds. m ay 20 14

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rtmGRID4.5x4.75_Layout 1 8/31/12 3:27 PM Page 4






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W W W. G R E E N L I N E PA P E R . C O M

The Woodlands

Local Wares Handmade with Care

West Philadelphia

Stop by our table at Go West! to learn more about The Woodlands, take a tour of the grounds, and become a member—you’ll receive a special welcome gift and 5 extra months of membership benefits when you join at Go West!

photo: Dennis Hwang


• 21 individual retail spaces from 450 to 2,500 sq.ft.

• Starting at $1 per sqft / month

• Eco-Friendly construction • Located just south of the • LEED and Energy Star 60th & Market Street El stop certified Brian Wilson


VIX Emporium Emily Dorn

As the Crow Flies & Co Mike Straight & Wilder Scott-Straight

Go West! Craft Fest brings talented arts and crafters to The Woodlands by Shaun Brady


mily Dorn, co-owner of VIX Emporium, says that she and her fellow Go West! Craft Fest organizers were initially hesitant to move the fair to The Woodlands—and not only because it would be surrounded by gravesites. “It’s not like a park with walk-by traffic,” she says, adding that it took a bit more planning to carve out a space for the craft fest that would drive foot traffic. “But it’s historic and special, and … we ended up with a good outcome.” On May 3, The Woodlands will host the semiannual Go West! Craft Fest for the fifth time, bringing 120 vendors selling handmade arts and crafts to the site of the historic mansion and cemetery. The festival moved to The Woodlands for its spring and fall editions in 2012, after several years in other neighborhood locations. Go West! was created by Mike Straight, a designer who creates reclaimed ceramic jewelry, and his wife, Wilder Scott-Straight, who makes handmade and upcycled children’s clothing. The couple, who

This event guide was created by Grid, VIX Emporium, As the Crow Flies & Co, and published by Red Flag Media. 1032 Arch St., Third Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

continue to organize the event with Dorn, wanted to shine a light on their neighborhood's thriving arts scene. The first incarnation of Go West!, as the monthly Satellite Second Saturday in August 2009, brought eight vendors to the small triangle in front of the Satellite Café at 50th and Baltimore. In April 2011, it was renamed and moved to Cedar Park, growing to welcome 2,000 visitors at last fall’s event at The Woodlands. “Our focus is for local crafters and artists to have another forum for their work, and for our West Philadelphia neighborhood to have a fun, unique event while exploring the beauty of The Woodlands,” Scott-Straight says. “It’s a great way for crafters just starting out in the marketplace to show their wares alongside more experienced makers.” For more information on As the Crow Flies and VIX Emporium, visit and


Art director

Alex Mulcahy

Danni Sinisi

managing editor

Distribution / Ad Sales

Sara Schwartz

Jesse Kerns

copy editor

Andrew Bonazelli

4 | Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 |




Event Map






ACCESSIBLE BY SEPTA Green line trolleys

11, 13, 34, 36


The Woodlands

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101 100 99

121 120 119 118

122 123 124 125 126 127







111 117 112 116 113 114 115 72 71 70 69 68 67 73 74

86 85 84 83




105 63 64 65 66


60 61



75 76 77

79 80

75 The West Philadelphia

1 Weckerly’s Ice Cream

20 Reimagined Charms

36 StitchPrism

58 Tadpole Creations

2 The Satellite Cafe

21 Pink Hammers

37 Ace Blakley

59 Bee Vintage Redux

Cooperative School

3 Grid

22 peculiarbreed


60 Malcolm House Wares

76 The Philly Free School

4 Flying Groundhog

23 The Woodlands

39 Us & We Art

61 Black Heart Letterpress

77 University City Arts League

94 Priya Means Love

113 BekkiMakena

5 Do It Now T-Shirts

Information table

40 Gourmet Candle

62 Chameleon Candi Designs 78 Bhakti Puppet Makers

95 Laura Murdoch

114 Tooth of the Lion

6 Dirt Dobber &

24 Brass Rabbit Jewelry

41 The Ceramery

63 Masters of None

79 The Lil’ Pop Shop

96 Anna Beau Designs



25 The Whitman Fox

42 Mneeka Designs

64 Handmade Amazingness

80 Taco Angeleno

97 SewKind

115 Flocks

7 InLiquid

26 Love.Lee Designs

43 Blue Calendula Room

65 Seam Poets &

81 Aksum Cafe

98 Crescent Ceramics

116 Liminalia Hand-

8 Social Goods Co.

27 Michele’s Personal-

44 By Yivvie

Foxglove Factory

82 Black Orchid Foods

99 Sarah Draws Things

made Goods

9 Adorned by Aisha

ized Touch

45 This Pretty Life

66 Sculpture Garden Arts

83 Stellar Spirals

100 Sarah Gwen Yeung

117 The Golden Hen

10 Tamme Handbags

28 Jeremy Pushinsky &

46 Shera P Crayon Lipstick

67 Mary-Lynne Moffatt

84 RetroRelix

101 dollhousefossils

118 olive + bo

11 Brokenglass Studio

Miki Palchick

47 Philly Loves Lacquer

68 Beidler Pottery   

85 Wise Owl Shop

102 The Revival Clothing

119 Saffron Creations

12 Upright Metalworks

29 Wild Child

48 Sweet Elysium

69 Cynwyd Station

86 Go Light Designs

103 Urban Baby & Stinky Girl

120 Jane Broadbent Pottery

13 Fisticuffs Leather

30 Russell Brodie

49 STAND Jewelry

Cafe and Tea Room

87 Soapbox Holistics

104 Old Blood Designs

121 Mason J.A.R. Apparel

14 Jen McCleary Art & Design

31 Michelle Judge

50 Wee Bit Trendy

& Sadie’s Soaps

88 GlamTribale

105 Telegraphic Tree

122 Smithbridge Road

15 Dandelion Pottery



70 Suzanne Francis Fine Art

89 Charlie and Sarah

106 Corina Dross Artwork

123 Material Poetry

16 Accent Aroma

32 pro-FOUNDART-

52 Surprise Designs

71 As the Crow Flies & Co

90 Night Owl Designs &

107 Hilaryannlove Studio

124 Eco Artisan Designs

17 Typothecary


53 Manic Muse

72 Bog Berry Dryer Balls

Rainbow Alternative

108 LittleStuds

& Kimberly Eden Designs


33 The Urban Cabin

54 Anthropolis

& Ember Handcraft

91 Bob Dix Illustration &

109 Flaming Idols


18 Useful & Beautiful

Soap Co.

55 Paul Carpenter Art

73 Nice Things Handmade

Super De Duper Illustration

110 Fennec

126 A la Liz


34 Treat Shoppe Charms

56 Vintagearts

74 VIX Emporium & Say

92 Mud & Maker

111 Exit 343 Design

127 Wrong World Ceramics

19 Get Lit

35 The Bellows

57 Black Cat Pottery

Hi Beth / Tranquility Jewelry

93 Michele Sky Jewelry

112 PB & Jams

Map subject to change


Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 | 5

A historic West Philadelphia estate becomes a hub for the life—and death—of a community by Shaun Brady


eering in from the street, the canted headstones and moss-greened marble that are The Woodlands’ most prominent landmarks make the 54-acre estate appear to be just another of Philadelphia’s historic cemeteries. A quick stroll through the grounds, however, reveals a surprising amount of life in this repository for the dead. Even on a gray Wednesday afternoon, a young mother pushes a stroller past the ornate monuments, while a pair of nurses stroll through the grounds during their lunch hour. An unplanned mile-long dirt path attests to the runners who use the site for their daily rounds. “On a nice day at 5 [p.m.] after work, this place is super-crowded with runners and dog walkers,” Executive Director Jessica Baumert says. “People are starting to utilize the space as a park, and we want them to—with respect, of course.” She adds that they want people to view the estate as a community hub and as a place where they can quickly escape the city.

6 | G o WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 |

The Woodlands began its life as the home of William Hamilton, a prominent 18th-century landowner who rubbed shoulders with many of the country’s Founding Fathers. After inheriting more than 300 acres of land on the west side of the Schuylkill River from his grandfather, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, Hamilton decided to build what became the first fully realized example of Federal architecture—which draws upon classical Roman influences—in the country. Through large gifts from his uncle, former Pennsylvania Gov. James Hamilton, and other small acquisitions, the estate expanded to 600 acres, encompassing most of what is now West Philadelphia, including all of the University of Pennsylvania's campus and almost all of Drexel's. “Hamilton traveled to England in the early 1780s and saw the new styles of art-collecting and architecture and landscape,” Baumert says. “So, when he came back from England, he made drastic changes to his estate based on what he saw there. A lot of people would visit The Woodlands to see this new style of architecture or this new plant for the first time. … He was definitely a tastemaker.” The estate’s core 90 acres were landscaped in the English country garden fashion, with several plants and trees that Hamilton was responsible

for introducing to North America. While most of those plantings have been lost over the years, several trees still stand from his time, including a massive Caucasian zelkova that may be the only one of its type in the state, and a grove of seven English elms that somehow survived a blight of Dutch elm disease and are now, according to Baumert, “a cathedral for tree people.” Hamilton died a bachelor with no children in 1813, so his land was divided up between nieces and nephews who sold it off piecemeal over the next few decades. The core 90 acres, which included the mansion, were purchased in 1840 by the Woodlands Cemetery Company, a group of men who had pooled resources to save the site from encroaching development. “When Hamilton was alive, this was known to be one of the most significant places in the city and in the region,” Baumert says. “The cemetery being founded here was always as much a preservation effort as it was a business venture.” More than 30,000 people are buried in the Woodlands Cemetery today, including several notables from the city: painter Thomas Eakins and his famed subject, Dr. Samuel Gross; architect Paul Philippe Cret; financier Francis Martin Drexel; and abolitionist Mary Grew. For some time, The Woodlands competed with Laurel Hill

photos by Ryan Collerd


Walking Tours

The Woodlands will host two Thomas Eakins tours, which will feature the Philadelphia realist painter's grave, along with the gravesites of several of his patrons and subjects.

Tours are at noon and 2 p.m. and start at The Woodlands table. Free for The Woodlands members, $10 for non-members.

Cemetery, founded two years earlier, to entice the city’s most famous residents to repose within their gates. “From a business perspective, getting famous people buried in your cemetery was the best advertising you could do,” Baumert says. In the early 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution swallowed up huge swathes of green space in urban centers, and before the widespread establishment of public parks, cemeteries took on a key role as public getaways and gathering spaces for city residents. That role has changed as parks have become more formalized and American attitude toward death more distanced; but that original communal role has reemerged as a model for historic cemeteries unable to continue to turn a profit as space becomes scarce—and as law made it harder for historic cemeteries to generate revenue from past sales. One of the prime movers behind The Woodlands Cemetery Company was Eli K. Price (now buried there with a suitably ornate memorial), who was also one of the founders of Fairmount Park. “The way we deal with death has changed, and there are a lot of people who won’t step foot into a cemetery,” Baumert says. “As burial practices change, a lot of cemeteries that have

a strong history behind them are becoming cultural destinations as much as—or in many cases more than—selling cemetery lots. We’re lucky to also have this fascinating layered history that connects with West Philadelphia in a really fun way, so we’re trying to create an environment that allows people to think differently and more three-dimensionally about it.” The Woodlands is now operated by two nonprofits: the Cemetery Company and another arm that handles fundraising, preservation, community outreach and educational programs. After having acreage seized by eminent domain for the construction of the hospital and University Avenue, the estate shrunk to its current 54 acres, now protected as a National Historic Landmark District. Baumert and her small staff are currently planning more ways to expand the site’s accessibility, including restoration efforts to the house and grounds, research on Hamilton and The Woodlands’ history and hosting more events, such as the Go West! Craft Fest. That new thinking includes initiatives, such as the 18-bed community garden established by local residents in 2009. Erica Smith Fichman, program manager for TreePhilly, joined with several “stalwart West Philly green people” to establish the garden. “For me, the Woodlands is just an-

other friendly open space, but one that’s a little more unique than the local park,” Smith Fichman says. “The community garden is 50 percent about having a little space in the ground to plant and 50 percent about the social aspect.” The mansion is also a resource for The Woodlands’ preservation efforts. Starting in the spring, weekly drop-in tours of the house are offered on Wednesdays and occasional weekends, with group tours available by appointment. With all of Hamilton’s belongings having long since been sold off, the mansion is largely an empty shell, which presents the opportunity to host events in the interior with no threat of damage to valuable collections. Rachel and Matt Allison took advantage of that last spring, as the first wedding to take place at The Woodlands since the 1990s. “It’s historic and rustic and kind of run-down in a really unique way, so we didn’t have to do very much to make the place look beautiful," Rachel says. Since the nuptials, she has continued to revisit The Woodlands on a regular basis. “Once you’re on the grounds, you feel so removed from the bustle right outside those gates. I think it’s a great oasis for people like me who like living in the city, but want there to be some quiet every now and then.”


Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 | 7


Cali expat brings Mexican fare flair to her West Philadelphia neighborhood


ometimes all you need to bring a community together is a really great taco. West Philadelphian Vanessa Jerolmack, owner of the Taco Angeleno food cart, may not have realized how big of an appetite locals would have for her authentic Mexican fare, but she does now. Jerolmack moved from Los Angeles to Philadelphia in 2007 and realized the kind of food that was so abundant in California was lacking in her new city. As a way to fill that void and to get to know her neighbors better, she began cooking vegan versions of the cuisine she loved and inviting people over for brunch with her and her husband, Doug. The lively times getting to know their neighbors were so enjoyable that the couple wanted to do more, but they didn't want to start a restaurant. After a visit to the Memphis Taproom’s beer garden, an outdoor space on a small empty lot that housed a food truck, something clicked. The couple had purchased the vacant lot behind their house in 2012 and planned to use it for a garden, but what if they could get the city to approve Jerolmack’s dream to sell Mexican food there? “I don’t like the restaurant world, but I’m

Taco Angeleno Vanessa Jerolmack

Aksum Mediterranean fare made with a focus on simple and fresh ingredients, with accents from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East 4630 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Black Orchid Food Vegan and vegetarian catering service with pop-up events and dinners to-go 5029 Kingsessing Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Cynwyd Station Cafe and Tea Room Refreshments, locally sourced items and bike-powered milk shakes made with all natural ice cream 375 Conshohocken State Rd, Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

really into my neighborhood,” she says. “I really love how everyone knows each other.” In January 2013, they purchased a previously owned food cart. In November 2013, the city ruled that Jerolmack could operate her Taco Angeleno food cart at 5019 Baltimore Ave. To bolster her cuisine knowledge, Jerolmack worked for nine months with Fishtown’s Loco Pez, a bar and taqueria that serves L.A.-style street food. Jerolmack says she debuted her cart at the Go West! Craft Fest last spring, and the response was “awesome.” She plans on sticking to a seasonal schedule, selling Thursday through Saturday evenings from May to October, so it was only natural that the biannual craft fest bookend her selling season. For now, she sells chicken, beef, pork and seitan tacos. “I start with Go West! in the spring and I’ll close with Go West! in the fall,” she says. The popularity of Taco Angeleno at the craft fest is not lost on Jerolmack. “Each time I sold out,” she says. “We had a line the whole time.” To learn more about Taco Angeleno, visit

Lil’ Pop Shop

Satellite Cafe


Unique ice pops that are hand-crafted in small batches from a seasonal assortment of fresh, natural, locally-sourced ingredients

Eclectic coffee house and cafe that serves smoothies, wraps, pastries and espresso drinks

Small batch, French style ice cream made using local and organic ingredients

701 S 50th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143

4239 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104

265 S 44th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

photos by Neal Santos


Philadelphia’s cityscapes inspire printmaker/painter


hether it's a flower at her El stop or a stately Federal mansion at her favorite cemetery, Suzanne Francis finds inspiration for her prints and paintings all around her. History, architecture, flora and fauna have influenced her work since she started creating and selling art in the mid-90s. “I started doing it because it was something I wanted to see,” she says. “I’ve always been interested in the things around me.” The Ardmore, Pa., resident lived in Philadelphia from 1993 to 2012 and considers the metro area her "stomping grounds." Her work remains full of her interpretations of homes, parks and city landmarks, including Love Park, City Hall, and the 30th Street Station. She uses gouache, a type of paint that's made when watercolors are mixed with gum arabic, giving it a more opaque look that creates an ethereal stained-glass appearance to some of her works. One landmark she plans on celebrating in a few prints is The Woodlands, where the Go West! Craft Fest has been held since 2012. The site includes a cemetery, garden and mansion. “I love that [Go West is] in a graveyard,” she says. "The event is really fun.” To learn more about Suzanne Francis Fine Art, visit

Outdoor tacos 5019 Baltimore Ave.    thurs-sat, 5-9PM |

Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 | 9


Olive + bo creator sews accessories for little ones that break the rules


hen pregnant with her daughter Olive in 2009, Lori Thomson quickly became tired of seeing blues for boys and pinks for girls in baby accessories. So she created olive + bo, an Etsy craft store that sells cotton rattle toys, quirky quilts, whimsical mobiles and gifts. “I’ve always sewn my whole life,” Thomson says. The Lansdale, Pa., resident started with baby blankets and took a quilting class. Before long, she was creating unique, handmade items that reflected her take on the modern baby—like her black and gray skull quilt and gender-neutral yellow and gray pillow. The “bo” part of the moniker comes from her Welsh terrier, Bo, and Thomson adds that

ox soapb



Makers of Natural, Healthful Skin Care & Parenting Products Philadelphia, PA

10 | Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 |

she plans on selling dog items, too. While Thomson says her Etsy shop does well, she tends to sell more at craft fairs, such as the Go West! Craft Fest, because buyers can feel the quality of her products. She uses natural materials for her wares—easily washable cotton and wool blends for her kid duds and quilts, wood that she cuts and stains herself, and hemp and canvas for the mobiles. So, it's perfect if you're looking to wow a mom-to-be with an unconventional baby gift. “When people don’t want flowers and butterflies, they come to me,” she says, laughing. To learn more about olive + bo, visit

Coming Soon... The Type Heritage Marketplace Victorian and Art Nouveau Specialties 21st-Century Digital Technology Historically Documented Revivals and Ephemera Faces, Ancient–2000 Research and Preservation of Letterpress Display Types

Professional Fonts for International Designers


Discuss, Collaborate

Beidler Pottery Elegant ceramics made for use Studio rental in communal work space

stick lets

because mother nature misses us


Studio: The Cedar Works 4919 Pentridge St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19143


d!ay 3r n on M th us nival O i w r ld -Bui nce Ca rkway | | 215-203-6800

Children’s Community School Honoring & Empowering Children to engage their whole selves in education

Serving 2-5 year olds, part time, full time & aftercare West Philadelphia, 801 S. 48th Street, 19143 | (215) 724-3467

Chef/Owner Peg Botto | Seasonal Hours | main 215.978.0900 | cell 610.324.5256 Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row | Philadelphia |

the pre-Finished Hardwood specialist since 1985 Environmentally-Friendly Wood Floors, Naturally Buy from a local Philly homeowner and SAVE!

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HOURS T/W/Th./F/Sat. 12-7 Sun. 12-5 1731 East Passyunk Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19148 267-455-0256


Potter's instinct to create porcelain and stoneware pieces comes full circle


en Beidler’s love for pottery started young, when he was 7 or 8. While he and his Mennonite parents were working in Indonesia with a church, he would make objects out of clay and leave them in the sun to dry. Today, he creates porcelain and stoneware that reflects the joy of creating something with his hands again. Beidler and his family returned to America when he was 14. In high school, he took art classes, but after graduation he ended up going to seminary, eventually becoming a Mennonite chaplain, pastor and youth ministry leader. While his wife was pursuing her Ph.D. and he was home taking care of their children, Ezra and Toby, he decided to try art again. Beidler began by taking ceramics classes and appren-

Summer cycling camps, after school and leadership programs for youth Community bike shop with hundreds of used bikes to choose from and build Donate your old bike

Volunteer your time


Support Philly’s youth

ticing for a year, turning that into a full-time gig. His primary influences are Chinese and Japanese designs. “I’m basically self-taught," he says. "I found teachers and mentors along the way to help me grow my skill and craft." Beidler creates most of his pieces in West Philadelphia at his studio space at the Cedar Works, a reclaimed warehouse that serves as a shared community and work space. Beidler also allows other ceramic artists to use his studio. All of his functional pieces (mugs, bowls, serving dishes, platters and plates) are microwaveable and oven-safe. Beidler's wares can be found online, at Go West! Craft Fest,and at VIX Emporium, owned by Go West! co-founder Emily Dorn. It's work that keeps him content: “I’m happy to be doing this." To learn more about Beidler Pottery, visit


A dynamic global music and world cultures program for kids and their families. Classes available in

West Philly and Fairmount \ 215-913-2679



Crafter keeps it extra local by using found items for her jewelry


o matter where she goes, StitchPrism owner KellyAnne Mifflin never stops looking for objects to integrate into her jewelry pieces. Because she lives in West Philadelphia, she takes advantage of the access she has to The Woodlands, Bartram’s Garden, and Tinicum Township in Delaware County. Some of her pieces are made using porcelain pieces she handcrafted herself, as well as driftwood and other found items. “A lot of my work is inspired by nature and incorporates natural elements," she says. "I spend a lot of time walking around.” In addition to jewelry, Mifflin also creates aeriums decked out with air plants; colorful crystal pieces; and she plans to unveil a line of potions and sprays made from flower essences and essential oils at the Go West! Craft Fest. Because of her love for crafting and keeping things local, it was only natural for Mifflin to cross paths with Emily Dorn, owner of VIX Emporium, and to sell her wares not only there but at the Go West! festivals that Dorn helped to organize. “I do craft shows all over, but it’s always especially nice to get to do one in my own neighborhood,” she says. To learn more about StitchPrism, visit


Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 | 13



Guitarist uses his travels to create a dynamic music program for kids and their families


ove aside, “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Guitarist and children’s music teacher Jay Sand is kicking it up a notch. The founder of All Around This World, an interactive global music program for children up to 9-year-olds and their families, teaches Tinikling dancing (from the Philippines) and the Schuhplattler, a traditional Bavarian folk dance, among many other international musical favorites. “Each week in class, we do some kind of dance or celebrate some kind of holiday to learn more about that week’s featured country,” Sand says, adding that no one is expected to do any of it perfectly—it’s just fun learning. “We’ve done Bollywood dancing, Bra-

zilian capoeira, the Ugandan Amagunjju [and] the Chilean Cueca,” he adds. His desire to explore cultural music comes from his love for traveling the world (he’s visited many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa) and melding that into a program of global melodies, rhythms and movement. Sand says that his brand of learning aims to get parents as involved as the kids, so that everyone is participating. “Adults aren’t always honored in the children’s realm. Tumbling is not nearly as fun for us as it is for them,” he says, laughing. The West Philadelphia resident didn’t initially set out to create a music program. When his first daughter was born, he would take her to a music class in

the suburbs. Sand, a guitar player, began teaching a class there, but wanted to bring that musical fun to his West Philadelphia neighborhood. “It made sense to just teach in my neighborhood,” he says. In addition to teaching classes, putting out webcasts and working on a pilot program to bring the All Around This World curriculum to kindergarten or elementary classrooms, Sand performs around the U.S., including at the Go West! Craft Fest. He and his family enjoy the interaction the day brings: “Everyone wins—it’s that kind of a day.”

11:15 The Green AM Tambourine


1:00 The Spinning PM Leaves

2:00 Members of PM The Dill Pickles

3:00 TINYCIRCUS PM Tangle Movement

The Green Tambourine believes music is for everyone, and teaches a range of classes for every type of musical experience

Guitarist Jay Sand teaches an interactive music program for children up to 9-years-old that encourages kids and their families to explore the world by enjoying great global melodies, rhythms and movement.

The Spinning Leaves are steeped in traditional American music, sweetened with psychedelic folk and a garnish of New Weird America.

The Dill Pickle Old Time Orchestra is comprised of fun-loving gents and gals who enjoy playing the old-time string band and Tin Pan Alley music of North America.

To learn more about All Around This World, visit

Arts presents tinycircus, an ongoing free, outdoor performance series with a wide variety of performers and styles.

ALL Juggler Brien DAY Eckenrode Brian will be performing “random acts of juggling” throughout the day.

Times subject to change

and tea room


A victorian c o n c o c t i oice n s •cream c u r i o s i tparlor i e s • t r eand a t s green community center at the head of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail 375 Conshohocken State Road, Bala Cynwyd

Aerial dancers tinycircus wows through fluid movements

 


embers of Tangle Movement Arts, an aerial dance and interdisciplinary performance company, know what it feels like to swing high above a captive audience. The all-woman troupe based in Philadelphia blends dance, theater and circus arts, and was founded in 2010 by Lauren Rile Smith. In 2011, Tangle created tinycircus—an eclectic, familyfriendly showcase that features dancers twisting, hanging and gliding using ropes, trapeze and aerial silk. Most of the members of Tangle participate in tinycircus shows, and Smith says she also invites performers from a wider community of jugglers and hoop artists to join for specific shows. Tangle puts on two full-length shows each year, in addition to free, outdoor tinycircus performances, which have been a part of Go West! Craft Fest since the spring of 2012. “We love being part of the festival,” she says, adding that it allows the dancers to show off new movements. “It’s a chance for us to experiment and to share what we do with a wide range of people,” she says. “[It’s great to hear the] excited shrieks of a child when they see us upside down 20 feet in the air."

                                      

 

To learn more about Tangle Movement Arts and tinycircus, visit

photo by Michael Ermilio


Go WEST! Craft FEST | Spring 2014 | 15



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Northern Parula found in N.J.

Buying shade-grown coffee helps the region’s migratory songbirds by bernard brown bird photos by brian hart


ow can you help local birds at breakfast? Think beyond the chickens that laid your eggs, and look at what’s in your coffee mug. Many of Philadelphia’s local birds spend their winters where I would if I had wings: in the lush forests of northern Latin America’s coffee country. Unfortunately, many of these migratory songbirds are in decline. “One reason populations can decline is because of threats they are facing on their wintering range,” says Keith Russell, Philadelphia outreach coordinator for Audubon Pennsylvania, drawing the connection between our birds and where we get our coffee.

A Blue-headed Vireo


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A Black-throated Green Warbler

“Since a huge number of the bird species that spend time in shade-grown coffee plantations also occur in Philadelphia, it’s likely that many individual birds that occur in Philadelphia during the summer also occur in shade-grown coffee plantations during the winter,” he says, referring to the birds that pass through the city during migration or the breeders that spend the summer here. Take the Common Yellowthroat, a warbler whose males sport a smart black mask above the namesake yellow. I often spot them in Philadelphia-area marshes during the summer. These little birds fly 2,000 miles to Central America when the chill of autumn makes their insect prey hard to find. The Yellowthroats could spend their winters in the same Nicaraguan bushes that produce the Birds & Beans coffee sold at Weavers Way Co-op in Mount Airy. The company sells single-source, Bird Friendly® coffees named after migratory songbirds. Wild coffee originally grew (and still does) under the canopy of Ethiopian mountain forests. As the coffee bushes were cultivated across Central America and northern South America as a cash crop in the 1800s, growers reproduced the bush’s wild habitat by growing it under the local trees, making traditional coffee farms the “next best thing to a natural forest,” according to the Smithsonian Zoological Park Migratory Bird Center’s website. But in the 1970s, growers realized they could harvest higher yields if they used pesticides and moved their crops from shade to sun. The result has been a shift over the last 40 years, with about half the shade-grown farms giving way to larger sun-grown operations that are more like crop fields than forests. Goodbye songbird habitat. Luckily, there are a number of ways to support coffee growers who are supporting bird habitats. Researchers at the Migratory Bird Center, which documents the value of traditional coffee farms, created the Bird Friendly certification in 2000 as a way to support traditional farmers who might be tempted to shift to sun grown, according to

There is no such thing as cheap coffee—the price is paid by the loss of bird habitat.” -Scott Weidensaul Dr. Robert Rice, research scientist and head of the certification program. The certification means that a coffee farm has been found to use organic practices and maintains a forestlike sanctuary for migratory birds. These certified farms can host staggeringly rich populations of songbirds. Scott Weidensaul, a naturalist and author who also works with Birds & Beans, reflects on the avian diversity and abundance on the certified farms. “In all my time birding, I have never seen neotropical migrants like I have seen in Northern Nicaragua—just huge mixed flocks moving through the forest.” He contrasted this with the sterility of sun-grown farms. “There is no such thing as cheap coffee,” he says. “The price is paid by the loss of bird habitat.” West Chester-based roaster Golden Valley Farms also offers Bird Friendly coffees. These include familiar blends, such as French Roast, as well as a line of Bird Friendly Coffees, with labels that depict images of migratory beauties such as Baltimore Orioles and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. But Bird Friendly is not the only certification. There are at least six different certification programs, turning the coffee aisle into a confusing set of options. The Rainforest Alliance certifies sustainable coffee, based on social, labor and environmental criteria that include shade (although Rainforest

Alliance does allow its shade-grown coffee to be up to 10 percent non-shade-grown). Equal Exchange, a big seller at Weavers Way Co-op and at West Philadelphia’s Green Line Cafes, is a fair-trade co-op that says 90 percent of its coffee is organic—and the majority of that is shade-grown—but it hasn’t asked its growers to apply for USDA Organic certification (a prerequisite for Bird Friendly) because of the cost. There’s also USDA Organic (another prerequisite for Bird Friendly); Fair Trade Certified; UTZ Certified (focuses on larger plantations, sort of a reaction to Fair Trade’s focus on small farms); and Carbon Free. One company working to provide both good coffee and good habitat is La Colombe. The Philadelphia-based roaster works directly with farmers in Third World countries and handles certifications through their Strictly Earth Conscious program, which requires that its growers carry at least two of the six. La Colombe has worked with Brazilian growers to gain Rainforest Alliance certification and, COO Tobin Bickley says La Colombe has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to help Haitian growers expand their country’s shade-grown coffee industry while maintaining the farms’ value as wildlife habitat. When asked how consumers should choose coffee that helps the city’s migratory birds, Brian Hart, La Colombe purchaser and avid birder, says that Bird Friendly is the most stringent environmental certification, but added that it is often the hardest to find. He recommended going with any certified, good-quality coffee. “If you buy cheap coffee, you can pretty much guarantee you are hurting the environment,” Hart says. Spend a little more money and attention, however, and you can help our local birds, even when they’re half a world away.

LEFT: All three of these birds can either be found spending the winter in a shadecoffee habitat or use this habitat in migration as the head north in the spring or south in the fall. ABOVE: A nursery shade area at La Colombe's coffee academy in Haiti, where young coffee plants will be planted and nurtured until they are ready to be replanted in the shade forest in the background.

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Save the Date!

Wyck’s Rose Festival Saturday May 17th 12pm-4pm Live music, local food, tours, demos, workshops, children’s activities & more amidst the oldest rose garden in America!

South Philadelphia recycling program

Feed the Barrel transforms used cooking oil into compost and biofuel story by Rosella LaFevre & Sara Schwartz photos by Š Sahar Coston-Hardy

Cut Zahara, program director with Feed the Barrel, poses with her daughter, Geubrina Jalil. NEXT PAGE: Children point to signs they made that encourage their parents to save used cooking oil.


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arm, welcoming and barefoot. That is Cut Zahara, owner of Barizkhy Daycare. (It’s still fairly new, come on in and make yourself at home.) Although she’s a petite woman among a sea of children vying for attention, you can’t miss her—she’s the one with the hot pink scarf wrapped around her head. Zahara (whose first name is pronounced “choot”) is one of the program directors of Feed the Barrel, Philadelphia’s first residential cooking oil recycling program. Members of the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia, a local chapter of the national organization, created the pilot in early 2013 with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Asian Pacific American Council, which serves communities that are typically under-represented. In Indonesia, families have more space—big backyards and gardens—and so dumping used cooking oil outside was never an issue. But in Philadelphia, where open space is limited, many Indonesians resort to throwing away their oil after cooking with it; or worse, pouring it down the drain, where it would block their pipes as well as city-owned water mains, making for some very expensive plumbing fixes. “We as a community … never dealt with this problem in our country before,” Zahara says. She moved from Aceh, Indonesia, in 2000 and has lived in the U.S. since then. “We [Indonesians] use a lot of cooking oil, we fry everything, so that’s why … after we use it, we just pour it down the sink; that’s how we dealt with it before. [But] now we know how to do it better.”

woman for the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia. Now, because of Feed the Barrel, Philadelphians can take their used cooking oil to more than 10 drop-off locations in South Philadelphia, including Zahara’s daycare at 634 Emily Street and a handful of churches. The used oil is poured into a 55-gallon drum at each site— donated and collected by South Philadelphia oil-recycling company Eden Green Energy. Now they just need to get the word out. As a way to help train older generations to save used cooking oil, Zahara and Feed the Barrel partners hosted an event in January that placed the focus on teaching children to talk to

their parents about the issue, specifically by creating signs to encourage them to save their cooking oil. During one gray, rainy Saturday, at 634 Emily Street in South Philadelphia, Zahara hosted the first “Train the Trainer,” which was filmed to show other groups of children how they, too, can play a role in oil recycling. Zahara buzzes around getting everyone settled after their pizza lunch. There are 25 children on the first floor of this South Philadelphia row home, sitting with backs to the yellow walls, socked feet wriggling over the carpet or folded beneath them. Now they will learn how they can help their mothers and fathers properly dispose of cooking oil. [»]

t a meeting in early 2013, members of the Indonesian Diaspora Network of Greater Philadelphia decided that Zahara, who has been an activist and a speaker on environmental and human rights issues for 14 years, was the kind of champion that Feed the Barrel needs. Zahara and Merlin Lamson, project manager, were chosen after the community leaders saw “the scope of the project, and realize we need back-up,” says Hani White, chairm ay 20 14


“Today, we will learn some- ABOVE: Children make signs at a thing new,” Zahara tells them. “We want to teach you how to “Train the Trainer” event in February. tell your mother what to do about this problem.” RIGHT: Children Here to help are Lena Kim, attend a “Pouring who works for the Environ- Party” on Dec. 5. at ment Protection Agency, and the International Bethel Church. Sage Piszek, a salesman from Eden Green Energy. Kim has pulled her long hair into a knot and wears a pinstriped apron over a black tunic and tights. She stirs imaginary food in her frying pan with a wooden spoon, which clacks as she does so. “Who do I look like?” she prods in a cheerful voice. She wants them to call out that she looks like their mothers. They don’t. She nudges a little more: “Don’t I look like your mom?” Kim has props and visual aids to show the children that once mom is done cooking, she has to do something with the cooking oil. Mom probably dumps it in the sink, she says, holding up a white bowl and pipe section. Then she shows them the gummy wad that represents cooking oil, which can block pipes and lead to costly plumbing bills. To prevent this, Kim explains that instead, their parents should save up their cooking oil in empty containers and take it to an oil recycling drop-off site, where they’ll deposit the used oil into a drum that Eden Green Energy will empty when full. “People who don’t have handyman at home” need a solution, Zahara says. “I used to put it down the drain, and now I know better.” Now, their mothers and fathers can save up their cooking oil in a bottle to bring to a drop-off site. “The Earth is saying, ‘Give me a break,’ ” Piszek says, crouching down to look into the children’s faces. He says his company gives Earth that break by collecting used cooking oil, processing out bits of food, and turning it into 24

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compost and biodiesel. The “Train the Trainer” event ends and each child leaves the location—which also serves as a House of Learning-Dompet Dhuafa USA—with a sign he or she has drawn to remind parents to recycle their used cooking oil. Aldo Siahaan, a pastor at one of the drop-off locations, says that training older community members will be a challenge: “It’s not gonna be easy, but it’s worth it.” Feed the Barrel is part of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, a voluntary program that asks participants to reduce their food waste (more than 40 percent of our food ends up in the landfill, and cooking oil is a part of that). The EPA’s Kim says the agency wanted to take a community-wide approach to see whether oil disposal education and collection points would even work. The recycling aspect was actually icing on the cake because Eden Green Energy is also sustainability focused, Lena says. In addition to having donated the oil drums for Feed the Barrel, Eden Green Energy, which typically pays commercial clients to collect oil, plans to donate a small percentage per gallon of collected oil and give that back to the Indonesian community in South Philadelphia.

orking with Feed the Barrel is Eden Green Energy’s first experience recycling oil in a residential setting; the company usually works with restaurants, hotels, universities and casinos. Although it’s a smaller volume than they are used to picking up, Piszek is optimistic that once the word gets out about Feed the Barrel, more people will drop off their used oil. “We’re going more for exposure,” he says. “We’re hoping by the end of the year, if we collect about 10 drums, that will be a fantastic accomplishment,” Piszek says. So far, the community has filled a barrel and a half. He adds that working with Feed the Barrel has been “fantastic.” Kim says that word is spreading—Norristown and Princeton contacted Eden Green Energy about how to start up their own programs. She adds that Feed the Barrel supporters presented the pilot to the Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs in early April to encourage other communities to consider residential oil collection and recycling. “Things have far exceeded initial expectations,” she says. Kim, whose children attended the Albert Greenfield school, first became involved in the issue in mid-2012, when she heard Indone-

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Ride your heart out. Feed the Barrel Drop-offs sian mothers in the schoolyard talking about problems associated with dumping cooking oil down the drain. Because of her employment at the EPA, Kim was in a position to ask for help. The decision to involve children also started early. “In a parallel discussion, parents in the schoolyard realized this is not only a problem, but laughed about how the kids are going to be the best advocates,” Kim says. Zahara says that her passion for teaching kids and others about doing better with oil and our natural resources is one of the reasons she feels strongly about working with Feed the Barrel. “It’s a really great way to train our kids,” says Zahara, who has three children. “And they’re really excited. … Some of them really like the science class at their school, and this has become like a science class to them.” She adds that giving the children the responsibility to teach their parents means a lot to them: “They really feel so proud of themselves.” With contributions from the children, parents, churches, the EPA and Eden Green Energy, Zahara is a reluctant face of Feed the Barrel. “I am nothing without the EPA, Hani, Merlin, everybody,” she says. “One woman can do anything—many women can do many things.” 

Have used cooking oil? You can bring it to any of these 14 locations. Bethany Community Church 1709 S. Broad St.

International Bethel Church 1619 S. Broad St.

Christ (ROCK Ministry) 713 Moore St.

JC Bake Shop 1730 Snyder St.

Hani’s Community Garden 1809 S. 32nd St. House of LearningDompet Dhuafa USA 634 Emily St. Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic Church and School 915 Vine St. Indonesian Christian Church 1738 S. 19th St.

Philadelphia Praise Center 1701 McKean St.

SEPTA is the key to your commute, play and everywhere in between.

Nations Worship Center 2703 Dudley St. QQ Mart 1608 West Passyunk Ave. Seulanga Cafe 1838 S. 18th Street St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community 1719 Morris St.

Indonesia Full Gospel Fellowship Church 2026 S. 13th St.

FOR MORE information call 267-432-6807 or email

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“A Place at the Table” Screening

This documentary investigates hunger in America and proposes solutions to the problem. Screening will be followed by a panel discussion with anti-hunger advocates.



5k Run for Clean Air

Over the past 33 years, the 5K Run for Clean Air has grown into Philadelphia’s largest Earth Day Celebration, become a certified green event, added a 3K walk and Kids’ Fun Run. Located on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, the Run is a celebration of sustainability, clean air and improvements in the region’s environmental health.


→→ Sat., April 19, 9 a.m. Entry fees vary by age and

event. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Registration required. For more information and to register, visit .



→→ Tues., April 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Greensgrow Farms,

2501 E. Cumberland St. Registration required. For more information, visit .


Environmental Thinking from Roots to Revolution

Join scientists and environmental advocates in a free symposium that will explore the contributions of Dr. Ruth Patrick, the freshwater ecologist whose pioneering research on water pollution set the stage for the modern environmental movement. During her 75-year career at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Patrick, who died in September at 105, demonstrated that biological diversity holds the key to evaluating an ecosystem. →→ Tues., April 22, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. To register, visit .

PENCIL IT IN! To have your event considered for publication in Grid, email Listings are free. Submissions are due on the 19th of every month to run in the next issue. For a full list of calendar events, visit


Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 100 N. 20th St. For more information, visit


Cheese-Tasting at Greensgrow

Madame Fromage and Cherry Grove Farms pair up for a cheese tasting. Cherry Grove Cheeses will be paired with local beers and cider as well as a milk and cookie course. Guests will learn about the cheeses and the basics of pairing and will have the chance to experiment with their own pairings.


→→ Fri., April 25, 7 to 9 p.m. Greensgrow Farms, 2501

Earth Day: Volunteer with Greensgrow

Greensgrow Farms’ annual Earth Day day of service and celebration. This year Greensgrow teams up with Subaru and Green Mountain Energy’s Sun Club for a full day of activities—including a dedication ceremony for the farm’s new solar pavilion. Volunteers will be treated to lunch.


→→ Tues., April 22, 6 p.m. Free, but space is limited.

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E. Cumberland St. Registration required. For more information, visit .



Creek Clean-up at the new Wissahickon East Parcel

A collaborative effort with Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association and the Wissahickon East Project. Following the clean up the WVWA and the Friends of the Wissahickon invite all of the participants to the “Talkin’ Trash” picnic to satisfy appetites and share stories. →→ Sat., April 26, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meet at

Wissahickon East Parcel. Lunch at Fort Washington State Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Flourtown pavilion on Mill Road. For more information, visit .



6th Annual Crafty Balboa April Showers

This outdoor market at Passyunk and Tasker showcases unique, affordable and primarily Philadelphia-based handmade goods. →→ Sat., April 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Outdoors at the

intersection of Passyunk Avenue and Tasker St. For more information, visit


Backyard Berries Workshop

Instructor Phil Forsyth from the Philadelphia Orchard Project comes to Greensgrow to teach the basics of growing berries and brambles, including plant selection, planting and pruning. He’ll discuss common fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries and introduce some more unusual options like goumis, gooseberries and bush cherries.


→→ Sat., April 26. Noon to 2 p.m. Greensgrow Farms,

2501 E. Cumberland Street. Registration required. For more information, visit



Wyck Explorer Sunday: Chicks, Bees and Farm Fun

Visit a working home farm nestled in Historic Germantown. Meet the chickens, tour the greenhouse, and take a peek at a real beehive to see honeybees at work. Discover how the farm grows and harvests food and promotes innovation, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. Part of the Philadelphia Science Festival. →→ Sun., April 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.

to 2 p.m. Free. 6026 Germantown Ave. For more information, visit .


Caught in the Same Net: The Ocean and Us Free talk and book signing. Author Dr. Carl Safina, president of Blue Ocean Institute, Stony Brook University, will discuss how fisheries, coral reefs, forests, climate change, poverty, literacy for girls and peace are all facets of the same issue.


→→ Wed., April 30, 7 p.m. Free. The Academy of

Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. Registration required. To register, visit,


Tamale-Making Party Tamales, a portable meal made of corn meal dough surrounding fillings, all wrapped up in a corn husk, are one of the oldest Native American foods. Learn to make these treats and take some home for your own Cinco de Mayo celebration. Vegetarian options, and a light meal of Zea May’s Native American-inspired fare will also be provided.


→→ Fri., May 2, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $30 per person.

All ages welcome. The Francis Cope House at Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Rd. Pre-registration encouraged. For more information, visit events/tamale-party.


Aluminum Dreams Book Launch

STEAMworkPHILLY is hosting a book launch for Mimi Sheller, author of Aluminum Dreams, The Making of Light Modernity (MIT Press, 2014). The presentation for the Philadelphia native and director the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel will include a Q&A and book signing. The public can bring in aluminum cans for a smelting session. The aluminum cools in minutes and guests take their aluminum home as party favors.


→→ Sat., May 3. 2 to 4 p.m. Philadelphia Sculpture

Gym, 1834 E. Frankford Ave. For more information, visit

BECOME AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONAL • Restore damaged ecosystems • Grow community food crops • Renew urban neighborhoods • Design and build storm water gardens • Part-time options for all programs

BS Landscape Architecture Nationally accredited professional program



Food for Thought: La Vida Local In partnership with Weavers Way Co-op, a panel of food writers, growers and activists will explore the nuances of local food and what it means to create a new, place-based food culture during an evening of local food and drinks in the pavilion, surrounded by the spring forest. Elisabeth Zafiris will moderate an engaging discussion about the intersection of food, place and culture. Advanced tickets recommended; limited seating.

Master of Landscape Architecture Nationally accredited; Ecological Restoration focus

BS and AS in Horticulture Plant science in a living environment

→→ Thur., May 8. 7:30 to 9 p.m. $15. Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road. For more information, visit


Kombucha Fermentation Workshop Amanda Feifer, fermenting enthusiast behind comes to the Greensgrow Community Kitchen to talk cultures and tea in this workshop on the ubiquitous and sometimes magical brew, Kombucha. Learn the process for making this culture-rich brew two ways (continuous and single batch). All participants will leave with a SCOBY (the culture to make kombucha at home) and some starter tea as well as an info packet with recipes, tips and techniques.


→→ Sat., May 3, 12 to 2 p.m. Greensgrow Farms,

2501 E. Cumberland Street. Registration required. To register, visit


Sharing Nature with Children

Enjoy the wonders of nature by engaging your child in different activities each month to awaken their natural senses. A light refreshment will be provided. Held the first weekend of every month from May through September.



Preserving by the Pint Book Signing Philadelphia canner, Marisa McClellan from, will be at Greensgrow Farms introducing her new book, Preserving by the Pint. She will demonstrate how to make a small batch jam from the new book, honey sweetened strawberry. Marisa will have books on hand and be signing and answering your canning questions.


→→ Sat., May 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Greensgrow Farms,

2501 E. Cumberland Street. Registration required. For more information, visit events .


Art in the Open: Philadelphia Art in the Open is a citywide event that celebrates artists, their inspirations for creating art and their relationships with Philadelphia’s urban environment. Thirty artists, 16 from Philadelphia, will be will be making art along Schuylkill Banks trail from the historic Fairmount Water Works alongside the Philadelphia Art Museum south to the Locust Street Green.


Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture School of Environmental Design Graduate and Undergraduate Information Sessions are held regularly. Visit our website for dates and times.

→→ Sun., May 4, 10 to 11 a.m. $5 for TLC members;

$10 for non-members. Bucktoe Creek Preserve, 432 Sharp Road, Avondale, Pa. To register, visit

→→ Fri., May 16 through Sun., May 18. Free.

Schuylkill Banks Trail. View a complete list of the selected artists and their projects are posted at


Accidental Discovery As she returns to the streets, an injured rider finds support from the bicycle community by Katie Monroe


could be the safest bicyclist i know. I teach people how to ride bikes in the city as part of my job at two nonprofits—the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Gearing Up. Off the clock, I’m a bicycle evangelist who encourages everyone to give twowheeled transportation a try. But my enthusiasm was recently challenged. Days before Christmas, I was biking home, heading west on Reed Street past the Acme in South Philly. I turned south where the trolley tracks turn north at 11th and Reed, and suddenly, my bike slipped out from under me and I was on the ground. I had no time to break my fall. As always, I was wearing a helmet, but somehow my face was the only part that hit the pavement. Spitting pieces of my teeth out, I quickly scrambled up and out of the street. As blood gushed from my chin, I realized I couldn’t open my mouth very far. I managed to call my friend Megan, a colleague at the Bicycle Coalition, who drove me to the ER. An hour later in a medicated daze at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, I was told by doctors that my jaw was broken in three places, five of my back teeth had partially shat-

tered and my mouth would have to be wired shut for a month. Three nights later, with two titanium plates in my jaw and mountains of dental work in my future, I was discharged from the hospital. I spent Christmas sipping protein shakes, lamenting whenever I smelled my dad’s cooking (woe is the woman on a liquid diet for the holidays), cancelling New Year’s travel plans and generally feeling like a depressed failure. I thought about giving up on biking and buying some SEPTA tokens, but I soon discovered a wellspring of resilience that I didn’t know I had, thanks to an outpouring of support from Philadelphia’s bicycling community. I had hospital visits from both of my bosses, a card signed by youth at Neighborhood Bike Works, flowers sent from Fuji Bikes, and many emails, Facebook messages and cards offering encouragement and advice about getting back on the bike. Despite being embarrassed that I had fallen, I posted about my crash in the Facebook group I moderate, Women Bike PHL. Local women shared their own stories of trolley track runins, wished me a speedy recovery and reminded me that no form of transportation is risk-

free. One even wrote, “It’s not like we give up on walking when the sidewalk is uneven and we trip and fall on our face.” No one questioned whether I would ride again. It was only a question of when. Their confidence that I would get back on my bike helped make it inevitable. Now, months later, I still have quite a bit of healing (and dental work) to go, but my jaw is no longer wired shut and I’m proud to be pedaling again. If anything, my crash and the outpouring of love that followed it have only renewed my passion for bicycling, and for Philadelphia’s growing bicycle community. I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing what I love, alongside people I love. And it’s heartening to learn that even a big ol’ face-plant can’t keep me from it for long. katie monroe is the Women Bike PHL Coordinator at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, and Communications & Community Liaison at Gearing Up. She recently participated in #WEBiketoDC, a group bike ride from New York City to Washington, D.C., to promote women’s bicycling programs.

Each month, Dispatch features personal reflections on adventures in sustainability. Have a story you’d like to share? E-mail 30

grid ph i l m

m AY 20 14

illustration by Andrew Roberts

Sun, fresh air and water make the fresh vegetables grow. And they can power your home, too! Choose Pollution Free Gold™ electricity made from Pennsylvania wind and solar energy. Joining our community helps develop new solar energy projects. We make a monthly contribution for our customers to the Sun ClubŽ to give solar to non-profits. The Sun Club is donating $20,000 for a solar farm stand at Greensgrow Farms.

Sign up today! 855-PA-GOGREEN

you can go home again

A Midwesterner returns to — and restores — the prairies.

Ben Reynard Master of Environmental Studies ‘12, University of Pennsylvania To learn how Ben helped bring the butterflies back to Lincoln, Nebraska, visit

Ben Reynard grew up under big skies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, working on a farm throughout high school. After ten years in corporate housing and hospitality fields, Ben wanted a career that would put his love of the land to good use outdoors, cultivating the habitats he’d always respected. He came to Penn’s Master of Environmental Studies program to make the change. “I wanted to do meaningful work for the environment,” Ben says. “The MES degree allowed me to get hands-on experience right away.” Ben focused on ecological design and the MES program connected him with Rushton Farm in West Chester. There, he ran a baseline pollinator study and practiced the research and GIS mapping skills he learned in the classroom. “MES taught me the technical skills and big-picture thinking I needed to find my ideal career,” Ben says.

Staff from Penn’s MES Program are here to answer your questions face-to-face on the second Wednesday of each month. Walk right in.

After graduating, he found work in environmental remediation as an ecocontractor, helping to restore natural wetlands and prairies in his native Midwest. “Penn opens doors,” Ben says. “I’m outside in the elements. I see my projects take root. I’m helping out the environment. And that’s a good job.”


Grid Magazine May 2014 [#061]  
Grid Magazine May 2014 [#061]  

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